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Old 09-18-2002, 09:25 PM   #1
Join Date: Apr 2002
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Burr is on a distinguished road
Having grown up on a small cattle ranch, and having hiked across the Grand Canyon behind several groups of mules, I find that muds feel somewhat empty and exploration somewhat lacking without that dominating factor: the amount of manure present.

I was originally going to post this in the Builders forum, as manure can have a strong effect on the atmosphere of a space - I've been told that there were hills of manure along the streets of New York before vehicles became popular - but then I realized that manure had many more uses than scenery.  How many would-be warriors, I wonder, were cut down right after slipping on a pile of horse manure?  In fantasy, the warrior also has the ogre's manure to worry about.  

Manure can also be used in conjunction with crafting skills: you can use dry manure for fires (whether for fire-starter or like charcoal, I don't recall), and farmers or druids could use it for fertilizer.

Also, manure provides your mud with tangible jobs: streets need sweeping, and fertilizer needs hauling.

Manure can be used to spread diseases, if it is near enough food a standing source of drinking water, or if a person is around it long enough.  And manure can also be used to diagnose diseases.  Want to find out what's causing the epidemic, but have a prudish culture?  Don't forget to inspect the area's stables.

On the subject of spreading diseases...manure is edible.  Gross out if you want, but dogs are known to be quite partial to manure.  And dogs bite.  Also - though I don't know if this is plausible or not - manure might give the starving explorer something to fall back on, at risk of contracting disease or plain ol' humiliation if someone he knows sees him.

Manure can play an important part in tracking animals.  Give rangers the ability to notice and distinguish types of manure.  For that matter, make the rest of tracking tangible as well: blood, footprints, food leftovers (shells and bones and such), fur, etc.  Code the ability to notice and such, but make people use their own reasoning abilities.  There's potential for a lasting "quest" here.

Manure enhances roleplay.  If you don't believe me, consider how much manure has dominated the curse words of our society.  How can you have politicians in your mud, but not have manure?  Furthermore, manure can be used for practical jokes, harmless or malicious.

Manure can be implemented quite easily.  You don't have to get explicit; most people avoid paying attention to the manufacture of manure anyway.

"The X tenses and a pile of manure appears next to it," or cleaner yet, "A pile of manure appears next to the X."

"look manure"

"A fresh pile of manure rests here, drawing insects."
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Old 09-19-2002, 08:50 AM   #2
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*smiles* It's a real crappy idea. It might actually work really well for an area. I never heard anyone say such crap before.
This crap really smells of something unique. What inspired this crap to come to your mind? *smiles*

Nostrum "The Supreme Monkey Boy"
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Old 09-19-2002, 05:30 PM   #3
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Heh, I really feel that this subject would have gone better in the Builders’ Forum, or even in the Humour Forum, and I have small doubt that KaVir will be moving the thread before long.

Still, I find the topic kind of fascinating, probably because I grew up with brothers and sisters who found jokes about pee and poo hilarious. Consequently, when I was a very new Builder in my first mud, I wanted to put a virtual toilet in one of my zones. As far as I recall, my idea was to have some echoed messages outside a certain room, telling you that you needed to go to the toilet. Then I’d make a Men’s Room, where a slimy, green THING would slither out of the toilet and bite off your… umm… handle, when you opened the lid. You then could get your revenge by killing the slimy Thing of course.

The Implementor refused flat out. She said that she was once in a mud where they implemented bodily functions, and all the players left. I can believe that, in case they actually implemented it in a similar way as hunger or thirst. God knows the players whine enough about having to eat and drink, and having to find a toilet once an hour would most likely be the last straw.

However, I too find that manure lends some 'atmosphere' to a mud - (even if it's a bit rich) - and in the mud I run now, we use it quite a bit, although we are not quite as sophisticated as Burr seems to suggest. For example, I always put a large heap of manure outside each livery stable. And there is a castle with a toilet designed in the Medieval upper class fashion, an oriel overhanging the moat, with a hole in the floor and a sheer drop. And if you go to a place in the moat directly under this facility, you’ll find that the water of the moat is particularly muddy, stinking and disagreeable in this particular spot. (Consistency in the zones is one of my little hobbies).

I also implemented the virtual toilet with the slithery green thing in one of the Future zones (actually the bite diminishes you to the size of a bug, which makes it possible for the player to enter the sewers, where they can fight interesting things like bugs, bacteria and viruses). And last by not least, there is a public toilet in one of the medieval villages, with the usual Medieval lower class design of a pole stretched over a heap of manure. In the street outside this facility, you’ll be spammed by a series of messages telling you how much you need to go to the toilet, getting more and more urgent, and finally, unless you enter the public toilet and sit down on the pole, ending in the laconic message:
’You just peed in your pants’.

As for using manure as firewood or fertiliser – why not? Our mud has both farming and gardening as features, some manure might spruce the growth up a bit. And perhaps it could also be used as an ingredient in potions? After all we already use disgusting things like bat wings, dried spiders, tongue of toad and eye of newt for that, so why not horse manure?

Oh, and by the way, my first and favourite weapon as an imm was ‘a big heap of bull****’. Manure can be used for so many things, can’t it?
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Old 09-20-2002, 05:36 PM   #4
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I'm not quite sure whether you're trying to be a little tongue-in-cheek with your post, Burr, but as I've said in the past, almost anything can be implemented in a useful way - and manure is no exception.

Regarding using manure for spell ingredients, bat guano (bat excrement) is one of the three components required for a fireball spell in AD&D.

However, as has already been pointed out, manure is also a very useful resource. We use it in the real world primarily for things like fertiliser, compost, mulch, and the like - but also to produce biogas, which can be burned for heat or used to produce electricity (via a generator). You could also just burn dried solid manure to produce energy. Not very nice, admittedly, but if you're a poor peasant it's better than freezing to death.

Some muds already incorporate resources like trees, minerals, stone, oil, water, etc - so there's no real reason why you couldn't also add manure (particularly if you already have farming as an option).
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Old 09-20-2002, 06:28 PM   #5
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*such-and-such rides up on his gallant steed*

*A gallant steed dumps a load*

Now how good would that look in RP. You never see warriors slipping on a pile of terds in the Wars like in LoTr.
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