[MUD-Dev] Too much magic?

Corey Crawford ccrawford at seventh.net
Tue Feb 10 12:45:54 New Zealand Daylight Time 2004

From: Brian Hook

> If a game provides pierced nipples, pretty much every player will
> have magical rings dangling from their nipples if given the chance
> unless there's a reason for them not to.

> Is this a bad thing?  Obviously players do this because they want
> to do this and want to have uber buff characters, so there's the
> risk that if you take this away you'll have a bunch of irate
> players (yes, this assumes a goal-oriented playerbase -- let's not
> get off on a tangent about how you do or don't want this type of
> player in your game).

While I don't want to open that can of worms, I firmly believe that
how you handle magic and magical items is dependant on what kind of
players you have and what kind of game you are making.

> But on the other hand, if you can compensate in other ways and
> provide an in-game mechanic to limit this, it may make for more
> interesting choices.

> The first thing you can do, of course, is just limit magical items
> a lot, so that high level characters are mostly walking around
> with finely crafted items.  This is fine, and at least they're not
> walking accessory shops.

If you set the precedent of rare magical item spawns, I think people
would get that idea that magical items are rare and accept it. Just
don't make them campable/farmable.

> Another thought is to implement a "magical nausea/overdose" type
> of thing.  Characters can tolerate magical fields up to a point --
> beyond that, they start suffering side effects that offset the
> bonuses.  Some characters and/or classes and/or races could have
> very high or low magical sensitivity, even to the degree that
> certain people could implicitly detect magic the way some people
> can detect cats.  Magical allergies =)

This isn't too bad of an idea. You could go the other way and make
it so you can't wear certain kinds of armor when wearing magical
items. Maybe magic acts like a magnet so anything metallic is really
uncomfortable to wear (either impossible or with high
penalties). The more magic items you wear the more unwearable armor
is. Of course, this is dependant on how your game handles such

> I'm pretty much torn on this issue.  On the one hand I'd actually
> like a world where one magical item per person would almost be
> considered excessive, not a world reminiscent of my days as a
> 13-year old Monty Haul DM.  On the other hand, I really don't want
> players to get frustrated because they can't have magical crap in
> every possible character location.

One of the reasons I liked The Eternal City was because it doesn't
have a focus on magic. Magic things _are_ rare and not seen all over
the place (if they even exist).

I've also played games where magic users were actually hunted down
and persecuted. Use magic at your own risk. You could also look at
Star Wars Galaxies for an example of this. The current time frame
for the game is between Ep 4 and Ep 5, where Jedi are actively being
hunted down and terminated. Being a Bounty Hunter, my main "job" (at
least, I consider it as such) is to find these PC Jedi and dispatch
them before they get too powerful.

I think you can get away with anything in a game as long as you set
the correct tone for how your game handles it.

Corey Crawford
ccrawford at seventh.net
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