Legion Quests

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vrolok
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Legion Quests

Post by vrolok » Tue Apr 12, 2016 8:35 pm

I was thinking about Legion quests and I came up with a few, so far. I have ideas for three quests, which you need to complete in order to get admitted into the Legion. In Morrowind, you get admitted in the legion very easily, because they are undermanned, but in Cyrodiil, I believe process of admission should be different and more strict. Overall, we need to focus on more intricate design of the faction to properly represent Imperial culture and logic.

I also have an idea of the legion in mind, which acts as a federal power. While the guards act as municipal forces, protecting towns and their immediate surroundings, the roads, wilderness and most important locations and routes are federal jurisdiction, protected by the legion. Legion also works all major crimes, which take place all over the province, like gang related activities, piracy, smuggling, etc.

Think of RCMP as an example. But obviously, this is in addition to their military functions which are rarely used.


So far, quests in order:


1) Record Check

If you ask around Cyrodiil, you will learn that a certain Fort in Colovia is an active recruiting spot, so you should check it out if you are interested. People will also add that they have strict requirements there.

As soon as you arrive, you need to meet the commander of the Fort. I want him to be named Glebus Jigolous, if you don't mind (it's an Easter Egg for Russian speaking people, referencing a famous film series and a popular mod for Oblivion, but a very subtle one). He will become like a father figure to the player, strict, but honest and straight-forward, down-to-earth legion officer, not interested in political affairs, but interested in maintaining peace and order.

As soon as you arrive and ask him to join the legion, he will say that legion cannot accept just anyone. You will need to go to local Census and Excise office, where they should provide you with a criminal record check. If you have proof of clear criminal record, then you can return and join the legion. It makes sense that Imperials don't want to accept criminals and ex-convicts to protect their homeland, so they have this bureaucratic practice in place.

As you all know, player starts game as a prisoner, so it seems an impossible task. You still go to the Census and Excise office, where you meet local administrator, a mid-level clerk of the Curia, Nibenese. He will tell you that there is going to be a long time you need to wait to check your criminal record, plus there is a mess in the papers, so he isn't even sure they will be able to check your record (bureaucracy). Then, the administrator says that he might be able to help you obtain new and clean record, but you'll need to help him first (corruption).

Here you have three options:
1) Order him to give you clean record (if you are higher rank in the Curia)
2) Bribe him to give you clean record (1000 gold)
3) Help him out

If you decide to help him out, he will tell you that thieves recently robbed him and stolen family treasures from him. He will tell you where their camp is and ask you to retrieve all valuables from there. He believes that since you aspire to be a legionnaire, some petty thieves shouldn't be a problem for you to handle.

You find camp of thieves, an independent group of Khajiit. They are living in the wilds and they are aggressive. You kill them and find treasures in one of the chest. The only thing is, these are Colovian treasures and administrator is Nibenese, but player might not know it. You can also hear around town, that certain Colovian noble's house was robbed recently. If player guesses what is going on, he can return treasures to the rightful owner and receive weapon as compensation. Alternatively, you can still bring treasures to administrator and he will give you a clean record.

If you brought treasures to the Colovian noble, the administrator is going to be pissed. He was actually the one who hired thieves to steal treasures from a noble he has feud with. He wanted to use player as a gullible fool to not pay the thieves and to cover all his traces. When player comes to him after returning the treasures to the rightful owner, he will ask to pay 2000 gold or he won't give any papers. If player has high speechcraft, he may be able to persuade him to give papers for free, otherwise threatening to tell everyone of administrator's schemes (not that he confesses or anything, but it is clear that he is involved).

No matter which way you obtained clean record you need to return it to Glebus Jigolous and this is the end of the first quest.


2) Legionnaire's Examination

After you brought clean record to Glebus, he will say that it is good, but not enough to be admitted into the legion. In order to be admitted, you still need to pass all the tests. First test is going to examine how good do you know what every legionnaire must know. You will need to pass an exam before you can join. It will allow to better acquaint player with the world and the legion.

The exam itself is very similar to class creation process in the beginning of Morrowind. Glebus Jigolous will ask you questions and you will need to answer. Three categories of questions, each has three questions, nine questions total. One wrong answer, you fail an exam. He will not tell you which answer is wrong, so you will need to study hard before you do it. Amount of attempts is unlimited though, so theoretically you can just guess. Categories of questions: History of the Empire, Imperial Law, Legionnaire's Duties.

Since it is not an easy exam, Glebus recommends you to study first. You can go to the library and either study books, or you can ask the librarian all the necessary questions. The librarian is an old legion soldier, who is too old to fight, but doesn't want to retire and prefers to stay at the fort, keeping the library.

You have three options:
1) Ask the librarian - easiest, since he tells you all you need to know, but he needs your help before you can ask him something
2) Study the books - medium, since it will give you all the required information, but you will have to look for it
3) Try guessing - hardest, since there are nine questions and you don't know which you answer right and which wrong

When you find the librarian, he will complain that young recruits have stolen his sword again. While many respect him around the fort, not everybody does and some make fun of him. Since it's harmless, nobody interferes. He asks you to retrieve the sword for him, before he can teach you anything. You ask around the legion and people tell you who is most likely behind it. Two young recruits, who like to fool around.

You find them. One of them is just a side-kick, he is there having fun with his buddy. Another has the sword and is the leader between the two. You can persuade him to give you the sword by getting his disposition to about 80. Alternatively, you can have a fight with him. He will be using his fists and you need to knock him down to win. But if you kill him, it will be a crime and you will be blocked from joining the legion (they will never accept Legionnaire's killer). So you should be careful here. Once you retrieve sword in any way, you return it to the librarian. He will be glad and will tell you all you need to know for the exam.

Once you have prepared, go and pass the exam by answering questions from Glebus Jigolous. Once you have passed the exam, only one test is left before you can join the legion.


3) Field Testing

So you have passed both record check and an exam, you are almost there. Glebus has one last test left for you, before you can become a part of the legion.
He needs to know how good you are at the field. How good are you trained, how well do you respond to orders, etc. He assigns you to help out the road patrol nearby. You should meet the patrol on the specific place on the road and help them out for one week, so they can assess how good you are.

But on your way to the meeting place, you find the exact patrol, though most soldiers are dead. One is wounded. He manages to say that they ran into smugglers and had a fight, but smugglers had an advantage over them, as they had additional men hiding in ambush. Thus most soldiers were killed and their commanding officer was taken prisoner by the smugglers to their hideout. He manages to tell you the location of hideout and dies from his wounds after that.

You have two options here:
1) Return to Glebus and tell him what happened
2) Go to the hideout and try to take care of bandits

If you just go to the hideout, it is going to be more difficult, but you can save the officer. But if you return to Glebus, he will complement you for doing the sensible thing and he will also assign you an experienced legionnaire as help to try and retrieve prisoner. If you go to the hideout with backup, then the officer is going to be dead, because you took your time. You and another legionnaire will actually take his body out (disable it). Either way, you will have to return to Glebus after saving the officer or finding his body, which is located at the end of the dungeon and you will most likely have to kill everyone on your way there.

If you saved the officer, Glebus will be impressed by your valour, but he will ask you not to be so brash in the future. If you return to him with bad news, he will still thank you for your effort. He will also send his men to pick up bodies from the road (disable). If the officer is alive, the officer himself might give you some additional reward.

After this field test, Glebus will admit that you are worthy to serve in the legion and allow you to join, after swearing an oath.
Congratulations, you are in the army now!

You will also get Imperial Chain Cuirass as a reward and uniform, as well as Imperial Broadsword and Imperial Chain Greaves. In the future, Cyrodiil legion will give you better equipment and more often than Morrowind legion did.

------
What do you think? They are not easy to do, but I find quests like these to be engaging and telling you about the world. I can try doing them myself, I did some quests for Morrowind awhile back. It would be tricky, but I believe it is possible.

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vrolok
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Re: Legion Quests

Post by vrolok » Wed Apr 13, 2016 3:40 am

Would love to see some comments, especially from the older modders on the team :) I am sure you have your own ideas for each faction, but given opportunity I could probably come up with quest lines for almost all factions, I am just so excited (though my knowledge of some deeper lore is quite lacking, so not all factions I know too well)

How do you like the general flow of these quests? Good, bad? Too creative, too generic, too complicated, different angle? I could think of many many more, but wish to hear some criticism first.

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Re: Legion Quests

Post by worsas » Wed Apr 13, 2016 9:19 am

Hey Vrolok,

I, for one, haven't actually managed to read most of your posts yet. But it's great that factions and quests get some sorely-needed attention lately.

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Infragris
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Re: Legion Quests

Post by Infragris » Wed Apr 13, 2016 11:28 am

All right, I had a look through this. I'm going to go over this with a critical eye, my apologies if it comes across as overly harsh or negative:
  • First up, these are too many complications just for joining a faction. We should keep parity with vanilla Morrowind factions, where joining if usually as simple as asking the right person. The stress and difficulty should lie in advancement. Consider this: most factions have a clear pyramidal shape, with a select group of elite commanders on the top, and a large base of hirelings at the bottom. Joining a faction should not make the player special, after all, they're down at the bottom with the rest of the scrubs. It's only when trying to climb the ranks that exceptional and difficult situations arise, and the top level NPCs start taking notice of the player.
  • This goes double for the Legion. When the player first joins up, they are one among many, a rank-and-file recruit. You should not even be allowed to talk to the commander of your fort: early quest progression should go through a sergeant or something. Think of the Mages Guild in Balmora: when you first join, you're not taking orders from the guildmaster, but from an alchemist's apprentice who is the same rank as you, but in the Guild for a little bit earlier.
  • Glebus Jigolous sounds like a Monty Python character. I'm not opposed to putting someone with this name in the game somewhere as an easter egg, but let's not do this for one of our key NPCs. I'm also not very fond of the old "father to his men" cliche, rather two-dimensional. And, as noted above, the fort commander should not be the guy every soldier talks to on his way to work.
  • We should avoid a player-centric universe: why does the fort commander take special notice of you? Why do you gave to kill ten guys and do three fetch quests just to join the Legion? Does every soldier have to do this stuff? Early stages in large faction quests benefit from mundanity: it reinforces the notion that joining a faction is a normal within the gameworld, enhances the special feel of the late game, and makes the player's ascent through the ranks feel more like a personal accomplishment instead of a random turn of events. This is the "Chosen One" syndrome in small: the player does not become the master by his own skill, intelligence, or efforts, but because a random sequence of quests conspire to make him special in a way that negates their agency.
  • The Legion is one of the largest, most populous factions on Tamriel. It should not be difficult to join. The idea behind the recruitment facilities in Colovia is that they gather up as many recruits as possible, train them up for a couple of weeks, and send them out to the provinces where needed: like a soldier factory, constantly replacing those who fell in battle or finished their tour of duty. Applying should be as easy as walking up to the office and giving your name. Thousands of Colovians apply in this way every year.
  • The record check creates way too many problems. As you noted yourself, the player can never have a spotless record, and it calls to mind other questions, like why no other faction ever thinks to check on your personal history, or why these records are never revisited by your enemies. More importantly, it also doesn't work from an in-game perspective. History Fact Time: the professional armies of the late medieval and early modern times had a disproportionate number of criminals in their ranks. It was common for criminals to avoid justice by joining the army, or for apprehended thieves to get a reduction of punishment if they promised to leave town and join the ranks. The armies of this time were indifferent to the legal mishaps of their recruits.
  • I like the examination idea, but it doesn't fit for a lowly recruit. We should keep this idea for when the player becomes an officer, and it actually becomes important that they know something beyond how to bash people's brains out.
  • Quest ideas rely too much on old fetch-quest stereotypes: "I would love to help you, %PCName, but first you must recover my {insert item here} from those bandits at {insert name dungeon here}". Doesn't feel very natural. These can be done well, but you need to refine it critically: can the quest giver solve his problem himself? Shouldn't he ask the guards or someone about this? Does he think you, the player, can actually solve his problems? Or is he just sending you to your death, and if so, what's his major malfunction?
I understand the desire to create sweeping narratives for our faction questlines, but we should stick to small beginnings - at least, for something like the Legion. One of the greatest criticisms people had on the Legion questline in Morrowind is that it did not make you feel like a soldier: it was a series of fetch quests and heroics, which could just as well be a Fighters Guild questline if you change the names. People who join the Legion faction, want their player characters to be soldiers, with all that that entails. Lat's try and make that so.

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TerrifyingDaedricFoe
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Re: Legion Quests

Post by TerrifyingDaedricFoe » Wed Apr 13, 2016 12:01 pm

Another problem with the criminal record check you propose is that the player will always, always end up entering the Legion on false pretences. It's not a good start to a faction most would regard as being more honourable and less deceitful than the others.

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vrolok
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Re: Legion Quests

Post by vrolok » Wed Apr 13, 2016 5:56 pm

Sure guys, I agree with many points and that is why I asked opinion on these, so I get more in line with the objective and make ideas more plausible.
First up, these are too many complications just for joining a faction.
Well, okay, sure. I can see that point.
This goes double for the Legion.
The Legion is one of the largest, most populous factions on Tamriel.
Okay, okay. I see. I was thinking Legion would be more strict, because of the absence of wars, but on the other hand it needs to really maintain presence in all provinces, so it makes sense that they aren't picky.
Glebus Jigolous sounds like a Monty Python character.
Doesn't really have to be a Fort commander. I was thinking the size of Fort Pelagiad in mind, but if it's like Fort Ebonhart then he would be just a sergeant. I only think that person you first meet, who introduces you to the Legion should not be a bastard, you'll have plenty of time to meet other bastards. And there are many ways to flesh out a character, even if his premise is somewhat cliche.
The record check creates way too many problems.
I don't see it that big of a deal, but okay, I can get behind that logic.
I like the examination idea, but it doesn't fit for a lowly recruit.
Sure. Whatever works. As I said, I was thinking of more strict admission on the premise that we cannot hold the player at the Fort and properly train like other soldiers will be trained. So I guess we will have to have several "training quests" instead.
Quest ideas rely too much on old fetch-quest stereotypes: "I would love to help you, %PCName, but first you must recover my {insert item here} from those bandits at {insert name dungeon here}". Doesn't feel very natural. These can be done well, but you need to refine it critically: can the quest giver solve his problem himself? Shouldn't he ask the guards or someone about this? Does he think you, the player, can actually solve his problems? Or is he just sending you to your death, and if so, what's his major malfunction?
First of all, there really is not much wrong with the fetch quests if they are in the right context. Second of all, I think I explained it well here. The administrator has motives to get that particular stuff, he also believes that player is a fool and can be used, because the player is clearly not the local and should not know anything about what is going on. I might agree in the different circumstances, but if he hired thieves to steal something for him and doesn't want to pay them, he would definitely not say anything to the guards. So it is justifiable fetch quest in my opinion.

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Re: Legion Quests

Post by roerich » Thu Apr 14, 2016 9:47 am

My biggest issue with the background check is that it doesn't make much sense. The universally psychic guards that instantly knows if you pickpocketed someone in Dagon Fel and instantly teleported to Stirk is mainly a product of engine limitations. The Empire is bureauchratic, sure, but I doubt every single guard station has a record of the criminal activity of every single Imperial subject. It feels way too modern too. They don't have internet, or well, the Dreamsleeve, but that's not used by the Legion.

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Re: Legion Quests

Post by vrolok » Thu Apr 14, 2016 5:37 pm

I suppose they technically should be trying to have something like that, because they do keep the census and try to monitor everything. There are also other magical technologies, which they can sometimes try to utilize. Plus, record checks were possible before Internet, just take more time. But as you said, I wanted it to be more of bureaucratic procedure, somebody put it in place, but it is really hard to regulate and leads to mostly corruption. Otherwise, they would have to check your records for months and might not find anything in their archives. But I believe that for people who always lived in Cyrodiil, such procedure should be relatively easy, especially if you always lived in one place.

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Infragris
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Re: Legion Quests

Post by Infragris » Thu Apr 14, 2016 7:06 pm

Possibility: the Blades erased the player's records before sending them to Morrowind.

I think we should try to formulate some kind of "basic training" quest(s) with a strong focus on routine and the normal functioning of a fortress. The fact that the player can just walk out of the fort for a couple of months is admittedly a bit of a plot hole, but not really something we can avoid. In this case, it would result from the player's conscious action to cause this problem, so it's not really our responsibility. One thing we can do is locate the starting fortress (for which I had Mhorlagrad, a small garrison city west of Chorrol, in mind) in a remote, difficult-to-reach location without fast travel, nudging the player to hang around for a while.

Another thing we can do is show that the Legion is not working at 100%. Perhaps a large group of soldiers were sent to the provinces to quell an uprising, so the fort is currently understaffed: in this situation, it becomes more probable that a new recruit is sent on patrol alone, or given unusual tasks. We should also consider making the player a messenger, carrying missives to different forts in the area: this explains why they are not bound to one single fort, and allows us to use higher-level commanders as quest givers.

Some miscellaneous quest ideas for the Legion:
  • Basic Training: the player has to achieve suitable levels of competence. This can be done relatively easy: scatter some skill trainers around the fort, player has to visit each one of them for a skill boost. If the player already has suitable skill levels, the trainers will note this and tell you to move on. This can be capped wit a couple of "training fights" with fellow recruits: non-lethal fistfights or fights with wooden swords.
  • Patrolling: the player has to follow a certain path through nearby wilderness, checking if nearby caves and ruins aren't home to bandits. These ruins are mostly empty or home to wild animals, but at least one of them has some bandits. Report back to Legion commander.
  • Manning a watchtower: the player is assigned to a lonely watchtower somewhere, manned by five or six other soldiers. Upon arriving there, the player quickly discovers that something is wrong here: the previous recruit you're replacing has ben murdered, and your fellow soldiers are acting a little bit weird. The player then has to do some detective work, finally discovering that the tower commander and his lackeys were involved in illegal activities, perhaps something to do with the Talos Cult.
  • Messenger Service: after reporting on the watchtower thing, the acting superior takes note of the player's skills/integrity and makes him a messenger. Player has to bring messages and packages between forts. This opens up avenues for other quests.
  • Talos Cult and Red Templar influence: not really a quest idea, but a reminder that the activities of these two cults should be considered for the Legion. The Talos Cult is illegal, but very popular among common soldiers, and secret gatherings and shrines can be found in many barracks. The Red Templars are legal, but extremists, and have a strong influence on the upper ranks. the Cult of Empero Zero is also popular among northern soldiers.
  • I'd also like some smaller quests featuring daily life in the Legion garrisons. Someone stole a ham from the kitchen, and the cook wants you to retrieve it. The commander has forbidden consumption of alcohol inside the fort: you can help smuggle some bottles in, or report on the smugglers. There's some kind of clog in the well: guess which lowly recruit gets that cleanup job. etc.

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Re: Legion Quests

Post by vrolok » Thu Apr 14, 2016 7:13 pm

Yeah, good ideas, I personally agree on most of it, if not all. Though first we need to probably decide on the main faction quest idea, so we can structure our other ideas around the main plot.

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Re: Legion Quests

Post by Infragris » Thu Apr 14, 2016 11:39 pm

Some of my ideas regarding the overarching Legion questline:

First, as noted with the different sub-legions, the questline should be broken up in three main acts. The uniting factor is, straightforward enough, the player themselves and their promotion from lowly recruit to a general trusted by the Emperor himself. The fact that we are depicting the headquarters of the Legion (and many other factions besides) is a great opportunity for this kind of rags-to-riches story.
  • The first act takes place in Colovia, and focuses on basic, daily life of a soldier kind of stuff. There's little magic or weirdery present, and this part of the world in not at war for the moment. The nature of quests and characters should feel pretty straightforward, at first glance, and events should not be investigated at length: we're looking at things from the point of view of a normal trooper, who is not privy to the deeper significance of his work. That's not to say there aren't any hints at the darker aspects of the Legion, like in the watchtower example above. Corrupt or negligent superiors and encounters with extremist groups like the Talos Cult should should be present, but they are not yet the focus. In the end, the player is promoted to the rank of a lower officer, some kind of inspector or Military Police role.
  • The second act is a tour of duty in the southern Nibenay theater. The uprising of the Renrijra Krin and the Argonian tribes has been suppressed, but there is still guerilla activity and unrest among the population. This is some Vietnam style stuff, with a lot more moral ambiguity: the trans-Niben acquisition was, strictly speaking, illegitimate, Legion officers hold racist attitudes towards the beastmen population, and some are involved in war profiteering. Khajiti landowners have been disowned, their villas claimed as war prizes by officers or merchants. Argonian tribals are being deported to Black Marsh (despite having lived in the Nibenay for generations), and some have been sold to Dres slavers by corrupt officers. On the opposite side, the Argonians are extraordinarily violent and xenophobic, while the Krin finance their war with the Skooma trade. In the main questline, you must inspect corruption (and report it or accept bribes), destroy the powerbase of the rebels, and investigate rumors of a new Khanaten Flu, said to be an Argonian revenge tactic. But is it real, or have the rumors been manufactured to discredit the rebels? This act can end in two ways: either the player chooses the morally right thing and reports on the misdeeds of high-ranking officials, or they help in the cover-up out of greed or conviction that it is in the Empire's best interest.
  • The third act is set in the Heartlands, and focuses on the elite forces and the Legion High Command in the Imperial City. After the player is honored as a "Hero of the trans-Niben conflict", they are awarded a high rank and a cushy job in the Emperor's ranks of honor. However, things are even more dangerous here than in the south: lots of cut-throat politics, assassination attempts, and more corruption. The focus is on relations with other factions, like the Curia, or inter-service rivalry between the Legion soldiers and the City Watch. But there are other things amiss in the City: gangs and death-cults roam the streets, strange monsters nest in the deeper sewers and crypts, and the people are restless. Last year, riots broke out over the legitimacy of the Crown Prince and his siblings, who are accused of being magical doppelgangers installed by Tharn during the Simulacra. It seems likely that these uprising will renew in the lower city.

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vrolok
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Re: Legion Quests

Post by vrolok » Fri Apr 15, 2016 1:18 am

Great stuff! I was expecting something like that, but I love the details you've put into planning these out. It should be fun both to play and to create this (while also a bit of a pain :lol: ). I'll throw around some ideas for the quests, especially the Colovian ones, since they are closest, but I will also keep thinking about other factions, quests and various things.

But Legion has a very promising ideas behind it and as far as I know, very lore-friendly as well. The utmost care of course should go to more morally ambiguous questions, because these can either make or break the quest line, depending on how well we handle them.

If you do have time and more importantly ideas for other factions (not sure about time, but I am sure you have ideas), please share them with us :D I will be glad to think about either particular quests or just general direction for factions which were not established yet.

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Re: Legion Quests

Post by worsas » Fri Apr 15, 2016 5:03 am

This overall legion questline sounds extremely cool to me.

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