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runemaster

Oh my GOD

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You don''t need gods or religion for good and evil to exist in your worlds. Good and evil are moral/ethical terms, not religious terms. A perfect example of this is the entire Ultima series. It focused on moral issues. Religion took a back burner in those games.

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Hmm, what is Gaia ? hard to explain.I''ll try and put up the part of my design doc that explains is as soon as possible (a few days).As for the fact that morality needs to be enforced by a higher being, I disagree.I do not need God for my morality.There a good things and bad things, and a million shades inbetween.But God does not fit in - not for me.I have no problem with what other people believe, as long as I consider it "good" - as long as it does not hurt people.I''ll post more later - this is very interesting, but I have to go to the toilet .

Runemaster
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Good or Evil ? Seems to me this has already been discussed.
Seriously, do you remember Guy du Bas-Tyra in the Raymond Feist books ? He was considered the bad guy by everyone, but when he explained his reasons, you see that it was his reasoning that was faulty, not his moral sense.
Moreover, the "evil" god (Nalar? I dont remember the name) is not really evil, he''s mad.
So, in my mind you can make as many gods as you want, but saying there are good or evil is a little oversimplistic (does this word really exist? its ugly!)

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There is a problem with the God(s) issue, in that, if the player is a follower of it (one of them?), and s/he fails, why was the God not there to help? If a God is truly powerful, why not stop this from happening? Can a God''s power be limited? I believe in God and Jesus, and my belief is that He is all-powerfull. He cannot be limited in any way. If the hero of the game is his folower, why not fix everything in the hero''s way?

It''s a real tough call. The player won''t believe in this entity/force without the power to back it up, but too much power, and there is no game.

-------------------------------------------
"What's the story with your face, son?!?"

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Well, what I meant with the full of sh*t comment is that the way Gods function in most RPGs suck because
A) They are not well thought-out.The God of Justice/Sun, for example.First of all, it''s cliche.But if it was well-done OK.But the only thing there is is something like going to his temple and getting a temporary bonus of +1 courage.Wouldn''t it be better if you had to *act* courageously and then be rewarded ?
B) The Gods don''t do anything.They''re just there cause the designers had no better ideas or
C) Needed a bad guy so they could say "BG (bad god) made the goblins , kill ''em, then kill him" WHY is that God bad ? Why are all goblins bad ? I dislike the idea of a god who is just bad because the designer needed a bad guy to blame everything on.

Note again that I''m not talking about CHRISTIAN games or games about other religions - I''m talking about fantastic religions in RPGs and how they should be designed to be more fun.

Runemaster
Join the Game Developers RuneRing !

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Heh, okay, this is totally off the cuff...

No religion, despite what it's adherents may passionately believe, has a monopoly on the truth. Believers thinking they're right and everyone else is wrong are like the young soldiers who think they won't be hit once the shooting starts. How do you know? There're probably lots of dead soldiers who thought the same way...

Now despite claims to the contrary, no religion has been able to reliably demonstrate any transcendent phenomena (rising from the dead, walking through walls, perfectly accurate prophecy). Since most fantasy RPGs use this kind of stuff like we use microwaves anyway, this has interesting implications for the RPG: It means that transcendent effects, if any, aren't located in the physical realm.

If I wanted to reflect reality, here are 2 ways I'd do it for an RPG: 1) The believer network, and 2) psychosoma

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The Believer Network
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People who believe in a certain way form networks that support other believers. You could either communicate your beliefs thru canned dialog or actions. After a time, your character would have a "belief" other NPCs in a belief networks could respond to. This could mean free healing, or NPCs that protect you from the law because of some higher purpose. This is sort of how the Mason's are supposed to operate, and it forms a second set of laws and rules for the player to be aware of and benefit from.

This also becomes a good basis for conflict, as people
discriminate, subjugate, and even kill one another over how they should believe. A waste of energy, but good drama nonetheless...

So this could mean the player couldn't talk to or trade with certain groups without some kind of social penalty. Or they could get a bonus from the network for mistreating a "heathen." Certain characters could be executed for their beliefs, thus becoming martyrs and unifying the believer network.


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Psychosoma
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Basically, this is taking advantage of the placebo effect. People sometimes experience effects like increased strength or medicinal responses based solely on what they believe. I can see this working really well for NPCs. Tie it to a hidden variable, and have NPCs somehow express it by what they say, where they go, and what they do. Devout NPCs might get some bonus based on fighting certain enemies. Or they might heal better in a certain temple. This would be coded not for all NPCs, but for only those who believe strongly.


Basically, if you want miracles and gods to make a real presence in a fantasy game, you'd have to tone down or seriously limit magic. This would work fine in a science fiction RPG like the one I'm working on, but for medieval I don't think it'd work at all.

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

Edited by - Wavinator on September 1, 2000 6:02:25 PM

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Damn, Secret of Mana was one of the best games I ever played, along with Zelda, and some others. Even with todays graphics that game kicks ass. Anyway, I think you should make your RPG hero save the God of Caffiene(we all know we worship caffiene anway). Along the wat you might have to help out the God of Pizza r the God of Chinese food...

-----------------------------

A wise man once said "A person with half a clue is more dangerous than a person with or without one."

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I am trying to create both a history of a world with respect to magic, and the different veiws about deities and gods that different facts/religions/orders have. It is quite a task to balance all so that it is sensible and has a deeper meaning. I am basing most of my work on that of Raymond E. Feist. I was discussion religion and veiws with one of my friends today (one of those great ''big questions'' philisophical discussions that I love to have) and we came up with the reason why we like the system Feist has in place.

Feists system: Basically, the universe is magic, magic is all, the gods are magic, the universe is the gods. Yet, as a twist, there is no magic and there are no gods. Just peoples oppinions on what the substance (refered to as ''stuff'' by Nakor) is called, and how it is used. Theoretically, anyone can use the ''stuff'', but only those with disciplined minds understand that (and therefore utilise it). Through prayer they make contact with this stuff, and it empowers them to do certain tasks.

Basically, you can think of the ''stuff'' being invisible and located EVERYWHERE in the universe. There are more dense pockets of this ''stuff'' in regions (closely linked with planets) and it links itself to living/organic material as well as rock and other apparently dead objects. Through prayer, you can access these vast pockets. There are pockets of ''stuff'' that appear to do specific tasks when you invoke them, and so this is where the idea of gods comes...

I hope that made sense. If not, I may try again later. I think everything should be based on preseptions in the game... Perceptions are all that there is to religion on this world IMO (Not trying to start a flame war )

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
-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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Guest Anonymous Poster
This thread reminds me more of the book Small Gods by Pratchett. The one where the god of thunder has something like 37 different hammers, each for a different batch of worshippers. And the goddess of love has huge collection of wigs.

Pokes fun at the silliness in the fantasy mythologies.

FWIW, I think the religions make great plot elements, but it''s tough to get the game balance right. They''re either trivial or they prop up the major storylines - rarely anything in between.

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I am going to make prayer and worship a major part of my game. You just can''t do anything without a god. Unless you really have a strong affinity with magic, in which case you can take the place of one of the dormant gods (by chanelling your power into them)

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
-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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