One of the central themes I want to present in the RPG I'm working on is "hard choices," where you have to choose what direction to take the story in, or how you want to revolve certain quests. Something similar to Dragon Age or Mass Effect in terms of how dialogue plays out, but with more concrete consequences to your actions. I haven't really seen many games do this kind of thing, so I'm a little stuck on how I want to present these choices. Rather than good vs. evil, I want to present it as practical vs. empathetic. Much of it will naturally come off as good vs. evil, but I want to make it more of a grey area. The gist of it is that I want to focus on these two things: 2) Choosing the practical route makes the game less difficult, HOWEVER... 3) The player is not punished for taking the empathetic route. Balancing these is flummoxing me. I want to make it so both routes seem like equally valid options, but for different reasons. In so many games, like Dragon Age mentioned above, it's immediately obvious what the "right" option is; many games give you a moral choice that's like "pet the dog" vs "kick the dog for no reason b/c evilz". I'm hoping to achieve something where perhaps powergamers are more lured to the practical route (for tangible rewards), and roleplayers are lured to the empathetic route (for social/emotional rewards). I'll give you a few examples of what I mean. EXAMPLE 1: You come across a wounded old man that's been attacked by a werewolf. He asks you to stop the beast, but before he passes out, he begs you not to kill it. It's on its way to town to attack more people, so you fight it and have a choice to either subdue it, or kill it. You know beforehand that werewolves can give you a rare creature part, and you have good reason to kill it to stop it hurting anyone. However, if you subdue it, you find out it's the old man's son. Bringing it back to him, he will make sure the kid is more secured when he transforms, and he will now give you free resting and healing at his lodge. EXAMPLE 2: A wizard asks you to capture an elemental spirit for him to study. When you attempt to trap the elemental, it malfunctions and drives it into attacking. The wizard asks you to fix the trap so it is safely contained. If you do so, he will reward you with a magic item. Instead, you can free it. This earns the wizard's disapproval, but the elemental can return to fight alongside the player as a reward for giving it freedom. I'm worried about either making the rewards between the paths too even (so players will just go for the "right" option, knowing the result doesn't really matter), or making them too UNeven (so the game is telling them that being a dick is what gets you rewards). For all you RPG makers out there, do my examples sound like good ways to present these hard choices? If not, how would you go about this concept?