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Everything posted by Micamo

  1. I don't see how it's contradictory unless you're making the "there's nothing worse than death" argument, with which I respectfully disagree. It's not a murder, but it is a representation of a murder. Representations have emotional power, and it's just as valid to be upset by representations of horrible things as it is to be pleased by representations of positive things. "You shouldn't be upset because it's just a game" is like saying "You shouldn't giggle at these kittens because they're just a youtube video." Maybe so, but there's such a thing as something coming off so obscene and gross that it takes you out of the experience no matter how much it fits thematically. Everyone's line is different, and these lines apply in games just as much as they do in film. In a topic where the subject is personal lines of obscenity, I don't think saying "I, personally, would not be able to enjoy the game if it has child-murdering in it" is invalid.
  2. I just wanted to say, I think that these things are labeled as "mature content" is, in itself, a problem. As part of a character backstory? Throwing it around as a cheap way to make angst makes me uncomfortable, but as long as the victims are properly respected, sure. Something the player character witnesses on screen, or even participates in? Heeeeeeeell no.
  3. Well, one thing about mechanics in an RPG is that mechanics inform the fiction in the mind of the player: One of the reasons I'm fiction-first is that if you design your mechanics haphazardly it's easy to make mechanics that inform the fiction in ways you never intended, or even in ways completely counter to what you intended. Like, there's a difference between "Half-orcs are inherently bigger and dumber than humans" and "Half-orcs are usually outcasts who have to make their own way in the world in the lowest fringes of society, and thus tend to value immediately practical skills over abstract ones." They're both part of what we mean when we say "half-orc" but I'd argue that the latter is the fiction proper, the interesting part that I care about, and the former is just baggage brought on by sloppy mechanic design. The problem with using "+2 STR, -2 INT, -2 CHA" to represent this fiction is that the interesting differences between half-orcs and humans arise from their position in society, not anything inherent: If you make a character in a different social position from the average half-orc then the justification for these attribute bonuses/penalties fly out the window and become nonsensical.
  4. For percentage-based damage increases, an easy (but probabilistic) method: For each point of damage to inflict, roll d100. For each d100 which is less than or equal to the percentage increase, add 1 damage. For percentage-based damage reduction, roll d100 for each point: Each d100 over the reduction value adds 1, each value under does nothing. So, as an example, rolling 5 damage at a +37% bonus against an opponent with 52% damage reduction does 3.562 damage per hit, on average. You could easily change all percentages to be 5% increments and do it with d20's.
  5. Not if you consider the ability usage as something the player does, not the character: A character can't pull off a "called shot" all the time. Well, you can *attempt* it as much as you want, but you won't always succeed. It's hard enough that you can only succeed at doing it, on average, maybe once per fight. The ability usage isn't the character saying "okay, now I'm going to use my one called shot power for this fight", it's the player saying "Okay, I choose now as the point where my character succeeds." The mechanic isn't a simulation of the character's capabilities but it's not supposed to be one: The mechanic is an interface for how the player controls what the character can do.
  6. It basically boils down to "Game I didn't like did X, and game I did like didn't do X, therefore X is universally a bad thing and it should never be in any game ever." To show just how silly this is: "World of Warcraft lets you play as a woman, and Planescape: Torment doesn't. Therefore, RPGs should only allow male protagonists, no exceptions." (Personally, I loved Tome of Battle.)
  7. Not necessarily: Simple != Shallow, and Complicated != Deep. The best game mechanics are most often the simplest. The advantage CRPGs offer over PnP isn't fast computation.
  8. Personally, if you want to make me attracted to an NPC (male or female) you need to make sure their actions are, at every point, natural: If I ever detect pandering I stop viewing them as a person and start viewing them as a lifeless puppet with the GM's hand up their ass, if only for a brief moment. Alistair (and also Garrus) worked partially because they never broke character to act "sexy", never wore ridiculous outfits to show off their skin, and the camera never suspiciously panned downward to put their ass in full view for no reason. All the mass effect females pandered and thus all of them lost my respect. By the way, my favorite ME companions are Garrus, Mordin, and Legion.
  9. A party that (ab)uses powerful summons *is* a min-maxed, powergamed party. A party that doesn't use summons is a suboptimal party. If we're assuming roughly equal skill levels between players across the table (because the more skilled players are helping the less-skilled ones, or are underoptimizing on purpose so as to be a good sport), a party that can't build a decent fighter probably won't be able to shore up their weaknesses with effective uses of summons either.
  10. I don't think the world reacting differently to different races that are mechanically identical is weird at all: The races look different, which is more than enough to get reactions out of folks in the real world. And I'm not saying that races should have no physiological differences, just that in most cases I honestly don't think they're big enough to justify even a +/-1 bonus to a roll, like a -2 CON penalty or a +2 Craft (Weaponsmithing) bonus. I'm very much a proponent of the "fluff-first" school of roleplaying: Make the fiction first, then design a ruleset that reasonably and faithfully matches that fiction. If the fiction justifies a mechanical difference then I'm all for it, but the difference between elves, dwarves, humans, gnomes, half-orcs, half-elves, and halflings in the fiction (in most settings anyway) just isn't big enough to justify such a differences.
  11. We have a 3rd level Haste-ish spell. It will not be as gnarly as it is in 3E/3.5. Nice: As a quick question, how fast do spell levels advance? Every odd number like in D&D, or some other progression? Not quite: A cleric buffs themselves the first couple of rounds of combat before starting to attack (type 3). The main problem with this strategy is that buffs have diminishing returns because every round you spend buffing is a round you aren't attacking: Spend too much time and the rest of the party will have beaten the encounter without you (potentially at great expense) and the spells will go to waste. This is why smart players use DMM to stack on a bunch of all-day buffs and avoid the problem completely. What he's talking about is type 1 gishing, putting a frigid touch onto your sword attack or casting True Strike and then firing your bow on the same round.
  12. I'm of the opinion that race actually counts for *too* much in D&D: Unless you're doing something like playing as a succubus or a dragon the differences between races are just too small to bother representing mechanically. I'd be just fine with race in Eternity not affecting stats and only affecting dialogue and story.
  13. I think the most important factor in whether I like a companion or not is if the interactions with the companion bring strong emotions. Exactly which emotion can be quite varied; Here are some of my favorite companions and why I liked them: Dak'kon - Talking about Torment companions is hard because there's so much to like about all of them, but my favorite part about Dak'kon was listening to him talk about Githzerai society in Limbo and the tale of Zerthimon. If I ever met him in real life I could sit and ask him questions for hours. Ignus - Once again, difficult to summarize, but my favorite part about Ignus's design is that I felt, well, responsible for what he became. What I wanted more than anything was some way to help him, and that's something difficult to achieve. Varric - His lines are (usually) actually laugh-out loud funny, and his snarks never really feel out of place or against the tone the scene is trying to set. I dragged him around everywhere because I just liked hearing what he had to say about stuff. Alistair - Not ashamed to admit, I thought Alistair was adorable: I just wanted to hug 'em. He's like a kitten who can talk. He's basically what they were trying to do with Imoen and Dawn Star except, you know, actually successful.
  14. Well, part of the problem in NWN/2 is that combat almost always takes place in great big open spaces where there's plenty of room to just maneuver around a spell: Battlefield control spells work best when there are chokepoints you can block off. This means you'll only ever hit an enemy with a Stinking Cloud if you cast it directly on top of them, which is effective but boring.
  15. I don't see why not, Haste will more than likely be a wizard spell. Unless a spell list was released while I wasn't looking, there's no guarantee haste will even be in the game, let alone that it'll be the encounter-shattering uberbuff it was in D&D 3E. AFAIK we don't know how good wizard buffing is intended to be, or how nice it'll play with gishing.
  16. Gishes are extremely popular as a character concept, so it'd be pretty criminal if Obsidian ignored it. That said, my advice is that Obsidian consider all four types of gishes: First, the gish who merges their weapon and their spells to perform both roles at the same time, with the same actions (e.g. Spellstrike and Spell Combat). Second, the gish who casts spells at the start of combat to soften the enemy up, then takes out their weapon to finish them off. Third, the gish who uses their spellcasting as a way to improve and augment their primary function as a melee character (focusing on self buffing). Fourth, the gish who uses their weapon and armor training to improve their ability to control the battlefield and debilitate enemies for allies to deal with (e.g. focusing on close-quarter lockdown with reach weapons). IIRC the current design is that the Priest has the third type covered, though it'd be nice if an Arcane version were available as well.
  17. ME2's combat system had plenty of challenges. Most of those challenges consisted of resisting the sometimes overwhelming temptation to blow your brains out with a shotgun, but they were challenges nonetheless.
  18. In D&D it's always been in the rules that a spellcaster can invent their own spells: Most DMs just don't allow this for the same reasons you aren't allowed to make up your own races, classes, or feats.
  19. Well, imagine this: An entire city filled with a secret, magical mind-control field that lets any of the city's authorities hit any of the denizens with a Mind Rape effect, as the spell, no save. The effect continues after you leave the city's boundaries.
  20. Actually, if anything high magic settings have much more potential for grimdark than low magic ones, if we assume the distribution of magical power is symmetric: That is, "low magic" means "no one has strong magic" and not "everyone has strong magic except the players." But I digress. Personally, I've gotten rather sick of save-the-world-from-the-BBEG plots in RPGs: I find myself invested much more when victory means "This child gets to keep her mother" and not "This means the universe keeps continuing exactly the same as before."
  21. I think it depends on the setting: What's appropriate for a really grim and gritty dark fantasy setting isn't appropriate for a really idealistic high fantasy setting, and vice-versa. Both types of setting can be interesting but they appeal in different ways.
  22. I think NWN2's "Recommended" button is the best solution to this: I was perfectly happy with it from a usability perspective (I just wish it made smarter choices sometimes). Do as much or as little micro-management as you desire! My preference was to carefully micro-manage my PC's build, and let the recommended button take care of the companions at level-up (unless it made a really, really stupid decisions like wasting feats on Weapon Focus and Toughness).
  23. I played a flash game called Westerado. You can, at any point in a dialogue tree, walk way, pull out your gun, **** it, and fire. You'll often get unique dialogue depending on when you do it, though admittedly they don't do as much with the mechanic as I think they could have (for example, pulling out your gun to try to threaten someone will almost always result in them immediately stopping the conversation and either running away or fighting back, which is realistic I guess but really lame and boring; a perfect example of where "verisimilitude" hurts rather than enhances the game). Still though, interrupting a questgiver by shooting them in the face never gets old. EDIT: ****ing a gun gets the censor? Really?
  24. D&D is filled with beginner's traps: Ways to build a character that look perfectly reasonable but actually aren't. This is a flaw with D&D, not a strength. Unless you're Monte Cook, anyway.
  25. I think the problem is that, for a lot of folks, "I want to roleplay a dumb brute fighter" means "I want a stat called 'intelligence' that's really low and a stat called 'strength' that's really high." I don't think these people quite understand what "roleplaying" actually means.
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