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Friendships and Romances +NPC Idea


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I've just recently started on a npc project of my own and I was wondering what exactly do people expect from friendships and romances?


If I ever get anywhere with this work in progress I would like to have it well polished if/when I ever share it. I would like a variety of dialogue options (but not so many that you would have to scroll down to find your preferred response).


For example I was working on some Friendship talks (PLEASE KEEP IN MIND, yes I realize this isn't how you code them. It's just easier for me to read them in this format. That way I don't stress my brain if I want to change something before I actually properly "code" it)

Barren: Say <CHARNAME>, I was just wondering if you might fill me in on some details.




~ What Details are you inquiring about? -goto DETAILS

~ What's there to know? I already told you the objective of our journey. -goto DETAILS

~ Ask away my good man. -goto DETAILS

~ Honestly Barren, I only hired you to kill things. If you would like to remain on my good side I would suggest you shut your mouth. -goto SHUTIT

~ (ignore Barren) -goto SHUN





Barren: Right. I think I just saw a rat over there... I'll just go kill that then.





Barren: Not a good time to talk I suppose.






I suppose It might be helpful if I fill you in on a few aspects of my npc, although nothing is really set in stone yet.


Name: Barren Elwood

Gender: Male

Race: Half-elf

Age: 25 (Young blood, could change)

Alignment: Chaotic Good (could change)

Class: Fighter (could change)


Background: Barren claims his past is boring and therefore is not worth talking about. He was born into a family in Umar Hills, however before he was old enough to create any memories his parents were killed on their way to Trademeet. He was sent to Athkatla and grew up as an orphan of sorts. He has been working as a helping hand/guard for a fisherman in the docks district for a few good years.


Where you meet: Sea's Bounty Tavern in the Docks district.


Personality: He is always optimistic and attempts to keep the party's morale up with both his silly and dry humor. He isn't afraid of looking like a fool as long as it gets a chuckle from someone. (This next part could change) He has similar views as Valygar regarding magic. Magic has never affected him personally, but he strongly believes the world would be better without it (or at least more "fair" as he would put it).


My basic intention was:

1) I wanted a half-elf in the game lol It may just be me, but I haven't seen too many half-elf npcs.

2) I had this crazy idea for one my pcs that they would hate magic and believe the world would be better without it and so WHAM now Barren believes so. (of course after I planned this all out I realized Valygar had already claimed dibs to the anti-magic campaign :mad: I had a brain fart obviously).

3) I believe every party needs a man who can play the fool! (without being a bard)




As I said, nothing is set in stone.


I would just like to know what "other" people look for in these things. It's easy enough for me to create a npc to my liking, but that would be selfish, no? :beer:


Thank you for your time,

~Jessception, The Mighty Tired

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Making an NPC because you like the character is the best reason out there. If you don't like him, the mod will be boring and/or never completed. That doesn't mean that you should necessarily be in love with the character. When that happens... well, we all know mods where the author seemed a little too fond of the NPC. The modder gets over-protective, the NPC wins every banter, all female non-joinables want to bed him, all male non-joinables want to be him, the NPC always gets the last word, and players start rolling their eyes. As long as you're willing to let your NPC be a punching bag every once in a while, you should be OK. Your characterization that Barren is willing to play the fool for yuks makes me think you're on the right track in that regard.


Ordinarily, I'm not big on orphan NPCs raised by wolves or growing up on the street, but with Barren, I really like it. I like the fact that he pulled himself up and is now getting by as an odd job man in the Docks. It's probably because you meet him in the Sea's Bounty, probably knocking back a few ales to wash the salt out of his mouth. It's a nice, normal, everyman image. With that in mind, his joker personality makes perfect sense. He's probably used to getting teased, for his size, if nothing else. Dockworkers tend to be big and burly, and half-elves just don't have the bone structure for that. He's probably developed a thick skin over the years and has learned to take the sting out of it by making it into a joke.


If he grew up in Athkatla, where magic is against the law and those who practice it are either criminals or thuggish enforcers,* his attitude toward magic makes a lot of sense, too. Why wouldn't he think magic is bad, if the only people he's ever seen use it are doing terrible things with it.


As for what I want out of an NPC, I want him to feel like part of the world. No improbable races (your father was what?), no exceptionally convoluted backstories (everybody's family was at least partially dysfunctional, but when the past gets too tragic or the NPC's life was too eventful, immersion suffers). If I'm playing a mod and I'm snapped back to reality long enough to say "WTF?" it really spoils the mood.


I like it when the NPC shows an interest in what I'm doing but doesn't try to direct my actions. If I've chosen to perform a quest that the NPC couldn't undertake for personal reasons, e.g. a Shadow Thief reluctant to participate in the assassination of Aran Linvale, I would rather have the NPC leave the party and meet up with me later than have the modder make it impossible to accept the quest with the NPC in the party. It's even better when the NPC finds a way to overcome his aversion long enough to get the job done. The best example of this is when Keldorn lies to Reynald de Chatillon about his identity. By rights, Keldorn shouldn't lie. Once the quest was under way, he could have tapped the PC on the shoulder as soon as they entered the Bridge District, said that Anarg would recognize him so it would be better for him to wait back at the Hall, and left, but instead, Keldorn lied. I appreciate his willingness to bend tremendously.


If it's a romance, I want to feel like the NPC cares about my PC. I want to believe that this affection is based on shared interests rather than simply meeting the romance criteria.


Good luck!


* One of my favorite moments in the game is in the Waukeen's Promenade cutscene where the mage chimes in with this really wimpy "You will cease your spellcasting and come with us!" As nasty as the CWs are, he could have had a big, meancing voice, but nope! Cracks me up every time. OK, I'm weird.

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I really like the idea of NPC himself :undecided: Too many characters take themselves far too seriously. One of my favorite banter moments was when Jan and Minsc accidentally teamed up on Sarevok, destroying him with pure silliness :D Simply priceless.


I also like the idea of Barren's dislike of magic as "unfair." Valygar's hatred of magic is purely personal, based on his family's experience with it. Barren's view seems quite mature, in fact. What would he think about clerical magic, or of "primal" magic like that of druids and sorcerers? I don't think there's a problem with characters having similar viewpoints :hm: So long as it's more than:

Val: I hate magic.

Barren: Really? Me too!

But if it's more involved than that...hey, gives them something to talk about.


Like berelinde, I quite like the idea of him having made a life for himself, as it were.


As for what I look for in NPC mods...I like having them feel like a part of the game. Since Barren's spent some time in the Docks, it would be cool to have him addressing dockworkers and sailors by name, adding depth to the scenery NPCs. My other priority is banter, or just NPC interaction - I want a character with believable and interesting dialogue. PC dialogue is not as big a thing for me, but if it's good, the more the better :) Barren sounds like a pleasantly down-to-earth fellow. What does he think about Charname being a child of a god, raised in Candlekeep, adopted by a Harper, center of a prophecy, and all that?


I do like the idea of being able to customize, as it were, NPC/PC relationships beyond romance/friendship/I don't ever want to hear from you ever again. Probably insanely complicated for the modder, but interesting for the player :D


Indeed, there seem to be very few half-elves out there. Khalid and Jaheira of course, but few others, if any.

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