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.

Defend Against Incursion

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 Mundane Site

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

Under some conditions a little story can pop up in the middle of the action, and give you an interesting choice. Can 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, escapedHeroes, deadHeroes
Suggested Output Character Development, Stations, 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, escapedHeroes, 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...

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.

Interval Stories

Tidings and Yondering Omens happen during Intervals, are usually short.

Comparing Story Types

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

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.