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

Travis Casey efindel at earthlink.net
Sun Apr 27 14:13:37 New Zealand Standard Time 2003

On Friday 25 April 2003 01:18, Talanithus HTML wrote:

>   1. Character Uniqueness - how they look/dress

>   2. Player Communities - how they group/behave amongst each other

>   3. Profession - how they choose to develop their "skills"

>   4. Playstyle - how they use all of the first three to seek
>   enjoyment

> PnP is quite similar, and in fact all 4 of those categories are
> just as prevalent...  but there is a 5th category that supercedes
> them all.  5. Creation - how they build the world around them
> (mainly the GM, but to a limited extent, the players as well)

Or a not-very-limited extent, in some P&P games... and, for that
matter, in some online games.  E.g., one of the main points of the
Tiny family is that everyone (or at least lots of people) has some
ability to "build the world".

> Frankly, everyone wants to be a hero (or villain), whether they
> are playing a CRPG, PnP, or MMORPG.

All right... pet peeve time here.  I'll readily admit that *almost*
everyone wants to be a hero or a villain -- but not *absolutely*
everyone.  And not everyone wants to be a hero or a villain *all the

Observation: the longer someone has been playing RPGs, the more
likely it is that he/she can have fun playing someone who *isn't* a
hero or villain.  After twenty-odd years of playing heroes and
villains, it can be a lot of fun to play a bit part -- the superhero
group's droll butler, the crusty henchman who's always complaining
about where the heroes are dragging him this time, or even the odd
shopkeeper with the near-impenetrable accent and strange inventory.
("Yah, Yah, Oi I tink Oi haf thot... somevere here under der fourth
printing ov der Necronomicon...")

Especially some P&P GMs love doing this sort of thing... but there
are players who enjoy it too.

> So I say forget the plans, and instead give players the tools to
> build for them.  Instead of having a dozen or so people slaving a
> way creating a plot that will affect, maybe, 10 - 20% of the
> playerbase, let the players who literally ARE PnP GameMasters
> waiting for a chance to shine go buck wild.  Yes, you are going to
> get Trekkies in a Medieval world, as well as Mechanoids, GI Joes,
> Thundercats, and God knows what else.  But hell, those are there
> anyways!  You cannot imprison the creativity of the player, and
> regardless of what world wide fiction exists players will bend it
> to their own will, and take advantage of it as THEY desire.

And if you really don't want stuff that doesn't "fit in", then set
up your recruiting with that orientation.  Ideally, someone who
wants to get their Star Trek fix out would go play in an ST game for
that, then do something else elsewhere...

       |\      _,,,---,,_     Travis S. Casey  <efindel at earthlink.net>
 ZZzz  /,`.-'`'    -.  ;-;;,_   No one agrees with me.  Not even me.
      |,4-  ) )-,_..;\ (  `'-' 
     '---''(_/--'  `-'\_) 

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