Random? Numbers (was:RE: Brand Loyalty (was Re: [MUD-Dev] Req uire ments for MM(wasComplexities of MMOG Servers)))

Steven J. Owens puffmail at darksleep.com
Thu Feb 6 18:23:36 New Zealand Daylight Time 2003

On Tue, Feb 04, 2003 at 10:03:09PM -0700, Lars Duening wrote:

>>> ...hmm, in a game with gods and belief systems, this would be a
>>> nice way to reward truly pious players.
>> Well it would be except that if its significant enough to be a
>> worthwhile reward, it would probably be gamed by all powergamers.

This is a tautology; powergamers will always game the system, any
system, to the extent that it can be gamed and to the extent that
they're willing to invest the energy to do so.
>> How does one measure peity? Perhaps they payment of a tithe and
>> never killing certain creatures considered in alignment with the
>> god.

> Showing up at certain holy events, sneezing widdershins every
> morning, fulfulling special tasks for the order...

I had one design idea, years go, for doing something like this;
prohibitions and restrictions, sure, but you could also have some
sort of prayer command that players could use before attempting
somethingk that would have a chance of earning them divine (but
subtle - a small bonus to the roll, etc) assistance.

This would necessarily have to be carefully balanced.  In addition
to the hassle-factor of praying before the event (time delay and
making the players go through an extra step), and obeying the
restrictions, you might need additional risks imposed (perhaps by
incurring the gods displeasure, which hopefully would be subtler
than a simple negative modifier to the roll; perhaps it increases
their odds of encountering tougher monsters, etc).  Maybe the more
the player prays, the more strictly the gods require obedience to
the prohibitions and restrictions of their faith.

You'd also need to factor in different sects or dieties in a
pantheon.  Generally the player could pray to a single patron god,
or perhaps to allied or simiarly-aligned gods.  There might be
subtle interactions between prayers to different gods by the same

Additionally, this could become part of the larger game, which was
the starting point for this whole idea, for me.  The more players
pray to a given god, the more influence that god's priests have on a
game.  The obvious application would be spell power for the priests,
by whatever measure (more spell points, more spells per level,
bonuses to their rolls to cast each spell, better effectiveness of

Also perhaps in faith-to-faith confrontations, both direct
confrontations (priest to priest or priest to monster) and indirect
(certainly if both sides are praying for victory...).  Perhaps the
outcome of the given event (battle between players and monsters, or
between groups of aligned players) also affects the influence of the
god of the winning size (thus making the old saying, "God is on the
side with the heaviest artillery" self-fulfilling).

Also, perhaps high-ranking priests could add or alter prohibitions,
giving them some political influence.

Hm... idly considering, I wonder if the same general idea could be
applied to a more "political" themed element of a game.  There's the
obvious group alleigance sort of stuff, but I'm talking about
something in between that and the "divine intervention" approach.
Without the roll bonus, the effects would have to be more subtle;
maybe in a game with a sufficiently involved NPC element.
Steven J. Owens
puff at darksleep.com

"I'm going to make broad, sweeping generalizations and strong,
 declarative statements, because otherwise I'll be here all night and
 this document will be four times longer and much less fun to read.
 Take it all with a grain of salt." - Me at http://darksleep.com

MUD-Dev mailing list
MUD-Dev at kanga.nu

More information about the MUD-Dev mailing list