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Andor
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On topic, while that is a fascinating subject for research and debate, is the distinction between Ethics and Character as fields of study a fine enough distinction to be worth splitting them into seperate fields for the purposes of the game?

 

As some one who used to work in the PnP gaming industry and who knows many game designers I'm inclined to say no. I do see a valid distinction if, as I said, one represents 'book knowledge' and the other is used to represent the practice of ethics/character in the face of temptation.

 

But that's not what we have and so in the game some events test against ethics for moral behavior and others against character. If I'm trying to build a character who behaves ethically which do I want? Both? Neither? Having the distinction in the game doesn't add depth, it adds confusion.

 

And of course I realize it's effectively set in stone at this point and cannot be changed, I'm just offering up my 2¢.

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On topic, while that is a fascinating subject for research and debate, is the distinction between Ethics and Character as fields of study a fine enough distinction to be worth splitting them into seperate fields for the purposes of the game?

 

As some one who used to work in the PnP gaming industry and who knows many game designers I'm inclined to say no. I do see a valid distinction if, as I said, one represents 'book knowledge' and the other is used to represent the practice of ethics/character in the face of temptation.

 

But that's not what we have and so in the game some events test against ethics for moral behavior and others against character. If I'm trying to build a character who behaves ethically which do I want? Both? Neither? Having the distinction in the game doesn't add depth, it adds confusion.

 

And of course I realize it's effectively set in stone at this point and cannot be changed, I'm just offering up my 2¢.

Fact is Academagia isn't an RPG, but more a StorytellingGenerator, thus the difference between ethics and character is relevant, because someone want to create a good character in ethics and someone else a good character in character (see the post of Mikka for very good explanation). That game can let us fine tune our character, even if I agree that some subskills are counter-intuitive.

When you say "If I'm trying to build a character who behaves ethically which do I want? Both? Neither?", you're answer is "Ethics". But you can take both, if you want. It may be confusing, but it adds choices. And relevant choices. (I'm less fond of espionnage/spy that are, for me, just synonyms. But maybe I'm wrong)

 

I must say that a game that pushes us to dicuss such thing is the mark of a really good game (even with its flaws)

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Fact is Academagia isn't an RPG, but more a StorytellingGenerator, thus the difference between ethics and character is relevant, because someone want to create a good character in ethics and someone else a good character in character (see the post of Mikka for very good explanation). That game can let us fine tune our character, even if I agree that some subskills are counter-intuitive.

When you say "If I'm trying to build a character who behaves ethically which do I want? Both? Neither?", you're answer is "Ethics". But you can take both, if you want. It may be confusing, but it adds choices. And relevant choices. (I'm less fond of espionnage/spy that are, for me, just synonyms. But maybe I'm wrong)

 

I must say that a game that pushes us to dicuss such thing is the mark of a really good game (even with its flaws)

 

It's fair to say that this is a 'Story generator' rather than a RPG. In fact the only way I even knew about the character/ethics things was that in my last game I chose 'secret family heritage.' When Eyunicia handed my character a book on gates he spent the next few weeks training ethcs up to max in a panic to make sure he wasn't doing the wrong thing by going back to study gates. I was then shocked when later on a moral challange called on his character rather than ethics. *facepalm* Oddly enough his interest in ethics then led him into law, where in the course of listening to the courtrooms he picked up two Mastery skills. He's not persueing Mastery however. He's probably going to start year 2 off in jail however since he ended the term by claiming that Gates was the best school of magic.

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I don't like the idea of reducing the number of skills - this is what differentiates Academagia from all its competition and makes it unique! Do we really want this game to become more like other games? The main reason I like this one so much is that it's different. Really innovative. I really enjoyed the fact that I was still discovering new skills on my third game - it's all about the elements of discovery and surprise! :)

 

Having said that, I definitely agree that many of the skills need to be reorganised, and I also agree that the parent skill for each subskill needs to be mentioned in each subskill description. I lost track of subskills on countless occasions and ended up assuming I hadn't discovered them yet! Other people have mentioned most of them already - Animal Husbandry, Music Theory, Acrobatics, Endurance, etc. And the category 'Malice' never did seem to match its subskills. I always thought Illustration ought to be under Art rather than Calligraphy, as well.

 

What I'd also like is for someone to go through all the events and count the number of (total) times each skill is needed in game events. Some skills, like Running and Athletics, are waaaaaaaaay more common than others. Some, like Lip Reading, Dating and Riding, I never came across in events at all! I'd definitely like to see more of a balance in skills in Year 2.

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