[MUD-Dev] multiple intelligences

Travis S. Casey efindel at io.com
Fri Oct 24 09:32:34 CEST 1997

On Tue, 21 Oct 1997, Brandon J. Rickman wrote:
> On Mon, 20 Oct 1997 09:54:09 PST8PDT "Travis Casey"
> <efindel at polaris.net> wrote:

> >I think it should be mentioned that "intelligences" can be factored into
> >other attributes -- for example, in AD&D, spatial and bodily-kinesthetic
> >intelligence should be considered part of dexterity, interpersonal
> >intelligence should be part of charisma, and intrapersonal intelligence
> >should be part of wisdom.  Musical, linguistic, and logical-mathematical
> >seem to be left in the "intelligence" attribute.
> One possible extention of this is that the raw stats (INT, DEX, &c) 
> only indirectly relate to what you have called attributes; dexterity
> (as opposed to DEX) is a weighted average of BODY-INT, DEX, and FOO.
> If you don't like doing the calculations on the fly you can cache
> them (eating up virtual storage but not disk space, eh?).  And,
> to add a little more humor to this post, you could create the
> "your INT is now you DEX" spell, possibly very useful against
> swarming insects or other low-intelligence monsters.

That's definitely a good possibility, and, IMHO, a good thing for a 
mud system.  Similar things have been done in paper RPGs, but trying
to adjust them on the fly is a little too cumbersome for most people.
On a mud, though, the computer can take care of all of it for you.  :-)

> >Another note that should be made is that all of the intelligences seem
> >to correlate very well in the real world -- that is, if you're good at
> >one of them, you're probably good at the others as well.  Thus, it may
> >be more efficient (in the sense of having fewer numbers to keep track of)
> >in a realistic game to keep one intelligence score and allow advantages
> >and disadvantages that change specific intelligences (as GURPS does, for
> >example).
> No, no, no.  The whole point in bringing multiple intelligences up was
> to clearly split the functions of intelligence into _unrelated_ areas,
> where ability in one area has no direct/discernable effect in other
> areas.  Otherwise we might as well say, "Most characters have average
> abilities and they should not be able to excell in any skill beyond a
> standard deviation."  If you treat intelligence as just one big
> number, as most muds do, then "equal" characters will always have
> the same intelligence score.  This is crap.  Any game where my
> character is statistically indistinguiable from any other is simply 
> an optimization game, i.e. I want to take the shortest path to the
> next level because my level is the only thing(*) that distinguishes my
> character from the others.

Um.... I think you're overreacting to what I meant to be a very specific 
statement.  I'm just pointing out that in the real world, all the
intelligences seem to be highly correlated, so if you're building a
mud that you want to strongly resemble the real world, it may be best
to have the default be that all of the intelligences are equal, and 
allow players to individually adjust some of them.

I'd take issue with the statement that "equal" characters will always
have the same intelligence score -- equal in what sense?  In power?
If you mean "equal in average intelligence" then your statement is true,	
but trivial.

Also, if you're trying to build a mud based on the real world (or on
fiction that strongly resembles the real world, like John Le Carre's spy
novels), you may *want* to say that most players can't be more than
a standard deviation from the average in any of their abilities or
skills.  However, that doesn't mean that *all* muds should be built
that way, and I wasn't trying to say or even imply that *all* muds
should have only one intelligence stat -- only that it might be simplest
for a certain type of mud.

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