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This one might be a little goofy, but here goes:

 

I love the nonlethal approach.

 

I explicitly try to kill as few things as I possibly can whenever I have a realistic nonlethal option for dispatching enemies in games, and I feel the highest vindication whenever the game, world or characters reacts to those actions.

 

These options are common across many shooter/FPS hybrids--Deus Ex, Dishonored, Alpha Protocol, etc. But after recently finishing Dishonored it occurred to me that I'd never seen this option in any Infinity Engine RPGs or really any pure Western RPGs that I could think of at the time, and I began to wonder why not?

 

Most tabletop RPGs, D&D included, have at least a short barely-referenced sidebar on how to deal nonlethal damage and knock somebody out in a fight, why has this never been an option in the classic or modern pure western RPG? Sure it's a bit silly, since most of what you're cutting down are nameless orcs, thugs, kobolds, and other miscreant cannon fodder, but I've always believed the mark of a true hero is restraint: Just look at Batman.

It would be nice to have a game where my diplomat knows some martial arts focused strictly on rendering opponents unconscious when things get hairy, I would prefer to walk away like a smug badass saying "I warned them" when negotiations fail. Usually, instead I just shake my head and sigh mournfully at the lives wasted this day, because the option to do anything but set them on fire isn't ever present.

Granted, I eventually become desensitized and then when negotiations fail I just cackle like a maniac as I introduce them to a colleague of mine: Doctor Force Lightning, Ph.D. in Murder

 

From a development standpoint, adding in options like these seem pretty trivial, depending on how deep you wanted the system to be. A good 90% of it would be minor subsystems in the game logic--a bool or two here, a different value there--I'm not asking for much, just a little confirmation that I left those dumb thugs on the street battered, bloody, but still breathing. It's not like anyone's going to carefully examine the character model and check to make sure they're using the flat-edge of the blade, so unique animations aren't really necessary I'd say.

 

Don't suppose there's anyone out there who shares my sentiment?

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Hmm I would call myself pacifist in the "real world". And maybe I even dislike strategic war games with tanks etc. Nevertheless, I want play P.E. with a wizard who slaughts his enemy by his will - yes thats just a game and I have fun with that.

 

But I can see your point and hope there will be lots of quests that can be solved alternatevily peaceful.

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Well isn't that the point of stamina + health? You can beat someone into submission, without killing him outright.

 

It's more an AI question: Will a fleeing or knocked out enemy attack you again as soon as he has recovered, or is there an option for surrender, and if there is, how are you going to handle your captives?

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I guess it would be easier to do so in this game, since there is a fatigue stat as well. Just hit your opponents until their fatigue drops to zero and they're rendered unconscious. See Arcanum for a modern Western RPG that does this effectively.

 

Of course, I believe that the end-bosses and epic-level creatures might need to be killed, e.g. a quest asking you to kill the dragon terrorizing the village.

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When I read this thread I got some thoughts in this thread:

 

If something like this becomes available in the game, could one of your characters be "sent to jail" or getting kidnapped which would require the rest of your team of (now 5) save the 6th member? Rescue missions! :D

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I would like to ransom defeated rival parties. Take their stuff AND have somebody pay me to let them out of my dungeons (what good is a stronghold without dungeons?) -- double win! Better yet if there is any interaction that lasts beyond (they escape or come back seeking revenge, some grateful ones help out later), that'd also be neat.

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No objections here.

 

Could be definite cons and pros to killing vs. leaving people alive, adding replayability and responsiveness.

^

 

 

I agree that that is such a stupid idiotic pathetic garbage hateful retarded scumbag evil satanic nazi like term ever created. At least top 5.

 

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Having nonlethal options would be great but I definitely don't want a no-kill playthrough possible. Some of the nonlethal methods for taking out your main targets in Dishonored just seemed so contrived and ruined the whole assassin feel of the game and the questioning morality behind it for me that I actually refuse to take them now, instead striving to kill only my target like a surgeon at work (really hard with the Pendletons if you are going for a ghost run too). Plus, no matter how hard you try eventually one of those guards you knock out should die since it is impossible to knock someone out without the risk of complications.

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ToEE had an option to deal non-lethal damage.

 

JA2 had ways of knocking opponents down - from stun grenades, tranqulizer darts to a shotgun to the chest (if the enemy wore kevlar it would just knock all the air from his lungs). All attacks did some energy damage too (depending on where the enemy was hit, more or less).

Heavily wounded enemy or merc would almost alyways collapse.

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It should be noted that some attacks that most consider "non-lethal" can be quite lethal.

All unarmed combat for example should be "lethal", as you are really hurting someone.

"Non-lethal" should include magic-stun-things, sleep-gas, paralyzing/sleep-poison, and perhaps "soft"-choking (without crushing the throat).

 

For this the "HP"-system should also have much higher thresholds for dying.

GURPS does this pretty well. You have ~ 10HP for an average Human. At 0 you are at risk falling unconscious. At -(10)HP you are at risk to die.

So most battles end with (at least) one side severely wounded/unconscious. Unconscious characters are then of course at the mercy of others ;) .

I like the system because an enemy that drops to the floor isn't automatically dead, and unless you have some sort of medical knowledge you don't know how bad someone is hurt.

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D&D has the subdual damage system, dealing nonlethal damage with a lethal weapon (or vice versa) is a "called attack" at -4 penalty.

Nonlethal damage is accumulated and regenerates over time, when your nonlethal damage exceeds your current hitpoints you fall unconscious.

 

In addition there is the HP dying mechanic where you are unconscious at 0 HP, and take damage every round until your wounds are treated, death comes at -10HP.

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Disarm, trip, bull rush, and subdual--should they prove possible in the engine--would be welcome additions to melee that would open up numerous options in quests. Bounties offered could be tailored to the sort of person offering the bounty and why they were offering it. Bringing the fugative back alive to be questioned should be more lucrative than a simple 'Wanted: Dead or Alive'-type situation.

 

Non-lethal options, where appropriate, would be a fine addition to P:E.

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As long as the majority of enemies aren't going to be just another guard with a family to feed, and there aren't special rewards like bonus XP or achievements that incentivize doing it to every enemy like in Human Revolution. It becomes exhausting and boring sitting on a bunch of lethal weapons because you rarely get the opportunity to use them on anyone who deserves to die.

Edited by Odd Hermit
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Don't suppose there's anyone out there who shares my sentiment?

 

Same here. I would <3 if PE allowed a pacifist run through :D

There are 2 things about pacifist runthroughs that make me excited about them.

 

1) It allows the player to decide when and if your character will kill someone, during the course of gameplay. Rather then, in order to get to point B you need to slaughter a whole lot of guards that are just trying to make money to feed their families. I felt alot of the time during Dishonored that the characters trying to kill me didn't deserve to die. They were doing their job, trying to serve their country. So far as I remember, none of the guards are in on the fact that you got set up and the people in power are the bad guys.

 

2) It adds an opportunity for the player to inject depth and personality into their character. "Does my character feel these people need to die? Is he even thinking on that level, morally?" Sometimes I enjoy playing a game where I can imagine my character is just not cool with murder. They will avoid it whenever the can. It is definatly a refreshing option.

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This one might be a little goofy, but here goes:

 

I love the nonlethal approach.

 

I explicitly try to kill as few things as I possibly can whenever I have a realistic nonlethal option for dispatching enemies in games, and I feel the highest vindication whenever the game, world or characters reacts to those actions.

 

These options are common across many shooter/FPS hybrids--Deus Ex, Dishonored, Alpha Protocol, etc. But after recently finishing Dishonored it occurred to me that I'd never seen this option in any Infinity Engine RPGs or really any pure Western RPGs that I could think of at the time, and I began to wonder why not?

 

Most tabletop RPGs, D&D included, have at least a short barely-referenced sidebar on how to deal nonlethal damage and knock somebody out in a fight, why has this never been an option in the classic or modern pure western RPG? Sure it's a bit silly, since most of what you're cutting down are nameless orcs, thugs, kobolds, and other miscreant cannon fodder, but I've always believed the mark of a true hero is restraint: Just look at Batman.

It would be nice to have a game where my diplomat knows some martial arts focused strictly on rendering opponents unconscious when things get hairy, I would prefer to walk away like a smug badass saying "I warned them" when negotiations fail. Usually, instead I just shake my head and sigh mournfully at the lives wasted this day, because the option to do anything but set them on fire isn't ever present.

Granted, I eventually become desensitized and then when negotiations fail I just cackle like a maniac as I introduce them to a colleague of mine: Doctor Force Lightning, Ph.D. in Murder

 

From a development standpoint, adding in options like these seem pretty trivial, depending on how deep you wanted the system to be. A good 90% of it would be minor subsystems in the game logic--a bool or two here, a different value there--I'm not asking for much, just a little confirmation that I left those dumb thugs on the street battered, bloody, but still breathing. It's not like anyone's going to carefully examine the character model and check to make sure they're using the flat-edge of the blade, so unique animations aren't really necessary I'd say.

 

Don't suppose there's anyone out there who shares my sentiment?

 

I share your sentiment. I always prefer going Batman on my enemies and not killing them for moral reasons blabla. however there are certain games with cases where I'm comfortable with killing..

 

Dragon Age had many siege scenarios. You used ballistas, traps, group spells etc I don't think it would be within the protagonist's power to preserve lives when literally thousands of enemies are attacking your keep at the same time. I mean, even if you succeed, how are you gonna deal with them when they wake up? It'll be hard to arrest that many people, or capture them. Obviously it would be freggin' cool if you could Batman all of them, but... we don't often play RPGs as THE Batman. XD Also, to kill or not to kill depends on the enemies you face in a video game. If they're unredeemable evils, like Dragon Age's dark spawns, or LOTR's orcs, or DND's vampires who are always evil, then I might just want my warrior to pick up a great sword and take 'em out on a ballroom blitz. I like those enemies a lot in video games, because those are the times where I don't have to worry so much about the ethical dilemmas and just have some good ol' fashioned fun with violence. :) If the enemies are people, I alwas check out the dialouge options so that the fewest amount of people have to die, or go the extra mile so no one has to.

 

Project Eternity is a spiritual successor to BG 1-2, IWD, PT and so forth, like Dragon Age Origins was, so I'm not sure if a pacifist run even fits the genre.. It could, and if they do make pacifist run a thing, where the game notices you for sparing as many lives as possible, important NPC and random hostiles, then my two cents are this: Build the game around it. The game Dishonored upset me a lot because there were like 20 different ways to kill enemies systematically, but only two very specific ways to take them out non-lethally. To dispatch enemies non-lethally you could either choke one enemy at the time from behind until they lost consciousness, or you could use sleep darts, which you could only carry ten of. I was upset that you had upgrades that upgraded your ammo count for everything else but sleep darts. Also, the protagonist, Corvo, always had a sword in his right hand that I NEVER used. It would have been cool if you could take out a baton and knock people out unconscious should you be caught, instead of hitting reload/save every three-four minute. If you were doing a non-lethal run in Dishonored, you should ideally always sneak, and never be caught because you would waste the little sleep-darts you had. You can't choke people in combat for obvious reasons. The game was simply more fun if you were killing because you had so many more options. You could sneak, or just barge in the front door with your sword, huge ammo pouch, grenades and traps. You had cool spells that allowed you to kill your enemies in various ways. You could use a FUS RO DAH-attack to kill people, knock them off high ledges, or deflect incoming grenades/rockets back at the enemies. You could send a wave of rats to devour people alive. You could deat-touch enemies and their corpse would disappear instantly so you didn't have to hide it. Killing was clearly a lot more fun. The developers did state that idea of being a pacisfist entered the production in a very late developement stage, thanks to fan feedback, and that is so painfully obvious. The non-lethal route seems to be a huge after-thought in terms of mechanics, and it's not very fun. So yeah, build the game around having fun pacifist options that doesn't kill spontanuity and improvisation.

 

That said, Alpha Protocol did have awesome non-lethal methods of taking enemies down. They were fun and satisfying, and there was room for improvisation, but you didn't face an army with 'thousands of enemies', or chaotic evil vampires. :p So yah.. Tough calls, but I think Obsidian will make the best decision that is the most fun for everyone.

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I support the ability to choose, but I never personally used non-lethal stuff in games. Furthermore the idea is pretty ridiculous from a realism standpoint, I mean batman beats the crap out of people on the daily and your going to tell me none of them ended up with severe brain damage or injuries that they later died from? On the matter of tranquilizer darts, irl they have to be specially formulated to the target your shooting at, too little and you just enrage the thing, too much and you might kill it, I know this is a video game, and that said I am in favor of the ability to deal non-lethal damage, but still.

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Would it be easy to mod in tunnels and such in the "non-painted" area maybe? (The blackness of the edge)

27.jpg

If this could be a moddable "prop" in the game I suspect that people could mod a "100% Pacifism"-Game Mode where you sneak around, perhaps if you can enter in enemies on patrol as well you could go the full way with a "James Bond" game. If there will be tranquilizer darts, smoke bombs (that you can throw with a nice area of effect circle), trap making and prone stance you could create "ventilation" type of passages to get to the end of a Dungeon.

 

290px-Prone_position.jpg

Although, some bosses would still be hard to "Pacify" so to speak... e.g., could dialogue be made easy to mod somehow?

 

TL;DR: Talking about modding.

Edited by Osvir
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A non-lethal approach is fine if it makes sense in-context, but I doubt this context is going to allow a stealth-game styled no-kill/pacifist run to be possible. How do you do a non-lethal takedown on something undead? Or something bigger than a house? This isn't a game about black & white morality (as has been stated multiple times by the devs,) so pacifism is not likely to be a valid aim.

 

Hypothetical situation: Village is being terrorized by marauding bandit types, local lord is at war (and most of the village men are serving in his army,) and can't be bothered to do anything about it. Your "non-lethal CQC tranq-dart takedowns only" character has volunteered to solve the problem. You go sneaking into the bandit camp, you choke them into unconsciousness. Now what? When they wake up they're not going to say "well we'd better leave those villagers alone, that guy who won't kill us is bound to stay there for the rest of his life and make robbing/raping those villagers impossible for that timespan!" You can't expect them to give up their lives of pillage and slaughter because they got knocked out that one night without getting drunk. What do you do, go back to the village and tell the women and children "all is well, sleep with your doors unlocked, your salvation has been guaranteed!" and move on?

Edited by AGX-17
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I just want to make this clear:

 

I'm not necessarily advocating the ability to play a full-pacifist playthrough, nor am I debating the ethics and wisdom of a character just knocking out everyone they have to fight. I am also absolutely not pushing for the stealth and nonlethal takedown mechanics from modern console stealth games and shooter/RPG hybrids to be ripped off wholesale and imported into an IE-styled cRPG, that would be absurd. All I'm asking for here is the ability to define what level of force is actually necessary when I have to use it, even if the difference between killing a dude and knocking him out is purely cosmetic.

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