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Old 01-09-2008, 03:23 PM   #1
aegora
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Smile RP systems for non RP muds

There seems to be a distinct division between RP and H&S muds and though I definately need to do more research on the systems used by RP muds, I have always wondered what it is that makes it so. There dont seem to be any that really straddle the paradigms of either.

I am a dedicated roleplayer in RL and somehow I haven't spent much time in an RPmud setting even though we have a few players that also participate in RP muds... so when I decided to see if anyone would be interested in participating in a wee bit of rp (or rp-esque action) on our mud, it came to me that I should find out what kinds of systems were the most popular on RP muds and WHY 'regular' h&s muds didn't seem to have any in place.

so my questions to y'all is: have you seen any muds that straddle the worlds between H&S and RP? Are RP systems irreconcilable to other gameplay? What kinds of RP systems work best? What kind of RP system do you LIKE best?

Thanks!
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Old 01-09-2008, 05:23 PM   #2
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Re: RP systems for non RP muds

The vast majority of muds combine RP with HnS - even many of those claiming to have mandatory RP also require you to chop up monsters in order to progress. Equally, only 88 of the 1764 muds listed here are explicitly non-roleplaying (that's less than 5%).

The minority are those who stand exclusively on one side of the fence or the other.
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Old 01-09-2008, 06:10 PM   #3
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Re: RP systems for non RP muds

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Originally Posted by aegora View Post
so my questions to y'all is: have you seen any muds that straddle the worlds between H&S and RP? Are RP systems irreconcilable to other gameplay? What kinds of RP systems work best? What kind of RP system do you LIKE best?
I think [telnet wotmud.org port 2222] Is a great example of a dual-role MUD. It is RP-encouraged, in that quest points are awarded to RPers by guild leaders, Gods, ect depending on what is going on in the game. It is also a heavily PK game with a "Dark" and "Light" side, complete with raids organized by the players, and massive battles, involving 10 to 20 players sometimes. Roleplay is rewarded through "guild-specific" EQ items but that EQ is never the best in the game, ie a "guild" cloak might be pretty dern good, esp for a lower-level guy, but you can still get a better one, by killing a SMOB.

Your second question, I'll answer with a resounding "No." In a loose, encouraged, but not enforced environment, such as wotmud, if someone seems to not care about anything but grinding away, killing NPCs, the RPers will generally ignore that person and carry on with their own business, and the other hand, the H&Sers will just shrug off people that get too RPish for their own tastes. Most are polite to one another, and it really isn't an issue for much debate, in the game or in the forums associated with the game.

3rd one:
A balanced system will get more traffic to a game, but some of the "RP quality" might be sacrificed.

4th question.. Trying hard to resist an opprotunity for another shameless plug, promoting my own MUD(JTrek):

In much the same way that people playing Chess, wouldn't pretend to be an actual "knight" murdering an actual "bishop", in my purely non-RP mud, the emphasis is on combat strategy/tactics involving the game's combat system, and recognition is gained through displaying skill and cunning in a complex PK environment. There's no such thing as "sillynames" and when you talk to another player, you're actually talking to that person. If like-minded RPers were to play the game, they could definitely have fun with it, but the suspension of disbelief would be shattered as soon as one of the long-time players started chatting about the LSU game, so you'd have to have to make up for that with your own imagination, and block incoming messages from non-RPers and global channels. It would be like playing Halo on xbox live and pretending that you are "Master Chief" while everyone is like "wtf is wrong with this dude?" So yeah, I'm pretty much a non-RP, H&S, PK, shoot-em-up kinda guy.

Last edited by obit : 01-09-2008 at 09:04 PM. Reason: typos **** me off
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Old 01-09-2008, 09:25 PM   #4
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Re: RP systems for non RP muds

Of course there are many kinds of RP as well. Some people like to be the character, some people want to direct the character.

This is an interesting take on it:

The Forge :: GNS and Other Matters of Role-Playing Theory, Chapter 3

For example, using those terms, I prefer director and author stance to actor stance. I also really like non-RP muds, and I think this is tied into the same reasons as why I don't prefer actor stance.
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Old 01-11-2008, 11:50 AM   #5
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Re: RP systems for non RP muds

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Originally Posted by aegora View Post
I am a dedicated roleplayer in RL and somehow I haven't spent much time in an RPmud setting even though we have a few players that also participate in RP muds... so when I decided to see if anyone would be interested in participating in a wee bit of rp (or rp-esque action) on our mud, it came to me that I should find out what kinds of systems were the most popular on RP muds and WHY 'regular' h&s muds didn't seem to have any in place.

so my questions to y'all is: have you seen any muds that straddle the worlds between H&S and RP? Are RP systems irreconcilable to other gameplay? What kinds of RP systems work best? What kind of RP system do you LIKE best?
Threshold RPG is a 11 year old game that has both enforced-RP and Hack 'n' Slash. It was actually the H&S that got me sucked into the MUD years ago. This comic illustrates me perfectly!

A Mudder is Born!

My friends that recruited me to the game, however, were avid roleplayers, and that's why they stuck with the mud. So, I found that I was actually an avid roleplayer, and I honestly don't stay long on MUDs that don't have an option for roleplaying.

RP is not at all irreconcilable to other gameplay, but it does require a greater suspension of disbelief. You always have things that impact your roleplay because there are simply more mechanics in a HnS game as opposed to a purely RP game. Then, you always attract people who ONLY love to RP and people who really just love your combat system. These two groups will usually come into conflict about your combat mechancis. Balancing the two can be pretty tough.

The biggest need any RP game has, though, is a good story and a solid world. When you lack that, it doesn't matter how many systems you have supporting your RP, your players won't have enough to work with. For example, the day I quit WoW, I said to myself, "Hrm. I play a priest... a priest of what?" I looked and looked for an answer. Apparently, I was a priest of nothing. Just a priest. Well, the gameplay of the game wasn't that great. I was sick of the raiding, and RP was absolutely no option. No matter how much detail or stories you want to write for your mud, if your players can't find it cohesive and something they can build upon, RP will always be a stretch for the people who are dedicated to it.
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Old 02-17-2008, 11:11 AM   #6
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Re: RP systems for non RP muds

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Originally Posted by KaVir View Post
The vast majority of muds combine RP with HnS - even many of those claiming to have mandatory RP also require you to chop up monsters in order to progress. Equally, only 88 of the 1764 muds listed here are explicitly non-roleplaying (that's less than 5%). The minority are those who stand exclusively on one side of the fence or the other.
I think this gets distorted by the "RP Accepted" and "RP Encouraged" categories. Presumably, "None" means that either roleplaying isn't possible (i.e. a simulation-type game without free-text commands) or that they actively stop people from roleplaying. Otherwise, it's at least "RP Accepted".

Ultimately, the RP level is going to be determined by how you can expect other players/staff to respond. If you say something In-Character and other players just keep talking about the NHL or whatever(*), I wouldn't say there is roleplaying going on.

(*): Without consequences. Any game which allows speech can have players who step OOC, but the frequency of this obviously gets curtailed if the game penalizes or excludes accounts which do this regularly, or if they reward players for staying IC.
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Old 02-17-2008, 03:36 PM   #7
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Re: RP systems for non RP muds

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I think this gets distorted by the "RP Accepted" and "RP Encouraged" categories. Presumably, "None" means that either roleplaying isn't possible (i.e. a simulation-type game without free-text commands) or that they actively stop people from roleplaying. Otherwise, it's at least "RP Accepted".
I assumed "None" meant there was no support for roleplaying, and the admin didn't care either way - as opposed to "Accepted" which means there is active support for roleplaying, but no rewards for doing so. "Encouraged" and "Mandatory" obviously represent the carrot and the stick; the former rewards you for roleplaying, the latter punishes you for not roleplaying.

Is there any official definition for this? If not, I would like to propose the following:
  1. None: You don't run RP events, and have no features for supporting roleplaying.
  2. Accepted: You run RP events and have features for supporting roleplaying. But it is optional, and players get nothing for roleplaying.
  3. Encouraged: You run RP events and have features for supporting roleplaying. It is optional, but players get rewarded for good roleplaying.
  4. Mandatory: You run RP events and have features for supporting roleplaying. It is not optional; players get punished for not roleplaying.

Last edited by KaVir : 02-17-2008 at 03:43 PM.
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Old 02-17-2008, 03:53 PM   #8
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Re: RP systems for non RP muds

I had a thought about this issue. If you want to encourage RP, but not force it, you could have a faction system like some games have and quests that build it. The trick being to make the quests have multiple solution paths. You might have one path that is as simple as buying an average fish from the market stall, to bring to some cook. A second path might involve talking to the local expert on the subject, buying a pole and bait, then going and fishing for it. A third one might involve listening around a bit, realizing that the really best ones can only be caught with traps instead, finding that no one in town "makes" traps, and being forces to *gasp* find players that can make several key items needed to form the trap, before setting it, catching the fish, and finally returning. Each of these approaches would have a different amount of exp and faction points, some of them possibly just coincidental to actually making the effort to do more than just buy one. Oh, and of course, you might want to throw in some stuff that requires more than the *simple* "tell fisher where are the big ones?" to get the right result. Actually sitting down for a moment, as hinted by him, or even someone else, might net you more information. Someone else you might have to use other emotes with to get them to give up the goods.

Point being, if they won't RP with other players, then make them RP with the NPCs. And if your really sneaky, you could have specific keyed things in places, like a shop where the crafting of needed items is done, where "acting" through certain key emotes or phrases, will unexpectedly net you more faction/exp, while on that quest. Oh, and if you want to discourage "random" emotes, attempting to trigger the response, you could even set it so a large number of unrelated, or inappropriate, ones will get them thrown out of the shop for a day (either literal or ingame).

Leave the player in the position where a few stumble across these sorts of things, and the others suddenly realize that they can get more from their efforts by making an effort than by just doing the most obvious sequence of steps.
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Old 02-17-2008, 05:35 PM   #9
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Re: RP systems for non RP muds

Hacking and slashing for the sake of it is really incompatible with role-playing anything but a homicidal lunatic. As most people aren't role-playing such (and even most who claim to are just trying to come up with an excuse for their behavior), there should be a reason to engage in combat. RP and H&S are completely different things and combining them really just leads to being one but claiming the other or both. It's a lot like being pregnant. Either you're pregnant or you're not. You can claim to be a RP MUD but as soon as H&S is introduced into the mix, you're really just a H&S MUD with silly "RP" requirements that don't make sense given the nature of the H&S elements.
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Old 02-17-2008, 06:40 PM   #10
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Re: RP systems for non RP muds

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Hacking and slashing for the sake of it is really incompatible with role-playing anything but a homicidal lunatic.
Or a soldier, hunter, gangster, raider, knight, amazon, samurai, spartan, viking, zulu, etc, etc, etc. There are dozens of examples of warrior cultures throughout history, and probably just as many in works of fiction. Why couldn't someone create a roleplaying mud based around such a theme?

I'm currently running a tabletop roleplaying game set during civil war, with five nations warring for control of the crown. There is a great dealing of killing going on, but that doesn't mean there isn't any opportunity for roleplaying.
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Old 02-17-2008, 08:17 PM   #11
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Re: RP systems for non RP muds

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Or a soldier, hunter, gangster, raider, knight, amazon, samurai, spartan, viking, zulu, etc, etc, etc. There are dozens of examples of warrior cultures throughout history, and probably just as many in works of fiction. Why couldn't someone create a roleplaying mud based around such a theme?

I'm currently running a tabletop roleplaying game set during civil war, with five nations warring for control of the crown. There is a great dealing of killing going on, but that doesn't mean there isn't any opportunity for roleplaying.
Most of the time the above did not kill. Despite the illusions of schlock fantasy found in novels and film, the vast majority of people in the vast majority of cultures did not engage in near-constant warfare. Even when they did, it was typically exagerrated and didn't get anywhere near the scale you see in H&S MUDs.

That's not to say a RP MUD couldn't experience circumstances where combat and killing would be necessary. But for some members of the population to engage constantly in such behavior is not RP. Plus, if not everyone in the game is interested in RP, you're left with the problem I described above. Joe Blow wants to RP in town. Jack Arse comes along and H&S's everything in sight. Ok, so Joe RPs around it and does his part to help the town out, bury the dead, repair the damage. Given the ****ty code 99.99% of MUDs have, the town repops at the next reboot, just in time for Jack to come back through and cut everything down again. Joe RPs. Jack just kills. That's the pregnant virgin for you.

Furthermore, one person doesn't a fighting force make. One person going on killing sprees isn't the role of "a soldier, hunter, gangster, raider, knight, amazon, samurai, spartan, viking, zulu, etc, etc, etc". Serial killers operate alone. Suicidal gunmen operate alone. Military forces in most circumstances do not utilize Rambo-style, one-man assault missions and even when they do, it's typically not the "walk into town and just start cutting up the NPCs who don't respond, be it joining in, calling for assistance, or more likely fleeing, while their neighbors down the street are being cut into little pieces" strategy.

So, sure you can RP in a H&S MUD. As a friend of mine says, "You can RP in a cardboard box." But that doesn't mean a cardboard box is the best accomodation one could find. That's especially true when all someone else wants to do is crush the box repeatedly. The shallow, flawed environment that a H&S-coded MUD possesses is that cardboard box.
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Old 02-17-2008, 09:28 PM   #12
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Re: RP systems for non RP muds

You realize using RL historical examples to define what is appropriate RP is almost in itself inherently OOC, right?
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Old 02-18-2008, 03:58 AM   #13
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Re: RP systems for non RP muds

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Most of the time the above did not kill. Despite the illusions of schlock fantasy found in novels and film, the vast majority of people in the vast majority of cultures did not engage in near-constant warfare.
Novels and films based around such cultures are often set during intensive periods of war, and there's no reason why the same couldn't apply to a mud.

I just finished reading "Dawn of Empire" by Sam Barone. Set in 3158 BCE, it tells the story of Orak, the agricultural "great village" of 2000 people who are the first to successfully stand against the nomadic hunter-gatherer tribes. If such a setting were used for a mud, it could potentially involve a lot of combat - but that doesn't mean you couldn't have roleplaying as well. In fact I think it could make a rather entertaining roleplaying environment.

Quote:
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The shallow, flawed environment that a H&S-coded MUD possesses is that cardboard box.
You're limiting your imagination based on what you've seen, instead of what could be. You need to think outside the box (pun intended).
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Old 02-18-2008, 06:15 AM   #14
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Re: RP systems for non RP muds

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Novels and films based around such cultures are often set during intensive periods of war, and there's no reason why the same couldn't apply to a mud.

I just finished reading "Dawn of Empire" by Sam Barone. Set in 3158 BCE, it tells the story of Orak, the agricultural "great village" of 2000 people who are the first to successfully stand against the nomadic hunter-gatherer tribes. If such a setting were used for a mud, it could potentially involve a lot of combat - but that doesn't mean you couldn't have roleplaying as well. In fact I think it could make a rather entertaining roleplaying environment.
Don't get me wrong, there are settings where combat-related RP is perfectly viable and can result in a good theme. The problem I'm addressing is not combat (IC), it's RP in a non-RP environment (OOC) as the title of this threat states. There's nothing as detrimental to RP than having non-RPers in the midst because there's a clash of motivations. On one hand, you have individuals who are role-playing while on the other you have players who are seeking only to cut up everything in sight without regard for role-playing the effects and consequences of their actions, including those upon the RPers. I've seen it happen too many times to count even on RPIs no less) which is the primary reason I don't even play MUDs anymore (actually, the reason is more related to the lure of a larger playerbase at any expense which far too many game staff are attracted to; numbers don't mean anything if they impact the quality of the playerbase). That's where the "pregnant or not pregnant" comes in. It's not about whether or not there is combat in the game. It's about whether or not RP is required. If it's not, there's little sense in bothering with it because one can always find games with roles (soldier, etc) that do involve combat but in a RP-enforced setting.
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Old 02-18-2008, 07:05 AM   #15
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Re: RP systems for non RP muds

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Don't get me wrong, there are settings where combat-related RP is perfectly viable and can result in a good theme. The problem I'm addressing is not combat (IC), it's RP in a non-RP environment (OOC) as the title of this threat states.
The original poster was asking whether or not it's possible to have both H&S and RP in the same mud, and the answer is clearly "yes". Furthermore, as long as the H&S doesn't go against the theme of the mud, there's no reason (other than poor design) why it should detract from the roleplaying atmosphere in any way.
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Old 02-18-2008, 07:16 AM   #16
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Re: RP systems for non RP muds

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That's where the "pregnant or not pregnant" comes in. It's not about whether or not there is combat in the game. It's about whether or not RP is required. If it's not, there's little sense in bothering with it because one can always find games with roles (soldier, etc) that do involve combat but in a RP-enforced setting.
That assumes though that each player is either "always pregnant or always not pregnant". I don't believe that the majority of mudders are either always RPers or always hack n' slashers. People have different moods, and like to do different things on different days. Some days I want to roleplay, some days I just want to zone out and kill, or focus on improving my mechanical skills. I don't want to have to switch between different worlds in order to achieve that.

I'm not bothered about "being a roleplayer" or "being a hack and slasher" - I just am, and I don't try to live up to different labels. Sometimes I just want to fight something and not give a monkey's toss as to why my character would want to do so, other days even the tiniest detail must have a motivation behind it. Yes - you can say that's not consistent and therefore I'm not a real roleplayer (and I'd probably agree with you), but like I said I really am not bothered about trying to be one or the other. I just go with the flow; this is all about relaxation after all.

Is that a difficult thing to achieve in terms of designing a game? Yes, from my experience it is. Like you said, it's difficult to accommodate both sides on a single game, while not ostracising either (or having either side leave because the other is there). I think it boils down to player respect. People who are roleplaying shouldn't harangue hack n' slashers for every minute detail, or get into the whole elitist snobby mode. Hack n' slashers should be respectful of roleplayers and avoid killing things in a place where others are roleplaying. If there isn't that basic respect between players and the game staff are not willing to bring it about one way or another, or show that they care, then I agree with you that the end result is both types of players will clash, become frustrated and probably end up leaving.
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Old 02-20-2008, 03:06 PM   #17
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Re: RP systems for non RP muds

A. Roleplay mud: Each character is unique. It acts, reacts, and makes choices based on the character and its surroundings.

B. Any other type of mud: You may go in and out of character at any time. Talk about life, dinner, football, or the base roll of your weapon within the game environment.

There are pros and cons to both systems, it is a matter of choice. Whether a game is type A or Type B is dependant more upon the playerbase than the game system. The term Hack and Slash doesn't necessarily define that it is not a roleplay game, but rather that the focus of the game is about killing and leveling vs. character interaction.

Nearly every roleplay mud, and I would go as far as to say every roleplay mud (unless it is a non combatative MUSH) can be turned into hack and slash by virtue of the player's choices.
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