Woolfe wrote: ↑
May 30th, 2017, 6:31 pm
Gizmo wrote: ↑
May 29th, 2017, 8:28 pm
One affecting issue is fully voiced PCs & NPCs. When the game limits, and/or abstracts their spoken dialog, leaving the bulk of the game as text, they are free to not only alter or add to the text —without a new recording session, but even dynamically change it at will, and with details based on the emergent state of the game.
Agreed, however as we don't have systems that can even vaguely come near the power required to do this, and we don't have interfaces that allow the same level of complexity as P&P.
It's not a technical limitation; current gen, all the way back to first gen can parse text. One could type in game on a CoCo2
that altered its text based on in-game events, or on player input.... but a disk drive would help, and allow for a bigger game.
We must accept that the requirements and needs change.
Exactly what requirements do you mean here? (The context is vague)
As I was saying this is based on the resources available. An NPC that knows about you is easy for a predefined character, because it is predefined. If you want that for a fully created character, you need to have the NPC react to elements of the character. An alignment could do that, but it is BAD dming, further it is again meaningless if you have other elements to associate with. For example a character background or traits etc.
This is a limited view of it IMO. The NPC could have access to a set of flags that indicate public knowledge, private knowledge, and personal observations, with which to influence NPC actions. Consider a pawnshop NPC who buys stolen goods and pretends not to know. He might give a cursory question or two about the items...then makes a decision about the PC, and stores that info for later (to use in other decisions). Consider if the PC stole that stuff without getting caught—or even noticed by the owner... and that of the several pawnshops in the area, that particular guy recognizes the stolen items, and knows who they belong to. None of the others do. Selling to him can potentially notify the owner, and cause future trouble for the PC, New NPCs can spring into being, there to hunt down the PC, and drag them back to the owner.
*If you didn't know... There were instances in Fallout, where—eventually, NPCs would spring into being, there to hunt down the PC; hired by upset townsfolk.
As to your comments on "distrust" etc. So... Who cares... Or rather, why does it matter.
I would not have written it if it was not meant, and intended, to impart a further understanding of the points.
You say these things are meaningless, but it is that you do not perceive the meaning; it is not that there is none to perceive.
Rather define the character through questions. Old friend says "Hey remember that time at Blah" you are then given several responses that allow you to define your character then and there. "Oh when we stole that guys car after we slammed his head into the wall" or "Yeah we were lucky not to get killed by those guys, I can't believe they were picking on that old man" etc etc.
It's a burgeoning staple of interactive fiction, and could be well employed in RPGs. Earlier today I played through an interactive book that starts you off as a vampire, and alters the PC, narrative details, and situations, as you answer its questions. Some answers totally defined the NPCs encountered later.
This allows you to better define the actual character, rather than having a meaningless figure that simply says "Good" "bad" whatever.
I disagree. Have you played The Witcher 2? (Or KotOR perhaps?) In the Witcher 2 the arm wrestling minigame depicts a kind of slider widget that affects whether he wins or loses. The object is to maintain the mouse position over a moving region that builds up inertia—to the left or right (win/lose). So long as the mouse stays on top of the region, the region builds inertia (towards winning), but if it doesn't stay between the proscribed boundaries of that region...then the region loses inertia and starts building it towards the other direction (towards losing), The Witcher fails the test if the region moves to the edge on the left.
This depiction of inertia is a can be applied to an alignment struggle. One where every player choice moves the marker. Some choices stay in the region, others skirt the edge; some leave the region entirely... and the region's inertia gets an instant kick. Possibly one that can't be recovered from. Both you, and thebruce have decided each on your own that my preference here is for the (lawful) paladin to only be presented with respectable options. Nevermind constant mentioning of Planescape's dynamic alignment system. I said I didn't mind static alignments, but I also said they were not my preference either.
What I would prefer is a sliding scale of opportunities for the PC. Options that nudge (alignment) either way, and can show the champion maintaining—or tilting a bit towards the selfish as they go; but not having the immediate option to become a spree killer who ends townships for fun. The same (in reverse) goes for the psychotic villain. Where one day they might start softening up, and show slight compassion... And not steal the tips on the lunch counter as they leave; but they would certainly not hand out $1000 tips for overhearing of their waiter's impending eviction.
In KotOR there is a dynamic alignment in play; They use the Star Wars concept of the Force, but it's still alignment mechanics. The player see-saws back & forth between the Dark Side and the Light side, It even affect's their appearance. Eventually they start getting abilities that depend upon their alignment. The game has to know what that alignment is. It's not meaningless, it serves the same purpose in all RPGs that use it. As you've mentioned, the DM needs to know it in order to interpret it best they can... It's the same with the game engine, which is the virtual DM.
Now 'Black & White' does this too, and does it closer you how you seem to prefer it; no rules, just reactions; cause & effect. But there are no complex situations in B&W, mostly just fetch quests, and petty demands... Which I found to be very strange things to level at a supposedly omnipotent entity.
If you have a Good alignment, and you know that by killing the beloved Doctor in a town, will stop the deaths in another town.(You have no other options), you are killing him with the best intentions. You can even tell everyone in the town that. But that won't make them any nicer to you.
And why should it?
Intentions mean diddly squat. Now the towns over, may not like you either because you killed a Doctor. But when the random deaths stop occuring and people start putting 2 and 2 together, maybe they will be a little more forgiving.
You cannot portray that with an "alignment" stat.
That's not why one would have an alignment stat. NPCs —well... non-magical NPCs would not normally be able to read the PC's mind and make decisions from that. The magic weapons can—but they are magic. Perhaps psychics could too. Regular people (if they knew anything about the PC) would only know what they've seen or heard, and that's the PC's reputation. Like as seen in Baldur's Gate; and yes, BG had both a reputation and PC alignments. In BG you could be evil with a great public reputation... You could steal everything in sight and not get a bad reputation ~unless seen. In Fallout there was karma & reputation. Rep == public opinion, Karma == actuality. Karma is effectively an ersatz alignment stat... Fallout was initially based on GURPS, and GURPS doesn't have alignments; it has an even better system... but it's inherently more complex... Although the dungeoncrawler series 'Realms of Arkania' has similar; from the German RPG system
upon which the game is based.
The alignment stat (to use a bastardized term) is meta, it's not like a glowing plaque floating over their head that says "chaotic evil". As I've said before, it's best use is internal... like for deciding the severity of the dialog & choice options I mentioned before (above with those good & evil characters baby-stepping their way to a personality shift).
As the player of those [Tolkien] characters, if you choose to steal and kill, then that is what they will do. This is now your take on the character. For good or for ill.
If Gollum is being played by a Player, then he can react however the player wants.
This is why we can't have nice things. That's not their personalities; that's playing them wrong; that's poor roleplaying at it's most egregious.