It's Only A Flesh Wound

Commentary on injuries and MUSHes.
by Faraday

I was involved in a decent sized combat scene on one MUSH the other night, and it got me thinking of a problem I’ve seen time and time again - plausible illness, injury, and recovery on MUSHes. I’ve played on consent MU*’s, non-consent MU*s with coded/judged combat, non-consent MU*’s without coded combat, and the symptoms are always the same.

First, though, my standard “Grand Sweeping Generalization” disclaimer. I know there are many exceptions to the general comments I make here. There are players who realistically RP illness, injury, and recovery, and I love them. This editorial is about the people who don’t.


It always seems to be “just a flesh wound”. I never cease to be amazed by the sheer number of gunshot/blaster/PPG/whatever wounds that get RPed as hitting the shoulder or just grazing a rib. Even in those unusual situations where people do RP serious injuries, there seems to be this “I’ve gotta be a hero” factor. MU* characters fight on despite their injuries, not seeming to mind that they’re bleeding all over the floor or going into shock. Whatever happened to people being ‘stunned’ or knocked down by injuries, even ones that aren’t immediately lethal?


MU* characters must be the healthiest in the universe. Barring a MU*-wide plague that involved everybody, when was the last time you saw a character who actually RPed being sick? Nothing fancy, nothing life-threatening, just plain under the weather.


This is probably the biggest one, for me. I don’t know what kind of super-healing drugs these MU* hospitals give out, but I’ve gotta get me some of those. Granted, with modern medical technology hospital stays are growing shorter, but ‘recovery’ doesn’t simply mean time in the hospital. It takes time to heal from injuries, especially serious ones, and often there are lingering effects - effects that can take months or even years of physical therapy to overcome. A friend of mind had to go to a month of physical therapy for a dislocated finger, yet there are MU* characters running around like nothing happened a week after being shot in the chest. It’s rather silly.


So those are the problems - what are the solutions? I think the biggest trick is to look at these things as an opportunity to roleplay, not a burden that’s preventing you from doing things. You can have friends visit you in the hospital. You can RP with the PC doctors. You can have your character struggle with being sick/hurt and helpless. You can RP your character’s physical therapy and other recovery.

So next time the opportunity presents itself, consider the other options before taking the easy road and crying, “It’s just a flesh wound.”

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