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August 31st, 2020, 17:42
I'm trying to think of CRPGs which have mechanical consequences to the relationships between characters and I can't think of that many. So I figured I'd ask you guys for examples that escape me.

What I mean by "mechanical consequences to the relationships between characters"? Well, anything that produces mechanical benefits or impediments when characters are supposed to act together.

The most basic example I can think of is support affinity mechanic in Fire Emblem titles. Characters with family ties or some other form of relationship get bonuses when acting in tandem.

I know that in one of the licensed D&D games there was an option of one of the characters leaving party due to alignment mismatch with another party member but I simply can't remember which game it was. :/ I would count this as a relationship influencing mechanics as well since it's directly tied to the alignment mechanic.

Many TTRPG games have systems designed around relationships or systems that can be used in such a manner: Burning Wheel, Hillfolk, Fate, may others. Miniature games often have squad morale bonuses and save rolls when squad gets decimated or leader gets killed too.

So, can you help me with any examples of CRPGs where relationships between particular characters translate into bonuses or penalties? How significant were these? Thanks in advance!
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August 31st, 2020, 17:56
Originally Posted by DominikD View Post

I know that in one of the licensed D&D games there was an option of one of the characters leaving party due to alignment mismatch with another party member but I simply can't remember which game it was. :/
In Baldurs Gate II, characters could leave of they disagreed with your reputation (eg, evil aligned characters would leave if you had a high reputation). They could sometimes also fall out between themselves as well - some party members could sometimes initiate a fight to kill another party member that they didn't like. Not sure what the mechanics were - I think just having the two characters in your party long enough could trigger it.

In terms of mechanics, Tyranny had a thing where you unlocked abilities depending on whether the character liked you or not. Didn't Mass Effect do something like that as well? In Tyranny, characters could also team up attacks - eg Barik could throw Verse into the air for a specific aerial ranged attack. Those moves were only available if you had both characters in your party and had worked on unlocking the attack.
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August 31st, 2020, 18:03
There have been a few games in which you unlock beneficial perks if you advance a relationship with an NPC to a certain threshold. I know Fallout 4 does that. I think Tides of Numenara does as well, but I can't remember for sure.
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August 31st, 2020, 20:05
This thread reminds me that I've wanted to play the original Ishar for ages due to its character relation mechanics:
It also featured a unique system to change the lineup of player characters: the player can have up to five characters at the same time, but each one will like or dislike his comrades. These preferences come into play when the player tries to recruit or dismiss a character, because the other characters will then vote for or against the recruitment or dismissal. If a character cannot be dismissed by a vote, it is possible for the player to have him assassinated by another character, but there is a risk that other characters will murder the murderer himself, possibly creating a chain of murders that slays the whole party but one.
https://www.oldgames.sk/docs/ishar/1/

I haven't played it so don't know what it's like in practice, but it's an interesting concept!
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August 31st, 2020, 20:23
Planescape: Torment and Kotor immediately come to mind. Nothing too serious in more recent times that I'm aware of (beyond simple stuff like New Vegas' companion perks).

BG2's companion interaction was pretty trivial IMO; much of it was just a series of lore/quest dumps at certain points in the story if a condition is met. While Torment was mechanically similar, it offered far greater depth in its storytelling.
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August 31st, 2020, 20:42
[I shoulda read the OP ]
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August 31st, 2020, 21:01
BioWare games are probably the only ones to fit some his criteria. Though I'd like to mention NeverWinter Nights 2. It fits most of his criteria and it affects the ending.
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August 31st, 2020, 21:32
Originally Posted by Pongo View Post
Baldurs Gate II
Yeah, I thought it was BG2 but I wasn't sure. I don't have fond memories of it as I never found the time to play it all the way through. Thanks!

Originally Posted by Pongo View Post
the player can have up to five characters at the same time, but each one will like or dislike his comrades. These preferences come into play when the player tries to recruit or dismiss a character, because the other characters will then vote for or against the recruitment or dismissal
This is great stuff. I got the trilogy no GOG a long time ago, I guess I finally have to check Ishars out.
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August 31st, 2020, 21:56
Originally Posted by Drithius View Post
BG2's companion interaction was pretty trivial IMO; much of it was just a series of lore/quest dumps at certain points in the story if a condition is met. While Torment was mechanically similar, it offered far greater depth in its storytelling.
Personally, to me BG2 remains the gold standard for companion interaction. I don't know about this "lore dump" business. Characters interject in numerous quests throughout the game, and they also talk to each other in the so-called banters.

Meanwhile, Torment's NPCs barely talked to me at all when I played the unmodded game because there's a conversation timer bug. Love the game, don't get me wrong, but in an unfixed state I find it odd that you would compare it favorably to BG2.
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September 1st, 2020, 00:09
Originally Posted by Pongo View Post
This thread reminds me that I've wanted to play the original Ishar for ages due to its character relation mechanics:
It also featured a unique system to change the lineup of player characters: the player can have up to five characters at the same time, but each one will like or dislike his comrades. These preferences come into play when the player tries to recruit or dismiss a character, because the other characters will then vote for or against the recruitment or dismissal. If a character cannot be dismissed by a vote, it is possible for the player to have him assassinated by another character, but there is a risk that other characters will murder the murderer himself, possibly creating a chain of murders that slays the whole party but one.
https://www.oldgames.sk/docs/ishar/1/

I haven't played it so don't know what it's like in practice, but it's an interesting concept!
I´m afraid that you are going to be a bit dissapointed Ishar has some fun ideas and great graphics for the time but the execution leave a lot to be desired
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September 1st, 2020, 01:45
I can also add Pathfinder:Kingmaker it's the closest BG clone to date.

Plenty of choices with consequences for your companions.
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September 1st, 2020, 18:12
Banter is my most favourite thing.
Sad that so few games do that.

I fear that social interactions are mostly just not desired by "the gaming industry" and by "the gamers themselves - the games industry and its audience are mostly male, and especially young gamers are simply not interested in social interaction, I assume. they find it boring.

At least that's my way of trying to explain why so few developers try to do "mature" games with leaving the whole social aspect out. It's as if "mature" meant = "asocial".
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September 2nd, 2020, 03:14
The latest DLC for XCOM 2 (yeah, not a "crpg") has inter-character affinity done pretty well. Soldiers that fight together develop more affinity. Once that affinity gets high enough, they can buddy-up by spending a few days in a hotel…<ahem> a few days in the training center together to earn some bonuses. Those bonds can be levelled up, too, to get even more bonuses.
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September 3rd, 2020, 03:05
Oh! And this just in… Troubleshooter: Abandoned Children!
https://steamcommunity.com/games/470…77613556614365 (See the first patch note after the new masteries.)
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September 3rd, 2020, 13:16
Tyranny has it in combat. If you develop the character to like the PC they get some combo abilities.
I think Valkyria Chronicles has some of this too with osme characters getting bonuses if they like each other, but @joxer might need to confirm that.
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September 3rd, 2020, 14:14
NWN2 had this for sure. Your ending party totally depends on the choices you make throughout the game. For me, Bishop and the Warlock guy and the tiefling girl were enemies at the end. I think I killed all 3 in one round of combat since you could strip them before they left as I recall.
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September 3rd, 2020, 14:34
Originally Posted by Zloth View Post
Oh! And this just in… Troubleshooter: Abandoned Children!
https://steamcommunity.com/games/470…77613556614365 (See the first patch note after the new masteries.)
goty vote #2 guaranteed.
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September 3rd, 2020, 18:09
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
Banter is my most favourite thing.
Sad that so few games do that.
Sure, but this thread isn't about banter and narrative components of the games but about systems and mechanics of relationships. On occasion banter could be a manifestation of systemic significance but more often than not it's simply a randomized flavor added to the game.
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September 4th, 2020, 02:04
Originally Posted by Pladio View Post
I think Valkyria Chronicles has some of this too …
It had something along those lines with special missions using small groups of characters that would become friends.
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September 13th, 2020, 15:45
The Dragon Age series does that. Dragon Age 2 had a neat system where you got bonuses both for doing what the companions want, and don't want, signifying friendship and rivalry. It was not the deepest system in the world, but it at least made it so that you had a mechanical reason for not just doing what your companions wanted you to do.

Been a while since I played Pillars of Eternity 1, but Pillars 2 also had a friendship meter, and it was not just good or evil aligned, but rather reflected the personality of your companions. Someone might want you to be direct and harsh with your words, even when talking to others, and find it disrespectful to try to sugarcoat things, another companion might be the opposite.

Paranoia: Happiness is Mandatory might not be a great game, but give your companions a reason to tell on you and they might do so, which can get your character killed.

While not exactly what you're looking for, Temple of Elemental Evil had a neat "punishment" for bringing a Paladin along in your party. If party members don't do things that would be proper for a Paladin, like for an example entering a drinking contest, the Paladin gets some divine punishment and loses their power (becoming useless Fallen paladins).
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