Author Topic: Brooding on Soula-Romance  (Read 21443 times)

Kaylord

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Brooding on Soula-Romance
« on: November 25, 2002, 10:23:34 AM »
Hi, all. Having advanced the game nearly to the end of SoA, I fell into bed at Saturday 6 a.m. I was wakended Sunday late afternoon by a call from my girl-friend. Three hours later finished, I sat there brooding, and ...

ENLIGHTENMENT

... asked a question which I will gladly pass onward to the wise(wo)men in this forum:

Did you find the Soula romance satisfying? (Nope not the question but preparing ground)

My answer: Well, errrr,.... perhaps I found something missing...

So, hereīs the question:

WHERE

IS

THE

CONFLICT!!!???

In other words: at which point in the dialogues can Charname test her, his and their limits, where do they actually come emotionally close, where do they overcome their personal obstacles and breach their emotional barriers?

- (forget all the "thank you, charname"; thatīs soft as... as... YUMMY! yep)

- "Now letīs dance" ? (omy I thought, Soula finally shows some fire...).

- "Now letīs walk into the woods" (mygodnowwearedoingit... nope, a godess is interfering, if not interapturing...).

- "shut up and kiss me" (thatīs good! but where is the part where you actually get to this point in a relationship, where you can be this tender and close? "letīs dance" is a good point to start from, but thereīs still something missing!)

I donīt remember any other dialogue. (well, maybe I was to tired...).

Iīd like to point out that even the standard romances all introduce at least some sort of conflict (although at the cost of lacking personality/backbone). For example, my pc currently is a female Elf. At least that should be a hook for conflict. I missed that hook very dearly.

There are many other possiblities:
- Contempt, prejudice (you just have to take care that Soula does not become a male Viconia).
- Sarcasm, self-protection after beeing hurt so deeply by Phaere (or was it her mother Ardulace?).
- Inability to stop drowish behaviour (again, careful not to copy Viccy).
Envy of the surfacers, because they treat everything so for granted.
- (Self)Hate.

Without some sort of conflict, IMO a romance seems a bit bland. Right now, Soula seems to me a bit too emotionally distant in that sense.                    

Lump

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Brooding on Soula-Romance
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2002, 11:12:07 AM »
And what about the conflict with Eliastraee (however) ..... ??
He is not a mage / warrior anymore ... Solaufein is a fanatic Elisastraee cleric / priest....

But I think most of the people here are not really interested in "realistic relationsship conflicts" OR romantic speech - most of them want to have philosophical discussions. :(

My "old speech": Why is it called Solaufein - "romance"???


Lump
*bit frustrated .... and still speaking a terrible english*                    

Offline weimer

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Brooding on Soula-Romance
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2002, 12:46:30 PM »
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WHERE IS THE (traditional romance novel) CONFLICT!!!???

Specifically not present. Solaufein never becomes irrationally mad at the PC because I do not believe that sort of thing is necessary for a good romance. Similarly, I do not believe that the presence of evil is necessary in order for there to be goodness.

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In other words: at which point in the dialogues can Charname test her, his and their limits,

Limits at what? Solaufein's combat limits are certainly tested a few times (Archryssa) as are yours (Undead Sola).

Solaufein's philosophy questions are taking the measure of the PC's character and beliefs. If I had been more honest about Sola, he would reject PCs that gave answers that he vehemently disagreed with. That's how I would behave in a similar situation. However, Weimerfein is not Weimer. In order to allow everyone to play along, I changed my Sola design so that he would ask questions and then adapt to the PC's answers.

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where do they actually come emotionally close,

I think they are, but I like my romances understated. If you were expecting Dawson's Creek, you're in the wrong mod (try Tashia?).  Sola should be more like Mr. Knightley from Emma.

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where do they overcome their personal obstacles and breach their emotional barriers?

You appear to be the only one who does not think that Sola is spending enough time overcoming personal obstacles (e.g., Phaere). :-)

I'm not sure what to say to you here. The Solaufein romance isn't for everyone. I specifically structured it to be different in tenor than the Bioware romances. There are no fight scenes between Sola and the PC, no times when Sola unavoidably becomes angry. I don't believe in that. Some (e.g., Jason) believe that I didn't really succeed here and that Sola is closer to a Bioware romance than I would like.

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Right now, Soula seems to me a bit too emotionally distant in that sense.

If you feel that way now, I'm not sure that there's anything I could add "in character" that would change your mind. Thank you for the concrete suggestions, though.
                   

L_Jonté

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Brooding on Soula-Romance
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2002, 12:52:33 PM »
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Solaufein never becomes irrationally mad at the PC because I do not believe that sort of thing is necessary for a good romance.

And some of us thank you for it.  Thank you, a LOT.

Quote
Sola should be more like Mr. Knightley from Emma.

Oh... Hey!  I never noticed the resemblance!  But he is Mr. Knightly, (or even Edward Ferrars from Sense & Sensibility.)  No wonder I like him so much.  :D                    

Kiki

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Brooding on Soula-Romance
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2002, 01:08:15 PM »
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Quote
Right now, Soula seems to me a bit too emotionally distant in that sense.

If you feel that way now, I'm not sure that there's anything I could add "in character" that would change your mind.
Sure--you could add more romantic banter, which would also address Lump's issue. Right now it's more of a philosophy-for-poets mod (not that there's anything wrong with that) than a romance mod.

I agree with the no-fight principle.                    

Gospel

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Brooding on Soula-Romance
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2002, 01:26:28 PM »
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Without some sort of conflict, IMO a romance seems a bit bland.
Uhh... why? :(

People don't have to fight to love each other :(

It actually kind of sickens me :(

Kish

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Brooding on Soula-Romance
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2002, 01:34:45 PM »
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Solaufein's philosophy questions are taking the measure of the PC's character and beliefs. If I had been more honest about Sola, he would reject PCs that gave answers that he vehemently disagreed with. That's how I would behave in a similar situation. However, Weimerfein is not Weimer. In order to allow everyone to play along, I changed my Sola design so that he would ask questions and then adapt to the PC's answers.

...Some (e.g., Jason) believe that I didn't really succeed here and that Sola is closer to a Bioware romance than I would like.
I think this:
Quote
In order to allow everyone to play along, I changed my Sola design so that he would ask questions and then adapt to the PC's answers.
Causes this:
Quote
...Some (e.g., Kish) believe that I didn't really succeed here and that Sola is closer to a Bioware romance than I would like.
That is, CharName can tell Solaufein what to think.  You're not convincing him with your compelling arguments; no matter what you (CharName) say, he will end the conversation moved one notch closer to your perspective on the matter, unless you directly insult him and end the romance.  There is nothing you can say that will push him away from the moral perspective you espouse (he will not increment his Remorse variable because CharName takes an unabashedly cruel position, or increment his Pragma variable because CharName argues for letting other people walk all over you).  There is nothing you can say that will convince Solaufein that CharName the Chaotic Evil half-orc barbarian with Wisdom 2 and Intelligence 1 is not the right person to go to for morality advice, other than telling him you don't want to be his sounding-board.  There are, in fact, no lines that both advance the romance and are suitable for a PC who isn't a Good-aligned philosopher.  How is that superior to Anomen's approach?                    



[!--EDIT|Kish|Nov 25 2002, 10:11 PM--]

Offline jcompton

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« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2002, 02:18:36 PM »
Quote
Quote
Without some sort of conflict, IMO a romance seems a bit bland.
Uhh... why? :(

People don't have to fight to love each other :(

It actually kind of sickens me :(
                   They don't have to. It is a relatively cheap trick to use that lets a writer explore an emotional valley and peak with their character, particularly when they decide to railroad the player into it.

I admit to its cheapness but I still think it has value. And I certainly DO believe that sometimes in a relationship between two people, one can be itching for a fight and will find one no matter what you say. :) Solaufein just isn't that kind of guy.
                   
Cespenar says, "Kelsey and friends be at the Pocket Plane? Ohhh yesssss!" http://www.pocketplane.net

Gospel

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« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2002, 02:40:10 PM »
Quote
And I certainly DO believe that sometimes in a relationship between two people, one can be itching for a fight and will find one no matter what you say. :)
Yes sir, can happen does happen and has happened :(

But it's a depressing and hopeless idea, to think it's required or should be required in a relationship, yes? :(

Methinks you sowt of alweady said that, thoughs *purrs*

Kiki

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Brooding on Soula-Romance
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2002, 07:24:50 PM »
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There is nothing you can say that will convince Solaufein that CharName the Chaotic Evil half-orc barbarian with Wisdom 2 and Intelligence 1 is not the right person to go to for morality advice, other than telling him you don't want to be his sounding-board.  There are, in fact, no lines that both advance the romance and are suitable for a PC who isn't a Good-aligned philosopher.  How is that superior to Anomen's approach?
                   I'd like to see a romance mod that actually paid attention to wisdom, intelligence, and charisma. A bonehead PC shouldn't even get most of the options that the Sola dialogues offer. Maybe an "Uh, what was that thing in the middle?" response should be added for those players who are truly roleplaying.

Kaylord, did you get the book of poetry?                    

Offline weimer

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Brooding on Soula-Romance
« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2002, 09:54:45 PM »
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There is nothing you can say that will convince Solaufein that CharName the Chaotic Evil half-orc barbarian with Wisdom 2 and Intelligence 1 is not the right person to go to for morality advice, other than telling him you don't want to be his sounding-board

Kish is correct. That is (unfortunately) intentional. I have already explained why.

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I'd like to see a romance mod that actually paid attention to wisdom, intelligence, and charisma.

Tashia does that, I believe.

I considered doing that when I first designed Sola, but all it really ends up doing is preventing people from seeing some of the dialogue (assuming that the number of lines Weimer can write is fixed).

Both of these complaints stem from the same source -- an essential compromise in Sola to make him work in most cases.                    

Kiki

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Brooding on Soula-Romance
« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2002, 12:31:36 AM »
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Tashia does that, I believe.
                   I've lost interest in Tashia. She mostly seems to sigh and mope a lot. Maybe my PC is too dumb to get any of the good dialogue.                    

FlatulentOne

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Brooding on Soula-Romance
« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2002, 02:44:17 AM »
Yeah. Yeah. Well, these things happen when you tailor an NPC so that he is available in all ways to everyone who wants him. Sola is excellently made, but it's kind of a bummer that he had to be "compromised" a bit for playability. It's nice being in a romance where you are not forced to listen to the confessions of a bitchy whore, listen to someone snivel about how worthless they are for losing their wings, cope with the fact that her ex-husband is barely cold, or put up with inane, obnoxious arrogance. I much prefer tedious moralizing over all the above. As for the fighting bit, well, that is a fact in most relationships. From what I've seen in other couples and what I've experienced with my wife, it's really a matter of severity. I love my wife dearly, but occasionally we fight. Then we make up. Sometimes twice :lol: . It doesn't make either of us happy to fight, but it's better to have little ones now and then to blow off steam than to hold it all back and have a dish-throwing screamfest. Conflist is a part of life when two differant people live in the same house. Ok, my soul-bearing session is over, Machismo levels restored to normal balance. Everyone forget everything I said.                    

Kaylord

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« Reply #13 on: November 26, 2002, 03:22:29 AM »
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Kaylord, did you get the book of poetry?
                   Uhm, not sure about what you are talking. Soula does have a book in his inventory with a poetry collection. Do mean that one?                    

Tsuru

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« Reply #14 on: November 26, 2002, 03:40:49 AM »
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As for the fighting bit, well, that is a fact in most relationships. From what I've seen in other couples and what I've experienced with my wife, it's really a matter of severity. I love my wife dearly, but occasionally we fight. Then we make up. Sometimes twice :lol: . It doesn't make either of us happy to fight, but it's better to have little ones now and then to blow off steam than to hold it all back and have a dish-throwing screamfest. Conflist is a part of life when two differant people live in the same house. Ok, my soul-bearing session is over, Machismo levels restored to normal balance. Everyone forget everything I said.
Yeah, unless you live with someone who absolutely refuses to fight with you! I've been known to scream like a banshee and himself just lets me get it outta my system..LOL!

That said, maybe that's one reason I like Sola. It's nice to *not* fight or worry that the wrong response will set him off in a tizzy. But I like all the romances for one reason or another, which is why I often have two or three games going at once with different PC's for different moods :)

(And no, we're not gonna forget what you said, you done wrote it for posterity!  :D )                    

Kaylord

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Brooding on Soula-Romance
« Reply #15 on: November 26, 2002, 04:14:20 AM »
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Conflist is a part of life when two differant people live in the same house.
Ah.... I feel there really is a huge gap on how/what should be included in a romance! Come to think of it, this seems pretty normal, since the greatest authors in literature have different views on love. Itīs the main theme of live and many a literature. So, letīs try to find a way to make that great Soula-Mod even better!

I feel the above quoted statement of our baby-wielding djinn (no offence intended) is a necessary step in coming closer. IMO it feels bland and boring without, a certain aspect of closeness beeing denied. Weimer and purry-gospel says nope. I feel mainly because they hate beeing "thrown" into an unavoidable conflict (same line as jcompton). Oki, that point taken.

Try to inclode an epic level! Conflict is the medium to overcome barriers, a romance conflict serves especially to extend the very personal and emotional barriers. I canīt really explain that.

Perhaps I can express the spirit of what I mean with some phrases:

"Our feelings tested by fire and ice, kept with you, you kept with me through dark and sinister days of mood, you searched for me even on hellīs planes of doubt where I stopped, somewhere, waiting for you. Having overcome my fears, having found my true wishes, we finally stand together, sharp and strong as a sword forged seven-fold."
(slightly borrowed from a poem by Whitman which I encountered in some signature in this forum...)

This seems by far more intensive than:

"We liked each other from the very beginning, harmony each new day as we agree on every philosophical question, no matter what the other does weīll do the same and go along. And we lived happily ever after, as we ever did."  

(*yawn* ... I think Kish could be with me on that?)


Perhaps I can suggest a compromise. Weimer could include an option to start conflict? It could be the pc starting it, just to avoid the "unavoidable conflict" issue, heh. It could be based on the fear of the pc to place trust in Soula, although she somehow feels deeply for him. The pc hissing "Donīt touch me!" could be an expression of that fear, not necessarily ending the romance, but starting conflict, because she hurts him in a sort of emotional self-defence.

Some more incentives for conflict, all growing from the feeling of care, which in turn is involved in every love:

pc:
Can I really trust and fall in love so simply with a drow, a race which you experienced as living nightmares, emotional aliens? Soula seems really to be different, but can I really and in general love someone, knowing my dark soul could possibly take over and destroy everything, especially him? Would it not be better to keep distance in order to protect the one I could, I do, love deep in my heart, in order that he may be kept save from me?

Soula:
Can I really *trust* the pc, having experienced so painfully how Paere was turned against me? She is blood of Baahl, a power in a mortal soul, death only a step afar to equal Lolth, darkness lurking, murder not only of live, but also murder of souls. Can I dare to show my affection, my true feelings, or, be it even love which I believed has died forever with Paere? If I can do this, do I not distract her then from fighting the evil essence within her, bothering her with my feelings? She needs every support she can get, but perhaps showing her my feelings, daring to waken her feelings, will weaken her and turn the evil instinct unforgivably against her. I should know, I witnessed it with Paere...

@Weimer: Surely these thoughts are not "irrational"... but nevertheless they do lead to discussion, if not conflict?

@gospel: When I mean "conflict", I do not mean "fight". I hope I could make this a bit more clear with this posting.

So far I see no dialogue which tackles those IMO realistic and believable fears and the corresponding emotions satisfyingly. But from all of this an even greater love can emerge. Well, IMO it can transform an already very good romance plot into an even better romance!                    



[!--EDIT|Kaylord|Nov 26 2002, 12:47 PM--]

Kiki

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Brooding on Soula-Romance
« Reply #16 on: November 26, 2002, 03:47:54 PM »
Quote
Quote
Kaylord, did you get the book of poetry?
Uhm, not sure about what you are talking. Soula does have a book in his inventory with a poetry collection. Do mean that one?
                   It may not be in your version of Sola. If you download the latest release and go visit the Umar Hills merchants, you'll find a little present for Sola. It was an attempt to add some more romance (sans conflict) to the mod.                    

domi

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« Reply #17 on: November 26, 2002, 06:34:02 PM »
I am afraid here I cannot follow your logic, Kaylord. I might be misinterpreting Solaufein, but IMO his main ability is to marvel and wonder... Including to marvel and wonder at the woman he loves. That prevents conflict. That acts like a buffer, allows him to avoid problems even with the other suitors. Why would you like to change this uniqueness? May be you are better of looking for a more conflictuous male romances to "spice" the game up and enjoying Solaufgein as he is?  On the side I should note that deep love is often manifested as quietness.                    

Kish

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« Reply #18 on: November 26, 2002, 06:40:03 PM »
Thus speaks Valygar's...well, Valygar's second biggest fan.  (No, you can't have the title of Valygar's biggest fan!  It's mine!  MINE!)...Speaking of which, have you seen Valygar's interactions with Solaufein yet?  I love 'em.                    

Offline weimer

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Brooding on Soula-Romance
« Reply #19 on: November 26, 2002, 07:05:19 PM »
Which Valygar interactions with Solaufein? The ones in the Sola mod? Or new ones in some Valygar mod?                    

Kish

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« Reply #20 on: November 26, 2002, 07:09:13 PM »
The ones in the Solaufein mod.  I am unaware of any currently-published Valygar mods.                    

domi

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« Reply #21 on: November 26, 2002, 08:05:24 PM »
We do not have any interactions with Solaufein in the current (published) version of  Valygar romance, WW. Appart from my shyness to bugg either you or JC for cooperation on the banters, I am afraid there was some sort of issues JC had mentioned about crossing over between IDU and WeiDU NPC's banters. I would be the first person to cry happily if we could add Kelsey and Solaufein to our 50+ banter pack for the full version of Valygar...                    



[!--EDIT|domi|Nov 26 2002, 10:06 PM--]

Offline jcompton

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« Reply #22 on: November 26, 2002, 08:47:45 PM »
Given your distribution method, there is no way you could reliably distribute new dialogue with Kelsey or Solaufein, no.

They could be built as separate WeiDU modules. Are you talking about banters, or romance conflicts? Solaufein and Kelsey do already banter with Valygar, although it's "Weimer's version of Valygar, as heckled once by Compton but praised by Kish" and "Compton's version of Valygar, as heckled by Kish who still isn't very happy with them", not "Domi's version of Valygar."

(hi, Kish!)                    



[!--EDIT|jcompton|Nov 26 2002, 10:49 PM--]
Cespenar says, "Kelsey and friends be at the Pocket Plane? Ohhh yesssss!" http://www.pocketplane.net

Kish

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Brooding on Soula-Romance
« Reply #23 on: November 26, 2002, 08:56:43 PM »
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"Compton's version of Valygar, as heckled by Kish who still isn't very happy with them"

(hi, Kish!)
Hi, Jason.

I had...serious issues with the original Kelsey/Valygar ToB banter.  (Incidentally, I kinda hate that word "banter" being used for all NPC/NPC interactions...anyway.)  Jason, thankfully, made some changes, and I now find his version of Valygar believably consistent with official-Valygar--though I still can't say I'm crazy about the interpretation.                    



[!--EDIT|Kish|Nov 27 2002, 05:39 AM--]

Offline jcompton

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« Reply #24 on: November 26, 2002, 09:05:16 PM »
Okay, my mistake, I remembered something else. :)

If anybody's curious about pre-Compton heckle Valygar, Wes left one of the lines commented out in the .tra, if you scroll down sola.tra and find the banter, you'll see it.
                   
Cespenar says, "Kelsey and friends be at the Pocket Plane? Ohhh yesssss!" http://www.pocketplane.net

 

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