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cardtrick
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« Reply #315 on: January 17, 2008, 04:25:04 pm »

The deeper issue is that the game seems to be making a choice for your character, when the average player can expect reasonable alternatives to be available.
My turn to disagree. If you character wants the loot, he fights; if he wants to leave, he has an option to leave. As for the reasonable alternatives, the way I see it, the guard either lives and then you can't go through the chest or he's dead and then you do whatever the hell you want. The game supports these two choices.

What you suggest is to add another layer of dialogues leading to the same thing: kill the guard and loot or leave. The original line presents these choices clearly. The only confusion, imo, is from playing too many Bio games where all choices lead to the same thing.

I'm not saying that you are wrong and my original design is awesome. I've been considering what's been said for several days and playing with different concepts, but so far I'm 80/20 in favor of the original design. Mind you, we aren't just talking about this particular design here, but about the overall design of the game, so if someone feels strongly about it, more arguments please.

I am in no way suggesting an extra layer of dialog. I'm suggesting adding a few words to the line you already have. I'm fine with only having the 2 choices you originally implemented. You're right that the two most meaningful choices are leave or kill the guard and loot.

Try to be clear and precise - what you want, why you want it, problems with the original design, and your expectations (and why) when you clicked on the intimidate line.

What I want: Add something equivalent to "I'll just slip out quietly, and you can keep on breathing. [truth.]" to the end of dialog option 1, so that it reads "I was paid to kill one, and since I don't work for free, you can relax and put your sword down. I'll slip out quietly, and you'll keep on breathing. [truth.]"

Why I want it: To make clear that after selecting the first option, your character will have no more choices to make and will simply leave.

Problems with the original design: In the line as written, it is fairly clear that you are trying to intimidate the guard. It is  not at all clear that once you do so your character will immediately flee out the window without you telling him to. To me, this means that the game is making unexpected choices on behalf of my character, rather than simply limiting my choices. It's nice for enemies, dialog, plot, etc. to surprise you in a game -- but it's not nice at all for the actions of your own character to surprise you.

My expectations (and why) when I clicked on the intimidation line: I didn't know what to expect, exactly, but I certainly expected to have some choice (unless I failed the intimidation check). I certainly expected leaving peacefully to be one option. I also expected to have the chance to sneak attack the guard -- making him stand down with the intimidation line (which, after all, says to put his sword down) and then getting some bonus, which might have meant having time to load another bolt before combat began, or might have been a simple numerical increase to damage or accuracy in the first round or two of combat. I further expected there to be some kind of peaceful resolution, probably involving another skill check, which would lead to some reward, though less than what I would have earned by killing the guard.

The more useful question is what didn't I expect, and the answer is an end to the scene. Nothing about that line implies to me that I would immediately leave if successful. Nothing implies that that's the last thing I'm going to say to the guard. Further, nothing implies that I'm going to grab the map! No one told me to get that map, and I have no way of knowing that it's valuable, so if you're saying that with the guard there I wouldn't have the chance to loot anything, then it seems a little weird that I would feel safe enough to run up to the merchant and grab a random piece of paper from his hands.

Other comments

The more I think about it, the more I think that the [truth] is essential in the line I'm suggesting. You expect an assassin to be a scoundrel, to double-cross, to lie, to manipulate others to his advantage. Honestly, my first thought on reading the intimidation line was that I could say it, lying, and get the upper hand when I then killed the guard. Having the [truth] makes it clear that selecting that option will rule out attacking the guard, which otherwise isn't obvious at all.

This is an important point in general, not just in this one instance. When selecting a dialog option is going to rule out reasonable choices, that needs to be as clear as possible. Otherwise the character isn't really your own and you don't feel that you're in control of  his actions.
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Nerv
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« Reply #316 on: January 17, 2008, 04:53:24 pm »

I would not have expected the intimidation dialoge to lead to my char just taking the map and leaving without searching for loot.
What have you expected?
What cardtrick said ;-)
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xenocide
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« Reply #317 on: January 17, 2008, 05:03:46 pm »

Lurker, first post.

I admit to being a little torn here.  After having read this entire thread and knowing exactly the reasons behind the dialog, I think the original is the best.  I do see the confusion however.  If I had just sat down and played the game, I would choose option one expecting to be able to attack latter.  After having my character jump out of the window I would be suprised, then I would reload and do option 2.  Now, I may be to used to games that allow this, but that is what I would have done.

One thing I would consider is this; are there more choices latter in the game similar to this one?  If there are I would leave it as the original just to get people prepared for and used to having to make difficult decisions that have immediate consequences.

So, leaving it as the original would be fine with me.  If things needed to be clarified a little, I agree saying "I'll just slip out quietly" to the guard sounds week.  Maybe instead of saying it out loud, you could have something like:

"I was paid to kill one, and since I don't work for free, you can relax and put your sword down."  (Take the paper in the merchant's hand and slip out the window.)

The only problem I see here is it kind of assumes you can just do it and it might seem weird if you fail the check and the guard attacks.

Or if you want the character to say something maybe you could add one line to the guildmaster's speach like "Report back to me as soon as the job is done, don't waste time messing around."

Then have the character say to the guard something like "I was paid to kill one, and since I don't work for free, you can relax and put your sword down.  I am going to leave to tell my superiors this scum is dead, but if you insist I can hang around one more minute and kill you to."  I think that is a little more clear.  

All the other discussions about more dialog choices are ok, but for this I like the simple two.
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xenocide
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« Reply #318 on: January 17, 2008, 06:57:20 pm »

Priapist's post in the "ToughLove" thread gave me another idea.  He said the gameworld should dictate not the designer. In this vein, what if after choosing option 1:

fail: guard is not intimidated and he attacks

pass:  guard backs down but yells "Murder!... The inn guards should be here any second." or somesuch over his shoulder. Leaving the PC with "knowing you would have no chance at living through a 3 on 1 fight you qucikly grab the paper in the merchants hand and jump out the window. 

or

pass: the guard lowers his sword, just as you take a better look at your suroundings, the guard grabs a loaded hand crossbow of a shelf you had not noticed behind him.  Now that he has the drop on you, you know you don't have time to reload so you qucikly grab the paper in the merchants hand and jump out the window.

or someting in that vein.  This way there is a good reason to just leave quickly and you maintain the simple two choice dialog.
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galsiah
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« Reply #319 on: January 17, 2008, 07:59:09 pm »

I'm with cardtrick on this. The loot is an unimportant side-issue. The problem lies in the game assuming that the PC is being truthful without asking the player. An "I'll just slip out [truth]" does exactly what's required - it makes player motives and intentions clear, and therefore makes it reasonable for the game mechanics to act on them.

Obviously you'd want more options in an ideal world - possibly including an "I'll just slip out [lie]". The [truth] does its job with or without an equivalent [lie] though - it simply underlines that there could be a lying option, and that this isn't it.


Quote from: xenocide
If there are I would leave it as the original just to get people prepared for and used to having to make difficult decisions that have immediate consequences.
The point isn't about the predictability/scale/immediacy of the consequences. Hard decisions with huge, sometimes unpredictable implications are great. The point is that if an implication is large scale PC action (i.e. leaving in this case), then the player must have signalled a clear intention to make that action. Choosing a dialogue option where lying is a valid possibility doesn't signal that intent. [of course the argument about PC vices and loss-of-control under fear/addiction... can arguably be a reasonable exception to this - but it's not the case here.]

I view this as an interface error: the game is drawing conclusions about player intentions based on dodgy assumptions (i.e. that the PC couldn't be lying or trying to get the guard to drop his guard). Adding "I'll just slip out now. [truth]" deals with it on an interface level.

Your next post gives a reasonable alternative of course - making the player's intentions irrelevant with game-world constraints.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2008, 08:02:26 pm by galsiah » Logged
GhanBuriGhan
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« Reply #320 on: January 18, 2008, 04:02:24 am »

I add my support to Cardtricks post. It is important that the player knows what the choice he picks means. There is no mistaking "Attack!", but the other option is ambiguous. Therefore either clarifying that line, or accounting for the ambiguity by clearing it up with an additional layer of choices are both viable. Personally I don't like the use of  [truth], because it seems unelegant, and the same format is used to indicate skill checks. Ideally wether it is truth or lie should be clear from the context, and / or the required skill check. But even though It is not my personal preference, using this tag would at least be unambiguous, so I can live with it.
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caster
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« Reply #321 on: January 18, 2008, 09:56:50 am »

As far as truth -lie answers are concerned i think it would be cool if you would first choose between those two by selecting one and then choose a few different answers from each category.

truth:

answer 1

answer 2

answer 3


Lie:
Answer 1

Answer 2

answer 3

For example. And each would  have a different chance to succeed. Truths are not what people like to hear most of the time and there is a way to say a truth in a few ways (compasionate, brusque, careless, stright to the gut etc)
And lies too, naturally.
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galsiah
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« Reply #322 on: January 18, 2008, 06:28:15 pm »

Ideally wether it is truth or lie should be clear from the context, and / or the required skill check.
Maybe that's ideal, but how is it possible in this kind of situation? Naturally the line must seem to fit as the truth in the context, since it needs to appear true to the NPC.
If the player knows it's factually true/false, then it'll be clear, of course. If not, then the player can only guess at the truth of the line based on what he perceives as credible options. The more he feels that the game is open, nuanced, and full of varied options, the more he's going to see both the truth and the lie as credible. To the extent that it's always clear, the game must be predictably railroaded (in this respect).

I'm not sure how often a skill check ID would help. Bluffing, intimidation and persuasion can all be done with the truth as well. Unless you have something like a [tell dastardly lies convincingly] check, I don't see how you'd be able to tell in most situations.

I do share your feeling that [truth] / [lie] identifiers are rather inelegant, but I don't see the alternative. That the player sees the game world as full of possibility is a good thing. Give me an inelegant interface over an inelegant world any day.
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Vince
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« Reply #323 on: January 18, 2008, 08:40:34 pm »

What I want: Add something equivalent to "I'll just slip out quietly, and you can keep on breathing. [truth.]" to the end of dialog option 1, so that it reads "I was paid to kill one, and since I don't work for free, you can relax and put your sword down. I'll slip out quietly, and you'll keep on breathing. [truth.]"
[truth] should come with [lie], otherwise what's the point? [lie] comes with that extra dialogue layer I mentioned. If your xbow was loaded or had the double shot action, then you could quickly shoot the guard when he puts his sword down. So, the question is what are you going to do when you pick the [lie] response? Tell him that his shoes are untied?

Quote
Problems with the original design: In the line as written, it is fairly clear that you are trying to intimidate the guard. It is  not at all clear that once you do so your character will immediately flee out the window without you telling him to.
Ok. So let's say you didn't expect to leave so soon. What did you expect? You have a situation where for whatever reason you decided not to attack the guard, at least not right away. You intimidated him. Then what? My point is that this situation can really lead to two things and my design simply eliminated the boring parts and jumped straight to the point. No?

Quote
To me, this means that the game is making unexpected choices on behalf of my character, rather than simply limiting my choices.
...
I certainly expected leaving peacefully to be one option. I also expected to have the chance to sneak attack the guard -- making him stand down with the intimidation line (which, after all, says to put his sword down) and then getting some bonus, which might have meant having time to load another bolt before combat began, or might have been a simple numerical increase to damage or accuracy in the first round or two of combat. I further expected there to be some kind of peaceful resolution, probably involving another skill check, which would lead to some reward, though less than what I would have earned by killing the guard.
Is the sneak attacking option really realistic? Would you expect the guard to stop watching you even for a second? Especially if you start loading a new bolt? As for the peaceful resolution, what and why? The guard isn't attacking you, you are free to leave. How much more peaceful did you expect the situation to get? Just trying to understand your position better, cardtrick.

If I had just sat down and played the game, I would choose option one expecting to be able to attack latter.
You're given two options: attack and intimidate. Why choose intimidate expecting to be able to attack later, if you have an attack option right there? It sounds to me like an attempt to try all things, like joining all guilds in Oblivion: I have two options, I know what attack means, so I'll try the intimidation option and *then* attack the guard; this way I won't miss anything.

Quote
Priapist's post in the "ToughLove" thread gave me another idea.  He said the gameworld should dictate not the designer. In this vein, what if after choosing option 1:

fail: guard is not intimidated and he attacks

pass:  guard backs down but yells "Murder!... The inn guards should be here any second." or somesuch over his shoulder. Leaving the PC with "knowing you would have no chance at living through a 3 on 1 fight you qucikly grab the paper in the merchants hand and jump out the window.
That's actually a good idea.
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galsiah
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« Reply #324 on: January 18, 2008, 09:08:44 pm »

[truth] should come with [lie], otherwise what's the point?
Clarity. With [truth] it'd be clear. Without it, it isn't. Adding a [lie] option is a separate issue.

Quote
You have a situation where for whatever reason you decided not to attack the guard, at least not right away. You intimidated him. Then what? My point is that this situation can really lead to two things and my design simply eliminated the boring parts and jumped straight to the point. No?
No - you might well intimidate him to play for time, to catch him off guard and hope for a combat advantage, to get further conversational options to gain information - possibly attacking afterwards.

Intimidating a weaker opponent into providing useful information, then killing them anyway, is a very common situation in narratives. As a designer, you might know that there's no information for the player to get out of the NPC, but the player doesn't know that. For a player who is definitely decided on killing the guy, but wants to find out what he can first, it's perfectly reasonable to intimidate first.

The whole idea of having to attack earlier because you have that option and "Choices have consequences", is entirely based on gaming the decision tree - not on the reality of the game world. The player should be able to attack when it makes sense in the game world - not when a designer arbitrarily decides he can. If you want to restrict the option to attack after intimidating, that's fine - but you must make that clear upfront if it's the PC who decides to leave.
If it's game world circumstances that conspire to force the PC to leave, that's fine too - but it's probably not something you'd want to do all the time, or it'll seem contrived.

Quote
You're given two options: attack and intimidate. Why choose intimidate expecting to be able to attack later, if you have an attack option right there? It sounds to me like an attempt to try all things, like joining all guilds in Oblivion:
But there's nothing wrong with the player deciding to join all the guilds in Oblivion; there's something wrong with the design which makes this a reasonable possibility.
Restricting things is great - but it should be done using game world tools or explicit player decisions. If you're having the PC leave a significant situation, you either need to make that a clear player decision, or something which is forced by the game world. Arbitrarily forcing it by design is just tacky.

Quote
I have two options, I know what attack means, so I'll try the intimidation option and *then* attack the guard; this way I won't miss anything.
This is a perfectly reasonable mindset for a thorough PC - it's what makes it reasonable to choose to intimidate before attacking: Why shouldn't I play a character who is thorough and wishes to learn all he can before making potentially dangerous decisions?

What you'd call munchkinism is half the player's fault, and half the designer's. Since you're a designer, it's your job to fix the design half - i.e. the game features that allow and encourage munchkinism. You can fix those through arbitrary restrictions that make little sense in the game world, or you can fix them by imposing natural restrictions using the game world as a tool.
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Vince
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« Reply #325 on: January 18, 2008, 09:18:54 pm »

Intimidating a weaker opponent into providing useful information, then killing them anyway, is a very common situation in narratives.
If you were infiltrating a dungeon, sure. You kill one guard, intimidate the other into telling you something important to the mission and your progress, and then either kill him or tell him to fuck off - makes sense. In this situation, your mission is over and you don't need anything from the guard.

Quote
For a player who is definitely decided on killing the guy, but wants to find out what he can first, it's perfectly reasonable to intimidate first.
Find out what?

Overall, I agree with the criticism. You guys are saying all the right words and making all the right points. However, the question is what happens when you intimidate the guard. What do you do next? What is the reason for staying?

Btw, we updated the update page.
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cardtrick
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« Reply #326 on: January 18, 2008, 09:26:08 pm »

What I want: Add something equivalent to "I'll just slip out quietly, and you can keep on breathing. [truth.]" to the end of dialog option 1, so that it reads "I was paid to kill one, and since I don't work for free, you can relax and put your sword down. I'll slip out quietly, and you'll keep on breathing. [truth.]"
[truth] should come with [lie], otherwise what's the point? [lie] comes with that extra dialogue layer I mentioned. If your xbow was loaded or had the double shot action, then you could quickly shoot the guard when he puts his sword down. So, the question is what are you going to do when you pick the [lie] response? Tell him that his shoes are untied?

Why does a [truth] have to come with a [lie]? The point of it is to make it clear that you are going to follow through on what you're saying, which the game forces upon you anyway. If the game is going to force your character to take an action, then it should be clear that your choice implies that action. Anyway, we're playing an assassin -- practically any line we say can reasonably be assumed to be a lie or at least an attempt to manipulate the situation to our advantage. The [truth] indicates that in this instance you will have no option but to honor your word if you select that dialog option, so that you won't be surprised when the character you had intended to bargain further with the guard, or attack him when his guard is lowered, instead jumps suddenly out the window.

The player should never be surprised by what his character does.

Quote
Problems with the original design: In the line as written, it is fairly clear that you are trying to intimidate the guard. It is  not at all clear that once you do so your character will immediately flee out the window without you telling him to.

Ok. So let's say you didn't expect to leave so soon. What did you expect? You have a situation where for whatever reason you decided not to attack the guard, at least not right away. You intimidated him. Then what? My point is that this situation can really lead to two things and my design simply eliminated the boring parts and jumped straight to the point. No?

You have argued fairly persuasively that the two best choices might be to attack or to leave, but it should be clear from this thread that those certainly aren't the only choices that seem reasonable to most players. Do you see me arguing to add more choices? No. I'm just saying you need to make it clear to the player exactly what choice he is making. Not the consequences of the choice -- as discussed in the ToughLove thread, having surprising consequences is good. But the choice itself -- that is, what your character does after you click the dialog option -- should be crystal clear. As it stands now, it's absolutely not, since many/most people believe that choosing the first option leads to more conversation and choices, when in fact it leads to grabbing a random piece of paper and jumping out a window.

Quote
To me, this means that the game is making unexpected choices on behalf of my character, rather than simply limiting my choices.
...
I certainly expected leaving peacefully to be one option. I also expected to have the chance to sneak attack the guard -- making him stand down with the intimidation line (which, after all, says to put his sword down) and then getting some bonus, which might have meant having time to load another bolt before combat began, or might have been a simple numerical increase to damage or accuracy in the first round or two of combat. I further expected there to be some kind of peaceful resolution, probably involving another skill check, which would lead to some reward, though less than what I would have earned by killing the guard.
Is the sneak attacking option really realistic? Would you expect the guard to stop watching you even for a second? Especially if you start loading a new bolt? As for the peaceful resolution, what and why? The guard isn't attacking you, you are free to leave. How much more peaceful did you expect the situation to get? Just trying to understand your position better, cardtrick.

Vince, I hope you understand that I'm not saying I want you to implement those options, or that I necessarily think they're the smartest choices for the character. I'm not going to answer your specific questions here, because they're irrelevant.

You're thinking like a designer, I'm thinking like a player. It doesn't matter how exactly these options could be consistent and balanced in the gameworld. All that matters is that I, and others, saw the dialog option and immediately expected it to be followed by other choices. Both in my first consideration of the choices, and after more thought, it seemed to me that there were options worth pursuing. Given that the player thinks he has options, and that the dialog line you wrote does nothing to rule those options out, it is wrong for the game to make the character do something contradictory to those options without the player's input.

If selecting a dialog line is going to make my character break off a conversation, that needs to be clear. (If it makes the NPC offended enough to break off the conversation, then that's totally fine. Unexpected consequences are fine, unexpected actions by my character are not. Unless my character is under some kind of spell.)

If selecting a dialog line is going to make my character attack an NPC, then that needs to be clear.

If selecting a dialog line is going to make my character leave a room, especially one that he can't get back to, then that needs to be especially clear.

If selecting a dialog line is going to make my character give an object or money to an NPC, then that needs to be clear.

I could keep going, but I'll stop. My character should never act unless I tell him to. Grabbing a map and jumping out a window when all I told him to do was say something to a guard is not acceptable.



Vince, it seems like you and I are having a fundamental disconnect on what I think is a pretty important issue. The game actively making choices for your character, rather than merely limiting options, seems quite wrong to me. I'm not sure how to explain my position any better. Galsiah seems to be on the same page as me, and he has a way with words -- any chance you could weigh in here, Galsiah, if you're reading this?

Two more posts have been made while I was typing this, so I'll check them in a minute and edit this if need be.

EDIT: Well, a lot of what I said was made a bit redundant by Galsiah, and I'm realizing that the tone of this post came off strangely angry, which was unintentional. Obviously I'm just trying to make helpful suggestions, and I think you're doing a hell of a job, Vince.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2008, 09:29:36 pm by cardtrick » Logged
cardtrick
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« Reply #327 on: January 18, 2008, 10:08:17 pm »

Intimidating a weaker opponent into providing useful information, then killing them anyway, is a very common situation in narratives.
If you were infiltrating a dungeon, sure. You kill one guard, intimidate the other into telling you something important to the mission and your progress, and then either kill him or tell him to fuck off - makes sense. In this situation, your mission is over and you don't need anything from the guard.

You're an assassin -- by definition, someone who kills for money. Therefore, it stands to reason that money is pretty important to you. What about intimidating the guard to tell you where the merchant keeps his valuables, before killing him and taking them?

I'm not saying that I want that choice to be implemented, although it would be nice I guess, but it does seem reasonable to me.

Quote
Overall, I agree with the criticism. You guys are saying all the right words and making all the right points. However, the question is what happens when you intimidate the guard. What do you do next? What is the reason for staying?

I'd be quite satisfied with leaving the situation how it is -- you intimidate the guard, and if successful you jump out the window. Just add the words "I'll just slip out quietly. [truth]" so that the player makes his choice knowing that it will mean him leaving.

If you definitely want to add options, I think one possibility is something like this:

[After successful intimidation check.]

(A) Guard: "Alright, you bastard. You've already killed my patron, so there's no point in getting my sword dirty."
                  A1: "What's that in the merchant's hand?" -->(B)
                  A2: "If you want to live, drop your sword. Now." [Requires hard intimidation check. If failed -->(C), if successful -->(D).]
                  A3: "I'm a . . . reasonable [man/woman]. With Moneybags over there now a corpse, I know you must be a bit worried for your, ah, financial future. What do you say you and I split what's on his body and in that chest?" [Requires persuasion check. If failed --> (E), if successful --> (F).]
                  A4: "I'll just grab what your boss was holding, and slip out quietly. [truth]" -->(G)

(B) Guard: "What the hell do you care? It's just some bloody map he liked to look at." -->(A)

(C) Guard: "I don't think so, you sneaking coward. You'll find I won't die quite as easily!." --> FIGHT!

(D) The guard looks unhappy but obeys. He backs up two paces and drops his sword, spreading his empty hands wide.
                  D1: "Get out of here -- and leave the sword." --> CONVERSATION ENDS, GUARD LEAVES. PLAYER FREE TO LOOT.
                  D2: Attack while the guard is unarmed! --> FIGHT! GUARD BEGINS UNARMED.

(E) Guard: "What do you say I run you through like the pig you are, you corpse-robbing scum!" --> FIGHT!

(F) Guard: "Well, it's not like I loved the old bastard. And you're right, I'm going to have a hell of a time getting work after this. Keep your damn distance, and I'll give you your share. You can even have my ex-employer's precious map, seeing as I'm a generous man." [Player must press enter or something.] The guard keeps a wary eye on you, and leaves half the merchant's belongings and a crumpled piece of parchment in a pile in the center of the room. Still watching you, he backs to the door and leaves without saying another word.
                  F1: Take the spoils and leave through the window. --> JUST WHAT IT SAYS!

Quote from: Vince
Btw, we updated the update page.

Looks awesome. Love the commentary, as usual.
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galsiah
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« Reply #328 on: January 18, 2008, 10:11:13 pm »

In this situation, your mission is over and you don't need anything from the guard.
Yes - you know this, because you designed the game. The player doesn't.
How is the player to know that it's an entirely straight-forward situation? Couldn't the guard be an important source of significant information? Maybe he has another story to tell, and the assassins' guild has being lying to the PC. Maybe he has powerful friends who'd find and kill his murderer. Maybe he has business propositions of his own....

You know that there's nothing more to the situation, but the player doesn't. It's perfectly reasonable for him to make an attempt to learn what there is to be learned before taking serious action - even if he plans to kill the guy.

Quote
However, the question is what happens when you intimidate the guard. What do you do next? What is the reason for staying?
There doesn't necessarily have to be any next: all that's absolutely necessary is that this is clear to the player before he makes the decision. If you make it perfectly clear that he can either attack or leave, then he both knows there's nothing more to learn, and is clear on the direct consequences of his options.

Of course you could add more options after the intimidation - but that's not necessary. All that's necessary is to realize that it's reasonable for the player to think that there might be such options - and that his choice is being made on that basis. Once you clearly communicate that those options don't exist, he's making the decision on the basis you describe - i.e. to attack or avoid attacking.
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namad
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« Reply #329 on: January 19, 2008, 03:18:07 am »

how about the guard replies to intimidation by saying "I don't work for free either, and a dead merchant can pay as well as a live one" or " I don't kill for free either, and maybe I didn't see anything here because I blinked and you were gone"...


etc....  give the character no choice but to leave because even the successful intimidate response goes poorly?
or rewrite the option so it's clear the intimidation check is only to buy you escape time... not to make the mercenary shit himself
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