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April 14th, 2020, 16:28
So, societies in RPG games… Personally, I could name only a few games that organized the society well in RPG games, both lore-wise and mechanically.

Planescape Torment? The Witcher?

For our game (btw, I'm not here to advertise the game, I'm just here to ask about your opinion, and whether we are on the right track) we came up with an idea of a society "caste". We named it "estateology". Since the game is set in the animal kingdom, estateology is a brach of “science” in the Animal Kingdom that tries to explain why certain Animals belong to certain castes.


We took inspiration from the French "estates" or classes.

It is a form of pseudo-science, even though it is not considered that by the Animals in the Kingdom. We take a cue from real-life existing pseudo-scientific ideas such as Biblical literalist chronology or the descriptive parts of eugenic theories, as well as phrenology, etc.

As our game deals with science and its relation to mythology, this pseudo-science which tries to bridge the two is an important motif that the player will encounter and investigate several times through the course of the game, and will have to form an opinion towards it.

What do you think about our approach?

If you wish you can read more of our idea in the specialized thread for the game.
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April 15th, 2020, 00:25
My vote is for whatever is most fun when you're playing. Most people aren't going to cogitate about your decisions, they're going to play a game.
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April 15th, 2020, 09:56
The curious thing is that in most RPGs a character begins as a weakling and acents into Godhood - means that the starting point is usually the bottom of society.

We don't really see top tier parts of society - except as targets of Assassinations.
Or as figures spreading intrigue.

The most curious thing is, however, that the so-called "middle classes" are often missing. Not always, but I rather remember games and stories with either top tier or lowest tier or both, but the middle ?
My favourite setting for this example is simply Stat Wars. The main protagonist starts as a simple farmer boy.
He is connected to High Society through a certain Princess.
Then, there is a Smuggler, too. And a Chancellor.
But the middle tier is somehow completely missing from that. Not even the Cloud City "Baron Administrator" belongs to the midle classes.

In fantasy settings we rather see as examples of the middle classes some hopkeepers and taverns. That's it. Perhaps because most fantasy settings are oriented towards the medieval times, in which bigger firms didn't exist that much. I could only imagine trade companies (the Hanse, for example) as something bigger there.
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April 15th, 2020, 11:48
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
The curious thing is that in most RPGs a character begins as a weakling and acents into Godhood - means that the starting point is usually the bottom of society.

We don't really see top tier parts of society - except as targets of Assassinations.
Or as figures spreading intrigue.

The most curious thing is, however, that the so-called "middle classes" are often missing. Not always, but I rather remember games and stories with either top tier or lowest tier or both, but the middle ?
My favourite setting for this example is simply Stat Wars. The main protagonist starts as a simple farmer boy.
He is connected to High Society through a certain Princess.
Then, there is a Smuggler, too. And a Chancellor.
But the middle tier is somehow completely missing from that. Not even the Cloud City "Baron Administrator" belongs to the midle classes.

In fantasy settings we rather see as examples of the middle classes some hopkeepers and taverns. That's it. Perhaps because most fantasy settings are oriented towards the medieval times, in which bigger firms didn't exist that much. I could only imagine trade companies (the Hanse, for example) as something bigger there.
Hmmm. Really interesting observation. My best guess is that, when you start from the lowest tier of society, you get a sense of progression in the game as a character. Also, it's probably the most interesting for the player. You start as a complete low-life/a peasant, and through the game, you are becoming a hero more and more.

Imho, it's just a thing for progression to feel more immersive. But I definitely agree with your point.
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April 15th, 2020, 22:57
The player character in games usually operates outside the traditional class system.

A poor character rises up in "power" not through farming, trade or regular commerce, real estate, etc. But by magic, genetic destiny, being in "the right place at the right time" or swept up in some outside affairs.

And a wealthy PC operates (usually) outside the normal circles of the wealthy. Usually the PC is some outcast or weirdo who is shunned by the system, or is double crossed or otherwise hurt by the system.

It's an interesting topic. But I think the whole "Hero's Journey" we see in games is almost always about subverting or transcending the normal orders you find in societies. I can't think of a single game that doesn't do this.

EDIT- Disco Elysium has the player as an everyday cop with an alcohol abuse problem. That's one example where the player kind of operates "within" the system. Though I haven't played that game so I can be sure how much the player transcends the "realistic" layers of society. Again: Very interesting topic. I'll keep thinking about this. Thanks.
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April 18th, 2020, 15:26
Originally Posted by Iggy_Gamechuck View Post
So, societies in RPG games… Personally, I could name only a few games that organized the society well in RPG games, both lore-wise and mechanically.

Planescape Torment? The Witcher?

For our game (btw, I'm not here to advertise the game, I'm just here to ask about your opinion, and whether we are on the right track) we came up with an idea of a society "caste". We named it "estateology". Since the game is set in the animal kingdom, estateology is a brach of “science” in the Animal Kingdom that tries to explain why certain Animals belong to certain castes.


We took inspiration from the French "estates" or classes.

It is a form of pseudo-science, even though it is not considered that by the Animals in the Kingdom. We take a cue from real-life existing pseudo-scientific ideas such as Biblical literalist chronology or the descriptive parts of eugenic theories, as well as phrenology, etc.

As our game deals with science and its relation to mythology, this pseudo-science which tries to bridge the two is an important motif that the player will encounter and investigate several times through the course of the game, and will have to form an opinion towards it.

What do you think about our approach?

If you wish you can read more of our idea in the specialized thread for the game.
oh yea this is so proportional and better than my innovative work. bullshit cough cough bullshit.
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April 28th, 2020, 15:00
Originally Posted by AppleIntimidation View Post
oh yea this is so proportional and better than my innovative work. bullshit cough cough bullshit.
Care to elaborate your comment?
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April 29th, 2020, 16:51
This guy is a troll that wants every game for free and hurls abuse at anyone who disagrees with him. Most people set him to /ignore. I'm nut sure why he's tolerated, tbh.

I agree with Alrik, in that most games do start a guy as a lowlife but he quickly becomes godlike. I do like the game Balrum where the guy is a hunter that lives with his grandpa and can really ignore the main quest and just farm or go ahead and save the world. The game gets dull fast though if you don't progress the main quests.
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