I know there are a lot of muds out there, and even a lot of RP muds, every one has
to work out how they want to handle things, with Buffymud I wanted to try a system
that I hadn't really seen before on an RP mud, a system in which code and RP intermingled
and a system in which IC accomplishments were based on merit.
In most RP muds, the decision of what can or will happen to a character is based on
permissions, having played and staffed on these muds I always found it to be a pretty
poor system, one that rewards people for nagging others OOCly and RPing poorly, ie
never allowing things to happen to them. Most RP muds also seemed to encourage OOC
cliques, groups of friends who'd arrange for RP to happen, and work out ahead of time
what was going to happen, and the consequences etc.
I never liked this, I envisioned a mud in which it wouldn't matter who you did or didn't
know OOCly, where it wouldn't matter if you sucked up to the immortals, where you could
log on, and without any OOC mucking about, just play, just experience the life of your
character completely ICly. But most of all, I wanted a mud in which how cool your character
was, their power, and accomplishments were not based on how cool the player chose to make
their character, but rather on a system of merit.
No measurement of merit will ever be perfect, even assuming you can agree on what should
be measured, anybody who's been through high school will know the trauma of studying
really hard for a test, just to have it not ask any of the questions you studied for.
This system rewards people for Rping, making friends/allies ICly, running plots,
forming/joining circles, engaging in PK, levelling, and clever/tactical use of code.
The reason we wanted levelling to be a factor over just like emote count, is people
enjoy RPing, they don't enjoy levelling, so levelling involves an actual sacrifice of
time in order to gain power.
So if you assume some evil guy is running an apocalypse, and the good guys wish to stop
him, the code would firstly reward someone who runs a counter, which involves
some level of creativity, social factors, and then pk survivability in the last act
which includes just about everything, from money, allies, minions, lackeys, level
to tactical skills. If nobody runs a counter, then the person who stops it would be
the one who overcomes the pk survivability of the one running it, involving all the
above factors. In this way the person who saves the world, is determined by merit.
While you may disagree with the systems used to determine merit, or even what is given
merit, the fact still remains that all players have as close as possible as equal
opportunity and the one who triumphs will almost always be the one who tries harder,
not just in that instance, but overall to attain the things to make instances like that
Doing something like authoring an NPC villain, disturbs this balance, they're not physically
existent, so nobody can hurt them, or stop their plans, unless you as author let them.
Thus the system is no longer based on merit, but now on what you think should happen.
There is a reason our system for resolving conflict does at no point involve the judgement
of the immortals on what is good or bad RP, such things are in our opinion, an absolutely
horrid measure, as they're always very biased and subjective. You can be sure if we don't
think when we're not even involved that we can be perfectly fair, that we definitely
don't think that you can be fair when it's involving your character and your RP.
RP rules are in place to ensure that this game remains a merit based game, and while of course
you can argue for the emphasis of merit being put on different things, or the systems
to measure it being altered, it will always be a merit based game, and will never become
a permissions based one. If you really want to be able to play a mud in which you are
in complete control of what happens to your character, and have the freedom to RP being/doing
whoever you want, this will never be that place. What it does offer, is hopefully a refuge
for people who get sick of others making up stories about beating up the devil in their
lunch hour and having to go along with it, and for people who want to play in an RP environment
that's realistic and fair.
See Also: rp rules