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

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

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1) Descriptive text really adds to the richness of interpretation the game can provide. Absolutely, yes.


2) Show the value of the skill which was required to make an option appear. But hide any option which is unavailable because a skill is too low. The player doesn't feel punished for what they do not have. They merely feel rewarded for making their character as they did.

1. yes

2. absolutely not!!!! you MUST get new dialog options based on the context of the conversation and stats that are relevant to it, but there must be in NO WAY a (click this to win) stat indicator near the the choice

if you meet a con artist and he tries to scam you, you get 3 basic responses along these lines

1. fall for it

2. pretend you dont care/ have the money

3. say no outright

if your intelligence is (using d&d to make it easy) 15 you get a

4. fake interest to learn his intentions for later use

if your intelligence is 18

5. weasel your way into reverse scaming him and take his money

of course the dialog options will not be as clear as that and SHOULD NOT have a (int 15) or (int 18) indicator to show you that are special. you have to figure it out by yourself by reading them. besides the game is made to appeal to rpg veterans who want something old school style, not snot nosed illiterate 10 year old children who want pretty explosions and anime style combat, and consider the story and dialogs a waste of time

The words freedom and liberty, are diminishing the true meaning of the abstract concept they try to explain. The true nature of freedom is such, that the human mind is unable to comprehend it, so we make a cage and name it freedom in order to give a tangible meaning to what we dont understand, just as our ancestors made gods like Thor or Zeus to explain thunder.



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


Stupidity leads to willful ignorance - willful ignorance leads to hope - hope leads to sex - and that is how a new generation of fools is born!

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.


Modern democracy is: the sheep voting for which dog will be the shepherd's right hand.

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Loved the descriptions along with dialogue in Planescape: Torment. As for how skills/stats are handled, I'm less sure to be honest.

The hidden skill rolls in Fallout and Fallout 2 worked quite well, but the shown percentile chance in Fallout 3 just meant saving before every dialogue and reloading several times.

The "options shown based on your skills" from Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines and Fallout: New Vegas worked quite well, since your stats mattered, but you weren't forced to reload due to the RNG all the time, and also, if you wanted to boost some skill (with drugs or spells or whatnot) you could, but not if the dialogue choice was the difference between a hostile reaction or not.

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The dialogue of Planescape is the reason it is my favorite game. I love how much we learn about an NPC, and how much more they come alive, just from the descriptive prose. A couple of examples of what I'd love to see more of:


Angyar: This man looks...haunted. His eyes are half-lidded, as if he has had trouble sleeping, and his hair is long and unkempt. His beard is flecked with bits of dead skin and old bits of food. He doesn't seem to notice you as you approach.


And also this, her actions outside of quotes adding so much in my opinion.


Marta: "Hah!" Marta puts her hands on her hips and puffs up indignantly. "Likes you *cared* for yer teeth!"




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Different dialogue options based on your stats, like Fallout or Arcanum.


So if you have low Intelligence points, your only dialogue choices really do make you sound like an idiot! While you if you have high Intelligence (and Charisma) you have better options, and NPC's will tell you more.

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I agree that this is an interesting and important question. I personally preferred Baldur's Gate's dialogue style, but both methods can world well in a game. However the other question is even more important in my opinion. I loke the second option the most, since in my opinion seeing the stat requirements in a dialogue option ruins the immersion for me. I'd rather know that when I try to persuade a person, I have to have either high intelligence, high charisma or speech in order to convince someone, but I don't want to know exactly how hard it is to convince someone. Fallout did this aspect perfectly in my opinion.

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I'd prefer to see the long descriptive text the first time I talk to a vendor but the short version subsequently. It depends how it is done, in DaO where the lines were voiceover it was so annoying to go through 3 clicks each time just to open a vendor. "Let me see your wares" is enough, I don't need a conversation about the weather first.


I feel there is something missing from your second skill poll, normally in rpgs if you have a skill/stat option you would see it in brackets infront of that option: [bluff] - I could defeat you easily! or [Dexterity] - *quickly reach out and catch his hand replacing the cards he is holding". These are both examples where you see an option you might not usually have (maybe you don't have enough Dexterity to even see the dialog or do a bluff) but if you do see the option you still might not have a 100% chance because you need more Intellect to have a higher Bluff skill (or perhaps there is a bluff ability tree with varying levels of skill to gain as you level up).


That would be the best system in my opinion, one where you see the skill option if you have any level of skill but you are still subject to a check on your level of that skill vs the npc you are talking to. It is kind of a mix of choice 2 and 3 in the poll.

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A simple system where the skill checks are hidden?

The player can see if a dialogue option is linked to a skill, but cannot know if it's a success or a failure.


For example, you could have:

-"Another beer, please"

-"(very stupid thing to say)" [diplomacy] (hidden: diplomacy 10 - intoxication (=beers-constitution bonus) 5 vs 20 = diplomacy failure)

-[sPOT] The two shady guys at the table in the corner are now talking while looking at the guy behind you. (hidden: spot 25 - intoxication 5 vs 15 = spot success || just a little extra info)


And not in the list:

-"(charming answer)" [diplomacy] (diplomacy success)

-[sPOT] The two shady guys at the table in the corner are now talking while looking at you. (spot critical failure)


This way the "skill option" is not the automatically right answer anymore.

I've come to burn your kingdom down

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I'd love to have long descriptions. Probably not for every small encounter (I don't think a vendor needs a lot of text), but for important situations. I remember how amazed I was in PS:T when the Nameless One finally met Ravel - it was done brilliantly.


And yes, I think skill checks or percentage should be hidden.


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the way that FNV had skill check on dialogues was retarded (a.k.a if you have 70 persuasion you will pass this dialogue option).

Edited by molarBear

"if everyone is dead then why don't i remember dying?"

—a clueless sod to a dustman


"if we're all alive then why don't i remember being born?"

—the dustman's response

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Yeah I HATED the [science 70] in those skill checks. It should have just been [science] and you either fail or pass it.Similar to NWN2 But do not show the roll at all. Basically something similar to Fallout would be preferable.


GRANTED, that then does mean they have to do a bit of extra work on all the failure lines.

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