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Old 11-15-2011, 11:44 AM   #1
Orion
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Broken Cycle

This is just to let you all know about a new MUD called Broken Cycle that I've been developing for the past 3 years. It's almost ready to open for player testing, however I'm trying to gauge interest at the moment as I know there are a lack of roleplay focused MUD's at the moment, or at least the ones I've visited are empty or struggling, so I wanted to ask who may be interested.

The MUD I'm developing is an RPI mud, which means the focus is placed heavily on roleplay and on everyone participating in a story, like character's in a book, however it also has a combat system that can be used along with and as part of roleplaying. If anyone has played Shadow Siege or Echoes of Albion or Dark Isles they will know what I mean by this.

The story will start off in a village in a valley in a remote mountainous region of the game world that is effectively cut off from civilisation for 5 months of the year by snow which blocks the pass out of the valley. The level of technology will be similar to medieval europe and the total village population will not be more than 400. The main threat will be from wild animals and the climate, however the story will progress from that to involve other beings and phenomena.

It will be a mix of medieval fantasy meets science fiction and the story will be quite unique and adaptable, unfolding as it goes along and able to be influenced by the actions of the characters. I'm looking for players that like writing and could think up some good plots and ways to stir up roleplay with their characters. If this sounds like you then let me know?

Any feedback on what I've posted here would be appreciated and I'll try to answer any questions as well. I'll post the connection details as soon as the MUD is up and running.
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Old 11-15-2011, 12:12 PM   #2
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Re: Broken Cycle

It certainly sounds interesting and not out of line with other successful RPIs, mushes, etc. of the past.

My only caution would be is that there also is a history in RP muds of the 'grand plot', the story the mud owners are trying to tell, and many players don't appreciate getting shoehorned into that vision. I'd advise being very upfront with the players about how much agency they actually have to influence the plot, that way everyone's expectations are on the same page.
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Old 11-15-2011, 12:41 PM   #3
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Re: Broken Cycle

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ide View Post
My only caution would be is that there also is a history in RP muds of the 'grand plot', the story the mud owners are trying to tell, and many players don't appreciate getting shoehorned into that vision. I'd advise being very upfront with the players about how much agency they actually have to influence the plot, that way everyone's expectations are on the same page.
Good point. I actually believe that's a big reason why RPI MUD's fail. Players sit around in tavern's doing mainly social RP until the staff decide to put on an event and it feels like nothing you do in the event really matters because the outcome is predetermined.

Because I've been so sick of this over the years it's my intention to allow players a good deal of freedom to affect the world in which their character's live. Some key roles at first will need to be played by staff members in order for characters to have something structured to launch off from, however, as time goes on it'll eventually become more and more up to the players to decide how they want to do things. I'd only have reason to complain about a person's roleplay if their actions would be completely unrealistic for the setting and if their actions actually killed plots rather than did something to further them. While I do have a rough storyline laid out, it has room to go in different directions depending on what choices the character's involved make, however there will be times of course when there will be forces involved which will leave them few options.
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Old 11-15-2011, 03:20 PM   #4
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Re: Broken Cycle

I've never liked limited stage rp muds, i.e. "You're stuck in this small village for magical reasons, and all you can do with your time is talk to the same 5-10 people every day about the same issues until someone important runs an event, or until someone creates a deliberate adversarial character for the sole purpose of stirring things up that turns out to be more artifical and annoying to interact with than actually fun."

From the get-go, there needs to be built-in conflict so people have avenues to be somthing other than chatting buddies in the village tavern, there needs to be numerous things to do (explore and map, craft items, get better at skills, anything) to keep people online when nobody else is around to roleplay with (especially at first), and a really open, inviting, easy to get into backstory and genere. Nobody wants to have to read 50 pages of material from the website before they can make a serious character, yet nobody wants to arrive in the game and feel lost as they wander around with obvious newbie syndrome unable to be taken seriously. Somehow, you need a system where someone can jump in and confidently fill a substantive-feeling and necessary role without being everyone's bitch because they're new.

But I definitely think you're on the right track by recruiting a dedicated core of people whose sole mission in life is to create RP, even at the expense of regular playing of the game, whether they're imm or semi-imm people, or just choice players who pretend to be regular players while going all out to spark interesting fires (hopefully getting actual regular players to catch on and try some of the same).
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Old 11-15-2011, 04:04 PM   #5
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Re: Broken Cycle

I forgot to mention crafts, but yeah there is a crafting system. Characters will be able to gather, hunt, chop wood, farm, fish and with what they obtain from doing those activities, they will be able to make various items. I haven't built much outside the village yet, but there will be quite a large valley to explore with forests, a river, mountain trails and field rooms. The game will start in Winter, but once the valley is built and Spring comes around the fields will open up, allowing people to go out and explore.

I've already written a history for the village that isn't too detailed, so new players should be able to use that to make a character fairly easily. I wouldn't want anyone to feel like they didn't have a role to fill and spending ages being a mediocre boring villager raising your skills to be an important character is no fun either.

The game won't stay in the village, or even the valley though, eventually there will be other areas, however I want to try and keep people together as much as possible to avoid spreading them out too much which tends to make it harder for them to find RP at their location.

Last edited by Orion : 11-15-2011 at 04:21 PM.
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Old 11-15-2011, 04:30 PM   #6
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Re: Broken Cycle

Sounds like about the right about of background to start. It'll be cool to try out. Be sure to keep us posted.

What I meant with newbie syndrome is that you can only roleplay through the following maybe twice before you're about ready to gouge your eyes out:

"Hi. I'm new to the village. I just arrived from a nondescript other village that <was destroyed by generic enemies/was burned in an accidental fire/had an unjust leader/tried to force me to do something I didn't want to do>. I have basic knowledge of hunting, gathering, farming, and leatherworking, and above average skill with the broadsword. Can I join your village army, then spend my spare time hunting things in the woods for fun and crafting leather goods?"

If I'm supposed to be the village pickpocket, gossip, bartender, bowmaker, or dance instructor, it would be cool to somehow be integrated from the get go and start playing that role (even though I'd be a new character and need some work to get better at things and establish myself in the RP scene), rather than starting as a totally clueless blank slate newbie who has to do the above paragraph because there's no other way to be integrated and a part of something.
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Old 11-15-2011, 04:37 PM   #7
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Re: Broken Cycle

Quote:
Originally Posted by SnowTroll View Post
What I meant with newbie syndrome is that you can only roleplay through the following maybe twice before you're about ready to gouge your eyes out:

"Hi. I'm new to the village. I just arrived from a nondescript other village that <was destroyed by generic enemies/was burned in an accidental fire/had an unjust leader/tried to force me to do something I didn't want to do>. I have basic knowledge of hunting, gathering, farming, and leatherworking, and above average skill with the broadsword. Can I join your village army, then spend my spare time hunting things in the woods for fun and crafting leather goods?"

If I'm supposed to be the village pickpocket, gossip, bartender, bowmaker, or dance instructor, it would be cool to somehow be integrated from the get go and start playing that role (even though I'd be a new character and need some work to get better at things and establish myself in the RP scene), rather than starting as a totally clueless blank slate newbie who has to do the above paragraph because there's no other way to be integrated and a part of something.
Yeah I hate that, however almost all of the characters will be expected to have lived in the village prior to starting the game, either were born there, or if they're older they would have arrived with the settlers who founded the village. They will be able to read the history of the village, updates on happenings within the village, and as well each character can optionally fill in a 'profile' which would detail a bit of general knowledge about their character for others to RP off, so newbies don't have to act like they've never met the other villagers before or know nothing about them. The MOTD will also list specific roles I'd like filled, and players can feel free to send in a short background for their character and could be set up with the role quite easily.

Last edited by Orion : 11-15-2011 at 04:46 PM.
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Old 11-15-2011, 05:19 PM   #8
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Re: Broken Cycle

Here's the history helpfile:

21 years ago, a war was raging between the two neighbouring realms of Arcania and Mistral. A group of Arcanianís decided to emigrate to get away from the violence.

Their travels took them into the mountains, where they came across a valley. They chose to settle at a location beside the river with enough farmable land around them to survive on and other resources nearby. The conditions were harsh, but the location was secluded and at the time that was preferable.

The first building to be constructed was what is now the Mayorís Residence near the centre of the village, along the north-leading road. It had to hold as many people as possible during the winter, and so had to be quite large.

A large tree was chosen to mark the centre of the village, and still remains today at the centre of the village green.

Initially, there were some deaths, due to the harsh winter climate and other hazards such as wild animals.

The leader of the travellers became what is now the Mayor, a few of the other mature adults forming the Council, with the Mayor as itís chairman.

The Mayor also selected a small group of men to watch over the village, to protect itís inhabitants against dangerous animals, and to deal with any conflicts that may arise.

The Mayor has always been viewed as the villageís main protector, and this, combined with his wisdom continue to make him popular to this day.

It wasnít long before the Mayor realised that a more strict governing system needed to be put in place, to make sure that the village shared itís limited resources equally, and build where it was most efficient for the overall functioning of the village. These are issues that the council continue to discuss on a regular basis.

As the years went by, the village expanded, and with children being born, the population grew. It was heard that the war between Arcania and Mistral had ended and since then a ceasefire has held, yet the older members of the village still remember the violence all too well and have sought to shield the younger generation from knowledge of it.
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