Rubyists and RPG Fans: Take a look at CARPS

Hi guys,

I have some new Ruby software for you!

CARPS, the Computer Assisted Role-Playing Game System, is a tool for
playing pen and paper RPGs over the internet. It’s a little different
from current tools (like OpenRPG) because it runs over email, uses
strong cryptography, and you can play it the terminal :slight_smile:

CARPS is a little unstable at the moment. Infact, I can’t make
any promise it will work for you at all. However, if you are a
developer, and you want to try it, then check out these links, and the
text below.

Also, have a look at an example CARPS mod

(You should go for it. Who can resist debugging large distributed
programs anyway?)

CARPS differs from other such systems because CARPS is not a
‘real-time’ system. It suits people who want to log on once or twice a
day, take a turn, and then log out again. While OpenRPG could be
described as being similar to a chat-room, CARPS is more similar to an
email client.

CARPS is an extensible system: game rules are provided by ‘mods’.

CARPS supports these mods by providing:

* Text-mode user interfaces for the players and the dungeon master.
* An easy to use probabalistic API which not only rolls the dice,
  but can report the probability of various game events occurring.
* Automated static character sheet verification, according to a
  schema defined in YAML. For example, a game might require your
  strength to be an integer.
* Support for the semantic validation of character sheets according
  to game rules. For example, a game might require the sum of
  character’s attributes to be below a certain maximum value.
* Together the validation features allow a mod writer to encode
  game rules cleanly, as they do not need to consider the
  possibility of receiving an invalid sheet.

CARPS has other strengths:

* Anyone can play or host a CARPS game because CARPS’ protocol is
  implemented on top of email.
* CARPS is designed to be secure. Multiple email security options
  are supported, and all CARPS messages are cryptographically
  signed to prevent spoofing.
* You can instruct CARPS to use your favourite text editor and
  terminal emulator.
* CARPS is easy to configure because it includes a wizard.

However, CARPS is new and the following features, which you might take
for granted, are not yet supported:

* No GUI
* No support for maps
* No chat - all communication goes through the Game Master.
* Games are currently invite only, at the discretion of the Game
  Master.
* Security mechanisms are not well audited.

CARPS has been tested on gentoo linux, using the 1.9.2p0 tarball from
the ruby-lang website.

If you want to write CARPS mods, or just want to play it, please feel
free to get in touch,

John M.

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