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Old 12-11-2005, 03:26 PM   #1
Danlor
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I hadn't really thought about it until just today, what with the movie coming out and all, but I wonder why there aren't any Narnia-Based muds.

I know for me, as a designer, I wouldn't be able to choose between the timelines. Before the events in the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe? During the reign of the four kings and queens? After they've left Narnia? Shortly before the Last Battle, when many of the creatures and humans are leader-less?

I don't think there's a 'lack' of information, or that a Narnia setting wouldn't make a great mud. Is Narnia just not as popular with the fantasy nerds?
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Old 12-11-2005, 03:56 PM   #2
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http://www.calormen.com/Calormen/narniamush.htm

And probably others. Personally, I always found the story to have vaguely uneasy concepts in it. I didn't realize until years later why. Funny thing is, someone recently posted on a blog about their experience with it. Turned out nearly 100% of his readers *had*, all of them had the same vague unease about it, and 99% of those people eventually became atheists. But Lewis was a product of his times and where he lived. Divine right of kings was a certainty, gender discrimination was normal, the world had few if any concepts about how things worked beyond a generally black and white, "Us or them", concept, strength was automatically right and some vague idea existed that implied that the divinely chosen leader can never make a mistake about when to use it, etc. For a mud to truely be representative of Narnia, it would have to include many of these ideas. How many mud do you think actually have them, and who do you think plays on them?

But that is just a guess as to why there are not dozens of them out there.
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Old 12-11-2005, 04:07 PM   #3
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That's not quite true. For instance in the Horse and His Boy, Susan nearly ended up marrying a Calorman who had a plot to destroy Narnia.


I'm surprised the books would make anyone uneasy, although knowing that they do does answer my question pretty well .
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Old 12-11-2005, 05:46 PM   #4
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By 'uneasy concepts', I assume that people mean the Christian aspect of Lewis' writing. I didn't notice it when I read the books (and was enthralled with them) at age 10- and to be true, I don't really notice it now. Yes, Lewis was a Catholic (introduced into the faith by Tolkien, one of his colleagues at Oxford, incidentally). He wrote a lot of stories, some sci-fi and some fantasy, some about the Catholic faith and how he related to it. As far as a Narnia MUD goes- why not? It's the basic principle- as someone else said- that good triumphs over evil. Seems to me a perfectly acceptable premise for a mud. The film didn't focus on the Christian element- so why would a MUD have to? I enjoyed the stories very much- when I was 10. My big question would be 'How would you craft a MUD of Narnia that was aimed for players of all ages?'. He's created a world that is not, perhaps, as in-depth as a MUD world should be- and therein, I think, is the main issue.

Good/Evil, Man/Beast, War/Peace are universal concepts. If you wanted a MUD specifically about Narnia, you might have to work on the background of the world a bit. Otherwise, I don't see why such a game couldn't thrive.
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Old 12-11-2005, 06:09 PM   #5
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Perhaps one of his other books might make an even better background for a mud.
I don't know the English title, in my language it's called 'Out of the silent planet', and that might be a more or less direct translation of the original title.

Anyone who's read it probably knows which one I mean; the planet with two intelligent races, one of them a gentle seal like folk.
And the 'silent planet' is Earth.

It was a fascinating book, and a bit more adult then the Narnia books, which I loved as a child too.
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Old 12-11-2005, 06:45 PM   #6
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That's a very good point, Anitra. After all, the man was a very talented writer. A MUD that had focus on his sci-fi would be really interesting- though some say that the religious aspect is more apparent in his other stuff.

Sticking to the Narnia thread, though, I don't see why a MUD wouldn't work, given what I commented on earlier.
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Old 12-11-2005, 08:20 PM   #7
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One of the things that appeals most to many readers, including myself, is the very fantasy aspects of the book. I mean, as young kid, how cool would it be for somebody to tell you you're going to be King, you rule the world, Santa Clause brings you a sword, a Big lion being your friend (for people familiar with the 1st book, or seen the new or the original movie? One thing that people must take into account is how this things might go into play into a MUD. If I joined a Narnia mud, it wouldn't be so I could be some meaningless foot soldier, it would be because I wanted to be a King (peronsally).

Many things that discourage someone from started such a venture is controlling how this magnificent things might occur to someone in the game.

Basically, huge, very imaginative things happen to the characters in Narnia, but it can't happen to everybody. But, it appears we do have Narnia games, so check them out
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Old 12-11-2005, 09:19 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (shadowfyr @ Dec. 11 2005,16:56)
But Lewis was a product of his times and where he lived. Divine right of kings was a certainty, gender discrimination was normal, the world had few if any concepts about how things worked beyond a generally black and white, "Us or them", concept, strength was automatically right and some vague idea existed that implied that the divinely chosen leader can never make a mistake about when to use it, etc.
I wouldn't say post WWII era people were idiots.  Nobody in those times really believed that the queen was a god-chosen leader.  

If you don't forget, the book was written in 1950.  That's only fifty or so years ago, it's not that different from now.  These weren't stupid people, remember, they invented almost all of the technological thing we use today.

And about Silent Planet, did anyone else ever think of the Malacandrians as a communist symbol? Think about it: they supposedly created a "perfect society" by eliminating competition. I always wonder what Lewis was trying to imply by that.
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Old 12-11-2005, 09:30 PM   #9
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Enzo, I did a short look around and I didn't see any Narnia MUDs that are currently running. There were a few MUSHes, but I believe they all closed down.

I think it would be really neat. Major extended race selections... there were certainly wizards in Narnia, were-wolves, the Tash...
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Old 12-12-2005, 01:47 PM   #10
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Has anyone looked into how the author's estate would feel about such works?

From a quick Google search, they've apparently shut down at least one Narnia-based game:

NarniaMUSH
NarniaMUSH was a MUSH (or, to be precise, a series of consecutively operated MUSHes) based on the world described by C. S. Lewis in his series of short children's novels The Chronicles of Narnia, the most well-known of which is The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. More information about the fictional world and its creator can be found at the canonical web site, Narnia.com (or see below).

An early Narnia-themed MUSH was created in November 1991 and shut down in February 1992. I was not involved in that endeavor. Here's the login screen which I happen to have saved.

The "new" NarniaMUSH was founded in August 1992 and lasted until March 1995. I was one of the founding administrators, focused on developing useful code to improve the role playing experience. The MUSH eventually grew to include hundreds of locations ranging from the Lone Islands to the Lantern Wastes to Tashbaan, each richly described and populated by real players and simulated inhabitants. This NarniaMUSH was set just after the events of Voyage of the Dawn Treader, with anachronisms* like another visit by the Pevensies, an early visit by Jill Pole and the return of Reepicheep. During the lifetime of the MUSH we contacted the Estate of C. S. Lewis and received permission to operate the game, with certain limitations.

In March 1995, NarniaGolden was launched. NarniaGolden was set during the time of The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, the Golden Age of Narnia when the Pevensies ruled from Cair Paravel. Simultaneous with the launch of NarniaGolden was the appearance of FreeNarnia**, an attempt to have a more free form role playing experience. A document reviewing both is available here. NarniaGolden lasted until September 1996, when players unhappy with limitations on character selection appealed to the Estate of C. S. Lewis for intervention, which resulted in a request to shut down the MUSH.


The one Narnia MU* I did find includes this rather cautious disclaimer:

"NarniaMUCK is a not-for-profit game run by fans of the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis.
NarniaMUCK is not affiliated with the C.S. Lewis Estate, Walden Media, Harper-Collins or Walt Disney.
All copyrights are the property of their respective owners. NarniaMUCK's gameside programming and this site are copyright 2005."
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Old 12-12-2005, 03:00 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by
I wouldn't say post WWII era people were idiots.  Nobody in those times really believed that the queen was a god-chosen leader.
Actually, from another discussion, it wasn't the queen he was thinking about. Rather some other figure. I mean take a look around today, can you honestly tell me that even if *most* authors are reasonable, there are not a few that attribute some special standard of superiority to crack pot ideas? Lewis apparently had some obsession with some king or other, though I don't remember which one. Assuming of course that the people talking about in the comments in the link I gave where not themselves misinformed about that.
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Old 12-12-2005, 03:18 PM   #12
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Oh, I understand what you're getting at now.  That explains why it didn't make any sense when I originally read it. I thought you were talking about his ideas in real-life, not in the book.
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Old 12-12-2005, 05:24 PM   #13
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Well, it was his RL ideas, at least from my understanding. He was disillusioned with aspects of "his" world, so like many people who read a bit of some old tales, but don't know the true history, he may have developed an obsession with the idea of returning to a better time. You see the same thing today with people that have strong religious convictions, harking back to some imaginary golden age, which historically never existed, but which they never the less are *sure* must have.

But that is just why I think he wrote some of it, not what made me uneasy in the first place. I think in that case it was a lot of factors, and having it be assigned reading in a class, when I would have preferred about a dozen other books didn't help.
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Old 12-12-2005, 06:24 PM   #14
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Most intelligent religious people don't believe there was a 'golden age' of yore . You mostly get that from bible-thumpers and wishy-washy Christian/Catholics.

Back on the subject of muds:

Just trying to pull some connections together, it looks like the Lewis Estate probably asked that one mud to shut down because the players were complaining and the Estate didn't want to have to deal with the hastle of trying to work everything out.

Personally, if I designed a Narnia mud, I wouldn't want -anyone-, IMM or otherwise, playing a major character from the books. That's just my personal preference. Even most of the smaller characters I would probably try to avoid having on the mud.


I think a theme near the start, or around the middle, of the hundred year winter would be interesting. You could still very easily have the Calorman lands, etc. and have those not be all snow and ice since, as I remember, the Witches' control extended only over Narnia itself.
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