Author Topic: Grittiness and Harshness  (Read 20036 times)

Ghost

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Grittiness and Harshness
« Reply #50 on: May 05, 2005, 05:16:33 AM »
Quote from: "AC"
Some people have more cash than they should, but I've met very few uber-rich people. Consider that a small home will usually cost more than 50,000 sid in most cities. A multi-room or multi-floor house will be at least double that. A property big enough to have a staff and a place to store your own mounts (ie a place big enough to house a minor merchant house) would be more money than anyone I've ever met. A person who doesn't own anything but the gear they are wearing and a few trinkets in a rented room is NOT rich, not even if they have 20,000 in the bank.


Lets say, relatively rich then?

If an indy having 20k is not rich, then what is a clanned who, with all his gathered coins made 1k in four IC years?  He has slim to nil chance making anything -close- to that much, through out all his life.

So to avoid confusion:  We are referring to indies that are -relatively- rich.
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jmordetsky

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« Reply #51 on: May 05, 2005, 01:24:29 PM »
I'd like to see more of an environment that encouraged accidental spice addiction. Where because life is such a struggle, spice is a neccessary aide that when used could lead to addiction.

In RL there are alot of complicated things that stimulate drug addiction some of which have very little to do with the pleasure of acutally doing the drug. Sometimes it's acceptance, self esteem, culture, nuerosis etc. I don't see a good deal of this going on on zalanthas. I see chars trying spice out of curiousity and people who play "spice" users.  

What if the lure of spice was less to do with pleasure and more to do with tangible effects. Like a heightened awareness that temporarily allowed you to navigate a storm. The more spice you did, the longer the awareness would last, until it finally became permanent along with a spice addiction.

This would give players an IC and an in some cases an OOC reason to purchase spices which would help them achieve certain short term goals. You could make the length of time it took to get addicted variable so that a character never knew how far they could push it.

It also creates an interesting trap for twinky instincts...maybe spice could be used after time to gain more mana, or permanent stat boosts, but only at the expense of the addiction.
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jhunter (not logged in)

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« Reply #52 on: May 05, 2005, 02:45:15 PM »
Quote
Allanak in the old days had a fairly extensive rooftop system, where a cunning thief could hide out and eventually make an escape, if they planned well enough. Perhaps this is something we should consider restoring.


Definitely, I think as someone had mentioned some time back that an entire rooftop layer should be added to both cities. It would make for more options for criminal types when planning escapes and such. And perhaps some fun rp for pc militia trying to capture these criminals.

moab

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« Reply #53 on: May 05, 2005, 02:58:19 PM »
All of this talk about making indy life nigh impossible raises a question in my mind...what about that those of us who enjoy playing loners?

Right now, indies can and do die with regular frequency.

I'll say straight up that if the only way for me to survive as a PC longer than a week would be to join a clan, I wouldn't be interested in playing all that much.  Clan play should be a preference choice, - a choice to RP within a structured group.  It shouldn't be the only legit path to "success" in the game world.

Not everyone in the known world belongs to a House. There are many - thousands - perhaps millions of VNPC spice grebbers, hunters, hangerson that live out reasonably long if somehwhat impoverished lives.

Rather than making the word more difficult for indies by threatening to kill them (making the desert more difficult) make their equipment wear out so they have to spend coin to replace their gear.  Weapons need to break more frequently, armor needs to fall apart, cloaks need to tear, and boots need to get holes.
 
When we have those kind of expenses, then indies will have to spend thier  hard earned coins to find a tailor (pc prefferably) to fix their gear or walk around with a pair of dusty, holey, raggedy carru hide boots.
 
The next time someone  comes across a a pair of Gith leg armor, maybe they'll save that leather to patch up their own armor rather than buy new, don'tcha think?

Guard income (across the board) should be dropped by about three hundred obsidian.  Only the upper crust of the House guards should look spit-polished.  Then it's something to achieve.  Otherwise you're just a guard - someone who was rifling through a trashpile a week prior and lucked into paying work.

Lower income along with cheaper repair bills may result in more people wearing beatup used armor and clothing because they can't afford better.

At the same time the price of ale is broken.  PCs have a hard time already buying much to drink (unless its a special occasion or they have plenty of coin) so drop the cost of the basement-brand brews to less than ten sids a mug.
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amoeba

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« Reply #54 on: May 05, 2005, 03:04:58 PM »
Quote from: "jmordetsky"

What if the lure of spice was less to do with pleasure and more to do with tangible effects. Like a heightened awareness that temporarily allowed you to navigate a storm. The more spice you did, the longer the awareness would last, until it finally became permanent along with a spice addiction.


This speaks to one of the current issues with spice. I would think that which spices did what, and what effects they give, would be much more widely known than it currently is.  To keep this entirely in the find out IC arena limits it's appeal.  Now if you knew x spice gave you y effect, but perhaps Kurac hushed up the negative effects, then people would be more likly to try it, with all sorts of interesting results later on.
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Cindrak

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« Reply #55 on: May 05, 2005, 05:40:43 PM »
Quote from: "moab"
At the same time the price of ale is broken.  PCs have a hard time already buying much to drink (unless its a special occasion or they have plenty of coin) so drop the cost of the basement-brand brews to less than ten sids a mug.

I agree, and I don't understand why people are calling to raise ale prices. Ale should be the poor man's water, and alcoholism should be a big problem in the lower classes. Right now though none of the lower classes can afford to get drunk, or at least it seems that way to me.

-Cindrak
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Armaddict

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« Reply #56 on: May 05, 2005, 05:57:45 PM »
I disagree that House employees should look just as shabby as everyone else.  Dusty, yes.  Sweaty, yes.  Shabby?  Hell no.

There's a reason why noble guards are prestigious (whether it's reflected in the attitudes of the players or not.  People should be scrambling to join the noble guards, not noble guards scrambling to get people to join.)  Even in appearance, they are above the norm.  Most don't make it when they try to join.  Most get turned down, and turn to groups such as the T'zai Byn or other smaller groups, even merchant houses.

Noble houses are servants of the most powerful people in the city, and they look like it.  This doesn't remove grittiness from the game, it adds to it with a social aspect that is completely ignored at this moment.
She wasn't doing a thing that I could see, except standing there leaning on the balcony railing, holding the universe together. --J.D. Salinger

Xygax

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« Reply #57 on: May 05, 2005, 06:08:48 PM »
Actually, there's a difference between "prestigious" and "coveted."  Yeah, you might covet that position as a noble-guard, since it might mean a pretty good salary, decent food and maybe even water, but that doesn't mean that upon attaining the position you're suddenly the bee's knees.  You're still just a commoner.  A commoner with a good job, maybe, but still a lowly commoner.

I too would like to see house guards generally dressed and acting more like commoners.  And yes, that probably means shabby.  You've spent a major portion of your life being dusty and rough and low, why would the lucky acquisition of a good job suddenly make you a different person?

Noble house guards are -not- the servants of the most powerful people in the city by -any- stretch.  Most likely, if you're a noble-house guard, you're the lackey of some low-level, obscure noble who's jockeying for position amongst his own house members, in addition to struggling for fame, recognition and power in the eyes of the rest of the populace.

Most PCs have never met the most powerful people in either city-state, and this is even true OOCly of many players.  A lot happens behind the closed doors (or gates) of areas very few people have access to; the most that tumbles down to the lowly commoner is rumor and suspicion.

This is just the sort of assumption I'm trying to kill with this thread (and with other posts along the same lines):  you are probably at least one full rung lower on the totem poll than you think you are (not you specifically, Armaddict, everyone :))

-- X.

Armaddict

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« Reply #58 on: May 05, 2005, 06:20:22 PM »
I still wholeheartedly disagree, particularly when you take into account the average numbers that are actually -in- each house's guard.

To hire someone to represent your house says a lot.  There's a reason there are institutions that specialize in teaching you how to act around nobles, how to be polite...you -are- exposed to it more than the average commoner.

Now, you -are- still the average commoner.  You still go out to the bar with your noble house buddies, still talk about whatever...however...you're in a uniform that denotes you as an -acknowledged- representative of your noble house.  Yes, you're a lowly, perhaps undervalued representative, but a representative.

In this political game where appearances of your house account for so much, you don't want your representatives being seen as people just dragged in off the street.  What sort of reputation does -that- give you?

While I respect the hopes to move towards a 'grittier' zalanthas...trying to do so through saying 'everyone should just look a lot dirtier' seems somewhat shallow to me.  I'd much rather see dangers put out for those who try to appear above their station than try to shove them back down into that place through immortal decisions.

Once again...my long-standing gripe, the one I'm heavily biased towards, I admit, is brought up again.  There needs to be revisions to and/or a new criminal code if you want to actually see people take a turn 'downwards' in the social standings.
She wasn't doing a thing that I could see, except standing there leaning on the balcony railing, holding the universe together. --J.D. Salinger

Xygax

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« Reply #59 on: May 05, 2005, 07:12:13 PM »
Again, you've started with a couple of misconceptions, here:

The uniform you wear as a member of a house guard is less meant to mark you as a representative of that house than to brand you as off-limits to other houses, and to shield you from persecution.  A templar may, for example, let you slide because he likes your boss.  But you aren't, strictly, a representative of that house, no moreso than an employee at McDonald's reflects the wealth and stature of the owner of a chain of McDonald's restaurants.  The abundance of uniforms is another thing I'd like to see tuned back: fewer people wearing less-garish uniforms, less-carefully presented will lead to less of the misconception under which you're laboring.

My overarching goal here isn't as shallow as simply "dress more shabbily", but this is definitely part of the issue, and it is precisely because you think what you think!  The fact that nearly every house guard is shiny, and lantern-jawed, and stands erect with a perfect, pectoral-displaying posture, and struts about "representing their house" absolutely turns my stomach!  The average house-guard isn't that guy at all, even the average Lieutenant isn't necessarily going to be that guy!  In the movie "Dragonslayer" (and yes, I realize I'm dating myself amazingly), the character Tyrian (played by John Hallam) is something like a captain of the king's Men-at-Arms...  but his attire is essentially functional armor and perhaps a brooch indicating his rank and position.  He isn't shiny and polished and clean-shaven, and he's hardly an upstanding representative of his house.  He isn't, in other words, a great hero.  And you shouldn't aspire to be a great hero in portraying your roles...  the best portrayals (even the best portrayals of heros) start with deeply flawed individuals.  Admittedly, Tyrian is a villain (in a sense), but he also provides an interesting model for the sort of flavor I'm talking about for a house-guard or a militiaman.

Finally, you suggest that "appearances count for so much", but I think that this really stems from a modern, western notion of personal presentation in business.  On Zalanthas, only fools will take you at face-value...  how you dress has little or nothing to do with how easily you may be able to ruin (or take) their life, and only slightly more to do with your stature in the grand scheme of things.  Among commoners, appearance should be rarely considered, if at all -- you should be worrying about other things (even if you're employed), and your employers shouldn't necessarily be seeking appearance when they hire you.  More interesting to them should be "how much gear can he be loaded down with, while standing on his feet for a 12-hour gate-patrol?" and "will he show up to work at least mostly-sober?" or "will his spice-addiction make him too easy to bribe/control by my enemies?", not "how will he look in a silk blouse?" or  "will he use his best grammar when he speaks in public?" (Oh, and since this is Zalanthas, you can substitute "she" for "he" in any of those preceeding sentences with equal relevance.)

-- X

John

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« Reply #60 on: May 05, 2005, 07:35:33 PM »
Quote from: "Xygax"
The uniform you wear as a member of a house guard is less meant to mark you as a representative of that house than to brand you as off-limits to other houses, and to shield you from persecution.
That's good to know, because nobles (player ones in the past anyway) tend to insist you always act proper, never get drunk in public, etc.

What would be proper behavior for a guard? If we make guards more "gritty" then what's the difference between a guard and an unemployed commoner, besides the fact the guard doesn't have to worry as much about 'sid? What's to seperate a bynner from a noble guard? Is there a difference?
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Armaddict

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Grittiness and Harshness
« Reply #61 on: May 05, 2005, 07:55:12 PM »
Quote
The uniform you wear as a member of a house guard is less meant to mark you as a representative of that house than to brand you as off-limits to other houses, and to shield you from persecution. A templar may, for example, let you slide because he likes your boss.


So, that uniform -does- set you apart from other, unaffiliated commoners.  It's going to shield you from any persecution from them, as well...maybe.  If they still do it, they know to expect consequences.  Thus, that uniform is a sort of protection, something easily seen and more easily displayed, because it is a mark of recognition.

Quote
But you aren't, strictly, a representative of that house, no moreso than an employee at McDonald's reflects the wealth and stature of the owner of a chain of McDonald's restaurants.


I'm sorry, but I think McDonald's would be a merchant house, if not lower.  A noble house would be a firm working for the government.  And there are plenty of firms working for governments or corporations where even the lowliest member screwing up and making a big, bad public scene would have them terminated from their jobs.

Quote
The abundance of uniforms is another thing I'd like to see tuned back: fewer people wearing less-garish uniforms, less-carefully presented will lead to less of the misconception under which you're laboring.


I agree, but to a lesser extent.  I say don't do away with uniforms, but cut it back in just how high class it is.  Too many privates are wearing platemail with wrist wraps and other incredibly expensive pieces of gear.  I'd still like to see uniforms, but tone it down to a cloak, perhaps some sleeves, maybe a breastplate...some main portions, all made out of -simple- materials that bear the insignia.  This allows some variety in armor, particularly in less noticed areas like boots, wrists, gloves, helms, whatever...I'd much rather see high-end, expensive equipment given to ranking officers and as rewards, like medals in our military.

Quote
The fact that nearly every house guard is shiny, and lantern-jawed, and stands erect with a perfect, pectoral-displaying posture, and struts about "representing their house" absolutely turns my stomach!


John's questions made me think about it, and I think that -is- what a noble guard is about.  These guys interact with nobility, are -expected- to have proper etiquette, and are -expected- to be more professional than that bynner who you could hire on just as easily.  These guys are still average joe commoner, but with the intelligence, ambition, and perserverance to go above what the average joe does, and get into a noble house.

We've discussed making it -harder- to get into noble houses, since they grant so many benefits to the employees.  But yet at the same time, you want the standards to drop.  It doesn't make much sense for the fifty guys on the noble house's payroll to be dimwitted, ill-mannered, ill-tempered, troublesome drunks just like all the independent and affiliated mercenaries that are readily available.

Quote
n the movie "Dragonslayer" (and yes, I realize I'm dating myself amazingly), the character Tyrian (played by John Hallam) is something like a captain of the king's Men-at-Arms... but his attire is essentially functional armor and perhaps a brooch indicating his rank and position. He isn't shiny and polished and clean-shaven, and he's hardly an upstanding representative of his house. He isn't, in other words, a great hero.


I don't even need to say it, but this isn't dragonland, and it's not the movie dragonslayer, and it's not hollywood.  That lieutenant played a character in his movie, one that you obviously liked, but that is what we are trying to play as well.  Not every noble guard player is trying to play the 'hero' as you put it, but they are playing a role, one where, on the average, the disposition of a character will be different.  Quite simply, if a noble guard isn't dedicated to his work, to 'being a hero' as it was put, they aren't going to excel, get promoted, or accomplish anything.  And progress is what all of those noble guards are working for, so acting in a manner standing in a way of progress is breaking character.

Quote
On Zalanthas, only fools will take you at face-value... how you dress has little or nothing to do with how easily you may be able to ruin (or take) their life, and only slightly more to do with your stature in the grand scheme of things.


On Zalanthas, only a fool or someone with a good amount of backing will directly oppose the wishes of a noble house.  These guys dress in their insignia to let people know they are acting on those wishes.  Sometimes they may not be, but the other commoners don't know that.  Saying they won't dress appropriate to their work just because no one takes them at face-value anyway would be illogical and counterproductive.

Quote
More interesting to them should be "how much gear can he be loaded down with, while standing on his feet for a 12-hour gate-patrol?" and "will he show up to work at least mostly-sober?" or "will his spice-addiction make him too easy to bribe/control by my enemies?"

1.  You mean the gear you're saying he now has to buy on his own?  He won't have much until he's on sergeant's wages anyway, he can stand gate watch all day.
2.  He's showing up to work somewhat drunk?  This guy is supposed to be protecting me, we give him free food and water, give him higher than average wages, and he's still risking -my- life so he could have an extra drink this morning?  I can easily find a replacement for -that- guy.
3.  He's shown a proneness to smoking spice even when he shouldn't, and is pliable with it.  That's a security risk, there's no way I'm taking it.

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"how will he look in a silk blouse?" or "will he use his best grammar when he speaks in public?"

1.  He might look better in a silk blouse, or without it in my bedchambers.   (*snicker* Okay, that was a joke.  But we don't hire according to how good they look in the uniform, the uniform is just part of the job.)
2.  He damn well better not fuck up and irritate Senior Lord so and so in my meeting with him.  That could botch up the entire arrangement if the Senior Lord gets insulted.

And finally....
Quote
Again, you've started with a couple of misconceptions,


Apologies, they've been supplanted in me by players and staff alike over the past seven years.
She wasn't doing a thing that I could see, except standing there leaning on the balcony railing, holding the universe together. --J.D. Salinger

John

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« Reply #62 on: May 05, 2005, 08:07:50 PM »
Quote from: "Armaddict"
As John noted...that -is- what a noble guard is, and generally always has been.
I didn't mean to say that's how I want it to be, merely how players have played up until now in my experience ;)

Quote from: "Armaddict"
On Zalanthas, only a fool or someone with a good amount of backing will directly oppose the wishes of a noble house.
I'd like to stop seeing nobles get all angry and righteous whenever a PC guard gets in a bit of a fight, and not put the entire PC force into screwing over the commoner that dared look at your guard in a funny way. Too often superiors get involved whenever their employees get in a bit of trouble (in my opinion).
Quote from: RogueGunslinger
On Zalanthas most sweat would evaporate instantly and cool you easier, because there is no humidity. The extra air-flow of a kilt would also keep things dry.

Armaddict

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« Reply #63 on: May 05, 2005, 08:11:45 PM »
Quote
I'd like to stop seeing nobles get all angry and righteous whenever a PC guard gets in a bit of a fight, and not put the entire PC force into screwing over the commoner that dared look at your guard in a funny way. Too often superiors get involved whenever their employees get in a bit of trouble (in my opinion).


I agree.  However, with things the way they are right now, even a fist fight is a big deal because weapons are confiscated, jail time is served, people get -way- too angry over the ordeal, etc.

I'm speaking on terms of more major things.

I'm completely in support of noble guards, in off duty times, being just as common as the rest of the people they are around, since they, themselves, are commoners.

I'm merely stating...they -are- different.  Not better, but different.  The same way an NSA field agent and an NSA bodyguard to the president are the same, but different.

And yes, I'm sorry...I kind of misquoted you on that, John.  I'll edit it.
She wasn't doing a thing that I could see, except standing there leaning on the balcony railing, holding the universe together. --J.D. Salinger

Ayashah

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« Reply #64 on: May 05, 2005, 08:27:21 PM »
Quote from: "John"
I'd like to stop seeing nobles get all angry and righteous whenever a PC guard gets in a bit of a fight, and not put the entire PC force into screwing over the commoner that dared look at your guard in a funny way. Too often superiors get involved whenever their employees get in a bit of trouble (in my opinion).


I think the superiors would get involved. Just like in RL, if someone's underlings are doing something the superior feels will somehow reflect bad on himself or his employer, they will take steps to squash it. Houses fluxuate in status. Some would be VERY paranoid of losing status and if a guard pisses off someone important, then that can hurt a House. I have seen whole Houses held in contempt by templars, nobles, power figures for IC years over the actions of one guard.

Jobs would be very competitive. Especially GOOD paying jobs and status that comes with being in a House or organization. Joe Schmoe wouldnt earn a job and has to eek out his own existance, neither would Janet Schmoe. They have to be SPECIAL to get a good job. That doesnt mean they have to be Ms or Mr Perfect body/temperment/etc, but that would mean they had the smarts to present themselves well and not screw up.

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Rich_Bastard

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« Reply #65 on: May 05, 2005, 10:07:19 PM »
In my clan, just about everything that's been suggested is already in place.

Oh, and I don't give a damn what my guards do or what happens to them.

Of course, they aren't really guards, so to speak.  Not in my clan.

Nidhogg

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« Reply #66 on: May 05, 2005, 10:24:14 PM »
Armaddict said above that house employees should be better dressed than the average commoner. I don't disagree. But there are various stages of well dressed and they don't have to be silk. And they don't have to be silk from head to two. About a year ago Ashyom and I spent a lot of time on commoner clothing. I specifically wrote up a good deal of silk -trimmed - clothing, with mid and upper level house employees in mind.
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Armaddict

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« Reply #67 on: May 05, 2005, 10:45:34 PM »
In my opinion...silks are something that should be gifts from above.  And a guard wearing silks should be unheard of, even cloaks...their line of work would just ruin it anyway.

An aide decked out in silks should be far more recognized as a long time, trusted servant to a house than it is.  New aides aren't going to have the time to be rewarded with such.
She wasn't doing a thing that I could see, except standing there leaning on the balcony railing, holding the universe together. --J.D. Salinger

Linedel

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« Reply #68 on: May 05, 2005, 11:02:33 PM »
Thinking about this while driving home... I realized the game was far "grittier" back in the day, and started thinking about what changed.

Back in the day, there were no significant PC nobles (or at least, not many).  There were minimal highly influential merchant house characters (pre Khann).  Yeah, there were a few of each, but the game wasn't built around them.

The game is now heavily skewed towards supporting the upper/middle classes, whereas before, it was all about the best of the "adventuring" (high grit) class.

(Some of) The grit left when the game changed.  Politics between houses became a larger deal, accounting for a good percentage of the player population, where it was smaller before.  If you're going to play in politics, or around the people that play in politics, you're going to be "less gritty," or you're going to find yourself skewered.

It is unreasonable to expect all people to play grittiness that will get their characters killed by their employers on a daily basis.  This is a game, not a job, and while it's all well and good to post that people should do it here, there are not many people that are going to repeatedly roll suicidal characters, which being realistically "gritty" as a "house guard" would be in the present environment.  They're either going to play something else (possible grit), or play a partially clean, washed suck-up that doesn't get killed immediately (no grit there).  (Note the partially.  There are some that go halfway.)

Knocking down the standard of living of PC nobility might help; the difference in apparent education and um.. polish maybe, is somewhat excessive for a barely bronze age environment.  If they don't expect a high polish level from their guards, then players won't fear dropping to that level.  I've seen more "grit" from supposedly professional guard/soldiers in major industrialized countries than I've seen exhibited in Armageddon guards, and I speculate that this is entirely due to the "IC" consequences (due to unrealistic OOC expectations from nobility) of playing properly gritty.

I'm not sure I see any way to significantly increase the grit without strategically placing anakore in upper class dwellings, since that upper class is likely what removed it.

It may not necessarily be a bad thing that the grit dissipates.  Campaign worlds are supposed to change due to actions in the world, it may just be that that was the logical step for the direction Armageddon moved.

Xygax

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« Reply #69 on: May 05, 2005, 11:48:43 PM »
I'm sticking by my McDonald's analogy.  Here's why:

I'm not trying to relate McDonald's to a noble house, but instead the owners of a McDonald's franchise to the senior Lords and Ladies of a noble house.  The distinction is critical to seeing the analogy; I don't care what the function of the organization is, in this case, I only care about the relation of this peon employee to the nameless, faceless wealth and power that employs them.  The peon employee's actions will bear little or NO reflection on the reputation of the Senior Lords and Ladies, or even on the house as a whole.  Yeah, if he's caught peeing in the grease, people might get turned off to that particular McDonalds (the Jr. noble employing them), but more likely than not, the Jr. noble will cover it up and ignore it as much as possible.  This works identically for "firms working for the government", by the way.  I challenge you to find one example of a peon employee's activities reflecting on, say, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Lockheed Martin.

Armaddict: We seem to be somewhat in agreement with respect to the uniforms issue, though I would take it further.  In the absense of full-uniforms, PCs would have much more liberty to define their own "look", which I think is both a good thing overall, and good for my "grits" campaign.

The answer to John's remark is this:  Right.  Nobles are being too demanding in what they expect from their employees.  You might well expect some polish, style, subtlety, or whatever, from your Atrium-trained aide.  But your bodyguard's job is to stand around looking rough and ready (no, BEING rough and ready), not to impress people (beyond impressing them with the belief that he can and will crush their skull), and they shouldn't be expected to behave otherwise.  Yes, they're professionals, but they are professional grunts, mercenaries, or soldiers, at best.  And none of those are roles requiring skills in ettiquette!  Nobles:  stop demanding perfect behavior from your guards, _expect_ them to be bullying, crude, socially clumsy, downright mean, whatever.  No question, they are probably smarter (read: more cunning), more ambitious (read: more bloodthirsty), and possess more perseverance (read: brass balls), than many other commoners, that's why you hired them.  But you didn't hire them to dress well, speak well, or be pleasant company.

This is obviously a huge sticking-point, but please ask yourself seriously which role is more restrictive?  Which role is more fun to play, long-term?  Which role better suits the environment of the mud?  Which role is more in-sync with every other aspect of lilfe on Zalanthas?  Zalanthas is a place where EVERYTHING is covered with a layer of dust, sand or salt, nothing is soft or easy or tame....  why would we expect noble-house guards to be any different?  (I'd like the nobles _themselves_ to be rougher, as I've mentioned previously on this thread)

You may have discussed making it harder to get into noble houses, Armaddict, I have not.  I _have_ mentioned that I'd like our leaders to be more selective, but I meant that in terms of finding people to fill specific roles and judging them on their merits in those roles, I didn't mean it in terms of raising the bar for entry.

I realize that "this isn't dragonland, and it's not the movie dragonslayer, and it's not hollywood," and the intent of mentioning that particular character wasn't to invoke any of those things; I'm sorry if my remarks were so misleading as to have guided you there.  I'm trying to offer a broader interpretation of something you (and this time I do mean you specifically, Armaddict, though I'm sure others agree with you) seem very strongly inclined to define narrowly.  You say that

  a) noble guard roles have a different disposition than any other commoner
  b) if a noble guard isn't trying to be a hero, he won't advance.
  c) all noble guards are working to progress in their careers as noble guards.

...  and these assumptions are all _wrong_.  There is no documentation that specifies that noble guards must be played this way, and all of these assumptions are at odds with the nature of our game, and constriict and confine and constrain what should otherwise be a very broad role.
  a) you grant that noble guards are still "just commoners".  Why would their disposition be different than any other commoner, inherently?
  b) a lot of organizations in the game specifically go out of their way to dull this "hero" instinct...  usually heros think for themselves too much, for one thing.  For another thing, the "hero" role you're talking about, the guy you think is "what a noble guard is about" seems to me to be just the sort of fellow who will act above his station, acting like a well-trusted aid, when really he is hired muscle and nothing else.
  c) this certainly can't possibly be the case.  Many people are satisfied with their lot in life and either aren't cut out for leadership, or don't care to be put into positions of responsibility
....  what I don't understand is why you think the role should be so narrowly defined.  This sort of over-achiever, in my opinion, would be a relatively rare thing on Zalanthas altogether, and downright one-in-a-million for a muscle-bound thug.

Quote from: "Armaddict"
On Zalanthas, only a fool or someone with a good amount of backing will directly oppose the wishes of a noble house. These guys dress in their insignia to let people know they are acting on those wishes. Sometimes they may not be, but the other commoners don't know that. Saying they won't dress appropriate to their work just because no one takes them at face-value anyway would be illogical and counterproductive.

Your overall sense of scope is broken.  If I act out against Joe the Borsail Wyvern, I am not necessarily taking on all of Borsail.  More likely than not, Joe is going to be on his own, or his Jr-level Borsail boss might even fire him (or eliminate him in some other way) for being more trouble than he's worth.  Yeah, wearing that Borsail insignia might buy you some leeway from time to time, but it's hardly a set of red templar's robes.  You're still just a punk employee of a punk noble.  Wearing Borsail insignia does NOT mean that you are weilding the might of House Borsail, and people suffering from this misconception must stop it!

And yes, I agree with you:  people should dress appropriately for their work.  If you're a bodyguard in Allanak, the appropriate dress for you isn't in silks; it's not even in polished ceremonial armor.  Your job is to be dressed comfortably and functionally.  Your job might even be to NOT look too much like a Borsail guard, so that people focused on injuring your ward are less likely to notice you and take countermeasures against you.  That's situation-specific, of course, and most of the time a noble will want there bodyguard to be visible -- but the look they should be going for is "tough as hell," not "fresh out of the Atrium."

Lastly:  yeah, abuse of alcohol isn't going to be considered a problem on Zalanthas, unless it means your new hire can't drag himself to work.  You're applying a modern western stigma to drunkeness which simply isn't applicable to Zalanthas.  Everyone drinks like a fish, it's the tee totalers who are weirdos.  And no, you can't necessarily replace him that easily (assuming the PC population are not all playing goodie-two-shoes :)  And the guy who can be controlled with spice?  It would be a huge mistake not to hire THAT guy!  Unless you have trouble getting hold of spice......

Why would you (I assume you're the Jr. Noble, in this case) bring your thug bodyguard to meet a Senior Lord?  He's certainly not necessary (or if he is, you're probably in too much trouble for one bodyguard to get you out of), and yeah, he's probably going to do something crude or embarassing.

Quote from: "Armaddict"
Apologies, they've been supplanted in me by players and staff alike over the past seven years.


Accepted.  That's why I'm trying to set the record straight  :)

Armaddict

  • Posts: 5922
Grittiness and Harshness
« Reply #70 on: May 05, 2005, 11:57:46 PM »
Alright, I can see my opinions on this matter are wrong.  That was the point of this discussion...to put ideas in the pool, and pull out of whatever you wanted.  At least, that's what I assume the discussion was for.

In order to get rid of these things, the way it has been...how are we planning on doing it, exactly?  Is there a plan in place with the clan immortals on shifting things to this way?

I just really think it would be...odd...if all the players suddenly, drastically, changed their characters to fit this.  It's got to be gradual, methinks.

Any ideas on how we can do this?
She wasn't doing a thing that I could see, except standing there leaning on the balcony railing, holding the universe together. --J.D. Salinger

Cindrak

  • Posts: 81
Grittiness and Harshness
« Reply #71 on: May 06, 2005, 12:08:36 AM »
Quote from: "Armaddict"
Alright, I can see my opinions on this matter are wrong.  That was the point of this discussion...to put ideas in the pool, and pull out of whatever you wanted.  At least, that's what I assume the discussion was for.

In order to get rid of these things, the way it has been...how are we planning on doing it, exactly?  Is there a plan in place with the clan immortals on shifting things to this way?

I just really think it would be...odd...if all the players suddenly, drastically, changed their characters to fit this.  It's got to be gradual, methinks.

Any ideas on how we can do this?

Um... holy crap. Did somebody on the internet just acknowledge they were wrong? Am I in a weird parallel universe? Seriously, that was awesome :D

Armaddict++

-Cindrak
quote="www.baobobcomic.com"]Naturally, the worst happened. Soon we saw not only a PC, but one of those weird PCs who uses words I don't know in their sdesc. The podgy, dappled dickens-whelp.[/quote]

wizturbo

  • Posts: 2476
Grittiness and Harshness
« Reply #72 on: May 06, 2005, 12:20:38 AM »
Amen to what Xygax is saying, though, I strongly feel a Borsail Wyvern, or an Oashi guard, or some thug that works for a noble house...etc...should be better mannered than say a Byn Mercenary or a militia member.

They deal with nobles, and if they were too offensive, they wouldn't cut it.  But I COMPLETELY agree that there shouldn't be a dozen guards who're as proper as aides, and strut around in ceremonial armor like their officers when they're sergaents at best.

It just devalues the importance of a leadership PC or NPC, by looking and acting the same as their subordinates.

Xygax

  • Legend
  • Posts: 1667
Grittiness and Harshness
« Reply #73 on: May 06, 2005, 12:21:56 AM »
Quote from: "Armaddict"
Alright, I can see my opinions on this matter are wrong.  That was the point of this discussion...to put ideas in the pool, and pull out of whatever you wanted.  At least, that's what I assume the discussion was for.

In order to get rid of these things, the way it has been...how are we planning on doing it, exactly?  Is there a plan in place with the clan immortals on shifting things to this way?

I just really think it would be...odd...if all the players suddenly, drastically, changed their characters to fit this.  It's got to be gradual, methinks.

Any ideas on how we can do this?


It's definitely going to be a gradual change, yeah.  It will be a challenge for the staff and the players alike to start breaking the molds we're in....

For players, it'll be hard to shift while still in the skin of the current PC.  I understand that, that makes sense, don't change yourself unless it can be done to make IC sense.  What I really want is to see people navigating their play along these lines with future PCs, and especially with leadership PCs (since, in many ways, they drive expectations).

For the staff, it's going to be a gradual effort to tune the world, tweak clan docs, repair the economy, twiddle code etc., and it will probably take years, and we'll probably lose our focus, or our sense of purpose repeatedly.  :)

What I'm hoping to get out of this thread (and one which parallels it on the staff discussion board) is more general knowledge of what is meant by "gritty" and "harsh", and how the average PC fits into the grand scheme of things, and also to solicit ideas about how we can begin to tune the world (code, data, docs, etc.) to fit that vision.  "Grit" has been on my mind since I mentioned it at a staff meeting a year or so ago, and recently I have come to believe that one of the main components we're missing in really fostering the textured, gritty environment I think we'd all like to see more of is a general consensus of what that means, as well as a general notion of scope with respect to the roles most players wind up in.  This thread seeks to find that consensus (and yeah, I'm hoping to provide some direction, as well).

Secondarily, I want to pull ideas from this thread about what we as staff can do, specifically, to start tackling the tuning we need to do.  Of equal importance in this discussion, though, is the roleplay itself (which is why I chose this forum and not "world discussion") -- I think the way we all portray ourselves will go far further, far faster, in defining the gritty environment that ArmageddonMUD really should have (and has had, in varying degrees, throughout its history).  As someone else noted, recent evolutions of the game have altered or diminished that grittiness (even as the world has grown more harsh, imho!!  *boggle*), and I hope we can start to swing the pendulum back without losing ground our efforts to make the game more newbie-friendly and appealing for new players.

-- X

ale six

  • Posts: 1222
Re: McDonald's Rules!
« Reply #74 on: May 06, 2005, 12:26:48 AM »
Quote from: "Xygax"
Quote from: "Armaddict"
On Zalanthas, only a fool or someone with a good amount of backing will directly oppose the wishes of a noble house. These guys dress in their insignia to let people know they are acting on those wishes. Sometimes they may not be, but the other commoners don't know that. Saying they won't dress appropriate to their work just because no one takes them at face-value anyway would be illogical and counterproductive.

Your overall sense of scope is broken.  If I act out against Joe the Borsail Wyvern, I am not necessarily taking on all of Borsail.  More likely than not, Joe is going to be on his own, or his Jr-level Borsail boss might even fire him (or eliminate him in some other way) for being more trouble than he's worth.  Yeah, wearing that Borsail insignia might buy you some leeway from time to time, but it's hardly a set of red templar's robes.  You're still just a punk employee of a punk noble.  Wearing Borsail insignia does NOT mean that you are weilding the might of House Borsail, and people suffering from this misconception must stop it!


I don't know if I agree with this. If I'm an unaffiliated commoner acting out against Joe the House Guard, I think I'm being pretty stupid. I know if I piss Joe off enough, Joe is going to go get his buddy guards Jim, John, George and Bosco and come settle things with me. I also know that if Joe's liked by the nobles he serves, and asks for a favor, all it takes is one bribe from Joe's punk junior noble to some punk blue robe templar who wants to be friends with that noble, and I disappear. Joe doesn't NEED to wield the might of House Borsail against me, because the position he's in already makes it far, far easier for him to screw me over.

One of the best benefits to getting that coozy guard job (besides the food and water and pay and whatnot) is the measure of safety it provides from the common populace. I don't think that should be taken away, or that taking it away makes the game any more gritty.