Event Types

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Stories in Wildermyth are applied procedurally. When the player is in a situation that calls for a story, the game searches the database of events for all the stories that could fit the situation, and then picks one randomly. Different situations come with different storytelling constraints.

A Note on Branching: Branching events are currently pretty awkward in our system, and so most of our stories currently revolve around a single choice. If this is too limiting, let's talk about it! We have some ideas for how to improve it but really it depends on what you want to write.

Another thing is that we're trying to avoid hard-and-fast rules here. In particular, any time is a good time to tell a more involved story, if that's what the story wants. The guidelines here are just guidelines.

Some Things

  • Jobs are things that take time on the overland map. The idea is your heroes work on something for a while, building, researching, investigating, all that. Jobs probably make the most sense as parts of Delvings, Site Quests, and Personal Upgrade Quests.
  • Missions: some stories might also call for fights in the middle of 'em. That's cool.
  • Character Development is a blanket outcome that includes history lines, relationships, stats, aspects, and equipment. Anything that moves a character forward.
  • Combat advantage/disadvantage is somewhat vague right now, because we haven't built a set of tools for it yet. Specify what you want in STUBS or elsewhere and we'll try to work it out.

Exploration Oriented Stories

Exploration is a core feature of our game. We want a wide variety of stories here, and they can be somewhat involved.

Wilderness Scouting

When you scout a new tile, and there are no enemies, there might be something else interesting to interact with.

How many stories A fairly large number! Scouting is a common activity, so we expect the player to see 12-20 of these per game.
Suggested Complexity Medium. They're a bread and butter event. If they get too involved, consider splitting off as a Delving or Personal Quest?
Special Input Tile, Party
Suggested Output Station, Delving, Character Development, Recruit
Example Content search for "wilderness". Silences, Witchstone, The Gambler...

Arrive at Hostile Site

When you arrive at a hostile site for the first time, it's scary! There might be interesting site features, or a relationship story to tell, a prisoner to decide whether to rescue, or a novel tactic to consider. These can establish details about the site and the combat to come.

How many stories A large number! Attacking a hostile site is a dramatic focus and we want a big variety of stories.
Suggested Complexity Medium. Want to maintain a sense of danger and unease.
Special Input Site, Party, Foes
Suggested Output Combat advantage/disadvantage, Character Development, Delving, Additional Story (mid-mission or victory), Recruit
Example Content search for "heroesArriveAtSite". "One False Step", "Splinter", "Troygan"

Tactical Stories

Like ArriveAtSite events, these events set up fights. Tactical Stories are stories that carry tactics, but not Exploration. Defense missions, ambush/escape missions, and retaking a site all call for tactical events that are more about the action and less about the mystery of the place.

Since tactical events are the most repeatable, it makes sense for them to be about risk management. Choices between a risky option and a safer option are recommended.

Ambushed

So you're scouting, right? But this is a dangerous place, and sometimes the Scouter becomes the Scouted, and then you might be AMBUSHED! Now you might have a few minutes to prepare, or a split second to make a key decision, and then you'll most likely be fighting.

How many stories Probably a small number. Ambush is a necessary risk, but it's not super fun and it's ok for it to be basically a generic situation.
Suggested Complexity Low. We don't want people farming ambush events, or feeling like they need to be ambushed to see all the content.
Special Input Tile, Site, Party, Foes
Suggested Output Combat advantage/disadvantage, Character Development, Recruit, Escape
Example Content doesn't exist yet, but search defend_camp for some similar ideas.


Tactical Defense

Monsters attack you sometimes, and you need to make some choices about how the fight should go.

How many stories A small number? We think the player will spend most of their time on offense.
Suggested Complexity Low to medium. We don't want defense missions to feel like a "reward."
Special Input Tile, Site, Party, Foes
Suggested Output Combat advantage/disadvantage, Character Development, Flee?
Example Content These might not be great examples, but search encounter_defend

Attack Site (subsequent)

Maybe you tried to attack this place once and failed. Or maybe you held it for a while and then left, and the monsters have moved back in. Either way we gotta set up the fight.

How many stories A small number. We don't expect this situation to be common and it's not particularly epic.
Suggested Complexity Low.
Special Input Site, Party, Foes
Suggested Output Combat advantage/disadvantage, Character Development
Example Content encounter_heroesArriveAtSite_returnAssault_song BUT, it's probably more specific and memorable than we really need.

Combat-Oriented Stories

Ok so, you've made some choices, and the battle starts. This part of the game is what we call the Mission, where everything is a 2D square grid and you hop around hitting foes. There could be stories here! I mean, definitely we want at least some.

Mortal Choice

When a hero falls to zero HP for the first time, they get a Mortal Choice, of whether to take a Heroic Death or fall back with some kind of maiming. Heroic Deaths are generally fairly powerful and can swing the combat in your favor, and we want them to be a valid choice, especially on higher difficulties.

How many stories Not sure but probably few. Could be cool to tell some specific stories about enemy types, damage types leading to particular injuries, etc., but also these will not come up too many times per playthrough, so are lower priority.
Suggested Complexity Low to Medium. Don't want to take away from the action too much, especially if the player is losing and multiple mortal choices are happening in a single fight.
Special Input Site, Party, Hero, Foe (who attacked hero)
Suggested Output Combat advantage, Death, Character Development
Example Content search for deathChoice

Mid-mission story

We've only played around with this a little, but the idea is that under some conditions a little story can pop up in the middle of the action, and give you an interesting choice. This is experimental stuff but if you have an idea for a story that makes the most sense to live here, let's do it! Could work well as a way to establish site details, to start/continue/end another story, etc..

How many stories Not sure! We need to try this out and see how it feels. The main rule for these is that they should make sense in context. If a particular questline calls for one, or the story doesn't make sense without the urgency of combat. In general we want to see these at most once per combat, and my guess is, more like every other or every third combat, and then probably only the first time you fight at a site, not so much on defense missions, etc..
Suggested Complexity Medium? What feels good?
Special Input Site, Party, Foes
Suggested Output Combat advantage/disadvantage, Character Development, Recruit, Station, Delving, Additional Story
Example Content not implemented yet, but check out chapter1_gorgon_event_3_3 for an old idea.

Mission Victory

You win! Celebrate a bit! Maybe also mourn your friends who died or were wounded.

How many stories A medium amount. There's a good variety of situations to cover, what with who might be wounded or not, what we were fighting and where, and what we found afterward. Good place to put rewards maybe? Character/relationship development?
Suggested Complexity Low. Victories don't call for choices most of the time, because anyway if there are rewards the player will be making choices about those and that will feel great.
Special Input Site, Party, Foes, maimedHeroes, deadHeroes
Suggested Output Character Development, Stations, Delvings, Recruit
Example Content search for missionVictory

Mission Defeat

You lose. Bad times. Probably one or more of your heroes is still alive, but wounded and retreating. But in general, bad times.

How many stories Very few. We are specifically NOT making special defeat stories for quest lines, etc.. Nope. Not doing it. Most players will never see that content.
Suggested Complexity Low. Nobody wants to dwell on how awful that just was.
Special Input Site, Party, Foes, maimedHeroes, deadHeroes
Suggested Output Character Development?? None??
Example Content search for missionDefeat

Infrastructure Stories

A chunk of your time on the Overland Map goes to managing tiles you control. Stuff like building roads, bridges, mountain passes, that sort of thing. That's boring. But then also, investigating mysteries and restoring ancient magics...

Site Feature Job (Delving)

Explore the old ruins, catalogue the library, sample the wine cellar, walk the old forest... Delvings are Jobs that take time, that produce some reward or additional story or choice. Delvings are visible as soon as you take over a site. The point is that these places are interesting, full of history and whatnot, and it's worth investigating. Delvings are optional and can be ignored.

How many stories Potentially a lot? This is unexplored space but it seems like it could be a lot of fun.
Suggested Complexity medium to high. Good place to hang introductions to more complicated chains, but fairly simple "this is a library" is also totally fine.
Special Input Site, Party, Foes, maimedHeroes, deadHeroes
Suggested Output Stations! Character Development, maybe Recruit once in a while.
Example Content doesn't exist yet. We need to define what these look like.

Founding Towns

Sometimes you'll get to make new towns! That's exciting and we want to celebrate it. Maybe give the player an opportunity to name the town, or at least have some fun and get some reward.

How many stories One or a Few.
Suggested Complexity low. Anything that the player can see more than once should be kept simple.
Special Input Site, Tile, Party, Company
Suggested Output Name the town
Example Content See the "We called it Legacy" event for an example of naming with options and a prompt.

Recruiting Heroes

Your heroes can die, and you can choose to recruit more at towns. This is in addition to any recruits you might find out-and-about, so to speak. Recruiting stories are an opportunity to introduce the new guy, establish some relationships, start caring about 'em.

How many stories A few.
Suggested Complexity Low to medium. Mostly we want to introduce the new hero and and maybe learn a little bit about them.
Special Input Site, Party, Volunteer
Suggested Output Character Development (relationship with recruited hero?)
Example Content search "welcomeRecruit"

Randomly Surfaced Stories

Some opportunities pop up seemingly at random, as time passes. These might be hero-oriented or site-oriented.

Personal Relationship (Hook) Quest

Characters have histories, and have their own motivations. Sometimes these bubble up. Relationship quests center on a relationship between two heroes, and tell a story about one of the character's "hooks", which are personality-aspects that are set by history lines. Generally the quest line will introduce itself, the characters will go on a journey, do a fight, and then resolve the quest.

How many stories Many, and these are mostly written or in progress already.
Suggested Complexity High. Great opportunity to deep dive on characters, relationships, etc..
Special Input Hook, Hook2 (friend, rival, or lover), Site, ...
Suggested Output Character Development!!! Other stuff is ok too.
Example Content search "hook". Hook quests that exist are generally broken in to 3 events each: intro, arrive, and resolve.


Personal Upgrade Quest

Heroes are self-motivated and ambitious, and might get ideas for how to improve themselves. This might be their gear, or something more like, personal/magical/whateverical. For example, if a character loses their eyesight, they might go on a quest to build a pair of Ruby Eyes that allow them to fight again. Or something that's easier to implement than that, would also be cool. Similar to relationship hook quests?? This category is a bit wobbly.

How many stories Unclear. Maybe a lot, if they are fun. Maybe a whole lot, eventually.
Suggested Complexity Meidum to High. These should be ambitions are really important to the hero, require help from friends to accomplish, and are somewhat involved.
Special Input Hook... ??? what would be helpful?
Suggested Output Character Development!!! Other stuff is ok too.
Example Content Most similar to hooks, but with a clearer focus on "oh I want to get rid of this wolf head" or "actually I want to go full wolf mode" or "There's an epic blade I must possess..." Can definitely key off of previous injuries, relationships, whatever stories you want to tell.

Site Stories

AKA Site Quests. When you control tiles, sometimes stuff bubbles up. Unlike a Delving, this is stuff that was not present when you arrived, but has arrived or manifested or coming out of hiding since your arrival. The locals have been seeing funny lights in the forest. Someone stole your sweet roll. Who knows. Scooby Doo stuff. Point is, it's an opportunity for someone to investigate, maybe do some research, have a little fight, get down tonight. These are usually optional quests that have a little intro hook, and then go from there.

How many stories Need a goodly amount for launch, maybe increasing to a very large amount if they are a lot of fun.
Suggested Complexity Low to High. Mysteries come in all sizes.
Special Input Tile?? what's helpful?
Suggested Output Stations, friggen anything else too.
Example Content search "hook". Hook quests that exist are generally broken in to 3 events each: intro, arrive, and resolve.

Experimental Stories

What else can we do? Float your ideas!

Yondering Events

Big, map-altering events that occur at the end of intervals / the start of chapters. These should have a big impact on gameplay and maybe a couple of followup points. Think: rampaging collosus, volcanic eruption, starfall, monstrous harvest, attack of the Vulture Lord? A place for big Villains, maybe? crazy weird stuff? Who knows! But, we don't have any yet and they sound kindof expensive so we'll see. Might end up being a post-launch thing.

Scenarios

These are stand-alone battles accessed from the main menu, maybe unlocked when you have certain heroes in your legacy. Predefined maps and monsters. Crafted experiences. Stories to go with. Could be an awesome place to set modders loose?

Adventures

This is an idea for stand-alone sequences that are not related to the campaign. They can tell much more specific stories, and will use a sequence of predefined encounters (optionally, fixed maps, monster layouts even?) They tell a single story. We don't have any of these yet but it seems like they might be cool maybe? Might unlock similar to scenarios? Or? Good for modders?

Comparing Story Types

Events are often differentiated by the concepts of "how we got into this situation" and "do we expect a fight".

Delving is exploring the stuff that was there when you arrived. Site Quests interact with the stuff that has arrived, or surfaced since.

Site Quests mean the party has gone to a certain tile to find something relating to that place, but not necessarily monsters. In an ArrivalAtHostileSites, the player has already made a decision to attack a particular site, even though the exact specifics are unknown.


ArriveAtHostile site is when you see something on the map, and you choose to attack the monsters lurking there, and it's the first time you've been to that site. Incursions are where the monster send a visible army to attack you. There are attack and defense events for incursions, but they're tactical, shouldn't give big rewards, and are really focused on that enemy army and not some cool location. Sometimes you might take over a site, and then leave it unguarded, and then monsters move in again. Or, you might attack a site, but lose the battle. In either case, when you return, you get a Return Assault, also called AttackMundaneSite.

Ambushes happen when the party is interrupted in their normal course of overland movement or jobs, and monsters attack.

Ambushes vs ArrivalAtHostileSites vs WildernessEncounters