Party Size?

AuthorTopic: Party Size?
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Question: If I was to design a scenario that doesn't use a prefabricated party, would it be reasonable for me to assume that there are at least 3 player characters in an average party? Not that I plan on making any party size mandatory, but it would enrich the storyline a great deal.
Posts: 134 | Registered: Sunday, February 3 2008 08:00
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Sooner or later, you're going to have to learn the joys of the party_size() variable.

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If you want to do something like this, put in a check at the beginning of the scenario and warn the player if the party has less than three members that the scenario is not likely to function correctly, I'd say.

The trouble is, from my experience most people play with parties of either four characters or only a single character, so it's not good to assume that they have either. This can be handled in some cases by using script to beat the player's party into the shape you want, thus likely ruining it for any other use, but as a player I'd rather just be told that I should use a different party that meets the scenario's needs.

EDIT: Tsk, tsk! ES, party_size() is no variable, just look at those parentheses. :P

[ Saturday, March 22, 2008 20:00: Message edited by: Niemand ]

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I'm aware of the short in question. I'm simply wondering if 3 or more player character parties are uncommon enough that I would be inconveniencing a large number of players with even the politest insistence on such parties.
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As a designer, I'd either tell the player that the scenario won't work as intended if they play with the wrong party, but leave it up to them if they want to continue, Another option is to prevent them from playing the scenario unless they have a suitable party, using the party_size() call.

And, of course, you can always do what Frostbite does, and force the change on the player, although that only really helps if you want to force a singleton onto a player, since you can't create new PCs using calls.

As a player, I'd prefer the first option, but ultimately, the choice comes down to you, and how strongly you feel the scenario needs 3 PCs.

Also - a thought. You could always give the PC a joining NPC or two to make numbers up depending on the size of the party.

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The average party has 1 or 4 characters. Many of us who play singletons (at least, myself) don't insist upon it to the exclusion of all other play, however, so it wouldn't be poorly-received as a result. I mean, I'd probably still play it with my singletons, but most likely after I completed it the "right" way with a party made for the purpose.

Code that boots you out of the scenario if you're not playing with the "right" party will just get thrown out by a player who'd go past a warning anyway.
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Is it possible to remove a character from the party, like in certain places in Avernum 2? That is, the player can be returned later?

[ Sunday, March 23, 2008 06:36: Message edited by: Celtic Minstrel ]
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No, not really.

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quote:
Originally written by Celtic Minstrel:

Is it possible to remove a character from the party, like in certain places in Avernum 2? That is, the player can be returned later?
The way it was done in A2, was that one character would be split off from the party, and the rest of the party would go absent for a while. This is still possible in Blades.

However, what you can't do is make one character go absent and have, say, the other three go and do stuff. It's a shame, but it's impossible as far as we know.

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quote:
Originally written by Ephesos:


However, what you can't do is make one character go absent and have, say, the other three go and do stuff.

No, this also was possible in A2. There's a place in Formello, for example, where you can drop off any character and come back for it later. In the meantime, you can even gain an extra character – so you could (if you wished) have more than 4 characters total (while still only having 4 in the party at any one time).
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Oh, my bad. Wasn't sure that was what you meant.

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I've thought of situations where you can, say, start off the scenario with the call to separate one member, play the scenario, then give them the party back at the end. I don't remember what the call is or where it can be used at present, though. Could you drop it in the scenario script, or would it have to be "stepped on"?

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The only call provided removes all but one member of the party, and is intended to be used only while the party is in the same town. It can be used for a little more as TM showed in MA, but not much and not very well.

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In Blades of Exile, if the party leaves town and re-enters while split up, the items of the absent members are dropped on the ground. (If I remember correctly.)

Perhaps the same thing happens in Blades of Avernum? I haven't tested it.
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I don't recall anything like that happening in MA (though it has been a while since I played it). I think I would benefit a lot from doing a lot of hardcore experimentation with BoA's capabilities, now that I have some understanding of the code.

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My website: Nemesis' Refuge (Last Update: 3/7/08)
Posts: 743 | Registered: Friday, September 29 2006 07:00