Runemaster - Development Diary 4 - Personality Traits

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NewbieOne

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In Runemaster, we track your choices and map them onto a scale of different attributes, where each attribute has a personality trait at its extremes. This is an idea we’ve borrowed from Crusader Kings II, where characters can gain a multitude of different traits, each of which can dramatically change the entire game experience.

Aristotle/Aquinas in Norse mythology FTW! :p
 

Jia Xu

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two questions:
1- When we create the character, will it be clear what attributes each race 'prefer' (and will your race maybe start with some sliders already nudged towards that)?
2- How moddable is this? Can a modder redefine the traits and/or add more traits? (how would the game react to new traits?)

I'm not a developer, but I can probably make an educated guess based on previous games. If you want to know what traits races like, you can probably just open up races.txt in the common folder and read the lists. You will surely be able to mod in new traits. Like CK2, those traits won't mean anything to events unless you script those events to look for the new traits.
 

Birken

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First of all: it's great to see that there are a lot of strong feelings related to the personality traits. We're still in pre-alpha, so the names of the traits might change and their meaning might be tweaked before release (as more and more quests are written and we see what patterns the quest writers prefer to work with).

two questions:
1- When we create the character, will it be clear what attributes each race 'prefer' (and will your race maybe start with some sliders already nudged towards that)?
2- How moddable is this? Can a modder redefine the traits and/or add more traits? (how would the game react to new traits?)

1. This is something we'll experiment with. You'll get a description for each race, so hopefully you'll have some idea.
2. It's fully moddable, the limitations are that traits are always created as opposites with an attribute scale.
 

No idea

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Ehhh kinda expected something similar. I think it might work out alright, but the choices of traits don't seem very interesting. For instance resourceful vs wasteful... how's that going to be an interesting choice ? Charming vs manipulative is an interesting one though. I'll have to see how this works out in practice. It's a step in the right direction though. Unfortunately like a badly implemented good or evil system it can easily become pointless/silly if done badly.

I agree, Thrifty/wasteful doesnt sound too epic. On top of that, how can a Craven person reach (and "Win") a game where you are suppoused to confront gods? You simply cant be craven and confront gods. Basically, you can start craven (if that is possible with the system you are making) but it would be impossible to finish the game as craven so, what is the point of the whole craven/brave traits?
 

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CyaN

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I agree that, if you want every option to be a viable choice with pros and cons, not "the right way vs. the wrong way", Craven and Wasteful need a rename. Playing as a Brave and Thrifty character has an appeal much higher than playing with a Craven and Wasteful character; the negativity associated to the second one makes it sound like you made seriously wrong decisions and you messed up your character. Every choice of attributes needs to feel attractive, and the name plays a big part on that.

That being said, I am madly in love with this DD and the mechanics explained.
 

StephenT

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Are you helping people for nothing beyond their gratitude, or does your assistance always come with a price tag?
If you "help people for nothing beyond their gratitude", will your character still be able to afford food and new equipment? Will you essentially be trading off character advancement in one respect (being able to buy better gear) in return for a nebulous +1 to your Wasteful trait; and will that trade-off be worthwhile in game terms?
 

Spartanlemur

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Hmmm

Really not too sure about some of the names, as there seems to be a "right" choice for some. For example I expect 95% of people would never choose craven on principle, because it is perceived as an inherently inferior trait. This means that all the quests made for craven characters will be an utter waste at the moment.

So I suggest "craven" is replaced with "calculated" (would Jaime Lannister be "craven" for bringing with him a large group of men to apprehend Ned Stark? It's a smart think to do and why take the risk? Craven implies being irrationally scared, which nobody in their right mind would choose out of pride).

Thrifty and Wasteful is the other dichotomy which could be replaced with "miserly"/"greedy" and "generous", as "thrifty" is inherently a superior trait to "wasteful". I mean it's just basic knowledge that someone who "(uses) money and other resources carefully and not wastefully" is more intelligent than someone who "(uses) or (expends) something of value carelessly, extravagantly, or to no purpose". There is no choice at present as one is better than the other. Greedy vs generous however brings the balance of materialism and social perception into play and so is a far better equivalent.

Deceitful and honest seems fine.

Manipulative and charming is logically flawed as one can be both, and often, this is the case. A charming person may only be charming so as to manipulate others. Classical femme fatales are a great example of characters who are manipulative and use charm to serve their own ends.
Replace manipulative with intimidating and you have a great dichotomy.

So my suggestion for the revised dichotomies is:

Trustworthiness - Deceitful and Honest
Resourcefulness - Greedy and Generous
Persuasiveness - Intimidating and Charming
Heroicness - Calculated and Brave

That would ensure a balanced choice which will make players want to try out new character personalities.7

Being a deceitful, greedy, intimidating, calculated person is far preferable to being deceitful, thrifty, craven and manipulative. The former is Tywin Lannister while the latter is Gollum.
 

Spartanlemur

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Again... Resourcefulness had nothing to do with resources or money... It means 'richness of ideas' or 'ingenuity'

Yeah that is one thing I wasn't sure how to address.

I mean surely being resourceful is a good thing? Why would someone want to inefficiently use resources? In failing to create a dichotomy where the superior side is a matter of opinion and not fact they will have ensured that 95% of players don't experience the "wasteful" quest options.

I'm not sure what Paradox mean by resourcefulness, but if they truly mean "resourcefulness" then there's a problem with the core mechanics which reviewers will pick up on.
If they mean "resource-handling" or something to that effect then they can use "greedy" and "generous" (a better dichotomy imo) which would be a real choice. I'm not sure which I'd choose.
 

Thure

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Yeah that is one thing I wasn't sure how to address.

I mean surely being resourceful is a good thing? Why would someone want to inefficiently use resources? In failing to create a dichotomy where the superior side is a matter of opinion and not fact they will have ensured that 95% of players don't experience the "wasteful" quest options.

I'm not sure what Paradox mean by resourcefulness, but if they truly mean "resourcefulness" then there's a problem with the core mechanics which reviewers will pick up on.
If they mean "resource-handling" or something to that effect then they can use "greedy" and "generous" (a better dichotomy imo) which would be a real choice. I'm not sure which I'd choose.

What's the problem? You can do it in the direct way. Attack the enemy. That's unresourceful. Or you can make a clever plan. That would be resourceful. But the complex plan isn't automatically better. And it takes time. Eventually it's better to do the direct way and attack the enemy like a true warrior? So you have the choice. Loki style (resourceful) or Thor style (unresourceful true warrior like)
 

Spartanlemur

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What's the problem? You can do it in the direct way. Attack the enemy. That's unresourceful. Or you can make a clever plan. That would be resourceful. But the complex plan isn't automatically better. And it takes time. Eventually it's better to do the direct way and attack the enemy like a true warrior? So you have the choice. Loki style (resourceful) or Thor style (unresourceful true warrior like)

Resourceful: Having the ability to find quick and clever ways to overcome difficulties (Oxford Dictionary)

Thrifty seems to mean doing this well while wasteful would imply failing at this. The dichotomy you describe is exactly the brave/calculated one i suggested to replace the "craven" trait which nobody will choose. Attacking the enemy can be resourceful if it is the most efficient way of overcoming them, which illustrates my point of thrifty being unequivocally better than wasteful.
 

Thure

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Resourceful: Having the ability to find quick and clever ways to overcome difficulties (Oxford Dictionary)

Thrifty seems to mean doing this well while wasteful would imply failing at this. The dichotomy you describe is exactly the brave/calculated one i suggested to replace the "craven" trait which nobody will choose. Attacking the enemy can be resourceful if it is the most efficient way of overcoming them, which illustrates my point of thrifty being unequivocally better than wasteful.

But both choices should be good. Why should it be good in any way to fail in this? This is why I choice my exemple. And no... Just because you don't attack direktly make you less brave. Eventually paradox should explain the whole traits a little bit more, at the moment it's a little bit confusing :)
 

Birken

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If you "help people for nothing beyond their gratitude", will your character still be able to afford food and new equipment? Will you essentially be trading off character advancement in one respect (being able to buy better gear) in return for a nebulous +1 to your Wasteful trait; and will that trade-off be worthwhile in game terms?

Sometimes gratitude is just what you need (ie you need to increase your reputation with a faction in the game to be able to advance in other aspects). Sometimes gratitude might transfer into some unexpected reward and sometimes you just really need some gold.
 

Franconian

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