Friday, August 01, 2003

Salmagundi News
Salmagundi is the MUD I have mentioned earlier, and yes, it is named after the salad. I am having too much fun, so it took a while before I discovered how relevant the process of building is for my research. Doh!

At this point I have a fairly good idea of the history of the world. I don't want it written out in every detail, not just because the tiny details take too much time if we want to actually open the game at some point, but also because working out all the details will leave no room for the players to improvise and make their own histories and interpretations of the history and rules of the world. If we ever get further than the developing stage (which is fun in itself), Kyndig, one of the main immortals, is constructing a web-side with pretty much the same abilities as a tikki wiki. It will be available to the players, and so I will be able to see how the player's interpretation of the story of the game grows around the story itself. That is one of those thigns I really want to study, and although I am looking for funding to study it in a larger scale with MMORPGS, MUDs are perfect for a little pilot study of anything to do with online multiplayer communities.

So, today's Salmagundi topic: slavery

Slavery will probably be a major part of contention at Salmagundi. One of the many great builders drifting towards Salmagundi is building a city where you will either own or be owned. The concept of slavery in Karchoy is based on the idea that the time of a human being is worth money, and if you owe money to somebody, that person owns you until it has been repaid. "Free" means that you don't owe anybody anything. The definition of slavery will be different in other parts of the world. On Jadis, the ice-and-snow shard, slaves will just be any strangers who happen to fall prey to your party. All who are not like yourself, are automatically considered to not be people, and so slavery doesn't really exist, only the care for and use of livestock.

I am looking forwards to seeing if this will be picked up by the players, if they will rebel against slavery or accept it, and if we will have players plotting revolts and a change of society. and I am also concerned about this, because if they manage to make a reasonable case for overthrowing slavery, we will have to rebuild large areas, change hundreds of NPCs... I can of course avoid that by giving all the different areas different reasons for having slaves, and different leadership, so there would have to be not just one revolt, but several. In other words, I make work for ourselves and the builders. But I still want the slavery topic to be visible, even if it's just one of more areas of contention we are planning for Salmagundi.

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