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Default Squad based game with fewer skillpoints in non-combat skills

December 18th, 2019, 22:37
But that would be exactly the task for that kind of game.
To recreate meaningfull narrative c&c and char build c&c.

You have a dungeon and different keys but they open the dungeon in other ways.
Give you advantages in the one dungeon and help less in another dungeon.
Like with Deus Ex. The level plays different with what skills you have picked.

And that for the whole game. That's basically what AoD is and i thought it was great.
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December 18th, 2019, 23:46
Yeah, I was immediately thinking of AoD, but it's not squad based.

So what's the problem with doing something like that with a squad? It's the ability to combine skills by spreading them in your group. Even if each character can select only two skills, a group of 4 people can cover 8 different skills.

The solution to that issue is pretty trivial, you simply have to fight fire with fire: group/stack the skill checks. Example: say you have to cross a crevice. The same character that is able to beat the skill check for jumping across will also have to beat the skill check for attaching a rope safely on the other side, so that everyone else can cross as well.

This drastically decreases the likelihood of having a character with the correct combination of two skills.

I'm pretty sure that Pathfinder: Kingmaker had several stacked checks like that.
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December 19th, 2019, 00:37
Well indeed, if you're problem is 6-8 people being able to too easily master 12-16 skills just make the game have 36-48 skills LOL.
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December 19th, 2019, 01:05
The easiest way would be to take the skills you have in those games and spread them on the different characters.

So in Fallout e.g. you have like 6 skills you are good at and the rest won't get skilled.

Let's say with a party of 6 chars every char get's one skill he/she is good with.
You level up and feel pretty bored because all you do is to increase the one skill with every character. It doesn't feel like an rpg at this point even though you have the same choice of character building.

The alternative is that you have one leader who upgrades the skills and feels like a whole character and 5 companions who just fight with him.

Now you could complain that you don't have full builds like in other games.
E.g. TOEE gives you all those skills for all the chars without them ever mattering because there are too few skill checks for it.

Basically the question is which of the two variants better keeps the illusion of choice.
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December 19th, 2019, 02:41
It's not about illusion of choice, it's about choosing what kind of builds you want to proceed through the game with. Your choice begins at character creation. Whatever character you build will likely always bee-line their chosen skills and deal with the game via those criteria. When you have a party of characters you are merely free to choose which form of progress you want to make at that particular time: Shall I bash the door down with my fighter or lock-pick the door with my rogue or cast a spell to unlock the door with my mage.

Whether playing with one character or as a party the player will usually tend towards the same routines for all similar encounters: I'll always let the rogue unlock the door, or I'll always chose the bashing route or I'll always cast the spell. Its no illusion, you are still choosing to progress the game however you want to with each different character offering different flavours.

Take conversational skill checks, for example, whether you have one party member or ten and the dialogue options are:

Bluff
Intimidate
Persuade
Bribe
Diplomacy
Attack

Then you can still only make one choice. And the choice you make will reflect the other roleplaying aspects of the game, such as alignment, cash-flow, XP gain, etc.

The choice you make in an RPG is very much dependent on what you start out wanting to play, and then proceeding to play that way. The nature of choice in a Choose Your Own Adventure is one where it doesn't matter who you start as, you simply take whatever the rolls give you as you progress and that determines how you play.

A good RPG will have so many character options that even within just one class you can have literally dozens of different starting builds which will proceed to provide you with a different game, no matter how many people you take with you. A dungeon crawler where you take 10 fighters is a completely different game to a dungeon crawler where you take 10 mages. And they are both different games to if you took 10 completely different classes, and this will be a different game to one with the same 10 completely different classes but all built differently.

You seem hung up on the notion that a skill check alone should somehow completely alter the game in some dramatic way, when that's not the point of a computer game, the point of a computer game is to work out how to beat it, nothing more, nothing less. Everything else is just flavour. In computer game role playing people expect to be able to see the whole game the first time they play it, because cRPGs are traditionally epic and long affairs and replayability isn't the primary objective, and when replayability is the objective it's traditionally via a variety of character builds rather than a variety of narrative forks, because narrative forks are an anti-thesis to the notion of epic exploration and seeing the whole game. Though only seeing 90% of the game is also fine and even preferable, because that adds just the right amount of choice to make it not feel entirely linear.

A cRPG with strong character build variety but only 10% non-linearity of plot/quests actually provides more in-game choice and variety than a game like Age of Decadence which simply presents a dozen linear stories interwoven into one short game, like a CYOA.

The general idea of a cRPG isn't to fail-state you based on a failed skill check, the general idea of a cRPG is to enable you to learn how to make a build work and to experience the same game from a different points of view/play-styles. No cRPG has ever been primarily about constantly choosing the green door in one play through and then constantly choosing the blue door in another play through.

You talk about Temple of Elemental Evil and how you'd like it if the game had more non-combat skill checks… but why? You never said why… You claim it would make the game better somehow, but why would it make the game better? It's perfectly fine as it is isn't it? I'm sure the game could be argued to be 'better' if it had a wider variety of weaponry, or if it had a wider variety of monsters, or a wider variety of explorable locations, but you think more skill checks are important for some reason?
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December 19th, 2019, 10:43
This is about mixing two things i like into a new concept that i haven't seen before.
I know it wouldn't be for everyone but what is?

CRPGs developed from dnd. Wizardry 1 and Ultima 1 had the idea to traslate the dnd feeling into a computer game. Now i don't know enough about the character of dnd at this time but i can't imagine that most dnd sessions that time were so heavily combat focused as Wizardry 1. In my mind the average dnd session always had some kind of CYOA part in it.

To this time this idea wasn't translated good into an crpg so i think there is a demand for it. dnd or dnd inspired games (Pillars of Eternity, Pathfinder) didn't came close to it yet.

IE games or PoE had the adventure part right but had bad combat. TOEE is just about combat without the classic adventure part (just a dungeon crawler).

I have yet to play PoE 2 and Pathfinder with tb mod but i can't imagine that tagged on tb is too good.

But all those games lack the CYOA part of an average dnd session.
So in my book a crpg that translates the average dnd session hasn't been done yet. My ideas simplify the system too while keeping the general character of a dnd session with the mentioned CYOA elements.

If you guys have a better idea how this should be done then please write it cause
i see that if you change one part of the game the other falls flat.
That's why i find it interesting.
It wasn't done yet because it is a chore to even think about it.
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December 19th, 2019, 10:51
What i don't get with the build variety. You are talking about AoD the whole time.
That's ok but AoD is just one aspect of Fallout done to the extreme.
The measuring point should be Fallout in my example and isn't one of the main features of Fallout that you have a huge build variety?

I'm talking about the perfect game in my mind so to speak.
Build variety and narrative c&c aren't mutually exclusive.
Both mechanics can be used to create so to speak the game with the most c&c.
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December 19th, 2019, 12:51
Looking at the Fallout Wiki, Fallout isn't squad based. You can occasionally recruit a pre-made companion, but you have very little control over said companion, and zero control in some cases. The wiki also states that a conversational skill check is only required for one of the companions and even then there are other ways you can have them join with you. Again, similar to NWN. Reading the wiki about companion controls it seems NWN actually gives you more control over your companions.

I'm sure @purpleblob or @Thrasher or @rjshae could recommend you a NWN module with lots of narrative C&C and skill checks instead of other elements.
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December 19th, 2019, 14:00
Originally Posted by Dazed View Post

To this time this idea wasn't translated good into an crpg so i think there is a demand for it..
There is no demand for it. No matter how well it is executed.

A GM has all the license to buffer anything that could make players insecure. A computer game much less. So this must be included from the design.
A DM leading a group of players in a situation leaving them insecure can correct the shot on the fly. A vid product much less.

Soothing players'insecurities is a must do for any desing in any game or product these days.
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December 19th, 2019, 14:16
Originally Posted by lackblogger View Post
A dungeon crawler where you take 10 fighters is a completely different game to a dungeon crawler where you take 10 mages. And they are both different games to if you took 10 completely different classes, and this will be a different game to one with the same 10 completely different classes but all built differently.
Vid products or games commonly deliver the experience.

but why? You never said why… You claim it would make the game better somehow, but why would it make the game better? It's perfectly fine as it is isn't it? I'm sure the game could be argued to be 'better' if it had a wider variety of weaponry, or if it had a wider variety of monsters, or a wider variety of explorable locations, but you think more skill checks are important for some reason?
The result of two century of institutionalized double standards: white people and non white people lumped together the us american style. The same line of thought.

More variety of weapons or monsters addresses only one field: combat. No matter what, it remains combat.

And not only this brings something different from combat but each activity might differ one from another.

It is not combat stuff vs non combat stuff all lumped together in a powerful intellectual effort to dismiss any meaningful difference.

It is combat put aside this and that and this and that.

No comparison between a variety offer that betters an activity field and other fields themselves.
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December 19th, 2019, 16:46
Thanks for the incorrect gibberish Chien, always a pleasure to guess what your point is and marvel at the aspects of your posts that are legible but so inaccurate that it defies rationality to even bother responding to you as you are clearly… mental?

(I use the word mental because I am not privy to your specific condition and so cannot be specific nor attune my response in a way that respects whatever condition you have)

(if it is just drugs then I apologise in accordance)
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December 19th, 2019, 17:53
Originally Posted by Dazed View Post
What i don't get with the build variety. You are talking about AoD the whole time.
That's ok but AoD is just one aspect of Fallout done to the extreme.
The measuring point should be Fallout in my example and isn't one of the main features of Fallout that you have a huge build variety?

I'm talking about the perfect game in my mind so to speak.
Build variety and narrative c&c aren't mutually exclusive.
Both mechanics can be used to create so to speak the game with the most c&c.
I think that AOD and, Deus Ex, and Fallout are you standards, that show that the type of skill based narrative game you wants really only works in such games, because they have a single protagonist who makes all of the skill checks. D&D has more than enough skills to do what Fallout does, and if you had a single D&D character with a few nonskilled companions, the game could easily work the same way. The problem is you want to spread out these skills over multiple companions and have them work the same. There is no reason this couldn't work, if you either raise the number of skill, but simply reduce their viabiltiy in any specific situation, or give each character a very limited number of skills they can master. If you have 10 viable skills, and 6 characters that can each only master 1, you still can achieve something very similar to Fallout.
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December 19th, 2019, 20:42
Originally Posted by lackblogger View Post
Well indeed, if you're problem is 6-8 people being able to too easily master 12-16 skills just make the game have 36-48 skills LOL.
It's actually much harder to do that than simply stack checks.
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December 19th, 2019, 21:18
How hard or easy something is to achieve in practice hasn't been brought up in the discussion yet…

However, without sounding like a NWN shill now, NWN has about 30 skills for just a 4 party game, just 2 party in the forgettable OC. But yes, I'm aware this fact doesn't covey 'hardness'.
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December 19th, 2019, 21:45
Well, that's a long time ago for me. I couldn't even say if NWN did or did not have stacked skill checks at any point.
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December 19th, 2019, 21:54
A game which actually does "group skill checks" well is Pillars of Eternity 2. The best character's skill is always checked, and they can be helped by up to two other party members (the two characters with the next best skills are then auto-checked) This is displayed in a nice clear graphic, so you always know what your final skill check is and how it is calculated. Helpers add something like 1/3 of their skill bonus. so if you have skills of 7, 6, and 2 in mechanics, the check would be at 10 (7+2+1)
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December 19th, 2019, 22:09
Ah thx @forgottenlor now we are getting to smth.
See i didn't play Pillars of Eternity II yet.

Maybe that's smth which is worked on in current games because i remember reading about Pathfinder Kingmaker too.

So the group skill checks still sound too easy.
For what i think about i just needed this current system with harder group skill checks.
Like with 6 chars and skills from 1-10 that would be skill checks of 25 for example.

But without "helping" like in Pillars of Eternity II. Just that the skills of all chars are worth the same.

That's really interesting now.
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December 19th, 2019, 22:17
Originally Posted by Dazed View Post
So in my book a crpg that translates the average dnd session hasn't been done yet.
Well, it's not for lack of trying. Pretty much every RPG is some interpretation of the tabletop source material but you're not gonna be able to replace a human DM with skill checks.

Even if you were talking about some sort of deep learning AI DM or something it's much more complicated to learn how to DM than learn to drive.

As Lackblogger says, Neverwinter Nights is probably what you want. There are very few games which support a DM. In NWN you can have a DM and all the skill checks you like.
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December 19th, 2019, 22:35
Originally Posted by lackblogger View Post
Looking at the Fallout Wiki, Fallout isn't squad based. You can occasionally recruit a pre-made companion, but you have very little control over said companion, and zero control in some cases. The wiki also states that a conversational skill check is only required for one of the companions and even then there are other ways you can have them join with you. Again, similar to NWN. Reading the wiki about companion controls it seems NWN actually gives you more control over your companions.

I'm sure @purpleblob or @Thrasher or @rjshae could recommend you a NWN module with lots of narrative C&C and skill checks instead of other elements.
Seeing OPs posts, I don't really want to recommend anything. Sounds to me nothing is good enough for him.
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December 19th, 2019, 22:46
If the modules don't radically differ from NWN main campaign or add-ons in their quantitiy and quality of narrative c&c there's really no reason for you to recommend me them.
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