[MUD-Dev] Alternatives to Permadeath

Travis Casey efindel at earthlink.net
Fri Apr 5 13:17:10 New Zealand Daylight Time 2002

Saturday, March 30, 2002, 6:16:17 PM, Sasha Hart wrote:

> Even further distinctions could be drawn out: for example, has the
> game said to the player something like "You have died" or "This
> person over here has died"? Whose identity died? Further: has
> someone merely died, or has the player failed? To what extent has
> the player failed?

> What might work better for some people is sandboxing the player's
> assets and losses someplace not tied to the player's avatar. This
> way the player's connection to that identity, and as importantly
> his friends' connection to that name, can be preserved without
> affecting your ability to use the same old carrot and stick
> tactics. I mean, uh, to give players a sense of persistence and
> investment. ;) Lots of people are doing this already, one way or
> another.

In paper RPGs, this is sometimes done through family connections.  A
new character may be a child or sibling of an old character.  This
can allow some property to pass from the old character to the new
(via inheritance), and provides some logic to the new character
having many of the same social connections as the old.

On the minus side, it's easy to get ridiculous with it.  "Lefty's
dead, but look... here's Lefty's identical twin brother!"

Another thing that's often done is to allow the player to create a
new character who is better than a standard starting character.
Some paper RPGs formalize this, but in many others, it's simply an
accepted way to do things that doesn't happen to be written in the
rules.  When Joe's 10th level character gets killed, Joe simply
makes a new 10th level character and starts playing it.

> Suffice it to say there are MANY ways to do PD. It comes down to a
> whole cluster of decisions, not just "PD or not?"


Travis Casey
efindel at earthlink.net

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