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Paul Cunningham

Creating a Role

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From the players persective, how would one create a role for their character. As i see it, the first step of bringing back role-playing is to emphasize the role you wish to play. Then you (as the player) would understand your role. The player has to enjoy their role as well, so the creation of a role should be inspiring and create a sence of ownership over the characters role for the player to [want to] adhere to it one way or another. The player should also feel a sence of loss when they realise that they are drifting away from the role of their character. This would have to be done initailly at the start of the game, yes? Even when we were kids and we role played batman or superman out the back yard we only played these roles because they had some sort of "Special Ability" so were we really playing a role or just giving ourselves some sort of Power Trip? I love Game Design and it loves me back. Our Goal is "Fun"!

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In a way, I feel like you are talking about certain role-restrictions.
I''m not sure if you''re familiar with ADnD, but there, the Paladin character class ( "role" if you will, though I don''t think it quite defines a role yet ) is made so that if you stray from the path of goodness, you lose all your special abilities and become "just another fighter character".

Doing things like that could force the player to "stay in character". But I don''t like forcing .

Anyway, that''s just one idea, I''ll post more if I have anything that I think would be better;



Give me one more medicated peaceful moment.
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It seems to me that you are asking something about how to we introduce the player to the role? And secondly - how do we maintain this role throughout the game?

Unfortunately - more often than not, the player doesn''t even choose the role. This is inherent in the linearity of the game - this is why we go to painful lengths to make the protagonists in games "cool" - and generally actually have the main character in the game a protagonist and follow a righteous, sorrowful, bloody and rewarding path.

If the player were to choose the role, then that means the player''s choices and actions would have humungous changes and consequences, as Warren Spector tries (wishes) to achieve in his games. It is quite hard to drift from a role, and actually end up with a connsequence, if this were the case and consequences to actions occured, then I think we could have a lot more role-playing and role-sticking in games as we - the player - would see things happening to the character, and the environment the charcter is in, if the player guided the character away from it''s role.

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Actually, the trickiest part of this is probably also the solution. In a good plot to any story, there is always foreshadowing and othersuch things... meaning the character is inextricably linked to the plot. So if you offer a player a "Character creation/selection" phase, it should be at this point where the first decisions are made in the plot tree. Choosing certain qualities to play in your character will hence affect the initial direction of the game.

This means that if the player starts getting "out of character", things would stop making sense in a linear game... This is where we start to see the CONSEQUENCES of a personality change. NPCs who knew the character BEFORE might remark on the change, and even develop contempt for the character, etc. You would need an entire system for determining what kind of behavior dictates what in the game, exactly when a change has taken place, what the reacttions to that are. It''s not enough to merely account for NPC reactions to a certain personality type, you must also create a different reaction for one they knew before that has changed now.

I''m dubious. I don''t know if it''d be worth the work...

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I think the "character" is tied in with a plot but "role "(personality, quirks etc) never are and never really need to be.

There''s a fine difference between character and role :-) and i think we should try to keep this in mind :-)

Taking Fallout, they went too far with the role-trait-powerups. The problem with that game was that the personality traits and quirks weren''t individual enough. But i think they were on the right track to what i''m talking about. Every character can have a new/different personality without effecting the game in a manner that disorts the storyboard in anyway.

I mean, isn''t personality a role anyhow? I''m just trying to get this right so i''m on the same wave length. Or is a role some sort of middle ground between personality and character?

I love Game Design and it loves me back.

Our Goal is "Fun"!

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quote:
Original post by Paul Cunningham

From the players persective, how would one create a role for their character. As i see it, the first step of bringing back role-playing is to emphasize the role you wish to play. Then you (as the player) would understand your role.

The player has to enjoy their role as well, so the creation of a role should be inspiring and create a sence of ownership over the characters role for the player to [want to] adhere to it one way or another.

The player should also feel a sence of loss when they realise that they are drifting away from the role of their character. This would have to be done initailly at the start of the game, yes?

Even when we were kids and we role played batman or superman out the back yard we only played these roles because they had some sort of "Special Ability" so were we really playing a role or just giving ourselves some sort of Power Trip?

I love Game Design and it loves me back.

Our Goal is "Fun"!


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quote:
Original post by Paul Cunningham

From the players persective, how would one create a role for their character.



One question is, how much of the role is in the game and how much is in the player''s imagination? I like the device where an NPC makes a statement or takes an action and you get three or four choices of how to react. This of course has the downside that there occasionally will be no answer that''s right for you, but there''s downsides to everything. What''s really cool but no one seems to do is to make one of the plot branches depend on a choice the player makes regarding an NPC. E.g. "Do you want to attempt a romance with player X, yes/no?" "Do you want to kill the badguy or spare his life if he''s actually going to go on being a badguy?"

And this type of question, letting the player chose how the character reacts to things, even if the answers don''t affect the plot tree much, is still very satisfying to answer if you''re a player who really wants to roleplay.

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It''s not really a question how much of the role is in the players imagaination. It''s more, how much inspiration does the player recieve from role playing.

roleplaying must = fun. and "fun is like food"- You consume what tastes good. So "role-playing" in-game must taste really good. I know how really simplton this sound but so many people don''t seem to be grapling this too well :-)

The more role-play input to an CRPG then the more progress is achieved when trying to make an CRPG.Let''s not worry too much about the players using their imagination for now :-) as i''m sure that they would regardless!

But sunshadow, i do agree with most of your post!



I love Game Design and it loves me back.

Our Goal is "Fun"!

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What you''re really talking about is consequences for actions other than swinging your sword around, isn''t it?

Because in the current crop of CRPGs, that seems to be the only thing that really makes a difference.


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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This all kind of goes back to my ranting about non-linearity in the Interactive vs. Linearity post. The way I see it, if you allow the player to interact with the plot and change it around based on the player's actions, then role-playing can become a part of the game.

The important point is that the consequences for the player's actions should for the most part be straight-forward. So, that if the player makes a morally correct choice then most of the time a morally correct consquence should happen that seems logical.

If you give the player some freedom, then role-playing can become a part of it easily.

Also, as opposed to giving a list as sunandshadow mentioned, I like the idea of certain commands being present throughout. Then, certain commands would cause different effects in different situations. That way the player feels like he/she is in control of the situation, and there's not some list of choices constricting him/her.


Keith, how long have you been a moderator? I just noticed it.

"The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom." --William Blake

"The road of excess also just ends up making me tired because I'm too lazy" --Nazrix

Edited by - Nazrix on July 18, 2000 4:05:29 PM

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