The importance of large grids for MU*

  • Admin

    How important is having a non-minimal grid for a game?

    I'm curious to see how much it's just my preferences but other than having

    1. a trivial number of public hangouts for coincidental meetings (a couple of different bars, a park, etc)

    2. custom places made by players for their owned businesses

    3. lockable rooms for privacy

    4. a "temp room" feature so you can create just about any setting you see fit for the context of a plot or scene

    having a persistent 'visitable' world seems like a complete waste to me. Streets in particular, as it's exceptionally rare that I'll walk from A to B slowly enough to stop and play with anyone standing in some random location. In fact I'd assume they are there OOC, or AFK, which is if I notice their presence at all - and if I don't just grab a +meetme/+summon to my destination anyway.

    And yet some grids are pretty sizable. Is that an important feature?

  • Pitcrew


    No. But I think "sizeable" depends on the context.

    For example, Aleswich is a small town in Maine, technically; but counting its Underworld and Hedge, plus the reservation, and Cresmire Island, the grid spans over 90 rooms. This is insane. There is no reason that there should be 90+ grid squares for a small town.

    The game I'm working on, conversely, is a large metropolitan city in Northern California. If you combine the main city with the large forest, mountain, and desert area to the east, and the island to the west, you have a total of 30 grid squares. Put differently, it's easily more than three times (if not much more) the size of The Reach's official area, but has a third of the grid squares.

    We will be allowing people to create their own Neighborhoods within each grid square, of course, because that's part of the territory system that we're going to be using. But the grid itself has no "streets"; a whole district, easily as large as, say, "the East Side" area of Aleswich, is a single grid square. Instead of, you know, eleven.

  • A giant GRID is potentially bad. Having a map to find where stuff is? That's always nice. Shadowrun: Denver used to use google maps to note locations. Which, in a game as number-crunchy as shadowrun, was always nice because you could tell if the building in the same gridspace was right across the street, or several blocks away when determining if folks could hear gunfire or sirens and/or determining response time.

    There is something bad to be said about small grids, as well. On Exalted, there are a limited number of roomers per city, and a limited number of canon cities. So people get INVESTED in the stuff that is on-grid, as opposed to things that rightly should exist in the nothing between. This has led to people running 2,500 miles in a day to participate in plots that they would otherwise have no idea were occurring. This may have less to do with grid size, and more to do with fantasy setting ginormity.

  • Pitcrew

    @Arkandel said:

    having a persistent 'visitable' world seems like a complete waste to me. Streets in particular,

    I get a lot of imagination milage out of a grid. Where's this, relative to that, in the game world? What's in between? What's the neighborhood like? I dislike non-traditional grids that don't reflect the geography of the game world. I still prefer a +meet if I am on my way to RP, and exploring the non-traditional grid is less fun, and offers less information.

  • My first WoD game was set in NYC. Compared to places like the Reach, if I remember correctly, the grid was downright small. And most of the time all the rp was in one cafe. (O'Fortuna's if I remember correctly)

    So I don't think there's any reason to have that big of a grid. I don't know where most things are. Nor do I care. And I've been playing there since 2011.

    Dropping lockable temp rooms is the best ever. Just create a custom place and bam. Done. Then they go away.

  • Pitcrew

    I wrote a magical tavern for the Exalted setting called The Elsewhere Tavern that basically existed in Elsewhere and every hour its door shifted to another location of Creation. So if you went in and didn't leave before the next door-shift, you'd have to stick around for a day or so before being able to go home. However, it did double as a great way to get across Creation in broad strokes. I mean, there might still be thousands of miles between the door and your destination, but that pales in comparison with, say, tens of thousands of miles.

  • If a MU may be analogized to a stage, then every room is a set.

    Good sets take a long time to build, and should only be built if you intend to use it a lot. Otherwise, you're probably better off using another set from a prior scene.

    There doesn't need to be eleventy-billion businesses and clubs on the Grid. Part of the problem has to do with alts.

  • Pitcrew

    2 alt limit! At least for now (and probably forever).

  • @Coin So basically the World's End bar from AmberMush? ;)

  • Pitcrew

    @Luna, I don´t know, because I've never been to AmberMUSH, and in fact only read the first Amber novel maybe two years ago. I also wrote this a few years before I even start MUing at all. It's still around on my wikipage on the ExaltedWiki, IIRC.

  • R4 Manse-Bar with translocation lolz.

  • Pitcrew

    @Jennkryst, heh. I wrote it way back when we were still on first edition. Wow... I just checked. Last edit was January 17, 2006. Holy shit.

  • My logical brain tells me a grid is largely unnecessary, and yet whenever I RP without one I do feel like something is missing. Not something hugely important, but something. I like the comparison of them to sets. It's just one more piece that helps with immersion a little bit.

    I hate large, confusing grids, though. It should have what it needs to have and nothing more, and be relatively easy to navigate.

  • One of the NYC mushes had thirty rooms for Manhattan grid (and god help you if you wanted to play in one of the other boroughs, BECAUSE THEY DIDN'T EXIST), and it was mostly navigable. The issue was that they named them with the neighborhoods. So there was the bowry, and soho, and and and...

    It didn't help I was in my google maps phase then, since Denver just did theirs. I stopped when whole swathes of grid were disconnected from others that they were right next to. LIKE I SAID. Maps are cool.

  • Pitcrew

    @Jennkryst, yeah. And NYC was most navigable because Manhattan is, when you get down to it, a straight(-ish) line. (This is also the reason Manhattan was a valid location for "The Warriors", while L.A. definitely... isn't.)

  • @Coin AmberMush was about a million years ago in mu*terms. I think at least 15 years? Basically ancient history. And I don't remember if the bar was actually IN the books. It's been so long.

  • Admin

    See, one of my most sought-after systems (I had coded that on circlemUD back in the day) is to allow players to create a list of their personal hangouts. So if you do something like +hangout/add here it'll add wherever you are to that list, then any time you want to go back there you'd do +hangout/travel <#>.

    That, as well as +meetme/+summon and temp rooms would be literally the only means of transportation I'd ever need.

    I've played alts for years without going from A to B without +travel assuming I had a choice, so I was curious if I was being weird or if it's a common attitude.

  • Pitcrew

    I think it can be fun to walk the grid. You certainly find more random RP if the game fosters a culture of hanging out in public and walking the grid; together, these two can lead to some nice impromptu scenes that can make you get to know people you wouldn't otherwise meet.

  • Pitcrew

    @Coin said:

    The game I'm working on...

    Continue... more words.

  • Pitcrew

    I don't see a grid as a group of sets alone. It also serves as a map of the game's setting. Admittedly, one needs a map of the grid, too, to help people navigate it, but the grid itself serves to place action. Which is why areas that are usually walk-through rooms can matter. (The house next door is on fire! isn't an event that makes sense when all the houses are linked to a single OOC hub, that sort of thing.)

    Huge grids just get unweildy, but 'we don't need a bazillion businesses' sort of implies that you want to discourage players from owning businesses. By and large, a lot of PB businesses and housing don't end up getting RPed in, though the PCs may hope for it. They're not for using, they're for having.

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