Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Slide

Drizzt Do'Urden must die!

Recommended Posts

Something has been bugging me for a while, how do you deal with race & alignment in a RPG? Drow are evil. Everyone knows this, as a child you are taught this. Never trust them, they''ll torture and eat you, every last one of them. These Drow all look alike don''t they? You see a blue skinned elf with white hair and you kill it. Questions come later right? So why does Drizzt, a chaotic good Drow get such a good reception where he goes? Is he famous? Sure maybe elves in the same region know him, some might even recognise him. But why does he get such a good reception wherever in the world he goes? It can''t be fame, the grapevine isn''t that good - people may have heard of Drow and fear them, they won''t recognise Drizzt and welcome *him* though. So how do we deal with race in a multi player RPG? A dark elf isn''t welcome in the elvish towns (ever) but happily associates with high elves controlled by other players. Surely they should kill each other on sight, and how do we allow the Drow to prove his goodness and ally with the high elves at the expense of the ties with his homeland? Baldurs Gate had an interesting character, an evil Drow who had been excommunicated from her civilisation, yet was barely tolerated on the surface.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
One way I think of tackling this (probably isnt ideal from the memory usage sense) is a method I''m planning to use in the RPG I''m writing (Note I''m still working on it to reduce the memory usage aspect).

Each ''race'' (I''m using race here, but it could easily be a faction, sect, etc..) has an opinion of all the other ''races'' in the game [this is predefined before the game starts]. They use this opinion figure to decide how they react to a unit (NPC/Player) of a certain race, i.e. a low opinion and they will give that unit a frosty reception, maybe even trying to kill them.

When they come into contact with a "Hero" [hero in this case is a special NPC good or evil] (e.g. Drizzt):

If they have not met that Heros before then they instinctly react based upon thier races opinion value for Heros race, and they are then given a personal opinion value of that Hero. If the Hero is ''nice'' to them then their opinion of that hero goes up, if the Hero is nasty to them then thier opintion goes down.

If they have met the Hero before they use their personal opinion value to decide what thier reaction should be.


This is a slightly simplified view of what I''m doing, but I hope A) you can understand it and B) it helps

NightWraith

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Have you read the books? Drizzt was KOS wherever he went, and in fact had to wear a magical mask for a while until his deeds outspoke his Drow heritage.

However I agree, Drizzt must die! Can you spell OVEREXPOSED? I don''t think there''s a D&D product out there without him in it.

-B

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I haven''t read the books, and have no intention of doing so

I did want to provoke a debate about attitudes and racism, primarily from my experiences of Everquest. I think they got it right from an NPC perspective, but it was never pushed to hard for a player character.

How can you make a Dark Elf PC have racial pride and hatred? How do you make it possible for a Dark Elf to be a widely known, loved ranger?

It is easier in literature, how can we allow this in a game?

99% of Dark Elves should be proud of their hatred of the light and enjoy this feeling, 1% should be able to change others opionion of them.

It does suck that the NPC''s have strong attitudes, and that the PCs ignore this background for the sake of another +4 longsword. How can we work around this?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Take away the advantage of alliance. Put in incentives for conflict and predatory behavior.

To keep the players in character, two sides should find it costly, dangerous and difficult to work together. If there''s an alliance system, enemies can''t ally. They can''t give items to each other. They can''t heal each other.

Or, let the player do all of this but force the alliances to be stated so the system can recognize it: Then, make the NPCs and towns treat someone who''s been allied with an enemy like a traitor. That way the player has freedom, but still pays a price (this is close to how racism really works).

Players WILL be able to find a way around this, but if you make it highly inconvenient it''s easier to play in character AND you still get the exceptions.

As to this famous enemy character, you could make it so that slowly he''s recognized as a friend, and the penalty for allying or sharing items w/ him (etc.) is lessened.

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sure,

it''s easy to structure the game rules so that someone who has bad faction/ratings/percentage whatever with your race is physically unable to trade or heal.

That''s not the issue, a Drow would heal a High Elf if it was in her interest. She''d kill them if it was in her interest.

How do we convince a Drow player that High Elves are scum without bludgeoning them with artificial game mechanics?

And yes, High Elves are scum

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Most RPG players fall in to two categories: The goal based (powergamer) type, and the role-player type.

If you don''t want to focus on mechanics, you''re going to have to restructure the focus of your game from mechanics to community, or you''re going to have to bar goal based gamers from playing. I don''t think you can have your cake and eat it, too.

The powergamer player doesn''t play to be a part of your world''s fiction. They''re not escapists. They just want to finish the game with the most points. This personality type is going to ally with whomever provides the most advantage, whether that screws up your milieu or not.

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This isn''t really a comment or suggestion more of a memory.

I use to play UO - from beta and for the first 3 years of production. Way back in the early days, I was running around playing with a group of like minded adventurers - Lawful Good would probably be a good description.... at any rate, one of the chaps that I played with had named his character Drizzt Do''Urden. Well on this one night he and I got into some trouble and were running low on just about everything - we had just done battle with some Etins NorthWest of Brittania and as we were making our way back to Brit; Another character name Drizzt Do''Urden chased my friend down and killed him. UO was like that in the early days (this made some people very angry). There was literally nothing I could do to help as I was beat down and had very little HPs left. Instead of one of us dead there would have been two. At any rate, I just thought it was funny that someone would PK another player for having the same name - When in RL if you see someone with the same name as you - and they are a stranger - you marvel at this novelty

Anyway - thanks for stirring some memories.

Game On,

Dave "Dak Lozar" Loeser

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I read the books which introduced Drizzt back in the day...
They are rather well done books, but, of course, Drizzt caught on as this ''cool'' character and now you see him in all kinds of products, as you see drow...
Ah, well, blame it on the capitalist pigs at WotC!!


-Ryan "Run_The_Shadows"
-Run_The_Shadows@excite.com
"Doubt Everything. Find your own light." -Dying words of Gautama

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Wouldn't UO's reputation/PK system work out good for this? The original one, not what they did to placate the whining f@#%ing ppl. UO had only one race, but you could easily integrate others in the system. When a player does a good deed (quest, killing an evil monster/player etc.) his reputation goes up, he is treated better by the 'good' NPCs, worse by the not so good NPCs, and his rep is easily seen by other players. If he does a great number of evil deeds, his name is displayed in red, or some other obvious indication of his rep.

I think the most important thing is to encourage players to take sides. A dark elf would be harder to play initially in the 'good' aligned realms because he would start out with a bad rep with them, though he would have a good rep with those of his kind and those allied with his kind.

Now make it much harder to reverse your reputation than it is to add more to the direction you're already going in. If a dark elf player kills good aligned players he gains a lot of rep with his kind and loses a great deal with the 'good' races. But if he wants to reverse his rep, making him liked with the 'good' races and disliked by the bad, he has to do a substantially large number of 'good' things to get in the good graces of his former enemies. First, however, and much more quickly than he would gain rep with his former enemies, he would lose rep with his former allies. Making him for a time an outcast of both societies and fair game for one and all.
This would encourage players who started evil chars to stay with that alignment, being simply much easier to stay alive with allies to protect you, but allow those that REALLY wanted to change their alignment and be the 'one' exception to their race. Such a thing would distinguish them for being good enough to survive that long at the very least

Coincidentally this is very much how the original Drizzt stories went. I highly recommend the Dark Elf Trilogy, and the Icewind Dale Trilogy. Those that came later were not nearly as good.

____________________________________________________

"Two wrongs do not make a right; it usually takes 3 or more."




Edited by - Ratheous on January 31, 2001 1:02:52 PM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If this subject refers to how multiplayer games such as EVERQUEST handle player interactions between opposite races, you have to understand the situations in which this happens.

There are 2 things to consider:
a) if its multiplayer and freedom reigns, then you have very little choice but to let players act like they want to act. Otherwise you must punish the player for not acting the way he should(if race is enforced). The computer does not have the intelligence to distinguish when the player REALLY should have acted a certain way..so scrap. Just hope the player decides to play his race the way its designed.

b) there are 2 types of servers in EQ, servers where part it is the case that players cant attack other players...so this thread has no point since you cannot act the way your suppose to!
OR... player VS player servers where everyone knows that evil characters will attack good and vice versa.
But yet, there is no real way to force a player to act if he sees a friend using an evil class when he is a good race! What you gonna do, take away a level from the character?


aka John M.
Never give up. Never surrender!


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just one small comment:
I find it highly amusing that the following broad line has been drawn:
Good attacks evil, evil attacks good.

That''s a huge error in the basic assumption.
Generally speaking, good attacks no-one unless they have to, and evil attacks everyone if it''s in their personal best interest or to their own amusement. This is why most "good" characters are at a disadvantage in a multiplayer game. They will tend to wait until something bad happens before they really get stuck into a fight, and by that time they are usually halfway to heaven.

Sorry to drag this over to murder-based experience again, but here it goes:
Murder-based experience rewards characters that aren''t afraid of getting their hands dirty. It makes killing the only game-mechanic for personal gain. Good characters do not fit into this mechanic, and are therefore disadvantaged because they do not have a wide range of targets to choose from. Neutral characters have a better advantage, because they can take someone down if it suits them. Evil characters have a ball because what they like best is what''s rewarded most. (this is without anti-PK measures of course).

Unless there is a system to reward good characters for non-violent behaviour in the same way as neutral and evil characters are rewarded for killing, good will always be game-disadvantaged.

People might not remember what you said, or what you did, but they will always remember how you made them feel.
Mad Keith the V.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites