FirstTimeTalked conundrum

I’m showing my lack of experience here again . . . but that’s ok. :see_no_evil:

Right at the start of my module I have the possibility that the PC will speak to an NPC they shouldn’t. The first time they talk should be inside the house. However, the likelihood of them doing this “illegal” conversation is pretty low.

Question is, how do I take account of this? Can’t think of a way to do this with a variable like FirstTimeTalked (because they may, or may not, carry out this conversation), there is no chance of doing an item restriction as they could do this illegal conversation right at the start of the module before they can pick up anything.

Is there an accepted easy way of dealing with this?

While I’m here, when I was starting the toolset and we decided to use Plot Wizard with our games design class to get them building quickly, in the plot nodes where we constructed, or rather improved, the conversations there was a final slot for what it called a single statement. This was reserved for a PC coming back to someone after the quest was over and was a single line retort, often something like “Go away, I’m busy”. It was very quick and easy.

Is there an accepted way of doing this? I know we can use variables but it would be useful to have something quick on one of the conversation editor tabs, maybe Action Taken (?) to allow you to denote that this NPC has nothing further useful to say or do and a space for you to type in the single statement? Especially if they have numerous nodes to their conversation.

Just a thought . . . quite a few of our kids had trouble fully understanding Conversation Editor and some even ended up using Plot Wizard to construct their final module, just linking plots together - ( which actually worked well but kinda skewed the storyline).

Mind you, maybe that’s a teacher blaming a kid for their shortcomings . . . :grinning:

I only work with modules for NWN2, I have however in a couple of occasions opened up the toolset for NWN1, but as a disclaimer, what I’m saying might not apply for NWN1. In that case, I’m sorry.

By what you are describing, the way I would have done it, and I’ve done it like that countless times in my modules, is to just put a local integer on the PC or another character after they have done the “illegal” conversation. Then it’s just to check for that local int, and put that node at the top in the “conversation tree” so that the game checks for this first. If they haven’t done this “illegal” act of talking to the character the game will choose the next conversation instead.

Yeah, thanks. I’ve been going over all the conversations in my module and my brain is now somewhat fried ! You can get so close to something you can’t see it clearly.

Yeah, I know about the brain being fried. When it comes to large conversations with different outcomes and things to check for…it often gets very confusing after a while, even if you try to be methodical about it. The last module I released had a companion with a lot to say, and I got a headache just looking at that in the toolset. So many things to check for all the time…urrgh.

Yeah, that’s why I would have liked the option, maybe even beside the completion of that character’s last quest button , to add a single statement that would appear from then on. Take it out of the variable sphere and just make it a tick box sort of thing.

But then I’m hardly king of the scripters so I would want that :grinning:

Probably the most robust way is to give the NPC conversation multiple opening lines, based on explicit conditions.

For example,

Condition 1 - NPC isn’t ready to talk (“outside” in your example?) = Talk to me later
Condition 2 - Quest not given = Find the MacGuffin
Condition 3 - Quest given but not closed = Have you got the MacGuffin
Unconditional (implicitly, quest closed) = Have a nice day (nothing more to say)

Where the MacGuffin is the object of the quest.


First off, why allow the chance of an “illegal” convo? Why not have the NPC spawn only when certain conditions have been met?

Second, if the NPC must be there, then the convo cannot be illegal. It may be as Proleric wrote above or there might be two or more conditions that must be met before having the “right” convo. This is actually a good opportunity to provide hints if one of the two conditions have been met. The NPC could tell the PC that they can only speak to them after condition # 2 has been met.

I run into the multiple conditions issue from time to time and it helps me to draw out a “mind map” before using the convo tool.

Thanks for this.

The NPC has to be there as the opening scene is a cutscene with her speaking to the PC.

First time I’ve come across anything like this and my mind wasn’t up to mapping it ! Neither was my scripting, sadly.

Yeah, it’s all about conditions. Reckon there are three that have to be met before this convo is valid. I’ll get there … or kill off the NPC before then to ease my mind !

In a Text Appears When script with multiple conditions, it’s just a matter of the following:

If A is TRUE
and B is also TRUE
and C is also TRUE
return TRUE
else return FALSE

That’s the easy part. The hard part is designing the convo so that A and B can be TRUE but C is not; A & C are TRUE but B is not; B & C are true but A is not, et cetera. Even sketching out the different possibilities on paper (“mind-map”) helps me a lot when designing the complicated convo.

That’s why I asked if the NPC really has to be there, because complicated convos are a pain.

The plus side is that this is how conversations work in the real world and at the gaming table. The more real options we give to the player, the more immersive the environment and the greater the opportunity for replay. Personally I get irritated when a lazy designer writes stilted conversations because they can’t be bothered with multiple conditions.

Best of luck!

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