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Does the term "realistic" have any meaning in RPGs?


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Summing up what I learned from this thread:

  • Realism is contextual x5 (c-c-c-combo!)
  • Regarding specifically RPGs things need to get balanced out between gameplay and verisimilitudesness (thanks, Lephys!) in immersion's sake. Features like "yeah, it's tedious to do, but so realistic!" should be no go (unless their absence hurt verisimilitudesness far more than gameplay).
What did I miss? Apart from contemplations on what people usually mean arguing about realism.

 

 

 

...when we picked up a book with an orc riding a unicorn on the cover...

 

You missed that one could imagine that there is an universe with a book with an orc riding an unicorn on the cover. You're welcome :shifty:

...

Whoever can proof me that this universe is ours gets 1000 points btw.

 

On topic: Realism to me is having a consistent setting, as others already pointed out.

Edited by Doppelschwert
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^ Indeed. I understand budget limitations and priorities, but the general attitude about life-breathing details in a game world is pretty horrid. "Nah man! Just MAX DAMAGEZZZZ!!!" Like anything that isn't out of character is just a hindrance to the player, despite the letters "R" and "P" being a part of the genre's very name.

 

There's a big difference between deciding not to put a durability mechanic into the game, and just deciding there's not even any potential merit to such a mechanic ever existing in a game.

 

Go home, Wafflebum, you're drunk.

Drunkenness is half the battle. :)

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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To me "realistic" means coherent, consistent and following principles of logical creation.

 

Sure there might be magic and stuff but given these circumstances the world develops around these features.

 

The economy might be different than the middle ages but there still has to be an economy that makes sense otherwise there would be no merchants etc. Magic might surpress the development of science and engineering in certain fields but then it would move forward in other fields. (Who needs medicine if you can be healed with magic etc.). There are also matters of developing racial features. I doubt that beings that live 1000years would behave in the same way as beings with 80yrs lifespan.

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The biggest thing with magic I see is always "Who cares? It's friggin' MAGIC!". But, you kinda have to ask yourself, "why didn't the first mage ever born either stamp out crime by ruling the whole world, or destroy everything and rule as a tyrant?". The answer has to be reasonable limitations to magic, or it doesn't make any sense. That's why I hate "I cast this spell and everyone's heart stops" magic, etc. I hate when the effects of magic are just some ridiculously powerful thing, no matter what. I mean, a fireball is a big fiery explosion, and that's powerful. But, it still obeys the laws of physics, mostly. You can still block it, or mitigate heat damage, etc. But if someone can fly around, teleport, make themselves invincible, and explode people's hearts, I don't really want to experience the story of multiple people like that all contesting one another, especially in a world filled with other people who can't do any of that.

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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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The biggest thing with magic I see is always "Who cares? It's friggin' MAGIC!". But, you kinda have to ask yourself, "why didn't the first mage ever born either stamp out crime by ruling the whole world, or destroy everything and rule as a tyrant?". The answer has to be reasonable limitations to magic, or it doesn't make any sense. That's why I hate "I cast this spell and everyone's heart stops" magic, etc. I hate when the effects of magic are just some ridiculously powerful thing, no matter what. I mean, a fireball is a big fiery explosion, and that's powerful. But, it still obeys the laws of physics, mostly. You can still block it, or mitigate heat damage, etc. But if someone can fly around, teleport, make themselves invincible, and explode people's hearts, I don't really want to experience the story of multiple people like that all contesting one another, especially in a world filled with other people who can't do any of that.

 

I agree completely.

 

That's also why I've always disliked elves being immortal (or having a life span of several hundreds of years) in fantasy settings.

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I'll do it, for a turnip.

 

DnD item quality description mod (for PoE2) by peardox

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^ I don't mind that as much, because different creatures have different typical lifespans, but it DOES tend to be a bit heavy-handed in the case of many hundreds of years, and a little silly (in some ways) in the case of immortality.

 

I always wonder when they're immortal, why they aren't the most amazingly skilled people ever. I mean, they're always of superior skill, in general. But, "I was trained by that guy who's been alive commanding troops for the last 1,000 years" seems like it should count for a lot more than "you're probably not going to win in a 1v1 fight."

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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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imho, realism isn't important in most videogames. it is consistency and the sense they put in the world. if you have a fantasy or scifi world, you have to put a variable or 2 that makes the world makes sense. look at mass effect, dragon age, elder scrolls. there are alot of un-realism in those series, but the way they explained how some unnatural objects and forces can exist, like the discovery of element zero and mass relays, because of the imperium magisters, old elven phanteon, the old gods, and the fade, because of how mundus relationship with aetherius and all the aedra/daedra. they aren't realistic, but at the very least they give a reason why we can believe that particular fictional world can run like that, why blue alien chicks can control gravity, why demons and darkspawn exist, why people are casually flinging fireballs at each other.

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This thread seems to spark quite a bit of interest. Let me pontificate/circle-jerk too then.

 

A game without rules is by definition and by essence not a game. A game needs to have rules so that when you "win" or "manage to do" something, there is a sense of achievement and thus pleasure. If you can win whenever/however/whatever you want, i.e. without any restrictions, it quickly becomes dull. Except if you enjoy madness or pointlessness, there is no reason to play because the game is not reasonable. So games are made with rules.

 

Rules can be whatever the game designers choose, and they give the game a certain flavor. But rules need to be understandable by the living beings playing the game. One way to make a rule understandable is by implementing it with concepts a living being can relate to, i.e. concepts that can be compared to reality. In other words one way (out of many) to implement a rule is with a certain amount of realism.

 

We can see that realism is a small optional part of the big picture of (video) games.

Original question: Does the term "realistic" have any meaning in (RP)Gs? > Yes.

Is realism a goal to achieve, an end in itself, or worth any dedicated topic or lengthy discussion? > No.

Edited by Rumsteak
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To make things more complicated, I have 2 examples:

 

- In Final Fantasy 7 there is a scene were the group escapes the shinra building and a motor bike mini game follows.

When I watched this I had 2 questions in mind: Do small pick up trucks with 2 wheels in the front and 1 wheel in the back exist and could such a car drive some stairs upwards?

I thought more about if this is physically possible than about what it means in the game story because the setting is so "realistic" that this scene could be part of any real world action movie.

 

- Last year I played the game "Sam and Max hit the Road". The game is complete nonsense (no realism at all) but it was one of the most funny games I have ever played.

 

There are also several non realistic RPGs that are fun to play. For example Driftmoon.

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BruceVC missed the opportunity here. Since I am his self-proclaimed promancer assistant I must say...

 

Are romances in the workplace, even if the workplace is gallivanting around, not common? So, for even a semi-realistic experience shouldn't there be some romance? Even if said romance isn't between the PC and the a companion? What if your companions are into each other, but they find you revolting? Hmm? 

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