Obsidian Dev Posts Example of Storm of Zehir Party Conversation System

Anthony Davis, one of the Obsidian Entertainment Developers, has posted an example of the the new Party Conversation System for Neverwinter Nights 2: Storm of Zehir. In case you missed the announcement, Storm of Zehir is the second expansion for NWN2.

Davis is a programmer implementing the system in SoZ. Here’s his explaination of how the system should work. Remember that SoZ, like the original NWN2, is based on D&D 3.5.

I am still implementing and tuning the Party Conversation System so all of this is subject to change depending on how the gameplay works or technical limitation we encounter.

Here is the example though.

Here is my party:

When I start the game, I select (or create) what the Aurora/Electron engine refers to as the Player Created Character. This operates exactly like NWN1, NWN2, and NX1.

Player Created Character is NOT functionally the same thing as the Party Leader, though they are frequently the same creature.

I select Grubs, my half-orc monk.

Once in NX2, we have access to the Party Creation Screen.

To complete my party, I select a cleric , a smarty pants mage, and a rogue to cover everything else.

So my party now looks like this:

Grubs the Monk (PCC and also currently the leader has a BLUFF of 5)
Oswyn the Cleric (has DIPLOMACY of 10)
Karak the Mage (has LORE of 10)
Reylene the Rogue (has BLUFF of 10)

I’m going to get a little bit more technical here, but it has to be done.

Every conversation node has a series or replies. Each reply has or can have conditional scripts that fire that determine if the reply node should appear. It worked this way for NWN1, NWN2, and NX1.

For example, if I put a conditional on a reply node that says APPRAISE > 5, that reply node will ONLY appear if the player character talking to the NPC has an APPRAISE skill greater than 5.

Conditionals can be ANY script out there as long as it returns a TRUE or a FALSE.

Got it?

Moving on…

Let’s pretend we talk to some dude, and his conversation tree looks like this:

>Sup, what can I do for you guys?
1. Hey, nothing.
2. (If BLUFF less 10) Gimme your money. !Failure!
3. (If BLUFF greater than or equal 10) Gimme your money. !Success!
4. (If DIPLOMACY greater 5) We come in peace!
5. (If LORE greater 8) I have heard of you!

(The words between the !’s represent comments that would not be shown in game)

Whatever, you get the idea. Talking to this guy will bring up the new Party Conversation System.

The new Party Conversation System looks similar to the Quickchat Screen from NWN2, except for a series of tabs that allow you to switch between current party members.

In our case, it is Grubs, Oswyn, Karak, and Reylene. Grubs is currently the active/highlighted tab because he is the party leader.

Grubs has the following dialog options:
1. Hey, nothing.
2. (If BLUFF less 10) Gimme your money.!Failure!

If I click on Oswyn’s tab, I am in effect allowing Oswyn to talk for the party. I will then see Oswyn’s dialog options:

1. Hey, nothing.
4. (If DIPLOMACY greater 5) We come in peace!

Karak:
1. Hey, nothing.
5. (If LORE greater 8) I have heard of you!

And finally, Reylene:
1. Hey, nothing.
3. (If BLUFF greater than or equal 10) Gimme your money. !Success!

Flipping through the tabs will allow you to see what options each character might have if you chose to allow them to speak for the party.

Remember, my example is weak sauce compared to what the real designers do, afterall, I’m a programmer.

via RPG Codex

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