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

Nathan Yospe yospe at hawaii.edu
Sun Oct 26 13:22:49 CET 1997

On Sun, 26 Oct 1997 coder at ibm.net wrote:

:On 26/10/97 at 10:10 AM, Derrick Jones <gunther at online1.magnus1.com> said:

:>The problem here is twofold.  1.)  Magical travel is instanteous and
:>doesn't leave tracks...

:Why doesn't it leave tracks?

Personally, I like my magic to be as resource based as my physics... meaning
not like an LP, where magic directly executes code... even with physics,
there is a trace for transportation. In the case of Singularity, the deep
gravwave distortion created by a wormhole is traceable in direction, and a
product of intensity and distance squared can be measured.

:Why don't the guards also have a mage component to their forces, charged
:with pursuing magical offenders instead of the cannon fodder plebs?

:Would it make sense for the guards to have magic-nullifying devices?

Sure. Though I like the intro to Guards! Guards! (Terry Pratchett's
Discworld), in which the cityguards are described as those characters that
are only introduced for long enough to scream as they are killed by some
warrior or mage. It really makes more sense to have something in the line of
Watt-Evans' Ethshar (See, for examle, the Black Dagger)

:I recall an SF short story and later I think a novel based on the idea
:that instantaneous matter transmitters became the ultimate boon for
:criminals, as four or five hops later they were essentially untracable. 
:Turns out of course that the police lagged, and then adapted new

Not sure which one you are refering to, but I really like another one set in
a world where there had been teleporters since forever... a guy gets the code
to break into this house, robs it, and goes to port out... and the teleporter
is jammed by a power outage. The police find him an hour later, outside of
the target home, miserably clueless about how to escape. Walking away never
occured to him.

:>The guards have to be able to react quick enough to prevent
:>the mage from casting, else the mage can get away.

:Or they must be able to place a tracer on the mage so that their mages can
:follow him.  Probably cheaper, hearder to detech (by the fleeing mage) and
:provides for more interesting chases.

Interdiction fields that fry anyone magicing through them are fun too.

:>2.)  If player manages to get their character to its house, it has to be
:>designed to prevent determined PC's from entering (protect PC's from afk
:>PK), so a NPC won't fair all that much better.

:How about:

:  > telelport to inn.
:  You are in the Inn.
:  Bubba is here.
:  > kill bubba
:  Bubba is dead.
:  A guard crashes through the door!
:  > teleport home
:  The guard waves at you.     // Casts tracer spell
:  You are home.
:  With a small clatter a glittering pebble lands near your feet.
:  > examine pebble
:  Its a magic nullifier.      // Telports to location of tracer
:  > teleport pebble to inn
:  You can't work magic any more.
:  A guard teleports in front of you!

:Of course this also allows for all sorts of mayhem when PK'ers get ahold
:of tracers, and the arms race cycles again.

Ah, don't you just love arms races?

:>Basically, I'd have to create a near-omniscient, near-omnipresent, and
:>near-omnipotent police force protecting this anti-violence zone, but such
:>a force would by its nature overrun and control the entire mud-world to
:>impose its doctrine of non-violence everywhere.  While this could be an
:>interesting twist to the mud's theme, its not what I'm looking for.

:You can create in-game artificial limits to their scope.  First thought:

:  The militia are omni-* as long as they and the event all occured within
:XXX distance of a holy relic of the Great God GooGoo...

Alternately, they have to have prepared an area in advance, IE cameras,
traps, etc....

"You? We can't take you," said the Dean, glaring at the Librarian.
"You don't know a thing about guerilla warfare." - Reaper Man,
Nathan F. Yospe  Registered Looney                   by Terry Pratchett
yospe at hawaii.edu   http://www2.hawaii.edu/~yospe           Meow

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