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Author Topic: Reputation Model  (Read 2111 times)
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« on: April 29, 2011, 01:22:28 AM »

The goal of this forum thread is to suggest a format which can be used to connect all story ideas and start setting things in stone.

First a review of what already exists in the wiki:

1. Interactions between PC, NPC and Objects
PC can Examine, Talk, Trade, Attack, Pick-up things, Open doors, Change maps, etc. Specifically PARPG already set some of these interactions. One is that, you can trade with Party Members, however only the act of giving can be freely done - taking items from party members is not allowed. Another is Attacking, and any form of combat, is done turn-based. Another is the separation of the Map into Local Map and Wilderness Maps. The list goes on.. If we are talking about tiers this part is tier 1, the lowest tier. Story and Sandbox gameplay mechanics don't even come into effect yet. If PARPG is a house, these are the bricks, nails, screws..

2. Professions
Sandbox mechanics start to kick in with professions. Basically these are activities PC can do to earn stuffs i.e. money, wood, water, meat, information.. A PC is not restricted to one profession. To differentiate professions from Dungeons and Dragons' "Character Classes", PARPG PC can switch between professions based on situation. Ex. A Scavenger PC can look for trees and obtain wood or fruits. If there are no trees available, that same PC can instead fix a machine and get food in return, from an NPC. A D&D thief could pick up items and also disable traps, but a D&D Paladin won't normally be able to do fix traps. Again PARPG Professions is not equal to Classes. A better comparison would be Professions equals Skills.

My suggestions start from here on:

A. Reputation Model
I'm suggesting that PC can build a reputation while travelling the world of Scandinavia. Reputation uses the PARPG Chracter Origins. Now, not only do these Origins are able to affect stats and starting items, Origins also affect how NPCs talk to PC, thereby introducing quests in different perspectives.

This doesn't necessarily mean Reputation will force players into doing quests in a non-sandbox manner. Ex. "The Exile" Origin from the Wiki is described as a fugitive outcasted by locals because of a crime commited. When a PC is of this origin arrives at a town, NPCs will not want to chat a lot, so information about the town is restricted. Only the town leader might share quests for PC to do. Regardless, PC can still roam the town, and find locations of items and quests all alone.  To compare we have another Origin lifted from the wiki - "The Beggar". Now NPCs could react more helpful to PC and give lots of info about the whereabouts of everything. This is purely a narrative problem.

We can try impose a system such that The Exile PC can manage Reputation to becoming the Beggar. In the stats it will state PC's origin as an exile and is currently known as a beggar. Essentially the PC can be an exile who turned beggar, or an exile pretending to be a beggar. Such a system is fun for roleplaying, but will put some restrictions on sandbox gameplay. Reason - to know if PC is building Rep as beggar we must measure PC behavior. If PC wants to have a certain Rep PC must then follow a certain set of behavior, thereby conflicting with sandbox gameplay. Implementing Reputation doesn't recquire such systems but it's worth a look. For discussion purposes we can call this "Reputation Management."

We can use professions for Reputation Management.

I propose that we have 3 to 4 types of Origins. This will affect writing by multiplying the work load by 3 to 4 times - one for every origin.

B. How Reputation Model can be implemented based on what the writing department think PARPG narrative should be.

B.1 PC has Reputation, Party Members don't
This means dialogue is directed at the PC. Party members only offer suggestions. In replaying PARPG player options is to try out different Origins for their PCs.

If you know Bioware's Mass Effect 2, this is as close dialogue can get to it.

rough estimate: 4 origins = writing workload is increased 4 times.

B.2 PC has no Reputation, Each Party Member has 1
This means Reputation won't affect PC. BUT instead affect party members. Each recruitable party member is arbitrarily assinged one origin. Dialogue is directed to the party members instead of the PC. PC chooses which NPC leads the conversation during quests. Ex. In a party, PC can choose if The Exile or The Beggar will lead the conversation, and the town will act accordingly so. Every so often the non-leading npc can banter, PC is there to choose which to side.

The sandbox effect of Reputation Management (discussed above) can be lessened by applying Reputation to the whole party instead of just one member. The group then becomes "the exiles" if the exile NPC is leading, or "the beggars" if the beggar NPC is leading. So PC can have the Beggar narrative while still have the exile origin intact. And player behavior doesn't need to be monitored.

If you know Bioware's Dragon Age: Origins, this is as close dialogue can get to it.

The PC here is a "blank canvas." In replaying PARPG players options is to try out different party members.

rough estimate:  4 origins i.e. 4 recruitable NPCs= writing workload is increased 4 times

B.3 PC and party members each have a distinct Reputation
This has the similar effects as B.2. But TONS more dialogue options and tons more things for us writers to write about. Instead of having only the NPC leading the dialogue, PC can also choose to lead the dialogue sometimes.

rough estimate: 3 NPC origins + 4 PC origins = writing workload increased by 7


that's it. sorry for the long discussion.

please suggest, or if you're supporting/commenting on any of these ideas look particularly at B.1, B.2 or B.3. I hope that by the end of this thread we can roughly estimate the amount of workload that will be added for each quest. and also have an idea how quests should be told.

thanks for reading!

« Last Edit: April 29, 2011, 01:24:03 AM by p_gwriter » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2011, 11:21:06 PM »

My gradiose scheme makes even B.3 look small.

Think of all the actors (PC + Party NPC  + Non Party) NPCs as nodes in a graph.  The edges connect them.  The edges have "flavors" that indicate what each person thinks of each other.
Closely connected "friendly" graphs => factions.   Things that you do change the flavor (numerically) of the edges - this effects how people respond to you.

Interesting to consider how this effects dialog options - I don't think there is a N to M relationship but ideally some of this will be handled programatically.  Obviously we will have enough trouble writing ONE set of dialogs so doing more than one is probably out of the quest at this stage.  However, in a simplisitic sense - how much someone likes you will enhance/restrict the number of dialog options available to the Player.   It might be possible to write ~generic sentence with "mood/origin" variable modifiers... but in the end that's just LARPing.

We are not denying them an ending...
We are denying them a DISNEY ending - Icelus
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