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"Meaningful evil"

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Maybe, it wouldn't be a passive thing. What if the PC makes a critical failure (assuming there are critical failures)? Are they convinced of the truth of whatever statement they're hearing?

 

That's the thing, you'd be rolling to determine if the character percieves a lie, and just like rolling to hide, if they failed their roll, the DM wouldn't be able to tell them so, so it's all relative. Unless the PC has some extraordinary perception (given through a spell or somesuch) they wouldn't be able to roll and determine whether or not what they're hearing is absolutely true or false. Given that, it seems to be better to just leave the gullibility or shrewdness of the character to the player.

Edited by Pop

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hmmm, I like the idea of joinable NPCs lying to the PC (really doesn't matter if PC is good or bad) because such a thing adds a highly immersive element to the game.

 

I really do think that a Personality barometer would (in addition to good/evil and law/chaos) would work wonders here. If the NPC is comfortable with your personality, they tell you the truth, otherwise, they lie. I can definitely see Atton, for instance, lying to you one playthrough and then telling the truth on the other, soley based on personality (without regard for good/evil or law/chaos). Others, like Handmaiden, would be less swayed by personality and would be looking for indications of your actual alignment.

 

And I do like the idea of a Mutany attempt (in games where there is an actual ship or base of operations)....but all of this is contingent on Party Management. The PC has to be able to figure out who the trouble makers are and fire them if necessary.

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It would be like an entire game in itself keeping control of troublesome NPCs.. I would really love to see that as a big part of a game - especially if you could betray them right back.. You could commit all kinds of crimes and pin it on one in your party! >_<


Fortune favors the bald.

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I was under the impression that (at least in D&D) conversation skills like diplomacy, bluff, etc. aren't used against the PCs. That might work in a computer game, but in PnP it might be considered overzealous DMing if a player who is obviously skeptical of an NPC fails against the NPC's roll and is effectively forced into believing a lie, or at least not being able to actively detect one. A good, attentive player shouldn't need to rely on rolls in conversation like that in the first place.

 

It adds a nice element of uncertainty to the gameplay by taking that out as well. It's always fun when players don't know who to place their trust in. It's more fun when they put their trust in the wrong person.

I think it adds an essential political element to a game; it is rare that a player has to make a value judgment about a particular fact presented in a game: is the teller lying (to themselves and / or the PC), is there a kernel of truth in vague exaggeration, etc.

 

Also is is incumbent upon the DM to provide information from a questionable source in such a manner that the players can't tell that it is a falsehood ... direct speech probably isn't the best way to do this. "The character thinks you should go west to avoid the ogres," or "under torture, the NPC swears that he doesn't know where the ogres are, but he was going west when you caught him." both allow for the PC's party to end up running into ogres if they go west. =]


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Torture is fine too. I think there was a minigame where you'd control the amounts of chems pumped into the person while asking questions.


Spreading beauty with my katana.

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Torture is fine too.  I think there was a minigame where you'd control the amounts of chems pumped into the person while asking questions.

 

K1 had a scenario where you could administer drugs to a prisoner to try to get information. But that was not the only option available.

 

IIRC, it was really hard to that right. Something like: the more truth serum, the sleepier he gets. Then there is the "wake up" serum, but the more awake he is, the more evasive, etc.

 

I don't know if that is "torture" per se. That is basically just a hardball interrogation technique.

 

Anyway, if they ever have a game in which the PC can administer torture to joinables, then they damn sure better have a mass exodus of NPCs if that ever happens. That is the only way it would have a modicum of believability.

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I dunno, I kinda liked Dungeon Keeper's Dark Mistresses >_>

 

NWN2's diary of a torturer was pretty good reading too. The dude was refining his techniques over several prisoners.


Spreading beauty with my katana.

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Torture is fine too.  I think there was a minigame where you'd control the amounts of chems pumped into the person while asking questions.

 

K1 had a scenario where you could administer drugs to a prisoner to try to get information. But that was not the only option available.

 

IIRC, it was really hard to that right. Something like: the more truth serum, the sleepier he gets. Then there is the "wake up" serum, but the more awake he is, the more evasive, etc.

 

I don't know if that is "torture" per se. That is basically just a hardball interrogation technique.

Hee hee, you sound like you're channelling Rumsfeld. :D

Anyway, if they ever have a game in which the PC can administer torture to joinables, then they damn sure better have a mass exodus of NPCs if that ever happens.  That is the only way it would have a modicum of believability.

Not necessarily: in a totalitarian state, for example, people don't necessarily expect that they will be tortured, even if their neighbour is; if there is a scapegoat being tortured, then they might even join in ...


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Not necessarily: in a totalitarian state, for example, people don't necessarily expect that they will be tortured, even if their neighbour is; if there is a scapegoat being tortured, then they might even join in ...

 

well, let's just say that torture of joinables is not very high in my list of what it means to have good "party management".

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Not necessarily: in a totalitarian state, for example, people don't necessarily expect that they will be tortured, even if their neighbour is; if there is a scapegoat being tortured, then they might even join in ...

Weren't you the guy that refuted the Hobbesian conception of selfish human nature?

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Not necessarily: in a totalitarian state, for example, people don't necessarily expect that they will be tortured, even if their neighbour is; if there is a scapegoat being tortured, then they might even join in ...

By joining in you show the government you support them. "Praise <evil dictator's name>, death to the infidels!"


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Hades was the life of the party. RIP You'll be missed.

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torture aside, I think party management should be more than just being able to hire and fire.

 

I think the PC (this would work especially well in a ship-based game or a game that has a base of operations) should be able to threaten an NPC with "real consequences" such as making the person sleep in the Engine Room or to be grounded to the ship (for the next 3 planet stops) or to take mess duty for the next 3 weeks, etc.

 

Of course, if you offer up such threats, you have to be willing to act on them, otherwise, the joinables will know that you are bluffing (and even rib you about it in conversation).

 

Ultimately, of course, the ability to fire the joinable is the ultimate power you have over them...and I do want to occasionally see a joinable leave of their own volition (especially for alignment/behavior reasons).

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Not necessarily: in a totalitarian state, for example, people don't necessarily expect that they will be tortured, even if their neighbour is; if there is a scapegoat being tortured, then they might even join in ...

Weren't you the guy that refuted the Hobbesian conception of selfish human nature?

I am sure I do not know to what you are referring.


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How would the game know what Palpatine's intentions are when he praises Anakin? Is it [evil]inflating his ego or [not evil]genuinely thanking Anakin? I'm not sure how this could be elegantly handled.


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How would the game know what Palpatine's intentions are when he praises Anakin?  Is it [evil]inflating his ego or [not evil]genuinely thanking Anakin?  I'm not sure how this could be elegantly handled.

 

but that is why you have multiple dialogue choices like:

 

1) Hey, that outfit looks good on you.

 

2) [Persuade] Hey, that outfit looks good on you.

 

 

the unqualified respsonse indicates that that is what you truely believe and that you are stating what you truely believe.

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Why'd [persuade] be evil in that case? I think the game needs some way of determining the long-term motives of the player. Maybe more negative adjective-verbs like [persuade-corrupt] could do the trick.


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There are many ways it could be handled; an entire conversation / series of conversations could be represented by a single dialogue option; or a more granular approach could be used where each critical option could be micro-managed (like a mini-game) and the player would try to balance the praise with guile and prevent the NPC from detecting any manipulation ... say "[Lie] Of course your bum doesn't look big in that!"


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Why'd [persuade] be evil in that case?  I think the game needs some way of determining the long-term motives of the player.  Maybe more negative adjective-verbs like [persuade-corrupt] could do the trick.

 

it would not be evil.

 

it would be Chaotic...and that is one of the flaws of the KOTOR games, treating Chaotic as Evil. I wonder how NWNs2 handles this but I suspect it is not as bad in that regard.

 

Evil (at least for the purposes of a video game) is about the overarching intent. Law/Chaos is how you achieve that intent.

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The chaos = evil thing in KOTOR seemed pretty consistent to me. Mainly just because SW never had much in the way of complexity when it came to its moral universe. Altruistic, lawful, pacifistic and good embody the jedi. Egoistic, chaotic and evil embody the sith. Jedi are trained to control impulse and emotion and always act with the consequences in mind. Revan and his followers were on their way down the dark side path as soon as they disobeyed the council. Anakin was on his way to the dark side as soon as he fell in love and thus, began to place his own wants and needs and that of Padme above others. That's the way SW works, expecting more is expecting too much.

 

Even when KOTOR's designers attempted to cast some doubt on whether the council's decision to abstain from conflict was wise, they couldn't really get around the fact that none of the jedi devoted to pacifism ended up as sith.

Edited by Pop

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oh, I agree that it kind of made sense for SW, a setting based on black and white absolutism but, I don't know, I just think that, going forward, it has to seperate the concepts out for a good roleplaying experience.

 

I really think that having joinable factions would help here. Some factions, such as the Jedi Order, will see all chaotic actions as inherently evil and they might actually kick someone out for that.

 

But the system itself should make a distinction between chaotic actions and evil actions.

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Somehow I keep returning to Palpatine as a good example of evil. He's charismatic, subtle yet purposeful, calculating. He intiates conversations with Anakin and also takes advantage of mundane events to plant doubt and shape the thoughts of the Jedi. It's this reason EpIII is my favourite of the six.

 

The individual influence system really shines in this area.


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Even when KOTOR's designers attempted to cast some doubt on whether the council's decision to abstain from conflict was wise, they couldn't really get around the fact that none of the jedi devoted to pacifism ended up as sith.

 

But in K2 they questioned wether ot not he did so to serve a greater purpose and not just his own.. so while Revan was not the altruistic and lawful Jedi he "should be", the game theorized on wether or not the end justifies the means.. because would it not be a greater evil to follow your principles only to weaken yourself and others when an even greater threat is coming.


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would it not be a greater evil to follow your principles only to weaken yourself and others when an even greater threat is coming.

The perfect Lawful Good dilemma. :lol:


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