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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. 

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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.

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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

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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.

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"Politicians. Little tin gods on wheels". -Rudyard Kipling. A European Fallout timeline? Dont mind if I do!

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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.

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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.

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Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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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.

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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.


Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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"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
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"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. 

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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. 


. Well I was involved anyway. The dude who can't dance. 

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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

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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.

 

Yes, awarding XP for "good" or "evil" behavior is an odd thing in itself. Unless the decision resulted from a skill check by the character, experience comes from dealing with the consequences of the decision, rather than from the decision itself. But then I suppose it could be viewed as an abstraction of sorts -- payment in advance for the consequences of your choice.


"It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats."

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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.

 

Well it was 15 years ago. 


. Well I was involved anyway. The dude who can't dance. 

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I am really really tired of black and white "good and evil" style choices in many newer rpgs (I'm looking mainly at bioware games).

 

What if I want to play a GOOD guy, but I want to go about it with that witty anti-hero type of character? A la Snake Plissken style? Someone who is "good" but has a kind of sarcastic wit about him, not your usual goody two shoes?

 

Those types of characters are ignored, you either play a "holier then thou" style good guy, and get rewarded, or an "evilllllll" douchbag who does evil things, if you play neutral, or back and fourth you get neither usually.

 

 

Your ACTIONS and how your character "talks" should be seperate things, not impacting a reward per se imo.

 

Let those of us who want to be a sarcastic wise cracking guy, but with ai heart of gold DO THIS , let us choose a snappy wise response in dialogue, but still go "Save the princess" , don't force good guys to sound like ned flanders while the evil guys get all the wise cracking dialogue.

 

Basically imo rpgs need to stop typing "morality" based on what your character SAYS, but rather what your character DOES.

 

Let us play our character how we want , dialogue wise, and stop connecting dialogue to "action." So if an npc asks us to save someone for example, and you throw out like 4 "responses" to choose from, from sarcastic ones, joking ones, generic good/evil reponses, but then AFTEr that if we want to go save him, and we do, it's THAT ACTION that should be rewarded , not the dialogue you say.

 

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I thought that was the accepted standard in character creation now rather than the unusual, bad ass, sarcastic, good heart deep down, really cares for what he sees as family, problem with authority, hides a tragic past etcetera. Probably black haired, blue eyed and with a modicum of facial hair. Seems like the template that most players seem to aspire to.

 

Not criticising it or anything, but hardly seems unusual.

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Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

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Basically imo rpgs need to stop typing "morality" based on what your character SAYS, but rather what your character DOES.

 

Unless, of course, saying something IS the action. i.e. "No need to go look for your father... he was torn apart by wolves, last time I saw him." When, really, you know he's still alive somewhere. 8P


Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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I very much enjoy the Good vs Evil bit, but not as starkly alone as some people put it.  I enjoy having starkly good choices, and starkly evil ones (so long as they make sense and it's not like "Welp, here's a village.  Best start slitting all the children's throats, as due to the size of this place, it's going to take a while to get to all of them, and I want my beauty sleep!").  That said, those choices aren't as enjoyable without a myriad of shades of grey to ensure that there are more involved choices.  Choices are everything, but having nothing but completely polarized options tends to ruin it.  You have good, bad, and the guy with the gun.

 

I certainly support the idea.  While Project Eternity will not have a good/evil alignment system, that does not in any way mean that good and evil and all that is in between will not play an important role in who your character is, immersion, and the storyline.  Though I really think that it's not so much a good/evil reward so much as rewarding choices (taking a hand as opposed to bypassing it entirely) and in logical ways as well as surprising ways, and simply letting the choices be what they are, providing reasoning as much as morality, no mindlessly good or mindlessly evil.

Edited by Dwarfare
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I thought that was the accepted standard in character creation now rather than the unusual, bad ass, sarcastic, good heart deep down, really cares for what he sees as family, problem with authority, hides a tragic past etcetera. Probably black haired, blue eyed and with a modicum of facial hair. Seems like the template that most players seem to aspire to.

 

Not criticising it or anything, but hardly seems unusual.

The thing is, while many people might aspire to that, it's never been that well represented in rpgs, at least newer ones.

 

The Bioware games as an example, if you want to be a sarcastic "smartass" (IE like Snake Plissken, Bruce Willis in Die hard, etc) you end up having to pick "EVILLLLL" choices and do the actions that go with them, there's no way to be a "Good guy" but have witty dialogue , you either be good and have "mr goody two shoes with a halo over his head" dialogue most of the time, or be "evil" but with all the "Witty/sarcastic tough guy" dialogue.

 

 

 

 

Basically imo rpgs need to stop typing "morality" based on what your character SAYS, but rather what your character DOES.

 

Unless,

of course, saying something IS the action. i.e. "No need to go look for

your father... he was torn apart by wolves, last time I saw him." When,

really, you know he's still alive somewhere. 8P

 

Yes that makes sense, but they need to provide more choices for dialogue

options rather then just "good/evil/neutral." Don't tie Every single

thing to morality like Bioware games. Only direct actions and dialogue that makes sense (IE Refusing to help someone).

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Basically imo rpgs need to stop typing "morality" based on what your character SAYS, but rather what your character DOES.

 

Unless,

of course, saying something IS the action. i.e. "No need to go look for

your father... he was torn apart by wolves, last time I saw him." When,

really, you know he's still alive somewhere. 8P

 

 

 

Yes that makes sense, but they need to provide more choices for dialogue

options rather then just "good/evil/neutral." Don't tie Every single

thing to morality like Bioware games. Only direct actions and dialogue that makes sense (IE Refusing to help someone).

 

 

I very much agree. If you've got a metaphorical bar for the difference in the nature of dialogue choices, then don't cut it in half and measure the distance from the center... cut it into 6 or 7 segments and simply measure which segments your choice is in, and whether or not they overlap.

 

I've always hated the whole "witty = evil jackass" trend, as I LOVE humor and wit. Ideally, if they're going to allow for wittiness, it should be an option for pretty much any different "choice" you can make. In other words, if you can say "Yes" or "No" to something, you should be able to have an additional witty "Yes" and an additional witty "No" choice. But, you shouldn't necessarily have a witty choice for literally any different thing you can say (I don't want 17 witty choices and 17 regular ones in dialogue).

 

Examples of things that probably don't need witty choices would be general questions, like "So where can I find this guy?". I think 7 different ways of asking where you can find someone would be a bit overboard, haha. Of course, you could always be witty in response to the answer you got.

 

Annnnywho, that might be something for a different thread. I agree that the "good/neutral/evil" choice structure is terribly lacking.

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Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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