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The MUD Slide

Iconoclast -- Comparing Systems

Among other things, the Iconoclast world can be experienced as a game. It is a place where people can take on the roles of other characters, doing things that they could never normally do, achieving heights that that themselves could never reach.

In order to effectively allow this sort of experience, we have designed a radically different, and amazingly simple, system which is intended to allow gamers of all sorts to game enjoyably within the Iconoclast world.

When it comes down to "Real, but difficult to play" or "Not-so-real, but easier to play", the Iconoclast system always attempts to go with easier. This is, after all, first and foremost a game. Games have gotten it all wrong in the past, and will continue to do so. Our goal here is not to get it all right the first time--just to get it a little bit less wrong.

There are at least three different ways of gaming within Iconoclast. The first is that which is most familiar to on-line gamers, and that which was the first for Iconoclast itself: the MUD (Multi-User Dimension.) The second is that which is most familiar to old-time gamers: the RPG (Role-Playing Game). And the third is that which will be most familiar to newer gamers: the LARP (Live-Action Role-Playing). The Iconoclast system is designed to meet the needs of all three types.

Here, we will attempt to give a brief overview of each of these three concepts, not because we think you're a moron, but because there's a pretty good chance that you may never have experienced one of the three.

MUDding is a form of gaming which is experienced over the Internet. It offers a number of benefits to the gamer, including automated dice-rolling, combat and skill-checks, the ability to play with others around the world, and the ability to access help files on specific topics as you need them. While many MUDders are primarily interested in killing things and gathering money and equipment, Iconoclast is geared towards the role-player.
RPGing is the "standard" by which other forms of gaming are measured. Role-players usually use rulebooks, paper, pencils, dice and graph paper to act out and determine the actions their charcters will undergo. The problem with most role-playing games is that they quickly become focused on the rules instead of the action, and instead of role-playing the people involved become roll-players, focused on how to increase their combat rolls instead of on developing their characters. We don't play that sort of game here.
LARPing is a recent phenomenon (at least as far as mass culture is concerned), and was an obvious evolutionary shift for the standard gamer. LARPers cast away many of the accouterments of gaming, including dice, and opt to actually take on the role of their character, affecting that person's speech patterns, habits of dress and other mannerisms. For obvious reasons, combat is usually avoided; when necessary, decisions about skill and combat rolls are either determined based on attributes and skills, or the dice come back out for a few minutes.

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