Big Smoke

'cause it's hard to see from where I'm standin'

Rahm Emanuel

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is a certified badass.

I’ve noticed, in playing a number of D&D and D&D-surrogate computer games, the limits of story techniques when the protagonist could be any species, gender or profession when it comes to determining their role in the game world – especially one that exists to make some comment using Fantasy Counterpart Cultures.

Basically speaking, for gameplay reasons the player can be any of a large selection of rare or unusual characters, including those whose presence in that particular game scenario would be hard to justify – nor the NPCs’ distinct lack of reaction to the player’s (un)intentional oddity. If your party includes a demigod, a drow, an expert from the other end of the world, etc, and people treat you like Joe down the street – I’m looking at you, Neverwinter Nights – there’s something wrong with the storytelling. Especially since computer RPGs need not be so railroaded in their flowchart plot design.

But then I find that, with demand for ridiculously high graphics, stories (and the writers that write them) have fallen by the wayside. Perhaps if computers’ processing powers really have plateaued we might see good story once again become a priority for designers looking to make a name for themselves.

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