The Role-Player's Guide - Speaking & Emoting
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|Wednesday, 19 November 2008 14:10|
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Speaking and Emoting in the Game
OK, now that you’ve created a character and gotten into a multiplayer NWN game, let’s talk about some of the conventions around role-playing in-game.
Much of the role-playing you will do in-game is going to take the form of typing into the on-screen chat box. NWN has a limited range of “emotes,” physical motions and voice excerpts that your on-screen avatar will perform. These are discussed a bit in the sub-sections on “Emoting” below.
A key part of the NWN user interface is the chat box, located almost at the bottom of the screen. Text typed into this box will appear in the game once you press Enter.
Note: You can activate the chat box by clicking on it or by hitting the Enter key. The enter key is a toggle; so if you want to get out of chat mode (to allow I for inventory, J for journal, etc), just hit Enter again.
NWN also has a number of different “chat channels” that determine who in the game sees what you type. You can select most of the channels by clicking on the currently selected Chat Mode. In the graphic above, you would click on the word “Talk”. The graphic shows what displays when you click. You can also access all of the channels with command-line switches. Here’s a list of the available channels, and some recommendations on why you should or should not use them while playing in a game of NWN multiplayer centered around role-playing:
Some examples of using the command line switches:
You can also store spoken commands in your Quick Slots. This is particularly handy if you have a certain phrase you wish to be able to say repeatedly. For example, if you are a cleric, you may want to make a slot of your favorite prayer, like “May the Lord Grolm’s mighty hand guide me!” You do this by right-clicking on the Quick Slot and selecting Custom Text Macro at the top of the Radial Menu. Then you give the Quick Slot a label, the text that appears on the Quick Slot, such as “Monsters!” in the example to the right. Next, enter the command. The command should be the text you want your character to say when you click on the Quick Slot. By default these come out as “shouts”, so be sure to use the switches listed above if you want your Quick Slot to be in Party chat or Talk.
Emoting with your Avatar
While it’s nice to be able to type things to make your avatar speak, it’s also nice to be able to make gestures with your avatar. There are a number of animated gestures that can be performed by any avatar. These are accessed by right-clicking your character and using the Radial Menu | Emote option. Emotes include such things as bowing, saluting, nodding your head, and more. Using these actions can add another dimension to the portrayal of your character. Another handy thing is that these “emotes” can be dragged into your Quick Slots for easy one-click access.
Emoting with Text
The NWN-delivered emotes are fun, and it’s always neat when your avatar actually does or says something, but if you stick with only those emotes, your role-playing is going to be rather limited. Therefore, most role-players use another convention:
Describe actions (called “emoting”) by typing text into the chat box with a * on either side. For example:
These sorts of descriptions have become a NWN mainstay. Use them whenever necessary to add flavor to your role. However, it’s important that you only emote things that another player could see! For example, despite the misleading term “emote,” you generally should avoid internal emotions or thoughts that would not be readily apparent to other characters:
OK, so that’s a noble sentiment, but how do the other players know that? Are they reading your mind?
All NWN characters are assigned a “voice set”. Most of the voice sets for PCs that come delivered with the game include over 50 sounds/phrases for different occasions. Some of these sounds are generated automatically when you use a Radial Menu Emote. Custom modules available on the Internet also allow you to use NPC or monster voice sets for variation, although these have fewer phrases. Some of these are involuntary, such as the various sounds your character makes when struck in combat.
NWN also has a system called Quick Chat that can be used to activate the various voices in your set. You can activate Quick Chat by hitting the ‘V’ key on your keyboard (as long as your cursor isn’t in the chat box), followed by a letter code for a category, and a third letter for the actual Quick Chat command. The available commands are:
It’s a good idea to keep this chart handy during play, at least until you have memorized some of the more common Quick Chat options that you use most frequently. It’s also smart to test the sounds in your character’s voice set before trying them in a game. Some of them may not match your character’s personality or the situation effectively.
The DM-Friendly Initiative
One group of NWN gamers has formed a group known as DMFI (the “DM Friendly Initiative”). This group has created a number of custom tools that can be implemented in modules to make them more DM friendly. One tool that they have created is a wonderful “Emote Wand” that gives NWN players access to a number of gestures that are not normally available through the Radial Menu. This device appears like any other magic wand in your inventory, although it has unlimited “charges,” and can be placed into a Quick Slot for fast and easy access during play. For example, you can make your character fall over onto the ground, bow in worship, or meditate. These tools enhance your ability to role-play in game, and I highly recommend them. At this point, many DMs on Neverwinter Connections use the Emote Wands, but be aware that a number of varieties of these devices besides the DMFI package exist, and you may see variants in different games.
Additional DMFI tools include a “dice bag” that allows you to roll skill and ability checks in 3rd edition Dungeons and Dragons style and scripting that allows you to “kick off” one of your avatar’s physical gestures just by typing an emote inside asterixes using keywords.
So, with these tools installed, if you typed:
Not only would those words appear above your head, but also your character would also automatically play the bard’s “singing” gesture. This can be done even if you are not a bard!
For more information about DMFI, see the Section on Additional Resources near the end of this document.
|Last Updated on Thursday, 20 November 2008 15:07|