Master of the House…

Some denizens of the Bay 12 (Dwarf Fortress) Other Games forum nominated this song as the obvious theme for the game.

Motion carried. If I can find somebody to make me a nice simple version I’ll attach it to the menu system.

It’s an excellent rendition. Great visuals. And actually, it captures quite nicely what I want to be a key theme of the game: The lure of being dishonest in order to make a profit. It should be possible to play clean and fair. It should also possible to be an all out bastard “Master of the House”. But neither of these are as interesting if they are only simple choices to be made from the outset, like a freely chosen RPG style “alignment”. Dishonesty should be a lure. It’s a bit naughty. At least at first. When does a little something extra turn into something more? It is up to the player to resist it if they can.

Ultimately, your role as an innkeeper in this game is about being in the business of attempting to extract as many of the coins out of your guests pockets as you can. Failure to do so means losing. That is, you won’t make it to the end of the campaign. This -is- the game at its most basic level. You encourage your guests to make merry, get along with each other, eat and drink up. Why? To get them to spend more. But then how will you start to see them then? Mere things to manipulate? Is it that far of a step to put a little water in the ale for those too drunk to notice? They shouldn’t get much drunker anyway. What then about dubious stews? Taking a cut from thieves working the guest’s pockets? Assisting in an assassination?

Some of these choices (the last two if they make it in) would be provided via narrative and dialogue choices, rather than be functioning components of the core game play. But they can’t simply exist in isolation. They have to feel like natural extensions to the position you are put in as the player. When you make a “bad” choice, I don’t want that to be the result of your pre-given answer to a kind of role playing question: “who am I?” “I’m playing as a bad guy.” I’d much rather that you are brought step by step, breaking-bad style, towards some rather terrible and dark things out of what are initially very understandable pressures. So that at some point, you are forced to confront yourself, and ask yourself, is this OK?

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