Stolen Pixels #147: Naked Greed

By Shamus Posted Tuesday Dec 1, 2009

Filed under: Column 58 comments

I really am curious how many other people do this sort of thing in RPG’s.

I really thought the joke would have played better with a human male main character. My ‘lil Elf is female, which kind of confuses the joke. But having a human male Grey Warden would have required starting a brand new character and playing them to this point in the game, which would have taken some hours. It’s not a big deal or anything, but it’s one of those small details that would have been nice.

I’m missing having a “default” character. It was handy to have male Shepard in Mass Effect, so that I had a recognizable “this is the main character”. Even if they’d never played the game, odds were good they would still be familiar with the face from promotional materials.


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58 thoughts on “Stolen Pixels #147: Naked Greed

  1. Cain says:

    I think in the case of Dragon Age, you get their stuff anyways. But yes, I have done that with other games. The NPCs will forgive you when you save the world or what have you.

  2. ULTRAJOE says:

    did EXACTLY the same thing, but at least I had the decency to wait until we got back to town/fighting finished ^_~

  3. David V.S. says:

    Yes, in Baldur’s Gate, I’ve almost done this. I have accepted NPCs wishing to join the party solely to get their initial items, and then I said/did whatever triggered their departure.

    Note that the dynamic of “who is participating in your quest” was not similarly corruptible in the original Magic Candle RPG, and this was only part of what made that old game so awesome.

  4. scarbunny says:

    I actually had two main characters sitting round the camp fire naked for most of the game, came as quiet a shock in the end game.

  5. Mazinja says:

    Well, you get their stuff anyway after PLOT happens…

    In other games, I might do it if the items in question are good enough :p

  6. Phil says:

    After beating the game once, I reloaded a save to attempt to get a slightly different outcome (basically, doing something that would cause Allistair to leave, which I’ve heard means he takes whatever he’s wearing, and it’s never to be seen again). I screwed up though, and ended up making him King by mistake, and naturally didn’t feel like trying again.

    “Allistair, if you were fit to be in the Landsmeet, don’t you think you’d already be there… wearing clothing?”

    Next play-through, I guess.

  7. bshimoda says:

    Heh. I didn’t do it to sell their stuff, but to use it myself. In Fallout 2 (as an example) you can recruit Ian and steal his leather jacket long before you can loot one or have enough surplus cash to buy one.

  8. Mephane says:

    I only leave them what they already brought with them – unless that is very interesting, useful for my main character, or valuable, of course. I only start giving stuff to companion characters when it seems obvious that they will stay for the rest of the game. In case of doubt, I don’t give anything of course.

  9. neothoron says:

    The ceremony with Duncan must have been epic.

  10. scragar says:

    I do it all the time in RPGs, really I’m thinking of Final Fantasy 2, where I typically have the best possible equipment at any point in the game, equiping this on a fourth, temporary, character if they’re going to leave, taking it with them when I need it for the next temp character I’ll get in a minute or two is stupid, I run a save file up to date until the party member leaves, then I roll back, remove their equipment and repeat the scene :p

  11. larryboy114 says:

    Yeah, i’ve done that twice already in Dragon Age alone.

    And yes, the ceremony with Duncan looked more like a sleepover, which kinda broke the immersion a bit… ah well.

  12. felblood says:

    Oh, no. I do that all the time.

    I remember Gafgarion.

  13. I did this too until I realised that you get their equipment anyway. What I don’t understand is why they didn’t use the Mass Effect idea of having characters with default equipment. It seemed like such a good idea, and solves this problem neatly. Unless they wanted characters to get naked all the time.

  14. Simply Simon says:

    I remember doing this in Baldur’s gate. I used to recruit the evil duo of the halfling and the other one you meet in the beginning to have more of a chance at the encounter at the fort/tavern. After I got Minsc, though, I took all their possessions and left them where they stood.
    And since they’re just going to sand there for the rest of the game, they don’t really need their equipment anyways, do they?

  15. krellen says:

    There is at least one quest whose solution is getting naked, Steve.

  16. Daemian Lucifer says:

    I did that too.It was funny to watch the initiation with these two naked.Later,though,I found out that you get their gear anyway.Still,nice comic.

  17. Dagnal says:

    Guilty as charged :D

  18. GoodApprentice says:

    I like to strip Sten down before his mutiny at Haven. Then I let him walk around like that for a while in the snow as punishment. It feels good because he is always so serious and superior.

  19. droid says:

    I have done this in KotOR just to make Bastilla look ridiculous in a long and otherwise boring cutscene. She acts like being a Jedi is this great thing, but doesn’t notice that she has no pants. I should have also taken her equipment, since I ended up needing it.

    1. Shamus says:

      Ah, Bastilla. I actually got the idea for the NPC-stripping thing when I saw my brother playing KOTOR with Bastilla in her underpants.

      ME: Why… why is Bastilla naked?

      BRO: She doesn’t get any pants until she stops being such a bitch.

      I think this means she was bare-assed until the third act.

  20. CatPerson says:

    Funny, that. I sometimes did practically the exact opposite in RPGs. If an NPC would leave the party – by the Plot or by my decision – I outfitted him/her in the reasonably best gear. Kind of a parting gift, if you will.

    Of course, unique gear still would be confiscated :)

  21. acabaca says:

    I usually let temp characters keep their starting gear, though it’s only because said gear is usually the crappiest kind available in the game and selling it would be too much work for the pittance I’d get from it.

    I suppose one could ask why the experienced mercenary you hired is always sitting around with just soggy pants and a rusty butter knife. If the recruit doesn’t come from the slave pens, I would expect him to have about as good gear as whatever I’m using at the moment.

  22. SireCh says:

    it is pretty funny when these two guys are going through the Joining in their underwear.

  23. @krellen – Ah yes, that was a bit silly. If the solution was to take off all your equipment, why were underpants still allowed? And if I could have my underpants, why not my trousers or shirt?

  24. chabuhi says:

    Spoilerific comments FTL! ;)

  25. SoldierHawk says:

    Wow. You know, I almost never play the Default character (I enjoy creating my own too much), but it never even crossed my mind how it makes life a bit more difficult for people who do things like webcomics and the like using the game. Huh.

    For what its worth though, Shamus, its pretty easy to tell which character is the main one, so I wouldn’t worry too much. The joke still sells easily and very well. I’m psyched you’re doing comics on this game!

  26. Zombie Pete says:

    I’ve been doing this since Pool of Radiance. It was also good to dismiss henchmen before you got back to town so they didn’t get a share of the reward xp. I often did this even with henchmen who had been killed and raised as zombies. It made a fun (mental) visual of them shambling off just outside Phlan with the caption, “So-and-so bids you farewell.”

  27. DungeonHamster says:

    I started doing this after I got betrayed by Yoshimo the first time through Baldur’s Gate II. Losing a few items didn’t bug me too much, what with the ludicrous amount of cash floating in my wallet of holding by that point, but having Celestial Fury used against me was decidedly irritating.

    Anyhoo, I do this all the time now, frequently even, as mentioned by a few others, having NPC’s temporarily join my party just so I can steal and sell their gear.

  28. Heron says:

    Does anyone remember for sure whether you lose your materia when Aries dies in Final Fantasy VII? I know you lose the armor and accessory she’s wearing…

  29. midget0nstilts says:

    Hell, I’ve killed people in Morrowind just so I could have a house to live in.

  30. Sheer_FALACY says:

    You don’t lose her Materia, just the weapon and armor.

    And I’m pretty sure that when the generic tower guard and wizard die, you lose their stuff. At least, I don’t have one of my DLC rings anymore, and I doubt that I sold it.

  31. Sydney says:

    A character in Golden Sun gets kidnapped very early on. You can take that character’s gear – it’s worth a decent amount early.

    Her body armor is some kind of dress.

    Yeah, she spends the whole game naked and abducted.

  32. Sleeves says:

    I did this with every temporary party member in the game with the exception of my mom in the human noble origin.

  33. chakan says:

    @32 sydney
    I think you’re talking about the mars lighthouse, which I did out of order, right after leaving the starting village. Fun times.

    @12 Gafgarion had such awesome items, how could you not take his stuff. Course, it was offset by Orlandu being stupid good. FFT was an amazing game.

    Back on topic, if you’re worried about losing good stuff, you can’t give any NPC’s any good items, cause if you make a decision they disagree with, they’ll just up and leave, not that I don’t strip NPC’s in most games.

  34. Danath says:

    I JUST restarted the game due to frustration with how I built my character, and I JUST did this right before reading this post, stripping them naked right before the joining.

    This lead to some awkward hilarity for these serious cutscenes.

  35. I did this, too. Was kinda funny when Jory pulled out his Hyperspace Sword…

    After I learned that you get their gear anyway, though, I just started switching it, which was at its funniest with Jowan and his GF at the end of the mage origin.

  36. JKjoker says:

    you dont always get the stuff back, when you finish the first dungeon and Flemeth rescues your guys, you dont get the stuff back from the one/two redshirts that were helping you, you need to to get them naked before lighting the fire (at least when playing a mage in the release version, ive been getting them naked ever since so i havent rechecked)

  37. It’s more amusing to me that Morrigan has more covering her breasts ‘naked’ than she does in her robes…

  38. Selifator says:

    And it’s rather silly that a bra appears out of nowhere the minute you un-equip her clothing. Where was she hiding that?

  39. Blackbird71 says:

    No Shamus, you are definitely not the only one who does this. ;)

    Great comic by the way.

  40. Cookie Of Nine says:

    In nearly every RPG I play, when I have a party member that wants to “escape”, I load my last save and strip them clean when possible, just to be safe.

    Please don’t tell me I am the only one to notice the typo in the copyright year.

  41. SimeSublime says:

    I tried to stop unequipped the females armour when it was pointed out to me that the artists gave the generic-female-body a camel toe. Why he hell was that required? Here I am trying to explain that gaming isn’t just for sad nerds, and they go and do something like this.

  42. Hawk says:

    “ME: Why… why is Bastilla naked?

    BRO: She doesn't get any pants until she stops being such a bitch.”

    That just cost Morrigan her shirt.

    * Morrigan approves (+2) *

  43. Robert says:

    I never used to do this, but when playing Baldur’s Gate I was ecstatic on the first play-through to run into the valuable thief character – Koshio? something like that – and I loaded him up with all the sweet gear I’d been saving to sell. Imagine my surprise when he changed sides a couple levels later and absconded with my stuff.

    Lucky there’s such a thing as save-spamming; I grimly went back, let him into the party, sent him into the front of every battle until the dungeon transition where he betrays the party, then stripped him naked and kicked his ass out before I went through the portal.


  44. Yar Kramer says:

    Shamus, you have an awesome brother.

    You know, this goes at least as far back as Phantasy Star 4 on the Sega Genesis …

  45. Sam says:

    I’ve done this in so many games. I think I first did it in Final Fantasy IV, and I know I’ve done it most prolifically in KOTOR. And in every tabletop game I’ve ever participated in, either as a player or a DM, the players’ mindset is entirely the same when it comes to enemies. My friends are awesome like that.

  46. Neil Polenske says:

    My first experience with THIS particular burn was way back in the days of the SNES when Final Fantasy VI was called Final Fantasy III. I get this uber-ninja and deck him all out cause he’s so bad ass and then the mother****er ditches me and TAKES ALL THE COOL SHIT I GAVE HIM!


    Yeah, that wised me up toot sweet.

  47. Arisath says:

    I do this every time in kotor, specifically with the guy in the Endar Spire (the tutorial). A blaster rifle and some clothes isn’t much, but it’s better than nothing, right?

  48. Fawkes says:

    I have done this, often, in pretty much every Bioware RPG I’ve had the honor of playing. It started with Bastilla, which made that fight a pain but come on!

    I would have done it in Dragon Age except after checking my inventory it seemed the game was nice enough to give me most, if not all of their items anyway. I’m not sure if only certain items of certain temporary members do this though. I think I missed out with the folks you get at the tower.

    That however is not my oddest experience with Equipment Loss however, nor why I decided to make a post. My oddest experience was playing Female City Elf, so probably some spoilers for that origin.

    You get this horrid Wedding Dress at the start, and eventually when you get your first party member you get his as well. So I threw it on, and never had any reason to switch it out. It looked good and I was Rogue who got no Light Armor to switch too.

    Which means I get chosen, yay, and get to go to Ostagar! Where it starts with a cutscene and a conversation with the King. Who I was introduced too, in my underwear, because the game had stolen the ‘Soris’s Wedding dress’ back and left me nothing. It was…a very awkward few minutes until I could finally throw something on.

    Oddly the King didn’t seem to mind, nor did Duncan ask why I had suddenly stripped on our trip to Ostagar.

    Either way, I do like that they added some items getting returned automatically. Makes odd meta situations like in the comic less needed. Though always amusing.

  49. Axle says:

    Spamming the quicksave button usually helps solving this annoying problem.
    Strip traitor naked.
    Let him go humiliated and broke.

  50. ehlijen says:


    Reminds me of Henny the Henchman from Generika adventures. I’d post a link but the archive is being too slow for me to bear :(

    Not that being naked is that different from some of the armours available (Chasind robes, Dalish armour, morrigan…).

  51. Zaxares says:

    I used to do this ALLLL the time too in earlier Bioware games. (Er, by that, I mean swipe all the good stuff from NPCs shortly before they leave you.)

    It all started waaaay back in the original Baldur’s Gate, when you first find yourself in the middle of the wilderness with some terrible, terrible gear and trying to fend off hordes of gibberlings. *Skreeeee!* The first two joinable NPCs you meet are a psychotic halfling (Montaron) and a lunatic wizard (Xzar); not very appealing companions, so I just invited them into the party, stripped them of all their useful equipment, then sent them running naked into the woods… There to be devoured by wolves. It was pretty brutal.

    The trend continued onwards into Baldur’s Gate 2 with the traitorous Yoshimo (thankfully I have a habit of saving before every big fight, and was able to reload and get all my good stuff back from him!), Bastilla’s capture in KotOR, Kriea’s departure in KotOR 2, and Bishop/Qara (aka Mr Rude Asshole and Ms Snooty Bitch. The feeling of satisfaction I got from shoving Fireballs up their… various orifices was IMMENSE.) from Neverwinter Nights 2.

    These days though, I tend to be at least a BIT more generous with the NPCs. I typically take any consumable items (potions, scrolls etc.), valuables, and any expensive equipment that I gave them to use, but I leave them with their clothing and any items which have obvious personal meaning to them. (The NWN2 expansion, Storm of Zehir, has companions who each have two items that are obviously intended just for them to use.)

  52. Sleeping Dragon says:

    I hate the “traitor” kind of thing. What I often do if looting or just hauling plenty of stuff is separate items between characters to make them easier to find. Like: you’ll be carrying various stat boosters, you’ll be carrying magical doohickeys and you’re strong so you’ll haul the crap for sale. Now if the game decides to just rob me of one of those categories I’m usually rather pissed. On the other hand I generally don’t remove stuff from characters unless I need the good stuff for chars included in the party.

    While I’m at it it, I do also somewhat miss the “default character”, largely because many games find it as a reason to drop the backstory. I like how you get a lot of freedom in many games but I also enjoyed how often there was some sort of past following the protagonist, or reasons for them to act that way or another… this is somewhat connected with my overall disappointment with the “pseudo-choices” I so often get in games, especially the “evil” path is most often about being an annoying jerk rather than a calculative and manipulative trickster that I’d like to play.

  53. I used to use companions in games as pack mules. Until one of them stole my awesome swords. Now, none of my companions in any game will get decent armour/weapons because of the dirty thieving few. It does tend to make games ever so slightly harder, but hey, at least I get to keep the good stuff.

  54. Girl Gamer says:

    I never even thought to do this! I hate the wealth progression in most RPGs: at the beginning you can’t afford anything and then by the end you’re a millionaire with all the best weapons and there aren’t enough health packs in the world to use up all the money.

    If you sell the NPCs’ clothes, though, wouldn’t they be a lot weaker in the fights?

  55. Selifator says:

    They would, but then again, in the beginning you hardly need them. And the hilarity far outweighs the lessened combat potential.

  56. Miral says:

    Yeah, you get the gear back from the recruits after the Joining (I’m certain about that, as it took me over my inventory limit). But you don’t get the gear back from the redshirts after you light the signal fire at Ostagar, so you need to remember to strip them first. I haven’t had any other desertions thus far so I can’t speak to those. :)

  57. Dix says:

    I am so greedy that one of the few things I really feel I NEED a FAQ/walkthrough for is to do a search for stuff like ‘leaves the party’, so I know in advance when I need to rob my party members blind and leave them naked in a gutter.

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