I don’t have anything to say about this trial because I don’t remember it. So let me talk about a different trial in an unrelated game: Neverwinter Nights 2.
At some point you have to do a trail for some reason that eludes me now. I remember really getting into it. There was a lot of ground to cover and I remember thinking how easy it would be to mess it up. At the time I wondered, “Huh. If I screwed this up, how would the game continue?”
So then I won the trial and the other guy demanded a trial by combat. I’m sure if I’d bungled the case, my side would have demanded the same thing. And then I realized I’d just wasted all my time doing things the Right Way, when it was all fated to come down to a stupid brawl no matter what I did.
So then my monk was thrown into 1-vs-1 combat with a barbarian. I spent the whole time thinking, “Man, good thing I didn’t play as a rogue!”
I was really pissed about being forced into combat. I felt like I’d put the work in, and I’d earned the right to skip this. It was a brutal fight. I died half a dozen times. It seemed like the other guy had a million hitpoints. Finally I noticed in the combat window it saying something about “This character is immune to damage at this time.” (I don’t remember the exact wording. In fact, most of this is probably wrong. It’s been a decade.)
So I looked up the rules and found out that barbarians have a rage ability that lasts N rounds, and it’s literally impossible for them to die while in rage. Now, if I was running a game at the table, I would do some sort of sanity check on crap like this. “Okay, he can’t die while rage is going, but he’s experienced four times his hitpoints worth of damage. The rule says he can’t die, but this is ridiculous. He should be missing major parts of his anatomy by now. You know what? He’s crawling towards you and no longer able to fight.”
So what I had to do was deal enough damage to kill him, and then run away from him until rage ended. I was so pissed. I beat him in court, I beat him in combat, and now I have to run around like a helpless coward until his bullshit times out?
So what talky RPG’s have contrived trials where your violence expert ends up acting as an investigator / lawyer? Let’s see…
- Sunry’s trial here in KOTOR.
- Whatever that trial was in NWN 2.
- Saren’s trial in Mass Effect 1.
- Wasn’t there one in Jade Empire? I can’t remember.
- No, the bullshit “hearing” at the start of Mass Effect 3 doesn’t count.
- I’m sure I’m forgetting some obvious ones.
Pixel City Dev Blog
An attempt to make a good looking cityscape with nothing but simple tricks and a few rectangles of light.
The Opportunity Crunch
No, brutal, soul-sucking, marriage-destroying crunch mode in game development isn't a privilege or an opportunity. It's idiocy.
Crash Dot Com
Back in 1999, I rode the dot-com bubble. Got rich. Worked hard. Went crazy. Turned poor. It was fun.
This Game is Too Videogame-y
What's wrong with a game being "too videogameish"?
Quakecon 2012 Annotated
An interesting but technically dense talk about gaming technology. I translate it for the non-coders.