Game Design: Good & Evil Choices

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Avedri
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Game Design: Good & Evil Choices

Post by Avedri » Tue Mar 03, 2015 4:39 pm

I thought about sharing this article in a more specific topic but I really hope the GMs (and even players) take some time to read it. It talks about game design when it comes to Good vs Evil choices.

It feels fairly appropriate to the conversation we had on Skype about how to generate a meaningful dynamic/make Corvus more attractive.

http://www.polygon.com/2015/3/3/8144573 ... il-choices

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Re: Game Design: Good & Evil Choices

Post by Kunren » Tue Mar 03, 2015 5:32 pm

Fun article! I'm usually a press the evil button guy myself, but I think a big part of players choosing good over evil in games, Is that good id the easier and more certain choice. A player might see a big red evil button, they aren't going to press it though, not because it causes some moral problem in most cases but because it could hurt their chances of beating the game, or winning. Simply passing by the button is less risky, therefor the correct choice in the eyes of one who wants to win instead of simply play. I've admitedly thought this way at times, when I felt the risk was too high in "pressing the evil button".
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Re: Game Design: Good & Evil Choices

Post by Acarin » Tue May 12, 2015 12:17 pm

I really miss the days of Corvus being at war with Shadgard. I think that this was probably the best series of events I can remember in CLOK. As someone on both sides of the war at different times, I felt like this was something that truly defined Acarin's story from his humble beginnings as a rather creepy monk to his eventual fall and all the fun after. Sometimes I really feel that evil is not supported within CLOK and its one of two major reasons I've stopped playing Acarin.

It's hard to be evil. Even if you don't take it too far (as I sometimes did with Acarin) and are just moderately evil, the majority of the player base is strongly "good" and it becomes a my character against the world type of situation. As an evil character you really have to be ok with throwing yourself into situations knowing that it will be an overwhelming loss. Most people just don't want to go this route. In the end, unless there is an ongoing conflict, evil characters just stagnate. There's also the issue of keeping up the grind to make such characters feasible (so they require A LOT more work than good characters if they're going to be viable and taken seriously).

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'd really like to see some evil come back to the game, even if I have to redefine Acarin's play to some extent. Unfortunately, evil seems to burn out (at least every truly evil character that has been around has become semi-retired).

I honestly think that conflict is what keeps people coming back, otherwise things get tedious. Evil characters and organizations serve a very important role and keep people on their toes, give them someone to team up against, and in the end add a lot to the game. Unfortunately, there are obvious boundaries as to what is acceptable within policy and without a focus and continued goals, these boundaries can become blurred. I would honestly like to bring my villain back. He's quite dear to me. Unfortunately, I feel limited in this regard and unsupported in his play (hesitant to press the evil button anymore). Perhaps a voice chat about the state of evil in Arad might be productive toward this end? Lets move towards a world where we nurture evil instead of shun it! Thanks for listening.

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Re: Game Design: Good & Evil Choices

Post by Kunren » Tue May 12, 2015 12:54 pm

Id approve. Conflict=good. Why not start a war or something? Wars don't happen because GMs say so,they happen because players find something to fight over and the GMs approve. I would love a war myself, let's work towards something like it :D
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Re: Game Design: Good & Evil Choices

Post by Konrad » Tue May 12, 2015 7:43 pm

I think that although evil might not prove the most easy of paths to take, it could prove the most rewarding, and the most fun. Everyone wants to be good, loved by the populace, have friends, etc. Frankly, evil can be quite a lonely road, and even if your playing a more social sort of evil, it will be "difficult" However, It can be rewarding once you except the fact that, yes, there may be many situations where you loose. That's just part of the story, and can serve as a learning experience or further drive for your character. Infamy has it's own rewards, and, does not have to be done in a manner strictly to annoy and piss off other players. CLOK has a host of NPC's in it who make the world, and they are just as valid targets for those looking to cause an infamous or evil effect. I'm not saying to go out and slaughter every NPC, but, you could take advantage of a situation in a small way, for a noticeable effect.

An example of this could be say, Targeting a Monk who cares and heals people in a hamlet. Do little things that would slowly cause his inner light to dim. Cause him to question his fate, his sanity..his morality. Those other villagers would now notice their poor Monk, once a solid foundation of the hamlet, now unable to do what he once did, like heal others, or even offer advise on how to keep the peace. This could lead to all sorts of fun things. It might not be as fun as RP with some folks in a bar if that's what your into, but it can be fun for those looking to make an effect in the world, and fun for the people who would eventually have to fix whatever the above situation spirals down into. In the end, evil has something to do, and gets good RP out of it. Good folks have something to do, cleaning up the mess perhaps, and getting good RP out of it. Everyone wins. However, you do need players willing to stir the pot, instead of take the easy road.

A conflict is not always a battle of swords, or a battle of who has the strongest character or which town has the most players. In the end, it can be a simple conflict of ideas, and which town has players that are willing to dedicate their time and effort to that town's cause. CLOK has room for all sorts of evil to be done, if folks are willing to do it. From the Meenies in Corvus, to the simple house wife who just wants to contact Aranas and gain vengeance against the people who murdered her child.
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Re: Game Design: Good & Evil Choices

Post by jilliana » Tue May 12, 2015 8:15 pm

I agree that CLOK could do with some evil characters. However, there are some factors that make one a good evil and a bad evil character. How one plays their character influences the rest of the game.

Good evil can be classified as one that presents just enough morality to create enough doubt and deniability as to who they really are and what their real intentions are. They probably do just enough good for truly good characters to look for them when something needs doing. These characters don't feel the need to be agressive in front of people who they want to keep on their side. They don't feel the need to influence the world around them with evil but may simply be content with being the only ones doing deeds that can be deemed questionable and horrible by a truly good character's standards. Not only that, but may not even see themselves as being evil and if they do, they accept the consequences that go along with being on the bad end of the gun.

A bad evil character is pretty much opposite of above. They don't accept the consequences that come with doing questionable deeds. They harass needlessly and want to push their evil-doing on others for the sake of being an evil character. There is a point where this type of character turns into just another annoyance and someone to roll one's eyes at...not to be taken seriously.

In the case of CLOK in particular, there are both of these around. Unfortunately, it seems to be more of the latter than the former and this is obviously my opinion and not indicative of anyone else's thoughts. Some people simply don't know how to play an evil character as much as they'd really like to. Good evil characters do tend to last longer in any game, and that's certainly not the exception with CLOK.

There needs to be enough conflict to truly influence characters and to determine which side they stand on. The Shadgard/Corvus conflict is a huge example, but unfortunately...not as valid as it once was.

There is usually conflict that can be found IG if one would take the time to look and listen.
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Re: Game Design: Good & Evil Choices

Post by Rias » Wed May 13, 2015 8:00 am

I've noticed that a number of antagonistically-inclined characters seem to have their concept and enjoyment hinged on not having the reputation of an antagonistically-inclined character or treated with suspicion. This is a road to frustration and ruin - PCs talk, NPCs talk. The Lost Lands is unforgiving - the people don't forgive and forget just because a year or three has gone by since your latest atrocity. If this is unacceptable to you, I'd suggest saving yourself the time and frustration by not "going evil".

I still never really got any solid answers on this query: What kind of support do "evil" characters want, exactly? Extra powers to offset the overwhelming odds since there are far more good-inclined characters than evil-inclined? Clemency opportunities for their misdeeds? More overt goals and things to do on their Evil Agenda? Flowers in their evil courtyard and better drinks in their evil tavern? Other stuff? It seems like a large problem is that there aren't many people who play evillies, and those that do are often getting at each others' throats and infrequently cooperate. This isn't really anything we as GMs can do a whole lot about, though - that tends to be typical "evil" tendencies showing.
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Re: Game Design: Good & Evil Choices

Post by Konrad » Wed May 13, 2015 9:16 am

I'm not a vet, but, I think that More over goals and things to do would go a long way in motivating evil folks to at least Get together and RP, if not work together towards the goal itself. Asking for 'Extra powers' seems to be against the spirit of CLOK, where everyone has to work hard for whatever they have, but that's just me. Maybe the plots can be supplemented by those Ye old evil NPC's who do have epic powers to add an extra pow to the punch.
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Re: Game Design: Good & Evil Choices

Post by Kunren » Wed May 13, 2015 9:20 am

Actually more on the evil to do list would be fun, though PCs should honestly rely on their own goals more.

Something that I've noticed is.. Our "good" characters are too nice. Almost everyone is pleasant and accepting of nigh anyone and anything. That isn't the way to conflict. I don't like that a monk and a sorcerer can happily have tea together with a Templar. Can we get more zealous energetic hate for the evil(or shall I say different) side? I've personally seen a nether tainted character be treated as a friend by almost any and everyone,including monks and Templar. They all pretty much know about the taint as well. Did I miss something somewhere or isn't the Templar's job to destroy nethrim? Why aren't there constant Templar plots to invade and eradicate Corvus? Ive seen a few rare characters who do well this way, but most people are outstandingly nice and friendly, and while that's great for Players, I would love if more characters weren't and had hates and fears like normal people.
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Re: Game Design: Good & Evil Choices

Post by Rias » Wed May 13, 2015 9:21 am

Konrad wrote:Asking for 'Extra powers' seems to be against the spirit of CLOK, where everyone has to work hard for whatever they have, but that's just me.
I would have denied any such requests; I was just wondering what people wanted specifically when asking for more support.
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Re: Game Design: Good & Evil Choices

Post by Konrad » Wed May 13, 2015 9:27 am

Kunren wrote:Why aren't there constant Templar plots to invade and eradicate Corvus?.
I think the 'Inner Light' Prevents monks and Templar's from just going a warpath of 'Scourge and Purge' against anything or anyone evil. And with how difficult it is to even become a Templar (From what I've heard) Who would want to risk getting booted? I can see why they might want to be cautious except the most obvious threats, while at the same time I can also see how that might smother conflict.
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Re: Game Design: Good & Evil Choices

Post by Rias » Wed May 13, 2015 9:35 am

<tangent>
Thaumaturges that make blanket assumptions about anyone and anything associated with nether are going to find themselves less thaumaturgical pretty quickly. The same could be said with blanket assumptions about just about anyone, really. The Church itself states that it believes nether isn't evil, though it does appear to have some disturbing tendencies and effects and should be treated warily.

It's a Templar's job to protect the people and make the Lost Lands safer. Eradicating harmful nethrim falls into that scope, but it isn't a Templar's specific primary goal. They're just really, really good at taking care of nethrim in particular, so that's arguably what they're best known for, and something that people more often leave to them to take care of. Templar are also expected to protect people from brigands, infested, canim, crazy cultists, and any other threat. Templar don't get regularly tasked to cull infested because they feel that's being handled by Tse Gaiyan, though they should be always ready and willing to help with infested when things come up. Otherwise, they stick to the areas that aren't being specifically handled by other large organizations. I'm proud of our Templar and Monks that treat people respectably and don't just assume that they should kill all sorcerers and let Undm figure it out - they should be willing to work with people and give them chances - to a point. They should also be careful not to be gullibly tolerant, or to continually allow someone to get away with misdeeds out of some misguided spirit of forgiveness. The Templar, at least, are there to stop that kind of thing from happening. It's not an easy line to find, and we as staff don't have a specific line in mind. Case by case, situation by situation. It's difficult, but also interesting.
</tangent>

I like hearing that some people feel it's within their own power to start and push their own Evil Agenda. I'm also happy to have staff throw some things out there that the Evillies can work toward. If Team Evil isn't on the move, then Team Good doesn't have a lot to do, right? Other than the "daily grind" stuff, of course. I do know it's hard to come up with interesting, compelling, and reasonably attainable/believable "evil" goals that others can take seriously - it's definitely not something I'd be good at.
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Re: Game Design: Good & Evil Choices

Post by Kunren » Wed May 13, 2015 9:38 am

Ah k. Thought the drive of the church was to destroy nether. bit of sadness. Ah well there are other things to fight about I'm sure.
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Re: Game Design: Good & Evil Choices

Post by jilliana » Wed May 13, 2015 9:43 am

I can think of several characters at the top of my had that have animosity towards a group of people or a certain beliefs.

You have to understand that sometimes it takes a bit of RP to find things out. People aren't just going to go around saying they hate Corvites or tainted or the Tse Gaiyan. Stuff happens when one goes stating facts when they are ill-prepared or don't have the backing to go through with a thread shouted on ESP.

I have a sort of annoyance towards characters who take up every cause/hate in the book. It is sort of a herd mentality. I'd like to see more evil characters actually have an opinion as to why they don't like a certain group or individual person.

As for Rias's question about how to support evil characters better - I say there isn't much one can do. Evil characters, by nature, tend to be at the short end of the stick when it comes to having things handed to them. I'm fine with that because evil characters have to be sneaky or shady of their own accord. Creativity is definitely a plus.
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Re: Game Design: Good & Evil Choices

Post by preiman » Wed May 13, 2015 9:46 am

yeah, destroying nether has never been the goal of the church, in fact suggesting that he's not doing his duty by not is one of the few ways to make maric genuinely mad. Not all tainted are evil, not every nethrem is hostile.
as to a former member of team evil, one of the things that can help out, is to see that our actions have made the world that little bit worse a place. well at least from someone Else's point of view. after all few evil people see themselves that way.
Even in the lost lands, good characters can see how everything is helped or harmed by their action or inaction, but short of killing an NPC I'm hard pressed to see the same from team evil. I know the GMs are already over busy but a little nudge here and there can really go a long way.
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Re: Game Design: Good & Evil Choices

Post by Dakhal » Wed May 13, 2015 9:50 am

I've played a few characters now, and I can say that there's never been an instance where I've been afraid of an 'evil' character. Perhaps that's a circumstance of the time that I've joined and played until now, but I couldn't really tell you as I can't account for time that I've not been here. But I can say that I've very often been afraid of 'good' characters, regardless of which character I might be playing. The reason for this is mostly because they all have their own little groups and upsetting just one member means bad news for you.

Honestly, I wonder at times if the situations might be reversed; Corvus is obviously the true good, and the rest of the server is indignant, evil scum.

But on a more serious note, I come from a place where evil lorded over things. Stepping outside of a city was always something that was scary, because you were leaving the clutches of safety that the guards provided you. This isn't to say that there weren't lesser evils out there that you might be able to handle alone, but a large portion of the time they were presiding prime evils and they were terrifying to even engage with a trained group of people. Sometimes even the cities weren't safe, with the evil forces assaulting it. Of course there were a few good characters who could stand up to the force that these extreme evils brought, but it was a rarity.

Though this is things that the characters had earned through hard work in the game, and what kept them from flat out face rolling everything was a mixture of politeness and the strict rules that were placed upon them. They had a lot of power, but they weren't able to be near as mobile as any other character could be in their roleplay. But I digress, it's been a pretty hard change for me to become accustomed to since I've come to Clok, but I've enjoyed nearly every moment I've spent here.

I feel that a large issue of what's happening is that there's just a huge difference in balance by the pure number of people on each side. And due to this, playing an evil character is nigh impossible if you plan to do things alone (which is not something I suggest), but it's also hard to avoid because of how few there are currently. Because of that, there is likely a goal that needs to be set for those who are under the leadership, so this only really applies to the Corvites; which aren't all evil, but they've agreed to give their support regardless. There seems to be a lack of direction, which isn't too great for evil, while being wonderful for good.

Of course, my opinion might be biased because I view evil as a force the help sculpt the story of characters, good and evil alike. You can plot all that you like as one person, or even a small group, but the end result is that you're flailing helplessly at a massive wall because your actual strength is laughable in the face of what you're against. That is to say that you choose to take a direct approach, though, it is a very real possibility to act as a manipulating force in the world and influence things that way. But I don't agree that all characters should take that route, if only because every character is unique in their own ways.

Really, I feel like I've rambled on for a while and not really made any distinct points. What I do is merely roleplay, enjoy my character and slowly develop it and the world around it. I don't feel like there needs to be any overarching goals, while they are supplemental, they aren't something that I personally desire.

Regardless of what side you're on, if you want something, you have to work for it. Put in the effort towards it, invest in help from others if it calls for it, don't give up.

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Re: Game Design: Good & Evil Choices

Post by preiman » Wed May 13, 2015 9:53 am

I'll add, I'm not saying I didn't get attention as a villain, Viridiana probably got more GM attension than any of my other characters, but on those occasions when i did have a little interaction with an evil NPC, or even a good one because of something i did, really helped me in wanting to keep doing it.
it's hard being evil, because by nature you're more likely to be doing things alone, and it's helpful to get some sign that you're not just spinning your wheels in the dark.
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Re: Game Design: Good & Evil Choices

Post by Konrad » Wed May 13, 2015 9:56 am

preiman wrote:it's hard being evil, because by nature you're more likely to be doing things alone, and it's helpful to get some sign that you're not just spinning your wheels in the dark.
I agree. I believe the only solution may have to be...Evil fuzzy pets we can take along for friendship and companionship. Undead nether kitty, or something.
I have seen darkness, witnessed it in my dreams. I am standing at the edge of a chasm. There is no escaping it, I know my fate. For it is the future and nothing can prevent it coming to pass. So I step off and welcome the dark

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Re: Game Design: Good & Evil Choices

Post by Skah » Wed May 13, 2015 10:06 am

So,

I stopped playing Skah, who probably qualifies as an "evil" character, largely because of really unsupportive mechanics/environment in Clok. I'm fine with that, and am having a lot more fun now, but since there's a real discussion going on here I'm going to weigh in.
"Extra powers to offset the overwhelming odds since there are far more good-inclined characters than evil-inclined?"
So, there are massive, insurmountable disadvantages to being tainted. It's a great concept, and I love some of the neat minor mechanics and RP that comes out of it, but at the end of the day it means the vast majority of players can demolish anyone who is tainted. It adds a lot of big weaknesses that just about every character can exploit. I'm not going to go into any more detail than that, but if you want players to suck it up and live with the consequences of their actions, this makes it diffcult (if they are tainted).

One very cool mechanic that offset this was pulled from the game. I learned about it after more than a year of searching, talking to people, etc., and finding out it was gone was disheartening. Again, I'm not going to discuss the details, but I really don't think the tainted thing is well implemented at the moment.
"Clemency opportunities for their misdeeds?"
I do think players should have to live with the consequences of their actions. I have no problem with people being hostile towards characters for what they did, although there's some passive aggressive stuff that happens on an OOC level that's a bit unpleasant.
"More overt goals and things to do on their Evil Agenda?"
So, I'm a big boy. I can find my own things to do, and make my own goals. I've done that for years. If a GM gets involved, awesome, but that's not essential. That being said, I really miss Sceptus, and the large, involved events that happened there. I know they're a lot of work to set up, but I do see GM driven events for the Tse-Gaiyan, Church, and so on. Even the other towns have way, way more events focused on them than Corvus does.Skah took part in some things that didn't make a ton of sense, just to be involved and playing with people.

Corvus could use a lot of love. I understand it's a rickety old fortress off the beaten track, not a major settlement, but even neat little events like the Shadgard belltower stuff would be really fun.

I do think there's only so much the GMs can do in terms of events. The last (really cool!) set of events that was "evil" turned out poorly, entirely due to some questionable player decisions.

At the end of the day, most Rooks, Thieves, and Druids skew lawful neutral and up. Very few players who make "evil" characters stick around. We even have assassins who don't actually, you know, assassinate anyone. I think it's pretty clear that Clok has issues with "Evil" character concepts, and I wish I knew how we could solve them.

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Re: Game Design: Good & Evil Choices

Post by Solaje » Wed May 13, 2015 10:10 am

As the evil character who cares about flowers (more than people), I guess I should chime in. I am completely willing to play Solaje after she becomes infamous, but she hasn't yet found a good enough reason to out herself to everyone and their mother. Why would she? People are so much more talkative when they're not afraid. I haven't been back a long time, but I've actively been looking for big trouble. I see my character as more than a common criminal, she's saving herself for the big stuff. And yes, it's hard to get villains to work together; kind of like herding cats. Maybe that's why those meetings are going nowhere fast. The biggest problem I've come up against since I went active again isn't lack of GM attention, it's just a lack of people in the Outpost.

Yeah, Solaje could go pick off a few stragglers. Might be fun- but in the grand scheme of things, with everyone being undying, she'd be no better than a teenage vandal.

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Re: Game Design: Good & Evil Choices

Post by Kiyaani » Wed May 13, 2015 10:18 am

I think what you're wanting here, Rias, is for the bad guys to come up with things that require limited to no GM involvement and I agree with that. However, I think there's also room for improvement with what the GMs are already doing as well.

One thing I've noticed is with regards to events (and Skah touched on this briefly). When things get a bit stagnant, or GMs get bored, an event may be thrown in the works. Some of these seem to be spur-of-the-moment, but I know there are others that are planned out well in advance. The problem is most events are catered towards giving the good characters something to do in defense of the lands. If the evil characters want to be involved, they often have to side with the good PCs and work towards a common goal. If they don't then they often have to refrain entirely which may suit the RP better, but isn't much fun. The third option would be for the good guys to make their effort to save the day, the bad guys to make a separate effort towards whatever end they seek, and the NPCs to do their thing. The problem with this is the bad guys aren't usually on at the same time so it would be a team of one or two, vs a team of 3+, vs the NPC team.

It would be awesome if there was some receptivity for the bad guys to assist the evil event NPCs somehow without being attacked from both sides. Currently, the way things are, event NPCs are on a team and all PCs are on the other team. There's no leeway for neutrality based on faction or reputation. There's no time allotment for someone bad to approach and offer their services, evil PC/NPC team-ups or just assistance via gathering supplies, intel etc. This would likely require some RP on both the player and GM side of things, possibly some buildup before events take place since trying to negotiate sides in the middle of an event is chaotic and poor timing. I guess what I'm saying is it would be nice if some of these evil NPCs causing trouble might approach some of the evil PCs before they hatch their nefarious plots. I'd say the PCs could contact the NPCs, but it's not like they're giving out their names so they can receive post, nor do I expect them to. It would help cement the PCs role as being on the bad side and would help give them something to do to establish their presence while both having additional support and a sense of purpose.

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Re: Game Design: Good & Evil Choices

Post by Rias » Wed May 13, 2015 1:22 pm

The reason I got into this disucssion is because I sincerely wanted to know what people thought and what would be helpful to them. I do hope for self-starters and go-getters on Team Evil, but I was honestly wanting to know what kind of support people were hoping for, because I wanted to help support them in ways that would help them enjoy their experience. I can see how my sincerity and attitude were thrown into question after my previous posts in the Wearable Lanterns Thread, where I've been outright grouchy and sarcastic. I hope people haven't already made up their minds and will read my attempt to explain a few things.

Some of the things I said here upset some people and were taken as my making fun or leveling accusations. I'll admit some accusations were leveled in a way, because I was referring to things that have frustrated me in the past. There's no denying that; I'm saying some things in response to my past experiences. I wasn't trying to make fun of anyone, though, with my list of things I asked if people were wanting.
Extra powers to offset the overwhelming odds since there are far more good-inclined characters than evil-inclined?
I already mentioned I wasn't inclined to give this, but I wasn't trying to say that all people who want to be on Team Evil demand this. I did want to know if anyone had this expectation or desire, so I could address it as appropriate. I didn't just conjure up this offensive assumption, but rather based it on my and other GMs having received requests by some people to have extra power perks and benefits for being a Bad Guy. Still, it was assumptive and a foolish thing to say.
Clemency opportunities for their misdeeds?
I really do want to know what the general opinion is on this subject. I didn't mean like handing out free passes just to make people feel better, but rather I wanted to get some input and thoughts on things like roads to redemption, bribes to help with faction woes, doing tasks/quests for groups you've offended to try and get them to not kill you on sight anymore, things like that.
More overt goals and things to do on their Evil Agenda?
I don't think anyone had any beef with this one.
Flowers in their evil courtyard and better drinks in their evil tavern?
I can see why some people felt targeted and made fun of on this one, but I hope you'll please believe me when I say it wasn't my intent to make fun. What I was failing to communicate was: Does it bother people enough to make them not want to play that the primary Evil Haven is so run down and cruddy and devoid of simple pleasantnesses? This is a completely valid reason for people to be upset. The environment you primarily find yourself in can have a significant impact on your enjoyment. Being able to make little differences like coaxing some flowers to life in a nether-infested ruin or getting some better drinks in your local tavern can result in a lot of enjoyment to players. I'm well aware of this - I tried real hard in another MUD to get a tavern to accept my character's suggestion for a new drink. It was an absolute thrill when it finally went through and I saw that my character had made a mark on the world by getting a new drink added to a tavern - something that wasn't world-shattering, but was definitely a big deal to my character and was an impact that could be seen and enjoyed by others.

Now that I've tried to explain, I'd like to offer my apologies nonetheless to [the flower-requester] and [the drinks-requester] in particular. I actually enjoyed reading that meeting, and seeing members of the Eeeeeeevil Outpost get together and actually discuss some civil matters, rather than just twisting their moustaches the whole time and talking about their latest evil schemes. It showed that the residents of the Corvus Outpost are more than just an evil alignment, but that they're people, too.

(Note: Took out specific names in that last paragraph in case identities were preferred to be kept hidden)

I'm obviously spiralling into more and more grouchiness lately, and I apologize for that in general to everyone who's felt it. I also apologize for some of the language I've used to some people lately in my stress and frustration.

Please continue discussion in this thread, and make suggestions and make your thoughts known. I sincerely do want to support the people who want to take a crack at being the villains instead of the heroes (heroes are nothing without villains, after all), and I really do just want to know more about exactly how said people can feel supported and have a more enjoyable experience in CLOK.
The lore compels me!

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Kiyaani
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Re: Game Design: Good & Evil Choices

Post by Kiyaani » Wed May 13, 2015 1:40 pm

Rias wrote:I wanted to get some input and thoughts on things like roads to redemption, bribes to help with faction woes, doing tasks/quests for groups you've offended to try and get them to not kill you on sight anymore, things like that.
All of this. These options sound great to me. The idea of earning a second chance is something I think people would be interested in. I know I would.

*I know that seeking redemption may not fit the 'evil' idea, but until you've been banned from a town, you don't realize how exclusive things can become. You're automatically locked out of certain events, RP, shops etc. that have meaning to your character.*

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Jaster
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Re: Game Design: Good & Evil Choices

Post by Jaster » Wed May 13, 2015 3:23 pm

Redemption stories are great for a character's arc, in my opinion. :D

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Elystole
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Re: Game Design: Good & Evil Choices

Post by Elystole » Wed May 13, 2015 4:48 pm

I know this isn't a popular opinion, but I think that the existence of Corvus is a mistake. Or, at the very least, the idea of Corvus as the "evil" town. I'll try to explain it.

It pigeonholes PCs because once they've associated themselves with Corvus they've effectively waved their "Team Evil" flag which sets a lot of other PCs off. It completely ruins your chance at subtlety. Just ask the people that Elystole shot. Being associated with Corvus made them guilty by association (as it is an unapologetic den of assassins, murderers, necromancers, demon-lovers, and other violent scum) so they were already toeing the line. Stepping off of it was easy. Even to characters who are less violent than Elystole, being from Corvus is a sign that you shouldn't be trusted. Nothing good ever comes from the place. Shadgard will ban you outright as soon as it hears that you're associated with Corvus.

Does being from Shadgard, Mistral Lake, or Haiban have the same effect? No. People from any of those towns are seen and treated as individuals. If you want to be a successful evil character, pick anywhere but Corvus to base yourself. You'll have a much better chance of functioning in the game. People won't know you're evil until you actually do something and by then you'll hopefully have built up enough of a reputation that they second-guess it. Why are mercenaries tolerated while assassins aren't?

Take Elystole for example: Is he good with aggressive, violent tendencies? Is he evil with enough self-restraint to direct it at people less sympathetic than himself so he gets a pass? I'm not entirely sure, and you can argue it either way. But the fact of the matter is that Elystole gets away with intimidation and murder because he first developed a reputation as someone who can be counted on in the tough fights against the overtly evil (canim, infested, nethrim, blood cultists, etc.) targets and he has been careful not to tick off any of the towns (and when he did tick one off he paid the fine ASAP). If he attacks someone, you can be sure that he has a reason for it.

If I were to run Corvus, I'd try to run it like a mob-owned town. It should look clean with a dangerous, seedy underbelly that you can sort of ignore so long as you follow the rules. Just pay your protection money and don't go looking for trouble as the people who do tend to disappear. It needs some redemptive qualities. It should take care of its people just enough to instill a sense of loyalty or, better, dependency in them. I shouldn't be seriously considering the idea of infiltrating Corvus to shwack guards because, hey, it's a demon-filled fortress of evil so screw 'em.

The first thing would be to throw out the truly undesirable people who do nothing but generate bad publicity. If your idea of a good time is to gank people at random then run to Corvus when someone goes looking for you, you're the wrong sort of person to have around. If someone who is affiliated with Corvus is out there giving people reasons to hate the town, they should be assassinated. Being evil means you don't have to tolerate stupidity.

The guards would need to stop shooting everyone who walks up to the gate. If Corvus won't entertain guests, why should any of the other towns entertain Corvites? Corvus has effectively declared that its diplomatic position towards all the other towns is hostile, so why are people surprised when others are hostile to Corvus?

And, yeah, the whole crypt motif would need to go or be buried. At least whitewash part of the town for the tourists so that the truly scary, evil, disgusting stuff is something that you have to look for. That you have to be cleared for.

Of course, this all assumes that people want Corvus to be more than a caricature of evil that is set up to be knocked down. I think it'd take it a while to get there, so I would still recommend that people who want to play evil characters base themselves out of any other town. Then do some good deeds and build something of a reputation before you start acting on your clearly defined criteria for evil deeds so that people are second-guessing whether or not you're evil.
You overhear the following rumor:
"I saw one of those Shadgard folk come barging into Grif's and shoot one of the patrons on the spot. Shadgard must be a pretty rough place with such outlaws running rampant."

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