Re: Long item-list fix

From: Alastair Neil (
Date: 06/23/95

>The problem was that some people (me for example) don't like to see
>something like:
>A waybread is lying here [3]
>(first reaction, what's that [3] doing there?, second reaction, quit 0)
>My advice is:
>If you don't like
>A waybread is lying here
>A waybread is lying here
>A waybread is lying here
>A waybread is lying here
>Change it to:
>There are 4 waybreads lying here (or something simular)
>instead of
>A waybread is lying here [4]
>In addition you can prevent big numbers of the same object being
>in the same room.
>Maybe it's a little more difficult to do it my way (It realy isn't that hard)
>but it surely is a lot nicer.
>I just think that translating the world-structure to text should
>be done entierly by the mud and not partly by the players.

I agree that "(N*) a longsword lies here." is lame, but solutions such as having
built in plural decriptions are only partial solutions.  They work acceptably
for only small numbers of objects.  The problem is similar to the problem of
generating descriptions for piles of gold.  When I imped different coin types
I had to rewrite the gold pile generator to make smarter guesses at what an
acceptable description would be e.g.:

A copper coin.
A pile of copper coins.
A silver coin.
A small pile of copper and silver coins.
A gold coin.
A pile of gold and silver and some copper coins.
A pile of gold an silver coins.
A large pile of gold coins....


To handle items correctly  a casual glance at a room should make a distiction
between piles that are numerable and innumerable.

There are 97 longswords here in a pile.

is dumb, better:

There is a large pile of longswords here.

and hopefully you would have enough imagination to include different collective

A darkness of flies buzzes around.
A storm of crows perches here staring balefully.
A crash of rhinoceroses mills about here.

You would also have to check the collective noun for looks:

>look storm
There seems to be more than twenty crows fluttering about.
>look darkness
There is an unimaginable number of flies buzzing about.

Ideally if you should have several different types of items in piles i.e.

You see a large pile of weapons.

instead of:

(4*) A longsword lies here.
(3*) A flail lies here rusting.
Someone has dropped a splendid halberd here.
(2*) A sharp looking dagger lies here.

Just my tuppence worth.

Ich habe Dinge gesehen, die ihr Menschen niemals glauben wuerdet. Gigantische
Schiffe, die brannten draussen vor der Schulter des Orion. Und ich habe
C-Beams  gesehen - glitzernd im Dunkeln nahe dem Tannhaeuser Tor. All diese
Momente werden verloren sein in der wie Traenen im Regen.
                                Zeit zu sterben... 

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