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Ideas from Petals And Thorns Folks: /* The Bar Fight - Protect My Honor (whether I instigate it or not). */ // One version of this is hidden away in the PD initiated bar flirts - this one can run from an area script, and can be independent from the other. Will have to choose an inn that does not get as much action. // still needs names ad perhaps tightening up. [NPC1] Well now, here's a pretty sight. One <PRO_RACE> girl, not too bad looking, and here we have all three of us just looking a good time. Get out on the dance floor with NPC2 here, and if you are friendly enough, there might not be no trouble.~ >> [PC] Me? How dare you! Aran, are you going to let these people talk to me like this? [EXTERN A] >> [PC] I do not bother with trivialities and insignificant worms. Aran, go take care of these idiots. [GOTO K] >> [PC] (Hide behind Aran and grip his arm tightly, pushing him towards the group.) [EXTERN K] >> [PC] Aran, I think that you should take care of this situation... [EXTERN D] >> [PC] Out of my way, Aran. I would take their heads off, but it probably would do no harm. I will start with their feet, instead. [EXTERN E] [C-ARANJ] A [ARAN] Well, I thought it might be a bit more subtle-like if... >> [PC] ... you acted like a big coward? [goto K] >> [PC] They are treating me badly! Why won't you stand up for me? [goto K] > ROMANCEACTIVE > [PC] I thought you loved me. [goto K] >> [PC] Aran... they are scaring me a little... [goto B] >> [PC] You. Yes, you... the one with the troll face and the breath that smells like a sewer. Five gold says Aran can take all three of you without breaking a sweat. [EXTERN L] [NPC1] K [NPC1] Oh, come on, girl. You haven't had a good time until you have danced with the three of us. And this piss-ant sellsword couldn't handle me, let alone me and my friends. >> [PC] He can hold his own in a fight. But you should be more worried about me. I tend to get over-excited, and might end up removing that tongue. Or perhaps other parts of your body. [EXTERN G] >> [PC] Insignificant, insolent worm. You are beneath my notice. Aran, kill him slowly. I want to hear him scream for mercy. [EXTERN C] >> [PC] (Hide behind Aran and grip his arm tightly, pushing him towards the group.) [EXTERN C] >> [PC] Aran, I think that you should take care of this situation, quickly. [EXTERN D] >> [PC] Out of my way, Aran. I would take their heads off, but it probably would do no harm. I will start with their feet, instead. [EXTERN E] /* Shy/Wants Aran To Be Protector PC EXIT */ B [ARAN] Right, then. You heard the lady, lads. Do you be wantin' to settle this on arm wrestlin', brawlin', or should we just skip right to it an' see what th' insides o' your guts look like when they be spread over th' wall over there? [EXTERN I] I [NPC1] Look who's a big man, now. Are you looking for a fight? [EXTERN J] J [ARAN] Well, now, laddie... I don't rightly look for fights. But by Bane's Bloody Buttocks, so far there's naught that I have left unfinished. You care to step outside? DO ~SetGlobal("c-arbarfight",LOCALS",1) ActionOverride("npc1",Enemy()) ActionOverride("npc2",Enemy()) ActionOverride("npc3",Enemy())~ C [ARAN] Now then, lads, th' lady don't rightly take kindly to...[EXTERN N] /* PC Orders Aran to Handle Things EXIT */ D [ARAN] Who, me,? Aye, then, I guess I could do that. You go on about th' business, an' let me handle 'em. = [ARAN] (Pssst - here, then, lads - a round on me. You wouldn't want to cross her right now, eh? She's a mite more powerful than she looks.) >> [PC] Why didn't you fight for my honor? You acted like a big coward. [goto M] >> [PC] They are treating me badly! Why won't you stand up for me? [goto M] > ROMANCEACTIVE > [PC] I thought you loved me, and would protect me. But you just paid them coin and let them get away with it. [goto M] >> [PC] That was unpleasant. I am glad you found a way to make them go away without spilling their blood. [goto M] >> [PC] Oh, for heaven's sake... You. Yes, you... the one with the troll face and the breath that smells like a sewer. Five gold says Aran can take all three of you without breaking a sweat. [EXTERN L] /* No Bloodshed Exit */ M [ARAN] I was watchin' you close, I was. I figured you didn't want a couple o' drunk buggers to get blood all over your nice clean clothes, so it seemed like a good idea to let 'em down easy. Besides, we have real enemies what to fight. If we go killin' every set o' drunken bastards what act like idiots, we will depopulate Amn. EXIT /* Aggressive PC Exit */ E [ARAN] Now, <CHARNAME>, be easy... they be just little gnats. You might mess up a nail or somethin', an then where's you be? I'll tell you what. You go get a nice cup o' tea, an' sit right there, an' I'll give you a good show. You want one o' their eyes, or mayhap a nose, or do you just want an ear or two to hang next to your collection o' Drow ears an' Dragon's teeth? >> [NPC1] Drow ears? >> [NPC2] Dragon's teeth? >> [NPC3] Err... we were just leaving. Just a few high-spirited remarks, no harm meant. [goto F] F [ARAN] No problem, lads. Only don't be comin' round here much, eh? Me, you might be able to fight to a standstill. Her, she looks like a shrinkin' violet, right up until th' time you realize her hand's holdin' what's left o' your intestines. An' then she starts gettin' mean. EXIT /* Mediation Fails */ [NPC1] So, big protector, eh? I didn't know prostitutes around here had the money for a mercenary escort. You get out of the way, or you will be sorry. [EXTERN O] O [ARAN] I'm goin' to rip your head off an' piss down your neck. DO ~SetGlobal("c-arbarfight",LOCALS",1) ActionOverride("npc1",Enemy()) ActionOverride("npc2",Enemy()) ActionOverride("npc3",Enemy())~ EXIT /* PC Protective of Aran or just Fiesty Exit */ G [NPC1] Oh, big man, having her fight your battles for you. [EXTERN H] H [ARAN] Believe me, son, you don't be knowin' her like I do. Last one who ticked her off only lost a few pints o' blood an half his scalp. O' course, that was me, an' she needs me around for to carry stuff an' such. You, not so much. [EXTERN L] L [NPC1] I hear lots of hot air, but you don't look that tough, either of you. Come on, boys... they don't need all that coin. Get 'em. DO ~SetGlobal("c-arbarfight",LOCALS",1) ActionOverride("npc1",Enemy()) ActionOverride("npc2",Enemy()) ActionOverride("npc3",Enemy())~ EXIT /////////// You folks have to tell me when things go to far with language and imagery. Evoking strong reactions with language is a fun goal, but I am not interested in evoking the "I am uninstalling this mod and never playing it again" reaction. //////////// /* From P&T - I always wondered why no PC ever really embarrassed themselves with their love interest... with all the packing they must do, it's amazing no PC has accidentally left something private or incriminating out which was then found by another party member. */ /* Umberlee's Undulating Undergarment */ /* Embarrassing Things Aran > PC */ [ARAN] Now, I don't rightly think that this be mine, eh? >> [PC] ARAN! Put that away before someone sees you! [goto A ] >> [PC] No, I think those are mine. Where did you find them? [goto B] >> [PC] No, they are not mine. Do you want to explain why you have another woman's undergarment in your pack? [goto C] >> [PC] I did not realize you liked women's clothes so much. We should put you in some of the 'armor' they make available to us, and see how you like having a chainmail bikini to hide your most intimate parts. [goto D] A [ARAN] What I be tryin' to figure is why all th' fuss over a scrap o' linen. Although I suspect it has a mite to do wi' exactly what that scrap be coverin'. How about next time we do some clothes washin', you check where things be stored? People might get th' wrong idea. EXIT = IF ROMANCE ACTIVE [ARAN] Or worse, they might get the right idea. EXIT B [ARAN] Mixed up in thy' socks an' such in my pack. Last time I did th' party chores, I must o' not sorted so well. Sorry about that. No harm done, eh? >> [PC] Those are some of my most private possessions! Give them to me right now. [goto E ] >> [PC] From now on, I will do my own washing. You stick to things that you are less likely to mess up. [goto E ] > NOROMANCE > [PC] Well... I guess you could keep them... [goto F ] > ROMANCE > [PC] Well... I guess you could keep them... [goto G ] C [ARAN] Well, Sune's Sweet Stomach, if they be not yours, then... [goto CANONICAL_WOMEN_IN_PARTY] CANONICAL_WOMEN_IN_PARTY AERIEJ [AERIE] ARAN! Th... those are mine. [goto H ] NALIAJ [NALIA] That is personal property, and finding quality silk and lacework around here is difficult. Give them to me, please. [goto H ] EDWINA ? [EDWINA] You foul creature! Unhand my undergarments, you moronic baboon. And keep your lusts to yourself. I may be a magnificent looking woman, but I am still Edwin Odesseiron, Red Wizard. Indignities will be met with swift and horrific punishment! [goto H ] JAHEIRAJ [JAHEIRA] Underclothing is functional protection provided for the comfort of the wearer. I reclaim mine now, Aran. [goto I ] VICONIJ [VICONIA] Spidersilk is expensive, rivvil. If a single strand is damaged, I shall carve temporary patches out of your skin. [goto I ] IMOEN2J [iMOEN] Hey! That's mine! Give 'em here! [goto I ] H [ARAN] Bane's Blood, she be blushin' worse than a beet at fall harvest. She damned near glows! I guess I will not be volunteerin' to do no more o' th' group laundry anytime soon. I [ARAN] Itishia's Icy Iris, that were one cold glance she just gave me. Gave me th' chills, it did. I guess I will not be volunteerin' to do no more o' th' group laundry anytime soon. IF ! AERIE ! NALIA ! EDWINA ! JAHEIRA ! VICONIA ! IMOEN [ARAN] Bane's Blood, I don't rightly know whose this be. But somemone be missin' some right private clothin'. I guess I will not be volunteerin' to do no more o' th' group laundry anytime soon. D [ARAN] Just th' though o' that hurts in places not mentionable in polite company, eh? But no, I don't find no excitement in these kinds o' clothin' unless th' owner be showin' em off to me with 'em on. You be sure they are not yours? >> [PC] Those are some of my most private possessions! Give them to me right now. [goto E ] > NOROMANCE > [PC] They are mine. But... I guess you could keep them... [goto F ] > ROMANCE > [PC] They are mine. But... I guess you could keep them... [goto G ] >> [PC] Not mine, oh great washer of clothing. But by all means, keep holding a woman's private undergarments up and waving them about like a flag. It makes you look so masculine. [goto CANONICAL_WOMEN_IN_PARTY] E [ARAN] All that fuss over a little scrap o' clothin' no bigger than a good-sized handkerchief. But here you go. Don't want no one to think I be keepin' your panties as no souvenier or naught like that. Bad for morale, eh? F NOROMANCE [ARAN] No why would I want to be doin' that? It seems a right strange thing to use as a token or favor, an' I be no knightly jouster. All that fuss over a little scrap o' clothin' no bigger than a good-sized handkerchief. Here you go. Otherwise, it might be bad for morale, eh? G ROMANCE [ARAN] Now why would I want to be doin' that? Me, I'm a right simple soul. I'd much rather get rid o' such nonsense an' see you th' way th' gods created you. All that fuss over a little scrap o' clothin' no bigger than a good-sized handkerchief. Here you go. I'll be a mite more careful sortin' next laundry day. /* The Scroll Of Blushing */ /* Embarrassing Things PC > Aran */ [ARAN] Hey! Put that down! That don't rightly belong to you! >> [PC] This little scrap of paper? Here, I did not realize that it was yours. [ A ] >> [PC] Anything left out in public is mine. Why? What is on it? [ B ] >> [PC] A random scrap of parchment lying around has no owner. I think I shall read it aloud, though, since you seem so worried about me picking it up... [ C ] >> [PC] You should keep a closer eye on your belongings. Your punishment for carelessness is that I shall read it aloud. [ C ] A [ARAN] Thank you right kindly. You didn't read it, now, did you? >> [PC] Unfortunately, yes. The imagery was quite... detailed. one might even say explicit. [ G ] >> [PC] Not yet. But anything left out in public is mine. Why? What is on it? [ B ] >> [PC] A random scrap of parchment lying around has no owner. I think I shall read it aloud, though, since you seem so worried about me picking it up... [ C ] >> [PC] You should keep a closer eye on your belongings. Your punishment for carelessness is that I shall read it aloud. [ C ] >> [PC] Of course not. Though if it is private, I think you should be more careful about how you dispose of things like this in the future. [ G] B [ARAN] Nothin' much. Just some scrapped practice writin'. Nothin' there, no ma'am, nothin' to see. >> [PC] Unfortunately, I just lied to you. I read it. The imagery was quite... graphic. One might even say explicit. And apparently, you are very creative in your approach to spelling. [ G ] >> [PC] A random scrap of parchment lying around has no owner. I think I shall read it aloud, though, since you seem so worried about me picking it up... [ C ] >> [PC] You should keep a closer eye on your belongings. Your punishment for carelessness is that I shall read it aloud. [ C ] >> [PC] Of course not. Though if it is private, I think you should be more careful about how you dispose of things like this in the future. [ G] C [ARAN] Come on, <CHARNAME>... be a good <PRO_MANWOMAN>, a credit to all what call themselves '<PRO_RACE>'. It were a rough draft, and a bad one at that. Just give me th' blasted thing an' forget you ever saw it, eh? >> [PC] "My Dearest Love, how can I count the ways that you excite me, how you arouse my innermost passions and lusts." Hey, Aran, you misspelled 'excite', unless Chondathan somehow borrowed several Rashemite alphabet characters while I was not paying attention. "The way that both your..." not going to read that word... nor that one... "move, bouncing like twin horses tethered in tandem, two terrific trepidacious terrific..." No, you spelled that wrong, too... err... I have never heard that body part described quite that way. Hmmm. So, you are a leg man, too? No, you seem to go on and on about wonderous caves of passion, and something about spelunking, and here you have split an infinitive... 'to boldy go where no man has gone before?' Quite colorful. I think you should go into comedy writing with Volo. [ D ] >> [PC] Of course I will give it to you. Though if it is private, I think you should be more careful about how you dispose of things like this in the future. [ G] >> [PC] Of course I will give it to you. Though I did get a glimpse at the salutation. 'My Dearest Love'? Who were you writing to? [ F ] D [ARAN] <CHARNAME>, for th' love o' th' gods, stop readin' that an' give it back, eh? >> [PC] Oh, no. I intend to keep this and read it at our next inn. It should be good for a laugh and a free round of drinks. You couldn't get a professional Bard to write some of this stuff! >> [PC] Only one question... who was this draft intended for? What gracious woman were you intending to reduce to a puddle of laughter with this missive of misplaced words and awkward imagery? [ F ] >> [PC] I had no idea you were so colorful in your writing, Aran. I thought you might parse a love letter "If the party in the foresaid paragraph, to be henceforth referred to as 'The Lover', does agree to a private meeting the time of which to consist of not less than one-half (1/2) hour, as determined by the established Dale Reckoning Sundial, then aforesaid party shall indicate acceptance by..." [ G ] F [ARAN] Wild horses couldn't get that answer out o' me, no way, no how. Oh, Bane's Blood, go on then. Laugh away. I'll be on about my business. G [ARAN] Banes Broken Bones. I should take to eatin' my trail versions just to make sure they don't fall into th' wrong hands. ////////// As always, if someone sees another pathway that should be incorporated, or has suggestions, fire away!
OK. In no particular order, we have a soundset sketched and coded sans the actual sounds, and that has given a "voice" to our dude. We also have a set of SoA banters, 2 banters per canon BioWare™ NPCs, to define Aran's outlook to the reader/player through how he interacts with the other members of the party. The writing on ToB banters is slower going, because frankly while I have played SoA to death, playing ToB has not always been on the ticket. So we will let that ruminate a bit more, and perhaps even wait for another week, while things percolate. Let's go ahead and sketch out the friendship talks in rough form. Preparation and Thought-Experiments otherwise known as a variant on the spells "Confusion" and "Horror" called recently on the forums "Wall of Text", wherein the author creates meaningless psychological, sociological, and revisionist studies for his own amusement and the purposes of stunning and confusing the reader into accepting his basic premise without thinking too deeply. Go me! OK, notes to myself. Also called "Journaling", by all these new kids. For good thought-provoking discussion on dialog writing, banters, and characterization, the place I like to go is PPG and JCompton. If you follow that link, it is just the Mod general discussion board; poke around at the other stuff, and you get more threads dealing with this kind of stuff. He says up front that all of his ruminations on guidelines may or may not have been broken in stuff he writes, and that there are lots of ways to do this dialog integration thing. Sure. I agree that slavishly following a set of blueprints of any kind is anathema to creative expression; but his discussion threads bring experienced coders, writers, and readers to the table and get them discussing what makes decent gameplay and dialog work together. Plus he wrote Keto, who has to be one of the coolest "companion" - like mods out there, in my opinion, even though there is no romance track (or perhaps because there is no romance track). So reading that is good prep. And I have very seldom read something that I though was a bad idea on those explorations - he knows his stuff. At least then when I chose to do something odd, it will be because I am making a choice, instead of just blindly leaping into the void. And, of course, there is playing experience - I know what I like about other NPCs and what I find frustrating/lacking, so that helps - reading other folks' stuff is like listening to decent jazz players and seeing how they take the changes, modify the melody, and make a "standard tune" their own. (OK, let's be really painfully truthful - sometimes it provides the "how-not-to" demonstration. But negative energy rips years off of your life. And sometimes what you don't like about someone else's stuff helps figure out what you do like, and might make your work better). This one comes with a caveat. I am writing Aran for my own amusement, but I would like it if one or two folks have some fun too. So probably leaving him open to more possibilities is a good idea. I play way too many Paladin runs. Then again, all this deep philosophical stuff really is moot. It's a mod, not a dissertation. And most folks these days seem more interested in pages and pages of discussion rather than actually creating anything for players to play - so I'll cut off the additional twenty pages of deep philosophical blather, and simply refer you to the "Cathedral" vs "Parlor" debate summarized best by Wrye in Morrowind modding, the various threads around the i.e. community that ask deep questions, and let you knock yourself senseless against *other* peoples' Wall of Text™ spellcasting, unless you make your Save vs Insanity. I find thse have increasingly distracted me from actually doing stuff I like doing, so I am going all tough love on myself - tTo quote my favorite sports movie, Jerry MacGuire - "Show me the money". OK, no cash, so my old Junior High shop teacher - "Lots of talk. Who cares. Build the *&^%^& thing. Then we'll talk." Friendship Paths and FriendTalks and Friendhip Talks and Friend Banters So, what's in a name? At base, all friendtalks are PC>NPC banters. In fact, though I agree with JCompton that railroading a player through only one dialog choice is a waste of material, technically all that is required to build a friendtalk is to have Of course, that's boring. So what do we do? Before we go exploring all the ways to mess with player's heads add all sorts of cool stuff to branch out different options for the NPC and PC, it might be a good idea to sketch out an organization. It will help keep the writing focused and on-task, provide a guide for me to see how close things are to a finishing point, and most of all it will be a good idea-sparker while playing BG2 and seeing how Aran might react. I see two basic ways that would work for my style and my patience level. We can go all Pointilistic/Atomistic/Impressionist, and randomly write some scenes that appeal to us between Aran and the PC, and see what happens. Fun to do, and the way many NPCs are coded. Here, a couple of scenes that have no relation to eachother get tucked into the story. We could always build a "friendship track", where a series of talks lead from an initial lightweight banter through the development of a friendship - basically, a "Platonic Love Talk Sequence", as opposed to a "Romantic Love Talk Sequence". Here, the depth of the relationship is patterened, and there are opportunities for the PC and Aran to "break up" as friends, or at minimum to become "frenemies" [what a horrible word. Yuck.]. Guess what - I like both ideas. But I am not writing the Next Great American Novel™, so how about we ignore the list completely, and go with a middle ground - a "sequence" of talks, so that I have some targets and goals to shoot for and an idea of what kind of topics/stuff I want to have Aran and PC talk about, plus some semblance of a track. But all those random ideas that may not fit into a track, or may have conditions, set them up as "floaters", outside of the sequence. Later on, I can add in the changes needed to adjust to romance/no-romance, and perhaps even for more specific situations.