September 10, 2015 at 11:58 pm #941
Edwin and David are exploring the different ways players can complete the game. Noisy discussions on whether to have an ‘evil’ ending, where the party switches sides, and wins one for the Dark Gods. On the one hand, it provides for more freedom of play. On the other hand, it’s not heroic, and we’re not quite sure how triumpful players would feel. If any of you would like to chime in on this, feel free to post comments on one of our social media pages.
Hello TSI! I just wanted to feed back on this. Personally, while I do want to see some moving parts and different endings, I’m not especially interested in an “evil” path on which the PCs disregard their obligation to the Empire and turn traitor. It is OK to make an RPG with some character limitations; to have the game be about something. In this case, I see the game as about a bunch of employees of an Empire going out and doing their jobs – as they see fit, but still doing it.
One can say, “But I want to role-play a traitor!”, and that’s a valid desire … but suppose I want to role-play a dentist. Should I expect TSI to script an ending to the game in which I am able to fulfill my dream and open a chain of dental offices across the countryside?
More role-playing options is always better, certainly; but the expectation that for every good option there must be an evil one is silly.
Rather than some sort of abstract darkity eeeevil options, I would much rather see endings and outcomes based on the more rational and interesting motivations already available for the PCs. What kind of ending would be satisfying for a party invested in Thrill of Battle? What would be a good way to wrap up the story for a Greedy party? and so forth. And what about a party pursuing a healthy combination of motivations?
All that said, if the setting does feature worshipers of evil gods who are actively recruiting, that does present a great role-playing opportunity as the evil priests try to seduce the PCs to the dark side … and if in an RPG I am asked if I want to join a faction, my expectation is that I can say “Yes” or “No” and have the game indulge me either way. Don’t have the priests offer the Black Chalice to the PCs and then not let them drink from it.September 11, 2015 at 7:10 am #944
Excellent comments. Part of this arises because the characters are part of a group bound to the Empress by a powerful oath, which may or may not have been voluntary. We then discussed whether to have a branch of the story explore how far the characters might go to free themselves and break the oath.
The empire is authoritarian, but not evil, and the main opponents are big E evil. The idea some might resent the oath is interesting to explore, but perhaps not the extent of embracing the Malloi (the baddies). Much to consider.September 11, 2015 at 9:32 am #945
Interesting! The whole thing with the oath could turn into a major motivating factor … either to perform the Empress’ will, or to try to weasel out of it. The main snag I see there is that the PCs will likely have different motivations in the first place (Honor, Greed, Acclaim, etc.) … the implication is that they’re from different backgrounds and will have sworn the oath for different reasons. So you may well have one PC who will do anything to break the oath and another PC who loves the Empress and swore willingly. That being the case, you can’t really write a plotline where the party embraces the Malloi for the sake of breaking the oath … Alvin the Archer may be willing to drink from the Black Chalice if it will break the spell, but Simon the Scout might be very happy working for the Empire … so which ending makes sense for this party? The Evil Ending can’t really work unless there’s a powerful motivation for ALL the PCs to go for it, unless you’re planning some kind of crazy party splitting mechanic.
It seems much better to just say, you’ve all sworn the oath, some of your PCs may resent it, but for the purposes of this game you can only make choices that serve the interests of the Empire and there’s no way out of it. As mentioned before, as a GM there is absolutely nothing wrong with setting boundaries for your PCs in this way as long as you let your players know the deal.September 11, 2015 at 7:38 pm #946
Interesting feedback. I would have thought the general premise was the party winning their freedom from the oath and obligations of the Empire. Then again, it’s still early, and maybe the developers don’t want to leak too much narrative information.September 12, 2015 at 7:10 am #947
Yeah, I could see how that could be a good story. Me, I don’t want to go on some personal journey of self-discovery and striving towards freedom. I just want to play a team of badass storm troopers who do their damn job. 😀September 13, 2015 at 9:27 am #948
They are quite some reason/origin as to one setting his mind on “another” path (than the one mainly elected as “good” (quite some exemple of this trough history, be it from a special education, meetings, or any others origin).
Evil then, pas si simple either.
As good is so based upon selected (..) value (ah, matiere), what exactly is evil ?
Where they are quite some consideration to seek on.
Of course, what does not benefit the main group cannot be good, is it.
Then, is it directly wrong/evil as such = no.
They are always more than one track, where most does see them (..) conditions, perspective (if under an oath (> “common” good, was it ?).
As long one is not considering x to be possible, either will it not be so, or requiring someone/where else to have a go with it ?
There is indeed content there, as knowledge is power (over several path as well), the bad ones could have explain things to the PC, be it coming from a “not as bad” one or a direct conscious decision ?
To be seen, they are plenty of possible + making to (shared/able) reality ?
Looking forward “next”, of course.September 14, 2015 at 3:09 am #949
I’m not so much interested as an “evil” ending, but there should definitely be “neutral” or “chaotic” endings. It has been said that the opposite of good is not evil, but indifference / apathy.
In “real life”, very few people actually going around thinking they are evil… Even very violent people tend to think their actions are justified; whether it is for revenge, a sense of honor / duty, or “the greater good”. Sure, there are sociopaths- sadistic people who enjoy harming others for seemingly no reason- but they do so because of the adrenaline rush and a lack of empathy… not because of a commitment to evil.
Now, I know this is a fantasy world, but even in a world where magic is real, and it is known that there really are gods… I don’t see a lot of people running to support the “evil” gods, thinking that they are evil… much more likely that their followers are disillusioned with the “light” gods or just see things differently.
Likewise I doubt the empire is all good; certainly that is up to interpretation and there may be philosophical / political differences. For example, perhaps the empire persecutes magic users in the name of citizen’s safety. Or has anyone who speaks ill of the empire killed. Pure good and evil is not only hard to suspend disbelief for.. it’s boring. I’m not so interested in a fairy tale world where everyone is either a knight in shining armor or a bloodthirsty monster. The real world is full of morally gray issues and a fantasy world should be no different, IMO.
September 14, 2015 at 6:09 am #952
- This reply was modified 5 years, 5 months ago by daveyd.
Nice post daveyd. TSI has gone on record, I believe, stating that the Empire is not especially “good”. It’s highly authoritarian for example. Which I think is definitely a cool break from the fairytale Good King, Evil King stuff.
But although I argued against an “evil ending” above, I do think TSI has an interesting opportunity here with the Malloi (their capital-e Evil Gods). In a world in which most people are “normal” (i.e. not Good nor Evil) and just trying to get along, the PCs are technically slaves to the Empire because of the magical oath that they’ve sworn. What if joining (or maybe just temporarily working for) a puppy kicking, baby eating capital-e Evil cult was the only way to break the spell? I think that could make for some very mature and sophisticated storytelling, despite childish black-and-white elements. In fact you couldn’t have that particular sophisticated story without the black-and-white elements.
Sometimes silly simplistic elements aren’t only there to make a story more palatable to children – often they can cast interesting questions into relief in ways that a more realistic story couldn’t. That’s a big part of why I read science fiction – so many thought-provoking questions you just don’t get in day-to-day life.September 22, 2015 at 12:56 pm #955
This said, if there is enough content (story, knowledge, structure) (both as to Malloi & Empire), the player, associated with others can also see to open “another” path.
(Where the place for E evil is close to none (as long as your have close ones, there is no room for bad decision/happening, as if not self responsable, those others will (for your care), judge you.
And so, best way = close community, not to many members, who have both common ground & a set of common happenings (experiences).
Pas si simple :p
Over Skyrim and others (not a lot this said, modability & popularity & numbers + variety of mods) = wow. Then, when/if OpenMW is released
This being quite the hard part to manage (and code) of course :p.
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