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Dialogues, should they be tied to your stats?

  

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  1. 1. How do I want dialogues to work mechanically?

    • Tied to stats, If i want to excel at talking, I should need to devote resources that way.
      120
    • My choices inside the game, like which faction i align with should determine who i can persuade or not
      22
    • Finding the right things to say to each npc should determine if i can sway them (Deus ex HR as an example here)
      20
    • Mechanically tied, but choosen separately from class and attributes, like dividing a pool of persuasion, intimidation, bluff etc points
      32
    • Other, I will explain in the comments
      9
    • All of the above
      116


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Yeah, if you come from PnP RPG, you feel it's too mechanical - there are many times that GMs let the players talk, omitting dice rolls. And good players even can role-play stats.

 

I'd like to see the story unfolded through PC-NPC interactions. I find stat-based conversations often one-off - Maybe good for refreshing but that's just about it. I've kept an eye on reputation system Sawyer was planning since The Black Hound and, if it is going to be unified with deeper conversations like Torment, it can be my dream game. I don't know if the system is going to have mental ability scores and/or dialogue skills but, in either case, I'd like to see more focus on actual role-playing factors than simple and mechanical stat simulations.

 

Bit different note, but, as pointed out, I think Deus Ex: Human Revolutions' conversation system, based on NPC personalities, was an interesting twist. At least, it made the players to think before choosing dialogue lines. Of course, there can be a better implementations but it's a welcome attempt.

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PST did it real well, you had a lot of options pop up based on your stats/knowledge. I would like to see that again, also Vampire the masquerade bloodlines did it well also, you would get new options that were in a new colored font that allowed you to know it was a special option. For example, you would be talking to someone, and then a pink text apeared to let you know there was a seduction option, a blue text opion apeared to know you can persuade, green I think meant threatened, red meant you could use a power to drive someone insane. I love these added bonuses, not just knowlege, but using skills/abilities like using magic option in a conversation piece. Sort of like when you used the force to persuade someone in the jedi games. I also like the option to punch people, or try to pickpocket, or throw a fireball, or seduce, persaude..etc. Based on your stats, it should give you an idea of the percentage of success though. Again, PST did this really well.

 

I loved VTM's dialog system (seduction was pink) and there was domiante (make people do as you say) and dementate driving them insane so they got out of your way.

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Why do people want to limit dialog options so much? It seems so counter-intuitive to me.

 

Tying dialogue options to attributes only limit dialogue options if your purposedly made a character that has low points in everything.

Only if the dialog system is built that way. Tying dialogue options to attributes does whatever the person programming it wants it to do.

 

 

Why do people want to limit dialog options so much? It seems so counter-intuitive to me.

R-P-G, sound it out.

What does that have to do with anything? If I'm roleplaying a character I want it to be as realistic as possible. I want actions and relationships to determine what I can say and how I can say it, not some number on an arbitrarily linear scale. If I want to play a lying son of a ***** as my character, I don't whether people believe me to depend on a bluff stat I choose at the beginning of the game. I want whether people believe me or not to depend on what lengths I go to convince them within the game. If I want to go around bullying people, I want the severed heads of the last town's shopkeeper that I killed dangling from my belt to determine whether the guy's intimidated, not some stat I set at the beginning of the game. Edited by RogueBurger

Me, summed up in less than 50 words:

PHP | cRPGs | Daft Punk | Dominion | WKUK | Marvel Comics | INTP | Python | Symphonic Metal | Breakfast Tacos | Phenomenology | Cards Against Humanity | Awkward Hugs | Scott Pilgrim | Voluntaryism | Dave Chappelle | Calvin and Hobbes | Coffee | Doctor Who | TI-BASIC | eBooks | Jeans | Fantasy Short Stories | Soccer | Mac 'N Cheese | Stargate | Hegel | White Mountains | SNES | Booty Swing | Avocado |

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Why do people want to limit dialog options so much? It seems so counter-intuitive to me.

 

Tying dialogue options to attributes only limit dialogue options if your purposedly made a character that has low points in everything.

Only if the dialog system is built that way. Tying dialogue options to attributes does whatever the person programming it wants it to do.

 

 

Why do people want to limit dialog options so much? It seems so counter-intuitive to me.

R-P-G, sound it out.

What does that have to do with anything? If I'm roleplaying a character I want it to be as realistic as possible. I want actions and relationships to determine what I can say and how I can say it, not some number on an arbitrarily linear scale. If I want to play a lying son of a ***** as my character, I don't whether people believe me to depend on a bluff stat I choose at the beginning of the game. I want whether people believe me or not to depend on what lengths I go to convince them within the game.

 

Right but what lengths you can go to and how good your character is at it should be determined by stats.

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Right but what lengths you can go to and how good your character is at it should be determined by stats.

Why?


Me, summed up in less than 50 words:

PHP | cRPGs | Daft Punk | Dominion | WKUK | Marvel Comics | INTP | Python | Symphonic Metal | Breakfast Tacos | Phenomenology | Cards Against Humanity | Awkward Hugs | Scott Pilgrim | Voluntaryism | Dave Chappelle | Calvin and Hobbes | Coffee | Doctor Who | TI-BASIC | eBooks | Jeans | Fantasy Short Stories | Soccer | Mac 'N Cheese | Stargate | Hegel | White Mountains | SNES | Booty Swing | Avocado |

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Right but what lengths you can go to and how good your character is at it should be determined by stats.

Why?

 

An RPG is more about character skill as opposed to player skill. So say, you try to lie to someone and they call your bluff you might get to try again or try another tactic but your character's skills will determine how successful they will ultimately be.

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Right but what lengths you can go to and how good your character is at it should be determined by stats.

Why?

 

An RPG is more about character skill as opposed to player skill. So say, you try to lie to someone and they call your bluff you might get to try again or try another tactic but your character's skills will determine how successful they will ultimately be.

 

Why can't your current relationship with the guy determine that? If you strategically had someone go into the inn the day before and brag about your exploits and honor, why couldn't that factor in to how well the innkeeper trusts you? What if you pay for an orphan's food in front of him? What if you grab at one of the tavern wenches and he sees it? Why can't those things determine whether that particular innkeeper likes and trusts you or not? There are so many amazing things you can do to construct player-NPC relationships in a game, and all I see are a bunch of people who want their 18 charisma to give them a better dice roll to win checks.

 

Imagine a game where every single NPC had his own dynamic persuasion check for all forms of persuasion, and things you do in the game affect them to one degree or another. Epic deeds get told around the world, local deeds get cheered or booed around a tavern, royal intrigues get whispered in court, and every deed you do for any person and every word you say to them does something to affect that too. I wouldn't trade a stat system for that in a million years.

Edited by RogueBurger
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Me, summed up in less than 50 words:

PHP | cRPGs | Daft Punk | Dominion | WKUK | Marvel Comics | INTP | Python | Symphonic Metal | Breakfast Tacos | Phenomenology | Cards Against Humanity | Awkward Hugs | Scott Pilgrim | Voluntaryism | Dave Chappelle | Calvin and Hobbes | Coffee | Doctor Who | TI-BASIC | eBooks | Jeans | Fantasy Short Stories | Soccer | Mac 'N Cheese | Stargate | Hegel | White Mountains | SNES | Booty Swing | Avocado |

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I would prefer it like it was in planescape tormen - your stats like intelligence determines what you dialogue will be like, your chance of persuasion, and in addition, you have the chance to use information you have found elsewhere to complete some quests.

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I would prefer it like it was in planescape tormen - your stats like intelligence determines what you dialogue will be like, your chance of persuasion, and in addition, you have the chance to use information you have found elsewhere to complete some quests.

 

This

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Why can't your current relationship with the guy determine that? If you strategically had someone go into the inn the day before and brag about your exploits and honor, why couldn't that factor in to how well the innkeeper trusts you? What if you pay for an orphan's food in front of him? What if you grab at one of the tavern wenches and he sees it? Why can't those things determine whether that particular innkeeper likes and trusts you or not? There are so many amazing things you can do to construct player-NPC relationships in a game, and all I see are a bunch of people who want their 18 charisma to give them a better dice roll to win checks.

 

Imagine a game where every single NPC had his own dynamic persuasion check for all forms of persuasion, and things you do in the game affect them to one degree or another. Epic deeds get told around the world, local deeds get cheered or booed around a tavern, royal intrigues get whispered in court, and every deed you do for any person and every word you say to them does something to affect that too. I wouldn't trade a stat system for that in a million years.

 

I would like something like that, a la a reputation system, but combined with stats like I said before. NPCs should have their own stats as well, say perception for detecting lies, etc.

Edited by Metabot
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I would like to see a mix of saying the right thing (ala DX:HR) and stats. Accually, Arcanum is a lot like what I have in mind; you had a persuasion stat for coversations, but you still needed to pick the right options with no up-front idea if that would be the right dialog option.

 

Last part is the important IMO. I would love it if all the conversations were like the Centurion captive in Fallout: New Vegas, where you were not aware if you successful or not until it was all said and done.

Edited by Foefaller

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Why can't your current relationship with the guy determine that? If you strategically had someone go into the inn the day before and brag about your exploits and honor, why couldn't that factor in to how well the innkeeper trusts you? What if you pay for an orphan's food in front of him? What if you grab at one of the tavern wenches and he sees it? Why can't those things determine whether that particular innkeeper likes and trusts you or not? There are so many amazing things you can do to construct player-NPC relationships in a game, and all I see are a bunch of people who want their 18 charisma to give them a better dice roll to win checks.

 

Imagine a game where every single NPC had his own dynamic persuasion check for all forms of persuasion, and things you do in the game affect them to one degree or another. Epic deeds get told around the world, local deeds get cheered or booed around a tavern, royal intrigues get whispered in court, and every deed you do for any person and every word you say to them does something to affect that too. I wouldn't trade a stat system for that in a million years.

 

I would like something like that, a la a reputation system, but combined with stats like I said before. NPCs should have their own stats as well, say perception for detecting lies, etc.

 

I still don't understand the need for stats. Of course there is underlying math: it's a computer program. Why can't those base number be set automatically, and then each player develops his own reputation within the game. What does an 18 charisma even mean to an NPC? All that 18 is, is a quantitative interpretation of how your character acts and deals with that npc. Why can't how your character acts just be how your character acts? I understand why the system developed: it's much easier for a DM managing a table-top session take two numbers, see which is bigger, and tell you if you succeeded or not, than it is for him to juggle half a dozen variables. But we're not talking about a DM, we're talking about a little piece of metal and plastic that can do billions of calculations a second.


Me, summed up in less than 50 words:

PHP | cRPGs | Daft Punk | Dominion | WKUK | Marvel Comics | INTP | Python | Symphonic Metal | Breakfast Tacos | Phenomenology | Cards Against Humanity | Awkward Hugs | Scott Pilgrim | Voluntaryism | Dave Chappelle | Calvin and Hobbes | Coffee | Doctor Who | TI-BASIC | eBooks | Jeans | Fantasy Short Stories | Soccer | Mac 'N Cheese | Stargate | Hegel | White Mountains | SNES | Booty Swing | Avocado |

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Absolutely tie it to stats. Not just attributes or skills but anything you can come across just by playing the game. Perks, faction reputation, inventory. Stats are one of the main ways character building becomes meaningful and your character's personality actually matters to your playstyle.

 

There are a number of ways to add to dialogue outside of stats such as gathering info by gossiping with NPCs or pretty much anything else Alpha Protocol does but it's all in addition to the stat building rather than a complete alternative.

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LET THEM PICK THE SYSTEM.

 

PS:T and KOTOR2 had good dialogue systems, I'm sure they can do it again.

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I liked Arcanum's way of handling it. If you chose really low Int you would sound like a bit of a moron. If you were a evil git all the time people would see you coming and be...oeh noes. If you were charismatic (handled as 'beauty') people would be more easily swayed and like you more.

 

I really enjoyed playing with those conditions but of course it might not be for everyone :p

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The only thing I don't like is having to choose between a powerful fighter who's an idiot, or a genius who can't fight worth squat.

 

But that makes for excellent roleplaying. The low-intelligence dialogue options from the original Fallout games were absolute genius!

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Think of the green mile. Remember the big simple guy, who often said wise things despite not being very smart? Low int, high wisdom. Not sure about his charisma but I he could pull at your heart strings, but given he likely didn't intend to, that he just did, it probably wouldn't be a result of any charismatic score or social skill construct.

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"Step away! She has brought truth and you condemn it? The arrogance!

You will not harm her, you will not harm her ever again!"

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Tied to stats AND skills, I would prefer stats to be something "constant", as in the original Fallout games or The Age of Decadence, and having to use skill points to improve talents like persuasion, bluff, intimidation, repair, lore and all that stuff.

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I'm going for 'all of the above', as the conversation options should vary based on any number of factors. One conversation would give you more options if you have a better persuasion skill, one might become more favorable if you have a high charisma stat, another might give you more options if you use certain spells or abilities, and still another should depend on your standing within a faction (for example, a mage in the mage guild would get more choices when speaking to another member than a fighter). There could even be additional options depending on things you can't change once you create your character like gender, race or class.

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I favour tying it to skill, but nly if we can use any party member as party spokesperson.

 

The Infinity Engine games allowed for that (though I recently had to remind BioWare of that - even the guys who wrote BG2 appearred unaware that characters other than the Bhaalspawn could do the talking), and I hope Eternity will as well.


God used to be my co-pilot, but then we crashed in the Andes and I had to eat him.

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I chose other purely because I went a blend of stat based, and reaction based.

 

Skill/Stat based, the usual charm/intimidate etc. (Or something more interesting if Obs can come up with it)

 

But I also want to see reactivity based on previous actions/decisions. Basic example:

 

A quest earlier has you killing a barman named Bob. Later on you meet John, a mercenary who is Bob's brother. No amount of speech checks can stop a fight ensuing.

 

Why do people want to limit dialog options so much? It seems so counter-intuitive to me.

 

Tying dialogue options to attributes only limit dialogue options if your purposedly made a character that has low points in everything.

Only if the dialog system is built that way. Tying dialogue options to attributes does whatever the person programming it wants it to do.

 

 

Why do people want to limit dialog options so much? It seems so counter-intuitive to me.

R-P-G, sound it out.

What does that have to do with anything? If I'm roleplaying a character I want it to be as realistic as possible. I want actions and relationships to determine what I can say and how I can say it, not some number on an arbitrarily linear scale. If I want to play a lying son of a ***** as my character, I don't whether people believe me to depend on a bluff stat I choose at the beginning of the game. I want whether people believe me or not to depend on what lengths I go to convince them within the game.

 

I want to build a character, so stat based is better. Some people are great liars, some aren't, so If you want your character to be everything, just cheat engine the skills. I would also like to see speech failures, as in the pc tries to lie, but the NPC calls the PC on it's bull.

 

If I want to go around bullying people, I want the severed heads of the last town's shopkeeper that I killed dangling from my belt to determine whether the guy's intimidated, not some stat I set at the beginning of the game.

 

That should still happen sometimes. But should not replace speech skills.


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Dialogue options should be influenced by stats, skills, faction affiliation, and aquired lore.

And that actually exhausts the subject. I would only add reputation to that list. And that way we're in player's heaven and implementer's hell ;)

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I can live with almost every option presented, but like someone above said, I should NOT have to choose between playing a tough idiot or an intelligent wimp. In Torment I ended up using a save game editor to buff all my stats so that I could see all the options in the game that were available through dialogue without being a pushover in combat.

 

I'd like to see the game designed and balanced in such a way that you always have a number of options to deal with most situations. Intimidate if you want, persuade if you want, or kill everyone if you want, but make sure that the player has the ability to make that decision on the spot. Do not design stats in such a way that I'm forced to always pick only one option and am locked out from the rest because of stat destribution or prior unrelated decisions. After all very few people in life approach every other person or situation in the exact same way, so let us pick the best option on the spot without being gimped by the game system.

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