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About screeg

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  1. I like what you had to say, especially the part about not offering false choices. But regarding always returning to the root node in order to re-present the player's dialogue options highlights a major flaw in RPG dialogue: unnatural flow in conversation. If you offer three lines of questioning, as well as the Goodbye option, then allow the player to return to that same menu over and over, I start to feel like I'm standing in front of a bulletin board lifting sheets of paper instead of talking with another human being. I'd like to see (and implement myself) a few more wrenches thrown into this convention, like NPCs who interrupt you and start asking their own questions, questions you might not be comfortable answering (in a Bioware game, for instance, about your sexual orientation). Or he might just get impatient after two questions and decide he's done talking to you. Failing that, just re-wording those question options down-the-string would be an improvement, even if it meant a bit more writing. Going back to that opening list is to me stilted and distracting.
  2. I thought it was unfortunate when D&D switched to a system where the base stats increase over time. It added another parameter to a complicated system that already seemed to have grown more organically than logically. Also, I never thought that system, created for tabletop gaming, ever translated well to computer games. There are nine different Skill categories in my game, each of which hosts a variety of specific Traits. Some Skills give access to over a dozen Traits, while others only host a handful. Then again, some Traits are significantly more useful than others. In introducing dialogue skills, WotC tried to balance dialogue with combat with rogue-ish abilities with spellcasting and I think failed. Pretending dialogue is as important as combat in a computer game didn't work out, IMO. Trying to micromanage dialogue through stats was a mistake, IMO. If I tried to have an equal number of Traits for every Skill, I would end up making similar arbitrary and un-fun compromises. Instead, I will state up front that the typical effort to make everything numerically equal is not being made, and that the point cost for a Trait is directly related to both how powerful it is, and how frequently (depending on play style, of course) it will be of use.
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