Putting the 'role' back in role-playing games since 2002.
Donate to Codex
Good Old Games
  • Welcome to rpgcodex.net, a site dedicated to discussing computer based role-playing games in a free and open fashion. We're less strict than other forums, but please refer to the rules.

    "This message is awaiting moderator approval": All new users must pass through our moderation queue before they will be able to post normally. Until your account has "passed" your posts will only be visible to yourself (and moderators) until they are approved. Give us a week to get around to approving / deleting / ignoring your mundane opinion on crap before hassling us about it. Once you have passed the moderation period (think of it as a test), you will be able to post normally, just like all the other retards.

What is an RPG definitively answered

Dynamic reactivity - RPG holy grail?

  • yes

    Votes: 6 35.3%
  • no

    Votes: 8 47.1%
  • yes and no, plz explain

    Votes: 3 17.6%

  • Total voters


poop retainer
Feb 12, 2021
MFGA (Make Fantasy Great Again)
Codex Year of the Donut
Boy, it's good to be back. Hwaet is an RPG.

Roleplaying games are all about playing a role, true. But vidya have traditionally allowed players way too much freedom in creating roles and shaping emergent gameplay for us to still speak of playing a role. RPG'ers play how they want, whom they want, when they want. And that's exactly the problem.

This kind of gameplay might work well for other genres, but not for RPG's and their aspirations at world simulation. I've played murderous hobo goofballs who stuck out like sore thumbs for decades.

To be able to speak of a defined "role" we can't let the specifics be all up to the player. Instead, vidya gamers must be trained that playing a role means assuming a role that others defined for you and bringing it to life. And the way to do that is reactivity in RPG's.

Wether it's factions, or NPC interaction, or exclusive content, it all should depend way more on how much the characters manage to emulate others in the world (or at least conform to traditional stereotypes).

Let me illustrate this by drawing on IWD (what IWD could have been), because I'm feeling nostalgic:

The IWD portraits did a great job at capturing an entire character in many different facets, from skin and hair color(ranges) to weapons, armor, general bearing and attitude. Imagine if you had to strive to stick to the general idea given by these portraits to get the best possible (depending on circumstance) reaction for those characters, right down to the weapons you're supposed to have equipped. Other things, like the doom and gloom level of your portrait, might influence NPC reactions.

Now I'm imagining something like large amounts of exclusive dialogue (compared to what we've had before), which comes in trickles as you get closer to what the NPC thinks would be a person to really confide in.

I assume the industry right now is giving jack shit about this level of reactivity... or is it. At any rate, after several decades of goring orcs and dragons with a bunch of looney toons, the entire experience has grown stale for me. It's high time for increased reactivity and sound judgment on part of NPC's to elevate RPG gameplay again.

As an Amazon Associate, rpgcodex.net earns from qualifying purchases.
Top Bottom