Story and Mythology [SPOILERS]

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Greendogo
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Story and Mythology [SPOILERS]

Post by Greendogo » 19 Aug 2012, 15:29

This is where we'll talk about the story.
THERE ARE SPOILERS

If you don't care though, that the plot might be ruined, and want to help figure out with the direction of the story, read on and feel free to contribute and suggest stuff.

We are going to use all non-Bethesda art assets, and we're going to stretch this to the story and mythology too. So we aren't drawing from the Elderscrolls Series, so if you wish to contribute, try to be original!

This doesn't really need to be done completely until we have the island layout done. But this should definitely come before questing, and can definitely contain things that will become quests later in the development process.

The scope of the project doesn't require a deep mythology or story in order to be successful, but if we have enough fun with it, it could very well end up deep and interesting.

Once the direction of the story has become somewhat stable (+1 pages), please read some of what others have written to keep the story from fracturing.

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Greendogo
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Re: Story and Mythology [SPOILERS]

Post by Greendogo » 19 Aug 2012, 15:33

Again, I'll go first. If you have any story ideas, go ahead and post them, we definitely don't have to go with my plot. I'm just getting the ball rolling.

So...

Where it says that "stuff happens", there are filler quests and non-main-quest kind of stuff going on, perhaps your character decides to explore. Who knows. There's monsters and stuff all over the island for you to engage in, but this just covers the main-quest stuff.
(beginning and character gen): You wakeup in a crashed ship, scouts from a nearby village find you and take you in.
*stuff happens*
(story part 1): You go meet the elder of the village who sends you on an escort quest for his daughter who is outside the village at the island's shrine.
*stuff happens* ( you find out the village is preparing a festival called the Feast of Starfall)
(story part 2): You are sent to the crypt to defeat some bad guys, retrieve stuff from the graves and perform some funeral rite at an altar. Some wizard has apparently been messing with stuff here, and it's affecting the island's mojo.
*stuff happens*
(story part 3): The elder sends you to defeat the evil wizard and his minions in the south of the island in the dungeon, and do stuff there.
*stuff happens* (you go to defeat the evil wizard, and when you finally fight him and get him down to a small amount of health, you and he discover that things are not as they seem, apparently the wizard didn't know you weren't from the island, and so he tells you a story about the island)
(story part 4): The wizard tells you the island's history. The people that created the "dungeon" (actually an ancient city) were star worshippers. They were a magic people that created a prosperous home on the island, before the star demons came, posing as servants summoned from the stars. The star demons are friendly and serve the star worshippers dutifully for a while. Eventually, as the magic users relax their guard, they allow their new "servants" free access to even their most private sanctums. One night, on the anniversary of their arrival, a large feast is held, in honor of the friendship and helpfulness the servants had given the star worshippers. During the feast, at this zenith of trust and joyous celebration, the servants turn on their "masters", transforming into terrifying monsters. They start to slaughter everyone and then feast on their souls, taking on the forms of the souls' owner. After they eat everyone on the island, they then abandoned the destroyed city and created the smaller village to the north. As the soul they leach from grows old and starts to die, so, in-turn do their stolen bodies. So they do all kinds of fun stuff to attract more victims and more food. Hence your arrival.
stuff happens. The Feast of Starfall is actually an annual festival to honor the First Feast of Starfall, where afterwards during the feast, they slaughter and eat the souls of their new victims.
(story part 5): You get to see all the townsfolk turn into their demon forms and try to kill you and eat your soul (using the werewolf mechanic, we use an appropriate monster model as their "monster form"). Somehow you defeat them. The wizard and you live happily ever after, the end of the main-quest.

synopsis and notes:
So basically, you get to be friendly with the townsfolk the whole game, until you figure out that they're demons and then they try and eat you. You get some cool stuff to help you kick their butts on the way, and then restore peace to the island, even though everyone is dead. Hey, maybe your shipmates are still alive, or something. A town's got to have someone to run the bar. So yeah, maybe you rescue those guys who weren't actually dead, like the monsters said, and they take up the jobs of the towns people or maybe there were some other victims locked in the town's basement or something.

My favorite plot points are that the nice village folk turn out to be slavering demons in disguise who steal your soul and body, and that at some point after facing who you think is the big bad (the wizard in the dungeon) you get to be re-educated about things.

This is all set in a warrior and wizard kind of setting with star demons that have a cthulu like vibe going on.

Remember, if you don't like my story, go ahead and suggest your own. Or outright say you hate it and why.

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leobloom
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Re: Story and Mythology [SPOILERS]

Post by leobloom » 19 Aug 2012, 15:58

Hmm, I was really digging that story until about half-way through part 4. I don't think we want to go the cannibalism route. It may well offend people trying out the engine (the example suite should be 7+ or 12+ PEGI really). It seems a bit "cheap" to have such a gratuitously violent plot twist like that. Also, I like walking around in worlds that feel alive and this is one of the integral parts of TES games. Forcing me to kill all the people would ruin the atmosphere.
What you could do is flip the story and have it so the townsfolk are unaware of their affliction, but the wizard is trying to sort it out.
Stage 4: nasty god curses townspeople
Stage 5: you fix it (not sure how)

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Greendogo
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Re: Story and Mythology [SPOILERS]

Post by Greendogo » 19 Aug 2012, 16:09

leobloom wrote:Forcing me to kill all the people would ruin the atmosphere.
I suppose you've never played Dwarf Fortress then, ;)
It basically amounts to trapping a bunch of dwarven miners in bleak underground labyrinths, surrounded on all sides by carnivorous zombie elephants and giant acid spitting spider-dragons, all the time trying to keep everyone happy so they don't go crazy from lack of alcohol and start killing everyone in sight. It's not a subtle game, no.


Anyway, we could turn down the gratuitous violence. There are all kinds of ways to introduce a cure for their affliction without needing to kill them.

What if the ones who are cursed are actually the demons, and we just state that all their violent actions happened in the past. We can say that the demons are actually star spirits that have been cursed to need to do these bad things in order to survive (the soul sucking, etc.), and you and the wizard must figure out a way to cure them so they don't have to make you their dinner. Does that make it less-violent enough to a point that is acceptable?

We also don't need to be quite so graphic when the wizards gives the player the history lesson. We can sort of imply what happened and maybe leave tidbits in books or something. I know what you're getting at though, you want to take out the part where the townsfolk are demons who killed the previous island's inhabitants.

Remember, everyone, post your own plot ideas too! All kinds of ideas are accepted.

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Lazaroth
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Re: Story and Mythology [SPOILERS]

Post by Lazaroth » 19 Aug 2012, 20:11

I don't hate your story, but I thought I'd offer an alternative... :)

Do note that English isn't my primary language.
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ElderTroll
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Re: Story and Mythology [SPOILERS]

Post by ElderTroll » 20 Aug 2012, 02:39

I think all stories should be free of explicit Elder Scrolls lore (vague references are okay).

I agree the sinister nature of the star demons may put folks off. Best to keep it clean and it's a good idea to include books with a few more details. We can always allude to there being bigger events than what the player is currently engaged in. Who knows, if people like the plot and setting they start making their own quests and flesh out what those books describe.
“A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.”

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Greendogo
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Re: Story and Mythology [SPOILERS]

Post by Greendogo » 20 Aug 2012, 03:06

I'm going to rewrite Lazaroth's story as if it had been written without Elderscrolls lore. Just for kicks.

Steve
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Re: Story and Mythology [SPOILERS]

Post by Steve » 20 Aug 2012, 03:18

For some strange reason, the board "ate" my first post which contained a rather lengthy story. Here is the truncated version which really doesn't do it justice but I'm not in the mood of recreating an entire hour's worth of writing:

You are a sailor who's ship suddenly finds itself in the middle of mysterious and violent storm. The ship is damaged and limps into the first port it finds, "TOWN A." The residents of TOWN A are all wearing amulets that inhibit their movement, effectively imprisoning them. They are being imprisoned by an evil wizard named WIZARD. The townspeople would love to help you but they can't as they surmise that the storm was probably conjured by the wizard to sink your vessel. Also, the town has an ambassador from the wizard named TOADY to keep the townspeople in line. TOADY is lazy and the storm from the previous night probably put him into a deep sleep. If you can help the townspeople get rid of TOADY, they'll help you repair the ship. The alchemist of the town gives you a spell to knock out TOADY as you can't kill him - TOADY has a ring given to him by the WIZARD to make him invulnerable.

TOADY has taken up residency in the town's only bar and inn. Also, he's blocked up the water supply to the well, controlling the townspeople by restricting the water supply. You can't enter the bar normally as the door is magically blocked, so the only way in is through the dried out well. TOADY has an army of trained rats in the well's tunnel, though, to protect against intruders. Kill the rats and enter the inn. Once in the inn, get up close to TOADY and knock him out. Steal the ring. Read his diary for the clue on how to unlock the front door. As it turns out, TOADY used the rats to hide the key in a well shaft that only the rats could climb in and out of. However, you can climb down there safely if you SWIM down there, so unblock the well, swim down the shaft and get the key. Swim back, unlock the door.

The residents take TOADY into custody but there's a problem - The town's blacksmith requires special tools to aid in the repair of the ship that was taken away from him by the wizard. The tools were taken away to the village called VILLAGE. These people were defiant of the wizard until the wizard turned them all into mindless zombies willing to do his bidding. The zombies are plagued so you can't get near them without being killed. The alchemist has a plan - The zombie curse can be reversed with a potion. Dump the potion into the village's well, the zombies will drink from the well and the curse will be lifted.

the people in TOWN A still can't move about because the amulets are controlled by the wizard, not by TOADY. Therefore, you're going to have to gather the ingredients yourself. The ingredients can be gathered throughout the town, just outside the town and in a cave of vicious trolls. Go into the cave, kill the trolls, get the ingredients, give it all to the alchemist so you can get the potion.

Go to the village, sneak in and drop the potion into the well. If you watch them, you will notice that they are making a whole boatload of amulets just like the ones the townspeople are wearing. If you read some books, you'll know that they drink from the well every time the church bell rings. You can either wait until the bell rings or ring the bell early. Bang, they're cured. The village people thank you, give you the tools you ask for but then notice that a posse of trolls that followed you from their cave have now encircled the village and threatening to climb in. Go up the church tower with a bow and arrow the villagers give you and shoot the trolls. Come back down and the villagers say that the wizard probably knows what's going on and you'll have to leave. They have to stay behind because their village is a mess after they were transformed into zombies.

You go back to the town and find everyone wearing an amulet has been frozen into place. TOADY is out of jail and wants his ring back. The gate closes behind you and you're trapped in the town to fight TOADY. Kill Toady. the town people, still frozen but they can talk to you, they tell you that Toady was expected to go to the wizard's palace to get a new ring. They recommend that you take Toady's clothes and impersonate Toady to get into the palace. You do that.

Once in the palace, you notice intelligent trolls, zombies and townspeople with amulets. You fool them but you don't fool the wizard who spotted you the moment you walked in. There's a variety of ways to defeating the wizard based on how much you explored of the palace beforehand. Once the wizard is defeated, the trolls become docile and run away, the zombies turn back into humans and the amulet humans become free and everyone goes home. You go into the wizard's bedroom and find a diary suggesting that there were other wizards in on this deed and that they plan on taking over the entire planet based on the methods used on the island.

You go back to the town where the townspeople declare you a hero. You tell them of the wizard's diary and that you must warn the mainland of the danger. The ship agrees to leave without you, leaving you as the protector of the island until a proper army can arrive to adequately defend the island.

As the ship sails away, the mayor tells you that, in the meanwhile, there are magical weapons that will help you defend the island better. The wizard took away all of the magical weapons on the island and supposedly stashed them in a crypt under the palace filled with spider demons. But that's a quest for another demo.

OK, let's see if this post is eaten. Anyway, that's nowhere near as graceful as the first post but it gets the job done. Enjoy.

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Greendogo
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Re: Story and Mythology [SPOILERS]

Post by Greendogo » 20 Aug 2012, 04:06

Here's my retelling of Lazaroth's story with all of the ES elements removed. I also probably altered his story somewhat, but it is mostly the same story:

Our hero is a war general from a distant land arriving to investigate the mysterious goings-on on the Island. He crashes on island, drawn towards it by the lighthouse. He thrashes his head pretty good but seems to be fine, except he can't rightly remember what he's doing here exactly. He makes towards the lights of the village, intent on finding a good place to sleep for the night.

He performs a few chores in order to make enough for some food and a room for the night. During the night, an assassin breaks into his room, but she is inexperienced and shortly thereafter she is dead too. The next day he sets off, though his memory of his purpose on the island is still a little foggy, though the attempt on his life leads him to believe he's here for a reason.

He treks to the lighthouse to get a better view of the land, finding a dead wizard inside. He mutters a small prayer, and relives the fallen man of his short sword a few of his potions. Sadly no potion of levitation, so he ascends the rickety staircase to the top of the lighthouse. Peering out across the south, he see a caravan sporting the banners of a wizard mercenary group making its way slowly towards the forest in the distance, the trees dotted with a few ancient looking towers. These wizards and this forest are his new destination.

He makes his way back through the village and sets out through the south west gates, seeing grazing cattle along the hillside as he heads further south, towards what the villagers call the Forest of Shadows.

Upon getting thoroughly lost, he sees the ominous towers above the trees. He makes his way towards them and finally finds an entrance to what remains of the ancient ruins.

Once inside, he searches room by room until he finds a spiral staircase ascending a central tower. At the top of the tower he enters what appears to be a throne room. There are bodies everywhere. The wizards have been utterly defeated, and a hulking construct sits in the middle. It awakens.

After some clever banter exchanged between the war general and the construct who fancies himself a god, battle is begun. For a time the war general holds his own, giving as good as he gets, never losing a foot of ground but gaining just as much. Soon however, he starts to lose his strength, the construct is obviously of magical origins and is not fatigued by the constant struggle of combat.

He retreats quickly down a side passage, noticing some gems sparkling near an old ancient altar. If this altar is like such altars found in his homeland he has a hope of turning the tide. He quickly snatches up as many jewels as he can reach as the lumbering construct turns the corner into the shrine. Suddenly, as he is expecting a quick death, the disturbed altar starts summoning demons from the void. Four by four they flood out of the altar, suddenly the construct is surrounded. It tries to stem the flow, but for every demon it slays, several more spring up to take its place. The construct is quickly overwhelmed.

As the construct screams and yells "NOooooo!" then falls to the floor dead, the demons all suddenly vanish, not seeing the war general in the shadows behind the altar.

The general pulls himself from scene in the shrine and returns to the throne room. He checks the fallen wizards for survivors but finds none. However, at one side, he finds a jewel encrusted gem stone imbued with potent energy force.

As darkness descends, the general reaches the forest floor and begins the long trek back to the village. By morning he is at the docks, ready to leave and report his activities to his superiors. He finds a large galley docked, heavy with fresh fish from the island, ready to sell at the mainland ports. He strikes a deal a deal with the merchant captain and boards the ship.

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Lazaroth
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Re: Story and Mythology [SPOILERS]

Post by Lazaroth » 20 Aug 2012, 13:36

Hehe, nice rewrite! Maybe the beginning needs to be fleshed out a bit, but I like it otherwise.

Lets see if we can get even more submissions, so we can take the best parts of the stories.

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