Jump to content

Welcome to Obsidian Forum Community
Register now to gain access to all of our features. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more. If you already have an account, login here - otherwise create an account for free today!
Photo

Good vs. Evil rolepplaying rewards

good evil roleplaying campaign rewards balance decisions

  • Please log in to reply
47 replies to this topic

#21
moridin84

moridin84

    (4) Theurgist

  • Members
  • 266 posts
  • Location:Ireland
  • Pillars of Eternity Silver Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer

P.E not having a morality system is irrelevant. 

 

People want the option to do 'evil' things (murder, theft, betrayal, etc) and not feel like they are loosing out because you get better rewards for not doing those things.

 

This is nothing to doing with people having back/white/grey options,

 

If you are talking about overall feeling of not losing out I'm ok with that, but otherwise I have to disagree:

 

If every option leads to equal outcome no matter what choices you make, it would be quite boring. Instead, when it has been confirmed there is not going to be any morality meter, we can treat every choice individually and don't have to look each of them through polarized good/evil glasses. Again: Why do we need to get rewarded for our choice? In The Walking Dead you made a choice and people could die because of it. Was that rewarding? No, but bad things happen. Seeing the consequence, no matter how bad, is kind of reward in itself and money and items are secondary things if the story is well written.

 

What if in example given by OP you choose to steal the sword, but afterwards get attacked by the villagers who kidnap one of your companions and you could A: exchange the sword for your companion, B: Attack the villagers, which would be very hard fight, free your companion and maybe ransack the village after, C: Attack the villagers, but they manage to kill your companion before you are able to free him, D: Leave your companion to his fate, but maybe he appears later in game, lusting for revenge for your betrayal. These options are definitively not equal considering possible gains and morally not entirely black or white, but I would greatly enjoy making the choice and seeing consequences unfold.

 

I don't mind if my choices lead to loosing money, items or even companions. It just makes it feel realistic and interesting and forces you to think about your actions. If you constantly make wrong choices (I don't mean necessarily the evil ones) the game should give you harder time.

 

P.S. Also, if player chooses to steal, murder and betray, I don't want it to be easy choice. The game should really test your conscience in those situations.

 

Umm, I don't think you are getting my point. I can't think of a way to help you understand either.



#22
Nonek

Nonek

    Not of the Obsidian Order

  • Members
  • 3040 posts
  • Pillars of Eternity Silver Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer

In terms of rewards, i'd say it's fairly hard to fit a formula to them as they should each be dealt with on an organic case by case method. However it should be possible in my mind to be an absolutely grasping and mercenary character, and that be perfectly acceptable. After all is said and done, we'll be putting our virtual lives on the line so wanting adequate recompense is an entirely viable request. Now how you approach that, whether with blunt demands, subtle blackmail, open aggression or what have you, obviously those should have consequences as well as your quest choices.



#23
Death Machine Miyagi

Death Machine Miyagi

    Obsidian Order's Devourer of Souls

  • Validating
  • 537 posts
  • Pillars of Eternity Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer

Neither good nor evil should be rewarded or punished just for being good or evil. Rather, rewards should be determined by intelligence vs. stupidity. Do the smart thing and the game gives you a better reward. Do the stupid thing and your potential reward suffers for it.  

 

Stupid Evil behavior should be punished. Not because it's evil but because it's stupid. If you go around killing and ruining the lives of everyone you meet, you should find yourself ostracized and friendless, earning few to no rewards and hunted everywhere you go. This makes perfect sense and I think most people would agree with it.

 

What isn't as acknowledged is that Stupid Good behavior should also get you some blow-back.

 

That psychopathic bandit leader who has raped and murdered his way across the region is at your mercy, begging that if you let him go he'll make amends? Have him go right back to raping and murdering if you choose to just take him at his word and set him free.

 

Need to decide between helping to crown the rightful heir of a kingdom, who happens to be a kind and well intentioned drooling imbecile, or his scheming uncle, a brilliant but amoral fellow who intends to set the kingdom back on the right track no matter the cost? Have the former run the kingdom into the ground and the latter usher in a new era of greatness.

 

Have a quest where the player can choose, despite risking his life at every turn, to refuse the reward at the end? Have everyone around town thereafter assume the character is a complete sap from then on, with corresponding loss of respect.

 

This shouldn't be the case with every quest, of course. That would be predictable and boring. But yes, it would be a nice change from being able to assume that a plus on the (in the case of P:E entirely imaginary) karma meter means a better reward and more satisfying outcome while a minus means losing something cool and ostracizing people. The world isn't that clear-cut. 


  • Nonek, kenup, Haerski and 3 others like this

#24
TRX850

TRX850

    (6) Magician

  • Members
  • 632 posts
  • Pillars of Eternity Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer

^^^^ That's why it's so important to have the reputation system play a large part in handling these extreme cases.

 

If you're "in character" and playing a chaotic evil blackguard, being ruthless is one thing, but stupid evil choices should also come with a commensurate penalty. Be it everything from simple future quests being denied to you, to bounty hunters actively seeking you out, and people/vendors everywhere shunning you.

 

It doesn't mean it's impossible to play the game, but you've accepted it will be an incredible challenge, by always limiting your easy options with morally questionable/reprehensible behaviour.



#25
Ulquiorra

Ulquiorra

    (5) Thaumaturgist

  • Members
  • 488 posts
  • Location:Mielec, Poland

No rewards at all being good or evil is simply and objectiv to accomplish your desires, if you desire something that other characterst think that this is not what they want you will be evil for them if you refuse to centcel your desires ...



#26
Death Machine Miyagi

Death Machine Miyagi

    Obsidian Order's Devourer of Souls

  • Validating
  • 537 posts
  • Pillars of Eternity Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer

Didn't MCA once say he wanted to make an RPG out of The Wire? That would be a good example of a show where doing the right thing can actually completely ruin you. Why? Because doing the right thing is often equivalent to 'rocking the boat', and when you rock the boat a lot of people stand to lose a great deal. Every once in awhile, I'd like to see the 'best' choice, the most noble, kind and honorable decision absolutely blow up in your face as it results in stepping on too many toes and making enemies out of powerful people. 



#27
smithereen

smithereen

    Chief Consulting Oracle of the Obsidian Order

  • Members
  • 101 posts
  • Pillars of Eternity Silver Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer
  • Deadfire Backer
  • Fig Backer

The rewards should always make sense. Refusing payment for derring-do should cause a net mechanical penalty. Being an ass and pissing everyone off should result in a net mechanical penalty. Making a risky bluff should go either way.



#28
Haerski

Haerski

    (3) Conjurer

  • Members
  • 173 posts
  • Location:Finland
  • Pillars of Eternity Silver Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer

Didn't MCA once say he wanted to make an RPG out of The Wire? That would be a good example of a show where doing the right thing can actually completely ruin you. Why? Because doing the right thing is often equivalent to 'rocking the boat', and when you rock the boat a lot of people stand to lose a great deal. Every once in awhile, I'd like to see the 'best' choice, the most noble, kind and honorable decision absolutely blow up in your face as it results in stepping on too many toes and making enemies out of powerful people. 

 

I don't know. That 'idealist against corrupt authority' setting has been used a lot in entertainment industry and it doesn't have the same appeal for me anymore. It's pretty much cliché nowdays, but if they have some new ideas for it, then why not? Though, usually those plots tend to become kind of preachy and simplistic from moral side. (I haven't watched The Wire, so I don't know how they handled the subject)


Edited by Haerski, 27 January 2013 - 11:55 AM.


#29
Farbautisonn

Farbautisonn

    (3) Conjurer

  • Members
  • 186 posts
  • Location:Copenhagen

The rewards should always make sense. Refusing payment for derring-do should cause a net mechanical penalty. Being an ass and pissing everyone off should result in a net mechanical penalty. Making a risky bluff should go either way.

Problem here is that if I were the smart Evil who needed to ingratiate myself with the locals / work on my reputation / build my peasant army of cannonfodder, Id likely refuse payment and then get the rabble to cheer me on as a paragon of virtue and honour. Bonus would be that whenever some ninny came along to seek me out for my crimes then the locals would likely trust me more than the hamfisted merc who happened to be venturing through. So I would know that he was there, before he know I was there.

Its Mao and "on political strategy and guerllia warfare"  (Giaps bible) 101. You make the locals love you and provide you with shelter and safe ground whilst you take what you need from your enemies.


  • smithereen likes this

#30
Death Machine Miyagi

Death Machine Miyagi

    Obsidian Order's Devourer of Souls

  • Validating
  • 537 posts
  • Pillars of Eternity Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer

Didn't MCA once say he wanted to make an RPG out of The Wire? That would be a good example of a show where doing the right thing can actually completely ruin you. Why? Because doing the right thing is often equivalent to 'rocking the boat', and when you rock the boat a lot of people stand to lose a great deal. Every once in awhile, I'd like to see the 'best' choice, the most noble, kind and honorable decision absolutely blow up in your face as it results in stepping on too many toes and making enemies out of powerful people. 

 

I don't know. That 'idealist against corrupt authority' setting has been used a lot in entertainment industry and it doesn't have the same appeal for me anymore. It's pretty much cliché nowdays, but if they have some new ideas for it, then why not? Though, usually those plots tend to become kind of preachy and simplistic from moral side. (I haven't watched The Wire, so I don't know how they handled the subject)

 

Its less the 'idealist against corrupt authority' and more the 'idealist against corrupt reality.' That is, the idealist gets chewed up and eaten alive unless he's willing to compromise  and yet in making compromises he slowly loses his ideals.

 

On the fantasy side of things, George R.R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire books would also be an example of this. Want to survive and be successful? Then know when doing the noble thing isn't necessarily doing the right thing, and be willing to do something cold-blooded every now and then with the long-term good in mind.

 

Or refuse to abandon your ideals and pay the penalties for it. Just don't make the noble thing always the most rewarding thing, either for the character personally or for the world he inhabits.


  • smithereen likes this

#31
moridin84

moridin84

    (4) Theurgist

  • Members
  • 266 posts
  • Location:Ireland
  • Pillars of Eternity Silver Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer

What you guys are talking about is this

http://tvtropes.org/...mVersusCynicism


  • Farbautisonn likes this

#32
Farbautisonn

Farbautisonn

    (3) Conjurer

  • Members
  • 186 posts
  • Location:Copenhagen

What you guys are talking about is this

http://tvtropes.org/...mVersusCynicism

Very, very interesting. Thank You for this link.



#33
Lephys

Lephys

    Punsmith of the Obsidian Order

  • Members
  • 7245 posts
  • Location:The Punforge
  • Pillars of Eternity Silver Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer

In The Walking Dead you made a choice and people could die because of it. Was that rewarding? No, but bad things happen. Seeing the consequence, no matter how bad, is kind of reward in itself and money and items are secondary things if the story is well written.

While I understand the point you're making, it only works in a combat/level/progression-based RPG within limited, individual instances. If the enemies at level 15 are 10 times harder (and have exponentially higher armor/damage/attack/health values) than level 2 enemies, then you can't really offer people a path from level 2 to level 15 that only gives you outcomes that are simply their own reward.

The reason "good/evil" is often brought up in regard to this aspect of balancing is because it is a dichotomous system at its extremes. In other words, IF you're offered the choice between "good" things and "evil" things, then you SHOULD be able to stick with all good choices in one playthrough, and all evil choices in another. There should never be a quest that's like "YOU MUST HELP THIS CUTE FLUFFY BUNNY AND YOUR CHARACTER LOVES DOING SO" if you're allowed to "be" not-good.

So, either path (and any combination, there-in) should be viable in terms of the core mathematical progression aspects of the game; otherwise, it's just bad design. Doesn't matter how you divvy it up.
  • DISCBlackknight likes this

#34
Atreides

Atreides

    (11) Wizard

  • Members
  • 1743 posts
  • Pillars of Eternity Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer
  • Deadfire Backer
  • Fig Backer

I hope evil resolutions net the xp rewards too when the quest resolves.



#35
smithereen

smithereen

    Chief Consulting Oracle of the Obsidian Order

  • Members
  • 101 posts
  • Pillars of Eternity Silver Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer
  • Deadfire Backer
  • Fig Backer

So, either path (and any combination, there-in) should be viable in terms of the core mathematical progression aspects of the game; otherwise, it's just bad design. Doesn't matter how you divvy it up.

 

Yes, but you should still face the logical consequences of your decisions. If you give away the Magic Sword of Awesomeness, you should not be handed a better one. You should not, in my opinion, get more XP for doing so, either. It should be harder to finish the game if your PC keeps handicapping himself.


  • Rostere and kenup like this

#36
Lephys

Lephys

    Punsmith of the Obsidian Order

  • Members
  • 7245 posts
  • Location:The Punforge
  • Pillars of Eternity Silver Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer

Yes, but you should still face the logical consequences of your decisions. If you give away the Magic Sword of Awesomeness, you should not be handed a better one. You should not, in my opinion, get more XP for doing so, either. It should be harder to finish the game if your PC keeps handicapping himself.

Undoubtedly. I'm simply emphasizing that the two are not mutually exclusive.

I think the basic rule for XP/rewards should be the amount of effort involved in their acquisition. Obviously with a tolerance for certain builds/choices to reduce the amount of effort necessary for a given reward, and for certain builds/choices to increase the amount of effort necessary for a given reward.

#37
DISCBlackknight

DISCBlackknight

    (0) Nub

  • Members
  • 3 posts
  • Pillars of Eternity Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer

"Evil" in real life means taking whatever you want with immoral means. "Evil" solutions in games should always be quicker and give more substantial rewards, but come with other problems - a bad reputation, and having to fight people.

 

Games that have equal rewards for "good" and "evil" choices and a token good/evil meter which does not make you a wanted criminal when you're evil (something the BG games actually did right - if you disregard the global, telepathic behaviour of this reputation) represent the worst solution to this. When there's no incentive to make the "evil" choice, the only reason to make it is if you're a psychopath.


Actually, I'm playing Baldur's Gate through again, as evil aligned PC with evil aligned NPCs.  Baldur's Gate does not work this system "right."  Sure, the town guard attack me, and sure some conversational tidbits and the dreams I have point out my inner darkness as a character.  However, bumping up the cost of items at stores a ludicrous amount is simple favoritism.  There's far more incentive for a shopkeeper to charge me LESS as an evil PC than as a good PC.

What I mean to say is this: An evil PC that murders, betrays, and generally raises chaos should (if anything) be given DISCOUNTS out of fear, or tribute to avoid being SLAUGHTERED by me.  I shouldn't have to pay something like 100,000+ gold for a simple +1 magic item for no other reason than I murder people who disagree with me.  Good players could recieve discounts, however, aren't seedy shopkeepers more likely to try to take advantage of their good nature?

On my evil playthrough I'm relying on drops/quest rewards for potions/igear, I simply cannot afford to dish out hundreds of thousands in gold for crap items.  It is not balanced, and there is nothing fair about it, especially when compounded with the lesser total quest rewards I'm getting for being evil.

Trying to argue that playing Evil in BG does NOT yield less net quest rewards over the course of the game is straight up false.  The game rewards you for being good, plain and simple.

Also, making a subtly nuanced alignment system sounds great in theory, but the amount of effort to make choices/consequences that are "realistic" would seem, to me, to take such a great amount of effort/care that every RPG I've seen with an alignment system is really just good/evil (Dichotomy is simple).  So I'm just hoping it's balanced dichotomy.


Edited by DISCBlackknight, 30 January 2013 - 07:22 AM.

  • Death Machine Miyagi likes this

#38
Death Machine Miyagi

Death Machine Miyagi

    Obsidian Order's Devourer of Souls

  • Validating
  • 537 posts
  • Pillars of Eternity Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer

"Evil" in real life means taking whatever you want with immoral means. "Evil" solutions in games should always be quicker and give more substantial rewards, but come with other problems - a bad reputation, and having to fight people.

 

Games that have equal rewards for "good" and "evil" choices and a token good/evil meter which does not make you a wanted criminal when you're evil (something the BG games actually did right - if you disregard the global, telepathic behaviour of this reputation) represent the worst solution to this. When there's no incentive to make the "evil" choice, the only reason to make it is if you're a psychopath.


Actually, I'm playing Baldur's Gate through again, as evil aligned PC with evil aligned NPCs.  Baldur's Gate does not work this system "right."  Sure, the town guard attack me, and sure some conversational tidbits and the dreams I have point out my inner darkness as a character.  However, bumping up the cost of items at stores a ludicrous amount is simple favoritism.  There's far more incentive for a shopkeeper to charge me LESS as an evil PC than as a good PC.

What I mean to say is this: An evil PC that murders, betrays, and generally raises chaos should (if anything) be given DISCOUNTS out of fear, or tribute to avoid being SLAUGHTERED by me.  I shouldn't have to pay something like 100,000+ gold for a simple +1 magic item for no other reason than I murder people who disagree with me.  Good players could recieve discounts, however, aren't seedy shopkeepers more likely to try to take advantage of their good nature?

On my evil playthrough I'm relying on drops/quest rewards for potions/igear, I simply cannot afford to dish out hundreds of thousands in gold for crap items.  It is not balanced, and there is nothing fair about it, especially when compounded with the lesser total quest rewards I'm getting for being evil.

Trying to argue that playing Evil in BG does NOT yield less net quest rewards over the course of the game is straight up false.  The game rewards you for being good, plain and simple.

Also, making a subtly nuanced alignment system sounds great in theory, but the amount of effort to make choices/consequences that are "realistic" would seem, to me, to take such a great amount of effort/care that every RPG I've seen with an alignment system is really just good/evil (Dichotomy is simple).  So I'm just hoping it's balanced dichotomy.

 

I've said this before, but the handling of good/evil in the BG series is one of the worst seen in RPG history. You WILL get fewer rewards when you're evil, you WILL pay many times the cost for even regular items, you WILL find that your 'evil' tends to amount to 'being an huge ass to everyone you meet without any real thought for what it gets you', and you WILL find it nearly impossible to play the game when you reach the lowest levels of the reputation system (since you face not only infinitely respawning guards, but everyone else on the map, including unarmed civilians, going hostile as well when they show up!)

 

Baldur's Gate should be taken as an archetype of how not to handle playing as a bad guy. It's very obvious that the developers gave all the carrots to the good-aligned and all the sticks to the bad, as if they couldn't stand the thought of their players not being goodie two-shoes. 



#39
moridin84

moridin84

    (4) Theurgist

  • Members
  • 266 posts
  • Location:Ireland
  • Pillars of Eternity Silver Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer

That's a dramatic way to put it.

 

At the time Baldur's Gate was created, there were not many games that gave you the option of being evil. Playing "evil" was probably considered to be something of a "joke" play through   added because of the alignment system and to give negative consequence to 'bad' actions. 



#40
DISCBlackknight

DISCBlackknight

    (0) Nub

  • Members
  • 3 posts
  • Pillars of Eternity Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer

That's a dramatic way to put it.

 

At the time Baldur's Gate was created, there were not many games that gave you the option of being evil. Playing "evil" was probably considered to be something of a "joke" play through   added because of the alignment system and to give negative consequence to 'bad' actions. 



Then why add it at all in a game based on a tabletop where creative roleplaying, regardless of alignment, can yield rewards.  This seems like a copout idea of their intentions, or, if accurate, a copout on their part.


Edited by DISCBlackknight, 31 January 2013 - 09:10 AM.






Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: good, evil, roleplaying, campaign, rewards, balance, decisions

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users