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Matthew Downie wrote:
I'll admit, the budget aint huge. But they created a much bigger game for only 3 million in 2 years-Wasteland 2. It may not have been exactly the same people, but it was inXile.
I agree with this sentiment. That is how I go into most kickstarter projects these days. "hype" may also no quite be the right word; it's more of a "saying we want to build a mansion, but it comes out as a house". I have not come up with a good word for that yet.
I'm wondering about that too. I tend to try to look at the positive side (IE, assuming they did try their best), but it does seem like quite a poor game for 5 mil & 4 years
So, to preface this, this is NOT a Torment: Tides of Numenara (TToN) review. All that I should say is that’s it’s an interesting game assuming you go in blind (as in without all the kickstarter hype), and one of those few RPGs you can get through non-violently. For a more thourough review see here . There may be minor spoilers. If you haven’t already been spoiled, go play the game. . Most of that’s review’s point are true in my opinion, and this article is a reflection on what I see as the complex interplay of Technique, Art and Marketing that go into making a game.
Note:They wanted to make a grand RPG, where violence wasn’t the main answer. They wanted strange worlds steeped in the setting of Monte Cook’s Numenara tabletop RPG system
I myself fell in love with the game in 2012, after having played the Baldur’s Gate series.
Note:. The project was headed by Inxile, a company that had many former Black Isle developer who had worked on planescape:torment; Inxile had also already crowdfunded Wasteland 2, (that came out of 2014), and the Team seemed ideal for the game. It unfortunately fell victim to it’s own overpromissing, a condition I call
Love the setting, don’t love the tabletop RPG. This is one thing that I think TToN did well, plunging you into the weird post-apocalyptica of the ninth world. I would love to see that setting explored more deeply
Some apologies to Peter Molyneux should he ever read this, but some offense as well. He is a paragon of oveg. Every game of his I went into without knowing much I rpromissing enjoyed; every game of his I knew before release I was disappointed by.
The previous review I mentionned catalogues all of their missteps. They promised a tremendous amount. They got lots of people involved. I would say about 25-50% of what they seemed to promise actually ended up in the game. Most major game-related stretch goals did not make into the final game . I am honestly happy that development took 4 years since I had forgotten much of those stretch goals, and was able to enjoy the game much more because I had forgotten most of my expectations. It’s a good game, assuming you forget all they said would be in the game. The stretch goal of “longer and more reactive story” is particularly disappointing since it took me a mere 25 hours (doing all the side quests I could find) to complete the game, with very little observable playthrough differences. It may have some of the spirit of planescape:torment but it is not it’s successor; it is a mere shadow, as many castoff’s are to the changing god. Wasteland 2 (made by the same people) cost less, was longer, and only took about 2 years to develop.
The point I am slowly getting into is that the Kickstarter campaign suggested a much grander product than what finaly happened. Had I remembered all the stretch goals and the hype, I would have been bitterly disappointed. This disappointment is a symptom of Molyneux Syndrome; and unfortunately, even seasoned developers fall victim to it. I am fascinated by how much our expectations shape our enjoyment of the games we play. How much marketing, by showing their idealized version of they product, shape what we want from it to a point that its reality could never match.
I wonder how the developers feel about the game. There has been been some apologetic notes . And frankly, developers should know when to say that something doesn’t work in a game and cut it, or to take time to give it more polish. Considering the final result, I really don’t feel like that’s the case with TToM, though I would love some developer retrospectives in the future. It might give some meaningful insight. In the meantime, we will have to wait for a true successor to planescape: torment.
I’m also afraid that this might “poison the kickstarter well” as a source of financing for experimental ideas. Kickstarter is a nice idea; users financing products. But in the end, it’s more of a gamble than an investment. You can’t always know what a product will be before it’s finished. And no matter how many good intentions you got, if you cant deliver what you claimed people will lose trust, and be less likely to support you later. I did after a number of failed projects that never came through. Even now, if I do aid crowdfunding, it’s at the minimum level possible; quantities of money I have no fear about losing.
In conclusion, there are ways to mitigate Molyneux Syndrome symptoms, mostly for the user. Going into a story-based game blind is can reduce the effects. In my experience, the less expectations we got, the more likely we are to be pleasantly surprised. I myself have been avoiding most gaming press to avoid as much as possible the creation of such expectations. It isn’t perfect, but at least I won’t be overhyped.
As for developpers, it’s hard to say what can be done. In the context of crowdfunding, they are mostly selling ideas. So over-promising is easy. And unfortunately, there are no perfect formulas for game development, meaning even otherwise good teams (like InXile) can fail to meet what they claimed initially. I would love to hear if other people have ideas about how to reduce the odds of catching Molyneux Syndrome.
I’m also curious about other folk’s experiences with crowdfunding. Most of those I’ve seenhave been (in my opinion) a success (Shadowrun Returns, Wasteland 2, Pillars of eternity, Divinity Original Sin); but I did go into several of those after they were funded, so they may have their own unfulfilled promises.
I know I'm necro-ing my own (very old) thread, but I would like to thank all those who contributed. I've been working on these ideas more seriously and you have all provided interesting knowledge.
Oh, I'm playing plenty of those two (mostly shadowrun 5e and pathfinder). It's just hard to play P&P when your alone.
I've also played through fire emblem and the final fantasy tactics games. Quite like the gameplay. Wow, I just realised I forgot all the DS RPGs I played.
TLDR: looking for new (or old but little known), interesting, narrative RPGs. With a fondness for isometric tactical RPGs.
I have had excessive amount of free time lately due to illness, I have had way too much time to play video games. So I am turning to the collective wisdom of the paizo boards. I've gone through way too many RPGs and am looking for more exotic fare to stave off my boredom (that's never good for the mind). Pretty much all the D&D games gave been passed through (baldur's gate multiple time), pillars of eternity, wasteland 2, most spiderweb software games (and similar ones like Balrum and Eschalon), all the dragon ages, all the mass effects, most of the divinity series, the recent shadowrun games (very good, I wish they would make more...), arcanum, the fallout games, the stick of truth, the evoland series, Tyranny, the witcher series, the blackguard series (not as good as it seemed in my head), the elder scrolls series, jade empire, expeditions:conquistador, and probably some I no longer remember.
I've also played procedural open world games so much I am sick of them (I love minecraft and starbound, but over 1500 hours over 3 years is too much).
I would never have thought this situation possible, but here I am.
You've actually hit a lot of elements I've already done; originally, her ONLY contact was her sorority BFF who was in seattle and worked for evo. I could boost her fashion knowledge a bit; though she is already obssessed with Zoe.
I thought about the livecasting stuff; she is a bit full of herself and has a very distinctive style on her runs (she is the pink tigeress). Unfortunately, I am 100% sure our face would murder her if she did something that would bring the team so much public awareness.
I've come up with a ridiculous idea for a first starfinder campaign:
The players are part of a goverment anticorruption group who have a goal of infliltrating high society in order to find the most corrupt. Their plan to infiltrate high society: become a galactic-level rock band and get super rich.
It would be a very silly campaign
Been a while since I've been on the paizo forums, mostly because I've been playing a TON of shadowrun. I've been having some problems with one of my PCs however; I'm not having much fun playing her anymore.
Part of the problem is with the character itself; when the game started, I felt like playing something simple, so I created a "barbie barbarian" type; a street sami ork who was raised in beverly hills, had an addiction to shopping, and was forced into the shadows because of significant rage issues. At first it was fun to play something uncomplicated, but it's becoming a bore. I have a hard time finding ambitions for her, goals to work toward, non-combat things for her to do that are actually useful.
So I've been wondering what others have done when a character gets boring and they cant readily change it. Or what other people have done to make bruisers "fun" out of combat.
Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
This may be a bit late, but I cant help myself:-Priests of mars, lords of mars, gods of mars (Graham Mcneill):
The 40k universe is a marvelous mix of technology, "magic", and technology so advanced it may as well be magic. If there is a class/archetype based on the 40k techpriest, I am sure to play it to death. Other 40k books I think fit well:
-Anything by Sandy Mitchell (of CIAPHAS CAIN: HERO OF THE IMPERIUM fame)
-The eisenhorn series (Dan abnett) is also a good techno-scifi mix.
-The X-wing novel series (Micheal Stackpole, Aaron alston): I would love to see a way to do the fighter pilots trope in a game.
That's all i can tink of for now, but I shall return with more!
For fun, here is my version of the 20 questions (heavily inspired by those of l5r), "setting adapted" considering the following factors my own setting.
20 questions wild north:
1) Which of the nine clans does your character belong to?
There are nine clans in the north. See the player document for more details.
2) What class (low, medium or high) does your character belong to?
Wealth (material wealth, much more than just gold) is of critical importance in the north. More food, more goods, better homes, and more allow you to survive the cruelty of nature. As such, society is divided into three economic classes. The low classes mainly consist of subsistence farmers & miners, surviving by working the land (often serving the more powerful). The middle classes own many slaves, allowing them to produce much more than what they need as farmers, miners, lumberjacks and quaryers. The high class comes from those of great wisdom and cunning who accumulated great wealth though canny skill, or who sponsored successful raids to the south bringing much riches. These are treated as nobility, and lead the people in their day to day lives.
3) How would other’s describe your character’s appearance?
Every character should have a rough description in order to give him some sort of life when describing him to others. What is the character’s most striking feature? Does his mood come through in his appearance or is he inscrutable? Does he make others feel at ease, or make them uncomfortable?
4) What is your character’s primary motivation?
Though all warriors are, in theory, solely devoted to fulfilling to protecting the people of the north, most have their own goals as well. Some may be simple, such as maintaining their honor, while others may revolve around the recovery of a lost heirloom or the avenging of a slight to your family’s honor.
5) Who does your character’s trust most in the world?
Characters should have some developed background in order to facilitate role-playing. This question not only includes the individual’s identity, but how that person met the character, why they are so close, and other similar questions.
6) What is your character’s greatest strength and weakness?
Strengths are what others see as respectable or admirable in the character, while weaknesses are what he would struggle to hide from others, lest they look down upon him for his failures. What does the character regard as his strengths and weaknesses, and how does this differ from his actual abilities?
7) What is your character’s attitude towards the druids?
Druids serve as nominal leaders and guides of northern society. They are aloof and distant, and often appear very strange to all others. As such, those who have had limited (or negative) dealings with them often fear or despise them.
8) What is your character’s opinion of your clan?
While all warriors are theoretically bound to the protection of their clan, many do not completely agree with the direction their leaders (and clansmen) follow. Does he differ from the stereotypes of his clan?
9) Is your character married or promised in marriage?
Your characters will start at the age of 16. Traditionally, this is the start of courtship in northern society, where the Providers seek out warriors that interest them. Few are married as young as 16, as they have yet to accumulate the accomplishments to attract attention. Some few however are exceptional enough to attract attention beforehand. The high class often arranges marriages to assure the continuity of their wealth.
10) What prejudices does your character hold?
The ignorant nature of the warrior caste means many know little about the wold, and prejudice is common. Most clans are negatively predisposed to several other clans, and most have strong prejudices against the other races. Is the character one who readily subscribes to these prejudices or has he developed his own dislikes of other Clans, even allied Clans, based on his
11) Who has trained your character in the arts of war?
The most obvious answer would be “your warrior parent”. But many seek wider training from more skilled individuals.
12) What are your character’s favorite and least favorite things?
This could address a wide variety of responses, including material possessions, activities, locations, or almost anything else that could spring to mind. Why does the character revere these things? What significance do they have to his history?
13) What superstitions does your character hold?
The brutish nature of northern life makes many individuals highly superstitious. Innumerable actions are considered unlucky, largely based on personal prejudice and experience. The savagery of nature, and the numerous magical beasts that roam the wilds make many thouroughly convinced of the magival nature of the world.
14) Where did your character grow up?
Settlements are small in the north, the largest barely passing a couple thousand. Most people grew up in small villages and hamlets. Many grow up in small thorpes containing as few as two families.
15) What about your character’s emotions?
It is expected for warriors to be wildly emotional, and to be carried by them into the glory of battle. While this is traditional, many (including the providers) see this as problematic to the proper functioning of northern society.
16) How would your character’s parents describe them?
Devotion to one’s parents is considered proper behavior for any northerner, but devotion can be offered without any real respect between a parent and child. Does the character have a proper relationship with his parents or are they estranged? Was the character’s upbringing a source of joy or dismay for his parents? Are they still alive, or were they taken from the character at a younger age?
17) What are your weapons?
Each warrior choses their weapons; one for far, one for close. Few are those who wield many weapons, though they do exist, as most warriors are quite versatile. What weapons does your warrior favor?
18) What is your highest ambition?
As all warriors seek glory, all must find a grand ambition if they are ever to gain great honor. Some seek to kill great beasts; other to lead grand armies, or to run successful raids. What ambition does your character seek?
19) How religious is your character?
Many warriors disregard the will of the gods, as the Warrior herself disregards them. Some however, venerate assiduously, even dedicating their life to the purest warrior ideals. What does your character do to show their faith?
20) How will your character die?
This is a very important and intimidating question, but one that should be given consideration. Every warrior lives a few short feet from death, and death is a threat that can rear its head on any day of a warrior’s entire life. What is the character’s destiny? How will he meet his end when the time comes for him to join his ancestors
I tend to agree with that. I had this exact problem in a scifi game I ran before, which become quite troublesome, and I'm seeing it with shadowrun.
In the last year, I have played a lot of new RPGs, from some warhammer 40k, shadowrun, L5R, and dungeon world. I was particularly fond of L5R's "20 questions" which did a decent job presenting a character to the expectations of the world around them.
I decided to try a similar approach in my current pathfinder game, making a series of 20 questions for the campaign's theme (in this case, the players where young warriors from a barbarian society).
I was wondering, what other tools have people used to put players into the context of a world?
Yeah, I would second the social contract mentionned earlier. It is critical. Some systems do encourage flaws.
For exemple, shadowrun (5e in my case). My character has addictions, incompetence (social) and a bad rep (caused by massive rage problems). If anyone calls her ugly, or expects her to negotiate, there will be trouble.She is also HIGHLY recognizable (a hot-pink wearing 6 foot female orc tends to be) which will eventually come to bite me in the ass, I'm sure.
BUT all the players have notable flaws; the face has combat paralysis (it halves initiative, which is huge in shadowrun) and some other, secret problems. The mage has a family and a legit identity (which makes working in the shadows complicated, since he does not want to burn it). THe decker... I'm not sure. They havent come up yet.
In any case, the system is made so that we ALL have flaws, and the group works with/around them.
I've always wanted to play a "bolt ace" gunslinger like that. Ultracompetent commando crossbowman.
Leandro Garvel wrote:
There is the exemplar Brawler archetype; inspire courage AND punching.
Goth Guru wrote:
You see, I thought the girls where (somehow) the vehicules, as his movement of them controlled the car/ship.
Goth Guru wrote:
You Might enjoy "Squat crusade: a musical", a RP story about a campaign of space dwarves trying to survive in 40k.
I would be interested in seeing a dungeon crawl (assuming it made plot sense), with the right group. I've been having a lot of fun with a shadowrun group that is organised, logical and very disciplined. I would want to run in a dungeon crawl with such serious operators. I would not want to play a dungeon crawl with a bunch of murderhoboes (and the groups I have played with were just messes).
Actually, I do have some ideas for an entire dungeon-crawl campaign... but I would rather play than run that to be honest.
I was looking at the new style feats, and saw some interesting potential in the "slipslinger" line of style feats, but had a few questions:
-Does this still count as a splash weapon for the purpose of the alchemist's "throw anything" ability, and the underground chemist's "chemical weapons"/"precise splash weapons"?
I thought about it a bit, but I'll admit that the spellcasting (and lost spellcasting through the PrC levels) kinda made me less interested. Though maybe that trapper ranger...
Hey folks! I'm having a bit of fun theorycrafting, and I'm looking for ideas.
I've always loved the "terrain dominance" feature of the Horizon walker PrC that gives 3+ wis dimension doors a day. Teleporting into battle is sweet, and the mobility it gives is (theoretically at least) awesome for martials. I've always wanted to make something cool that synergises with the need for extra wis, but I havent had much luck. (And the dimensional dervish feat will on kick in at level 13 at the earliest... but I still think it's cool)
The idea of an "astral rager" (Barbarian 6/Horizon walker 3/barbarian 11) is cool, but the wis is not very useful and the barbarians have better sources of mobility.
A monk might be cool, though most already get abundant step making this redundant. However, a monk 6/Horizon walker 3/Brother of the seal 10 could be cool; teleporting in front of someone then blowing them away!
The fighter would definitly get the most out of the mobility, though I dont know any fighter archetypes that could use that wisdom (beyond the usual advantages).
Any ideas? Earlier ways to enter the DD chain? I'm thinking of trying a samurai (sword saint) next.
I know the paladin is far from OP (especially with casters in play), but I've always thought it would do better as a prestige class than a base one; I quite like the narrative of someone who starts mundane but gains great power for their faith.
So I've been wondering, has anybody ever tried to do this? I was thinking of making it similar to the sentinel (another divine prestige class) and the Mantis warrior (who has 4-level casting). What do you guys think? I might post up a write-up if nobody has tried before.
Evil snow white. The general idea would be that when she was poisoned, snow white caught the attention of asmodeus, who offered her vengeance in exchange for her soul. So he killed the evil queen, and came to "kiss" her awake under the shape of a prince. Since then, she wanders the land under the guise of goodness, manipulating people in the service of her master.
as well as Eldritch heritage (arcane), for an imp familiar; combined with the imp companion, they would polymorph into small birds and sing around her.
She would also take wicked leadership to get a Kitsune Ninja cohort who would turn into a fox.
In the end, she would be a beautiful (and damned) young sorceress, who is followed by wild animals and sings, impossible to identify as evil... by level 15, thanks to the damnation feats, she would be an actual outsider.
Oh! And ideally, to fit with the lawful evil thing, she would never lie. But she would dissemble, change the subject, and avoid ever telling the whole truth.
I'll post more ideas soon, I have a buttload.
Redbeard the Scruffy wrote:
I can appreciate that. I'm currently ending a campaign early, and one of the reason is because the players have 0 engagement. In my other campaigns, the players where motivated, would give me ideas about what they wanted, what they where like. THey gave me most of my inspiration for the game. Here... seriously disappointed.
Which is also (oddly) a reason I stopped a lot of games; since they played at night (and I was always tired, I'm a day person), I was never fully engaged and was not great fun. I've found a sunday game and I am infinitely more engaged and interested.
So yeah, love your GM and your GM will love ya back. They are a player too, and showing them you want to play (both in play and without) is hugely motivating.
If this isnt the next season of DANGER 5 I will be sorely dissapointed
Redbeard the Scruffy wrote:
Eh, I see it more as a "people" thing. Most people I know are VERY flaky. As somebody who has been trying to organise more social activities, most people are flaky with everything that isnt "core" to them. It sucks, but it's normal. I still do get pissed when I organize something and 1 out of the 6 "confirmed" show up.
I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:
Well, I dont quite think so. Like I said, it's not auto-win, it's just a higher probability. The random nature removes all possibility of auto-win scenarios. And if someone plays against someone at the same level, it's very impressive. I mean professional sports is basically that; take the "best" possible human players, the best possible strategists/coaches, and pit them against each other. Yes, a pro team will (almost) always beat an amateur one (and it will look quite boring as well), but pro vs pro can be quite interesting.
Cult like faith in it's omniscience is dumb however. This is statistical analysis, not calculus. There is no "solve for victory". You may win 70% of your games, but losing should be expected. Then again, asshats are too common to discount... sigh.
I find this hilarious.
As for the reliability of the statistical analysis stuff... on average, it is better (from what I've seen). Again, it's not an auto-victory button, but if people do it right they can be monsters.
Now, there are asshats everywhere, that, unfortunately, we can not escape. But my experience with mechanics first people has been that they have only a few more asshats than the average.
I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:
I think this is more of a "different mentality" thing than anything else. You derive fun from something broader; they derive fun from victory & statistical analysis. In the end, people who want to win (and put the effort to do so) will always end up pushing aside those without the same ambition (and this isnt just in games; you can go into any field (business, engineering, politics, etc.) and find similar mindsets). I wouldnt be surprised they have similar attitudes towards "casuals" (like the reaction on the web to "casual" VG players), wondering why "they dont play the game properly" (IE statistically, to win).
The only solution I have found... is avoidance. They want something COMPLETELY different from the game that some do. I'm not competitive myself, and so I avoid these kinds of people. Luckily, I havent met many of them.
Ah, PbP never worked for me either. I just... couldnt get into it. I always finished by forgetting it was even there...
I'll admit, I'm rather iffy on that. I tend to design a lot more than I need, because I like to feel like I have a complete and coherent world; though adventures themselves tend to involve less preparation. (also, I love world-building, so I get a lot of fun out of it. I have basic worldbuilding prep ready for MANY potential campaigns, that will probably never be played).
I've seen that work in some groups. But it takes heavily invested players. And while I have tried to do it, most (lightly invested) players forget pretty quickly, and the constant reminding is not pleasant.
GM Rednal wrote:
Being the kind of person who enjoys actually PLAYING some ridiculous ideas, I did a thing. XD Feel free to check it out if you're interested in some Play-by-Post.
I've tried running some ridiculous ideas. My current game (rogue trader) is loosely inspired by duck tales.
But silly ideas take motivated players, and I have had little luck finding those. Stil, one can only hope!
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