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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Earth. Or so I was told.

    Story-driven Custom Companions

    I am not really familiar with Golarion, so my idea will be a general one.
    First of all, I'd like to say I like the idea of providing even the custom companions through the story. It's a great idea to incorporate them into it even though it's not the easy way for you writers.
    Since those companions won't have the same weight as the original companions, though, that lack should be explained, if possible, by their background.
    So maybe this Venture-Captain isn't a Venture-Captain after all.
    Maybe he's someone who escaped with other prisonners from a mad wizard's lab where they were experimented on, and they're all mutes or somehow brain-damaged beyond even magical healing now. He was the last experiment and somehow managed to keep his mind long enough to kill hte wizard and escape, but is dying now.

    At least something that would explain why they would not banter.

    And yes, as someone suggested, maybe add a few comments from original companions : "Such a shame what happened to him. S/He acts like s/he's normal, but can't express him/her-self. Poor lad/-ss. I feel for him/her"

  2. #22
    Senior Member Pathfinder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Stolen Lands
    Quote Originally Posted by Berserkerkitten View Post
    So, if you have any ideas on who our venture-captain might be and you'd like to help us flesh him or her out a bit, feel free to post your ideas and suggestions in this thread. Help give our writers some ideas, so they can stick a nice line of text or two in there for the NPC to say.
    So, some ideas and what I kind of expect and "what I would tell my players if this would be a P&P game":

    I put them in the spoiler because.. ..well, if you want to buy this game but not know anything from it there are some spoilers... ...even if these things I suggest do not happen.

    Last edited by Pathfinder; 03-11-2018 at 10:41 AM.
    "Road to the man's heart go through the chest"

  3. #23
    My suggestion for a quirky trait for the character is that he/she speaks in rhymes.
    I approve the idea of a female gnome too

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    I don't imagine the awesome team at Owlcat has the time to implement anything more than the existence of this NPC and a few lines of dialogue. It's perfectly reasonable for this venture captain to give just enough of a justification for their being in the area and an explanation on why they're lending out Pathfinder agents. With everything else they're trying to finish with the game at the moment, I can't imagine they'd implement an entire questline surrounding this NPC with crazy events and the like. Their point is to serve as the custom NPC hub, and that's all they need to be. I'd hate if any of the owlcat team felt obliged to add even more onto what must be an already hectic schedule in order to make this venture captain a major npc in the story.

    Giving them some fun dialogue, an interesting introduction and justification for our custom NPCs, then laying low is certainly more than enough.

  5. #25
    Well, I mean, you could possibly use a certain Vudran princess bent on world domination, currently using her station as a Pathfinder to jockey for power in the form of political ties and magical items, and this would be a way for her to get in the good graces of a new kingdom AND the reward for the quest could be her sword which will already exist in the game, so it's kind of a win-win...

    Eh, maybe that wouldn't work, but I'd be remiss not to throw it out there.

  6. #26
    Member Murp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    I think it should be a "former" Pathfinder Society member, somebody with connections, who won't have issue with supporting a possibly evil entity, and will put you and your kingdom first if some complication arises.

    Maybe if you are a PFS supporter/member that could have a small dialog? Like what exactly caused him/her to leave the organization.

  7. #27
    Member Rob Rendell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Melbourne, Australia
    I really like the idea of the custom party members being sourced through a Pathfinder Venture-Captain. That said, once you have the UI/scripting ability to allow one NPC to open a custom NPC companion builder, you presumably would be able to add the ability to recruit custom companions from more than one NPC relatively easily. So, you could potentially have multiple sources of customisable companions, such as buying slaves off the Technic League for evil players, for example.

    If you did do that, then I reckon it would be cool to able able to recruit a single custom NPC via the ambassador you chose from Brevoy, like Kassil Aldori or Lander Lebida or the Surtova woman. Each faction has a large population to draw on, after all, so it would make sense for them to be able to get you someone to your specifications.

    Unlike the Pathfinder companions, who would by necessity be blank slates with minimal dialog and no chat or quests, a companion recruited by one of the Brevoy factions could actually have a bit of assumed background, which could give Owlcat a handle to add dialog and maybe even some quests for them. After all, your ambassador would choose this individual not just because they fitted your specifications, but also because they are sympathetic to his or her faction's agenda.

    Obviously they wouldn't do anything as comprehensive as the hand-crafted companions made by Owlcat, but (for example) a Lebida-background companion might be able to have some pro-Lebida things they can say without requiring Owlcat to care about all the possible permutations of class and race and alignment for them. There may even already be faction-oriented quests planned which are associated with the ambassadors... those quests could serve double-duty for the faction companion as well, in the same way that you co-opted the existing Tuskgutter quest from the AP to be Amiri's personal quest as well.

    Because any companion sourced through your ambassador would have the same background, you'd want to limit it so they can only get you one such companion, so someone who wanted more would still need to go to the Pathfinder Society (or buy slaves from the Technic League, or whatever).

    Anyway, just some thoughts. I reckon it could be a nice way to deepen the players' ties to the Brevoy tensions without adding too much more dev effort.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    I don't think that the game should try and "explain" the custom NPCs' lack of banter and dialogue (in the form of backgrounds or whatever). What you will do then is the opposite of what you are trying to achieve, namely bringing attention to the fact and break immersion. Also, whatever reasons you'd come up with would 99% likely feel rather contrived and forced. But the writers of the game already know this, so not a biggie.

    As for the venture-captain, I think he should remain in the background as much as possible too and not have much attention brought to himself in the ways of flashy gimmicks or personality. He/she does not need a background, only a single line of texted dialogue. Immersion is not broken if the passage of recruiting custom companions is brushed over by the game rather than trying to justify it story-wise.

    Make the venture-captain a cloaked and hooded figure of unknown gender and race (likely human). Something fairly cliché but harmless. Maybe have them have some hideous burns visible on the little patches of skin you can see (yes, why not give people the image of Grandmaster Torch - although it would be silly to believe he is the only Pathfinder with hideous burns). Make their greeting line something ambivalent and dubious, like:
    "Your actions have not passed unnoticed by the Association. Members from our many branches flock to this region, hoping to advance your cause. And possibly their own, too."

    I like the idea that it is uncertain whether the venture-captain is actually a venture-captain at all.

  9. #29
    Community Manager Berserkerkitten's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Nottingham, UK
    Hey guys!

    Thank you so much for your participation! I'm gonna un-stick this thread, as our devs are satisfied with all the feedback given by you. In closing, let me forward Alexander Komzolov's words to you all:

    Thank you, everyone, for you suggestions! There are great ones out there, the team enjoyed reading and discussing them a lot!

    We especially enjoyed the idea of a two venture-captains of different factions plotting against each other, trying to win the player on their side. There could be a basis for an interesting quest here! There were other interesting ideas explaining how the character could get contacts with a diverse group of characters for a player to hire – prisoners of a mad wizard, for example. Those ideas would be great if only we could get them a year ago. :) Now with the production deadlines on the horizon we have only so much room for creativity. So, thank you everyone and sorry if we didn’t have a chance to bring your great ideas into life.

    Thanks to all of you who help us in upholding the racial diversity in the game! We made a check to collect the race/gender diversity (not only in the Alpha content, but the whole game) and found out that, apart from humans, we are in dire need of half-orcs, elves and dwarves. It’d seem that for now we have enough half-elves, halflings and gnomes. Sorry to all of you who were cheering for the gnome female character. We promise that you will meet a lot of gnome ladies, both allies and adversaries, during your adventures in Stolen Lands.

    Next, we’ve figured out that this venture-captain should function even at Chapter 1 for you to be able to assemble your own party from the game’s very start. However, due to some <spoiler> the Stolen Lands region becomes cut off from the rest of the world. We’ve decided to have this character as a spellcaster to be able to summon player’s recruits. From the three races only the elves have a natural aptitude towards magic. We’ve double-checked the gender diversity for the elves and found out that we lack females for now. Therefore, one more female elf has joined our plot!

    Lastly, we’ve enjoyed an idea for the character to be a former venture-captain rather than an acting one. This character could have the connections to all the evil mercenaries as well as the good ones. (Although, we’ve discussed the Pathfinder Society with Paizo and they’ve told that the Pathfinder Society is a neutral organization, and it has nothing against evil members. This rule about leaving evil characters out is invoked for the real world games to keep them clean from disruptive player behavior.) In any case, we’d still like to have a former venture-captain that has her own interesting story to share. As a small bonus, we are going to link her to one of our existing quests which would allow to reestablish her as an official PFS member and even allow to open up a Pathfinder Lodge in player’s kingdom.

    Once again, thank you, everyone, for sharing your ideas with us and see you soon in Stolen Lands!

  10. #30
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Riga, Latvia
    Really nice, and I agree helping the former VC restore connections with the Society and opening a lodge in the barony makes for a great questline! Really excited about this :)

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