Dumb question: Just what is a RPI?
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Molly O'Hara



Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 99
Location: Sweden

PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2005 11:17 pm    Post subject: Dumb question: Just what is a RPI? Reply with quote

Since someone in the Builder's Forum just explained a thing to me that has been bugging me for ages - (namely what characterizes an Object-oriented Mud) - I'll have a shot in this Forum on getting enlightened about another topic that usually bewilders me:

Just what is a RPI? In what ways is it different from other RP heavy Muds? And why is it such a touchy subject? I've seen flamewars over this issue many times, but they didn't make me any wiser, so I'd be greateful if someone would explain the basics in comprehensive terms.
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Sandi



Joined: 13 May 2005
Posts: 94
Location: Boston

PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2005 11:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"RPI" is a TLA for RolePlay Intensive, which seems to me to be an adjective, despite its common usage. Smile

I believe the flamewars are the result of a somewhat supremacist attitude, which I must confess, is also prevelent among MUSHers when MUDs are mentioned.

They generally favor certain features of which I am not fond: introduction systems, no channels, and limited or non-existent WHOs. In fact, the last one I tried disconnected me when I typed 'who'. Sad

I'm hoping Haiwolf will jump in here, as she prefers them, but lacks the above mentioned attitude, and she explained them to me.
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Delerak



Joined: 17 May 2005
Posts: 49
Location: Tampa

PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2005 2:07 am    Post subject: My definition. Reply with quote

Roleplay Intensive. Roleplay with another word.. Intensive.

Let's take a look at the word intense.
# Possessing or displaying a distinctive feature to an extreme degree: the intense sun of the tropics.
# Extreme in degree, strength, or size: intense heat.
# Involving or showing strain or extreme effort: intense concentration.


Now let's take a look at the features an RPI mud has. (Or should have if they claim they are RPI)

1. Permanent death. (PCs do not resurrect regardless unless it was a bug that cauesed death, if you die you are dead forever and must make a new PC with a different background/desc)
2. Short descriptions, Main descriptions, Long Descriptions, and a Background. Pretty self explanatory but for those who are unfamiliar with these terms.
Sdesc: Shown for example when someone directs an 'emote' toward you. Instead of delerak as my name people would get,
the or a, brown-haired man.
Mdesc: Shown only someone looks at you via the look command, it's around 4 lines of your characters features, but some people who love to write will go up to 10-14 lines of describing their character (physical features only, RPI's rely heavily upon realism and putting equipment in a Mdesc is a no-no)
Ldesc: What people see when they look room, or arrive into the room, for example:
The brown-haired man is standing here, arms folded as he leans on a wall.
Background: An extensive 4-10 lines about your character's life before and up to when YOU the player has taken over. Every PC has had a life before you begin to play them unless they are 1 years old, if I start my PC at 23 I will explain how he survvied to 23, experiences, personality traits, etc.

3. Extensive emote system- This is kind of self explanatory, most muds emote systems are very lax and the simple diku which is
emote whatever. And that's all you can do, on RPI's emoting is a huge deal and being able to emote with a say action a tell action and having extensive usage of the emote system is a must IMHO.

4. No global channels. One OOC channel that echoes only to the room for OOC only purposes.

5. Extensive environments and rooms, the only thing allowed is stuff that pertains to the setting of the mud, no references to Olymus and all that crap, if the setting is Tolkien, then it should have beautifully written environments and rooms, much like SOI has, (though I hate Tolkien).

6. No levels.

7. Now from here I'll go into a few things that might or might not matter, here we go.
Application process- I believe RPI's should be though it isn't a requirement IMHO.
Color- I personally think there is no need for color in an RPI, or very little is required, maybe 2-3 colors for the prompt and for combat, let the players customize their own colors (that's what RPI is all above, customization and roleplaying out YOUR true character that you created and giving them a personality that may differ from your own)

Wow that's a lot, I will stop there, but I am sure there's plenty of other minute things I missed, anyway though THAT is what I believe an RPI mud, which is why there are so few, and why it's so difficult to staff one.


-D
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HaiWolfe



Joined: 13 May 2005
Posts: 15
Location: Boston

PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2005 3:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Delerak named most of the common traits found in the handful of high profile MUDs that bear the RPI label. From what I've observed, I think the touchiness of the subject comes largely from semantics -- if the phrase roleplay-intensive were replaced with a more technical umbrella term to describe this laundry list of features, we would see a lot less trouble whenever the acronym comes up.

Words like "roleplay" and "intensity" are very subjective, and players have wide-ranging opinions on what constitutes each. I've seen flamewars erupt when a new MUD calls itself RPI, and players from MUDs already established as RPI denounce them for not having the same features, and then are perceived as snobbish and elitist.

Though a large portion of my experience with MUDs comes from a couple well-known MUDs labeled as RPI, I'm starting to dislike the acronym itself. By nature it is vague and subjective, inviting conflict over its definition. It's much more cut and dry with codebases; you don't usually see Circle MUDs claiming to be ROM, nor is it a definition that can really be argued over. It's when you try to define a game based on style that things get nebulous and accusations of elitism start flying.

Perhaps in the future we can solve the "RPI" debate by naming the small group of like-featured MUDs that currently have this label something more objective.
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Delerak



Joined: 17 May 2005
Posts: 49
Location: Tampa

PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2005 3:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Right but it's very difficult to find something that fits into this subject. Think about it, you have Roleplay muds, and it says Roleplay enforced. But I have visited such muds and in my eyes it's not Roleplay, and it's not enforced. It's a joke compared to how RP is enforced on an RPI mud, you WILL get booted off the mud if you constantly don't stay in character, it's as simple as that, and if you cause trouble you'll get banned, it happened to me many times growing up on RPI's because I originally started on PK Roms, but I grew and learned and in my eyes "Evolved" into a better player. So what term can compete with RPI, which is somewhat established in the mud world, and is simple in it's definition of what it means.

-D
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HaiWolfe



Joined: 13 May 2005
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Location: Boston

PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2005 4:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What I'm trying to get at is that there is a dualistic nature to the debate: (1) The level of roleplay enforcement, and (2) the coded features of the MUD itself.

Could you enforce a strict level of roleplaying in a MUD without the features of an RPI? Yes, with willing players and a diligent staff. Could there be a MUD with all the features of an RPI, but with very little roleplay? Also yes; without enforcement, players could easily run amok.

By features I'm referring to things like permadeath, no global channels, sdescs/ldescs, and so on.

I'm essentially proposing that we split up the term RPI into two terms: roleplay-enforced, and some technical term that describes coded features. This could help alleviate some of the animosity that's currently present whenever RPI MUDs get discussed in public fora.
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Delerak



Joined: 17 May 2005
Posts: 49
Location: Tampa

PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2005 4:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You make some good points. I tend to agree with it, but maybe it's just me, I'm kind of just stuck on the RPI term, when I hear it, it makes me want to visit that mud so I can see what else is out there. Because I am accustomed to the acronym. As we all know, you can search roleplay enforced on mudconnector.com and get probably 500 muds if not more, and if you search RPI? A dozen or less.

-D
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Tyche



Joined: 13 May 2005
Posts: 176
Location: Ohio, USA

PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2005 8:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Delerak wrote:
Right but it's very difficult to find something that fits into this subject. Think about it, you have Roleplay muds, and it says Roleplay enforced. But I have visited such muds and in my eyes it's not Roleplay, and it's not enforced. It's a joke compared to how RP is enforced on an RPI mud, you WILL get booted off the mud if you constantly don't stay in character, it's as simple as that, and if you cause trouble you'll get banned, it happened to me many times growing up on RPI's because I originally started on PK Roms, but I grew and learned and in my eyes "Evolved" into a better player. So what term can compete with RPI, which is somewhat established in the mud world, and is simple in it's definition of what it means.
-D


I may have to acknowledge that Edward was right. But first I'll give it a shot to see how bad it is. Wink

Q. Can muds with OOC channels be role-playing enforced?

Q. Does the term role-playing enforced mean admin enforced or player enforced or either?

Q. Could a mud not implementing combat be an RPI?

Q. Could a mud implementing manual player consensual combat or even game-mastered combat be an RPI?

Q. Could a mud implementing consensual role-play, story-telling role-play or freeform role-play ever be called by anyone "intense"?

Q. What happens on a role-playing mud? I mean a mud that's not a hack-n-slash mud and not an RPI.

Q. If I role-play out a scene in a mud and there's noone around to see did role-playing occur?

Q. Do any RPI muds exist that are not based on Diku-Artic code?

I know I joke from time to time, but these are all serious questions.
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Delerak



Joined: 17 May 2005
Posts: 49
Location: Tampa

PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2005 9:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Q. Can muds with OOC channels be role-playing enforced?
Any mud can enforce roleplay, whether it's obeyed by the players is up to them.


Q. Does the term role-playing enforced mean admin enforced or player enforced or either?
Both, in my opinion, the players do their part by 'reporting' constant mishaps within the game world, let's say for example they keep dying to the same exact PC in the same circumstance, it's really getting frusterating they e-mail the mud and find out that this certain PC is just randomly killing people ouside the city, and he's gotten quite strong from being in a clan and training all damn day, well the admin has to deal with this, and the players help my reporting it.

Q. Could a mud not implementing combat be an RPI?
In my opinion? No, because an RPI needs combat to solve situations that you simply can't solve with the emote system.

Q. Could a mud implementing manual player consensual combat or even game-mastered combat be an RPI?
I'm not sure I understand this, do you mean muds aimed at players fighting each other? An RPI can only exist in the sense that you are roleplaying a character, the goals of that character might eve differ from your goals, even if you hate a certain PC, out-of-character, you can't just up and decide to kill him in-character, it's like Mel Gibson deciding since he doesn't like the actor who played the King in Braveheart going ahead and lopping his head off for it, you just can't do it, you have to stay in-character and not let out-of-character emotions get involved with your roleplay.

Q. Could a mud implementing consensual role-play, story-telling role-play or freeform role-play ever be called by anyone "intense"?
Anyone can call anything they want, the fact that the Carrion fields claims that their "Roleplay" is mandatory, is a joke in my eyes, but some people truly believe that's what they are doing.. However..

Q. What happens on a role-playing mud? I mean a mud that's not a hack-n-slash mud and not an RPI.
This.


---!H8MMH?M$$$$$$$$$8X.
-<!!!MMM$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$X!: The Carrion Fields
!----!!M?M$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$MM!!<
'<M! !!!MMM$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$MMMX!X!
!M!--!!!MMM$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$MMM!X$! A Playerkilling/Roleplaying
-!8!:!!!MMMMM$$$$$$$$$$$$RMMMX8RX- MUD
<!-!$X!-!!!MHM$$$$$$$$$$$RMMMMMM$!!!
!!:-MRX!-!!MM$$$$8$$$$$$$$$MMMM$R!-! Original DikuMUD by
'!X:--?X!--!!!M$$$RMR$$$$RMMRMM$R!!!X! Hans Staerfeldt, Katya
-XX 'MX:!!!!!?RRMMMMM!!XMMMM$R-<!!!! Nyboe, Tom Madsen, Michael
!?!-X$P"````----!M!!---`#*R$$M !<!!- Seifert, and Sebastian
-!MXf -!-!!!X! "k!!!- Hammer
'!!!X !X!M?X '!!!-
-<!XM X!!R!! !M!-'
:!XMMX : ::s@---!!!Mbx:!!<::X8k ! Based on Merc 2.1 by
!!!$$$MTMM8$#!! ! MXX!R$W86SW$$!!! Hatchet, Furey, and
!!!M$$#TT!!!!!- ! X!!!!!!RR#M!!! Khan
`!MW$M- -!!M!! ! !!:!-- #$R?!!
-:.. -XM!k:!#hHMX!!- ::- carrionfields.org 9999
-M! <!!!$X?XMMMB$!!! !!
!X! !XR!$MM$$$$$$?MM! '!! Created from ROM 2.3 by
`MX 'XXX t!@!H!X8X '!> Yuval Oren, Matt Hamby,
!!X!!X!" MM$M$RR*?.!!:X! Barbara Hargrove
?&M<!X>!MR$M> M9M5M!!XMM
M!?XX!!RRt?M@NRX?!XMX!R Maintained by
`!!MHXX!!Mt!MMXWMM!!! BoltThrower, Drokalanatym, Jullias,
`!XM$$$R9M$RTMMX- Nordewin, Pico, Sebeok, Valguarnera,
#$WXXW$$MXW$" Yanoreth, and Zulghinlour
`""!""`
Greeting screen designed by
Zapata (bsinger1@netcom.com)

By what name do you wish to be mourned? Delerak
Did I get that right, Delerak?
[Yes No]
yes

Here at The Carrion Fields we promote a roleplaying environment. Because of
this atmosphere, we do not allow just any name you may want. The names must
meet a certain criteria and if they do not, they will be denied. The following
questions are good guidelines for determining if you have chosen an appropriate
name.

Is this name an original name as far as you know?
[Yes No]
yes
Is this name a combination of two other names (e.g. Maryjane)?
[Yes No]
no
Is this name found in any dictionary or a common slang term?
[Yes No]
no

By answering as you have to the previous questions you have claimed that your
name is completely legitimate in our fantasy world. If you have lied in the
previous questions and we deem your name unfit you will be denied without
warning. This is your last chance.

Are you sure this name is acceptable?
[Yes No]
yes

1 minute later...


You have 9 new notes waiting.
The wise old Gnome says 'Welcome to Thera!'

<100%hp 100%m 100%mv 1500tnl (50.00%)> emote smiles.
Delerak smiles.

<100%hp 100%m 100%mv 1500tnl (50.00%)> look
The Great Portal
You are floating in a dry mist of gray. There is no time here. There is no
distance here. There is only here. You exist. That is all.

Suddenly a blinding line of blackness tears through the non-reality before
you. A glowing portal opens into the nothingness, creating a reality within
itself. A hidden form comes from the portal and you begin to know.

'Traveler, I bring you salvation. I restore you to creation and bring you a
new existence. But know this.... The existence that you knew before this is
gone. You are only how you exist here. Bring nothing of the Otherworlds with
you for we go to a place of enchantment and wonder, and the Otherworld has no
place here. You are born now to Thera. Go north at the Gates of the Academy
to learn of your new existence and leave all other thoughts behind. Be sure
to read all of the signs....'

The Hidden Lord fades away.

[Exits: down]
A wise old Gnome stands here, greeting those new to Thera.

<100%hp 100%m 100%mv 1500tnl (50.00%)> who
* 1 Human Sha* Delerak the Believer
[35 Duerg Sha] Maergroek the Communer of Diseases
[13 Felar Asn] Vorrak the Uraken
[ 1 Cloud Ran] Grom the Forest Pupil
[31 D-Elf War] Thonthoz the Master of Offense
[16 Human A-P] Telkizar the Stealer
[10 Storm Pal] Tenebrae the Squire
[ 4 Human A-P] Goladan the Brute
[32 Arial War] Kierra the Mistress of Defense
[51 Human Pal] Alven the Relentless Tracker of the Wicked, Faithful Maran of Justice
[10 Human Shf] Celyn the Scholar of Magic
[50 Gnome Shf] Jisjis the Grand Master of Shapeshifting
[ 6 Arial Inv] Vuulgroth the Advanced Spell Student
[22 Arial War] Norbrun the Partisan
[51 Gnome Inv] Seph the Weaver of the Elements, His Soul for an Egg
[17 Human Shf] Hroontel the Warlock
[35 Min War] Jobaik the Warrior of the Blade
[35 Fire War] Khebe the Warrior of the Blade
[19 Svirf War] Tangar the Armsman
[22 H-Elf War] Esarno the Partisan
[ Cloud IMM] [BATTLE] Ordasen the Brutal Barbarian, Sovereign of War

[Hit Return to continue]

Players found: 21

<100%hp 100%m 100%mv 1500tnl (50.00%)>

<100%hp 100%m 100%mv 1500tnl (50.00%)> score
Delerak the Believer
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Level : 1 Sex : male Race : human
Ethos : Neutral Align : Good Class : shaman
Practices: 5 Trains : 3 Hometown : Galadon
Exp : 1500 To Level : 1500 Sphere : No sphere chosen
Age : young, 16 years old (0 hours)
Hit Point: 100% Mana : 100% Move : 100%
Str : average Int : genius Wis : wise
Dex : dextrous Con : average Chr : repulsive
Carry # : 8/29 Weight : 13 lb 2 oz (Max 142 lbs)
Gold : 0 Silver : 0 Copper : 50
Wimpy : 0 % Morale : Moderate Position : Standing
AC pierce: Barely protected AC bash : Barely protected
AC slash : Barely protected AC magic : Barely protected
vs Spell : Barely protected vs Paralysis: Not protected
vs Breath: Not protected vs Mental: Not protected
You are affected by:
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

<100%hp 100%m 100%mv 1500tnl (50.00%)>

Do note the above mud is listed as RP enforced, so far no enforcement
is being done because right now I can do whatever I want in the mud
and have no repercussions, it's a game for kids.


Q. If I role-play out a scene in a mud and there's noone around to see did role-playing occur?
Yes. Solo-Roleplay as I like to call it, is very acceptable among RPI's, why? People are watching. Whether invisible PCs or Invisible Immortals, and even if no one is watching, it can be a very rewarding experience, I happen to love roleplaying by myself with certain characters, and several staff members at certain muds love watching my loner PCs.

Q. Do any RPI muds exist that are not based on Diku-Artic code?
Does this really matter? You can create an RPI from anything as long as it has the certain qualities, IMNSHO.


-Del
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KaVir



Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 565
Location: Munich

PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2005 9:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sandi wrote:
"RPI" is a TLA for RolePlay Intensive, which seems to me to be an adjective, despite its common usage. :)


RPI is an acronym, much like MOO (Mud Object-Oriented). Of course not every mud with intensive roleplaying is an RPI, just as not every Object-Oriented mud is a MOO. As long as you look at it as a (poorly chosen) label for a specific type of mud, I think it's okay. The problem really occurs when other muds come along and say "But we have intensive roleplaying as well!" (although I've never seen this happen with OO muds claiming to be MOOs...but that could be because it's much easier to define a MOO than it is an RPI).

Quote:
I believe the flamewars are the result of a somewhat supremacist attitude, which I must confess, is also prevelent among MUSHers when MUDs are mentioned.


Then just remind them that MUSHes are types of MUD ;)

Quote:
They generally favor certain features of which I am not fond: introduction systems, no channels, and limited or non-existent WHOs. In fact, the last one I tried disconnected me when I typed 'who'. :(


Agreed. I find some of the typical RPI features even detract from roleplaying (such as the lack of any sort of introduction system).
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Sandi



Joined: 13 May 2005
Posts: 94
Location: Boston

PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2005 11:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

KaVir wrote:
RPI is an acronym...

"TLA" ia an acronym for Three Letter Acronym. I can't resist the recursion.
I'm just pointing out it would sound odd to say "I played this great roleplay intensive last night!".
If I have to explain my jokes they're not that funny, are they?

KaVir wrote:
Then just remind them that MUSHes are types of MUD

Oh, to Hell with Bartle! Wink I seriously doubt the MUD->MUSH, MUD->MUD, MUSH != MUD terminology actually ever confuses anyone.

KaVir wrote:
Agreed. I find some of the typical RPI features even detract from roleplaying (such as the lack of any sort of introduction system).

Now I'm confused. "Lack of"? While not on Delerak's list, my impression is most RPI's include intro code.

However, this something I see as aiding immersion at the expense of everything else. For me, a visible name is the text equivalent of a RL visible face. Certainly, we can recognise people we've seen before, without introductions. If you have a problem with players "abusing" this "OOC information", I think you have a bigger problem with your log-in/app process, or adverts. Wink
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KaVir



Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 565
Location: Munich

PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2005 11:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sandi wrote:
KaVir wrote:
RPI is an acronym...

"TLA" ia an acronym for Three Letter Acronym.


Yup, but what I meant was it's one which is like MOO, in that it doesn't necessarily apply to all muds which fulfill the exact definition. Or to put it another way, all RPIs have intensive roleplaying but not all muds with intensive roleplaying are RPIs (just as not all object-oriented muds are MOOs).

Quote:
I'm just pointing out it would sound odd to say "I played this great roleplay intensive last night!".


But not "I played this awful roleplaying-intensive mud last night". I don't see RPI as a replacement for 'MUD', but rather a label for a type of mud along the same lines as PK or HnS.

Quote:
Oh, to Hell with Bartle! ;) I seriously doubt the MUD->MUSH, MUD->MUD, MUSH != MUD terminology actually ever confuses anyone.


No, but it's a good way to annoy certain snobs when you remind them that MUSH is a derivative of TinyMUD.

Quote:
KaVir wrote:
Agreed. I find some of the typical RPI features even detract from roleplaying (such as the lack of any sort of introduction system).

Now I'm confused. "Lack of"? While not on Delerak's list, my impression is most RPI's include intro code.


None that I've seen - they all seem to insist on the "short-descriptions only" approach.

Quote:
However, this something I see as aiding immersion at the expense of everything else. For me, a visible name is the text equivalent of a RL visible face. Certainly, we can recognise people we've seen before, without introductions.


Well such a system doesn't have to require an actual introduction - you could just allow players to 'tag' names on to anyone they see. However this is probably getting more into the realm of coding/design...


Last edited by KaVir on Sat May 21, 2005 11:50 am; edited 1 time in total
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Falconer



Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 16
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PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2005 11:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

While I haven't been able to find an extensive history or etymology of the term RPI, I'm inclined to undertake the semiological positioning of Roland Barthes' discourse, where the evolution of language is seen as new labels taking the place of exhausted ones. Under this analysis, the term RPI would enter into the community when individuals felt that "roleplaying enforced" captured such a wide-variety of environments that there was a need for a further specified term.

That said, no one really has an idea of when the label RPI is acceptable for a game and when it is not. Because the RPI 'brand' is in reference to the genre and style of the game rather than the specifics of the code, understanding when and where the label is appropriate is a relatively subjective process. KaVir could call GodWars II an RPI, despite the fact that his game is a relative antithesis of the typical conventions. There might be uproar on several community forums, but he might decide to use the label anyway. If a handful of other PvP games began to use it as well, the term would lose it's old significance and a new term would probably emerge.

The question, then, is what is the significance of the term RPI? While you should keep in mind that my positioning is subjective, I'm drawing on the features and positioning of games that classify themselves under the label. While many RP-enforced and RP-encouraged games support some or all of the features of an RPI, a majority of the following should be assumed by the player when entering an RPI game:

1. RPI MUDs are environments that stress the importance of a coherent, collective effort to create an interactive story over the progress of an individual player. While some players will be playing ambitious individuals that seek to lead organizations, hone their combat abilities and receive merits of heroism, other players will take the roles of lesser individuals in society who are antiheros and everymen.

2. This philosophy results in the creation of coded systems and an administrative position that stress the coherency and communal aspect of the world. The player is not provided with numbers (be they hit points, skill levels, experience) that can be used to judge coded status.

3. A distinct seperation between IC knowledge and OOC knowledge. RPIs assume that when players are in the gameworld they are IC and should act as such. There are no global OOC channels, personal tells, who lists, or other methods of gleaning IC information through OOC means.

4. An administrative focus on preserving the IC aspect of the gameworld. Coded tools are often used for this, such as extensive application procedures and logging systems to monitor player actions. Players who attempt to subvert these systems are usually warned or guided by the staff and playerbase to adapt to the specific philosophy of gameplay. Those who do not are removed from the game.

5. The stress in programming of realism over gameplay. PCs are usually forced to eat and drink to survive, for example. This prioritization can be seen in permanent death systems, the difficulty to advance in political and economic spheres without a significant input of time, etc.

6. RPI MUDs are programmed to ensure that, once-approved, players can act with very little staff involvement. Unlike many MUSH environments, where disputes are judged/refereed by consenting players or administrators, RPI MUDs provide coded systems that act as a judge. It is plausible for most players to engage in the world without any staff involvement following application approval. That said, much of the excitement of RPI MUDs come from staff-driven plots, so the actualized idea of an RPI without active staff would be fairly unpopular.

While there is no set codebase, there have been several RPIs such as Shadows of Isildur and Forever's End that have used the Harshland (a DIKU derivative) base to build from. It is quite possible for an LP MUD or a MUSH to classify itself as an RPI, but I'm not aware of any that do so.

Because of the ephemeral nature of the label, I believe that a far more interesting question is whether or not the typical design features offered by RPI MUDs (permanent death, application approval, lack of a who-list, classless/levelless systems, no global channels) are of help to enforcing/encouraging a roleplaying environment. Wes Platt's OtherSpace MUSH has provided some of the best roleplaying experiences that I've had, and it's an engine with dozens of global channels, no short-description/introduction system, an extensive who list, and OOC tells/pages. The quality I experienced in my tenure there was as good, or greater, than in the RPIs I've frequented.
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Sandi



Joined: 13 May 2005
Posts: 94
Location: Boston

PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2005 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do agree with Haiwolfe that there perhaps shoud be a distinction between the rules (or actaul play, perhaps) and features. I also recognise Falconer's point (which was my own, disguised as a swipe at his Eminence, R.A.B.) that words seemingly have a life of their own, and spawn and mutate despite the best efforts of those of us who prefer Latin (dead languages don't move around on you!).

I also think there's a huge (perhaps best dicussed in a parallel thread?) difference, with spectral shadings, in the intended meanings of "roleplay", caught between the polarities of 'submersive' and 'consensual'.

I humbly propose (before running off to work and missing the fun) that perhaps this august body might codify several terms that define these delicate differences, that we might more eaasily discuss and compare these issues, and perhaps (dare I hope?) these terms might work or weasel their way into general usage.
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cron0s



Joined: 13 May 2005
Posts: 34
Location: UK

PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2005 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Falconer wrote:
... the typical design features offered by RPI MUDs (permanent death, application approval, lack of a who-list, classless/levelless systems, no global channels)


I don't really know much about the term RPI, I am not even sure I have knowingly played an RPI mud. However from what little I do understand of the term I would never have considered describing my current project as an RPI mud.

That being said it does have permanent death (kind of), it's classless and levelless, and there will only be one global shout channel. I was even thinking of making the who command some sort of telepathic/magic skill. I do draw the line at application approval though, I really hate that system.

Maybe I will be listing this mud as an RPI after all, lol. I guess I'll have to watch this thread carefully to see what other features I need to incorporate!
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