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I mentioned this before in another thread, but if a party has to go rest/resurrect in town mid-dungeon, there should be a soft-reset of the dungeon. Traps are put back, encounters respawn minus any named characters (unless they have someone around who can resurrect as well). This gives each dungeon a feeling of being an organic structure.

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Shortarse elves. Played Drakensang a bit back, refreshing to see the tall willowy Alfarim of that setting, not the usual boyband height clones.


Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

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  • Dialogue

Regular people share parts of a huge knowledge pool. Besides the traditional dialogue window, a kind of "google autocomplete searchbox" displays possible questions relating to the key words typed in.

E.g. "Mr. X" would permit the questions: "What do you know about Mr. X?", "Where does Mr. X live?", etc.

 

That is a terrific idea. The regular dialogue options should be there, but enterprising players should find unusual or stange dialogue options if bothering to try them. This search window is an excellent idea. Something like that has been implemented in Fallout, but noone ever used it, as nothing came out of it. I would very much like an encounter, where rational thinking and an in-depth knowledge of the game would bring you some rewards. Like in PS:T, where a conversation with Dak'kon would result in new spells, and bonuses to the ally.

 

 

Choices

 

I would very much like multi-lateral quests, with many solutions. For instance when information is needed from an NPC you can bribe him with money (if you have), do a quest for him, intimidate him (if you have an adeqate skill), or use a spell (if you have a mage in your party), steal the information (with thief skills), or simply talk him out of it (with speech skill). This should not take up too much resources, only the integration of party members. Please avoid situations, where only bad choices exist, a clever player should find a way out of any situation.

 

"No guiding hand

An immersion breaker in modern games is the relentless pace. Not in Project Eternity. Here it is important to pay attention to the dialogue. Little is gained by following quest markers or checking objectives. Facts are recorded, but the player jots down his/her own conclusions in the journal next to them, and chooses his/her plan of action. The minimap is not a substitute for looking at where you are going, players need to familiarize themselves with the game world. Help is readily available by talking to people, but the right questions need to be asked. Superior solutions to quests apparent only with understanding and immersion are available next to regular endings."

 

 

Completely agree. If you are too lazy to read your journal, cRPGs might not be the genre for you.

 

 

 

 

 

"Leveling

A Fallout approach is chosen in lieu of fixed classes. It's possible to pick up formerly unknown skills during the story which are not included in a skill tree/pool, and different types of equipment have unique actions."

 

Completely agree. The best example is the Stories-Bones-Tell skill in PS:T. You gained it at the middle of the game, but you could use it on some NPCs, gaining additional bonuses, Xacarias for instance.

 

 

Skills

 

ADnD is completely devoid of any non-combat skills. This is sad, as character options are limited to various types of fighters. By including non-cobat skills, dialogue options could be spiced up, by showing certain options only to individuals with adequate skills. This was done perfectly, although rarely in Fallout, where posessing the right skills opened up new dialogue options.

 

Consequences of actions

 

In many cRPGs violence has no retribution, a city guard will gladly let you walk away from any massacre unharmed. This should be changed. Not directly, by subtle changes in the game. For instance if you kill three families in a village, even if you have not been seen the others turn extremely suspicious of strangers, and you will have to triple the price you pay for everything in the village, and the difficulty of persuasion rolls should increase. Or certain shops will simply close, certain NPCs go into hiding, whole sidequests will vanish if the player goes on a killing spree. Or if you rob houses, merchants will increase their prices muttering something about losses to thieves.

 

Multiple takes on the stoyline

 

Playing different factions the player should have slightly different takes on the story. For instance if you play faction A, your quest is to deliver an item to somewhere. If you play faction B, your job is to take the same item from the caravan thats transporting it for faction A. This way you don't need to add completely new storylines for every faction, still increase the game's replay value. It might be possible to enrich the storyline, some causes of events could only be seen if playind a particular faction, others only see the consequences. This was done excellently in Nethergate.

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Music: Diamanda Galas is looking for something to do. So is Tara van Flower (of Lycia). So is Nina Hagen. So is Suzanne Vega. So is Elizabeth Frazer (of the Cocteau Twins). So is Dame Darcy (of Death by Doll). Advantage yourself of darling old musicians when you can. You might wish you had done so later on in life.

 

Graphics: Don't forget Dame Darcy! She is a charming visual artist as well as a fantastic banjo player and sweet singer.

 

Writing: Keep recent Nebula Award winners in hand, as someone might appear that you want to hire for later expansions to this game. Keep in mind that subpar writing sickens fans. Whenever I notice something in a CRPG that isn't up to Temple of Apshai room description standards, I feel a little mad. Tanith Lee had her feeble moments with some works, yes, but not all of us can be a Fritz Leiber. Remind your writers that they are competing with Fritz Leiber, not with Grand Theft Auto 5. If you've read Hart's Hope and Tales of the Flat Earth, you've pretty much played Dragon Age. Sad to say but it's true. Don't become your influences: surpass your influences. If you gotta become a Harold Bloom fan, do it.

 

Character Creation: I've found that giving visual representation of choices helps the player visualize what they're deciding on. "Madlib" phrases for the combined choices they've made so they have a textual description of their character choices. Let the player through a brief prelude story to give them an idea of what life's like for a person of their character's species, class, and "prior life" background choices. Include languages if you can.

 

Coinage: Have different coinage for different nationalities. It's been done in PnP and it would probably work in CRPG. Yeah, some players will think of it as a pain, but also consider that some people liked the concept of money changers for CRPG where they've appeared (usually to exchange denominations) and currency variance has appeared in the more elaborate of MUDs too.

 

Inventory: Let's have an inventory where different shapes and sizes of item matter as well as weight. I think that Villains and Vigilantes had the right idea in making character weight important as a modifier for how much a character might lift and carry, so please don't have three foot tall gnomes hoisting two hundred pound backpacks laden with greatswords. So have different sizes of backpack too, if it comes to having short characters. Also, if there's going to be a party inventory, make sure it's on a donkey or mule or horse. It wouldn't be so bad if there's animal porters as long as there's no canid torch-bearers.

 

Movement: Characters walk outside battle, run during battle. That way, there's less running into traps. There should be internal rules about characters trying to avoid ongoing sources of damage unless they're largely immune or resistant (even so, they should not void commands for movement). Movement should not "scale down" or seem slower just because the area has to be small; slow running people pleases no one and everyone realizes that the area is smaller than in RL anyway.

 

Parties: I remember in IWD2, adventuring bands could have names. I'd like to see that again but capitalized on more, be more a prominent feature with more game-play in it, because it has opportunity for game-play value. In some computer role-playing games, the player characters will stumble across fanzines about themselves. Rusty Venture found that his deeds as a "boy adventurer" had spawned a sex act named for him. These have merit but lack gravitas. I suggest graffiti and limericks, erotic portraits (with little resemblance), and street plays exaggerating their exploits. Also, adventuring bands might be invited (or permitted) to enter sporting events just as knights were invited to joust each other.

 

Morale: Characters should have morale ratings that influence their battle-readiness and fear. I don't mind my party going nuts and running -- that happens and it's an interesting occurrence. Let friendship influence morality but for heaven's sake, don't assume that lovers never panic and leave their beloved to certain demise. It's a heroic adventure, and I'm being entirely non-sarcastic, but people should occasionally lose their courage and flee for the hills. A high morale leader should be able to influence the followers (but it would take a feat or skill to do so). I like the way they handled command and obedience in the new Chainmail game.

 

Luxury, Amusement, Resting and Time: Alot of games have ways for characters to amuse themselves. I suggest there be a role-playing game inside the role-playing game, that a popular pastime in the fantasy world *is* a role-playing game albeit a rudimentary tactical and card-based RPG. This could be done simply, by representing time having passed, letting the characters say something indicative of what's going on in the game, and then representing more time passing, then let a summary of the game occur. They can keep their character sheets on file with an official scribe. These sheets are scrupulously kept in several places and double-checking occurs regularly.

 

Also, there should be luxuries. Even if it has no place in the swords and sorcery part of play, the players of this new computer game will want to play with dolls. They will want to move their dolls around and be happy with their dolls. They'll want periods of quiet, crickets chirruping, listening to a minstrel strum an instrument, playing at drinking wine or tea. They won't want to be attacked by monsters nor be interrupted by pithy statements like "I wish we could go kill something". So in essence, permit fairly large and pretty areas that have nice music and allow characters to be moved around and do things that yield nice text results. The nightclub in Vampire the Masquerade Bloodlines is also a useful example of this but too small. Have taste descriptions of liquor and tobacco and food. A wrong way of luxuriating would be SWG. The dances and foods and drinks were so mechanical and composed of such hardships that enjoying it all became impossible: the entire game lost some beauty because dance1 dance2 etc were just ways of healing, nothing more, all far too commonplace and often misplaced.

 

Resting, like luxuries, should be soothing. I liked BG and BG2, the cut-scene played for resting, and I also liked the campsite in DAO. The problem was that in DAO the campsite was too redundant. I couldn't see the inside of a luxurious inn room as anything but a place to thieve from in DAO, and the campsite became the place of begging for happy companions. And I detested them all, but I shan't go into why I detested them right here. Note that dreaming is a part of resting and dreams can have gameplay value -- and yield benefit for those who undergo a dream. Remember the Eternal Dreamtime (Alcheringa or Alchera) of the Australian ancient faith. What is done in dreams is sometimes influential on the waking world and in the world of souls.

 

Time is best done in Baldur's Gate and Temple of Elemental Evil (I admit I loved trying to rest for a few years just to see what would happen). I felt as if Thedas was part of the Fade because time really didn't pass realistically in that game. A player should not be able to pass the time without a source of food. If rations become scarce, don't let the player spend time resting. I think that makes sense. However if they have rations, let them experiment with passing time for years.

 

Encounters: Not every encounter should be for battle. Unexpected (or carefully sought) meetings with merchant travelers can rid the party of unneeded but valuable items. One should be able to hunt for encounters as well as be surprised by random encounters. Random encounters can keep the game going long after the story has ended; but everyone would buy the new expansion if the initial game pleases sufficiently! The best encounters can be met in several ways -- someone might want to ambush that darn traveling bazaar. Someone might want to trade with carnivorous hominids. Also, why not use magic to shoot down that floating city that acts like an umbrella during winter?

 

Cities: Cities should have the function they've had since Akalabeth and Odyssey: The Compleat Apventure but also don't forget Ptolus and Baldur's Gate. Cities can have adventure as you well know, but perhaps you haven't considered that a sufficiently large city without the multitude of unusable doors can be exciting and interesting. Make big buildings filled with detail instead of fake unused buildings. If you can't imagine what a building could be useful for, check out A Magical Medieval Society: Western Europe Second Edition, Central Casting: Heroes of Legend (and extrapolate from the character histories you roll up), the Yellow Pages, and www.neighborhoodscout.com -- all of these can be useful for DMs and game designer alike! Again, I can't emphasize enough that you should NOT MAKE FAKE DOORS AND UNUSED BUILDINGS. This is irritating to everyone I've asked. Finally, make sure that some cities won't let the characters in with their weapons, magical items, and armor.

 

Merchants: Illustrate trade routes. Take a look at The Guild 2 (potentially at Guild 2: Venice) by Dreamcatcher Games. Notice that merchants get money from what they have to sell that's bought. Temple of Elemental Evil did a good job with merchants that won't buy expensive items if I recall correctly. Also, keep in mind that merchants won't offer gold that they don't have and won't *usually* buy items they can't sell. Keep in mind merchants sometimes sell useless stuff (and clever game designers make sure there's at least one situation in which this useless stuff is useful, such as sacrifices at a temple). Keep in mind that merchant buildings sometimes became something like Barnes and Noble: merchants would serve drinks and food, entry sometimes costs, and there was occasionally beds available (for a fee) if crafting time was extensive.

 

Temples: Understand that Steve Perren was doing a great job with Glorantha and that his approach to religion (especially as portrayed in the computer game King of Dragon Pass) was useful to a strong degree to any designer and GM or DM. Temples should provide service to the soul and should dreams be deemed a touch with the soul, keep in mind Wraith: the Oblivion (a PnP game) which gives interesting suggestions should you interpret the word "Wraith" as Dream. Again, King of Dragon Pass with its "Hero Quests" in the sacred ritual and spirit lands, can be influential on temple activity. Temples can serve as places where sacred stories take place: and as to their actually taking place, well, perhaps everyone is a part of the story which happens in the spirit world, in the past, and in the present time too. The movie Inland Empire is particularly influential on how sacred areas can work. A temple can be the entry to a spiritual "dungeon" so to speak.

 

Magic: Magic must not be so powerful that a single mage usually beats a single person of any other class nor so weak that the mage usually loses. More importantly, know precisely what magic is possible from these souls. First define a soul and even structure it, as if it's a building or engine. It has to work in a definable way that you know of. Magic works from the soul, you say, so describe the limits of a soul and how it functions even in ways other than magic. Does it somehow work hand in hand with emotions, dreams, language? If so, to what extent? If magic is to work though, might some magic be invisible and take a long time to work? This should be available to the player. Invisible magic should be your very best friend because it's cheaper to insert into the game and has a more impressive, subtler feel.

 

If magic is said to work in a certain way and someone is available who has done that magic in the story part of the game, they should be able to do that sort of magic for the player too. If Morrigan says she's turned into a cat in her stories about herself and she's telling the truth, shouldn't she be able to turn into a cat in the game too? And shouldn't the player's characters who use that sort of magic be able to do the same thing at the same level of power? If a Magister Templi is able to nurture the Word of a Magus and use that Word in tandem with their Sumum Bonum, isn't it appropriate that the Word suffuse the temple and so all the flowers of the temple garden grow inscribed with that Word?

 

Combat: I found that Battles are too plentiful in DA2 when I least wanted them. I found that VtMB had sufficient conflict but at times was impoverished of taste. The Sabbat had a flavor to them that was untested and untouched in that game (see Storyteller's Guide to the Sabbat), but I understand it needed a year of development more than it got (or at least a year less than I'd wanted it to have: imagine, a taste of the entire World of Darkness through the mouth of a vampire). DA2 often loses flavor by just throwing the battles at the player but so did Arcanum, in which I felt that I walked outside a beautiful library and music hall into a mosh pit. Arcanum, btw, was a beautiful game but the combat ruined the immersion often times. Combat is useful especially in a CRPG where it is expected. Make sure that it doesn't overwhelm the beauty of the game but make sure it's there.

 

A critical hit and fumble table should be included -- after all, we're using a computer and we needn't worry about masses of combat tables to read personally. If the argument that "so-and-so can already use Hamstring as a power" keep in mind that if it randomly appears as a critical hit, it's not like the average combatant can aim for it. A power that permits hamstringing a foe is far more reliable than a rare critical hit result. Critical hits should be more likely if the attacker is high in level and the opponent is low in level, has no armor nor shield, especially if facing archers who can take their time to aim without interference.

 

Fumbles shouldn't be ferocious (except the fumble indicating "hit self" or "hit nearby companion" with a critical strike). Fumbles should decrease in likelihood as one gains in levels; but there might be feats, perks, and spells to increase the chance of an opponent fumbling (or increase ones own chance of fumbling) and also if a lower level character attacks a much higher level character, they might find themselves fumbling more often as it's a known fighting trick to make the opponent fail painfully even unto striking their friends by mistake.

 

I think D20 did an excellent job of dividing between wound points and vitality points. I also think that Obsidian should remember to generalize combat advantage sometimes. Runequest (and very early D&D) had rules for location damage (although in D&D it was an optional rule). This would work well in tandem with location-based inventory (armor slots).

 

Finally, I think that the cowardly retreat option should return. Characters who should run run run away should be able to run run run away. Also available should be the option to surrender in lieu for a proposed ransom, to be paid by patron or family or friends (or oneself). Captivity should be permitted and creative solutions to PC captives should be available. This has reflection in chivalric stories and history alike and has appeared in some computer games (most recently in Medieval: Total War). This is easier if there's a similitude of vitality points and wound points, if non-lethal weapons are not unknown, and feats can be activated to permit non-lethal strikes.

 

NPC: It's really not difficult to come up with common situational statements inclusive of variables indicative of recent situations for NPC to say and random chance that an NPC says it as the characters pass and that any character overhears it. Necessary, story-based statements of course should follow typical rule (catchy, loud, repeated) so they can be overheard and noticed. There's a difference between important gossip and story-based bylines.

 

One thing I'd like to see are predetermined conditions for certain NPC to band together and become adventurers. This would be interesting especially if they appear from time to time, assisting the player character party or vying against them (not always lethally). Mutual respect is always a rarely accomplished feat in a CRPG. And there are not many apparent opportunities for a game designer to inspire respect for a rival in a player. I wish Icewind Dale 2 had gone further with the named adventurer band concept.

 

I prefer NPC run and scatter or stampede if they're endangered; they'd only shout if they think it will attract the guard and not draw dangerous attention to themselves individually. Remember, visiting adventurer NPC are probably as drawn to conflict by luck just as much as adventuring PC, so NPC might just stroll up as a playful player directs his party to attack NPC (if such a thing is permitted, and a "nostalgic RPG" would permit this). It takes awhile for guards to answer a call of distress, but if the town (or district of a city) is roused, a party could flee into another district and notice measures to locate them slowly growing in obviousness and aptitude. Outlaws might note a detective lurking around (if they're truly capable) a little bit before the "Flaming Fist onslaught". In smaller towns, they'd note local knights come after them as they become a quest objective (and might just answer a quest to investigate their own crime or defeat themselves).

 

NPC movement could be on schedules, moving from one pasture to another, with different NPCs gathering in different pastures at different times. One pasture might be the tavern, another their work place, yet another an unmarried dormitory or homes. Important NPC might have replacements from time to time so they're not just standing on the roadside 24/7, but maybe (just maybe) a player character could make contact with any one of several NPCs yielding the same result: objective obtained. That way, you don't have to follow a single path to complete a quest, you could just talk to an NPC or any of that NPCs family or co-workers (or maybe even a trustworthy person in the village) to win.

 

I think at least one companion possibility should be an inanimate doll.

 

Romance: Sometimes fine words and fine sentiment are enough. We don't need moans and bared flesh with each conquest. Keep in mind that should the game be long if one romantic interest dies (or leaves), another might be found. Pregnancy needn't be an outcome always, but marriage might be possible. Most adventurers are smart enough to keep intercourse out of the picture until they retire (let us assume in their early thirties); mutual satisfaction can be achieved without. Sometimes pregnancy isn't an option due to practical considerations (females with females, men with men).

 

Endgame: Let them keep playing afterward. The more they like the game, the more likely they'll want the next game. Also, give the PCs a treasure of a journal in which is written a summary of their deeds and the epilogue text so they don't have to keep returning to the last saved game, fighting the last fight, in order to review the epilogue words.


"This is what most people do not understand about Colbert and Silverman. They only mock fictional celebrities, celebrities who destroy their selfhood to unify with the wants of the people, celebrities who are transfixed by the evil hungers of the public. Feed us a Gomorrah built up of luminous dreams, we beg. Here it is, they say, and it looks like your steaming brains."

 

" If you've read Hart's Hope, Neveryona, Infinity Concerto, Tales of the Flat Earth, you've pretty much played Dragon Age."

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Hi massive wall of text, pleasure to meet you!

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The Internet: A place where everything is literally binary and the only shade of grey is the one seen by angry nerds when imagining what their ideal Diablo screen-shots look like.

Killing is kind of like playin' a basketball game. I am there. and the other player is there. and it's just the two of us. and I put the other player's body in my van. and I am the winner. - Nice Pete.

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A thing I would like to see implemented, is backstory traits like they did in Arcanum.

 

For an example, you could be a dumb as **** but immensely strong character.

You could resist poison but lost charisma.

 

Take ideas from that game, but take it further.

 

For an example, you were crippled as a child therefore lack alot of strength, but instead you got a massive bonus to your intellect due to all the reading you did instead of climbing trees.

or

As was mentioned in the thread earlier, as a child you lost your hand as a punishment for something, so you cant use 2h weapons, but get a bonus to 1h weapons due to that extra training with that hand.

 

 

The designers are propably ALOT better to create backstories than me, but here's some ideas to get inspiration from.

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Regarding sleeping in dangerous areas:

 

Something I don't recall seeing implemented in CRPG's is the posting of guards/sentries. I think it might be interesting to be able to specify which party members are keeping watch or sleeping and when and to have that affect the possibility/severity of potential night time inturruptions.

 

For example, during a particular 'watch' in a forrested area characters with woodland survival related skills or rural backgrounds would have a better chance of detecting possible attackers before they attack and be able to rouse the party. Conversely, in an interior/dungeon area those with rogue/thief abilities or more urban backgrounds might have a similar advantage. However, if the character on watch is lacking the appropriate skills or otherwise 'out of their element' perhaps they would face a penalty. And perhaps magic users (or any other 'class') must have a certain number of uninteruppted hours of sleep to recharge their abilities. This could add an entirely new and interesting tactical aspect to character rest periods and also make the use of 'safe houses' or inns even more attractive as all party members could have a much greater (though not necessarily guaranteed) chance of an uninterrupted night to fully recharge.

Edited by LazarusMP
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If nothing that we do matters then all that matters is what we do. - Whedon

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Regarding sleeping in dangerous areas:

 

Something I don't recall seeing implemented in CRPG's is the posting of guards/sentries. I think it might be interesting to be able to specify which party members are keeping watch or sleeping and when and to have that affect the possibility/severity of potential night time inturruptions.

 

I think that we'd have to include several levels of fatigue for this to be markedly workable. A six member party won't permit everyone to get their sleep in a day's operation, especially if there are interruptions. Therefore, a permissible level of fatigue might be constant while traveling through the wilds or on the roadside.

 

 

For example, during a particular 'watch' in a forrested area characters with woodland survival related skills or rural backgrounds would have a better chance of detecting possible attackers before they attack and be able to rouse the party. Conversely, in an interior/dungeon area those with rogue/thief abilities or more urban backgrounds might have a similar advantage. However, if the character on watch is lacking the appropriate skills or otherwise 'out of their element' perhaps they would face a penalty.

 

The trick to efficient guarding is dependent on finding a good campsite, a well hidden vale that permits covert vigilance of approaches. However, this is rarely done in games because for some reason, the best path is already known and not scouted out. One scouts out further good campsites too, in real life. The yield of this method, while slowing progress, is invaluable on uncertain journeys through both wild and urban regions. However, if they are already knowing of good campsites, assuming they were previously informed or secret markings were left by prior visitors, they need only fear those others who might know of such markings -- bandits don't prey upon wilderness wanderers but they do make their territory known and respected.

 

 

And perhaps magic users (or any other 'class') must have a certain number of uninteruppted hours of sleep to recharge their abilities. This could add an entirely new and interesting tactical aspect to character rest periods and also make the use of 'safe houses' or inns even more attractive as all party members could have a much greater (though not necessarily guaranteed) chance of an uninterrupted night to fully recharge.

 

Actual feasibility of resting in the wild and maintaining health absolutely depends on experience in the wild, expertise in remaining sanitary as possible, know-how on obtaining nutrition and clean water, and avoiding bad insects and toxic growths. It's not automatic, if you've been camping before it might seem that way, but it isn't. The actual wilds want to eat us while we roam the wilds trying to eat it.


"This is what most people do not understand about Colbert and Silverman. They only mock fictional celebrities, celebrities who destroy their selfhood to unify with the wants of the people, celebrities who are transfixed by the evil hungers of the public. Feed us a Gomorrah built up of luminous dreams, we beg. Here it is, they say, and it looks like your steaming brains."

 

" If you've read Hart's Hope, Neveryona, Infinity Concerto, Tales of the Flat Earth, you've pretty much played Dragon Age."

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What about not having a final boss? The catharsis doesn't have to go down to killing, you know.

 

And now for something more realistic: no rats. No spiders. No gobling. No kobolds.

Being able to change your companion's (sub)class through dialogue.

Unusual magic schools, where spells are grouped by non-trivial criteria. "Inquisitor" is a very good example of that.

Unusual items, like tattoos and eyes in PS:T.


you can watch my triumphant procession to Rome

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Whoever originally suggested the mechanic of exhaustion making your abilities/spells less effective, instead of traditional mana, I really, really, like this idea. It seems to more directly reflect how magic tends to work in novels. Maybe some spells, such as abilities like teleportation, actually have a exhaustion cut-off level where you cease to be able to cast it. This idea sounds really really good..


Herald of the Obsidian Order

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I'd really like it if they avoid copying any systems from D&D without serious scrutiny--D&D is a pen and paper game. It's not real time with pause. The calculations in D&D are meant to be (relatively) easy for humans to do. Take advantage of what the COMPUTER can do and remember.

 

I'd like to see use of terrain become a major part of the tactics of combat, as well as modification of terrain. I don't mean cosmetic modification like the ability to make holes or knock over trees, I mean like, giving a caster the ability to set up a screen that stops missile attacks from passing through it. Or throw up another kind of wall that blocks enemies from closing to melee. Or having your fighters run around the corner when you see that fireball coming, so the corner shields them from the blast. Banking lightning bolts off walls. Having your melee people use doorways and choke points. Sending your big DPS around to flank. Setting traps. I'd like to see classes who have the ability to move quickly from, say, a higher level to a lower one via teleport or jump, forcing (some) enemies to go around the long way. I'd like to see classes who can grab enemies and yank them closer, or knock them down, or push them back.

 

I want to keep running across new situations until the very end of the game.

 

I want ranged and melee options for all classes, and rapid switching between them.

 

I want a non-degenerate resting system.

 

I want to be able to re-spec abilities without loading the game. (I have this AMAZING ability to pick things that I wind up HATING. Don't make me start over to fix it please.)

 

As far as the rest of it goes, I don't have serious preferences. I'd like there to be romances. If there's some LGBT inclusivity, I'm happy for people who care, yay for you, but it doesn't get my personal goat either way. I'd like to have long-term relationships (good or bad or mixed) with NPC's who don't join your party, maybe even have these be some of the romance options. (Much easier to do all sorts of actual *options* that way.)

 

I'd like to have NPC's who notice when you try to take their stuff. Or sit in their chair. Or start a big fight in their house.

 

The funny thing is that Infinity-style, for all it's lack of "modern" appeal, is uniquely suited to do a lot of this stuff.

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Grand Rhetorist of the Obsidian Order

If you appeal to "realism" about a video game feature, you are wrong. Go back and try again.

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Well some of the stuff I would like to see would be...

 

Classes

Your Class and your abilties actually are taken into consideration storywise. NPCs acknowlegde what you are and your abilities. So a sick or wounded NPC might ask your priest character to heal him etc. Or a mage can cast a charm spell during conversation etc.

 

Quests

Please no quest markers on the maps. Give hints on where to go through dialogue or other means but don't make it a meta-game mechanic. Totally breaks immersion.

 

Magic

Make that stuff useful outside of combat (using magic knowledge to decipher ancient texts etc). I want to be a wise wizard not a overglorified flamethrower. Also maybe make the spells look different depending on the race of the character. Like an Elf learned to cast a fireball so that it looks phoenix shaped. While humans have a basic ball form etc. Cultural differences in how spells are cast might change their visuals.

 

Combat

Make it avoidable like in Planescape: Torment. I see it as a huge challenge to try and get through an RPG purely on dialogue and trickery.

 

Locations

Make is so that there are places only certain character classes can enter. Like only the thief can join a thieves guild. Or a wizard can join a wizard's college/school/guild etc. Adds to the replayability value if there are other places I can visit on another playthrough. Also ancient temples (an archeologists guild would be awesome).

 

Lore

Add as much lore and background as possible. One of my favorite side activities in Elder Scrolls was reading the tons of books that were available or doing just plain exploring.

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Whoever originally suggested the mechanic of exhaustion making your abilities/spells less effective, instead of traditional mana, I really, really, like this idea. It seems to more directly reflect how magic tends to work in novels. Maybe some spells, such as abilities like teleportation, actually have a exhaustion cut-off level where you cease to be able to cast it. This idea sounds really really good..

 

I suggested this in the Degenerate Resting thread, although I don't claim that's where you saw it. The more I think about it, though, the more I like it as well. Doing stuff = +Fatigue. +Fatigue = harder to Do Stuff. Resting = -Fatigue. Simple, but you can build an entire game around a mechanic like that, with all kinds of ossum tradeoffs, yet without the silliness that comes along with Mana or Spell Slots.

 

I added some mechanical ideas relating to this in this post here. This really could be elaborated into an entire system pretty easily.


Grand Rhetorist of the Obsidian Order

If you appeal to "realism" about a video game feature, you are wrong. Go back and try again.

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How about location and item hit points. You get fireballed your paper hat is toast and your exposed areas take damage leading to negatives to seeing hearing holding and be left being stunned etc. The heavy iron armour gets warm but no damage unless repeated attacks heat it up and you take burn damag unless cooled or removed.

 

What I was aiming at before I got side tracked and waffled was types of damage inflicted and how /what it effects. Not just the players HP but all they are carrying and the area. You dont want to fireball the bad guys in the inn you are staying at it might burn to the ground and sorry no refund infact destruction of property and compensation to be paid.

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COMBAT:

I hate "combat by the numbers". You hit for 25 enemy then hits you for 10 ...BOOOOOOOOOORRIIING!

Combat should be won by crits not by some hit point loss - pending how well your hit connects with opponents body (and his armor rating) there should be lots of possible crit. hit effects. Your enemies should lose something more tahn virtual HPs

- broken hands would render wawrriors useless and injured legs would immobilize tehm so you could escape and finish them from distance

- hitting some hostile mage in the head would end his ability to concentrate

- loss of eye/sight would end fight for archers (well everybody really;P)

- lets not forget bleeding ;]

 

Targeting system would be great so those effects (while not easy to deal) wouldnt be totally random. And that brings me to ranged combat ;] It totally sucked in DnD where it just "damaged" your opponents for d6 (plus occasional x2 when crit LOL) while in critical_hit_based Rolemaster EVERYBODY wanted to have at least one quiet and deadly (=well capable of critically hitting) ranged weapon. SRSLY if you can kill half-troll in plate armour with ONE silent shot from 50mteres THAT'S something!

 

 

MAGIC:

Magic should be not only for combat (as other ppl already said but it's really important) - it should help in whatever you can imagine when travelling doing quests, resting AND making conversations (charms etc)!

 

 

INVENTORY:

Honestly I dont have problem with differents coins/mints in game and all of them weighted considerably ;] Any person that played tabletop RPGs know It's managable (and it makes sense). At least from players viewpoint - don't know how time consuming would be to implement this...

 

I like realism when it comes to arms and armor. You can't RUN fast in plate armor at least not as fast as people in NO armor and definitely not for long. Even walking should tire you over long period of time. And definitely you shouldn't be able to carry 5 other suits of armor and 20 other weapons unless you hire some muscle and supply train (why not?)

If game makes you have to carry all that garbage around the world so you can feel safe and make some extra coin it means it suck anyway. You should be able to BUY/MAKE/GET as reward all magic items taht you really need and only very rare ARTIFACTS shoul be worth dragging around.

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I'd really like it if they avoid copying any systems from D&D without serious scrutiny--D&D is a pen and paper game. It's not real time with pause. The calculations in D&D are meant to be (relatively) easy for humans to do. Take advantage of what the COMPUTER can do and remember.

 

That's why I keep making small suggestions whensoever I can that computer game designers should pluck up the chart heavy Dice and Books RPG of yesteryear. Games like Fantasy HERO, Rolemaster, Chivalry and Sorcery -- all of these games can benefit from computer adaptation (and in some cases a small clean-up of their rule systems).

 

I like the ideas you come up with, Psycho Blonde!

Edited by septembervirgin

"This is what most people do not understand about Colbert and Silverman. They only mock fictional celebrities, celebrities who destroy their selfhood to unify with the wants of the people, celebrities who are transfixed by the evil hungers of the public. Feed us a Gomorrah built up of luminous dreams, we beg. Here it is, they say, and it looks like your steaming brains."

 

" If you've read Hart's Hope, Neveryona, Infinity Concerto, Tales of the Flat Earth, you've pretty much played Dragon Age."

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My main itch to be scratched is a seemingly simple one: can every generic monster and mundane NPC be given enough variation in parts so that it doesn't seem like you're constantly encountering the same beastie? It gets really, really old, particularly in long-running games.

 

Skeletons, for example, could vary not only in height, weapons, shields, but their legs, torso, heads, and arms can have multiple variants. I'd like the party to encounter hordes of skeletons and have every one look distinctly different even after multiple replays.

 

Thanks!!!


"It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats."

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What a great thread and so many wonderful ideas! Thanks for your contributions, folks! :)

 

I've some ideas that I haven't really processed:

When characters level up (including OE's companions), some of the choices that are made could affect many questlines and dialogues and such.

Normally, the dialogues check for class, race and ability, sometimes your choice of god and a few other things. But what if one's choices of skills and feats actually weren't just meaningful for game mechanics. Say, for instance, instead of just giving elves some dark vision and humans none, you can invest in that skill and the computer adjust not only change some gamma setting on screen, but it also affects all actions you make in combat, as well as it being even noticed at times. It may sound silly, but in a gloomy bar somebody recognize that you... "Wow! Reflecting eyes like a cat, have you?", "Ya actually can read that menu list? Impressive!" In this case, sight and dark vision, IR-vision, night vision, whatever, could matter. It would enhance the RPG feel overall. Oh, this reminds me, perhaps torches should make a comeback and play a significant role again for parties without carious light magic and such?

 

Also, characters always develop and become better all the time. And any damage, and likewise for disease or poison, it can be removed with spells and healing. But what it couldn't all the time? I'm not suggesting players loose their hand or so, but perhaps they get a permanent injury that hampers them a bit in combat. Also, perhaps they get older and their eye sight gets worse. And wizards not only could acquire spells for their grimoires, they could in certain circumstances lose them as well. The page got destroyed in the grimoire, no matter its magical ward. The druid's animal companion can no longer be revived, it has to be buried under rare circumstances. Perhaps it's time for certain critical checks outside of critical hits in combat per se - sorta critical fumble for bodies, spell books, pets, familiars, items and such. Obviously, this would be frustrating for many players, so perhaps it can be turned off in some setting or difficulty mode. But I think I would like it. If the idea of fatigue between resting gets in, that is fatigue for spell power, fighting, skill perfomrance and all - then we would have a more mature kind of adventuring, where parties do get wore down a bit too. Wouldn't i be cool to have battle-scarred fighters and wizards who've become slightly bonkers? And if soul is important, priests could always run the risk of selling even more of their soul to perform high-level magic. The possibilities are endless. It's not realism I'm after mind you, it's a deeper kind of RPG-element to the game, a way of adding to the character by sometimes adding flaws as well. If it happens reasonably rarely, but still regularly enough, I think people will accept as a cool feature of the game and just reload to keep the precious PC pristine all the time. And with a fatigue system, it will very rarely be the case that the party is 100 % fit for everything. Perhaps after a food meal and a rest in a good tavern, they are, but that should be the exception. Rivendell recuperation should be rare instances, not a permanent state. I don't think this will hamper tha flow of the game in any way, but I haven't thought it through yet.


*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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  • No guiding hand

An immersion breaker in modern games is the relentless pace. Not in Project Eternity. Here it is important to pay attention to the dialogue. Little is gained by following quest markers or checking objectives. Facts are recorded, but the player jots down his/her own conclusions in the journal next to them, and chooses his/her plan of action. The minimap is not a substitute for looking at where you are going, players need to familiarize themselves with the game world. Help is readily available by talking to people, but the right questions need to be asked. Superior solutions to quests apparent only with understanding and immersion are available next to regular endings.

 

This point is important. There shouldn't even be quest marker or minimap, not even in non expert mode, because it leads to designers being lazy with their quests. Nobody wants to search hours for some person and that's why lazy devs build in questmarkers and good devs build in hints and directions in the dialog. I also really appreciate it when the PC writes down his own thoughts to difficult quests to give some more info/tips. Or a companion (like Morte) is helpful with certain quests.

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Good point, HarHar! That reduces the feel of running between question marks and exclamation marks on some FedEx-quest galore or something.

And this reminds me of something that must be regarded as breaking the mould since many years back: What if PE had plenty of layers of interaction for the players? I'd love to have new content opening up by me being nosy and curious. If you ask questions to a mere "commoner", or if you read too much in some "lore books", there comes interesting and varied rewards for that: new quests, new leads, more RP, and not just some item or some gold or xp. I'd hate for PE to have read lore book, get achievement thing, like in DA O or Diablo III. That makes me shiver! Preferably, nothing is called "commoner" or "lore book", it should be named and more intricate than that, criss-crossed with seemingly incoherent layers of culture inherent to the game and that can be played by me as a player. If you rush through and left click like a maniac, you should get stuck. This game should be more meaty and mature than that.


*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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Late to this very interesting thread but my 2c:

 

Make culture matter. The roughly equivalent period of time that PE is supposed to be set is the 14thC which witnessed the decline and fall of Byzantium, the rise of the the great Islamic powers, nation states in Europe asserting themselves against the papacy, the overthrow of Mongol rule in China, the Black death and the beginning of the renaissance.

 

A grand sweep of history that is filled with cultures and civilisations of different levels interacting with, trading with and in conflict with each other. Draw on some of that culture and history in the world of PE.

 

Imagine what it would have been like to travel from Constantinople to France; through a decaying Empire, feuding proto-states in middle Europe, the papal states of Italy and up into the supposed safety of a more civilised French state but only then to encounter a group of marauding English knights.

 

Give us a real sense that the cultures and places are different in their dress, their language (idioms, accented text etc...), their cultural mores and importantly in how they view and treat you rather than presenting it as some generic Middle Ages-lite culture. After all, this is a world of dwarves, elves, god-like beings and unknown other races. Their cultures should look and feel as different as it did during the period when you could have lived in the era of the Ming Dynasty, the Ottman Turks or under Plantagenets Kings of England.

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- Project Eternity, Wasteland 2 and Torment: Tides of Numenera; quality cRPGs are back !

 
 

                              image-163154-full.jpg?1348681100      3fe8e989e58997f400df78f317b41b50.jpg                            

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Okay, I just had a wild idea: What if you could toggle some kind of good/lawful mode for your character's combat so that if the PC vanquishes a monster or an enemy of whatever kind it can be "incapacitated" instead of "killed". No need for fancy new models for incapacitated vs dead I reckon, just a mouse over and you'll see the message. You can still mug them/loot them. This function could also be turned on and off for different encounters and different environments (like a town). And through some variable/flag incapacitated enemies can later come back for revenge ("See what you did to my malar bone! Now I'm gonna crush your face, maggot!") or unexpected thank yous ("Now I am a reborn troll! I just kill elk and deer. No humanoids at all, unless wendersnavens count as humanoid as well."


*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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I always loved how in Witcher/Witcher 2 they were able to break the mold using Tolkienish races. Elves were not hanging around bragging about how old and beautiful they were. They were sent to ghettos to live like scum because humans were in general racist. The younger ones were considered terrorists because they fought against the humans.

 

I’m not asking for terrorist elves (sounds weird but lorveth was the man) but the amount of passion that they had was amazing. I haven't seen that in a game before. The elves were affected by what was happening in the world. They didn’t have a choice to stay neutral.

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I'm just seeing this thread, but I tell you what, I'm so burnt out on vampires and zombies over the past 20 yrs, if I never see one again I'll never miss it. I'm sure for you young kids they're cool and awesome but let me tell you if you had to eat the same meal every day for a decade or two I'm sure you'd get really tired of it too.

 

I'm also tired of Dragon's being the ultimate bad guy/boss. Sure they're cool, but lets make their encounters interesting. How about a final boss fight not in the tallest mountain or deepest dungeon? How about that just unleashes the beast so to speak, and you spent 20 hours hunting him down think you're about to fight him, only to find out, "Oh Crap, I just let the dog's out..." and the actual encounter takes place across the over world and you have to chase the boss down, and trap it before it destroys a town or something in x amount of time. All the while he's hellbent on destroying his objective until you piss him off enough he notices you to attack and fights back, but the whole time he's dead set on destroying his objective. You and your party have to keep chasing him or running him down trying to mobilize him and whittle away at his health while the boss is just destroying everything. You could run this scenario in many ways, but the point is lets have some combat that uses the environment, and we're not all locked into a tennis court whacking attacks back and forth inside a 10X10 box...

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Resting

I always thought that resting kills the momentum and flow of the game. It's realism at the cost of fun and enjoyment. I'd much rather have cooldowns, or a regenerating mana bar, or even a stamina system where stamina gradually recharges over time and more powerful attacks decrease your stamina by greater amounts - where you could use the same powerful ability over and over (unlike cooldowns) but it would leave you fatigued for some time.

 

Guiding Hand

This is largely a result of moving to 1st / 3rd person RPGs. Navigating in an isometric game is easy, as you're always aware of which direction you're going and north is always up. Navigating in a 1st / 3rd person RPG is significantly more difficult, and it's easy to get turned around after an encounter. If I didn't set a target marker in Witcher, I would constantly get lost running through the city or the swamps. To keep the player from getting lost in 1st / 3rd person games, or from having to constantly open the map, you either need to make linear tunnel levels (KOTOR, Mass Effect) or you need guiding hands and quest markers (Fallout 3, Elder Scrolls).

 

I'm ok with getting rid of the guiding hand so long as you build the game around that. This requires good directions, and built-in careful note-taking. If you get rid of the "go here, do this" quest log, replace it with a note log - "I heard a rumour about a slave camp. Some said it was in the woods north of town, while others claim seeing slaves by the caves at the southern tip of the mountain range to the west." I should be able to pick up the game again after a few months away and be able to figure out from the in-game notes what I was working on and where I need to go to accomplish them.

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