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Nazrix

"Role-Playing" Effects

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Paul's post about measuring role-playing brings me to another question: Assuming we can accurately measure role-playing in a game, how should this affect the player? Should it make the player stronger somehow? If so, how? "The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom." --William Blake Edited by - Nazrix on 7/8/00 3:11:28 PM
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Personally, I think this is a bad idea.

First of all, it''s EXTREMELY DIFFICULT to "measure" roleplaying, as it is primarily a (for lack of a better word) spiritual activity. I wouldn''t want to be the administrator who had to decide if a player was being an asshole and roleplaying badly, or roleplaying an asshole really well. And I sure as hell wouldn''t leave it up to the computer, which would have a hell of a time parsing emotion.

But it''s worse than just the technical difficulty.

We play roleplaying games to roleplay. It IS the reward. The only people who don''t understand this are people who don''t know how to roleplay. If we start baiting players with rewards because they are doing what they should''ve come to do in the first place, we are making roleplaying seem like a chore.

I might be one of the few, but I might like to play an impovershed, weak, coward. It''d be a great time. But if I were "rewarded" somehow for playing that role, I would not longer be what I was! There are many people out there who have realized that playing a character who is completely weak and pathetic is often way more fun than playing someone invincible. But hack/slashers certainly won''t understand that.

So go ahead, man. If you want to make a "remedial roleplaying workshop" then go right ahead. Maybe the basher''s will learn something. But it won''t encourage roleplaying, which often needs to happen without reward to be any good.

(sorry if this comes across really harsh sounding, but this idea really scared the hell out of me.)
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Well, I agree...but I was thinking more of a single player game...

Sorry I should have specified...

Check out the post I referrenced to see what I''d said on Paul''s post...

"The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom." --William Blake
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I still think that reward systems have no place in RPGs. They create addict players, and alienate those who might have just dabbled. There is a balance here, if we can find it.

The best single player technique I know of is actually kind of common, although never used to it''s full extent. You allow the player to choose or customize her own character, and then create multiple routes to accomplishing the goal. This is often applied to actions such as picking a lock or ashing down a door. Both will play off of the strengths of the character.

But that''s not role-play. What appens when we put this same technique to work in a role-playing scenario? The caracter must examine her strengths and play off of them. You must find out the location of someone or something. Most games make you wander aroung until you find the right NPC/Info-dump, and "speak" to him.
In a situation where the player is rewarded for playing off of the character''s strengthss, this becomes Seduction or intimidation? Or many other techniques.

If the character is a bruiser, it might be best for the player to select/formulate an agressive response, draw a weapon, and raise her voice. If the character goes the route of seduction, she may go with a sexy response, revealing clothing, and a sultry tone of voice. Good luck designing an interface for this, BTW. It can be done, I''m sure, but not easily.

There''s your reward for role-playing. By being in character, you more easily progress through the game. However, there are major flaws in this line of thinking. First, it prescribes to a huge pile of stereotypes, whic quickly send your game on the road to clicheville. Secondly, what happens when your character wants to break that mold; say by making a gentle giant, or a cute little girl with a nasty disposition? One could say that they aren''t playing off of thier strengths, so they wouldn''t realisitically do well in social situations. But now you are punishing the player for playing a more interesting character! (I would play it ayway but that''s just me...)

Once again, everything is just a matter of what you are trying to accomplish.
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*smells the scent of a landfish in the area*

A lot of what you described is in Deus Ex. You should take a look at it to see what I''m talking about. Great fun (although it''s extremely annoying that when you first start it''s nearly impossible to aim well ).

----------------------------------------
Whenever I see an old lady slip and fall on a wet sidewalk, my first instinct is to laugh. But then I think, what if I was an ant and she fell on me? Then it wouldn't seem quite so funny.
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quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster

I still think that reward systems have no place in RPGs. They create addict players, and alienate those who might have just dabbled. There is a balance here, if we can find it.




Well, isn''t having fun also kindof a reward system?
From the way the last few hundred pages of discussion on RPGs have gone, I thought there was agreement that in a "nothing forced" game, such as the multitude of MMORPGs, there''s still not a whole lot of roleplaying going on. You''d argue this is because it''s an reward based system - you get XP, you get better.
However, getting rid of all rewards is not what we are after ( now, here my definition of reward may differ from yours ).
We want to encourage (reward) the kind of play we''d like to see: heavy role-play. We could do this by: making it fun to roleplay. But, that doesn''t seem to work in MMORPGs, people are not roleplaying, though it would obviously be fun. Now of course there are no examples that I''ve personally seen that have NO reward system at all to distract from roleplaying ( perhaps an interesting thing to examine, experiment with ).
Or, we could reward roleplaying, to make even the (initially)dumber players aware that it is rewarding, and can actually be fun too!


Now, a quote I ABSOLUTELY have to pick apart:

quote:

We play roleplaying games to roleplay. It IS the reward. The only people who don''t understand this are people who don''t know how to roleplay.



How can this be an argument AGAINST??? Let me turn your sentence into a logical equivalent:
People who don''t know how to roleplay don''t understand that roleplaying is the reward.
I bet you''re seeing my point already...
Not everyone that picks up your game knows how to roleplay. (Heck, half the people that I''ve GMed for don''t know how to roleplay, let alone the teeming millions you hope will buy your game. ) We have to TEACH them. Gently push them in the direction of roleplay, and make it rewarding to them.



Give me one more medicated peaceful moment.
~ (V)^|) |<é!t|-| ~
ERROR: Your beta-version of Life1.0 has expired. Please upgrade to the full version. All important social functions will be disabled from now on.
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Damn, picking apart the AP posts left me forgetting to answer the main topic

quote:
Original post by Nazrix
Assuming we can accurately measure role-playing in a game, how should this affect the player?
Should it make the player stronger somehow? If so, how?



Not stronger, but it allows the AI to find ways to challenge the player. A good roleplayer will expose weaknesses. ( A thief is not a good fighter, throwing a threat of direct violence his way is going to shake him up, making the game more challenging, and more varied. )

######!!!
I hadn''t thought of that before... I just realised the perfect way to encourage roleplaying . Whatever path the character chooses, avoid all obstacles that would be easy to conquer using his chosen skills! ( you can even do this with stat-based games, BTW. )
Whatever you try to do, it will always remain hard to do whatever you''re trying to do, because the game will actively AVOID the easy option for you.
You''re a fighter? Suddenly everyone runs away, and you have to think about other ways of getting a hold of them/their items.
You''re a magician? Why does everyone suddenly have anti-magic rings, and items protected against magic?

I don''t know, is this as stupidly simple as it sounds, or am I actually onto something?




Give me one more medicated peaceful moment.
~ (V)^|) |<é!t|-| ~
ERROR: Your beta-version of Life1.0 has expired. Please upgrade to the full version. All important social functions will be disabled from now on.
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I don''t think a absolute pefect first time effort a making a true RPG is a good persective to have "yet".

Role playing has to be given support somehow within the frame of the game design for it to work the way we would like.

What i''m talking/thinking about is "promoting" the enjoyment of role playing. Much less than enforcing which i think is a too a overwhelming job not to mention, probably foolish.

Bringing back the fun of playing superman when you were a kid is the goal here i think but obviously in a more mature way to some extent.

Basically as i see it, the disadvantages of the computer meduim is that you can not run around and freelance your acting but we do have the power to making amazing imagery and special fx in a concious level of suspension of disbelief. These ideas are where i would start with a game design of this effort.

I love Game Design and it loves me back.

Our Goal is "Fun"!
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Kieth is right, somewhat. Well, he''s forced me to change my outlook, anyway, which means he''s right...

I do consider reward systems fun, *especially* if they require more than standing a spawning point with a sword. But I have never once considered any computer"RPG" with an advancement system actual roleplaying. Because of the lack of intra-personal contact, it would feel silly to roleplay with your computer alone, even sillier than with a bunch of friends in the basement!

Here''s my point, MMORPGs are to me no more than large scale multiplayer versions of action games. Little to no roleplaying goes on, and the kind that does is circumstantial... I believe that the CURRENT advancement system is the root of that problem. Mainly because it grants certain players more power for certain activities, therefore skewing the entire spectrum of player activity.

There is an example of an online game with no advancement (per se). MUSHes, at least the ones I''ve been on, usually allow players to VOTE for eachother, based on performance in certain events (that often have no combat involved. When combat does occur, it is usually roleplayed through.)

I have NO arguement with allowing the player to change her character. If I had my way, the player coud change everything, from clothing to facial expression to posture to build, tone of voice, social standing, etc. Everything! But is it advancement?

There are certain things IN GAME that will be coveted, if you have a socio-economic structure maintained by players and in cognito GMs alike. Royal positions, ancient treasure, land, women, etc. All the things we used to fight over in reality. We could even start a feud between two families, and never tell them how it started! I question the role of a leveling system, the ability to suddenly gain incredible power. I question the style of game where everything in the game is used to make a character better.

Our current Adventure/hack em ups have found a great balance as adventure/hackemups. But god, they are NOT roleplaying, in any sense of the term. Sure, you''re finding soutions to their problems, but man, that''s tomb raider. In order to encourage players to roleplay, you must first alter the system to stop discouraging roleplaying. That means removing the reward system (and the punishment system) and allowing the players to develop thier own in the game, through guidance. THAT will be roleplaying!
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