History Main / KarmaMeter

16th Sep '17 6:18:45 PM LucaEarlgrey
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** ''VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiIVApocalypse'' downplays this trope. Getting the ending you want is a simple matter of picking obvious dialogue choices: [[spoiler:Joining Merkabah]] for Law, [[spoiler:joining Lucifer]] for Chaos, [[spoiler:opposing Dagda's offer in the Cosmic Egg]] for Bonds, [[spoiler:accepting the same offer]] for Massacre. Instead, the morality check is used to penalize you if you pick Bonds despite making JerkAss dialogue choices throughout the game or Massacre despite making NiceGuy choices.
9th Sep '17 12:14:21 PM Monolaf317
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* ''VisualNovel/TokyoDark'': Low professionalism gives you options that are not entirely legal, for example breaking and entering; high professionalism makes others respect you more.
3rd Sep '17 7:06:05 AM HalcyonDayz
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Despite its flaws, the trope has its purposes, not least of which is maintaining consequences to the player's actions in the absence of StoryBranching. The player makes hundreds or even thousands of choices over the course of a game, and developing the game to include direct, ongoing consequences for ''all'' those decisions [[AcceptableBreakFromReality would be extremely taxing from both a writing and programming perspective.]] Thus, for the sake of feasibility, many developers just stick with this trope, having the {{NPCs}} and game world react less to each ''specific'' choice you're making and more to your current position on the Karma Meter instead, allowing the player lots of flexibility in how they choose to play while avoiding the rigorous workload demands that the equivalent amount of StoryBranching would entail. (That said, plenty of games use both tropes, and games that go the whole nine yards and give nearly all your specific choices lasting consequences, such as the ''Franchise/MassEffect'' series, aren't unheard of, either.)

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Despite its flaws, the trope has its purposes, not least of which is maintaining consequences to the player's actions in the absence of StoryBranching. The player makes hundreds or even thousands of choices over the course of a game, and developing the game to include direct, ongoing consequences for ''all'' those decisions [[AcceptableBreakFromReality would be extremely taxing from both a writing and programming perspective.]] Thus, for the sake of feasibility, many developers just stick with this trope, having the {{NPCs}} {{Non Player Character}}s and game world react less to each ''specific'' choice you're making and more to your current position on the Karma Meter instead, allowing the player lots of flexibility in how they choose to play while avoiding the rigorous workload demands that the equivalent amount of StoryBranching would entail. (That said, plenty of games use both tropes, and games that go the whole nine yards and give nearly all your specific choices lasting consequences, such as the ''Franchise/MassEffect'' series, aren't unheard of, either.)



** The rewards for being fully good or evil are a bit skewed: Bad Marston gets the fastest horse in the game (pointless, since the 2nd fastest can be gotten relatively early in the game regardless of karma and the DLC demon horses come with Status Buffs) and attacked by posses on occasion, while good Marston becomes ''fucking ImmuneToBullets'' and gets showered with gifts by NPCS.

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** The rewards for being fully good or evil are a bit skewed: Bad Marston gets the fastest horse in the game (pointless, since the 2nd fastest can be gotten relatively early in the game regardless of karma and the DLC demon horses come with Status Buffs) and attacked by posses on occasion, while good Marston becomes ''fucking ImmuneToBullets'' and gets showered with gifts by NPCS.{{Non Player Character}}s.
15th Aug '17 5:44:41 AM Malady
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* ''LordsOfTheRealm 3'', a real-time strategy game, introduced three types of karma meter: chivalry, Christianity, and honor. Using knights, building churches, and fighting honorably will build the meters, allowing you to attract champions, templars, and even four archangels to your cause. Using mercenaries, burning churches, and executing captured knights will make the meters plummet, allowing you to recruit various villainous types, and eventually some friendly chaps named [[HorsemenOfTheApocalypse Pestilence, War, Famine, and Death.]] Do try to go one or the other, because [[NoPointsForNeutrality being neutral gets you nothing.]]
* ''{{Elona}}'' has a visible Karma Meter explicitly named "Karma". Positive karma reduces the monthly taxes you have to pay, and an extreme enough negative karma will cause the CityGuards to attack you on sight. You gain karma by completing repeatable {{Irrelevant Sidequest}}s (even helping a farmer gather the harvest or cooking food for someone increases your karma), and lose it by failing on delivery and [[EscortMission escort]] sidequests, attacking talkative neutral {{NPC}}s (murdering silent [=NPCs=] is fine), or from [[VideoGameStealing pickpocketing]].

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* ''LordsOfTheRealm ''VideoGame/LordsOfTheRealm 3'', a real-time strategy game, introduced three types of karma meter: chivalry, Christianity, and honor. Using knights, building churches, and fighting honorably will build the meters, allowing you to attract champions, templars, and even four archangels to your cause. Using mercenaries, burning churches, and executing captured knights will make the meters plummet, allowing you to recruit various villainous types, and eventually some friendly chaps named [[HorsemenOfTheApocalypse Pestilence, War, Famine, and Death.]] Do try to go one or the other, because [[NoPointsForNeutrality being neutral gets you nothing.]]
* ''{{Elona}}'' ''VideoGame/{{Elona}}'' has a visible Karma Meter explicitly named "Karma". Positive karma reduces the monthly taxes you have to pay, and an extreme enough negative karma will cause the CityGuards to attack you on sight. You gain karma by completing repeatable {{Irrelevant Sidequest}}s (even helping a farmer gather the harvest or cooking food for someone increases your karma), and lose it by failing on delivery and [[EscortMission escort]] sidequests, attacking talkative neutral {{NPC}}s (murdering silent [=NPCs=] is fine), or from [[VideoGameStealing pickpocketing]].
10th Aug '17 12:34:42 PM thatother1dude
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* ''VideoGame/{{Fallout|1}}'' only offers a general karma meter. ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 2}}'' has the karma meter, plus an AllianceMeter. They also feature a series of status elements such as "grave robber", "child killer", and "slaver", depending on the choices made. Certain characters will react differently to different combinations of these -- for example, some stores will only sell to people with negative karma, [[EvenEvilHasStandards but still balk at selling to a child murderer]]. The only truly bad effect of negative karma turns up in ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 2}}'', in which towns will pay for bounty hunters to attack the player -- but killing bounty hunters results in a further drop in karma, creating an unstoppable downward spiral...
* ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'' has drawbacks for both negative AND positive karma -- Talon Company Mercenaries will begin randomly spawning to attack you if your Karma hits Very High, while Regulators will start gunning for you if your Karma hits Very Low. Talon Company mercs are rather nasty, spawning with energy weapons, Combat Armor, and high-quality assault rifles, even if you're level 4. If there's a single subversion in ''Fallout 3'' of this trope, it's the Impartial Mediation Perk that offers +30 Speech...so long as you are Neutral. This is the ''only'' benefit offered in the game for staying Neutral, if you don't count the ability to recruit a few Neutral-only companions and avoiding energy weapon death at the hands of Talon Company Mercs or Peacekeepers.
* ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'' retains the karma meter from 3, and it adds a faction system similar to 2. The karma meter, however, really doesn't do much; one companion will leave you if it gets too low, and it influences the endings cutscenes, but that's it. The AllianceMeter is far more important. It actually takes a considerable effort (generally through stealing own items if you don't want to affect alignment) for your karma to be anything besides "Very Good", as you get loads of good karma for killing feral ghouls and Fiends, [[HardcodedHostility which always attack you]], and Powder Gangers, which you're likely to be on the bad side of.

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* ''VideoGame/{{Fallout}}'':
**
''VideoGame/{{Fallout|1}}'' only offers a general karma meter. ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 2}}'' has the karma meter, plus an AllianceMeter. They also feature a series of status elements such as "grave robber", "child killer", and "slaver", depending on the choices made. Certain characters will react differently to different combinations of these -- for example, some stores will only sell to people with negative karma, [[EvenEvilHasStandards but still balk at selling to a child murderer]]. The only truly bad effect of negative karma turns up in ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 2}}'', in which towns will pay for bounty hunters to attack the player -- but killing bounty hunters results in a further drop in karma, creating an unstoppable downward spiral...
* ** ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'' has drawbacks for both negative AND positive karma -- Talon Company Mercenaries will begin randomly spawning to attack you if your Karma hits Very High, while Regulators will start gunning for you if your Karma hits Very Low. Talon Company mercs are rather nasty, spawning with energy weapons, Combat Armor, and high-quality assault rifles, even if you're level 4. If there's a single subversion in ''Fallout 3'' of this trope, it's the Impartial Mediation Perk that offers +30 Speech...so long as you are Neutral. This is the ''only'' benefit offered in the game for staying Neutral, if you don't count the ability to recruit a few Neutral-only companions and avoiding energy weapon death at the hands of Talon Company Mercs or Peacekeepers.
* ** ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'' retains the karma meter from 3, and it adds a faction system similar to 2. The karma meter, however, really doesn't do much; one companion will leave you if it gets too low, and it influences the endings cutscenes, but that's it. The AllianceMeter is far more important. It actually takes a considerable effort (generally through stealing own items if you don't want to affect alignment) for your karma to be anything besides "Very Good", as you get loads of good karma for killing feral ghouls and Fiends, [[HardcodedHostility which always attack you]], and Powder Gangers, which you're likely to be on the bad side of.of.
** ''VideoGame/Fallout4'' completely removes karma, partially because [[NoCampaignForTheWicked your ability to play as an evil character is pretty severely limited]] (except in ''Nuka-World'').
3rd Jul '17 11:34:25 PM Ramidel
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* ''Life of a Wizard'' and ''VideoGame/TheLostHeir'', set in the same world, use a simple Good/Evil karma meter. ''The Lost Heir'' explores it more thoroughly, with many classes that can only be accessed by evil [=PCs=], cases where your alignment can be affected by events that are not your personal actions, and [[spoiler: an ending where you go to Heaven or Hell after death]]. There are a lot of oddities, particularly the loophole that [[MurderInc Assassin's Guild]] contracts do not affect your alignment.
16th Jun '17 12:16:35 AM TheNerevarine
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* ''VideoGame/DarkWatch'' offers a moral choice system where vampire hero Jericho encounters several victims infected by vampires and he is offered the chance of either curing or feeding on them. This system affects mostly gameplay than the story, since it unlocks "good" and "evil" powers depending on your choices, although it does come to a head in the climax where you confront the BigBad and you are offered the choice of [[spoiler:curing yourself of vampirism or claim his power and become the new Lord of Vampires after defeating him]]. Either choice you make, your path is fixed and it will lead to either [[MultipleEndings the good or bad ending]].
1st Jun '17 8:06:25 PM nombretomado
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* WhiteWolf's other main game line ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'' has a variant of this: acting against your Virtues costs willpower and gives you Limit which when full makes you go crazy for a little while. However as the virtues [[BlueAndOrangeMorality don't really correspond to modern morality]], and resisting magical MindControl also gives you limit, it almost doesn't count as this trope.

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* WhiteWolf's Creator/WhiteWolf's other main game line ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'' has a variant of this: acting against your Virtues costs willpower and gives you Limit which when full makes you go crazy for a little while. However as the virtues [[BlueAndOrangeMorality don't really correspond to modern morality]], and resisting magical MindControl also gives you limit, it almost doesn't count as this trope.
20th May '17 11:25:05 AM nombretomado
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* The canceled ''Franchise/{{Ultima}} X'' was planned to use an eightfold karma system similar to ''VideoGame/UltimaIV'' (see below in RPG) where the different morals would frequently conflict. An example the developers gave is a quest where you are tasked with hunting down a thief, and learn that he stole to buy food for his starving family. You could then follow Compassion or Justice by letting the thief go or having him face the punishment for his crime. To further muddle the issue, if you returned the stolen item, you would learn that the quest-giver is not the legitimate owner, which in turn gives the choice between Honor in sticking to the original agreement or Honesty in delivering the item to its proper place.

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* The canceled ''Franchise/{{Ultima}} ''VideoGame/{{Ultima}} X'' was planned to use an eightfold karma system similar to ''VideoGame/UltimaIV'' (see below in RPG) where the different morals would frequently conflict. An example the developers gave is a quest where you are tasked with hunting down a thief, and learn that he stole to buy food for his starving family. You could then follow Compassion or Justice by letting the thief go or having him face the punishment for his crime. To further muddle the issue, if you returned the stolen item, you would learn that the quest-giver is not the legitimate owner, which in turn gives the choice between Honor in sticking to the original agreement or Honesty in delivering the item to its proper place.



* The ''Franchise/{{Ultima}}'' series, beginning with the fourth game, [[TropeCodifier codified and popularized]] this concept for {{Western RPG}}s. In ''VideoGame/UltimaIV'', there were ''eight'' Karma Meters, one for each virtue. The Path of Virtue was a type of Secular Humanism. Remarkably, this first use of a karma meter is still one of the very few where the choices are not just between good/evil, but also between different ''types'' of good, as all virtues weren't entirely compatible with each other. The later games in the series played around with this concept some more, introducing alternate virtue systems that were incompatible both with the original one and each other, yet ''still'' all being good.

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* The ''Franchise/{{Ultima}}'' ''VideoGame/{{Ultima}}'' series, beginning with the fourth game, [[TropeCodifier codified and popularized]] this concept for {{Western RPG}}s. In ''VideoGame/UltimaIV'', there were ''eight'' Karma Meters, one for each virtue. The Path of Virtue was a type of Secular Humanism. Remarkably, this first use of a karma meter is still one of the very few where the choices are not just between good/evil, but also between different ''types'' of good, as all virtues weren't entirely compatible with each other. The later games in the series played around with this concept some more, introducing alternate virtue systems that were incompatible both with the original one and each other, yet ''still'' all being good.
16th May '17 7:15:30 PM nombretomado
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* The animated webshow ''UnforgottenRealms'' has "Sins of the Unforgotten," which the main character, Sir Shmoopy of Awesometon, gets two of. [[spoiler: The secret behind them is that he gets one for every time he cheats. Whenever Rob (the person controlling Sir Shmoopy) cheats in the game, his character has a heart attack and a mark is made on his wrist. After three marks, his character dies.]]

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* The animated webshow ''UnforgottenRealms'' ''WebAnimation/UnforgottenRealms'' has "Sins of the Unforgotten," which the main character, Sir Shmoopy of Awesometon, gets two of. [[spoiler: The secret behind them is that he gets one for every time he cheats. Whenever Rob (the person controlling Sir Shmoopy) cheats in the game, his character has a heart attack and a mark is made on his wrist. After three marks, his character dies.]]
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