[MUD-Dev] A Founding Father Forgotten

Michael Tresca talien at toast.net
Fri Apr 4 23:46:51 New Zealand Daylight Time 2003


Caliban Tiresias Darklock Sent: Saturday, March 29, 2003 9:28 AM

> I'll second that. P&P games are designed for a maximum of six to
> eight people, with one person constantly altering the game
> parameters to keep the game fun; a key element of any serious P&P
> game is to locate players that work well together and don't have
> contradictory goals. (In its most basic form, Bob can't play an
> ostentatiously evil wizard if Joe is going to play a classic
> paladin.) In a virtual world setting, you simply can't do this.

Of course, that's not the point I was making.  I consider it a
significant game background development.  Dungeons & Dragons, even
now more than ever, has a lot of tactical elements.  It has rules
around miniatures, around combat, around hacking crap up with a
sword.  Heck, the rules are written out for you to understand,
unlike most game manuals which go out of their way to avoid
explaining how things work.

Going to make a fantasy MMORPG where you hack crap up with a sword?
Got levels?  Got hit points? You should have touched a D&D book.
It's just common sense.  Good research.

I wrote a d20 book on Mercenaries (out now, plug plug).  While I'm
not a mercenary (okay, some might say that but I don't consider
myself one), I certainly read as much as I could about the subject
before I wrote the book.

It's a simple matter of doing your research.  To ignore Dungeons &
Dragons when creating a fantasy MMORPG that closely mimics levels,
hit points, armor class, etc. is sheer arrogance or ignorance,
depending on your excuse.

Worst thing that might happen is you now know what mistakes to avoid
in developing your game.  Or you might even understand how the
gaming culture spawned it's own ridiculous rules.  Like:

  Why are drow always portrayed as black elves?
  Why do dragons have colors?
  Why do trolls always regenerate?
  Why do wizards have low hit points?

Once you know where the genre's come from, break the rules, do your
own version, whatever.  But if you're going to do a class-based
fantasy MMORPG, you should know the game's roots. And read a Tolkien
book or three.

Failure to do so means you may needlessly risk repeating the same
errors that are inherent in that system.

Mike "Talien" Tresca
RetroMUD Administrator
http://www.retromud.org/talien





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