Larian Studios
Posted By: Brainer Expanding upon backgrounds - 24/07/21 09:08 AM
The new (Patch 5's) inspiration system certainly adds a whole new layer to deciding which background to pick, and is meant to reward roleplaying according to what the player picks... but it can also be rather restrictive and rigid in its implementation because of how every background seems to (currently?) embody a mostly one-dimensional portrayal of what said background entails.

The Noble is probably the biggest culprit here, as it is more than a little off for a character conceived as a knight to be inspired by collecting a soul coin - "for his personal collection", as the journal puts it. Seeing how we have no alignments or flaws/ideals as an additional anchor, the system turns from a roleplaying tool into a min-maxing checkbook of just learning what fits the specific backgrounds and reaping the rewards. Like, how the Sage seems to grant inspiration for reading through sets of interconnected lore - making it, basically, a "click through those 3 documents and gain your reroll/XP bonus" situation for anyone who doesn't care about reading.

What could help in making it more engaging, interesting, and nuanced is the addition of the aforementioned ideals/flaws (since we probably won't have alignment implemented). This way you can at least differentiate between, say, a charitable Noble and a despotic one, rewarding them for different actions. It will take a whole lot more work to implement, but it will certainly reduce the amount of OoC moments where you are getting rewarded for something your character may not actually be "inspired" by as far your image of them goes. Picking several ideals/goals out of a background-specific selection is also an option - so you can, say, focus on "amassing wealth" and "gaining allies", or "gaining allies" and "being charitable with poorer folk". More wiggling room, more thought put into playing the character, rather than attempting to decode what the "acolyte" as a background in general might entail - because why would a worshipper of, say, Lolth draw inspiration from admiring the works of clerics of Selune, or Eilistraee, or something?

It might all end up being one big swamp of conditions that keep bugging out like all hell, though.
Posted By: urktheturtle Re: Expanding upon backgrounds - 24/07/21 05:50 PM
There are two versions of the Noble Background in the PHB, the Noble & the Knight, which have different flavoring.

The noble wasnt concieved as a knight, knight is just a variant of noble... which they should include in this game

Honestly this problem can be solved by letting us change the backgrounds skill proficiencies to whatever we want (like what the Player's Handbook allows... not a variant rule btw)
Posted By: Wormerine Re: Expanding upon backgrounds - 25/07/21 04:13 PM
I think it is nice that they added at least that mechanic, as a reactivity to your background.

Too bad, that balance is way off, after implimenting companion boosts to skilchecks, and it is nearly impossible to fail a skill check
Posted By: Zyllos Re: Expanding upon backgrounds - 25/07/21 04:58 PM
The whole point of these Inspirations is the fact that save scuming is the normal in these games and adding a small story tags to doing various actions to allow for rerolling ability checks (that you absolutely want to go a specific way or else you will just reload) is their solution to save scuming while adding a bit of character flair, at least this is how I see it.

But, what remains to be seen is if completing those Inspirations will end up having lasting consequences in various plots. If your an Urchin and end up stealing some type of coin and later a child's mother dies due to not having said coin to sell for medicine, this makes the choices of one's background a bit more interesting.

Sure, right now, on the surface, we are basically using the Inspirations to gain bonus XP/rerolls to make sure you don't fail various ability checks you don't want to fail, but I imagine there will be a little bit more to these in affecting various minor plots.

About having issues between a good Noble vs an evil Noble, I guess the way Larian sees it is that if one is a Noble, it doesn't matter if someone collected the coin by stealing, buying, or whatever other means. A Noble wants the coin. If you decided to lie, cheat, or steal, your effectively playing an evil Noble in this case. If you were able to get the coin by honest means, then your a good Noble. But the end effect is the same, a Noble getting a coin. I imagine this is how Larian sees it. But, I think adding more backgrounds, like the Knight example, would be appreciated.
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