Vorndgad Forest: Horses off the road (Sky_qRe_VF01) [berry]

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worsas
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Vorndgad Forest: Horses off the road (Sky_qRe_VF01) [berry]

Post by worsas » Thu Jun 16, 2016 3:00 pm

roerich wrote:Horses off the road

On the roadside, on the route towards Dragonstar, you stumble upon a few tents and two carts full with wares. If you talk to three of the four people there, they'll tell you to talk to the fourth one (Force goodbye). When you talk to the fourth one, you discover he's a merchant travelling from Markarth to Jehenna. They camped by the road one night, and during the night a band of Reachmen stole their horses and rode off. He asks the player to retrieve the horses, and tells you that they rode south. He hasn't dared to go after them, as they are too few men (two merchants and two mercenaries), and he wouldn't want his goods unguarded. He will pay you genereously for the ordeal, and says that one of his caravan guards, a large male Colovian warrior, will join you in the hunt. You travel south and find the Reachmen camp (two huts and one shelter at most) and the three horses. You slay the five Reachmen and escort the horses back. If any horses die during the battle or the trek home, your reward is lowered. If the Colovian dies, it won't change anything - he'll only remark that he should pay more for caravan guards in the future.

Reward:
All horses survive = He pays you 1600 gold and four pieces of silver ore.
Two horses survive = He pays you 1200 gold and two pieces of silver ore.
One horse survive = The merchant will be furious, as he will have to load all of the wares on one cart. He pays you 800 gold.


Caravan:
Male Breton merchant
Male Breton Merchant (apprentice)
Male Colovian warrior
Female Nord warrior

Reachmen horse-thieves:
Female Reachman archer
Male Reachman barbarian
Male Reachman scout
Male Reachman warrior
Female Reachman barbarian
Yeti wrote:The amount of gold rewarded is too high for a miscellaneous quest, but otherwise the quest plan sounds great.

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Post by roerich » Thu Jun 16, 2016 10:45 pm

This should be renamed. :-D

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Post by berry » Thu Jun 16, 2016 11:48 pm

Thanks for the thread, W! Formally claiming this, I'll provide an update next week - I've got the essence for this quest finished.
roerich wrote:This should be renamed. :-D
I was thinking about "Hold your horses!" for this one, but then... not every single quest name should be about a pun or a wordplay. Plus I'm not that good at this stuff. :P

About the reward... I made it that way there are two horses, and the merchant offers to pay 250 Septims for each of them. The player can extort the merchant to pay 500 drakes per horse instead, but then the merchant would refuse to trade with him - the merchant sells some handy goods, that could be helpful in the Reach (to further balance this out, we might add a rare enchanted item or two here too?). Maybe the merchant could give an unique surprise reward if the players follows the honest path and doesn't extort her? A lecture about the Mercantile, maybe (though that was already in vanilla game...)? The easiest solution would be to make the trader reach her destination and then have a great store opened there for the player she likes, but we won't be having a proper town for this solution in upcoming release, so maybe later, then.

I also set this quest in the forest eventually, between the bridge to the Karthwasten fields and the first ford on the way to Karthgad, but it would be really simple to relocate this quest anywhere. I thought that way it could serve as a stimulus for the player to explore the areas around the forest dirtpaths. The merchant is a Redguard woman from Elinhir (on her way to Haafingar/Markarth), accompanied by two local FG mercenaries - Nord and an Imperial.

Comments, ideas, opinions?

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Post by worsas » Fri Jun 17, 2016 3:51 am

I also set this quest in the forest eventually, between the bridge to the Karthwasten fields and the first ford on the way to Karthgad, but it would be really simple to relocate this quest anywhere. I thought that way it could serve as a stimulus for the player to explore the areas around the forest dirtpaths. The merchant is a Redguard woman from Elinhir (on her way to Haafingar/Markarth), accompanied by two local FG mercenaries - Nord and an Imperial.
I'll change it to Vorndgad forest then. I was misinterpreting the quest in my mind to be about a journey between Markarth and Jehanna, not Elinhir. Placing it between karthwasten and karthgad makes completely sense.

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Post by berry » Sat Jun 25, 2016 5:05 pm

First update! The mechanism of this quest works correctly at last, but there are still some glitches (for example if you activate a horse twice, it will be detected as returning two horses by Nelisse). I'm yet to make this foolproof, but the progress is worth an update already. Many dialogue lines are placeholders still or could be reworked to some extent, the system telling if horses died doesn't work, and there is no script disabling the group after the quest is finished.

Use this file alongside my most recent exterior claim 20 update. In-game, take a walk from Karthwasten to Karthgad, and the group will be there, just behind the forest path. There are two horses to find,
SpoilerShow
currently one is in the forest not far from Muspila's exterior barrow in the side of the mountain, and the second one is in the area behind former location of Hoota's cabin, on a large clearing by the riverside and by the feet of Druadachs
. I gave the horses some refinements from Grumpy's companion script. Escort quests can be quite frustrating even in vanilla game, and I had few nearly dealbreaking moments when I tried to bring the horses back in this rocky forest.

I've never written such complex scripts before. I'd love to grab a simple kill/fetch quest when this one is completed for a change. :P

I would love some feedback and opinions on this, so please let me know what you think. Have a great weekend, everybody. :)
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Post by berry » Thu Jun 30, 2016 11:50 am

Bumping to update a status of this. Tomorrow I'm off for the weekend for a bachelor party of a friend of mine, and then I'll be busy with all the packing etc stuff - I'm moving in less than a month from now. So yeah, some absorbing days ahead. :)

The point is, it would be great if you guys could give this quest a go during this weekend. With some feedback, opinions and approvements I should be able to finish this quest in about one day when I get back. Afterward my activity here will be severely limited for a while, sadly.

Edit: Got an idea for a new name for this quest: Of hexes and horses

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Post by worsas » Thu Jun 30, 2016 2:31 pm

I'll give this a test as soon as you have uploaded your new version. Good to hear you are on about it.

Unfortunately you are not the only modder with time trouble, but that is nothing that can be helped.

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Post by berry » Thu Jun 30, 2016 3:44 pm

In this case, a new version would mean a finished version, and I don't want to give it a go before receiving a green light. So if you can, please try the file I uploaded already over the weekend, so I can wrap this up when I'm back. It's quite complete and there's lot to test already.

I'm sorry if I wasn't clear about that in my last post; it's hard to think with the heat back. :cry:

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Post by worsas » Fri Jul 01, 2016 3:56 pm

This is a really nicely designed quest. I love the characters you added and the overall quest mechanic seems to work well.

I think it would be better, if you got the amulet of the good beast right away when accepting the quest instead of having to buy it from the trader, as it is pretty much required to fulfill the quest for non-highlevel, non-bosmer player characters. Even though she mentioned the amulet and I was trading with her, I simply overlooked the amulet all the time until I looked really closely.

If the brown horse was standing somewhere in relatively open space instead of behind a rock, maybe. it is very hard to find, even if you know where it is in advance.

I had a dialogue error upon delivering the first horse when I clicked on the merchant in need - topic. The trader then said she wouldn't trust me enough to speak about the topic and the topic disappeared altogether afterwards, although my reputation with her was at 55. Weird. Between the first and second horse i contracted a disease from a wormmouth and when i returned with the second horse, she gave the disease-related greeting instead of the quest-related one. But when speaking to her again, I received the money nevertheless.

There does not seem to be a final dialogue entry for the merchant in need - topic that ensures the player of the fact that he/she has finished the quest. if he didn't listen closely enough, he could be trying to find even more horses after delivering two of them.

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Post by berry » Tue Jul 05, 2016 11:06 am

Thanks a ton, Muspila! I'm glad you liked it. I'll get to getting this finished sometime next week then, tops. :)
worsas wrote:I think it would be better, if you got the amulet of the good beast right away when accepting the quest instead of having to buy it from the trader, as it is pretty much required to fulfill the quest for non-highlevel, non-bosmer player characters. Even though she mentioned the amulet and I was trading with her, I simply overlooked the amulet all the time until I looked really closely.
I can see your point here. The dialogues about the amulet are not very informative, as they are half-baked; I only in fact came up with the idea of requiring a calm spell here (rather than simply activating the horses) just before uploading the file, but it's still an issue. I made the amulet purchasable because I wanted to make it harder for a rogue-ish player - the merchant refuses to trade with blackmailers taking advantage of her here, so if anyone wants to extort more gold from her, he would have to try harder to solve this quest; I think this is fair. Maybe I'll make it so she gives the amulet to an honest player, and the rogue player would be left alone, as he is now, with only a mention about the spell?
worsas wrote:If the brown horse was standing somewhere in relatively open space instead of behind a rock, maybe. it is very hard to find, even if you know where it is in advance.
Another thing here is that it doesn't really work well with the guides she's giving to the player. Running the way she said the horses run, it'd never make it there. I think I will just move the brown one to a farer part of the dirt path.
worsas wrote:I had a dialogue error upon delivering the first horse when I clicked on the merchant in need - topic. The trader then said she wouldn't trust me enough to speak about the topic and the topic disappeared altogether afterwards, although my reputation with her was at 55. Weird. Between the first and second horse i contracted a disease from a wormmouth and when i returned with the second horse, she gave the disease-related greeting instead of the quest-related one. But when speaking to her again, I received the money nevertheless.
I noticed the same error myself, but I honestly don't know what's causing it, I certainly didn't make such entry purposedly. I'll have to make some troubleshooting and see about it.

I also had the same issue with the disease on one of my runs, but when I was taking the quest. I'm not sure if that's really a thing that would need fixing, though, if the quest can be completed nevertheless? Maybe she's just sensitive when it comes to diseases. :P

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Post by berry » Sat Aug 06, 2016 1:52 pm

Finished and ready for a review. Please don't let me claim anything so heavy scripted for a while now. :( :P
  • rewrote dialogues, adding more flavour to them and fixing some grammar errors
  • per worsas' suggestion, made it that the amulet is given to the player - as long as she/he doesn't try to squeeze out more gold
  • moved horses to more apparent locations. The brown one is to be encountered by an ambushed cart, next to Orsimer rogues, and the gray one can be found earlier along the road - when the road goes up between a leafless tree and a felled log, look right, and he should be there, at the feet of a small cliff
  • added missing dialogue and journal entries
  • added more personality to involved NPCs, making them react accordingly to players action, depending on a route PC took - whether he or she extorts Nelisse for more gold, or aids her all fair
  • added missing disabling script - the group now disappears when player entries an interior cell
After data merge I'd like to revisit this quest again, and add some exotic imports from other provinces to Nelisse's stock. Nothing major, but it'd be a cool feature to see, given how she's supposedly a transprovincial travelling vendor. So in conclusion, rewards for this quest would be as follows:
Honest path: 500 Septims, ring of calm creature, chance to buy some unique (per Skyrim's perspective) stuff
Blackmailing path: 1000 Septims (Nelisse refuses to trade with anyone extorting her)

I think that'd be a well-balanced solution.

Let me know what you think about it. :)
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Post by roerich » Sat Aug 06, 2016 2:30 pm

Sounds great berry, I can't wait to check it out!

At first impression I think the monetary reward should be slightly lower. Something like 400 and 800 gold respectively would be better to me, but others are probably better at judging that.

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Post by worsas » Sat Aug 06, 2016 4:48 pm

As far as I have tested the quest works great. I haven't checked the alternate route with higher gold demand yet, but the default route worked flawlessly so far. There are a few wordings, yeti should maybe look over later, but overall I like the tone and implementation of this whole thing.

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Post by berry » Sat Aug 06, 2016 6:34 pm

I'm glad you like it. By the way, for the record, I eventually decided to name this quest "Curses and horses". That name about sums it up, plus I like how it sounds phonetically. Try quickly saying that aloud few times... :P

A quick heads-up for anyone giving 'the bad path' a go: tcl into the cart and grab the amulet from merchant's barrel. It makes testing much easier.

Reduced rewards makes sense here, I agree. Overall matters of quest rewards should be reconsidered in a later stage anyway, when we have an average mod difficulty estabilished, so I try not to overthink them now for my quests. I also wanted to make these rewards somewhat generous, in order to encourage players to explore our wilderness.

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Post by worsas » Tue Aug 09, 2016 7:57 pm

Now I have been trying this with a wood elf character and going the higher pay path without the amulet, but unfortunately the beast tongue spell doesn't work as substitute, as it uses a command creature effect instead of a calm creature one. I have tested exchanging these lines

Code: Select all

if ( followingplayer != -1 )
	if ( followingplayer != 1 )
		If ( GetEffect, sEffectCalmCreature == 1 )
			set followingplayer to 1
			activate
		endif
	endif
endif
with these

Code: Select all

if ( followingplayer != -1 )
	if ( followingplayer != 1 )
		If ( GetEffect, sEffectCalmCreature == 1 )
			set followingplayer to 1
			activate
		endif
		If ( GetEffect, sEffectCommandCreatures == 1 )
			set followingplayer to 1
			activate
		endif
	endif
endif
and that makes it possible to finish the quest with application of beast tongue, which seems like a nice feature to me.

Other than that taking the alternate path of finishing the quest worked greatly. Characters were very responsive on the differing quest path, too. Overall, this quest feels ready to get added in.

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Post by Luxray » Tue Aug 09, 2016 8:41 pm

I'll check this for additional errors and dialogue fluency tomorrow, though from all accounts it seems pretty good! Nice job berry
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Post by Luxray » Wed Aug 10, 2016 1:06 pm

This is a cool quest and the characters have some really nice lines. There's a few phrases that need their English fixing (not many). Do you want me to do that and post a fixed file or just post the list of things that need changing?

It would be cool, if these mercenaries would react to you being in the Skyrim Fighters Guild, once we have that faction set up in Karthwasten. :)
<roerich> woah it's hot in here
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<Infragris> #hell is meant as a spam and off topic channel. Doing a great job already

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Post by berry » Thu Aug 11, 2016 11:10 am

I'm sorry guys for not replying earlier, I have only just noticed your posts. :?

@Muspila: Hey, that's great! I confess I've been thinking recently about the issue with a Command spell, that in common sense should work here as well, but I was afraid that wouldn't be that easy to address in the script. I have to admit I spent so much time tinkering with the horse script that a thought about adjusting it even further was nauseating, really. :) Thank you for this, sincerely. I agree about the feature, all these Bosmer rogues out there will surely appreciate it.

@Luxray: Thanks for offer, it would be fantastic if you could get this fixed! As we speak I'm adjusting the script accordingly to worsas' suggestion, and removing orichalcum ores I added in this plugin, and then I'll upload the file free for you to grab. :)

Edit: Alright, here you go. Thanks again. :)
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Post by Luxray » Sun Aug 14, 2016 4:23 pm

Here's the touched-up file. If you could check it saved properly berry that would be great, it seemed to have a missing sign mesh for me in the CS.

One suggestion: Nelisse's greeting 1 entry for 'just one horse alive and returned' is the same for the blackmailed- and non-blackmailed state, I think it would make sense for her to have a greeting that is much more angry, if she has been extorted and then the player can't even complete the job properly. I didn't change this in the file though, just a suggestion for now.

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<roerich> woah it's hot in here
<Lord Berandas> it must be Summer.
<Infragris> #hell is meant as a spam and off topic channel. Doing a great job already

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Post by berry » Mon Aug 15, 2016 5:55 pm

Alright, thanks man! I'll have a go at it this week, plus I think I'll adjust rewards accordingly to Roerich's suggestions. These would be fairer prices under present conditions, and we can always rise them again in the future if needed.

The sign mesh should be fine - it uses one of Spineinside's new signs, Worsas addem them in that quick update to the most recent data.

edit: hey, if you have some time and feel up to it, I'm sure my Wilbur's quest could use a proofreading too... 8-) Just a thought. :D

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Post by Luxray » Wed Aug 17, 2016 1:01 am

Wilbur's quest? I'll have a look, if you point me to it! :)
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<Infragris> #hell is meant as a spam and off topic channel. Doing a great job already

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Post by berry » Wed Aug 17, 2016 7:43 am

Cool :) here's the thread, and that file here is still the most recent one posted. You can adjust the script to debug the rock issue worsas mentioned, or I can take care of it myself when you're done.

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Post by berry » Sun Oct 09, 2016 10:22 am

Finished.
  • used Luxray's file and converted it to common data. Recompiled scripts
  • downgraded rewards to 200 and 400 Septims
  • added additional angry reply for a case when PC extorts Nelisse for more gold, and then both horses die on him
  • added some trans-province stuff to Nelisse's storage; nothing mismatched this time I hope, I only used common, Hammerfell, Cyrodiil and High Rock stuff, but nothing OP too. Also dressed the woman how I imagine a prosperous Redguard peregrine merchant would look like.
  • sliglthy adjusted a sight of the event. Previously, assuming PC walked from Karthgad, he was unlikelky to even take a notice of Reachmen corspes before the merchant force-greeted him; I repositioned the bodies a tad
  • made sure the file is clean with TESAME and tes3cmd
I tested it with roerich's main file and all seemed to work as intended, so hopefully everything's fine here now. :P Cheers
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Post by berry » Mon Oct 10, 2016 5:59 pm

A quick heads-up for a reviewer: names of Reachmen assaulters should probably be tweaked. I gave them these Lithuanian and Estonian sound, and now that I think about it they might not really fit Reachmen naming convention.

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Post by worsas » Tue Oct 11, 2016 3:00 pm

It's cool to see all this progress here. :)

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