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[Wisdom]Using this dialogue option is a better choice.


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@BetrayTheWorld

 

Listen, if they do all these little streamlining changes so that the wider gaming audience might find their game more palatable, then there need not be no PE2 as far as I am concerned, because it would mirror the Standard AAA Franchise Ruination Process ™. In fact, I possibly wouldn't even care if PE itself sees the light of the day in that case and they can keep my money - it would be a well taught lesson for me.

 

I'm not arguing for "all these little streamlining changes" such as DA:2's giving you 3 options in dialogue. That is not my intent at all, and taking it to that extreme is childish. I want it to maintain the complexity and depth that we all expect from the spiritual successor of the grand games of old(i.e. games prior to the commercialized "ruination" of the genre, as you say.) We agree that these "oldies but goodies" were challenging, engaging, and overall the exact type of game we expect Obsidian to create and improve upon using modern technology, right? But the grand games of old DID have these tags that you're so adamantly arguing against.

"When a true genius appears, you can know him by this sign: that all the dunces are in a confederacy against him." - Jonathan Swift

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Keep it optional - localizers and those with a poor grasp of English might need it. I won't. Everyone's happy.

 

This comment should be the end of the thread, but I like typing. :devil:

 

 

Neither FO nor BG had tags (well, BG didn't even have skills), PS:T only had the lie/truth tags as far as I recall.

 

I'm pretty sure you're incorrect on two of those. I think both FO and FO:2 had tags in the games, or some other indication that you were using a skill. I seem to recall [speech] tags, and FO/FO:2 are likely my favorite RPGs ever. Also, I believe I saw a screenshot recently where someone showed text options in torment, and [lie] was certainly one of them, but there were like 18 conversational options to choose from, and like 4 of them had tags.

Edited by BetrayTheWorld

"When a true genius appears, you can know him by this sign: that all the dunces are in a confederacy against him." - Jonathan Swift

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@BetrayTheWorld

 

Listen, if they do all these little streamlining changes so that the wider gaming audience might find their game more palatable, then there need not be no PE2 as far as I am concerned, because it would mirror the Standard AAA Franchise Ruination Process ™. In fact, I possibly wouldn't even care if PE itself sees the light of the day in that case and they can keep my money - it would be a well taught lesson for me.

I don't think it has to be the one or the other. Niche and high quality vs dumbed down and for the masses. I do believe this game will be able to have a wide appeal while still being qualitatively superb. When I hear that the writers should be satisfied with not everyone seeing everything in their game, I do believe that means that people will be able to truly choose their own experience. A wide-range appeal can actually help bring in new blood who didn't yet know the pleasures of what RPG's could truly bring.

 

So far in this thread the views I've seen seem to roughly fall in the following categories

1. tags break immersion

2. tags give the player extra information and that is(can be) bad

3. tags give the player extra information and that is(can be) essential in their decision making process.

4. Tags should only be present to clarify intent. even with well written dialogue we can never be certain the intent of the untagged dialogue matches the one we try to role-play

5. If tags are necessary to clarify intent, the dialogue is written poorly.

6. Why not make it optional? you don't have to bother me with it that way.

7. If you make them optional, at least make sure the dialogue is written before the clarifying tags are added, to avoid ambiguous dialogue using tags as crutches.

8. You can avoid the use of tags while still having clear skill/ability dependent results by adding a sort of investment system, ever available, if not ever effective.

 

Aside from this the discussion has been about what we can expect from the players.

1. A certain level of comprehension vs everyone should be able to play and beat dialogue.

2. Not everyone cares (enough) about dialogue in an RPG, there should be some accommodation for sucking/not caring vs dialogue is part of what makes a game challenging and fun and the game would be pointless if dialogue largely had little consequence.

 

I got to say, it's been a pretty interesting debate so far.

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Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
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I like the initial idea of skipping the [insert skill / talent / feat] option. I agree that it sometimes comes off as the "I win" button option.

 

However having said that, I sometimes do not choose the "I win" option because I simply see it as inane. I feel pidgeonholed into the definition of "intelligence" or "cunning" by some writer I might not agree with. Sometimes it is better to act stupid, or less intelligent and then going with the flow. Sometimes letting people know you realize just how simple they are, or how arrogant they are, is a bad idea.

 

For instance I personally very much liked that Obsidian had Dean Domino turn hostile toward you if you beat him in a barter check. It doesnt play out till the very end that you earned his resentment. Because in my first playthrough I like most others (I think) chose the "I win" option, just because I was pidgeonholed into it and Im used to that kind of simplicity in CRPG's. I was pleasently surprised when I had actually alienated my favorite NPC.

 

I would like much more of that. So I dont really see it as a matter of having [i win] options, I see it as a matter of emplyoing these with benefits and pitfalls. It can be done. Obsidian has done it before. So do it again. Id love to see it.

"Politicians. Little tin gods on wheels". -Rudyard Kipling. A European Fallout timeline? Dont mind if I do!

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is not a good example. In the real world, sure, a 100lb kid ain't going to frighten anyone, but in a world with magic that 100lb kid may actually be able to rip your arms off- and being a wizard capable of doing that is potentially something you could bluff. If I claim to be The Great Zappo who will rip your arms off (with the power of my mind) then the 'intimidation' aspect is dependent on bluffing the identity.

 

Isn't your example really two checks, though? The [bluff] to believe I'm the Great Zappo and then the [intimidate] of arm ripping?

 

In any case there still needs to be some way to differentiate "I'll kill you" (genuine intention) from "I'll kill you" (threat, but not intended to be carried out whether bluff or intimidation) as for all the talk of bad design there will be inevitable situations where designer intent and player intent clash.

 

Isn't the point of differentiation when you choose to kill (or not kill) the character?

 

As far as the game is concerned the dialoge is not important - the game doesn't care if it says frogs are fun instead of I will rip your face off as long as it gets to run the mechanic and move on to it's next chore. They don't just use [tag1] becuase the player wants to see actual dialoge choices regardless of whether or not there's a game mechanic associated with it or whether or not the actual words mean anything at all -

 

and when those pesky mechanics are added to dialoges that are just a bit unclear.......wait for it..........thats why they put those little [bluff] - [intimidate] tags in to make sure the player knows which mechanic he might be choosing....

 

But why would a dev choose to use a [bluff] tag (and thus mechanics) for an intimidation attempt? Just bad design? Accident?

 

Stuff happens, sure, but I think what we're arguing is that this should be relatively easy to avoid provided you make sure you conceptualize skills as separate and not overlapping or instead of creating two skills that overlap create one skill that encompasses both concepts.

 

So I want to see that trend continue becuase we are NEVER going to see a game come out that does not have some dialogues that made perfect sense to the writer and no sense to the reader becuase people see things differently - just like you and I... :yes:

 

Seems like either way is less than optimal, though. If I have [tags] and the tags are unclear ("Why is my orc fighter bluffing when saying "I'll rip your arms off!" instead of intimidating? I have no points in bluff!") it doesn't seem to actually help clarify which dialogue is supposed to fit what the player is attempting, just adds another level of frustration. :unsure:

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But why would a dev choose to use a [bluff] tag (and thus mechanics) for an intimidation attempt? Just bad design? Accident?

 

Stuff happens, sure, but I think what we're arguing is that this should be relatively easy to avoid provided you make sure you conceptualize skills as separate and not overlapping or instead of creating two skills that overlap create one skill that encompasses both concepts.

 

Perhaps this will help you to understand:

 

Dictionary definition of bluff:

 

1. To mislead or deceive.

 

2. To impress, deter, or intimidate by a false display of confidence.

 

3. Games To try to mislead (opponents) in a card game by heavy betting on a poor hand or by little or no betting on a good one.

 

v.intr.

To engage in a false display of strength or confidence.

 

Dictionary definition of intimidate

 

1. To make timid; fill with fear.

 

2. To coerce or inhibit by or as if by threats.

 

When you use the bluff skill you mislead or decieve people into doing or not doing something - when you use the intimidation skill you scare people into doing so. This is why bluff is most often a skill used by rogues and tied to cerebral attributtes and intimidation is most often used by warriors and is tied to strength.

 

This is also why it's possible to use the same line of text in two different ways - the bluffer uses the line to fool or trick the subject into thinking he can do something and the warrior uses it with his strong presence to scare them into doing what he wants.

 

As for your orc fighter thats correct he is not going to have the bluff skill - the line would either have two tags - allowing the player to use either bluff or intimidate or more likely would use seperate lines if they wanted to offer both options in that dialoge. (Because so far it has not been shown that games typically use the same text for both bluff and intimidate this is just an exercise in debating whether there would be anything wrong if they did.)

 

Another thing to remember about this is the two skills should probably not be balanced with each having the same number of opportunities to effect conversations. This is why the rogue using bluff can affect more dialoges in many different ways (including those that could also use the intimidate skill) while the warrior is limited to fewer dialoges where the party can be intimidated becuase the cerebral rogue is going to be better equiped in a battle of wits. :-

 

Of course you could play a fighter/thief type in some games and have access to both options and choose which ever one you wished - provided of course they placed tags so you could see what your options actually were... :w00t:

Nomadic Wayfarer of the Obsidian Order


 

Not all those that wander are lost...

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This is also why it's possible to use the same line of text in two different ways - the bluffer uses the line to fool or trick the subject into thinking he can do something and the warrior uses it with his strong presence to scare them into doing what he wants.

 

Yeah. Let's not try to find every possible situational meaning of every word in the thesaurus (source, btw?) and stick to most common contemporary uses, because otherwise everything is lost and meaningless.

 

And what yu've said is a logical fallacy. Intimidating and bluffing being able to achieve the same end effect IS NOT any reason, why the same line of text can be used for both.

The above is some hand waving, if I've ever seen one. Please, provide an example, where the same sentence, word for word, will achieve the same effect by either:

- bluffing = deceiving someone into doing something.

- intimidating = frighten someone into doing the same thing.

I've been thinking about it for some time, but have yet come up with a believable example.

 

 

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COMIC SAAAAANNNNSS!!!

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Please, provide an example, where the same sentence, word for word, will achieve the same effect by either:

- bluffing = deceiving someone into doing something.

- intimidating = frighten someone into doing the same thing.

I've been thinking about it for some time, yet coem up with a believable example.

 

Just to play devil's advocate...here, I'll give you one:

 

[bluff] Don't make me whip out mah piece and pop a cap. (Don't have a piece)

[intimidate] Don't make me whip out mah piece and pop a cap. (Has a piece, and might do it.)

 

Now, I understand your perspective, and that is: Both of these are intimidating statements. However, many times, a bluff is intimidating. A bluff is deceit backed by the fear that what you're saying is true. Think of poker. If you "Bluff", you're working on your opponent's fear that you're not bluffing, and are, in fact, betting because you have a hand. Same deal with the above phrase. Just because a bluff provokes fear doesn't make it no longer a bluff. The defining attribute isn't the emotion the statement provokes or the method of delivery. It is simply the intent behind it. An effective bluff SHOULD sound exactly the same as a legitimate threat. That's what makes a bluff effective.

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"When a true genius appears, you can know him by this sign: that all the dunces are in a confederacy against him." - Jonathan Swift

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"Oh yes, your daughter is very ... lovely."

VS

"Your daughter is quite the radiant beauty!"

VS

"Sir, I have never seen a woman half so beautiful as your fair daughter. She is like a star shining though the dark of night!"

 

So of those three lines, which is honest, which is a lie, and which is a bluff check?

 

These are all bluffs, simply delivered by 3 different characters with varying degrees of the bluff skill. Everyone knows Lord Whathisname's daughter is attrocious.

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But it shouldn't be apparent that these are linked to the attributes or skills. That way, while I may have extra options, I will still roleplay based one which dialogue I feel is best, without meta-game information.

 

Except then you will have no idea whether it is utter stupidity or an extreme insight on the character's part. So they should indicated that some answer is due to high intelligence or wisdom or spot skill or what have you either by markers or by additional narrative in the dialogue box.

 

Same goes for bluff. You can be sincere about your threat to rip off someone's face and eat it for breakfast or you can just say it for scaring them away. PST had lots of dialogue where you could be truthful or lying/bluffing and it seemed very fitting.

 

Absolutely.

I don't understand why some people consider this handholding. The point here is, that you may have the same answer four times with four different intentions, one could be

"I'm going to rip your head off!" - Bluff

"I'm going to rip your head off!" - Attack

"I'm going to rip your head off!" - Intimidation

"I'm going to rip your head off!" - Lie/Truth

 

PS:T had loads of those dialogue options. It's not about handholding, it's about giving you the opportunity to actually rolePLAY with different dialogue options.

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Please, provide an example, where the same sentence, word for word, will achieve the same effect by either:

- bluffing = deceiving someone into doing something.

- intimidating = frighten someone into doing the same thing.

I've been thinking about it for some time, yet coem up with a believable example.

 

Just to play devil's advocate...here, I'll give you one:

 

[bluff] Don't make me whip out mah piece and pop a cap. (Don't have a piece)

[intimidate] Don't make me whip out mah piece and pop a cap. (Has a piece, and might do it.)

 

Now, I understand your perspective, and that is: Both of these are intimidating statements. However, many times, a bluff is intimidating. A bluff is deceit backed by the fear that what you're saying is true. Think of poker. If you "Bluff", you're working on your opponent's fear that you're not bluffing, and are, in fact, betting because you have a hand. Same deal with the above phrase. Just because a bluff provokes fear doesn't make it no longer a bluff. The defining attribute isn't the emotion the statement provokes or the method of delivery. It is simply the intent behind it. An effective bluff SHOULD sound exactly the same as a legitimate threat. That's what makes a bluff effective.

 

These are not the same lines. The brackets at the end are different and crucial in this case. Even if you were bluffing by pulling out a fake gun or one loaded with blanks, this then wouldn't be a bluff check anymore. I'd say that a gun in hand gives a pretty good bonus to intimidate. If the engine is capable to display this without needed bracket then excellent! But then we're back to being able to discern the meaning from context, which is one of the main arguing points for [intimidate] & [bluff] tags being unneccesary. IE engine certainly wasn't capable of doing it.

 

Threatening someone without any intention of carrying out the threat is also a bluff, but it's also intimidation. So what is then the difference between the two? You say, that the method of delivery is not is not the defining attribute, but I don't agree. It is THE defining attribute. It is the difference between letting people frighten themselves and people being frightened of you.

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I don't understand why some people consider this handholding. The point here is, that you may have the same answer four times with four different intentions, one could be

"I'm going to rip your head off!" - Bluff

"I'm going to rip your head off!" - Attack

"I'm going to rip your head off!" - Intimidation

"I'm going to rip your head off!" - Lie/Truth

Mostly because some people do not believe that you can use bluff that way at all.

 

And PS:T had no skill tags.

Edited by evdk

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And PS:T had no skill tags.

PlaneScape Torment didn't have conversation skills at all. But it had tags for truth/lie/bluff.

 

 

 

I don't understand why some people consider this handholding. The point here is, that you may have the same answer four times with four different intentions, one could be

"I'm going to rip your head off!" - Bluff

"I'm going to rip your head off!" - Attack

"I'm going to rip your head off!" - Intimidation

"I'm going to rip your head off!" - Lie/Truth

Mostly because some people do not believe that you can use bluff that way at all.

You most certainly can. People have a way of assuming things. If you don't behave the way they expect you too, they assume they were wrong about you. In a fantasy setting it means that an old man with a stick can convince a bunch of bandits that he's actually a powerful wizard and some trainee with a sword, who has accidentally hit an arrow in flight, might pretend to be a great swordsman. It might even go on for quite a while depending on the perceptiveness of people you try to fool.

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PlaneScape Torment didn't have conversation skills at all. But it had tags for truth/lie/bluff.

I know, but since they were not tied to skills they were there to set tone, not signify skill usage. All the dialogue choices tied to attributes were not tagged at all

 

Mostly because some people do not believe that you can use bluff that way at all.

You most certainly can. People have a way of assuming things. If you don't behave the way they expect you too, they assume they were wrong about you. In a fantasy setting it means that an old man with a stick can convince a bunch of bandits that he's actually a powerful wizard and some trainee with a sword, who has accidentally hit an arrow in flight, might pretend to be a great swordsman. It might even go on for quite a while depending on the perceptiveness of people you try to fool.

Let's just say I absolutely disagree with using bluff skill as it is to intimidate and leave it at that, because obviously we have no common ground on that one.

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Another thing to remember about this is the two skills should probably not be balanced with each having the same number of opportunities to effect conversations. This is why the rogue using bluff can affect more dialoges in many different ways (including those that could also use the intimidate skill) while the warrior is limited to fewer dialoges where the party can be intimidated becuase the cerebral rogue is going to be better equiped in a battle of wits. :-

 

I think we're somewhat talking at cross-purposes; I'm not talking about the utilitarian nature of skills nor am I talking about the definition of words. What I'm talking about is eliminating ambiguity.

 

If you're going to have [bluff] and [intimidate] in a game (a game mind you, where the definition of such skills can be made so as to eliminate ambiguity) they should be distinct (therefor the use of each shouldn't be ambiguous).

 

Ambiguity in games shouldn't be considered to be a good thing. Therefore if you can [bluff] an [intimidate] situation, then there are indications your game hasn't defined [bluff] and [intimidate] in ways that aren't ambiguous. Note while DMs can be fairly liberal in interpretations it is, IMO, bad for computer games to have areas on ambiguity because they lead to areas of inconsistency.

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Even if you were bluffing by pulling out a fake gun or one loaded with blanks, this then wouldn't be a bluff check anymore.

 

Yes, it would. It is ABSOLUTELY the definition of a bluff.

 

I don't understand how you could even write that sentence and be ok with yourself afterwards. It's like saying, "Even if you were running as fast as you could, it wouldn't be running."

 

The point is, you can use different skills while delivering the same message, even in the same circumstances if you're playing a different style of character. I'll rephrase my previous example(anything in ((THESE)) is not actually in the game text. It is helper description only, to help you imagine the scenario):

 

 

[bluff] Don't make me whip out mah piece and pop a cap. (Has a piece, afraid to use it.)

[intimidate] Don't make me whip out mah piece and pop a cap. (Has a piece, itchin to use it.)

 

Assuming both the bluffer and intimidator are equally skilled at their craft, the message would be delivered identically, because the bluffer's objective is to make you think he's the intimidator.

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"When a true genius appears, you can know him by this sign: that all the dunces are in a confederacy against him." - Jonathan Swift

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The problem is actually not about the tagging, it is about if they matter and will change something in the game, or not.

 

Example:

 

If you are in a party in company of a Paladin, he/she might not like if you bluff or intimidate fragile ones. you still can do it, but in a good rpg, the paladin would intervene preventing it, allowing the threatened NPC to flee.

 

Example II:

 

A druid would refuse to attack wilderness creatures, specially when the party is invading their territory. He/she could even side with the creatures.

 

Or if you lie and someone perceive it, you would be known in that town for such, dimishing the trust of the folks AND of your partners.

 

I loved when (cant remeber which Baldurs Gate) two of my party members, which where friends, started to fight me tired of my lawful good decisions, attacking me after a discussion.

 

In Planescape, the dialogues between Nameless One and Dakkon about religion/philosophy were awesome. And i would like to know clearly, that decisions my character makes can affect my party or NPCs.

 

***

 

Even worse consequences.

 

If you systematically choose intimidation and rampant violence against NPCs you could even don't get dialogue options, people would be scared by your figure even before it.

 

Or if you are too soft, too often, a fighter could leave your party because you are not the leader he thought you were.

 

*********

 

Well, hope that add to the discussion

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But it shouldn't be apparent that these are linked to the attributes or skills. That way, while I may have extra options, I will still roleplay based one which dialogue I feel is best, without meta-game information.

 

Except then you will have no idea whether it is utter stupidity or an extreme insight on the character's part. So they should indicated that some answer is due to high intelligence or wisdom or spot skill or what have you either by markers or by additional narrative in the dialogue box.

 

Same goes for bluff. You can be sincere about your threat to rip off someone's face and eat it for breakfast or you can just say it for scaring them away. PST had lots of dialogue where you could be truthful or lying/bluffing and it seemed very fitting.

 

Absolutely.

I don't understand why some people consider this handholding. The point here is, that you may have the same answer four times with four different intentions, one could be

"I'm going to rip your head off!" - Bluff

"I'm going to rip your head off!" - Attack

"I'm going to rip your head off!" - Intimidation

"I'm going to rip your head off!" - Lie/Truth

 

PS:T had loads of those dialogue options. It's not about handholding, it's about giving you the opportunity to actually rolePLAY with different dialogue options.

You know this could easily be solved by having different dialogues right? You don't have to have the exact same words. in fact that seems a bit cheap.

Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
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Another thing to remember about this is the two skills should probably not be balanced with each having the same number of opportunities to effect conversations. This is why the rogue using bluff can affect more dialoges in many different ways (including those that could also use the intimidate skill) while the warrior is limited to fewer dialoges where the party can be intimidated becuase the cerebral rogue is going to be better equiped in a battle of wits. :-

 

I think we're somewhat talking at cross-purposes; I'm not talking about the utilitarian nature of skills nor am I talking about the definition of words. What I'm talking about is eliminating ambiguity.

 

If you're going to have [bluff] and [intimidate] in a game (a game mind you, where the definition of such skills can be made so as to eliminate ambiguity) they should be distinct (therefor the use of each shouldn't be ambiguous).

 

Ambiguity in games shouldn't be considered to be a good thing. Therefore if you can [bluff] an [intimidate] situation, then there are indications your game hasn't defined [bluff] and [intimidate] in ways that aren't ambiguous. Note while DMs can be fairly liberal in interpretations it is, IMO, bad for computer games to have areas on ambiguity because they lead to areas of inconsistency.

 

If you understand both the definition of the word AND the mechanics of the skill there is no ambiguity - there is a dialoge statement and there is an option to choose one of two different mechanics to utilize when choosing to use the statement - either one will work as it is intended - you get to choose which one - what is ambiguos about that?

Edited by wanderon

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Not all those that wander are lost...

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You know this could easily be solved by having different dialogues right? You don't have to have the exact same words. in fact that seems a bit cheap.

 

And 99% of the time you WILL have different statements - this debate was sparked when someone declared there is no way anyone should ever ever ever under any circumstances use a bluff to intimidate. (which I found ludicrous) :no:

Nomadic Wayfarer of the Obsidian Order


 

Not all those that wander are lost...

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This is an issue where I think BG/BG2 shine the brightest. I loathe the [bluff] [intimidate] [Wisdom] stuff in NWN2, FO:NV, etc. - it oversimplifies 'the battle of words.' In BG2, conversation is more like a puzzle, with 10-20 options at times to choose from.

 

All responses should be aided by your skills, but they shouldn't be completely restricted or unlocked by your skills.

 

1. [Reason with this character logically] as a response has an implicit effect of 0, because the character you're talking to is irrational, but if you have a high intelligence, it gets +1, if you have a diplomacy skill that's high, it gets +2, if you have some high charisma, it gets +1, and since it all adds up to +4, this option works for your character

 

If your intelligence is 6 (dumb as a sack of bricks) and you pick

 

4. [state the facts are they are] - you have -3 to this choice because your character can't remember the facts and sounds like an idiot trying to explain them to somebody

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You know, BG does not have skill tags on account of having no skills to use in a dialogue. And as far as I remember dialogue in both of the BG games was a fine example of Bioware's "six choices, one outcome" school of game design. Anybody remembers Gaider's famous exponential quote?

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