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Dialogues, should they be tied to your stats?


  

319 members have voted

  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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I didn't play a wizard in Torment. I simply got a more mediocre (or well rounded, depending on how you look at it) character becasue I couldn't empahsise certain stats.

 

Anyway, first of all I'm generally for dialogue options based on in-game actions, stats and skills. That said, I don't want that to mean that certain stat combinations have more options than others because then they'd be the attractive ones. Insteam have different combinations have different options, each of them leading in a slightly different direction, so playing with a different build will mean a different experience, adding to replay value.

 

For example, don't make characters like or dislike you based on a charisma score. Perhaps one person likes you for being a smooth talker, while another is attracted to muscles and has an aversion from prissy smooth talkers.

 

By the way, I think that the problem with D&D is that it's so strictly segregated into classes and supporting attributes for them. A fighter could certainly be a better fighter due to having high intelligence or wisdom (experience).

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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.

That's the games I wanted to mention. I really liked the dialogue system in The Age of Decadence where almost every stat and skill could benefit your dialogue options. For example, you could get into the palace by using persuasion, or you could use your disguise skill and dress as a noble, or you could sneak in by using dexterity and stealth. It also adds to replayability since one character can't have all skills maxed.

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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 ;)

^-This ;) So stats, skills, faction affiliation, lore, Reputation.

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Everything: your stats, skills, decisions, the information you acquired... it should all be a factor. Also, your companions should be able to handle the social stuff instead of you, but only in situations where it fits their personality and goals.

"Lulz is not the highest aspiration of art and mankind, no matter what the Encyclopedia Dramatica says."

 

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I chose "all of the above" believing that stats should largely determine your ability to persuade people, but also that other factors such as race, alignment, personality, mutual allies and enemies, etc. should also be a factor.

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In most pen and paper rpgs, your brave band of adventurers generally have a party "face", the group spokesperson, generally the one with the highest charisma or personality or whatever it is called attribute. Attribute selection then plays with skill and class selection, diplomacy and so on. In dnd the classes with the most reason to have a high charisma are bards, paladins and clerics.

 

You know this, so im coming with the point.

 

In a computer game, especially ones like planescape or baldurs gate, the world interacts with YOU, and the party spokesperson is always YOU, regardless of what class/style you play. The best example of this is planescape. Planescape has an amazing story, but in order to get the most out of it you have to devote most of your mechanical growth as you level to your mental stats, leaving you unfit for anything but wizard unless you are prepared to suck. I like to play martial characters, however, and in most computer rpgs playing as what is mainly a fighter leaves you unfit for talking duty, something i find abhorrent. History is, after all, filled to the brim with people good at both talking and fighting, and I'd like for the protagonist of project eternity to be good at dialogue regardless of class choice, like in alpha protocol. Also, locking out content in the form of quests because you dont have a high enough int score is a design choice i cant sympathize with.

 

Rambling over. I've made this a poll because i understand the other argument, that having classes good at talking opens up more replay value, and that people like playing with "dumb" dialogue for laughs. I've also tried to incorporate as many different options as i could think of, but I've might have missed some.

We are not our characters. You may be a social monkey but if you have given your character an Intelligence and Charisma scores of 3 (over 18), then your character should pay the consequences of such poor choices. Base content shouldn't be denied to you but optional content (that includes conversation options) should be filtered by your characters' stats.

 

And it's not like you couldn't use Imoen as "Face" in BG, for example.

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Would be great if it were a completely separate skill(set). In BG2, I either ShadowKeepered my Charisma up to 18, permanently wasted a ring slot, or if I didn't want to feel like cheating scum, I'd roll a Sorcerer pretty much every time - just so my high Charisma wouldn't cripple me.

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Horses for courses, as the saying goes. If there's a dialogue option that you wuld resonably only have available to you if you were a genius, then yes, tie that option to a stat.

 

If you're allied with an enemy faction to the NPC in question and the NPC knows it, then you're not gonna have a hope of being his buddy unless you've got something real good up your sleeve.

 

Want to lie to someone's face? Better hope you're either charming & self confident enough not to give the game away.

 

Alternatly, for many things training in persuasion and diplomacy can make up for other short falls or make the highly unlikely possible.

 

In short, why all of them at once.

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If they're tied to stats - and I'm not totally against this, but given the options I'd prefer them to be tied to faction alliegences, how quests were completed etc. - then I'd want ways for my genius weakling to talk his/her way out of combat.

Does this unit have a soul?

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i think that having extra dialog options based on stats and skills is a must, but (as it was in torment) there must be no clear indication that the dialog option comes from a stat ([science 75],[sneak 50] from FNV)

also its good to have circumstancial options that come from finding hidden knowledge about the guy we talk to (like a ring with an inscription in icewind dale that opened a new set of dialog options with the innkeeper)

faction reputation can also come into play... if the pc is an esteemed member of a faction, the other members will be more prone to believe what he tells them than what they would be if he had a bad reputation

and finaly in important dialogs there should be the option to consult with your companions before choosing an answer. if a required stat or skill is high enough, you may get a new option after hearing them out. if not you may still pick the best of the default answers if your real life stats allow you to do what the character's stats did not, and you may also get the option to let one of your companions answer for you. in the last case you will have a rough idea on what he may say based on his previous input, but you dont get to see what he will say if you pick him.

Edited by teknoman2

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-Teknoman2-

What? You thought it was a quote from some well known wise guy from the past?

 

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We are hardcore role players... When we go to bed with a girl, we roll a D20 to see if we hit the target and a D6 to see how much penetration damage we did.

 

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It's a tough call for me. While I appreciate dialogue being influenced by stats as a part of the immersion of an RPG and also feel that it may add to the replayability (chose a higher charisma class for additional dialogue options) I feel there is a bit of a downside. We're looking for a type of game that is heavily story driven, a heavily story driven game relies on dialogue. I'm not sure it's worthwhile to gimp the most important aspect of the game because someone has chosen to play a "dumb fighter." That said, I suppose if you can manage to always have a high charisma npc in the party to communicate then great .. but I generally prefer my player character to be the voice as well .. provides for more immersion.

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I think that it would work well that certain dialogue options are tied to what has happened and what your character and companions have done, and that you could choose which character in your group will be handling the talking part. There are plenty of books where the main character isn't all that good at talking, but does have a friend or companion that handles the negotations, or another that handles the seduction - after all that's the reason for having a party, everybody can contribute their skills and talents.

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If any of my party members can do the talking, I don't mind it being strongly based on stats. If only the PC can do the talking though, I don't want it to be tied to a stat that helps some classes in combat but not others. A wizard shouldn't automatically be a better talker than a warrior or rogue. I personally would prefer it to be a separate group of stats from the base stats. Sure, my mage doesn't have much strength but I think I could intimidate a shopkeeper with a fireball just as well as an axe. And I think a properly built archer could lie just as well as a wizard without being a weaker archer because of it. So I think having things like lie, intimidation, etc could make sense as their own set of stats that don't require me to put less points in my strength or agility to get.

 

I basically just don't want a system that forces me to play a specific combat class if I want to be effective in both combat and conversing.

Edited by ogrezilla
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If any of my party members can do the talking, I don't mind it being strongly based on stats. If only the PC can do the talking though, I don't want it to be tied to a stat that helps some classes in combat but not others. A wizard shouldn't automatically be a better talker than a warrior or rogue. I personally would prefer it to be a separate group of stats from the base stats. Sure, my mage doesn't have much strength but I think I could intimidate a shopkeeper with a fireball just as well as an axe. And I think a properly built archer could lie just as well as a wizard without being a weaker archer because of it. So I think having things like lie, intimidation, etc could make sense as their own set of stats that don't require me to put less points in my strength or agility to get.

 

I basically just don't want a system that forces me to play a specific combat class if I want to be effective in both combat and conversing.

 

This could add a great twist and allow for a wider field of role playing. For instant, you could recruit Foppy McFopperson, the flamboyant Scottish bard, and use him as a "front man". His charming and disarming smile hides your thuggish and selfish goals, and allows you to maintain a relatively high reputation as a party while you go about beating up old ladies for their bingo money.

 

I wonder if they could queues to the dialogue system if you have a companion say something they are uncomfortable with or disagree with. You could either interject your own comment or get a affection role or something to push the companion into actually saying what you want.

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If any of my party members can do the talking, I don't mind it being strongly based on stats. If only the PC can do the talking though, I don't want it to be tied to a stat that helps some classes in combat but not others. A wizard shouldn't automatically be a better talker than a warrior or rogue. I personally would prefer it to be a separate group of stats from the base stats. Sure, my mage doesn't have much strength but I think I could intimidate a shopkeeper with a fireball just as well as an axe. And I think a properly built archer could lie just as well as a wizard without being a weaker archer because of it. So I think having things like lie, intimidation, etc could make sense as their own set of stats that don't require me to put less points in my strength or agility to get.

 

I basically just don't want a system that forces me to play a specific combat class if I want to be effective in both combat and conversing.

 

This could add a great twist and allow for a wider field of role playing. For instant, you could recruit Foppy McFopperson, the flamboyant Scottish bard, and use him as a "front man". His charming and disarming smile hides your thuggish and selfish goals, and allows you to maintain a relatively high reputation as a party while you go about beating up old ladies for their bingo money.

 

I wonder if they could queues to the dialogue system if you have a companion say something they are uncomfortable with or disagree with. You could either interject your own comment or get a affection role or something to push the companion into actually saying what you want.

 

I like the idea of you telling them what you want them to say. As far as roleplaying goes, I like the idea of only controlling your characters dialogue directly. But I would love if the game included situations where you could choose to have your party members handle a situation. Maybe you need something from a shopkeeper who won't sell to you. Maybe you need information from a thief that you just beat up yesterday and he won't talk to you. You would have to give your companion the information they need to know and instructions on what needs done and then trust them to get it done. Try to send a companion who you treat like crap and maybe they screw you over.

Edited by ogrezilla
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I think all talking will be limited to the main character otherwise that is a LOT more writing to do to customize the speach to fit with all the different NPC characters.

 

ya most likely. and in that case, I hope I am not forced to level up a skill that only helps mages just to be able to have good conversation skills.

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