Please note: The race chart dot-menu will be where I track the structure of the racial and class system relating to levels.
Note 2: http://mythicalcreatureslist.com/ would be a great resource if I could remember to use it ;).
Recently I've started brainstorming a Levels idea. Popular usage of a levels system says that levels are gained through experience, which is gained through quests and/or hunting. Since this is more of a roleplaying MUSH, I thought experience and levels would be better gained through some sort of kudos or rolepoints system.
In my brainstorm, I thought four levels would be appropriate. Initially, this was because of an idea I had with Dryads and how they could grow from a seedling to a full-grown tree with the ability to morph into humanoid wood nymphs. My thought was, as they age, they would automatically grow and level until they reached the rather legal age of consent, in which they would be considered fully grown.
Levels based on age
- Ages 0 to 4
- Ages 5 to 9
- Ages 10 to 14
- Ages 15 and up
So after a bit of thought, this was not practical. My time conversions state that a single IC year is equal to 48 OOC days. If one were to start as a newborn (0 years), it would take them just over 2 real-life years to reach age 15, in which they would be Level 4.
This is when I thought, maybe I should take Norbert's advice and make a kudos or rolepoints system. Instead of levelling from aging, perhaps I could make players level from rolepoints, which would be awarded to them by other players. This would require some stricter alts rules, so that players cannot boost themselves with alts.
RP points could be awarded to anyone by anyone, save for alts to alts. However, a closer tie to the one giving credit would give you a higher number of points. Anyone counts for 1, faction members count for 2, same race counts as 4, etc.. Wizard RP points could boost you immediately to the next level maybe.
I had originally thought that your age would determine your level. You could start as a 16yo naiad, and would automatically be considered level 4.. However, this may not be desirable.
At first, my idea was that level 1 players would be VERY limited in what they could do. The argument was 'if you can RP and level as a quadriplegic, then it'll only get easier from here.'
But I've been discussing with Norbert, and his suggestion would be to make a sort of intro 'movie' set of @emits when the player leaves, which would show them in their first few moments of development, up to a certain level of sentience where they had enough skill to actually DO interesting things.
This approach, however, would be based on limiting the player until they were fully levelled up, rather than the other way around, in which they gain additional benefits when levelling.
However, so far I only have a good set of benefits/skills drawn up for the former approach, where lower levels are limited and higher levels are completely freed up:
Races, Levels and Benefits
- Hatchling, barely able to walk
- Able to run around within the racial home
- They develop wings and can fly for short distances. Also are able to start talking.
- Fully developed dragon.
- Seedling - Cannot move, are planted and grow into a seedling. Can communicate with other dryads through a special dryad channel.
- Sapling - Can move about a specified area.. Forests only. Will not be able to cross rivers or leave the forest. Are extremely tree-like and cannot take any recognizable humanoid form. Can also speak normally, but their speech will be slurred.
- Adolescent - Can speak regularly without any errors, but will have some sort of accent. Will be able to take human form, but will still have tree-like attributes. Will be limited to the natural areas, and will be able to also draw energy from rivers.
- Fully grown - Can speak without an accent, can become fully humanoid, can travel onto roads and into cities and villages.
- Elfen - I had no good ideas about them, really. Perhaps a crafting skillset where they would become more and more skilled as they got older.
- Will be a newborn, may hatch in an intro movie, could crawl around the hive nursery.
- Will be a young child. Can run about the hive and will begin to talk.
- Older child. First time leaving the nest, so to speak. Will be able to begin flying as wings will be strong enough.
- Will be a colt who will be adopted by a patron of sorts, who will be limited to a level 4 faun. Limited to a hill cave system.
- Will be able to start wandering out into the hills to explore.
- Will be able to run about everywhere else, but will still be under the protection of his patron
- Will be a full adult faun and will be able to patron his own sons.
- Kit - Will be 'adopted' by a parental figure.
- Speech develops
- Nothing significant
- Full adult
- Will be limited to a cave home
- Like elves, will begin to learn about tunneling through a schooling system
- Will be able to leave the cave and will begin a master mining/digging operation.
- After finishing their master mine, they are now considered fully adult.
- Will be parented/adopted after father goes through a mating ritual with a non-demonic female. Child may or may not witness this OOCly. Will live completely in the Underworld area until level 4.
- A ritual is performed in the underworld which will transport the level 4 incubus to the city of Darkness where they may now seek out prey.
- Kelpie - I have no ideas for Kelpie. It was just made as an opposite for Furry. Really, I should just plain get rid of it completely.
- Will start as a skeletal minion who will be subject to a level 4 lich soldier.
- Will rank up, but will be fairly mindlessly obedient.
- Rank up.
- May now choose a path: soldier or mage. Mage liches will be more reclusive and on their own but will be all robe-y and have staves and magic and stuff. Soldier liches will be able to command minions.
- Limited to underwater city
- Limited to underwater city
- Limited to ocean
- No limits to travel except for daytime tail-split thingy.
- Fog-like NPC-looking in room contents. Cannot leave the lake.
- Be able to coagulate into humanoids, but will not be marked as players in room contents and will still have cloud-like attributes. Can leave the lake.
- Be able to take a fully human-like form. Can leave the lake...
- Full adult mistflier. Can fly also.
- Start out as an elemental conciousness in the water (force-watermorphed). Communicate with other naiads.
- Will be able to start having some communication with everyone else, but will not be able to unmorph from the water.
- Will begin to waterunmorph, but will appear as an NPC. Will be able to teleport to individuals in any water area.
- Will be able to unmorph fully and even leave the water.
- They're dead. How about we make them wander around in limbo until level 4?
- Level 4 Succubus mates with male human and then returns to underworld. Adopts newborn Succubus player, who is then described as a Salamander.
- Child succubus begins exhibiting human features and can crawl out of the lava river.
- Adolescent succubus will be able to wander the underworld freely, will be fully developed.
- Level 4 is granted when the underworld does the big 'travel to the Prime' ritual.
- A completely mortal player.
- Level 2 is granted immediately upon 'adoption' which will be more of a 'vampire bites human. Human turns vampire.' Will be visible at all times, despite their being a vampire. Will reflect.
- Level 3 vampires can see DIM exits/objects. Will have the ability to hide from room contents, but movement messages will still be set.
- Level 4 vampires will be able to hide completely, including movements. Will also be able to bite other level 1 vampires (plain old players chargened as vampires).
- Like vampires, will start as fully human.
- Bitten, they turn into a wolf where they are adopted into a pack.
- Will be able to hunt with the pack, but will not infect level 1 wolves.
- Will be able to contest the pack alpha leader, and will be able to infect level 1 wolves.
So yeah.. This is a sort of brainstorm, and I'm SURE it can be refined by quite a lot. Another point is that this entire system would completely change the feel of the entire game. Rather than being a free MUSH where you hang out and do what you want, or whatever, you would be set within a system of guidelines which would govern how you were to conduct yourself.
A TON of new systems would have to be created including:
- The RP points system.
- A security system for determining who is an alt of whom.
- A parenting or mentor system.
- Many designated racial homes which would be large enough to keep them interesting, not just a 5-room village.
- A complete set of skills for EVERY race.
- A limit on these skills based on level.
- Wizard-locked level and RP points attributes for each player.
- STATUS attributes for players and coloring based on level for the few that should appear as NPC's
- Intro movies for certain races which would progress them through a short newborn stage where they are completely incapable. This way they don't have to wrack their brain trying to play an infant or a droplet of water.
- Sub-factions. Like, werewolves could have multiple packs that could fight among one another and give level 1's different packs to pick from
- I can't think of any more at the moment...
After discussing this with Norbert, who seems to be the most up on administration and coding and all that, I had yet another idea. Races could be tiered, not just levels. This would require a significant change to the racial system as it is now, but I think it'll be more structured and better to work a POINT of the game into.
This system creates more of a class-like structure, where classes are broken down into races and users are to choose a path to take. This will also take into account the RP points system, and accrued points will allow the user to switch between races and classes with certain amounts of points applied and detracted.
Races will be divided into 4-5 separate "circles." Each of these circles will have a number of races assigned to them. Circles will be scattered about a nature-vs-dark/evil focal point. There are four circles I have in mind right now: elementalists/fae, furry, draconic, and undead. There is also an option for a "neutral" race.
To switch races within your circle will take a certain number of roleplaying points. To switch between circles (classes), will require MORE points and a chargen reset. To jump over to the other side of the nature-vs-darkness balance will cost EVEN more, and will unjoin players from their faction and channel.
The draw to this system is that although some races will be tiered from each other within their respective circles, each one will be just as attractive as the next. Meaning, you DON'T have to be the almighty dragon if you want to stay as something else. Dragons will be just as skilled as any other race, but will require more work to get there.
- Will be completely aligned with nature. Will include elemental races like dryad, naiad, fairy and mistflier.
- Mistflier will be redone to be an air elemental. The name will not change, but it will no longer be a white-haired woman-race. Though, it might still remain female-only. But rather than hiding IN mist, they will become mist.
- Will have a central beginning race known as "elemental energy" which will wander about doing a quest to choose which of the others it wants.
- Fairy will be sort of the 'tie-together' race or non-elemental race, but will be 100% attuned to nature. Sort of the caretakers of the others.
- Should this include merfolk? See Neutral race below. If it DID include merfolk, then the fully-dark circle would have to have a large number of racial choices as well, which I think it actually DOES.
- Will tend to be aligned with nature, but will have the option of also being dark. Norbert had an idea: the progression into furry would be Werewolf (human converted) -> Faun (half human) -> Furry (fully animal/anthropomorphic). Fauns will remain male-only, probably to complement female-only mistfliers as they always have, but there will be an alternative route for both male and females alike to still get to Furry.. OR perhaps a Vixen race to complement Faun directly.
- Another option would be to make Lycanthropes, Half-humans (Vixen/Faun/Centaur), and then Furries. This structure would be a little more loose and would allow players to rotate through fairly easily.
- A neutral class could be considered completely out of tune from the nature-vs-darkness conflict, but will focus more on their own goals.
- Includes such races like gnome, elf, goblin, merchilde, etc..
- No, merfolk will not be included with Nature races. Merfolk draw from the water, but gnomes draw from the earth/fire (forging). Elves from the forests... Fairies..draw from the air? Question: Should fairies be considered neutral? Should I replace them in the Elemental class with a fire-sprite?
- Will live off of nature, but will not be directly involved in its well-being.
- Will trend toward darkness/evil, but will have the option of being Nature-aligned.
- Will begin as a salamander in some sort of lava river and will emerge to do some sort of quest and choose which race it will be.
- Races will include succubus, incubus, dragon, naga/ophidian.
- Intro movie or whatever, will have the player be some sort of knight or person who dies in battle or from some disease, or is fully human, and based on their choice of sub-race, is either bitten, killed or torn from their body.
- Races will include (for now) vampires, lich and sluagh.
- To balance it with Fae/Elemental, it'll probably also need two others. Perhaps...draugr (norse viking spirit) and revenant (haunting-ghost)?
- I do NOT want to go too obscure (kelpie), and end up having a race completely unusued. Perhaps the two other races besides vampire, lich and sluagh could be "caretakers of the undead" of some sort.
- I will NOT include zombies. Zombies are overused and too gory for my taste. We're going for undead here. Not infected and covered in bloody sores.
Four main classes focused on the elements: earth, fire, air and water. Races will be divided up into these categories and darkness race will essentially disappear.
- Magic (Optional)
Very simple, really. Perhaps a bit TOO simple. But it'd be the easiest to pull off.
These two ideas would require an even more drastic change to the racial system as it is now. We have one vampire, two succubi, three naiads, three fairies and a few scattered others. I'm going to be asking for a lot of feedback and all of this will be subject to change. I mean, heck. The original brainstorm that I outlined yesterday has already gone through a huge re-consideration with help from Norbert. Of course, I have to remember that this is my game and it should have my own flavour, but it's said that the wise seek wise counsel.
Got some more feedback on my first revision. Here is what it has boiled down to:
4 classes, 3 races each.
- Sluagh (Ghost)
- Lizard (Draconic sounds cooler though ;))
- Seducer (succubus/incubus for female/male)
Note that there will be no distinguished female-only or male-only races. Females will be allowed to be fauns. Maybe call it "doe."
One idea I DID have after the fact..perhaps we could expand fauns to be more of a generic "half-human" race, and then allow players to choose between fauns, satyrs (really no distinguishable difference), and centaurs.
Succubus and Incubus have been combined into a single race: seducer (a term open for renaming), which will automatically distinguish between the two via code based on gender.
This here basically shortens the list down to 12 races. We could count the middle races, but my plan is to, as outlined in revision 1, have an intro movie or quest or newbie area where the goal is to 'graduate' from that middle, beginning, or "baby" race. My goal with this is to make those four races (lizard, kit, elemental, undead) as undesirable as possible. Nobody wants to be those. Everybody wants to be the extension of those.
Another thing Norbert commented on that I admittedly do agree with: a three-tiered racial system IS really attractive. I like the idea of graduating to your second tier, say, faun, and then working up to a level above that. Super-faun or some such. Minotaur? Or in our classic case of dryad, you graduate from elemental to dryad to ...walking tree monster (LotR Treebeard?).
This idea would work. Maybe. But I really do want to keep the system balanced, and so I'd have to make one or two of these three-level races for every class. And that'll boost us back up to 16+ races, which is just annoying to manage, especially with the second goal of having unique coded skills for all of them.
There are no male-only or female-only. A few races might be broken down into female names or male names, namely the succubus/incubus being a single race called Seducer. If I choose to implement the fifth "rogue" class from revision 1, this would also apply to Mermen/Mermaids.
I've seriously got to rename some of these class names. "Furry" and "Lizard" just don't cut it. I have a few options up for polling. For furries, I have renamed the "Were" race to "Lycanthrope", which is cooler sounding as well as more accurate. However I don't have any options for class name. Furry is silly, but workable..any others, nah.
As for lizards, I have a few options that could work, but I'm not quite satisfied with. They include Ophidian (refers to snake reptiles only, and by extension, Naga), Lepidran, Lepidrian, Lepithrope (from Skegonga, and are the best yet), reptilian (better, but a little common), and a few others.
I've ALSO thought about renaming the Naga race to something else. Like Basilisk. Or making both an option. Basilisk is a little too monster-like, but could totally work if their actual appearance and mannerism (specifically the paralyzing gaze thing) were made clear. Naga sounds a little more sentient, but a little too World of Warcraft-y.
Thoughts? I welcome them. I cannot for the life of me find my happy medium with the system. Norbert suggested I get rid of races altogether and just go with the four classes. Then as people congregated around specific races on their own, I could implement them as 'official.' But that is a little too much work with pulling out all the flags and locks and things, just to put them in two months down the road or whatever.