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So anyone who has played Temple of Elemental Evil is familiar with those, if you haven't:

 

Starting vignettes were little stories that acted as openers, and there were different ones for the nine DnD alignments (Lawful Good, Chaotic Evil etc.). They served as an introduction to the game and led to your first quests, thereby also giving you some direction without holding your hand.

 

I'd love to see this idea picked up, possibly by P:E. DnD alignments are derpy of course, but a theme for the party that "explains" how it came to be is a nice roleplaying element (and possibly more).

 

Some possible themes:

 

- an unemployed mercenary company

 

- a band of vicious bandits

 

- a flock of humble pilgrims

 

- a group of travelling scholars

 

 

I know P:E doesn't start out as a party game, but I think a single character works fine as well.

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If memory serves, our PC is a witness to some sort of supernatural event and how we react to it determines the flow of the game in terms of our initial opportunities, encounters with NPCs, and quests. I might imagine some variation built into this based upon sex, race, and/or class, but that's about it.

Edited by Tsuga C

http://cbrrescue.org/

 

Go afield with a good attitude, with respect for the wildlife you hunt and for the forests and fields in which you walk. Immerse yourself in the outdoors experience. It will cleanse your soul and make you a better person.----Fred Bear

 

http://michigansaf.org/

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If memory serves, our PC is a witness to some sort of supernatural event and how we react to it determines the flow of the game in terms of our initial opportunities, encounters with NPCs, and quests.

Yes, I thought about that. However, I don't think it's very thrilling if we have yet again to assume that our character was a blank slate until he witnessed the events that mark the beginning of the game.

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That wsa appropriate for a party, but, as far as i know, we are going to start alone and gather party during the adventure.


MzpydUh.gif

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Wouldn't mind a little intro/tutorial vignette before the Event befalls us, a nod to our past lives and motivations, if it fits in with what the devs are aiming for. If there are masses of backgrounds, feats and skills to choose from at character creation however I don't see how every variation can be easily catered for, unless we get some sort of forced implementation. Drafted, enslaved or what have you, which I usually am not exactly a fan of.

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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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If there are masses of backgrounds, feats and skills to choose from at character creation however I don't see how every variation can be easily catered for, unless we get some sort of forced implementation.

You're right about this, and I think background traits, if they are detailed and fundamental, could take the place of starting vignettes.

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I still say it would be awesome if you sort of "discovered" (chose-scovered!) the specifics of your character's past as you played through the game. You know, like you do with books. I'm aware you're not playing/controlling books, but, you often don't know the majority of the main characters' pasts until something comes up in the present that causes such things to be relevantly revealed, despite spending a lot of time inside the minds of the characters.


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 still say it would be awesome if you sort of "discovered" (chose-scovered!) the specifics of your character's past as you played through the game. You know, like you do with books. I'm aware you're not playing/controlling books, but, you often don't know the majority of the main characters' pasts until something comes up in the present that causes such things to be relevantly revealed, despite spending a lot of time inside the minds of the characters.

do I get it right that you want to discover the protagonist's past over the course of the game, but with an element of choice? I'm against that for several reasons, the first being that I like to create characters, which includes knowing said character. It strains my credulity to not know what I've done before and discover that piece by piece. This might not be a problem if someone isn't into roleplaying though.

 

The other thing is I'd like my background to influence my character's stats and this would be silly to gain in retrospect.

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do I get it right that you want to discover the protagonist's past over the course of the game, but with an element of choice? I'm against that for several reasons, the first being that I like to create characters, which includes knowing said character. It strains my credulity to not know what I've done before and discover that piece by piece. This might not be a problem if someone isn't into roleplaying though.

 

The other thing is I'd like my background to influence my character's stats and this would be silly to gain in retrospect.

 

I get your meaning. I will say, though, that really, the only difference would be that you choose such things later. And there'd have to be care taken on when/how to implement the choice.

 

Example: If you create your character, then start the game, it really doesn't matter what combat skill bonus you get from a background (or anything of that nature) until you actually need to combat something for the first time in the game.

 

Granted, I will say that my suggested style of handling things wouldn't just automagically work for whatever you so chose, and whatever implementation you chose. It would have to be done a certain way, and not everything could be done that way without causing problems (like Stats, as you mentioned.) Perhaps, though, you could choose a very generalized choice that justifies the initial stat difference, and you'd go ahead and get your stat bonuses/differences from your general background, THEN go on to choose the specifics of that background as you arrive at points in the early story that reveal it. For example, you might choose something that boosts your character's Strength. Then, LATER, you determine whether or not that was from working a forge, being a soldier, laboring in a mine, being forced to fight in an underground slaver organization for betting/sport, etc.

 

But, as for simple choices? Yes, I'd love to get to a point in the game at which people say "we've got to get out of here, but where should we go?!", to which you have 3 options to respond, maybe based on background choices you've already made (like I said above, very general choices that simply determine differences in stats and such):

 

1) "I know a man who leads a mercenary band near Edonvar, about 10 miles west of here. We fought together in the siege of Sethris, years ago. We can trust him."

2) "There's an old mage in the Vrathenwood. She took me in, for a time, back when I had nowhere else to go. She will help us with this."

3) "An old contact of mine runs the Frothy Fox in Arathdale. He'll know what to do."

 

People could clearly write better options than that, haha (with more detail as to your actual background nature), but I would rather choose stuff like that than choose 73 details about my past at a character-creation screen. And, again, if that's the first situation in which you even have the OPTION of pointing the group in the direction of someone from your past, then needn't have chosen who you know and where they were BEFORE that point in the game (which, again, should probably be pretty early on).

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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Example: If you create your character, then start the game, it really doesn't matter what combat skill bonus you get from a background (or anything of that nature) until you actually need to combat something for the first time in the game.

I... do not get the point I fear.

Perhaps, though, you could choose a very generalized choice that justifies the initial stat difference, and you'd go ahead and get your stat bonuses/differences from your general background, THEN go on to choose the specifics of that background as you arrive at points in the early story that reveal it. For example, you might choose something that boosts your character's Strength. Then, LATER, you determine whether or not that was from working a forge, being a soldier, laboring in a mine, being forced to fight in an underground slaver organization for betting/sport, etc.

While that would be sort of satisfactory to me, and sort of satisfactory to you, it does have 'sketchy' written all over it.

 

It makes me think though... background traits in TES obviously only have to pertain to you. In, say, Arcanum you also were the only one with a 'background' IIRC. Should henchmen and companions in P:E have backgrounds? In the case of retroactivity, should you be able to choose a background for them upon their joining?

But, as for simple choices? Yes, I'd love to get to a point in the game at which people say "we've got to get out of here, but where should we go?!", to which you have 3 options to respond, maybe based on background choices you've already made (like I said above, very general choices that simply determine differences in stats and such):

 

 

1) "I know a man who leads a mercenary band near Edonvar, about 10 miles west of here. We fought together in the siege of Sethris, years ago. We can trust him."

2) "There's an old mage in the Vrathenwood. She took me in, for a time, back when I had nowhere else to go. She will help us with this."

3) "An old contact of mine runs the Frothy Fox in Arathdale. He'll know what to do."

 

 

I do think this would be kind of cool, as a way to simultaneously define and learn about your character's past. It could be general enough to fit in with any backgrounds you picked. If your background was, say, "raised by a soldier" (bonus to combat skills), you could still have an alchemist friend or a shady contact, while any kind of character also might have fought in a battle as a draftee.

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I... do not get the point I fear.

 

No worries. I do not always explain in the best way possible, as my brain is a bit weird. I'll try to clarify:

 

Say you start the game, and there's probably some form of story-presenting cutscene, and everything feels quite prologuey, and you're doing some traveling into some little village (or even a big city), and you're talking, and you're walking, and BOOM! Conflict. The conflict might not START with you. It might be something that happens, and you happen to be there. So, you're lounging in the inn, having a pint, and you hear a commotion outside. Then, someone bursts into the common room, shouting "Orcs!" or some such (I know there are apparently no orcs in P:E... just making a generic RPG example). Okay, NOW you've got to fight your way out, whether you help other people or not. So, maybe someone in that common room immediately starts trying to organize a plan. And they say "You, person I know who is really strong, bar the door!" to some fellow they know who is really strong, and maybe they tell someone else to start making room in the cellar for non-combatants or something, I dunno... then, you get a "You there! What's your name?", to which you can respond however you'd like, most likely, followed by a "well, we need this list of stuff accomplished if we're going to survive this. What can you do?!" He assesses you to figure out what you're going to do. So, even if you're a Fighter (so you probably already have basic Fighter gear), you could be a fast/agile Fighter (maybe you served as a scout as a soldier?), or a big burly fighter (maybe you served on the frontlines, or as someone's main bodyguard?), or an extremely intelligent, tactical fighter (maybe you led a squad of soldiers in the past?).

 

So, up until this point in the game, you're background didn't matter. The details of your background weren't relevant, until now. So, whereas you probably needed to go ahead and get the stat boosts at actual character creation (otherwise, the game would need to restrict the Prologue to zero stat-dependent choices/checks in order to not screw you out of the abilities you WOULD'VE had AFTER simultaneously selecting and discovering your background), maybe now you get your skill boosts (kind of like your three tagged skills in Fallout)? If you have burly/brute-force soldiering experience (you pick that from the list of responses), you probably get told to help barricade the door, and fight the orcs directly once they break in. If you were a reconnaisance/scouty fellow, then maybe you get sent out the back window, and/or get to climb onto the roof of the tavern in order to survey the area or get a message to another group (like the town guard). If you were a squad leader, then maybe the guy asks YOU what other people should be doing in the room, and you pretty much get to pick what you do?

 

Of course, staying true to the regular rules of dialogue, you could still just demand to do the task you wanted to, regardless of your background choice, and/or you could be really vague about your background details (so that the player knows what he picked, but you don't reveal as much, like specific places or organization names, etc.), and you could be a ****, or forceful, or peaceful, or you could not even be a Fighter/combat-heavy person, and maybe you help calm everyone down, and get extra resources out of panicky people who were frightened into that "No way... I'm keeping this stuff/knowledge to myself, so that I can make a run for it and survive if this goes badly" mentality. Etc.

 

The point is, you could even do this BEFORE that orc assault, with non-combat aspects of your background. First chance to haggle? Maybe you pick your trade-related background (or maybe it's more general... just combat/non-combat skills/attributes?). But, done correctly, you could actually not get the stat boosts until you picked. You would just have to get to pick earlier, and skill/stat checking opportunities would have to be restricted to only AFTER you were allowed to pick the applicable portion of your background.

 

Basically, it would be stupid to have you spend 15 minutes in town performing oodles of optional, non-combat tasks that required certain levels of stats/skills, THEN have you pick your background that awards those bonuses, just as it would be stupid to have you fight a bunch of things, THEN determine what kind of combat background you had.

 

 

While that would be sort of satisfactory to me, and sort of satisfactory to you, it does have 'sketchy' written all over it.

 

It makes me think though... background traits in TES obviously only have to pertain to you. In, say, Arcanum you also were the only one with a 'background' IIRC. Should henchmen and companions in P:E have backgrounds? In the case of retroactivity, should you be able to choose a background for them upon their joining?

 

Meh, I don't think it's sketchy, really. Not inherently. It COULD be sketchy, based on how it's done, I suppose. And, I openly admit, the method comes with a lot of care in designing what is essentially the game's prologue. But, I don't at all think it's completely out-of-the-question or anything.

 

 

I do think this would be kind of cool, as a way to simultaneously define and learn about your character's past. It could be general enough to fit in with any backgrounds you picked. If your background was, say, "raised by a soldier" (bonus to combat skills), you could still have an alchemist friend or a shady contact, while any kind of character also might have fought in a battle as a draftee.

 

Yeah. That's really the meat-and-potatoes of the idea. I know a game isn't a book, but the narrative aspect of an RPG is VERY MUCH like a book that you're playing through. I think in many ways it's much more interesting to not know EVERYTHING about your character from the get-go, but to still know all the mechanic-pertinent things at any point in the game at which it would detriment the character not to know them. But, it's just like how, in a book, by about halfway through, you might know practically everything there is to know about the main character. But, at the beginning, you don't get a giant 15-page dissertation on all the knowledge and past events of that character. You might know a good bit about them, as it pertains to the "present" of the beginning of the book. "They're shy... they think about this a lot... they like cheetohs... They're not very good at science...". Then, later in the book, you might actually find out more details about past things that influenced these present truths.

 

To put it one more way, think of it like this: You can decide "my character has a phobia of water," without picking WHY they have a phobia of water. It's more fun to sort of discover the why, even if you're basically picking the past, at some point in the story when the why of the past is actually pertinent to the present.

 

At least, I think so. *shrug*

 

It's not going to hurt me if they just have us pick the whole background bit at character creation, and/or simply play through a whole "1 year ago" segment as to how our character arrived at the "Now, the start of P:E's actual story" segment.

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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Well ****. *Puts on reading specs on top of his regular specs*

-snip-

Sooo. I thought you were arguing for a gradual discovery of the character's past over the course of the entire game, including retroactive stat modification. But it seems, you're really arguing for a prologue or starting area, wherein parts of your stats are defined, while the rest would be defined at a classical "character creation" menu on startup. Did I get it right? If so, I'd be fine with that idea, even though I don't really see much gained compared to classical character creation. Unless you really want to drag it out for a longer time than just a prologue, against which I have some reservations that I already described above. This is NOT to say that I'm totally against stat/skill boosts to happen at certain times in the game, either through dialogue or other means, but not to such an extent that it (re)defines your entire character.

 

And of course we seem to agree that simple story elements that you learn about your character's past over the course of the game are ok, nay, it's a good thing if your past is getting constructed as you go.

Edited by Sacred_Path

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I have to say I'm against this idea. From what I've seen so far it seems like they want you to be able to really role play your character and a set background story would limit your possibilities to do so. I want to create my own character with his/her own background. A character's background is, in large part, what motivates the character and I don't want motivations forced on me.

 

I don't see a need for your character's past to be represented in the game in any other way than the choices it leads him/her to make.

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I have to say I'm against this idea. From what I've seen so far it seems like they want you to be able to really role play your character and a set background story would limit your possibilities to do so.

I'm afraid I can't follow. How does it go against roleplaying if you know and have decided on your character's background?

I want to create my own character with his/her own background. A character's background is, in large part, what motivates the character and I don't want motivations forced on me.

So basically you want to make up your own background, and not be limited by the choices given by the developers? Ok, I can see some merit in that. But I have to say, I don't think broad backgrounds limit your chance to make up most of the background of your character.

 

Examples of what backgrounds I would like to see:

 

"Raised by a soldier": +1 STR, bonus to swords, polearms and thrown weapons

 

"Alchemist's apprentice": +1 INT, bonus to alchemy

 

I think these do not limit your roleplaying in any way, but contribute to it. You may still be an intellectual, or a lithe person, who was raised by a soldier. You may have worked as a lumberjack, a goldsmith or a carpenter. You may have been an alchemist's apprentice, but you're still a lump of a man and he simply couldn't find anyone else.

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I have to say I'm against this idea. From what I've seen so far it seems like they want you to be able to really role play your character and a set background story would limit your possibilities to do so.

I'm afraid I can't follow. How does it go against roleplaying if you know and have decided on your character's background?

>I want to create my own character with his/her own background. A character's background is, in large part, what motivates the character and I don't want motivations forced on me.

So basically you want to make up your own background, and not be limited by the choices given by the developers? Ok, I can see some merit in that. But I have to say, I don't think broad backgrounds limit your chance to make up most of the background of your character.

 

Examples of what backgrounds I would like to see:

 

"Raised by a soldier": +1 STR, bonus to swords, polearms and thrown weapons

 

"Alchemist's apprentice": +1 INT, bonus to alchemy

 

I think these do not limit your roleplaying in any way, but contribute to it. You may still be an intellectual, or a lithe person, who was raised by a soldier. You may have worked as a lumberjack, a goldsmith or a carpenter. You may have been an alchemist's apprentice, but you're still a lump of a man and he simply couldn't find anyone else.

 

I agree that those kind of backgrounds wouldn't limit you very much, sometimes limitations can even make you more creative. Still, given the choice, I would prefer total control of my character's background and personality instead of almost complete control. As far as I'm concerned my character's background need only exist in my imagination and will manifest itself in the game by the moral choices it leads him/her to make.

 

Both ways has their merits, it's just a matter of personal taste.

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So...it's something similar to System Shock start, where you define the character as you go trough actual in-game choices rather than a dry options screen?


* YOU ARE A WRONGULARITY FROM WHICH NO RIGHT CAN ESCAPE! *

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So...it's something similar to System Shock start, where you define the character as you go trough actual in-game choices rather than a dry options screen?

That's a suggestion that has popped up in this thread. Actual starting vignettes, at least those in ToEE that I was thinking of, only provide a backstory for you. Or, more accurately, they introduce your character into the story and lead to your first quest.

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So...it's something similar to System Shock start, where you define the character as you go trough actual in-game choices rather than a dry options screen?

Kotor2 had this as well. it's deliciously flavourful, but it also breaks immersion a little when you're supposed to say what happened when whatever your answer is, is entirely fictional and something you the player doesn't know. That said, it does make your character entirely your own.

Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
---
Pet threads, everyone has them. I love imagining Gods, Monsters, Factions and Weapons.

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If the choice of background has an impact throughout the game then I might be open to it, but if it's going to be more like DAO where the choice of origin is pretty much meaningless after Ostagar and just serves to highlight just how railroaded the game is (most games are railroaded to some degree, but there is no need to rub it in my face) and contrived to get you to the same starting place while limiting your choice of background as a result then a definite no from me.  The loss of one thing should be done in order to gain something else, if that makes sense: if I lose the choice of character background for my character then I expect it to be done in order to benefit the story or because I'm playing a pregen like Geralt with a full history and fully fleshed out personality with the story crafted to it. 

 

It's why, once the novelty had worn off, the Shepards and Hawks are really a bad thing to me, they lose out on the choice of being defined by me while not gaining enough of their own personality from the background forced on me by the developers.  In short, they suffer the drawbacks of both extremes while gaining none of the benefits.

Edited by FlintlockJazz
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I'd still like there to be a choice of backgrounds like in Arcanum or Dragon Age Origins (obviously you're not playing this background in P:E,) and I still think that a character's background should be a stronger determiner of base stats & skills than race.

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Well ****. *Puts on reading specs on top of his regular specs*

-snip-

Sooo. I thought you were arguing for a gradual discovery of the character's past over the course of the entire game, including retroactive stat modification. But it seems, you're really arguing for a prologue or starting area, wherein parts of your stats are defined, while the rest would be defined at a classical "character creation" menu on startup. Did I get it right? If so, I'd be fine with that idea, even though I don't really see much gained compared to classical character creation. Unless you really want to drag it out for a longer time than just a prologue, against which I have some reservations that I already described above. This is NOT to say that I'm totally against stat/skill boosts to happen at certain times in the game, either through dialogue or other means, but not to such an extent that it (re)defines your entire character.

 

And of course we seem to agree that simple story elements that you learn about your character's past over the course of the game are ok, nay, it's a good thing if your past is getting constructed as you go.

 

Well, I don't think the two are mutually exclusive. I was kinda hoping for both. I was only clarifying that, IF you were going to allow "Background - soldier" (for example) to grant a +1 to STR, you couldn't wait 'til halfway through the game to finalize that and actually give the character the STR bonus. It doesn't make any sense in several ways, heh.

 

So, broad choices (without the details) like that would have to be made pretty early on (basically, at-or-before the first opportunity to actively utilize that stat/skill), but all the details could be learned/chosen as you go.

 

It's just kind of nice, I think. Instead of choosing, at character creation, between "My character totally knows this guy named Steve who was a tavern owner in Grandale" or "My character totally knows this alchemist in the forest," if both contacts are part of slightly different "Soldier" background details (if you allow more than a single specific background for each background type/category, which I excessively believe you should), you could kind of get a feel for the game thus far, and all the nuances of the story and characters, and sort of decide with a lot more contextual information SPECIFICALLY what kind of Soldier background you had. Again, whenever the first opportunity arises in the game for you to, in this example, reference and/or visit some person from your past, exclusive to your background. Those types of things could be done far later in the game (Who's to say exactly when you'll need to go see Steve, your old soldier buddy?)

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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