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Basically we want to avoid the "Character is at the center of the world" syndrom. In the previous three games, the plots all revolved (eventually) around Garrett saving the world/city from some great threat. He was at the center of every major event that was going on. We don't want our character to be a superhero. Think of more character-driven, smaller scale plots. We could have an entire campaign centered around our Thief's attempts to become head of the local Thieves's guild, for example. Or his attempts to stop a new baron from coming to power who would allow the Church to dictate laws (making thieving more difficult) Or whatever. Small things like that. These kinds of plots are more difficult to conceptualize, but I think they pay handsomely in terms of characterization and the ability for players to relate to the character.

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Shouldn't have to be wrapped up quite that much. It's more like: finally his life is back to normal...now on to the next job. :)

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A Very Basic, Simple Version of the Plot (V 1.0)

 

I have no idea what the Thief is called, so far now I’ll just call him ‘Thief’. I’d thought of ‘Picasso’ (he’s an artist, see?), but maybe that’s too exotic.

 

I’ve tried my best not to let the plot get ‘epic’ towards the end. In fact, the whole crux of the ending is that the character does not want to get involved. He is not a Garrett, out to save the world. He is just out to save himself and… well, I don’t want to spoil it.

 

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Level 1: Escape From Low-knot Prison

 

Background:

 

“Six years of war had made a general of me, but once I heard my City had been taken over by the enemy I knew I’d have to go home by the quickest route. So I allowed myself to get caught; nothing hurt but my pride, and much better than going back home on the back of a cart to be buried in some anonymous grave with the rest of the taffers. Now I’m here in the City again, a prisoner of war, and all I have to do is escape to see my wife and daughter again.”

 

Information:

 

The title says it all. You simply have to escape the Prisoner of War building. This level takes place in the old part of the City, the medieval part. Enemies are normal prison guards.

 

Level 2: No Honour Among Thieves

 

Background:

 

The Thief finds that his wife and seven year old daughter have died in his absence.

 

“They were both dead; killed by who, I didn’t know, and it didn’t seem to matter at the time. The City was responsible. I lay around in its dingy bars for a while, no one knowing or caring that an enemy was in their midst. The war seemed to be taking place in another world, beyond the tight stone shell of the City. After a while I decided that it was time to get my old job back.”

 

“The Thieves Guild was still there, but after six years I wasn’t known and they certainly wouldn’t welcome me back with open arms. You couldn’t kill your way to the top of the Thieves Guild; well, you could. But then you wouldn’t have a guild to control. And after six years of war, I’d seen enough of death for one lifetime.”

 

“I had to work my way to the top, with old fashioned thieving. The head man was a rich alchemist called Tybalt with strong ties to the Guild of Mages. He lived on the wealthy side of the city, out of the shadow of the Builder’s Palace. If you can’t kill your way to the top, apparently you can just buy it.”

 

Inside Tybalt’s Office in the Thieve’s Guild

 

Tybalt: Any thieving experience? This isn’t just a case of hacking and slashing like in that war. Talent is thin on the ground these days, and rationing make the rewards meagre. I of course, have other means of getting what I want.

 

Tybalt places a gemstone with a lions head on it into his desk.

 

Tybalt: This is a rare gemstone of great worth. It shall stay in this desk. If you can hand it to me at five o’ clock tomorrow morning when I awake, the job is yours.

 

Information:

 

The test is to sneak into the Thieves guild and steal the gemstone. The Thieves Guild is also in the medieval section of the City, but there may be some steampunk devices and victorian architecture in the upper floors around Tybalt’s office. This is up to the level designer.

 

Level 3: Brotherhood of the Renaissance

 

Background:

 

You return the gemstone to Tybalt.

 

Tybalt: “I’m very impressed, not only because you stole the gemstone but because you brought it back. It shows loyalty.”

 

You: “It’s a fake.”

 

Tybalt: “Of course it is. You can tell by the triplets. You’re a clever man.”

 

Voice Over: “He didn’t know the gem used to belong to me when I played the same game with new recruits. Calling me clever could have meant two things: a career, or a rusty knife through the mattress of my bed one night. But he gave me a job, regardless of any dangerous intelligence.”

 

Tybalt: “The Builder’s who 'conquered' us have set up residence in the Old part of the City. Those religious fanatics are powerful, and they don’t like us ‘heathen’ mages with our pagan magic and colourful alchemy. I fear a war in the City one day, when there’s naught abroad to distract them. We must ally ourselves with the enemy, supply them with our technology, worship their god, and kiss the Emperor’s feet.”

 

Tybalt: “There is a cult calling themselves the Brotherhood of the Renaissance that meet monthly in one of the richer districts of the City. I can’t have them killed because they’re all nobles, politicians, people like me with more money than brains who like to meet up under a full moon, dabble in witchcraft and necromancy; the exact kind of thing the Builder loves to smite. It is essential that these kinds of activities be put a stop to if we are to survive the Builders occupation.”

 

Information:

 

The first part of this level resembles the classic ‘Thieves Highway’ of Thief 2, as you make your way cross the City to the mansion where the meeting will take place. The second part takes place in the mansion itself. You overhear a meeting in which the members of the secret guild discuss a planned resurrection. They mention a ‘Renaissance Cauldron’. The leader of the cult departs, and you are told to follow him. But when you leave the mansion he is gone. A young girl who tells you to follow her after the men approaches you. The architecture of the mission is wealthy Victorian, set in the advanced half of the City, with the most advanced steampunk technology guarding the nobles houses.

 

Level 4: Nocturne of the Dead

 

Background:

 

“I followed the little girl through the busy streets, the crowd parting before her like a sea of black. I struggled to catch up. As we reached the borders of the city we saw the two men leave by the East Gate. I have a feeling they’re not going for an afternoon stroll.”

 

Information:

 

This is the scary dead mission. It begins on the outskirts of the City from where you have to follow the two men out towards an old, evil castle. Your objective is to steal the Book of Going Forth which the necromancers are suing in their resurrection rituals. However, before you can steal the book you see a ritual taking place. The necromancers place a body into the Renaissance Cauldron, which rises out reborn. The resurrected man is The Baron, a horrible, scary, skeletal man. After the ritual you steal the book and leave. Architecture is a kind of very evil gothic. The level designer should have fun with this one.

 

Level 5: Classical Tyrannicide (working title :P )

 

Background:

 

You return to Tybalt’s house with the Book of Going Forth. You step into the living room and see that he is... drinking wine with the Baron and his female aide.

 

Tybalt: “Ah, I see you’ve already met the gracious Baron Marw.”

 

You: “But…”

 

Tybalt: “Don’t. I must apologise for the actions of my thief, but do not blame him. He was acting strictly under my orders. I believe you have something that belongs to this gentleman?”

 

You hand over the Book of Going Forth. The Baron’s aide extends a bony hand and takes it.

 

Tybalt: “The situation has changed, Thief. We must adapt. The Baron has come to me with quite a tempting proposition, one that would solve many of our problems.”

 

Baron: “Yes.”

 

Tybalt: “You know of this Renaissance Couldron, Thief? And you have witnessed its power? The Baron’s plan is genius, and would ensure the alliance between us and the Builder’s children for many years to come. Perhaps you would like to tell him the rest?”

 

The Baron smiles his skeleton grin. He holds up a ball. In it we see the Emperor of the Builders upon his throne. He is pierced by an arrow.

 

Builder: “The Emperor is struck down! He is dead.”

 

We see the Baron carry the dead body of the Emperor towards the Renaissance Cauldron, and place him in. The Emperor awakens, grasping the side of the cauldron.

 

Builder: “He lives! The magic of the Builder inspired these mage’s work.”

 

Baron: “He owes us his life!”

 

Information:

 

This level involves sneaking into the Builders palace and killing the Emperor. The way the player chooses to do this would depend on his playing style. Those who prefer ghosting can poison his food, etc, and leave the level without technically having killed anyone. The less bothered could just put an arrow in him. The architecture should be the most magnificent Gothic imaginable, with huge cathedrals, stain glass, ecetra. The palace is in the old section of the City.

 

Level 6:

 

 

Background:

 

You walk down near the sea. There are celebrations in the distance. You hear a sound behind you. It is the little girl.

 

Girl: “You shouldn’t have helped them. You have to stop them.”

 

You: “It isn’t my place to stop them. I was just a pawn in their game, and now I am leaving the chessboard.”

 

Girl: “You shouldn’t kill people, father. It hurts. I know.”

 

She reaches out her hand, and it passes through yours. She is your daughter’s ghost.

 

You: “Who did this to you?”

 

Girl: “The Thieves Guild took care of us after you left, but then Tybalt took over and sold us to ‘them’. They want to use the Cauldron to win the war, to bring their soldiers back to life.”

 

You: “The war is no concern of mine.”

 

You look down at the ghost.

 

You: “But, my daughter, you are. I could… bring you back.”

 

Information:

 

Your mission is the final level is to break into the Mage’s Tower, steal your daughters body, bring her back to life in the Cauldron and then escape without either of you dying. You will also need to steal the Book of Life to do this. The level is a mix of steampunk and gothic elements.

 

Outro:

 

Tybalt’s living room.

 

Tybalt: “You are to be made the leader of the Thieves Guild in my absence. Now that I am a Baron, we will of course be enemies. But I won’t come down that hard on you, my old friend. You know, I’m sure your daughter looks familiar.”

 

You: “You might have met her mother.”

 

Tybalt: “Yes, probably. You meet a lot of people in my line of work. Almost never in social situations, though. (Sighs) Happy thieving.”

 

LE FIN :ph34r:

 

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Any elements you like, or dislike, say so. :)

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Hmmm, while i didn't see much place for the automatons in this plot, and i really don't like the idea of an "emperor," maybe a builder saint, but not an emperor.

 

Other than that and some better dialouge at times, i like it. I actually do. This shows a lot of promise.

Edited by god_is_my_goldfish

http://www.thirdfilms. com

A Thief's Path trailer is now on Youtube!

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Hmmm, while i didn't see much place for the automatons in this plot, and i really don't like the idea of an "emperor," maybe a builder saint, but not an emperor.

 

Other than that and some better dialouge at times, i like it. I actually do. This shows a lot of promise.

Thae automatons are the steampunk devices that turn up in level 2, 3 and 6. But you're right, they don't play a hugely important part in the plot itself. The dialogue is just rough stuff I drew up in the last half hour. It will be improved upon. :)

 

The 'Emperor' just needs to be the leader of the Builders in the City. I just chose Emperor because I'm working on the Hammerite Imperium project too and have the idea that the Builders have an emperor fixed in my head. He could be a Priest, Baron, whatever.

Edited by Macsen
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Thank you both. :)

 

Any help, suggestions, and so forth are greatly appreciated. The plot is of course in its most basic stage at the moment, and all dialogue is designed for the benifit of those reading it without cinematics, to make it appear more interesting and add atmosphere. :ph34r:

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Six years of war had made a general of me,

 

I have a problem with this...our Thief character is supposed to be inferior to trained warriors. He is not a combat veteran by any means. As it doesn't seem to be crucial to the rest of the plot, it might be better if he was away for some other reason. Maybe he was caught and exiled by the old prince of the city, and now that the city has been taken over he sees an opportunity to return. Or perhaps he has been working in another city for a time.

 

I like the first couple missions. I also like the idea that our Thief used to be a high-ranking member of the guild, but there is no one now who remembers him. I also like the idea that the city has been taken over, providing lots of opportunity for political intrigue.

 

I'm not so sure that the Builders would be conquering cities though...they aren't an army. Would a political coup work? They certainly might have the power to overthrow the government. Or perhaps some other force has taken the city, but they have turned power over to the Church.

 

My biggest problem is the ending. I wasn't thrilled with the idea of our thief having a wife and daughter, and the ghostly girl thing makes me think too much of the Cradle in T3. Having the climax be bringing his daughter back to life is not my favourite. It also kind of leaves the whole cauldron thing hanging. Who is 'the baron'? Why was he brought back? He seems to just vanish from the plot.

 

And why does bringing his daughter back to life make him worthy of becoming head of the thieves' guild? That conversation with the new 'baron' didn't make sense to me.

 

Another thing--it still seems like just about every mission is the Thief being 'duped' by someone, or doing someone else's work for them. I got so sick of that in T3...Garrett always did everyone elses dirty work, and never seemed to do things to further his OWN agenda.

 

Still, no story is going to please everyone. I definitely think there is potential here. We can see what the others think.

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I appreciate your comments Springheel. Let me explain my train of thought on our Mr. Thief. From the Guidelines New Horizon gave me:

 

Any or all of those could provide a backdrop, but the story should be more personal than T3. The main character should have his own goals he is working towards. You don't have to save the world to make an interesting campaign.

 

This seems to be in contrats with the Garrett type of Thief, who is very 'non-personal' when it comes to his work. If our character does not emerge as a hero and 'save the day', the only way the plot could put our character in any real danger and create powerful villains is if there is a day to be saved, and the character decides not to save it. The first possibility is that the character is simply a coward, and decides the day isn't worth saving. The game player probably wouldn't like that character. The second is to create something the player would perceive to be more important than saving the day, which in this case is the character's daughter. By making his story personal and deciding that he would not 'save the day', our character could never be Garrett, who hides a heart of gold under a curtain of cynicism. I decided that our character should have been at war for six years because he is wearied of taking orders and being the 'pawn in the game', and also because having been in the awfulness of war would make him a pained man, who has seen hell and can't quite get over it, and would appreciate a family, and could walk away from glory and 'saving the day' towards a quiet life. I also decided there should be a war because it gives a reason why the conflict between the two sides of the City has only recently flourished into a threat, and because it explains why our hero has been away for six years without knowing what his daughter looks like. Being in jail for six years would make him look weak, and having him simply be 'away' would make it seem as if he does not give a toss about his family. :)

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Well, actually, I was the one who originally wrote the quote above. And what I had in mind was basically that our Thief should be working for his OWN gain, not for someone else's. "What's in it for me?" should be his most frequent question.

 

our character does not emerge as a hero and 'save the day', the only way the plot could put our character in any real danger and create powerful villains is if there is a day to be saved, and the character decides not to save it

 

I disagree. Not every campaign has to revolve around saving the day, just like not every good story has to. A story might revolve entirely around a revenge plot, or the Thief tracking down the character who put a hit on him. You can have plenty of danger without it having to involve an apocalyptic threat.

 

They key is that the Thief have a goal. Any number of threatening obstacles might be between him and that goal, but I'd like the goal to be HIS goal, not some other faction's (unless he's blackmailed into it or something, but that should happen only once).

 

has seen hell and can't quite get over it, and would appreciate a family, and could walk away from glory and 'saving the day' towards a quiet life.

 

But this doesn't sound much like a man who would make his living by breaking into homes and stealing their gold, possibly murdering people in the process. I don't know if NH sent you our discussions of the main character's personality, but we had been envisioning someone that was even harder and more 'evil' than Garrett. It's hard to imagine that kind of character being motivated to risk his life to save his little girl.

 

I also decided there should be a war because it gives a reason why the conflict between the two sides of the City has only recently

 

Yeah, I like the idea of the war. In fact, you could design the whole campaign around the Thief's attempts to aid one side or the other.

 

Don't get me wrong, I think there is a lot of potential in what you've written. I just don't care for the ending. But I'm known for being picky about campaign stuff, so you can just ignore me if everyone else likes it. :)

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I agree with you on most points. Especially about the ending, which I didn't like. I was just thinking of a way the campaign could end without him defeating an evil in society. I had not been given the part about this character himself being 'evil'. :D

 

I'll work on the plot, anyway. This is just a basic concept which will no doubt morph into something better as time goes on. You just keep what is good and change what is bad. In this case is think the good is: The Brotherhood of the Renaissance, The Baron (I know I haven't really fleshed him out above, but I have him in my head and he's a decent villain), the characters efforts to get back into the thieves guild. The bad is: The characters background, the whole daughter thing. :ph34r:

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:lol: I wouldn't really call the character evil, but rather "emotionally and morally detatched" from society.

 

I didn't give you a lot of our previous discussions because it's important that the writer has a chance to explore creatively without being tainted by the wants and desires of the whole. :) I was very pleased to read what you have written and Springheel did point out some of the same things I was going to mention.

 

A few things I might suggest as food for though.

 

His wife isn't dead, but is instead now married to a rich nobleman. Perhaps the Thief has indeed been imprisioned all of these years at the request of this supposed Noble Lord. Maybe the Builders had been paid off to "take care" of this nuisance but the Builders power has weakened since the greed of the nobility have begun to choke them out of the richer parts of the city and back into the run down areas.

The Daughter wasn't killed but rather died of a disease that had been afflicting the young several years before.

 

The wife had been lead to believe the Thief had run off to war or that he had been killed in the Thieves Guild. She would not have known he was the head of the guild.

 

Essentially, he wants his life back.

 

The part with bringing back the daughter may still work. How desperate is he to reclaim a part of his life? There should be some price to pay for using this tool of ressurection. Those brought back should not quite be themselves, but rather tormented, perhaps evil. This could be something else he has to debate.

 

Anyway, just some thoughts that popped into my head while reading your work.

 

Thanks for sharing. Much appreciated.

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We'll have to make the prisoner of war building an old, misused mansion in order to fit in with our current milestone, but I can see that, and it might add extra atmosphere.

 

Otherwise, I think there is potential. Not sure about the ghost bit...it might be more macabre to have him fail to bring his daughter back.

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I did notice the kinda link between your cauldron thingy and the one from the Chronicles of Prydian, was that accidental or intentional? Or do you even know what i'm talking about? :P

Never heard about it! But when I put it into google, it said: 'Blending rich elements of Welsh legend...'. We were both inspired by ancient Welsh mythology. :)

 

Thank you all for your comments. I'm currently rewriting the story, taking the many issues you have pointed out into account, and its is already improved upon. :ph34r:

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