Re: Level restrictions

From: Daniel A. Koepke (
Date: 07/21/99

Today, Tony Maro spake to the list:

> Sorry, I don't recall asking for a lecture on what you thing was the
> correct term ;-P LOL

Hence the notice that I was being a pedant.  Please pay attention.  :)

> My point still being is that as a character progresses, he has a
> natural desire to aquire better, more advanced equipment.  Even if he
> is a "Kendo" and not "Samurai."

Kendoka (I think).  Kendo is a martial art, kendoka is a practicioner,
samurai was a warrior for a daimyo/shogun/whatever, and a ronin was a
samurai without a master (which became increasingly common as the feudal
system in Japan came to an end, and more of the empire became unified;
sometimes, the ronin would travel about and fight just for the heck of it,
or for honor or whatever they wanted to call it, going so far as
destroying entire dojos and killing the sensei and his students).

> And I've seen some so called swords that could barely cut a cabbage.

Which are the exception, not the rule.  I've never seen a sword that
wasn't sharp, although I've seen a number that weren't as sharp as they
could be or were ill-cared for.  Usually, factory created swords are
insanely sharp, and good toys when you have some spare tatami mats that
are begging for an edge test.  Plus some of them have very cool hilts,
which are utterly impractical for use, but nice eye candy.

> So yes, cheap swords CAN be dull, but not all are.

And they can be sharpened.  How keen an edge is very rarely a major
consideration in sword cost.  By the way, old swords CAN be dull, and, in
my experience, usually have lost some of their edge from legitimate use
and from people doing stupid things with them over time.  I have never, I
repeat, NEVER seen a cheap sword that wasn't sharp.  Mind you, I've seen
many that were of poor quality (badly balanced, too heavy, faked tempering
line by polishing).  But that didn't mean they couldn't do damage.  Going
up against a similarly made sword, they would even hold up fairly well.

> Would a... and I use the term again for the heck of it... Samurai
> warrior trust his life to a $100 mail order sword?  I doubt it.

I would entrust my life to a $100 mail order sword much more willingly
than I would to any of the swords made in Japan immediately before,
during, and after WWII.  As much as we want to romanticize authentic
swords, most of them were pieces of crap.  Certainly a lot of the antique
ones you find today are very fine pieces of work, but that doesn't mean
all of them were: these are the only ones to survive in a good condition,
with a recognizable signature on the tang, and of good quality.  They
don't auction many of the bad swords.  They're either gathering dust in a
museum back room or kept in someone's attic.  And, just if you're
wondering, I would trust my life more readily to a $15,000 sword made
today than to a $30,000 antique sword made hundreds of years ago.  Well,
first I would do an edge test, then I would decide...

> Aha!  I like your point, however it doesn't really take into account
> the guy who amasses 5 of the 10 available "super swords" and then logs
> off for 6 months (or 5 guys each with one who never play again.)

How is this guy amassing 5 swords in the first place?  Why are you not
deleting people or taking objects away from people who have been inactive
for 6 months?  Why is it a problem if the swords are even more rare?  I
think it only becomes a serious issue when there are no more left, and the
solution is take the sword from people who have been inactive for too long
(either by deleting them or just plain taking it).  If you want to change
the situation to make it even tougher, where people with the sword log in
for short spurts of time that don't give others the time to get after
them, then setup mobiles that hunt down and try to get into a fight with
the guy before he leaves again.  Once he gets into a fight, he either has
to stay around or drop link and risk death.  Hell, allow players to hire
the assassin mobiles to hunt the guy down.  Most of your mobiles probably
aren't doing much of anything with their lives anyway.

Anyway, I must admit I hadn't originally considered these problems.  But I
think the above solutions more than fit.  My thinking has been so
dedicated to the design of a persistent world, where player characters
don't disappear when they leave, that it's easy to forget about things
like this.


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