Re: Character Creation (was: Re: [CIRCLE] [CODE] [NEWBIE] A few questions on some code)

From: Patrick Dughi (
Date: 04/04/01

On Wed, 4 Apr 2001, Daniel A. Koepke wrote:

> On Wed, 4 Apr 2001, Edward Felch wrote:
> > ...let players set that at creation,...
> Ugh.  Don't do this.  I'm going to state this very strongly, since I
> believe it very strongly -- it's still my opinion, of course, but I can't
> let it go without a bit boiling over.
> It is demonstrative of AWFUL game design to require such a steep
> investment of time and creativity out of your players to JUST ENTER the
> game for the first time.  It should be a cardinal sin to do this.  It
> should be defined as Treason and thus punishable by death in the US.  IT

        I agree wholeheartedly, but I feel there is one point left out;
many people want to deter new players.  This helps to do this.

        You may not believe me. It's true...

        I'm not sure if any of you are aware, but there is a small
discrete set of people in the world that have a slightly different
definition of what it is to play a role playing game.  See, way back when,
all gamers were of some sort of subcategory of what most people refer to
as power gamers.  For them, it's all about points, levels, gold, eq,
+hit/+dam, etc.  This left the people who just wanted to be the hero, or
the princess, or whatever - without all the dice and accounting - at a
loss.  Perhaps in response to this overwhelming majority (even now) these
people had to create something as diametrically opposite and express their
views with a sort of a nazi-like tendancy, usually just to be heard.  For
them, a RPG would be better left as RP.  That is, remove the game
elements, and just leave the Role-Playing.

        We'll call these people Flaming Role Players, or FRPs, and leave
the hitler and swaztika motif on the side for now.

        Unfortunately, some of these people have decided that a MUD is a
good place to settle, which is a sad choice for many, and sure to cause
frustration for the FRP as well; they chose a system who's foundation is
the game, and where roleplaying is ...well... unenforcable.  That is, in a
mud, a FRPs type of roleplaying can occur, but only ontop of the existing
game.  Why they don't try an IRC channel, this is beyond me...

        So, you have FRP's running MUDs, and trying to deal with the fact
that even their most hard core FRP player is probably still keeping up
with the game side; doing non FRP things, like slaying a mind-numbing
amount of trolls which constantly reappear, or camping till the rare eq

        Belive you me, this pisses FRPs off to no end.

        FRPs want THEIR roleplaying.  They want it expressed in the same
way their favorite literature describes it; be it Anne Rice, or David
Eddings.  That is, they want everyone to achive a high level of literacy
and penmanship, and apply it to everything.  The 'fun' is being an actor
in a scene, and without realistically described co-actors and props, the
illusion is hard to maintain.

        So, for the FRPs, I recommend you place this sort of system on
your mud.  You're not looking for non-<your native language> speakers.
You're not looking for popularity via a huge userbase - you already know
that you're in the minority.  Once you get any players at all, your mud
becomes self-selecting; you'll tend to attract more and more people who
WILL write out descriptions, and who WILL roleplay, and who are like the
other people who are already on there.  Instead of the chaff, you'll get
other like minded, like ability people who are attracted to your game
because of the quality of the (FRPers) roleplaying, not because you can
get to level 30 in one day.  You know that if someone doesn't have the
tenacity to write a simple 5-10 line description, and improvise a short
background story, and will always being willing to put out that level of
effort, really - are they the ones you want in your game? Probably not;

--------------------- FRP mud with no front line of defense -------------
"Fair day to you, stranger. What brings you here to the grey town of

"5w33t! WH3R3'5 TH3 PH4T L3WT?"

"(out of character) Hey, you need to stay in character here (ooc)
 *Ahem*. I didn't understand that, did you say you have traveled west
through the Hrren Fields from the fabled land of no sun?"

"Wh4t 4B0uT th3 L3WT!!!?"

"(out of character) You should make up a background story if you want to
play here, if you want, I can help you, we can use ICQ or AIM to talk
about it if you like?(ooc)"

"DUd3. U Suk. sHuT Up"

"(out of character) Here, why don't you wear the 6 pointed yellow star of
'newbie' and everyone will be able to treat you more properly.(ooc)"

"fuk u."

<b0n3dUD3 has quit the game>

        _THAT_ sort of person would have never gotten past the.. well..
censors, as it may be.  For good reason.

        If the ring of a quality, PURE, rp game without bonedude, or his
ilk doesn't get you excited (If you're a FRPer), then lets think about the
possible reprecussions.

        Text muds are, by and large, non commercial efforts.  People work
on them because they enjoy them.  People play them, for the same reason.
People start playing new muds though, because they either have a good
reputation, or because the opening 'hook' of the mud is good enough.

        I know alot of people who want that pure FRP haven, but their
requirements are low.  What happens?  Their muds are flooded with
bonedudes, and skullguys.  Sure, eventually they'll be forced to change,
they'll have to fix their name to something arbitrairy, original, and
medivel.  They have to have a desc, and put in their required time of FRP
a week, else face the gas room in preparation for mass burial with the
rest of their impure kind...

        Aside from the amount of time and effort forcing someone to do
something they don't like, and forcing you (as an FRP admin) to deal with
it when people don't, you're also very quickly souring your game for
people who DO the things you want.  Your players, be they FRPers or just
gamers are going to get pissed.  Neither is getting what they wanted.

        Pretty soon, these people are going to flee for I
mean, to another mud that suits them better.  You may have 1 or 2 converts
every week or so (if you have a popular mud) - but in return you get 40-50
deserters.  Your FRPers will say it's a hack and slash mud, and your
gamers will say it's an FRP-style headwound. Deserters who will tell their
friends "If you go play on this mud, they will put you in a forced labor
camp. I barely escaped with my life."  Deserters who hate you game, and
may actually hate other similiar games purely through association.

        For a non-commercial system, relying primarily on word of mouth,
do you really want to be robbing those mouths of their gold fillings?

        No...probably not.

        So, my advice to those FRPs out there is to disregard the negative
implications of DAK's statement, which I believe can be summed up as "If
you do _x_, then you will be limiting the size of your player base".  The
playerbase size is not an FRPer's main issue.  You want the people that DO
pass your test, and WILL live up to your standards of RPing.  You don't
want the negative publicity and effort wasted from anything less than a
nice blitzkrieg front line. Your main issue is QUALITY PLAYERS... make
sure to not get caught up in the excitement of popularity.

        If you don't do this, it's like taking all your time, effort and
ideas and throwing them out in a winter wasteland to perish and die.  If
you don't kill your mud first and burn it in an anonymous pyre.


p.s. No. I don't really like FRPers.  I don't like bonedude either. Both
extremes are bad, one is simply less stupid than the other, when relating
to what is, after all, a game.

p.p.s. Any similarity between FRPers and Hitler and the Nazi party are
purely unintended, and must be a conception of your wonderful imagination.

p.p.p.s. Apart from the humor, I do believe what I wrote up there, having
experienced much of it first hand, as well as admining on a mud that
attempted to make some sort of change to a FRP setup from it's original
game-system roots. Other (even commercial) developers claim that the
front-barrier method keeps unwanted people out very efficiently,
especially for FRPer games.  I know I wouldn't waste the mud owner's time
(and incidentally my own) if I knew from the getgo what the mud was all

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