things CRPG's don't do...

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screeg
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things CRPG's don't do...

Post by screeg » September 30th, 2006, 9:54 am

life after death
In the game Temple of Apshai (sequel to Gateway to Apshai), if you died in one of the dark dungeons beneath the desert, there was a chance one of three other adventurers (a priest, a dwarf, and a mage) would recover you. One would take all your gold as compensation, one all your gold and magic items, and the last everything. It was a way for a person to keep playing after dying, accepting a penalty and moving on.

In Phantasie II, if your party was wiped out, they would appear before a demonic face who judged each member. You would either be resurrected, returned to the world undead, or destroyed.

These are pretty simple examples from the C-64 days, but occasionally having an option to recover from the ultimate screw-up, death, would be nice.

consequences that preclude reloading
In Phatasie II, the goal was to slay all of the giant monster minions of your arch-enemy, Pluto. They were scattered all over the world and there were about a dozen of them. One day, returning to town battered and mostly dead, hauling a mountain of loot, we were ambushed by Pluto's Giant Constrictor. It was an epic battle and at the end I lost Frodo, my halfling thief. There was no saving during combat, resurrection was much too expensive for a level 4 party, and if I reloaded I would have missed the battle entirely since they were randomly placed, so I had to let him die and hire a new, level 1 thief.

Games should strive to include situations with hard choices like these, where going back for a re-do would cost you something.

non-lethal combat
This one is really underused. It typically only appears once or twice in a highly scripted situation, like in Baldur's Gate 2. In Jagged Alliance 2, there were places where if your team was hopelessly outgunned, the enemy would offer to take you prisoner. After that, these NPC's would vanish from the game. They could be recovered if you broke into the enemy's prison. Another result would see those NPC's get the chance to escape from the prison and join up with their comrades again.

Other possibilities abound: holding NPC's for a ransom or getting into a highly fortified area by being captured, for example.

It would be nice if opponents surrendering were a natural part of their scripts, not every time of course, but maybe 10-20% of the time. You could earn an appilation like "the Merciful" or "the Dreaded" depending on whether you gave your cowardly foes a second chance.

This begs another question: why would a lone goblin or orc attack a party of eight seasoned adventurers on sight? I would think some kind of groveling parley for intelligent, but outnumbered creatures would make sense.

hiring mercenaries- last one, I promise
This has been implemented, but only done well that I've seen in JA2, where almost everyone is a merc. The question about mercs is always: What's to stop me killing him and taking all his stuff?
The answer in JA2 was the medical deposit of several thousand dollars for all but the feeblest of mercs. You also had the option to buy the merc's starting equipment. If you disbanded your merc while he was hurt, you'd also forfeit a percentage of the deposit. Of course, they had to be paid too. In an RPG, presumably you wouldn't be able to hire out any more guys from the guild if you lost a few, or maybe they would send some of the boys out to have a little talk with you about their missing friends.

All of these things would require some basic re-thinking of the old CRPG model, but in the context of classic, turn-based RPG's I think they'd be a worthwhile endeavour.
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BasiliskWrangler
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Post by BasiliskWrangler » September 30th, 2006, 10:25 am

Excellent examples, screeg! Thanks for sharing. [copies and pastes screeg's post into design notes]

As noted, we may not get every great idea squeezed into Book I...some will have to wait for Book II/III.

BTW, I never played Phantasy II but I remember III (The Wrath of Nicodemus) fondly.

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Post by GSV3MiaC » June 14th, 2007, 5:52 pm

Just to add, non-lethal combat figures a lot in the 'Gothic' games, although it isn't very well explained (like you can only achieve it with melee weapons). From both sides - i.e. YOU can non-lethally knock someone down, loot them, and let them live.

In G3 it's amusing (if unsporting) to knock down slaves and steal their hammers, and then watch them wake up and cast the 'summon hammer' spell, which only they seem to know.

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Post by pnutz » July 5th, 2007, 4:11 pm

I'd love to see non-lethal combat, especially in urban areas. Can't I get into a barfight without killing someone? If my character insults someone and that person punches my character, we should be able to settle this without one of us dying. In fact, if I pull out my laser blaster when he punches me, the consequences should be much worse than if I just stood and fought all punchy-like (even if I lose).

Some possible non-death consequences:
* Knocked unconscious, some or all of your money and your held weapon gone.

* Imprisonment. Leaving involves certain skill use, loss of valuables, or a forced quest to leave.

* Beaten to near unconsciousness, opponent stops when he realizes I can't win, since the point is not to kill me. If I continue, he will kill me or cause one of these other consequences.

* Scarring or heavy bruising (not just lowered Charisma, I'm thinking Yojimbo or The Glass Key)

* When fighting territorial animals, I might be mauled or knocked unconscious, but the beast is not interested in eating me, just making me leave and/or teaching me a lesson for intruding on his domain.

* Guilt, like having a friend or ally (not necessarily party member) killed or harmed

* Embarrassment, most easily simulated by a reputation hit, but also party members may leave since they no longer consider you strong enough to follow (Charisma hit?)

* Quests closed off, "Well, the local surgeon says he's reset your jaw 5 times, so I don't think you're the guy we're looking for, sorry."

* ...or new ones opened up! "I'm looking for a sap like you who doesn't know how to size up his quarry. Fell like boxing some hobos, Mr. Falls-a-lot?"

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Post by BasiliskWrangler » July 5th, 2007, 7:36 pm

Great post pnutz, and welcome to The Pub. Book I touches lightly on a few of these and I've copied your suggestions into our "big list of ideas" for future games. :wink:

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Post by pnutz » July 5th, 2007, 7:54 pm

Thanks for the welcome.

Can you tell me which ones are in Book 1, or is it supar sekrit? :)

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Post by BasiliskWrangler » July 6th, 2007, 9:51 am

There are a few scenarios where unconsciousness can occur and the taking of your belongings; and guilt makes it into one part of the storyline (but that's really dependent on the player, not the character).

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