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What's the reason that alternative forms of obtaining information from NPCs is so underutilized?

Discussion in 'General RPG Discussion' started by rusty_shackleford, Jul 6, 2019.

  1. rusty_shackleford Arcane

    rusty_shackleford
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    By this I'm referring to:
    • Charm in BG1. They put a lot of effort into giving NPCs charmed dialogue, even NPCs you wouldn't consider charming. Nearly every named NPC has charmed dialogue. Saw much less use in BG2, sadly. I think every BG clone since has skipped this(?)
    • Conjure Spirit in Arcanum. Underutilized, likely due to production constraints.
    • Mind Reading in Divinity 2. Costs XP to use to offset such a powerful ability.
    • I'm pretty sure Wiz8 had some special dialogues if you charmed NPCs.
    Can you think of any other RPGs which implement mechanics like this?
     
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  2. aweigh Arcane

    aweigh
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    In Wizardry Empire 2 and Wizardry Gaiden 4 you can Charm NPCs and activate special events, obtain information, items.

    Also, in Wizardry Empire 2 you can engage in battle with NPCs by presenting them with special items that may anger them. Pick-pocketing them extensively can also trigger them. A lot of the NPCs in that game have secret or optional stuff that can only be acquired by Charming it out of them, stealing it from them, or beating them in battle.
     
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  3. CyberWhale Arcane

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  4. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    Grab the Codex by the pussy Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Don't the Divinity: Original Sin games have stuff like this? Talking to ghosts and animals etc.

    Also Nano mind reading in Torment: Tides of Numenera.
     
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  5. Luckmann Arcane Zionist Agent

    Luckmann
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    Wait what
     
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  6. Roguey Arcane Sawyerite Sawyerist Sawyer's Bride No Fun Allowed

    Roguey
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    Spending your word budget on stuff most people aren't even going to read.
     
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  7. rusty_shackleford Arcane

    rusty_shackleford
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    Nobody is discussing malkavians
     
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  8. Bester Arcane Patron Vatnik

    Bester
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    Didn't know that.

    Even friendly NPCs that you charm, or just hostile NPCs? Do they ever say anything useful?
     
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  9. Shadenuat Arcane

    Shadenuat
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    Even hostile ones.

    It can change some things. For example in BG2 you can charm hostile fighter in Arnese Keep. In BG1 dude meeting you after mines I think can be charmed and you get info from him on bandits.
     
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  10. Bester Arcane Patron Vatnik

    Bester
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    This is not what I asked. Это не то, что я спрашивал.
     
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  11. rusty_shackleford Arcane

    rusty_shackleford
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    Most friendly named NPCs and some unnamed ones have special interactions while charmed ranging from flavor dialogue, giving you gifts, story-related dialogue, and quest progression.
     
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  12. Shadenuat Arcane

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    Oh right I got it backwards lol. Sorry I was drinking yesterday and woke up just hours ago.

    Yeah friendly ones too.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2019
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  13. Lilura RPG Codex Dragon Lady

    Lilura
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    He's talking about this sort of thing:

    [​IMG]
     
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  14. V_K Arcane

    V_K
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    Somehow the thread title made me think of kidnapping, torture and blackmail rather than spells. Oh well.
    Cythera, a Mac-only Ultima clone, had a spell to detect lies. Which kinda both worked and didn't - there were quite a few dialogs where it did in fact tell you that the NPC is lying, but IIRC it didn't allow you to confront them about it.
    Amberstar had a quest where the reward was learning the animal language, so you could talk to animals now.

    What was infuriating in Arcanum is how charmed NPCs still refused to divulge information to you. Which makes sense from the balancing perspective, of course, but not from the narrative perspective. Oh well, the amount of under- and unutilized spell effects in Arcanum easily rivals that of Realms of Arkania.
     
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  15. Shadenuat Arcane

    Shadenuat
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    I think part of the system which was supposed to lock dialogue behind NPCs reaction to you was either broken somewhat or underused in Arcanum.

    It is still useful if you play some ugly dude or half orc or something or piss people off.
     
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  16. rusty_shackleford Arcane

    rusty_shackleford
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    If you know of an RPG that lets you do this, that's an acceptable addition.
     
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  17. AbounI Arcane Patron

    AbounI
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    Inquisitor maybe ?
     
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  18. Drowed Arcane

    Drowed
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    Ok, I have to admit this is very cool and I never really knew about it. It never occurred to me that something like this would actually be implemented in the game. (But I knew about the examples of Arcanum / Divinity 2, though.) Sadly, this is the kind of thing that I don't see being implemented in many other games simply because of the fucking huge work it would probably create for the developers. This is amazing, but it is the kind of thing that seems to exponentially increase the investment of time so that it can be well implemented. A time that from a practical point of view could be better used to simply put more quests or expand the ones that already exist. Which is a shame.
     
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  19. Cross Savant

    Cross
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    In games that have text parsers that let you type in any word/phrase and point and click interfaces that let you drag any inventory item to an NPC to see how they react, it's a lot easier to implement alternative approaches to NPC interaction.

    Unfortunately, both of those went out of style ages ago.
     
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  20. Luckmann Arcane Zionist Agent

    Luckmann
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    Any tabletop RPG, from my experience.

    Mileage may vary.

    +M
     
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  21. Lilura RPG Codex Dragon Lady

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  22. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    Grab the Codex by the pussy Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
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  23. Lilura RPG Codex Dragon Lady

    Lilura
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    From an authoritative source:

     
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  24. V_K Arcane

    V_K
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    Well, Vigilantes has a rather suggestive interrogation screen:
    Haven't played it though, so I don't know how exciting it actually is.
     
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  25. PsychoFox Educated

    PsychoFox
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    Many devs are for some reason convinced that players don't bother to read their stories. I'm sure you've watched that disgusting Emil Pulg..whateverthefuckhisnameis (Bethesda's) presentation about stories etc. They think just because their shitty little focus group is full of ADHD'd retards then they should just go for quest markers etc. instead of actual information delivered by language.
     
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