Would you be interested in a sci fi RPG: THE POLL

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AuthorTopic: Would you be interested in a sci fi RPG: THE POLL
Warrior
Member # 6682
Profile #25
quote:
Originally written by Spidweb:



RPGs are already ludicrous. It's ridiculous that your character gets hit in the chest with a sword 50 times and still lives. But having the same thing with guns exceeds my ability to suspend disbelief. If I shoot you 50 times, you're dead, no matter how many "first aid kit" you found in a crate somewhere.

- Jeff Vogel

Yeah. I have heard this realism argument many, many times. It is actually for this very reason that many veteran gamers ditch D&D/AD&D for other "better" systems like GURPS or Rolemaster. Ironically, it is this meticulous attention to detail/realism in these other systems that ultimately make those games far less enjoyable than say AD&D, D6 or Feng Shui etc., IMHO.

But roleplaying games are just that games. Nothing more or less. Maybe it is just me, but I personally could care less about simulating reality as closely as possible in a game.
Perhaps, it is because I grew up playing video games and RPGs on the computer/consoles (where strict realism is eschewed in favor of gameplay) before moving on to tabletop. But I guess you could say I am desensitized to those particular nuances of realism and can enjoy an RPG as long as it has two critical elements: Great gameplay and storyline.

Many people suspend the veil of disbelief playing the Fallouts, for instance, and those are undoubtedly some of the most respected RPGS ever made. The lack of realism there didn't seem to be a showstopper in the least. In fact, they proved that realism issues are irrelevant in the face of gameplay in a game.

EDIT: And getting shot by a gun several times and still surviving is no more unbelievable than getting toasted by a searing Fireball spell followed by magic missiles and shrugging them off.

[ Wednesday, June 14, 2006 05:40: Message edited by: Lancer ]

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Lancer
Posts: 73 | Registered: Friday, January 13 2006 08:00
Warrior
Member # 6682
Profile #26
quote:
Originally written by Drew:

The Phantasy Star series
Earthbound
System Shock (had some RPG elements)
Shadowrun
Xenogears & the Xenosaga games
The StarOcean series

I was going to stick just to PC-style occidental RPGs, but yeah The Phantasy Star series (particularly I and IV) were pretty good. Xenogears was downright excellent ,however, with the best story in a JRPG I ever had the pleasure of experiencing. Earthbound was too cutesy for me although a lot of people liked it.

quote:

EDIT: For the record, I have enjoyed playing KOTOR 1 & 2, but they're pretty limited, story-wise - they're both set around a messiah-like Jedi character. Perhaps someone clever could create a compelling story about a scoundrel character, but would the market buy it?

I could agree that KOTOR2 was somewhat limited storywise towards the last third of the game which was obviously rushed. I would, however, disagree with you about the first. KOTOR1 had the most compelling story and interesting plot twist in at least a few years.

[ Wednesday, June 14, 2006 05:16: Message edited by: Lancer ]

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Lancer
Posts: 73 | Registered: Friday, January 13 2006 08:00
Warrior
Member # 6682
Profile #27
quote:
Originally written by Mr.Bookworm:

This is from the other topic for this. However, I think most of Spiderweb's fans would buy anything he put out. Spiderweb's more of a niche game company. It doesn't sell they're games to the masses.
This is exactly what I told Jeff in an email.

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Lancer
Posts: 73 | Registered: Friday, January 13 2006 08:00
Agent
Member # 27
Profile #28
If future sci-fi is what you want, Jeff could simply remake Geneforge... with robots.
Posts: 1233 | Registered: Wednesday, October 3 2001 07:00
Warrior
Member # 6682
Profile #29
quote:
Originally written by Enraged Slith:

If future sci-fi is what you want, Jeff could simply remake Geneforge... with robots.
Don't forget lightsabers.... and spaceships. :)

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Lancer
Posts: 73 | Registered: Friday, January 13 2006 08:00
Warrior
Member # 6401
Profile #30
quote:
Originally written by Lancer:

quote:
Originally written by Mr.Bookworm:

This is from the other topic for this. However, I think most of Spiderweb's fans would buy anything he put out. Spiderweb's more of a niche game company. It doesn't sell they're games to the masses.
This is exactly what I told Jeff in an email.

People are not going to buy any old game just because it comes from Spiderweb. How many people like Avernum but not Geneforge, or Nethergate but not Avernum, or Exile but not any other Spidweb game?

The niche market thing is true, and that's exactly why Jeff is being careful to give that niche what it wants.

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I think this is really wonderful.
Posts: 147 | Registered: Tuesday, October 18 2005 07:00
Board Administrator
Member # 1
Profile Homepage #31
"If future sci-fi is what you want, Jeff could simply remake Geneforge... with robots."

Geneforge was originally envisioned as pure science fiction. I think it would have been a much cooler and more sensible game. Plus it would have had lasers. Pew pew pew!

But, in the end, I chickened out. It's already an odd game in several ways. I left some fantasy in there to feel safe.

And I stress the the difficulty in accepting sci-fi RPGs is my own personal thing, not a general rule of life. But, if I'm going to be working on it day in and day out for months and months, I have to be comfortable with it. Otherwise, it ain't gonna happen.

- Jeff Vogel

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Official Board Admin
spidweb@spiderwebsoftware.com
Posts: 960 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
Nuke and Pave
Member # 24
Profile Homepage #32
Since Sci-fi is often modelled on medieval times anyway (empires, knights who use laser swords, etc.), the gameplay wouldn't be that different from a fantasy RPG. In fact, it could be more realistic, because "each hit drains your shield's battery, until it runs out, shield fails, and you die" is a lot easier to understand than "each hit wounds you, but you keep fighting just as effectively until you suddenly die". "First Aid" skill would be "shield maintenance" (ability to tune your shield to use energy more effectively), healing potions would be battery packs, etc. And forcefield shields and laser guns are just as [un]realistic as fireball spells and blessed helms.

[ Wednesday, June 14, 2006 09:38: Message edited by: Zeviz ]

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Be careful with a word, as you would with a sword,
For it too has the power to kill.
However well placed word, unlike a well placed sword,
Can also have the power to heal.
Posts: 2649 | Registered: Wednesday, October 3 2001 07:00
Warrior
Member # 6682
Profile #33
Well, Star Wars could certainly be viewed as "medieval fantasy in outer space," but there is a lot of sci-fi that isn't modelled after fantasy. I would not consider Deus Ex, System Shock, or Fallout to be modelled after fantasy.

I do definitely agree though that fantasy is just as unbelievable as sci-fi.

[ Wednesday, June 14, 2006 09:45: Message edited by: Lancer ]

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Lancer
Posts: 73 | Registered: Friday, January 13 2006 08:00
By Committee
Member # 4233
Profile #34
If anything, it's sci-fi that is relatively more believable, which is perhaps why it receives more scrutiny than fantasy for not being "realistic" enough. Perhaps this is why certain portions of the population much more readily accept creationism than evolution because evolution isn't "theoretically sound" enough. It's a double standard, to be sure.
Posts: 2242 | Registered: Saturday, April 10 2004 07:00
BANNED
Member # 4
Profile Homepage #35
I'm not particularly anxious to see a sci-fi RPG, but considering the direction that E3/A3 and A4 are taking, nevermind GF, it doesn't seem like that great of a leap.

What about a type of game that is truly different, yet still can be written fairly easy using stock fantasy design? How about a Native American game, where magic is replaced with shamanism, and perhaps even prayers from the christian missionaries? What about making a game like Nethergate, but with Aztecs and Conquistadors instead of Celts and Romans? Or what about a game set in the heavens during an apocalypse, where the PCs are demi-gods or angels serving under a god, being sent to a war-ravaged earth to destroy the enemies of their chosen deity?

Man. The possibilities are endless.

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Posts: 6936 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
Warrior
Member # 7171
Profile #36
quote:
Originally written by Lancer:

I was just curious to know on these boards how attached you are to the fantasy genre. Let's imagine, hypothetically, that Jeff were to make a sci-fi RPG but with the same great gameplay/ story elements that the Avernum and Geneforge games are known for...

Would you be interested in such a game? Or are you unequivocally attached to fantasy games only?

For me, personally, Jeff's games have been about the wonderful gameplay, character creation and storyline irrespective of genre. I would personally love to see a new post-apocalyptic or even cyberpunk RPG.
What do you guys think?

No.
Posts: 66 | Registered: Sunday, May 28 2006 07:00
Warrior
Member # 7223
Profile Homepage #37
Um, Maimonides, you really shouldn't shoot down ideas without even thinking about it.

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Polaris

The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far.
- H.P. Lovecraft
Posts: 164 | Registered: Wednesday, June 14 2006 07:00
...b10010b...
Member # 869
Profile Homepage #38
quote:
Originally written by Keto-san:

What about a type of game that is truly different, yet still can be written fairly easy using stock fantasy design? How about a Native American game, where magic is replaced with shamanism, and perhaps even prayers from the christian missionaries? What about making a game like Nethergate, but with Aztecs and Conquistadors instead of Celts and Romans? Or what about a game set in the heavens during an apocalypse, where the PCs are demi-gods or angels serving under a god, being sent to a war-ravaged earth to destroy the enemies of their chosen deity?
Did you miss the article where Jeff said that Nethergate sold only slightly better than New Coke? If you're going to blame Jeff for not being innovative enough, his fans will have to shoulder a big part of that blame.

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The Empire Always Loses: This Time For Sure!
Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
Warrior
Member # 7171
Profile #39
quote:
Originally written by Elijah:

Um, Maimonides, you really shouldn't shoot down ideas without even thinking about it.
Maimonides does not do any such thing.
Posts: 66 | Registered: Sunday, May 28 2006 07:00
Warrior
Member # 7223
Profile Homepage #40
You said "No". You didn't give an explanation. That usually means someone rejected something out of hand, instead of thinking about it and it's possible merits.

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Polaris

The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far.
- H.P. Lovecraft
Posts: 164 | Registered: Wednesday, June 14 2006 07:00
Warrior
Member # 6682
Profile #41
quote:
Originally written by Keto-san:

I'm not particularly anxious to see a sci-fi RPG, but considering the direction that E3/A3 and A4 are taking, nevermind GF, it doesn't seem like that great of a leap.

What about a type of game that is truly different, yet still can be written fairly easy using stock fantasy design? How about a Native American game, where magic is replaced with shamanism, and perhaps even prayers from the christian missionaries? What about making a game like Nethergate, but with Aztecs and Conquistadors instead of Celts and Romans? Or what about a game set in the heavens during an apocalypse, where the PCs are demi-gods or angels serving under a god, being sent to a war-ravaged earth to destroy the enemies of their chosen deity?

Man. The possibilities are endless.

I do second TM on this. If not sci-fi then a brand new type of fantasy game. As much as I love Avernum and Geneforge, things will probably get a bit formulaic after the fifth or sixth Geneforge or Avernum game.

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Lancer
Posts: 73 | Registered: Friday, January 13 2006 08:00
Law Bringer
Member # 335
Profile Homepage #42
And as Jeff has said, formulaic pays the bills.

I think there's a difference between an RPG based on sci-fi and an RPG based on fantasy in the future with spaceships and a few blasters. Most but by no means all Japanese sci-fi RPGs fall in the latter category. Star Wars is a great fence-sitter, but I'd say the setting is sci-fi without the Jedi and thoroughly fantasy, galactic blah blah blah notwithstanding, with them.

System Shock is a great first-person shooter with RPG-like upgrade elements, but it's not an RPG. Neither, I would contend despite a great outcry otherwise, is Deus Ex. RPG in the way we're discussing them have a very strong gameplay component that's missing in shooters.

—Alorael, who would hazard a guess that medieval combat had a higher ratio of minor wounds to incapacitating wounds than modern combat, but he has no idea if that's true. He'd also be interested in knowing if poor medicine and hygiene led to a functionally equivalent percentage of lethal wounds due to infection.
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
Warrior
Member # 6682
Profile #43
quote:
And as Jeff has said, formulaic pays the bills.
Fantasy pays the bills. But that fantasy need not be Avernum 10/Geneforge 10.

I'm in favor of a new concept, if not a cyberpunk or post-apocalytpic game than at least a refreshingly new fantasy game with its own flavor different from Geneforge and Avernum.

[ Wednesday, June 14, 2006 15:37: Message edited by: Lancer ]

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Lancer
Posts: 73 | Registered: Friday, January 13 2006 08:00
Shaper
Member # 32
Profile #44
Give the man some time. Ideas for great games just don't pop out of nowhere and need some time to be developed. He already has a couple of games that he's working on.

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Lt. Sullust
Cogito Ergo Sum
Polaris
Posts: 2462 | Registered: Wednesday, October 3 2001 07:00
Infiltrator
Member # 5410
Profile #45
quote:
—Alorael, who would hazard a guess that medieval combat had a higher ratio of minor wounds to incapacitating wounds than modern combat, but he has no idea if that's true. He'd also be interested in knowing if poor medicine and hygiene led to a functionally equivalent percentage of lethal wounds due to infection.
The saving grace of modern warfare is that the survival rate for all types of wounds is increasing. I would hazard that in medieval combat most minor wounds became incapacitating ones due to infection and poor medicine.

Somewhere in the back of my mind I seem to recall reading that hack and slash fight actually caused a lot of broken bones and contusion type wounds from the heavy blunt blades and people weren't so much as instantly killed as they were incapacitated and subsequently died from their wounds.

Slarty, I have no source for the above comment and it could even have come from a fantasy (re: non-historical) source ;)

Anyone else care to weigh in on a topic shift? :rolleyes:

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"Dikiyoba ... is demon ... drives people mad and ... do all sorts of strange things."

"You Spiderwebbians are mad, mad, mad as March hares."
Posts: 687 | Registered: Wednesday, January 19 2005 08:00
Infiltrator
Member # 3441
Profile Homepage #46
I think that we get an exaggerated picture of melee fighting from Hollywood. It gives us the idea that if you swing a sword at someone, their limb/head/tentacle is sliced off. In reality, even trained executioners, who were trained at decapitating immobilised targets would take several blows to successfully remove a head. I've also taken issue with the ease with which swords are driven through sternums and protrude out the back. My guess is that blood loss and internal bleeding killed a lot more people than swords through the heart or decapitation. Obviously, I have no first hand experience with these things, but I have seen bones from stab woud victims, and very often, they only make small gashes into the bone (usually skulls in the cases I saw.)

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"As our circle of knowledge expands, so does the circumference of darkness surrounding it." --Albert Einstein
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Posts: 536 | Registered: Sunday, September 7 2003 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 6785
Profile #47
Back in the old days, Ultima II which was basically fantasy had a section where you had to go into space and shoot down enough ships to qualify as an ace. I've played some paper sci-fi RPGs that could translate into computer games.

quote:
Yeah. I have heard this realism argument many, many times. It is actually for this very reason that many veteran gamers ditch D&D/AD&D for other "better" systems like GURPS or Rolemaster. Ironically, it is this meticulous attention to detail/realism in these other systems that ultimately make those games far less enjoyable than say AD&D, D6 or Feng Shui etc., IMHO.

If you played Steve Jackson's earlier fantasy games like Melee and Wizard you see the beginnings of GURPS. If you took enough damage from a single blow past what armor could protect then you would fall down if you were still alive. The stronger the character past a breakpoint the more damage it would take. It's possible to do it realistically without being boring since the computer handles the paperwork.

Once my character got possessed and attacked the other fighter. as I rolled my damage I grumbled at rolling minimum. The other fighter survived and swung back with a point below his maximum. I looked and said still standing and got ready to wear him down. The guy playing a mage was turning pale (and that's not easy for an oriental) as he calculated how the two blows would have killed him. He used a spell before we killed each other and left him with no shields on the way back to town. So if you hack the system you can get around restrictions.
Posts: 4643 | Registered: Friday, February 10 2006 08:00
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #48
My knowledge of casualties over history is scattered and sketchy, but I think I know a few points.

Infection was just deadly before the late 19th century, when Lister eventually convinced the medical profession that cleanliness was good. Battlefields are dirty and full of germs, and it was only with the advent of antibiotics in the 20th century that death by infection of wounds really came under control.

Back when I was doing late 18th century military re-enactments, someone who seemed authoritative at the time told me that people usually recovered from non-fatal musketball wounds in the head or torso, but frequently died of infection from wounds to the limbs. I don't really know what evidence there is for this, and it might actually be sort of trivial, in that the only non-fatal head and torso wounds might all be rather mild. But the point was supposed to be that low-velocity musketballs do not have the deadly splash effect on the human body that high-velocity bullets do.

Casualty rates in battles have varied a lot, depending on technology. Some ancient battles, like Cannae, had 100% death rates for the losing side, which was surrounded and slaughtered without any chance to surrender. 18th century battles tended to involve the exchange of a small number of short-range volleys, followed by a bayonet charge that would put one side to flight. Nobody charged until the opposing line was clearly faltering, and hand-to-hand fighting between lines of infantry was very rare, except in assaults on fortresses (where the defenders had nowhere to go). So actual casualty rates tended to be relatively low, with battles decided by morale; death from disease was generally much greater in the course of a campaign. Fleeing enemies were sometimes slaughtered by cavalry (particularly lancers, because infantry could get out of reach of sabres by lying down) or artillery, however.

US civil war battles had higher casualty rates than Napoleonic battles, I understand, because the primary weapons were muzzle-loading rifles that could only be quickly loaded while standing, but were accurate and deadly out to several hundred metres. So whichever side ran away would be exposed to accurate unopposed fire for quite a long time. In other ways, though, civil war tactics do not seem to have differed all that much from the Napoleonic. The need to load standing, and the fact that the propellant used in cartridges still produced a big cloud of white smoke with every shot, meant that the "empty" modern battlefield, with everyone hiding and crawling, was still impossible.

In the World Wars there were a few cases where unlucky units sustained enormous casualty rates, but in general a casualty rate of 10% (both killed and wounded) would be enough to make a unit ineffective. That 10% lost would come disproportionately from the leaders and the brave, and with the remainder all scattered in trenches and holes, everyone would just stop hearing commands to move or fire. Small groups of isolated frightened humans have a strong inhibition against doing anything that might draw attention, like moving or shooting. Trying to overcome this is a major part of modern infantry training. It is far less successful in doing so than is usually imagined; combat commanders even of elite veteran units will candidly admit that they can really only count on a tiny fraction of their troops reaching the objective.

Finally, friendly fire is a huge, huge problem. Someone once told me of a US medical study which extracted and examined bullets that had remained lodged in the bodies of WWII veterans, either when the guys died or when the bullets worked their way out. And they turned out to all be American bullets. With everyone camouflaged, and everyone buzzed on adrenaline, it is very hard to recognize your friends. When light is poor, which is when a lot of battles happen, you can only see muzzle flashes; and it is very hard to tell from a muzzle flash whether the firer was shooting at you or away from you. Plus your friends are apt to be closer to you than the enemy, so your chances of meeting them are greater. This is why earlier armies all wore bright, distinctive uniforms; and even then there were many famous examples of friendly fire episodes.

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We're not doing cool. We're doing pretty.
Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
Raven v. Writing Desk
Member # 261
Profile Homepage #49
Military history really is fascinating stuff, both in the details and in grand strategy. It's really too bad our entire educational system eschews it, almost categorically. It's never used in grade school, when it would be a great way to get violent teenagers interested in history.

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Slarty vs. DeskDesk vs. SlartyTimeline of ErmarianG4 Strategy Central
Posts: 3560 | Registered: Wednesday, November 7 2001 08:00

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