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NPC Idea: Marcos Corvus

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#21 Stnemele

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 12:38 PM

Just two quick comments.

== BANOMEN ~ I’ve heard stories about you, Corvinus. You are not a knight, and yet you perform noble deeds.~
(goes on to describe murder, arson, and mutiny)

It looks as if Anomen is unclear on the concept.


Thanks for pointing that out! That was a mistake on my part and I've corrected it now.

And that Imoen banter... might work for ToB Imoen, but SoA Imoen is too shell-shocked to ask her sister's boyfriend about his people skills. Honestly, that whole banter kinda puts me off. Yeah, I know about Imoen tricking Keldorn into thinking that she was groping him because he's got a hot bod, but she a) is obviously insincere even if Keldorn laps it up because he's a guy, and b) turns the whole thing into a joke at the end of it. She also winds Valygar up because he's fun to tease. She never asks Anomen about his equipment. If you let Imoen say something along the lines of "As if!" after his line that ends in "penalties will be severe" and then stop it there, it might improve it. Turning the banter into a discussion about his engineering specs is a little too heavy for our chipmunk with a sugar high and a death wish.


Yeah, you're right about the engineering. I think I was more aiming to enlighten the fact that he has a sense of humor, somewhere. I'll find a better way to convey that that won't put Imoen (or anyone) out of character. I've tweaked the dialogues already, but I'm sure that they're only Draft 1.5 and who knows what'll happen from here?

I know you're brainstorming at this point. There are bound to be banters you redo. Sometimes repeatedly. I'm just pointing out that BioWare NPC characterization can make or break a mod. It's impossible to get every NPC's voice right 100% of the time, but that's why review and revision is so important.


Let me put it this way about me and re-writing things: 1 novel concept, 26 completed drafts, and I don't care in the least. No, I'm not going to do that if there are people waiting for this, but I welcome comments, input, critique, and mistake-identifying. I want this to be an excellent mod and I want to get it right. I don't know of Bioware's NPCs very well, so if anyone does and I'm getting it wrong, TELL ME!!!! (Please? kthnxbi)

Both introduction ideas have potential. Having the character involved in the Skinner Murders might work well. Shaking down a beggar would get the player's attention, I think, because it's something you don't see every day, even in Athkatla, and the conversation might be amusing, depending on where during the incident the player/PC arrives on the scene.


The Skinner Murder: The PC hears a few lines of Corvinus arguing with the Inspector (Corvinus had requested some other investigations, which were side-tracked by the Skinner Killings and is demanding to know why and to make the Lieutenant work faster). The regular interjections would proceed almost exactly as Bioware originally wrote, with Marcos and appropriate commentary added in. After the quest, Marcos would stay with the PC. After a time, his personal quest would trigger. Even if he does not join the PC here, he would be found by the Prison in the Government District (but only after this event triggers).

Shake-Down: The PC arrives as Marcos is, essentially, holding a beggar by the throat and threatening his life if he doesn't talk. The PC has an opportunity to talk Marcos down (which he won't like much, but will) and he would join the PC if they agree to help him with a matter of his own (which would eventually lead to his personal quest, later in the game). This would also take place in the Bridge District, though where I'm not yet sure.

But, either way, something would tie into her personal quest and his first impression is probably going to be mostly negative, though (hopefully) with a hind that he's got a good side to him. The Skinner Murders will be a better way to do that.

I've added more to the first post with his bio and updated personality. :D
"I've had better conversations with cheese."
--Michael Keaton, "Dream Team"

"I love love-triangles! ... Or squares. Hexagons. Trapezoids. Circles with tangent lines... Geometry aside, where are we?"
-- Cassandra Mewborn, a dead character

#22 theacefes

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 01:34 PM

I have to say, it's very refreshing to see someone with an idea that is willing to improve on it after suggestions have been made. Obviously not all suggestions can/will/should make it into the mod. But it's nice that you don't respond with "u r rood and patronizing, go f%$# urself plz".

EDIT: Sucky grammar.

Edited by theacefes, 03 February 2012 - 01:34 PM.

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#23 Rhaella

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 01:41 PM

Stnemele, as far as Bioware banters go, I'd recommend pretty much just reading through every character with Near Infinity before writing for them. And then possibly their banters with other mod NPCs as well to see what works and what doesn't.

#24 Stnemele

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 01:54 PM

I have to say, it's very refreshing to see someone with an idea that is willing to improve on it after suggestions have been made. Obviously not all suggestions can/will/should make it into the mod. But it's nice that you don't respond with "u r rood and patronizing, go f%$# urself plz".

EDIT: Sucky grammar.


I studied creative writing in college. I know the value of critique, commentary, and encouragement. If you have to defend yourself or explain something, it means you're not doing your jobs as a writer. Everyone gets moments on inspiration; sometimes it's easier when it isn't your own work. Even a small comment can inspire me or make me take something to the level I need. With that said, I am aware enough of my character to know where his line is. I haven't had many aspects of his personality to defend just yet, but I know that there're going to be before much longer, since he's not nice, philosophical, or one to ask for help in personal matters. He's fiercely independent and is more likely to do something alone than with someone else.

That, of course, brings up the problem of getting him to join the PC at all. Then again, as a guard, he'll know what Irenicus caused in the Market DIstrict and probably want to go kick the man's ass for what he's done (if that information is shared). I'm NOT going to make a PC need a high CHA to recruit him, but they are going to need a good argument (hopefully I'll manage to provide one for several different PCs, too :D)

Stnemele, as far as Bioware banters go, I'd recommend pretty much just reading through every character with Near Infinity before writing for them. And then possibly their banters with other mod NPCs as well to see what works and what doesn't.


Already on it, but thanks for the tip :D

Current project: Joining!

Anyone have any tips on orders to write in?
"I've had better conversations with cheese."
--Michael Keaton, "Dream Team"

"I love love-triangles! ... Or squares. Hexagons. Trapezoids. Circles with tangent lines... Geometry aside, where are we?"
-- Cassandra Mewborn, a dead character

#25 Rhaella

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 02:16 PM

As someone who's very new to this as well, I'd personally recommend getting a lot of the Bioware banters done first. It gives you a chance to fully develop your voice and figure out who the character is before having to tackle the difficulties inherent in writing branching dialogue for a PC. You can start to see how he plays with a variety of different character types that way.

#26 Stnemele

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 02:22 PM

As someone who's very new to this as well, I'd personally recommend getting a lot of the Bioware banters done first. It gives you a chance to fully develop your voice and figure out who the character is before having to tackle the difficulties inherent in writing branching dialogue for a PC. You can start to see how he plays with a variety of different character types that way.


Point well-made. Taken under advisement (except I don't mean that I'll ignore it, but I can't promise I won't get distracted by LTs or friendship talks or something else like that).
"I've had better conversations with cheese."
--Michael Keaton, "Dream Team"

"I love love-triangles! ... Or squares. Hexagons. Trapezoids. Circles with tangent lines... Geometry aside, where are we?"
-- Cassandra Mewborn, a dead character

#27 theacefes

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 02:59 PM

As someone who's very new to this as well, I'd personally recommend getting a lot of the Bioware banters done first. It gives you a chance to fully develop your voice and figure out who the character is before having to tackle the difficulties inherent in writing branching dialogue for a PC. You can start to see how he plays with a variety of different character types that way.


While I agree to a point - get your character coded into the game first, even if it's just him saying "WTF I just cleaned up the Promenade and look what this idiot did!". The last thing you want to do is get stuck writing oodles of dialogue and then freak out when you realize that none of it is coded and you don't know where to start.
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#28 Rhaella

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 03:06 PM

Oh, yeah. True, true. I'm helping her try to put together a basic tp2 to get him in the party in the first place, dialogue optional. (Your guide is awesome, btw. Truly a life saver.)

#29 Stnemele

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 03:15 PM


As someone who's very new to this as well, I'd personally recommend getting a lot of the Bioware banters done first. It gives you a chance to fully develop your voice and figure out who the character is before having to tackle the difficulties inherent in writing branching dialogue for a PC. You can start to see how he plays with a variety of different character types that way.


While I agree to a point - get your character coded into the game first, even if it's just him saying "WTF I just cleaned up the Promenade and look what this idiot did!". The last thing you want to do is get stuck writing oodles of dialogue and then freak out when you realize that none of it is coded and you don't know where to start.

Oh, yeah. True, true. I'm helping her try to put together a basic tp2 to get him in the party in the first place, dialogue optional. (Your guide is awesome, btw. Truly a life saver.)


I have that guide open right now and am taking myself through it now as a test. So, I'm going to say THANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOU right now and get cracking. :D

But, I have been trying to code as I go ('trying' being the key word there). Luckily, with less than ten pages of anything written, I've still got buffer to correct anything.
"I've had better conversations with cheese."
--Michael Keaton, "Dream Team"

"I love love-triangles! ... Or squares. Hexagons. Trapezoids. Circles with tangent lines... Geometry aside, where are we?"
-- Cassandra Mewborn, a dead character

#30 berelinde

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 03:16 PM

Well, if you're going to code (and test) as you go (highly recommended), you're going to need a joining dialogue, so it isn't a bad idea to start there. After that, it all depends on how your brain works. When I first started modding, somebody told me that the easiest way to write an NPC was to do the banters first, then the friendship talks, and then the lovetalks, and then any quests and interjections the NPC might have. I still think that isn't a bad way to do it, but it isn't a one-size-fits-all solution. Writing banters with BioWare is a quick and dirty way to nail down the "voice" for your NPC without investing a ton of time and effort into writing the lovetalks only to find out later that you need to redo them all. Writing the friendship talks before the lovetalks ensures that you don't make the guy completely boring for those that opt out of the romance. Made that mistake myself. It's really hard to recover from it, if it's possible at all. And once you have the BioWare banters and the PC dialogues done, you're pretty much ready to go to press with the guy. Sure, you will want to do a quest and have him make interjections, but if you discover you find that you're getting tired of the NPC, you can get him out there and in circulation without interjections or a quest. You can't release him without banters or PC dialogues, though. So yeah, there's a reason people usually recommend that order. That doesn't mean that you have to adhere to it slavishly.

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#31 Stnemele

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 03:39 PM

Well, if you're going to code (and test) as you go (highly recommended), you're going to need a joining dialogue, so it isn't a bad idea to start there. After that, it all depends on how your brain works. When I first started modding, somebody told me that the easiest way to write an NPC was to do the banters first, then the friendship talks, and then the lovetalks, and then any quests and interjections the NPC might have. I still think that isn't a bad way to do it, but it isn't a one-size-fits-all solution. Writing banters with BioWare is a quick and dirty way to nail down the "voice" for your NPC without investing a ton of time and effort into writing the lovetalks only to find out later that you need to redo them all. Writing the friendship talks before the lovetalks ensures that you don't make the guy completely boring for those that opt out of the romance. Made that mistake myself. It's really hard to recover from it, if it's possible at all. And once you have the BioWare banters and the PC dialogues done, you're pretty much ready to go to press with the guy. Sure, you will want to do a quest and have him make interjections, but if you discover you find that you're getting tired of the NPC, you can get him out there and in circulation without interjections or a quest. You can't release him without banters or PC dialogues, though. So yeah, there's a reason people usually recommend that order. That doesn't mean that you have to adhere to it slavishly.


Point noted and taken into consideration.

Regarding the Friendship/LTs... I'd actually been planning (and this is why I should probably note this now so people can tell me if this is a good or a terrible idea) to have the initial stages of the romance also be his friendship talks. Things would split into a shorter friendship track and the romance itself. Of course, the friendship talks would include flirting options for females and "guy bonding" moments or dialogues specific to a male/female.

I've also been toying with having an approval tally system, similar to Kivan's, where the PC has to get a certain number of points before the romance is activated. These can be garnered through quests, PIDs, conversations... This is more complicated, I'm sure, but I thought he might be the kind of guy that would need that sort of thing going for him. If that were the case, I'd also consider nixing the CHA requirement for the romance.
"I've had better conversations with cheese."
--Michael Keaton, "Dream Team"

"I love love-triangles! ... Or squares. Hexagons. Trapezoids. Circles with tangent lines... Geometry aside, where are we?"
-- Cassandra Mewborn, a dead character

#32 Stnemele

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 11:44 AM

Regarding the Joining:

I think I've settled on having it be Marcos shaking down a beggar in the Bridge District rather than having him arguing with the Inspector in the Skinner Cases. He will still be involved with the latter and comment about it. However, again, if anyone has any other ideas or opinions, I would welcome hearing them.

For the moment, the center of his motivation to join the PC at all is to, essentially, get rid of an annoyance. I don't know how well-known Irenicus is within Athkatla, but someone well-connected like Marcos may very well have heard the rumors regarding Irenicus and his experiments. I imagine that people would've gone missing or the people Marcos hunts/executes/etc. would have been connected to the wizard. If this wouldn't realistically happen within the confines of the game's world, please let me know and I will compensate accordingly. I do have a tendency to make my characters know too much, so please let me know if I cross the line at any point.
"I've had better conversations with cheese."
--Michael Keaton, "Dream Team"

"I love love-triangles! ... Or squares. Hexagons. Trapezoids. Circles with tangent lines... Geometry aside, where are we?"
-- Cassandra Mewborn, a dead character

#33 Stnemele

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 01:54 PM

Update: Built a basic tp2 and working (for now) installation to at least get Marcos into my game for debugging and all that marvelous stuff.

Next on the List: NPC Interactions!

Basic outline (VERY basic):

SoA Friendship (not necessarily in order, here, or how the subject comes up):
~Discussion of PC's business in Athkatla and rescue of Imoen; potential to touch briefly on Bhaal heritage (along the lines of "They said you had Bhaal's blood in you. I can see why. You're very good at killing.")
~Questions regarding his methods vs. the PCs. At the moment, this would be dictated by alignment, though I understand that someone that's chaotic neutral may not always act that way. A bit of an explanation about his past, in terms of mere facts.
~Emotionlessness. Marcos is curious if he's abnormal by barely showing anything. May touch on how PC handles Bhaal's taint and uses/ignores that power.

Potential issues for me as a writer: Keeping this unphilosophical. Marcos is intelligent, but not a genius by any means. He wasn't educated and learned everything on the streets. He came to most of his own conclusions about everything. He doesn't necessarily seek conflict, but he enjoys it.

These first friendship talks may also very well be the first love talks, too, and then the friendship would branch into this:
~ Camaraderie: What, exactly, is a friend? A bit more of Marcos's past and a bit about his trust issues. NOTE: Marcos isn't the sort to necessarily vent. He's seeking advice, not someone to lean on. He'd say, "I know you won't put a knife in my back without good reason. I'm just not sure I want to acknowledge it."
~ Apology: For being rude/withdrawn/cold. The last facts about himself and his personality.
~Brothers: Or siblings, if the PC is female. A friend he can trust implicitly and not worry about the consequences... or something like that.

Tree of LIfe:
~Friends/Brothers to the end. Lead on.

Hell:
"This was... unexpected. Usually loyalty vows aren't taken so seriously."

ToB:
~ The Dangers of Great Power. Ensuring that the PC knows what he/she is doing.
~ Thinking about the end. Determining their course of action before they are forced into action.
~ Liking Melessan (sp?). A lot.

Final Decisions:
"Do whatever you want, so long as you don't do something stupid."

I should note that the friendship path wouldn't see Marcos change all that much, per se, in any terms other than self-awareness. He would end knowing more about himself than he might have before, with the PC as more of a catalyst than the cause.

Love Talk outline is even more in the works, but basically the stages are:
~ Learning to trust the PC.
~ Dealing with fondness for the PC (not something he's good at). This might get a little emo (which I want to avoid, because that is not his character), but he sorts it out himself.
~ Learning that some weakness can be strength (fighting harder because he has a reason to... He may not say what *cough* who *cough* the reason is, but he'll know it).
~ Accepting that he's capable of deep emotions.
~ Attempting to not act impulsively and think things through. He has always guarded his heart carefully and isn't going to leave it vulnerable unless he knows he won't be hurt. There would be a few talks to "test the waters" before he attempts anything, maybe him debating if he should be a gentleman about it or just take what he wants, etc. This would be the first point that he actually acts like he likes the PC in any concrete way. Flirts would also be taken into consideration at this point. If the PC has flirted with him before or made passes, he would mention it.
~ Getting with the PC. I know that he'd be nervous, and therefore more gruff than ever, not to mention conflicted and confused, because he doesn't want to be gruff/mean/rough/anything like that, and though it won't be sweet, it would be sincere and as tender as possible for a man like him. He won't admit it, but at this point he has more than likely already fallen for the PC.
~ Realization of happiness/love. He understands the physical attractions and the purpose of the emotional fulfillment that having a significant other can have, but the word "love" holds so much power in his mind that he can't bring himself to say it unless he's certain the PC is the "only one". Breaking things off at this point would, in all likelihood, dismiss him from the party. I don't know if he'll be the type to stick around after getting his heart torn out just yet. He may very well, since the cause along his lines regardless, but he'd resent the PC and leave after SoA. There is also the potential for him to take the PC back, simply because happiness isn't something he'd ever expected to find and wants back desperately.

Tree of Life:
~Declaration of loyalty. Marcos saying, essentially, that nothing could tear him from the PC, even the PC herself.

Hell:
"I know I said that I'd follow you into the Hells, but I didn't think you'd take that promise literally... Still, if this is what awaits me, I'm glad you're here with me. At least it'll smell a little better down here."

ToB:
~ Discussions of Forever. Marcos would actually bring up the PC's Bhaal heritage as a problem rather than an asset (as he'd always treated it before). His version of clinginess is something between protectiveness and smothering concern. He might not freak out at a wound, but he would start lecturing about proper defensive techniques or something like that.
~ Melessan (sp?). He likes her and now has to deal with it. He still thinks that the PC is better than anyone else, but the soon-to-be treacherous bitch still draws him in. So, a bit of conflict.
~ Vulernability. He'd admit to needing the PC in a way he'd never expected: his world would be worse without her. He's said, "I love you" before, but he's finally realizing what it really means, to him. He wants the PC and for them to have a future. The idea of her becoming a goddess is just as frightening to him as it is appealing (after all, being a goddess's consort isn't a bad thing). He'd never seen the relationship as without meaning, but now he's afraid there's too much meaning to it. His humanity is surfacing too much for his comfort.
~ Acceptance. Him, essentially, saying that he trusts the PC to finish things "as they must". He'll only say what he wishes if pressed hard enough. He's come to terms with the fact that the PC is, and always will be, stronger and more powerful than him, so he decides to let her determine their end. This is about the biggest sacrifice he can make because he enjoys being in control and in charge.

Final Decisions:
~ Asking to touch/kiss the PC one last time before she makes whatever decision she will. No arguments or attempts to sway the PC unless asked.

Thoughs? Opinions? Comments? Suggestions? Anything?
"I've had better conversations with cheese."
--Michael Keaton, "Dream Team"

"I love love-triangles! ... Or squares. Hexagons. Trapezoids. Circles with tangent lines... Geometry aside, where are we?"
-- Cassandra Mewborn, a dead character

#34 MiLeah

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 02:16 PM

Though a member of the guard, he does not believe in justice. He is too jaded to think it possible. He will execute a slaver long before he would arrest one.

I just got done reading about a lady P.I. that was married to a crooked cop, and was wondering if you'd be willing to maybe take him down that cliche road?

I think it would make some sense that he doesn't believe in a 'higher-power justice' (This includes The Law, gods, and people of authority), because in his time of youth, and being a rebel he seen the corruption within the streets and seen how 'Justice' skipped right over the poor and those in need. You could also play on the fact that since his mama dun left him, that this is another reason why he has a bit of an angst against 'authoritative' figures, who he attaches the image of 'justice' with. So, maybe his thinking could become twisted in the way of "My mother left me and wasn't there when I needed her, just like the Law is for those in need."

He now takes on the mind of "I'll be the law, I'll be justice." However, his is, as you've described him to be, horribly jaded and twisted. Which would play into:

He might save a woman from an attack, but he would also lecture/shout at her for being stupid enough to get herself into such a position.

Twisted Justice at its best.
-------------------------

Though potentially paranoid of betrayal (which, admittedly, has never happened to him, but he can see the writing on the wall), he values true friendship above anything else because it is the one thing he covets most.

I love this idea too. I am willing to accept that maybe he was never betrayed because in his rebel years, he learned to lurk in the shadows, trust no one, and cut the cord before anyone had a chance to do it back to him. Perhaps he'd seen way too many 'weak' people (People who trusted others) being back-stabbed and betrayed when growing up, and this is what contributed to his 'Cold, calculating, and uncompromising' personality. His thinking was 'I gotta beat them to the punch or else I'll be the worm'.

He would respect her long before he ever cared for her, let alone loved her.

This makes sense. As he sounds like he has mama issues, and therefore women issues. Though, it's been balanced out by Ruth, who sounds like she takes no stuff, and thus prevented him from turning into a full fledged misogynist (Thank you, Ruth! :lol2: ). It sounds like because of her, he's now able to have romance with a strong, no-nonsense female character.

I think that's about it, because other then that, he sounds well grounded. I'm just a huge sucker for depth, and love it when characters get my ol' brain a' thinkin'.

Also, I'll read over your "Basic outline (VERY basic)" one more time before I make (if any) comments.

#35 Stnemele

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 03:05 PM

Though a member of the guard, he does not believe in justice. He is too jaded to think it possible. He will execute a slaver long before he would arrest one.

I just got done reading about a lady P.I. that was married to a crooked cop, and was wondering if you'd be willing to maybe take him down that cliche road?


The thought occurred to me, but I feel like he'd be too guarded to do anything serious with Ruth. I haven't developed her much, but in my head, she's the queen in a chess game and he is her pawn, though she makes him believe that he is a knight or king. He feels no love for her, though they've certainly "relaxed" together before. Part of his personal quest is, actually, destroying her. He discovers that she has been using him to further her own plots for the city guard.

I think it would make some sense that he doesn't believe in a 'higher-power justice' (This includes The Law, gods, and people of authority), because in his time of youth, and being a rebel he seen the corruption within the streets and seen how 'Justice' skipped right over the poor and those in need.


I'm definitely going for the whole "Dark Knight" thing, where he is the justice for those that aren't rich enough to receive it. Marcos isn't necessarily concerned with *what* he is so long as his ultimate goals (meaning his only rule) is upheld. He will literally do anything it takes to protect an innocent: selling them into slavery, murdering a husband/wife/child, burning down a house, killing the untouchable noble... He isn't sadistic, but he's close. His idea of authority isn't exactly clear to anyone but himself. He listens to orders and also ignores them. This would become a point of contention with him and the PC because he might start to think that the PC is using the Bhaal taint to pull rank or authority.

You could also play on the fact that since his mama dun left him, that this is another reason why he has a bit of an angst against 'authoritative' figures, who he attaches the image of 'justice' with. So, maybe his thinking could become twisted in the way of "My mother left me and wasn't there when I needed her, just like the Law is for those in need."


This is one thing I am going to argue against. My initial idea was for him to have a degree of resentment for his mother, but instead I decided that he would be apathetic instead. This is partially because his father literally never spoke of it and because Marcos genuinely believed that he didn't need a mother. He didn't believe he needed anyone--a belief he continues to hold and becomes a point of conflict. He knows he's not perfect, and though he may have had a degree of resentment against her in the past, it isn't part of his present. He understands fault and when to accept it. His past was his own decision, regardless of who he thought was to blame. He chose to rebel, so he rebelled. Marcos is neutral because he can't be evil. His character isn't supposed to be full or angst or any conflict other than what he himself creates. He's at peace with who/what he is (in the sense that it doesn't bother him) and he believes it's up to himself to deal with it.

He now takes on the mind of "I'll be the law, I'll be justice." However, his is, as you've described him to be, horribly jaded and twisted. Which would play into:

He might save a woman from an attack, but he would also lecture/shout at her for being stupid enough to get herself into such a position.

Twisted Justice at its best.


Yes, pretty much. I haven't touched very much on that side of him, but it's very much present, especially when he actually talks to the PC for the first interactions.


I love this idea too. I am willing to accept that maybe he was never betrayed because in his rebel years, he learned to lurk in the shadows, trust no one, and cut the cord before anyone had a chance to do it back to him. Perhaps he'd seen way too many 'weak' people (People who trusted others) being back-stabbed and betrayed when growing up, and this is what contributed to his 'Cold, calculating, and uncompromising' personality. His thinking was 'I gotta beat them to the punch or else I'll be the worm'.


Not the phrasing I would pick, but, yes, that is how he feels. It is more instinct for him than actual thought. Trust is the ultimate weakness, in his mind, because he doesn't think anyone would be able to not betray him, eventually.

He would respect her long before he ever cared for her, let alone loved her.

This makes sense. As he sounds like he has mama issues, and therefore women issues. Though, it's been balanced out by Ruth, who sounds like she takes no stuff, and thus prevented him from turning into a full fledged misogynist (Thank you, Ruth! :lol2: ). It sounds like because of her, he's now able to have romance with a strong, no-nonsense female character.


He was never a misogynist, at least not directly. He thinks that some women play up their innocence and don't live up to their potential (hence why he likes the PC). He simultaneously dislikes and respects people that are capable of using an apparent weakness as such a powerful weapon. However, men are just a guilty of this as women, so, to him, a woman is just as capable of anything as a man. Ruth is responsible for this thinking, inadvertently, but only because of his own blindness.

Unfortunately, Ruth ultimately has a not-so-nice effect on him. I haven't explained his personal quest in detail, nor what he's doing when the PC meets him, but he's actually attempting to hunt down Ruth and get rid of her. He has something of enough compatriotism for her to attempt to find any way to destroy her other than putting her to his blade. He did have an underlying degree of affection for her, but only because she was the one that spared his life when she should've taken it. She is his friend, whether he likes it or not, and his sense of outrage is focused entirely on her. He isn't an angry character, but mention her name and he might lose it a bit.

Point being, Ruth and Marcos have a but if a tumultuous and relatively complex relationship. It isn't love, affection, or friendship. She was using him, he found out, and now he's getting back as subtly as he can out of respect for their past friendship.

This, of course, might make him more Lawful Neutral than not, but he's basically doing anything he can to avoid storming her house and cutting her throat. That would be too easy. He wants her to suffer. She set him up to take a serious fall (essentially, being arrested and executed for something he did on her orders) and he wanted to take her down with him. Working with the PC makes him change his mind to just get rid of her (his personal quest).

Either way, I need to plot that part out more completely. She might be playing too much of role this way, but if he's romancing the PC, things are going to get a little complicated.

I think that's about it, because other then that, he sounds well grounded. I'm just a huge sucker for depth, and love it when characters get my ol' brain a' thinkin'.

Thanks! That was the goal :D
"I've had better conversations with cheese."
--Michael Keaton, "Dream Team"

"I love love-triangles! ... Or squares. Hexagons. Trapezoids. Circles with tangent lines... Geometry aside, where are we?"
-- Cassandra Mewborn, a dead character

#36 Rhaella

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 05:07 PM

For the moment, the center of his motivation to join the PC at all is to, essentially, get rid of an annoyance. I don't know how well-known Irenicus is within Athkatla, but someone well-connected like Marcos may very well have heard the rumors regarding Irenicus and his experiments. I imagine that people would've gone missing or the people Marcos hunts/executes/etc. would have been connected to the wizard. If this wouldn't realistically happen within the confines of the game's world, please let me know and I will compensate accordingly. I do have a tendency to make my characters know too much, so please let me know if I cross the line at any point.


I'd be careful with it. The Cowled Wizards would probably not have been so idiotic in dealing with Irenicus had they had any inkling of what he was beforehand. Then again, the Shadow Thieves apparently knew at least something about him, including the fact that yeah, this was a crazy powerful mage. Still, I'd probably rather err on the side of "what do you mean there was an archmage preying on the city for who knows how long? I want him dead now" with maybe a touch of Shadow Thief information. Though I doubt the thieves were letting their lesser members know much of anything at all, or that he'd be able to touch a serious player within the Shadow Thieves.

#37 Stnemele

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 06:17 PM

For the moment, the center of his motivation to join the PC at all is to, essentially, get rid of an annoyance. I don't know how well-known Irenicus is within Athkatla, but someone well-connected like Marcos may very well have heard the rumors regarding Irenicus and his experiments. I imagine that people would've gone missing or the people Marcos hunts/executes/etc. would have been connected to the wizard. If this wouldn't realistically happen within the confines of the game's world, please let me know and I will compensate accordingly. I do have a tendency to make my characters know too much, so please let me know if I cross the line at any point.


I'd be careful with it. The Cowled Wizards would probably not have been so idiotic in dealing with Irenicus had they had any inkling of what he was beforehand. Then again, the Shadow Thieves apparently knew at least something about him, including the fact that yeah, this was a crazy powerful mage. Still, I'd probably rather err on the side of "what do you mean there was an archmage preying on the city for who knows how long? I want him dead now" with maybe a touch of Shadow Thief information. Though I doubt the thieves were letting their lesser members know much of anything at all, or that he'd be able to touch a serious player within the Shadow Thieves.


Thanks for the advice.

Marcos's connections within Athkatla are, as you suggested, not "in deep" with the Shadow Thieves or Bodhi's party. Actually, he spends more of his time hunting Bodhi's ilk and the Thieves than he does anything else. He doesn't usually gather information on his own, either, since Captain Ruth gives him a name and he "deals with it". She, on the other hand, has those kinds of connections. She would never tell him about any of them, since he's just another pawn to her. The question is, now, if *she* was dealing with Irenicus or not, because that would determine if he'd heard the name before or not.

On that note, I should probably clarify his personal quest at this point:
Background of the quest:
For six years, Marcos has been the Left Hand to Guard Captain Ruth Ivaness. During the first five years of that partnership, they became friends, lovers (though not in love), and the two most feared members of her garrison. The Athkatlan Government itself hushed up the more illicit of Ivaness and Corvinus's actions, but the underbelly of Athkatla knew that if Corvinus appeared someone was about to die. Marcos was perfectly content with his reputation. In his mind, he was doing what was necessary to give "justice" to those that did not have it. He declared himself judge, jury, and executioner in nearly every case, rarely bringing his targets in alive (despite Ivaness's orders) and would go out of his way to take care of a problem she had not wanted him to.

Ultimately, he came to do his job as he saw fit, not as she saw fit. Not only that, but he was learning more about his enemies than he was supposed to. He found out that most of the people she sent him to kill were, in fact, her informants, enemies, and men who'd "betrayed" her in the past (by turning against her plans--specifically, doing exactly what Marcos was). Finally, she went too far, in Marcos's mind, and ordered him to kill a man name Zinn. When Marcos confronted him, Zinn gave the guard pause by announcing Ruth's plans for Marcos (use and kill him once he had served his purpose) and asking him to prove it wrong. Though Marcos took Zinn's life, he couldn't shake the feeling that the man had been right. Some creative interrogations and eavesdropping proved Marcos's suspicions correct and he took it upon himself to rid himself of her.

BG2:
When you first meet Marcos, he is in the middle of shaking down a beggar for information about someone named "Wenton". Wenton is, it turns out, an ex-guard who had been a member of Ruth's garrison. Ruth had framed Wenton as she intended to do Marcos. Wenton had been her first Left Hand, believed to be dead, and knew more about her operation than anyone else living.

Upon recruitment, Marcos will insist on going to see Wenton in the Five Flagons. They find him dead, but with a note from an anonymous source informing Marcos that any further steps in that direction would mean his life. He is left with one option: become untouchable. The Bhaalspawn hero of the Sword Coast is the best option he has.

Later in the game, a courier arrives calling Marcos back to the Prison to meet with Captain Ruth. He insists on going, though he fears going alone. The PC has a chance to give him advice on the outcome (kill her, let her live, decide then). Once they arrive, Ruth is waiting and more than ready for a fight. After one final attempt to seduce him, a fight ensues. The PC has the option at the end to spare her and turn her in, kill her, or let Marcos pick. His choice would be affected by whatever advice the PC gave before (the default being to arrest her and turn her in).

ToB:
Marcos's wraith would be Ruth. If in a friendship with the PC, it would be regarding his betrayal of her trust. If in a friendship with the PC, it would be regarding Ruth's romantic relationship with him and how, ultimately, he will fail/betray the PC as he did her.

EDIT: It also occurred to me that wraiths only appear to the romantic interest, don't they? If so, Marcos might note in a dialogue that his wraith would have been Ruth and everything that went wrong with that.

...At least, that's what I'm thinking, which leads me to the conclusion that Marcos wouldn't know about Irenicus or anything relating to him other than the fiasco in the Market District (and even then, only that something went wrong).

So, next question: is it too much for him to know Bodhi's name? I think he might know about her conven, at least.

Progress update:
~Created a working tp2 and WeiDU install for Marcos (thanks to Rhaella for all the troubleshooting help and Kat Bella's amazing NPC Creation Guide!)
~Successfully managed to recruit him into the party in-game
~ Finished first draft of full Bio (unposted), potential plot for personal quest (above in this post), rough outline for friendship/romance (previous post), and joining plot.
~Currently working on NPC banters in SoA. Finished: Aerie (3 of 3), Anomen (3 of 3). Partially Complete: Edwin (1 of 2), Nalia (1 of 3); Next: Whoever's next in the alphabet (Cernd, then Edwin, Haer'Dalis, Imoen, etc.).
~And, of course, ample, ample brainstorming. :shifty:

Edited by Stnemele, 06 February 2012 - 09:13 AM.

"I've had better conversations with cheese."
--Michael Keaton, "Dream Team"

"I love love-triangles! ... Or squares. Hexagons. Trapezoids. Circles with tangent lines... Geometry aside, where are we?"
-- Cassandra Mewborn, a dead character

#38 Kaeloree

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 06:21 PM

I doubt he'd know Bodhi's name, she's relatively secretive--but he'd definitely know there was a vampire coven on the rise in Athkatla.

#39 Stnemele

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 06:39 PM

I doubt he'd know Bodhi's name, she's relatively secretive--but he'd definitely know there was a vampire coven on the rise in Athkatla.


Thanks! Noted and I will keep that in mind as I write/create. The bane of every writer is knowing too much about the world the character exists in ("Haha. I knew Darth Vader was Anakin Skywalker and Luke's father. I totally called that, and that he wand Leah were brother and sister. kthnxbi roflcopters" says Mary Sue, Jedi who survived Anakin's slaughter etc etc....)

....Yeah. No. Don't want to do that. This is why I ask.
"I've had better conversations with cheese."
--Michael Keaton, "Dream Team"

"I love love-triangles! ... Or squares. Hexagons. Trapezoids. Circles with tangent lines... Geometry aside, where are we?"
-- Cassandra Mewborn, a dead character

#40 Kaeloree

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 07:09 PM

Haha :D You tend to get a lot of that with NPCs somehow "knowing" that Yoshimo is untrustworthy/etc/etc. Yoshimo is a brilliant trickster, one of the best--unless your NPC is inhumanly astute, there is no way they are going to be able to tell.

I'd also suggest you actually write your ToB banters in conjunction with your SoA banters, for a couple of reasons. It's a lot easier to write all of an NPC's banters at once (because you get a feel for their character/voice), so the banters end up better than if you come back to them later, and it's also a huge pain to come back and have to write a bunch more banters for ToB once SoA is done. If you write the ToB banters at the same time you avoid having to backtrack, and you'll thank yourself later when you've got a big chunk of ToB already done :)





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