Good or evil?

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Good or evil character?

Good
5
83%
Evil
1
17%
 
Total votes : 6

Good or evil?

Postby subbassman » Sat Oct 13, 2012 8:23 am

The eternal question: would you play a good or an evil character?
What does "playing an evil character" mean to you anyway?
What do you expect from having an evil character?

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Re: Good or evil?

Postby fallen_hero » Sat Oct 13, 2012 2:58 pm

I would start out a good character, because of some sort of Karma. If I do something a good way I may receive something good back to me. Of couse this won't surely happen everytime I exspect it to be this way...
As for the evil character: I think it means ignoring all the bad outcomes of own deeds and just focussing on the own profit. It may also mean having pleasure when seeing other people in trouble. I think a evil character may be easier to handle - there might be no moral choices, all you need to do is looking at your own fate, having fun all the way and seeing more chaos and bad events following your own choices. But I'm quite sure it might also have disadvantages, as mostly every choice has a good and bad side....

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Re: Good or evil?

Postby Trimatirate » Sun Oct 14, 2012 3:58 am

Regarding the evil option, I feel it's a combination of class and dialogue - in the NWN Tortured Hearts (which I can't gush enough about, by the way), it was really difficult to go as an evil or morally ambiguous character because the diction and speaking manner was that of a naive 20-something. The HOTU usually had about 3-4 dialogue options which could take the good, humorous, ambivalent or scumbag path. Taking the evil path would usually be a thrill, as it goes against what the norms in the game are about. There is a sense of positive catharsis over screwing another character, without the profound sense of guilt most people would feel in real life.

Class is also a factor, but mostly because of the cliches established by other fantasy games. For example, there is rarely a final boss or classic villain who isn't some power obssessed spellcaster, and so there is that stigma of using a class where what they do in-universe is a bit more mysterious and unknowable than where to point your +70 Sword of Stabby Death.

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Re: Good or evil?

Postby subbassman » Sun Oct 14, 2012 10:09 am

The average, clicheic "evil" option in RPGs is:
"Cough up the dough, or else..."

Well, I don't want to go that way. :)

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Re: Good or evil?

Postby DrHoo » Sun Oct 14, 2012 2:15 pm

Personally, I was always a little unsatisfied with the "neutral" possibilities. In NWN this alignment was calculated by the average of "good" and "evil" so if you wanted to be "neutral" you had to be sure to be a little inconsistent all the time. This is a practical solution for the game designer; after writing many possible futures I can see how hard it is to take a path that isn't either harmful or helpful. Evil usually boils down to destruction and pain, and good to happy endings and unicorns for everyone. In the real world choices are not so clear.

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Re: Good or evil?

Postby Trimatirate » Mon Oct 15, 2012 7:32 am

But you could argue that it forces you to ultimately choose a path on the moral compass. Baldur's Gate made you miss out if you just meandered through the game like a tourist. Choice in life are not so black and white, it's true, but maybe a person who massacres all the things for a living would be forced to make 90 degree choices between moral or rewarding at several points in his/her life. Maybe this could be in subquests, where you must choose to go further, but opt out if it goes against your nature?

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Re: Good or evil?

Postby fallen_hero » Mon Oct 15, 2012 1:16 pm

Trimatirate wrote: Maybe this could be in subquests, where you must choose to go further, but opt out if it goes against your nature?


This sounds really interesting. It would really put things on trial. So for instance you could decide to do one quest which may be followed by a subquest which would drag you to go even further and thus forcing you to show your real nature.I found this in Jade Empire recently. First you could choose to take the mainquest or not and at a later point how you wanted to fullfill it. There is a very hard outcome directly for the person that is affected by your choice so you're tested twice at this point....

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Re: Good or evil?

Postby DrHoo » Tue Oct 16, 2012 1:51 pm

I personally like the idea that a player could make a mid-game change of heart, say find that they did something really bad and then go on a redemption path. Unfortunately it gets pretty hard to work that out, from a story-telling and game point of view. (talking about writer fatigue and deadlines here) But the most dramatic stories are the "Sophie's Choice" type, where the future looks bad no matter what you do, and you have to fall back on insufficient knowledge and/or moral principles to go ahead. In an ideal story or game, perhaps there would be two-three critical path choices that would lead to different outcomes. Practically speaking more than that would get too complex.

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Re: Good or evil?

Postby fallen_hero » Wed Oct 17, 2012 12:13 pm

I can understand that this is too complex to realise. It would be fine to nearly always have a choice but on the contrary it might also turn out to ruin the story - in the end the players should still know at which point they are in the story and how it all comes together. Besides that I think letting people always do choices might also stress them too much. In the end playing a game should still be fun IMHO and not finding yourselfs in trouble because you have to do all this choices nearly confusing you. ;)

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Re: Good or evil?

Postby subbassman » Thu Oct 25, 2012 10:41 am

Rhetorical question: Could a game with only evil options be appealing (fun) for a good oriented player?

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