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Rein NPC - looking for a coder and home

NPC evil assassin

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#1 yarpen


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Posted 02 November 2013 - 02:20 AM

Rein NPC Project

When looking at the cast of NPCs available in Baldur's Gate 2: Shadows of Amn, I have always found two issues that even during years of Modding Community's progress never got actually fixed in a proper way.
- Only one single-classed Thief (Yoshimo)
- Only three Evil characters available
While there are many great mods that introduce new NPCs to the game - most of them really do not touch both of those issues. You can mostly find good-aligned Mages, Fighters, Paladins and Rangers. That could probably be justified by fact that in theory people are generally good. Additional reason for that could be that evil characters are usually just boring with their "kill everything blargh" philosophy. And Korgan is already available, so why copy-pasting him into another character.

Still, I always found myself actually hooked into evil characters. While BG2 doesn't really support playing evil protagonist well, I found it to be a pleasure even while most of the time I was ending up frauded by having lesser rewards for finishing quests in the 'wrong' way.
While I cannot really touch that part of the game, I believe I could help in terms of the earlier problem by introducing Rein into the world of BG2.

Who is Rein?
Rein is an half-elvish Assassin who cares far more about being paid well than for eternal glory of being a hero. Raised on the streets as an bastardlish outcome of one-night romance antics of Waterdeep's noble and elvish wanderer, he grew strong as the rough place he had to live in shaped him that way. Without home and family he also grew bitter which took a huge impact on his personality. That is probably the shortest description I could provide you with. Now let's get into a bit more detailed one.

From mechanical standpoint, that's who he is:
Name: Rein
Class: Assassin (thief)
Race: Half-Elf
Alignment: Neutral Evil

Stats: 16 STR | 17 DEX | 11 CON | 13 INT | 9 WIS | 12 CHA
Proficiencies: 1+ Dagger | 1+ Short Sword | 1+ Crossbow | 1+ Club
Skills: major: Hide in Shadows, Move Silently | minor: Pickpocket

Portrait: I would love to have a personalized, BG2-like portrait that is actually designed for the character - but at the moment I'd love to use this beautiful piece of work done by Tieflingz and Nix.


Biography: When asked about his past Rein sighs and reminds you that you paid him to kill people, not to be a storyteller. After a while though, he says he was an outcome of one-night romantics between one of the minor noblemens of Waterdeep and unknown elvish wanderer. As the romance was not in pair with his father's marriage and mother soon disappeared from the city, during the early years of his life he was thrown onto streets of Waterdeep where he managed to raise and survive. The whole story could be just another made-up story he tells, but it actually explains his cruel and cold-blooded personality too well to scold it off that easily.


Meeting: You've got a problem, I've got a price.

Attack 1: You are no challenge for me.
Attack 2: Don't get between me and my gold.
Attack 3: Pathetic!
Attack 4: Long knives, deep wounds.
Attack 5: Kill or get killed!

Chosen 1: Everyone has a price.
Chosen 2: New orders?
Chosen 3: My blade is yours.
Chosen 4: Better make it quick.
Chosen 5: Loyality isn't earned. It's bought.

Movement 1: Better pay me for that.
Movement 2: Keep up.
Movement 3Silent steps.
Movement 4: Always look behind.
Movement 5: Clean and cut.

Happy: I love the way how we are feared and respected. While gaining that much "popularity" does not serve us well, it never ceases to amuse me.
Unhappy: Our actions gave us a lot of spotlight. Enough of it to make my job much harder.
Quitting: I think we got a big misunderstanding when we signed the contract. Take your goddamn gold, you will most probably give it away to beggars and churches. I'm leaving. Better wish we will never meet again.

City: Those back alleys remind me of few fat purses and some shockingly naive nobles.
Dungeon: I like to fight in dark, clustered places.
Night: Let's turn it into night of long knives.

Leader: Me leading? I guess you are insane... which makes it still better than you, leading us.
Close to death: Save me, you fool! I don't want to die!
Hide in shadows: Patience pays off, they say.

(I admit that I was inspired by League of Legends champions Sivir and Talon. LoL writers do have talent for quirky catch-phrases.)

Dialogue Samples:
What actually makes or breaks a joinable NPC are the interactions between him and other NPCs of course. When I started writing content for Rein I've started with breaking down his opinion on other characters and then doing the same in reverse. I will show those thoughts later. What was the most important thing for me while writing Rein was creating something refreshing and keeping him away from Mary Sue syndrome. He is not going to make fun of Anomen or make Cernd like a fool. I try to do my best to actually keep the dialogues appropriate to the already-done by BG2:SoA frames.

Rein, Minsc

Minsc: Come on, little elfling! Stop being so scared of battle. There is no more need to hide in shadows when you have Minsc and Boo at your side!
Rein: I am not an el-- WHAT ARE YOU DOING?
Minsc: Showing you the world that only hamsters and rangers had access to before! Look straight into sky instead of hiding under your hood! Look at the sun!
Rein: -it hurts!
Minsc: Oh, it hurts me as well. I... I feel a bit dizzy.
Rein: Then let me-

Minsc: Boo! Boo where are you?! Respond to me with the force of Miniature of Giant Galactic Hamster!
Minsc: Ooh, here you are. And where is our elfling friend?
Rein: -- get *gasp* off me you fool!
Minsc: Oh, I stepped on you. I am glad that Boo was not with me when I did that as the weight of the true Hamster could harm you much more.
Rein: *coughs* I still don't feel my lungs you lunatic!

Rein, Korgan

Korgan: I want to clarify something. I dislike you Rein.
Rein: Glad to know that my feeling is mutual. 
Korgan: I dislike rogues like you. Longlegs with those sleazy eyes always reacting to a drop of coin. Thieves who make me wear chainmail when I sleep and have one hand on my purse while second on the axe.
Rein: Remember dwarf, that you are stepping on the risky topic here. I am no mere thief. If I'd ever had to take your purse - I wouldn't bother with stealing it.
Rein: I'd just took it from your still-warm corpse.
Korgan: Brave words for fancy long-leg like you. Still, that's the exact reason I respect you.
Rein: Mutual feelings, mutual values and mutual interests, isn't it?
Korgan: You seem to understand things we-
Rein: If you think that will help you at sneaking that ace from your sleeve, you are so, so wrong Korgan.
Korgan: Damn it!
Rein: Leave the subtetly for us, long-legs, dwarf.
Korgan: You better don't make me leave my axe in your skull!

Keldorn, Rein

Keldorn: Rein, we need to talk.
Rein... huh. Yes?
KeldornListen... have you ever heard about grey paladins?
ReinDoesn't ring a bell.
KeldornThen listen... cautiously. Grey Paladins are the legend, maybe even a myth in the Order of Radiant Hearts. With their strong wills and zealous devotion to their mission of turning this world into better place... they throw away the code. They get the special dispense.
Keldorn: They do everything they can to accomplish their missions. Hiding in shades and infamy to strike the evil from most unexpected place. They disguise themselves as what many would consider evil. And they fight the true 'evil' with any tools they can get.
Keldorn: They cheat, they lie, they stab in the back, they kill. 
ReinWhy are you telling me abou-
KeldornSilence! ... I... I am no grey paladin. I am just a humble inquisitor, the fist of Torm and Order that hunts the evildoers. But I am also a reasonable man. I just lived far too long to neglect the opportunities.
KeldornRein, while I despise basically every single part of you and pray for your soul and mind to be cleansed from the evil it got captured by - I accept <CHARNAME>'s decision to hire you. Our mission is not usual, so by any means, the methods have to also be unusual.
Rein: ... t-that's all?
KeldornThat's all. Still, I would reccomend being silent in my presence. And get rid out of my sight. Now. 

And for maximum tease, Rein's opinions on other party members and protagonist.

Team Members he likes:
Sarevok: "I've heard about a story you had with this glowy-eyes fellow. I don't really care about what happened in the past, all I see is the perfect, emotion-less killing machine at your service."
Protagonist: "I would lie if I'd say that I have no interest in your heritage of Bhaal. But remember that the only thing that keeps me from cutting you wide open and looking at this Bhaal's Essence of yours with my very own eyes is the contract you signed."

Team Members he accepts:
Edwin: "As long as he can do mess big enough for me to do my work, I can stand his constant blabbering under nose as long as he keeps it quiet enough to not loose it. I mean his nose."
Viconia: "I know too much about poisons and their origins to ever trust a drow woman. She is a real eye-tease, but the closest I can keep her is at the tip of my blade."
Korgan: "We both agree in terms of values we have in life. Gold, women, power and the thrill of kill. Without his raging and messy attitude, I would consider him to be a good companion."
Anomen: "His arrogance is his shield, that suppresses all the emotions he keeps hidden. While he still fools himself with his trust in Helm, one day he will find his true 'himself' I believe."
Haer'Dalis: "He might be a lousy fighter with a big mouth that never close. Still, he is too experienced especially in terms of other planes to disregard him. And don't blame me for liking a fancy rhyme or two."
Jan Jansen: "I am still not sure which one should be trusted less - magic that fizzles so easily or technology that keeps blowing up in his hands? That's a longer thought."
Minsc: "I feel that this mentally ill giant tries to taunt me or disrespect me. But as long as he serves well as huge meatshield and I can hide in his shadow, I find him acceptable. Just for Bhaal's sake, keep him quiet."
Imoen: "Soulless doll, fascinating. Was she a real sister of yours or you were connected just by Bhaal's blood? Those hazy, empty eyes just piqued my interest."
Valygar: "I appreciate a man who understands the value of staying in shadow. Still, the whole 'revenge' just reminds me about all my buffonade clients. At least he values it in the proper way by doing it by his own hand."

Team Members he disregards:
Aerie: "I understand that you would like to keep all the long-legged elvish maidens in your companionship. I actually appreciate that. But what's with the idea of putting this lousy magician in the danger of getting hurt? Keep your concubines in the house... that you obviously don't have."
Yoshimo: "Bounty Hunter? Do you intend to catch Irenicus in one of his pathetic traps and then ask him for directions in your life? I don't think so. I wouldn't really count on that Kara-Turian. Owner of these eyes cannot be trusted. He wouldn't be able to grab his pantalones - not to mention a real prey."

Team Members he can't stand:
Jaheira: "All her righteouness just ticks me off. And I can't sleep as she keeps crying and screaming during nights mentioning some fool who could be stupid enough to dedicate his happily-over life to her."
Mazzy: "I would be scared of her if she would actually be a fighter. It's not like I can say 'I want to be an orc' and work hard to achieve that. While looking at her pathetic effort might be delightfull at first, I feel confused everytime she says anything. And I'm not mentioning fact that earth beneath our foots starts to talk again."
Nalia: "This spoiled brat has it all! Money, connections, family... and she keeps throwing it at people. Did she cam from some badly written fairy tale? The only thing I can throw at a beggar is my knife."

Team Members he is truly afraid of:
Keldorn: "I could stand a chance against him if I'd have the advantage of catching him off-guard. All I can do is to hope that he will be busy enough with hunting witches and mages to never settle on 'puryfiying' me with the flames of justice."
Cernd: "I was once paid to kill a druid that was protecting small forest from ending up in the fireplaces of commoners. Killing him was an easy part. Getting rid off all the bugs and insects biting me every night was much, much harder."

Planned Features:
- 2-3 banters for each NPC in Shadows of Amn (at least 1 Rein-focused, 1 NPC-focused)
- 2-3 talks with protagonist that uncover the story of his life
- personal quest/challenge
- tons of interactions and comments
- [optional] small tweaks for evil-aligned players (increased rewards for evil ending of quests, changing very low reputation's effects)
- [optional] small tweaks to Assassin kit

Okay, so what do we (me and Rein) need to exist?
1) Coder: I have to admit that I was never good at coding dialogues, and years of being away from Infinity Engine scene didn't improved that. Also, I have to admit that I cannot really spend too much time on the whole thing as job and education make my clock very tight. A help from someone capable of coding things would be awesome.
2) Sub-Forum: I am actually fan of interacting with others in the process of creating mod. Dem's Revisions mods wouldn't be that good without those 5-10 people discussing everything. Community matters. While writing an NPC comes down to being far more personal thing, I believe having a place to discuss stuff with the others would be an awesome thing.

In later stages, proofread would also be very, very helpfull as it's easy to spot that english is not my native language.

That is all from me at the moment. Thanks for your attention - hope you liked what you've read here.

#2 -Greysteel-

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Posted 23 November 2013 - 01:03 PM

Sounds like a well thought-out character. I would invite Rein along during a rare evil playthrough (even though I almost always play single or multi roguish characters myself). Hopefully someone, a coder, will pick this up or has already done so. Please keep people informed about any progress!


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