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Telling A Story Within The Story: Fun with Story Pools

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Telling stories. I could go into a long intro here about the psychology and sociology of male and female bonding using storytelling, establishment of social hierarchies and patterns of mutual attraction as shown through trading of backgrounds, etc.... but really, it's just a toy, not a thesis. So, stories... folks like them.

 

Let's let Aran have some more to share.

 

We have some little "reveals" in place, where storytelling has a point, like Anomen vs Aran over swearing and the vignette about stuffing a stuffy officer in the hold of a trading ship bound for Calimport; we have a past/former/chick-is-toast story for the romance, and here and there we have other small reveals that slip little bits of insight into the character within the existing mod dialog. But one thing that people do while camping, hiking, sitting around in the workroom/lounge, etc., is tell stories to entertain and distract. War stories in particular, among people who are friends and 'been there, done that". Like singing, or telling jokes, or discussing things, these stories can serve as a distraction or as a way of opening up; most of the time, they don't involve bragging (though I am sure we all have a friend who drives everyone nuts by telling stories that do brag - or worse, things like "So, this one time, at Band Camp"... no points for the cultural referent, and shame on you for watching teen raunch flicks in the first place :p ).

 

We have an extensive backstory for Aran already available to mine for ideas, and all of the areas he has visited for more ideas - writing the stories is not the problem. Keeping them short enough, putting them deep enough in the dialog structure so only players who really, really want that deep an engagement with Aran's dialog will see them (we don't want action-oriented players to have to be going "crap, he is talking again.... hit the spacebar 12 times quickly, and maybe we can page through all this and get to the good stuff"). We also want some of them to be scattered about, and some of them to be available via PID or friendtalk as a panel of stories, so if a player is in the mood for a diversion he or she can ask for a few of them in a single sitting.

 

There ends up being three or four simple approaches to this. The first is to write a dialog response that asks or leads directly to the story, and never refer to it again:

 

1. The Straightforward Single-Shot Story

CODE

++ ~[PC] So, Aran, tell me about this lost love of yours. Was she pretty?~ + c-arans_lost_love_story

 

 

This is simple, allows the PC one crack at hearing the story, and even can be varied by allowing players to reference the information later, as other materials in Aran's workthreads around here have already shown:

 

CODE

++ ~[PC] So, Aran, tell me about this lost love of yours. Was she pretty?~ DO ~SetGlobal("c-arans_lost_love_story_told","GLOBAL",1)~ + c-arans_lost_love_story

 

with later on,

CODE

+ ~Global("c-arans_lost_love_story_told","GLOBAL",1)~ + ~[PC] You would think you would never look at another redhead in your life, after what's-her-name up in Moonshea broke your heart and croaked.~ + c-oh_yeah_I_really_appreciate_being_reminded_you_jackass

 

 

We can expand this with three other variants, much like Cromwell's or Cespy's materials run, by creating a pool of potential stories and then either creating a list or creating a loop - or running it the way PIDs create more interest, using a Random approach.

 

Lists

 

A simple list just gives the player a set of options. the simplest of these goes like this:

 

CODE

++ ~[PC] So, Aran, tell me a story.~ + c-aran_story_time

// <-- snip -->

IF ~~ c-aran_story_time

SAY ~[ARAN] Well, to be sure, I can tell a tale, tall or not. What do you be wantin' to hear about?~

/* Pool of Stories to Tell */

++ ~[PC] Tell me a story about cooking.~ + c-carbonanottold

++ ~[PC] Tell me a story about getting to Calimport the fiorst time you saw it.~ + c-arancalimportnottold

++ ~[PC] Tell me a story about that inn where we picked you up. What was his name... Gerris?~ + c-arangerrisnottold

++ ~[PC] Tell me a story about your childhood.~ + c-arandadtradenottold

++ ~[PC] Tell me a story about how you joined the Flaming Fist.~ + c-aranfistfightnottold

++ ~[PC] Tell me a story about fighting in the Moonshea Isles.~ + c-aranmoonfightnottold

++ ~[PC] On second thought, your stories are not that entertaining. Let's just keep going.~ EXIT

END

 

 

This works well - it can be repeated, or linked back in any number of ways, and is very efficient. If a player wants to hear a specific story again, it is right there. We could get fancy, and make a story unavailable after each one by adding globals, which is the way many folks handle giving information - clear out the talks already taken, so that the remaining ones are left for the player to follow.

 

BUT - real folks don't walk around handing out a menu of available "stories". And sometimes they are in the mood or remember different ones. And very seldom do I find myself saying to a friend "Hey, tell me a story about how you became a musician".

 

So, a more interactive approach would be to use the

 

loop

 

CODE

++ ~[PC] So, Aran, tell me a story.~ + c-aran_story_time

// <-- snip -->

 

IF ~~ c-aran_story_time

SAY ~[ARAN] Well, to be sure, I can tell a tale, tall or not. Let's see...~

/* Pool of Stories to Tell */

IF ~Global("c-arancarbonara","LOCALS",1) Global("c-arancalimport","LOCALS",1) Global("c-arancalimport","LOCALS",1) Global("c-arangerris","LOCALS",1) Global("c-arandadtrade","LOCALS",1) Global("c-aranfistfight","LOCALS",1) Global("c-aranmoonfight","LOCALS",1)~ GOTO c-all_stories_told

IF ~Global("c-arancarbonara","LOCALS",0)~ GOTO c-carbonanottold

IF ~Global("c-arancalimport","LOCALS",0)~ GOTO c-arancalimportnottold

IF ~Global("c-arangerris","LOCALS",0)~ GOTO c-arangerrisnottold

IF ~Global("c-arandadtrade","LOCALS",0)~ GOTO c-arandadtradenottold

IF ~Global("c-aranfistfight","LOCALS",0)~ GOTO c-aranfistfightnottold

IF ~Global("c-aranmoonfight","LOCALS",0)~ GOTO c-aranmoonfightnottold

END

 

IF ~~ c-carbonanottold

SAY ~[ARAN] Well, I could tell you about th' rats an' th' Coster waggon...~

= ~[ARAN] <STORY_GOES_HERE>>~

IF ~~ THEN DO ~SetGlobal("c-arancarbonara","LOCALS",1)~ EXIT

END

 

IF ~~ c-all_stories_told

SAY ~[ARAN] Well, I already done told you all th' stories I can think of. I'll think on it, but right now I be stumped.~

IF ~~ THEN EXIT

END

 

 

This "loop" is designed so that each time a different state calls to it, the bottom-most story gets "peeled off" - it plays, sets a global, and the next time through the first reply from the bottom is evaluated false and skipped, allowing the second one to play.

 

This construction is good for PIDs and such, or for (in this case up to 6 ) multiple references in several talks, as every time a player asks to hear a story, a new one is played, until all are exhausted. It has some drawbacks, too - you can't repeat a story, so one misplaced click and it is either reload from a previous save or break out NI or DLTCEP or wade through the .tras - it also does not mirror more natural talk patterns, where people can refer to or say "hey, that Moonshea stuff you were talking about... how did that go again?"

 

The Random approach is repeatable as well, with a different focus. Here, only one story is told in the state, and it can be referred to any number of times, but if every story has been told you can still draw the player off of it:

 

CODE

++ ~[PC] So, Aran, tell me a story.~ + c-aran_story_time

// <-- snip -->

 

IF ~~ c-aran_story_time

SAY ~[ARAN] Well, to be sure, I can tell a tale, tall or not. Let's see...~

/* Pool of Stories to Tell */

IF ~RandomNum(6,1)~ GOTO c-carbonanottold

IF ~RandomNum(6,2)~ GOTO c-arancalimportnottold

IF ~RandomNum(6,3)~ GOTO c-arangerrisnottold

IF ~RandomNum(6,4)~ GOTO c-arandadtradenottold

IF ~RandomNum(6,5)~ GOTO c-aranfistfightnottold

IF ~RandomNum(6,6)~ GOTO c-aranmoonfightnottold

IF ~Global("c-arancarbonara","LOCALS",1) Global("c-arancalimport","LOCALS",1) Global("c-arancalimport","LOCALS",1) Global("c-arangerris","LOCALS",1) Global("c-arandadtrade","LOCALS",1) Global("c-aranfistfight","LOCALS",1) Global("c-aranmoonfight","LOCALS",1)~ GOTO c-all_stories_told

END

 

IF ~~ c-carbonanottold

SAY ~[ARAN] Well, I could tell you about th' rats an' th' Coster waggon...~

= ~[ARAN] <STORY_GOES_HERE>>~

IF ~~ THEN DO ~SetGlobal("c-arancarbonara","LOCALS",1)~ EXIT

END

 

IF ~~ c-all_stories_told

SAY ~[ARAN] Well, I already done told you all th' stories I can think of. I'll think on it, but right now I be stumped.~

IF ~~ THEN EXIT

END

 

 

This has some fun in that Aran can tell random stories, and even repeat himself, as people often do. After all possible stories are told, the dialog politely lets the player know that no matter how many million times they click, all potential pathways have been taken. But this one, well - let's just say that it is bad enough in RL to hear the story of how Jerry got into Harvard for the 17000th time.... so this one is a little too real for me.

 

So, let's play with the loop variant, add a CHAIN to explore how we might allow a player to get an old story retold, and in general "prettify" the whole concept. Let's see what we can do to extend it to allow some repetiton and more interactivity for the player, too.

 

CODE

APPEND ~C-ARANJ~

 

 

/* <<WHATEVER_STATE_I_AM_COMING_FROM>> has three replies added- */

+ ~!Class("c-aran",BARD_ALL)~ + ~[PC] This is depressing and dark. Come on, Aran, liven things up a bit. Tell me a story.~ + c-aran_tell_untold_story

+ ~Class("c-aran",BARD_ALL)~ + ~[PC] This is depressing and dark. Come on, Aran, liven things up a bit. Tell me a story.~ + c-aran_tell_untold_story_bard

+ ~OR(6) ~Global("c-arancarbonara","LOCALS",1) Global("c-arancalimport","LOCALS",1) Global("c-arancalimport","LOCALS",1) Global("c-arangerris","LOCALS",1) Global("c-arandadtrade","LOCALS",1) Global("c-aranfistfight","LOCALS",1) Global("c-aranmoonfight","LOCALS",1)~ + ~[PC] Hey, Aran, I remember you telling a story... can you tell it to me again?~ + c-aran_tell_told_story

 

/* and then, the reply sequence to the above... */

 

IF ~~ c-aran_tell_untold_story

SAY ~[ARAN] I can do that, though I be no bard. Let me see...~

IF ~Global("c-arancarbonara","LOCALS",0)~ GOTO a1433

IF ~Global("c-arancalimport","LOCALS",0)~ GOTO a1432

IF ~Global("c-arangerris","LOCALS",0)~ GOTO c-arangerrisnottold

IF ~Global("c-arandadtrade","LOCALS",0)~ GOTO c-arandadtradenottold

IF ~Global("c-aranfistfight","LOCALS",0)~ GOTO c-aranfistfightnottold

IF ~Global("c-aranmoonfight","LOCALS",0)~ GOTO c-aranmoonfightnottold

IF ~Global("c-arancarbonara","LOCALS",1) Global("c-arancalimport","LOCALS",1) Global("c-arancalimport","LOCALS",1) Global("c-arangerris","LOCALS",1) Global("c-arandadtrade","LOCALS",1) Global("c-aranfistfight","LOCALS",1) Global("c-aranmoonfight","LOCALS",1)~ GOTO c-aran_all_stories_told

END

 

IF ~~ c-aran_tell_untold_story_bard

SAY ~[ARAN] I can do that. Just remember, my bardic days be relatively new, so I don't have them all embellished an' prettified, wi' proper pronunciation an' projection. Sorry about that spittle, there. Somethin' about 'p' words, eh?~

= ~[ARAN] Let me see...~

IF ~Global("c-arancarbonara","LOCALS",0)~ GOTO a1433

IF ~Global("c-arancalimport","LOCALS",0)~ GOTO a1432

IF ~Global("c-arangerris","LOCALS",0)~ GOTO c-arangerris

IF ~Global("c-arandadtrade","LOCALS",0)~ GOTO c-arandadtrade

IF ~Global("c-aranfistfight","LOCALS",0)~ GOTO c-aranfistfight

IF ~Global("c-aranmoonfight","LOCALS",0)~ GOTO c-aranmoonfight

IF ~Global("c-arancarbonara","LOCALS",1) Global("c-arancalimport","LOCALS",1) Global("c-arancalimport","LOCALS",1) Global("c-arangerris","LOCALS",1) Global("c-arandadtrade","LOCALS",1) Global("c-aranfistfight","LOCALS",1) Global("c-aranmoonfight","LOCALS",1)~ GOTO c-aran_all_stories_told

END

 

/*

(Of course, they could also be split up and added to several states, if wanted - it is likely that in the final implementation there will be more stories, and certainly two on this list will be screened out if the player has already had the friendtalk that tells of Calimport or the romance talk that tells about the trading incident. )

*/

 

IF ~~ c-aran_all_stories_told

SAY ~[ARAN] I can think o' naught that I haven't told you already. Mayhap I can tell you one o' them again?~

++ ~[PC] No thanks. If you are out of stories, then I hope you come up with some riddles or something, or this will be a very long trip through the Underdark.~ + <<exitstate>>

++ ~[PC] That sounds interesting. Go ahead, tell me something you have already told. Your stories are always interesting.~ + c-aran_tell_told_story

++ ~[PC] I think we have had enough talk. Let's move on.~ + <<exitstate>>

++ ~[PC] Thank the gods you have run out. You stink at telling stories anyways. I was getting tired of humoring you~ + c-aranshutup75

++ ~[PC] Never mind. I was joking, anyways. I'd rather cut my own throat than hear you blater on about things.~ + c-aranshutup74

END

 

END // of append to c-aranj

 

/* here, we play with CHAIN to allow an expandable state. It only gets triggered if one of those inner conditions is met, so it can build a longer conversation each time a story is told. */

CHAIN ~C-ARANJ~ c-aran_tell_told_story

~[ARAN] Sure thing. I can tell you what I be rememberin', anyways. Let's see...~

== ~C-ARANJ~ IF ~Global("c-arancarbonara","LOCALS",1)~ THEN ~[ARAN]I could tell you about th' rats an' th' Coster waggon again...~

== ~C-ARANJ~ IF ~Global("c-arancalimport","LOCALS",1)~ THEN ~[ARAN] I could tell you about th' first time I got myself to Calimport again, if you want.~

== ~C-ARANJ~ IF ~Global("c-arangerris","LOCALS",1)~ THEN ~[ARAN] I do remember tellin' you about Gerris an' me workin' short haul from Neverwinter to th' Moonshea Isles. That be a tale.~

== ~C-ARANJ~ IF ~Global("c-arandadtrade","LOCALS",1)~ THEN ~[ARAN] I done told you about my father gettin' trapped in th' trade contract... you want to be hearin' it again?~

== ~C-ARANJ~ IF ~Global("c-aranfistfight","LOCALS",1)~ THEN ~[ARAN] I think I told you o' th' time we run off those northmen up in th' Isles, unless you want to be hearin' it again.~

== ~C-ARANJ~ IF ~Global("c-aranmoonfight","LOCALS",1)~ THEN ~[ARAN] I told you about gettin' in wi' th' Fist, but do you want to be hearin' it again?~

== ~C-ARANJ~ ~[ARAN] That be all I can remember tellin' you about, anyhow.~

END

+ ~Global("c-arancarbonara","LOCALS",1)~ + ~[PC] Tell the story about the rats.~ + a1433

+ ~Global("c-arancalimport","LOCALS",1)~ + ~[PC] Tell me about Calimport.~ + a1432

+ ~Global("c-arangerris","LOCALS",1)~ + ~[PC] That Gerris fellow - the one you talked about when we first met. Tell me that story again.~ + c-arangerris

+ ~Global("c-arandadtrade","LOCALS",1)~ + ~[PC] Tell me about the trading gone bad.~ + c-arandadtrade

+ ~Global("c-aranfistfight","LOCALS",1)~ + ~[PC] Tell me how you ended up in the Flaming Fist again.~ + c-aranfistfight

+ ~Global("c-aranmoonfight","LOCALS",1)~ + ~[PC] Tell me about that battle up in Moonshea again.~ + c-aranmoonfight

++ ~I think we have had enough talk. Let's move on.~ EXIT

 

APPEND ~C-ARANJ~

 

IF ~~ c-arangerrisstory

SAY ~[ARAN] Gerris were a right fine companion, way back at th' start o' th' Moonshea work I did, an' right before th' Iron Throne got busy makin' life miserable for honest folk. He trained wi' the Old Order, though sometimes he acted more Sun Soul than anythin' else... an' I be right sorry his daughter an' I , we made things right complicated. Happy, though, on account o' it put me in your path, eh?~

= ~[ARAN] But a long time ago Gerris an' I were workin' across to Moonshea on one o' them short-haul galleys what ply that route out o' Neverwinter. Gerris, he trained me right proper, too, an th' cookin' front. He had to be right creative, on account o' most o' th' crew were Luskan fisherfolk, an' thought a good meal were dried fish an' small beer.~

= ~[ARAN] Well, one o' th' older oarsmen, he took a dislike to Gerris right off. There was naught Gerris could do to please th' bastard. He tried cookin' just what th' oarsman wanted, an' makin' it as special as he could, on account o' a trade galley be a small place, an' a little bad feelin' gets magnified right large.~

= ~[ARAN] The bugger would have naught in th' way o' reconciliation, though, and kept gettin' into Gerris' face. Finally, Gerris told him that if he didn't shape up, Gerris would put a curse on him.~

= ~[ARAN] O' course, th' oarsman laughed it off, an' punched Gerris right proper. Gerris didn't say naught, just took the punch, then made some sort o' gesture. Th' two stalked off, an' everyone gave 'em both as wide a berth as possible.~

= ~[ARAN] Well, two days later, th' oarsman came runnin' up from th' head... that be th' latrine, on a boat, a bathroom, right? Well, he came up just hollerin' bloody murder, ran past us, an' dove over th' side. We looked downon him, an' lo an' behold, that bastard was passin' flame instead o' gas!~

= ~[ARAN] We fished him out proper, an' soon he was as right as rain, but Gerris, he just shook his head an' sighed, askin' after th' man's health. He made a few passes wi' his hands in th' air, an' from then on, noone messed wi' him nor wi' me.~

= ~[ARAN] Now, I don't rightly think there were no magic in Geris' hands, him followin' monks ways so short a time. So when I saw him back wi' his wife an' daughter when I got to Amn a few years later, I got him right drunk an' asked him how he did it. An' that's how I learned that a small amount o' fireberries be a great spice... but you put too many in a man's portion, you'd best be gettin' a new set o' clothes lined up right quick, an' some healin' salves on hand. ~

IF ~~ THEN DO ~SetGlobal("c-arangerris","LOCALS",1)~ EXIT

END

 

IF ~~ c-aranmoonfight // PLACEHOLDER

SAY ~[ARAN] ~

= ~[ARAN] ~

IF ~~ THEN DO ~SetGlobal("c-aranmoonfight","LOCALS",1)~ EXIT

END

 

/* Boy, I have been playing a little Mount & Blade, i think... */

IF ~~ c-aranfistfight

SAY ~[ARAN] Well, I had just come off o' Moonshea, about as down as a lad can be. My ladylove dead, th' Moonshea companies disbandin' on account o' we thrashed th' Iron Throne bastards... well, more like you thrashed Sarevok an' wiped out their command structure, but th' fightin' in the field was still fierce for a bit afterwards. Sometimes it takes awhile for an army to realize that th' war be over.~

= ~[ARAN] Anyways, I was wanderin' around Nashkel, when th' Guildmaster calls me in an' gives me some work punchin' north on th' Trade way. Small caravan, just a full fist, not anythin' big. A tag along, really, as there were a load o' more powerful costers what had hired th' Flamin' Fist to protect some serious tradin' waggons headed up Neverwinter way, an' we were just really for show more than anythin'. But it was work, so I was not goin' to be turnin' it down, eh? We headed out mid-winter, tryin' our luck.~

= ~[ARAN] Well, we made it up into th' hills north o' Nashkel, an' were just south o' Beregost when we ran into a snow squall in th' middle o' a clear day. Me an' Kalavi... she were th' Stave, but she fought well enough, as she had just recently taken up wi' Ilmater and had been a seasoned fighter same as me... we knew there was more to this than just some freak weather, on account o' no snow squall we ever saw had lightnin' accomanyin' it.~

= ~[ARAN] We spurred up ahead straight into th' storm, keepin' our eyes open, her wi' a big staff an' me wi' my trusty sword ready. Th' wind was somethin' fierce, an' we almost wew about to turmn back out when we broke clear into a bubble o' protection o' some sort. We found ourselves suddenly in th' open, at full gallop across a field o' icy cobblestones, runnin' right up th' arse o' two ice trolls an' a whole mess o' orcs.~

= ~[ARAN] Lucky for us Tymora's Coin was spinnin' our direction. They was too busy payin' attention to th' 'Fist in field plate whackin' at 'em, an' th mage what was holdin' off that magical storm wi' some kind o' big bubble shield. Good thing, too, on account o' we coulnd't have stopped short nohow, not at that speed an' wi' all that ice. Kalavi, she started sayin' somethin', some spell I suppose, but thought better o' it fast enough - tryin' to hold a spell while on horseback is way above what most seasoned clerics can do, an' she had no more than four or five spells total granted by her Cryin' God. Me, I don't fight cavalry-style, but beggars can't rightly be choosers, so I leaned forward an' swung wide, hopin' I wasn't about to kill my own mount leavin' me on th' wrong side o' th' shield wall, so to speak.~

= ~[ARAN] Kalavi came in fast an' brought her staff up like some kind o' fancy lance, an' I'll be damned if it didn't do th' trick. She hit at full gallop, nailin' one o' th' ice trolls in th' head an' knockin' it unconscious wi' one hit, an' then her mount leaped clean over th' shield wall, where she could join in on th' fun proper. Took out one o' th' strongest adversaries, did a nice trick, an' it were a pretty sight.~

= ~[ARAN] Me, on th' other hand... well, i hadn't ever fought no ice Trolls before. So I lopped it's head off beautifully, nice clean arc, before i slipped too far forward an' ended up takin' a right fast rollin' tumble off my horse. She jumped th' line an' was safe, but there I was, all th' wind knocked out o' me, actin' as a bowlin' ball in among the orcs. Well, I scared th' crap out o' some o' them, an' they took to their heels... so I thought I was all in th' clear. I rolled right up to my feet, dusted myself off, an' started walkin' forward to th' line. All those Fist an' Kalavi started whoopin' an' hollerin', and so I just sort o' took a bow, thinkin' they was cheerin' me for scatterin' th' whole mob. Just as I did, I feel a whiff o' ice cold air on th' back o' my neck, an' tripped forward flat on my face.~

= ~[ARAN] Well, long story short, I didn't know that ice trolls just grow back if there be no fire nor acid scattered. My lucky little bow an' trip saved me my sorry hide, as there was now two Ice trolls clawin' at me. Th' Fist an' Kalavi clobbered 'em both pincushionin' them wi' arrows an' sling stones spelled wi' fire, savin' my sorry arse. But th' officer in charge o' th' Fist didn't realize it were my own clumsiness an' a twist o' Tymora's Coin what did the trick. She thought I clobbered th' troll, bowled over th' orcs, took a casual bow in front o' th' two trolls, an cool as a cucumber stopped dropped, an' rolled to allow th' rest o' th' unit to take 'em out. She hired us both on th' spot, an' we never told naught about it.~

IF ~~ THEN DO ~SetGlobal("c-aranfistfight","LOCALS",1)~ EXIT

END

 

 

END // of append to c-aranj

 

 

Now, a little tweaking, and a test in-game to see if the story can be consolidated into less screens, or perhaps tightened up, and we have successfully created a set of stories that can be used as a resource for several talks, with replication only if the palyer requests. Using the variables, we can even add replies into other states that reference the information, just the way we tell our friends things in referent to their personal experiences....

 

CODE

+ ~Global("c-aranfistfight","LOCALS",1)~ + ~[PC] Oh no you don't... you stay back here and get those fire arrows ready. You don't want a repeat of that whole Ice troll incident, now do you?~ + c_great_you_used_my_story_against_me_you_bugger

 

+ ~Global("c-arangerris","LOCALS",1)~ + ~[PC] Hells no, you are not doing the cooking tonight. You have been fighting with Viconia again, and Gerris taught you way too many ways to get even!~ + c_who_me?_I_would_never_do_such_horrible_things

Edited by cmorgan

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Cool stuff!

 

Actually writing all those stories is a colossal pain, though, don't you think? I wanted to have a whole raft of them, but wound up with only four, and two of those are lame.

 

But IRL, people do ask for repeats of their favorite stories. How many times have you been at a party, overheard your buddy telling a story for the bazillionth time and listened in to see if it got any better this time?

 

Oh, wow. Super-realism moment, but probably cumbersome to implement. Have some of the stories get more outrageous with each retelling.

 

First time Aran tells the story: So, there we were, and we knew that the only way out of that ravine was blocked by a camp of a half-dozen or so orcs. But Dale had an idea. We waited until morning, when the orcs were all a bit groggy, and we crept up and surprised them.

Second time Aran tells the same story: We were screwed alright. It was Dale's idea to go into that ravine, anyway, but by the time we woke up, there were a dozen orcs blocking the only road out. So Dale, I said, you got us into this mess, you want to tell us how to get out of it? So he came up with this wild idea to wait until the next morning and ambush them while they were still groggy.

Third time ARan tells the same story: We were well and truly screwed. It was Dale's bright idea to camp in that ravine. We needed a fire on account of the six feet of snow that had fallen the day before, and he thought that if we camped there, our fire would be better hidden. Apparently one of the orcs was as dumb as Dale and decided the same thing. So there they were, a score of them or more, blocking our only way out. So, with nothing else to do, I crept into their camp, spiked thier ale with sleeping potion, and we strolled out while they were still scratching their arses and trying to figure out why everything was moving so fast.

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Now that is a way cool idea - and perhaps even something to advance on with banters...

 

== ARAN 1 ~three orcs and an ice troll~

== ARAN 2 ~ten orcs and and two ice trolls, me all alone~

== ARAN 3 ~the whole Crimson Tide orc Tribe, a dozen ice trolls, a fire gialnt, and I was in bad shape, alone, and only had a sharp stick and some twine.~

== KELDORN 1 ~good story.~

== KORGAN 1 ~lousy story - didn't have any blood or guts~

== KELDORN 2 ~err... a little embellished?~

== KORGAN 2 ~you are so full of it.~

== KELDORN 3 ~wow, artistic retelling. My leg must be about to fall off.~

== KORGAN 3 ~you got a lot of cahones for telling that. Speaking of which, did I tell you about the time I singlehandedly demolished an entire flight of dragons with only a dinner spoon and my left front incisor tooth?~

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Just doing my part to sidetrack enrich the mod with some added fun features.

 

Seriously, though, don't do anything that's going to turn this into a chore. If it's a fun extra, do it. If it's just added drudgery, give it a miss.

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Clean up, second draft, reply state for friendship - currently, the access for the lost love is in a lovetalk, and buried a bit, too. Here, we can toss on sample 1 (single instance, straight shot) for a friendship track, but without a compelling reason, there is little chance he will bring up the story.

/* friendship only */
++ ~[PC] So, Aran, tell me about this lost love of yours. Was she pretty?~ + c-arans_lost_love_story 

IF ~~ c-arans_lost_love_story
 SAY ~[ARAN] I never mentioned no lost love. Not to you, not to anyone, as far as I be knowin'. Do you be askin' after a story, or do you just want to avoid this whole conversation, so are misdirectin' it?~
 ++ ~[PC] Misdirecting it. I guess that was not so subtle, was it.~ + c_aran_notsubtle
 ++ ~[PC] Oh, come on. You must have a lost love. You keep talking about women as if you have had experience with them.~ + c_aran_experience
 ++ ~[PC] Forget I asked anything.~ + c_aran_fine_I_will
END

IF ~~ c_aran_notsubtle
 SAY ~[ARAN] Hmmm. Well, you could call it subtle, if you consider screamin' "hey, change th' blighted conversation now or I will cram my fist down your throat" at th' top o'your lungs a gentle admonishion.~
 IF ~~ THEN EXIT
END

/* this one is a fun little  construction - you get  2 top responses in underdark, followed by one of two for Clerics in underdark, then two that always play, then the mirror of the first four for not in underdark. IIt appeals to my sense of harmonious order :)  */
IF ~~ c_aran_experience
 SAY ~[ARAN] Sure thing. I be just dyin' to pour my guts out about some woman what I fell for but lost, tearin' out my heart. Yep, I just love th' whole idea o' draggin' up th' pain, rubbin' it around, rollin' in th' grief, an' sobbin' over losin' a chunk o' my soul for your entertainment. Hells, I can eat ground glass an' pour acid over my head while I am at it, eh?~
 + ~Global("c-drow","GLOBAL",1)~ + ~[PC] That was graphic. Whoever she was, she really hurt you, didn't she. It might help to talk about it...~ + c_aran_no_underdark
 + ~Global("c-drow","GLOBAL",1)~ + ~[PC] You are a fool. You should never let anyone get that close to you. You had better tell me, so I can show you where you made your mistakes.~ + c_aran_no_underdark
 + ~Global("c-drow","GLOBAL",1) Class(Player1,CLERIC_ALL) Alignment(Player1,MASK_GOOD)~ + ~[PC] The gods test us in many ways. I sometimes wish that our spells could mend broken hearts as well as they mend broken heads. But you should unnburden your soul so you can learn from the experience.~ + c_aran_no_underdark
 + ~Global("c-drow","GLOBAL",1) Class(Player1,CLERIC_ALL) !Alignment(Player1,MASK_GOOD)~ + ~[PC] The gods test us in many ways. It sounds like you did not pass the test, because you let her get to you. But you should unnburden your soul so you can learn from the experience.~ + c_aran_no_underdark
 ++ ~[PC] Hey, sorry I brought it up. No need to get all bent out of shape. Forget the whole thing.~ + c_aran_fine_I_will
 ++ ~[PC] Absolutely. It would be even more entertaining if you would shut up and get moving before I decide you are too much of a jackass to allow in this party.~ + c_aran_fine_I_will
 + ~!Global("c-drow","GLOBAL",1) Class(Player1,CLERIC_ALL) !Alignment(Player1,MASK_GOOD)~ + ~[PC] The gods test us in many ways. It sounds like you did not pass the test, because you let her get to you. But you should unnburden your soul so you can learn from the experience.~ + c_aran_no_not_underdark
 + ~!Global("c-drow","GLOBAL",1) Class(Player1,CLERIC_ALL) Alignment(Player1,MASK_GOOD)~ + ~[PC] The gods test us in many ways. I sometimes wish that our spells could mend broken hearts as well as they mend broken heads. But you should unnburden your soul so you can learn from the experience.~ + c_aran_no_not_underdark
 + ~!Global("c-drow","GLOBAL",1)~ + ~[PC] You are a fool. You should never let anyone get that close to you. You had better tell me, so I can show you where you made your mistakes.~ + c_aran_no_not_underdark
 + ~!Global("c-drow","GLOBAL",1)~ + ~[PC] That was graphic. Whoever she was, she really hurt you, didn't she. It might help to talk about it...~ + c_aran_no_not_underdark
END

IF ~~ c_aran_fine_I_will
 SAY ~[ARAN] By Grumbar's Crumbly Arse, you bet I will.~
 IF ~~ THEN EXIT
END

IF ~~ c_aran_notsubtle
 SAY ~[ARAN] Hmmm. Well, you could call it subtle, if you consider screamin' "Hey, change th' blighted conversation now or I will cram my fist down your throat" at th' top o'your lungs a gentle admonishion.~
 IF ~~ THEN EXIT
END

IF ~~ c_aran_no_underdark
 SAY ~[ARAN] No, I don't think it be a good story to tell. This place already be wearin' a big dark patch in my soul. I don't see how bringin' up past pain will help none. Come on, let's get movin'.~
 IF ~~ THEN EXIT
END

IF ~~ c_aran_no_not_underdark
 SAY ~[ARAN] No, I don't think it be a good story to tell. I don't see how bringin' up past pain will help none. Life goes on, and we meet new people. Come on, let's get movin'.~
 IF ~~ THEN EXIT
END

 

And some cleanup on the bigger "pool of stories" idea, too - links to the stories available in friendtalks that are currently set up as one-offs, in /* BG2 FriendTalk 12 c-aranfriendbg2 = 23 : "So once there were three men, sitting around a fire. And one of them got up and said..." TrailTalk, FR style */ IF ~Global("c-aranfriendbg2","GLOBAL",23)~ THEN BEGIN a426

I do need to remember to go back and set them up with a different set of lines if they have been exhauseted before FT 12 plays... which means either using this in place of the original stories, or adding two specific-to-taht-talk ones.

 

I also threw in another "story" idea. Sometimes the person has a story they told that you might want to hear, but they are reluctant to tell (or to be the one to start). For this, the easy choice is the talk about losing his first love; a non-romance player would never hear the story, but a player who would have stopped the romance might have - and an active romance might have. So, if the PC has heard the story, the materials are put into play as a prompt at the end of the CHAIN. there are two brances, one for active romance and another for not-in-romance-any-more, and in each a sympathetic respose gets the story again, and a less than sympathetic response gets a number of different results, including my favorite one (c_aran_experience).

 

The Moonshea Northmen is the application of berelinde's idea, where each successive telling of the story gets more embellished. The initial story to be told gets the origional, but two more versions sow up if the same story is referenced. We can even add it to banters later - like Jan, he could wear out the story. Someone could quote back a section, or say "yeh, yeah... we heard. There were twenty of them. Every time you tell that story, it gets taller and taller a tale". To see how the story advances, watch how the variable "c-aranmoonfight","LOCALS" gets played around with.

 

Third is one of those things I can do for fun here, but no rational person would ever, ever throw the time into coding - in one of the PID materials, if Aran has been Level1 NPC'd or Dual-classed into a BARD_ALL, the player gets a reference to a story that Aran is pursuing instead of chronicalling all the goings-on of the party. Adding a line to the "tell me something i have already heard" elevates a throwaway funny line to a bona-fide Easter Egg, an almost-but-not-completely-impossible condition that grants some opportunity for fun.

 APPEND ~C-ARANJ~

/* <<WHATEVER_STATE_I_AM_COMING_FROM>> has three replies added-  */
+ ~!Class("c-aran",BARD_ALL)~ + ~[PC] This is depressing and dark. Come on, Aran, liven things up a bit. Tell me a story.~ + c-aran_tell_untold_story
+ ~Class("c-aran",BARD_ALL)~ + ~[PC] This is depressing and dark. Come on, Aran, liven things up a bit. Tell me a story.~ + c-aran_tell_untold_story_bard
+ ~OR(7) ~Global("c-arankravitchstory","LOCALS",1) Global("c-arancarbonara","LOCALS",1) Global("c-arancalimport","LOCALS",1) Global("c-arangerris","LOCALS",1) Global("c-arandadtrade","LOCALS",1) Global("c-aranfistfight","LOCALS",1) GlobalGT("c-aranmoonfight","LOCALS",0)~ + ~[PC] Hey, Aran, I remember you telling a story... can you tell it to me again?~ + c-aran_tell_told_story

/* and then, the reply sequence to the above... */

IF ~~ c-aran_tell_untold_story
 SAY ~[ARAN] I can do that, though I be no bard. Let me see...~
 IF ~Global("c-arancarbonara","LOCALS",0)~ GOTO a1433
 IF ~Global("c-arancalimport","LOCALS",0)~ GOTO a1432  
 IF ~Global("c-arangerris","LOCALS",0)~ GOTO c-arangerris 
 IF ~Global("c-arandadtrade","LOCALS",0)~ GOTO c-arandadtrade 
 IF ~Global("c-aranfistfight","LOCALS",0)~ GOTO c-aranfistfight 
 IF ~Global("c-aranmoonfight","LOCALS",0)~ GOTO c-aranmoonfight 
 IF ~Global("c-arankravitchstory","LOCALS",0)~ GOTO c_aran_kravitch_story
 IF ~Global("c-arankravitchstory","LOCALS",1) Global("c-arancarbonara","LOCALS",1) Global("c-arancalimport","LOCALS",1) Global("c-arangerris","LOCALS",1) Global("c-arandadtrade","LOCALS",1) Global("c-aranfistfight","LOCALS",1) Global("c-aranmoonfight","LOCALS",1)~ GOTO c-aran_all_stories_told
END

IF ~~ c-aran_tell_untold_story_bard
 SAY ~[ARAN] I can do that. Just remember, my bardic days be relatively new, so I don't have them all embellished an' prettified, wi' proper pronunciation an' projection. Sorry about that spittle, there. Somethin' about 'p' words, eh?~
 = ~[ARAN]  Let me see...~
 IF ~Global("c-arancarbonara","LOCALS",0)~ GOTO a1433
 IF ~Global("c-arancalimport","LOCALS",0)~ GOTO a1432
 IF ~Global("c-arangerris","LOCALS",0)~ GOTO c-arangerris
 IF ~Global("c-arandadtrade","LOCALS",0)~ GOTO c-arandadtrade
 IF ~Global("c-aranfistfight","LOCALS",0)~ GOTO c-aranfistfight
 IF ~Global("c-aranmoonfight","LOCALS",0)~ GOTO c-aranmoonfight
 IF ~Global("c-arankravitchstory","LOCALS",0)~ GOTO c_aran_kravitch_story
 IF ~Global("c-arankravitchstory","LOCALS",1) Global("c-arancarbonara","LOCALS",1) Global("c-arancalimport","LOCALS",1) Global("c-arangerris","LOCALS",1) Global("c-arandadtrade","LOCALS",1) Global("c-aranfistfight","LOCALS",1) Global("c-aranmoonfight","LOCALS",3)~ GOTO c-aran_all_stories_told
END

IF ~~ c-aran_all_stories_told
 SAY ~[ARAN] I can think o' naught that I haven't told you already. Mayhap I can tell you one o' them again?~ 
 + ~Global("c-drow","GLOBAL",1)~ + ~[PC] No thanks. If you are out of stories, then I hope you come up with some riddles or something, or this will be a very long trip through the Underdark.~ + c_aran_story_exit_state
 ++ ~[PC] That sounds like fun. Go ahead, tell me something you have already told. Your stories are always interesting.~ + c-aran_tell_told_story
 ++ ~[PC] I think we have had enough talk. Let's move on.~ + c_aran_story_exit_state
 ++ ~[PC] Thank the gods you have run out. You stink at telling stories anyways. I was getting tired of humoring you~ + c-aranshutup75
 ++ ~[PC] Never mind. I was joking, anyways. I'd rather cut my own throat than hear you blater on about things.~ + c-aranshutup74
 + ~!Global("c-drow","GLOBAL",1)~ + ~[PC] No thanks. If you are out of stories, then perhaps it is time to go make some ourselves.~ + c_aran_story_exit_state
END

END // of append to c-aranj

/* here, we play with CHAIN to allow an expandable state. It only gets triggered if one of those inner conditions is met, so it can build a longer conversation each time a story is told. */
/* extended bottom response with lost love reference */
CHAIN ~C-ARANJ~ c-aran_tell_told_story
~[ARAN] Sure thing. I can tell you what I be rememberin', anyways. Let's see...~
== ~C-ARANJ~ IF ~Global("c-arancarbonara","LOCALS",1)~ THEN ~[ARAN]I could tell you about th' rats an' th' Coster wagon again...~
== ~C-ARANJ~ IF ~Global("c-arancalimport","LOCALS",1)~ THEN ~[ARAN] I could tell you about th' first time I got myself to Calimport again, if you want.~ 
== ~C-ARANJ~ IF ~Global("c-arangerris","LOCALS",1)~ THEN ~[ARAN] I do remember tellin' you about Gerris an' me workin' short haul from Neverwinter to th' Moonshea Isles. That be a tale.~ 
== ~C-ARANJ~ IF ~Global("c-arandadtrade","LOCALS",1)~ THEN ~[ARAN] I done told you about my father gettin' trapped in th' trade contract... you want to be hearin' it again?~
== ~C-ARANJ~ IF ~Global("c-aranfistfight","LOCALS",1)~ THEN ~[ARAN] I told you about gettin' in wi' th' Fist, but do you want to be hearin' it again?~
== ~C-ARANJ~ IF ~Global("c-arankravitchstory","LOCALS",1)~ THEN ~[ARAN] I could tell you again about th' time Kravitch an' I got into some trouble wi' a few monks travellin' north o' Beregost, if you want.~
== ~C-ARANJ~ IF ~Global("c-aranmoonfight","LOCALS",2)~ THEN ~[ARAN] I think I done old you o' th' time we run off those Northmen up in th' Isles a couple o' times, unless you want to be hearin' it again.~ 
== ~C-ARANJ~ IF ~Global("c-aranmoonfight","LOCALS",1)~ THEN ~[ARAN] I think I told you o' th' time we run off those Northmen up in th' Isles, unless you want to be hearin' it again.~ 
== ~C-ARANJ~ ~[ARAN] That be all I can remember tellin' you about, anyhow.~
END
+ ~Global("c-arancarbonara","LOCALS",1)~ + ~[PC] Tell the story about the rats.~ + a1433
+ ~Global("c-arancalimport","LOCALS",1)~ + ~[PC] Tell me about Calimport.~ + a1432
+ ~Global("c-arangerris","LOCALS",1)~ + ~[PC] That Gerris fellow - the one you talked about when we first met. Tell me that story again.~ + c-arangerris
+ ~Global("c-arandadtrade","LOCALS",1)~ + ~[PC] Tell me about the trading gone bad.~ + c-arandadtrade
+ ~Global("c-aranfistfight","LOCALS",1)~ + ~[PC] Tell me how you  ended up in the Flaming Fist again.~ + c-aranfistfight
+ ~Global("c-aranmoonfight","LOCALS",1)~ + ~[PC] Tell me about that battle up in Moonshea again.~ + c-aranmoonfight
+ ~Global("c-aranCaerCall","LOCALS",1) !Global("c-aranrom","GLOBAL",2)~ + ~[PC] Aran... tell me about losing Gwynneth again?~ + c_aran_do_I_have_to
+ ~Global("c-aranCaerCall","LOCALS",1) Global("c-aranrom","GLOBAL",2)~ + ~[PC] Aran... tell me about losing Gwynneth again?~ + c_aran_why_bring_up_the_past
+ ~Global("c-arankravitchstory","LOCALS",1)~ + ~[PC] That story about the monks. i don't think I remember it.~ + c_aran_kravitch_story
+ ~Global("c-aranwritesstory","LOCALS",1)~ + ~[PC] You have not told me how your romantic fiction is turning out... "Tess of Nashkell?" Or did you decide on "Deborah Does the Dale Lands"?~ + c_aran_need_research
++ ~I think we have had enough talk. Let's move on.~ EXIT

APPEND ~C-ARANJ~

IF ~~ c_aran_do_I_have_to
 SAY ~[ARAN] Look, that be a might sorry set o' feelin's to be messin with. Let's be talkin' about somethin else, eh?~
 ++ ~[PC] I know it might be difficult to talk about, but I find it interesting. Just tell me why you two are not together now.~ + a1655
 + ~!Class("c-aran",BARD_ALL) OR(6) Global("c-arancarbonara","LOCALS",0) Global("c-arancalimport","LOCALS",0) Global("c-arangerris","LOCALS",0) Global("c-arandadtrade","LOCALS",0) Global("c-aranfistfight","LOCALS",0) Global("c-aranmoonfight","LOCALS",0)~ + ~[PC] Well, I guess that is not such a nice story to hear. Tell me something new, then.~ + c-aran_tell_untold_story_bard
 + ~Class("c-aran",BARD_ALL) OR(6) Global("c-arancarbonara","LOCALS",0) Global("c-arancalimport","LOCALS",0) Global("c-arangerris","LOCALS",0) Global("c-arandadtrade","LOCALS",0) Global("c-aranfistfight","LOCALS",0) Global("c-aranmoonfight","LOCALS",0)~ + ~[PC] Well, I guess that is not such a nice story to hear. Tell me something new, then.~ + c-aran_tell_untold_story
 + ~Global("c-drow","GLOBAL",1)~ + ~[PC] Oh, come on. That was a long time ago. You should be able to tell me about her again.~ + c_aran_no_underdark
 + ~!Global("c-drow","GLOBAL",1)~ + ~[PC] Oh, come on. That was a long time ago. You should be able to tell me about her again.~ + c_aran_no_not_underdark
 ++ ~[PC] Come on, Aran. It will amuse me.~ + c_aran_experience
END

IF ~~ c_aran_why_bring_up_the_past
 SAY ~[ARAN] Hey, why bring up this particular bit o' th' past? I done moved on, eh? You should know that better than most.~
 ++ ~[PC] I know it hurts you, but I don't remember what happened. And everything that has happened or will happen to you is very important to me.~ + a1655
 + ~!Class("c-aran",BARD_ALL)~ + ~[PC] Well, I guess that is not such a nice story to hear. Tell me something new, then.~ + c-aran_tell_untold_story_bard
 + ~Class("c-aran",BARD_ALL)~ + ~[PC] Well, I guess that is not such a nice story to hear. Tell me something new, then.~ + c-aran_tell_untold_story
 + ~Global("c-drow","GLOBAL",1)~ + ~[PC] Oh, come on. That was a long time ago. You should be able to tell me about her again.~ + c_aran_no_underdark
 + ~!Global("c-drow","GLOBAL",1)~ + ~[PC] Oh, come on. That was a long time ago. You should be able to tell me about her again.~ + c_aran_no_not_underdark
 ++ ~[PC] Come on, Aran. It will amuse me.~ + c_aran_experience
END

IIF ~~ c_aran_story_exit_state
 SAY ~[ARAN] Mystra's Mouth, I do ramble on, eh? Well, I suppose we should get rollin' anyhow.~
 IF ~~ THEN EXIT
END

IIF ~~ c_aran_need_research
 SAY ~[ARAN] To tell th' truth, I am not rightly sure how it be goin' yet myself. I try to write, but it all comes out purple prose, like "her alabaster skin, scented with the clean fresh delicacy of saffron, gleams in the moonlight. Her scented breath paints hot cicles of lust on his soft, supple skin". Or worse, it comes out all action, like "I watched. You hid. He thrust. She screamed in extacy. We heard the answering groan echoing in the darkened chamber. You could have heard a pin drop in the silence afterwards. They rolled about, hidden under the privacy of darkness and the enspelled silence that protected them".~
 + ~[ARAN] I might have to abandon th' whole romantic fiction idea, an' go for a Heroic Epic. Unless... well, I could rope some willin' female into doin' some contextual research, eh? Mayhap some willin' lass might let me experiment...~
 IF ~~ THEN DO ~SetGlobal("c-aranwritesstory","LOCALS",2)~ EXIT
END

IF ~~ c-arangerrisstory
 SAY ~[ARAN] Gerris were a right fine companion, way back at th' start o' th' Moonshea work I did, an' right before th' Iron Throne got busy makin' life miserable for honest folk. He trained wi' the Old Order, though sometimes he acted more Sun Soul than anythin' else... an' I be right sorry his daughter an' I , we made things right complicated. Happy, though, on account o' it put me in your path, eh?~ 
 = ~[ARAN] But a long time ago Gerris an' I were workin' across to Moonshea on one o' them short-haul galleys what ply that route out o' Neverwinter.  Gerris, he trained me right proper, too, an th' cookin' front. He had to be right creative, on account o' most o' th' crew were Luskan fisherfolk, an' thought a good meal were dried fish an' small beer. Well, one o' th' older oarsmen, he took a dislike to Gerris right off. There was naught Gerris could do to please th' bastard. He tried cookin' just what th' oarsman wanted, an' makin' it as special as he could, on account o' a trade galley be a small place, an' a little bad feelin' gets magnified right large.~
 = ~[ARAN] The bugger would have naught in th' way o' reconciliation, though, and kept gettin' into Gerris' face. Finally, Gerris told him that if he didn't shape up, Gerris would put a curse on him. O' course, th' oarsman laughed it off, an' punched Gerris right proper. Gerris didn't say naught, just took the punch, then made some sort o' gesture. Th' two stalked off, an' everyone gave 'em both as wide a berth as possible. Well, two days later, th' oarsman came runnin' up from th' head... that be th' latrine, on a boat, a bathroom, right? Well, he came up just hollerin' bloody murder, ran past us, an' dove over th' side. We looked downon him, an' lo an' behold, that bastard was passin' flame instead o' gas!~
 = ~[ARAN] We fished him out proper, an' soon he was as right as rain, but Gerris, he just shook his head an' sighed, askin' after th' man's health. He made a few passes wi' his hands in th' air, an' from then on, noone messed wi' him nor wi' me.~
 = ~[ARAN] Now, I don't rightly think there were no magic in Geris' hands, him followin' monks ways so short a time. So when I saw him back wi' his wife an' daughter when I got to Amn a few years later, I got him right drunk an' asked him how he did it. An' that's how I learned that a small amount o' fireberries be a great spice... but you put too many in a man's portion, you'd best be gettin' a new set o' clothes lined up right quick, an' some healin' salves on hand. ~
 IF ~~ THEN DO ~SetGlobal("c-arangerris","LOCALS",1)~ EXIT
END

IF ~~ c-aranmoonfight
 SAY ~[ARAN] Servin' early on wi' Moonshea was a right treat, it was. Th' regiment fought hard, played hard, an' it drank like there were to be no tomorrow. Lots of followers o' Tempus, big on makin' impossible boasts an' then followin' up an' actually makin' good on 'em. ~
 = ~[ARAN] Well, I was a mite green, an' I didn't look like much. They was mostly copper haired an' sharp faced, an' here I looked like a soft version o' th Northmen. So the hazin' began right quick. One o' th' seargents, he got a litle bothered that I were pokin' my nose in around a fair lass, so when it be time for th' first skirmish, I got assigned to scout. He sent me in, declarin' I was no better than a piece o' straw, an' if I had any guts at all I'd go take a piss in th' Northmen's camp.~
 = ~[ARAN] Now, I should say, I was right eager to prove myself, an' I were green to th' isles. I should o' asked what he meant, but I figured it were part o' th' haxzin' ritual, so I slapped my chest in salute an' headed off right quick, sneakin' into th' camp. Now, th' sargeant had told me to go take a piss in th' camp, but how was I to know that meant scout around close to th' fire, then come back an' report? So I found myself some furs, stood up right tall, an' walked straight up to their campfire.~
 = ~[ARAN] I don't know if it were on account o' my features, my hair, my stolen furs, or just Tymora's Coin, though I suspect it were more like 'what th' nine hells does this bstard think he is doin', walkin' up to our campfire'? One o' them said somethin' to me, but me not knowin' th' language, I just let out a huge belch, got ready, an' let fly right into th' campfire.~
 = ~[ARAN] Needless to say, that were a right heavy insult, an' they proceeded to get right vehement about expressin' their anger. The expression came in th' form of a solid beatin'. But it were a right fine distraction, an' the rest o' th' Company descended on th' camp takin' 'em completely by suprise. Th' sergeant, he pull me out o' th' pile o' Northmen what were surrenderin', a mite worse for th' wear, an' laughs fit to die. "Next time", he says, "ask what I mean. I meant scout 'em out, you Axe!". An' that's how I got in wi' them, seein' as they called th' regulars Axe.~ 
 IF ~~ THEN DO ~SetGlobal("c-aranmoonfight","LOCALS",1)~ EXIT
END

IF ~~ c-aranmoonfight2
 SAY ~[ARAN] When I first got to serve, up in Moonshea, I got myself signed up wi' th' loudest, craziest, most boastful set o' followers o' Tempus that walked the Isles. Those men an' women, they would boast o' doin' fool impossible things one night, an' then get 'em done before midday next. ~
 = ~[ARAN] My first time, I didn't know too much more than a recruit, especially as I had never trained wi' no axe, let alone a battleaxe. So I looked a right fool in front o' them. That were a mite bit o' a problem, as they didn't want no outsider endangerin' 'em. Plus, th' seargent had his eyes on a right fine lass, who were lookin' eyes at me. So we get to th' first battle he says "Go on, you little straw-colored bastard, go take a piss in th' Northmen's camp".~
 = ~[ARAN] I were green, as I said, an' just assumed that were part o' th' provin', or part o' th' hazin'. I didn't ask proper what he meant - I took him at his word. So off I go, brazen as brass, pokin' about th' Northmen's camp, lookin' for a way to do what he said. I found me a few furs, put 'em on, an' walked right up to where some big mean lookin' lads were sittin' around their campfire. They looked up at me, I looked down at them, an' one o' them said somethin' in th' way o' a question. Me, I didn't wait... I let out a big belch, grinned a big grin, an' let fly wi' my busines, doin' my best to put out that fire.~ 
 = ~[ARAN] Now, that were a heavy insult, an' th' ten o' them grabbed me right quick an' started to beat th' crap out o' me, whoopin' an' hollerin' an' makin' a ruckus. O' course, that got about every Northman's attention focussed inwards, to see what all th' fuss be, an' soon it were hard to tell how many o' those bastards were pilin' on top o' me lookin' to get a shot in.~
 = ~[ARAN] But it were a right fine distraction, an' soon the rest o' th' Company descended on th' camp takin' 'em completely by suprise. Just at th' point where I was expectin' to see Tymora Herself leadin' me away from my body, th' sergeant an' a few of th' Axes pulled me out o' th' pile o' Northmen', a mite worse for th' wear. He dusts me off a bit, laughin' fit to die. "Next time", he says, "ask what I mean. I meant scout 'em out, you Axe, not really take a piss on 'em!". An' that's how I got to be a bona-fide regular in th' Moonshea Axes.
 IF ~~ THEN DO ~SetGlobal("c-aranmoonfight","LOCALS",2)~ EXIT
END

IF ~~ c-aranmoonfight3
 SAY ~[ARAN] Now, th' first time I done served in a mercenary company, it were a lucky break. I got myself put into th' loudest, craziest bunch o' men an' women, all followers o' Tempus. They were right fine companions, an' fiercer than any other sellswords on th' face o' Faerun - they would boast about doin' impossible things, like runnin' in and loppin' off some Northman Shaman's head under cover o' darkness, an' then they would go do three o' those impossible things before breakfast, just to make a point.~
 = ~[ARAN] Th' first assignment I had, I were greener than spit an' twice as dumb. I couldn't even hold up one o' their axes, an' to make it worse, the seargent's lass was makin' eyes at me an' smilin' somethin' fierce, which were like to tick him off right proper. They was all red-haired sharp-nosed bereserkers, an' here I was just a lickspittle from th' 'Coast, puttin' on like I were somethin'. So the seargent, he pulled me up at th' start o' my first battle, an' he says "Go on in there, you liitle straw-colored bastard, prove you are worth somethin'. Go take a piss in th' Northmen's camp."~
 = ~[ARAN] Now I were as green as grass, an' twice as stupid. What be worse, I was out to prove myself to them. So I didn't even blink, or think to ask what he meant. I slapped my chest in salute, turmned on my heel, an' marched right into that Northmaen's camp bold as brass an' twice as shiny. I grabbed me a set o' furs, an' covered up a mite, an' grunted at a few sentries as I passed, an' soon enough I were at th' Chief's campfire. The Chief, he says somethin' to me questionin' like, but as I didn't know th' language, I just let a big belch rip, gave him a big ol' grin, an' then proceeded to try to put out their campfire usin' only th' equipment th' gods blessed me with an' th' several rounds o' drink what had fortified my resolve before battle.~
 = ~[ARAN] Since that be a right solid insult to a Northman, it be a mite of an understatement to say that my pissin' made them right pissed in return. I don't how many tackled me at once, but it felt like th' whole camp were tryin' to tear me apart wi' their bare hands. It got so bad wi' th' beatin' that I thought I saw Tymora Herself beckonin' to me, helpin' me along to th' next part o' th' journey. But my little adventure had turned into one fine distraction, an' soon enough th' Northmen were takin' to their heels or surrenderin', on account o' th' Axes done overrun their camp while they was beatin' me.~
 = ~[ARAN] Now th' sargeant, he an' a few o' th' Axes pull me out o' th' pile, an' dust me off proper, though they was all laughin' thier arses off. The sargeant, he says to me, he says 'Boyo, next time you don't understand, ask me. I meant scout 'em out, you Axe, not actually take a piss on 'em!" An' that be how I got to be a regular in th' Moonshea axes.~  
 IF ~~ THEN DO ~SetGlobal("c-aranmoonfight","LOCALS",3)~ EXIT
END

/* Boy, I have been playing a little Mount & Blade, I think... */
IF ~~ c-aranfistfight
 SAY ~[ARAN] Well, I had just come off o' Moonshea, about as down as a lad can be. My ladylove dead, th' Moonshea companies disbandin' on account o' we thrashed th' Iron Throne bastards... well, more like you thrashed Sarevok an' wiped out their command structure, but th' fightin' in the field was still fierce for a bit afterwards. Sometimes it takes awhile for an army to realize that th' war be over. Anyways, I was wanderin' around Nashkel, when th' Guildmaster calls me in an' gives me some work punchin' north on th' Trade way. Small caravan, just a full fist, not anythin' big. A tag along, really, as there were a load o' more powerful costers what had hired th' Flamin' Fist to protect some serious tradin' waggons headed up Neverwinter way, an' we were just really for show more than anythin'. But it was work, so I was not goin' to be turnin' it down, eh? We headed out mid-winter, tryin' our luck.~
 = ~[ARAN] Well, we made it up into th' hills north o' Nashkel, an' were just south o' Beregost when we ran into a snow squall in th' middle o' a clear day. Me an' Kalavi... she were th' Stave, but she fought well enough, as she had just recently taken up wi' Ilmater and had been a seasoned fighter same as me... we knew there was more to this than just some freak weather, on account o' no snow squall we ever saw had lightnin' accomanyin' it.~
 = ~[ARAN] We spurred up ahead straight into th' storm, keepin' our eyes open, her wi' a big staff an' me wi' my trusty sword ready. Th' wind was somethin' fierce, an' we were about to turn back out when we broke clear into a bubble o' protection o' some sort. We found ourselves suddenly in th' open, at full gallop across a field o' icy cobblestones, runnin' right up th' arse o' two ice trolls an' a whole mess o' orcs.~
 = ~[ARAN] Lucky for us Tymora's Coin was spinnin' our direction. They was too busy payin' attention to th' 'Fist in field plate whackin' at 'em, an' th mage what was holdin' off that magical storm wi' some kind o' big bubble shield. Good thing, too, on account o' we cound't have stopped short nohow, not at that speed an' wi' all that ice. Kalavi, she started sayin' somethin', some spell i suppose, but thought better o' it fast enough - tryin' to hold a spell while on horseback is way above what most seasoned clerics can do, an' she had no more than four or five spells total granted by her Cryin' God. Me, i don't fight cavalry-style, but beggars can't rightly be choosers, so I leaned forward an' swung wide, hopin' I wasn't about to kill my own mount leavin' me on th' wrong side o' th' shield wall, so to speak. Kalavi came in fast an' brought her staff up like some kind o' fancy lance, an' I'll be damned if it didn't do th' trick. She hit at full gallop, nailin' one o' th' ice trolls in th' head an' knockin' it unconcious  wi' one hit, an' then her mount leaped clean over th' shield wall, where she could join in on th' fun proper. Took out one o' th' strongest adversaries, did a nice trick, an' it were a pretty sight. Me, on th' other hand...~
 = ~[ARAN] ...well, I hadn't ever fought no ice Trolls before. So I lopped it's head off beautifully, nice clean arc, before I slipped too far forward an' ended up takin' a right fast rollin' tumble off my horse. So there I was, all th' wind knocked out o' me, actin' as a bowlin' ball in among the orcs. Well, I scared th' crap out o' some o' them, an' they took to their heels... so I thought I was all in th' clear. I rolled right up to my feet, dusted myself off, an' started walkin' forward to th' line. All those Fist an' Kalavi started whoopin' an' hollerin', and so I just sort o' took a bow, thinkin' they was cheerin' me for scatterin' th' whole mob. Just as I did, I feel a whiff o' ice cold air on th' back o' my neck, an' tripped forwrd flat on my face.~ 
 = ~[ARAN] Well, long story short, I didn't know that ice trolls just grow back if there be no fire nor acid scattered. My lucky little bow an' trip saved me my sorry hide, as there was now two Ice trolls clawin' at me. Th' Fist an' Kalavi clobbered 'em both pincushionin' them wi' arrows an' sling stones spelled wi' fire, savin' my sorry arse. But th' officer in charge o' th' Fist didn't realize it were my own clumsiness an' a twist o' Tymora's Coin what did the trick. She thought I clobbered th' troll, bowled over th' orcs, took a casual bow in front o' th' two trolls, an cool as a cucumber stopped dropped, an' rolled to allow th' rest o' th' unit to take 'em out. She hired us both on th' spot, an' we never told naught about it.~
 IF ~~ THEN DO ~SetGlobal("c-aranfistfight","LOCALS",1)~ EXIT
END

IF ~~ c_aran_kravitch_story
 SAY ~[ARAN] Now, me an' Kravich, we had been workin' our way north half a tenday out o' Beregost, wi' this pair o' monks, see. They kept to themselves, though we thought it was a mite bit odd that they did not seem to pray none, an' th' smaller one giggled a bit much for a monk, but then again we both had seen stranger things than laughin' monks on the Trade Way...
 IF ~~ THEN GOTO a467
END

IF ~~ c-arandadtrade
 SAY ~[ARAN] Well, there were a few times what amounted to good stories when I was plyin' back an' forth on th' family Coster wagon. There was this one time when my father got trapped into a trade contract wi' some shady characters, an' he managed to turn th' tables on 'em.~
 IF ~~ THEN GOTO a465
END

END // of append to c-aranj

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"hey, change th' blighted...
Hey needs to be capitalized. Quoted sentences are funny like that. It's right the second time, though. Go fig.

 

admonishion
admonition, and it appears twice

 

The Moonshea Northmen is the application of berelinde's idea, where each successive telling of the story gets more embellished. The initial story to be told gets the origional, but two more versions sow up if the same story is referenced. We can even add it to banters later - like Jan, he could wear out the story. Someone could quote back a section, or say "yeh, yeah... we heard. There were twenty of them. Every time you tell that story, it gets taller and taller a tale". To see how the story advances, watch how the variable "c-aranmoonfight","LOCALS" gets played around with.
You know it will be a moral imperative that we do some crossmod on this one.
a bathroom
'Privy' is probably the word you're looking for. You didn't really get bathrooms until you got indoor plumbing, and despite the abundance of fountains and clawfooted bathtubs, the absence of public wells... and Aran Linvail's jacuzzi... I haven't yet found a tileset package that includes a toilet.
an' then get 'em done before midday next
This one's tricky. It feels like it needs an indefinite article in there somewhere, but I couldn't tell you where. "... an' then get 'em done before th' midday next"? "... an' then get 'em done before midday th' next"? Or just forget it.
focussed
One S.
just a full fist
What's a 'full fist'?
she were th' Stave
I'm guessing that would be the mage... or the cleric?... anyway, you might want to add "that be the mage, in layman's terms," for clarity. Either that or provide a glossary in the docs folder.

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She screamed in extacy.

Ecstasy

 

Haha that would be the one word I notice misspelled. Oh, where does my mind wander off to...

It's all those romance novels I read :p

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change in scratch file:

 

Me an' Kalavi... she were th' Stave, th' cleric, right? But she fought better than most, as she had just recently taken up wi' Ilmater and had been a seasoned fighter same as me...

 

 

Plus, got the typos and misspppeellllinghths, thank you! Repaired -

 

 

and I think "rope" has to go, too - changed to "I could sweet-talk".

 

still thinkng about "full fist".

The first friendtalk does the "tradespeak" rundown, but only if the player wants it - so perhaps I should not use the slang "full fist; sword, wand, knife, stave, pen " ([one of each for a full protection from most trouble] fighter, mage, thief, cleric, scribe). I was realizing that he does not use his tradespeak much, just the accent.

Edited by cmorgan

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Your stuff will go through lots of revision by the time you're ready to go alpha with it, so I'd hold off on that decision to scrap the tradespeak. It adds flavor without adding gimmicks, and that makes a nice change.

 

The reason I didn't understand it was because this is the second time I'd seen it used. The first time was in PbP, and I didn't understand it then, either. But if Aran is using it all the time, then people will get the idea. Maybe he calls *all* mages Wands, and not just the ones in the party. That would get the point across. And now that you explain the components of a fist, sword, wand, knife, staff, pen, it makes a lot more sense.

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I may need to do some cleanup on this idea, for sure. I am not sure how much will actually get revised, though, more like layered onto - I have ToB content to work up, a quest to build, the letter subplot to work into dialog, and the more adult content is still being built (I have placeholders in some key points), but suprisingly I think I am on track for a June alpha-test and a July beta. Things all install, and I am checking that as I go by installing, decompiling the dialogs for evaluation and recheck, uninstalling, making changes to the .d and .baf, then repeating the sequence. I probably have misjudged timing, though, seeing as this started out as a one-year have-fun-with-code-ideas, and now it is 2010...

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She screamed in extacy.

Ecstasy

 

Haha that would be the one word I notice misspelled. Oh, where does my mind wander off to...

It's all those romance novels I read ???

 

Hope this isn't considered a "necro-post"...I find it amusing that "extacy" was written here, as that's the nickname of the drug MDMA *L*

 

- E

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