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Revisting cultural and backgrounds role

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E3 video showed that there is background specific choices in conversations, but in interviews developers said that background choices don't lock out any content (quest/items/etc.), but they give player ability to have personalized character, meaning that those background specific conversation options are there only for roleplaying purposes, like for example player can tell npc where their character is originating from and what they did before they joined doomed caravan, etc..

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E3 video showed that there is background specific choices in conversations, but in interviews developers said that background choices don't lock out any content (quest/items/etc.), but they give player ability to have personalized character, meaning that those background specific conversation options are there only for roleplaying purposes, like for example player can tell npc where their character is originating from and what they did before they joined doomed caravan, etc..

 

The guard by the bridge in Dyrford, for instance, mentions how badass you must be if you come from the Living Lands. I love things like that - they're charming, and they enhance the roleplaying experience.

 

But I'd still like to have things more mechanically concrete than just little conversation tidbits - things not unlike some of the racial powers, for instance. To my mind, mechanics should serve to enhance fluff, so it'd be a lot more interesting to get something like a bonus to Cold Resistance for coming from the Wight That Wends, or a bonus to wilderness-related skill checks for hailing from the Living Lands. Neither of those are great examples, but that kind of thing. If your Culture and Background each gave one of those, I'd be glad to give up the existing bonus attribute point altogether, just for the flavor of it.

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If I'm typing in red, it means I'm being sarcastic. But not this time.

Dark green, on the other hand, is for jokes and irony in general.

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If your Culture and Background each gave one of those, I'd be glad to give up the existing bonus attribute point altogether, just for the flavor of it.

Agreed  gkathellar.

Not doing beta I missed the mention to coming from living lands gave a reputation as badass.

so along with skills take out attributes and give starting rep for where you came from.


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That's one of the best things about character creation in an RPG -- getting to say "This is my Wizard (or whichever class you prefer). There are many like it, but this one is mine." :)

 

Really, anything that affects the fabric of your character needs to affect that in some way, mechanically. Because that's what makes them actually different. There's plenty of opportunity to roleplay whatever we can muster for our characters. We can decide WHY our characters take this quest, and not that one. Or why they handle this situation like this, instead of like that, etc. What we can't do is actually, concretely, make our character different with the power of our imagination.

 

My favorite thing when playing PnP D&D (and really still my favorite thing, in almost any RPG, cRPG or not) is to try and make characters that make even the NPCs in the game world scratch their heads a little bit. "A Wizard who dual-wields clubs?! You're an odd one, aren't you?"

 

So, yeah. From the cold area because of your background/culture? Higher cold resistance would be fantastic (awesome suggestion, gkathellar).

 

Another thing that I've suggested before is what functionally amounts to Knowledge skills/ratings. You don't even have to add in a new thing. Want to check Knowledge - Agriculture? Well, just check for the "Grew Up On A Farm" background. Then, ALSO check whatever level of Lore you'd like. You could even give Lore-check bonuses in certain situations, because of a pertinent background.

 

Know about the crazy stuff going on with this mountain tribe of goblin-people? Maybe if you have a Lore rating of 7. Oh, you grew up in the mountain regions around tribes like this? +2 to your effective Lore rating for the purposes of this particular check. etc.

 

That way, you don't have to just say "Oh, you have this background, then you're a badass at Mechanics!". Because... well, the skills are pretty broad, to be honest.

 

That's another thing, though. When things like backgrounds and culture options grant very general bonuses (or, rather, ONLY grant general bonuses -- like +1 to a stat), they don't really feel like the very unique factor that they are, since usually that one stat point just represents what you could've achieved with a different point allocation. It's kinda like when you get a new spell, and realize it's the same as an old spell, just bigger/more powerful. Then you think, "Hmm... I don't really feel excited about this spell, because it's just like I cast 1.5 fireballs at the same time, instead of just 1."

 

Again, not that it's problematic to have spell upgrades. But, they should be treated as what they are, and not treated as some unique, completely new/distinct ability you've acquired.

 

Anywho... TL;DR: Things suggesting as much distinction as cultural options and backgrounds (moreso backgrounds) should really bring distinct mechanical character modifiers to the table, and not just tweaks to existing, already-adjustable-at-character-creation values.

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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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There has been many good thoughts on how to flush out your character so it is relevant in game, thank you everyone for your constitutions.


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They keep up with the boards, but some things, much as we'd like them, are probably too low on the list of priorities (and the cost : benefit analysis, where cost = time and resources) to realistically happen. It would be nice if backgrounds weren't just a thing I glanced at briefly and then forgot about, but that may genuinely be too much to hope for - there's a lot of other stuff to work on, things that really need attention.

 

Still, one can dream!


If I'm typing in red, it means I'm being sarcastic. But not this time.

Dark green, on the other hand, is for jokes and irony in general.

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^ True, but I don't really think hashing out backgrounds a little more would be that difficult. Changing all the places throughout the story where they affect choices/options/reactions, sure. But, just changing what they do for character creation? Not that tricky. That's like a one-time modifier for an equation. "You have the Soldier background? You now get a 20% chance your critical hits will knock people down." Boom. Done.


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 guess the best way to get a dev to implement it is to flesh out and give examples and ideas. Setting up sons birthday party atm and on smoke break so i cant go thru and list every background. Maybe someone could start us off and list the backgrounds and what would be a good bonus toit and even throw in a minus in the spirit of thetrait system :-)

Later tonight ill post my ideas if no one starts.

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Background

Description

Availability

Aristocrat

"You've lived your life amongst the nobility Your days have been marked by lavish meals and extravagant parties, your conversations peppered with talk of pedigree and bloodlines."

Aedyr, Deadfire Archipelago, Ixamitl Plains, Old Vailia, Rauatai, the White that Wends

Artist

"You've always felt driven to express yourself creatively. The structure and rigid controls of other pursuits has never satisfied in the same way."

Old Vailia

Clergyman

"Piety and prayer are the cornerstones of your public life, and you encourage the same in others."

Aedyr

Colonist

"You were part of a group that founded a fledgling colony in a distant land."

Aedyr, Old Vailia, the Living Lands

Dissident

"You've made a name for yourself as a troublemaker. Disrespect for authority and a lack of care regarding the rules are recurring themes in your life."

Aedyr, Ixamitl Plains, Old Vailia, Rauatai

Drifter

"You never quite fit in no matter where you go. Each new town is just a place to rest briefly before moving on to the next. You are more comfortable on the road, traveling the world."

All

Explorer

"You find the siren call of the horizon irresistible. You cannot help but wonder what lies beyond the next hill or wave, and you've built your life around finding out."

Deadfire Archipelago, the Living Lands, the White that Wends

Hunter

"You live for the thrill of the chase. Whether for glory or for sustenance, you have made your living taking the lives of wild creatures."

All

Laborer

"Your life has been spent on the study of your craft. You trained and honed your skills hoping to hone your skills and ply your trade."

All

Mercenary

"Blade and battle is your way of life. You solve your problems by pulling out your weapon and applying force."

Aedyr, Deadfire Archipelago, Ixamitl Plains, Old Vailia, Rauatai, the Living Lands

Merchant

"You've traded goods from all over the world, pairing items with buyers of all kinds."

All

Mystic

"You've never been able to explain how the universe guides your path. Behind every task you undertake is a feeling of cosmic direction."

The White that Wends

Philosopher

"You are most at home inside your own head, analyzing the nature of the world and its inhabitants."

Ixamitl Plains

Raider

"You've spent your life on the wrong side of the law. What you want, you take, and what was theirs has a tendency to become yours."

Deadfire Archipelago

Scholar

"For you, knowledge is a relentless pursuit. You hoard each kernel of information as though it were precious metal, and time you don't spend learning is time wasted."

Ixamitl Plains, Rauatai

Scientist

"The rules that govern the world are a set of alchemical formulae to you, waiting to be discovered and manipulated."

The Living Lands

Slave

"You have never known freedom. Shackles and chains have bound your existence and someone has told you what told your entire life."

Aedyr, Deadfire Archipelago, Old Vailia, Rauatai

Aristocrat +1 Lore - 1 Stealth  10% better starting gold start rep Clever ,Artist +1 Lore - 1 Athletics   10% detect false walls start rep   Passionate,  Clergyman  + 1 Lore - 1 Stealth 10% identify magical properties start rep    Honest

or different if using attributes                                      

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plan b

Take attributes from culture and give to background. Give culture skill bonus and change starting equipment to gold.

use background for starting rep.


Under a black flab we compile.

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Change starting equipment to starting gold.

 

An issue with this is the player will need to be given an early opportunity to purchase equivalent equipment--before their first combat at least. That might not be possible, depending on how the game starts.

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

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^ Agreed. Having differing starting money amounts as a result of your background choice is fine, but I'm not sure that directly takes the place of differing starting equipment.


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 it'd be a lot more interesting to get something like a bonus to Cold Resistance for coming from the Wight That Wends

 

The White That Wends native (and most of its) population are Pale Elves and their racial is a 20% DT bonus against Freeze and Burn damage.

 

 

I like that culture choices give you different gear based on class, it gives some flavor to those places that we will probably not see in the game. The stat bonus could probably be moved to the background though, might even make more sense than being on culture (which already grant gear). Although, I also like skill bonus on backgrounds.

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Azarhal, Chanter and Keeper of Truth of the Obsidian Order of Eternity.


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I would absolutely love a feature like this. I've always been a huge fan of the FO2/Arcanum starting modifiers during character creation. Skills would be an excellent route to go through in order to avoid hard attribute bonuses. Maybe they could expand the very small set of skills? Please?

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No offence, but I think the whole point of the delay is to polish and improve stuff they've already done, not create new stuff.

 

That said, there's nothing wrong with your idea, I quite like it.

 

IIRC, there are going to be balancing tweaks to classes and attributes, so the character generation system is not yet set in stone.

 

Have a very nice day.

-fgalkin

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I've always loved the idea of backgrounds shaping some of your character's skills. Culture may shape ideology, but your previous experiences shapes your skillset, it's a rule I like to bring into my own RPGs, if you have skill points, you'd best have an explanation for them.

What I'd love to see though is your culture/background interracting with the actual game. If I declare I'm from a foreign culture, or a local who used to be... say... a brick layer, having minor NPC interraction that reflects those points to me is amazing. Maybe certain merchants prefer locals over foreigners, or somemerchants will prefer foreigners because of the chance of obtaining a foreign prestige good or 'making a tourist sale'. I like this because it's basically the same logic as "your choices will shape the story" except in minor ways (whereas plot choices are major).

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Don't know why I didn't think of this before... it was even mentioned in here a couple of times, but, I really like the idea of your background, at least, modifying your starting reputation.

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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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yes like background clergy reputation say benevolent, background raider rep Cruel.

list of rep from wiki

 

Aggressive – can be interpreted as hot-headed, bold, or impatient. Some character will think that you provoke fight and make only trouble, but others admire you for taking charge, being decisive or not letting people push you around.[7]

  • Benevolent – may be viewed as charitable and kind but others may consider the player weak or assume he or she will do things for free.[3]
  • Clever – gained for being sassy/witty in dialog options.[2] May be well received by some as a sick master of burns, but other characters will assume that you are not to be taken seriously.[3]
  • Cruel – gained for cruel/merciless actions. It doesn't typically earn you a lot of friends, but there are people who respect (and/or fear) brutality.[3]
  • Stoic – gained for being unmoved/quiet in dialog options.[2]
  • Passionate
  • Diplomatic – for example gained by remaining silent when two people are arguing and you choose to not interject.[8]
  • Honest – gained for being faithfully. e.g. telling a guard that you broke in the house.[9]
  • Deceptive[9]
  • Rational[10]

Under a black flab we compile.

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In my opinion background affecting disposition is not a good idea, you are basically stating that all clergymen, aristocrats, etc are the same. It would be better for it to affect faction reputation and only slightly, e.g being an ex slave grants you +5 with a village with a lot of former slaves, and -5 with slave owners, or being an artist gives you +5 with aristocratic patrons of the arts.  

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Sorry for the double post, you can't edit after some time has passed.

I guess you can argue that the dispositions are just how other people view you, and they can prejudice people of a certain background to behave in certain way, but I'd prefer if the background affected reputation.  

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In my opinion background affecting disposition is not a good idea, you are basically stating that all clergymen, aristocrats, etc are the same. It would be better for it to affect faction reputation and only slightly, e.g being an ex slave grants you +5 with a village with a lot of former slaves, and -5 with slave owners, or being an artist gives you +5 with aristocratic patrons of the arts.

Yeah, that's more what I was talking about. I'm not wholly against your background affecting your disposition-related reputation (You're known to be cruel/passionate, etc.), but the main thing was more "because of the stuff your character went through earlier in life, here's where their standing starts with various groups/types of people."

 

I know the same thing could be achieved with just "Blah blah blah [slave]" dialogue options, but it might fit in better/be more intuitive if it actually (where applicable) affects your starting reputation with certain peoples. Sometimes, it could even bestow negative reputation with certain groups.

Edited by Lephys
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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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Although I wouldn't mind seeing your suggestions make it in the final game, I prefer how things r at the moment.

 

I like it that there is a purely role-playing choice in character creation. Otherwise, for most people all background choice is gonna look like is 'a plus here, a minus there...', contributing to min-maxing all the while.

 

As for dispositions, yeah im all the rage background affecting those.

Edited by constantine

Matilda is a Natlan woman born and raised in Old Vailia. She managed to earn status as a mercenary for being a professional who gets the job done, more so when the job involves putting her excellent fighting abilities to good use.

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Currently there is no role clear definition of what backgrounds do for role playing other than the beginning dialog.

I'm trying to flush out backgrounds discussing attributes, skills, beginning reputation, dialog options or some aspect to make it a valuable role-playing tool.

Background is the start of a characters development, and influenced by the culture they grew up in. You can change but you still retain your skills to some percent and what ever reputation you once had. Work it into dialog npc interaction or skill set.

 

What do you think/   


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