[MUD-Dev] D&D vs. MMORPG "complexity"

Matt Mihaly the_logos at achaea.com
Wed Apr 9 20:36:37 New Zealand Standard Time 2003

On Wed, 9 Apr 2003, Martin Bassie wrote:

> Any additional complexity isn't covered by the "official" rules
> (of which there are none, if you follow the old "DM's word is
> final" dogma). Instead, it's added by the players and the
> DM. About 70% of the D&D sessions I'm involved in these days don't
> even involve meaningful creature bashing (maybe one fight in a
> session). Instead, the plots tend to include quite a bit of
> intrigue, sneaking, non-combat skill usage and politicking.

Exactly. And there are what, 3-10 players playing? Try 2000 of them.
Intrigue, politics, and economics take on entirely new meanings with
more people.

> Sure, there are no fixed rules for some of those situations, and
> it's possible there are some systems which completely describe and
> regulate every bit of play we can come up with. Not having these
> fixed rules is what makes roleplaying non-combat situations so
> darn interesting, because the -players- cannot use those rules to
> their advantage, as they so often do with combat. Unlike
> computer-driven RPGs, D&D (and a lot of P&P RPGs) gives the DM
> almost infinite freedom to implement his own rules, and until
> CRPGs manage to simulate the same freedom, they can't ever be as
> compex as a well-hosted D&D session. They don't have to be,
> though.

I'm thinking you've never played a large-scale game with politics
that matter then. (Do not think UO, EQ, DAoC, etc. They don't have
politics that matter to any great degree.)


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