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LIES DAMN LIES  

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  1. 1. When do you think lying should be possible?

    • Always! All obey the Trickster! False rumours are his gospel :D
    • When asked about facts
    • When related to personal beliefs
    • When related to quests
    • Very seldom
    • Never
      0
  2. 2. Should lies be explicitly marked in dialogue, or be implicit?

    • Always explicit
    • Explicit when quest-related
    • Always implicit
  3. 3. Should lying require a successful skill/ability roll

    • Yes, always
    • Only when quest-related
    • Only when concerning facts, not personal beliefs
    • No, never


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Don't discount the [lying] mechanism as a medium for telling story! It isn't wrong for that to be the way you are made aware of this detail in the PC's back story - it is in fact a great way of both telling you the back story and furthering the story line at the same time. It could also be a great way to let you choose parts of the back story, for example:

 

- [Lie] I spent a year in pilgrimage and worked for two years in the Proclaimer chapel in Dustham, I'll take proper care of the temple while you're gone. (only visible if int > 8)

- [Lie] Of course father, I shall be The Proclaimer's dutiful servant.

- I spent a year in pilgrimage and worked for two years in the Proclaimer chapel in Dustham, I'll take proper care of the temple while you're gone. (only visible if character is Cleric and hasn't already _truthfully_ claimed to be of another faith)

- I'm sorry, I don't think I'm the right person for that. Perhaps you can wait a while; I am travelling to Inletsburg and might find an aspiring practitioner there who wishes to help.

 

The problem with this scenario - IMO - is that the player actually shouldn't have a choice in this; either the statement that the character is a Cleric with the appropriate background is true or its not. Adding the "lie" tag serves no purpose.

 

Where it might be purposeful is when the dialogue is for future events ("Yes I promise to go on a pilgrimage to Dustham's Proclaimer chapel if you let me into you vault today" essentially Wimpy's "I'll gladly repay you Tuesday if you buy me a hamburger today") The problem with this is if you stated a [lie] dialogue but then actually do it (or conversely state a truthful dialogue and forget to do it) then the lie tag is meaningless.

 

And why its meaningless is because lying is partially your intent and partially your veracity. But a game can't really understand your intent. It can understand your veracity (Player promised to pilgrimage to Dustham; 17 weeks passed, state is now "lie" => player now in poor standing with Clergy unless they make amends or explain why pilgrimage has been delayed). So to my mind the game should be designed - in situations where bluffing or similar come into play - to test the veracity of what the player says rather than their intent.

Edited by Amentep

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What if certain cursed items only allowed you to tell the truth in conversations? Or you could *only* tell lies?

 

I like it when two or more game concepts work together.  :dancing:

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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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Amentep: I agree with your point with regard to veracity vs intent. When possible, intent should be tested rather than specified by the player. I still believe the [lie] tag can serve as a useful story telling mechanism, especially when talking about the past, but possibly also in other scenarios. Perhaps a more fitting example:

 

- [lie] I served with the Rogue Banale in Dustham, your guild could use me.

- I served with the Rogue Banale in Dustham, your guild could use me.

 

Reiterating what I think is most important wrt lying: This type of dialogue can let the player dictate part of the PC's history from before the game started. This way players will be building their character's history and personality throughout the game, not just in the character creation screen. They have a more detailed say in it, instead of perhaps having the class and alignment (blech) determine the background completely.

 

Perhaps in this way we can avoid the now quite tired dichotomy of either 'player character entirely determined' or 'player character wakes up without memory.' It'd give the game some extra replayability, and a sense of the story (both its future and past) being dynamic. This at the expense of having to carefully design dialogues and gameplay to ensure consistency.

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But it doesn't work for "I once led a team of miners out of a collapsed mine. I think I can get us through this forest."

I think it's just a silly scenario that has no reason to ever come up except to justify a lie tag. It could just as easily be "I can get us through this forest," no mention of the past. That line still does everything it needs to do. KIS. Keep It Simple.

 

All statements the player makes should serve a purpose. And the statements should be designed to fill that purpose. Is the player trying to get another character's trust? Is the character trying to get a character to do something? What do you see being fulfilled by the lie that isn't equally fulfilled by just leaving it open?

 

Let's look at the scenario. Characters are stuck in the woods. You want to let the player characterize themselves before leading people out. What kind of characterizations are good? Confident? "Let's get out of here!" Experienced? "I know how to get us out." Uncertain? "I don't know, but let us try." Reluctant "Maybe we should wait? What does the group think?" What does the lie about mine collapses serve? To boost morale? "I know how to get us out" does the same thing, true or not. And it doesn't matter if it's true if you never try to call in the lie. The player gets to formulate his own justification behind the statement that may differ from the author's intent.

 

Maybe you're thinking you'd like to call the lie out. To which I have to ask, why? The vast majority of lies should let the player get away with because it makes them feel they are successful at what they want their character to do, lying. And thus you can treat the lies and truth with the same outcome.

 

I understand what you mean. That wasn't the best specific example, as I was just trying to point out the way in which such a lie would be presented, and I failed to present a necessary lie.

 

The idea I'm getting at is, sometimes you need to provide details to further convince people of things. Look at people trying to find a surgeon for a risky surgery. They don't just say "You shouldn't worry, because he's really good at surgery." People often say things like "He's performed over 1,000 successful open-heart surgeries. So you see? You have no need to worry, ^_^"

 

Just like foreigners fearful of an attacking army might be told "These walls have held off a number of armies greater than than the years of your life thus far."

 

The point is, you might need to present such info to bolster someone's confidence and alleviate their extreme doubt or fear, and sometimes YOU might trust the person who's doing something, but the other person knows nothing about them, and doesn't know you, either. So, saying "Trust me (a complete stranger), this other complete stranger is totally awesome at this!" isn't gonna cut it."

 

So, scenario:

 

You're helping some person escape from some dungeon, and they're FREAKING out. They don't know if you're criminals, or what. Maybe if you say "Look, he'll get us past those locks, don't you worry!", the person calms enough to come with you, but dies along the way (because he's still scared into ineffectiveness), or he just doesn't help you nearly as much with the rest of the escape (so, if you care about saving him, you've got to put up with protecting him while he just cowers around in corners, AND the lack of his fighting strength.) So, maybe you say "This guy once singlehandedly broke into the royal palace, stole an ornament from the princess's chamber, then got back out, all in the span of a guard shift change. I've never seen anyone as skilled as him." And now he isn't worried about being trapped in there, so he regains enough composure to ask for a weapon and help you fight your way out. Maybe he lives, and you run into him again down the line (maybe he provides more quest opportunities, or affects other quest circumstances in some way, *shrug*.)

 

The point is, HOWEVER the speech system is handled, I'd assume that ALL options aren't available to ALL people. So,

 

1) How do you even know that's taking advantage of your focus on deception progression if it doesn't tell you it's a lie?  and...

 

2) How do you even know whether or not your character simply knows that guy is that good and knows that the past event described actually happened?

 

The 1st is really more important.

 

Again, I maybe can't think of the absolute greatest scenario off the top of my head, but if you NEVER have a similar scenario, then what the hell does being a skillful liar accomplish over being a non-skillful liar? No characters will EVER be better at pulling off the believable delivery of a lie than other players?

 

Do salesmen get people to buy things by saying "Oh, it's really good, and you want it, trust me... I mean, it's just... it's SOOO good. It's a wonderful product!" No, they exaggerate the crap out of everything, at the very least (which is pretty much lying... it's deception), and the less reputable ones lie about things ("Sure, that won't break for like... 5 years!"). 

 

I just don't see the benefits of making sure nothing is tagged as a lie while negating ANY even remotely similar scenario, as opposed to making sure lie options (that you're deciding to choose in dialogue in lieu of other options) are clearly marked, and being able to have SOME amount of make-stuff-up-that-the-player-probably-doesn't-know-isn't-made-up-to-affect-people scenarios in the game. *shrug*

 

I think that IS keeping it simple. "If it has '(lie)', it's a lie. If it doesn't, it's not a lie." Instead of "Wait... he said he knows how valuable that jewel is... *flips through a bunch of lore and history*... is he lying? If he is, is it possible other people KNOW he's lying? Crap, I wanted to play a character who tells the truth. I could've picked another option for that very reason, had I known this one was a lie!"

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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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Let's look at the scenario. Characters are stuck in the woods. You want to let the player characterize themselves before leading people out. What kind of characterizations are good? Confident? "Let's get out of here!" Experienced? "I know how to get us out." Uncertain? "I don't know, but let us try." Reluctant "Maybe we should wait? What does the group think?" What does the lie about mine collapses serve? To boost morale? "I know how to get us out" does the same thing, true or not. And it doesn't matter if it's true if you never try to call in the lie. The player gets to formulate his own justification behind the statement that may differ from the author's intent.

 

Maybe you're thinking you'd like to call the lie out. To which I have to ask, why? The vast majority of lies should let the player get away with because it makes them feel they are successful at what they want their character to do, lying. And thus you can treat the lies and truth with the same outcome.

 

Mine-woods scenario.

I'm not sure I'd care for skill checks, though maybe skill level checks in bluffing.

But assuming you really want the folks to follow you in the dark woods, extra bluffing might be required. Especially if you look a bit shady character.

Maybe a paladin or a knight wouldn't need to bluff at all, even when totally incompetent to lead anybody through the woods.

 

Anyway, so you lie and they follow you. If you're successful, they'll probaly forgive your white lie, but not if you fail.

You might end in some deep trouble, being accused of intentionally leading everybody to the trolls.

 

Purpose of lying is to convince people of something, or getting them to do something.

There should be other ways to reach the goal, though maybe not ways open to you or your character.

And if you resort to lying, maybe there will be repercussions later on, good or bad.

 

Anyway, it's about roleplaying mostly and (over)simplifying dialogue options is no great help in that.

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Lying should be up to the player (like in New Vegas). Having two options ("Of course!" and "Of course! (lie)") made sense in Dungeons&Dragons settings where you had the chaos-law gimmick.

 

Speech checks to see wether the NPC believes you should be on things you say *after* the fact. So If I'm saying "Yes, of course I will do as you ask!", no speech checks should be present, even if I won't do it. If I'm saying "Oh, of course I did as you asked!" when in fact I didn't, a skill- or attribute- or whatever-check should determine wether the NPC buys my lies.

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Speech checks to see wether the NPC believes you should be on things you say *after* the fact. So If I'm saying "Yes, of course I will do as you ask!", no speech checks should be present, even if I won't do it. If I'm saying "Oh, of course I did as you asked!" when in fact I didn't, a skill- or attribute- or whatever-check should determine wether the NPC buys my lies.

How, then, would you handle a character putting a sword to an NPC's throat and saying "I'll slit your throat! I SWEAR IT!"? Is there no difference between various characters' abilities to say/gesture that convincingly? Should a bluff check only occur at the moment when you don't, in fact, slit that person's throat?

 

The problem with the "There shouldn't be 2 identical options, one marked (lie)" thing is the skill/stat check. If you are knowingly saying something untruthful, you have the same emotional/behavioral cues present when you first lie about it as you do when you lie about it in the future. So if that "Oh, of course I did as you asked!" warrants some kind of believability check, then so should the initial "Yeah, I'll totally do this thing you're asking me to do! In fact, I LOVE coconut!" should, too, if you're lying.

 

Now, if there's not going to be any check-representation to see if you get away with the lie, then there's no reason to have duplicate lines with "(lie)" indicators. However, that doesn't change the necessity in other scenarios/for other reasons.


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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Can we not combine lying in conversation with this dialogue option now?

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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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^ Probably, :). Good point.


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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Speech checks to see wether the NPC believes you should be on things you say *after* the fact. So If I'm saying "Yes, of course I will do as you ask!", no speech checks should be present, even if I won't do it. If I'm saying "Oh, of course I did as you asked!" when in fact I didn't, a skill- or attribute- or whatever-check should determine wether the NPC buys my lies.

How, then, would you handle a character putting a sword to an NPC's throat and saying "I'll slit your throat! I SWEAR IT!"? Is there no difference between various characters' abilities to say/gesture that convincingly? Should a bluff check only occur at the moment when you don't, in fact, slit that person's throat?

 

The problem with the "There shouldn't be 2 identical options, one marked (lie)" thing is the skill/stat check. If you are knowingly saying something untruthful, you have the same emotional/behavioral cues present when you first lie about it as you do when you lie about it in the future. So if that "Oh, of course I did as you asked!" warrants some kind of believability check, then so should the initial "Yeah, I'll totally do this thing you're asking me to do! In fact, I LOVE coconut!" should, too, if you're lying.

 

Now, if there's not going to be any check-representation to see if you get away with the lie, then there's no reason to have duplicate lines with "(lie)" indicators. However, that doesn't change the necessity in other scenarios/for other reasons.

 

1) Since the game won't allow you to literally grabbing a persons throat and putting a knife to it, that action has to be part of the text for the bluff.  [put sword to throat] I'll cut your neck like a ripe mellon.  Or something.

 

2) So if that "Oh, of course I did as you asked!" warrants some kind of believability check, then so should the initial "Yeah, I'll totally do this thing you're asking me to do! In fact, I LOVE coconut!" should, too, if you're lying. - contextually, however, the game can't assume what you mean to do - even when you tell it that; for example if there is a "Yeah I'll totally do this thing [lie]" option there's nothing in the game to prevent you from then "doing that thing". 

 

Why, then, should the game work under the assumption that you lied because you initially said you were lying?  What reactivity can the game have to the concept of your lying in the conversation at that point?  You've added an unnecessary level of dialogue complication when the truth about whether you lie or not is within your actions not in what you say (later, if confronted with something you agree to do that you haven't, the player should have the ability to bluff their way out of it).

 

I think you're walking down a bad path when you start trying to have your game understand the players motivations rather than their actions.

Edited by Amentep

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There is nothing preventing them from omitting the [lie] marker when it doesn't make sense, i.e. in the case you just mentioned. This was never a problem in PS:T. You do have intelligent humans designing the dialogues, and they'll all have discussed guidelines for these things before they start writing dialogues.

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I'd argue that it only made sense in PST because the setting is such that belief alters the planes; ergo the distinction of intent is important.

 

In a game like Baldur's Gate where the setting isn't supposed to respond to the character's beliefs (and thus their truth or lies), there is no reason to (IMO) make a distinction between intent and action. 

 

EDIT: To further clarify, lets take Wimpy (from Popeye); his classic statement "I'll pay you Tuesday for a Hamburger today."  When he says it he either means it or he doesn't.  If he doesn't pay he either lied or something unknown happened to prevent payment.  IMO its harder to have a system that makes a distinction between intent (lie, tell truth but something happened, lie but did it anyhow) than action (money paid back on Tuesday, money not paid back on Tuesday).

Edited by Amentep
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1) Since the game won't allow you to literally grabbing a persons throat and putting a knife to it, that action has to be part of the text for the bluff.  [put sword to throat] I'll cut your neck like a ripe mellon.  Or something.

Exactly. You'd have to tag it. And it would be handled by dialogue. So, how would the player know whether or not he was telling the game to have his character ACTUALLY be about to cut someone's throat, or just bluff about cutting someone's throat?

 

2) So if that "Oh, of course I did as you asked!" warrants some kind of believability check, then so should the initial "Yeah, I'll totally do this thing you're asking me to do! In fact, I LOVE coconut!" should, too, if you're lying. - contextually, however, the game can't assume what you mean to do - even when you tell it that; for example if there is a "Yeah I'll totally do this thing [lie]" option there's nothing in the game to prevent you from then "doing that thing".

Then you changed your mind, and you end up doing that thing. Doesn't change the fact that you had no intention, whatsoever, of doing that thing when you lied about it.

 

Either your bluffs and lies have a chance of failure (between people's ability to detect such things, and your character's ability to deliver falsehoods in a believable manner), or they don't. If they don't, then... okay? That seems pretty lacking in the dialogue depth department, but whatever. No worries about lie tags, I suppose. But, if they DO... then, how can the game determine whether or not to check if it doesn't even know if you're lying or not?

 

You say it isn't important, because your future actions will determine whether or not you were lying. But, that isn't true. If I say "I'm going to the grocery store," and I get out on the road, and it turns outthe grocery store's on fire, I'm probably just going to turn around and go home. Did I lie? No. Did I do what I said I was going to do? No. So you see... If your character says "I'm going to kill Lord Blargity!", and you get to Lord Blargity, and someone else assassinates him before you can kill him, then you didn't lie. But your actions later determine whether or not you were lying, right? Nope. They don't.

 

Really, mechanically, it comes down to the bluff/lie check. If there's a mechanic difference between a lie and a non-lie, then it would be horrendous design on the devs part not to tag it for the player's knowledge.

 

I think you're walking down a bad path when you start trying to have your game understand the players motivations rather than their actions.

I want the game to take into account both. I don't want it to be an AI, and understand my hopes and dreams. I just want my character's... well, character to be represented in the game. If you change your mind 743,000 times throughout the game, then so be it. That's probably gonna generate a spotty reputation at best, but go for it, and Connect Four. However, I want character depth, and I want to be able to suck at lying, and to be really, really good at it, with different characters. And none of that matters if the game never cares if I'm deceiving anyone, or what the intentions behind my words are. Edited by Lephys

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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Then you changed your mind, and you end up doing that thing. Doesn't change the fact that you had no intention, whatsoever, of doing that thing when you lied about it.

Except the game has no way of knowing what your intentions are; if you say "I won't do this [lie]" and then do this, what is the fundamental difference between that and telling the truth from the perspective of the game? What is the difference between saying "I will do this!" and then not doing it and lying?

 

(Note I do not think that "bluff" and "lie" are synonymous, and I'm not convinced that you'd need a bluff check for something that is within the realm of normal believability.)

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I agree that the distinction between lies and bluffs is important. Bluffs should obviously be marked (if an identical non-bluff answer exists.)

 

However, I still support the ability to [lie] because, as I explained in the middle of page 3 of this thread, it could be used as a mechanism for letting you choose part of your character's history. Are you pro/against this mode of storytelling, and a follow-up question: do you have this opinion in general or just for this game?

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If there was an option between two lines, one with a [Lie] tag and one without, where the [Lie] tag would cause a bluff check then I would pick the one without the [Lie] tag. Regardless of whether I meant it or not. 

 

I think 99% of people who play the game would do the same. 

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

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A good point. Lying should be there when it is sensible.

 

I think the game should make you emotionally invested enough in the stuff that goes on that anything worth lying about isn't going to make you just skip lying about it just to skip a bluff check. If it can't manage to do that, well, I don't expect it to have a particularly interesting story anyway.

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Except the game has no way of knowing what your intentions are;

No, but it has every way of knowing what your character's intentions are, and it can then allow the player to choose.

If there was an option between two lines, one with a [Lie] tag and one without, where the [Lie] tag would cause a bluff check then I would pick the one without the [Lie] tag. Regardless of whether I meant it or not. 

 

I think 99% of people who play the game would do the same.

Hadn't really thought of that. Excellent point. This pretty much renders the "same line but one has a [lie] tag" thing pointless. However, I still say that any other time, it should be marked, for the simple fact that, if your character KNOWS something is false when he/she says it, the player should know this as well.

 

This ONLY applies to the main character, aka "you," and what that character says in dialogue that the player can choose from a list of options. If all the NPCs in the entire game (and even your party members) want to lie 24/7 and not inform the player, that's totally fine by me.

 

But, if my character provides someone with information that I don't know isn't true, and my character knows it, I need to know that. If my character knows it isn't true, it shouldn't be a mystery to me. You can't perform an action later on to determine whether or not some information (we'll say about a past/existing event or state of something) is true.


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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