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RPG cliches you hope to see avoided and/or mocked


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Chosen One / Hero player-character. That's the only one which really bothers me.

 

Preach it.

 

I'm unspeakably tired of being Jesus, and it's the one and only thing that I would single out as the plague what to be avoided like.

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Chosen One / Hero player-character. That's the only one which really bothers me.

 

Preach it.

 

I'm unspeakably tired of being Jesus, and it's the one and only thing that I would single out as the plague what to be avoided like.

 

I definitely didn't feel Iike Jesus when in BG being a Bhaalspawn.

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I would prefer to see less of them, but cliches aren't bad themselves, just that the execution is sometimes very, very poor. A capable person is fully able to add cliches to a game and not make the game suffer. I think it is all about how it is implemented.

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"Beyond the east the sunrise, beyond the west the sea, and the east and west the wander-thirst, it will not let me be."

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Traditional racial bias. For all its greatness, racial relations in Arcanum were pretty predictable. Which is to say there should be racism, just not in the most established ways.

Elves don't like dwarves but hate Orcs even more, orly? Maybe base racial relations more on current political situations, like what races are at war with each other.

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I'd like Obsidian to explore different aspects of established fantasy cliché races. Maybe goblins will be cunning but cowardly (instead of stupid and aggressive), and elves will be tribal and savage. WotC tried this approach very successfully in the Mercadian Masques set.

"Well, overkill is my middle name. And my last name. And all of my other names as well!"

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I have a real problem with the "All rumours are true" trope.

Then why are they called rumours? In a game, when someone says "only a few believe this" it's still a safe bet that it is worth checking out.

Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
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Pet threads, everyone has them. I love imagining Gods, Monsters, Factions and Weapons.

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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.

 

 

Yeah.

 

However, aligment really doesn't even enter into equation when someone is trying to murder you.

* 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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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?

 

Seconding this. I find the lack of prior relationships in characters' lives disturbing. No one's ever married or involved with someone. They don't even have any friends except for after they join your group of awesome heroes and then they're your friend. They'll never fall in love with another companion or even feel attracted to another companion -- despite the fact that nearly ever single one of them will be attractive individuals -- they'll only ever fall in love with you.

And no matter how "active" their sex life is, they've never had a kid. Ever. Even if they're a woman. Most likely because they're conveniently infertile.

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I feel that actively avoiding cliches, or mocking them (unless the game is a spoof game) is a cliche in and of itself.

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"It is an extraordinary act of courage to come to know a stranger's pain. To even consider such a thing demands a profound dispensation, a willingness to wear someone else's chains, to taste their suffering, to see with one's own eyes the hue cast on all things -- the terrible stain that is despair."

 

-Tulas Shorn

"Toll the Hounds" by Steven Erikson

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I feel that actively avoiding cliches, or mocking them (unless the game is a spoof game) is a cliche in and of itself.

 

Clearly the only solution is to avoid the cliche of snubbing cliches by embracing cliches.
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I have a real problem with the "All rumours are true" trope.

Then why are they called rumours? In a game, when someone says "only a few believe this" it's still a safe bet that it is worth checking out.

 

"All myths are true" is even worse. Oh, there's a legend about this mythological sword of the gods being hidden in this cave, huh? Oh, will you look at that. There it is. You just came by here yesterday and hid it, didn't you. :getlost:

 

As Ayn Rand said, cliches are cliches because they were good once. It doesn't have to be a disaster that there's a trope being revisited yet again. But if you're going to take 60 hours to tell a story, something good would be nice.

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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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Seconding this. I find the lack of prior relationships in characters' lives disturbing. No one's ever married or involved with someone. They don't even have any friends except for after they join your group of awesome heroes and then they're your friend. They'll never fall in love with another companion or even feel attracted to another companion -- despite the fact that nearly ever single one of them will be attractive individuals -- they'll only ever fall in love with you.

And no matter how "active" their sex life is, they've never had a kid. Ever. Even if they're a woman. Most likely because they're conveniently infertile.

 

You mean, apart from Haer'dalis and Aerie, Khalid and Jaheira, Xvar and Montaron, Aveline and Donnic . . .

 

Heck, even Zevran in Dragon Age: Origins had a previous love he tells you about.

 

Granted, that's ANOTHER unfortunately common trope--the "dead wife" or girlfriend. That's one that could stand to be subverted. Where's the bitter divorcee with child support and alimony payments? That sure describes a lot more guys I know than any other trope I've seen.

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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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Seconding this. I find the lack of prior relationships in characters' lives disturbing. No one's ever married or involved with someone. They don't even have any friends except for after they join your group of awesome heroes and then they're your friend. They'll never fall in love with another companion or even feel attracted to another companion -- despite the fact that nearly ever single one of them will be attractive individuals -- they'll only ever fall in love with you.

And no matter how "active" their sex life is, they've never had a kid. Ever. Even if they're a woman. Most likely because they're conveniently infertile.

 

You mean, apart from Haer'dalis and Aerie, Khalid and Jaheira, Xvar and Montaron, Aveline and Donnic . . .

 

Heck, even Zevran in Dragon Age: Origins had a previous love he tells you about.

 

Granted, that's ANOTHER unfortunately common trope--the "dead wife" or girlfriend. That's one that could stand to be subverted. Where's the bitter divorcee with child support and alimony payments? That sure describes a lot more guys I know than any other trope I've seen.

 

Well most people who have a wife at home probably don't become adventurers. Other party members may have had liaisons in the past but its likely that if they are out seeking their fortunes on the open road they have no real attachments to the outside world.That said however, I think party members falling in love with each other should happen, but it makes sense that it would be less common because simply by virtue of being the leader and self-described alpha male of the group the PC is likely going to come across as the most attractive to any would be suitors. But I party member on party member romance has been done before in some rpgs(maybe one of the mass effects?) I just can't think of which right now.

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Useless authority/military/law enforcement figures who depend on the hero to do their job.

 

It gets worse if you begin the game as a clueless wimp whose boots are clearly too big for him.

 

- Lands of Lore1: you are the king's champion for no apparent reason

 

- Wizardry 8: you're hired as bodyguards but you can't fight a rat without dying

 

- Icewind Dale 1: you're hired as caravan guards when there are yetis and **** in the mountains who can kill you with a mean stare

 

- practically every single Ultima

 

 

This will probably not happen in PE but I just want to make sure that idea doesn't get lost along the way.

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Useless authority/military/law enforcement figures who depend on the hero to do their job.

 

It gets worse if you begin the game as a clueless wimp whose boots are clearly too big for him.

 

- Lands of Lore1: you are the king's champion for no apparent reason

 

- Wizardry 8: you're hired as bodyguards but you can't fight a rat without dying

 

- Icewind Dale 1: you're hired as caravan guards when there are yetis and **** in the mountains who can kill you with a mean stare

 

- practically every single Ultima

 

 

This will probably not happen in PE but I just want to make sure that idea doesn't get lost along the way.

 

I don't think it's always obvious how powerful someone is. Also, levels are just game mechanics, not a thing the characters are aware of. Even if the characters started at level 5, the challenges would be accordingly tougher and the "problem" would remain.

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I don't think it's always obvious how powerful someone is. Also, levels are just game mechanics, not a thing the characters are aware of. Even if the characters started at level 5, the challenges would be accordingly tougher and the "problem" would remain.

 

The problem consists only in the story/ premise. I'm not asking for an easy introduction, but for a believable plot. If your character gets killed by rats, he shouldn't be some king's first choice for a dangerous mission, or a bodyguard.

 

Example: After you had done the introductory quests and fought your way to Kuldahar, when you were about lvl 3 and you could stand a chance against enemies like Yetis, it would have been a good time for your characters to be hired as guards in an area where such monsters exists. There was no ingame reason that would have predicted you'd only have to deal with a few goblins on the way.

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I'd prefer not to fight 2hp rats in the cellar, but some R.O.U.S might be ok. :-

“Things are as they are. Looking out into the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.” – Alan Watts
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Grinding for the sake of grinding. I know RPGs are pretty much founded on this idea that if I take my 20 hour game and add another 10-25 hours worth the pointless battles to slow you up constantly I'll then have a 'huge game.' Many RPGs just have a pointless amount of combat when 75% of the time that's probably the most boring part of the game.

 

Which isn't to say combat shouldn't be present at all. It's needed and it's part of what takes an RPG out of the adventure game space. Sometimes however when replaying an RPG I cringe knowing that I'm in for 1.5-2 hours of nonstop trash battles before I can get back to the next bit of story or an interesting boss fight. So I'd just like to see that buffer brought down a bit for the sake of enjoyment/pacing rather than trying to pad out the play hours by forcing you into combat constantly. Once in awhile it's fine. If you're off on a journey to a particularly lonely stretch of land or monster filled stronghold I can totally get it being a longer engagement. I just don't like to see all areas needing 1.5-2 hours to clear.

 

Also if I need to kill 70-100 people in a random cave I can't help but wonder how in the hell they're all getting enough food to live off in this cave that is apparently devoid of anything but treasure and people to slaughter.

K is for Kid, a guy or gal just like you. Don't be in such a hurry to grow up, since there's nothin' a kid can't do.

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