Karthgad NPC & Dialouge Overhaul

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Karthgad NPC & Dialouge Overhaul

Post by Yeti » Wed Apr 01, 2015 4:17 pm

Still a work in progress, but these documents should show where I'm at on this. As always, feedback is much appreciated, though broader suggestions on the overall style and tone are much more useful at this stage than suggesting grammatical tweaks. Text in red will be rewritten.
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Post by worsas » Wed Apr 01, 2015 9:04 pm

I find the change in tone very interesting. I like how you recharacterized the Bear Clan. They are certainly more forbidding now.

At first I was disappointed to see the orc smith exchanged for a bear clan member, since the orc smith was a great symbol for the multi-ethnical (is that a proper word?) landscape of the hold and how even Nords could appreciate the Orcs mastery of smithing over their own. But the bearclan membership and the possible service refusal is a great means to add a xenophobic flavour to the village. Maybe we could see an orc smith in Karthwasten instead?

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Post by Yeti » Thu Apr 02, 2015 5:44 pm

Thank you for the compliment, Worsas. Coincidentally, an Orc smith is one of interiors cut from Karthwasten's Red Quarter that will be reused in Dragonstar. I definately agree we should highlight The Reach's multi-ethnic character in most settlements, but I felt Karthgad, as a lone village of mostly staunchly traditionalist Nords, should serve as a slight exception. Even then, we have two Reachmen traders to show that the Hold's other races are beginning to gain a foothold.

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Post by roerich » Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:21 pm

Just wanted to say this is great. The work on the Bear Clan is well done indeed.

Perhaps have some more focus on the village being on the road between Markarth/Karthwasten? How are we picturing the travel distance between those cities (not ingame), enough to warrant Karthgad as a resting spot, or can the journey be done in a day (I'd say no). Perhaps the Reachmen traders could have some bedrolls for rent, or maybe the Bear Clan forbids travellers from staying overnight in Karthgad without approval from the clan leader, explaining why the inn on the forest border is preferred. Karthgad being an isolationist outpost while being on a major trade route is something that needs to be adressed, although the trade route can has certainly seen more activity recently, now that Karthwasten is part of Skyrim. I like how you pointed out the Bear Clans' loss of identity from being frontier warriors, it is spot on and should be a major theme of theirs.

__________________________________________________________

Edit: Not necessarily relevant here, but I have some thoughts on the Bear Clan questline (or just how the faction will progress). What if the younger generation of cubs are better at aknowledging the current situation, and are actively working (some of it in secret from the clan leader) on establishing a foothold in the criminal underworld of Dragonstar, Markarth and/or Karthwasten? As a way to maintain the relevance of the clan and their hold on power. The clan is already involved in shady activities like smuggling (across the border prior to and during the war), as well as thieving, robbery, extortion, kidnapping etc. They hold power in the Vorngad and probably have some contacts in the larger cities already, as part of their smuggling schemes. They are also fiercely pro-Nord rule in the region, and hunt Redguard insurgents when they intrude on their holdings. Perhaps they are seeking to taking the "underground war" to the Redguards in KW and DS, earning some drakes in the process.

This would play in well with the theme of the war changing a lot of situations, and forcing people to adjust to new conditions, as well as loss of power.

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Post by Yeti » Thu Apr 09, 2015 2:16 am

I'm sort of on the fence with whether there should even be a larger Bear Clan questline or if we should just limit them to a few flavor quests here and there. Either way, we could definitely show some of the younger members take a more enterprising role

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Post by worsas » Thu Apr 09, 2015 10:58 am

I'm not sure on the idea of establishing the bear clan as a big criminal organisation in the vein of the thieves guild or the Camonna Tong in MW. I know they were given a huge cave of their own, something I'm not comfortable with either, actually, but I'd at least avoid having something like bear clan basements across the region. Clans should be a local thing, with the bear clan maybe having sneaky influence beyond their homestead in Karthgad with contact people in several towns that are affiliated somehow but not clan members themselves. But that should maybe be discussed in depth somewhere else.

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Post by roerich » Thu Apr 09, 2015 11:40 am

It doesn't sound perfect to me either, but I'm a bit confused on the identity of the clan. Initially they were planned to be criminals and smugglers, or am I mistaken? Perhaps we can show some cooperation with other clans on the wrong side of the law. Agreed about not adding Bear Clan hideouts all over the region, but I'd like for them to have some contacts elsewhere.

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Post by Yeti » Fri Apr 10, 2015 1:00 pm

As far as their criminal activities go, I see local banditry (disguised as protecting their territory) and smuggling by some members to be the extent of their operations.

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Post by roerich » Fri Apr 10, 2015 2:55 pm

Sounds good, and more in tune with their character.

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Post by Yeti » Sun May 03, 2015 8:08 pm

Just chiming in to let everyone know I plan to get back to work on this after this last week of final class projects, writing stories for my college newspaper and preparing for graduation from my university.

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Post by Yeti » Sun Jun 19, 2016 7:05 pm

Lo and behold, I finally got around to porting my work on this to a Google Doc.

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Post by Yeti » Thu Aug 11, 2016 6:35 am

Ready for review.

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Post by roerich » Fri Aug 12, 2016 1:31 pm

Looking great. Haven't read it all in full, but here's my initial thoughts:
Little advice

An old crone lives by the side of the Karth River, close to the southern fjord. All hunters who prowl the Vorndgad Forest know her talents as a healer. Look for her cabin if you find yourself sick or injured.
A fjord is an inlet on a coastline surrounded by land on three sides. Edit: I might be wrong, seems like the term 'fjord' is used differently in English as well as Norwegian than it is in Danish.
Someone in particular

Heed the voice of Thane Uolgo Bear-Father. He leads the Bear Clan and makes the real laws in these parts. Gorvrda is a huscarl who serves the King. Her band of warriors keeps the peace around here, when possible. You can learn local lore from Jolna Bear-Voice, the village shaman or barter with the Reachman traders, Ywain and Duanoc.
So, Uolgo Bear-Father the leader of the Bear Clan is the Thane of Karthgad and thus of the highest rank in these parts. And Gorvda is basically a glorified guard with a mead hall. Not that I disagree, I just always thought that the leader in the meadhall was the "official" head of Karthgad but in reality just a weak-willed representative of the Markarth throne, and the BC leader was the one who actually ruled. I'm not sure I understand what role Govrda plays now.

I'm fine with just having Govrda being in charge of security and keeping the roads clean of bandits and Reachmen. Basically being the head of a band of Markarth-loyal warriors stationed by King Barda to keep an eye on the Bear Clan and to keep the "newly" reopened trade routes between Karthwasten and Markarth safe.

Another thing, I think the rank "Housecarl" should almost always be synonymous with "bodyguard" (or rather "ritualistic honor guard with some political impact and standing soldiers of his own"), that said the housecarls are always housecarl to someone, if you understand me. In example, you're of course also Thane to someone (to King and Jarl), but the vassal relationship between a Housecarl and a King/Jarl/Thane is closer than the relationship between a Jarl and his King, with the Jarls and Thanes usually exhibiting some sort of autonomy and reign over lands of their own. Even more apparent in how a housecarl usually lives in his lords' manor, offering protection, advice and company.

My point being that using the title Housecarl for a representative of King Barda looks a bit off to me, though not totally unjustifiable. Another solution could be to have Govrda be a Thane and Uolgo merely a clan leader or a Chiftain (like how it used to be, if I'm not mistaken), but I can surely see why the BC leader should also have official political authority over their ancestral home, and changing him to Thane is something that I liked overall. In that case we could just have another title for Govrda, possibly "Hirdsmand" as the title for a leader of a warband (a 'Hird'), or something else.

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Post by Yeti » Sat Aug 13, 2016 8:35 am

Ah, I used he wrong word their, it seems. I meant to use "ford," as in a shallow place to cross a river or stream on foot.

Making Uolgo the Thane was part of my attempt to give the Bear Clan a greater presence in Karthgad, their ancestral stronghold. Before, they were confined to their main hall, and I thought it would make more sense for them to be in control of their village. I should have sought feedback on a change like that, though, and I agree about giving the mead hall Nord a different title. I got mixed up on that one, thinking Housecarl could work as a general rank below Thane, but now I see I was totally off on that.

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Post by worsas » Sat Aug 13, 2016 9:06 am

Built on a cliff overlooking a bend in the Karth River, Karthgad rests within the Vorndgad Forest – the secluded backwoods of Markarth County
Should be Midkarth County now, if that's how we'll call this area.

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Post by roerich » Sat Aug 13, 2016 9:28 am

@Yeti Just to be clear, I really liked making Uolgo the Thane of Karthgad. I'm not sure Govrda needs a title per se. But if he gets one, it should be a nordic warrior title, equivalent to "guard captain" or something to that effect. Also, if I understand correctly, all the generic guards in Karthgad are under his command? The presence of Govrda could also pose some interesting storylines to be further developed in lore, quests dialogue etc. (although I think we're good for now in this region). The BC surely sees it as not only a mistrust of Thane Uolgo's ability to keep the roads in the Vorngad safe, but also a way to undermine their authority in their own home.

@worsas Depends. Region names should first and foremost be geographical and not political in nature, like how it was in vanilla where i.e. the West Gash was a large region divided between several political powers. So the Midkarth Region, as well as the Vorngad Forest Region and parts of Falkar Foothills region, are all part of the political region of Markarth County.

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Post by worsas » Sat Aug 13, 2016 10:10 am

I liked the previous setup better where Govrda was thane. Now his whole meadhall with all his comrades makes little sense, even for a guard captain.

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Post by roerich » Sat Aug 13, 2016 11:58 am

Perhaps the interior would need a reworking then. With the same NPC's, but less of a meadhall/chiftain hall feeling and more like Nordic barracks.

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Post by Yeti » Thu Aug 18, 2016 5:02 pm

Making Uolgo a Chiftain again and Govrda a Thane sent by Markarth to watch over village could be one solution.

Moving forward, I really think this is how the review process for dialogue should ideally work, with team members bringing up concerns and us discussing changes that need to be made until everyone is happy.

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Post by roerich » Fri Aug 19, 2016 11:14 am

Could be any solution, but I think Uolgo should be the resident bigshot, and Govrda a representative of Markarth either way.

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Post by berry » Thu Oct 20, 2016 2:28 pm

Hey Yeti, just letting you know I enjoyed reading this document a lot, it's a great stuff. I'm sorry for not posting my feedback earlier, I didn't want to spam pretty unproductive "It's great" posts; I support everything you come up with in general. :) Though I think I liked it better with Govrda being a thane too, with a title and all good intentions, but no real power behind them.

Anyway, I don't know if that's the right place to drop this by, but here are my attempts at writing some flavour dialogue tidbits, mostly pointing to the changes to the forest areas I've been making over this year alongside worsas. Maybe these can come in handy. The minotaur advice is based on an encounter I had while testing :P but I'm not so sure about it, tbh, as it's quite 'meta', justifying the fact that minotaurs don't have swim animations.
little secret; scout; this barrow is a home to a pair of rogue vampires.
You know the mountain with the Bear clan barrow, just at Karthgad's outskirts? Few people know there's actually a second barrow there, too, on the top of that mountain. I don't think anyone's been there in years.
little secret; scout
Somewhere deep in Vorndgad forest you can find a little peacefull clearing. There is a sacred shrine to Kyne there, back from the ancient days. Believe me or not, but to these days all kind of birds come there, day or night, to pay their honours to their lord. It's a sight to see, no doubt.
greeting; outlander; times spoken to pc = 0
I can tell you are a stranger to these lands, just like me. If there's something you want to know about Reach lore, feel free to ask.
Reach lore
There are only few river bridges in this part of Skyrim, and all of them are very old. People here tend to relate on fords, as they aren't a barrier for water transport.
ford; outlander
Ford is a shallow within the river, with a road passing through it. Certainly not a bad thing, if you don't mind getting a little wet. On the other hand, some of these passages might be too deep for a wood elf to cross. As far as I can tell, local Nords seem to consider this an extra advantage!
little advice; generic?
Want a tip or two about minotaurs of the Reach? If you ever meet one in the woods, and you're not ready for a fight, just run. Their blows might be powerful, but these beasts are not very fast. If there's any water nearby - hop in! Everybody knows these filthy creatures would rather dull their own horns than follow you there.
----

Can we get a claim for Norjor/S’Viir quest up? I have some thoughts and proposals for that one, and I'd like to claim it too, eventually. :geek:

Edit: during the interview, worsas mentioned an idea of making Karthgad smith a racist, declining his service to non-Nords. How about including this feature, but in less hardcore, blunted version, where Elf PC would be required to pay a "lengthy ears-fee" (in symbolic height by all means, 10 Septims or so; it'd be about degrading, not making any real profit of it) before they can get any service? I've played with similar idea in CS before, and as long as choice results are possible for Service refusal dialoge entries (not really sure about that part, haven't tried it) I can make something like that.

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Post by worsas » Thu Oct 20, 2016 5:19 pm

Somewhere deep in Vorndgad forest you can find a little peacefull clearing. There is a sacred shrine to Kyne there, back from the ancient days. Believe me or not, but to these days all kind of birds come there, day or night, to pay their honours to their lord. It's a sight to see, no doubt.
..to their mistress. Though, I'd rather see it as a sacrificial place used by the Nords than a place where birds actually lay their eggs. The local Nords might be sacrificing them.

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Post by berry » Tue Oct 25, 2016 6:23 pm

Well, I know Kynareth is personified as a goddess, but is it true for Kyne too? The name does sound pretty masculine... though now that I look at it, it's clearly depicted as a woman here at least. Anyway, the way it works in my headcanon, gods of Nordic pantheon in the eyes of their worshippers aren't fully personalized beings like the Nine for the Imperial Cult, but rather embodiments of powers of widely understood nature. In that Nords would be closer to Daedra worshippers (some of their gods are in fact Daedra lords, right? I mean Herma Mora in the Woodland Man aspect, and perhaps Hircine too?) So I used the word "lord" to point to that context too, more to describe a rank of the being, rather than it's gender - like Azura is a daedric lord of dusk. But sorry for dwelling so much into offtop here :P "Mistress" works just fine of course, and is much less controversial.

I think it might make sense to remove the eggs from the altar, especially since that's the only place so far where such 'wild' eggs would be encountered, so it'd be rather immersion breaking. That works with me. At any rate though, in that dialogue piece I was refering to the fact I placed a swarm of leveled birds around the altar, praising Kyne with their songs, not their nest itself. That one can go, as far as I'm concerned.

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Post by roerich » Wed Oct 26, 2016 5:54 am

I agree that the eggs need to go. The shrine was one of the only things in that area that seemed a bit too moddy for me. Otherwise I like your suggestions.

Kyne was the wife of Shor. When it rains in Skyrim, it is Kyne mourning her lost husband. The Nordic gods are very much personified in Nord religious belief, even if they also somewhat understand them as archetypes.
Varieties of Faith wrote:Nord Goddess of the Storm. Widow of Shor and favored god of warriors, she is often called the Mother of Men. Her daughters taught the first Nords the use of the Thu'um or "Storm Voice."
Also, Herma-Mora, Mauloch, Hircine etc. aren't worshipped, but they are aknowledged as Testing Gods, not unlike the Bad Daedra of Dunmer religion. Their worshippers are great for testing if you've sharpened your axe properly.

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Post by Yeti » Wed Oct 26, 2016 5:28 pm

Thank you for your suggestions, berry. I'll try to work them into the final draft.

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Post by Yeti » Wed Dec 21, 2016 9:05 pm

I've made changes to the document, taking feedback posted here. Let me know what you guys think.

Link

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Post by Luxray » Wed Dec 21, 2016 9:28 pm

Looks good. It would be cool to add a line to Nauk gra-Olad's dialogue acknowledging when the spikeworms have been cleared. Maybe some small reward of a silver nugget or something.
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Post by berry » Thu Dec 22, 2016 4:26 pm

Luxray wrote:Looks good. It would be cool to add a line to Nauk gra-Olad's dialogue acknowledging when the spikeworms have been cleared. Maybe some small reward of a silver nugget or something.
Well, it's here. :P

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Post by berry » Fri Jan 27, 2017 5:06 pm

Yeti, in manhunters' quest I used current Bear-Face's House as a living place of Grandr, Barjorg's pal and supposedly a victim in the hunt. Would it be possible to minimize the work needed to tweak this quest to:
  1. rename Bear-Face's House to Grandr's House?
  2. (re)move Sky_iRe_KG_Norjor?
  3. rename Sky_iRe_KG_Gradnr and Sky_iRe_KG_Barjorg to some other names? Only now I realised it probably wasn't the smartest move I did to use names from your draft :( I can change quest-Barjorg and quest-Grandr names as well, as I'd still need to adjust dialogues for/regarding thane Gorvrda née Grondvyrd anyway, but that'd require far more work than renaming generic NPC.
Sorry for the commotion.

edit: It would be relatively easy to change it to any other house for quest-Grandr's location, though. It's mostly a matter of names consistency

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Post by Yeti » Sat Jan 28, 2017 4:38 pm

I'll take care of changing names when we merge the quest in. A bigger problem is probably me changing the IDs. What are all the NPCs your quest uses?

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