Dialogue thread, error-checking

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DestinedToDie
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Dialogue thread, error-checking

Post by DestinedToDie » 26 Aug 2017, 13:03

Peasant class description:

Peasants are physically well-developed as a result of their continuous manual labor. They are best acquainted with weapons that can be used by simple brute force. While the typical peasant is a law-abiding citizen, they have the potential to become masterful thieves.

Merchant class description:

Merchants are well-versed in the art of trade. As such, they have a certain degree of familiarity with the goods that they sell and know how to make use of them, if need be. While a good merchant has many items in disposal in case of danger, they rely mostly on the protection of hired guards.

Guard class description:

Guards are trained men tasked in protecting the interests and wealth of their contractors. They are suited for battle, but their main purpose lies in intimidating and quelling any potential law-breakers just by the act of being present and visible.

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Re: Dialogue thread, error-checking

Post by DestinedToDie » 26 Aug 2017, 15:08

When you start a new game:

You have arrived in Whiteford. According to the map, it's a lone fortress surrounded by Deadwood. However, it seems that there is a small populace living outside of it in houses built from dead trees and old hay.

Innkeeper Arno dialogue:

Greeting when first met:

Welcome to Hay Sack. Come here looking for a sack to lie in? Or perhaps you'd like a drink? How about some rumors?

Greeting:

Back for some drinks?

Sack

For just 2 gold coins you can hit the sack upstairs. What do you say?

Choice 1: Here's the gold.
Response if player has gold: Enjoy your stay.
Response if player doesn't have gold: You come asking me for housing with empty pockets? I don't serve beggars, go sleep in a forest or something.

Choice 2: No thanks.
Response: Why'd you even ask then?

Rumors:

A mug of my ale can loosen up even the most restrained guard's tongue. And according to him, our lord's advisor here at Whiteford was up in arms about some old book being stolen. Lord Markus assured him that he'd have the theft looked into, but so far hasn't assigned any of the guards on this task.

Journal

I heard a rumor about some book being stolen from Whiteford. Perhaps I could get the approval of Lord Markus to investigate the theft.

Rumors (if player has progressed in questline)

Lots of rumors going around. Stories about the trees moving, the deceased crawling out of their graves at night, creatures disguised as humans visiting us. You're not one of the latter, right? Just asking. As far as I'm concerned, these are nothing more than just rumors, but a few centuries ago when Whiteford was just being built, they did have people dying left and right from strange causes. If you don't believe me, go to the graveyard and read the stones, it's all documented there.

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Re: Dialogue thread, error-checking

Post by DestinedToDie » 26 Aug 2017, 19:33

NPC Eevald

Greeting when first met:

I know a new face when I see it. Not like we have a lot of faces here anyway. What brings you to Whiteford? There's not much to do here.

Greeting afterwards:

Nothing interesting in this village, except for maybe the odd rumors.

Rumors

I didn't see it for myself, but I heard that one night Toivo, our local lumberjack, came running back from the woods naked. Ever since then, he's refused to do any work outside the village. According to him, the trees forcefully undressed him. According to me, he's a little coo coo.

Trees Journal 10:

A local in Whiteford told me that their lumberjack Toivo refuses to work outside the village. The exact cause of this is still unclear.

Toivo greeting:

Toivo Sahkpuu, expert lumberjack. Or at least I used to be.

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Re: Dialogue thread, error-checking

Post by Thunderforge » 29 Aug 2017, 02:49

Are you looking for people to check over this for grammatical errors? Or some other kind of feedback?


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Re: Dialogue thread, error-checking

Post by Thunderforge » 01 Sep 2017, 01:54

DestinedToDie wrote:
26 Aug 2017, 13:03
Peasant class description:

Peasants are physically well-developed as a result of their continuous manual labor. They are best acquainted with weapons that can be used by simple brute force.
My first impression with this was that it would lead to them being a fighter roll, given their proficiency with tools and them being accustomed to hard labor. Then I read this:
DestinedToDie wrote:
26 Aug 2017, 13:03
While the typical peasant is a law-abiding citizen, they have the potential to become masterful thieves.
That was a bit surprising to me. Honestly, I thought the merchant would wind up being a thief. If we want to keep it as a thief, perhaps something like this:
Peasants are the backbone of society and are often ignored by those of higher social classes. Given that they are everywhere and few pay attention to them, they have the potential to become masterful thieves. They are best acquainted with weapons that can be used by simple brute force.
DestinedToDie wrote:
26 Aug 2017, 13:03
Guard class description:

Guards are trained men tasked in protecting the interests and wealth of their contractors. They are suited for battle, but their main purpose lies in intimidating and quelling any potential law-breakers just by the act of being present and visible.
If the world of Example Suite has as the same amount of gender equality as The Elder Scrolls, then this should probably say "trained men and women" (if the class is limited to men, then I guess it's fine). Also, "protecting the interests and wealth of their contractors" sounds like they are mercenaries. Perhaps "protecting the public" and later "their main purpose lies in maintaining order and quelling..."
DestinedToDie wrote: When you start a new game:

You have arrived in Whiteford. According to the map, it's a lone fortress surrounded by Deadwood. However, it seems that there is a small populace living outside of it in houses built from dead trees and old hay.
Is this a dialog that pops up? I think that this may be a situation where "show, don't tell" would be better. Why not have a sign that says "Welcome to Whiteford" and just have the map as an inventory item, then let the player figure this out?
DestinedToDie wrote: Greeting when first met:

Welcome to Hay Sack. Come here looking for a sack to lie in? Or perhaps you'd like a drink? How about some rumors?
According to Wiktionary, "sack" meaning a bed is a colloquial expression in the US. I wonder if that would confuse players in other parts of the world. Perhaps change it to "room"?

Also, in both this greeting and the future greetings, he talks about drinks. Perhaps have a line of dialog where he talks about what he has to offer.
DestinedToDie wrote: Response: Why'd you even ask then?
Because I wanted to know what the price was? If you want the innkeeper to be rude without making the player wish they could have a retort, maybe say "Then quit wasting my time" or something.
DestinedToDie wrote: NPC Eevald

Greeting when first met:

I know a new face when I see it. Not like we have a lot of faces here anyway. What brings you to Whiteford? There's not much to do here.
"I know a new face when I see it"? Does anybody not know a new face when they see it and mistake it for an old face? I dunno, it just sounds awkward. Also, it sounds like Eevald is jumping around a lot. "I know a new face. We don't get any new people here. Why are you here? There's nothing to do." I think the main thing is asking a question and then not waiting for a response. Ending a piece of dialog with a question seems better since it sounds like the player is responding to it by picking a conversation topic. Maybe rephrase it like this:
We don't get a lot of new faces, since there's not much to do here. What brings you to Whiteford?
DestinedToDie wrote: Toivo greeting:

Toivo Sahkpuu, expert lumberjack. Or at least I used to be.
In Morrowind, this would probably be under the "Job" topic. As it is, it's a little unusual since the other two NPCs don't say their name at any point. I suppose you could change it to "I'm an expert lumberjack. Or at least I used to be".

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Re: Dialogue thread, error-checking

Post by DestinedToDie » 01 Sep 2017, 11:27

My idea for peasants was that they would have blunt weapon, axe, hand-to-hand, unarmored and athletics as major skills. And sneak, security, short blade, light armor, mercantile as minor. Stealth as specialization. This way you would have a major fighter class who could invest time in getting good with thievery if they want, but wouldn't be proficient with it right away. I changed it a little:

Peasants are physically well-developed as a result of their continuous manual labor. They are best acquainted with weapons that can be used by simple brute force. Given that they are everywhere and few pay attention to them, they have the potential to become opportunistic thieves.

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My idea for merchant was in a way similar to peasant, except his stealth specialization would match his major merchant skills while the minor weapon and armor skills would be hard to train. I don't see merchants dual-classing as thieves, because they are generally tradesmen with reputations to hold. Perhaps they would buy from thieves (Oblivion Thieves Guild stolen item merchants), but not do the stealing themselves. All of their weapon skills are in minor, so it's not like they can become warriors with ease either. I've kept them the same.

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Removed the Whiteford intro. I kind of like the idea of dropping the player into the middle of the woods without explanation, so why not? Leave it to them to imagine why they're there. :)

I also replaced sack topic with room, as suggested.

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Eevald's dialogue is changed. He now greets with:

Ahh, a new face in the village. We're mostly visited only by merchants and garrison replacements. Did you travel here with them? Or are you like Father Reinold?

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The "expert" dialogue is actually an obscure reference. I would like to keep it as-is.

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Re: Dialogue thread, error-checking

Post by DestinedToDie » 01 Sep 2017, 16:04

Eevald's dialogue on Father Reinold:

Usually people travel here through road and in a group with merchants and guards. But Father Reinold? He just appeared alone out of the woods one day.

Arno's dialogue on Father Reinold:

Business was good before he showed up. You'd think no one in their right mind would listen to that madman, right? Well, think again, because he's made almost all of the permanent residents go sober. Thanks to him, I only make profit off of the guards that've been recently rotated into the garrison.

Heino Tamre greeting when first met:

You're new here, so I'll give you a little bit of advice. Should you see Father Reinhold, walk the other way. Don't give him any lip service or you'll become like the others.

Heino Tamre on Father Reinold

I never cared for God, so I didn't pay Father Reinold any attention when he first appeared and started spouting religious nonsense. But others listened. It changed them in a way. They never hit the drinks anymore and now greet me with the coldness of a stranger. It's as if they aren't even the people I used to know.

Heino Tamre greeting afterwards:

Don't tell me you've gone sober. Here, have a free drink on me.

Thanks, buddy. Bottoms up!
Cheers!

I'd rather not.
I figured as much.

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Re: Dialogue thread, error-checking

Post by Thunderforge » 05 Sep 2017, 05:36

I think the improvements for peasants are good, and I appreciate the explanation for the merchant. And glad that you're going with a mysterious open now. I think the curiosity will help :D
DestinedToDie wrote:
01 Sep 2017, 11:27
Eevald's dialogue is changed. He now greets with:

Ahh, a new face in the village. We're mostly visited only by merchants and garrison replacements. Did you travel here with them? Or are you like Father Reinold?
Sounds much better to me, and as you've discovered, gives an option to talk about Father Reinold.
DestinedToDie wrote:
01 Sep 2017, 11:27
The "expert" dialogue is actually an obscure reference. I would like to keep it as-is.
I guess the issue isn't so much the line, but more just that it's strange that he's the only NPC that starts conversation by stating his name. If you wanted to keep it, adding it as a default "job" conversation topic could work, and then Eevald et al could have one too.
DestinedToDie wrote:
01 Sep 2017, 16:04
Heino Tamre on Father Reinold

I never cared for God, so I didn't pay Father Reinold any attention when he first appeared and started spouting religious nonsense. But others listened. It changed them in a way. They never hit the drinks anymore and now greet me with the coldness of a stranger. It's as if they aren't even the people I used to know.
The line of dialogue "I never cared for God, so I didn't pay Father Reinold any attention when he first appeared " raises all sorts of questions to me. I know that Father Reinold appeared out of nowhere, so I assume he's from my earth. But Heino is saying that he knew about God (apparently the same one Father Reinold preaches) before he came. Up until this point, I assumed that the world was a generic fantasy world, likely with its own gods like Tamriel. But now it's assumed to have the same God as Christians of our world. So how much religion and culture are shared between these two worlds? Has there been religious figures like Father Reinold in the past?

If this line of dialogue is raising questions you didn't intend and you want the indigenous faith to be nondescript and unexplored, then you could probably just change it to "I never cared for religion…" to save trouble. Or if part of the story is that Farther Reinold's faith is clashing with the indigenous faith, then perhaps say something like "I never cared for the gods or anything" and add some lines from somebody (maybe not this character) about the contrast between the two religions.

Or if the viewer is supposed to be asking the questions I am, then keep it in. Not knowing anything about the plot, my pet theory at this point is that there have been more people, perhaps dozens, who have appeared in the past and I'm only the latest.
DestinedToDie wrote:
01 Sep 2017, 16:04
Heino Tamre greeting afterwards:

Don't tell me you've gone sober. Here, have a free drink on me.

Thanks, buddy. Bottoms up!
Cheers!

I'd rather not.
I figured as much.
Two things. First, will Heino Tamre give a free drink every time you talk with them? That doesn't seem like a very good business model. Maybe it could be changed to only the second time with a different dialogue for any time after the third?

Second, the response "Thanks, buddy. Bottoms up!" seems a bit problematic to me. I think the issue is that I tend to project myself onto my characters, and that is something I'd never say, so it would take me out of the immersion. Morrowind tends to have very generic forced responses for that reason, I think. Also, what if my Disposition with him is 0%. Would I really say "buddy" at that point? Changing it to "Thank you" or something generic seems better, as I can imagine myself having whatever feelings I want towards Heino.

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Re: Dialogue thread, error-checking

Post by DestinedToDie » 05 Sep 2017, 08:50

I'm happy that you like the mysterious open.

I intend to give the expert greeting to other specialty NPCs, it's just that I haven't made them yet. While many NPCs have a class, specialty comes to play with NPCs that have expertise interactions or if their expertise is relevant in the context of a quest.

About the God thing. My intention is to have a singular God as in my vision this is a place where people know and have only heard of one God. As to which God it is, I didn't have any plans on elaborating, leaving it open for the imagination of the players. Though God plays an integral part in the short main quest I'm writing, it's more of a plot twist than a focus.

The setting is Lovecraftian, with the Necronomicon and all. A medieval type of Lovecraftian. The almost black and white colors of the textures is a subtle give-away if you've watched movies like Whisperer in the Darkness. It's part of why I've been a little bit reluctant to change them despite people telling me I should colorize... maybe they'll grow to like the atmosphere it gives as the project matures into a more developed state and they can see where I'm going with this?

Arno Hein is the bartender. Heino Tamre is a paranoid alcoholic who tests people with drinks. I suppose their names are too similar, I should change that. I'll change your responses with him to be more neutral. Also, I probably should make it so that he only gives you 1 drink.

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