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Dialogue in Eternity  

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  1. 1. Just dialogue or dialogue + descriptions?

    • Hello there! Care to peruse my wares?
      75
    • "Hello there!" he says enthusiastically, but his eyes shift from left to right. "Care to peruse my wares?"
      290
  2. 2. Skill prerequirements in dialogue or chance to fail?

    • You see a dialogue option and know it will succeed (you have the prerequisites)
      130
    • You have a percentage chance to succeed (e.g. 65% on a bluff check)
      143
    • You see what kind of stats you need to have in order to succeed
      92


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If you want to roleplay a brute, why should the system arbitrarily prevent you from doing that? I've played BG2 runs where my stats were modded to they're max, because if I want to play a demigod I should be able to. The restriction of the game engine aside, why does the game have to hold your hand? Are you scared that you won't stick to the character you're roleplaying just because the option is there? It boggles my mind that people want restrictions.

I want a roleplaying game that is more open, not more restricted.

 

Because restrictions can be challenging. Just tell me, did you like Oblivion?

If you want restrictions, restrict yourself! That's the whole point! If you build a game with X number of restrictions, you have X number of restrictions, the end. If you build a game with open-ended system, you can play the game however you want. Maybe you want to play a character who is normally super eloquent, but can't say two syllables together in front of women. You have the dialog options for that and you can manage your character's personality yourself. Maybe you want to play a half-orc (or whatever the token brutish race is in the system) who is actually very intelligent, but prefers to hide it and speak like a 3 year old like the rest of his kind, but occasionally if you win over his trust, he'll break out and have real conversations. The possibilities are endless when the game doesn't arbitrarily restrict you to the molds it thinks you should fall into. And as long as the options are there, you can still play all those typical modes.

 

I'd give vanilla Oblivion a 7.0/10; the stat system was quite broken in my opinion. Fully modded with my slew of choice mods, 8.9/10.

Alas I think this is all pretty much impossible without a human DM in the works to steer thing toward some semblance of order. As for me it's too much LARPing, I see houses full of cheese rounds.

Say no to popamole!

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If you want restrictions, restrict yourself! That's the whole point! If you build a game with X number of restrictions, you have X number of restrictions, the end. If you build a game with open-ended system, you can play the game however you want. Maybe you want to play a character who is normally super eloquent, but can't say two syllables together in front of women. You have the dialog options for that and you can manage your character's personality yourself. Maybe you want to play a half-orc (or whatever the token brutish race is in the system) who is actually very intelligent, but prefers to hide it and speak like a 3 year old like the rest of his kind, but occasionally if you win over his trust, he'll break out and have real conversations. The possibilities are endless when the game doesn't arbitrarily restrict you to the molds it thinks you should fall into. And as long as the options are there, you can still play all those typical modes.

 

I'd give vanilla Oblivion a 7.0/10; the stat system was quite broken in my opinion. Fully modded with my slew of choice mods, 8.9/10.

 

The game system should be both open and limited. You shouldn't have to dictate every aspect of your character. The game world should "react" to your character and the options available to your character should reflect what skills you have. That doesn't mean you can't play how you want, you just have to be more forward thinking I think.

Edited by Metabot
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Why does that need to be a stat? Give me 10 dialog options to choose from, and make the more nervous sounding one have a negative impact on the innkeeper. I don't need a stat system to tell me what I am and am not allow to say, I want to say whatever I want my character to say and develop his personality myself.

Because it's not a adventure game? Next thing I could say is that I don't need attributes and my character will just bend these iron bars because that's what I believe he should be able to do.

If you want to roleplay a brute, why should the system arbitrarily prevent you from doing that? I've played BG2 runs where my stats were modded to they're max, because if I want to play a demigod I should be able to. The restriction of the game engine aside, why does the game have to hold your hand? Are you scared that you won't stick to the character you're roleplaying just because the option is there? It boggles my mind that people want restrictions.

I want a roleplaying game that is more open, not more restricted.

 

Here's the deal. It's not just "roleplaying". It's also a game. And games have rules and limitations.

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"Hello there!" he says enthusiastically, but his eyes shift from left to right. "Care to peruse my wares?"

 

Only this, no Voice acting pease.

What about the olde tyme voice-overs (BG, P:T) where few key chars had only few voiced sentences? I love this style. You have freedom to write anything. You don't have to be afraid it will be expensive, unrepairable, or even messed by the actor (how many voice-overs are not good? Many). Yet you are able to bring some life and atmosphere to the scene.

 

"We are all heroes. You and Boo and I. Hamsters and rangers everywhere! Rejoice!" cannot have the same impact if only written ;-)

Edited by Smejki
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Alas I think this is all pretty much impossible without a human DM in the works to steer thing toward some semblance of order. As for me it's too much LARPing, I see houses full of cheese rounds.

I don't understand what's impossible about it. It's like you don't trust people to play the game how they want to play it. I don't think anyone's not going to play it the way they want to. If someone wants to adhere to a strict character sheet that they developed, they'll do that. If someone wants to pick whatever dialog choice they think will be most interesting, and not roleplay at all, they'll do that. Everyone's happy! And hell, the game could even have an optional setting to turn on only dialog choices of the types you want, so you can build your own custom restrictive personality that the game knows! The set of possibilities is so much bigger when you don't force restrictive systems on people!

 

 

The game system should be both open and limited. You shouldn't have to dictate every aspect of your character. The game world should "react" to your character and the options available to your character should reflect what skills you have. That doesn't mean you can't play how you want, you just have to be more forward thinking I think.

If you read all of my posts, I've been advocating a reactive system of in-game relationships over and over. It's the other side of the coin I'm talking about here: defining your character. Why can't the game trust you to define your character as you see fit? Why does it even matter if the game can trust you or not? Cheat codes are as old as video gaming itself. Give people the freedom to define their characters at every turn, not just at the beginning of the game into a one-size-fits all mold. If someone takes advantage of the system and plays a completely illogical character, why is that a problem? They had fun playing the character they want to play. Everyone is free to play as restricted of a character as they want, and everyone is happy with their character. No one is stuck making compromises and developing a character they don't feel captures the soul of the character they really want to play.

 

 

Here's the deal. It's not just "roleplaying". It's also a game. And games have rules and limitations.

Why? I remember playing hours of Age of Empires as a kid typing in cheat code after cheat code, and I had a blast! Games can be whatever you want them to be. And by taking the arbitrary rules of conversation and stat restrictions out of the hands of someone else who doesn't know your play-style and putting them into the hands of each individual player, you can have players craft their own game, craft their own rules, their own limitations. You can have every player playing the game and character they want to play (within the confines of the game's framework).

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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If you read all of my posts, I've been advocating a reactive system of in-game relationships over and over. It's the other side of the coin I'm talking about here: defining your character. Why can't the game trust you to define your character as you see fit? Why does it even matter if the game can trust you or not? Cheat codes are as old as video gaming itself. Give people the freedom to define their characters at every turn, not just at the beginning of the game into a one-size-fits all mold. If someone takes advantage of the system and plays a completely illogical character, why is that a problem? They had fun playing the character they want to play. Everyone is free to play as restricted of a character as they want, and everyone is happy with their character. No one is stuck making compromises and developing a character they don't feel captures the soul of the character they really want to play.

 

 

 

 

Ugh, you can define your character but the game world should react accordingly. It shouldn't be you can do whatever whenever.

Edited by Metabot
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Alas I think this is all pretty much impossible without a human DM in the works to steer thing toward some semblance of order. As for me it's too much LARPing, I see houses full of cheese rounds.

I don't understand what's impossible about it. It's like you don't trust people to play the game how they want to play it. I don't think anyone's not going to play it the way they want to. If someone wants to adhere to a strict character sheet that they developed, they'll do that. If someone wants to pick whatever dialog choice they think will be most interesting, and not roleplay at all, they'll do that. Everyone's happy! And hell, the game could even have an optional setting to turn on only dialog choices of the types you want, so you can build your own custom restrictive personality that the game knows! The set of possibilities is so much bigger when you don't force restrictive systems on people!

 

 

 

Hathor, is that you?

Say no to popamole!

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Maybe it's just a bad example, but I don't need your average shopkeeper fidgeting randomly just to make the dialogue more flavorful.

 

If there's a point to characterizing the NPC through his behavior and manner, yeah. Shifty eyed merchants better be a quest hook where I find out just what he's hiding. If he's just there so can sell off 50 daggers, I don't really care.

"Show me a man who "plays fair" and I'll show you a very talented cheater."
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Alas I think this is all pretty much impossible without a human DM in the works to steer thing toward some semblance of order. As for me it's too much LARPing, I see houses full of cheese rounds.

I don't understand what's impossible about it. It's like you don't trust people to play the game how they want to play it. I don't think anyone's not going to play it the way they want to. If someone wants to adhere to a strict character sheet that they developed, they'll do that. If someone wants to pick whatever dialog choice they think will be most interesting, and not roleplay at all, they'll do that. Everyone's happy! And hell, the game could even have an optional setting to turn on only dialog choices of the types you want, so you can build your own custom restrictive personality that the game knows! The set of possibilities is so much bigger when you don't force restrictive systems on people!

 

 

 

 

What you end up with something like that is a very shallow experience overall and really an excuse for a game.

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Here's the deal. It's not just "roleplaying". It's also a game. And games have rules and limitations.

Why? I remember playing hours of Age of Empires as a kid typing in cheat code after cheat code, and I had a blast!

 

Oh for the love of God.

 

You know what? I did that too. Do you know what that stopped being? A game. You cannot roleplay in a world without rules because there's no such thing as a world without rules.

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"Hello there!" he says enthusiastically, but his eyes shift from left to right. "Care to peruse my wares?"

 

Only this, no Voice acting pease.

What about the olde tyme voice-overs (BG, P:T) where few key chars had only few voiced sentences? I love this style. You have freedom to write anything. You don't have to be afraid it will be expensive, unrepairable, or even messed by the actor (how many voice-overs are not good? Many). Yet you are able to bring some life and atmosphere to the scene.

 

"We are all heroes. You and Boo and I. Hamsters and rangers everywhere! Rejoice!" cannot have the same impact if only written ;-)

 

Agreed, that pretty much what I meant. 5-10% should be voiced like in BG, P:T, IWD, Fallout just story related characters should be voiced just set asmothere. I really love how dialogs in Age of Decadence handled.

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Of course I pretend descriptions during dialogues, but I don't want any kind of skill tag, at least before I select my line.

Tags help players to take the "right" decision during dialogues, and I don't want obviously right decisions in this game. "Winning" a dialogue should be a challenge not a mechanical sequence of clicks....

I would love a system where:

-An high skill/stat score = a smart line (without tag)

- A low sill/stat score = a silly line (again without tag)

Edited by Baudolino05
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Maybe it's just a bad example, but I don't need your average shopkeeper fidgeting randomly just to make the dialogue more flavorful.

 

If there's a point to characterizing the NPC through his behavior and manner, yeah. Shifty eyed merchants better be a quest hook where I find out just what he's hiding. If he's just there so can sell off 50 daggers, I don't really care.

 

I dig that and understand your position but If you don't want to read it, no one's forcing you. I for one would love to see story they way designers sees the world that they created. It can be easily done without Voice Acting by means of dialog as option #2 described.

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It's quite mind-boggling to see the absolute rejection of an open system. It takes a very close-minded group to reject something like that. The thing is, a non-restrictive system would not change the way you play your game in the least. You can use whatever arbitrary rules you want! If you really believe that Fighter with full strength and constitution shouldn't be able to have a full charisma as well because that comes out to more than 32 points on some arbitrary scale, that's fine! Play your strong fighter, and restrict yourself you non-charismatic dialog and actions. The person who is okay being a strong and tough fighter who is also charismatic and intelligent can play that! A fantasy world can be whatever you want it to be. Build it from the ground up so that you can be the character you want to be, and let the game adapt to that. They can develop organically together.

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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Of course I pretend descriptions during dialogues, but I don't want any kind of skill tag, at least before I select my line.

Tags help players to take the "right" decision during dialogues, and I don't want obviously right decisions in this game. "Winning" a dialogue should be a challenge not a mechanical sequence of clicks....

I would love a system where

- high skill/stat score = smart line (without tag)

- low sill/stat score = silly line (again without tag)

 

I like that ) or you could only see the additional answer if you have particular skill, but chance of success should be based on stat-skill level and *luck*. I would love to see person with 18-20 Intelligence, Maxed out speech skill ... to fail * persuasion attempt (dialog line)* from time to time.

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I have kinda said this in other threads.

But I like option 1b). Why? It adds so much to the game! It can be just a little flavor but it can also be affected by your stats! For example if you have perception lower than 6, you don't get to know his eyes moved furtively! Or if you have "heroic" perception you realize he's eyes are actually landing on a certain object, about which you can now ask about. This is just a quick example, the possibilities are infinite(ngine)!

 

And I like option 2b). Why? I don't like what they did with new Fallouts: not only do I get to know which stat/skill is giving me a specific dialog option, I also get to know beforehand if I will succeed and the required threshold???? Why, why why why?? And talking abour skill thresholds, I don't like 'em either! I like my skill checks to depend on percentages and a little chance. (Like, the chances (from 0% to 100%) of succesful persuasion comes from a formula that gauges how many points I have bumped into the required skill(s) and a "base number" that gauges the difficulty of the specific persuasion I'm clicking on. The result then gets added or substracted a little bit depending on chance, which can be affected with a Luck stat or something).

Edited by Tychoxi
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It's quite mind-boggling to see the absolute rejection of an open system. It takes a very close-minded group to reject something like that. The thing is, a non-restrictive system would not change the way you play your game in the least. You can use whatever arbitrary rules you want! If you really believe that Fighter with full strength and constitution shouldn't be able to have a full charisma as well because that comes out to more than 32 points on some arbitrary scale, that's fine! Play your strong fighter, and restrict yourself you non-charismatic dialog and actions. The person who is okay being a strong and tough fighter who is also charismatic and intelligent can play that! A fantasy world can be whatever you want it to be. Build it from the ground up so that you can be the character you want to be, and let the game adapt to that. They can develop organically together.

 

When I read your post, first person that came to my mind is King Arthur.

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I have kinda said this in other threads.

But I like option 1b). Why? It adds so much to the game! It can be just a little flavor but it can also be affected by your stats! For example if you have perception lower than 6, you don't get to know his eyes moved furtively! Or if you have "heroic" perception you realize he's eyes are actually landing on a certain object, about which you can now ask about. This is just a quick example, the possibilities are infinite!

 

And I like option 2b). Why? I don't like what they did with new Fallouts: not only do I get to know which stat/skill is giving me a specific dialog option, I also get to know beforehand if I will succeed and the required threshold???? Why, why why why?? And talking abour skill thresholds, I don't like 'em either! I like my skill checks to depend on percentages and a little chance. (Like, the chances (from 0% to 100%) of succesful persuasion comes from a formula that gauges how many points I have bumped into the required skill(s) and a "base number" that gauges the difficulty of the specific persuasion I'm clicking on. The result then gets added or substracted a little bit depending on chance, which can be affected with a Luck stat or something).

 

Yeah this is nice addition, actually it makes allot of since and please let's not even touch Fallout 3 subject (I apologize upfront to all FO3 fans, but to me its a total abomination of great legacy, similar to Jagged Alliance Back in Action in that since)

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@RogueBurger

 

The thing is, there are many things that affect what someone might or might not say in a conversation that aren't related in any way to the relation he has with his/her interlocutor. Things like acquired/innate knowledge, wit, the ability to convey a point clearly and efficiently, etc. These are things that, in all likelihood in a RPG, are reflected as numbers on a character sheet. That's the main reason I would want some dialogue options to be tied to these numbers. To enforce some amount of consistency in the storytelling.

 

Probably, even if everything was open and the game trusted me to pick what makes sense according to me, then I'd do exactly that. When rolling a character in a RPG, I like to decide upon a particular voice, personality and set of values, then stick to that. But then I'd see the game allowing me to be a know-it-all Mary Sue who's always right about everything regardless, and I'd think "wow, that's kind of s**tty interactive storytelling. It doesn't feel like the character I decided to play beforehand makes any difference at all in that aspect of the game".

Edited by Fooine
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It's quite mind-boggling to see the absolute rejection of an open system. It takes a very close-minded group to reject something like that. The thing is, a non-restrictive system would not change the way you play your game in the least. You can use whatever arbitrary rules you want! If you really believe that Fighter with full strength and constitution shouldn't be able to have a full charisma as well because that comes out to more than 32 points on some arbitrary scale, that's fine! Play your strong fighter, and restrict yourself you non-charismatic dialog and actions. The person who is okay being a strong and tough fighter who is also charismatic and intelligent can play that! A fantasy world can be whatever you want it to be. Build it from the ground up so that you can be the character you want to be, and let the game adapt to that. They can develop organically together.

And how exactly, pray tell, would you balance the game around this special snowflake philosophy? Cheat codes for everyone?

Say no to popamole!

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@RogueBurger

 

The thing is, there are many things that affect what someone might or might not say in a conversation that aren't related in any way to the relation he has with his/her interlocutor. Things like acquired/innate knowledge, wit, the ability to convey a point clearly and efficiently, etc. These are things that, in all likelihood in a RPG, are reflected as numbers on a character sheet. That's the main reason I would want some dialogue options to be tied to these numbers. To enforce some amount of consistency in the storytelling.

 

Probably, even if everything was open and the game trusted me to pick what makes sense according to me, then I'd do exactly that. When rolling a character in a RPG, I like to decide upon a particular voice, personality and set of values, then stick to that. But then I'd see the game allowing me to be a know-it-all Mary Sue who's always right about everything regardless, and I'd think "wow, that's kind of s**tty interactive storytelling. It doesn't feel like the character I decided to play beforehand makes any difference at all in that aspect of the game".

I'm confused about where the issue is. If you like to plan out your character to a t, why wouldn't you stick to that? If you don't want to play a know-it-all, why would picking know-it-all answers be something you'd consider?

My contention is that games hide dialog choices because of a system of numbers that might not be consistent with the character I want to play. I'd rather they showed all the dialog options (and the more in depth the dialog system, the more there will be) and let me devise my own system to determine what my character can and cannot say. And there could be a built in system where you can specify if you want options hidden automatically (like all options classified as evil, or intelligent, or intimidating, or whatever), that way if you know for sure there is a dialog construct you'll never use, you won't have to see it. But that's still a choice you get to make, not one the game makes for you.

 

 

It's quite mind-boggling to see the absolute rejection of an open system. It takes a very close-minded group to reject something like that. The thing is, a non-restrictive system would not change the way you play your game in the least. You can use whatever arbitrary rules you want! If you really believe that Fighter with full strength and constitution shouldn't be able to have a full charisma as well because that comes out to more than 32 points on some arbitrary scale, that's fine! Play your strong fighter, and restrict yourself you non-charismatic dialog and actions. The person who is okay being a strong and tough fighter who is also charismatic and intelligent can play that! A fantasy world can be whatever you want it to be. Build it from the ground up so that you can be the character you want to be, and let the game adapt to that. They can develop organically together.

And how exactly, pray tell, would you balance the game around this special snowflake philosophy? Cheat codes for everyone?

Same way game are NOT balanced all the time: difficulty levels. Balance means something different to every single person playing a single-player game. You give templates that are classified as easy, medium, and hard. But you give people the ability to ignore that. The key is don't restrict. Give people tools to do what they want, and do it well. Don't force them to do something they don't want just because you think that makes the game too easy for them. If they can clearly see what an average person looks like, then they know full well they are making a demi-god.

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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Let's agree to disagree then. I guess I'd just lose immersion if I saw the dialogue trees being exactly the same regardless of the choices I made in the beginning or as I level up. I'd still go through the hoops and play as a consistent character, but suddenly these choices would feel irrelevant.

 

I guess you feel otherwise, but that's okay too.

Edited by Fooine
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