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 Background overhaul for TFN 1.3

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Zer0Morph
Caine
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PostSubject: Background overhaul for TFN 1.3   Mon Dec 01, 2014 6:30 pm

Hello Bloodsuckers,

I got an itch about a week ago to start toying with Bloodlines again and I came up with an idea that may spark your interest, for TFN 1.3. One issue I've always had with Bloodlines histories is that even though you can choose the history, you can still design a character that has nothing to do with the history. Take for instance, the MMA Fighter history, because brawl and dodge are paired up with subterfuge as a talent, you could create a super sexy MMA Fighter who can't fight very well.

Now, I'm all about freedom of choice in a role-playing game, but I feel this breaks immersion. I once played as a homeless guy embraced as a Samedi, yet somehow I was really good with computers. I found myself breaking immersion to min/max my character. I hate that!

So, I had this idea that would massively help the "role-play" aspect of this wonderful "role-playing" game. What if I removed the ability to manually choose your beginning stats, but instead picked from a long list of possible histories that explains where your character came from, how they ended up at the Motel in Santa Monica, and what Skills and Abilities they have to build on and why. These background histories would determine your starting stats that fit appropriately with the history and your clan.

I'm not trying to limit your starting choices, but instead helping the player build a believable start. Remember, your character was existing before you got a hold of them, you control their future, not their past (to an extent).

I'm trying to get away from the "Call of Duty" feel and bring it back to what Vampire the Masquerade was originally all about, ROLE-Playing.

What do you guys think of this idea?
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Karavolos
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PostSubject: Re: Background overhaul for TFN 1.3   Mon Dec 01, 2014 7:37 pm

Maybe you could place them according to the history without locking the stats?
Otherwise I'd say keep the freedom there, whether that means don't impliment or give the option to turn off.

I think most people prefer going about their own characters without being forced into roles etc, not to mention some only use the histories as a way of getting the stats/benefits they want and then make their own thing of it.
And this goes without mentioning how far people can go to justify certain things like why an MMA Fighter is all looks and no brawl (best I can be bothered to think of is "who said he/she was good at fighting") and so on so forth. In my opinion it's always fine to throw suggestions and the likes, but never a good idea to outright lock things lest you step on someone's toes.
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Zer0Morph
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PostSubject: Re: Background overhaul for TFN 1.3   Mon Dec 01, 2014 7:53 pm

Hmm, interesting observation Karavalos. You think the min/maxers would be upset with this change then? Maybe I should just abandon this part of the project and work on other things then. What does everyone else think?

I guess I liked it because it helps the player not worry so much about the stats and numbers and focuses more on the story, who they are, how they got there, and how they want to handle their future. I'm trying to get away from the "Call of Duty or WoW" feel to it, but I understand the other side of it too.
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Karavolos
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PostSubject: Re: Background overhaul for TFN 1.3   Mon Dec 01, 2014 8:06 pm

The heart is in the right place, I just don't think you should be forced into it since not everyone roleplays. This is, of course, just my opinion and you're the ultimate authority on how you raise your baby.
I'm but the friend from school who's bringing TFN into the teen rebellion phase What a Face
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PostSubject: Re: Background overhaul for TFN 1.3   Mon Dec 01, 2014 8:16 pm

Thanks, yeah I just thought to myself how ridiculous it was how we have these histories of the players past life before being embraced, and how the abilities and skills rarely match up to support those histories, and how allowing the player to pick and choose their abilities and skills makes the player naturally want to min/max. I want to get away from that.

Another thing I want to change is to add more low end books to the game. I've found myself designing my character around the knowledge that computers, stealth, and firearms are available to buy without heavily investing in Research. If the game allows me to min/max, I will, I can't help it, so I'm trying to find ways to not allow it.

Note: I also play with the console turned off otherwise I'm too tempted to cheat

Another idea I had was simply adding a ton more histories to choose from. This doesn't really fix the problem of min/maxing but it would give more choices to players. Of course I'm only interested in stats shufflers though, I don't like granting +1s to stats unless it's a natural clan merit. I don't know, I need ideas from the community on this, I don't like how it's setup right now.
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Feral
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PostSubject: Re: Background overhaul for TFN 1.3   Tue Dec 02, 2014 12:19 pm

I like the idea, but I am too used to minmaxing... Sad

Am I a bad boy for that...?
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malak
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PostSubject: Re: Background overhaul for TFN 1.3   Tue Dec 02, 2014 2:56 pm

Not sure if it's possible, but could the histories be used to pre-fill the character sheet, but without locking out the ability to say 'screw this, I'm rewriting all the dots'
Another option would be to assign just over half the dots to the history, with the rest editable. This way Feral can still min-max, but the history would still be the character before embrace.

I actually like the second option a lot. Beauty pageant princess has no real combat options in the history, but picked up a point in Strength, Stamina and Brawl due to vampire instincts and simply tougher blood. story works.
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PostSubject: Re: Background overhaul for TFN 1.3   Tue Dec 02, 2014 3:00 pm

Bad puppy! Spanking for you! bounce

How do you type on your computer with paws? That's gotta be tough! clown



Okay so I took Karavolos' idea into consideration and decided he was right. On the other hand, I still like my idea to make the game more ROLE-playing. So I came up with a compromise that actually allowed me to introduce a whole new game difficulty on top of that. So I'm proud to say I found a happy medium.

In vanilla Bloodlines, you get 2 points for your primary Attribute and 1 point for your secondary. You also get 3 points for your primary Ability, 2 points for your secondary, and 1 point for your tertiary. I reduced this to 1 point for your primary Attribute and 1 point for your secondary, then 2 points for your primary Ability, 2 points for your secondary, and 1 point for your tertiary. Doing this allows me to really open up the histories in a fair and ROLE-playing kind of way, but still allows the player to customize their character. Your history will give you 1 free point in your respective Attribute and 1 free point in your respective Ability.

So take for instance, before you were embraced, you were a student-athlete at a university. You would start with a free point in Strength and a free point in Scholarship, then you still get to choose the rest of your stats normally. This will actually make the character slightly more powerful because the free points don't count towards the total cost to upgrade later. It's a great system and I'm very happy with it. Now I'm designing the histories.

This also has allowed me to create a "Hardcore Mode". You can choose this mode during character creation by clicking the "Hardcore Mode" button. This wipes out all of your stats and you start the game with only 1 point in your Attributes, 0 points in your Abilities, and 1 point in each of your Disciplines. Not only would this be a huge challenge but you would also have to earn everything on your own as a blank slate type of character.
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Zer0Morph
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PostSubject: Re: Background overhaul for TFN 1.3   Tue Dec 02, 2014 3:03 pm

malak wrote:
Another option would be to assign just over half the dots to the history, with the rest editable. This way Feral can still min-max, but the history would still be the character before embrace.

This is exactly what I did, good idea Malak! I love you

1 point in your Attributes and 1 point in your Abilities will be determined by your history, the rest will be your choice. The pre-determined points won't count towards the cost of level progression later either so this will essentially make the character a little more powerful in the long haul.
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kyoden
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PostSubject: Re: Background overhaul for TFN 1.3   Tue Dec 02, 2014 7:45 pm

Great can't wait to see more.

I do like that i can customize my character somewhat. Some playthroughs just are power play. Btw if you create a hard mode why not an easy mode? Gain 4 points in every skill+attribute? Would also be great for testing things.
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PostSubject: Re: Background overhaul for TFN 1.3   Tue Dec 02, 2014 10:15 pm

kyoden wrote:
Great can't wait to see more.

I do like that i can customize my character somewhat. Some playthroughs just are power play. Btw if you create a hard mode why not an easy mode? Gain 4 points in every skill+attribute? Would also be great for testing things.

If players are capable of installing these mods properly, they already know about vstatsgive. easy mode there, also content testing. I don't see Zero ever doing anything to make the game easier, unless that was a side-effect of a lore-fix he was implementing.
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kyoden
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PostSubject: Re: Background overhaul for TFN 1.3   Wed Dec 03, 2014 4:11 am

Well, I didn't know about it nor have I really looked into sth like that.

BUT, if I can have it all in one package why not include it? It does further enhance gameplay and versatality/replayability for the game. I am certain some would appreciate it and I don't think its that hard to include if he includes all the other backgrounds.
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PostSubject: Re: Background overhaul for TFN 1.3   Wed Dec 03, 2014 1:25 pm

malak wrote:
I don't see Zero ever doing anything to make the game easier, unless that was a side-effect of a lore-fix he was implementing.

This lore-fix will indeed make the game a little easier, but not much, however after playing with this new "TFN Background" system I'm proud to say it really makes you feel like your character was a living breathing person before their embrace and you're taking control of that character from the motel room forward. It's completely worth it to me to make the game slightly easier for the sake of story telling and immersion.

As far as implementing a Hardcore AND Easy mode, I can do one or the other, but not both. I just happened to run across this by accident and never intentionally set out to create an alternative mode, it just sort've fell in my lap. Since I have to pick between one or the other, and the "TFN Background" system already makes the default game slightly easier, I thought a Hardcore mode would be the better pick between the two.

I'm super excited about the future of TFN and how we build our characters, I've been having a blast setting these up. We can have a near limitless amount of potential backgrounds to choose from and I'm sure everyone can find the type of character background they want to play. Plus you still have 2 Attributes and 5 Abilities to further customize your character so it's not restrictive. A++
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Feral
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PostSubject: Re: Background overhaul for TFN 1.3   Wed Dec 03, 2014 1:47 pm

Zer0Morph wrote:
Bad puppy! Spanking for you! bounce

*hides under a bed*

Zer0Morph wrote:
How do you type on your computer with paws? That's gotta be tough!  clown

Elementarily, my friend. I have quite a big keyboard and use my nose. The guy who delivered it was tasty, too. Cool


Zer0Morph wrote:

Okay so I took Karavolos' idea into consideration and WALL OF TEXT

Let me tell you I love this idea! *hugs with paws and licks*
It is restrictive enough to set you on a path to roleplay, but flexible enough not to let pathological minmaxers like myself down.
I think it strikes the perfect balance between seeing a character as a, well... character, with past, life, experience, so playing a role, and on the other hand it also takes into consideration that some quests require you to have certain level of a stat.

As for the hardcore mode... Dunno. Sounds tempting, but could be a notch too hard for me.
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PostSubject: Re: Background overhaul for TFN 1.3   Wed Dec 03, 2014 2:34 pm

Feral wrote:

Elementarily, my friend. I have quite a big keyboard and use my nose. The guy who delivered it was tasty, too. Cool

HAHAHA!!! lol!

Thanks Feral, I really think you'll like this new way to create your character. Min/Maxing is still certainly possible, but you can never ignore your basic roots of who you were before the embrace because those 2 enhanced stats will be FREE and BLUE.
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Dragatus
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PostSubject: Re: Background overhaul for TFN 1.3   Wed Dec 03, 2014 4:46 pm

I like the sound of this new hybrid system. Good stuff. Though I would like to point out that for many sports Dexterity is more important than Strength.

Zer0Morph wrote:
Another thing I want to change is to add more low end books to the game. I've found myself designing my character around the knowledge that computers, stealth, and firearms are available to buy without heavily investing in Research. If the game allows me to min/max, I will, I can't help it, so I'm trying to find ways to not allow it.

You can do what I did. There are 12 skill books. There also happent to be 12 abilities. Convert the books so that you have a low end book available for each ability and no medium or high end book. Then set required research to read books to 0. Finally rename Schoalrship into something like "Rhetorics", "Speech", or "Oration". You could even rename it into "Subterfuge" and then rename Subterfuge into "Sex Appeal".

Now all abilities are equal from the point of view of books and old Scholarship still gives you Persuasion so it's still pretty damn good. You also free up Research and can use it to show the Blood Timer.
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PostSubject: Re: Background overhaul for TFN 1.3   Wed Dec 03, 2014 4:58 pm

Dragatus wrote:
You can do what I did. There are 12 skill books. There also happent to be 12 abilities. Convert the books so that you have a low end book available for each ability and no medium or high end book. Then set required research to read books to 0. Finally rename Schoalrship into something like "Rhetorics", "Speech", or "Oration". You could even rename it into "Subterfuge" and then rename Subterfuge into "Sex Appeal".

Now all abilities are equal from the point of view of books and old Scholarship still gives you Persuasion so it's still pretty damn good. You also free up Research and can use it to show the Blood Timer.

Very interesting, I'll consider this. In the meantime, wouldn't it be cool if the cost to read a book increases by +1 for each book read, regardless of which Attribute or Ability was increased?
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Jad.3
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PostSubject: Re: Background overhaul for TFN 1.3   Thu Dec 04, 2014 5:38 am

So much for not having a munchkin fest.
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PostSubject: Re: Background overhaul for TFN 1.3   Thu Dec 04, 2014 9:09 am

Making all books low grade certainly is an option.
Maybe you can also adapt my idea for making Akeem a bookdealer without actual books. study
That frees the item slots for the books and gives you more freedom for selecting which skills can be learned. If you want to make an adaption and need scripting help, just ask.
You just have to find a good place for Akeem, because I have moved him in the now empty Santa Monica haven. (Think I have already posted the download address?)

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PostSubject: Re: Background overhaul for TFN 1.3   Thu Dec 04, 2014 1:46 pm

I'm just not sure what I'd use all of those free items for. TFN already has so many free item slots open which is why I wanted to massively increase the number of low/medium grade books.

Here's a list of the free items TFN has at it's disposal.
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kyoden
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PostSubject: Re: Background overhaul for TFN 1.3   Thu Dec 04, 2014 1:55 pm

Couldn't they be used for all kinds of good stuff, like if you have X in your pocket or use it, enemies spawn, doors open, you get teleported to some nephandi realm. It could trigger certain events. I certainly would know what to do with them. Maybe even give the prestige/social boons like thugs greeting you or whatnot.
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PostSubject: Re: Background overhaul for TFN 1.3   Thu Dec 04, 2014 2:04 pm

kyoden wrote:
Couldn't they be used for all kinds of good stuff, like if you have X in your pocket or use it, enemies spawn, doors open, you get teleported to some nephandi realm. It could trigger certain events. I certainly would know what to do with them. Maybe even give the prestige/social boons like thugs greeting you or whatnot.

Yeah, the possibilities are endless honestly. This really opens up quest ideas or scripted events. For now, adding more low and mid grade books would help eliminate the desire to build your character around those books.

Speaking of building your character around min/maxing. Have you ever setup your character for Persuasion 3 just so you can quickly get the XP from Copper for selling him the unicorn blood? I've done that and I hate myself every time.
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PostSubject: Re: Background overhaul for TFN 1.3   Thu Dec 04, 2014 2:20 pm

Zer0Morph wrote:


Speaking of building your character around min/maxing. Have you ever setup your character for Persuasion 3 just so you can quickly get the XP from Copper for selling him the unicorn blood? I've done that and I hate myself every time.

I do it each and every time... Sad
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PostSubject: Re: Background overhaul for TFN 1.3   Fri Dec 05, 2014 4:21 am

Zer0Morph wrote:
I'm just not sure what I'd use all of those free items for. TFN already has so many free item slots open which is why I wanted to massively increase the number of low/medium grade books.

Here's a list of the free items TFN has at it's disposal.
...
Problem is, not all of them can be used. I've already tried most of them. The _d_ items can't be used, and animaltrainingbook and chewinggum don't work either.

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PostSubject: Re: Background overhaul for TFN 1.3   Fri Dec 05, 2014 12:22 pm

Boo, leave it to Malkav to be the bringer of bad news. silent
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