Inventory and Money Management

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Inventory and Money Management

Post by _noblesse_oblige_ » April 2nd, 2017, 7:01 pm

Taking a hint from Zombra - moving to a separate thread....
Gizmo wrote:
April 2nd, 2017, 5:06 pm
_noblesse_oblige_ wrote:
April 2nd, 2017, 12:08 pm
Games are meant to be fun. Not everything in a game needs to be rewarding, but the idea is that it should be fun.
Even tickling, and ice-cream gets old. You get sick of it if you experience it without end. Games are meant to be fun, but not everything in a game is (or should be) meant to be fun. Just think of Monopoly... and the Go To Jail square. That's what I meant by 'things hopefully avoided' and 'not always under player control'.
The thing with Monopoly is that there is large element of chance. You can just as easily draw helpful cards and harmful ones. The fun is in risking the bad to get the good. Again, fun is not synonymous with reward. However, taking risks for potential reward can be fun. Games need not always reward, but should always be fun, otherwise they aren't very good games.
Gizmo wrote:
April 2nd, 2017, 5:06 pm
Games of chance can be fun because of the duality between loss and gain - with the chance of losing comes the chance of winning. However, for games of skill, probability may be a factor which affects the game, but the idea is that the player can mitigate circumstances through skill of play. If you allow a player's characters to be robbed without giving any recourse to defend against said robbery, then there is no skill in play and it is not a good game of chance either, because the player only has the chance to lose and not to gain from the event.
?

Do you mean that your take on the conversation was that I somewhere implied that the PC could randomly lose their wealth & inventory ~as with a pop-up menu saying "Surprise! ~You've Been Robbed!"... Like a chance card in Monopoly? I certainly did not.
It wasn't clear what you were implying. I actually addressed both interpretations in previous remarks: the robbery without recourse one and the fight-the-robbers one. I didn't really get a definite "yes, I'm talking about this one and not that one" from you. Wasn't trying to accuse you of holding to any particular stance, as I wasn't sure what your stance was.
Gizmo wrote:
April 2nd, 2017, 5:06 pm
Gizmo wrote:
April 1st, 2017, 9:53 pm
Relevance?
Abstraction of space. Not everything has to be modeled with perfect realism. Sometimes it is funner to go with a mechanism that is less realistic but more enjoyable.
True, but unrelated to sentiment. The Berserkers quote was a jab; akin to the ever common "Realism, in a world with faeries & dragons? What talk is this!?"...
Wasn't intended to be a jab, but to point out a parallel. If you're willing to accept an abstraction in one area of the game, then why not in others? Especially if it simplifies and reduces tedium. Presumably when a party loots dead monsters, the found treasure is not all literally gold pieces, but a variety of baubles, trinkets, coins, and gems, the value of which is represented as gold pieces. And, in a game where we don't worry about a character carrying three sets of plate armor back to Garth, while wearing a fourth, I don't think we need to worry about how the treasure is carried.
Gizmo wrote:
April 1st, 2017, 9:53 pm
What's wrong with getting a convenience for free? That sounds really convenient.
I would say for the same reason bullet's aren't free. Most conveniences aren't free. Nothing that's free is valued ~because it's free; things only become valued when they become scarce and no longer free.
I really hope that I am misinterpreting you here. But, are you saying that the player should be forced to convert money into gems or perform a similar action just so that he or she appreciates more the fact the he or she wouldn't have to do that if the game did it automatically?
Gizmo wrote:
April 1st, 2017, 9:53 pm
If the player wants the PC to to have that much money on their person at all times, they should have to do what it takes to facilitate that (including defending it from theft). If the PC isn't strong enough to carry it, they should have to get stronger, have to discard something, have to trade it for lighter valuables, or have to get help carrying it.
Or the game can choose to be simpler and simply ignore all of those concerns and not foist them on the player.
Gizmo wrote:
April 1st, 2017, 9:53 pm
Having a weightless, invisible, un-steal-able bag of money is itself a source of incredulity.
Never bothered me in the BT series. Never bothered me in various Rogue-likes. Was a convenience and one for which I am grateful.
And, honestly I never even considered as a weightless, unstealable bag. Was simply the amount of purchasing power that the character had gained. No need to imagine it as anything tangible or literal.
Gizmo wrote:
April 1st, 2017, 9:53 pm
Streamline mundane tasks so that people can focus on the fun stuff.
That is a very subjective action.
The waste of a player's time is not very subjective.
Gizmo wrote:
April 1st, 2017, 9:53 pm
So the player can do no wrong, and always has an out ~no matter what they do; and everything is available to them to do ~regardless of whether their character could/would/shouldn't, or should.
This is shifting the argument and I am not even certain what you are or are not arguing for here. Handling money for the player in a simple, non-intrusive manner is very different than telling the player that they can do anything or that they can do no wrong. I am not sure how you would make such an inductive leap.
Gizmo wrote:
April 1st, 2017, 9:53 pm
Streamlining removes [welcome] complexity.
Making a player jump through hoops to perform a common task, such as money handling, is unwelcome complexity.
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Re: Inventory and Money Management

Post by Gizmo » April 2nd, 2017, 8:01 pm

_noblesse_oblige_ wrote:
April 2nd, 2017, 7:01 pm
The thing with Monopoly is that there is large element of chance. You can just as easily draw helpful cards and harmful ones. The fun is in risking the bad to get the good. Again, fun is not synonymous with reward. However, taking risks for potential reward can be fun. Games need not always reward, but should always be fun, otherwise they aren't very good games.
I don't see the disagreement here. :D

*But I do see something here that perhaps you don't. Frustration and minor annoyance can be like a spice, and amplify what's fun. You probably wouldn't eat from a can of black pepper, but you probably sprinkle some on your plate. It's the same with sugar and salt... No one would eat a brick of salt, but a little of it compliments an otherwise sweet taste.

An aside: There is a storybook about a young king that was bored, and wanted to have fun so much that he offered a reward to all of his subjects to tell him the way to have fun; and they promptly started suggesting all manner of crazy stunts for him to try... but the reward went to an old man who whispered a secret in his ear, and was promptly paid. Thereafter the king always seemed to be in a fowl mood. :twisted:
Wasn't trying to accuse you of holding to any particular stance, as I wasn't sure what your stance was.
Image Not a problem, I didn't think you that you did; and had I... I don't generally take offense to anything.
Wasn't intended to be a jab, but to point out a parallel. If you're willing to accept an abstraction in one area of the game, then why not in others? Especially if it simplifies and reduces tedium. Presumably when a party loots dead monsters, the found treasure is not all literally gold pieces, but a variety of baubles, trinkets, coins, and gems, the value of which is represented as gold pieces. And, in a game where we don't worry about a character carrying three sets of plate armor back to Garth, while wearing a fourth, I don't think we need to worry about how the treasure is carried.
Because some are inappropriate. The problem with a bauble as gold, is that the PC can spend a single coin of it, and yet keep the remainder. Imagine trying to pay a boatman's toll with a sapphire necklace ~and expecting to retain 98% of the value of the necklace. What if the boatman doesn't want (and can't afford) to buy it ~less his crossing fee. If this were your character in an RPG, the PC would not have the means to pay the boatman ~unless they gave them the necklace outright.*

*Incidentally... Fallout would have allowed that. I'm actually surprised that there wasn't a River Styx special encounter over a torrent of green goo.
I really hope that I am misinterpreting you here. But, are you saying that the player should be forced to convert money into gems or perform a similar action just so that he or she appreciates more the fact the he or she wouldn't have to do that if the game did it automatically?
Of course not.
Or the game can choose to be simpler and simply ignore all of those concerns and not foist them on the player.
RPGs as a genre, are about foisting the PC's situation upon the player. The PC would have those concerns.
Gizmo wrote:
April 1st, 2017, 9:53 pm
Having a weightless, invisible, un-steal-able bag of money is itself a source of incredulity.
Never bothered me in the BT series.
In the Bard's Tale series, the PC couldn't buy a thing if they didn't have the money; even if another party member did. Pooling the gold was an option.

(Aside: Recall also that intra-party attacks were also an option, for those times when not everyone was agreeing as a group.)
That is a very subjective action.
The waste of a player's time is not very subjective.
That in itself is subjective; for it is not a waste to every player.

Gizmo wrote:
April 1st, 2017, 9:53 pm
So the player can do no wrong, and always has an out ~no matter what they do; and everything is available to them to do ~regardless of whether their character could/would/shouldn't, or should.
This is shifting the argument and I am not even certain what you are or are not arguing for here.
That's because it's not part of an argument, it's just relating what they did. The original point was that fun is not homogeneous to all people, and their assumption of fun (for the player) is that the simulation is paramount; more so than the player character. [That's ghastly RPG design IMO]
Making a player jump through hoops to perform a common task, such as money handling, is unwelcome complexity.
Removing the ability to jump through those hoops is unwelcome loss of complexity; especially when the player (and/or the developer) sees a need for them. Like for instance: cursed treasure... that would otherwise become faceless gold in a virtual pot.
Also Baldur's Gate had gems, and gem bags ~as opposed to converting found gems to instant gold. It's a shame [IMO] that they did not also use gems & jewelry the other way around, and allow buying them to consolidate large amounts of gold. Both could have been used for spells, for bribes in conversation, to smuggle money, to hide vast sums in small places; to adjust reputation; ~to eat. Eaten gems would likely go unnoticed and not get stolen during a robbery. The party did get accosted a lot during it's overland travels. I've played RPGs where if the party gets drunk enough to pass out in a tavern, they can wake up in the Inn penniless.

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Re: Inventory and Money Management

Post by thebruce » April 3rd, 2017, 6:59 am

I'm seeing another example of the contrast between literal and analogous gameplay. Every RPG has some level analog. On one end of the spectrum there's the example of being able to forge items while surrounded by enemies - one could interpret this analog as sped up storytelling, like "during this time, the party was able to return to the merchant, accomplish their desired task, and return to the scene" essentially under the assumption that the DM (the game, in this case) felt that all of that would be have been above the threshold of what they consider 'busy work' rather game relevant gameplay. That is pushing the line obviously, but some like it and some don't.

The other end is how literal you want to get with dealing with money. You could say carrying around a bag of gold wouldn't be "realistic" in stealthy cirucmstances, so there should be some in-game effect by how much coinage you're carrying. Well how about what type of clothing you have - how big are your pockets? Loose pockets could make even just a few coins clatter as you walk. Do you have a pouch? Maybe you should wrap anything metal in a soft cloth so that your stealthy actions aren't hindered by unintended clatter.

Both ends are feasible in a game - dependig on what you're looking for in the gameplay. BT1-3 was much closer to the former, the analogous gameplay where you're not looking for literal effects of your decisions, to a degree, but rather filling in the gaps; your mind shrugs it off because the game isn't trying to be something it's not. BT owned the analogous style and let gamers use their imagination.

If a game starts allowing certain literal limitations, then clashes can develop - "why can I do this, but if do that there's an effect that wouldn't otherwise matter?" for example. It's a fine line. Devs need to decide how literal the game will be, and make sure it's internally consistent and reasonable.

I liked not having gold limitation in BT. Of course it's not realistic. But there's so much in BT that's clearly not realistic or feasible. With all that in mind, carrying millions of gold didn't bug me in the slightest. Or multiple huge swords. Or suits of armour. Or battling hordes of berserkers in a squished dungeon hallway.

To some degree I don't mind something like inventory management (we had to do it non-sensically in BT - why could I not carry 11 torches, but I could carry 10 halberds? (numbers for arguments' sake)).

But at this point it's a matter of fun gameplay, not forcing tedious work on the player just so it "makes sense". Point, IF inXile can add certain aspects to gameplay mentioned here and make it fun, not tedious, while also retaining the analogous charm of the classics, then I may not be so concerned about it :)
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Re: Inventory and Money Management

Post by _noblesse_oblige_ » April 3rd, 2017, 10:55 am

Gizmo wrote:
April 2nd, 2017, 8:01 pm
Frustration and minor annoyance can be like a spice, and amplify what's fun. You probably wouldn't eat from a can of black pepper, but you probably sprinkle some on your plate. It's the same with sugar and salt... No one would eat a brick of salt, but a little of it compliments an otherwise sweet taste.
Dealing with setbacks when there is a recourse to skill can be fun. Dealing with setbacks when there is a chance for future reward can be fun. But, frustration and minor annoyance for the sake of frustration and minor annoyance are not fun.
Gizmo wrote:
April 2nd, 2017, 8:01 pm
The problem with a bauble as gold, is that the PC can spend a single coin of it, and yet keep the remainder. Imagine trying to pay a boatman's toll with a sapphire necklace ~and expecting to retain 98% of the value of the necklace.

What if the boatman doesn't want (and can't afford) to buy it ~less his crossing fee. If this were your character in an RPG, the PC would not have the means to pay the boatman ~unless they gave them the necklace outright.*
The player can imagine a character's treasure to contain a bauble, but all that matters is the gold value of the treasure. All transactions occur based on the amount of credit a character has ("gold") and not on any literal interpretation of what the accumulated treasure actually is.

This really isn't all that different than the whole discussion about the meaning of hit points that happened in this forum a while back.

Gizmo wrote:
April 2nd, 2017, 8:01 pm
Or the game can choose to be simpler and simply ignore all of those concerns and not foist them on the player.
RPGs as a genre, are about foisting the PC's situation upon the player. The PC would have those concerns.
In the other thread, I think Drool mentioned something about clipping toenails. Presumably, if the player doesn't direct a character to clip his or her toenails, then they will grow out too much, press against their boots, and cause inflammation and in-growth which reduce the character's agility in combat and walking speed.... Or, we can assume that various mundane tasks, like purging excrement, clipping toenails, converting currency, etc... are uninteresting aspects of the character's life and simply ignore them in the game, so that fun things, like solving puzzles, discovering new places, making decisions in combat, gathering loot, and leveling up, will have focus.
Gizmo wrote:
April 2nd, 2017, 8:01 pm
In the Bard's Tale series, the PC couldn't buy a thing if they didn't have the money; even if another party member did. Pooling the gold was an option.
Correct. Not sure what your point is here.
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Re: Inventory and Money Management

Post by _noblesse_oblige_ » April 3rd, 2017, 10:58 am

thebruce wrote:
April 3rd, 2017, 6:59 am

Both ends are feasible in a game - dependig on what you're looking for in the gameplay. BT1-3 was much closer to the former, the analogous gameplay where you're not looking for literal effects of your decisions, to a degree, but rather filling in the gaps; your mind shrugs it off because the game isn't trying to be something it's not. BT owned the analogous style and let gamers use their imagination.
Yes. This.
thebruce wrote:
April 3rd, 2017, 6:59 am
If a game starts allowing certain literal limitations, then clashes can develop - "why can I do this, but if do that there's an effect that wouldn't otherwise matter?" for example. It's a fine line. Devs need to decide how literal the game will be, and make sure it's internally consistent and reasonable.
Yes, again.
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Re: Inventory and Money Management

Post by Gizmo » April 3rd, 2017, 7:09 pm

_noblesse_oblige_ wrote:
April 3rd, 2017, 10:55 am
...frustration and minor annoyance for the sake of frustration and minor annoyance are not fun.
If you were to mean deliberate flickers in the video, lag in control response, or random repeating high pitched noise... Yes, annoyance for the sake of frustration is terrible; but I never suggested that. If you mean that the risk of accostment on the road is an annoyance for the sake of frustration, then I disagree; and I would say that such is the occasional cost of exploring the wilds, and should be expected. The PC should not be able to avoid that and still be allowed to explore. If they can't defend themselves if (or when) it happens, then the game should end right there; unless the robbers leave them unconscious to wake up later ~stripped of their valuables.

Fallout did allow the player to avoid such encounters; but only if the PC was a skilled enough outdoorsman.
Gizmo wrote:
April 2nd, 2017, 8:01 pm
The problem with a bauble as gold, is that the PC can spend a single coin of it, and yet keep the remainder.
The player can imagine a character's treasure to contain a bauble, but all that matters is the gold value of the treasure. All transactions occur based on the amount of credit a character has ("gold") and not on any literal interpretation of what the accumulated treasure actually is.
If lacking coins, then it's spending a coin that they don't have; (which means it's not one of their options to do). A character can possess a thing of too great a value to sell in their current situation. Like having a large diamond in a town where the peasants are poverty stricken. You cannot give them some of it; you cannot pay for a room at the inn using it; unless you trade them the diamond for the use of the room [and/or negotiate meals/stabling or other services into the exchange]. In PnP a diamond might rent the room for a month with meals, animal feed, and horse grooming... It might be more than the PC wanted, but they paid with a diamond. If it was done using Fallout's system, the NPC would accept the diamond for whatever they had available to sell, up to the value of the diamond (including any money they had)... or they might not even talk to the PC. Which leaves them with wealth, but nothing immediately spendable.

I consider this part of a slippery slope, because RPGs are "What would they do in the situation", and this same convenience mentality can be applied to "Why can't they break the door down", "Why do they have to go buy more lock picks?", and "Why can't I just trade money for ammo during the fight, when I'm out?". ~(Shadow Warrior 2013 actually did this. :shock: )

In Fallout, the first NPC you can hire demands caps ~caps that you probably don't have. He won't accept barter. You might have more to sell than the townspeople have caps ~collectively. Not having the cash, means not having his help ~simple. Even in Baldur's Gate, if you have no gold, then you have to sell something in order to buy something, but if they are not willing to buy from you ~then you are out of luck; you need coins for their services. Some limitations make sense to include; and some don't make sense to omit.
In the other thread, I think Drool mentioned something about clipping toenails. Presumably, if the player doesn't direct a character to clip his or her toenails, then they will grow out too much, press against their boots, and cause inflammation and in-growth which reduce the character's agility in combat and walking speed...
And it was cavillous nitpicking IMO. Hygiene is an aspect of character, and one that is assumed to be handled by them on their own time; (ie. while the party rests). Uninteresting aspects of their life shouldn't include not being able to pay their bills.
Gizmo wrote:
April 2nd, 2017, 8:01 pm
In the Bard's Tale series, the PC couldn't buy a thing if they didn't have the money; even if another party member did. Pooling the gold was an option.
Correct. Not sure what your point is here.
The point was in the quote, "[a weightless, invisible, un-steal-able bag of money] Never bothered me in the BT series". Except that they didn't have that. The money may not have had weight, but each PC had their own money in their own pockets, and each one of them could be broke while the others had money.

@Drool I don't recall, so I'll ask: What happens in BT if the PC carrying all the money becomes hostile to the party? (Like with a doppelganger)

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Re: Inventory and Money Management

Post by Drool » April 3rd, 2017, 10:45 pm

thebruce wrote:
April 3rd, 2017, 6:59 am
how big are your pockets?
Hell, let's follow this stupid train right off the cliff. Most fantasy RPGs are set in a "dark ages" technological level. Pockets didn't exist. Furthermore, gold is quite heavy and dense. The average character should only be able to carry a couple dozen pieces in a coin purse. Gold is also insanely valuable. A single gold piece should be enough to feed (let's add a food mechanic, three a day!), house (better sleep every night!), and generally fund a character for their entire life.

Hell, while we're at it, where's the water mechanic? Combat is incredibly intensive. Every few rounds everyone should have to stop for a water break lest they receive huge penalties. Plus, you're going to need to carry quite a bit of it around. That's roughly a gallon per person per day. That's roughly 8.3 pounds (3.765 kg) per person per day. Unless you're going back to town every day, that's a fair amount of weight to factor in.

And we haven't even gotten to the matter of armor weight, weapon weight, the weight of other random items, mandolin strings, bandages, etc etc etc.
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Re: Inventory and Money Management

Post by Gizmo » April 4th, 2017, 12:05 am

Drool wrote:
April 3rd, 2017, 10:45 pm
A single gold piece should be enough to feed (let's add a food mechanic, three a day!), house (better sleep every night!), and generally fund a character for their entire life.
I would have said that a one ounce gold piece would have bought them a good pair of shoes, the contemporary equivalent of a good suit, and a good belt.

(Which is about what you can purchase now for about $1,257.40 —today's value for an ounce of Gold.)
That's roughly 8.3 pounds (3.765 kg) per person per day. Unless you're going back to town every day, that's a fair amount of weight to factor in.
Recall that the Gold-Box titles did actually reduce the character's maximum movement range if they had a lot of weight. A character could drop from twelve steps per turn, down to three, depending on burden; and coins did weigh them down. (So did armor!. One could be carrying so much wealth, that they could not feasibly wear full plate armor.)

I'd love to see RPGs allow the PC to drop the weight during a fight, to regain their full abilities; but have to defend that pile —or risk losing it to opportunistic NPCs. :twisted:

**As I recall, Fallout imposed [albeit negligible] damage to any PC that was naive enough to travel the wastelands without a canteen; because they would have to drink ~something. [Finding water was assumed, and it was assumed that you'd need a canteen.]
Stone Prophet absolutely demanded that the PC carry water, or suffer dehydration damage.

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Re: Inventory and Money Management

Post by thebruce » April 4th, 2017, 6:12 am

Gizmo wrote:
April 3rd, 2017, 7:09 pm
_noblesse_oblige_ wrote:
April 3rd, 2017, 10:55 am
...frustration and minor annoyance for the sake of frustration and minor annoyance are not fun.
If you were to mean deliberate flickers in the video, lag in control response, or random repeating high pitched noise... Yes, annoyance for the sake of frustration is terrible; but I never suggested that. If you mean that the risk of accostment on the road is an annoyance for the sake of frustration, then I disagree; and I would say that such is the occasional cost of exploring the wilds, and should be expected.
I think it depends on what the priority is. A balance between what the creators feel the game's priority is, and what the player feels their current primary concern is. If the player just wants to get stuff sold, then being hindered by repeat ambushes by thieves on the road is an annoyance. Creators need to balance thinking "what might the player be valuing most at this moment" with "what style of gameplay and strategizing do we want to instill in this game". I think it's a reasonable strategic gameplay element to have to consider being accosted by thieves if you're carrying buckets of gold. But does that have to be in every game? Obviously it's not as there are games that do not do this - because the devs felt that either a] their game doesn't want to focus on that tactic, or b] they felt their playerbase would consider that more of an annoyance.

But that was their decision for their game.
I think the point is - we hope our devs make that same decision for this game :)

Gizmo wrote:
April 4th, 2017, 12:05 am
Drool wrote:
April 3rd, 2017, 10:45 pm
A single gold piece should be enough to feed (let's add a food mechanic, three a day!), house (better sleep every night!), and generally fund a character for their entire life.
I would have said that a one ounce gold piece would have bought them a good pair of shoes, the contemporary equivalent of a good suit, and a good belt.

(Which is about what you can purchase now for about $1,257.40 —today's value for an ounce of Gold.)
That's roughly 8.3 pounds (3.765 kg) per person per day. Unless you're going back to town every day, that's a fair amount of weight to factor in.
Recall that the Gold-Box titles did actually reduce the character's maximum movement range if they had a lot of weight. A character could drop from twelve steps per turn, down to three, depending on burden; and coins did weigh them down. (So did armor!. One could be carrying so much wealth, that they could not feasibly wear full plate armor.)

I'd love to see RPGs allow the PC to drop the weight during a fight, to regain their full abilities; but have to defend that pile —or risk losing it to opportunistic NPCs. :twisted:

**As I recall, Fallout imposed [albeit negligible] damage to any PC that was naive enough to travel the wastelands without a canteen; because they would have to drink ~something. [Finding water was assumed, and it was assumed that you'd need a canteen.]
Stone Prophet absolutely demanded that the PC carry water, or suffer dehydration damage.
I think you missed the facetiousness of drool's comment ;P

The point as I see it that if you use feasibility, plausibility, realism as a manner of argument for certain of aspects of the game, then it can be taken to its absurd conclusions. So why stop where you think it should stop, and not us? At what point does the argument become moot? We have successful analogous games at one end of the spectrum, and successful literal games at the other end. But they are completely different styles of gameplay. Neither is "better" than the other. So, by what objective argument can you defend only a certain amount of believability in the game mechanics, and no more or less? (reasoning through physics and social effects of gold carrying is reasoning for realism) Now if that's what you'd prefer as the game mechanic - excellent! We'd prefer something different. Not because it's not realistic, we know that, but because it's a different style of gameplay along the spectrum, closer to Bard's Tale's home territory. :)

So we'll hope the devs find some way to make a game that is preferable either to the niche or the masses, to you or to me. But it's ultimately up to them.
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Re: Inventory and Money Management

Post by Gizmo » April 4th, 2017, 12:50 pm

thebruce wrote:
April 4th, 2017, 6:12 am
I think you missed the facetiousness of drool's comment ;P
Have you missed mine? :roll:

*The only imbibing I'd want to see in BT4 is in taverns; but I wonder if they will [or even can] show that in a T rated game these days. They did show drinking in the 2004 BT spin-off title.

**Of course I'd also prefer that the Bard be still limited (in their song repertoire) by their thirst, and propensity to visit the pub. And have some reasoning that drinking alone doesn't work for them; that carousing is an integral part of their abilities. As a matter of frustration as spice, and of cost vs value... Would it not be interesting to have an insufferable lout of a bard who is just too useful to let go? :twisted:

I recall a few RPGs that had some NPCs that were very advantageous to have along, but that had definite cons to accompanying them. I remember an NPC in one title that wasn't ever allowed into town!

I also remember recruiting a Slathbeast in BT2, and there was no way I was dismissing that one... We were high on the horse for a while...but it proved fatal when the beast stopped liking the rest of the party.

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Re: Inventory and Money Management

Post by Woolfe » April 4th, 2017, 7:07 pm

So to throw in my 2 cents.

I actually like the concept of "Weight" but I also like the "ease of play". The idea of being restricted in what you can carry IS good. You take the most valuable loot rather than just grabbing everything. If the most valuable loot is a pile of gold coins, then they should be represented as such, and cause encumbrance.

BUT the ease of play part comes in when you get to somewhere that you could in theory change the coins to something different. So auto changes to platinum in the background when you are in a location that it is appropriate for this to occur.

I'd also like to see restrictions on the cash that local sellers have. Even if it is a dumb "refill over time" type system. And a dumb "things go missing" process, to prevent you making many trips in order to sell every last rusty dagger or leather boot. So when you leave an area, things start to go away over a period. To the extent that a trip to town and back is going to result in it all being effectively gone.

So here is my list of "things" and the appropriate "ease of use" to go with them.

Inventory Style - Tetris, but with loose boundaries, so you can carry stuff outside of the "box" but that immediately causes an encumberance penalty.
Inventory Ease of Use - Give us buttons that automatically sort stuff, with a couple of different options, and the ability to then manually adjust as you go.
Encumberance Weight and Size - Have things that cause encumberance, 1000 coins is going to be heavy. So make it heavy. A suit of plate armour is going to be bulky to carry so make it so.
Encumberance Ease of use - When you arrive at an appropriate location, your pile of coins gets converted to a smaller more manageable pile.
Loot - drop a lot of loot, drop it everywhere, if you take on six guys in Leather armour, then have the armour there, but give it a value from good to scrap. Same with weapons, if you find an old sword, it should be blunt or rusty, unless it was kept in oil cloth or something similar. Make the loot evaporate over time. Something out in the open is going to get nicked. Something in an obvious cache, is gone as well. Make it hard to keep going back and filling up. Make it not worth the trouble.
Loot Ease of use - If you have the appropriate skills, a "blunt" or "damaged" bit of gear might be repairable without tools. Assume that an adventurer with a sharp pointy sword is going to have a whetstone for sharpening it on the road. So if he finds a blunt weapon, next time he/she rests, it gets sharpened and cleaned, just like other weapons.
Loot trading - Have an economy, even a fake one. Allow direct even loss making trades, make the traders smart enough to always get the best deal. Once they are out of cash, make it recover either by actual gear being "sold" or by magically slow autofill of cash and magical autoloss of items.
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Re: Inventory and Money Management

Post by Gizmo » April 4th, 2017, 8:24 pm

Woolfe wrote:
April 4th, 2017, 7:07 pm
BUT the ease of play part comes in when you get to somewhere that you could in theory change the coins to something different. So auto changes to platinum in the background when you are in a location that it is appropriate for this to occur.
IRRC, in Pool of Radiance, the party could dump all sorts of found coinage into a money pool while in any shop, and later reclaim the total amount in platinum.

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Re: Inventory and Money Management

Post by Drool » April 4th, 2017, 9:45 pm

Gizmo wrote:
April 4th, 2017, 12:05 am
I would have said that a one ounce gold piece would have bought them a good pair of shoes, the contemporary equivalent of a good suit, and a good belt.
You vastly over estimate the value of shoes. A single gold piece would be an absolute fortune.
Recall that the Gold-Box titles did actually reduce the character's maximum movement range if they had a lot of weight.
Yes, to 3. Incidentally, you pretty much hit that with plate armor. After that, you could carrying a billion coins without any other impact (I think only Pool of Radiance dropped you to 0).

You must be a huge fan of Redguard, where he wouldn't carry any more than 500 gold pieces.
As I recall, Fallout imposed [albeit negligible] damage to any PC that was naive enough to travel the wastelands without a canteen
I don't remember any water mechanic in Fallout. Just Wasteland.
Stone Prophet absolutely demanded that the PC carry water, or suffer dehydration damage.
Did Stone Prophet account for the weight?
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Re: Inventory and Money Management

Post by Gizmo » April 5th, 2017, 1:02 am

Drool wrote:
April 4th, 2017, 9:45 pm
You vastly over estimate the value of shoes. A single gold piece would be an absolute fortune.
No I did not... I said good shoes. ;)
You must be a huge fan of Redguard, where he wouldn't carry any more than 500 gold pieces.
I recently started playing Redguard for the first time, and I like it so far; but I haven't earned that much money yet.
I don't remember any water mechanic in Fallout. Just Wasteland.
The way it worked was that if the PC traveled the overland map with no canteen [you get one as starting equipment], the PC would have an empty encounter in the wasteland [no enemies present], and take dehydration damage.
Did Stone Prophet account for the weight?
Yes; and water-skins weighed three pounds [or whatever their unit of weight was].
Almost all PCs had to drink water.
Last edited by Gizmo on April 5th, 2017, 8:53 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Inventory and Money Management

Post by Crosmando » April 5th, 2017, 5:13 am

The idea of money taking up inventory space also allows other possibilities such as depositing money in a bank, and such banks having failure rates where you could lose money in a robbery, etc.
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Re: Inventory and Money Management

Post by thebruce » April 5th, 2017, 5:40 am

Gizmo wrote:
April 4th, 2017, 12:50 pm
thebruce wrote:
April 4th, 2017, 6:12 am
I think you missed the facetiousness of drool's comment ;P
Have you missed mine?
I must have!
Crosmando wrote:
April 5th, 2017, 5:13 am
The idea of money taking up inventory space also allows other possibilities such as depositing money in a bank, and such banks having failure rates where you could lose money in a robbery, etc.
I do remember some games where gold took up inventory space, up to a certain amount per block and whatnot.
Personally, I don't think a lot of these ideas are bad design or anything, it can make for a great game mechanic if done right, it's not just Bard's Tale :) (that's bound to soon become a sig quote!)
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Re: Inventory and Money Management

Post by Gizmo » April 5th, 2017, 8:56 am

About the bank... I like the idea, but I honestly believe that that should only ever happen as part of a one-time side-quest; (which may or may not include the robbery of more than one bank), but that the risk of that is gone once the player completes that quest-line.

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Re: Inventory and Money Management

Post by Woolfe » April 5th, 2017, 3:29 pm

thebruce wrote:
April 5th, 2017, 5:40 am
Gizmo wrote:
April 4th, 2017, 12:50 pm
thebruce wrote:
April 4th, 2017, 6:12 am
I think you missed the facetiousness of drool's comment ;P
Have you missed mine?
I must have!
Crosmando wrote:
April 5th, 2017, 5:13 am
The idea of money taking up inventory space also allows other possibilities such as depositing money in a bank, and such banks having failure rates where you could lose money in a robbery, etc.
I do remember some games where gold took up inventory space, up to a certain amount per block and whatnot.
Personally, I don't think a lot of these ideas are bad design or anything, it can make for a great game mechanic if done right, it's not just Bard's Tale :) (that's bound to soon become a sig quote!)
Indeed... a very good point, but let's face it, this isn't the Bard's Tale we knew is it ..... :|
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Re: Inventory and Money Management

Post by _noblesse_oblige_ » April 5th, 2017, 6:13 pm

Gizmo wrote:
April 3rd, 2017, 7:09 pm
_noblesse_oblige_ wrote:
April 3rd, 2017, 10:55 am
Gizmo wrote:
April 2nd, 2017, 8:01 pm
In the Bard's Tale series, the PC couldn't buy a thing if they didn't have the money; even if another party member did. Pooling the gold was an option.
Correct. Not sure what your point is here.
The point was in the quote, "[a weightless, invisible, un-steal-able bag of money] Never bothered me in the BT series". Except that they didn't have that. The money may not have had weight, but each PC had their own money in their own pockets, and each one of them could be broke while the others had money.
No one literally had a weightless, invisible, unstealable bag of money. "Pockets", in any literal sense, are meaningless. Individual characters were assigned an abstract form of money, called "gold", so that they could buy goods and services.

One improvement that BT IV could make over the original series is to keep all of the party's money in a single pot all of the time. Was somewhat of an annoyance to transfer money between characters to pay for Garth's goods, priests' attentions, or refueling at Roscoe's, just like transferring items between individual party members' packs was an annoyance. There is a chance to streamline here. We don't need more complexity in money and inventory management - more simplicity would be wonderful.
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Re: Inventory and Money Management

Post by Gizmo » April 5th, 2017, 11:10 pm

_noblesse_oblige_ wrote:
April 5th, 2017, 6:13 pm
One improvement that BT IV could make over the original series is to keep all of the party's money in a single pot all of the time. Was somewhat of an annoyance to transfer money between characters to pay for Garth's goods, priests' attentions, or refueling at Roscoe's, just like transferring items between individual party members' packs was an annoyance. There is a chance to streamline here. We don't need more complexity in money and inventory management - more simplicity would be wonderful.
I disagree. Streamlining is generally bad —and worse if the person doing it doesn't understand what they are getting rid of.

Do you not recall that party in-fighting could occur in those games?

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