Witch Knight Dialogue Example

This is the preliminary conversation that unlocks the first response in the next segment. (The unlock in this segment comes from having already defeated the beast before this NPC is encountered.)

1. Caleb: Hello there! (goto 2)

2. NPC: Hello stranger. What brings you to these parts? (goto 3)

3. Caleb:

a. Just traveling. (end)
b. I think I’ve just found it. If you have a weapon, you might want to get it out. (fight) (reaction -5)
c. I’m looking for work. Times are hard for travelers. (goto 4)
d. We’ve come to your town looking for some services. (5)

4. NPC: Well there’s always jobs to be had round here. We post them in the tavern… These days we’ve no shortage of them it seems. (6)

5. NPC: We wouldn’t turn away good business. What’re you looking to do? (7)

6. Caleb:

a. Where’s the tavern? (8)
b. No shortage? Is there something going on around here? (9)

7. Caleb:

a. We’re in need of a healer. (8)
b. We’d like to trade, do you have a merchant in town? (8)
c. I need an armorer. (8)
d. My blade is getting a bit dull; do you have a good weaponsmith? (8)

8. NPC: Let’s have a look at your map and I’ll point the way for you. (end)

9. NPC: There’s been some strange happenings outside town, and people are getting real nervous. (10)

10. Caleb:

a. Odd. Well I’ll head to the tavern for a look at those postings. (8)
b. What kind of strange happenings? (11)

11. NPC: There’s been farmers and trappers coming in from the forest, sayin there’s some kind of… wild beast… loose in the woods. It’s got the people here so nervous they don’t want to leave town. And tack on it’s bad for business. (12)

12. Caleb:

a. Is there anyone I can talk to that’s seen this… beast? (13)
b. Maybe I’ll have a walk into the forest and see for myself. Good day, friend.(end)
c. This girl is a witch, and I’m a knight. We’d be willing to help you out, for a price. (14) (reaction -2)
d. My friend here is a witch, and I’m her knight. Is there any way we could help you with this beast? (15) (reaction -1)
e. (unlock) I’ve seen the beast and I’ve defeated it. You no longer have anything to worry about from THAT particular issue. (end) (reaction +2)

13. NPC: You could likely find someone down at the tavern who’s seen it. And for a mug they’d be more’n happy to tell you about it. (16)

14. NPC: We aren’t too fond of those types here. You might do best to wander away. (17)

15. NPC: Well… I’m not at liberty to be making any deals for the town. Maybe you could talk to the guard? (18)

16. Caleb:

a. Where’s the tavern? I’m always happy to sit and have a drink with friendly folk. (8) (reaction +1)
b. I’m a bit spare on gold right now. I think I’ll pass on this one. (end)
c. I’m not interested in taverns. Is there anyone else that could tell me about it? (19)

17. Caleb:

a. And you might do best to draw your weapon. (fight) (reaction -5)
b. No harm done. We’ll be moving on, good luck with your beast. (end) (reaction +1)
c. Like I said, we’re looking for work, and you have no one else to turn to. I think it’s in your best interests to strike a deal with us. (15) (reaction -2)

18. Caleb:

a. I will. Could you point the way? (8)
b. I don’t think so. You can deal with your own problems. (end) (reaction -1)
c. I don’t really want to talk to the authorities. Is there anyone else that I can talk with? (19)

19. NPC: Hmm… I suppose you could always try Old Man Withers. (20)

20. Caleb:

a. Where is he? (8)
b. Who? (21)
c. I’m not here to cater to the elderly. You people can deal with your own problems. (end) (reaction -1)

21. NPC: Old Man Withers… he’s a hermit sort that lives at the edge of the forest. Really wise old man. His place smells of rotten meat though, really sickening if you stay too long. (22)

22. Caleb:

a. Can you tell me how to find him? (8)
b. I’ll have nothing to do with anyone that has “Old Man” at the beginning of their name. Thanks anyway. (end
c. On second thought, the authorities would probably be a better option. How do I find them? (8) (reaction +1)

Caleb’s goal in this next segment is to find out where the beast is so they can fight it. The old man’s goal is to get a bit of attention and to be annoying.

1. Caleb: Hello there! (2)

2. Old Man: What do you want? (3)

3. Caleb:

a. (unlock) We’re looking for information about a wild beast that’s been seen roaming the woods. (4)
b. We’re travelers that are passing through and are wondering if there’s any news you can tell us about this area. (5)
c. Nothing. Sorry to bother you, sir. (end)

4. Old Man: So you’ve been into town, have you? They send you up here? You tell them I’m not crazy, I’ve seen the beastie myself. (6)

5. Old Man: News! The whole area is thick with danger, boy! Surely you’ve seen the beastie? (7)

6. Caleb:

a. To be honest you sound pretty crazy to me. And they were right about this place smelling like something died in it. Fitting that it be your final resting place as well. (fight) (reaction -5)
b. Crazy? Who said anything about crazy? I think you’re very wise… That’s why I’ve come to you looking for information about the beast. (8) (reaction +1)
c. Now calm down, old man. They didn’t say anything bad about you, just told me I could ask you about the beast. (9) (reaction -1)

7. Caleb:

a. Uhm… no? Maybe you can tell me about it? (9)
b. If I knew about the happenings around here, would I have asked? (9) (reaction -1)
c. Why no, we haven’t! It must be Fate’s hand that brought us to your door. Please, tell us about this… beastie. (8) (reaction +1)

8. Old Man: Well… I am very wise… and you’d do well to heed my words, young man! There’s a beastie that roams these woods. It’s been here for months now, eating a farmer here, a herder there… there’s no one safe from its hunger! (10)

9. Old Man: Humph… Ungracious youth these days… I’ll tell you about the beastie! It likes to eat rude young men like you! (11)

10. Caleb:

a. That’s terrible! (12) (reaction +1)
b. Probably serves them right… farmers and herders tend to be of the stupid variety. (13) (reaction +1)
c. Can you tell me a little more about the beast? (14)
d. Surprised it hasn’t come here yet, what with the odor of carrion that hangs about your door. (15) (reaction -1)

11. Caleb:

a. You’re right. It was very rude of me to speak like that to you, sir. I apologize, and we’ll start again, shall we? Please… tell us about this… erm… beastie. (8) (reaction +1)
b. I’m sure I taste better than a stringy old goat such as yourself. (15) (reaction -1)
c. I can imagine. But if it likes to eat men like me, maybe if you tell me where it is then it’ll eat me? (14)

12. Old Man: It is! And I know all about it! They all come whining to me… “Withers, help us! Withers, do something!” Pathetic! (16)

13. Old Man: Hahaha! That’s right! You’re a bright lad, aren’t you? (16)

14. Old Man: Humph… Always wanting this or wanting that… I should just let it eat you, then you’ll know well where it is. (17)

15. Old Man: How dare you! Insolent boy! Do you know that I could blast you away where you stand!?!?! (18)

16. Caleb:

a. What can you tell me about the beast? I’d very much like to face it myself and I need your advice. (19) (reaction +1)
b. Well I’m going to kill it. What can you tell me about it? (19)
c. Let’s just cut to the chase and you tell me where to find it. (20) (reaction -1)

17. Caleb:

a. They were right about you, you ARE a very wise and powerful man. I’m sorry I doubted them. Please tell me about the beast? (19) (reaction +1)
b. At least that would be entertaining for you. Do you know where I can find it then? (20)
c. Just spit it out, old man. We don’t have all day. (15) (reaction -1)

18. Caleb:

a. Why don’t you just try it then, geezer! (fight) (reaction -5)
b. You really are wasting my time. Forget I even stopped. (end) (reaction -2)
c. You’re right, my apologies, sir. (14)

19. Old Man: The beast lives in a clearing about a day and a half into the forest. You should be able to find it relatively easy. Just follow the edge of the forest to the east until you find a creek that enters the woods, and follow the creek to the clearing. You can’t miss it.(21)

20. Old Man: Insolent Pup! Fine! You want to fight the beast!?!? Go along the edge of the forest to the west. When you find a huge rock with a tree growing out of a large crack in it, there will be a trail that runs next to it into the woods. Follow that trail for half a day and you’ll come to the beast’s lair! Now off with you! (22)

21. Caleb:

a. Thank you. You’ve been a great help, sir. (end) (reaction +1)
b. Thanks, old man. (end)
c. Thanks. You really should get that odor taken care of. (end) (reaction -1)

22. Caleb:

a. Thanks for nothing. (end) (reaction -1)
b. Bumbling fool. (end) (reaction -2)
c. Thanks. That’s all I wanted to know. (end)

This encounter can end in four ways, actually… The first and most boring is that they leave the conversation and Caleb just keeps going. The second is that Caleb angers the old man enough that there is a fight. (Requires a reaction total of -5 or more.) The third is that the old man gives Caleb the location of the beast. And the fourth is that the old man gives Caleb the wrong location, leading him far away from where the beast actually lives… With this conversation, reaction determines whether the NPC gets hostile and decides to fight the player. The player’s answers determine reaction and also whether the old man gives him the right or wrong answer.

This way of using dialogue will cause the player to consider his responses more carefully, knowing that if he gets enough bad reaction he’ll end up in a fight. It will also teach him that his actions in the game have consequences. By playing to the old man’s character, he gets the answer he needs, but if he smarts off, he can be led astray or he can even end up in a fight. (And we all know that you STAY AWAY from grouchy old men in fantasy settings!) Maybe the player doesn’t care if he rocks the boat; after all he could be led to an even grander adventure. But if he wants to complete the quest, he knows he needs to use tact.