This is in response to the many threads in disagreement over how XP rewards and quest objectives should be handled. There have been many good arguments from many different perspectives. I will summarize my own personal opinion on the matter, and leave the floor open for you to add constructive criticism. This isn't about right or wrong or an aversion to change. It's about creating a "balanced" system for all play styles that doesn't prevent certain behaviour, but rather reacts to it.
Thankyou, and keep smiling.
My thoughts on Cause and Effect (in a nutshell):
- Cause should be controlled by the Core Mechanics. You can run around and hit things. It's your choice.
- Effect should be evaluated by the Reputation System. If you hit things you shouldn't hit, there are consequences.
- The Core Mechanics should only deal with numbers.
- The Reputation System should adjudicate character behaviour.
- If the numbers say your character has been a naughty boy, then your reputation influences the appropriate factions.
- If you continue to be a good boy, you remain in good standing with the appropriate factions. Or it may even increase your standing.
- If you continue to be a naughty boy, the appropriate factions react to you accordingly, i.e., If you go looking for trouble, you will find it.
If a player's actions seem unlawful, or despicable, or grindy, or in bad taste, do not prevent it from happening by excluding it from the core mechanics or blatantly denying them XP. Add incentives or disincentives in the game content that allow the player to make a choice as to whether they continue that play style or change. The same goes for lawful behaviour.
We need to treat players like adults and let them accept responsibility for their actions. I would like to play Project Eternity as a good guy, as a bad guy, as a good guy who turns bad, as a bad guy who turns good, and maybe the odd neutral play style too. I don't want to be pre-judged by the core mechanics, only judged by my actions that are then handled by the reputation system.
Love, peace, and chicken grease.
Some background threads to this post: