Very Evil Karma NPC's

Discussion in 'Fallout: New Vegas Discussion' started by The Man From Nowhere, Oct 30, 2017.

  1. The Man From Nowhere

    The Man From Nowhere First time out of the vault

    Oct 28, 2017
    New Vegas has only 5 named characters that are categorized as "Very Evil": Mortimer, Cook-Cook, Duke, Philippe, and Vulpes. Is there any one else in this territory that should have made this list?

    How is someone like Jeannie May Crawford who sold Boone's wife into slavery classified as "Evil" while Caesar himself, the leader of said army of slavers and most of his followers are classified as mere "Neutral" Karma?

    And for what reason is Neil, a supermutant who helps defeat Tabitha and later directs mutant traffic to Jacobstown classified as "Evil"?


    Most of the main faction and subfaction leaders and big figures are too classified as neutral Karma including Caesar, Kimball, Mr. House, Salt-Upon-Wounds, Cassandra Moore, The King, etc. by default.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2017
  2. Einhanderc7

    Einhanderc7 Vat dipped, grown and still oozing with perfection

    Apr 22, 2016
    I think the best approach to your question is to determine the individual actions of the characters considered evil. In Caesars case while he may not have been correct with some of the choices he made. He did so to better his people and bring peace to the wasteland. Mr. House may very well be a sociopath businessman with delusions of grand achievements but his actions portrayed an individual that was moving in the right direction.

    Then you have characters like Vulpes, this guy literally murdered an entire town. It is not known if Caesar gave that order or if he opted to do this on his own. But either way he chose to participate in the atrocity.

    Cook-Cook was literally a deranged serial rapist with a passion for cooking.

    I also think it is wise to have a lot of the more approachable character remain neutral just from a game design choice. If they were not then a lot of evil players would have a great deal of difficulty even interacting with them. This also allows for the morally grey moments Fallout is known for. Putting what seems like legit characters in a situation that requires some actual thought on which would be the best choice for them or what they care about.

    In conclusion, take a moment and contemplate the characters on your own and think why they may be as they are considered.
     
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  3. Alphons

    Alphons Prophet der Auges

    Aug 9, 2017
    As to Crawford. You can sell Arcade to Legion in Fort or buy Weathers family in Cottonwood, but in neither case you sign any kind of deal like Jeanie did. Would she also keep it all time in a safe in her office? Why not at home? Or even better- destroy the evidence.
    Furthermore- her motive. She basically runs whole town, hiring bounty hunters, renting rooms. Also we don't find the payment- so she must have spent it somewhere- but where? The closest are 188 and Nipton, but what would she buy there?
    Third question- how? How does she contacted the Legion? She would have to leave reception propably for a day or two- someone would start asking questions.
    Conclusion is that it was propably Briscoe. Next day after her death he's like: "Jeanie was found dead, I take over business. Here's free room, don't ask any questions". He also mentions disliking Carla.
    What do you think? Do I deserve a title of second-in-command NV Theoriser?
     
  4. Cobra Commander

    Cobra Commander Still Mildly Glowing

    Dec 6, 2016
    Neil is evil? 0_0

    I´m shocked.
     
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  5. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008
    Yeah I kinda agree with that, I always saw house as the more ... crazy person compared to Ceasar even though Ceasar is basically just a slaver, but of course if you stand on his side of the argument to say it that way he would be seen as right in what he does. His decisions, for the most part, seem more rational compared to House, even though House is the more intelligent character I guess.
     
  6. naossano

    naossano Vault Fossil

    Oct 19, 2006
    The whole karma thing is not only subjective, but also subject to overlook. Maybe they planned to extend Neil role with an evil plot. Maybe they just put a 3 instead of a 2 and didn't double-check or cared to.
     
  7. Risewild

    Risewild Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!
    Modder Orderite

    Jun 14, 2014
    IIRC Neil mentions something about him preferring to stay near Black Mountain because of some "incident" in Jacobstown. It could be that he murdered someone there or something evil like that. Maybe he prefers to stay isolated so he won't go on a killing rampage.
    Also he only helps with Tabitha after the player succeeds a speech check (so he needs persuasion) and he never attacks or helps defending the player against the hostile Super Mutants.
    For all we know he might look nice but take pleasure on murder, torture, stealing, beating people up or something like that. He doesn't have any real backstory dialogue for us to know about his personality much.
     
  8. CaptJ

    CaptJ The Rival of Roquefort Hall

    Jan 19, 2016
    I noticed that too. It is just some data to facilitate a broken system. Look at the SPECIAL stats of the characters and it also seems inconsistent. It is just a carry over from FO3's karma system. Bethesda just hates giving consequences to actions. Think of the thought process of making essential NPCs. You want players to be able to go around killing random NPCs but you don't want players to kill certain quest givers.
    Caesar is only neutral because he is a leader of a major faction. You could make the case that leaders are only obligated to what is best for their country/people/whatever thus they are neutral on principle. Or killing a leader more political than moral when the sides are irreconcilable. Also, AHS-9 from FO2 was considered evil despite actually believing his own lies.
     
  9. Einhanderc7

    Einhanderc7 Vat dipped, grown and still oozing with perfection

    Apr 22, 2016
    This debate reminds me of another one I had at a developers convention. The topic was that of player perspective of the game environment and its associated NPC's for RPGs.

    The topic we discussed was depending on the player style, choices, and actions NPCs would fluctuate across the "spectrum of alignment". This same situation applies to Fallout New Vegas.

    For example Benny from the beginning of the game is considered evil to the player, however later on the player has the option to ignore, kill, or even work with him if they do so choose. Depending on their action other characters would be forced to change their alignment to counteract the player choice. Such as Mr. House, if the player sided with Benny and opted to kill Mr. House there is a very high likelihood that Mr. House is now viewed as evil by the player.

    I understand the entire debate was based completely on player perspective, however an interesting point was explored.

    In game characters being able to adjust their own alignments and actions dependent upon player choices. The shifting of conflict from character to character yields very interesting results. And that my friends is what makes a great RPG.

    In case anyone here is still confused about the above information. Imagine a character that is lawful good, then as the player completes the main story that lawful good character is placed in conflict with the player. At that point in time the character must make a choice to either stay the course, compromise, or reject it all together. By allowing a NPC to "randomize" or adjust based on a set of variables. the player can obtain more satisfaction from the experience. However the trick is to have this idea constantly happening in the game world with minor NPC's to enrich the game environment.
     
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  10. CaptJ

    CaptJ The Rival of Roquefort Hall

    Jan 19, 2016
    @Einhanderc7
    I think an "easier to understand" example would be how the Tenpenny Tower quest in FO3 should have worked. Killing Roy before he reveals his true nature is wrong because the player and main character wouldn't have known yet. A non-lazy writer would have replaced Roy with an identical NPC with evil karma to stop the main character from receiving negative karma for killing him after he killed everyone.

    The problem is karma system is just broken and it is stupid to make an argument based off it. I get negative karma from stealing from a Powder-Ganger but killing him and looting his body is A-OK.

    I mention my grievances with DnD alignment system here but it is mostly based on how people use it interpret.
    Without an objective standard, the system becomes useless. It is heavily based on the idea that Law and Chaos are metaphysically concepts; because without it, a character can change its alignment just because the situation changed. Does a righteous knight shifts from LG to CG by disobeying an order from the King; even if, it violates the code of chivalry? Does a raider shifts to LE after taking over a town?

    I had an idea for an alignment system based on the Magic the Gathering Color Pie (I had to tweak it to make it solely about morality and remove the flavor or themes). It is a rough idea but whatever.
    • White is about laws and base its principles on reasoning. Believes in laws like due process and constitutions. May let evil go unpunished if all of the legal procedures are complete. Embodied by judges.
    • Blue is about loyalty and nationalism. Recognizes that what it does isn't necessarily morally good but does what it thinks is best for its country. Embodied by generals and spies.
    • Black is about amorality and pragmatism. It believes in living in the real world and doesn't believe acting better than what the world allows them to be. Embodied by survivalist.
    • Red is about gut feelings of right and wrong. It doesn't care about the complexities of the issues and it cares about perceived as right or wrong. For example, dropping a weapon for an unarmed opponent. Embodied by warriors that need to make quick decisions.
    • Green is about a lack of self, similar to religions like Buddhism. It believes in being part of a whole. Embodied by druids.
     
  11. The Man From Nowhere

    The Man From Nowhere First time out of the vault

    Oct 28, 2017
    Perhaps "intentions" also factor into karma for NPC's. That is if they're evil for the sake of it or have an evil mind knowing they're unjust and sick minded such as Clanden (listed as evil and tortured a prostitute to death in Gomorrah).

    Caesar and his followers believe they're creating a "stable" society even with slavery and brutality involved.

    Whereas Vulpes probably doesn't even inherently stand for Legion or their principles and truly enjoys the opportunity of massacring towns like Nipton and the Legion just gave him the opportunity to do so (thus very evil karma).

    You could say The Courier for instance could be considered "evil" for destroying the Western BoS faction, but they could also have very good karma at the same time and only brought about the self-destruct sequence on the demands of another main faction killing dozens and dozens of people on the inside of the bunker.

    Julie Farkas, Keely, Sunny Smiles, Sarah Weintraub, and Old Ben are some of the other characters I discovered as having very good karma in New Vegas.


    Some of those make sense like Julie being the Followers of Apocalypse Leader, but Sarah (obsessed Vault 21 chick) and Old Ben (some dude that warns about strip security) they didn't really do much and nothing particularly stood out that would justify having this extremely good karma?
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2017
  12. Jogre

    Jogre It's all JO'Ger now

    Oct 25, 2015
    I personally dislike clear cut alignment systems to begin with. Why do we need a universal system telling players if they are a dick or a good guy?, Surely the player should be allowed to interpret there own actions and motives as they please.

    I think a better system would be something like Pillars of Eternity, where personality traits are measured but not implying the player is right or wrong to posses them.
     
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  13. Einhanderc7

    Einhanderc7 Vat dipped, grown and still oozing with perfection

    Apr 22, 2016
    To be honest I think any system that implements such crude and broad effects is lazy. The best way which is of course the most time consuming is to plan out specific interactions for NPCs based on player input (This is the only way it should be). The only time I can see something like the wonky karma system being of use is for NPCs that in no way influence the player. Such as merchants, or luck encounters.

    While many RPG focus the specific interactions when designing unique characters dependent upon the story, a lot of the filler characters often get relegated to relying on systems such as the Karma system.

    Another reason as to why the Karma system is abused in the newer titles is because it is used to replace mundane interaction. In Fallout 1 and 2 the player could interact with many characters, even talk to some that really did not want a dialog. Depending on what they said the player could identify their personality or mood. In the newer titles that is much more difficult with the "talkative" characters, but more so because they pigeon holed themselves by relying on voiced characters. However since they still wanted these characters to be "interactive" to some degree they stapled them to the karma system as a friend or foe system.

    Suddenly you sneaky steal too much from the NCR, everyone knows about it and wants to kill you *facepalm*.
     
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  14. Black Angel

    Black Angel Grand Inquisitor of the Ordo Hereticus

    Mar 21, 2016
    While I generally agree with Einhanderc points and also taking into consideration where CaptJ is coming from, I think the whole broken Karma system only really begins with Fallout 3 (and sadly, get carried to New Vegas). In Fallout 1&2, there is no Karma statistic on NPCs. Just go and check Joanna Lynette's or even Gizmo's page in the wiki. Iirc, the only 'broken' problem of Karma system of Fallout 1&2 is how killing Raiders would grant you Karma, but correct me if I'm wrong here.

    No Karma statistics on NPCs means we now only bother with what actions increases or decreases our character's Karma, and those number in the character's sheet is there only as a way for the game to tell the player if their character is an asshole or not. The solution is definitely NOT removing it entirely like Fallout 4 did, and honestly I think CaptJ's idea wouldn't work because Karmic alignment would mostly gets blurred from clear cut system like proposed since, you know, it's a post-apocalyptic world. Yeah, the world is rebuilding significantly by the time of New Vegas, but I think it will be interesting to see a whole new system, or rather a whole new perspective that's only vaguely reflected by said system, and this I think New Vegas did excellently with all the dilemmas coming from pros and cons of each major factions.
     
  15. Risewild

    Risewild Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!
    Modder Orderite

    Jun 14, 2014
    That is not affected by karma though, that is affected by NCR reputation.
    New Vegas relies more on Faction Reputation than Karma.
     
  16. Einhanderc7

    Einhanderc7 Vat dipped, grown and still oozing with perfection

    Apr 22, 2016
    Correct, I forgot about that. Good catch!
     
  17. Cobra Commander

    Cobra Commander Still Mildly Glowing

    Dec 6, 2016
    Even that, kind sux.

    They did a better job in Skyrim. Kill the one who spot you stealing for example and the bounty for your head disapear.

    Only the Brotherhood seems to know everything you did, but they have a Goddess in the basement, so ...
     
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  18. Alphons

    Alphons Prophet der Auges

    Aug 9, 2017
    Even basement goddess isn't powerful enough to resist giving you radiant quests...
     
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  19. CaptJ

    CaptJ The Rival of Roquefort Hall

    Jan 19, 2016
    Bethesda has been phasing out karma in an attempt to fix things.
    Karma was called General Reputation in FO1 which was an accurate name for what it was. It was more less the same thing in FO2. It is just doing good things gets you a better reputation but it isn't always about morality. Shoveling shit reduces Karma and so does backing off a fight. In theory, a well crafted enough reputation system is enough and I did mention the idea of faction reputation affecting other factions like being hated by the Followers of the Apocalypse would give most people the impression that you are a bad person. However, I really dislike the "Being evil is just lifestyle" approach in games like Fable or Bethesda's titles. Killing Raiders gives extra karma because most people hate Raiders.

    There is just the problem abuse and I guess there is something to be said about people figuring things out. Obviously, if two people enter a closet and only one came out alive, people would assume that one killed the other. It gets more confusing with more people like a known trouble maker.
     
  20. Black Angel

    Black Angel Grand Inquisitor of the Ordo Hereticus

    Mar 21, 2016
    Huh? Shoveling shit gives negative Karma? When? And why backing off from a fight gives negative Karma as well?

    That doesn't make sense, and it's a broken system, I say. The act of individually killing Raiders themselves shouldn't give Karma. It's the act of helping people from the Raiders that should give Karma. For example, in Fallout 1, only after you help Irwin get rid of Raiders from his farm in The Hub that you get positive Karma (or rather, General Reputation), while killing the individual Raiders didn't.

    This is also a problem even in New Vegas, because killing individual Raiders like Fiends and Powder Gangers for some reason nets you positive Karma, instead of the act of helping and defending helpless people from them as a whole. Same with Feral Ghouls.