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About Tethros

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  • Location
    Marrakesh, Morocco
  • Interests
    International Development
    Complex Systems


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  1. Huh, I wondered the same thing. I suppose I won't be taking that talent...
  2. This has gotten me thinking about principles of design. Hmm...

  3. Right, so in the Elder Scrolls games, you were always defined by your skills. A particular "class" of characters just had a preset level in X, Y, and Z skills, all of which could be reduced or increased for more customization. I think that this is a really powerful and flexible format, because it allows the designers to create a core set of viable classes for new players, but it also allows us to explore the nuances of character creation as gamers. Particularly, it allows you to design characters from the top down or the bottom up. Do you really like the idea of a diplomat character? Give them skills in languages/conversation, bartering, anything social (i.e. top-down). Do you want to deal as much damage as possible with a particular type of weapon? Make a barbarian fighter with all skills in axes, and magic for buffs (i.e. bottom-up).
  4. Here's the deal as far as I see it. Yes, you could create a big, bad dungeon, with the most deadly traps, and the most fiendish puzzles, and the toughest monsters, all leading up to some great artifact on the lowest level, with the power to rend the world asunder. But from a design standpoint, that doesn't really break much ground; it just builds on existing tropes in bigger and better ways. Not that you can't get creative with it, just that you can't create much of a new paradigm. So here would be my challenge to our legendary designers: create an ecosystem. How did the dungeon come to be? Where is the intersection between the designed or created parts of the dungeon and the natural parts? How are there things living so deep in the earth for so long? What do they feed on? Has a civilization of sentient creatures found a way to burgeon underground? What kind of evolutionary pathways did they follow? What kind of culture and society have they created to allow their continued existence in extreme conditions? Did they build an underground city that spans multiple levels? To what extent does the shape of the dungeon change over time due to geological forces or due to the creatures living their? If you're continuing to go deeper, will you find archaeological or biological mysteries? This megadungeon is an opportunity to break away from the tropes of a classical dungeon, where the design of the DM's divine hand is evident in each monster and each trap. In my mind, the ultimate dungeon would feel ORGANIC. Ok, I think that's all I have to say.
  5. Ok, let's clear up some misconceptions and take a look at what we're talking about in mechanical terms when we talk about monks. 1) Martial arts are fighting techniques used in any sort of mortal combat. Literally, martial arts means "arts of war". They are not limited to weaponless fighting styles, fighting that originated in Asia, or fighting styles with close-range weapons. So, is there any kind of proficiency system with weapons in the game? Or bonuses/penalties if you have a certain level of knowledge with a weapon? If so, then you de facto have martial arts in the game and every single character that gets into a scuffle uses them. 2) A more pertinent question seems to be: should unarmed fighters of some sort be able to fight against armed fighters? In the real world, the answer is almost always a resounding NO. Going up with your bare hands against someone with a knife (under the assumption that you'll only take 1d4 damage) will get you killed very quickly. Let alone multiple people with knives. So does that mean that there can't be unarmed fighters in P:E? Well, it depends on how much verisimilitude you're aiming for. 3) Monks channel spiritual powers to achieve certain magical or quasi-magical effects. If you allow point 2 to stand, then I see no reason not to allow point 3. It makes for a fun character to play in combat. 4) Outside of combat monks hold a particular position in society. They have dedicated their lives to the pursuit of some ideal or cause, and for this they command a level of respect in their community. I think ultimately, monks should be a subclass of priests. There's no reason why you can't have different monastic orders with different class features. Maybe one is an expert and weaponless combat, maybe another focuses on healing or somesuch. The level of focus that it takes to become a monk will make this subclass less versatile than the generic "priest", but will have a trade-off in excelling in a particular area. Overall, I see no reason why a "monk" wouldn't work in the world of P:E. Edit: And anyone who is having problems with the concept of Asian people in P:E should probably check their racism at the door. This doesn't take place in Europe. Let go of your preconceptions.
  6. I'm agreeing with the posts which are specifying mature as the in-depth exploration of adult topics, especially those which have relevance to current issues in human right and geopolitical considerations. That being said, your character should definitely be able to have sex, and hopefully in a more graphic manner than in games past. Heck, you should be able to invest skill points into it, if you so choose. It's a great motivator and game-changer in real life, so why not in this realistic fantasy world?
  7. I think this is a great idea, and would make for some really interesting gameplay. Yes, levels of language could definitely be implemented. Although it certainly could be frustrating to travel through an entire cityscape where you don't speak the same language as anyone else, it would make for a unique challenge, and maybe even open the door for some specific character builds (the word Laleomancer, came to mind, so I'll stick with that). And, of course, this difficulty could be mitigated by having their be a guild whose specialty would be to hire out translators for a given period of time. This, again would add another level of intrigue and challenge, as the internal politics of the language guild (League of Laleomancers?) could conflict with local politics, with the character's own interests, etc. Ok, I'm getting too wrapped up in this. But in short, yes, different languages would make for unique gameplay.
  8. Something that I would like to see, that I haven't seen yet, is a set of non-linear good and evil paradigms. This was partially accomplished in AD&D by adding a law-chaos axis to the good-evil graph. But there is still overwhelmingly this idea that bad is bad and good is good. Perhaps a more complex reality based more on current conceptions of evil in social science would be interesting. For instance, evil isn't accomplished by evil people, but by people who are obedient to authority. Or that evil itself doesn't really exist at all, what really matters are interests. To some degree, insofar as there must be conflict, there must be an "us" and a "them", but that doesn't necessitate the creation of a "good" and an "evil". What would be most interesting story-wise, would be to have all the various sides of the conflict be justifiable in some moderately reasonable light. And the evil in the world should be the aggregate cognitive error of many people doing small evils (like the evils of complacency, segmentation of responsibility, etc.), not the man in the top hat and the pointy mustache.
  9. Yeah, it's always possible to do the old D&D thing where guns (arquebuses?) exist, but are so unreliable and weak relative to conventional ranged weapons that you have little incentive to use them.
  10. I think that it's entirely possible to create a balanced AI system where this strategy works against some enemies and not against others. Highly social or hive minded creatures should react to you attacking one of their group, whereas solitary creatures might ignore it or even just run away. After all, as "cheap" as it seems, guerilla warfare is a legitimate tactic and, ever increasingly, the norm in real-world combat.
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