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Goblinworks Blog: Signed... in Blood


Pathfinder Online

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Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:
because most assassins wouldn't want to be hanging out in NPC Settlements anyway.

Then you don't know assassins very well. Again, I see people failing to understand the difference between bandit and assassin.

Historically speaking, the most prolific assassins, the ninja clans of feudal Japan, lived inconspicuous lives as peasants. They were also very political and very concerned with supporting their respective lords. There are no examples at all, historically, of assassins hanging out in misty ninja dojos perched high in the branches of mystical 5000 ft tall trees and living off nothing but their own incredibly focused ki.

Goblin Squad Member

GrumpyMel wrote:

Actualy in follow up to my above post, I would propose another type of contract..

I think what's most exciting about this contract rather than quest game mechanic is that the potential flags used to create different contracts are virtually unlimited.

Perform action X in location Y. Or to player Z. Or to item P. Or to NPC Q.

SO many options....

Goblin Squad Member

Forencith wrote:
Malarious wrote:

I am very interested in the Assassination rules as well. I would love to play out an assassin as that means you have an ever evolving challenge... other players. If, however, being an Assassin means I suddenly cannot go anywhere or purchase from anyone this is bad.

Why is it evil for me to kill someone who has wronged another for instance? I think that not all contracts are evil (an assassin could easily take bounty contracts as well) and I definitely do not think all of them warrant criminal status. Especially outside the borders of a settlement.

I think this is a bounty hunter, not an assassin. Bounty hunters can be secretive and dress like ninjas too.

Malarious wrote:

I would love to see assassins have contracts with thieves guilds to make use of the ambush features for hideouts. If the target tries to quick travel through you can engage them suddenly. Maybe you can pay some thieves to hold them down!

Over all, I am almost at the point of exploding and asking what else i can do to help!

...and thieves are criminals, so doing their dirty work would be criminal.

The definition of an Assassin: One who murders by surprise attack, especially one who carries out a plot to kill a prominent person

Definition of Evil:
1. The quality of being morally bad or wrong; wickedness.
2. That which causes harm, misfortune, or destruction
3. An evil force, power, or personification.
4. Something that is a cause or source of suffering, injury, or destruction

Even if you kill mercifully, you are still destroying something (lack of DP aside). I don't understand why a murderer, albeit a skilled one, is concerned about becoming evil. Seems to me to come with the turf...by definition.

Even if you kill mercifully, you are still destroying something (lack of DP aside). I don't understand why a murderer, albeit a skilled one, is concerned about becoming evil. Seems to me to come with the turf...by definition.

EDIT: Oh, and I just realized there is and should be a deference between alignment and reputation...especially when alignment is absolutes like in Golarion (personified by deities). But, this argument is nullified by a few well placed "glasses of alignment detection" on our super marshals.

That being said the Great Legionnaires are very, very, very, evil clan.

We intend to kill, but only those who harm the weak and innocent.

We intend to destroy, but only that which is owned by our enemies.

We intend to cause suffering, but only to give consequence to the deeds of the wicked.

And we intend to do great amounts of all three. By the same token your military chorus is evil too. Will they not kill, destroy, and cause suffering?

Does a paladin who aims only to expel evil and promote justice not kill, destroy, and cause suffering?

Personally I HIGHLY prefer my definition of good and evil:

Good is expending effort or making sacrifices for the benefit of others, especially if it sees no personal reward.

Evil is causing harm to others for selfish gains or the benefit of evil cause, deity, or ideology. Such as the worship of Asmodeus or the membership of a murderous brotherhood.

I would agree with Malarious. The assassination of an evil adviser of the king that his evil plans do not come to fruition and the kingdom and the land continue to enjoy peace is not only an act I wouldn't consider evil, but an act I would consider GOOD if not for the fact they were accepting payment. Chaotic? Very. Yes very chaotic. It's a decidedly chaotic good act.

That being said it's an order I would sign with as little regret as an order to assist that same kingdoms guards defending against a bandit raid or hunt down a wanted serial killer. There is a reason we are neutral good and not lawful good.

Goblin Squad Member

Good is promoting the instinctive desire to survive, commencing with self, then expanding to kin, then to those similar (community) and most likely to have overlapping goals, and so on outward permitting resources allow it.

As Nietzsche said: "Fear is the mother of morality".

If you remove the instinctive desire to survive from any sentient organism and try to explain to it your concept of good and evil. He'll think you're insane.

Evil is fairly similar to good as explained above, but with far more restrictive, or no expansion of desire to survive beyond oneself. No or little ability to project others onto oneself, aka empathy (etymologically means "into" "feeling" or bringing foreign feelings into oneself) Sociopaths have been repeatedly shown to lack any activity whatsoever in the areas of the brain tied to empathy. They lack the ability to understand what others do by the concept of guilt. This is why psyche after psyche confirms that criminal sociopaths feel no remorse and simply cannot understand what all the hullabaloo is about. It's not that they're stupid, or unable to think about it logically. Good and evil only make logical sense when you place them in that context of an instinctive desire for self and kin, and later community, to survive. They don't have that instinct in its completeness, so from a purely objective point of view are not actually evil. From our subjective view though they clearly are.

Thus sociopaths look at others like they're insane. From their instinctive point of reference, logically they're correct. From our instinctive point of reference, logically they're wrong.

I've always puzzled over the Vulcan desire to purge all emotion. Actually achieving that would remove that instinctive desire to survive as all emotion, starting with fear, can be derived from that instinct. Once done, there is no logical explanation to do anything but stand and stare at the wall til you starve to death and collapse, dead. Any explanation to do otherwise would be tied in some way to emotion.

Goblin Squad Member

oh goodie... the return of the alignment debates.

In this context, and without any viable source of info about how they plan to implement alignment except in the broadest hinted terms, I can only imagine these debates are going to do what they always do and devolve into wildly abstract "he said/she saids".

In any event, I love the idea of supporting the Players as Content by developing a firm contract system. Whether that be the hotly debated Assassination contract (which occurred to me might not even target other players) to the stand around and look busy Guards, I think its a fantastic concept. It would seem to be a great counter for this and its clear prevalence in games. Even to this day when conducting a transaction with someone i don't know in WoW there is that moment of tension when each party is dropping stuff into the UI and waiting for the other to provide fulfillment. Instead of minimalizing that interaction GW has chosen to build that out into a broad spectrum mechanic.

Goblin Squad Member

In terms of the problems with escrow...

Would it be possible to set up a caveat where a player can deliver an item to an NPC banker [or some other always-available character/structure] of some sort instead? This item/coin would then be transferred to the intended recipient when they log on next and visit the banker.

I know contracts are designed to encourage human interaction, but this caveat may help to protect folks from the scam that's described in the blog entry (i.e. task is unattainable, and the player loses what's in escrow). I realize the 'scam' could be an in-character action, and thus, could be considered a viable ploy to obtain wealth; however, if that's the case, I'm not sure which in-game system (i.e. reputation, alignment, etc.) will be there to provide a consequence for the scammer. There's always word-of-mouth, but it seems like this system is being designed to penalize all forms of 'bad' behavior.

Seems like the reputation mechanic is best suited in this case. Maybe that will be enough of a protection. However, if these tasks are time-locked, having the banker delivery option would still be helpful, simply because folks may not always be logged in for every second of the contract (i.e. real life, internet outages, etc.)

Again, don't want to discourage the human interaction element. Folks should still be able to deliver the goods to their intended recipient directly. However, if the task becomes practically too difficult, no one's going to use this particular form of contract. Adding the 'banker' option, or something similar, may improve its use, which in turn encourages interaction.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

I figured that 'delivery' would be to a warehouse, not to a character. The 'impossible task' aspect is created by a third party.

I'm very cautiously optimistic about the contract system, but I see too many systemic pitfalls for me to consider what I've seen fully designed. Luckily, it isn't presented as fully designed, and Goblinworks has access to a large group of professional game designers to work out the system, along with enough testers skilled at finding flaws in systems.

Goblin Squad Member

Not much has been said about reputation. The references to it in the blog were pretty vague. How will reputation be monitored and communicated? I would love to see a system like the one eBay uses as opposed to just word of mouth. I hope we can quickly and easily look up how many contracts a person has fulfilled and failed to fulfill.

Should people be allowed to rank a person's fulfillment? What about adding comments ("He showed up 15 minutes late" or "She just stood there while the bandits made off with the cargo")?

Goblin Squad Member

A bunch of things to say in response to comments here - these are awesome ideas everyone keep them coming!

Controlling the Outcome of a Contract

The person who issues a contract will be able to control when it is terminated if it is abandoned or the time specified expires. It doesn't happen automatically but requires the issuing character to take an action to close the contract.

Likewise any party to a contract can offer to terminate it before it is fulfilled, and if the other parties to the contract accept that offer, the contract is nullified; Coin and gear in escrow are returned to the character who deposited them and it is as if the contract never existed.

Assassinations

It should be possible for someone to go virtually anywhere they can manage to gain admittance and target virtually any character for an assassination. This implies, obviously, that there should be ways to avoid alignment (and other) restrictions on access to various NPC areas.

An assassination needs to be something substantially more painful than a simple character death, otherwise there's little point to doing them other than "the lols", and that's a game mode we don't want to encourage.

This is why I said that a discussion of assassinations would require its own blog post. :)

Reputation

Again, a whole blog post of a topic, but I can summarize quickly by saying that everyone will have a reputation with everyone else. The default is "neutral". But you can manually adjust your reputation to either "hostile" or "friendly".

Membership in a social organization can affect your relationship standing with another character. Generally speaking, the relationship of a social organization overrides an individual relationship standing.

So if I hate Bob, and set his standing to me to Hostile, but Bob is in a Chartered Company that my Settlement has a Friendly relationship with, Bob will be considered "Friendly" to me.

If my Settlement changes its relationship with Bob's Company, my relationship with Bob will change as well.

It's unclear to me if having the ability to set standings differently from your social organizations would be useful or workable. It may create so many loopholes that its not worth the effort to code, and it could become so confusing that people might make serious mistakes as a result (or be induced to make a mistake through social engineering). Keeping it simple at the beginning seems like the best policy to me.

(As a side note, you'll always be able to see what relationship standing you have with a character even if it's not the "formal" relationship that will govern things like issuing a contract. So if you run into Bob but have forgotten him, you will be able to see in your information about Bob that you are Hostile towards him, and that your Settlement is Friendly towards his Company. So you'll have this information for your own actions and decisions, it just won't have a mechanical expression (at least in the beginning).)

Letters of Marque

When two entities (characters, Companies, Settlements or Kingdoms) both set their relationship standing to "Hostile", a state of war will exist between them. Killing someone you are at war with (or burning down their Inn) is not a criminal act. It probably won't have alignment implications either.

Both sides have to agree however, because otherwise you'll have a situation where people are being targeted for wars against their will, and they'll lose the value of the safety of the security system - thus negating a lot of its value.

Wars are a "big deal", and we'll probably have to have several blogs to talk about things like how long you have to wait before a war goes into effect or can be cancelled, how it affects allies, how it affects reputation, etc.

But "War" is effectively the mechanical expression of the letter of marque idea. Except you can't grief someone with it.

Goblin Squad Member

Skwiziks wrote:
Ryan Dancey wrote:
The metagame solution to this problem is to simply say that such schemes are violations of the code of conduct for the game and will not be tolerated. Rapid and effective enforcement of such a policy will substantially reduce the number of people who try it.
Just to clarify, this won't be the actual policy, right? You were only citing an example?

If you set up a contract for the purpose of luring someone into an ambush, we'll consider that griefing. Don't do it. It causes more problems than whatever fun you might get out of making it happen.

Goblin Squad Member

Ryan Dancey wrote:
Killing someone you are at war with (or burning down their Inn) is not a criminal act.

Noooooooooooo! Not the inn. Don't burn down the inn.

Goblin Squad Member

Please give a response regarding the part we have cited in the blog about assassinations being "criminal".

Does this apply to assassinations carried out in the wilds?

You used the word "criminal" earlier in the blogs to designate a tag given to griefers who "murder" in lawful areas. Was the use of the same word regarding assassination contracts intentional, or a slip of the tongue?

Goblin Squad Member

@Blaeringr: Can't do it - sorry. You'll have to wait for a full blog. To be honest, this is stuff at the very edge of our design plan and there's a lot more "ideas" than "plans" for assassinations at this stage.

Goblin Squad Member

@Ryan- When you speak of assassination contracts, are you are talking about putting a hit on anyone or actually taking out someone of political/factional significance?

Goblin Squad Member

@Obakarauir - an assassination is a specific thing, not just a murder or a death in combat. It doesn't have to be against any "type" of target - you could assassinate Pietro the Pig Boy.

Why that would be worth the trouble and expense is beyond me but maybe the person who hired the assassin has some justification.

I just don't want it to be a griefing tool. You're not supposed to be constantly running around worried that an assassin is going to pop out of the woodwork and stab you in the back.

Cheliax Goblin Squad Member

I really like the pc quests idea as it fits into my master plan for my character in PFO.

Goblin Squad Member

@Ryan- Thanks for the clairification.

Goblin Squad Member

While GrumpyMel argues well in favor of not all assassinations being equal, I think his hypothetical of a faction at war placing an assassination contract on an important member of another faction misses the most important point of why assassins have always been evil in this game tradition: killing a person purely for profit is evil. The assassin is in it for the money, and one of the conceits of the game is that this is wrong. If there will be some kind of graded scale for alignment, i.e. a measurable difference between "kinda LG" and "supremely LG," then I would favor posting an assassination contract to at least shade the poster's aligment closer towards Chaotic and Evil.

On another note:
One thing that concerns me about certain of these contracts, particularly Guard contracts, is that sometimes RL interferes. One mechanic I would like to see to guard against that the possibility of secondary contractors who both parties agree will step in and fulfill the contract. That way, if my internet connection goes down half an hour before my guard shift starts, I can call up my friend Gary on his cell phone and let him know that his PC has to take my shift. The hirer already knows that if I can't fulfill my contract, then Gary will pick up my slack, rather than either a stranger who he hasn't vetted doing so, or the site going unguarded.

I mention guard contracts specifically, because I could envision long-term or semi-permanent sites with the need for sophisticated schedules of rotating guard shifts. OTOH, at that point, you might be contracting with specific player companies.


I'm confused about the Loan Contracts...
Specifically, why would/should somebody be flagged as 'Criminal' for 'defaulting' on a secured loan, and the creditor taking possession of the escrow in lieu of payment? At the least, it seems like there should be two types of loans (both parties must agree to type of loan), and there could be an option for non-Criminal outcome if the borrower ends up 'defaulting' and the creditor takes the escrow. In other words, if the contract is: the creditor will receive repayment+interest/fee if the borrower chooses to repay OR they will receive the escrow amount, the contract HAS been fulfilled. There could even be a 'sliding' system, where both parties agree that the escrow is covering/securing X% of the loan value, and consequences will be scaled accordingly between 100% secured and 0% secured loans (the first doesn't have Criminal penalties, the latter does).

I also thought about the possibilities of the borrower being able to use their escrow property until the Loan terms are up, i.e. a house/settlement. If they default, then the ownership is transferred. (What if they are still inside said property/settlement? Would they need to be evicted by force?)

What if there was another category of Contract, 'Repossession Contracts'... I.e. collateral that is allowed to remain in possession of borrower until default, and then if the borrower doesn't give it up to the lender, contracts can be made to 'collect' what's due...? As-is per the Blog take on Loan Contracts, somebody defaults, only gives up what is in Escrow, suffers Criminal status for a month, but nothing else... I'd honestly rather have a system such that the Lender could Legally put out contracts to 'collect' on the defaulted borrower, up to the loan amount (+fee). In a system of some implicit trust, Loan Fees wouldn't really fully cover the amount of a repossession Contract (on a basis of the fees from one contract covering repossession, i.e. 100% repossession rate per contract), but Lenders would be motivated to to do so (i.e. spend on costly repossession contracts when somebody breaks the contract) just to maintain the threat of what they can do if you break a Contract.

Based on the Blog take on Loans, it seems like the Escrow amount would tend to be near equal to the loan amount (possibly minus the fee which is paid up-front anyways), which seems pretty restrictive. If the Loan system is a bit more flexible, Escrow amounts would be lower, which seems more reasonable in the end... As-is, it seems highly skewed to removing all risk from the Lender's end (their risk is EXACTLY what they agree to when they set the Escrow amount), while also making the Lender totally passive, i.e. don't do anything actively to ensure full payment/etc.

Is there going to be 'Rental Contracts' of buildings/settlements/camps/etc?

It wasn't clear to me: is there planned to be a 'global', accurate status of 'Contract Reliability'?
It seems more realistic to have such assessments tied only to Contracts in a given area, i.e. the LG/LE cities, not Contracts made in the middle of the wilderness. This puts more weight on contracts made in a 'civilized area', and makes 'Wildnerness Contracts' more about implicit trust (though they would still have Alignment repurcussions, etc).

Related Question: Are characters making contracts in Thornkeep really going to be flagged Criminal in the same way as the LG/LE cities? Is it just expected to be ignored there? (but people in the LG/LE cities would care about contracts that were breached in Thornkeep?) More broadly, is there plans on how Lawful/Chaotic and Good/Evil alignment repurcussions will be handled within differently aligned Domains? I'm just not sure what Lawful mores one could 'break' in a regime that isn't Lawful...


Also, how Guard contracts would work out isn't clear to me...

It seems like the Blog is talking about the Contract being fulfilled if the Guards are in the desired area and logged in. That doesn't really mean much, they could just be there and not do anything. I guess it probably also requires Guards to take hostile actions against anybody who initiates hostilities vs. the Guarded structures/entities? Though I imagine people skamming the system by having their friends they are working with bring along a bunch of 'newbies' who are grouped in the 'bandit group', thus count as a valid target for the Guards to 'defend' against (while not actually putting up a good defense).

Could you pay Guards to PRO-ACTIVELY initiate hostilities, e.g. against anybody who enters nearby and doesn't leave when ordered to?

Could you make Contracts based on a Harvest Camp's succesful operation, i.e. incentive based pay?
Or perhaps a hybrid contract, mixing an incentive with a base pay to cover their labor?

The idea of Reputation was raised, I'm not sure if it alone would be good enough to 'rate' Guards, or if a another metric might be used to 'rate' Guards' effectiveness... I mean, if Guards are so good that nobody tries attacking, how is that measured? Or if they defeat everybody who tries? (etc) Is some sort of basic 'satisfaction rating' (for both sides of a Contract) going to be available (so you see how many previous customers of a Guard are satisfied, likewise a Guard can see the same for a prospective employer - if somebody is a jerk and gives negative ratings when they aren't deserved, it would show up in their ratings and people would avoid them).

Goblin Squad Member

Ryan Dancey wrote:
Skwiziks wrote:
Ryan Dancey wrote:
The metagame solution to this problem is to simply say that such schemes are violations of the code of conduct for the game and will not be tolerated. Rapid and effective enforcement of such a policy will substantially reduce the number of people who try it.
Just to clarify, this won't be the actual policy, right? You were only citing an example?
If you set up a contract for the purpose of luring someone into an ambush, we'll consider that griefing. Don't do it. It causes more problems than whatever fun you might get out of making it happen.

Fair, and I agree with you. Be mindful with such a policy, and have clear rules for the players for what is and is not allowed, and a robust reporting system. It's the kind of thing that could be difficult to enforce correctly without the proper care.

Goblin Squad Member

Quandary wrote:
I also thought about the possibilities of the borrower being able to use their escrow property until the Loan terms are up, i.e. a house/settlement. If they default, then the ownership is transferred. (What if they are still inside said property/settlement? Would they need to be evicted by force?)

In most cases where real estate is used as collateral, I'd hope the borrower could still use the building even when it is the escrow for a loan. In some cases - say, an armorer who used his smithy as collateral - the building may be used by the borrower to get funds to pay off the loan.

The escrow should prevent the smithy from being sold, or used as escrow property in a second loan, of course.

Goblin Squad Member

Quandary wrote:
I'm confused about the Loan Contracts...

Its important to start from the position of "doing the basic system first".

Over time, each of these Contracts could proliferate into many permutations. But the basic system should be the easiest to understand and the least susceptible to abuse.

So, ground rules for the first iteration:

1: Failure to fulfill a contract has harsh penalties

2: The only actions that can be defined by a contract are things that have specific conditions which can be easily determined by software, not a human being

3: Assume that people will try to cheat and mis-use Contracts, and make it onerous to experiment with fraud

RyanD

Silver Crusade Goblin Squad Member

Good call to start basic and grow from there. Besides, the more complicated contracts could (and should be) crafted by players outside of the game.

Random Thought: If you guys have a plan for the next blog, could you post that thought at the end of it? That way, we can get discussing the concept early. Who knows, you might even find something you like in our verbal ramblings!

Goblin Squad Member

@Akexabder_Damocles - to be honest I usually write them stream of consciousness when its time to get the text ready. I think about them all the time but usually couldn't tell you what they'll be until just before I start typing. :0

Goblinworks Executive Founder

Ryan Dancey wrote:
Quandary wrote:
I'm confused about the Loan Contracts...

Its important to start from the position of "doing the basic system first".

Over time, each of these Contracts could proliferate into many permutations. But the basic system should be the easiest to understand and the least susceptible to abuse.

So, ground rules for the first iteration:

1: Failure to fulfill a contract has harsh penalties

2: The only actions that can be defined by a contract are things that have specific conditions which can be easily determined by software, not a human being

3: Assume that people will try to cheat and mis-use Contracts, and make it onerous to experiment with fraud

RyanD

At the same time, note that certain player organizations will have a (self-imposed) mandate to figure out exactly how the 'magical contract-enforcing bulletin boards) work. If there's a automated detection algorithm for fraudulent use, we are going to be a LOT of false positives.

Silver Crusade Goblin Squad Member

Ryan Dancey wrote:
@Akexabder_Damocles - to be honest I usually write them stream of consciousness when its time to get the text ready. I think about them all the time but usually couldn't tell you what they'll be until just before I start typing. :0

Any possibility of doing something like having a poll on what we want to see talked about in the next blog?

1) Assassinations
2) Crafting (are all longswords 1d8 weapons?)
3) NPC Interaction

These are all things I would *love* to see discussed, and would be a good way to engage the new people who are just arriving from the Kickstarter.

Goblin Squad Member

@Alexander_Damocles - I appreciate the idea but unfortunately there are just some things that have to come when they're ready, not when the community wishes them to arrive. :)

Silver Crusade Goblin Squad Member

Fair enough! Any news on having the middleware purchased?

Goblin Squad Member

Scholar-at-Arms wrote:
One thing that concerns me about certain of these contracts, particularly Guard contracts, is that sometimes RL interferes.

I really stopped worrying about this when Ryan pointed out that the parties could mutually agree to cancel any Contract with no penalties to either side. This means that, if I take a Guard contract, and RL interferes, then I should expect the other Party not to be a jerk about it. If he is, then I just don't deal with him anymore and he starts to develop a reputation as a jerk, making it more difficult for him to get Guards in the future.

It's not a perfect system, but there really aren't any of those anyway.

Goblin Squad Member

It's funny, every time evil shifts for criminal acts are brought up, there is always a few people that argue against it, with obvious underlying goals to make acts that negatively impact other players less risky.

Is it that hard to have a open PvP system where killing another player is not acceptable 99% of the time? People should be comfortable in the knowledge that 1 time out of 1,000,000 the killer will experience more negative effects than the victim.

The cost of something such as robbing a caravan should be equal to the loss that the caravan experienced.

Taldor Goblin Squad Member

Valkenr wrote:
It's funny, every time evil shifts for criminal acts are brought up, there is always a few people that argue against it, with obvious underlying goals to make acts that negatively impact other players less risky.

I know that, personally, it's the Law --- Chaos axis that concerns me a lot more than the Good --- Evil.

I plan to play an Assassin. I don't want the completion of Assassination contracts to make it harder to be an Assassin. In other words, if there are in-game mechanics that make completing an Assassination contract an automatic criminal (and arguably chaotic) act, and further mechanics that penalize a chaotic criminal from taking future contracts. . . that's a self defeating model.

The mechanics of the game should support the underlying RP elements, not serve as roadblocks. It's not about justifying being a griefer, it's about being able to play out a character concept.

Goblin Squad Member

@Kevin Cannell, I expect you won't really get any relief on this subject until the blog on Assassination Contracts. However, Ryan explicitly stated that Assassination Contracts basically required systems to allow Assassins to circumvent the negative effects of being a criminal - with respect to getting into NPC Settlements and such. So, I wouldn't worry too much.

Taldor Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:
@Kevin Cannell, I expect you won't really get any relief on this subject until the blog on Assassination Contracts. However, Ryan explicitly stated that Assassination Contracts basically required systems to allow Assassins to circumvent the negative effects of being a criminal - with respect to getting into NPC Settlements and such. So, I wouldn't worry too much.

Yeah. . . I definitely felt better after I saw his response, and am looking forward to the future blog. ;)

I'm also looking forward to an eventual blog on player kingdoms' laws/tax systems. I've been excited ever since I saw we'll be able to set up systems ranging from Karl Marx to Ayn Rand.

Goblin Squad Member

More than appreciating his response, I'm thrilled to hear that we're not only going to get an answer, but that assassination as a singular game mechanic is getting a whole blog unto itself. I'm so happy I'm whistling show tunes as I sit here sharpening my daggers.


Ryan Dancey wrote:
Quandary wrote:
I'm confused about the Loan Contracts...
Its important to start from the position of "doing the basic system first".

Sure, I definitely understand the rationale there.

I did have one other question, about Assassinations...
They basically seem to be 'super killing' somebody beyond the normal repurcussions of death.
Apparently this will always have Evil alignment repurcussions (for doing it + contracting it out?),
presumably with in-game story justifications re: soul cosmology (like exists re: Undead in Pathfinder),
but my question is really more basic:

If this is something you can Contract out for a 3rd party to do, will people be able to attempt Assassinations THEMSELVES? I assume it will rely on certain skills/abilities perhaps open only to certain Classes/Archetypes, but assuming you have those abilities, i.e. could do Assassinations for other people (customers), could you do Assassinations against your personal enemies without using the Contract system?


Oh yeah: I'm also looking forward to the Blog describing what you're trying to do with the Custom Firm-Ware solution you've decided on. I read a little about NVIDIA's VGX project to enable Server-based GPUs whose output would be usable by all Clients, is that something you're considering using?

Goblin Squad Member

Valkenr wrote:
Is it that hard to have a open PvP system where killing another player is not acceptable 99% of the time? People should be comfortable in the knowledge that 1 time out of 1,000,000 the killer will experience more negative effects than the victim.

What's being discussed here is the consequences of contracts, not killing. As suggested in the blog, simply taking on a single assassination contract carries heavier game enforced consequences than playing a full time bandit always robbing and killing other players who sticks to unlawful areas.

Oh but wait, that's exactly what's been repeated over and over and over in this thread, and now we got someone jumping in again with more mis-information. Great.


Assassination needs a wider scope for discussion than is being given to it. Obviously not every assassin or associated contractor can be evil or be committing an evil act. Was the plot to assassinate Hitler, or the would-be assassins, evil? Definitively not. In that context, the contractor(s) and assassin(s) need to be rewarded points toward the Good alignment.

Unless of course they're only doing it for money. But we shouldn't make those kinds of generalizations. If we do, ONLY assassins will be able to carry out assassination contracts, and they will HAVE to be evil by design, regardless of the target. I don't think that's a good limitation to place on the game.


@Hudax: 'Assassination' is clearly not the same thing as 'killing somebody' in the game.
We don't know exactly what it is yet, but making Hitler comparisons that hinge on real-world meanings of Assassination vs. As-Yet-Unknown game definitions aren't really that helpful, I don't think.
As I mentioned, I am guessing that the Evil connotation is for reasons similar to why Necromancy is evil.
(even though killing per se isn't Evil in D&D/PRPG, nor Animating Objects on corpses)


Quandary wrote:
@Hudax: 'Assassination' is clearly not the same thing as 'killing somebody' in the game.

Clearly.

But that only reinforces my point. Assassinations are by definition politically motivated, targeting people (PCs and NPCs??) in positions of leadership. Given this, it would be a shame for citizens of Thornkeep to be able to make assassination contracts against Fort Riverwatch, but Riverwatch can't retaliate in kind because it's "evil."

Goblin Squad Member

But it is helpful, Quandary.

As has been repeated over and over in this and other very recent threads, assassination will frequently be the only way to hire someone to deal with griefers. Bounties will be plentiful until griefers realize they only work when a kill has been committed inside a lawful area. They'll move outside and close down the bounty hunter industry. That leaves assassins to punish evil doers.

Hudix makes a very relevant point. Ignore the fact that it's a historical reference and ignore that Hitler won't personally be playing PFO. Put his comment in the context GW has given us regarding the limits of official law enforcement in this game and he's making a lot more sense than you give him credit for.


Blaeringr wrote:
ignore that Hitler won't personally be playing PFO

:)

Didn't mean to set off anyone's Godwin alarm. It's just the most obvious example that readily came to mind.

Goblin Squad Member

Hudax wrote:
Was the plot to assassinate Hitler, or the would-be assassins, evil? Definitively not.

Please don't misunderstand me on this one. The definition of good and evil depends ENTIRELY on your point of view. Look at Hitler from the German point of view. They would consider it a very evil act as you are killing their leader.

Goblin Squad Member

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@Mogloth You're seem to be not very familiar with the German point of view on that.

The Germans knew Hitler was evil from the start. They were desperate because of the heavy toll reparation payments were having on their nation and thus saw him as a necessary evil. A now well known British economic adviser (Keynes) warned that France's insistence on huge financial penalties for Germany after WW1 would have serious repercussions. When you can't feed your children and your whole family is walking around barefoot just to give the French a little piece of mind, who are you going to vote for? The guy who wants to be really diplomatic? or the guy who's going to start knocking heads together and getting things done?

Even after they began to hate Hitler, and they certainly did soon after he was elected, they were still afraid of losing him. But would they have thought it good or bad to see him assassinated? Most, even from Hitler's early days, were seeing him for what he was and only shamefully, desperately, or fearfully supported him.

For those not following current events in Europe, it's the same reason Greeks just elected enough Neo Nazis (Golden Dawn) to fill 20 seats of their present government, and they're nowhere near as impoverished as pre-nazi Germany was.

Not that Germans today feel anything but the deepest regret for their past. But despite that, it's hard to imagine things having gone much differently given the state of absolute collapse they were in.

Goblin Squad Member

Well, Hitler aside, the rest still stands.

The definition of evil depends entirely on your point of view.

Oh and by the way, not all Germans feel regret for the past. But that's beside the point and not relevant to this thread.

---------------

And now for a slight change of topic. I wonder how the accumulation of money will affect the posting of contracts. How will people begin crafting if they do not adventure to sell the loot to NPCs? Will everyone HAVE to venture out in order to start what they want to do?

Sure, I could get a loan --- but from who at the beginning? It seems like only adventurers will be in charge of the money at the start.

Goblin Squad Member

Keep up the great work guys, look forward to what the future brings us.

Goblinworks Founder

Not all Germans should feel regret for the past. Mogloth. Not all Germans were involved in WWII. Should all of Japan feel regret for Bombing Darwin and Pearl Harbor? I don't think so, most of the people involved would be well into their eighties if they are still kicking. Those that weren't alive or were children at the time should not feel regret for what their forefathers did.

This is way too off topic now.

I think we need more clarification on Assassin Contracts and Bounty Contracts. The Escrow system sounds great and would love to see another segment on this down the track and how we could use it to create quests for other players.

Goblin Squad Member

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Mogloth wrote:
The definition of evil depends entirely on your point of view.

Not in Pathfnder. Not in a world with "Detect Evil", evil descriptors, evil alignment, and evil gods.

And any more hitler discussion and I'll have the mods close this thread.

Goblin Squad Member

Ryan Dancey wrote:
Mogloth wrote:
The definition of evil depends entirely on your point of view.

Not in Pathfnder. Not in a world with "Detect Evil", evil descriptors, evil alignment, and evil gods.

And any more hitler discussion and I'll have the mods close this thread.

Oh I totally agree. My statement above was in reference to the real word. I agreed with someone, either in this thread or another one, that evil in PFO is defined by the edicts of the various gods/goddesses.

If whatever you do goes against your chosen deity, then it is not a good thing for you.

And I apologize for falling into the trap on the other topic.

Hmmmm, question. If I follow a CE deity, and I cast Detect Evil, does it ping on Evil things or would it ping on Good? If the Detect spells are granted by the deities, then wouldn't the total opposite of your gods' alignment be considered evil?

Not trying to be obtuse, the thought just crept into my mind.

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