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  1. "Success" simply shouldn't be a concept relevant to choice. Choice is about character expression, not challenge. And there's no real justification for limiting roleplaying possibilities in a roleplaying game. Outcomes of choices should represent various concepts and work with the player to create an interesting story. To work with the player, as opposed to against him, you kind of have to acknowlege his interests and compromise with them for your wishes for the story. Not just writer fiat him into the mud. Choices don't lead to failure. They are arbitrated to fail. You can't say a conman respecting aspiring cons is against realism. An inability to find a way out is either trying ultra hard to create the corner case where it is difficult or not trying much at all to find an alternative. There is no inherent outcome to any rational scenario, there are ranges of possibilities to draw from. Sorry if I'm being a bit aggressive here. You're not being aggressive at all. I enjoy a good discussion In the example with the conman, the player still fails to outsmart him and my conclusion would be to let the player know that he failed. To suddenly make the conman sympathetic seems like a cop-out. The player fails to roleplay the scheming character he wants to, but instead of failure, the game holds his hand and moves him along, leaving roleplay and consequences in the dust. Maybe it's because i don't tend to abstract the choices and outcomes in my mind so that they fit my predefined character. I tend to take it at face value, and play my character from the choices that the game presents.
  2. Roleplaying isn't meant to be a challenge. I don't even know how to make sense of that concept. You can't say someone is roleplaying "wrong." Your idea of "sensible action" is just your personal roleplaying preference. "Detours and failure" work absolutely fine so long as they still contribute to the goals. They just do it indirectly. The conman respects you, you still failed, and he gives you another path. Or maybe he points you to another path that you can work through ("I've got a friend who can help you out"). He doesn't try to force you to roleplay a different character before he lets you through. It's like low-int dialogue. Low-intelligence dialogue isn't "sensible actions." It's stupid, it's silly. It is its own path, because it's not failure. Seems like we are in basic disagreement over how you should be able to roleplay your character. I want a world that does not conform to my actions, where i have to weigh the possibility of failure against possible gains. Yes, that might make it impossible to roleplay a ridiculously lucky guy who gets out of every situation on top, but if it means that the game will have true choices and *consequences*, it seems like a fair tradeoff to me. To make the game without failure you have to either 1) make any choice lead to success (or varying degrees thereof) or 2) remove choices that would lead to failure in any somewhat realistic scenario.
  3. Absolutely. Ideally, failure should not mean less story but a different story. why is that quote attributed to me? Fixed
  4. Neither is getting killed by the dragon at the bottom of the pit. If the combat mechanisms allow you to fail, why shouldn't the rp part? As i said in the op, failure shouldn't be a "Ha! F you!" moment, but rather a consequence of ill-thought-through actions. You can still reach your goals by sensible actions. Just don't think you can outsmart the master of thieves without consequences. Reaching your goals should require detours and failure, thus giving you an actual feeling of accomplishment when you succeed.
  5. Maybe it's a matter of playstyle, but i don't like the world to conform to me. I think it makes the world feel cheap and unreal. Failure should not be seen as an end, but as another path in the story, and i think it can enhance the story rather than limit it. If i play a dumb barbarian, i don't want my feeble attempt to con the conman to result in respect. I want him to drag my character through the mud and laugh at me. Otherwise it would feel contrived.
  6. Absolutely. Ideally, failure should not mean less story but a different story.
  7. How much should the game accommodate the ability to fail? Most games nowadays ignore failure, because it hinders the linearity and requires a lot of extra work, but if we want true choices and consequences in this game, you should fail if you do stupid things. Look at a game like Age of Decadence, where you get to fail on a regular basis if you get too confident in you abilities. It gives a great sense of insignificance, and creates a situation where some people (most people at low levels) are smarter and stronger than you. A living world where you can’t just waltz in and save the day, but where you have to make an informed decision based on your own abilities. If you get a quest from a notorious schemer, and you decide to double cross said individual, you should fail hard. This person is known and revered for his cunning, so why should you be able to double cross him? It would be great if the game slapped you down, and told you to come back later or punished you in some other way. The challenge is how to make failure a fun part of the world, and not just another reason to reload. It shouldn’t be a “Gotcha!” moment from the developers, but if you get sufficient hints and foreshadowing that you shouldn’t do something, there should be severe consequences for doing it. Don’t make us ignore obvious warning signs, safe in the knowledge that we can’t really fail at anything.
  8. It would be cool if the dungeon changed you and your party in a profound way, rather than just giving you loot and riches. Something like a special companion or a deeper understanding of the world in the form of a unique trait or spell or whatever. Conquering one of the toughest places in the world should also give you reverence among the people, just like someone climbing Mt. Everest gets in our world.
  9. I have this irrational dislike of uneven numbers, so i hope it stays at 12 og gets to 14
  10. Why is it so important to please this dude. If he doesn't feel the game is worth backing, then let him leave. Seriously, who cares?
  11. Even if the kickstarter reaches 4 million dollars, it will still be a fairly low-budget title, so unless the game is a huge commercial success, i don't see it impacting the gaming business in any substantial way.
  12. I don't get you, you say you dislike restrictive roles and go on to present an example of a restrictive situation. Where does it say that to have a well trained army you need to be a despot? The US army is pretty much at the top and AFIK we don't torture them or shoot them in the head for deserting. I try to present a situation that is neither good nor evil, but simply a problem that has to be solved. Why do you assume that it is evil to rule with an iron fist if it means that the country gets to defend itself better? I don't like putting things into boxes titled "good" and "evil". In the above example a good character might have to compromise his morality to do long-term good. Also, i don't see how the US army has any relevance to my example whatsoever, being part of the well-established armed forces of a huge economy vs. a perhaps small and backwater kingdom with no armed forces and faced with annihilation in 6 months.
  13. I think that the good vs. evil dichotomy is way too simple and restrictive for a game like this. I know that ”grey choices” gets thrown around as a buzzword a lot, but what if your option is between ruling your kingdom with and iron-fist, and having an army of highly-disciplined soldiers at the ready when the Ancient Evil arrives, or ruling as a fair and just king, but having to rely on untrained but free militiamen. What if you have to set an example and execute a deserter, or run the risk of others deserting and leaving you weakened in your fight against the murdering and pillaging invaders. Morality should not just be between good and evil, or selflessness vs. selfishness, but also about things like idealism and pragmatism. You should be able to play a well-meaning but pragmatic character, who will kill and deceive, but for ultimately noble goals, just like you should be able to play a character with a strong moral code that might get in the way of solving real problems It’s also kind of boring to play evil characters whose only motivation is to get money or power. What about idealistic people who want to shape the world into their liking. They might not care that they die in the process, so long as their vision is competed. They are not selfish in the sense that they want power for themselves, but they are still evil because their version of utopia is a horrible place.
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