[MUD-Dev] Animals, Animal Handling, and Unexpected Side Effects

Travis Casey efindel at earthlink.net
Thu Jun 20 15:37:59 New Zealand Standard Time 2002

Thursday, June 20, 2002, 10:40:38 AM, Michelle Elbert wrote:
> From: "shren" <shren at io.com>

>> dungeon.  As each trap went off, another sheep (perhaps many)
>> bought the farm, and the party went on to the center of the
>> dungeon, in relative saftey and with as much fresh mutton as they
>> could carry.

>> Has anyone observed this behavior or something like it in a mud?
>> UO has both detect traps and herding as skills, perhaps other
>> games do as well.

> Ha!  That's amusing.  In my old Tabletop group, we gennerally used
> to chuck copper pieces insead of sending something in.  (We used to
> do all kinds of thing with copper pieces.)  And in Infinety Engine
> games (Balder's Gate series, Ice Wind Dale), I would use pretty much
> that tactic if I was in a hurry.  Like using Monser Summoning 1 and
> sending them off to traps I didn't want to risk killing my Rogue
> over.

Triggering more reminiscing here...

There's a lot of tactics along these lines that people use in paper

 - turning fallen foes into zombies and using them to look for

 - using a bag with heavy stuff in it, or a corpse, tied to a rope
   to check for traps (throw it as far ahead of you as you can, then
   drag it back)

 - using a pole or staff to prod the floor ahead of you, sweep for
   tripwires, open chests, doors, etc. from a distance, and so on.

 - sprays of mist or scattering flour in areas where invisible objects
   are suspected.

 - sending illusions of the party ahead when ambushes and the like are

 - and, of course, the ever-popular "use the henchman to detect
   traps", as seen so often in Nodwick.  :-)
Robert Plamondon's book _Through Dungeons Deep_ describes some tactics
for real paranoids -- e.g., his recommended handling of chests in

 - First, use a polearm to tilt it forwards onto its face.  Approach
   from the rear.  This foils any traps that fire darts forward,
   spring blades out of the top of the chest, etc.

 - Next, use a poleaxe to break out the bottom of the chest.
   This avoids any traps that are in or tied to the lock.  It also
   lets you stand back far enough to stay away from poison gas that
   may come out.

 - Use a pole to stir/prod the contents from a distance, to look for
   snakes, traps in among the coins, etc.  Do this gently to keep from
   breaking potion bottles and the like.  You may want to pad the end
   of the pole.

 - Use a scoop to pick up coins and put them in your own chests or
   heavy bags.  Use tongs to lift other objects.  Wear gloves while
   you're at it.  This is to avoid contact poison.

For the reasons *why* gamers sometimes got this paranoid, see Flying
Buffalo's wonderful "Grimtooth's Traps" series of books.

Travis Casey
efindel at earthlink.net

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