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Old 03-31-2008, 03:55 AM   #1
Sergeytov
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Precogs and MU*s

Having kicked off a plot quietly a couple nights ago on one of the MU*s I play on, one of the first requests I received was a request for a PC to roll a precognition ability (that exists in the system). This is done, I run the results, yadda yadda. That part isn't particularly important.

What I find interesting, and why I post, is: What do you guys think the place of precognition type abilities are in a MU*?

Ultimately, I tend to view them like Wish or Miracle spells in D&D. Interesting, quirky, but as someone running something I find their power inconvenient without turning it into a blatant manipulation or twisting words.

I also find it interesting that some people who love precog abilities hate the idea of railroad plots. An interesting paradox.

Anyway, thoughts?
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Old 03-31-2008, 06:53 AM   #2
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Re: Precogs and MU*s

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sergeytov View Post
Having kicked off a plot quietly a couple nights ago on one of the MU*s I play on, one of the first requests I received was a request for a PC to roll a precognition ability (that exists in the system). This is done, I run the results, yadda yadda. That part isn't particularly important.

What I find interesting, and why I post, is: What do you guys think the place of precognition type abilities are in a MU*?
Hard to say but my best guess is that they exist because they're "cool" and possibly they are included for use in running railroad plots.

Quote:
I also find it interesting that some people who love precog abilities hate the idea of railroad plots. An interesting paradox.
Yes but I've found a lot of contradictions in the way most people think and reason (or fail to). I personally dislike the existance of "precog abilities" and similar so-called "psionics" skills. I also dislike railroad plots and feel they're often the result of laziness or poor plot design. I know from personal experience how easily a plot can fall apart but the lesson I took from it was to design the plot in such a manner as to take in as many options as possible and accept that if I don't the results will be guided by player actions. In those cases, if I don't put the effort into accounting for as many variables as possible, and provided players don't cheat, I have to accept what happens rather than trying to force a result I want. Obviously not everyone feels the same way though.

Take care,

Jason
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Old 04-01-2008, 05:38 AM   #3
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Re: Precogs and MU*s

I think I would limit precognition to two varieties:

1) Relatively vague warnings about things likely to happen in the immediate future, e.g. a sense of danger associated with a particular exit in a room because a powerful monster lies that way (or is about to enter from that direction), or a sense of threat associated with an object that is trapped.

2) More detailed visions right at the beginning of an RP scenario which provide useful background info for players that it would otherwise be difficult to give them in-character, e.g. "if you don't complete this quest successfully, the evil princess will slaughter the friendly dragon." Potentially this could continue during the quest: a precog might sense that an apparently helpful NPC is actually a traitor.

You could possibly also turn precog into something more like scrying - allow remote viewing of rooms that the player hasn't actually entered yet.
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Old 04-02-2008, 08:23 PM   #4
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Re: Precogs and MU*s

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sergeytov View Post
Having kicked off a plot quietly a couple nights ago on one of the MU*s I play on, one of the first requests I received was a request for a PC to roll a precognition ability (that exists in the system). This is done, I run the results, yadda yadda. That part isn't particularly important.

What I find interesting, and why I post, is: What do you guys think the place of precognition type abilities are in a MU*?
If you have a precognition, the player does not get to determine what the "vision" is. The people who are in charge of the roleplay division (or the world lore division) of your mud do that. It doesn't seem appropriate to me for players to be the ones making up the visions and having the admins make it come true. I suppose that could be challenging, but it could be a huge problem if the player makes up something that has absolutely nothing to do with your game and its theme.

I think that if you do have the precog ability in a game, it should be relatively difficult to obtain, and very few characters should have it. Most precog results should be somewhat vague and should involve player interpretation. It wouldn't be that hard to design a coded precog ritual that involves heavy preparation for a player, and then they could have a glimpse into an event that will occur in the mud's future.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sergeytov View Post
Ultimately, I tend to view them like Wish or Miracle spells in D&D. Interesting, quirky, but as someone running something I find their power inconvenient without turning it into a blatant manipulation or twisting words.

I also find it interesting that some people who love precog abilities hate the idea of railroad plots. An interesting paradox.
I believe a lot of people who dislike world or planned plots dislike having ANYTHING dictated for their character, which means they really should be roleplaying in a vacuum. World events SHOULD happen to give spice to the world, and sometimes, the true test of a good roleplayer is what does your character do when a specific event happens? The same people who don't like admin-run or world events are often people who like to always get to pick and choose exactly what things their characters get involved in, allowing them to roleplay in a very specific set of parameters... all the time. I happen to like playing in apocalyptic conditions sometimes!
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Old 04-23-2008, 01:08 PM   #5
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Re: Precogs and MU*s

I think a really neat idea is not pre-cognition but post-cognition. That is, an ability to re-live what has gone on at a particular spot. Maybe this is limited to something that happened less than an hour ago in most cases... but when something truly historic takes place, that leaves a lasting impression so that one can get a vision of something that happened hundreds or thousands of years ago.

In one case it's an interesting way to spy. In the other it's a neat way to A) reward or immortalize the heroic actions of players and B) advance a plot line without forcing players into specific actions.

And maybe when the moons align in the right way, this ability gets heightened in some way, so that the pre-cog can see details that were never visible before....
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