In the game Morrowind, it’s possible to change the opinion an NPC has of you by insulting them, flattering them, or bribing them. If you want to pick a fight but don’t want to be the one to start it, you can goad them with insults. If you want them to give up some item or information, you can bribe or flatter.
All of this is done by simply hitting the button and watching the “how much they like you” meter go up or down. The thing is, you can keep this up all day if you want to exercise your skills at bribery and insults. If you want to improve these skills, just walk up to some poor shmuck and heap on equal measures of insults and bribery while the meter jumps up and down.
It’s sort of amusing to imagine how this conversation would actually sound:
Welcome to our fair city, stranger.
Hi there! Looks like you’re the man I’m looking for.
What do you mean?
I was told to report to the uglyiest, stupidest, most useless man in town, and clearly you’re the guy.
What? Who told you this?
I mean, you are clearly far more ugly and stupid than anyone else in town.
Silence! You anger me!
Heck I think you’re a shoe-in for most useless in the entire country.
That does it! You shall taste my steel!
What? I’m sorry, did I upset you? Here, maybe ten bucks will make it better.
I… I don’t know what to say. You’re very kind stranger.
Don’t mention it, you festering, vile heap of Orcish dung.
You putrid, slimy curse on the face of the world. You great towering heap of offal.
Do you wish to risk my wrath?
You make me want to puke all over you, if only to cover your smell.
Insolence! You shall die for that!
Oh geeze. Did I offend? My bad, my bad. How’s ten bucks sound?
Money? For me? Why, thank you outlander. You’re very generous.
So’s your mum.
Yeah, the half-orc woman with the dirty moustache. Your mother.
WHAT did you just say about her?!?!
I said she’s the most generous woman in the whorehouse.
I SHALL FEAST UPON YOUR HEART, YOU ARROGANT DOG!
I’m sorry, I didn’t mean it. Here you go. Buy yourself something nice.
I thank you for the coinage, kind stranger.
Sure thing. Maybe use it to buy something nice for your husband.
…and so on.
The true story of three strange days in 1989, when the last months of my adolescence ran out and the first few sparks of adulthood appeared.
The Best of 2016
My picks for what was important, awesome, or worth talking about in 2016.
The Game That Ruined Me
Be careful what you learn with your muscle-memory, because it will be very hard to un-learn it.
A horrible, railroading, stupid, contrived, and painfully ill-conceived roleplaying campaign. All in good fun.
Do It Again, Stupid
One of the highest-rated games of all time has some of the least interesting gameplay.