The essential salts: What makes a roleplaying game?

Discussion in 'General Gaming and Hardware Forum' started by SomeDudeandHisDog, Jan 1, 2018.

  1. SomeDudeandHisDog

    SomeDudeandHisDog First time out of the vault

    Nov 18, 2017
    Planescape Torment got a higher spot than Fallout and Vampire? Bullshit.
    Planescape is nothing more than a visual novel, it's barely an actual Role-Playing Game.
    The retards who made the list are just judging RPGs based on their story instead of actual gameplay.
     
  2. TorontRayne

    TorontRayne Misanthropic Klown God oTO Staff Member Moderator Orderite

    Apr 1, 2005
    It does have a ton of C&C though.
     
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  3. SomeDudeandHisDog

    SomeDudeandHisDog First time out of the vault

    Nov 18, 2017
    It's not C&C that makes an RPG, it's the Role-Playing.
    Visual Novels have tons of C&C but that doesnt mean that they're RPGs.
    Mount and Blade was an RPG since it was designed for players to live out the role that they can think of instead of following a narrative.
     
  4. Risewild

    Risewild So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs
    Modder Orderite

    Jun 14, 2014
    It is a RPG because all the characters actions, combat and even dialogues are based and influenced by their stats and skills. That is all that is needed to make a RPG.

    People confuse Roleplaying in Roleplaying Games with the word "roleplaying", but they actually mean different things. Roleplaying in a Roleplaying game is having all the characters in the game use their own skills and abilities to interact with everything in that game "universe". You Roleplay that character with all it's strengths and weaknesses where every other character does the same (you play the role of the character, not the role of the player controlling the character). You use the character stats to beat challenges/tasks and to talk/interact with other characters.

    The word roleplay is people pretending to be someone or something they are not. While both words are the same, the context they are used is very different.

    If you look at all the RPGs in the history of games, what every single genre (jRPG, Action RPG, Tactical RPG, cRPG, Turn Based RPG, Real Time RPG, etc) has in common is that characters use their stats for everything and everything is based on those stats.

    So even if a game is just story/text with choices. As long as those choices are based and influenced by the game characters stats and abilities, then it is a RPG. Probably a text based RPG, but a RPG all the same.
     
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  5. TorontRayne

    TorontRayne Misanthropic Klown God oTO Staff Member Moderator Orderite

    Apr 1, 2005
    Fallout is good to me primarily because of C&C. It is one of my top qualifiers in a great RPG. Opinions. Haha.
     
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  6. SomeDudeandHisDog

    SomeDudeandHisDog First time out of the vault

    Nov 18, 2017
    To me, PS:T will be the best book I ever played.
     
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  7. Black Angel

    Black Angel Grand Inquisitor of the Ordo Hereticus

    Mar 21, 2016
    But there's, indeed, 'Role-Playing' in PS:T, though? I haven't really played past Curst, but from what I seen up until that point and based on other people's account, the game did really good job using it's P&P emulation-based gameplay mechanics (Stats matters A LOT, alignment system from D&D, myriad dialogue options that do different things and results in completely different things too) and its narrative structure (The Nameless One being an amnesiac, had multiple pasts that you can evoke with the gameplay) to allow players to role-play in the definition that Risewild described above.

    The combat system might not be all that good, and it's further fucked by inappropriately paced encounter design, and it also doesn't have more layer of mechanical depths to the role-playing (like skills/perks), but goddamn the roles it allows you to play...

    Dismissing PS:T as a mere visual novel is like dismissing Age of Decadence as a mere CYOA just because the full-talker playthrough doesn't involve combat gameplay at all.
     
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  8. Risewild

    Risewild So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs
    Modder Orderite

    Jun 14, 2014
    For me these are two of the best books I ever played:
    I used to love Fighting Fantasy books. I had the full collection until the number 34 or 35... Then I played D&D and couldn't enjoy these books as much anymore, since they were so limited compared to D&D.
     
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  9. SomeDudeandHisDog

    SomeDudeandHisDog First time out of the vault

    Nov 18, 2017
    Age of Decadence and other RPGs let's you play various roles through various gameplay mechanics.
    Planescape on the other hand takes the lazy way out and just adds dialogue choices, not actual gameplay options.
    Plus, people say that to actually enjoy the game fully you have to use a speech only character. That and the constant praise given to it by the retards at the Codex is getting on my nerves.
     
  10. CerberusGate

    CerberusGate I should save my game in a whole new slot

    Jun 6, 2016
    Fighting Fantasy, eh? Nice.

    I used to have a bunch of Fighting Fantasy books myself and some Lone Wolf gamebooks. I recall being terrified of House of Hell in my younger days due to the illustrations. My personal favourite of the FF books would be Vault of the Vampire and Howl of the Werewolf (Not sure if Sorcery! counts).

    I lost track of them and to this day, I wonder where can I find them without resorting to online purchasing (thankfully, the Lone Wolf gamebooks are fully available online for free via Project Aon).

    Actually, I would disagree there. The game does have differing roles through the classes available (which the game's story explain why class-switching works for The Nameless One) though admittedly more could have been done to make it feel significant for sticking to one class or another (then again, TNO having specific mastery over a single class wouldn't make a difference since he'll still be the same amnesiac with foggy memories of mastery over said classes).

    There were nice bits with learning magic from Mebbeth for a mage and learning techniques from Annah for a thief. I wish more interactions like this took place in game.

    Also, you must really have a grudge against Codex if constant praise by them factors into disliking PS:T.

    EDIT: I'm someone who enjoys C&C in my RPG than role-playing a class to solve a problem using said class's skill and limitations (though the latter does factor into my enjoyment - i.e actually needing to consider my class's skills and weaknesses).
     
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  11. SomeDudeandHisDog

    SomeDudeandHisDog First time out of the vault

    Nov 18, 2017
    Personally I prefer cRPGs to contain role-playing rather than C&C dialogue; it is a problem I have with Mass Effect and Planescape, it really feels like you're only choosing what an established character will say instead of actually role-playing by filling in the silent thoughts of the character or doing what your character's role is supposed to do, IMO atleast.
    Fucking Fallout prevented me from enjoying older cRPGs, especially Ultima.
     
  12. Black Angel

    Black Angel Grand Inquisitor of the Ordo Hereticus

    Mar 21, 2016
    Dude, AoD's full talker playthrough did exactly just that: just adds dialogue choices when giving you stat/skill checks. Hence why some people would dismiss AoD as a CYOA, because the gameplay options were presented in a dialogue box. Case in point: exploring the Abyss.

    You're right that with PS:T, they only adds dialogue choices, but I disagreed that that's 'the lazy way out'. Choosing an option in dialogues is as much a gameplay mechanic as choosing who to attack, with what weapon and what kind of attack etc etc in combat or choosing to use sneak instead of physical confrontation when overcoming an obstacle in an RPG. Due to its design focus, PS:T opt to use dialogue choices to offer most of its gameplay options to the player.

    :roll:

    Did you even play the game? Did you remember the first thing you do when you click 'Start a New Life'? You choose the stats for a new playthrough with your Nameless One. When you start playing with your allocated stats of choice, you're not choosing what 'an established character will say' but you DO actually role-play based on the stats you allocated at character creation screen. A role-playing game only allows your character to think or do something based on his stats and/or skills (and perks if there's any), and PS:T did just that excellently in a way that's tied to its design focus (emphasis on narratives and dialogues).
     
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  13. SomeDudeandHisDog

    SomeDudeandHisDog First time out of the vault

    Nov 18, 2017
    That would make every single action game with a skill tree and stats an RPG.
     
  14. Hassknecht

    Hassknecht For hate's sake Admin Orderite

    Aug 16, 2010
    Action games usually also emphasize and rely on player skill in combat. In an ideal RPG the character's success in combat (and barter and dialogue) is down to the character's stats (well, you can always play so badly that you can still lose, but that's besides the point).
     
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  15. Risewild

    Risewild So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs
    Modder Orderite

    Jun 14, 2014
    Not really. Many games with skill tress and stats still use players skill to be played. For example Borderlands has skill trees but if the player doesn't aim, the character will not do it for him (which is what a real RPG should do).
    Got ninja'd by Hassknecht...

    EDIT: As I said a few times around this forum in the past. RPGs only require intellectual player's skill. The Player decide what the character does, reacts, says, etc. But the rest is up to the character and it's skills, stats, strengths and weaknesses vs other characters/monsters/situations that use their own strengths and skills.
    In a RPG, the player shouldn't need any physical skill for the character to do anything (of course, in computers and console RPGs, the player needs to be able to use mouse, keyboard, controller, but the success or failure for a character's action shouldn't be dependent on player reflexes, player aiming, player pressing the button for the character to jump at the right time, etc).
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018
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  16. Black Angel

    Black Angel Grand Inquisitor of the Ordo Hereticus

    Mar 21, 2016
    What is an RPG, then?
     
  17. SomeDudeandHisDog

    SomeDudeandHisDog First time out of the vault

    Nov 18, 2017
    Who knows? Most RPG devs have different ideas, Tim Cain wants non-linearity and a blank character for players to use, Chris Avellone wants a story with many dialogue branches, Jap devs want story, Bethesda wants power fantasy, and many other ideas by other devs.

    Anyways, this pointless arguement branched out because I called a "game" I hate shit. Of course, it is just my opinion that Planescape is nothing but a well written digital adventure novel no need to try to change that and no need to continue this conversation any further.
     
  18. Hassknecht

    Hassknecht For hate's sake Admin Orderite

    Aug 16, 2010
    It is a pretty relevant discussion, though. Maybe I'll split the past few posts about "what makes an RPG" and turn it into a new thread in General Gaming.
     
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  19. Black Angel

    Black Angel Grand Inquisitor of the Ordo Hereticus

    Mar 21, 2016


    Now, now..

    You do realize that Chris Avellone also had a part in Fallout 2 AND his best works also includes New Vegas DLCs (and probably Alpha Protocol and KOTOR2 depending on what you've played), right? I think most of PS:T's 'limitation' came from being made in Infinity Engine; it could've probably be even better using other engine like Fallout 1&2's, but I digress. PS:T was only really possible thanks to IE's roots in D&D and its reliance on using D&D source material.

    Well, I'd say it's pointless only because you haven't actually address my other points and, instead, chose to quote one part of my posts to discredit PS:T. You haven't addressed my points about AoD that offer their gameplay options mostly through dialogue boxes, nor have you properly addressed my points that PS:T's use of character creation screen to allow players to freely distribute stats among STR-DEX-CON-INT-WIS-CHA and then give players freedom to choose their options based on initial stats allocation AND D&D gameplay mechanics like alignment system and its various other mysteries like belief manifesting physically within the planes. Instead, you chose to shoot with, "That would make every single action game with a skill tree and stats an RPG.", except an action game (no matter if it's a shooter or an action RPG) mostly relies on player's abilities (like twitch reflex, hand-eye coordination etc etc), while PS:T (like Risewild stated above) like many other proper RPGs relies on only intellect side of player's ability, and the rest are determined by character's abilities (in this case, stats like the 6 ones mentioned above). It's also strange that you mentioned M&B's format makes it "an RPG since it was designed for players to live out the role that they can think of", while PS:T are not because it's 'just following a narrative' when even Fallout 1&2 and Arcanum are also just following a narrative. Of course, it's not fair to just dismiss PS:T-Fallout 1&2-Arcanum as not an RPG because they're just following a narrative, so I'm going to complete that sentence which resulted in, "PS:T, Fallout 1&2, and Arcanum are RPGs because they're following a narrative that's structured based on character's stats and skills".

    And just because you hate something, doesn't mean it's shit. And no, I have no intention to change your opinions, I just want you to think about it. It's all comes down to a matter of one's taste; you don't like PS:T approach of giving players freedom to choose through dialogues with results determined by The Nameless One's stats? Good for you. Ironically, the Codex aren't as singular and obnoxious as you make them out to be, because based on how you responded to the replies in this thread alone (and how you ignored some) I can safely conclude you can fit right in to one of the Codex's own subgroup. Do you know there's also quite a large number of people in the Codex who also dismissed PS:T as a visual novel and even a JRPG? And the thing about them is that they actually elaborated their opinions on the whys much better, too.
     
  20. Gizmojunk

    Gizmojunk Vault Fossil

    Nov 26, 2007
    I consider Planescape to be a better RPG than Fallout; but not the better game.