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Mature themes you'd like to see in the game

mature themes dialogue philosophy

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#141
alphyna

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Actually, what I wouldn't like is trying to incorporate everything from this thread into the game. Choose one theme (or maybe a couple, like suffering and the nature of belief in PST) and explore it thoroughly. With that I can allow for a lot of different topics. You have souls? Right, let it be the "you're a nice guy born with a lousy soul, what do you do" thing. It's not the most interesting thing in the world for me, but it'll work if discussed in detail.

#142
Wombat

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That's why I asked if the setting allows various views/interpretations to the obvious inequality, the answer to which seems to be "yes". For I don't like it to be just a setting for one-shot story but to keep room for various possibilities of development for different campaigns/quests. In this way, a believable and cohesive world which lets us imagine various ways of living is quite important, I think.

#143
Giantevilhead

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There was an interesting argument I overheard one day. Everybody is against sweat shops because of the working conditions and feel like they accomplished something when they close them down. However, a person from an area that has a sweat shop pointed out that it is horrible when they close a sweat shop. While it is horrible working conditions by most of our standards, it at least gave people a place to work and money, when they closed the shops, most of those women workers were forced into prostitution to survive.

Showing this would be very powerful, but it should not be a simple binary choice, you should be able to find multiple solutions and have some forsight into what will happen. Maybe you can convince, blackmail, or replace the owner with someone who will make better working conditions, perhaps you can get the community together to make a community job that shares the wealth, or perhaps you should convince them to join the military, they get a job and money, but its dangerous, perhaps you are evil or good and take over the place yourself, creating better working conditions, or making it even worse, but making more profit. Maybe you trick them into thinking you freed them, then sell them to slavery. just avoid the simple binary choices, create multiple solutions for the situations we run into.

One thing you rarely see is magic being used in mature settings. These are a few ideas I have in my own setting. What about that guy (or girl) who is obsessed with someone, do you not think they would put a spell on them to fall in love (or sex slave). Not to mention what slave traders and brothels would do with magic. What about necromancy being used to bring back the dead as labor and soldiers? How would you feel if the culture required to give all dead bodies too the government to be brought back as an undead slave? Knowing that is your fate. What about soul transfer? What if instead of being executed for a crime, or prisoners of war, the soul is removed and another is put in. Say soldiers slain in battle would awaken to find themselves in another body, to fight again. Perhaps that would be a recruiting tool, too old or frail, join the military and get a new body, be young and strong again! (oh, forgot to mention that you do not decide what type of body, you might be a guy waking up in a womans body or vice versa...hey, at least your healthy) or worse, imagine nobles and the rich that would never die.

Lot of interesting things that could be done.


Complex issues are generally very layered.

Take the sweatshop example. Everything you mentioned was true. However, there is also the fact that the people who run those sweatshops do not want conditions to improve. If the sweatshop workers are no longer desperate, if they have other employment opportunities and a way out of poverty, they'll either leave the sweatshops or they'll want pay raises and better working conditions. It is in the interest of the sweatshop owners to ensure that the people have no where else to turn but the sweatshops. So they collude with the governments to ensure that the conditions remain bad enough so that people would always be desperate enough to work in sweatshops.

Then there's the people who buy the products of the sweatshops. Everyone wants prices to be as low as possible but then there are also a lot of people can only afford to buy the cheapest products. That is the incentive for the companies to keep the sweatshops running and conditions bad enough so that there would always be people desperate enough to work in those sweatshops. At the same time, companies that don't use sweatshops can't compete with the low prices of the companies that do use sweatshops so either they go out of business or they have to start using sweatshops too.

That's still a very simplistic description of the problem and there are many other factors involved. So not only do you have to look at the main problem, you have to look at the conditions that caused the big problem, the additional conditions that led up to those conditions that caused the problem, and so on. A true solution would then have to be very broad, tackle dozens of different issues, and take a lot of different factors and potential obstacles into consideration.

#144
Pixelperfekt

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I´d like to get to a point in the story where my character realises that what he is doing is not necessarily "good" and the "bad guys" are not necessarily evil.
Racisim, prejudice and sacrifice are also themes i´d like to see in the game. Everything shouldn't be so black and white.

#145
Gene3

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As long as they don't mistake 'mature' for 'grimdark', I suspect i'll be happy.
  • HangedMan likes this

#146
septembervirgin

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I think inserting economic influences as a part of gameplay going hand-in-hand with both story elements and arising conflicts would be a unique feature that should appear in later expansion. As far as results go, economic repercussions are a mature consideration that must really be a part of any mature understanding of a world, perhaps even of a fictional world.

EDIT: And hey, where do all the gold coins come from anyway? Why do we never see a Numismatics Factory?

Edited by septembervirgin, 07 October 2012 - 05:48 PM.


#147
Locke03

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I like a lot of the ideas presented here, but I think the trap to avoid is making everything anachronistic. If slavery is culturally acceptable om the in-game world, it should be treated as such and not be all "hint hint, nudge nudge this is wrong". If the abolitionists are committing acts of terrorism, treat them as such and not as misguided heroes. Is the slave trader a legitimate businessman? Treat him as such as well and not some secret monster. Same goes for any of the other '-isims', allow the ideas to be present but don't try to railroad the player into a specific line of thought. Show, don't tell, and leave the player to figure it all out on their own.

::Edit::
Also something that could be played around with: Seeing how souls are persistent and eternal, or at least outlasting the bodies they currently inhabit(?), I'd like to see something along the lines of persistent karma and individuals having to reap the consequences of previous lives be they good or bad and irrespective of how good or bad they may be in their current life.

Edited by Locke03, 07 October 2012 - 07:39 PM.


#148
happyelf

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The whole 'only asking questions' thing is a bit of a copout. It's often dressed up as some kind of artistic detachment, but it's really just a way to avoid offending people.

If we want these obsidipeeps to be passionate and enthusiastic about the game, they should be able to express their own views or follow the ideas. For instance, they sound enthusiastic about the idea of souls fragmenting/ect and how this relates to various social norms, ect. I would much prefer they just take that idea and run with it wherever their feverish imaginations carry them, rather than sanding off all the sharp edges.


Failing that, I request a hamfisted parable for the global financial crisis, with half assed concept substitutions like swapping 'subprime loans' for 'dwarvern armor funding' and 'hedge fund managers' for 'villainous alchemists'.

Edited by happyelf, 07 October 2012 - 08:09 PM.


#149
Deadly_Nightshade

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I´d like to get to a point in the story where my character realises that what he is doing is not necessarily "good" and the "bad guys" are not necessarily evil.
Racisim, prejudice and sacrifice are also themes i´d like to see in the game. Everything shouldn't be so black and white.


If you've not tried them, The Witcher and The Witcher II sound like games you'd like.

#150
Huskypaw

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Mostly interested into tragedy:
1. People trying to help others thus getting into no-way-out situations.
2. People getting into situations which they don't caused themselves.
3. A tale of Two Sisters
4. Oldboy
5. Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance
6. A ball, dropping down on the stairs and falling down, making you run after it but not able to catch it yet in sight.
7. A process you can't stop, like somebody marching forward - so in some way not the ball dropping down the stairs but someone pushing forward.
  • Badmojo and septembervirgin like this

#151
Badmojo

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one thing, I would like them to explore the dark side of nobility in mideval times. Nobles where always trying to assassinate each other, parents trying to kill children, children trying to kill parents, relatives..etc. All to raise in status, get wealth, land, slaves/serfs...etc. Then there was the decadance, living a life carefree having parties with feasts, while their own parties starved, then we have the infamous incest between nobles (brothers marrying sisters/cousins..etc)'keeping the line pure' before DNA was fully understood and these offspring and sometimes the mother were sent far away to keep this black sheep secret, then we have arranged marriages which basically made noble children chess pieces or living contract between two groups. Would be forced marry (against their will) and were expected to sire a child. Not to mention the abuse many nobles took on its own people that were treated no different than slaves...etc

#152
BasaltineBadger

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How about a dark side of people being able to bring down whole cities walking around. One highly experienced adventurer can destroy villages after villages and face no consequences because unless he'll encounter other high level characters is untouchable. Most DnD campaigns should look like Hokuto no Ken, not LOTR.

#153
crazyrabbits

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A realistic (well, as realistic as a game can be) exploration of child labor/slavery. If nothing else, it should be done to show other companies how mature themes can be handled in a complex and respectful way.

Let's say you come across a town that openly and flagrantly allows children to be sold for housework and/or indentured servitude. You come across an open auction where a group of children, including one or more that appear to have been injured on the job, are being "resold" to other clients. You can handle this situation multiple ways.

1) You can walk up and break them out, which has the effect of making you lose your reputation within the community and/or lead to a chain reaction that results in you having to kill guards/residents who try to attack you, with the end result being that you ask yourself whether the loss of life was worth it.

2) You can bargain for some of the children and release them, at the cost that the one(s) you weren't able to save end up being sold to a trader/merchant who takes him somewhere outside of the in-game world, and you are left wondering if you could have saved them all.

3) You bargain for all of the children, release them all, then have to deal with the consequences - you end up having to pay more money to cover their recuperation/shelter at a local orphanage, but you get a rep bonus and there's additional content down the line (one of the children was stolen from a noble in a far-off city, who welcomes you in and gives you discounts when s/he learns that you rescued their child).

Something like that.

Edited by crazyrabbits, 08 October 2012 - 08:58 PM.






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