RP: NWN mechanics vs Canon RP Feb 16, 2015 15:34:52 GMT -5
Post by Fenix on Feb 16, 2015 15:34:52 GMT -5
Gameplay and Story Segregation (NWN Mechanics vs Canon RP) when we on one hand have dozens and dozens of super heroes with more gold than Smaug, while on the other we still want to keep things... ‘realistic’.
Gameplay tells us that we can raise people from the dead and that we can easily gather millions of GP by walking through a forest, over and over again. And this works fine when we’re just out adventuring. But as soon as we begin to look for a deeper story than just dungeon crawling and adventuring, the immersion starts falling apart. What? I can’t raise them? People are poor and sick? Oh, let me throw some money at them and fix it, I can easily make another million. Yes... Lame Story.
While I think it’s awesome (and important for the plot) that the victims from the recent Alizarin Massacre by Padrin’s Murder Gorgons stay dead, I also think it’s immersion breaking when there are no attempts made to raise the dead students when there are characters involved who has the means to do so, and when resurrection magic is pretty common among adventurers (and these were no random commoners, it was students of the Alizarin Academy, perhaps even students from noble or merchant families? Or are they all orphans? And isn’t the Academy run by powerful adventurers who probably knew these students by name? But then again... Plot!). And it would get even worse if Padrin, the EVIL Druid of Doom, was raised from the dead while the students weren’t (not that I’d want to force a permanent death on anyone, but from an outside perspective, being killed by Mirrir would be a good ending... since she then also has to live with the consequences... but we could undo it all with a raise. Also, I don’t know why Padrin did what he did, but I think it was a brilliant way of turning a small stagnated plot into something bigger and better! InstantAwesomeJustAddMurderGorgons!)
Personally, I would love it if FRC’s level range and loot was reduced by, say, 50% and all the best items in stores were dumped into rare high level loot or replaced with lower level options. Or forever cast out into the Abyss. An FRC where levels 12-14+ or so were the new epic would be totally awesome. I do not consider epic levels to be all that 'fun' or necessary on a PW, quite the contrary. Epic levels work much better in single player or DMed campagins. It actually detracts more from my enjoyment and immersion when all the major plotlines have to summon Cthulhu, Godzilla and Sauron to be able to challenge the local demi-gods... OR some contrived RP has to take place where their powers are temporarily nerfed within the confines of the Plot, making levels and wealth pointless. Perhaps I’ve just been playing this game too long, or I’m just used to lower level campaigns that can be just as epic without facing Cthulhugodzillasauron Eater of Worlds in a boss battle (who is disguised like your average horde of orcs), and then easily paying reparations for all the burning cities and still have coin left for the caravan... but who pays for caravans these days when you can teleport? In any case, such a change seems very unlikely to happen, so enough about that. But I can dream and hope that the gap between gameplay/NWN mechanics and Story/Canon RP will be decreased. It's not hardcoded.
However, if we want to have the cookie and eat it too, if we want levels and wealth, while still also taking death seriously, then I think we need to change the way we look at death and resurrection magic. Make it an official DM rule/guideline/statement/in-game journal note/OOC message in the Fugue that tells something like:
"Deaths in dungeons from non-plot related adventuring are not to be taken as real deaths, but merely as "it's just a flesh wound", a serious wound that knocks the character unconscious and requires powerful healing magics. Raise Dead and Resurrection does not actually raise people from the dead (in most circumstances), merely from the 'brink of death' when normal healing magic are not strong enough. Real death only happens at the discretion of players and DMs, and can normally only result from plots or the character's own actions. Characters can be 'raised' from Plot Deaths by True Resurrection, only available with DM assistance."
So ScrewTheSourceRulesIHavePlot! That would help with immersion, even if we're keeping the Cthulhu levels, as we would then, as paradoxical as it may seem, actually be closer to the level of realism in the Forgotten Realms when it comes to frequency of returning from the dead! D&D source rules and high levels just doesn't work on a PW if we want to take death seriously.
Then, once we're taking death seriously, have important established NPCs permanently killed by rampaging gorgons to set an example (not redshirt NPC students that no one really cares about. Kill Bentin! Okey, maybe no on cares about Bentin either, but... someone people know and care about!). Increasing the XP penalty or adding a diamond material component to raise dead and resurrection probably won't have much effect if the XP penalty can be avoided with a raise and there is an unlimited amount of loose coins out in the forest. And that over-abundance of wealth has its own mechanics and RP problems...
I would like to express as a note, Epics are not the standard for FRC. While there are many epic level characters, it is about that time when most people stop playing those characters, with some exceptions. Being at the epic levels is not very exciting, and is a good reason why most players never reach it. THe best roleplay you have is your buildup to then, and what you make for it from there.
Epics are not the standard, were the exception. Not many actually reach it. There are PCs that have existed for 7+ years that STILL havent hit epic.