Ver. 1.0, April 2000
Magic and Technology
Non-Player Characters, Followers, and Dialog
Can you get dead party members back?
How does dialog work?
What can scripts test against in dialog?
Will NPCs get in your way?
Q: Can you get dead party members back?
A: There are several options for recovering dead party members, but
none of them are easy. If your character has learned the appropriate
college of magic, then you will have access to a spell that can
Tech characters have something similar available to them, however it
may have a somewhat different effect, as this is still being balanced.
A diplomat PC might be able to attract a Mage follower who can cast
this spell, or a Tech follower who has a similar ability. The added
benefit of having a follower, such as a Mage, for example, is that if
YOU die and the follower isn't under attack, they can Resurrect you!
You may also be able to Resurrect people at some churches and certain
Q: How does dialog work?
A: Dialog lines for NPCs appear near them, the engine tries to place
them over the head of the NPC in question, unless there is a nearby
text line that would overlap (in which case it shifts it over a
little to a clear area). They can still overlap in some cases, but
different text colors can fix this.
Your dialog options are shown in a see-through window below you. You
won't see your own dialog choice appear over you (so *it* won't
interfere with your view), though in multiplayer games other players
will see what you say.
When in normal dialog, the dialog "text-bubbles" don't
disappear until you make your next choice, so you don't have to worry
about losing track of what they just said before you make your decision.
We feel that this method helps the player feel like they are still in
the game, instead of switching to a different interface, which can be
Q: What can scripts test against in dialog?
A: Here's a list of what we can test against on any line of dialog:
How smart is the PC?
How much money does the PC have?
What is the PC's alignment?
How charismatic is the PC?
Does the PC have a particular NPC follower?
What is the value of a particular game state variable?
How skilled is the PC at haggling?
Does the PC have an item with a particular internal name?
Does this NPC have an item with a particular internal name?
What level is the PC?
What is the PC's Magical/Technical aptitude?
Has this NPC met the PC before?
How perceptive is the PC?
How persuasive is the PC?
What is the state of a particular quest in the game?
What race is the PC?
How well does this NPC like the PC?
Has a particular rumor been quelled?
Is a particular rumor already recorded in the PC's logbook?
What is the PC's rank in a particular skill?
What is the PC's level of training in a particular skill?
What is the current state of the main story arc?
These tests are used to select paths through dialog for both the NPC
and the PC. On any given dialog line we only use a few of these
tests, but having the full range available allows for fairly complex
quests and substories.
Q: Will NPCs get in your way?
A: Most NPCs have places to be during the day and at night, whether
it's a guard walking his post or a merchant at her shop, and these
places generally won't be in locations that would block you, unless
they are *meant* to be there (a guard preventing you from entering a
building, for example). If for some reason an NPC is not at their
expected location (if they were fighting, running an errand, etc.),
they will soon return to that location.
NPC followers can also be given commands to tell them to move. They
can be told directly to move out of your way, and they can also be
told to keep their distance or to stay close to you (useful for fighting).
(officail troika FAQ, taken from troikas homeage
and can be found at http://www.troikagames.com/arcanumfaq