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There's 2 major technological opportunities with digital games vs physical games I can think of to compare:-
1. Networking many, many people into the same game space.
The design of PFO does align with this in mind, so at least it's first step is in the right direction unlike most mmorpgs that have been developed, which may have travelled very far - but in a different direction and hence you can't help but ask the question, if not using the above, then why not just play a nice game of turn-based DnD/Pathfinder/TT instead?
What is the expected problem that death penalties are intended to mitigate? Spawn rushing is already a prohibitively expensive tactic.
I just see the suggestion I proposed above as a fun system to mess with the "reality of the game world" according to Pharasma's Mark.
Interestingly I see Camelot Unchained has similar idea for stealth; it's an idea that I would like to see more of in fantasy. There may be important repercussions with the pillars and a fair bit of fiddling with the radius of death - who knows could be an upgrade path!
Stephen Cheney wrote:
It's still TBD whether we'll let you respawn at your choice of any threaded bind point, or just close ones. Doubtless, there will be some use of the Suicide Railroad no matter what we do, but we don't really want it to become common behavior or strategically significant.
Here's an idea that adds a bit more complexity but also more nuance.
Atm, you're saying options on respawn are, either:-
1. "Respawn at your choice of any threaded bind point." OR
Now if we conceptualize your soul-binding as in the Ethereal Plane for your soul to travel to soul-binding to reform a body.
1. Material Plane where your body exists
i. Your soul-binding points: IF one, then greater radius and you travel instantly back to it in that radius. IF more less radius but more of them and so on.
You could make the ethereal plane a sort of dreamworld overlay or alternative spatial dimension with the Soul-binding points like beacons. Here there could be ethereal dangers and demons that could cause further soul-damage to the character if caught up and that would cause a greater death penalty on respawn.
In time, it could be a whole other side of the game to explore further...
1. Variable risk cannot be predicted
I'm glad they were useful; at least to peel back the eventual scope of PvE plans that PFO is envisaged to one day climb towards.
Wandering Monsters I thought meant static/trash mobs who are in the way of you harvesting?
That said what you are saying is 1-off uber-monsters such as a dragon attacking a settlement randomly etc. Now that would be a feast.
Here's some links to the PvE Blogs I can remember if that is of use (in case it is):-
Adventure in the River Kingdoms => PvE Overview
Where the Wild Things Are => Dungeons & Mobs
Over the Hill and Far Away => Map Hex Types
When the Demon is at Your Door => Escalation Cycles
Whenever I think of roleplaying in an MMO, I am reminded of this.
That's fairly funny; tbh some of the skill of these RP'ers is impressive so I can relate to that outcome!
This said, I believe the concept of RP can evolve beyond "Olde English" words and work more with actions. Working on this atm.
It's been a long time since I last looked at the game in this perspective, so thank you for reminding me of it OP. There is indeed much "validity" to your point of view, your periscope (at this point in time!). :)
Try to dig back through memory some of the ideas, but it will only be a rough pile of ideas for you to inspect for nuggets of value (!):-
1. Concept: PvE = Faucet to the Economy ; PvP = Sink to the Economy
This is a major conceptual adjustment to themepark mmorpgs. It's of paramount importance for PFO to develop an economy "the beating heart of the game" that drives human motivation and leads to as per the features of the game on the website:-
2. Time: PvE costs buckets of money. Want proof:-
Themeparks cost 250m$+.
Hence PFO will work under a different basis of building systems that integrate: The collective of these adds complexity from which emergence derives. As the game grows the devs can add more of these things and more on a bigger scale and better quality and deeper (as per Ryan) "fractal" nature for eg:
3. Example: Dungeons:-
This is major PvE "sheeeeet!"
Let's take 2 types:-
A. Emerald Spire - whopper really highly crafted by great designers. Cost = buckets and long dev to fully develp all those levels.
B. Wormhole Dungeons - These "pop" are procedural, require specialist adventurers and dungeoneering spelunkers. Devs could integrate into economy. Best of these wormhole dungeons could pop in most developed Hexes = draws PvE'ers...
I think you can see how PvE has to evolve at the pace of the game and as a part of the whole.
You can also see how high quality PvE has been the preserve of Themeparks and how expensive it is but how low in longevity it can end up being.
Maybe this helps understand how things develop over time.
Given enough time PvE could be some great specialization opportunities for characters in PFO... given enough time and using Pathfinder's rich lore and strong designers (Eg Emerald Spire).
There is so much stuff they could bring into PvE that would be so new and fresh to the game and bring the next level to sandbox games in general. Has the environment been forgotten for a more static stagnant system only focus on player to player interactions? I don't know maybe it is just me who is starting to fear this?
Now, going to be honest: The design of PFO is for the reverse of this to occur, as per the above reason, and following what you suggest would be the reverse of that; as proven by many previous mmorpgs.
What you want for complexity out of PvE is only seemingly possibly with Dwarf Fortress simulation complexity or MUDs that only use text (as opposed to ascii graphics). That is the honest appraisal of the current technology I think.
OP, there was a plan for those meteorite hexes to be highly contested. No idea what the latest scoopy on that is from the devs?
To go back to basics, there was 2 schools of thought:-
1. Some area for the wilds where people expect "anything goes"
So if 2. holds, then I guess it rubs up against 1. and making 1. ain't such a good idea afterall?
Ryan said a while ago, "killing in context" quote-unquote eg ritualized forms of interaction of who fights who for what reason (and how and where) > is superior to what you get in other games "murder" ie no reason other than a reward of having a toon who can freely do this against another player. That is don't get me wrong fun because it's another player and not dumb/inert AI; but it's piss-poor gameplay when it's frequency rises and is bad for the growth of the game.
I've garbled a lot of things hazy from memory there but hope it makes some sense by providing context to the decisions being made or taken.
That map is awesome!!!!
This is the sort of thing I think that will eventually "sell the game" to more interested people: Not the combat or basic features, but the emergent powers and interaction complexities. G8J.
Wonder if this article has relevance for the map construction and other considerations of promoting a dynamic equilibrium of conflict:-
In EVE's early years, the map was split between hundreds of small alliances, each of which slowly expanded its influence by conquering the star systems bordering its space. Skirmishes and pirate incursions were brief and commonplace, while border wars over territory were long and protracted affairs. Today's nullsec is a different animal entirely, with nearly the entire map carved up between two colossal mega-coalitions of alliances (N3/PL and CFC), each one internally held in a state of perpetually monotonous peace. No alliance in a coalition can break away and stand on its own for fear of being demolished by the others, and so all of nullsec is at peace with its neighbours and bored to tears by it.
You're right of course, it's a bit beyond MVP, but I thought if it's worth doing then it's worth integrating other systems into it atst hence monster-hunter trade/training springs up, gladiator role springs up, builders have another expensive high-grade building to build, idk the betting system is the idea the building draws business and punters so makes the investment worthwhile and feeds the economy, leading to competing venues outbidding, out-splashing each other...
... yeah imagination run wild, but integration as well as the actual activity itself of face-offs.
For an MVP idea:-
1. Building required
5. = 1.-4. = player entertainment
For example on 3. it might make sense to have a standardization of this role progression eg Soldier, Merchant etc?
Doesn't it work:-
Trialers = Fun = Instant or very immediate gratification desirable
So, I think if the character is more mature, the xp gain is about doing better what you're enjoying doing?
I like the idea the devs are gods walking in the midst of mortals, inscrutable and unknowable, they perform their own works. That old beggar you just kicked out of the way on the street, perhaps it was the king of the gods? In which case you just made a very very bad mistake.
That's usually how religions work. Why not provide PFO's pantheon of gods/religion with teeth and hands?
Those who are interested in RP'ing of Inn-keepers appear to have a role that could be exceptionally well suited to RP with the full works to support such a role, btw, and of course such a role is by nature highly sociable... unless we're talking about "The grumpy/surly inn-keeper at the 5 Bells Inn... but the bitter is the best in the business, and hence the customers put up with the bad service,"?
The thought of worrying about how much my stuff weighs sounds dreadful. In every other video game I've played I collect A LOT of stuff and keep handy things around just in case. Having to worry whether I'll be able to move at all because I want to use the items I've acquired does not seem like it would help the overall fun of the game.
It sounds brilliant to me = interesting choices to make as well as knock on effects on groups and the economy.
If it sounds dreadful to "you" then that could be because:-
1. You are solo'ing
1. You solo you limit what you can do.
I have no idea if that is how the game is designed to work, but I want to see if the challenge has any application to your expressed preference?
What I do know or suspect:-
1. Your encumbrance limits your gear, which limits the builds you can multi-class without instant access to all that gear.
In a spaceship game you would have a larger hull for hauling stuff. I'd like to see PFO use beasts of burden or carriages for this for items of bulk and heaviness, personally. I'd also like encumbrance for items on the body to match the increase in weight to power ratio to move all that weight over distance ie encumbrance does what it says on the tin by hook or by crook for most bipedal races of a certain size that power ratio hits a limit in the same general zone.
Perhaps I've got it all wrong in my enthusiasm, but I have high hopes.
The game needs to ensure players are making interesting choices to a high frequency and ideally social interaction to a high quality. Possibly this system helps with both those outcomes? I hope so and solo-ing may be something exciting to do to specialize in, but don't expect to be taking half the kingdom back home with you!?
C) It is in the interest of other bigger alliances that you exist
1. What is the purpose of remaining Neutral?2. If it is to provide a PvE zone for example "the disappointed silent," then it may match C):-
3. If it's in the interest of the entire PFO population to have some players who want PvE and may then be a pool to convert out of that to varying degrees, then it's like a "public good": Everyone benefits and fortunately no-one has to pay for it...
4. ...but that is the question that pops up against it, as Bludd mentions it's either the x3 Siamese Fighting Fish (!) or it's Illyrio Mopatis, aka The Cheesemonger from Game of Thrones.
5. The solution would be for a "Treaty-wide" acceptance of an area of the game world for such a settlement or zone and all to sign to "treat" it as a no-man's-land or the equivalent of not shedding blood on holy soil if that is more pictorial and then everyone work out their plans around that "universal given" - if it's possible to achieve such high-level diplomacy?
Tl;dr: It depends what the function of "neutrality" is as per Game of Thrones, either an art of war strategem: "The long grass that hides the snake" or the idea of a "public good" that benefits all with potential population of players to disperse into the game from?
Bringslite of Fidelis wrote:
I think that will be part of each groups' duties to "secure the area" they operate in that they've claimed as well as contested/unclaimed regions.
Tbh, the more that's localized and under the radar, the more smaller groups will pose an effectiveness - which I think is probably good for the game? If borders are porous there's always a chance of a spontaneous encounter and that's where the fireworks show works best?!
What I think is interesting and to add to the above, which I also really hope to see materialize, a porous geographical map of small flashpoints all over the place; is the rise of stable kingdoms which provide internal PvE opportunities (to develop higher quality of course) which increases their attraction for PvE players who want that and security zones provided - which also means these kingdoms have bigger upkeep costs which puts them on the front line of expansionism.
And we all know about the rise and fall of the Roman Empire.
+1: Reputation (and Alignment?) systems need testing with live people. Could be extremely useful feedback/data.
One thing for RP'ers to consider in time with PFO, is a very very good article by Ryan Dancey previously:-
I'm interested in this area but with a particular focus and a slight slant to it.
Currently jotting out a full version of this and then aim to post it on a website when finalize, it will be much more comprehensive and structured in the final form but with reference to: Player Cooperative: The Shadow of the Beast (a lycanthrope initiative).
The idea to whittle down a quick summary:-
1. RP a cult dedicated to "awakening the beast within"
7. is a mystical number so the summary can end here. I've tried to condense a great deal of concepts into that and it may not make full sense as such, but provides a flavor of things to come.
So short-version, yup, we have an RP group according to a much bigger plan, so it's a spin on RP. It's also as such a service we'll be hoping to offer specifically for Lycanthropes (werewolves). I hope to see more such initiatives and diversity of such from others in PFO: There is from a quick inspection, a lot of lore and material that players could bring to the game for such endeavours. That said, the reality of the game driven by economic motivations and repercussions, is something that I think anyone interested in RP and with the desire to expand it's potential in PFO, will need to evaluate how to work with the grain, is my own conclusion. With this in mind, one of the purposes of our RP will be to generate gameplay according to the game's mechanics, and hence werewolves make a perfect fit for PvP.
This is merely for discussion and consideration, I hope it in no way comes across as dogmatic; it's to point out: We're in this game too and we have "great expectations" and anyone interested in RP with a "wet-dog" flavor to it is welcome. ;)
Taking a pointer from my own experience, I've enjoyed Games Workshop games and IP/Brand in the past. I still find an excitement that some of these games systems might be ported to video-games and do the originals justice. So I think the brand is very important if you have been in the past a long-time customer of it. Unfortunately Games Workshop seem to be disenfranchising their playerbase (expense of boardgames etc) and then coming out with sub-standard ports eg I was reading a review of the latest port of Blood Bowl (Edge rated the PC version something like 1/10 some years ago) and the current one for iOS is the 5yr old port with poor interface etc in a word: "Sloppy". It's frustrating because the game system has elements of American Football and Speedball (aka in the movies Rollerball) so could have been a great game for iOS. But no do slip-shod sloppy port and makes some quick cash it seems... . Rick Priestly one of the founders said something to this effect I noticed sometime ago, irrespective of the grapevine of various forums.
I'd be delighted to see Obsidian do the Pathfinder IP justice in a NWN or Pillars of Eternity style port. I backed the aforementioned kickstarter and it seems to be shaping up to be an excellent faithful version with real care and concern put in by the makers for the players. This is the way to do a brand justice, as I'm sure Paizo will note.
There might be something to glean from this Milestone update pick:
Or similar to Paris' ring-road aka Périphérique separating it from the suburbs aka "banlieues" perhaps (!).
More Information about Premium Items wrote:
Third, we don't want destroying a structure to be a casual act of vandalism. To destroy a Base Camp should take a solo character a very long time, or a group of characters a reasonably long time - certainly enough time for you to receive a notice that the camp is under attack, rally a defense, and engage the hostile forces. Destroying a Smallhold is a significant operation that can't be achieved simply by individual characters. Destroying a Smallhold will require the use of a Siege Engine, and that is a game system that won't be built or deployed until we are close to Open Enrollment, and it will require a lot of materials and highly specialized characters (likely more than one) to operate it. Plus it will need to be moved into place to attack the Smallhold.
Quick question: Do players who are defending a base camp (or small holding) gain a defensive bonus while inside and defending against attackers?
I was thinking about how often in Westerns it takes a full posse to shoot out while a farmer (plus family or friend) defend behind their fortified small holding.
I was looking at a house built during the Anglo-Saxon times (somewhat regenerated in the 15th Century!) and it takes you back about 5 centuries inside it. But the windows are within deep walls and angle towards slits to be able to shoot out of, with a buttress door and flagstones.
I think you are on the ball.
On another note I think what was said about understanding your purchase decision via more information of what you are buying (as it works in game) is probably a good idea (Avari iirc made this point well).
Mike Hines wrote:
I'm always more impressed with what people achieve using a little to achieve a relative lot!
Anyone interested in "Next Generation Monetization" should read Ramin Shokrizade's gamasutra article on Supremacy Goods.
He conveniently lists features to abide by. Eg can equally be created and earnt in game. If you read the article you'll see monetization is evolving just as it did with paid subs for eg UO back in the day. Sportsmanship & Fairness are good by-words alongside MTX as per the comparison between East and West imo.
My own response, if the structures signify the utility to game play of power and encumbrance systems then I am really excited by the potential gameplay of these systems to players' choices while adventuring, resource-capturing and transportation and travel as parts of the economy.
My guess to differentiate these from taverns would be taverns have interiors ie inside instance spaces for patrons to socialise within simultaneously in 3d?
These structures along with settlements and building progression definitely differentiate PFO from most other mmorpgs so I'm pleased to see these smaller scale additions become a part of the game. The Campfire is very D&D to me too, wonder if others see it that way?
Well I'm confident GW won't kill their golden goose with any of those p2w ideas. It'll be as per wargaming "Free To Win".
But on the above cosmetic graphics, I say they NEED to monetize this stuff. Graphics is a big overhead and people want it and hence will pay for it which allows GW to make more graphical stuff for the game.
However, how to actually sell it, is an altogether more difficult or challenging proposition. I can't help but get the inkling that SOE with Landmark are onto "a good thing" allowing players to make stuff and sell it to each other.
Perhaps Goblinworks could have their own spin on this that fits their own design (not voxel terra-forming gameplay) via a sort of licence system to crafters who have to pay X amount to Goblinworks for the licence but they can recoup those costs selling their crafted stuff with extra graphical addition to other players to recoup and eventually make a profit?
Something to do with the timing might be required per selling the licenses so the first-movers/buyers can have time to make the financial investment and have time to recoup it more exclusively? It would ideally also feed into the crafting system this way as part of the in-game economy?
A quick idea.
Well these are hex's where meteors have fallen....how about the occasional (infrequent) meteor strike. No reason for every hazzard to be player based...
Could the devs effectively "wipe a random hex" and replace with a new starfall hex periodically then allow the "new" starfall hex to decay into some other type of hex?
Stephen Cheney wrote:
I'm on the side of the critters, make 'em dangerous and to be treated with respect. I mean when crossing a field with young bullocks in it, you have to watch your step around these excitable and large herbivores, especially when they decide to suddenly start doing laps of the field with a bit of cross-country steeple-chase thrown in! Puts things into perspective sword and cape or not.
Caldeathe Baequiannia wrote:
What we really need are people who are regulars on the site to actually want to vote for it. Sell the game on its merits and we might get some good out of this.
I think for what it is, and who it is for, PFO is not in the hype train that most people who play mmorpgs are accustomed to for each and almost every new mmorpg title. Hence the jaded atmosphere at mmorpg.com etc.
It comes back to this game being atm for much much smaller group of players but hitting the 9/10's for satisfaction with those people instead of the much higher rush of people who would score 4 or 5/10 and play and complain and move on. Imo.
That said a little recruiting driving is positive: Community is what makes people think there might be something in a game (beyond hype, ie organized groups who've thrown in their lot and decided together to play a game is far more note-worthy than praise). :)
It's tempting to take it further and almost discourage some people from the game with remarks that it's in a very bare-bones state and so on and so forth which may be unappealing, but take a look at the design plans which are the first step in the right direction of a thousand miles, at least. ;)
Ok, an interesting development has occurred. The Cooperative was set up very much with this sort of eventuality in mind and accordingly the suitable ability to marshal a directed response.
Part of the cooperative's work is to form a membership which can focus voting in crowdforging of PFO according to our specific vision.
There is an idea of ideascale: Better Night Sky
The Cooperative supports this idea because a major part of the Lycanthrope mythos is related to the phases of the moon as well as an attractive "after dark" atmosphere for our nocturnal adventures and RP and Events we intend to create for members.
We would recommend those sympathetic to werewolf kind and members of the cooperative to support this idea in view of furthering the cooperative's goals concerning werewolves.
Please click the link and lend your support to werewolves! You'll not just be getting a better night sky (which is good for all and good for potential customers who like a world with a good atmosphere) but you'll be improving the atmosphere and horror element that our cooperative wishes to introduce into the game - for free!
"Shhh! What was that sound? I thought I heard heavy breathing... perhaps it wa... "ARROOOOO!!!!""
This is quite a cool idea, I might join.
Create and Protect an area of land (either mechanically a settlement, PoI, or tower at this junction) which is kept in as heavy-nature state as possible. This area, dubbed a "Nature Sanctuary" will be TVC's homeland and primary concern, however we serve as the wall between it and the outside world, not as overseers of the lands.
I think this as a goal is interesting. It will likely need political alliances I'd guess who agree to keep a nature reserve?! A challenge but I'd guess we might be able to work on this in some capacity.
TVC holds few grudges. It understands the absolute corrupt truth of civilization and thus expects many failures to be repeated.
I need to dig into my pathfinder lore some more, a detective story begins!
##4. Paizo's supported material (which likely builds on 1-3)##
A dig around in Paizo comes up with some interesting looking material on werewolves. Two in particular caught my eye:
(1) A Necromancer’s Grimoire: Märchen der Dæmonwulf by Alex Riggs, Joshua Zaback, Justin Holloway
(2) Complete Guide to Werewolves (OGL) PDF by Goodman Games
There are some others but from cursory inspection they don't appear necessary or focused for our initiatives' objectives.
(1) has more immediate application to our MVP-RP approach to werewolves and will form the main basis to apply to PFO. (2) expands tremendously on werewolf lore and concept from more reseach on the orginal mythology to expanding the range of werewolf types and life-stages even. There may be one or two really useful nuggets to take from (2) but overall it's beyond the scope of what this initiative requires. That said those nuggets will weave their way into our story such as understanding the mind and motivations of the werewolf for example. Actually reading some of (2) for the first time it's nice to see much of the summary for 1.-3. independently come to here.
Sympathetic Magic as per Frazer's The Golden Bough will probably become a part of our "Origins" story which is a useful nugget taken from (2) for example:-
Complete Guide to Werewolves wrote:
It wasn’t much of a leap for the old sympathetic magic rituals, in which men wore wolf pelts to draw strength from their power, to be transformed into something far more sinister.
It will also be a useful source for talking points such as the effect of the character's alignment on their werewolf transition or if bitten, the source of the bite and if that has any influence. But that is all besides the current exercise. Quite a lot of the RP and even a system for this may be gleaned from this source for the Cooperative which will then reference heavily eg:-
Complete Guide to Werewolves wrote:
In (1) the conception of the werewolf fits with our plans:
Märchen der Dæmonwulf wrote:
This time, however, we aimed to improve on the overall method, making the "building blocks" readily available to players who aren't willing to invest in an entire class (for example, existing characters who are already invested in another class) but still want to play in the proverbial lycanthrope sandbox. To this end, we decided to distill these werewolf powers into feats. For the most part, these building-blocks come in the form of feats, starting The Curse of the Beast feat which allows a character to transform into a wolf, but also forces them to deal with a number of dangerous side-effects.
Key considerations to the werewolf character:-
Märchen der Dæmonwulf wrote:
Key Feats/Abilities (as applicable to PFO):
1. Curse of the Beast (wolf transformation)
Items of interest:-
This is a very quick summary of relevant information. Perhaps the biggest take-home from this is the idea that providing building-blocks for players is the ideal method and which the Feats system might in time be able to provide. That said the cooperative will for a variety of reasons contain operations to Full Moon Events when the curse "bites".
Next we'll look into the "Origins of Werewoles" aka "causes" as a starting point for 5.
##5. Approximating all the above to fit PFO appropriately##
This is nicely summarized in the TVTropes analysis page. We'll try to set up a similar analysis fully applied to PFO. But these core topics hit the right notes on what we need to discuss to bring werewolves to life in PFO.
* Transformation is very important to the lore. It will be an end-goal of our cooperative I think. It will be inserted into the "graphical" category of goals. Again Full Moon appearing at the appropriate time in-game is also another "essential" in the "graphical" catagory.
* Self-Control We can perform both "insanity" and "loss of control" or a combination of the same thing (lol) via performance ie RP and thus through volition player behaviour. This is immediately part of the focus of the cooperative's goals. Graphics costs money to develop, whereas our cooperative will use a range of RP tools. This will not probably be available immediately either however, but there is a solution for that already in the works which will come under our "Origins Story" that all members can enjoy and start having fun operating from that basis. :)
* Flag We'll get flagged as per the redundancy of being an attacker so the flag should actually already aid us. The real question we need hard data on is the reputation and alignment shifts for our members and an assessment on that measure.
* Anonymity Don't know yet about anonymity, there may be good reasons not to be even if IC it would be cracking fun. Think this one might need careful consideration. Seeing as we won't have the option for a while not going to focus too much on it. Other players may know our werewolf proclivities but they'll know we're only operating under this geas during the full moon too or least that will be worked on via the cooperative side of our group.
Black Silver of The Veiled, T7V wrote:
It also pretty much classic that lycanthropes are completely naked when they "turn back".
Yeah, this could fit really well into the concept as above applied to PFO's equipment system of characters. Far in the future, if we have our role, we could attempt to crowdforge this that we don't carry equipment in preparenedness to transform and may even untransform naked in some place as further elaboration of the nature of the werewolf. At first we'll make use of what we have actually got and that won't include this, but we could voluntarily implement it as per our RP as decided by the cooperative's members.
Andius the Afflicted wrote:
That's interesting info/take on the werewolf concept. We'll probably start with the wolf form in which case we'll operate a policy. In time we might even gain a crowdforged "you remove all equipment" then transform (as per the movies etc).
However the Hybrid form should we get to that stage, poses an interesting mix. For example in Dog Soldiers they are able to open doors etc and are a mix anyway so it should not surprise. Perhaps you've hit the nail squarely on the head here, Andius in the Hybrid Form, some sort of choice might need to be made by the player given the transformation loss of control and damage and then what is to hand/paw?
I provided an answer of sorts in the other forum. We're apolitical, but ideally I'll take up Andius' coordination offer with a standard website to set up a basic "full program, faq, description, how we fit in with other groups, membership, calendar and so on..." But in the meantime I'll try to work on developing a website from scratch as a personal project. This dual-approach seems the best method to go for.
Haha, our cooperative will have our hands full with werewolves. If anyone is ingenious enough to be able to create a presentation for other character concepts that are workable for implimentation we are all ears (and claws/jaws). But werewolves are partly as per Andius a rich part of the market to choose but also the stars appear to align on their potential for PFO more strongly, that I can make out.
I realize nature vs supernatural will be a constant dichotomy in the development of our werewolf story. To begin with, we'll form the story grounded more in our player's place in the RK's and it will derive from there into an excellent tale (pun intended). :)
So I gathered. I had considered a thing like this a while back, though I never really got it past the initial stages, because I suspected a lack of interest. But I'd gladly shed blood with you, each and every moon.
I remember some of your input and discussion along these lines in fact albeit perhaps in another but related form. If we pool together all the common interests then we might be able to over-perform in our efforts. I think low interest initially is not a problem, it's more to our member's benefit according to how we will organized and what opportunities as a group we can provide to members. That is the plan along with feasting being an important component each (and every!) full moon. I hope we can share stories of what prey is pulled down for example.
Dang. Missed opportunity there!
Btw Being, with your Druidic leanings and other, more esoteric learnings, you are automatically invited to join the cooperative in any capacity you so wish to choose.
Andius the Afflicted wrote:
Also done a quick skim of the Grimoire for the next blog on werewolves tomorrow (!).
I have a theory for the first question too "Origins" of werewolves in the River Kingdoms that integrates lore, RP and the actual in-game development (already alluded to). Which is a befitting first topic for the cooperative to crowdforge together!
Then I'll target "aligned" player groups that seem to fall fully within the werewolf venn diagram and then expand on invitations from there if that first membership phase is consolidated which may take some time (which we have plenty of to play with!!).
I might use this thread for general purpose blogging as material to then transfer to a more established site. It may be of interest or not and if not the "∅" can be used which sits next to each thread title, in the forum; but hopefully not.
##Werewolf from first principles##
There's a couple of different approaches:-
I came across a couple of theories but will develop a general summary here that goes through the process of 1-4, with a view to formalizing for 5.
This I'll interprete** as the primary theory and tag:-
A: "The Call of the Wild"
1. The wolf as an equal top predator with shared characteristics eg hunting in a team, deeply caring of the young and the pack, territorial but free and wild and in harmony with it's primal instincts. Possibly people respected the wolf and feared it in equal measure for millenia when our ancestors first crossed paths with them. Particularly our hunters who may have observed at first hand the wolf's tactical hunting as a pack and careful companionship. They must have recognized the expressiveness of the wolf also as a social animal with upwards of 24 different types of communication categorizations.
1. During humanity's trajectory through history during our "hunter-gather" stage we probably elevated the wolf as an equal and to be respected as well as feared as the top predator. But when the time of settlements came and people became more remote from the land, then both the schism in our "self-aware" consciousness (ie separate from nature) and our actual environmental remoteness from the wild increased our separation and possibly distrust/estrangement? Equally our domestication of herding animals changed our view of the wolf from respected rival to dangerous and damaging enemy?!
2. It seems the transition from pagan belief systems to more montheistic systems also left little and less room for the wolf (and other archetypes) and their conversation toward's for easy example "the devil's dog" became more established. For example the wolf has a place in the Greek/Roman Pantheon alongside Artemis (The Goddess of the Hunt and Moon) whereas the concept of the "wolf in sheep's clothing" that appears to have spread with Christianity changed the wolf's role to that of slavering, deceptive predator, ie the wolf within (coincidentally the recent movie: "The wolf of wallstreet").
1. & 2. However different regions and different cultures have emphasized different aspects of the wolf as representative or significant such as it's virtues as a powerful hunter in harmony with nature or it's strong nurturing instincts (such as Romulus and Remus) and family bond that ensures the success of the pack to it's other role as a insatiable and murdurous predator of more sheep-like and peaceful neighbours. Therefore all these seem to hold some currency and relevance depending on what is emphasized.
1. During the Middle Ages it appears that possibly wolves were hunted and their populations (at least in Europe) were reduced to the wildernesses far away from civilization. However the memory in folklore and culture of the wolf persisted even if the actual wolf became more distant.
2. Here we enter more of the folkloric formation of the werewolf stage (which from Anglo-Saxon is "were = man(kind) ie human kind" and wolf so human-wolf effectively). This was not the first time that the human brain combined disparate images eg the wings of say swans with people or in ancient Greece, King Lycaon was the origin of "Lycanthrope" a combination of "lycos = wolf" and suffix of "human = thrope". In this myth the king provided some chopped up humans for his guest Zeus whom he suspected of being to trick him which angered the god so much he turned the king and his sons/family into wolves.
1. & 2. These stories may have gained more traction when during drunken and drug-fuelled revelries or even the symptoms of psychopaths some people were found brutally murdered in a fashion wholley macabre and savage and without rationale reason for example possibly and more often enacted by males on women and/or children. And this then feeds into the concept of the ravening wolf (which harks back to the Edda's Fenris wolf) of blood-lust out of control / balance in the developed warrior? Hence a certain "Jungian" approach to the concept of the werewolf might have developed including the superstitious origins of wolfsbane (which may have been used to actually poison wolves) or the combination of wolves howling at the moon and increased excitement and crime in settlements during the full moon (recent scientific research into stats combining a Friday night and a full moon eg) or perhaps explanations for some medical conditions exhibited from different bouts of psychosis (eg delusion) or especially vulpine features and hairyness (ie visual features as well as psychological).
3. Entering the popular culture a century and a half or so ago, along with other such monstrous figures (eg vampires, ghosts etc), werewolves went through a standardization. Fortunately unlike Vampires (as per TVTropes) they did not go through a revision:
Our Werewolves Are Different wrote:
TVTropes alert! has done a super job here. And independently also mention the supporting role, their analysis page is one of the best summaries of the popularization and standardization (albeit with variations):-
Here is a rough draft of 1-3. I've attempted to "keep to the point" and avoid a full academic treatment (no matter how tempting) as most applicable to our objective for PFO (ie 5.). Also the above summary as useful and culled information for our cooperative to use as the body of information to usefully refer to (when draft turns to finished article, with references) without loosing where everyone is referring to; as a key objective in crowdforging will be to provide equal discussion for all members to contribute (1.-3.) towards the next phase (5.), post (4.).
This post covers in draft 1.-3. The next "blog entry" will have to access Paizo and Paizo's 3rd party contributor's own treatments as applied to the TT game, of which there is a fair body both for Pathfinder and 3.5/OGL and to dissect the decisions those creators have taken and why and what lessons we can learn.
But no doubt before that there is ample opportunity for all to discuss the above. One final reference of particular use in the above: Jungian Archetype of the wolf – gods and godnesses, warriors and mothers, demons and outlaws, evil and uebermensch
**Note: I'll reference properly these theories when they make the transition over to a finished source and make corrections. These are more summarized notes atm.
And where, pray tell, do us... other "denizens of the night/lower planes" reside in relation to this agreement, hmm?
It's a good question. Because in conversation we need to step-back from the details and remember the "why?" concepts that led us into the discussion, in the first place.
In the previous thread I made the distinction in which categorization of cast of actors we can assemble: The Once and Future Game: "Theatre of the Mind" or Crunchy System?
1. Main Cast = Main Races (full-progression ie character's journey is always going to be 100% scope and hence the devs main form of focus of development (and monetization)).
2. Support Cast = Alternative Races. These are anywhere from 100% to somewhat more restricted according to lore but probably/possibly could be considered future additions eg Goblin Alignment restrictions.
Now looking at the above most of them (iirc) are part of the Civilization <=> Wilderness dynamic equilibrium. Our characters in a fantastical world where perhaps our races are knocked off their totem-pole top position as most powerful beings have to continually war and push back the wilderness and more.
I think some of the Support Cast and some of:
3. Other Cast
could be interesting to explore as additions to players developing characters. The thing is they would probably need to be restricted in population and progression as side-additions for players to enjoy ie side-plots to the main plot of the above Civilization vs Wilderness Plot.
Hence any of the templates eg Vampires, Werewolves, Liches and as many more as can be conceived would be interesting to look into.
Andius posted on this subject with respect to tapping this part of the player market since WOD was discontinued, PFO could provide something here potentially.
So there may be a good "why?" but the question then becomes as important if not more so: "How?". In this thread (dare to tread) Crowdforging: The Player Cooperative + Goblinworks Franchise Licenses TL;DR I proposed a general method for any of these concepts and a specific solution (perhaps the general method is more significant?) using as an exemplar werewolves specifically.
To note with emphasis:-
1. Each concept has it's own specific requirements and conditions
-snip-...that it's a loose cooperation of people roleplaying lycanthropes/who want to see lycanthropy added to the game.
I think I gave a fair answer to Doggan on this previously albeit the superstition and fear of the werewolf proceeds us and makes acceptance and understanding of our existence more challenging and met with predictable hostility & fear! ;) But again to be clear, what we attempt to do is RP as a sort of "leaky abstraction" and forge our own rules and thereby our own fun. Of course this is the "in-group" part of the cooperative's work. The "out-group" part of the cooperative's work (should and) will involve other players groups.
Secondly to increase our chances of success, we'll need to "inherit" as much redundancy from current design (Andius provided an excellent eg above concerning the "heinous flag") as possible and that will be added to the Cooperatives operations, to summarize conveniently:-
1. RP werewolves in the basic under-developed capacity using our own creativity.
Andius the Afflicted wrote:
Just to categorize these:-
I really like the heinous flagging idea of 1. That's something we could work towards fairly early on.
Had not considered the Faction system the devs are considering. It seems like a natural fit for creating pvp opportunities. However need to consider it more from our basic concept ie first principles.
Alignment we need to calculate this. Again from the basic concept I'd argue theoretically that ANY alignment can be a werewolf as it's a temporary alter-ego and this expands the concept to be a form of curse. I think it might be interesting for different players of different alignments to contend with this curse variously, I like the idea different players will make different choices or slide in alignment with the consequences of keeping the curse. Lots to discuss on this topic, so I'd not necessarily restrict it, but we may find PRACTICALLY certain evil/chaotic (as per the Grimoire) tend to suit werewolf characters. We'll need to start with an open mind / blank slate on this topic and see how it plays out and how different characters can regulate their alignment/reputation hits (in the early days when our concept is operating independently of the systems).
Some of the more sophisticated ideas eg "exploit mechanic" and "settlement debuff" and "POI" and "force change" I'm not going to comment on at this time due to their potential implementation complexity, which is something have to postpone if the werewolf concept takes off. Part of the cooperative will be crowdforging in a way where members participate in bringing werewolves into the game operationally which in terms creates a platform for potential popularity (directly and indirectly) before we can then proceed with more ambitious. Some of these are cool ideas however and need to be added to a list for future reference, I go with?
Again coming to eg Silver weapons or the related ilk, this may come before any of the above as if we first increase our popularity as integrating beneficially with the economoy of the game and requiring less (an educated guess) resources to implement but wider effects and positive on the economy.
Progress has substantial meat to chew on for our cooperative. Reading the Grimoire there are a ton of feats and abilities and integrating the "power balanced by the curse" concept as above but also some really really cool stuff where were we to achieve these our cooperative might be considered very successful initiative indeed.
The other topic mentioned a lot but not specifically discussed is "hybrid vs wolf" forms. I think we'll be doing well to get a wolf form implemented initially as MVP to work with. In the Werewolf culture the two forms sort of are inter-changeable. For example comparing, "An American Werewolf in London" the form is more wolf-like and even described by eye-witnesses as mistakenly some sort of wolf-dog iirc. Whereas comparing to the other greatly entertaining modern werewolf movie, "Dog Soldiers" (based in Scotland this time!) the Hybrid form is very much chosen and equally engaging. However for practical implementation I think a basic wolf would be a good goal to initially set for ourselves and develop from for reasons to expanded on later.
Great post, Andius, required a couple of responses, mostly discursive in nature, but there's plenty of material to work with here.
Edit: Spotted a few grammatical errors etc, but feeling dog tired as hiking most of all of today. I spent a little time tracking some deer marks too! And the thought of some mechanic (no matter how fanciful that might be!) of tracking for werewolves in game really gives me goosebumps!
Andius the Afflicted wrote:
I figured I'd post this here. Werewolves are powerful creatures and any implementation should involve some of that power. They also need powerful drawbacks that make them a non-obvious choice for every player though. This is something that games like Elder Scrolls Online fail to do and it results in a massively overgrown population of werewolves.
Yes, the core concept is exactly right: Werewolves have certain powers (the beast) and certain downsides (curse). I need to work more on the archetype discussion of werewolves but that is the basic outline and it's also highly practical for scaling up too.
The list of downsides and upsides and integration with other aspects of the game listed are really great ideas. But, we have the germ of an idea and that is in our timeline our beginning to begin phase. The list will include items that are as per above A... -> @D. IE far down the line. So we need to step along the process. I hope to elaborate on this and also comment on the list shortly to keep the conversation going.