Jump to content

Some ideas for books, scrolls and bookstores


Recommended Posts

I fondly remember in Baldur `s Gate the existence of books that told stories relating to the world of Faerun. They could find in houses and in certain buildings bookstores. You could also find scrolls containing spells to learn or to launch.

I wish we could bring the books and scrolls (adapted) again, but giving them a greater role. Therefore I would like to provide the following ideas:

 

1 - Books:

 

1.1 Historical books: These books would be consultation and to enjoy reading.

 

1.2 Books of missions: be part of frames in the game. Would provide clues to solve missions in several ways: puzzles in interior; parts of books that should be united; living things within them that they can communicate with the owner; rare objects obtanied inside them after burning; ....

 

1.3 Books +1: add permanent points to character skills. Must be hard to find (powerful dragon treasure), expensive (merchant that sells at high prices), ...

 

1.4 class books: books could be created specifically for each character class, so they can be stored in the bookstore. More explains in the third point.

 

Could include graphical animations as a "videos" (cheaper and easier that truth videos) that would make them more attractive. Perhaps not in all the books, but yes in some of them that are important for their historical value or the storyline of the game.

 

2 - Scrolls:

 

2.1 Linked to spells. Suggest two types, those containing spells and spells that serve to enroll in them.

 

I don`t have very clear this point, few ideas.

 

3 - Bookstores:

 

3.1 It would be interesting to have, buy or build libraries both at home and in the fortress where we store books we find in our travels.

 

3.2 Storing books of the same kind (magic, weapons, ...) could add something positive (points of wisdom, intelligence, experience, ...) to the character whose class coincide with the books kind.

 

3.3 If no school books, would provide a benefit having a certain amount of books and the reward increases when the books amount reaches greater level. Any book or only concrete books, that may vary.

 

3.4 Another option is to obtain beneficts by studying in the library. Would have to determine the time of study, for example, one week of study = 1000 xp.

 

 

I'd like you to contribute with more ideas to this post, and the constructive criticism is always welcome ("destructive" comments are not welcome).

Edited by Thortxu
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are no printing presses in this world, which relies on tribal memory and myth.

 

Books would be hand-illuminated and very rare.

which still doesn't make this impossible. but limited to the wealthier homes

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.
---
Pet threads, everyone has them. I love imagining Gods, Monsters, Factions and Weapons.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are no printing presses in this world, which relies on tribal memory and myth.

 

Books would be hand-illuminated and very rare.

 

What? Have I missed something?

16th century technology level would give us loads of books. I really hope there are books because, well, the written word is as elementary for the world as it gets. As much faith I have in Obsidian - there are some things that should not be tried to circumvent. No books would mean a gigantic hole in the world that had to be filled with another equally "technological revolution". I mean the printing presses were one of the greatest technological achievements ever. A total game-changer.

 

The same thing goes for the lore: Don't try to reinvent a philosophical, because that seems silly very fast for anyone who's into philosophy and literature. There are so many concepts in our world that we can borrow from without making it too obvious. It's basically the same discussion with "historical" weaponry and armour. Fantasy armour is silly, so are artificial concepts to make something "innovating"

Elan_song.gif

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Could still be plenty of handwritten scrolls lying around people's houses or a town historians library, for player's to read. In terms of world lore, still a nice way to put those extra bits in the game that some folk enjoy. I personally tend to ignore them unless they're part of a quest or something, but doesn't bother me if they're there.

“Things are as they are. Looking out into the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.” – Alan Watts
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Has magical transcription been ruled out? If books are expensive then a simple spell of copying text would be invaluable, even if it only works one page at a time. Or summon a creature that is dedicated to accurate copying of parchment.

"It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This makes me think about "blank pages" (finding, buying), for your own journal, which in turn turns to thoughts on Quest mechanics. If you run out of blank pages in-game you'll no longer update your journal automatically and instead will have to rely on your own memory and documentation as the player with either PnP or you have to start to manually update your journal (Hardcore difficulty?).

 

Legends of Grimrock on Hard removes the map and you got to get your PnP out, which is a great feature and great design in my opinion, I would however have loved it if it had been possible to draw the map in-game instead of diverting my attention from the game interface (as far as I understand it, after suggesting it on the LoG forums on Steam, this is a very difficult programming thing... painting in-game that is).

 

I would like to see books, perhaps not abundantly with x500 amounts of "History of the North" or other variants of it but maybe 15-30 book related items scattered across the world.

 

EDIT: Regardless of the "blank page" journal updating I would love to see an "Manual Journal" option (where your journal is pretty much blank and doesn't update automatically when you get a quest).

Edited by Osvir
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Literacy was rare in the world prior to the existence of the printing press. Unless you were noblility or clergy your chances of being literate were slim. There would be some limited use of writing among certain laymen (written language initially developed for basic economic reasons: the keeping of accounts, inventories, sales and such,) but given the masses were serfs tied to the land and the manor, the vast majority of people had no literacy and no means of acquiring books or literacy beyond joining the clergy or somehow catching the eye of a shrewd noble.

 

Incidentially, the movable type printing press was invented at the tail end of the medieval period (1450,) which honestly puts PE's claims of a late Renaissance-equivalent setting in some pretty hot water.

 

Worse still, there would be no place for bookstores because there weren't market economies at the time. There's no consumer base and there's no mass-production method. Medieval (and that's frankly what the level of literacy is going to be in PE) books were limited to the libraries of the church and the nobility where they were hand-copied by scribes and monks.

 

It gets tougher still if you want to have characters find ancient texts from an ancient civilization whose language is dead. In the West, few secular works of Greece and Rome were preserved, it took the Byzantines and Arabs in the Near East to preserve those writings.

 

 

So, obviously, if your character is going to be literate then they have to come from an upper-class or ecclesiastical background.

Edited by AGX-17
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Remember that PE does not have to fit exactly into a medieval European historical context. This is a work of fiction. The value and availability of texts would depend entirely on the type of culture that they're creating, within the established constraint of "no printing press." The Villa of the Papyri is an interesting example of a culture that revered texts, knowledge, and past cultures.

Edited by Alex Sherman
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh! Actually the book that I read about the Villa of the Papyri is especially relevant here: The Swerve: How the World Became Modern. It mostly follows a 15th century papal scribe, one of a few early Renaissance scholars who scoured the monasteries of Europe looking for lost manuscripts by Greek and Roman authors, the pages of which were often being used as scrap paper. It argues that finding these texts affected Western history and thought significantly. It's possible that texts in PE could be rare and obscure but vitally important in a similar way. A quest chain about tracking down lost, ancient scrolls that aren't magical, but could still have profound cultural significance, seems pretty cool to me, at least.

Edited by Alex Sherman
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Let's not throw out the baby with the bathwater with the whole realism thing ... your character is literate, if for no other reason that you the player are and you will get a journal in the game that allows you to manage your quests and gameplay ... since we will have magic and two major cities in close proximity to each other we are already greatly different than the constraints of medieval Europe ... you could also use China as an example (with no dark ages like Europe experienced they were centuries ahead of the west in many areas and had printing long before Gutenberg.

 

Books and book stores add to the mythology of the game ... and are far cheaper for the developer than having us track down every wandering minstrel on the continent to try and get our history and backstory ... with specialty classes like mages that rely on significant arcane knowledge they would have taken the place of many of the monks in our history and written down lots of reference material ... over a few centuries you could amass quite a collection of books ... if you want to go for the more realistic approach you could make for fewer duplication of the books (there were dozens of some of the common books in Elder Scrolls) and only provide 1-2 copies of every book in the game ... this would also make the achievement of collecting books (some people like that you know) far more challenging and interesting

 

Skill and Ability books would be useful if we are to use fixed abilities (my preference) since they allow you the benefit of in game development and customization of your party without having to deal with the play balance elements of continuously increasing abilities ... skills can increase over time (like fallout or icewind dale 2) since they don't have as much impact on game balance as does core characteristics ;)

 

So, for the TL:DR crowd, if you made it this far ... Books and Scrolls and Bookstores/Scrollstores ... Bring em on :biggrin:

Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing.” ― Robert E. Howard

:)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some of you have commented that it is unrealistic to the existence of many books comparing our real history with the game. A game with magic (a spell can generate hundreds of copies of a book in seconds), firearms (not invented until long after writing ...). I sincerely believe that it is entirely possible to have a library filled with books of many types, colors and sizes in the house and/or fortress of the game.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

People are also judging the availability of books based on a European perspective ... If we consider that china had the printing press 400 years before Gutenberg, then lots of books are not impossible ... The Mideast also had superior art and sciences to Europeans of that time ... If you don't constrain yourself with some of our history (destruction of Minoan civilization and dark ages) then you have a lot more flexibility ;)

  • Like 1

Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing.” ― Robert E. Howard

:)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Incidentially, the movable type printing press was invented at the tail end of the medieval period (1450,) which honestly puts PE's claims of a late Renaissance-equivalent setting in some pretty hot water.

 

Seeing as the printing press is directly responsible for the Renaissance

None of this is really happening. There is a man. With a typewriter. This is all part of his crazy imagination. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

With magic holding a significant presence in this world, I'd like to see some other types of record keeping. For example:

  • A sea shell you can hold to your ear that contains an extensive recorded message.
  • A glass ball that contains a memory, which you can experience by holding it up to a light.
  • A magical font that stores glimpses of historical events as seen by the people who experienced it.
  • A magic scroll that tells a different part of a story to each person who reads it.
  • A legendary tapestry that re-weaves itself into a new pattern each night.

  • Like 1

"It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

With magic holding a significant presence in this world, I'd like to see some other types of record keeping. For example:

  • A sea shell you can hold to your ear that contains an extensive recorded message.
  • A glass ball that contains a memory, which you can experience by holding it up to a light.
  • A magical font that stores glimpses of historical events as seen by the people who experienced it.
  • A magic scroll that tells a different part of a story to each person who reads it.
  • A legendary tapestry that re-weaves itself into a new pattern each night.

 

I like the idea of a legendary tapestry. Another one:

 

* A room whose floor is made up of different mosaics to step on them and relive historical events or different events in the life of former celebrities, tragedies of a clan or family, specific adventures of a famous group of adventurers...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How about editing books, descriptions yourself? What if a magical scroll is "lacking" in information or a magical ability (which you can flesh out yourself by trial and error to figure out what it really does), or a book that tells a story is heavily angled, or some parts of the book lacks in information that we can flesh out as well (a book talks about an area that you can go to and explore, but it doesn't tell about the beasts that inhabit those lands. Or about the Witch. Most specifically, the book wouldn't speak about your passing through). With this, you could have the option to be a "wannabe Historian" in-game.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

People are also judging the availability of books based on a European perspective ... If we consider that china had the printing press 400 years before Gutenberg, then lots of books are not impossible ... The Mideast also had superior art and sciences to Europeans of that time ... If you don't constrain yourself with some of our history (destruction of Minoan civilization and dark ages) then you have a lot more flexibility ;)

 

No, just no. China did not have "the printing press 400 years before Gutenberg". By that argument you could say that 4th century Egypt had the printing press. The printing press of Gutenberg was not the printing press of Bi Sheng (a movable type press). Gutenberg's invention was high quality, durable, and created uniform printing. It allowed faster printing and creation of books than any previous invention.

 

To put it another way, there were cars before Henry Ford, but it took Henry Ford to make them quickly and cheaply.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've mentioned this before in another thread (Of Muskets and Magic) but it seems to me that whenever magic is involved, it can pretty severely hamper technical innovation. Much innovation is due to a perceived need that must have been filled. When you have magic solving those problems for you, you're less likely to create a new invention to fill that need.

 

If you are in need of cars, but teleportation magic exists, why build something that requires much more innovation (in infrastructure, engine efficiency, fuel source, etc) and not stick with what you have? Teleportation is clean, renewable, and friendly to the environment. This message brought to you by the Green Mages ™.

Edited by Hormalakh
  • Like 2

My blog is where I'm keeping a record of all of my suggestions and bug mentions.

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/  UPDATED 9/26/2014

My DXdiag:

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/2014/08/beta-begins-v257.html

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Teleportation is presumed to be clean, renewable, and friendly to the environment.

 

Fixed it for you. :)

 

The problem with most game portrayals of magic is they never really consider the unintended consequences of magic compared to the body of literature on the subject. Also I really dislike teleportation in general. It allows poor writers to get away with the poor writing. Take NWN2 and just see how many times a villain teleports a bunch of creatures into the room (more than the rules of the game allow) and then teleports away. Teleportation takes away the difficulty of travel and when taken to the logical conclusion become the ultimate weapon.

 

Teleportation needs to have tight limits and consequences. Otherwise, it is just a lazy trope.

 

An interesting variation would be to allow teleportation, but every time someone teleports it creates the opportunity for an undesirable creature entry into the world.

 

The book Master of the Five Magics by Lyndon Hardy was built upon the concept there was consequences for summoning creatures into the world -- both for the summoner and the world in general. Each branch of magic had some drawback or limitation to it that created an interesting dynamic.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...