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Reality and fiction in RPG

ArviaArvia Member Posts: 1,104
I have heard and read so many different approaches to playing RPGs, so if you don't mind, I would like to see an overview of the different perspectives. So, here are my questions:

1. How do you play games like the BG saga? Like a spectator, or do you get immersed and identify with the character you play?

2. If you like to get immersed in the role you play, do you manage to play different characters? I don't mean if you only play yourself. I mean if, instead of some variations of good, or playing mage instead of cleric, you manage or perhaps even like to play characters or alignments that are completely different from yourself?
Or is this only possible if you play in a detached, spectator kind of way?

I'm looking forward to reading your perspectives.



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  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 10,649
    I always roleplay it. While I don't put all of myself in the game, each character I play has a part of me in them. I keep their different quirks and philosophies in mind as I play, and my decisions as a player are based on what I think that character would do. My characters always end up good aligned though. I feel guilty playing evil, and neutral just feel alien to me.

  • Mantis37Mantis37 Member Posts: 1,073
    Immersively, to the extent that no-reload gaming allows. Making suboptimal decisions for the sake of roleplaying / seeing new content gives a nice dopamine hit. When playing characters I using give them an archetype of some sort to 'act out' - e.g. after reading Vance's Dying Earth stories I'd like to run a Cugelesque rogue character through BG.

  • DJKajuruDJKajuru Member Posts: 3,259
    1-I Identify with my character and if he/she doesn't look "real" enough ( with qualities and flaws) it becomes a turn off to play it.

    2- I am no actor, but I try to reflect on why and how my character became what he/she is and how he/she acts. Me blade bard may be dark and tauting and my half orc barbarian may be playful and outgoing because it seems natural for me to roleplay them as they are.

  • Humanoid_TaifunHumanoid_Taifun Member Posts: 1,041
    @Arvia If you want to use magic and stand in the frontline as well, that can be accomplished, if you take the time to learn how the spells work. The most obvious choices then would be Fighter/Mage or Blade, both of whom are a little more forgiving than a pure mage when you make a mistake.

    I do have to note though that I find the idea that swords are clean killers a bit funny. I will spare you some graphical descriptions and just say that the only clean deaths are Hollywood deaths, where pistols produce little red dots, and blades produce thin red lines, even through steel armor.

  • ArviaArvia Member Posts: 1,104
    edited April 2019
    @Humanoid_Taifun thank you for the advice about fighter/mage. I'll keep that in mind for the future. Right now I like my undead hunter too much, but I've started to use my party's spellcasters for more than just buffs and stuff (thought it would be a good start to throw at others what hinders and annoys me most when cast at my group)

    Death by force is never pretty or clean. I would never play any of these games if I saw full screen what it did to the other person. The bird's perspective helps me keep my imagination from forming too many images. I don't mind blood in real life, but I deactivate splatter graphics when the game setting allows it.
    I have never seen or treated wounded soldiers, I have never worked under tactical conditions, and I live in a peaceful place without street shootings or civil wars fought with machetes. The worst of intentional violence I have seen in reality were knife wounds or the result of fist fights. So, as long as I only know theoretically, I can ignore images. If I have seen them, they are burnt into my mind. And I have seen many examples of what blunt, crushing force can do to a human body (in accidents, not violence, but the result is similar). I really don't need those images in my head when I play a game.

    So, if I ever see the effects of slashing weapons in real life, I guess you'll find me playing Pokemon and Lego City.

    @Mantis37 (or others who do no-reload) a question about no-reloading, do you do that only with games that you already know well, or also on a first run? I can't imagine how this could ever work. If you get killed, you restart completely?

  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 20,522
    Better to know the game a bit. You're not required to complete the game before you try, I think, but you must be acquainted with what to expect at the start and in the middle of the game at least.

    As soon as you start playing that way, you can approach it with 2 options: minimal reloads, or no reloads at all.

  • ArviaArvia Member Posts: 1,104
    @JuliusBorisov thank you for the explanation. If I ever try this, I will need a lot more experience.

  • SorcererV1ct0rSorcererV1ct0r Member Posts: 1,898
    About alignment, remember that there are many interpretations of the alignment, for example, chaotic neutral can be viewed as a guy that is random by the sake of being random or a very individualistic person. An lawful neutral guy can be an guy that don't care if slavery ir right or wrong as longs it is legal or can be an very disciplined monk that has an hard routine and code of conduct.

    Also, the same character can have many different alignment and only one dominant. An elf can be an elf that is chaotic good with other elfs but by some plot reason hates humans and is neutral or even evil in another situations. I still remember my Arcanum playtrough with an elf that hates technology and races more inclined towards technology and is very good to elffolk. Was an interesting experience.

  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 14,189
    edited April 2019
    @Arvia: Some games can be done no-reload on the first try, but it really depends. An Oblivion player might succeed on the first try with no metagame knowledge if he or she chooses a certain type of class, but Morrowind and Pillars of Eternity could be dicey depending on the difficulty setting. I've beaten Siege of Dragonspear no-reload on my first playthrough, but only because I was already very familiar with the engine.

    Baldur's Gate can be immensely unforgiving, and is one of the absolute hardest games to beat no-reload, whether you're new to the game or even a veteran. Icewind Dale is much more forgiving, like Pillars of Eternity; the game doesn't end if your main character makes one bad saving throw. However, if you read no-reload strategies from other players, you can probably pick up no-reload or at least minimal-reload gameplay fairly quickly once you've beaten the game just once and gotten familiar with the controls. This is a very supportive community and we're always glad to see new players.

    We'd love to have you join the challenge in the "Maybe this time" thread, whenever you're ready. In fact, I'm kinda curious what a minimal-reload game would look like for a new player, if you wanted to share with us.

  • ArviaArvia Member Posts: 1,104
    @semiticgod thank you. I'm probably going to read a bit in that thread when I have time, and think about it in the future. Right now, I'm still trying some different mods and re-familiarizing myself with the game. It's only my 3rd run for the EE in BG2, after a pause of 15 years, and I realized had never used the spellcasters properly. Have to learn more strategies.

    In BG1 I wouldn't stand a chance, I'm in my first EE run (had only played the old game once) and die all the time.

    And I only play on core rules, I don't think I would survive in the higher difficulties.

  • SorcererV1ct0rSorcererV1ct0r Member Posts: 1,898
    One problem that i have with BG/IWD is that having many spellcasters in your party is awful. Since the UI isn't like NNW where you can easily put 12 spellso n F1-F12, 12 on CTRL + F1 - F12, and SHIFT F1- F12, totalizing 36 spells in a quick cast bar, on IWD/BG you need to for each character click on cast, locate with only icons and no text the spell that you wanna cast in a list organized by level... Even the "spell book" is more easy to find spells. But you can't cast by spell book.

    Also, i like to try solo this games. I an not good enouth to make a solo - no realod run. Mainly because on starting levels, you are too dependent on "saves" and spells like charm.

  • Mantis37Mantis37 Member Posts: 1,073
    @Arvia It depends on the game I think. I also play some roguelikes where permadeath is a common game mechanic. In the case of the Baldur's Gate series I've done two no-reloads (once with SoD, once without SoD but with SCS on Android), and I would say that they require some knowledge of encounters like Shoal and traps. I do tend to include some new mods with each playthrough though, so there are some surprises. On the other hand I no-reloaded Icewind Dale on my first playthrough - though there is slightly less scope for roleplaying there. It's not necessarily a better game experience if you just want to relax and let off steam though!

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,618
    i am not a no reloader, actually i reload very often as i like to play the same battle with many tactics testing the potential of a given party, but most of my reloads are after a victory, not because charname is dead or some other nasty event has occurred like a couple of key toons dead behind the chance of having them resurrected.
    i am also not a no reloader cause i am coward, i don't want to loose many hours of playing to start again for a single error, and as i try to play without using meta knowledge, i don't pre buff if there is not a in game evidence that is needed and so on, is more likely that the error happens.
    but playing vanilla, on the hardest not lob setting, i very rarely have to reload cause i have lost a battle, in most of the few cases it happens is because i was too lazy and confident, avoiding some protections and/or avoiding to retreat to heal. probably i could do a no reload run of bg2 if i would, even if i should have to try and succeed before claiming it, mine is only an educated guess.
    with tactics mod, that is my way to make the game harder, i don't think that i would be so proficient to do a no reload run playing insane as i usually do, from the first dungeon to the end of soa there are too much really hard battles.

    i can be wrong but i think that a player that still play on core rules (nothing wrong in doing it :) ) and die often in bg1 is ready for a no reload, but a minimal reload, to try to die the less that you can, is certainly an interesting way to play and a big help to improve.

  • ArviaArvia Member Posts: 1,104
    The no-reload thread that @semiticgod mentioned is absolutely intimidating, and I have barely scratched the surface ... definitely not ready for something like that.

  • SorcererV1ct0rSorcererV1ct0r Member Posts: 1,898
    There are solo / no reloads runs on YT of IWD/BG

  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 14,189
    @Arvia: I can see why the challenge might seem a bit of a bear for a new player, but I do hope we'll see you there someday. There's nothing wrong with losing a no-reload run (every one of us has seen far more failures than successes), so there's nothing to be afraid of--suffering setbacks is part of the process and part of our common experience. The challenge isn't just about the Hall of Heroes; it's about finding a way to make the game a little more exciting and suspenseful. No one's going to poke fun at you if you get shanked in Candlekeep (like I have) or Mazed by Abazigal (like I have) or killed by the exploding barrels at the Coalition Camp (like I have) or see the Ducal Palace fight go horribly wrong (like I have). No one is expected to be an expert who never makes mistakes.

    There's also a minimal reload thread that hasn't gotten much attention lately, if you want to test the waters before you dive in.

  • ArtonaArtona Member Posts: 1,073
    Usually, my first and second playthroughs are more immersed, and my characters tend to reflect my morality - in a sense that I make them choose what I think is right.
    Later I transform into more of a "director", if you will. I construct certain characters, and play them the way I think fits their temper and beliefs. I prefer that approach, but it requires some knowledge of the game.

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 10,649
    @Arvia It looks intimidating, but its not that bad. You will fail, so sure, but that's jsut part of the run. I managed to accidentally do a no reload run of BG1 once, its just a matter of practice, absolutely, being careful.

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