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Everything posted by Giantevilhead

  1. I'm guessing that the word "Eon" or "Aeon" will be in the title. I think that a major theme is going to be about how current events in the world are marking the beginning or the end of an age/era. Since this is planned to be a new franchise, I think the titles will be similar to the C&C Tiberium franchise, Dawn, Sun, and Twilight, each title reflecting a new time.
  2. I think bigotry is best used in fiction when it's developed as a way of showing the darker impulses within ourselves. None of us would like to believe that we would be capable of the kinds of horrible acts that are attributed to prejudice or bigotry. When we hear of people forming into brutal mobs to lynch people or people supporting a dictator who's advocating for genocide, we'd like to think to ourselves, "I would never be like that. I can never join a group that attacks or kills people based on race or sex or ethnicity." But the sad truth is that just about everyone is susceptible to those kinds of prejudices and mob mentality. We just like to think of the people who fall under that kind of influence as being mindless sheep because if we admit that they're reasonable intelligent people like us then we'd also have to admit to the fact that we're vulnerable to that kind of influence as well. So if bigotry, sexism, and racism is to be explored in this game, I don't want a bunch of mustache twirling villains who are racist just so you'd have another motivation to kill them. I want those characters to have depth and nuance. I would like an exploration into how those people developed those beliefs. I would like the game to challenge the player and make us consider that just maybe, we might do the same thing as those characters in similar circumstances.
  3. Once again, the undead have been unfairly disparaged. I had thought that Obsidian would be above exploiting these long held prejudices against unlife.
  4. First order of business as Lord, the arcane practice of slavery shall be banned, and all former slaves shall be granted the title of "intern."
  5. Iron Man 3 was really fun but also really dumb.
  6. Might and Magic 7 was great. The Might and Magic series is one of the oldest cRPG franchises. It has very extensive lore and knows when to make fun of itself.
  7. I like the idea of druids gaining their power by forming symbiotic bonds with the land, nature, or life in general. The longer the druid bonds with a certain place, the stronger the bond becomes, the greater the druid's knowledge of the place, the more powerful the druid becomes, and the more the druid can draw upon the land or manipulate it. In terms of game mechanics, it's basically a trade off between versatility and power. If a druid bonds with only one place, they can draw more and more upon the powers that are unique to that place. For example, they may be able to shapeshift into more powerful versions of the native animals or have greater control over the kinds of natural phenomenons that are more common to that place. So if a druid bonds with an area with a volcano, they can have greater power over fire and magma, if they bond with a snowy mountain, they can gain greater power over ice and wind. If a druid bonds with many places, they can draw from a wide variety of powers but they'll only have access to the lesser forms of those powers.
  8. But no one said that it wasn't viable. For all we know, there could be an option for a character to lower their guard so that they'd take more damage or there could be abilities/items that can inflict self damage.
  9. There were plenty of popes who weren't very religious. Also, dragons aren't real. There's already plenty of variations. It just happens that the intelligent dragons tend to follow the same old cliches.
  10. I'm more concerned with how they're written. The whole "wise and powerful but also petulant and emotional" personality that so many dragons in fiction have is getting pretty annoying.
  11. Might and Magic (as well as Heroes of Might and Magic): - The potential to become very powerful and wield city destroying spells. - Breaking old fantasy cliches in unexpected ways. - Characters that change and evolve, often times by themselves without influence from the player. - Has a sense of whimsy and knows when to make fun of itself.
  12. If you're doing a quest for someone who doesn't trust you fully, like you've worked with a faction that they oppose, then that person should try to monitor your progress, maybe even send spies to watch you, to make sure that you don't betray them.
  13. The Geneforge series from Spiderweb Software is good. It has a cool setting and deals with some interesting moral dilemmas. It also deals with how ideologies and history can be twisted over time.
  14. I think a lot of times what we consider to be "evil" arises when our conceptions of fairness or rights either cannot resolve a conflict or actually creates a conflict. For example, let's say that my ancestors did something horrible to your ancestors, maybe they poisoned your farm and the land will be barren for centuries, so your family is still suffering from the effects of that crime even today and they will continue to suffer for generations to come. Well, you have every right to hate me and my family for what my ancestors did to you. However, I personally didn't do anything to your family so it's not fair for me to have to pay for the crimes of my ancestors. We believe that no child should be punished for the crimes of their parents. So you have a conflict that cannot be resolved by our sense of fairness or perhaps even justice. In order to solve the problem, there has to be unfairness. Either you have to give up your hatred of my family despite the fact that you're still suffering because of my family or I have to do something to compensate for crimes that I had nothing to do with. It's an injustice that can only be resolved by another kind of injustice. Since most people are not willing to make that kind of sacrifice (and it's perfectly reasonable to argue that they shouldn't have to make that sacrifice), you end up with generational feuds, civil unrest among people who still suffer from past oppression, and wars of retaliation between nations.
  15. It is just easy to portray the most extremes of a certain position. It's like how all the anti-mutant villains in X-Men are genocidal maniacs bent on the complete obliteration of all mutants. Plus it doesn't help that mages in Dragon Age are kind of based off of psykers from Warhammer 40K, which is just meant to be completely over the top. As for "evil" in terms of wars and large scale conflicts, so much of the world's conflicts are a result of either a clinging to (possibly over-exaggerated) history or an ignorance or willful denial of history. Take China and Japan for example. The root of most of their conflicts today is the unresolved tension over WWII. Japan ignores most of the atrocities their country committed during WWII, their children barely learn anything about it and there are a lot of people who deny those atrocities ever happened. China on the other hand, exaggerates the atrocities, making the Japanese out to be like super villains, and uses the emotionally charged subject to inspire nationalistic pride and hatred against the Japanese. Most Japanese people see China's actions as unwarranted acts of aggression while most Chinese people believe that China is well within its rights to seek reparation for the atrocities committed against them during WWII. If they go to war, which (hopefully) is pretty unlikely, then who can you really blame? Neither side is in the right and they both deserve a share of the blame. Sure, maybe you can make an argument about which side is more at fault but that's all pointless in the end if you have a war that could kill millions, which then can lead to even more bad blood, more hatred, and more wars in the future. If you're looking for "evil" within a society, you have to look at more ambiguous issues like neglect, apathy, and unintended consequences. For example, people who do nothing while someone is being harassed/bullied/attacked are not bad people. They're not directly contributing to the problem and no one should be obligated to help others. Yet, a society in which people don't help others who are in trouble can lead to many undesired consequences such as the victims feeling helpless and not bothering to report incidents of harassment/bullying/crimes and perpetrators of such acts to behaving more brazenly. So there is the thorny question of how you can instill empathy and compassion in a society. On one hand, people don't want the government to intervene too much, just in the punishment of people who commit such acts, because of the risks inherent in state sponsored social engineering. Yet, what happens when private charity/organizations and community based efforts to build a more compassionate society isn't enough or fails? You can easily end up with two groups of well intentioned people coming into conflict with each other, getting bogged down in gridlock, and pointlessly demonizing and attacking each other's ideas/positions.
  16. And what does any of that have to do with women who pretend to be victims of rape? And who says no one is looking at the real problem? The person who brought up the issue of people trying to turn lesbians straight by raping them used it as an example of people doing bad things while thinking they're doing good. No one said that it wasn't a result of culture or religion. In fact, the OP specifically stated that religion was a motivation. Regardless, the point wasn't an exploration into why people may think doing something bad is good, just that people do it. It seems like you're just making a pointless non sequitur, arguing a point no one brought up.
  17. When your party becomes famous or infamous, I want people to start naming things after your characters, streets, schools, villages, etc. It would be fun to go to an inn and see a beer named after your PC. Or if you're playing a really evil character, people could refer to cleaning the vomit off the floor as "mopping up the 'PC name.'"
  18. What exactly does any of that have to do with people who think that they can turn lesbians straight by raping them?
  19. I emphatically disagree. I think it's vastly more important that the game provides a range of narrative and emotional possibilities than it is that each option in the game appeals to all players. If a player cannot enjoy playing a truly evil character (even when they already get such things as the best loot in most games), then that player should simply stick to "good" characters. If you're really so desperate to replay the game a million times, then you can just suck it up that you might have to play a character outside of what you're comfortable with. The point of evil characters has never been for the player to feel warm and fuzzy, and it defeats the purpose to try to shove that square peg into the round hole. "Evil lite"... so you guys are really asking for diluted narrative? Moreover, the game shouldn't be tailored to players who are poor at fulfilling their character's role. Not to mention the fact that you're never stuck picking every evil option just because you choose one. While relating to characters is important, if you can't relate to an evil character then it's not for you. It's just a game anyway. This is really just a completely silly issue. The simple fact of the matter is that the only thing that could make playing "evil" characters more fun that hasn't already been done is making them less evil, in which case you're not playing an evil character. The idea of tailoring elements of gameplay to the players who don't like those very elements seems highly irrational to me. I don't like classic wizards/sorcerers personally, and if the developers spent their time trying to make those classes appeal to me, they'd probably no longer appeal to the people who like them in their current form, and in all likelihood they still wouldn't appeal to me. Who says that the point of an evil character is to make the player feel warm and fuzzy? The goal should be to create consistency between the player and the player character. Most people would obviously not feel good about doing bad things but if they're playing a character who is supposed to be a sociopath or enjoys doing bad things, then there should be feedback on that. The player should get a better sense of how the character feels. Losing yourself in the character you are playing is part of what makes a game immersive.
  20. People feeling bad about playing an evil character is the developer's problem since it discourages player from playing the game that way. Developers don't just create different ways to play a game for its own sake, they do it in the hopes that players will actually try to play the game differently and to increase the game's replay value. Therefore, the developer will try to make stealth more fun for players who may not like stealth or make melee combat more fun for players who may not like melee combat, etc. Similarly, if they're going to add evil paths for players then they should create features to make it more fun to play evil characters. There's also the fact that the developer wants to create consistency between the player and the player character. There are plenty of people who aren't good at fully role playing a certain character. It's hard for them to imagine themselves as another person and make choices that the other person would make but they wouldn't personally make. So there should be features that lets those kinds of players get into a different frame of mind.
  21. I think the key to making a good evil path is to have lots of good feedback. Most people are intrinsically rewarded for doing good things, even in a game. Most people just get a good feeling when they complete a quest where they rescue a child from bandits or help a village cure a plague. Most people probably don't feel good when they complete an "evil" quest where they sell a bunch of people into slavery or destroy an ancient library that contains the collective knowledge of an entire civilization. So there has to be extra feedback to make you feel good about doing those bad things and encourage you to do more evil quests. Dungeon Keeper does this very well. You have this awesome voice who condescends smugly towards the "heroes," congratulates you on your cruelty, and inspires you to achieve even greater acts of depravity.
  22. I think information about diseases should be limited. They don't have medical science so misdiagnosis of diseases should be common and people may not always know the causes of diseases.
  23. Eternal Lords and the Twilight Sentinels The Eternal Lords are an ancient cabal of powerful necromancers and undead who established the laws of necromancy and the Twilight Sentinels are a combined intelligence, police, and military force created to enforce those laws. The Eternal Lords have witnessed the rise and fall of countless necromancers. They have seen every nation united against the necromantic orders and they have seen the undead sweep across the world and nearly snuff out all life. Neither scenario appeals to them. They do not wish the vast knowledge and wisdom of the necromantic orders to be lost nor do they wish to see the world become a barren inert wasteland without progress or growth. They want the necromantic orders to thrive along with the rest of the world. Despite their goals, they do not serve some vague notion of balance. Their concerns are practical and sometimes utilitarian. They are fully aware of how the powers of necromancy can fuel one's ambition and how a necromancer's isolation from the living world can drive them towards callousness and insanity. They also know of the fear and hatred that many harbor against necromancers and the undead, and how it can lead to persecution of those who practice the craft. They see the danger on both extremes and wish to avoid them. The Eternal Lords believe that in order to prevent conflict between necromancers and the rest of the world, they must ensure that necromancy is integrated into society and becomes a useful if not integral part of people's lives. To this end, they have established a set of laws and codes of conduct for necromancers to follow and the Twilight Sentinels were created to enforce these laws. The laws stimulate that necromancers can only operate in regions where they are allowed by the local government. There are precise restrictions on who necromancers are allowed to raise. They can raise those who agree to become undead and contracts must be drawn. They may only raise the unwilling when the person is a condemned criminal or brigand, and occasionally they are allowed to raise enemy soldiers who die in wars. They may (and are encouraged to) lend their undead minions to perform duties for the public good such as working in areas hazardous for the living, carrying out dangerous jobs, and protecting people from bandits and wild animals. They must also avoid necromancers who violate these laws. The Twilight Sentinels work mainly to enforce the laws of necromancy and hunt down violators but they do not force anyone to serve the Eternal Lords nor do they require necromancers to be initiated by them. They will also try to compensate people for damage done by rogue necromancers and undead. Over time, the Eternal Lords have expanded the operations of the Twilight Sentinels in an effort to increase people's acceptance of necromancy by having them help the local populous with other problems or working as mercenaries to protect them from outlaws or other dangers. The Twilight Sentinels have bastions in many of the cities and towns that accepts their presence, as well as locations near where necromancers are known to operate. They recruit people of almost all professions, even artists and bards, and any law abiding person can work for them. One does not need to join them in order to work for them as they offer independent contracts. However, joining them has many benefits and opens many additional opportunities. In order to join, one must prove their worthiness to the organization and sign a contract pledging to serve them when called, follow their code, and to never reveal their secrets to outsiders. Termination of the contract is possible but may carry a price based on someone's position within the organization and violations carry heavy punishments. Being a part of the organization means access to their bases, stores, teachers, as well as better paying but more dangerous missions. However, the true benefit of membership is access to necromantic orders and undead societies that are friendly to the Twilight Sentinels. Many of these societies have masters of many different crafts such as artists, smiths, mages, and warriors, all of whom possess unrivaled knowledge and skill earned over many centuries, and some of whom are willing to sell their knowledge or services. Although they possess great power and influence, Eternal Lords are by no means the absolute authority on necromancy and there are many places beyond the reach of the Twilight Sentinels so the enforcement of their laws is not always guaranteed. While some necromancers follow the laws for fear of punishment, many do it willingly because the increased acceptance of their craft has diminished public fear and hatred against them and has allowed them to operate more openly without fear of persecution.
  24. Mind Streamers A society of Ciphers who believe that the true form of the universe is veiled from physical senses so they perceive the world solely through their minds. They sail through the waves of thought emanated by all sentient beings, reach into the darkest depths of the mindscape, pierce hidden realities, and trace upon strands of fate connecting all souls. Prospective members must undergo an extensive training process in which they endure prolonged periods of isolation and sensory deprivation. If they pass the trials and are initiated into the society, they are allowed to return to the outside world but they must have their entire body wrapped up in special cloth to prevent them from using their physical senses. They must rely almost entirely on their psychic powers to perceive and interact with the world. Any exposure or accidental use of their physical senses can greatly hinder the development of their psionic capabilities. If an initiate is able to completely avoid using their physical senses for a year, they are elevated to the level of adept. Over time, the adept's psychic powers increase dramatically but their physical senses and abilities begin to atrophy. Typically, their psychic powers increases relative to the loss of their physical senses and capabilities. When an adept permanently loses all five physical senses, hearing, sight, smell, taste, and touch, they are elevated to the level of master. It is believed that the most powerful and experienced Mind Streamers are able to achieve psionic apotheosis by completely freeing themselves of their physical forms. Some initiates also choose a more harrowing path that allows for faster ascension of their psychic prowess. Instead of waiting for their physical senses to atrophy, they elect to remove or destroy their sensory organs, most often one by one but sometimes eliminating all senses at once. Such an abrupt and permanent change to their perceptive faculties allows their psionic powers to grow unrestricted. Thus they are able to fulfill their potential much faster than other initiates and can often reach even greater mastery of their mental skills. However, some cannot handle the sudden change and suffer mental breakdowns. The psionic capabilities of Mind Streamers are significantly more impressive than that of normal Ciphers. They are able to focus their telepathic abilities to perceive light, sound, smells, and objects that are far beyond the limitations of physical senses. Their ability to reach into the minds of others is unparalleled and they can pierce into the depth of one's soul with but a thought. Although they have allowed their bodies to deteriorate, they can use their telekinetic powers to augment their physical capabilities so that they can react as fast as they can think or increase their strength through will power. Some Streamers are even believed to possess true precognitive abilities. Despite their great psionic prowess, they also have many weaknesses. Their powers require a great deal of concentration and they cannot focus on one ability or sense without sacrificing others. Their more powerful abilities are very draining and can only be maintained for short periods of time. They are also completely helpless if their psychic abilities are somehow blocked or disabled. Mind Streamers congregate in confluxes of unusual energy, where other worlds and planes of existence permeate through the membranes of this reality. Their bastions are shrouded in illusions with architecture unbound by the laws of nature. Though they value their privacy, they do not actively try to hide their existence. Some Mind Streamers also offer their services to others, often as detectives and investigators. They can find for others objects that have been hidden, lost, or forgotten, whether it be ancient artifacts, arcane lore, or things more esoteric and ephemeral such as fleeting dreams, idle thoughts, or even lost souls.
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