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RPG cliches you hope to see avoided and/or mocked


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I don't want to see any trope mocked. I don't even want to see it subverted. I want to see it done right.

 

Evil orcs? Sure. I love me evil orcs. But explain why they're evil. Like the orcs of Middle Earth, they live in a violent and degenerate society, in a part of the world where resources are used almost exclusively for warfare - if they don't adept, they die.

 

Hmm well in LotR the orcs were created by Morgoth as a mockery of the Children of Illuvatar (elves). Don't recall much info about their society such.

 

But imo that's still a pretty weak motivation - "they're evil cuz that's how they were made!" :p

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Orcs are an atheistic, warlike society. They view farming and diplomacy as tools of the weak, combat is what defines you. The best warrior/conqueror is a Orc worthy of leadership and is the inspiration for all little orcs, "The Orc to be". Does that solve the problem?

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I don't want to see any trope mocked. I don't even want to see it subverted. I want to see it done right.

 

Evil orcs? Sure. I love me evil orcs. But explain why they're evil. Like the orcs of Middle Earth, they live in a violent and degenerate society, in a part of the world where resources are used almost exclusively for warfare - if they don't adept, they die.

 

Hmm well in LotR the orcs were created by Morgoth as a mockery of the Children of Illuvatar (elves). Don't recall much info about their society such.

 

But imo that's still a pretty weak motivation - "they're evil cuz that's how they were made!" :p

 

Tolkien himself was disappointed with the idea that they orcs were considered "irredeemable" however - I recalled reading somewhere that he felt he wrote himself in a corner.

 

I say run with that. Make the "orc" a violent, wicked creature - but have them live in a part of a world where the have no choice but to live the way they do. Maybe they live in a harsh, inhospitable land where they don't have enough resources to survive without raiding - or maybe they're a slave caste, beaten and mistreated, lashing out.

 

There's a lot of ways you can run with traditional fantasy tropes, without changing it just for the sake of changing it.

 

Don't get me wrong, I don't mind playing with or even playfully mocking traditional fantasy archetypes. Planescape: Torment did that (largely because the Planescape setting did that) but it also respected its roots, to speak. It wasn't change, simply for the sake of change. I'd much rather see well-written "cliches" than poorly written changes for the sake of changes.

 

(Of course, I expect Obsidian will do a great job no matter what they do - however, with a lot of the "ambiguity" that is common in modern fantasy fiction sometimes I feel going a "traditional" route would actually be more refreshing.)

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It may not be possible to be commercial and entirely avoid the cliche, but perhaps it can be limited to one of the big cities, while the other is... different.

 

With souls playing such a major role, I tend to think that family honor will be more significant. Think the death-masks on the walls of Sevillia's home in Rome with the talking pictures in Harry Potter. Not literally, of course, but family crypts or mausoleums, hallowed ground of all types would be widely used and well-populated. Many shades will be of the "You're RUINING THE FAMILY FORTUNE dimwit!" or "HOW DARE YOU PROFANE MY HOME WITH THAT HARPY!" variety. I think it likely that the recently dead or even long-departed may play a much larger, although passive, role than in other games of this type. Negotiations would be more interesting too because few incorporeal beings can actually deliver monetary rewards. What, exactly, they might deliver will probably depend on how well developed non-combat skills are... or even classes.

 

Mind you, this shouldn't turn it into Grim Fandango with everybody and their uncle dead, but it sure would explain why nobles like to go to their country estates fairly often. Most of the time there aren't a bunch of cranky souls lurking in the bright sunlit corners.

Edited by Methuseleh
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Did you ever notice that a) no CRPG ever allows you to negotiate for your reward in advance, and b) rivals never appear to competitively bid against you. Imagine: you are sitting in the Meister's antechamber negotiating a price for the rescue of his favorite neice from durance vile. You are just about to put quill to parchment when Belloq and his goons show up and offer to do it for less! Conversation options:

 

1) If you let this man touch your neice, you'll never get the smell off of her!

2) (Reputation) You know we'll get the job done. This man is unreliable. (counter-reputation check)

3) (Bluff) Ask the souls of the last people he tried to "rescue" if you can find their graves. Their parents never did.

4) Fine, we'll do it for 5,000 gold.

5) We'll take the job and do it right for 4,000 but not a copper less.

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A big chunk of Torment especially consists of the writers thumbing their noses at RPG cliches: there are no swords, the lowly rat is (in the form of cranium rats) supposed to prove a big threat if massed together, there is no grand universe-shaking quest, the game is designed so that you are encouraged to die to advance the plot, there are no elves or dwarves or haflings, your mental stats are actually a lot more important to getting a good ending than your ability to beat the crap out of things, and so forth. This has been stated outright by MCA in several interviews by now.

 

I suspect P:E will continue in that hallowed tradition and give a few of the more tired RPG cliches a good ol' kick in the balls. But which of these cliches is really asking for it? What things have you seen in about a billion different games that would you now like to see torn to shreds by our esteemed game designers?

 

If you've played Dishonored, then you know that rats are a terrifying force capable of stripping the flesh from an armored man's bones in a matter of seconds.

 

I don't want to see any trope mocked. I don't even want to see it subverted. I want to see it done right.

 

Evil orcs? Sure. I love me evil orcs. But explain why they're evil. Like the orcs of Middle Earth, they live in a violent and degenerate society, in a part of the world where resources are used almost exclusively for warfare - if they don't adept, they die.

 

So... you want PE to be a parade of well-executed cliches.

 

You want PE to be Dragon Age Origins?

 

And using all your resources for war is not adaptability. Developing a way to make a house out of ice in the arctic is adaptability. Humans are adaptable. Orcs, as you describe them, are not adaptable. Humans spread accross the globe thanks to adaptability. The Romans conquered the Mediterranean because they adapted to use new ideas and abandoned the old ones that failed.

 

If Orcs were adaptable, they wouldn't have a cozy cliche niche as evil, bloodthirsty, barbarian monsters, they'd be just as varied as humanity.

Edited by AGX-17
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The chosen one, prophecies, party members begging to join and forcing themselves on the player, swords (I hate swords, we should have more spears).

Derpdragon of the Obsidian Order

Derpdragons everywhere. I like spears.

 

No sleep for the Watcher... because he was busy playing Pillars of Eternity instead.

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Like many of you have said, I think the one that's probably the most played out is the "chosen one stops ancient evil" cliche and I think dark souls was a pretty good example of circumventing that. For those who didn't play it, the world is already trashed and you play a lowly zombie who pulls himself up by his bootstraps to either save or destroy the world, I wouldn't mind if project eternity took this route as well. I think it's far better if the player is allowed to become top-dog instead of just being thrust into the world and told your guy did a bunch of awesome stuff before you even started playing him (I'm looking at you, mass effect/dragon age 2). Alternatively it might be cool if they took the fable path, and allowed your character to age as the game progressed, if done right, that, I think could be really awesome, because it is a little hard to believe that your character didn't do anything noteworthy for the first half of his life, before you started controlling him/her and I would like to see my character be old, but still kicking butt at lvl 20.

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The only cliche/trope I am dead against in the CRPG is the combat solves every solution one ... this is a CRPG not an ARPG ... if I want to kill everything that moves then I will play an FPS or ARPG ... I like there to be situations where talking or listening your way out of the problem is actually the best solution (and the most rewarding) ... like the Ogre in the tower at the beginning of IWD ... you can kill him (depending on the dialog options you choose) or you can solve his problem ... solving his problem actually rewards you with more experience ... in a game like PE where we will likely hit our level cap before the final battle (if we fully explore all the side quests), I like there to be alternatives to the "kill em all and let God sort them out approach" ;)

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Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing.” ― Robert E. Howard

:)

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The only problem in RPGs regarding negotiation/stealth and combat is that combat is universal solution to every problem. You can negotiate through some combat endcounter or stealth through them but not through every single one (you rarely can talk/sneak through bosses or random encounters). On the other hand you can fight through every encounter you could talk your way through or sneak pass.

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The only problem in RPGs regarding negotiation/stealth and combat is that combat is universal solution to every problem. You can negotiate through some combat endcounter or stealth through them but not through every single one (you rarely can talk/sneak through bosses or random encounters). On the other hand you can fight through every encounter you could talk your way through or sneak pass.

 

I don't have a problem with combat being prevalent or if someone wants to use it for every situation ... however, I would like there to be some situations where, although you can certainly resolve it with combat, the diplomatic solution provides greater reward (more experience, special reward, etc) ... that would be enough to break the paradigm of killing everything that moved ... you could still do it, but you will miss out on some rewards or experience if you don't take a more multifaceted approach ;)

Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing.” ― Robert E. Howard

:)

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The only problem in RPGs regarding negotiation/stealth and combat is that combat is universal solution to every problem. You can negotiate through some combat endcounter or stealth through them but not through every single one (you rarely can talk/sneak through bosses or random encounters). On the other hand you can fight through every encounter you could talk your way through or sneak pass.

 

I don't have a problem with combat being prevalent or if someone wants to use it for every situation ... however, I would like there to be some situations where, although you can certainly resolve it with combat, the diplomatic solution provides greater reward (more experience, special reward, etc) ... that would be enough to break the paradigm of killing everything that moved ... you could still do it, but you will miss out on some rewards or experience if you don't take a more multifaceted approach ;)

 

There actually should be some situation you can't solve by combat, otherwise it will remain superior as 2-3 skills can replace every skill you lack.

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There actually should be some situation you can't solve by combat, otherwise it will remain superior as 2-3 skills can replace every skill you lack.

 

I am okay with this but some people don't like situations that are forced on them ... I think there are in reality times when only fighting will solve certain problems and only talking will solve others ... I am okay with encounters structured with the "choose wrong and die" approach ... others might not share my acceptance of those situations though ... some people are very nitpicky about the save and restore feature in CRPGs that those situations tend to foster ;)

Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing.” ― Robert E. Howard

:)

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I don't want to see any trope mocked. I don't even want to see it subverted. I want to see it done right.

 

Evil orcs? Sure. I love me evil orcs. But explain why they're evil. Like the orcs of Middle Earth, they live in a violent and degenerate society, in a part of the world where resources are used almost exclusively for warfare - if they don't adept, they die.

 

 

Not even in D&D are all orcs truly evil.

 

"But wait" - you say. It sez CHAOTIC EVIL in the monsters handbook. Yea?

Well so does the entry for DROW.

And we have plenty of non-evil drow running around, now don't we?

 

Aligment is a guideline. It shows a specific leaning of a race.

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* YOU ARE A WRONGULARITY FROM WHICH NO RIGHT CAN ESCAPE! *

Chuck Norris was wrong once - He thought HE made a mistake!

 

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I don't want to see any trope mocked. I don't even want to see it subverted. I want to see it done right.

 

Evil orcs? Sure. I love me evil orcs. But explain why they're evil. Like the orcs of Middle Earth, they live in a violent and degenerate society, in a part of the world where resources are used almost exclusively for warfare - if they don't adept, they die.

 

 

Not even in D&D are all orcs truly evil.

 

"But wait" - you say. It sez CHAOTIC EVIL in the monsters handbook. Yea?

Well so does the entry for DROW.

And we have plenty of non-evil drow running around, now don't we?

 

Aligment is a guideline. It shows a specific leaning of a race.

 

Don't forget non evil Succubus and evil deva in Torment.

Edited by BasaltineBadger
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The only problem in RPGs regarding negotiation/stealth and combat is that combat is universal solution to every problem. You can negotiate through some combat endcounter or stealth through them but not through every single one (you rarely can talk/sneak through bosses or random encounters). On the other hand you can fight through every encounter you could talk your way through or sneak pass.

 

Only if the game is designed as such.

 

You can design unwinnable combats that the player can only survive by runnign away (or using non-combat options).

 

Say you run into a noble on the road with his bodyguard. You decide to try to rob him and attack. Suddenly the reast of his men (who were camping nearby) join in the fight.

 

You party find itself fighting off LITERALY 100 trained soldiers - something that you can't survive even at max level.

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* YOU ARE A WRONGULARITY FROM WHICH NO RIGHT CAN ESCAPE! *

Chuck Norris was wrong once - He thought HE made a mistake!

 

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The only problem in RPGs regarding negotiation/stealth and combat is that combat is universal solution to every problem. You can negotiate through some combat endcounter or stealth through them but not through every single one (you rarely can talk/sneak through bosses or random encounters). On the other hand you can fight through every encounter you could talk your way through or sneak pass.

 

Only if the game is designed as such.

 

You can design unwinnable combats that the player can only survive by runnign away (or using non-combat options).

 

Say you run into a noble on the road with his bodyguard. You decide to try to rob him and attack. Suddenly the reast of his men (who were camping nearby) join in the fight.

 

You party find itself fighting off LITERALY 100 trained soldiers - something that you can't survive even at max level.

 

I'm just describing how it usually look like right now. For example in NV you can generally shoot through the quests that requires but you can't talk through Cazadors.

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I'd rather leave the story and the clichés that are or aren't used now firmly in the hands of the developers. They all have a great creative nous and the experience to know what they're doing, it seems unnecessary to instruct them continuously as they well aware of how to make a good story.

 

Are they not currently firmly in the hands of the developers? Did I miss something?

 

This is a forum. It is not a manual for the developers and not a list of demands about what they need to add to make their game any good. We are all powerless in what they choose to add, and thankfully so, since if we did have any actual power over content our collective and contradictory nagging would probably make the developers long for the good old days of publisher control.

 

Yet if, given this reality, we choose to say nothing at all about our hopes and expectations for the creative direction of this game, why are we even here? Again, this is a forum. We discuss things here. it doesn't mean we are demanding things be added or removed; it means we express our views and, maybe every once in a rare while, a developer passes through, sees and agrees. Or doesn't agree. Or doesn't think twice about it. Whichever. We aren't discussing it so a developer can see it but because we're interested in the game, do not currently have the game, and so instead channel that excitement and interest into chatting about it and what it may or may not do.

 

So yeah, I hope we see a lot more threads in which people talk about what they want to see in the story or what they want to see from the characters. Just so long as they lack any power to enforce those views, the more the merrier, and it would be pretty dull around here without such discussions.

I can see your point, but I don't think the fans are entirely powerless; majority public opinion certainly helped shape the stretch goals a lot whilst funding was still open and lead to the inclusion of some goals that not everyone may have necessarily wanted. I guess I just don't want to see something shoehorned into the game or removed abruptly because that's what the fans say they want and the developers do have an obligation, when really the game might turn out stronger if some things that aren't popular were just left in or left out as they mesh better with the rest of the setting or mechanics, etc.

 

Still, I apologise as this greivance doesn't really belong to this thread as you're right this is more of a discussion than anything else. I think we can all agree that really stupid clichés that have been done to death probably shouldn't be in the game, or if they are acompanying the cliché there should be some sort of twist or innovation.

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I don't know that I like this idea of mocking cliches, it for starters feels like going to a place of hostility and not fun. It also feels like breaking the 4th wall of they say made fun of people who use swords. I don't understand the hate for swords, they are real weapons used quite efficiently.

 

I mean I want humors but I want that sort of thig organic to the world like if two characters nag on each about something. I swear some of the threads here feel like they are draining the fun out of this game. And it's barely even begun to be made.

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Head of Vecna... It will be hilarious on the boards...

 

I didn't know that Vecna swung that way... :p Not my orientation, regardless. I was hoping for the handjob of Vecna's sister! :dancing:

 

Getting back on topic: though this isn't a medieval combat simulator, I do hope that Obsidian takes some intelligent cues from this and other weapon threads. We favor realistic arms and panoplies and want P:E to satisfy this desire. The cliche of 25lb two-handed swords and other such preposterously heavy equipment is in desperate need of banishment.

Edited by Tsuga C
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http://cbrrescue.org/

 

Go afield with a good attitude, with respect for the wildlife you hunt and for the forests and fields in which you walk. Immerse yourself in the outdoors experience. It will cleanse your soul and make you a better person.----Fred Bear

 

http://michigansaf.org/

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A big chunk of Torment especially consists of the writers thumbing their noses at RPG cliches: there are no swords, the lowly rat is (in the form of cranium rats) supposed to prove a big threat if massed together, there is no grand universe-shaking quest, the game is designed so that you are encouraged to die to advance the plot, there are no elves or dwarves or haflings, your mental stats are actually a lot more important to getting a good ending than your ability to beat the crap out of things, and so forth. This has been stated outright by MCA in several interviews by now.

 

I suspect P:E will continue in that hallowed tradition and give a few of the more tired RPG cliches a good ol' kick in the balls. But which of these cliches is really asking for it? What things have you seen in about a billion different games that would you now like to see torn to shreds by our esteemed game designers?

 

If you've played Dishonored, then you know that rats are a terrifying force capable of stripping the flesh from an armored man's bones in a matter of seconds.

 

I don't want to see any trope mocked. I don't even want to see it subverted. I want to see it done right.

 

Evil orcs? Sure. I love me evil orcs. But explain why they're evil. Like the orcs of Middle Earth, they live in a violent and degenerate society, in a part of the world where resources are used almost exclusively for warfare - if they don't adept, they die.

 

So... you want PE to be a parade of well-executed cliches.

 

You want PE to be Dragon Age Origins?

 

And using all your resources for war is not adaptability. Developing a way to make a house out of ice in the arctic is adaptability. Humans are adaptable. Orcs, as you describe them, are not adaptable. Humans spread accross the globe thanks to adaptability. The Romans conquered the Mediterranean because they adapted to use new ideas and abandoned the old ones that failed.

 

If Orcs were adaptable, they wouldn't have a cozy cliche niche as evil, bloodthirsty, barbarian monsters, they'd be just as varied as humanity.

 

I don't want PE to be anything like DA:O.

 

Dragon Age was a parade of poorly executed tropes in a poor attempt to make "dark fantasy".

 

However, I don't want (and don't expect) change simply for the sake of change - and with nearly every fantasy setting these days making traditionally evil races sympathetic and understandable, going back to the "roots" would actually be a refreshing change. Then again, I'd personally like to see PE draw a lot of influence from the Ravenloft campaign setting, not so much in gothic atmosphere, but the ability to simultaneously play both moral ambiguity and evil at the same time.

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I don't want to see any trope mocked. I don't even want to see it subverted. I want to see it done right.

 

Evil orcs? Sure. I love me evil orcs. But explain why they're evil. Like the orcs of Middle Earth, they live in a violent and degenerate society, in a part of the world where resources are used almost exclusively for warfare - if they don't adept, they die.

 

 

Not even in D&D are all orcs truly evil.

 

"But wait" - you say. It sez CHAOTIC EVIL in the monsters handbook. Yea?

Well so does the entry for DROW.

And we have plenty of non-evil drow running around, now don't we?

 

Aligment is a guideline. It shows a specific leaning of a race.

 

I long for the day when all orcs and drow weren't just misunderstood niceguys.

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Probably already been said but I want the cliche of plate being heavy and immobile raped and destroyed.

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Romance.

 

No wait, hear me out.

 

I've lost count of the number of games where the members of a party do not have any prior romantic attachments or come with "Waiting for true wuv" written on their character sheet. Is it so hard to write a character that already has someone they're involved with?

 

Having the lovable and cute rogue already have someone wooing him/her both makes sense, and opens up the possibility of less 'pure' themes. If you wanted to romance them, would you try to cuckold their existing lover, or stick around and wait like the average creeptastic stalker, hoping for (or perhaps contributing to) breaking up the relationship?

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