Friday, January 13, 2017

RPG rewards for characters that do bad things?

In a forum, a question came across asking about whether they would award experience points to a character for killing a friendly rival in a guild  as a means for self promotion within a guild of fighters.

For an overview of player and human morality see my character post:
Story vs RPG Part 6: Character Alignment, Morality, and Ethics

Here are my replies merged into one post.

1st reply
If the kill doesn't advance the character's story, I do not give any experience. That's why I prefer the RMU experience system which lacks kill points. If it does advance the story, I do.
This comment concerns my preference for experience point systems. Many only focus on awarding experience for each kill, regardless of whether or not the kill moves the story along. The amateur writer in me wants to see a story purpose for actions besides a) getting more experience and b) getting loot and treasure from the kills.

Those two things anyone can get by playing a first person shooter type game. I don't want to simulate 1st person shooter games.

2nd reply
With a murder, of course there would be severe future repercussions.
NPCs trying to knock off the PC.
NPC loved ones being targeted.
Family and friend betrayal.
The law seeking justice that leads to execution.
In my game world it would be a sort of Game of Thrones effect, where in the future the ramifications probably will come back to haunt the murderer despite any personal selfish goals.
This in a way furthers what I hinted at in the first post. That for major parts in the story that things happen for a reason. Of course monster fodder  fall under a 'kill the obstacle' sort of story obstacle. But in this instance, we are not talking about killing fodder unnamed stuff. It's a rival guild member.

3rd reply
In response to another post mentioning player guilt and whether GMs can tell players that their characters feel guilt or not, this is my response.

I think A GM could award experience for great roleplaying if the player feels guilt. Or maybe some other bonus that the guilty reaction leads to some sort of forgiveness especially if they followed up with some unselfish response.
The ruthless played character, I myself wouldn't feel any connection with nor any need to further their story. They can play themself out of my game and go find someone who will tell the story that they want.
When I GM, which has been a few times the last two years, I don't like telling stories that don't fit my own tastes. I know that there are GMs out there that would enjoy that type of game. Why keep both the player and me locked in a situation that isn't fully told in a satisfying manner.

Morality in Gaming
I know that the opinion of gaming, alignment, and the stigma of gaming as being all a satanic cult is unfound and wrong. Sure, there are many satanist players and GMs. I see those products on being sold frequently and even recommended to me when I did my game search. Their philosophy and spine is very evident once I even looked into the game system and read a few reviews. However their are many GMs and players that are not into spreading selfishness through gaming. Some even enjoy grey and murky moral situations such as in the bible, koran, kojiki, and all the other holy books. Because in these grey situations, even then lessons can be learned about life. I like grey games where the players rise to the situation and triumph.

And like I say, if someone wants a dark and grey game, there are plenty of GMs that already do that stuff.

It's just not me

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