Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Logical Flow & MP Conversations (Revisited) (POLL: MP Conversations)

As I was writing a conversation for one of the companions that a player can add to the party, it slowly dawned on me that there was more needed for this conversation than first realised, for two reasons:-

1) Surrounding events needed to make more sense than they currently did.
2) This conversation needed to be common to all players in a MP game.

The first problem was one concerning "logical flow". Without going into detail (through fear of spoilers), it soon became obvious that the event being discussed was too important to be isolated to this companion and the PCs. "Fixing" this "logic" required an additional number of "new" conversations for new NPCs, plus I had to make a number of edits to existing ones.

As I was finishing the templates required for the additional conversation, I also realised that this conversation needed to be seen by all players when considering a MP game, as it was also a pivotal plot conversation.

In this campaign (unlike the official campaigns), different players take control of their own PCs. So, if one player decides to go in one direction compared to another player, then the PCs they "own" stay under their control and follow them, or carry out whatever they were last commanded to do. I give players this degree of autonomy all the while they are in the same area, only requiring them to all move together when going to a new area. A problem arises, however, if there is a conversation requiring the entire party in an area (like the one above), and the players are spread apart when the conversation begins.

I then recalled that this was also an issue in the official campaign, in that all players in a MP game would have a MP conversation start for them even if they had not been the player to start the conversation and weren't near the speaker in question.

After giving it some thought, I am not sure there is any way around this particular style of delivery. Furthermore, as I have used the "MP" switch in a number of conversations, then this conversation delivery will occur for all players in a MP game from time to time. I have looked at adding some checks to ensure players will be in the same region of an area when a MP conversation starts if possible, but there are likely to remain some conversations that will not have such checks.

If anybody has any more builders tips about helping to reduce this issue, then please leave a comment advising.

So, my POLL this time around is to find out what players think about MP conversation considerations. Do conversations starting outside of your control offend you? Do you recognise they are necessary for a MP game? And so on ... Please leave a comment if I have not covered your option, or if you have anything more to add.

3 comments:

Kamal said...

I'd make it like the official campaigns, as whomever talks to this plot critical npc would surely tell their party members about things (around the campfire or whatever), so I'd have no problem using the OC's MP conversation solution.

Eguintir Eligard said...

Ya. and why would you check for range on a plot conversation that clearly has to happen. I swear Lance its like you want to create work for yourself.

Lance Botelle (Bard of Althéa) said...

Hi Kamal and Eguintir,

Thank you both for helping put perspective on things again. I do struggle sometimes, and personal stresses are around at the moment with another sick pet rabbit, which make me worse than usual.

Bud, the little black rabbit in my picture is not well.

Thanks for keeping me on track.

Lance.