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Seven Dragon Saga Kickstarter Update #11: David Shelley on Goals

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Seven Dragon Saga Kickstarter Update #11: David Shelley on Goals

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Sat 21 March 2015, 02:30:39

Tags: David Shelley; Seven Dragon Saga; Tactical Simulations Interactive

We already a know a bit about Seven Dragon Saga's Goals system from a pre-Kickstarter blog post on the game's website, but the latest Kickstarter update from David Shelley describes the system in far more detail, along with a cool example demonstrating its usage. I quote:

During character creation, the game asks three questions about personal motivation, and then asks the player to select a final Goal. Goals are part of the character advancement, but also method to give each character a bit more personality than a pool of abilities. Even a poorly chosen goal will not cripple a character, so the choice shouldn't be high stakes.

The first question derives from the Race of the character, asking about her youth. The second comes from the Class selected, and the third from the Specialty. Together they provide an abbreviated background for that character.

We have over a dozen Goals charted out, but expect to tweak this as we layout the different quests. Our plan is for players to get equal opportunities to choose each Goal, and that no Goal gets allied only to ‘positive’ or ‘negative’ solutions to quests.

So at creation, the player must decide how he will apportion the Goals. Will she strive to match all the characters’ Goal as closely as possible? If so, then when she reaches a solution to a quest that matches, all the characters benefit. But the long term consequences might not be what the player wishes. Also no quest has possible solutions which match every Goal, So a narrow selection of Goal removes the possibility of rewards in the majority of quests.

Let’s take a look at the two Goals in the image above: Seeker and Serenity. How might they come up and into conflict in resolving a quest? The player’s ultimate goal is securing the Dragonsteel mines and clearing a path for its long term export to the empire. The party comes upon a village in a well situated vale, overlooked by a lord’s castle. The vale appears clear of dangerous monsters, and the road in decent shape.

The town has befriended a Fire Wyrm; a tough, non-flying dragonkin, all scales and smoke, and used it to drive off monstrous threats. They have also used it to keep the lord’s tax collectors at bay, and they have no interest in obeying a distant emperor. The lord has enough troops to threaten any unilateral deal the party could make with the villagers. The castle has been a repository of old books for some time, and the lord would be happy to share its knowledge with the party, if his tax problem were solved. Possible solutions.
  • Assault the village, slay the Wyrm. Resulting in the villagers no longer being a problem, but the lord’s tax base destroyed. Intimidate or eliminate the lord, and access the library. The player satisfied the Seeker Goal (and probably some others). The vale is now vulnerable to monsters, bandits, etc. Villagers and nobles in the surrounding area are not going to be friendly.
  • Lure the Wyrm away from the village and slay it. The lord can reestablish the old status quo, and reward the party. The vale is less protected, the villagers are probably unhappy and a few get strung up. The player gets the Seeker Goal Nobles in the region are friendlier, villagers less so.
  • Set up a threat forcing both the villagers and the troops to join forces (lure something in). Use a bit of diplomacy to bridge the gap. The lord underestimates the party’s benefits and does not choose to reward them, but agrees to help secure the vale for the empire’s route. The player gets the Serenity goal, for minimizing the disruption to the locals.
  • Set the Fire Wyrm onto the castle, slay the noble. Library burns. Villagers agree to protection of the empire, lest local nobles come for vengeance. The player satisfies neither goal. However, this option could still satisfy the Goal of another character. So some Goals can be complementary, while others will commonly conflict. For instance, Thrill of Battle and Serenity are going to be uncommon bedfellows.
In the above example, we note the following: how the player enjoys playing, how the choices affect long term elements of the world, and the individual character goals all jostle for priority. Is the player most interested in random mayhem, consequences be damned, in optimizing the rewards to his characters? Or is the player interested in diplomatically shaping the world to achieve the edict from the emperor. These many opportunities to explore and experiment, should provide plenty of fun.​

Nice - that quest is definitely Vault Dweller-approved. This is the sort of thing that should have been given a prominent place in the game's initial pitch.

There are 11 comments on Seven Dragon Saga Kickstarter Update #11: David Shelley on Goals

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