[MUD-Dev] Usability and interface

Broly gunther at online1.magnus1.com
Thu Oct 9 04:04:42 CEST 1997

On Thu, 2 Oct 1997 clawrenc at cup.hp.com wrote:

> In <Pine.SV4.3.93.970928225411.13693A-100000 at online1>, on 09/29/97 
>    at 09:01 AM, Broly <gunther at online1.magnus1.com> said:
> >Also what about magic in these places?  Even though magic is
> >commonplace in a mud-world, I'd imagine that a mage casting any spell
> >will be suspicious in some towns...particularly those that have been
> >attacked magically in the past...
> This would seem dependant on how obvious magic-making is in your
> mdoel.  If you use a Waving Hands type scenario, the process of making
> magic could be extremely cicumspect:

Actually, for most spells in my system (there are a few exceptions, where
I plan on letting the caster keep the casting of spells secret unless they
are closely observed, because the verbal and somatic components are easily
hidden.), everyone capable of observing the caster will know that
something is going on. Whether its the caster jabbering in a strange
tongue or flailing about wildly, most people (PC & NPC) will recognize
that a spell is being cast (except for the terminally stupid, who will
just think the caster is singing/dancing).

The problem sets in when the onlookers who have no real background in
magic have to decide whether they are about to be magically healed or
magically burnt to a crisp.  (keep in mind that this was a discussion on
how to keep 'weapons' out of certain public areas.) It could be argued
that every mage is in himself a walking weapon, so should mages be
forbidden in these 'weaponless' zones?  How do the gaurds pick out the
mages?  From their pointy hats?  And a simular argument could be made for
unarmed martial arts experts.

Would a town of non-casting residents become afraid of all magic in a
world where both helpful and harmful magic is repleat?  I guess it would
have to be a result of the individual town's history with respect to
magic...If they rely on a steady stream of passing mages to help control
the natually unstable weather in the area, most residents wouldn't lift an
eyebrow to a spell being cast in the middle of town, but if wandering
mages made a habit of blowing half the town to bits, then they'd most
likely intervene on any unsolicited magic being summon near their homes...

I guess a band of mages could be compared to UN forces.  If the UN looted
the town, then the next wave of peacekeepers is going to be dragged out
into the street and shot, but if they come into the town to help out
disaster victims, they'll have a parade if they returned when things got
back to normal.


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