Ted's RPG Rant

A place to rant about RPG games, particularly the Temple of Elemental Evil. Co8 members get a free cookie for stopping by. Thats ONE cookie each, no seconds.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Factions, Reactions, and Reputations

Today we are going to deal with the issue of reputations and reactions. These were rather poorly handled in ToEE, despite having a very good framework within which to operate - thats the story of the game, I guess. We saw back in ummmm tutorial 1 or 2 that you can start a dialogue with the generic greeting, {G:}{G:}{}{}{}{}. This would give a greeting based on various factors, including the reputation. Good stuff. However, beyond this there was no change, you went straight into the standard dialogue tree - "can I ask you some more questions" etc, and generally speaking they reacted identically. Sure, Black Jay or Filliken might hate you and refuse to talk to you for a while, but that was changed by doing definite things for them and flagging specific things such as quests etc. It was not based on reputation.

And yet, when we look at the gamerep.mes (in the Rules folder), we find that there is a very good framework for handling the whole reputation issue and allowing it to automatically have a real impact on the game, such that players actions could (if followed up) significantly affect their outcomes - ie, roleplaying. Lets do a cut-paste of what it says.

// Game reputations start at 1
// Each reputation starts with 3 faction numbers, indicating the three
// factions that will treat the reputation owner as being part of their
// faction. One or all of these faction numbers can be zero, which is
// the empty faction.
// Each reputation can then have up to 5 effects, separated by commas
// Each effect is 2 numbers, separated by spaces
// The first number is a reaction adjustment
// The second number is a faction (0 means ANY faction)
// Examples:
// 0 0 0, -20 0
// The reputation grants no faction to the PC, but he has a -20
// reaction from any NPC
// 1 10 0, -10 0
// Any NPC from factions 1 and 10 will treat the PC as being on that
// faction, and every NPC responds with a -10 reaction
// 1 0 0, +10 1
// Any NPC from faction 1 will treat the PC as being in that faction,
// and all NPC's belonging to faction 1 respond with a +10 reaction
// 0 0 0, +15 1
// The reputation grants no faction, but an NPC belonging to faction 1
// gets a +15 reaction to the PC

So we can see that we can have a player get a reputation (one of the things in the logbook - 'Prison Liberator', 'Moathouse Cleaner' and 'Butcher of Hommlet' all come to mind) and it can be set so that whole FACTIONS automatically react. That is, be mean to a guard and ALL the gaurds (if they are in the one faction) can be set to react nastily to you.

Brilliant! But we want to expand the reaction beyond just a nasty greeting. So, I would suggest scripting whole seperate dialogue options based on whether the player loves you or hates you or whatever. that sounds like a pain, doesn't it. BUT when you tihnk about it, its really just a question of the number of options:

- NPC is ambivalent to party (just met or whatever): has various options
- NPC loves party (they have done something for him, a quest or got a great rep somehow): has additional options, he is willing to do more for them
- NPC hates party (they have pissed him or his faction off somehow): has seriously restricted options, possibly no more than telling them to piss off or being drawn into some sort of dialogue stream that allows the party to mend the situation (ideally, there SHOULD be something to allow the party to remedy things, make amends or whatever: either through attaining a FACTIONAL rep that improves that NPCs personal one, or through finishing a quest).

See? Common sense, and not too much work: a li'l cut-n-paste, a few additional lines and some scripting so that the dialogue tree available reflects the rep (starting with an individualised greeting, of course!) Really, its not that different to how things are handled now - if u do quests for people, there are more options next time u talk to them. What I am suggesting is this be expanded to include simple things to nudge the rep in one direction or another.

For instance, if the player is regularly haughty and contemptuous to the guards, (roleplaying an evil sod to be sure) the rep will slowly nudge over toward hate, such that the players might now need to do something big like a quest just to get the guards to treat them normal, and whatever bonus stuff was available from doing the quest might now have to be earned by getting a rep of 'guard's buddy' or something. Of course, from the evil perspective, snivelly characters who respect strength and intimidation will get a positive reaction toward the characters if they are frorceful, as might straightforward NPCs, and this will also be reflected: smarmy paladins who try to shmooze everyone will pay the penalty.

Anyways, thats the idea: a way of improving roleplaying by giving more consequences for actions. Lets see how the scripts actually work.

For the big reps, we've just seen that you fiddle the gamerep.mes, to match the reputations asigned in gamereplog.mes. ToEE tends to work in 10s and 20s: for instance, some generic positions look like this:

def make_hate( attachee, triggerer ):
________if ( attachee.reaction_get( triggerer ) >= 20 ):
________________attachee.reaction_set( triggerer, 20 )
________return SKIP_DEFAULT

def make_worry( attachee, triggerer ):
________if ( attachee.reaction_get( triggerer ) >= 40 ):
________________attachee.reaction_set( triggerer, 40 )
________return SKIP_DEFAULT

10s and 20s are fine by me. Of course, certain acts or tasks can still have a massive influence of say +/- 50 - if u save someone's life, all past indiscretions might be forgiven, while if u butcher their kids in front of them, no amount of politeness will redeem you. But thats a case by case thing obviously. The 'butcher of Hommlet' rep is an obvious example, that gives a -89 beating to anyone of faction 9 (ordinary Hommletians).

At this point I should make 2 things clear:

NPCs start at reaction level 50, so when we talk about going up 10 or 20 or whatever (better reaction) or going back -10, -20 etc (negative reaction) we are talking about starting from 50. So above, a person who really shits the NPC (the teamster in this case) will go straight to 20, and his generic greetings will be contemptous, while a preson who annoys him a bit will go straight down to 40 and get worried 'not sure about you' greetings.

On the up side, an example: if you barter Black Jay's wife's ring back to him, you get a reaction of +15, but if u just give it to him outright and refuse a reward, you get +30.

Below zero, NPCs attack on sight. So -89 for the Butcher of Hommlet rep means the townsfolk, by and large, are all going to have at you on sight. The game DOES include the possibility some folk had such a high opinion of you that they don't attack you even if you have that rep, they will greet you with generic comments such as:

{1}{Your murderous reputation does not intimidate me!}

This reminds us that when it comes to handing out negative reps, you have to be careful: just because ur player is slightly unpleasant doesn't mean folks in a bastion of Order like the Keep will start trying to kill them (or it shouldn't). So no negative rep things in the standard dialogue tree perhaps, that can be acccessed over and over (or if there are, the NPC might have a thing in their san_dialog script that below a certain point, say 20, they refuse to talk at all and thus the person can't push them below zero. In that case, to talk to them (and say sorry perhaps) the player will either have to raise their entire factional reputation, or fulfill a quest that will then open up a new dialogue branch and of course raise their rep).

Confused? No matter, lets start again and be methodical this time.


Factions are set in col 154 of Protos.tab (by ProtoEd numbering, or just look for NPC Factions in ToEEWB). Here are pix of the respective shots.

Lets concentrate on the first one, which is from the Protos.tab in patch 2, I think. Note that a critter can have more than one faction. Thus for instance all the folks in the Welcome Wench will have the same faction - 9, Hommletians - but might have their own factions on top of that (such as being guards, or evil Hextorites, or something). They all have the Hommletian faction - despite the fact that Elmo and Turuko, for instance, might have diametrically different loyalties - because if the party attack someone in the bar, noone is going to just stand around - EVERYONE is going to be in on it. And thats in a nut-shell what factions do, they make sure groups act together, so, one in, all in. Attack one member of the earth temple, and everyone in noticing range will jump to their defense: it doesn't have to be scripted.

Factions can be set independantly in .mobs by ToEEWB (not sure this is the latest version, but what the hey):

Since you can have more than one faction, I don't know whether this REPLACES anything set in protos.tab for that character, or adds the factions to it. Thats one for Ag to answer.

To set factions in ToEEWB, you apparently have to add trailing zeros between them (and after them). So, as Krunch put it:

If a prototype has a monster or NPC listed as having a faction of 8 and you want to make a new mob for a map where the monster or the NPC will continue to have a faction of 8, plus you also want the monster or NPC to have an additional faction of 19, in ToEEWB you can add both the 8 and 19 as two factions for the monster or NPC. However, to do this in ToEEWB, you must add four separate entries for the two factions. You must add a trailing zero after each faction. In this example, you would add a faction of 8, add a trailing 0, add a faction of 19, and add a trailing 0. Treat adding a trailing zero as like entering a faction of zero, just remember that it is a trailing zero - not a faction. And, do not forget to save the changes.

four entries in the factions list window in ToEEWB:
Make the entries in that order, remembering a trailing zero follows each faction to make a monster or NPC have factions of 8 and 19.

Hmmm, that seems to suggest that .mob factions DO replace and override protos.tab factions - well, there you go. Doesn't surprise me, .mob settings are pretty consistent that way. Anyways, well done Kap'n K for picking that up, and Ag for explaining it.

The factions themselves are listed in faction.mes (surprise!) in the Oemes folder. Here they are as of Co8-5.0.1:

{0}{An unimportant faction}
{1}{Moathouse brigands}
{2}{Moathouse captives}
{3}{Air temple}
{4}{Earth temple}
{5}{Fire temple}
{6}{Water temple}
{7}{Greater temple}
{8}{Non-affiliated temple}
{9}{Hommlet villager}
{10}{Nulb villager}
{11}{St. Cuthbert member}
{12}{Old Faith believer}
{13}{Brothel Member}
{15}{Forces of Lareth}
{16}{Men-at-arms captives}
{17}{Farmer captives}
{18}{Elven consortium prisoners}
{19}{Orc prisoners}
{20}{Female prisoners}
{21}{Ashrem's bandits}
{22}{Scorpp's rebels}
{23}{Bugbear deserters}
{24}{Ogre cave dwellers}
{26}{Skole's goons}
{27}{Ikian's adventuring party}
{28}{Caravan survivor - vignette}
{29}{Dead woman - vignette}
{30}{Moathouse gnolls}
{31}{Mayor faction}
{32}{Hextor faction}
{33}{Hrudek faction}
{34}{Rat faction}
{35}{Black Jay and his farm animals}
{36}{Verbobonc citizen}
{37}{Scarlet Brotherhood}
{38}{Hickory Branch}

Now: PCs themselves can be recognised as parts of factions (though it doesn't mean that in combat critters are going to come to your aid - I mean they might, but there is a problem in ToEE with cooperative fighting in that when you kill all the 'baddies', the combat won't end - every critter in combat has to be dealt with, even if they came in on your side or were attacked innocently through friendly fire or area-effect stuff by the enemy, they will still have to be killed / subdued etc to end combat). You may have noticed this in the bit above about reputations - adding a reputation can get the party members recognised as members of this or that faction. Let me repeat it:

// Game reputations start at 1
// Each reputation starts with 3 faction numbers, indicating the three
// factions that will treat the reputation owner as being part of their
// faction. One or all of these faction numbers can be zero, which is
// the empty faction.

That is (to spell it out again), when you get a reputation, it can cause up to 3 factions to recognise you as a member of their own faction (plus give reaction adjustments, positive or negative to the same or other factions). Here's where the fun begins.


Reputations are found in gamereplog.mes in the mes folder and are adjusted according to gamerep.mes in the rules folder (I think I said that above). Lets have a look at them for ToEE:

{1} {Butcher of Hommlet}
{2} {St. Cuthbert Disciple}
{3} {Old Faith Donor}
{4} {Master of the Crude Insult}
{5} {Beggar Maker}
{6} {Tatterdemalion Tutelary}
{7} {Defiler of Women}
{8} {Master Ravager}
{9} {Purveyor of Swift Justice}
{10} {Member of the Air Temple}
{11} {Member of the Earth Temple}
{12} {Member of the Water Temple}
{13} {Member of the Fire Temple}
{14} {Champion Brawler}
{15} {Moathouse Cleaner}
{16} {Prison Liberator}
{17} {Liberator Extraordinaire}
{18} {Friend of Lareth the Beautiful}
{19} {Grud Buddy}
{20} {Victor of the Drinking Contest}
{21} {Assassin of Lodriss}
{22} {Knight of Furyondy and Veluna}
{23} {Target of Revenge}
{24} {Initiate of Assassin's group}
{25} {Assassin}
{26} {Dragonslayer}

I'll spare us all the effects and descriptions. Lets look at the first one in detail, 'Butcher of Hommlet'. Gee, I wonder what that means? ;-)

The effect in gamerep.mes for number one looks like this:

{1}{0 0 0, -89 9} //Butcher of Hommlet

The 3 zeroes are the 3 factions that this rep COULD make you a member of, but it doesn't make u a member of any, so they are zeroes (obviously). The -89 to faction 9 (Hommletians) as i mentioned above means just about any Hommletian you encounter is going to want to kill you on sight with this rep.

Heres an interesting one:

{22}{0 0 0, +40 9} //Knight of Furyondy and Veluna

Get knighted by Thrommel and the average person will have a +40 reaction (ie from 50 to 90) so getting the 'Butcher of Hommlet' rep SHOULD reduce your reaction to 1 (if you haven't done anything else to piss them off, which is pretty rare in the game - Black Jay maybe, ummm Sunom the weaver if u make eyes at Monier, a few others). So the Hommletians should hate your guts and express it in initial greetings BUT not attack you 8^D Must test that one day. Lets face it, if the titled gentry want to murder a few peasants, the peasants have to damn well cop it on the chin - thats how fuedalism works!

Lets look at a slightly different one, 'Member of the Air Temple' (# 10) - like anyone would seriously throw in their lot with that loser Kelno (or whatever his name is).

{10}{3 0 0, +30 3 -20 4 -20 5 -20 6} //Member of the Air Temple

So now members of faction 3 (the air temple) regard you as one of them, and get a +30 reaction to you - they love you as much as Black Jay does if u return his wife's ring to him and ask for no reward. BUT the members of the earth, water and fire temples all take a -20 reaction to you.

Now... something which I just tested: reputations continue to effect your NPCs even in the party. So for instance I tried consoling in the 'Knight of Furyondy etc' rep, and sure enough, Elmo and Fruella's opinion of me rocketed up to 90 (Fruella's was 50 - go figure). Then I murdered the woodcutter and...

...nothing happened - his wife didn't even join in the fight. Weird. Obviously someone forgot to tag him faction 9!

But when I murdered the wife, sure enough, I was the butcher of Hommlet, and Fruella's opinion of me was a measly 1 (thats more like it!) I then went to Filliken's house and chatted to his family, they gave the 'I don't talk to the likes of you' spiel at the opening line, then went into the standard dialogue tree (Meleney was so offended by my murderous ways she flirted with me. [Yawn]). Here's a pic of the console output.

The 50's mentioned there are interesting: those are reactions to me joining all 4 of the temples. So, that tells us that even though the party may be recognised as being a member of this or that faction, the individual NPCs in your party do NOT appear to have the faction numbers attached to them (Elmo and Fruella did not get either the +30 factional reaction bonus for joining a temple, nor the -20 beaty for joining a different temple). I had a theory that it was these reaction penalties that were causing NPCs to go postal when they leave the party (join all 4 temples and you will take at least 3x20 points reaction penalty, so that would push an NPC on 50 down below zero and explain everything) but alas, the testing does not bear this out. O well :-)

What about removing reputations? I mean you can get one as a Knight of Furyondy, but what if you decide to throw in your lot with the Greater Temple, butcher all of Hommlet and call the Viscount of Verbobonc an inbred pillow-biter? Some cunning modder might decide you should lose the rep, what happens then?

Well people who keep up with the Common Issues and Solutions thread will remember Blue posted a console fix to get rid of the Butcher of Hommlet rep if u have got it inadvertantly. So yes, remove the rep and u remove the reaction number. Why is this so? It says a lot about how the game works: it doesn't have some set number somewhere for each character that gets moved up and down accordingly, but constantly calculates and recalculates on the fly (Drifter actually proved this some time back regarding the Constitution bonus issue). So remove the reactionary element, and the game doesn't think, "ooo I better knock that bonus 40 off the reactions then" (that would be cunning indeed!) but rather the next time it recalculates, it will come up with a new number. Here is a pic of it in action, where I added the Knight rep, checked Elmo's reaction (game.party[5]) to my PCs (game.party[0]) - it was 90, 50 start +40 for the rep of course - then removed the rep and checked again, back to 50.

Before we get into individual reactions, one more thing: certain reputations will AUTOMATICALLY cause a paladin to fall. They are as follows:

{1} {Butcher of Hommlet}
{4} {Master of the Crude Insult}
{6} {Tatterdemalion Tutelary}
{7} {Defiler of Women}
{8} {Master Ravager}
{10} {Member of the Air Temple}
{11} {Member of the Earth Temple}
{12} {Member of the Water Temple}
{13} {Member of the Fire Temple}
{18} {Friend of Lareth the Beautiful}
{20} {Victor of the Drinking Contest}
{21} {Assassin of Lodriss}

No surprises in any of that (well maybe #4 instead of #5 - I know which I regard as the greater sin - and we won't go into the drinking one here). The other assassin ones (25 & 26) being later Co8 additions don't have this automatic element, but you have to be an evil group to initiate them I think. (Maybe thats why Tarim has no faction, so he can be silently assassinated without u getting the 'Butcher of Hommlet' rep. Is he one of the intended victims? I have never played that scenario).

Anyways, these anti-paladinial reps seem to be hard-coded - certainly there is nothing in gamerep.mes to cause a Paladin to fall, and indeed I tested these in KotB (where I have a party with a Paladin) despite the fact that I have only done the reps up to number 13 there (they just showed up blank in the Logbook), but STILL my Paladin fell. So now I am going to have to go back and renumber some of the KotB ones, lest joining the Merchant's Guild makes your Paladin fall (theres a moral argument - root of all evil, and all that ;-): needless to say, doing quests for the monsters in the Caves of Chaos etc will cause a Paladin to fall instantly, as will joining the Thieves' Guild, getting Hextor's blessing etc. Are there any other instant, automatic results of getting this or that rep? Not that I have noticed. And no, being knighted does not raise a fallen Paladin (nor should it).

Aside: interesting, and rather unfortunate, the amount of stuff Troika put in the engine rather than in mes files etc where we can hack it easily. Why would specific reputations be hard-coded to cause a Paladin to fall, rather than it being one more triggered effect in gamerep.mes? It says to me (along with the many other examples like it), there was NEVER any intent to do a follow-up game to ToEE.

Anyways, I just realised, I have not actually spelled out the scripts for achieving all this! They are as follows:

triggerer.reputation_add( # )
game.party[0].reputation_has( # )
pc.reputation_remove( # )
obj.reputation_has[#] == 1

where I have mixed up the objects for various moments: note when using the console u have to use something like game.party[0], because it won't recognise triggerer etc.

I haven't tested obj.reputation_has[#] == 1 but can assure you pc.reputation_has( # ) works as a conditional in a dlg file, its already in KotB.

Note that Phalzyr lists the following also:

free_rep( npc, pc )
make_hate( npc, pc )
make_like( npc, pc )
make_worry( npc, pc )

He calls these 'procedures' requiring 'additional scripting'. What they are, is just names the game uses for little scripts to achieve these things. As we saw above, 'make_hate' is simply a little script to set the NPCs reaction straight to 20 if it is equal to or above it, and likewise 'make_worry' and 'make_like' will set to specific numbers if appropriate. Calling these by themselves, without adding the additional scripting, won't do anything: but now you have seen the actual functions u can write your own little scripts and call them anything u like :-)

So, finally we can move on to the important part of this tutorial, handling individual reactions.


Well we saw the functions for individual reactions in 'make_hate' and 'make_worry', lets have them again:

attachee.reaction_get( triggerer ) >= 50
attachee.reaction_set( triggerer, # )
attachee.reaction_adj( triggerer, +# )

where reaction_set creates an absolute number and reaction_adj adjusts the existing number by the specified value (which can be positive or negative).

So u can create reactions for individual NPCs within factions, as well as the reputations for the whole faction. Damn this is a powerful tool! I love it, and think it is a pity it is so under-utilised in ToEE. Being able to so simply and easily adjust a large number of characters' reactions to u via reputations, but still maintain individual control of each NPC via the reactions, what more could you want for role-playing? Anyways, lets look at it in action. Here's a snippet from the current thing I am working on, busting a guy out of the cells in the Keep fortress. In the last update it was bare-bones but since getting back from Malaysia I have fleshed a lot of it out. Lets have a look:

{60}{[The rogue smiles ambiguously.] I think I will try my chances in the cell. Now get the hell out of my face before I call the guard myself.}{[The rogue smiles ambiguously.] I think I will try my chances in the cell. Now get the hell out of my face before I call the guard myself.}{}{}{}{npc.reaction_adj( pc,-20)}
{61}{Fine, stay here and rot.}{}{1}{}{0}{}
{62}{Big mistake.}{}{1}{}{0}{}

This is when you handle the whole thing so badly the dude thinks it is a trap and elects to stay in his cell rather than get rescued by you. You take a reaction beaty.

{10}{[He brightens fractionally, but is still wary.] Who sent you?}{[He brightens fractionally, but is still wary.] Who sent you?}{}{}{}{}
{11}{Do you want to get out or not?}{}{1}{}{60}{}
{12}{Milson, the head of the Guild.}{}{1}{}{40}{npc.reaction_adj( pc,-10)}
{13}{A mutual friend, I won't mention his name here.}{}{10}{}{16}{npc.reaction_adj( pc,10)}

If you are silly enough to blurt out sensitive information when there may well be listening devices around (you are breaking this guy out precisely to stop him from being questioned), you take a small reaction penalty. If you show some tact, you get a small reaction bonus.

There are a few other mitigating factors - pulling off the rescue will earn a reputation that will make his reaction go up, stopping to pester him with questions in the middle of the rescue will make his reaction go down, etc. The payoff? When it is all over, and you ask him what he was in for:

{400}{Good to see you again, brother.}{Good to see you again, sister.}{}{}{}{}
{401}{You too. Keeping your nose clean?}{}{1}{}{410}{}
{402}{I wanted to ask you, how did you end up getting arrested anyway?}{}{8}{npc.reaction_get( pc ) >= 50}{420}{}
{403}{I wanted to ask you, how did you end up getting arrested anyway?}{}{8}{npc.reaction_get( pc ) < 50}{430}{}

If you have made a small faux pas along the way, the reputation will erase it and raise his reaction above 50 anyways. But if u have pissed him off a number of times, well, not surprisingly, he does not feel like sharing rather confidential information with you.

This is my first effort at using reactions so it is fairly straight-forward: be nice and tactful and u get a good reaction, be nasty or stupid and you get a bad reaction. Of course there is more to dealing with folks than that: for instance, both the Bailiff and the Blacksmith have little asides in them (to be scripted in later) that if u try to be overly nice to them, they take it as smarmy and you get a negative reaction rather than a positive one - they react well to bold and forceful people who are not time-wasters. People will have to really role-play their characters in KotB (hopefully - well that is the ideal): and of course, sometimes you are simply going to piss people off. Thats life.

One thing: I have NOT been able to get negative reaction adjustments to work when the NPC is IN the party, though positive ones do: that is, THIS works:

npc.reaction_adj( pc,10)

THIS doesn't:

npc.reaction_adj( pc,-10)

when the NPC is in the party. This is doubtless due to the different way the game handles NPCs in the party to normally (not firing certain scripts etc). For instance, you can piss an NPC off to a negative reaction (below zero) in the party but they won't attack you, because they are under your control - once they leave the party, though, they go for your throat.

How can u piss them off if the reaction thing doesn't do negative numbers while they are in the party? By reputation: a reputation that bestows a negative reaction on that NPC follower's faction will still have a negative effect on that NPCs reaction, its just the individual reactions that don't seem to go backwards.

Another example of this sort of scripting not working in the party is trying to set the reaction manually using npc.reaction_set( pc, # ): this likewise doesn't work. For instance I tried the following script as a workaround:

def neg_rep( attachee, triggerer ):
________a = attachee.reaction_get( triggerer )
________if a >= 11:
________________a = a - 10
________________attachee.reaction_set( triggerer, a )
________return SKIP_DEFAULT

This works fine if the NPC is NOT in the party, but not when he has joined up. To get him to have a negative reaction to you stopping for chit-chat in the middle of the escape, I had to use the horribly crude method of booting him for the duration of the exercise.

def neg_rep( attachee, triggerer ):
________a = attachee.reaction_get( triggerer )
________if a >= 11:
________________a = a - 10
________________attachee.reaction_set( triggerer, a )
________return SKIP_DEFAULT

Ewww, I feel dirty just thinking about it! But it works: it will take it down by 10 every time you are crass enough to interrupt the escape for idle chit-chat, but won't allow it to go below zero - he is not going to enter mortal combat over this, he has his eyes on the goal even if you don't! Also, it is pretty damn seamless in the game, unless you have moved him up the order.

Come to think of it, I coulda booted him and just used npc.reaction_adj(pc, -10). O well, its done now and it works :-)

Anyways, how many people actually talk to their characters while they are in the party? Lets face it, other than to deal with equipment issues or make them leave, it is pretty rare (hint: talk to Ronald! He has the second-biggest dlg file in the game and MOST of it is in-party banter! Endarire really put in a huge effort there).

Well thats it! Use this wisely people, we don't need folks attacking you every 5 minutes just because u said something silly. Its not how lawful societies function. And if a major plot point becomes hidden because the player pisses of an important NPC, remember to add some way of repairing it!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

The Wedding, and the Aftermath

Wherein Ted and Yvy are joined in holy matrimony by GOD ALMIGHTY HIMSELF, and on the honeymoon Ted gets to munch on Yvy's la-la's.

Well, the ceremony itself was pretty painless, and all the nerves I had been feeling beforehand evaporated once we were there before the altar. The reception was damn fine too, indeed a good time was had by all. (You'll pardon me if I keep this brief, I've been on a beach in Penang for much of the day and am quite burnt, as well as sleepy and fluey). The Hotel (Sunway) where we had the reception and spent the wedding night was damn good, though it is hard to distinguish exactly what constituted the 'bridal' element of the suite. But I am nit-picking, the service was good and the event was fabulous. This hotel, btw, got shaken up in the tsunami earthquake, but didn't actually get drenched despite facing the ocean: spending part of today overlooking the ocean-facing section of Penang, made me think about the tsunami and how the rest of the planet has moved on, but not, perhaps, the untold thousands of families affected. O well, enough maudalinity. Have a pic.
Ted & Yvy
I gave a nervous speech, not helped by the fact no one was listening (Yvy afterward mentioned that I was speaking too fast - a common newbie mistake, one I should have known better than to commit after my stint as a member of the Friars Preachers (where we trained against just such things), you'll notice Endarire falls into it occasionally with the Ronald voice though it doesn't detract from the quality). Although pretty much all non-Malay Malaysians (ie Indians, Chinese etc - about 40% of the populace) and a lot of the indigenous folk all seem to be fluent in English, they still struggle to understand my Oz accent. I pretty kwickly fell into a sort of psuedo-malay accent when I first met Yvy, easiest way to make myself understood, though when people hear me on the phone with her they look at me like I have gone insane. Anyways, the speech was made, the bridal waltz was shuffled (I wanted Jimi Hendrix' Manic Depression - easily the finest waltz ever penned - Yvy instead chose something by Anne Murray), much fine food was eaten (though the bridal table was invaded by ants at one point, now THAT was bizarre!) and my best man managed to both get hammered AND fulfill his duties with meritorious valour. I discovered just last night the locals were still speaking of him in awe, walking aruond with a glass in one hand, a jug in the other and a happy grin. We all just wished the band could have played some Zeppelin... but they did do a Santana segment that was damn fine.

Anyways, next day and off we went to Pangkor. I had my first extended drive among the lunatics and suicidal death-seekers who make up the Malaysian road populace, and it went pretty smoothly. We arrived in the afternoon, the pace was quite lovely, here's a pic.
Swiss Garden Resort & Spa, Damai Laut
I wanted to go to Pangkor Laut, the best beach resort in the world (which is on Pangkor Island) but Yvy found this place on the mainland facing the island which has everything you could want - golf course, sailing, beach, jacuzzi, pool, this that and the other - and was a LOT cheaper, so we went here. Pretty place, the setting didn't disappoint, and the room was lovely, here is what greeted us when we walked in.
The bridal bed
Unfortunately a lot of the rest of the stay wasn't up to the standard of the surroundings. The pool was shut for maintenance the next 2 1/2 days (ie our entire stay), the western food, such as there was, was VERY ordinary (we tried fish and chips, hamburgers and spaghetti - all disappointed, being made of what seemed to be frozen ingredients! - though the Asian food was very nice), every request to room service for various things had to be repeated and invariably involved them ringing back to check a couple times, our sunset cruise was cancelled, our candlelit dinner was in a room with the air/con on the fritz and a set menu, not all of which was available, and basically the quality of service was not what such a nice resort should have had. O, and Yvy had a cold on the way down, and within a day or two, I had it too - go figure ;-) It wasn't a disaster by any means, we had some quality time together, (the jacuzzi was nice) but unlike some of the other hotels Yvy and I have stayed at (and we have stayed at some really nice resorts I might add, like Tanjung Aru in Sabah, cause with the exchange rate I can afford to stay at places in Malaysia I could never afford to stay at in Oz) I most definitely do NOT recommend this place (Swiss Garden Resort & Spa, Damai Laut). There are better places in Malaysia for sure.

Anyways, we came back Wed for the registry wedding thing Thursday (Catholic priests not automatically being official celebrants in an Islamic country like Malaysia, you gotta do both) but that is a story for another day. Sufficed it to say in the eyes of God (the ceremony that matters ;-) we're married, and so far it is a mighty nice ride 8^D Thanks to everyone for their well-wishes. Heading home on Wed (2 days from now), looking forward to getting back into KotB. Haven't even checked the Co8 site in over a week, hope everything is ticking along and there isn't some game-breaking thing in the moathouse respawn people are tearing their hair out over. Time will tell :-)

O yeah, and Yvy's la-la's? Damn they were mighty fine, lemme show you a pic.
In Oz we would call these 'pippies', little shell-fish that were in huge amounts on the beach, we went down early on the final day and picked a horde of em. Quite tasty.

So is Yvy ;-) Here is a pic of the two of us on our honeymoon, at least she is photogenic!
Note my Eels gear, they won again, 9 on the trot. I'll be there on Sunday, woohoooo!!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

And so we come to it...

...the great wedding of our time.

And if it all seems eerily quiet (and here, just after midnight, scant hours before the big event, it really does) tis but the deep breath before the plunge.

For the record, our Ringbearer is a small cousin, and is not called Frodo.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

[Deep breath] Here we go!!

Well, its time. I'm off to marry my soulmate. I fly out Tuesday (and let me just say very quickly, I am flying Malaysian Airlines and have been SERIOUSLY jerked around: NEVER FLY MALAYSIAN!!!) I'll be gone til the 23rd (wedding itself is Sat 12th).

How do I feel? Denial is a good word: thats a part of it ;-) It all feels very surreal. Yvy has had to struggle along by herself organising it all, and I am here on the other side of the world trying to get this end together. Being entrenchedly single and by myself all the time, its weird to think I am off to the other side of the world to enter a lifelong partnership. But I am also excited (of course!) - Yvy and I have been waiting years for this moment, and every time we have seen each other it has been harder to part afterwards. FINALLY we won't have to do that again :-D

Now, on the modding front: waiting for a new release of KotB? Well, needless to say that will happen before I head out on Tuesday: so it looks like a long night tomorrow night ;-) I have not got much done lately, I can't deny: I have had a shocker of a coldy-fluey thing (same one I had when Yvy was here) with green crap coming out in all directions, and the sorest throat I think I have ever experienced: nothing a dose of antibiotics wouldn't cure, but I am going on a course of them soon to combat malaria while up in Malaysia and haven't wanted to mix my medicines (also, been working lots lately to pay for everything so not rested enough). I tells ya, I am looking forward to laying on a beach with Yvy by my side for a few days: I need a holiday!!!

Where was I? O yeah, modding: so it will before I leave on Tuesday. Then no modding for 15 days: sorry!

I have something else to keep me occupied on the plane: writing a screenplay. Spike knows what I mean.