[MUD-Dev] Re: MUD-Dev digest, Vol 1 #142 - 4 msgs

Ilya Ilya
Tue Aug 31 16:59:42 CEST 1999

On Tue, 31 Aug 1999 16:06:53 -0700, Caliban Tiresias Darklock wrote:

))On 04:43 PM 8/30/1999 -0700, I personally witnessed Ilya, SCC, Game
))Commando jumping up to say:
))>I'll bite on this one: what system do you have in mind where might
))>doesn't make right, or where something other than might makes right?
))From a combat perspective, think rock/paper/scissors:
))Rule 1: No attack will penetrate every defense.
))Rule 2: No defense will prevent every attack.
))Rule 3: For every attack or defense, there is a corresponding
))countermeasure which turns the effect on the opponent. No such
))countermeasure is universal.
))Rule 4: It is physically impossible to have more than a small fraction of
))the available offenses, defenses, or countermeasures. 
))Rule 5: All offenses, defenses, and countermeasures are readily available
))and can be acquired reasonably quickly.
))It can be argued that since combat and competition are still the major
))measures of success, we've just redefined "might". Maybe so... but at least
))it's become more than just what equipment you have.
))| Caliban Tiresias Darklock            caliban at darklock.com 

Let me try to expand on this -- I love the idea of finding
non-combat activities within the gaming realm.  One of my
first loves just out of college was a little-known game
called "After the Holocaust."  It was a very interesting
exercise, mostly in something related to economics.  It
was an early empire building game. Keep the people happy.
Keep production up.  Keep unemployment down.  Keep your
people alive when the other guy attacks.  Try to anticipate
and handle the various ravages of hance.  Win when you
reach a certain status, economic or otherwise.

It was a sort of a "beat the system" game where everybody
was racing to do so. Competition was indirect.  Trade
could be helpful, but not overly so.

Combat in this game was frightfully expensive and almost
never undertaken in all the games I played.

Now THAT was fun!  I had a ball playing with statistics
and optimizing systems. I still have a xerox copy of the
rules around somewhere, I think. :-)

I keep writing about, and hoping others will pick up, all
these fun, non-lethal alternatives for cooperation and competition.
Social standing seems a fun one (I proposed at least one system based
on it in one of my "commentary" articles).  Morale and group
happiness/satisfaction could work too, in games where you might
be managing activities beyond merely first-person living.

Social and political systems seem to me to have all sorts of
possibilities as well.  Why not create game systems which model
this interesting aspect of reality: powerful people are much more
often people who know how to combine others into groups and direct
their energies, than they are people who are personally impressive.
They are bosses of groups whose efforts are directed to a similar
end, perhaps because of common loyalties, shared interests, etc.

Formation and control of such groups could be a fascinating
exercise, well beyond the hack-n-slash.  In fact, it could 
provide the grist for the roleplay mill, in the form of all
sorts of conflicting motivations.

Hmm, wandering a bit.


  Ilya, Game Commandos     http://www.gamecommandos.com     

MUD-Dev maillist  -  MUD-Dev at kanga.nu

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