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Wavinator

Roleplaying a nonhuman

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"The slime is warm. The slime is wet. The slime is all embracing... mother... father... God. You have always been alive in the slime, awake and aware, but now it is time to emerge... " Thus begins your roleplaying adventure. With +6 Tentacle Strike Light Phobia Telepathy you journey out into the world and...??? What would it be like to play an nonhuman alien? Or a Beholder? Or a drake? What would you do? What would adventures be like? How could you design a game so that players could be nonhuman? Seems that all of our paradigms for RPGs break down here. You might need a different economy. You might have to handle NPCs differently. Combat might be somwhat different. So might traveling, moving, inventory, and a host of other things!!! The assumptions go out the window! What do you think? Could it be done? Would players go for it? -------------------- Just waiting for the mothership...

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You should be able to roleplay whatever characters are visible in your game. If you have a race in your game, the player should be able to choose to RP them.

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Arnold Rimmer:"It will be happened, it shall be going to be happened. It will be was an event that could will have been taken place in the future. Simple as that. Your bucket''s been kicked baby!"

Kryten:"Sir, you''re a smeeeeeeeeeeeee!"
Rimmer:"A smeeeeeeeeeeeeee?"
Kryten:"Yes, a smeeeeeeeeeeeeeeg heeeeeeeeeeeeeeed"
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That''s the hard question. What is the attitude of an being that has been brought up under a simple theory of manufactured slime. Would they give a damn about strategy? What would their confidence level be? What would they think about critters like themselves? What would their personal goals be? These are questions that i think need to be answered!

I love Game Design and it loves me back.

Our Goal is "Fun"!

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I personally think that I am a bit of a dwarf (looks like I''m not alone... Hi RD! ) So a player should be able to play whatever they think suits their character. Maybe you could quiz them before the game to find the ideal character for them?

I don''t really know, but I would like to see a wider variety... I remember an old game for my XT called Phantasie (and Phantasie III as well... LOL! It actually says that it has "awesome graphics" on the front of it! ) where you had at least 20 different races to choose from. If they could do it then, why can''t they do it now?

PS. I still play Phantasie on occassions

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
-Chris Bennett of Dwarfsoft
"The Philosophers' Stone of Programming Alchemy"
IOL (The list formerly known as NPCAI) - A GDNet production
Our Doc - The future of RPGs
Thanks to all the goblins over in our little Game Design Corner niche
          

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One of the reasons I brought this up is that it''s a brain stretcher in terms of our normal thinking about RPGs. We think "character," "stats/skills", "story," but not "what''s the social model for this race."

I mean, think about Elves. They live for centuries, have different attitudes about harmony, knowledge, and nature, yet are often treated like long greyish humans. Story and setting can help a bit, but have you ever played a game where you actually felt like this is what it might be to be an Elf? Or an alien? Or an Egyptian?

To think about this you''ve got to give some thought to how the society works. Like I''ve said elsewhere, it''s a system, and changing that system can yeild very different gameplay.

--------------------
Just waiting for the mothership...

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quote:
Original post by Paul Cunningham

That''s the hard question. What is the attitude of an being that has been brought up under a simple theory of manufactured slime. Would they give a damn about strategy? What would their confidence level be? What would they think about critters like themselves? What would their personal goals be? These are questions that i think need to be answered!



Let''s say they can survive just as well as you, psychologically as well as physically. Now the question becomes, from an RPG perspective (because that''s all we care about here), what do you do as them. How do you turn the RPG goals that we take for granted into nonhuman goals? And how do you make it interesting?

If an RPG is about buying things, talking to people, exchanging things for quests, exploring, and combat, then how are these different for the nonhuman player. I can see even minor touches that move us in the right direction (away from playing humans in Elf or Dwarf or Centaurian skin).

Take communication: maybe with Telepathy, you can talk with any NPC you''ve ever talked with. Make it an "out of body" exploration type experience for ease of implementation.

Or maybe you could play with the concept of inventory and food: What about a race that needs to digest metal? Heh, so much for those swords...

The point is, I think there''s a lot of interesting opportunity we designers miss when we design our games to be played as if everyone in the game world is human.








--------------------
Just waiting for the mothership...

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quote:
Original post by Wavinator

How could you design a game so that players could be nonhuman? Seems that all of our paradigms for RPGs break down here. You might need a different economy. You might have to handle NPCs differently. Combat might be somwhat different. So might traveling, moving, inventory, and a host of other things!!! The assumptions go out the window!


I think the central problem would be that you couldn''t design a non-human race to lack any human mental abilities, or value things that just don''t appeal to humans. A real wolf, for example, does not understand about stoplights, doorknobs, or probably guns, but if you let a human player drive he/she knows all these things and adjusts their strategy accordingly. A real wolf would be extremely distracted by another if one was in heat. A human-driven wolf would (in most cases ) rather follow around an attractive human.

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I think if you played with the ideas of goals and stayed away from bizarre or purient aspects, this could work. You''d have things that the character would need, things the character could do, and defined responses from the game world.

The potential I see here is that players could have a richer experience; there could be more replayability; players would get to play "monsters," and it would be something different from what they''d be used to.

As for familiar objects, you''d need to embedin them a "can I use" variable. This is done in RPGs all the time. As far as drives, well, taking control away from the player isn''t something I''d tend to do, but if the situation were right and it was kept to a minimum I think it would be tolerated.

But the real question is, would anyone want to play a centaur, or a grue? Or are we a humans only club?

--------------------
Just waiting for the mothership...

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I would like to play one of the Aliens (from the Aliens series) in an RPG. How cool would that be?

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
-Chris Bennett of Dwarfsoft
"The Philosophers' Stone of Programming Alchemy"
IOL (The list formerly known as NPCAI) - A GDNet production
Our Doc - The future of RPGs
Thanks to all the goblins over in our little Game Design Corner niche
          

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I played as a squid/mindflayer on a MUD named Duris. There were alot of things redifined. I ate by putting my tentacles into the victims ears and sucking his brains out etc.

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