Role Playing

AuthorTopic: Role Playing
Shock Trooper
Member # 1863
Profile #0
Greetings, one and all. The discussion in the Brain Broken-watch for finger (not real name) thread has got me to thinking about role playing. Specifically, how to enforce it in my scenarios. I want to make the characters develop more of a persona, even if it's just party based, than they do in the Avernum games.
Let's face it: while the avernum games have great gameplay (and cute graphics :) ) they lack a little in character developement, at least from the Player Character side of the fence. I want to change this in my scenario.
I have two ideas thus far. The first is the good/evil flag, which involves adding to a flag whenever they do a 'good' act, and subtracting from it whenever the commit an 'evil' act. They can only get quests from some characters (paladins, high up civic officials) if they are sufficiently 'good', and can only get quests from certain other characters (mob bosses, dark sorcerors) if they are 'evil' enough. It's a bit morally heavy handed. The second is similar, requiring sufficiently low reputation for dealing with certain characters and towns.

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Fnord. (Insert your name here) is a capitalist pigdog.
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Posts: 298 | Registered: Tuesday, September 10 2002 07:00
Apprentice
Member # 2122
Profile #1
Isn't this pretty much the reputation characteristic of the original series. I was a fan of that because it was my personal goal to get it as high as possible.

It's been my experience, however, that truely evil parties are difficult to work with. It's one thing to give the charcters the option to steal. It's another when they are outright evil. Nothing a good designer can't handle but it many cases it seems unrealistic when they are undertaking these quests.
Posts: 46 | Registered: Monday, October 21 2002 07:00
Infiltrator
Member # 1823
Profile Homepage #2
I had a similar idea to this. As BoA will allow for proper variables, it could be set so that everytime you break into a house or kill an innocent person, a variable increases, unbeknown to the player. My idea was then that at the end of the scenario, the player could be given an 'award' if they've done some spectacular deed (like broken into every house and killed every civilian, not that I'm condoning killing innocent people), like a 'well done' sticker item.
(is there a node in BoE to increase a SDF's value by a certain amount?, if so, then it can be done in that as well.)

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Riot Shields
Voodoo Economics
It's just business
Cattle prods
And the IMF

I trust I can rely on your vote
Posts: 530 | Registered: Sunday, September 1 2002 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 335
Profile Homepage #3
I don't think BoE can do that with a single node, although using flag increments as a counter and looping to another increment could do it. BoA has the new scripting, though, which will allow better variable use.

—Alorael, who supposes the many scenarios that make you join one faction or another do a good job of forcing party decisions. The problem with a good/evil flag, though, is that a neutral party could easily end up at their starting level of neutrality and have already completed all the quests without a requirement for a very good or bad reputation, getting the party stuck.
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
Triad Mage
Member # 7
Profile Homepage #4
Yes, BoE can do that with Increment Flag. You can choose how much you want to increment or decrement the flag.

Falling Stars actually has a system exactly like this. For stealing and breaking into homes, your karma goes down, and nobody will give you quests or join your party.

I can see where it would be quite easy to set an evil party, but I'd need to outline specific situations.

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"At times discretion should be thrown aside, and with the foolish we should play the fool." - Menander
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Posts: 9436 | Registered: Wednesday, September 19 2001 07:00
Shaper
Member # 22
Profile #5
I really like this idea, modnar. The good/evil flag has been done before, by Alcritas, but the aim has always been to be as good as possible.

If being evil in a scenario was just as rewarding as being good, I think this could work quite well. If you could tie in this with spells; making some spells only available to evil people and some only available to good, I think it could be quite effective, providing this is allowed for in the BoA editor.
Posts: 2862 | Registered: Tuesday, October 2 2001 07:00
Infiltrator
Member # 1823
Profile Homepage #6
It could be done with a level 1 party, for obvious reasons (ie only make certain people sell the spells), but to restrict mid level or so parties from casting spells they've learnt in previous scenarios probably won't be able to be done.

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Riot Shields
Voodoo Economics
It's just business
Cattle prods
And the IMF

I trust I can rely on your vote
Posts: 530 | Registered: Sunday, September 1 2002 07:00
Shock Trooper
Member # 1863
Profile #7
I was mainly thinking of this for large, Avernum IV type scenarios. It would be hard to do this well over a shorter scenario, or a series.
Anyway, these are all good points, but I'm also interested in new ideas. Any ideas for enforcing role playing are appreciated.
Posts: 298 | Registered: Tuesday, September 10 2002 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 335
Profile Homepage #8
Make a lot of dialogue choices where what you say really matters. Each one sets a special flag (recording good/evil choices) and also opens up new, different choices in conversation with other people. Thus, someone who is consistently evil may have an entirely different discussion with the High and Mighty Priest of Goodness than he would if he had been walking the straight and narrow.

—Alorael, who isn't sure how feasible this is before BoA comes out. Depending on the way hidden conversation options are treated, this could be easy, painful, or impossible.
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
Triad Mage
Member # 7
Profile Homepage #9
It looks like it should be rather easy - a lot of conversation options depend on reputation and that's treated easily and often enough.

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"At times discretion should be thrown aside, and with the foolish we should play the fool." - Menander
====
Drakefyre's Demesne - Happy Happy Joy Joy
Encyclopedia Ermariana - Trapped in the Closet
====
You can take my Mac when you pry my cold, dead fingers off the mouse!
Posts: 9436 | Registered: Wednesday, September 19 2001 07:00
Shock Trooper
Member # 1863
Profile #10
Yeah, that makes sense. An idea for some scenarios might be, as I said before, to make reputation the good/evil flag. Of course, this would only work in large, self contained 'Avernum 4' style scenarios, and you'd have to set rep to a much more even base (~40 to 50), but it seems easier than using special strings.

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Fnord. (Insert your name here) is a capitalist pigdog.
Deus Ex Penguin: God out of the Penguin......Cogito Eggo Sum: I think, waffle I am.
If Voting could change the system, it would be against the law.
Posts: 298 | Registered: Tuesday, September 10 2002 07:00
Shaper
Member # 22
Profile #11
I would be pretty disappointed if Jeff disabled the ability to remove spells in the editor, Jigga.
Posts: 2862 | Registered: Tuesday, October 2 2001 07:00
Infiltrator
Member # 1823
Profile Homepage #12
He seemed pretty against the idea of imposing any restrictions on the way to attack in the big long thread. I'd assume this would apply to spells as well.

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Riot Shields
Voodoo Economics
It's just business
Cattle prods
And the IMF

I trust I can rely on your vote
Posts: 530 | Registered: Sunday, September 1 2002 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 335
Profile Homepage #13
At least A3 doesn't have any really game-wrecking spells like Quickfire, Flight, or Word of Recall.

—Alorael, who would say that while some of the spells are more powerful than others, none are so good that they require excessive means to nullify.
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
Infiltrator
Member # 1823
Profile Homepage #14
Except possibly Unlock doors Lv. 3, although, as it was said in another thread or forum or somewhere, it can be overcome (but, for that matter, so can flight, by making sure rivers/pits are wide enough)

--------------------
Riot Shields
Voodoo Economics
It's just business
Cattle prods
And the IMF

I trust I can rely on your vote
Posts: 530 | Registered: Sunday, September 1 2002 07:00
Shock Trooper
Member # 2300
Profile #15
It would be interesting to develop a personality more than simple good/evil. Different personality traits could have different implications in certain situations. For example, Recklessness could affect a conversation with a peacful, law-abiding citizen. Persuasiveness (as featured in Geneforge) would be interesting too.

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Beware of pretty girls in dance halls and parks who may be spies, as well as bicycles, revolvers, uniforms, arms, dead horses, and men lying on roads -- they are not there accidentally." - Soviet infantry manual, 1930's
Posts: 267 | Registered: Wednesday, November 27 2002 08:00
Shock Trooper
Member # 1863
Profile #16
That's true enough. But remember that the more complex a personality you're looking for, the harder it will be to implement. Anyway, recklessness wouldn't necessarily come through in conversation. A persuasiveness skill (via special items, presumably) might be an excellent idea, and it could get you better selling prices (possibly) since Jeff's taking out barter.

[ Saturday, November 30, 2002 12:32: Message edited by: modnaR ]

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Fnord. (Insert your name here) is a capitalist pigdog.
Deus Ex Penguin: God out of the Penguin......Cogito Eggo Sum: I think, waffle I am.
If Voting could change the system, it would be against the law.
Posts: 298 | Registered: Tuesday, September 10 2002 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 335
Profile Homepage #17
Jeff's taking out Barter; pathfinder has nothing to do with selling. A leadership-type skill could be set up as a special flag, but it would be difficult to make it alter selling prices.

—Alorael, who would say the easiest way to get a personality for the characters would be to set up several tests along the lines of the E2/A2 vahnatai tests, only instead of making them a win or lose situation make them each a problem that can be solved in multiple ways. Depending on the path taken, the party's personality flags are altered.
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
Shock Trooper
Member # 1863
Profile #18
Oops...Sorry about the typo. Anyway, I'm not sure how feasible the price-setting thing would be. Jeff hasn't really talked about this, though as I recall he was asked in the good old 'big long thread' in the BoE forum.

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Fnord. (Insert your name here) is a capitalist pigdog.
Deus Ex Penguin: God out of the Penguin......Cogito Eggo Sum: I think, waffle I am.
If Voting could change the system, it would be against the law.
Posts: 298 | Registered: Tuesday, September 10 2002 07:00
Triad Mage
Member # 7
Profile Homepage #19
I think everything will sell at the maximum possible selling price. Also, it will be possible to set the prices of the merchants' goods that you buy based on reputation or how much they like you.

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"At times discretion should be thrown aside, and with the foolish we should play the fool." - Menander
====
Drakefyre's Demesne - Happy Happy Joy Joy
Encyclopedia Ermariana - Trapped in the Closet
====
You can take my Mac when you pry my cold, dead fingers off the mouse!
Posts: 9436 | Registered: Wednesday, September 19 2001 07:00