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Name three things you don't want in a new D&D game

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  • ButtercheeseButtercheese Member Posts: 3,769
    1. Vampire-Drow
    2. Landsharks
    3. Mulhorand

    CrevsDaak
  • PohjanmaalainenPohjanmaalainen Member Posts: 35
    Fardragon said:

    If there isn't something significant that needs saving, what is the motivation for a good aligned non-mercenary character to get involved at all?

    If it wasn't for the Ring, Frodo would have been quite happy to spend his whole life in the Shire smoking and getting fat.

    There is always room for personal motivations. Only thing that you save is yourself perhaps. Maybe you don't even save anyone but character motivations are purely his or her thirst for adventure or somesuch. I admit that pure wanderlust limits the writing quite bad. Also, when I said sizable part I meant something iconic, big, impressive part of world. If setting is the Waterdeep, then don't make Waterdeep itself threatened but rather just some smaller part that your character can have interest in but could be wiped out of the face of the earth without changing the world at large.

    Problem mustn't be the existence but it can be existential.
    Southpaw said:

    1) no social-justice first-world-problems bullshit. People on the internets are already twitchy, spoiled and entitled brats.

    I agree with you to a point. Transferring our own morality to times past or even to other universes or multiverses distorts the reality of that universe. Very few were the people who complained about the slavery as an institution in antiquity and thus if fiction set in antiquity has a major theme of emancipation the setting suffers. In same manner fantasy setting should have fantasy problems for fantasy people to fantastically tackle with...and that sounds fabulous too.

    One thing that SoA didn't have and that somewhat bothers me is a (side)plot concerning the deep distrust of mages in Amn. Game could have explored how the existence of magic affects the political system and how they (magic and society) interact with each other with a tale full of lies, plots, betrayals, fights against magic users, fights against anti magical troops (wizard slayers and inquisitors) and meaningful choices that have a great amount of greyness in them.

    Actually, to combine this with my answer to @Fardragon a plot could be made of main character somehow sucked into such an conflict by some connection of his be it blood, promise made long ago, taking a mercenary job in the conflict or just someone in conflict mentioning him to someone else and everyone starting to think him as an important person. There is a potential to a story that affects many lives and fates there, but due to the nature of the both magic and society the grand interaction of magic and society doesn't end, it's problems aren't solved for long and so forth. Like I said: something existential.

    semiticgoddesslolien
  • kanisathakanisatha Member Posts: 1,192
    I agree with a lot of what the OP said. NwN sucked. The vast majority of the fan-created modules for NwN also sucked. Moddability is highly overrated.

    On the OP's second point, I'm fine with the game allowing players to opt for an evil path so long as they suck up the game-world consequences of doing evil things. It is indisputable that in the Forgotten Realms world being evil is not accepted by the vast majority of that world's cities and kingdoms, and so there ought to be very negative consequences to someone being evil - such as being constantly hounded by the law and by bounty hunters including those who are way more powerful than the PC and their group such that they get captured/killed for their actions soon enough. Even basic things such as going into most taverns or inns or shops should not be possible for a PC who has an evil reputation, and they would have to be limited to that rare, secretive, seedy joint that caters only to evil types.

    The alternative of course would be to create a game-world in which being evil was accepted by people as being "normal" (like what Obsidian is doing with their new game Tyranny, which I wouldn't play even with a gun held to my head). But that would not be a Forgotten Realms game.

    So I guess what I don't want to see is a D&D Forgotten Realms game that is not true to the spirit of D&D and the Forgotten Realms.

  • FardragonFardragon Member Posts: 4,511
    edited June 2016

    Fardragon said:

    If there isn't something significant that needs saving, what is the motivation for a good aligned non-mercenary character to get involved at all?

    If it wasn't for the Ring, Frodo would have been quite happy to spend his whole life in the Shire smoking and getting fat.

    There is always room for personal motivations. Only thing that you save is yourself perhaps. Maybe you don't even save anyone but character motivations are purely his or her thirst for adventure or somesuch. I admit that pure wanderlust limits the writing quite bad.

    Simply saving yourself is a selfish (I.e. non-good) motivation, and "wanderlust" limits your character options. What if I want to play a character who doesn't have any wanderlust?

    This is why I was never able to get into Elder Scrolls games. I felt that if the world doesn't need saving, why bother? There are other universes that need me far more.

    The way D&D is set up, you are expected to move on from countering small scale threats at low levels, to escalating threats as you level up. If the computer game was just a single adventure for low level characters, then saving a village would be fine. But most computer games are full campaigns, often going right up to the PnP level cap. If you are a level 20 adventurer, i.e. one of the world's greatest heroes, that dictates that the threat must be of equivalent magnitude.

    Transferring our own morality to times past or even to other universes or multiverses distorts the reality of that universe.

    The Forgotten Realms isn't the past, and it was created by people whose views could broadly be described as "liberal". So it is expecting non-liberal views to be expressed in a fundamentally liberal universe that would be "transferring our own morality distorting the reality of that universe".

  • NimranNimran Member Posts: 4,848
    1. Ferrets having groundhog avatars! (most important)
    2. Ferrets not being in the game!
    3. Ferrets being brutally murdered or tortured in-game!

    Brought to you by the FLETF (Ferret Lord for the Ethical Treatment of Ferrets)

    bruslolienmf2112CrevsDaak
  • FardragonFardragon Member Posts: 4,511
    What about groundhogs having ferret avatars?

    1. North American fauna. Ditch the mooses and groundhogs (whatever they are supposed to be).

    lolienButtercheeseNimranCrevsDaak
  • PohjanmaalainenPohjanmaalainen Member Posts: 35
    Sorry about the wall of text @Fardragon but here is my answer

    Fardragon said:

    Simply saving yourself is a selfish (I.e. non-good) motivation, and "wanderlust" limits your character options. What if I want to play a character who doesn't have any wanderlust?

    I brought those up as an examples of motivations that are not about saving the world or something. What I don't like in saving the world plots is not that they are clichés for clichés exist for a reason, they are liked and thus they are used. Saving the existence, however, has a little meaning if you don't have interest in that existence. In games you don't die yourself if the game world is destroyed and you can just restart or load if that happens. To make player care for the world you have to make it sympathetic some way and that usually means populating it with likable characters for the player to care of. But if it is the characters that the player cares for, then why threaten the whole world when you can just put Mazzy (I always liked Mazzy so I use her as a stand in for likable lads and lasses) in harms way? If conflict is between Mazzy and the villain, then writing can explore much more humane and personal themes and situations with corresponding choices rather than coming up with a reason why the villain wants to do something world shattering (literally) and why player is the only one being able to stop him or her and why no one else seems to care or to do something. Witcher (3) does this quite well, now that I think of it.

    And in game mechanics: world threatening threats usually are quite high level and thus require you to be at a high level to beat them. I myself find the high level combat in D&D and many other systems quite boring because you have your whole trick bag in use at once instead of more . If the greatest threat of the game has just learned his or her first 9th level spell then almost whole game before it could of that jolly mid level playing.

    So it is pretty much my personal preference in both storytelling and gameplay that makes me dislike saving the existence but all these wishes of what people want or do not want are based on personal opinions. I just hope I have rationalized my one so that people might understand why I want it even if they disagree.

    The way D&D is set up, you are expected to move on from countering small scale threats at low levels, to escalating threats as you level up. If the computer game was just a single adventure for low level characters, then saving a village would be fine. But most computer games are full campaigns, often going right up to the PnP level cap. If you are a level 20 adventurer, i.e. one of the world's greatest heroes, that dictates that the threat must be of equivalent magnitude.


    It is one, usual way of doing an adventure and I don't even preach against it. I just want the game to be set in the middle part of that threat scaling, long before the multiverse itself comes under risk. Also I'd like to note that drawing how things should be done from how they are usually done is quite problematic. Of course that is your opinion but I think we are here discussing problems in my opinion how the game should be done, not comparing my opinion to yours. Also, if level 20 heroes save the world from villains of equal magnitude only because the villains threatens the world and only they can, could it not just be done so that heroes of level 20 stop the villain of the equal magnitude from stealing candy because villain threatens the well being of a child and only they can stop him. Threat to the world is not needed for that equation to work, any villainy will do long as heroes know about it and have a reason to care. World destroying of course is a good reason to care but it is a easy way out and far too often taken for my likings

    The Forgotten Realms isn't the past, and it was created by people whose views could broadly be described as "liberal". So it is expecting non-liberal views to be expressed in a fundamentally liberal universe that would be "transferring our own morality distorting the reality of that universe".


    I said past and different existence. Forgotten realms exist in medieval like period nonetheless so we should expect to see medieval like thinking there, because the world around us affects our thinking. There are no liberal representative democracies in the realms. They are full of oligarchies, secret oligarchies, kingdoms, mage run oligarchies, trader run oligarchies and different forms of despotisms and a very few people in the world seem to question this state of affairs so we can rule at least the usual equality and shared freedom out of the list liberal things that authors of course poured into the world because fiction is just their way of expressing their philosophies. Actually many real life philosophies can't e fitted into the realms because the metaphysical forces such as good and evil exist and are known of. Philosophies of Toril should logically be quite radically different from ours. What good is equality and freedom if you can be ruled over by someone who actually speaks to the very concept or manifestation of fair rule himself ie. the god of who has goodness, justice and/or effective ruling in his portofolio?

    In short: expecting authors own views to be the views of the fiction he creates is a fallacy like taking the narrator for the author (I see this terrible often when they interview the writers in TV). Even actually the very nature of the universe in the realms means that most of our thinkings would not work there at all.

    lolien
  • FardragonFardragon Member Posts: 4,511
    edited June 2016
    The Forgotten Realms is nothing like the past, especially not the medieval period. Learn some history.

    A couple of examples of in-built liberal bias that has been part of the FR from the start:

    Slave owning cultures (Thay, Drow etc) are always considered evil.

    Male and female humans have the same stats and same opportunities. Females (or males) are not considered property in non-evil cultures.

    Many different religions and belief systems broadly tolerated.

    There are many more.

    Post edited by Fardragon on
    Ayiekie
  • FardragonFardragon Member Posts: 4,511

    The entire FR is literally a romanticized version of the medieval and antique world with magic and some modern values slapped on top.

    Somebody please explain to me how this is not blatantly obvious.

    * polythesim
    * sewers
    * railway tracks
    * serfdom rare
    * gender equality
    * free trade
    * grand pianos
    * social mobility

  • magisenseimagisensei Member Posts: 316
    edited June 2016
    While I am not sure David Gaider will actually read this thread, it is good to provide some constructive criticism/ideas about things that players really don't like in the game and perhaps this will make the game more enjoyable for everyone.

    Yes, I imagine we all have our own quirks and follies when it comes to things we really don't like about specific games and perhaps having this thread we can eliminate some of the more annoying things that annoy the majority of us and make game play that much better.

    The OP posted some interesting ideas which I disagree with somewhat but rather then refute why I disagree with them I will list what I don't really want to see.


    1) quests that don't make any sense or provide any real character growth --e.g. Hexxat's quest from the start was rather poorly written; her motivation was flimsy and there was no real point to the entire quest line. Really the last mission you go on gets you turned into a vampire and imprisoned for 200 years and you still work for the person who's job got you turned into a blood sucking undead.

    2) limit the uber weapons or keep them closer to pnp - the Staff of the Magi is of course one of the most overpowered items in the BG series and breaks the game - nothing like that. Yes, I like powerful items but nothing game breaking.

    3) broken stories/quests - if you have the content made already - use it - yes I understand that there is time constraint and cost and all that - but if you have to cut parts out at least make the remaining parts that you keep in flow with the story otherwise keep it out and add it later. If you don't have the time during the initial release to add it then you can always make it a DLC or patch or something to add to the story later.

    4) I personally really dislike how the HLA were implemented - not a whole lot of thought really went into it. UAI was totally broken as where the summons. Game balance is always important - so keep it balanced and logical.

    5) Made up rules that don't resemble anything like the rule books assuming you are using Ad&d rules. Yes bend some rules for the game but don't discard them entirely.

    6) Failure for pickpocketing and stealing - is way too harsh and is a game breaker - its just a little petty larceny and should not result in everyone having to die if you fail. Always hated that about BG is the massive disproportional reaction to stealing.

    7) Things that should be impossible for anyone but a god. My example - Ust Natha the drow city or any of the cities in the Underdark (ie mindflayer or beholder city) - basically you can destroy it as a player if you want - this would never happen in the pnp or even the novels - any city should have enough power to repulse a group of adventurers (unless they are all as powerful as Elminster). Even a goblin city should have enough numbers to overwhelm anyone if you think about it logically - there is no way a newbie adventuring party could take out a city maybe a tiny village/enclave but certainly not a city full of them.

    8) Illogical weapon use - katana are generally two-handed weapons; you should not be able to dual wield flails (with anything or even itself) unless you want to brain yourself.

    9) No uber spells - e.g. time stop + improved alacrity - is just way too powerful

    10) I don't want to see dumb monsters - even goblins should have enough sense to call for help or run away, or leave any area filled with deadly gas etc.

    11) Crafting - god I really don't like this - especially the crafting of magical weapons. Would someone tell the developers its been overdone - get over it already - I don't want to pick up pieces of foliage and boil my own potions when I can buy them. Or pick up pieces of this and that to make traps or anything. The annoyance of an inventory full of pieces of this and that.



    VbibbiSouthpawlolien
  • brusbrus Member Posts: 944
    edited June 2016
    Fardragon said:

    * polythesim
    * sewers
    * railway tracks
    * serfdom rare
    * gender equality
    * free trade
    * grand pianos
    * social mobility


    *bathtub in the sewers
    *gazebos

    Buttercheese
  • ButtercheeseButtercheese Member Posts: 3,769
    PS: One could argue that Gender Equality is still not a thing, but this is hardly the time or place to discuss this.

    [Deleted User]lolienMagpieRandoms
  • KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 5,876
    Slavery in itself is not considered evil within the Forgotten Realms per say. Both Chessenta and Mulhorand deal legally in slaves and serfs alike. Yet aren't considered "evil countries", unlike Thay and the various Underdark states. It boils down on what treatment said people receive, how much they are able to own and whenever they can start families out of their own choice.

    I, however, agree that the Forgotten Realms cannot be categored as a "medieval setting".
    The differences between the various cultures are interwoven too tightly for making such a clear cut judgement: Toril effectively is a wild mix of the Goths, the Huns, ancient Egypt, Atlantis, the Aztec, the spanish colonization of the Americas, the antique Romans, Mesopotamia, the Jin dynasty, the Sengoku era, and space faring races with spelljammer ships. On top of what there are countless Planewalkers who enjoy bringing their stuff over with them. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

    mf2112lolien
  • ButtercheeseButtercheese Member Posts: 3,769
    The Sengoku Era took place in the 15/16th century. The second Jin dynasty (if that's the one you are refering to) was in the 12/13th century. Both medieval times.
    And you seem to miss the part where I included ancient times (that would include the Roman Empire, ancient greek, egypt and china, celtic and germanic Europe, etc.)

    I am really not following your arguments, guys.

  • mf2112mf2112 Member, Moderator Posts: 1,919

    The Sengoku Era took place in the 15/16th century. The second Jin dynasty (if that's the one you are refering to) was in the 12/13th century. Both medieval times.
    And you seem to miss the part where I included ancient times (that would include the Roman Empire, ancient greek, egypt and china, celtic and germanic Europe, etc.)

    I am really not following your arguments, guys.

    All of those things were not together in one place at one time maybe?

  • ButtercheeseButtercheese Member Posts: 3,769
    Well, yeah. But that's besides the point o.o
    The point is, that these are all things FR was based on, among others.
    Of course they took artistic liberties. Otherwise it could be hardly be called it's own thing.

    Well, that and FR (and D&D in general) more and more changed over the decades. I mean, D&D started out as literally a LotR rip-off/ loose P&P adaptation. Which in turn is Norse mytholgy fanfiction.

  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,198
    I have no problems with worlds following their own rules, as long as they are self-consistent and at least somewhat plausible. They don't have to follow real-world examples too closely, in fact it would not make sense if they did because many of the preconditions are different. For example, in FR deities are very much real. Like, REAL real. Having gods be an actual factual thing puts a whole new perspective on society, and can be the basis for very fundamental parameters that in similar form could never have existed in our "real" world. The whole gender thing, for example, can easily be derived from this - just take Drow society as an example, and the way gender works there and why (for the glory of Lolth, of course).

    That being said, I do also think that things often go too far and stray from a believable, plausible, self-consistent path. To a degree that can be okay when it comes to a singular title - the odd meme or in-joke can be a fun thing (and, of course, can also be overdone very easily). However in terms of general, franchise-like world building, I think it's very difficult to stay true to the original parameters without entering into preachy, tropey, stereotype territory. Often that's not even accidental, just misguided; the audience is assumed to not like anything that doesn't look like everything else they know, and so real risks are rarely taken. Just look at how baffled people are at ASOIAF (and the GoT series) for its supposedly novel approach of actually killing off beloved characters. Well, that's how things go sometimes when the world is supposed to feel "real", and I personally think that good writing requires bold choices, and the occasional sacrifice. That doesn't mean gritty for grit's sake, or being intentionally maniacal - nor that heroes never die, or that evil is punished and good prevails. Tropes only go so far before they water down any story into an assemblage of interesting details grafted onto a generic plot. It should be the mission, if not the calling, of anyone making a new game to try and deliver an original, inspired work that expands our horizons rather than merely painting over our existing ones.

    Buttercheese
  • ButtercheeseButtercheese Member Posts: 3,769
    Oh damn, I didn't even think about the part about the real gods.

    Best example, Mulhorand. Mulhorand isn't just based on ancient Egypt. It literally is an ancient Egyption colony. A portal from the real world opened way back when and people migrated to Faerun.
    Which, btw is why I hate Mulhorand so much. They literally didn't even try to be original.

    Well, and aside from Horus and Co. there would also be the norse god Tyr (who is literally the same guy, right up to the missing hand), Talos is named after a figure from Greek mythology. Bhaal is pretty self-explanatory, I think. Like literally the entire concept of the nine hells, even up to the devil/demon names.
    Oh yeah, the entire concept of heaven and hell. Also angels. All the monsters and creatures from mythology and folklore? And so and so forth.

    brus
  • KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 5,876
    edited June 2016

    Best example, Mulhorand. Mulhorand isn't just based on ancient Egypt. It literally is an ancient Egyption colony. A portal from the real world opened way back when and people migrated to Faerun.
    Which, btw is why I hate Mulhorand so much. They literally didn't even try to be original.

    Same with Unther consisting of the entire Mesopotamian civilization. Or Chessenta being the ancient Greek. All of the three Old Empires originally came from the same place, namely Earth. We have Narfell and Raumathar with their slave hunts to thank for that. So I really don't see why you have only a dislike for Mulhorand.

    Buttercheesebrus
  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,198
    To be fair, this is all in the original spirit of D&D, which was essentially a fantastical playground for "what if all these things WERE real?" scenarios. Original in some aspects, but heavily borrowed in many others - consciously and knowingly. I see nothing inherently wrong with that, but of course it now seems a bit weird considering the evolution these worlds have gone through at the hands of their creators and those that came after them.

    In the end, most stories are derivative to SOME extent. It all depends on how well you recreate, and how well you mix. That's not unique to fantasy either, many real-word legends and even religious beliefs borrow heavily from earlier, established materials.

    Buttercheesebrus
  • FardragonFardragon Member Posts: 4,511

    It should be the mission, if not the calling, of anyone making a new game to try and deliver an original, inspired work that expands our horizons rather than merely painting over our existing ones.

    That sounds more like a sequel to Planescape: Torment than a sequel to Baldur's (hero's journey) Gate.

    brusCrevsDaak
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