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March 25, 2010 1:44 PM   Subscribe

RPG heroes are jerks!
posted by P.o.B. (84 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
Pretty predictable, but redeemed by that bit at the very end.
posted by juv3nal at 2:01 PM on March 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeah, you made me go back to watch the post-credit thing, and yeah, it wasn't redeemed.
posted by graventy at 2:03 PM on March 25, 2010


i like it
posted by rebent at 2:05 PM on March 25, 2010


Heh - nice.

"It's probably one of the seven legendary dresses he has to collect or something.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 2:06 PM on March 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


I thought this was going to be about how D&D characters were really all grave robbers, but same difference, really.
posted by immlass at 2:06 PM on March 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


I love the Mass Effect games, especially 2, but it is quite jarring when, for example, there's an emotional scene involving one of your squadmates and then because you're given an upgrade, your Shepard yells "I'll take it!" or "This looks useful!"
posted by kmz at 2:15 PM on March 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


I didn’t see even one Rocket Propelled Grenade in this thing but, then again, I didn’t watch the full 20 minutes or however long it drones on - so there may have been one at the end.
posted by Huplescat at 2:19 PM on March 25, 2010


RPG heroes mostly are assholes. Although there was one series (maybe Breath of Fire?) where you would be told "don't look in there! that's people's stuff! or something similar when you tried to rummage the in villagers' houses. And, yeah, that was pretty predictable, but there is a reason you find sophomoric humor on a college humor site....
posted by GenjiandProust at 2:23 PM on March 25, 2010


I suppose "Penny Arcade did it!" is pretty much the "Simpsons did it!" of videogame humor.

but still
posted by eggplantplacebo at 2:25 PM on March 25, 2010


I expected more from College Humor, really. A lot of times their videos are creative and well-produced. This one was well-produced but surprisingly unoriginal, basically one joke stretched to fill the time.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 2:32 PM on March 25, 2010


Although there was one series (maybe Breath of Fire?) where you would be told "don't look in there! that's people's stuff! or something similar when you tried to rummage the in villagers' houses.

I think in Dragon Age there were a few spots where trying to loot from people would actually start a fight. From what my wife tells me, the same was true in Baldur's Gate. But stealing shit from a compound full of biotic extremists? No problem!
posted by kmz at 2:33 PM on March 25, 2010


Fallout 3 had the whole karma system that knocked down your karma a little bit for stealing something, but a whole lot when someone noticed, got mad, and you shot them. Seemed to make sense.
posted by craven_morhead at 2:36 PM on March 25, 2010


Just like in life!
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:37 PM on March 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oblivion/Morrowind. And the Ultima series had repercussions for stealing too, if memory serves.
posted by naju at 2:42 PM on March 25, 2010


Yeah, the concept is a gimme but the execution is a little too one-note and obvious.

The role of casual looting and property theft in RPGs is an interesting subject, and the way in which some games make an effort to subvert that mechanic is something I'm always interested in. The Elder Scrolls games tackle it pretty much head-on—not only do individual people react to you taking their stuff, there's actually the skeleton of a justice system that enforces property law violations through confiscation, fines and imprisonment.

See more generally the difficulty of finding a rational justification for the presence of weapons and misc. supplies in any given gamescape. The house-looting issue is in most games not so much something even justified internally in the universe (why are you even expected to loot someone's house, setting aside the question of why they do or don't seem to object) as something that happens because it's, what, that or a crate?

Actually being given useful supplies by townfolk who fear/respect your vocation would make more in-universe sense than anything in most cases, but then there's no searching-for-loot mechanic there.
posted by cortex at 2:42 PM on March 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm just starting off on Dragon Age: Origins, and I noticed that I'm pretty freaked out by the looting. I mean, I'm playing my guy as a paladin; he's Dudley Goddamned Do-Right, and I'm constantly having to make moral decisions about my interaction with NPCs.

Why, of course I'll help this orphan child find a memento of his dead mother, much to the consternation of my party members who are focused on the larger picture, because that's what my character would do.

But first, let me loot this social worker's stuff for weapons.

Of course I'll kill off the bandits to make this town safer from people who are trying to rob and exploit you. But, man, you refugees have all this good junk stashed in flimsy crates all over the place, what's a guy supposed to do?

I realize it's a trope; I know that my character won't succeed in his mission if he doesn't ransack the poor. But sometimes, it just feels rotten.

That's why I send the thief to do it.
posted by MrVisible at 2:51 PM on March 25, 2010 [3 favorites]


"No roleplaying game currently in print encourages players to act out roles that are fully in accordance with the laws and customs of society, either those of the real world or of the fictional world that the RPG is set in. Murder, theft, extortion, burglary, and other serious crimes are the bread and butter of RPG storytelling; regardless of a game's higher purpose, it still amounts to story after story that consist of nothing significant other than gross criminal behavior covered in a glossy coat of genre acceptability."

An excerpt from John Tyne's RPG Powerkill.
posted by Paragon at 2:54 PM on March 25, 2010 [5 favorites]


To the extent that D&D and the many video games based on it are based in any historical reality, the adventuring party is pretty much a common criminal gang, a graverobbing barbarian horde which wanders around killing people and taking their stuff. Of course since this is fantasy, you can make the designated victims ugly, so ugly as to not even be human, call them evil, and then feel OK about that whole thing.

Regarding getting loot from your own home town, or a friendly town, with a D&D campaign you could try something a little less repulsive, the kind of "here, take this, you might need it" dynamic cortex mentions. What is weird with the video games is that they would allow the "run around grabbing whatever you want" of the smash and grab raid within your own village, or a friendly village. It gives the lie to their attempt to use the term "role playing".
posted by idiopath at 2:59 PM on March 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


There's also Moon, which predates Penny Arcade's take on the genre. A relevant quote about heroics from this lengthy review:
The hero, as it happens, may unwittingly be the biggest threat to the continued prosperity of Moon World. He cares only for gaining levels, and pays no heed to whose toes he must step on to get them. Considering what a "hero" he supposedly is, too, he conducts in some rather rotten activities, such as looting the houses of innocent villagers, brutally slaughtering all the wildlife, and excessively drinking. It is your mission to be a "messenger of love," and help clean up after this dastardly hero.
posted by pwnguin at 3:01 PM on March 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


cortex: I am probably wrong saying this, but I think ultima iv was probably the first to integrate that sort of moral system from stealing from NPCs, and it was certainly the first to make a game element out of encouraging you not to.
posted by absalom at 3:02 PM on March 25, 2010


What bugs me most in CRPGs is doors. If I can't open the door, don't put the door there. Make the doors I can open extra-doory or something. Or if you're just going to stick in a door, at least have it open into a broom closet or something, with some smashed plates on the ground. Anything. At least with the broom closet I'm going to be opening a lot of doors to start off with but soon enough I'll be getting pretty disenfranchised with the doors, door mailaise if you will, and probably I won't be opening quite so many doors any more, so then the designers can put in non-functioning doors later in the game. I'm loving Metro 2033 right now and am on my second playthrough but those goddamned doors are really bugging me. It's really door-heavy, the door balance is totally out of whack. We're in a harsh, bleak future, scratching around in the ruins in order to eke out a miserable existence, or to secure guitar strings - there's a helluva lot of guitars in this grimdark future, I don't mind telling you - and you're encouraged to scrounge to pick up a couple rounds of ammo or a fresh filter for your gasmask, so you figure "I'll try behind this awesome door!" and there's even a little hand icon showing you that you can interact with the door, so you interact the sweet bejeezus out of it and, no, that's just a show door, because the graphics engine renders them super-fast or something. Good-looking doors? Asshole doors. Fuck you!
posted by turgid dahlia at 3:06 PM on March 25, 2010 [23 favorites]


Oh, another thing from Mass Effect 2: probing planets for minerals. Most planets you can probe are empty, but there's definitely some that have colonies or mines on them. I'm just imagining some poor miner, coming home after a hard day's work, and then *BAM* the Normandy's probe crashes through his house cause there's an untapped vein of platinum underneath it.

Mass Effect 4 will be all about the galaxy banding together to stop Shepard and her resource pillaging ways.
posted by kmz at 3:07 PM on March 25, 2010


That specific mechanic is one of the things that annoyed me when I was (unknowingly) near the end of Fallout 3. It's obvious that stealing is wrong, and you recieve the bad karma for it, but the game is geared that way. In that sense felt the karma was a bit off since the rule of the land was killing and pillaging.
Fable not so much, but it was fun.
posted by P.o.B. at 3:07 PM on March 25, 2010


And, well, in defense of that core "loot everything" mechanic, the foundational classics of the RPG computer game genre were built at a time where even rudimentary social interactions were minimal when present at all, because the platforms were deeply constrained and the toolsets for creating these things were very, very primitive.

The subversive takes we're seeing more and more these days are a reaction to a trope that itself started out as a practical concession to worlds largely empty of anything friendly to worry about being civil toward. It's only with time that the elegance and complexity of world-building became possible to the degree that applying the standard loot-the-dungeon mechanic to village huts and such even became a practical (if narratively problematic) element of game design.

But even at that, people were clearly thinking about this stuff even back when they couldn't afford to do much with it. As much as looting everything in the original Legend of Zelda made a sense, given the landscape was populated by shit actively trying to kill you, looting the few friendly humanoids you encountered was not possible. And god help you if you try your hand at casual theft in Nethack.
posted by cortex at 3:09 PM on March 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh, another thing from Mass Effect 2: probing planets for minerals...

Oh, probes. Don't get me started on probes. It's bad enough having to probe anything at all, but then you do probe and you find something probe-worthy and then with the next button press suddenly you're in the ten minute loading sequence to get you down onto the stupid planet, where you drive straight off a cliff.
posted by turgid dahlia at 3:11 PM on March 25, 2010


Dialogue trees make me WANT to kill people and take their stuff.
posted by Artw at 3:11 PM on March 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oblivion/Morrowind

Halt, citizen!
posted by turgid dahlia at 3:13 PM on March 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


To be honest I always felt a little bad when I would find 200 G, or what have you, in someone's house. I mean they were saving right?
posted by P.o.B. at 3:14 PM on March 25, 2010 [3 favorites]


It's bad enough having to probe anything at all, but then you do probe and you find something probe-worthy and then with the next button press suddenly you're in the ten minute loading sequence to get you down onto the stupid planet, where you drive straight off a cliff.

That sounds like Mass Effect 1.5: The Blendering.
posted by kmz at 3:15 PM on March 25, 2010


And, ok, last ME2 example for this thread. For now. (I'm still rather obsessed with this game. I've never played an RPG before. I watched my wife play it and liked it so much I played through ME1 to get a good savefile for ME2 and I've now played through probably 3 times.)

Anyway... there's a section during one quest where you catch some people looting an apartment. You of course, tell them off, or worse, depending on how much of a dick you are. Now, there's nothing to loot in that apartment, at least, but in an apartment quite nearby, you can happily loot a safe for some credits. And you should, because cash is a tight commodity in this game.

In general though, there really is a lot less random looting in ME2. No more giant areas strewn with crates of all kinds. Almost all the looting is for cash from evil mercs or people already dead, and there's just a lot less loot overall.
posted by kmz at 3:22 PM on March 25, 2010


Oblivion/Morrowind

Halt, citizen!


My partner has a character in Morrowind who has gotten so charismatic that everywhere he goes people are all like, "Welcome stranger. I find you strangely compelling! What you have to say is so interesting to me!" It's kind of creepy.
posted by not that girl at 3:25 PM on March 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


Oblivion/Morrowind

I basically left the storyline entirely for a while when I first played Morrowind, and went out stealing everything I could get my hands on. "Halt citizen", indeed.
posted by rollbiz at 3:27 PM on March 25, 2010


RPG heroes mostly are assholes. Although there was one series (maybe Breath of Fire?) where you would be told "don't look in there! that's people's stuff! or something similar when you tried to rummage the in villagers' houses.

Chrono Trigger was the first time I came across this -- you later get judged if you took advantage of some of the villagers and stole stuff.

Fallout 3 had the whole karma system that knocked down your karma a little bit for stealing something, but a whole lot when someone noticed, got mad, and you shot them. Seemed to make sense.

I figure when it comes to Fallout 3, I'm in it for the atmosphere and the role-playing. I mean, there's little twitch dynamic (though I don't use VATS). So in deciding to not be a complete bastard in this game, there are items I refuse to take though I can without consequences (I'd say max 5% of the game's inhabitants' stuff is karma-protected the way you describe). Old guy out in the wasteland has a stove? I'm not gonna take the freaking pilot light, thanks. Scavengers living off whatever scraps they can find in this postapocalyptic world? Yeah, you keep that bottle of whiskey. You need it more than I do.

(That being said, your bobblehead is mine. And if you're an asshole, I may sell you into slavery)
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 3:30 PM on March 25, 2010


That's why I gave up playing Baldur's Gate -- it seems built on the assumption that you'll loot everything, everywhere, regardless of (what should be) the feelings of the people who rightfully own the stuff. Not even a little bit immersive.

Yet another reason why tabletop RPGs are, or at least can easily be, better than CRPGs.
posted by jiawen at 3:33 PM on March 25, 2010


Unless you're an ork, because fuck those guys.
posted by Artw at 3:34 PM on March 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


(As long as we're talking about RPG tropes and the subversion thereof and Elder Scrolls, I may as well link once again to the superb NPC Adventure Blog that is Living In Oblivion.)
posted by cortex at 3:35 PM on March 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


Yet another reason why tabletop RPGs are, or at least can easily be, better than CRPGs.

Heh.

Top Secret GM, a long while back: The terrorists seem to have stashed the hostages in these containers.

Players: and our primary objective is to stop the terrorists?

GM: Yes.

Players: and our secondary objective is to save the hostages?

GM: Correct.

Players: Ok, we blow the place to smithereens. You can't have everything. *high-fives*
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 3:38 PM on March 25, 2010 [6 favorites]


Actually being given useful supplies by townfolk who fear/respect your vocation would make more in-universe sense than anything in most cases, but then there's no searching-for-loot mechanic there.

Of course, the flip side of this is when the world is in ruins, the last pitiful dregs of humanity's survivors are huddled in some hidden refuge waiting for you to take on the The Emperor of All Darkness or something, and the merchant (who has managed to continually upgrade his stock from the sticks and short swords at the beginning of the game to the Unstoppable Dragon Spear and Kirin Blade while moving his business and stock, always one step ahead of you, from village to village) is like "Sure I will sell you the Unstoppable Dragon Spear. 2,500,000 arbitrarily-named monetary units. Don't have it? Go and kill some goblins for a bit. I am sure the Armies of All Darkness will wait for you."

Maybe the Merchant is still pissed off about that 200 anmu you lifted from the chest outside his store back in Lowly Village.....
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:38 PM on March 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


"Sure I will sell you the Unstoppable Dragon Spear. 2,500,000 arbitrarily-named monetary units. Don't have it? Go and kill some goblins for a bit. I am sure the Armies of All Darkness will wait for you."

Freaking disaster capitalists.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 3:43 PM on March 25, 2010 [4 favorites]


The first time I played Morrowind, I stumbled across an escaped Argonian slave wandering in a barren and dangerous wilderness. He asked me to help him get to Ebonheart. At the time I was on some other mission, so I turned him down, hoping to come back later.

It turns out that once you turn him down, you can never help him. So for the rest of the game, no matter how powerful I became, I was always thinking about this poor slave stuck in the middle of nowhere, resolutely refusing help from someone who once denied him. I went and visited him a few more times, hoping that something would jostle the dialogue tree and let me guide him to freedom. No such luck.

Every time I start a new game of Morrowind now, as soon as I'm able, I find that guy and lead him to freedom. But I know that there's still one Argonian out there in an old saved game that no-one can save. And I know empathy is irrelevant when it comes to bits and bytes. I still feel bad about that Argonian.

(I also discovered through the Morrowind wiki that, if you choose, you can lead him back to the slave market and get a reward from his owner. Bastards.)
posted by Paragon at 3:46 PM on March 25, 2010 [12 favorites]


And yet people are complaining that Final Fantasy XIII lacks towns in which you can go into people's homes and steal shit from them. WTF?
posted by WolfDaddy at 3:51 PM on March 25, 2010


Hee. Eponysterical.
posted by kmz at 3:52 PM on March 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oops. Meant for Paragon.
posted by kmz at 3:53 PM on March 25, 2010


And yet people are complaining that Final Fantasy XIII lacks towns in which you can go into people's homes and steal shit from them. WTF?

The only thing worse than a formula is deviating from it. Playing XIII on my 360 and FFI on my iPhone is a nice pile of dissonance.
posted by cortex at 3:55 PM on March 25, 2010


As a rule in the Sims games, if you want something, you have to pay for it. However, theft proper was introduced with Sims 3. If you give your Sim the "kleptomaniac" trait, you get the "steal something" option on a lot when no one's around.

Inevitably you end up making little forays out into town in the middle of the night. You have to wait for any passing NPCs to bug off, and you don't control what your Sim will steal. It's usually some classically municipal item like a park bench or a street light.

And doing this is really really fun.

The game has taken a lot of care to make sure you know that it's actually stealing something, and it's The Wrong Thing To Do. It wouldn't be nearly as fun if you could just walk around picking up random objects and dropping them into your inventory.
posted by ErikaB at 3:59 PM on March 25, 2010


Specifically, in the first Breath of Fire, it was that you'd get called out as a thief if you went rummaging through chests. And this was in the city that was freaking plated in GOLD. The hilarious part is that often times these houses were empty and ONLY when you looked through them would the lady be all "STOP THIEF" and show up with guards.

In Lunar, the girls bitch at you if you look through their bed and dressers. (If it wasn't them, it was Nall, who was pretty much your literal shoulder angel... dragon... flying cat-thing)

And it gets better-- in Lunar 2, one of 'em gets all pissed off because OMFG WE KEEP STOPPING TO HELP INNOCENT PEOPLE, WE'LL NEVER SAVE THE WORLD AT THIS RATE and ditches you. It doesn't last very long but, honestly? I thought that was hilarious. (Granted, this particular character initially shows up knowing literally jack squat about human behavior and emotions and takes forever to really get it and doesn't really have the best role models for it, but still...)
posted by Yoshi Ayarane at 4:00 PM on March 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


This is one reason I really enjoyed Panzer Dragoon Saga: you earned money by selling animal parts from all the beasties you fought. No looting, no bullshit sidequests. You're a hunter, you hunt.
posted by yeloson at 4:05 PM on March 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh, also, if you've never played GUN, let me walk you through the tutorial -- learn how to ride your horse by kicking several bison to death with your hooves. Aim for the head now, that's it.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 4:08 PM on March 25, 2010


With a well-timed zifmia, of course, you can capitalize on this very phenomenon.
posted by Wolfdog at 4:13 PM on March 25, 2010


: GET FLASK

: FLASK DOES NOT BELONG TO YOU!
posted by darkstar at 4:16 PM on March 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


I forget whether it was Ultima 5 or 6, but in one of them, one of the NPCs had hidden among his personal items in his house a note. You had to take it while he was out, otherwise he'd have you arrested. The note instructed you to search a specific location somewhere or other halfway across the freaking world. If you do that, you find another note, and so on. After a looong wild goose chase, you eventually find a password you're instructed to give to Iolo's talking horse friend (??). When you do, he ... gives you a weak hint for the previous game. The whole thing is a deliberate waste of time, just to punish you for ransacking a random dude's apartment.
posted by aubilenon at 4:21 PM on March 25, 2010 [4 favorites]


Players: Ok, we blow the place to smithereens. You can't have everything. *high-fives*

You just reminded me of a Champions game many, many years ago. (For the less nerdy among you, Champions is a superhero tabletop RPG.) Our GM had us on an airplane that started taking a nosedive for the ground.

We swung into action as a well-oiled team, and escaped the plane in record time. (The invulnerable-but-flightless guy just hurled himself out the door and landed where gravity took him.)

It was only after another hour or so had passed in the game when one of us turned to the others and said, "Hey...weren't there other passengers on that plane?"

The Justice League we weren't.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 4:23 PM on March 25, 2010 [16 favorites]


: TEMPORARILY SUSPEND PERSONAL ETHICS FOR SHORT-TERM GAIN

I don't know the word "temporarily"
posted by Ryvar at 4:27 PM on March 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Of course, no talk of thievery in games would be complete without some Zork-related gnashing of teeth.

It was 20 years ago, but I STILL get mad!
posted by ErikaB at 4:29 PM on March 25, 2010


Hehe. Champions was great. For some reason, though, we were at our squeakiest squeaky-clean playing it. Only other rpgs turned us into sociopaths.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 4:31 PM on March 25, 2010


THOU HAST LOST AN EIGHTH!

How many other words have four consonants in a row? <= idle thought
posted by Sebmojo at 4:38 PM on March 25, 2010


An anthropomorphic canine crossbreed is probably the last creature you'd care to ask.
posted by Wolfdog at 4:45 PM on March 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Lightning.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 4:51 PM on March 25, 2010


(And plurals of words ending in -ght. Lights. Weights. Frights. Etc.)
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 4:52 PM on March 25, 2010


Less light, more warmth.
posted by Wolfdog at 4:54 PM on March 25, 2010


I'd keep going, but the old arthritis starts acting up...
posted by Wolfdog at 4:56 PM on March 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


"Sure I will sell you the Unstoppable Dragon Spear. 2,500,000 arbitrarily-named monetary units. Don't have it? Go and kill some goblins for a bit. I am sure the Armies of All Darkness will wait for you."

Freaking disaster capitalists.


Metal Gear Solid 4 makes this even more explicit -- there are no armies anymore, only mercenaries hired by private military corporations who fight on behalf of the governments. And the arms dealer, Drebin, marks up prices for munitions based on the current tension and demand of the "war economy".

Replaying with the .50 cal M82A2 makes the first few levels rather easy. Blam!
posted by autopilot at 4:56 PM on March 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hehe. Champions was great. For some reason, though, we were at our squeakiest squeaky-clean playing it. Only other rpgs turned us into sociopaths.

You noticed that too, huh? Give a bunch of role-players flying characters in spandex costumes and they will stop any bank robbery and foil any hijacking they can find. Put them in a Star Trek RPG, though, and you may as well run it in the mirror universe, with gold sashes and goatees for all.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 5:01 PM on March 25, 2010 [4 favorites]


I'd keep going, but the old arthritis starts acting up...

Make sure you tie the latchstring up tight before you go to bed.
posted by aihal at 5:03 PM on March 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


I have more constructive things to do, you know.
posted by Wolfdog at 5:07 PM on March 25, 2010


No roleplaying game currently in print encourages players to act out roles that are fully in accordance with the laws and customs of society...

I'm still trying to shop my Border Xing RPG around. The hook is, if you do anything interesting, you get the shit kicked out of you and spend the rest of the campaign in jail.

So far, no takers.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 5:21 PM on March 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm still a fan of getting the ending in Fallout 2 where you find out that you knocked up the head mobster's daughter.
posted by restless_nomad at 5:24 PM on March 25, 2010


Use this regex dictionary:
http://www.visca.com/regexdict/

Search for $c$c$c$c for four consonants in a row, or $c$c$c$c$c for five and so on. Although that counts 'y' as a consonant and thus returns a lot of spurious matches. If you want consonants excluding y, do

[bcdfghjklmnpqrstvwxz][bcdfghjklmnpqrstvwxz][bcdfghjklmnpqrstvwxz][bcdfghjklmnpqrstvwxz][bcdfghjklmnpqrstvwxz]

which will get you 77 matches with five consonants in a row, e.g., witchcraft, nightshade, angstrom.

There are only two with six, 'latchstring' found by aihal being one of them, the other being festschrift. Maybe there are more with y as a consonant.
posted by Pyry at 5:29 PM on March 25, 2010 [6 favorites]


Those are exactly the kinds of thoughts I have after I've, uh, lost an eighth.
posted by box at 5:42 PM on March 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


Also, festschrift? If we're going to be generous with the portmanteaus and German loan words, maybe we can hit seven.
posted by box at 5:45 PM on March 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


Am I too late to say "what loot did she drop?"

(but seriously, that was pretty funny)
posted by Wuggie Norple at 6:02 PM on March 25, 2010


I thought we were opposed to private property. Why the concerns about "looting"?
posted by planet at 8:12 PM on March 25, 2010


Players: Ok, we blow the place to smithereens. You can't have everything. *high-fives*

Sometimes I wonder if it's actually worth it, trying to write with nuance.
posted by jiawen at 9:25 PM on March 25, 2010


It is. The nuances and subtleties just have to be a good distance away from the dangerous things which are most safely and effectively dealt with by orbital bombardment.
posted by Zalzidrax at 10:20 PM on March 25, 2010


metafilter: A sword made of grandmothers
posted by fizzzzzzzzzzzy at 10:48 PM on March 25, 2010


China Mieville threw this joke into Perdido Street Station. The townsfolk reluctantly hire professional adventurers to help deal with their monster problem. Someone actually says that adventurers are scum who only care about gold and experience.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 1:07 AM on March 26, 2010


I've noticed a fun and surreal thing with recent Bioware RPGs: during dialogue scenes you're given unlimited time to choose your response but unlike older RPGs the characters still animate while waiting for your response. So this leads to situations where I have a NPC asking for help and I will go off to have lunch and when I come back later my character will still be standing there, silently blinking at the NPC. Considering how I usually play these games (is sociopathic neutral a recognised alignment?) I imagine that the NPC is just too terrified to walk away or say anything.

NPC: Help! My son has been kidnapped!
Me: ...
NPC: ...
Me: ...
NPC: ...
Me: ...
NPC: ...
Me: ...
NPC: ...
Me: Ok, let's go!
posted by slimepuppy at 4:45 AM on March 26, 2010


I ask him for some rumors, as one naturally does after witnessing someone pummel someone else to death, and he encourages me to join the local Fighter’s Guild. That’s not a bad ad campaign, really

I really liked that (not so much the fpp), and myself used several realism-enhancing mods when playing Morrowind/Oblivion, but I have to say -- and yes, I know it would mean fewer comedic opportunities -- if you're going to do the food/drink/rest thing, you may as well use the portable bedroll mod, too. I mean, it's not as if you can't sleep outside.

If I play through Fallout 3 again, I'll probably do so in some homebrewed hardcore fashion. I hadn't used fastwalk for the first long while I played and it changed the game and tactics completely when I started using it. Will likely resist reloads, as well, again calling for a change in tactics. And who knows, if the game suddenly becomes a lot harder, looting may become less of a choice and more of a necessity than it is now.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 9:08 AM on March 26, 2010


not so much the fpp

That's fine and didn't expect everybody to think it was as hilarious as I did, but I don't think its too gauche to point out we wouldn't have this conversation without my "weaksauce" fpp.
I do think there are some subtleties in the interplay between the comedy and the type of video game that some people seem to have missed. Not that anybody missed the generic use of townsfolk/villager in an older RPG but the aforementioned constrictions of this type of game by cortex did lend itself really well to what was being conveyed.

ArtW: Dialogue trees make me WANT to kill people and take their stuff.

Exactly, and you see it a couple of times in there but being that the video is from a point of view of the NPC's that idea isn't fully expressed. Just frustration on there part at being constantly ignored. Even when the wife offers multiple drinks to the Player Character he still goes along mashing (fighting) anything and everything. Even when the NPC takes the time to explain everything to the PC he is still mashing away on the A Button and you see the PC actually mock attacking him while he that is taking place. The screen then switches to what is happening in game and of course the Player is just mashing through the dialogue boxes as always.

Alright, that was probably overanalyzing but I thought it was worth pointing out.
posted by P.o.B. at 2:08 PM on March 26, 2010


I love the RPG party in Perdido Street Station.
posted by Artw at 2:11 PM on March 26, 2010


Oh hey, no disrespect intended, P.o.B.. I think like someone else said upthread, I just expected a bit better from College Humour. I got the joke. I wanted more of them.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 3:56 PM on March 26, 2010


Oh not a problem, and of course you're welcome to your opinion. I've been here long enough to know that they're not all going to be dingers. I'm kind of surprised sometimes that College Humor is as funny as it is sometimes, seeing as how it started out.
posted by P.o.B. at 4:15 PM on March 26, 2010


I think in Dragon Age there were a few spots where trying to loot from people would actually start a fight.

I remember that happening only once (in the Dalish camp) and I found it bizarre, considering. Why bother putting one scene in when it's ignored throughout the rest of the game?
posted by homunculus at 6:01 PM on March 26, 2010


Lampshade-hanging, maybe. If you can't or won't dedicate the resources to enforcing some loot-ethics scheme in your game, you can at least nod at the idea and remind the player that they can choose to enforce it themselves.
posted by cortex at 6:15 PM on March 26, 2010


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