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Loving how the game gives you rails to roleplay on [Early game spoilers]


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When I first play an RPG, despite liking roleplaying, I find myself making decisions based on what I want in the game rather than what my character might want. This is partly because I want to do everything in a game and partly because I have trouble attaching myself to a character in a video game, versus tabletop gaming, for example. I came into the game not really knowing what I was going to play. I basically made my decision to play a rogue on the fly (rather quickly, actually, as I was recording a let's play.) 

 

By the time I had reached Gilded Vale, between my character's class, background options, and dialogue with Calisca, my character had developed a story that I actually felt good with. I didn't have to come up with a story whole cloth on my own. The options the game gives you not only present you with ideas about your own character and how they should act, but they actually present you with options (tangible or not) for roleplaying in conversation, and ways to justify your actions.

 

I wasn't just That Adventurer on some random wagon train. I was a shady person, fleeing parole in the Aedyr Empire to start life over... or so I thought. I thought I could leave my past behind, but my tendency to double-talk and rabble rouse got the best of me. I promised to help the miller with the disgruntled farmers, just as I was knicking the grain in the back of the mill. I endeared myself to Aufra by getting her potion, staying mum about how it probably won't help her. I came to settle down, only to get power-hungry and fall in with rebels against the lord of the land, with a promise to assassinate him.

 

Whether or not the options in conversation lead to different outcomes doesn't really seem to matter. They have breathed life into what would have been a rather stale character. I think my experience with the game is going to be so much better for it.

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Even though I think it felt a bit clumsy and "obvious exposition time" I like how they put in that small part in the prelude after picking up the berries where you get asked a few basic questions about your backstory, and that to some degree gets cemented as a base for the character (heck it shows up in your bio).

 

For all its flaws in execution it gives a good base to build on. Most people I think will play this game by making a character way before they invent any sort of background story - and this gets you started in a nice way.

 

For my part I don't think there can ever be too much/enough roleplay in an RPG, and having some backstory to base your character on is crucial in thinking of them as anything more than some strategical combat unit.

 

-Stigma

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