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September 2nd, 2007, 00:30
Suddenly, this, what I had been writing, reminded me of an old article over thare at RPGDot:

It's not the same thing, but (yes, I've read some interviews with Richard Garriott and found his view, why he invented the Virtues, absolutely fascinating) it goes in a way into that direction.

There always has to be a task for a player in orer to play a game - and fighting is the most deep rooted, most traditional task.

Fighting for what and why ?

The "why" question is in part covered by the "Virtues" system: If you fight only for killing, your Virtues are seemingly not very much existing. Then, you are in principle nothing more than a murderer, only, that you murder monsters which are actually there to be murdered, not people. MNot men. HNot humans, specifically, because fighting peoples of other races is normally allowed in games.

Today, I just began to read "The Last Hero" by Terry Pratchett.

Game designers should read this book, too. It has a number of very interesting ideas.

For example:

"What exactly has Cohen the Barbarian done that is heroic ?"
"Well … you know … heroic deeds …"
"And they are … ?"
"Fighting monsters, defeating tyrants, stealing rare treasures, rescuing maidens … that sort of things."
"And who, precisely, defines the monstrousness of the monsters and the tyranny of the tyrants ?"
"Well … the hero, I suppose …"
"Ah, and the theft of these rare items … I think the word that interests me here is the term 'theft', and activity frowned on by most of the world's major religions, is it not ? The feeling stealing over me is that all these terms are defined by the hero.
You could say: I am an hero, so when I kill you that makes you, de facto the kind of person suitable to be killed by a hero."
That's just a shortened part of a talk within it.

Another thing is the fate of Evil Harry Dread, a classical, stereotype, "bad guy", who has abandoned his job, because the younger people don't know the code. They even block the secret tunnel a typical bad guy would use to escape … and set up just another, differently-named Temple of Deem somewhere else.

Cohen, the Barbarian is actually very pleased, yes I dare to say happy, that Evil Harry follows the code so much that he has (aftzer long searching) finally found some henchmen that were so dumb they could easily beaten by any hero - inclusing the keyring that's so big and so loosely attached to the belt of the hench-man one could easily take it away.

And he complains: Nowadays, young people don't do that anymore. They don't know how Evil Lords are properly set up. Instead they use paperwork.

And now, connect that with the layout and design of RPGs …
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