[MUD-Dev] Storytelling in a PSW from a Player's Persepctive

Michael Chui blizzard36_2002 at yahoo.com
Fri May 16 00:02:52 New Zealand Standard Time 2003


I will begin my reply with a salute. I am in full agreement with the
spirit of your post, and my aspirations for my own game is something
with a more serious RP focus than I've seen so far.

--- Talanithus HTML <talanithus at mindspring.com> wrote:

<snip detailing of problems and underhanded solutions>

> I have my suspicions.  I think they are afraid of allowing players
> too much control over the world around them, and afraid of losing
> influence over the fictional consistency of their worlds.  Well if
> that is really the truth, I have a bit of a wake up call.  I am
> about as deep into PSW role playing as you can get, and there is
> absolutely no such thing as fictional consistency in a PSW.  Even
> if you have a strong core of players who embrace the heritage,
> ethos, and lineage of your fictional background, they will still
> be weighted down with players who are there simply to have
> fun. And that's OK, they are paying their subscription fees as
> well.  Frankly, enforcing Role Playing in a PSW is a lost cause
> unless you are willing to be picky about who you accept into that
> world, which I have yet to see in a subscription based massive
> gaming model.  In fact, I have yet to see a MMORPG where the
> "dewds" did not out weigh the RPers on an exponential scale.

I think the problem is larger than that. I think that the question
is not as much how players might disrupt fictional consistency, but
rather why nothing's been done to account for this. Yes, there are
programmer and customer service wizards, but supposedly, ALL of the
other wizards are there to supervise RP activity. But they don't do
that.

In my opinion, for all the advertising that MUDs are places where
you can tell your own story, the MUDs themselves don't encourage
this.  They're depending on the players' bloodlust to drive their
enjoyment.  Instead of training the wizards in answering questions
and fixing bugs, why not set them loose as Dungeon Masters? I've
heard more than one account by game masters saying that's why they
took the job: to tell stories.

Assign a couple strong-minded GMs to the task of maintaining
fictional consistency. Give them the power to figure out where the
best place for a crew of unlikely vagabonds to overcome a fearsome
dragon. Give them the tools necessary to find out what kind of
disruptions killing a dragon in the area might entail, etc., etc...
And then give them the responsibility of deciding whether or not the
player's story will work. If it doesn't, but needs a bit of
tweaking, let them work with player to design it.

I know one of the main problems with such an approach is high admin
visibility, which I hear is a big no-no. But I see no better
alternative at this juncture.
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