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What do we know about children?

Children in Project Eternity?  

113 members have voted

  1. 1. What are your views on children in Project Eternity

    • They should exist in the game, and can be harmed
      52
    • They should exist in the game, but cannot be harmed
      10
    • They should exist in the game, can be harmed, and serve a meaningful purpose (companion, etc)
      44
    • Children should not be in the game
      7


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To me that's fine, if you also can't "retarded random slaughter" the other NPCs either.

 

Some people put killing children on the other side of the boundary, as separate from killing adults.

I could say that's valid, sure. I can see where they are coming from.

Ah but here is the catch 22.  You already have to randomly slaughter adults all the time in most RPG's, thought rarely because you "choose" to.  Example... Baldur's Gate.  You are traveling between zones and gosh darn-it, bandit's waylay you.  You have no choice, you have to kill them or they will kill you.  You did not "choose" to go looking for them etc etc, they found you.  But end result you kill them.  Odds are good these bandits were adult humanoids.  I don't think anyone is going to argue against you being able to kill an adult male human bandit, right?  That said, what is not going to be found in that group of bandit's waylaying you?  A five year old kid. 

 

What's your point?  Okay, fair question.  This is my point.

 

Maybe Farmer Joe isn't a bandit... but he can theoretically fight back and pose some sort of threat at least to a low level character.  Heck you don't know, Farmer Joe may even be in the town militia and packing a short sword and actually be like a level 2 fighter.  A five year old kid who is unarmed can't defend themselves and even if they had a weapon would likely be no good with it.  Therein lies the rub, some random kid is basically defenseless.  A random farmer can at least put up a fight on some level.  There should still be repercussions either way, like town guards attacking you, the town militia Joe is a member of mobilizing, maybe you become wanted in the country or city you committed the crime, etc etc.

 

But killing Farmer Joe, whatever your reason or lack of, is inherently different than killing Little Suzy.  Little Suzy can't fight back, Joe can.

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^ Unless Little Suzy is a soul prodigy, and can snap people in half with her giggles.


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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^ Unless Little Suzy is a soul prodigy, and can snap people in half with her giggles.

Little Suzy is a random child NPC, the only thing she can snap in half is her pretty princess red sonya dolly.  Now having a scenario where the player is forced to deal with say 10 year old Psychic Pete the insane kid who has lost control of his cipher powers could be a great moral decision for players that gives plenty of leeway for seeing killing him as a valid resolution.

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Morals, morals... You don't see indestructible children in novella or movies.

 

If playing a PANCAKE TYCOON will not make you a pastry chef... or a buisness man for that matter...

If playing some type of SUPER SOCCER will not make you a top-shelf football player...

Will playing a game with killing anyone make you a murdering sociopath?


It would be of small avail to talk of magic in the air...

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I voted for having children in the game and being able to kill them for the realism factor

 

But I don't see why anyone should want to kill children anyway :skeptical:  For me its not something I would ever consider during my RPG journeys

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"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

 

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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To me that's fine, if you also can't "retarded random slaughter" the other NPCs either.

 

Some people put killing children on the other side of the boundary, as separate from killing adults.

I could say that's valid, sure. I can see where they are coming from.

Ah but here is the catch 22.  You already have to randomly slaughter adults all the time in most RPG's, thought rarely because you "choose" to.  Example... Baldur's Gate.  You are traveling between zones and gosh darn-it, bandit's waylay you.  You have no choice, you have to kill them or they will kill you.  You did not "choose" to go looking for them etc etc, they found you.  But end result you kill them.  Odds are good these bandits were adult humanoids.  I don't think anyone is going to argue against you being able to kill an adult male human bandit, right?  That said, what is not going to be found in that group of bandit's waylaying you?  A five year old kid.

 

 

 

This is pretty disingenuous, killing hostiles such as a bandit party that waylaid you is not exactly you being able to initiate a "random retarded slaughter" simply because you felt like it.

 

I'd be perfectly content if the game simply did not allow you to target non-hostile NPCs like in many other games, but if it does simply allow you to open up on anyone, it really should be anyone, whether they can effectively fight back or not.

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I voted for having children in the game and being able to kill them for the realism factor

 

But I don't see why anyone should want to kill children anyway :skeptical:  For me its not something I would ever consider during my RPG journeys

what if it was a evil demon child?

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With copious apologies to Jonathan Swift .....

 

 

 

I like children, yes I do ....

boiled, broiled or in a stew

 

 

 

You may now resume your regularly scheduled programming .......

Edited by kgambit
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Little Suzy is a random child NPC, the only thing she can snap in half is her pretty princess red sonya dolly.  Now having a scenario where the player is forced to deal with say 10 year old Psychic Pete the insane kid who has lost control of his cipher powers could be a great moral decision for players that gives plenty of leeway for seeing killing him as a valid resolution.

That's why I said "Unless." That means, "If she's not, then the rest of this doesn't apply." :)

 

I was merely pointing out that, in P:E, you can't necessarily judge a book by its cover.

 

Actually... even not in P:E... Illusion Magic disquises... Didn't think of that. *ponders*

 

Anywho, I agree with you about regular children. I do. I'm just trying to assess the best way to handle potential situations in which it wouldn't be arbitrary and/or ridiculous to need to or at the very least be able to attack children. Well, without all these situations being blatantly obvious, and crossing out all the interesting possibilities (such as ILLUSION MAGIC DISGUISES! 8D!).


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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It's funny because i genuinely question the mentality of people who believe it's wrong to kill children, but forget to mention that they are apparently fine with killing other people.

You shouldn't kill others full stop

The fact that some even try to have the moral high ground on this actually makes me sick.

It's exactly BECAUSE this is a rpg and not a simulator, like someone else mentioned, that you shouldn't take it seriously.

And you should know well enough that the developers need to write extra code just to make theses characters unkillable without any bugs. It's easier to just give them the default AI of every other civilian.

It's fine if the developers want to go extra mile to stop having problems down the road with politics, but to bring up an issue with killing, only when it comes to kids, makes me question the sanity of everyone, that plan to play this game, and try to connect video games morals with real life.

Edited by zimcub

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I voted for having children in the game and being able to kill them for the realism factor

 

But I don't see why anyone should want to kill children anyway :skeptical:  For me its not something I would ever consider during my RPG journeys

what if it was a evil demon child?

 

 

Good point, then I shall despatch the foul beast to the nether regions !!! :bat:


"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

 

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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There's another aspect to this I'd forgotten.

 

In Skyrim, you can still attack a child, even by accident, causing them (and possibly anyone around them) to become hostile to you.
They didn't attack you, but it still caused problems.

 

I'd say that's something to be avoided. If you make them invulnerable, make sure they can't become hostile. Turn friendly fire off entirely, to avoid these kind of mistakes.

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If people want to be serial killers then that is fine.  So long as the game also has police, we already saw the Orlan Cipher guy that is part of Scotland Yard...err Dunryd Row.  

 

Eventually you will be hunted down and locked in a cell, game over.

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^ the argument that killing NPC's should invariably result in a game over is pretty silly. Your band mows down rows upon rows of monsters, but there's never a monster alliance anywhere that hunts you down with a 100+ war party.

 

Ideally, there will be smart ways of killing characters (i.e. lone travellers) and murders that are downright suicidal (i.e. a noble w/ bodyguards in his own hall).

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Children typically live in communities and survive because they have a social structure that protects them.

 

Monsters typically live in caves and swamps in small groups and don't communicate to the level that a more advanced society does.

 

Human Community:  Hey did you hear about that serial killer over in BlahTown? Best not to walk down dark alleys at night on your own until he is caught.

 

Monster Community:  Grrr, Arrrg, food...who is that guy with the big swor...*dies*.

 

The argument wasn't for a game over, it was to point out the absurdity of asking for the ability to be a serial killer of children without a game mechanic that moderates it.

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As long as the games other inhabitants react in the way you'd expect I see no problem with having killable children. Of course, Id never go around and kill them buggers, I still mourn the toddler who jumped in front of my plasma in Fallout 2... 

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Children typically live in communities and survive because they have a social structure that protects them.

 

Monsters typically live in caves and swamps in small groups and don't communicate to the level that a more advanced society does.

 

Human Community:  Hey did you hear about that serial killer over in BlahTown? Best not to walk down dark alleys at night on your own until he is caught.

 

Monster Community:  Grrr, Arrrg, food...who is that guy with the big swor...*dies*.

 

The argument wasn't for a game over, it was to point out the absurdity of asking for the ability to be a serial killer of children without a game mechanic that moderates it.

 

The amusing thinng is, if there *was* a serial killer, the one taking care of it would be you.

 

 

 

What if... when you kill enough people... you get a quest to investigate serial killings... and as you investigate, you find out the killer... was YOU!

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^ the argument that killing NPC's should invariably result in a game over is pretty silly. Your band mows down rows upon rows of monsters, but there's never a monster alliance anywhere that hunts you down with a 100+ war party.

 

Ideally, there will be smart ways of killing characters (i.e. lone travellers) and murders that are downright suicidal (i.e. a noble w/ bodyguards in his own hall).

it's a good point, but, what a great idea, it would be cool to see this.

You mob a mob of goblins? expect to find a goblin horde swarming down on you the next time you leave the safety of the city.

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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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and every once in a while,  Farmer Joe should turn out to be a retired adventurer who blasts your party with fireballs if you attack him or his cows.  I mean, if he survived long enough to retire but, having had all his gold stolen at the start of Pre-E 2 (  ;)  ), is not rich enough to buy a castle, then he's got to be pretty powerful, even in his old age.

 

IOW: why must peasants always be helpless? (admitting that an epic-level peasant should be rare, just not non-existent).  I mean, they always seem to have 'Strength 8' and 'Constitution 8' , even when working in the fields all day.  Can't they swing a scythe?

Edited by Silent Winter

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Children typically live in communities and survive because they have a social structure that protects them.

 

Monsters typically live in caves and swamps in small groups and don't communicate to the level that a more advanced society does.

I've seen all kinds of iterations of monsters that don't just live in small groups and have something akin to a material culture. Seems a bit hyperbolic to support your argument.

 

Human Community:  Hey did you hear about that serial killer over in BlahTown? Best not to walk down dark alleys at night on your own until he is caught.

So you agree that lone travellers should be easy pickings.

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Related discussion on the Order of the Stick forum

 

Might not look like it at first, but this discussion is very similar to the one we're having here when it comes to the "bigger picture". I'm obviously agreeing with everything Rich Burlew (The Giant) is saying, but it's an interesting discussion as a whole.

 

It starts with the in-comic complaint of an Ancient Black Dragon that, just because their hatchlings have stats in DnD, humanoids think it's okay to kill them. It quickly turns into a debate about having any "monster children" that can be harmed (even by accident) in your game. The key questions that arise are: Why is it worse to kill an infant or child? What is the point of putting them in the game? If there's a moral dilemma at play, how many people realize that, or even care about it?

 

Note that this is based on the fact that some monsters have stats even as infants, and they appear in your adventures as enemies. That situation is different from what we were discussing here, but it's an important one as well, and like I said the "bigger picture" answers tend to be the same on both sides of the argument.

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The thing is, the less game developers become preachy, the better. Of course almost no one wants to go around killing children. But that doesn't mean the choice should be made for the player. You can play GTA without randomly killing people on the streets, Rockstar didn't have to make them invincible for that. Also, equating child murder in a game to real interest in doing child murder is laughable at best. Anybody making this association (plenty of people in this topic, at least implicitly, by suggesting you're a horrible person if you want vulnerable children in a game) must logically agree with the various and ludicrous attempts at linking real world violence with in-game violence, which have no support whatsoever in science, and therefore can't honestly consider themselves gamers, imo.

 

What I decide to do inside MY single-player game, in MY home, shouldn't be the business of anybody else. It's just one of those individual morality subjects in which somebody takes an issue with something somebody wants to do that does not concern them in absolutely any way.

 

Games used to be only about furry pets and abstract entities doing innocuous stuff. Know why that is? Because the initial demographic of players was composed mostly of kids. That's not the case anymore as these kids have grown up and still want to play games. And guess what, adults don't need hypocritical game developers or players, no matter how righteous they think they are, hand-holding them and telling them what they can and can't do (regarding moral distinctions, not technical and creative limits and options, of course) in the virtual worlds created inside their homes.

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I'm in favor of killable children, as my posts in this thread have indicated, but I can see the viewpoint of people who oppose it. Even though I am, in principle, strongly opposed to treating any such topic with kid gloves, there are things that could be put in even a 'mature' game which to me would be a step beyond good taste.

 

I just genuinely have a difficult time seeing child killing as one of those things. The worst things you can put in a game aren't the worst things you could do in real life; for example, something like genocide is probably the most horrible thing you could do in real life, but I wouldn't bat an eyelash if a game offered me the chance to completely annihilate....say, all the Orlans in Dyrwood or whatever. 

 

The worst (or perhaps just most uncomfortable) things you can put in a game are the things that somehow legitimize extremely horrible behavior a significant portion of the customers might actually do at some point in their lives. It doesn't matter how many toddlers you kill in a game, no one but a complete psychopath is going to kill kids in real life, and if they do kill kids they have problems a good deal deeper than anything the game put them up to.

 

As such, to be honest, most of my experiences with child killing of games past have felt like very black comedy more than anything. When that mouthy kid in Hong Kong in Deus Ex told me that he knows the Dragonhead and could have me killed if I kept talking to him, I did not feel bad when I launched a white phosphorus rocket at him and he ran around the screen on fire before collapsing as a blackened husk. No, indeed. I laughed, loudly and heartily. Same when those kids pickpocketed me in the Den in Fallout 2 and I reverse pickpocketed high explosives set on a countdown into their inventory. 

 

I don't consider myself psychotic. I never did such things in 'serious' runs. I certainly wouldn't laugh watching real kids burn to death or explode. But the way it usually ends up in games, it's so over the top that it goes from horrifying to blackly hilarious. Since the kiddies in P:E aren't likely to be photorealistic, I'm guessing it would be the same here.

Edited by Death Machine Miyagi
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It starts with the in-comic complaint of an Ancient Black Dragon that, just because their hatchlings have stats in DnD, humanoids think it's okay to kill them.

This is why in my earlier post I went more to the crux of the matter.  A generic 5 year old human female Little Suzy is not dangerous to me the Main Character or my party of adventuring chums. One day she will be just Suzy.  However you have to ask yourself what are the odds "Just Plain Suzy" at 20 years old is going to be a danger to me?  More than likely she grows up to get married, have kids, runs a house or a inn, or a whatever it is normal commoners do.  Statistically speaking she has like a 1-5% chance (likely high exaggerated even there) at ever being any kind of danger or threat to me or even other normal people.

 

A baby black dragon named Cuddles on the other hand will one day grow into a man eating lizard that spews acidic death at whim.  He will more than likely be a threat to me and chums if we ever cross paths at that time.  Odds are quite favorable that Cuddles will also at some point be quite the danger to civilized humanoid society in general if left to his own devices.  It may be circumspect for me to just take Cuddles down now before he is capable of putting up a more.... stringent opposition.  Because let's be honest, unless Cuddles is still in his egg he is in fact a danger to pretty much any human sized creature including me, even if he hatched "just now".

Edited by Karkarov

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I'm in favor of killable children, as my posts in this thread have indicated, but I can see the viewpoint of people who oppose it. Even though I am, in principle, strongly opposed to treating any such topic with kid gloves, there are things that could be put in even a 'mature' game which to me would be a step beyond good taste.

 

I just genuinely have a difficult time seeing child killing as one of those things. The worst things you can put in a game aren't the worst things you could do in real life; for example, something like genocide is probably the most horrible thing you could do in real life, but I wouldn't bat an eyelash if a game offered me the chance to completely annihilate....say, all the Orlans in Dyrwood or whatever. 

 

The worst (or perhaps just most uncomfortable) things you can put in a game are the things that somehow legitimize extremely horrible behavior a significant portion of the customers might actually do at some point in their lives. It doesn't matter how many toddlers you kill in a game, no one but a complete psychopath is going to kill kids in real life, and if they do kill kids they have problems a good deal deeper than anything the game put them up to.

 

As such, to be honest, most of my experiences with child killing of games past have felt like very black comedy more than anything. When that mouthy kid in Hong Kong in Deus Ex told me that he knows the Dragonhead and could have me killed if I kept talking to him, I did not feel bad when I launched a white phosphorus rocket at him and he ran around the screen on fire before collapsing as a blackened husk. No, indeed. I laughed, loudly and heartily. Same when those kids pickpocketed me in the Den in Fallout 2 and I reverse pickpocketed high explosives set on a countdown into their inventory. 

 

I don't consider myself psychotic. I never did such things in 'serious' runs. I certainly wouldn't laugh watching real kids burn to death or explode. But the way it usually ends up in games, it's so over the top that it goes from horrifying to blackly hilarious. Since the kiddies in P:E aren't likely to be photorealistic, I'm guessing it would be the same here.

 

Right. Simply lacking any specific protections against dealing hit point damage to or killing child NPCs isn't that bad.

But if you have the ability to, say, buy a house, get married, and then engage in realistically developed domestic abuse (not just hitting them/killing them like any run-of-the-mill NPC, but more contextual and complicated stuff), that's something that's less justifiable, and is like you say, something that might legitimize it to a portion of players likely to actually do this in the future or have already done so.

Like if their dialogue changes to reflect the state of their relationship... that's something that'd be pretty out of taste, since it goes beyond the cartoony kind of "I'm gonna kill everything!" that motivates most video game destruction sprees.

Edited by Dawn Quixotic
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