I am building a MUD that will have the standard hack and slash of other MUDs but will also be heavily geared towards quests. Some quests will be simple like you would find in World of Warcraft. For example, go kill 15 warthogs for their skins and bring them back for 8 gold. That kind of thing. Other quests will be much more involved. Some explore areas will only be accessible via quests and you will have had to pass a certain level in, say, math or physics in order to have the knowledge to complete the quest. "Learning" is not such foreign concept for smart classes. So the smarter classes will likely be the ones taking classes on say physics and mathematics and the sciences. But I don't want to leave the less intelligent races out.

For humans, elves, and gnomes who have average to high intelligence and wisdom I see them excelling in mathematics, physics, sciences, etc. These skills could be used to complete quests in any number of ways. For example, determine the volume of liquid needed to fill a certain container so that it weighs exactly enough to trigger a system of weights and pulleys (calculus and physics). But what about dwarves, minotaurs, and giants whose stronger attributes are constitution and strength and not intelligence and wisdom? What could they learn in a collegiate setting that would allow them to contribute to quests or a group setting that required both intelligent races and stronger races? I imagine some kind of physics-based class where leverage and strength would be of use but that, again, would be too dependent on intelligence and take less advantage of their stronger attributes. Or a weapons based class. What could they learn or be taught that would appeal to Strength and Constitution?

I envision a school setting where the "smart" races are inside a class room studying and they can look outside and see the giants and dwarves working on projects like using a log and trying to figure out how to leverage it to move a huge boulder to gain access to a cave. But what kind of "lessons" would these be? What would a professor be "teaching" them? There will be dungeons where groups of players will have to work together to be successful. Smart races and strong races alike will be required for the group to succeed. I want an education system in place so that not only the smart races are required to "learn" things. The less intelligent races must also "take classes" so that they can contribute to a group setting.

  • 5
    $\begingroup$ Hello, and welcome to the site. I'm afraid that I don't understand the question you're asking. Your idea of a quest seems to be rather .. scientific. How about a good ol' quest, such as having to kill Diablo, and save the human realm from destruction? In which case a giant Minotaur ripping Diablo's undead minions apart is a valuable asset, while the dwarfs ability to tell you how much water you need to put in a bucket to achieve X is rather pointless. In this case, why would the dwarf's education be valuable? The minotaur should be taking MMA and "rip your enemies apart" classes. $\endgroup$
    – AndreiROM
    Apr 20, 2016 at 18:09
  • $\begingroup$ What kinds of quests do they need to complete? Some might require more intelligence than others. $\endgroup$
    – Jax
    Apr 20, 2016 at 18:13
  • $\begingroup$ I edited my post. I hope that made my question more clear. $\endgroup$ Apr 21, 2016 at 8:40

2 Answers 2


Allow me, if you will, to pull your question apart a little. There are several issues at hand that would affect the answer to your question.

Assumption of Intelligence Being a Zero Sum Game

Like all attributes, rarely will a person have All of one and None of the other. Some people are average across the board, some people are blessed in several while average in others, some people are unfortunate and have little of anything. Regardless of race or the disposition there of - there will always be people who don't conform to stereo-types. There will be brawny humans, quick witted dwarves and elves who are happy to get a good deal buying the Waterdeep bridge.

Inclination to Learn

Regardless of IQ - people only need motivation to learn. It make take an average person longer to pick up calculus than a genius but its still possible. Especially if they have passion for the subject. The inverse is true, an intelligent person with no inclination will struggle with any subject. Effort trumps natural talent - both together are unstoppable.

Access to Education

You state in your question that this takes place in a collegiate setting. I would challenge you to consider if this is really possible within a fantasy setting. In a classic high fantasy setting, infrastructure would not be developed enough for a state/city sponsored school, leaving education to religious or military organizations. These organizations would have their own motives which would dictate class subject availability. They would almost certainly be reserved for those who are very rich or very devout. It was not that long ago in our own history that military commissions were purchased, rather than assigned based on merit.

Taking all that into account, knowledge comes from interesting places. A dwarf who did a blacksmithing apprenticeship may surprise you with how much they know about weights and pulleys. While a debutante elf may have an interesting party trick to show you which relies on water displacement and buoyancy.

Putting that to the side

Assuming for a moment that there is equal access to education among the races and that all races conform perfectly to stereotype. There are things that could be taught which may appeal universally and be useful on quests. Examples:

  • Herbalism
  • Animal Husbandry
  • Negotiation
  • Bartering
  • Gem Appraisal
  • Cooking
  • Languages
  • Cartography
  • First Aid

Really, you're only limited by your imagination.

  • $\begingroup$ As to your Zero Sum Game there are additional attributes in the game to deal with just that kind of sliding scale. I like your "inclination" idea so I'll be adding something like that. As to your last point, several of those talents you listed are available to everyone but aren't classified as "classes." $\endgroup$ Apr 21, 2016 at 8:47

You should first look at what tasks you want those types to complete and base their education from there. So if you want to know the education a of CON-type character, first examine what such a person would be doing "on the job". Perhaps a giant would be expected to stop the ubiquitous rolling boulder trap. They should then be trained to have the strength and endurance to be able to hold off the boulder so the rest of the party can pass. Obviously, strength and constitution characters would expected to complete more physical based tasks, so they would be trained in kind. Note that this is not saying they need to spend all of their education at the gym. There are many ways to tackle strength-based obstacles (physically and metaphorically). Our giant-student would have to learn what types of obstacles they would be facing and how best to approach them, much as an elf wizard would be trained in magic rune traps and intelligence puzzles.

  • $\begingroup$ My apologies if this is rather general. I'm interpreting your question as looking for a general guideline rather "they should learn this, this, and this." $\endgroup$
    – Kys
    Apr 20, 2016 at 18:25
  • $\begingroup$ This gave me a couple of good ideas. Thanks for your post. $\endgroup$ Apr 21, 2016 at 8:43

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .