Bard's Tale trilogy signature elements

For all discussion on all the previous Bard's Tale games: the classic 1980s games (Bard's Tale, II: Destiny Knight, & III: Thief of Fate) & the humorous Bard's Tale (2004) spin off.

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Gizmo
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Re: Bard's Tale trilogy signature elements

Post by Gizmo » January 31st, 2018, 8:19 am

ZiN wrote:
January 31st, 2018, 12:13 am
Grimrock's dungeons and bestiary felt very mediocre and generic compared to these classics, to be honest. It's a decent game, but really not that great that I'd set it as an example to be followed.
Discovering Grimrock was like finding an example of a lost art; like some kind of olde-tyme confectionary from the past, that isn't made anymore... and though its flavor isn't quite right, it's a welcome treat that is noticeably closer than anything else. :D

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Re: Bard's Tale trilogy signature elements

Post by Drool » January 31st, 2018, 10:24 pm

Gizmo wrote:
January 30th, 2018, 6:01 pm
Every auto-map that I have seen reveals information that is impossible for the party to know; be it detailed layouts of rooms passed through in an instant, secret doors they haven't found yet, or marking locations the party cannot know—relative to the rest of the map; sometimes to places where they were blindly teleported. Not all auto-maps are guilty of all of these, but many a guilty of at least one or more.
Maybe you should play better games.
Yes it is possible to do; no, I have not seen it done... No, I haven't played BT3 yet; and I do not know what Malefia is.
Mhmm.
If this were not your own post, would you have given them a warning? It is baiting, and petty insult; don't you think?
No? But then, I tend to have a rather lenient view of what's permissible on forums.
(Not to mention baseless, and untrue IMO.)
...says the man who wants NPCs to randomly and irrevocably steal from the players without notice.
It's certainly not something that I would ever have said towards you—even if I had thoroughly believed it as truth; and had I accepted moderator status when it was offered—and had you not have. Personal jabs are (always) uncalled for.
So is concern trolling, and yet, here we are.
Alwa nasci korliri das.

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Gizmo
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Re: Bard's Tale trilogy signature elements

Post by Gizmo » January 31st, 2018, 10:30 pm

says the man who wants NPCs to randomly and irrevocably steal from the players without notice.
Alright, I'll go for it.... What is that a reference to?

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Re: Bard's Tale trilogy signature elements

Post by _noblesse_oblige_ » February 1st, 2018, 9:52 pm

sigh

Either in viewtopic.php?f=43&t=17709 or its precursor, if I'm not mistaken - right, Drool?

Also somewhat from: viewtopic.php?f=43&t=13307&p=187449&hilit=rob#p187449
Gizmo wrote: worthy. It could be 'winning 500k at the craps table', and many NPCs would know the town scuttlebutt; some of them might (then) spontaneously decide to rob the PC and skip town with the money.
--
Drool wrote:
January 31st, 2018, 10:24 pm
So is concern trolling, and yet, here we are.
Bingo. I'm glad at least one moderator gets it.
cmibl<enter>

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Gizmo
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Re: Bard's Tale trilogy signature elements

Post by Gizmo » February 2nd, 2018, 9:11 am

sigh
Yet again, more evidence of players demanding that their random strangers [NPCs], 'Be more trustworthy!
"Un-fun, un-fun——respect the chosen one!—ME!". Image

Thanks for the link to a (forgotten) blast from the past posting. 8-)
(I was able to catch some spelling & quote box errors, and restore a missing animation.)
There is nothing unreasonable with the concepts suggested in that post, and they have been used by the best in the industry.
I wasn't sure what Drool meant, or in what context it was meant; but now that I've seen it—probably (unless that's not it), I do stand by it wholeheartedly; and the RPGs that omit, or skirt around this [for non-technical reasons], are ultimately a disappointment for it; because they could have done better.
____
When the player hires a mercenary, that person (or creature) is not one of their PCs; it may be a very helpful party member, but they are their own entity operating on their own agenda. This should mean that the player cannot force them to act against their will—they are not totally beholden to the player; they might want to help as a staunch ally, but they might instead want to rob the party blind.
In other cases, they might simply not wish to travel in some places... like underground, or in cemeteries; or to be present when the player attacks their own guild—exposing them as a traitor, or instead choosing to warn their guild of the planned attack... or simply not wishing to attack their other comrades. (Too many RPGs allow the new-hire to turn about and murder their old village. Only the most villainous characters should agree to do that. Player Actions should always be filtered through the NPCs agenda to determine if they will go along with it.)

Consider the situation with Bombata, in Conan 2.
Image
He joins the party along with his charge, as escort. He [begrudgingly] obeys Conan, and proves a very helpful addition—initially, but he is trustworthy only insofar as it serves his own agenda. Once he has what the party had set out for, he tries to kill, or otherwise trap/delay/bury Conan, and everyone else. He then returns the prize to his own city, along with his charge intact.

In game terms, this would play out as a controllable NPC that watches the situation, and decides if they will still accept commands from the player. This was done in Baldur's Gate, Baldur's Gate 2, Planescape, Temple of Elemental Evil*, Realms of Arkania, Eye of the Beholder 2*, Menzoberranzan, etc... This avoids puppet NPCs, and adds credibility to their personality. They don't all have to be dishonest. Doubtless, some will share the PC's agenda, or general outlook on life, and be fine with their actions most of the time; but consider an NPC priest whose party defiles—or destroys graves, or the priest's own holy symbols, or robs a church. What do you think that the priest NPC should do? Do you not think they would revise their opinion, and degree of esteem for their [...suddenly former?] companions?

In the Baldur's Gate series, the NPCs watched the player's reputation, and might abandoned or attack them if pushed too far; they more commonly had grievances with certain other NPCs, and would eventually pick fights with them.

There was a silly oversight however, where the player could use one of a pair of NPCs to kill the other; these pair are companions who travel together, who join—and depart from the party as a group. One of these pairs is a married couple, another pair are two irascible miscreants. It doesn't make sense that the player could decide (and have) that they wanted the wife and not the husband (or vice versa), then command one to help kill the other.

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Re: Bard's Tale trilogy signature elements

Post by thebruce » February 2nd, 2018, 10:35 am

When the player hires a mercenary, that person (or creature) is not one of their PCs; it may be a very helpful party member, but they are their own entity operating on their own agenda.
That's why there was a (P)arty attack. When you hire a mercenary, that inherently means they are sympathetic to your cause and will not turn on you. Game mechanics are in play to make that happen - insanity, possession, player-activated. No, when we have a party of members, they should not be antagonistic randomly towards other party members without reason. If they are by nature a character that would/should always have the chance of doing so, they shouldn't be hireable to your party. That's the premise by which the classics worked, and they weren't a disappointment because of it.

If a game wishes to employ that character mechanic, that's their choice. There would need to be a risk/reward system in play. We would need to know (whether directly or by experience) - ok if I hire this mercenary it could negatively affect me, but this mercany will be able to do something for me I otherwise wouldn't be able to do. It's a known strategic decision. I can live with that.
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Gizmo
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Re: Bard's Tale trilogy signature elements

Post by Gizmo » February 2nd, 2018, 5:33 pm

thebruce wrote:
February 2nd, 2018, 10:35 am
When the player hires a mercenary, that person (or creature) is not one of their PCs; it may be a very helpful party member, but they are their own entity operating on their own agenda.
That's why there was a (P)arty attack. When you hire a mercenary, that inherently means they are sympathetic to your cause and will not turn on you. Game mechanics are in play to make that happen - insanity, possession, player-activated. No, when we have a party of members, they should not be antagonistic randomly towards other party members without reason.
It's never without reason—but I'm not going to ressurect that Alignment argument again.

In Baldur's Gate series, you might recall that if you disgusted the recruited party members enough, they would forsake the party. In BT (BT2 at least), the recruited monsters might change sides eventually. I know that, because I had a party eaten by a recruited Slather Beast that did just that.
If they are by nature a character that would/should always have the chance of doing so, they shouldn't be hireable to your party.
Why!? That happened on ships a lot... it was called a mutiny. Why would paying money to a mercenary ensure their loyalty? For some—sure, but for everyone? (even thieves and assassins?)

Do you recall in the film Braveheart, where (in the fiction) the king hired the Irish troops to do battle, and they all switched sides on the field. Why wouldn't a woodland guide hire on to the party in town, with the intention of guiding the party into a trap; and then go back to hire onto another group of travelers, and do the same again? It's easier than really doing the promised service, and being stuck with them for weeks; or months.
If a game wishes to employ that character mechanic, that's their choice. There would need to be a risk/reward system in play. We would need to know (whether directly or by experience) - ok if I hire this mercenary it could negatively affect me, but this mercany will be able to do something for me I otherwise wouldn't be able to do. It's a known strategic decision. I can live with that.
I disagree. That kind of fair play among villains is a crutch. The player will never be surprised at an "unexpected" betrayal; (or passive refusal... as in the case of a PC who cannot force themselves to cross a high bridge, or to venture deep underground).

*And as I recall, in Ravenloft:Stone Prophet, the recruit-able Centaur would gladly travel with the party, and fight trolls and other enemies, but he would not travel with them if they chose to descend into the Underdark.

**I do agree that the NPC's personality, or strangely fortuitous appearance just when needed could provide hints that they are not as they seem, but to be [meta?] told of their future effects, risks, or honesty... is a terrible idea IMO. There is no strategy in that, it's tattle-tailing.

Do you remember Insul, in EoB2?
Spoiler: [[ He was grateful to be released from his prison cell, and aided the party... but robbed them blind the first chance he got. ]]

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Re: Bard's Tale trilogy signature elements

Post by Zombra » February 2nd, 2018, 9:53 pm

Giz, what you are talking about is absolutely not a Trilogy signature element. Just saying.
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Gizmo
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Re: Bard's Tale trilogy signature elements

Post by Gizmo » February 3rd, 2018, 12:16 am

Zombra wrote:
February 2nd, 2018, 9:53 pm
Giz, what you are talking about is absolutely not a Trilogy signature element. Just saying.
I can agree with that; though thebruce already mentioned the Party Attack option—one that I bet is absent from BT4.

*The party is in view during combat, and so it would have to have combat animations; and also... the combat would have to take place just on the party side of the grid; unless hostile party members could also step forward into unoccupied enemy slots.
(On the off chance that that can happen, I'd want regular enemy hostiles to also attack hostile party members in range... and not have everyone in sight suddenly become friends and gang up on the controlled PCs. I've seen too many games where wildlife (including solitary bears) cooperated with undead, and anything else to attack only the party.)

Just a guess... but I doubt a Party Attack option was even considered, or was realized and considered —far too late.

___

In practice though, the party attack option—for what it was, and did... it doesn't matter if it was a spell effect or a defecting companion. :?

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