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What's the one RPG trope you can deal without in PE?


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Basically, I wonder if there's anything in either game design, class design, or other RPG conventions you've seen so many times they're cliche or boring? I know mine is not a popular choice, but it's still how I feel. I'm reeeally burnt out on zombies in games. Even more than dragons in games. I think it's because I started playing games in the mid 80's and I've lost count how many I've played where I'm forced to kill zombies. To be fair I don't like to do much of anything the same way over and over again. However having things like zombies in games seem like lazy design to me. I'd much rather a fresh perspective and if it was a single case of a zombie, or a deeper story revolving around them like the walking dead had that's a different manner, but even then I hope since this is a fresh story being told, they'll take the opportunity to do something fresh and that makes sense.

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well, i think there were many other topics like this already... the conclusion is: every overused theme can be made interesting.

let's take the zombies:

you came across a nice town, get to know the locals, do some quest for them, play with Jane the local blind kid, you help her integrate with the other kids, she and her pals joyfully welcome you each time you arrive into town... you get into a romanic relationship with the local inkeeper Bonny Giantbreasts...

now at some point as you are returning from a quest, Jane and her friends come to great you, but instead they want a bite of you, and being half aware of their conditions they scream in a high pitched voice: Kill meeeee! Kill meeeeee! And then you find Bonny Gianthalfbreast, as she is on the verge of death, she tells you she loved you, and a necromancer just happened to walk trough town while you ware gone, your healer manages to patch her up, but she will remain an abomination untill her heart rots away, and then you go after that **** who did this together with your half-zombie lover... **** happens

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Giant insects. Not because I'm an arachnophobe (I am, mildly, but I find causing the incendiary destruction of the damn things to be mildly... therapeutic) but because they are a) boring - never seen much interesting done with big creepy crawlies, it's always poison, webs, and poisoned webs. Also, you never get any decent loot out of the buggers (if you'll excuse the pun). Also, b), they're anatomically impossible, on point of volume-mass ratios and such. A giant spider would be crushed under it's own exoskeleton - a comforting, if icky, thought.

 

Also: Chosen ones, noble savages, Protocols of the Elders of Zion-esque evil merchants, Democracy is Bad aesops, and people who put down multiple things in `the one thing` topics.

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Chosen One.

Basic skeletons. I mean, it's still kinda funny when one jumps out of a barrel or a closet (get it? haha) or something, but if I never see another one in the dark corridors of a fantasy game I won't be sad.

“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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Giant insects. [...] they're anatomically impossible, on point of volume-mass ratios and such. A giant spider would be crushed under it's own exoskeleton - a comforting, if icky, thought.

 

What about "Frankenspiders" ? Horrid creations of some Necromancer/Vivisectionist using them as tower guards? They might not have been bred by natural means, but still give that uneasy, icky feeling when you dispatch one in a torch-lit corridor with their guts splattered everywhere. :yucky:

Me? I'm dishonest, and a dishonest man you can always trust to be dishonest. Honestly. It's the honest ones you want to watch out for.

 

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I concur the hero's being the Destined One is also up there on the samey same all the time too. I'm actually working on a project that the hero's in the game are all quite flawed by society standards. Only one of them would pass as a real hero, but mentally he has no desire to fight, he's more of a bard. Another one I pretty much despise is how unviable it is to play as an unarmed fighter. All these games require you to acquire the largest weapon ever imagined to kill something that's larger than a city skyscraper and for some reason it makes sense I'll be able to run around with a 70 lb sword or hammer on my back, but to make some magical knuckles or gauntlets for someone to fight with unarmed seems utterly unrealistic or too hard to do. Granted, I know some games have monk classes, but they're typically pretty one sided and not much fun to play. I'm hoping that changes in this game.

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Concerning the "Chosen One": I once read a fantasy book that was just perfect in that regard. It starts with this hapless boy who goes to the big city to sell th crops of his parents' farm, but along the way he meets all these strange people who for some reason insist on dressing him up a certain way and giving him a goat... he thinks nothing of it, but when he gets to the city the mayor declares that he is the Chosen One because it was prophecised that at market day a young boy with a feather in his hat and a goat (I can't remember the details, but it was something like that) would come and rescue them all... by going on something aking to a suicide mission.

I can't describe it well but the gist of it was that the town dressed him up to be this prophecised kid and really majorly screwed him over. And he had no chance but to get out there and try and become the hero they wanted him to be. It was excellent. The book was called "The Magic Sword" "Giftwish" by Graham Dunstan Martin. (Edit: Did some checking, and that is it.) It really did an awesome job with that Chosen One trope, and it delivered an amazing fantasy story as well.

 

But on topic:

 

One thing I would not want to ever see again is a certain type of game design, which is: 1) You're an orphan and under the care of a foster father. 2) Your adventure starts as your home village is attacked by strange monsters and many of your friends die. 3) They somehow came because of you so your foster father sends you away. 4) The first part of your journey is very linear, but after you've done your first big quest, the game world opens up and gives you exactly four missions at the same time. You can do them in whatever order you want. 5) After you've done the four big main quests, the final quest starts in a new location.

 

It's amazing how this applies to so many RPGs even though it's so specific. KotOR, NWN and DAO are just a couple of games that come to mind. I hate it because it makes 90% of the gameplay feel like either a tutorial or a side quest, and then suddenly the game is over.

Edited by Fearabbit
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"Saviour" protagonist.

 

Crafting.

 

Political Correctness.

 

Amen to zapping political correctness.

 

I understand why it's implemented in some games, but I think most sensible RPG-ers know when something is obviously designed to be "off colour" because of the setting and time period. It doesn't mean the game devs or its community condone political incorrectness.

Edited by TRX850

Me? I'm dishonest, and a dishonest man you can always trust to be dishonest. Honestly. It's the honest ones you want to watch out for.

 

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Prophecies. Would love to have my character be some random schlub, not the Destined One, stopping an evil plot, not the Preordained Plot.

 

This. When I started playing Arcanum recently, I didn't know whether to laugh or smash my head into the wall when, in the wreckage of a crashed zeppelin, a middle aged man in a dapper business suit starts talking about how you're the chosen one and you must defeat the great evil one, then some robed monk type guy comes along and immediately proclaims you are the prophecized reincarnation of the great elven mage-prophet (I should have seen the writing on the wall that Arcanum was really a magic/fantasy game and the tech thing was just a red herring.)

 

Chosen One.

Basic skeletons. I mean, it's still kinda funny when one jumps out of a barrel or a closet (get it? haha) or something, but if I never see another one in the dark corridors of a fantasy game I won't be sad.

 

So you want everyone to be blobs or crustaceans or mollusks? ZIIIIING

Edited by AGX-17
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It's interesting reading these responses. I'm working towards my own kickstarter on a project I first started some 5-6 yrs ago and it was a notebook of nearly 70 pages of an idea for a story and one of the main things even then when I started writing my character was I wanted to create a hero who was not a heman, or a tank, or a fairy shooting elf kinda of a thing, but wanted the hero to actually physically and intelligently go through a character arc the audience could connect with. All too often games stereotype roles and make folks feel like unless they're not a beefcake or a busty beauty queen they suck. I'm happy at the work that has been done so far, and it gives me more confidence I've made the right choices. I'm hoping to pitch my plan this year. Since I'm developing a new IP I can take it many directions like books, animated features, boardgames, mobile, console, or PC. Currently the goal is to make it an interactive storybook/game. Details are still under wraps.

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Chosen One, or Love Conquers All (The Power of Hope). Oh, and Perpetual String of Victories. A real RPG has the stones to take things away once in a while.

 

I agree with relaxing the industry-strangling power that is political correctness. This is not a game for the whole family. It is expressly being made on Kickstarter to be a MATURE game.

 

And I like to think that we're all mature here.

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One thing I would not want to ever see again is a certain type of game design, which is: 1) You're an orphan and under the care of a foster father. 2) Your adventure starts as your home village is attacked by strange monsters and many of your friends die. 3) They somehow came because of you so your foster father sends you away. 4) The first part of your journey is very linear, but after you've done your first big quest, the game world opens up and gives you exactly four missions at the same time. You can do them in whatever order you want. 5) After you've done the four big main quests, the final quest starts in a new location.

 

But... but... what would Bioware do if this trope got busted?

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Definitely the 'chosen one' trope. It's been done to death in just about every kind of remotely fantasy genre. Yes, being destined to do something and save the world is incredibly awesome. Being special is awesome. But after ten-thousand implementations of some grand destiny, the whole thing has become so trite that it often invokes an eye-roll rather than the gleeful joy originally intended.

 

I also agree that the 'saving the world' plot has been done and done and done until you're basically kicking a dead horse. I'd like to see something more on a political level. Civil unrest? Maybe a war with a neighboring country? Even better if you're on the offensive rather than doing the classic defensive stance. Maybe fighting against some abstract force, like trying to find the source of a plague (preferably the non-zombie kind). A tale of survival, or maybe something more personal, akin to Planescape? Anything but some madman getting ready to blow up the universe over some petty grievance. In the words of the Tick "Can you destroy the world?" "Eee gad, I hope not! That's where I keep my stuff!"

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Captain James Hook: No stopping me this time, Smee. This is it. Don't make a move Smee, not a step. My finger's on the trigger. Don't try to stop me, Smee.

Smee: Oh, not again.

Captain James Hook: This is it. Don't try to stop me this time, Smee. Don't try to stop me this time, Smee. Don't you dare try to stop me this time, Smee, try to stop me. Smee, you'd better get up off your ass. Get over here, Smee.

Smee: I'm coming. I'm coming.

Captain James Hook: Stop me. This is not a joke. I'm committing suicide.

Captain James Hook: Don't ever frighten me like that again.

Smee: I'm sorry.

Captain James Hook: What are you? Some kind of a sadist?

Smee: I'm sorry. I'm sorry. How do you feel now?

Captain James Hook: I want to die.

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Fate destinty chosen one blah blah blah dark lord blah blah blah dark army blah blah blah destroy and or take over the world blah blah blah . . .

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"Step away! She has brought truth and you condemn it? The arrogance!

You will not harm her, you will not harm her ever again!"

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When I started playing Arcanum recently, I didn't know whether to laugh or smash my head into the wall when, in the wreckage of a crashed zeppelin, a middle aged man in a dapper business suit starts talking about how you're the chosen one and you must defeat the great evil one, then some robed monk type guy comes along and immediately proclaims you are the prophecized reincarnation of the great elven mage-prophet (I should have seen the writing on the wall that Arcanum was really a magic/fantasy game and the tech thing was just a red herring.)

Have you beat Arcanum yet? There's a good twist involving that prophesy...

 

And the tech is fun, I love my gunslinger.

 

I think I can can do without clearing rats from some lady's basement.

Oh my god. I'm burning the house down next time I see this, with the old lady inside, I swear to god.

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I loathed the darkspawns in DAO, and my worst monster category in NWN2 was orcs, hands down. They bore me to tears. I guess creatures of the sam essence as goblins and hobgoblins get under me skin too.

 

And yes, the Chosen One and a looming Sauron-figure pulling the stings for vague, evil reasons, is a storyboard worthy of the shredder.

 

Yea, political correctness at least in one sense: that you're not allowed to do pretty bad and evil deeds if you've opted for that kind of character. We need considerable freedom: Fallout New Vegas would be a good starting point to improve on even further.

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

 

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