Jump to content
yarpen

Rein NPC - looking for a coder and home

Recommended Posts

Rein NPC Project

 

Introduction

When looking at the cast of NPCs available in Baldur's Gate 2: Shadows of Amn, I have always found two issues that even during years of Modding Community's progress never got actually fixed in a proper way.

- Only one single-classed Thief (Yoshimo)

- Only three Evil characters available

While there are many great mods that introduce new NPCs to the game - most of them really do not touch both of those issues. You can mostly find good-aligned Mages, Fighters, Paladins and Rangers. That could probably be justified by fact that in theory people are generally good. Additional reason for that could be that evil characters are usually just boring with their "kill everything blargh" philosophy. And Korgan is already available, so why copy-pasting him into another character.

 

Still, I always found myself actually hooked into evil characters. While BG2 doesn't really support playing evil protagonist well, I found it to be a pleasure even while most of the time I was ending up frauded by having lesser rewards for finishing quests in the 'wrong' way.

While I cannot really touch that part of the game, I believe I could help in terms of the earlier problem by introducing Rein into the world of BG2.

 

Who is Rein?

Rein is an half-elvish Assassin who cares far more about being paid well than for eternal glory of being a hero. Raised on the streets as an bastardlish outcome of one-night romance antics of Waterdeep's noble and elvish wanderer, he grew strong as the rough place he had to live in shaped him that way. Without home and family he also grew bitter which took a huge impact on his personality. That is probably the shortest description I could provide you with. Now let's get into a bit more detailed one.

 

From mechanical standpoint, that's who he is:

Name: Rein

Class: Assassin (thief)

Race: Half-Elf

Alignment: Neutral Evil

 

Stats: 16 STR | 17 DEX | 11 CON | 13 INT | 9 WIS | 12 CHA

Proficiencies: 1+ Dagger | 1+ Short Sword | 1+ Crossbow | 1+ Club

Skills: major: Hide in Shadows, Move Silently | minor: Pickpocket

 

Portrait: I would love to have a personalized, BG2-like portrait that is actually designed for the character - but at the moment I'd love to use this beautiful piece of work done by Tieflingz and Nix.

 

em0pBtN.png

 

Biography: When asked about his past Rein sighs and reminds you that you paid him to kill people, not to be a storyteller. After a while though, he says he was an outcome of one-night romantics between one of the minor noblemens of Waterdeep and unknown elvish wanderer. As the romance was not in pair with his father's marriage and mother soon disappeared from the city, during the early years of his life he was thrown onto streets of Waterdeep where he managed to raise and survive. The whole story could be just another made-up story he tells, but it actually explains his cruel and cold-blooded personality too well to scold it off that easily.

 

Soundset:

 

Meeting: You've got a problem, I've got a price.

 

Attack 1: You are no challenge for me.

Attack 2: Don't get between me and my gold.

Attack 3: Pathetic!

Attack 4: Long knives, deep wounds.

Attack 5: Kill or get killed!

 

Chosen 1: Everyone has a price.

Chosen 2: New orders?

Chosen 3: My blade is yours.

Chosen 4: Better make it quick.

Chosen 5: Loyality isn't earned. It's bought.

 

Movement 1: Better pay me for that.

Movement 2: Keep up.

Movement 3: Silent steps.

Movement 4: Always look behind.

Movement 5: Clean and cut.

 

Happy: I love the way how we are feared and respected. While gaining that much "popularity" does not serve us well, it never ceases to amuse me.

Unhappy: Our actions gave us a lot of spotlight. Enough of it to make my job much harder.

Quitting: I think we got a big misunderstanding when we signed the contract. Take your goddamn gold, you will most probably give it away to beggars and churches. I'm leaving. Better wish we will never meet again.

 

City: Those back alleys remind me of few fat purses and some shockingly naive nobles.

Dungeon: I like to fight in dark, clustered places.

Night: Let's turn it into night of long knives.

 

Leader: Me leading? I guess you are insane... which makes it still better than you, leading us.

Close to death: Save me, you fool! I don't want to die!

Hide in shadows: Patience pays off, they say.

 

(I admit that I was inspired by League of Legends champions Sivir and Talon. LoL writers do have talent for quirky catch-phrases.)

 

Dialogue Samples:

What actually makes or breaks a joinable NPC are the interactions between him and other NPCs of course. When I started writing content for Rein I've started with breaking down his opinion on other characters and then doing the same in reverse. I will show those thoughts later. What was the most important thing for me while writing Rein was creating something refreshing and keeping him away from Mary Sue syndrome. He is not going to make fun of Anomen or make Cernd like a fool. I try to do my best to actually keep the dialogues appropriate to the already-done by BG2:SoA frames.

 

 

Rein, Minsc

 

Minsc: Come on, little elfling! Stop being so scared of battle. There is no more need to hide in shadows when you have Minsc and Boo at your side!

Rein: I am not an el-- WHAT ARE YOU DOING?

Minsc: Showing you the world that only hamsters and rangers had access to before! Look straight into sky instead of hiding under your hood! Look at the sun!

Rein: -it hurts!

Minsc: Oh, it hurts me as well. I... I feel a bit dizzy.

Rein: Then let me-

 

Minsc: Boo! Boo where are you?! Respond to me with the force of Miniature of Giant Galactic Hamster!

Minsc: Ooh, here you are. And where is our elfling friend?

Rein: -- get *gasp* off me you fool!

Minsc: Oh, I stepped on you. I am glad that Boo was not with me when I did that as the weight of the true Hamster could harm you much more.

Rein: *coughs* I still don't feel my lungs you lunatic!

 

Rein, Korgan

 

Korgan: I want to clarify something. I dislike you Rein.

Rein: Glad to know that my feeling is mutual.

Korgan: I dislike rogues like you. Longlegs with those sleazy eyes always reacting to a drop of coin. Thieves who make me wear chainmail when I sleep and have one hand on my purse while second on the axe.

Rein: Remember dwarf, that you are stepping on the risky topic here. I am no mere thief. If I'd ever had to take your purse - I wouldn't bother with stealing it.

Rein: I'd just took it from your still-warm corpse.

Korgan: Brave words for fancy long-leg like you. Still, that's the exact reason I respect you.

Rein: Mutual feelings, mutual values and mutual interests, isn't it?

Korgan: You seem to understand things we-

Rein: If you think that will help you at sneaking that ace from your sleeve, you are so, so wrong Korgan.

Korgan: Damn it!

Rein: Leave the subtetly for us, long-legs, dwarf.

Korgan: You better don't make me leave my axe in your skull!

 

Keldorn, Rein

 

 

Keldorn: Rein, we need to talk.

Rein: ... huh. Yes?

Keldorn: Listen... have you ever heard about grey paladins?

Rein: Doesn't ring a bell.

Keldorn: Then listen... cautiously. Grey Paladins are the legend, maybe even a myth in the Order of Radiant Hearts. With their strong wills and zealous devotion to their mission of turning this world into better place... they throw away the code. They get the special dispense.

Keldorn: They do everything they can to accomplish their missions. Hiding in shades and infamy to strike the evil from most unexpected place. They disguise themselves as what many would consider evil. And they fight the true 'evil' with any tools they can get.

Keldorn: They cheat, they lie, they stab in the back, they kill.

Rein: Why are you telling me abou-

Keldorn: Silence! ... I... I am no grey paladin. I am just a humble inquisitor, the fist of Torm and Order that hunts the evildoers. But I am also a reasonable man. I just lived far too long to neglect the opportunities.

Keldorn: Rein, while I despise basically every single part of you and pray for your soul and mind to be cleansed from the evil it got captured by - I accept <CHARNAME>'s decision to hire you. Our mission is not usual, so by any means, the methods have to also be unusual.

Rein: ... t-that's all?

Keldorn: That's all. Still, I would reccomend being silent in my presence. And get rid out of my sight. Now.

 

And for maximum tease, Rein's opinions on other party members and protagonist.

 

Team Members he likes:

Sarevok: "I've heard about a story you had with this glowy-eyes fellow. I don't really care about what happened in the past, all I see is the perfect, emotion-less killing machine at your service."

Protagonist: "I would lie if I'd say that I have no interest in your heritage of Bhaal. But remember that the only thing that keeps me from cutting you wide open and looking at this Bhaal's Essence of yours with my very own eyes is the contract you signed."

 

Team Members he accepts:

Edwin: "As long as he can do mess big enough for me to do my work, I can stand his constant blabbering under nose as long as he keeps it quiet enough to not loose it. I mean his nose."

Viconia: "I know too much about poisons and their origins to ever trust a drow woman. She is a real eye-tease, but the closest I can keep her is at the tip of my blade."

Korgan: "We both agree in terms of values we have in life. Gold, women, power and the thrill of kill. Without his raging and messy attitude, I would consider him to be a good companion."

Anomen: "His arrogance is his shield, that suppresses all the emotions he keeps hidden. While he still fools himself with his trust in Helm, one day he will find his true 'himself' I believe."

Haer'Dalis: "He might be a lousy fighter with a big mouth that never close. Still, he is too experienced especially in terms of other planes to disregard him. And don't blame me for liking a fancy rhyme or two."

Jan Jansen: "I am still not sure which one should be trusted less - magic that fizzles so easily or technology that keeps blowing up in his hands? That's a longer thought."

Minsc: "I feel that this mentally ill giant tries to taunt me or disrespect me. But as long as he serves well as huge meatshield and I can hide in his shadow, I find him acceptable. Just for Bhaal's sake, keep him quiet."

Imoen: "Soulless doll, fascinating. Was she a real sister of yours or you were connected just by Bhaal's blood? Those hazy, empty eyes just piqued my interest."

Valygar: "I appreciate a man who understands the value of staying in shadow. Still, the whole 'revenge' just reminds me about all my buffonade clients. At least he values it in the proper way by doing it by his own hand."

 

Team Members he disregards:

Aerie: "I understand that you would like to keep all the long-legged elvish maidens in your companionship. I actually appreciate that. But what's with the idea of putting this lousy magician in the danger of getting hurt? Keep your concubines in the house... that you obviously don't have."

Yoshimo: "Bounty Hunter? Do you intend to catch Irenicus in one of his pathetic traps and then ask him for directions in your life? I don't think so. I wouldn't really count on that Kara-Turian. Owner of these eyes cannot be trusted. He wouldn't be able to grab his pantalones - not to mention a real prey."

 

Team Members he can't stand:

Jaheira: "All her righteouness just ticks me off. And I can't sleep as she keeps crying and screaming during nights mentioning some fool who could be stupid enough to dedicate his happily-over life to her."

Mazzy: "I would be scared of her if she would actually be a fighter. It's not like I can say 'I want to be an orc' and work hard to achieve that. While looking at her pathetic effort might be delightfull at first, I feel confused everytime she says anything. And I'm not mentioning fact that earth beneath our foots starts to talk again."

Nalia: "This spoiled brat has it all! Money, connections, family... and she keeps throwing it at people. Did she cam from some badly written fairy tale? The only thing I can throw at a beggar is my knife."

 

Team Members he is truly afraid of:

Keldorn: "I could stand a chance against him if I'd have the advantage of catching him off-guard. All I can do is to hope that he will be busy enough with hunting witches and mages to never settle on 'puryfiying' me with the flames of justice."

Cernd: "I was once paid to kill a druid that was protecting small forest from ending up in the fireplaces of commoners. Killing him was an easy part. Getting rid off all the bugs and insects biting me every night was much, much harder."

 

Planned Features:

- 2-3 banters for each NPC in Shadows of Amn (at least 1 Rein-focused, 1 NPC-focused)

- 2-3 talks with protagonist that uncover the story of his life

- personal quest/challenge

- tons of interactions and comments

- [optional] small tweaks for evil-aligned players (increased rewards for evil ending of quests, changing very low reputation's effects)

- [optional] small tweaks to Assassin kit

 

Okay, so what do we (me and Rein) need to exist?

1) Coder: I have to admit that I was never good at coding dialogues, and years of being away from Infinity Engine scene didn't improved that. Also, I have to admit that I cannot really spend too much time on the whole thing as job and education make my clock very tight. A help from someone capable of coding things would be awesome.

2) Sub-Forum: I have always dreamed to have a project here on G3. When working on BG2 mods translations I've always focused on mods coming from here. Still, any place where I can have my toys and a lil' bit of community would be appreciated.

 

In later stages, proofread would also be very, very helpfull as it's easy to spot that english is not my native language.

 

That is all from me at the moment. Thanks for your attention - hope you liked what you've read here.

Edited by yarpen

Share this post


Link to post

Impressive! I like that line:

But remember that the only thing that keeps me from cutting you wide open and looking at this Bhaal's Essence of yours with my very own eyes is the contract you signed.
He is authentic, I have to grant him that! I am not that much into evil NPCs, mostly playing good aligned PCs, but this sounds like a deeply outlined character, and I appreciate that.

 

- I don't have time to code him, either, sorry-- but I wish you good luck with the project. (There are awesome tutorials for coding dialogues and NPCs out there, so maybe you want to try nontheless. My experience is that most modders are busy with their own stuff, so it might be difficult to find someone who agrees to do the whole project. Questions to specific scripting problems or bug hunting are answered fast, though.)

Share this post


Link to post
He is authentic, I have to grant him that! I am not that much into evil NPCs, mostly playing good aligned PCs, but this sounds like a deeply outlined character, and I appreciate that.

- I don't have time to code him, either, sorry-- but I wish you good luck with the project.

Thanks for kind words! Hearing that from you is sort of ego-booster. <3

 

(There are awesome tutorials for coding dialogues and NPCs out there, so maybe you want to try nontheless. My experience is that most modders are busy with their own stuff, so it might be difficult to find someone who agrees to do the whole project. Questions to specific scripting problems or bug hunting are answered fast, though.)

I couldn't really learn that during years of modding and translating - I doubt I'll be able to do this now when I have to aggresively cut my sleeping time just to be able to write some stuff. Still, I understand that everyone would rather finish his own project too! ;)

Share this post


Link to post

One thing that stands out to me is Korgan's distinct lack of accent in your dialogue for him.

He has a rather thick accent, even when written, and I think it'd blend in better with the vanilla game, if you added in his accent. He sounds a bit too...polite and vulnerable, at the moment.

 

Rein, Korgan

 

Korgan: I want to clarify something. I dislike you Rein. [Let me be clear wit' ye, groundling. I care not fer yer company.]

Rein: Glad to know that my feeling is mutual.

Korgan: I dislike rogues like you. Longlegs with those sleazy eyes always reacting to a drop of coin. Thieves who make me wear chainmail when I sleep and have one hand on my purse while second on the axe. [Ah cannae stand ye sneak-stab folk, especially the longleg pointy-eared kind. Yir eyes dart to me coinbag, to weak links in me armor. Donnae get any fool ideas, lad... I'm warnin' ye.]

Rein: Remember dwarf, that you are stepping on the risky topic here. I am no mere thief. If I'd ever had to take your purse - I wouldn't bother with stealing it.

Rein: I'd just took it from your still-warm corpse.

Korgan: Brave words for fancy long-leg like you. Still, that's the exact reason I respect you. [Heh, ye got guts, I'll give ye that. 'Tis precisely the reason ah 'ave nae buried me axe into yer skull.]

Rein: Mutual feelings, mutual values and mutual interests, isn't it?

Korgan: You seem to understand things we- [Per'aps] (honestly I'm not sure what to make of this)

Rein: If you think that will help you at sneaking that ace from your sleeve, you are so, so wrong Korgan.

Korgan: Damn it! [bloody ratspit!]

Rein: Leave the subtetly for us, long-legs, dwarf.

Korgan: You better don't make me leave my axe in your skull! [bah. Ye'll not last long wit' me axe twixt yer ribs, ye blasted spriteling. Off with ye!]

 

Just added a few suggestions/examples for his speech.

Feel free to accept or disregard as you see fit. ^^

Edited by Aion

Share this post


Link to post
One thing that stands out to me is Korgan's distinct lack of accent in your dialogue for him.

He has a rather thick accent, even when written, and I think it'd blend in better with the vanilla game, if you added in his accent. He sounds a bit too...polite and vulnerable, at the moment.

I agree. Actually that comes from the fact that I've had no contact with english BG in a long time. What I wanted to do was to write the dialogues properly in terms of emm... content. Facts, opinions - things like that. And then I'd restyle them and adjust to fit the in-game's style as much as possible.

 

Yeah, your version of dialogue just looks much more 'Korganish'. Thanks for the input, it's really appreciated.

I also have to admit that I'd love to give Rein some kind of specific talking style, not sure what yet. I'd probably have to do some goddamn research on 'old english used by thugs and thieves'. :D

 

I have also reconsidered the idea of relation between Keldorn and Rein into something like this.

 

Keldorn: Rein, we need to talk.

Rein: ... huh. Yes?

Keldorn: Listen... have you ever heard about grey paladins?

Rein: Doesn't ring a bell.

Keldorn: Then listen... cautiously. Grey Paladins are the legend, maybe even a myth in the Order of Radiant Hearts. With their strong wills and zealous devotion to their mission of turning this world into better place... they throw away the code. They get the special dispense.

Keldorn: They do everything they can to accomplish their missions. Hiding in shades and infamy to strike the evil from most unexpected place. They disguise themselves as what many would consider evil. And they fight the true 'evil' with any tools they can get.

Keldorn: They cheat, they lie, they stab in the back, they kill.

Rein: Why are you telling me abou-

Keldorn: Silence! ... I... I am no grey paladin. I am just a humble inquisitor, the fist of Torm and Order that hunts the evildoers. But I am also a reasonable man. I just lived far too long to neglect the opportunities.

Keldorn: Rein, while I despise basically every single part of you and pray for your soul and mind to be cleansed from the evil it got captured by - I accept <CHARNAME>'s decision to hire you. Our mission is not usual, so by any means, the methods have to also be unusual.

Rein: ... t-that's all?

Keldorn: That's all. Still, I would reccomend being silent in my presence. And get rid out of my sight. Now.

Edited by yarpen

Share this post


Link to post
When looking at the cast of NPCs available in Baldur's Gate 2: Shadows of Amn, I have always found two issues that even during years of Modding Community's progress never got actually fixed in a proper way.

- Only one single-classed Thief (Yoshimo)

- Only three Evil characters available

Well this doesn't hold water... there's at least 3 evil thieves in the list. Does it matter, not in the slightest.

 

Silly thing, but where should I ask for sub-forum on G3?
From one of the Gibberling Poobah's... CamDawg, Grim Squeaker, theacefes ... I suggest that you think hard and then PM CamGawg your work room request.

Share this post


Link to post
One thing that stands out to me is Korgan's distinct lack of accent in your dialogue for him.

He has a rather thick accent, even when written, and I think it'd blend in better with the vanilla game, if you added in his accent. He sounds a bit too...polite and vulnerable, at the moment.

I agree. Actually that comes from the fact that I've had no contact with english BG in a long time. What I wanted to do was to write the dialogues properly in terms of emm... content. Facts, opinions - things like that. And then I'd restyle them and adjust to fit the in-game's style as much as possible.

 

Yeah, your version of dialogue just looks much more 'Korganish'. Thanks for the input, it's really appreciated.

 

Oh, of course. I understand your working method a little better now. Nothing wrong with that. ^_^ Glad to help.

 

 

I also have to admit that I'd love to give Rein some kind of specific talking style, not sure what yet. I'd probably have to do some goddamn research on 'old english used by thugs and thieves'. :D

 

Or a form of British accent or slang (with varying degrees of...how does one say... "thickness"), adapted to fit general Faerunian speech. I think several characters in Planescape: Torment for example use this.

Share this post


Link to post
Well this doesn't hold water... there's at least 3 evil thieves in the list. Does it matter, not in the slightest.

Yo, actually thanks for that remark. My opinion was biased because they are (mostly) one-day NPCs or projects from smaller communities. So, my bad.

 

From one of the Gibberling Poobah's... CamDawg, Grim Squeaker, theacefes ... I suggest that you think hard and then PM CamGawg your work room request.

That was my first thought as well, but then I also thought "I think I saw CamDawg online for the last time around 2006." Still, will do! Thanks!

 

Or a form of British accent or slang (with varying degrees of...how does one say... "thickness"), adapted to fit general Faerunian speech. I think several characters in Planescape: Torment for example use this.

Thanks for good lead for this one! Actually I believe that replacing Planescape-specific words with something more 'common' for First Material Plane could give a good results. I don't want to overdo the stylization, but I could actually use it as the base.

Edited by yarpen

Share this post


Link to post

Also, small write-up about personal themes of Rein.

I actually believe that every NPC should have some kind of themes. Something that can define them personally. While theme can be simpler or more complex - it usually exists in most of either vanilla NPCs or mod NPCs I look up to when I think 'how I'd like my mod to look like'. So, in terms of Rein, what defines him?

 

1. Hate toward the weakness

As Rein was raised in the extreme conditions of Slumses - he lives by the rule: "Kill or get killed". That does not involve just the killing part. To survive, he had to exploit the weaknesses of his 'enemies', but in his case, nearly anyone was the enemy. As in his youth he was never exposed to other person's kindness - he believes that only strongest can survive, while weaklings are here just to be ruled and feed the strong one. That is why exploiting weaknesses of others comes fairly easy to him and he does that with the pleasure.

What does that mean in contacts with other NPCs? Let's take a look at Aerie. In his opinion, even if she could be considered as fairly talented magician and cleric - she's too scared to survive the adventurer's path. When hunting down Irenicus, he wants to focus just on that instead of babysiting someone who's too scared to actually look at other person's eyes while talking. That is why his contacts with Aerie can become really harsh, he's openly mocking her and asking you (the Protagonist) why would you ever ask her for help. She needs help on her own! That's why his contacts with NPCs like Aerie and Jaheira largely resolve about their insecurities and him abusing those.

 

That's how he lived for the whole life. Learning other people's weaknesses and then using them for his profit.

 

On the other hand he admires power greater than his. He sees the potential of Bhaalspawn, and that's why he offers you signing his contract even while it forces him to join your party instead of being simple assassination which he could handle alone. He even has respect for powerfull, good/neutral characters. His contacts with Keldorn for example are somewhere between being afraid of him and respecting him. He understands he stands no chance in a duel, so as long as he can't catch him when vulnerable and off the party - he has to keep his mouth shut and not even dare to disrespect the veteran paladin.

Some of your decisions might actually have an impact on him. If he'll find you weak and bowing to nearly anyone, he might leave or maybe even betray you somehow.

 

2. Greed

Doesn't need that much of an explanation. Living in penury and then breaking out of it leaves you with taste of both worlds. You want to secure your currently better social position at any cost.

 

3. Racism

I always thought half-elves as characters were severly underdeveloped by never touching the racial issues they could possibly have. Especially if their life was shaped by fact how they were born. In case of Rein, the situation was pretty much extreme and made him dislike both elves and humans. He considers most of elvish women close to being whores, basically. His mother "left him", and that defines his current contacts with elvish women. In terms of humans... he hates the society. As he lived in human-oriented society he sees the whole lowlifes-nobles conflict as the conflict created by human race. He also considers himself a bit superior to them as he was the one who managed to get out of the mess.

If you'll tell me "but it's not rational" - I will agree. Not every thought in our life is rational, especially when we talk about shaping someone's physchology.

Share this post


Link to post
Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...