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

Damion Schubert damion at zenofdesign.com
Thu Apr 17 00:45:02 New Zealand Standard Time 2003


From: Boyle, Paul
> From: Ryan S. Dancey [mailto:ryand at organizedplay.com] 

>> I think you'd be surprised at the size and complexity of the
>> economic model that underlies the current version of the D&D
>> rules, and the size and complexity of the demographic model that
>> the economic model is based on as well.
 
> Telling us the price of chickens and boats does not an economic
> model make.  I'm shocked that you consider D&D a 'complex'
> economic and political game.

Indeed.  'Economics' starts with having enough people to merit
'demand' and some sort of 'supply' that's not enough to spread
around.  In a six-person table top game, you rarely have economics.
You usually just have a GM pulling the price of cheese from his ass,
and covering it up with a good backstory.

As an aside, I've seen many theories that suggest that you really
need things like food, water, shelter, resources, etc before you
have an economic model.  Fie.  Too many people think an 'economy' is
what ensures that your newbie can sell the Rat Droppings he bought
in order to upgrade to second level gear.  Bah.  That's a safety
net, not an economy.

An economy is what happens when there's not enough housing to go
around, when your player killing spell requires reagents that only
spawn in the dungeon next to the enemy guild's guildhouse, or when
one rare class in the game is the only one who can perform a needed
but invaluable service.  Economies can be as realistic as the
designer would like, but it need not be at all - it just needs to
satisfy a demand that the player has, however bizarro that demand
might be.

(I think these allergy meds are kicking in, I feel evangelistic).

--d
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