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RolandofGilead

evil genuises wanted

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I was thinking how in a lot of games, you''re trying to defeat a bad guy and spend the entire game going place to place undoing his damage and fighting his cronies, well, wouldn''t it be cool if we let actual players be the bad guys(who eventually becomes a god bent on destroying the world) while some other players are the good guys(from a village destroyed in the opening sequence). This could apply to just about any genre really but if you really want a non-linear non-scripted plot I think this would do it(of course if I play the bad guy I''d do every cliche thing I could think of).

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The general idea of playing the bad guy has been done before, the most obvious that comes to mind is Dungeon Keeper (probably lots of others, but they used the "bad is good!" slogan). Also choosing between bad and good is in a lot of RTS games in particular (Warcraft II for example). I guess you can also say that Counterstrike allows you to fight other players each choosing to be bad or good (although I doubt its often a consideration).

Where your coming from though, I believe, is a concept I''ve been giving a fair bit of thought to myself lately, and thats playing the bad guy in an RPG. In particular as I''ve just started playing NeverWinter Nights it occured to me that in all the D&D style games (NWN, BG I&II, Icewind Dale, etc) you can choose an evil alignment, however your overall goal is basically good (stop the bad guy(s)). Wouldn''t it be cool to have an rpg where you are the bad guy trying to achieve evil ends!

The thing thats got me thinking a lot though, is exactly what would the goal of the game be? As the good guy you run around all game dealing with the plots and minions of the evil overlord, perhaps dealing with him at the very end of the game. You could turn it around like you say, and end up as an evil god trying to destroy the world, but how do you play that? Evil gods don''t walk from tavern to dungeon killing the peaceful creatures by the road in order to destroy the holy paladin at the bottom of the dungeon, they send minions to do it (along the lines of Dungeon Keeper now I think of it). What I envisioned though was a more standard adventure where you walk the world, dealing with obstacles and achieving a main goal. So how do you do that?

Bear in mind that standard philosophy makes being evil really hard. Shopkeepers bar their doors, barkeeps wont talk to you, pretty much everyone else attacks on sight. Sure you could be superstrong and able to defeat all, but thats more a hack and slash Diablo style solution than an RPG solution.

Do you just invert the character types? An evil land is being overrun by soldiers of good and your quest is to battle the forces of good before finally confronting the architech of all this goodness and destroying them to return evil to the land? Maybe the general populace prefers evil as a way of life so help you out? Could be fun, but all in all is it too similar to playing the good guy?

Perhaps you want to rise to supremacy of a criminal organisation. Head of the thieves guild perhaps? You need to present a good and lawful public face, but behind the scenes your using murder and blackmail to achieve your ends? I kind of like this idea, you start small and build up. Maybe by the end your ordering minions to do tasks and things, but still have a very hands on approach and avoid the godlike RTS problems.

The other idea was to add a twist to the standard "good" rpg. Say for instance your quest is still to defeat the evil overlord, but unbeknownst to those who have hired you, you intend to supplant them rather than turn control back to the forces of good. Perhaps blackmail for profit? For instance (since its what I''m playing at the moment) you agree to find the cure for the plague decimating Neverwinter, but only if they agree to grant you lordship over the land if successful. You have people resentful of you using their problems to profit like this, but by the same token they need to help you so that the cure can be found.

Any other thoughts on how you can setup an RPG to actually RP an evil character?

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You wond''t need to be at the top of the evil food chain. You could be one of the minions setting up part of the evil plot so your god can take over the world. i.e. after days of fasting and praying you are instructed to get the amulet of power from the stronghold of good.

Quite a few books I have read have both good and evil looking for the same components, evil to use the items to destroy the world and the good guys to keep evil from destroying the world.

You also wouldn''t need to be an overtly evil character. assassins, midnight muggers, etc. i.e. you are an orc that has been magically transformed into a human with the goal to infatuate the stronghold of good to open the city gates, get the amulet of power, or what ever.

Just being evil also doesn’t guarantee that you will have hordes of minions to depend on and even if you do how competent/loyal will they be? The "if you want something done right, do it your self" philosophy. You may spend as much time keeping your hordes in line as following your plans to destroy the world. Spend too much time out in the field and you may end up coming back to a mutiny.

Kars

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I wonder if any one here has ever played the PC Demo "Lamers." It was a game where you have a group of little lamers that in the lemmings fasion are trying to get to a goal. The twist on this game was that the lamers had pretty good AI and did what ever was needed to get to the goal, as teh player, you had at your disposal a set of weapons and you had to kill all of the lamers.

With that, a BE A BAD GUY game would probably best work as a puzzle game, where you play the villian in a fake MMORPG, and its up to you to arrange traps and whordes of monsters to take down the good guys. This would probably be one of those sick-fun games like Grand Theft Auto.

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I''ve had similar ideas burning away at the back of my mind for a little while now.

Every time I read the Evil Overlord List I think how great it would be to have a game that lets you be the bad guy.

Of course, there is always dungeon keeper, but I''m thinking of something more open ended. The actual gameplay of DK struck me as being rather ordinary.

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Yeah, I was thinking about GTA3 too. I don''t really consider your character in GTA to be all that evil though.

I was thinking something similar to GTA where you start out low on the latter of evil, and work your way up in an evil corporation similar to the progression in GTA. Only instead of just regular evil, I want something like super villain evil. It would be kinda fun to have the hero come in and mess up your plan. I just want to be able to chain the hero to a table with a laser, and leave the room before he dies.



500x3

________________________
Grab your sword, and get prepared for the SolidSteel RPG engine, coming soon...(i.e. when it''s done)

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Machiavelli, an old MicroProse game, comes to mind.

Ostensibly you''re in charge of merchant ships and traders. However, along the way you can bribe senators, buy cardinals, and hire assassins, slanderers, and arsonists.

You *appear* to be a good, upstanding citizen -- indeed, if you''re caught attacking other traders in any way, your popularity declines. But the only way to really win is to be evil: gain control of the senate, buy enough cardinals to be able to become pope, and basically decimate the other players. All while keeping a high popularity rating.

The game was rereleased as "Merchant Prince II" a few years back -- same everything, but as a Win9x game instead of DOS. Oh, and they added a few new images. But the engine was identical.

Thief comes to mind as well, but having never played that I can''t speak to it.

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Wow, that machiavelli sounds like a cool game, never played it. I really like that concept of needing to keep a clean public image while being all nefarious in the shadows.

Kind of like being Lex Luthor

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Guest Anonymous Poster
quote:
Wow, that machiavelli sounds like a cool game, never played it.


You can still find the ''updated'' version... just search for "merchant prince 2" on www.froogle.com.

A fun game -- I still have it installed, although after ten plays it gets kind of dull, as you know exactly what you need to do to max out your final score.

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