Karmic Justice

I hope everyone had a good weekend. The extra day off was a big help for me. Weekends often feel like they're over before they start, so the extra day made it possible to sit back and just enjoy. I had a fun evening being introduced to Kerbal Space Program. There should be more weekends like these!

Going Hard in the Content

It took a bit of effort to get back into last week's rhythm, but I managed to finish a few more short encounters today.

One thing I was starting to notice is that many of the encounters were rewarding the player for being selfish. While that's probably realistic, I didn't like the fact that it was becoming predictable. Players might start gaming the system, realizing that they could get better results by always choosing the selfish option.

We'll have none of that!

Being selfish should have drawbacks like any other approach. So I started rewriting some outcomes to be more bittersweet. I tried to keep it logical, so it doesn't feel unfair or like divine punishment. But I also wanted to give players a reason to choose the moral route, since it's often a bigger sacrifice or lesser immediate reward. In other words, selfless and selfish options each have benefits and drawbacks, and they should balance in the long run.

Or so the theory goes, anyhow. We'll have to see how folks interpret it when they play!


UltimaVirus's picture

Perhaps you can give each outcome a positive , neutral or negative result based upon a percentage? The percent chance of each would vary based upon your logical calculation, of course, to aid in realism. For example:

Encounter - You see a dying man lying in a street. Insert details of his appearance here. He has a bag of contents you cannot distinguish. What do you do?

A. End his misery quickly and take the goods.
1. You use whatever weapon you have to end his life quickly. You take the goods and they contain [default minor good package 1].
2. You use whatever weapon you have to end his life quickly. The bag contains only empty cans [give player empty cans].
3. You use whatever weapon you have to end his life quickly. The bag contains broken vials of unknown liquid. Rummaging through the bag, you cannot avoid getting it on your hands. There is no telling what it is. [Poisons player, does nothing, or gives the player a disease.]
4. You use whatever weapon you have to end his life quickly. Unfortunately, either this was a trap or someone was also stalking the hapless man. A dark figure appears from the shadows. [random enemy]

Etc etc. I could go on all day.

dcfedor's picture

That's actually pretty close to the way many of them are structured. When the player makes a choice, the outcome often includes a random reward, injury, or other condition.

The only difference is that, right now, each choice is fairly consistent in its outcome (i.e. the same choice will always yield treasure, even if the treasure varies). It's possible to do what you're describing, so that each choice has a chance of being positive/negative. I'd just need to write the additional outcomes.

I'll keep that in mind as a way to expand them. Thanks!

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games

tuges's picture

I think the most obvious is to put the factor between tribes and groups. A reputation system of some sort would offer the most immediate effect, but otherwise future specific events could add to it? I do recall you mentioning emphasizing trade too... I guess the most obvious thing then is to see reputation factor into opening up new places to trade or offer discounts of some sort. Maybe opening a new encounter option for some types so that you can trade with them.