MONSTER ENCOUNTERS THAT MAKE SENSE.

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I notice this has always been a issue to me in alot of rpg maker games, and even outside of it. Why would Monster A cooperate with Monster B and be in the same encounter group? There is a lack of logic when it comes to this.

Example:
You're in a dank cave, and you run into a encounter. A wild wolf appears along with a slime. Do they have some form of relationship in order to attack the player? Honestly it would not make sense because slimes are mindless eaters while the wolf might have some form of intelligence, but the two would be opposed to eachother for obvious reasons. Let's take it even further, why would both different type of species live in the same cave with eachother? There would be a mutual hostility toward both groups. Maybe I really should let it slide, but there needs to be common sense for monster encounters.

Now when it comes to encounters on the world map, that really isn't a issue because you're traveling, and you could encounter anything out there. (But some common sense is needed).

Now let's rework the dank cave:
Now slimes usually like dark, and damp places (well depending how you want to twist it), and thus the cave would mostly have slime-like monsters, but maybe a few other encounters like a large bat, but they would not really be grouped together in a encounter as they would not be friendly with eachother. Wolves would be excluded because they have common sense to not be in a cave with carnivorous slimes while bats don't have the intelligence to know the present danger in the area, thus become a eco-system of sorts, but the wolf would know better because of better intelligence and thus not be present in that cave. We could work this further, and put ruins that were deep inside the cave,but not damp for slimes to live in (unless you want to make ruins just as damp as the rest of the cave). What you would mostly find in the ruins could be anything, magical guardians, golems, demons,etc that rule that part of the cave, and keep anything else out.

EDIT:
To further a example of the dank cave:
Area A:
Slime-infested, mostly likely to encounter slimes more often than bats
Area B:
There is a huge water source in the cave, some slimes are present, but you could put some kind of aquatic creature specifically for this area. Bats are still present.
Area C:
The further deep you go it becomes less damp, thus less slimes, but more bats, and the absence of the aquatic monsters from the last floor.
Area D:
The ruins appear, the slimes are mostly gone at this point, but the bats are still present. You enter the ruins, and you find it protected by magical golems, and other machinations from the creators of old or it can be anything else to your liking as long you think it out.

Another thing you can't have so many different type of monsters in one place unless there is a special reason for it (like the final dungeon to a game or for plot purposes).

That is basically my explanation. All in all this is only my opinion, but I hope people take the time to put common sense in monster encounters. Alot of considerations need to be thought of before putting said monster into a dungeon.

This also means you need to brush up on myths/animals/cryptids/legends/etc to where most of these creatures came form, and why they are the way they are. This not only helps you in knowledge, but helps your RPG game.

EDIT:
I think my days in DnD has kind of made me into a Monster Nazi in a way..though ironically DnD has pretty much ruined itself over the years because of too many bad ideas spoiling the soup. Ever heard of a Vampire-Unicorn? WUT?

Now I do understand some RPG maker monsters are not derived from anything other than creativeness, but always keep in mind of common sense, and what makes your monster the way it is.

LockeZ
I'd really like to get rid of LockeZ. His play style is way too unpredictable. He's always like this too. If he ran a country, he'd just kill and imprison people at random until crime stopped.
6003
Q: why do you even have an area as a dungeon if there are no enemies there related to the game's conflict?

Can we just stop having wilderness with random monsters for dungeons? That'd be nice. It's just filler, it has nothing to do with your game. I understand you need dungeons and pacing, but be more creative! I have a feeling that if you deleted it, no one would mourn it, though ideally you should replace it with a more relevant arc.

Imagine if the mines in Narshe had less were-rats and more Narshe guards. And then as you fled Figaro Castle, instead of going through a random cave full of bears and scorpions, you dodged and fought Imperial soldiers as you winded through the streets and rooftops of a desert city. And then Mt: Koltz were filled with Imperials looking for the entrance to the Returners' Hideout. And the Lete River was actually fine, you can have a monster nest once or twice per game, and an emergency escape is a good place for one. And then the name did a good job for a while, but when you get to Thamasa, the cave should be filled with living magic and runestones that drew the espers there and attack humans, instead of slurms and chimeras. Or replaced by something else, because fuck caves. And the Floating Continent could probably be filled with controlled espers that Kefka summoned after magiciting them, or the imperial air force or something, instead of giant heads and moths.
NeverSilent
Got any Dexreth amulets?
6133
Now, in the case of games that don't put as much emphasis on realism, there's probably no need to overthink any of this too much. But in general, I pretty much agree. I've always found it odd when in RPGs groups of enemies that would logically fight each other instead decide to team up against the player all the time. This gets even weirder when human enemies and wild (therefore untamed) monsters appear in the very same enemy troop.
As you said, even if they decide to generously overlook it, you can't expect the players not to notice such immersion-breaking design choices. Using common sense and adding a bit more realism when designing encounters can make story and gameplay feel much more connected instead of arbitrary, especially in games with more serious themes.
@LockeZ: The only problem I can see with that is the fact that the first 3-4 dungeons are using the same monsters, which would get really boring. But you have a good point, gameplay and story should be integrated well like that.

One thing I will say is that in RPGs, the characters travel the world (usually) and usually do it on foot for the most part. I don't think it's bad to show the wildlife attacking the player during a hike through a canyon or something. You're in their territory, predator animals and others will attack, because you're provoking them just by walking through there.

The really bad problem comes in if you have too many of the same type of dungeon in a row. You can't just have like three or four landscape dungeons with wild animals after one another, because that pretty much means that all the party has been doing is walking around the boons and that's boring as all hell.
If you're going for a super realistic approach, sure. But it makes it harder to make battles fun too, if you limit yourself and for example all you encounter is slimes.
I dunno after a couple of games you don't really care or even remember that it's immersion breaking anymore, since you are so used to it that you don't even care that the local population of wildlife teamed up with random soldier X's anymore.
I mean 99,9% of people played another RPG before starting to play RPGMaker games anyway, and chances are pretty high at least one of those RPGs had immersion breaking battles too, so...
CashmereCat
Self-proclaimed Puzzle Snob
11505
I don't really care about whether I fight a slime teaming up with a wolf or not. I just care about whether the gameplay is fun. It doesn't matter how wild or wacky your game's rules are, just give me a fun game and I'll play it. You could pit me against the Boogey monster and Mr. Candy from Django Unchained and I'd be happy as long as it's a balanced encounter.

Too much focus on realism, not enough on actually making a fun game. Focus on what matters, kids.
I like to make monsters that seem real. That is, dangerous animals in the environment. In RealmS you could see the monsters in the environment, populating the place, but not actually able to go near them. Some of them interacted with each other (chasing food, for example, or just sunning themselves). You could run into groups of them around, yes, but some just couldn't be reached. Also, if two monsters just so happened to be in a battle and one was a predator to the other, it tended to attack (and restore health from) the prey.

I like a bit of realism. Also, monsters in appropriate areas.
@Cashmere: It's not so much about realism as it is about developing an immersive game world. I know for a fact that I have loads more fun if I can really get into the game that I'm playing (a good example being TES 4/5).

I should clarify that my original point was basically meant to be "If a dungeon doesn't focus on/develop a games plot, it should focus on/develop a games world and lore." Ideally both, but sometimes you have to side it one way or the other.

Take for example Tales of Xillia. There's no (traversable) world map (which is an entirely different problem) and all the connecting areas look similar, behave similar, and feature similar palette swaps and nonsensical, non-developed enemies. I didn't even care about the world the game took place in, because I was put off. Thusly I felt bored by the story- why should I care to save a world I've barely seen, or one that's just a bunch of flatland palette swaps?
LockeZ
I'd really like to get rid of LockeZ. His play style is way too unpredictable. He's always like this too. If he ran a country, he'd just kill and imprison people at random until crime stopped.
6003
author=Pizza
@LockeZ: The only problem I can see with that is the fact that the first 3-4 dungeons are using the same monsters, which would get really boring.
Just because they work for the same organization doesn't mean they're the same monsters. Humans have a lot of variety. More than any other species. Especially since they're us, and so we notice the varieties a lot better.

I'm reasonably sure you could make an entire game with all human enemies without ever using a single enemy twice. I mean, almost every story battle in FF Tactics was against humans, and they weren't even trying. A lot of tactical RPGs are like that, in fact, though they have so few battles that it's admittedly not always a fair comparison. The entire single-player campaigns of most RTS games are almost strictly against other the soldiers of other playable factions, too. Dragon Age almost exclusively has you battling humans and darkspawn, who are basically just orcs. And Fallout and KoToR are almost all humanoid enemies, I think.

Just having humans isn't really a great decision, you usually do need some variety just for the sake of pacing. But I think a better way to do it is to introduce meaningful non-human threats that actually tie into the story. The Phantom Train in FF6 is a perfect example of a zone that did this really well; after a powerful scene involving an entire country being murdered, you're trapped in a zone where almost all the enemies are ghosts, and some are the ghosts of those you just failed to save.

My point isn't really about making "real world sense" so much as it's about making the player feel like the conflict is legitimate. Realism is one way of making your conflict feel more legitimate, but relevance is another. You want the player to care about what they're doing. While it might make sense for characters who are traveling the world to often be doing things that aren't really relevant to the story, like fighting off giant bees as they trek to the next town, that doesn't captivate players. It's not a universally terrible idea, since sometimes it can provide a needed change of pace, but if you use it more than once or twice per game/story, it becomes a blatantly obvious padding technique.

Making the encounters make sense in the way the OP is talking about is a step in the right direction. It will make the conflict against the enemies in that dungeon feel a little more like a coherent threat that was added to the story, instead of just a gameplay obstacle that was arbitrarily assigned a sandworm graphic. Not necessarily an interesting threat (which is what I'm aiming for), but at least a coherent one.
Yeah, I mean people don't make things exciting anymore. I'm tired of fighting the same old slimes.

Slimes with machine guns - now that's exciting.
If you try to bring realism to games you often ruin gameplay in the process.

I'd rather have encounters with monster combinations that result in a fun strategy than having always only the same type together because "It doesn't make sense they work together with others".
NeverSilent
Got any Dexreth amulets?
6133
That's a valid point, but I don't think what you describe is what most of us would be going for, and it's not an unsolvable problem, either. A cave full of the same slime enemies would indeed be boring for obvious reasons. But nothing stops the developer from creating multiple types of slimes with different abilities, just like a troop of human enemies can consist of swordsmen, archers, mages etc.
I agree that making realistic battles doesn't have to be your first priority when designing a game, but paying some extra attention to things like this can make a big difference for how the player percieves your game's world.
LockeZ
I'd really like to get rid of LockeZ. His play style is way too unpredictable. He's always like this too. If he ran a country, he'd just kill and imprison people at random until crime stopped.
6003
You can totally have the Ooze Pit populated by Creeping Slimes, Muckmen, Poison Gas Clouds, Ambulatory Toxic Waste Canisters, and Mucus Pods that explode into Tiny Slimes when killed.

If you also wanted to have Infected Zombies and Irradiated Cockroaches, but didn't think it made sense for them to fight alongside the other five types, you could have three-way battles!

You really, really shouldn't just have green palette swaps of mammoths, lizards, small dragons, and flying manta rays. Even if you name them Poison Mammoth and Swamp Lizard. I have played your games I know you do this
I thought it was because Monsters are Monsters. It hearkens back to biblical mythology and culture, filled with demons; all demons are employed by a devil under a common cause: to wreak havoc and destroy the good. (The mythical plots of most fantasy RPGs.)

If there's no great evil at work, that's when it makes less sense. But I think that people just accept that there's "adversity" in an RPG, wherever it comes from. "Monsters don't form parties; a bunch of monsters just happen to be there."
Hmm after reading most of the posts, but looks like LockeZ actually provided the answers. Indeed creatures like that can work in the same environment with eachother. Some can group with eachother, but some are not able to do so like Infected zombies.

It all depends on WHAT YOU want in your environment provided it makes sense to you, and your audience.

I think I need to provide a better example than the dank cave, let's go for a swamp since we're talking toxic creatures.

A fantasy-swamp environment can indeed house many strange creatures. Some work together to attack the player while others are stand-alone. Ok, let's setup the creature encounters for this specific environment.

Brown Slimes/Green Slimes/Black Slimes/-these would be my common type enemies, and they can work together since they are from the same family.
Mucus Pods-uncommon type-Can work with slimes, and the threat level is abit higher
Muck men-Strange bi-pedal creatures that have strange relationship with slimes, and can attack in groups with each other.
Infected Zombies-Are not likely to be part of any creature relationship, most likely to fight alone since they don't have brains, and just want your meat. Unless you're going for a Necromancer/witch/etc that controls zombies then it needs to be tied to the swamp somehow. Like you can have a villager tell you that witches, and Necromancers roam the swamps that practice dark arts. They are above average humanoid monsters, and are most likely are able to protect themselves from other monsters due to their dark arts, and theoretical magical homes they probably have hidden in the swamp.

With these many creature types in one area, effectively that area should not be boring to the player. Also I had gained a idea from Dragon Quest: Legacy of the lost where the author specifically put notorious monsters for each area you visited. They were strange, and way above average monsters that you wouldn't normally see. That is a trend I would love to see in future RPG maker games.

Really this is just my example how I would do it, and you can make the swamp anyway you want as long it's not nonsensical. For example you wouldn't see a golem running around in a swamp UNLESS there was some long lost ruins in there, and the golems are leftovers from a time gone by.

Of course it's possible to keep battles interesting while also adding realism, but it's a big risk, because many developers fail at this.
It's also not just the variety of different monsters that makes an interesting battle. The combination is important. If all monsters deal about the same damage and need the same amount of hits it's not very interesting. Combining strong attackers with low HP and weak attackers with high HP also makes it slightly more interesting (= good idea to kill strong attackers first).

But anyway, basic statement is: Be careful that you don't reduce your gameplay quality because of realism.

I don't want to point fingers at anyone, but there are RPGs where one dungeon only has two encounters, one with say kobolds and one with say wolves and when I contacted the developer suggesting a higher variety in encounters, he actually told me something like "But it wouldn't make sense if kobolds and wolves worked together". This thread somehow reminded me of that.
CashmereCat
Self-proclaimed Puzzle Snob
11505
You could always go for modern-day realism and make the character fight his existential fears, teaming up with his ever-increasing sense of dread, depression and self-hatred.

They always travel in packs.
I don't know if this fits on this discussion but here I go!

Another important thing to have in mind when designing encounters is the monster location. In Legend of Legaia the world was filled with monster because of the mist (or whatever name it had) but after you progressed through the game, the mist was cleaned and monsters (Seru) didn't appeared anymore in that area. That makes sense.

In the other hand, some RPG games put enemy encounters just outside the countryside of even a little defenseless town. The monsters are SO intelligent, bold and nice not to swarm against the town (even if you see them cooperating in enemy encounters), but once you put just a step outside the "WELCOME" sign they rush for your meat... That's nonsense and unrealistic for me. Why should the monsters cooperate with townsfolk but go against you? Well of course it could be justified if it is the Necromancer/Witch town mentioned before by Kaliesto.

Edit: Whoa! CashmereCat, I like that point of view. I would surely work nice if it properly fits in the game.
Actually, Treason, the fact that 'humans!!!' live in a village is often enough reason for monsters to keep away. Then again, I always equate monsters to wild animals (for the most part) so I usually include humans hunting them as a food source, making them more wary of the built up villages around them. Of course, there's other ways of making sense for putting down a small village in a wasteland inhabited by death machines - rare herbs that grow in the village which drive away the monsters, fear of fire (can tie in to being weak against fire~), fear of magic (weakness again), world-renown warrior village, all those awesome new weapons that are a tier up from everything you've gotten before, village being in a defensible area (say, surrounded by a deep river full of piranha-like fishies~) among other things.
author=RyaReisender
I don't want to point fingers at anyone, but there are RPGs where one dungeon only has two encounters, one with say kobolds and one with say wolves and when I contacted the developer suggesting a higher variety in encounters, he actually told me something like "But it wouldn't make sense if kobolds and wolves worked together". This thread somehow reminded me of that.


That's funny because I assume they were in charge of the decision to make those the two encounters. Was "the cave of kobolds and wolves" so central to the story/world that it couldn't be fixed?
Anyway, in my fantasy world, kobolds train and ride wolves, and, here's the kicker, vice versa.
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