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How to avoid role playing an insane PC?


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I find that many times my character acts completely differently in all situations just because of the exp and rewards for doing different things, and often the optimal rewards require approaches that are radically different. 

 

I get a nice artifact and exp by helping a nice old lady? Cool. I also get a nice stat bonus if I let a ghoul eat a little girl? Nice. 

And then I end up with this insane character with completely unpredictable behavior. 

 

I noticed that very often I don't even need meta-game knowledge to make these choices, as the game gives me pretty massive hints about the outcomes of my actions, and rewards are often too good to stick to performing only certain kinds of actions. 

 

Anyone else had this problem? 

 

Any ideas on how to fix this? 

Edited by Kadayko
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Well, one of the things you can do is ignore the xp or rewards. I've forgone rewards in many games because I didn't like what I had to do for them. You could turn on the dispositions showing in conversations and consistently pick, for example, the benevolent options if you're a benevolent character. I believe that also has an impact if you're a Paladin or a Priest, if you're looking for gameplay implications in roleplaying.

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I don't really see how this is a problem. The game rewards you for doing some "good" things and some "bad" things. The point of roleplaying is to do the things you think your character would do, and not do the things you don't think the character would do. If you are making certain choices just to get rewarded then that is not going to be the best roleplaying experience, unless you can find some way to justify why your character would make those choices.

 

Like pillars didn't treat morality as a black and white thing anyway, different factions and npcs had different ideas about what the "right thing to do" was.

Edited by Mikeymoonshine
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Well, one of the things you can do is ignore the xp or rewards. I

 

 

The point of roleplaying is to do the things you think your character would do, and not do the things you don't think the character would do. I

 

I feel like if I do this I will be severely under-leveled and poor. I wouldn't start about 75% of the quests offered on my first playthrough. lol 

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First, OP, I understand you completely. I am you in this respect, or rather, I was so 30 years back. Even 20 years ago I was so at times. Because mathematics and mechanical optimization is easy and I always fall back on it when I don't think about what I'm doing.

 

The obvious way to fix this is to start role playing, which I admit is a rather radical approach to take in a game belonging to a category that while known as roleplaying games is to a large degree populated by players who prefer optimizing stats to role playing, which is why the wise designer caters to both tastes, but it is an option.

 

This isn't as easy as it might sound, but it can be an immensely rewarding experience to feel that you are acting as the person would and reaping the consequences for good and ill thereof.

 

At the very start of the game, don't make a bunch of stats: Make a person. Invent some sort of background story if you feel like it, or imagine some common dilemmas and how this new person you are going to play would react to them.

 

He is obviously going to be fine with the mass murder/killing or people, animals, other threats, and anything that even looks like it might be a treat on a regular basis because they happen to be in the way and have a red circle, which is either insane or a survival trait depending on how you look at it, but apart from that? Is there anything he will not do? Is there anything he will definitely do? Does he like being questioned? How does he react to adversity? Does he always try to get in the last word? Does he form friendships or are relationships more utilitarian? Is he in it for the money? For love? For religion? Does he go along to get along? What are his ethics - or lack of same? And so on and so forth.  And try, for the love of God, to go beyond mere caricature and archetype.

 

Always remember that few people are consistently one way or the other towards everybody - situations and context matter. A few paragraphs should be enough to sketch a person with enough personality to guide your way through a game, you can always add to it as the situation demands.

 

If you need help you can always choose either yourself or somebody else you know well as a template, asking "how would X react to this situation?" when faced with a situation. I don't recommend this in general, but if you are having trouble role playing it might help break you into the mode.

 

And yes... make up a bunch of stats that fit your vision of the main character.

 

Role playing:  You should try it. It makes for a very different game and not, I am pleased to say with these three decades of CRPG roleplaying behind me, one that is less tactically interesting or providing less complexity for optimization; you just exchange the optimization of action to get reward with the optimization of reward based on action.

Edited by pi2repsion
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When I said death before dishonour, I meant it alphabetically.

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Alright, then next issue - should there be a way to roleplay an average Joe, stable, rational not reckless? 

 

Take first town for example - just got out of the ruins, barely escaped death, scared and creepy things are starting to drive him nuts. He arrives at town, would he take any quests besides reasonably wanting to meet Maerwald? Not really. Would he help Caliscas sister or help find a missing shipment? No, why would he suddenly want to stroll through the wilderness? Get in the business of locals and their Mill problems? No, he just got there, better lay low, specially when Roderick is pissed off, you are a new guy, what do you know about the struggles of the town, what can you demand from people? Aloth wants to join to go somewhere? Sorry what? I just arrived, what do you want? And assaulting Roderick keep is like a completely insane thing to do, very suicidal and why would you even? 

See what I mean? 

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Alright, then next issue - should there be a way to roleplay an average Joe, stable, rational not reckless? 

 

Take first town for example - just got out of the ruins, barely escaped death, scared and creepy things are starting to drive him nuts. He arrives at town, would he take any quests besides reasonably wanting to meet Maerwald? Not really. Would he help Caliscas sister or help find a missing shipment? No, why would he suddenly want to stroll through the wilderness? Get in the business of locals and their Mill problems? No, he just got there, better lay low, specially when Roderick is pissed off, you are a new guy, what do you know about the struggles of the town, what can you demand from people? Aloth wants to join to go somewhere? Sorry what? I just arrived, what do you want? And assaulting Roderick keep is like a completely insane thing to do, very suicidal and why would you even? 

 

See what I mean? 

Yup. You can skip all that and go your thing. Travel to the city, or whatever. Take a walk through the forests...

But, if you don't want to live the adventure... why would you want to play a/the game after all???!!!!

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if there existed appropriate and believable in-game punishments for playing erratic or evil, many would throw a tantrum o'er the perceived injustice.  in reality, unless you are a celebrity (or possible the President) behaving curel or erratic will have repercussions.  as a level 1 n00b adventurer with no powerbase and no allies, behaving like a l00n would reasonable result in you being shunned.  insane folks is disturbing even when they ain't immediate dangerous, so act erratic would have you ostracized. similar, behaving overt evil is gonna get you imprisoned, or worse.  "but nobody saw me murder and steal from every home in Bikkleford."  so what? a crime spree sudden hits when you show up in town and folks gotta pretend to be idiots?  such folks sure as heck wouldn't need proof to, at the very least, run you outta' town.  likely worse.

 

folks wanna play evil, so evil needs must be made viable. as each quest is insular, the evils you can indulge is gonna be insular and largely petty.  wanna be good needs be as viable as evil, so you get result where erratic is also possible. can't make a reputation system too restrictive (realistic) or folks will complain.

 

is not fixable.  have made suggestions 'bout implementing long-con and evil plans for characters into games, but such stuff won't actual solve your issue.  playing evil needs be viable even if it ain't always reasonable or rational.  given that we are talking 'bout a crpg wherein choice is a foundation feature, you is gonna face inevitability o' the potential implausible erratic protagonist.

 

HA! Good Fun!

  • Like 1

"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

"Im indifferent to almost any murder as long as it doesn't affect me or mine."--Gfted1 (September 30, 2019)

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Alright, then next issue - should there be a way to roleplay an average Joe, stable, rational not reckless? 

 

Take first town for example - just got out of the ruins, barely escaped death, scared and creepy things are starting to drive him nuts. He arrives at town, would he take any quests besides reasonably wanting to meet Maerwald? Not really. Would he help Caliscas sister or help find a missing shipment? No, why would he suddenly want to stroll through the wilderness? Get in the business of locals and their Mill problems? No, he just got there, better lay low, specially when Roderick is pissed off, you are a new guy, what do you know about the struggles of the town, what can you demand from people? Aloth wants to join to go somewhere? Sorry what? I just arrived, what do you want? And assaulting Roderick keep is like a completely insane thing to do, very suicidal and why would you even? 

 

See what I mean? 

Yup. You can skip all that and go your thing. Travel to the city, or whatever. Take a walk through the forests...

But, if you don't want to live the adventure... why would you want to play a/the game after all???!!!!

 

 

No no, I enjoyed the adventure a lot, and the main story line is very compelling, and it is actually reasonable to follow it. It is a very personal thing that is full of questions and dangers. I'm just talking about these side quests that do not tie into the main story in any way. 

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Alright, then next issue - should there be a way to roleplay an average Joe, stable, rational not reckless? 

 

Take first town for example - just got out of the ruins, barely escaped death, scared and creepy things are starting to drive him nuts. He arrives at town, would he take any quests besides reasonably wanting to meet Maerwald? Not really. Would he help Caliscas sister or help find a missing shipment? No, why would he suddenly want to stroll through the wilderness? Get in the business of locals and their Mill problems? No, he just got there, better lay low, specially when Roderick is pissed off, you are a new guy, what do you know about the struggles of the town, what can you demand from people? Aloth wants to join to go somewhere? Sorry what? I just arrived, what do you want? And assaulting Roderick keep is like a completely insane thing to do, very suicidal and why would you even? 

 

See what I mean? 

No, there is no way to roleplay a completely average Joe without ending your story in a tavern.

 

But an average Joe seldom ends up with recurring mystical nightmares and the ability to read and speak to souls, something that might unhinge even the best of us slightly or drive us to investigate what is going on.

 

As I stated in my blob of text, whatever you choose you need to create a personality that is fine with "mass murder/killing or people, animals, other threats, and anything that even looks like it might be a treat on a regular basis because they happen to be in the way and have a red circle, which is either insane or a survival trait depending on how you look at it".

 

But that doesn't need to be because the person like it - it might be out of necessity.

 

You will note that it is entirely possible to turn down a lot of quest opportunities in Pillars and that, indeed, the game is not balanced around your character being the result of a compulsive completionist player. You don't need to help Calisca's sister. You don't need to help the blacksmith. And as for Raedric and his little keep - if you don't care or think it too dangerous, why not leave that situation alone? There's tons of completely optional content you can ignore if you choose to roleplay somebody who wants to resolve the central mystery for his own sake but wants as few risks as possible otherwise.

 

So if you want to play the Joe, who would be average if not for that whole soul-thing ruining it, but is willing to take what steps are necessary to save himself, you can do it.

 

Joe won't experience as much of the content as Othar, Gentleman Adventurer, would but then perhaps another character with a different personality will on his playthrough.

 

Generally, if you are not used to actually role playing your characters, I'd suggest you choose a character who is somewhat in-between. Somebody who is likely to accept most quests/tasks offered but not all. Somebody who is willing to do most things to get ahead but who has limits. As the joke goes, "even evil has standards". Not that I'm recommending you play evil (beyond the I am innocent of the indiscriminately slaughter of everybody with a red circle, because the red circle made me do it issue anyway...)

 

If you are a completionist by nature and want to play that way, don't make your character's personality that of an average Joe, but that of a person who is also a completionist by nature. :D

Edited by pi2repsion
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When I said death before dishonour, I meant it alphabetically.

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if there existed appropriate and believable in-game punishments for playing erratic or evil, many would throw a tantrum o'er the perceived injustice.  in reality, unless you are a celebrity (or possible the President) behaving curel or erratic will have repercussions.  as a level 1 n00b adventurer with no powerbase and no allies, behaving like a l00n would reasonable result in you being shunned.  insane folks is disturbing even when they ain't immediate dangerous, so act erratic would have you ostracized. similar, behaving overt evil is gonna get you imprisoned, or worse.  "but nobody saw me murder and steal from every home in Bikkleford."  so what? a crime spree sudden hits when you show up in town and folks gotta pretend to be idiots?  such folks sure as heck wouldn't need proof to, at the very least, run you outta' town.  likely worse.

 

folks wanna play evil, so evil needs must be made viable. as each quest is insular, the evils you can indulge is gonna be insular and largely petty.  wanna be good needs be as viable as evil, so you get result where erratic is also possible. can't make a reputation system too restrictive (realistic) or folks will complain.

 

is not fixable.  have made suggestions 'bout implementing long-con and evil plans for characters into games, but such stuff won't actual solve your issue.  playing evil needs be viable even if it ain't always reasonable or rational.  given that we are talking 'bout a crpg wherein choice is a foundation feature, you is gonna face inevitability o' the potential implausible erratic protagonist.

 

HA! Good Fun!

 

To be fair the real world doesn't usually reward you for being a goody two shoes who goes around helping everyone either. In fact that kind of thing can also ruin your life, sometimes to much realism makes for a less fun experience.

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Alright, then next issue - should there be a way to roleplay an average Joe, stable, rational not reckless? 

 

Take first town for example - just got out of the ruins, barely escaped death, scared and creepy things are starting to drive him nuts. He arrives at town, would he take any quests besides reasonably wanting to meet Maerwald? Not really. Would he help Caliscas sister or help find a missing shipment? No, why would he suddenly want to stroll through the wilderness? Get in the business of locals and their Mill problems? No, he just got there, better lay low, specially when Roderick is pissed off, you are a new guy, what do you know about the struggles of the town, what can you demand from people? Aloth wants to join to go somewhere? Sorry what? I just arrived, what do you want? And assaulting Roderick keep is like a completely insane thing to do, very suicidal and why would you even? 

 

See what I mean? 

No, there is no way to roleplay a completely average Joe without ending your story in a tavern.

 

But an average Joe seldom ends up with recurring mystical nightmares and the ability to read and speak to souls, something that might unhinge even the best of us slightly or drive us to investigate what is going on.

 

As I stated in my blob of text, whatever you choose you need to create a personality that is fine with "mass murder/killing or people, animals, other threats, and anything that even looks like it might be a treat on a regular basis because they happen to be in the way and have a red circle, which is either insane or a survival trait depending on how you look at it".

 

But that doesn't need to be because the person like it - it might be out of necessity.

 

You will note that it is entirely possible to turn down a lot of quest opportunities in Pillars and that, indeed, the game is not balanced around your character being the result of a compulsive completionist player. You don't need to help Calisca's sister. You don't need to help the blacksmith. And as for Raedric and his little keep - if you don't care or think it too dangerous, why not leave that situation alone? There's tons of completely optional content you can ignore if you choose to roleplay somebody who wants to resolve the central mystery for his own sake but wants as few risks as possible otherwise.

 

So if you want to play the Joe, who would be average if not for that whole soul-thing ruining it, but is willing to take what steps are necessary to save himself, you can do it.

 

Joe won't experience as much of the content as Othar, Gentleman Adventurer, would but then perhaps another character with a different personality will on his playthrough.

 

Generally, if you are not used to actually role playing your characters, I'd suggest you choose a character who is somewhat in-between. Somebody who is likely to accept most quests/tasks offered but not all. Somebody who is willing to do most things to get ahead but who has limits. As the joke goes, "even evil has standards". Not that I'm recommending you play evil (beyond the I am innocent of the indiscriminately slaughter of everybody with a red circle, because the red circle made me do it issue anyway...)

 

If you are a completionist by nature and want to play that way, don't make your character's personality that of an average Joe, but that of a person who is also a completionist by nature. :D

 

 

You know I'll actually go to Pillars right now, start up a new game and see what I will get skipping all those sidequests. 

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Ye i dont get it. Just role play your character the way you want them to behave in those situations so dont take or do quests you dont want to. I played recently a berath priest basically like judge dredd so follow the law and when i went to temple of ethos and was told raedric forbids people from messing with ruins i skipped it. it isnt rocket science you dont do stuff your character wouldnt do. I get sometimes you need to bend some stuff but optional quest are optional and they are definitely not needed to go through game. And if you care about roleplaying then ye sometimes you get benefit sometime you dont but no i dont feel compelled to powergame and figure out how to get all best loot and talents at the cost of my character there is plenty of content to not worry about that

Edited by jnb0364
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if there existed appropriate and believable in-game punishments for playing erratic or evil, many would throw a tantrum o'er the perceived injustice.  in reality, unless you are a celebrity (or possible the President) behaving curel or erratic will have repercussions.  as a level 1 n00b adventurer with no powerbase and no allies, behaving like a l00n would reasonable result in you being shunned.  insane folks is disturbing even when they ain't immediate dangerous, so act erratic would have you ostracized. similar, behaving overt evil is gonna get you imprisoned, or worse.  "but nobody saw me murder and steal from every home in Bikkleford."  so what? a crime spree sudden hits when you show up in town and folks gotta pretend to be idiots?  such folks sure as heck wouldn't need proof to, at the very least, run you outta' town.  likely worse.

 

folks wanna play evil, so evil needs must be made viable. as each quest is insular, the evils you can indulge is gonna be insular and largely petty.  wanna be good needs be as viable as evil, so you get result where erratic is also possible. can't make a reputation system too restrictive (realistic) or folks will complain.

 

is not fixable.  have made suggestions 'bout implementing long-con and evil plans for characters into games, but such stuff won't actual solve your issue.  playing evil needs be viable even if it ain't always reasonable or rational.  given that we are talking 'bout a crpg wherein choice is a foundation feature, you is gonna face inevitability o' the potential implausible erratic protagonist.

 

HA! Good Fun!

 

To be fair the real world doesn't usually reward you for being a goody two shoes who goes around helping everyone either. In fact that kind of thing can also ruin your life, sometimes to much realism makes for a less fun experience.

 

 

I would also add the word nosy, because you need to play a very nosy character to get yourself somehow involved in everyone business, and people tend not to like and not to trust nosy people. 

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if there existed appropriate and believable in-game punishments for playing erratic or evil, many would throw a tantrum o'er the perceived injustice.  in reality, unless you are a celebrity (or possible the President) behaving curel or erratic will have repercussions.  as a level 1 n00b adventurer with no powerbase and no allies, behaving like a l00n would reasonable result in you being shunned.  insane folks is disturbing even when they ain't immediate dangerous, so act erratic would have you ostracized. similar, behaving overt evil is gonna get you imprisoned, or worse.  "but nobody saw me murder and steal from every home in Bikkleford."  so what? a crime spree sudden hits when you show up in town and folks gotta pretend to be idiots?  such folks sure as heck wouldn't need proof to, at the very least, run you outta' town.  likely worse.

 

folks wanna play evil, so evil needs must be made viable. as each quest is insular, the evils you can indulge is gonna be insular and largely petty.  wanna be good needs be as viable as evil, so you get result where erratic is also possible. can't make a reputation system too restrictive (realistic) or folks will complain.

 

is not fixable.  have made suggestions 'bout implementing long-con and evil plans for characters into games, but such stuff won't actual solve your issue.  playing evil needs be viable even if it ain't always reasonable or rational.  given that we are talking 'bout a crpg wherein choice is a foundation feature, you is gonna face inevitability o' the potential implausible erratic protagonist.

 

HA! Good Fun!

 

To be fair the real world doesn't usually reward you for being a goody two shoes who goes around helping everyone either. In fact that kind of thing can also ruin your life, sometimes to much realism makes for a less fun experience.

 

true. being a "goody two shoes" is still far more plausible in the real world than is being crpg evil or erratic, but rl goodness ain't gonna incentivize you the ways games do.  

 

HA! Good Fun!

  • Like 1

"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

"Im indifferent to almost any murder as long as it doesn't affect me or mine."--Gfted1 (September 30, 2019)

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I would also add the word nosy, because you need to play a very nosy character to get yourself somehow involved in everyone business, and people tend not to like and not to trust nosy people. 

 

disagree somewhat.  people is suspicious o' the well-intentioned do gooder as it is so rare.  also, the folks most in need o' help will often reject no matter what. denial?  even so, in our experience it don't take much effort to help many. it doesn't take long to develop a reputation o' being a genuine good samaritan. yeah, not everybody will take help, but having spent so much time at shelters, food bank/soup kitchens, and legal aid clinics, we can say with some sense o' personal certainty that you will never run out o' folks willing to accept your help. never.

 

HA! Good Fun!

 

ps apologies for two-posts in a row.  weren't paying attention. shoulda simple edited previous.

Edited by Gromnir

"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

"Im indifferent to almost any murder as long as it doesn't affect me or mine."--Gfted1 (September 30, 2019)

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This is a game. You can't expect that a group of people will spend 2 years of their life working on a project were all you do is just walking around in places doing nothing :D

It's crappy for both them and the players. Besides, noone's gonna buy it other than their relatives and friends :D

Edited by Sedrefilos
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This is a game. You can't expect that a group of people will spend 2 years of their life working on a project were all you do is just walking around in places doing nothing :D

Wasn’t there some game like that? :)

 

arcanum

 

HA! Good Fun!

  • Like 2

"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

"Im indifferent to almost any murder as long as it doesn't affect me or mine."--Gfted1 (September 30, 2019)

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