Friday, 3 October 2014

Psychology of a game

For various reason it’s been a while since I’ve done an update for Liberal Crime, the main reason being that I couldn’t be arsed.  For this post I’m going to outline the basic concept for the psychology of the game.  Due to my background in psychology you may be expecting a slightly different approach to normal and you would be correct.  The usual way that games have addressed psychology has always confused me, especially when put side by side with the corresponding game’s fluff (e.g. space marines running away just seems odd).

LC has two different types of psychological test, one that requires rolling and one that does not.  The usual kind of psychology test (due to fear) is automatic (based on stats) and is a minor aside to the central theme of the game’s psychology.  Each character has a bravery value and certain types of action have a terror score, if the terror score is greater than your bravery, you run and hide.  It’s a nice simple way of dealing with things and makes a lot more sense to me than rolling (e.g. a coward will always run when sufficiently scared).

The main theme of the psychology rules, dealt with using stats and dice rolls, is morality.  Instead of fear being the driving trait for the psychology, it is the characters ability to perform heinous acts.  Each character has a morality stat which governs their ability to take certain actions and also how other characters will react to them.  I would describe these tests as semi-random as the dice roll only determines a certain amount of the outcome, due to the stats some characters will be statistically unable to perform some actions (e.g. a vicar shooting an innocent in the back at short range is an automatic fail whereas a hardened gangster may only need a 3+ on a D10 to pass the test).

There are various actions in the game, both standard and mission specific, that require this sort of test, from simple pickpocketing to setting off massive explosions.  My hope is that this will bring a slightly different slant on psychology in games and really emphasis the personality of each character in the game.

It’s been a busy period at work but things should settle down in a couple of weeks so I’m hoping to put out a fair few more updates in the coming months.

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