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On 8/6/2020 at 11:04 PM, ovelteen said:

I have never been happy with the way skill checks were done in F;NV. I hate not being able to influence an outcome just because my special score wasn't high enough for the challenge. from my perspective all or nothing requirements are not good. 

it is certainly odd to fail a check, without warning, just because you're at 74 speech instead of 75 speech. those kinds of situations are frustrating, because unlike an enemy (where in many RPGs you can quickly tooltip their level and basic stats), there's no real warning about how hard it is to convince someone of something.

i was thinking that there could be "near-misses" or "partial success" which deadfire occasionally does for scripted events and lockpicking (3 lockpicks isntead of 1). but this requires a lot of planning to be meaningful, but could be nice.

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7 minutes ago, thelee said:

it is certainly odd to fail a check, without warning, just because you're at 74 speech instead of 75 speech. those kinds of situations are frustrating, because unlike an enemy (where in many RPGs you can quickly tooltip their level and basic stats), there's no real warning about how hard it is to convince someone of something.

i was thinking that there could be "near-misses" or "partial success"

That wouldn't really solve anything though. It would just lower threshhold. If lets say a check is 75 speech, and player has 74, they might indeed get a "weaker version?" (a downside would be twice as much work for reactivity! which you don't want as a dev) and lets say it would go - till maybe 70? But then you have 69 and you are still one point away. The same problem remains.

Perhaps using smaller numbers would be better? Having 1-10 or 1-20 scale would be less irritating if one misses one point.

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12 minutes ago, Wormerine said:

That wouldn't really solve anything though. It would just lower threshhold. If lets say a check is 75 speech, and player has 74, they might indeed get a "weaker version?" (a downside would be twice as much work for reactivity! which you don't want as a dev) and lets say it would go - till maybe 70? But then you have 69 and you are still one point away. The same problem remains.

yeah, it doesn't solve the general problem, it is more of a "soft-landing" for when you don't meet the thresholds. in deadfire, sometimes a near-miss means you get the same outcome but with an injury, or missing out on some extra reward or something like that, or failing the check but you get one injury instead of two.

 

12 minutes ago, Wormerine said:

Perhaps using smaller numbers would be better? Having 1-10 or 1-20 scale would be less irritating if one misses one point.

yeah, intuitively in deadfire/poe/disco elysium misses seem less bad. in fallout/skyrim it can be *extremely* frustrating if you just leveled up and you miss a hard check by one point.

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I did some more thinking and I came to this conclusion:

The best alignment system is: NO ALIGNMENT AT ALL

In the video from Josh he should add one great example: The Witcher series. Lets look especially at part 3. The game is very reactive ( most quests have several solutions and some of them have great impact), there are several factions and tons of characters. While the game gives you tons of choices that also include morale or alignment stuff, the game does not judge your actions by calling them good, evil, lawful, chaotic and so on. You do something and the game shows you the results of your actions, in some cases many hours later (which I consider good to avoid save scumming).

I think this is one of the reasons why the witcher games are so immersive. The devs are not distracted by thinking in categories such as good and evil. They only think about what options would make sense for this char and how would other chars react to this. As opposite example, Josh spoke about how much work it was in PoE2 to do all this ( personal likes and dislikes like pro religion or anti huana, dispositions like cruel or benelovent, the reputation with the different factions). A game can keep track of some reputations internally when needed but it should not show this the player.

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48 minutes ago, Madscientist said:

I did some more thinking and I came to this conclusion:

The best alignment system is: NO ALIGNMENT AT ALL

(...)

As opposite example, Josh spoke about how much work it was in PoE2 to do all this ( personal likes and dislikes like pro religion or anti huana, dispositions like cruel or benelovent, the reputation with the different factions). A game can keep track of some reputations internally when needed but it should not show this the player.

Yes, I think it’s been understood a while ago that alignments are artificial and bad. Either choices are really dry to fit alignment requirements or they can be subjectively tagged as good or bad (like ME2 “what to do with age they” choice, which is rather grey and yet gam tries to assign clear paragon/renegade choices). PoE dispositions system runs sometime into the same issue.

as to not showing it... i don’t think that would be a good idea. 
the problem with doing game like Witcher3, is that all reactivity in Witcher3 is hand scripted - choice and consequence is set by designers. That’s great! But that is also a lot of work. Systems like alignments, reputations or Disco Elysium’s roll modifier systems attempt to add reactivity to players actions without having to manually craft each reactions - so rather then getting individual reactions for each things we do, they get counted and once we reach a threshold we get a reactivity. Our choices still matter, and we get reaction to them, but it’s much less work for devs to plan out and implement. Disco Elysium seems somewhere in the middle - calling back to individual actions, but giving them abstracted reactivity.

however, as reactivity is system driven, I think you want players to understand what is happening. Being called out by someone for being cruel, without being aware of our reputation status would feel off. Similarly, Disco Elysium system works precisely because we KNOW how previous choices affect our roll. Nothing is stopping the devs for implementing “surprise!” reactivity as well.

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3 hours ago, Wormerine said:

Yes, I think it’s been understood a while ago that alignments are artificial and bad. Either choices are really dry to fit alignment requirements or they can be subjectively tagged as good or bad (like ME2 “what to do with age they” choice, which is rather grey and yet gam tries to assign clear paragon/renegade choices). PoE dispositions system runs sometime into the same issue.

I agree with you on this one. In games with well written text and some kind of alignment there are often discussions where players complain why this choice is considered good, evil or whatever. If an option perfectly fits an alignment it is often bad or boring.

I have just finished the Mass Effect trilogy. The games are good and even most answers you can give are are good. But the classification as paragon/renegate felt strange sometimes. Also the fact that they show only key words as answer and not the whole text let to some situations where my answer was different than what I expected or it was not clear to me what selecting this answer would do.

So far TW3 was one of the best games ever ( especially in terms of reactivity/ choice & consequence ) and I hope they continue like this with cyberpunk. Well, it had one issue mentioned in the OP video: Using the hypnosis skill whenever possible was always a win button. I have played many RPGs so maxing out my "persuation" skill was the first thing I did for Gerald, only then I started to improve my combat skills.

I agree that the system of Disco Elysium is good for almost any game where you have a numerical skill value. But it is not an alignment system.

Let me explain what I mean: I think that an alignment is an EXTERNAL JUDGEMENT. The gods ( or the devs in case of a game ) declare that this action is good/bad/lawful/chaotic. This is a fact and the player has to accept it. In Disco Elysium everything about the char is internal. You play the game and you select answers. Lets say you say many times " I am the law." Then the game asks you if you really believe this and you have the option to accept this thought or not. Your character can think of himself whatever he wants, even if this is totally against any objective facts.

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6 hours ago, Madscientist said:

Let me explain what I mean: I think that an alignment is an EXTERNAL JUDGEMENT.

Yes, but I think it really comes to trying to simplify reactivity. There are external judgements because it is an easier thing to keep a track off, rather then doing custom content for all choices players can  make.

Bioware likes binary good/bad, light/dark force, open palm/closed fists, paragon renegate because those are easy to track - two systems to keep track on, with two main ways to play. That takes care of a big chunk of reactivity and then you add specific handcrafter reactivity to certain choices on top. Problem comes from trying to tie every decision into that binary system.

Obsidian uses that system a lot as well, though they tend to make it more nuanced: like counting pleasure/displeasure seperately allowing for mixed reputations, using multiple "reputations" rather good/bad metric, and tracking reputations within smaller communities then global good and bad. This detailed, but still somewhat global tracking allows for more precise tagging of players choices, though it still everyonce runs into "binary system's" issues ("Why is this shady?!") Quite a bit more of work, but still really effective and providing custom reactivity driven by abstracted systems.

Disco could have used binary system - good/bad cop points and the end depends on which one you have more of. What it ops for is a detailed reactivity, where individual line and actions are remember and responded to. There are some global counters (like unlocking thoughts if you choose certain lines enough times), but how characters perceive and react to you seems to be handcrafted. Adding modifiers to rolls is one way, but there is plently of handcrafted reactivity as well (for example at the end you get pretty thoroughly judged by your partner on your behavior - there is a lot of handcrafted scripting that no global alignment nor reputation system could match).

And Witcher is the same, except being made by bigger team, with bigger budget and real commitment to hand-crafted reactivity - therefore no need for global tracker - like alignment, reputation and such. It's worth adding that both Witcher and Disco are limited in what we can do - we can't attack people nor steal etc. That means - what interactions there are can get more attention. On the other hand imagine devs having to create customs scripted reactions in games with more freedom - therefore things like reputations, alignments, karma are made.

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Thank you.

First, thanks for reminding me of the end of Disco Elysium. The meeting with the other cops is more interesting than the usual ending slides. There are 3 people who evaluate your actions so you get different opinions on your actions and it is interactive, so you can tell why you did it or what you want to do next.

You said that your actions in DE or TW are limited, but in Mass Effect (and most other Bioware games, I guess) you cannot steal or kill NPC too. I never felt that was a big downside, at least it did not stop me from enjoying those games.

On the other hand I cannot understand the motto: "You can kill everyone and still finish the game." It makes no sense that everyone drops a letter with the information you need or you can talk with their ghost. If you mess up you deserve to fail. Josh talked about Fallout NV. He told the designers "You should expect that the player kills this char as soon as he can and this must not break the game." Well, I finished NV once. I only killed hostile creatures, except when a quest wants me to kill someone and I believed it would be OK for my char to do so. I never had the desire to kill villagers or quest givers. If you have the main quest to save the president and you kill the president then you fail the game, thats it.

The only problem is how to tell this the player. One way is not to tell it ( In realms of Arcadia 1 you have to find pieces of a map. Selecting the wrong answers sometimes prevents you from getting them. If you miss too many of them you cannot finish the game and you will travel the world map forever in search for them. This game is almost impossible to finish without guide). Onother way would be instant game over. The middle ground would be a message "You did something that prevents you from finishing the main story." ( In Morrowind there is a dungeon with an enemy and if you kill it you get this message. You even get it after finishing the main story and no quest ever send you to this dungeon. I have no idea what this means.)

So I would say there should be 2 options:

- What you can do is limited. You cannot do things that ruin the main story ( like killing NPC or getting attacked for stealing stuff). If you do something that would ruin the main story its game over. ( Nier Automata has many "fake endings" like getting killed in the intro, killing a major NPC, abandoning your mission or removing your OS)

- You can do whatever you want, but if you mess up too much you will fail. What exactly "mess up too much" means is dependent on the situation.

Is it fair that after playing a game for 50h you put yourself in a position where you cannot finish the game and loading the last save cannot fix it? NO, but it is realistic. The world is not fair. Play by the rules or suffer the consequences. In a "normal" RPG the game should explain those rules, so that players do not put themselves accidentally in a bad position. That is unless the game itself is about learning through trial and error or the game is about being an insane mass murderer.

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3 hours ago, Madscientist said:

You said that your actions in DE or TW are limited, but in Mass Effect (and most other Bioware games, I guess) you cannot steal or kill NPC too. I never felt that was a big downside, at least it did not stop me from enjoying those games.

On the other hand I cannot understand the motto: "You can kill everyone and still finish the game." It makes no sense that everyone drops a letter with the information you need or you can talk with their ghost. If you mess up you deserve to fail. Josh talked about Fallout NV. He told the designers "You should expect that the player kills this char as soon as he can and this must not break the game."

Yes, even though I enjoyed Mass Effect 1&2 a lot I would never call them good RPGs. I am also with you - I don't see the appeal of killing everyone - there are people who play that way, but IMO it's missing the part which RPGs do well, especially as combat generally isn't their strong suit. I do like the consistency of mechanics, though. I think there is a lot to be gained when tools player has work consistanty, rather then in scripted situations only (ability to fight triggers only in combat situations, you can converse with only select individuals etc.) That something D:OS2 does really well, though I do think that the way it allows every quest to continue (and pretty much gives the same info no matter if you talk, talk to a ghost or read a not) puts it in "you can do everything, but nothing matters" category. If only other hand how we play would open more individual paths to progress - that would be something. 

And I think roleplaying range the game allows will change from game to game - Witcher, Disco, Mass Effect do give you to some extend defined protagonist protagonist (Great video on sharing Commander Shepard from Mark Brown) and while Geralt is very defined, Shepard less so, and Disco the least (defined past but open future, ala. Planescape). Games with more freedom (lke Fallout, Pillars etc.) will benefit more from allowing players to craft their characters - and it doesn't mean just going full psycho. Being able to initiate combat yourself is a valuable way of interacting in an RPG world.  And if you CAN pickpocket/lockpick/kill everyone that opens a neat ability to create neat situations without having to be clearly communicated. I thought classic Tim Cains RPGs always did that well. It's a difference between game saying: "ok, so do you want to talk, attack them or sneak past them?" and you actively being able to look for opportunities to apply your build's strenghts in each situation. Also Gothic1&2. Those were really good as well. 

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7 hours ago, Madscientist said:

On the other hand I cannot understand the motto: "You can kill everyone and still finish the game." It makes no sense that everyone drops a letter with the information you need or you can talk with their ghost.

I think that's an example of the "you can kill everyone" ethos done not as well. In New Vegas, it meant you burnt a lot of bridges but still had a viable path to finish the game. In Deadfire, it frequently amounts to "oh I still get a key off their body and/or their spirit talks to me and the quest goes on largely as normal." I still appreciate the freedom of the latter, but it's nothing like the former where there were real consequences to your actions but you could still beat the game.

 

4 hours ago, Wormerine said:

I am also with you - I don't see the appeal of killing everyone - there are people who play that way, but IMO it's missing the part which RPGs do well,

On the contrary, I think this is the place where crpgs have historically excelled. It's less about playing a psychopath, it's more about a game that is committed to the player as a Role Player that it will go to extreme lengths to accommodate the player's actions. The ultimate test of that is "can a player kill X NPC and still finish the game in some way?" 

I still remember the first time I accidentally killed a kid in Fallout 2 (burst weapons and such). In a modern game--ignoring the ethics of depicting violence on children (and, in some countries, legality)--what would likely have happened instead is that the kid is immortal or "essential" so will just stand up again after a few seconds, or everyone within like a 500 mile radius becomes irrevocably mad at you and fail a bunch of quests and the game basically breaks and you have to reload. In Fallout 2, while the town got pissed at me, I was still able to flee (no "you cannot leave/fast travel during combat" message), and the effects were:

  • instant vilification reputation with the town
  • massive negative hit to karma
  • you get a special "perk" called "child killer"
  • for the rest of the game you are hunted by serious bounty hunters who are out to avenge the town/kid

As someone who had mostly played highly linear JRPGs up until that point, the mere fact that I could do that, and the game could still continue on, with plenty of in-game consequences was an astounding level of reactivity. It is unfortunately probably the high water mark of reactivity that I've seen in a game ever since.

 

I'm not saying that I want a game where you can kill a kid (i think it's a little perturbing how some grognards fixate on literally this as a feature in particular), but I do appreciate an RPG that goes out of its way to try to accommodate player mayhem, especially if it's unintentional. For all the flak Bethesda gets these days, I remember watching my wife play FO4. The first time she phased into the institute and saw "Sean" and Father, she half-seriously yelled IRL "give me back my son!" and immediately whacked Father to death without letting Father talk (and without knowing that Father is in fact, your real son). I couldn't help but laugh out loud at that, but more impressive was FO4 adapted to that as a real option, and I got to watch my wife fleeing a very angry Institute and continuing on with the Railroad.

 

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1 hour ago, thelee said:

I still remember the first time I accidentally killed a kid in Fallout 2 (burst weapons and such).

 

5 hours ago, Wormerine said:

Games with more freedom (lke Fallout, Pillars etc.) will benefit more from allowing players to craft their characters - and it doesn't mean just going full psycho. Being able to initiate combat yourself is a valuable way of interacting in an RPG world.  And if you CAN pickpocket/lockpick/kill everyone that opens a neat ability to create neat situations without having to be clearly communicated. I thought classic Tim Cains RPGs always did that well.

Though you touch on an interesting part of open-ended RPG design, which I often fail to take an advantage off - unintended, negative consequences. I don’t think I would ever allow such “failure” to become part of my playthrough. 

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11 minutes ago, Wormerine said:

I don’t think I would ever allow such “failure” to become part of my playthrough. 

obviously everyone has their limits, and that limit is going to vary. even if the reactivity is very thorough, it could be so extreme that it's not worth keeping - a typical fallout 2 playthrough i would just instant reload if a random NPC or child wandered into my burst range; for whatever reason i was just game for whatever consequences happened (same with my wife and whacking father). on the other hand, if there are too many guardrails, then RPGs lose something special that makes RPGs RPGs.

veering slightly off topic, i think this is a perennial problem with theft. in earlier RPGs, the reactive consequences of being caught were so severe that there was effectively no consequence - you just save-scummed or didn't bother. in modern RPGs, theft is such a minor problem (tiny reputation hits, bribery of guards) that it similarly has effectively no reactivity and no consequence - it doesn't matter that you get caught. on that note, i think probably oblivion-ish and earlier elder scrolls handled it the best with a jail sentence and some stat punishments, but nothing terribly severe or terribly trivial. but even then, it's kind of eh... i would love someone to "solve" theft/pickpocketing as a mechanic.

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49 minutes ago, thelee said:

in modern RPGs, theft is such a minor problem (tiny reputation hits, bribery of guards) that it similarly has effectively no reactivity and no consequence - it doesn't matter that you get caught. on that note, i think probably oblivion-ish and earlier elder scrolls handled it the best with a jail sentence and some stat punishments, but nothing terribly severe or terribly trivial. but even then, it's kind of eh... i would love someone to "solve" theft/pickpocketing as a mechanic.

Yeah, this is very much like stealth problem - how do you make being caught not an instant failure and yet make being caught relevant.

Didn't Gothic1&2 kinda solve it? If they caught you they would beat a crap out of you and take your money as a lesson. Or you were leveled up enough to beat a crap out of them. Not enough RPGs allow for non-lethal combat.

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27 minutes ago, Wormerine said:

Didn't Gothic1&2 kinda solve it? If they caught you they would beat a crap out of you and take your money as a lesson. Or you were leveled up enough to beat a crap out of them. Not enough RPGs allow for non-lethal combat.

not familiar with gothic; ideally it would be a solution that's not save scummable. because even with oblivion/morrowind (and daggerfall?) you could just not bother with the consequences by save/reloading. again, we're circling back to something that speaks to thresholds "uncontested" rolls. either you succeed or don't, maybe with some near-miss. there could be some abstraction/minigame layer in between to make it more immersive or involved for the player.

i could probably spitball some mechanics or stealing minigames that i think would work better, but eh i don't think avowed's dev team is going to be reading this thread for an idea from some rando :)

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16 hours ago, thelee said:

I still remember the first time I accidentally killed a kid in Fallout 2 (burst weapons and such). In a modern game--ignoring the ethics of depicting violence on children (and, in some countries, legality)--what would likely have happened instead is that the kid is immortal or "essential" so will just stand up again after a few seconds, or everyone within like a 500 mile radius becomes irrevocably mad at you and fail a bunch of quests and the game basically breaks and you have to reload. In Fallout 2, while the town got pissed at me, I was still able to flee (no "you cannot leave/fast travel during combat" message), and the effects were:

  • instant vilification reputation with the town
  • massive negative hit to karma
  • you get a special "perk" called "child killer"
  • for the rest of the game you are hunted by serious bounty hunters who are out to avenge the town/kid

As someone who had mostly played highly linear JRPGs up until that point, the mere fact that I could do that, and the game could still continue on, with plenty of in-game consequences was an astounding level of reactivity. It is unfortunately probably the high water mark of reactivity that I've seen in a game ever since.

This is a very good example of how it should be done. I did not Play Fallout4 so I cannot comment on that.

I agree with you that the choice to attack another person is importent. Now I understand a little bit better why people want to have it. Personaly I have never attacked other people unless they were hostile or there was a quest to kill them. If I accidentally kill an innocent person I would reload the game. But yes, there are people who play in a diferent way.

side note: I would consider myself lawful neutral. I like order and I dislike people who ignore rules. In games I use to be lawful good because good often means you put yourself into danger for others. In real life I try to avoid risks as good as possible, but in games there is a reload button. I am so lawful that I cannot play a chaotic char. When I see chaotic options in a game I think "This is nuts. Why would anyone ever consider doing such a thing?"

I can imagine to play an evil char. Here is someone I like to play in BG3 (taken from the Larian forums)

Spoiler

Name: Edwin von Unterwald
Race: human
sex: male
class: Hexblade warlock, pact of the blade
alignment: lawful evil
background: noble

Story: Edwin is the son of baron Helmut von Unterwald, who rules over a remote region in the middle of nowhere where you can find nothing but endless dark forests and a few villages. At the age of 16 Edwin was send away to become a knight as it was tradition in his family. He was more than happy to leave this boring place. He went to a temple of Tyr to become a paladin. He had talent, trained harder than most others and had no problem with the lawful part, but he had problems with the good part. He started fights with others, he critisized the trainers for not being strict enough, he insisted on punishing another student for not greeting the instructor properly and he wanted to execute a street kid for stealing some bread from the temple.They kicked him out of the temple, but he got a document that confirms that he has trained there and that he has a talent for combat and magic. He loves documents. He has heared rumors about a cursed area in the forest near his home where even the beasts of the forest did not dare to go. He went there and found an ancient altar. Thanks to his training he performed a ritual to summon whatever was there. A ghosly shadow appeared before him and asked "DO YOU SEEK POWER?" and he ansered YES!!!. The shadow said "THEN PROVE YOURSELF WORTHY" and a giant bear appeared. Edwin killed the bear and offered its blood to the shadow who granted him the power of a warlock in return.
Edwin then went to a large town and asked the king for a job. Working for anyone less then the king himself is beneath him. Several city guards had been killed recently and the king asked him to solve this crime. Edwin found the criminals, forced them to write a confession that they killed the guards, then executed them and gave the king their heads and the confession. The king then made him his agent who is responsible for enforcing order and fighting monsters and criminals.
He was captured by the illithids when they attacked the town, but he managed to escape and he swore to kill all of them and everyone else who is behind those attacks.

- He is obsessed of titles, rules and documents. Anything that is not written down does not exist. He permanently carries the following documents: A document that shows that he carries the title baron and what privileges and duties come with it, a document that he is an agent of the king and what priviledges and duties come with it and the document that proves he has been trained in the temple. He always carries lots of paper and ink and writes down word by word what has been said when he makes a promise, a contract or any business with somebody else. He expects to be paid for his work unless a document says that doing it is part of the duties he already has.
- He is very proud of himself and his titles. Whenever he speaks to others he says: "I am baron Edwin von Unterwald, first enforcer of king XXX. By the power of documet x (e.g. his baron title or an order of the king) I demand that . . ." He always wears an armor with the symbols of his family, his king and his patron. By the way, there is no second enforcer. He chose this title when he started working for the king because it sounds more impressive.
- His patron expects the following things: 1.) In dark and dangerous places he should build a simple shrine for his patron. Do not tell others about the location or what to do there, power needs to be found. 2.) Encourage others to become stronger through facing trials. Power must be earned. Seek challenges and become stronger or die. Maybe the illithids and the toadpole is just another challenge. 3.) Respect power, laws and traditions. Show no mercy for the weak. It is a law of nature that the strong rule the weak. Become stronger and dominate others or live in shame.
- He speaks sylvan very well. He lived in a forest area and farmers are so boring, so the creatures of the forest were the only thing he could talk with. In towns he likes to insult others in that language. It sounds nice and no one understands him.

PS: Probably I play a lore bard with with the criminal background first, but I have no good story for him.

Regarding Gothic: If you beat a person in melee he is knocked out for some time. You can take his stuff and the enemy will take some of your money if they beat you. Then the loser stands up again with 1HP. You can attack a knocked out enemy to kill him. Beating somebody with ranged weapons or magic will always kill the other person. It is considered normal that people fight and knock out each other. If you kill somebody it is a crime and others who have seen it will become hostile. If you have committed a crime you have to pay money to somebody to clear this, which might be hard if this person is hostile too or you are chased by an angry mob.

By the way: I do not understand the concept of non lethal damage in DnD ( or was it pathfinder?)

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3 hours ago, Madscientist said:

By the way: I do not understand the concept of non lethal damage in DnD ( or was it pathfinder?)

Didn’t BG1 had some for of non-lethal damage? Like if you beat someone with bare fist, they would get caught unconscious rather then die. I am pretty sure I was able to beat up a hostile guy in one of the taverns and he would always be there. 
Kingmaker does kill characters when they reach 0 health - they become unconscious and they will get up after combat. However, they get negative hit points if damaged further. Once they get more negative damage then they have CON (so for a character with 16 CON it would be more then -16 HP) they will die. However, in game it works only for your characters. If there is any additional non-lethal system, then I don’t know of it. 

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1 hour ago, Wormerine said:

Didn’t BG1 had some for of non-lethal damage? Like if you beat someone with bare fist, they would get caught unconscious rather then die. I am pretty sure I was able to beat up a hostile guy in one of the taverns and he would always be there. 

yes, but i think it was dropped for BG2? i do very much remember being surprised the first time i ever knocked someone out.

 

oblivion also has non-lethal damage, and as a result both fallout 3 and new vegas also have non-lethal damage. however, it might have only really been close to balanced in new vegas - in oblivion it was either completely useless or utterly broken.

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3 hours ago, thelee said:

yes, but i think it was dropped for BG2? i do very much remember being surprised the first time i ever knocked someone out.

Possibly, along with home owners calling guards when you steal stuff. I think it took me 3 or 4 playthroughs of BG1 before I discovered it is possible to knock someone out. 

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Non-lethal damage would have been easy to implement with something like PoE's endurance/health system (which got simplified to health-only for Deadfire unfortunately): you would only cause endurance damage but instead of doing the same dmg to health you would In fact Deal 0 health damage (or very little). It wouldn't matter against normal enemies but could be used for a bunch of other encounters where you might want to win by knockout but not kill the opponent. I could also imagine abilities that would only do endurance damage would be nice. 

Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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Since we talk about speech and crime:

In Morrowind it was a crime to attack or kill other people or to steal stuff. Guards would stop you and you have to pay money or they attack you ( attacking/killing guards is also a crime, so the money you have to pay goes up). There is a trick to go around this: You have to insult them until they attack you first. This is needed for at least one quest where you have to kill some people without drawing attention.

Reminds me of the western movie "The great silence". The silent protagonist who annoys gangsters until they draw their gun and he can kill them in self defense vs Klaus Kinski as Loco the killer.

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