[MUD-Dev] Fear of magic (was:Usability and interface)

Michael Hohensee michael at sparta.mainstream.net
Wed Oct 15 18:19:16 CEST 1997

> On Tue, 14 Oct 1997 coder at ibm.net wrote:
> > 
> > On 09/10/97 at 09:15 AM, Broly <gunther at online1.magnus1.com> said:
> > 
> > Should mages be something distinct from other character types?
> No they shouldn't, at least not normally.  That's where I run into
> problems.  Remember that I'm trying to keep the vast majority of violence
> out of certain areas (mainly to create a safe haven where the players are
> safe from PK without any artificial game constructs).  On one hand I can't
> let mages go around torching the place with dozens of unarmed warriors
> running around (its easy enough to confiscate their weapons at the gate),
> but the real world doesn't provide me with any effective defence against
> magical attacks.
> One approach I've concidered is to make mages distinct from other
> characters, because in reality they are (magic in my world is an innate
> ability that is honed over the years.).  Perhaps some test to find the
> innate ability in travelers to see if they pose a magical risk.  But how
> do you treat a wandering mage at the gate to such a town?  Give him a pill
> that represses his abilities?  Deny him entrance?

Anything that you do is really a artificial construct.  The only trick is
to bury it deep enough into the game that it becomes unnoticable.

It all depends upon what rules magic operates by.  If you are using a
system wherein the mage draws "mana" from his surroundings, one could
easily expect towns to be effectively mana-dead, due to the large
concentration of people using little charmed items, and casting very
simple housework spells...

If, on the other hand, you've got a system where the magic comes from
deities, one could arrange it so that when two temples of different
gods (a reasonable thing in a good sized city) are within a certain
distance of one another, magic cannot be used, due to tensions between
the gods...

Or, if power is derived from oneself, and concentration is required to tap
into it, cities could invest in telepathic "jammers", which prevent
spellcasting (or makes it difficult) within a certain radius.  Make these
devices too large to be easily portable for game balance, or make them
accessible to players so that the potential exists for disarming them...

> One rule stays the same:
> If there is even the slightest design flaw, it will be found and
> exploited.

But that's the fun of the whole thing! :)  As long as they aren't too
easily accessible, they can lend a spirit of wonder to the whole thing.

Michael Hohensee       michael at sparta.mainstream.net
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On Wed, 15 Oct 1997, Derrick Jones wrote:

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