Daggerfall : Création de quêtes

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Le compilateur de quêtes Template, de Donald Tipton, est l'outil fondamental pour créer et modifier les quêtes daggerfalliennes.

Traduction commentée du document questing.html

Sommaire

Utiliser le décompilateur de quête

Vous pouvez examiner le contenu de n'importe quelle quête de Daggerfall. Les seules qui seront inaccessibles seront les quêtes ayant un fichier Qbn mais aucun fichier Qrc. Comme il n'y a pas de bonne méthode pour deviner les textes manquants, le décompilateur ne vous montrera pas le contenu de telles "erreurs". Certaines discordances semblent être liées à des incohérences de nommage (réputation, numéro de série de la quête...) entre QBN et QRC. (NDT : Normalement, depuis l'époque de D.Tipton, ces bugs ont été réparés...)

Le décompilateur est assez bavard, préférant autant que possible l'anglais de base. Bien qu'il ait ses propres idées à propos de la casse des caractères, ça n'a que peu d'importance autant pour lire la quête décompilée que pour la recompiler.

(NDT : La casse des caractères n'a aucune importance dans le code source)

Pour décompiler une quête, vous devez dire au décompilateur quelle quête vous intéresse, ainsi que où écrire le résultat de la décompilation.

template  -d  d:\game\dag\arena2\40c00y00.qbn  40c00y00.src

Où :

template est le nom du décompilateur.
-d est le switch de commande spécifiant une décompilation.
d:\game\dag\arena2\40c00y00.qbn est le chemin d'accès de la quête.
(Utilisez votre propre chemin d'accès menant jusqu'au dossier arena2 de votre installation de Daggerfall)
40c00y00.src est le fichier qui va recevoir la quête décompilée.

Si vous omettez cette destination, le compilateur décompilera la quête spécifiée dans le répertoire où se trouvent les fichiers qbn/qrc et nommera la quête décompilée avec l'extension .src

Vous pouvez ensuite modifier la quête en éditant le fichier .src avec un éditeur de texte. Si vous utilisez un traitement de texte, assurez vous bien qu'il laisse le texte en tant que ascii propre (pas de conversion de format) si vous voulez pouvoir recompiler la quête.

Utiliser le compilateur de quête

Pour compiler une quête, inversez le processus :

template 40c00y00.src

Où :

template est le nom du compilateur de quête.
40c00y00.src est le nom de la quête à compiler.

Par défaut, le compilateur créé les fichiers qbn/qrc dans le répertoire même où se trouve le fichier .src. Le compilateur va lister le source vers la sortie standard, ainsi que les éventuelles plaintes pour problèmes rencontrés en cours de route. Si la quête contient une quelconque erreur, la dernière ligne de sortie va le rappeler et vous inviter à revoir le source pour corriger les erreurs.

N'espérez pas que les fichiers qbn/qrc soient utilisables si le compilateur a trouvé des erreurs.

Vous pouvez demander une compilation "verbeuse" en incluant le switch -v:

template -v 40c00y00.src

Cela amènera le compilateur à réciter tout ce qu'il fait pour produire les fichiers qbn/qrc, incluant ses construction de syntaxe à partir des modèles sources (source patterns), ainsi que le code binaire émis pour constituer le fichier qbn.

(NDT : Le résultat est vraiment verbeux. Pensez à faire une redirection système pour lecture à tête reposée :

template -v 40c00y00.src >compilation.log

)

Additionnellement, le scénario de quête obtenu (NDT : La sortie de Template en mode "verbose") contient les informations requises pour utiliser le débogueur de quête de X-engine. Voir Utiliser le débogueur de X-Engine pour plus d'informations.

Diagnostics

Le compilateur/décompilateur va se plaindre de temps en temps à propos des anomalies qu'il rencontrera. Certaines erreurs reflètent simplement le système d'exploitation sous-jacent et ne seront pas traitées ici. Dans de tels cas, le compilateur annote généralement le message système avec sa propre interprétation.

Les messages d'erreur sont annoncés généralement par la balise qcomp: bien que le compilateur se plaigne parfois en utilisant la balise qrc: si pour une raison ou une autre il ne peut accéder au fichier Qrc.

La ligne de source contenant l'erreur sera habituellement listée avant le message d'erreur la mettant en cause.

NN is an invalid Qbn section number. Only [0, 10] are allowed. 

Le compilateur a découvert qu'on lui demandait de créer une section Qbn inexistante. Indique habituellement que Windows s'est tiré dans le pied ou qu'une application quelconque a tiré dans le pied du compilateur. (!!)

_symbol_ appears in Qrc without mention in Qbn. 

Le compilateur a détecté un symbole de quête utilisé dans un bloc de message du Qrc, mais n'ayant jamais été défini comme ressource de quête. Signifie le plus souvent une erreur de syntaxe dans le symbole au niveau du Qrc ou dans les déclarations de ressources. Le compilateur ne peut vous dire quelle syntaxe est la bonne. Des symboles mal orthographiés dans le Qrc peuvent planter la quête, ou au moins engendrer l'apparition de chaînes "BLANK". (NDT : "VIDE" selon la traduction PFD)

_symbol_ at &N is the wrong type of symbol for this operation. 
Expected symbol type NN but found symbol type MM.

En réduisant une ressource du Qbn à sa forme numérique, le compilateur a découvert un usage en conflit avec le type d'opération accompli. Par exemple :

give pc _house_

peut engendrer cette erreur, car il n'est pas raisonnable de tenter d'ajouter un site de quête à l'inventaire du PJ.

_symbol_ sera remplacé par la ressource qui chagrine le compilateur. NN et MM correspondent aux numéros de section du Qbn

_symbol_ has not been defined. 

En réduisant une ressource du Qbn à sa forme numérique, le compilateur a découvert une référence à une ressource inexistante. _symbol_ est remplacé par le texte qui fait râler le compilateur.

Par exemple, définir une action utilisant une ressource item (objet de quête) sans avoir défini la ressource à utiliser peut déclencher cette condition d'erreur. Mal orthographier un symbole d'objet le peut aussi.

Bad DagText number NNNN (should be between 1000 and 2100). 

Une action dans une tâche de quête a spécifié un mauvais numéro de texte Qrc. Les "Bad DagText" peuvent planter X-engine.

Buffer overrun. 

En décompilant un fichier Qrc, le décompilateur a rencontré un bloc de message trop grand pour son tampon interne. Le décompilateur assume que tout bloc de message a une taille inférieure à 1000 caractères.

Cannot use a symbol for amount of gold reward. 

Une directive item gold a tenté de définir un montant d'or de façon non numérique. Le compilateur attend que les quantités monétaires soient exprimées par des nombres.

Cannot use same symbol with differing contexts. 
Previous context is:

Le compilateur a rencontré un usage non valide d'un symbole. Le contexte précédent (previous context) est la définition de la ressource qui entre en conflit avec la présente définition. Par exemple :

Item _reward_ gold 10
_reward_ task:

va déclencher un conflit car tout les noms d'objet et de tâche doivent être unique.

Code parameter count must be in [1, 5]. 

Le compilateur a découvert un modèle Qbn (Qbn template) dans sa base de données .src qui a un nombre d'opérandes définies suspect. Toutes les conditions/réponses connues dans les Qbn ont entre 1 et 5 opérandes.

Could not convert the new size value. 

Un fichier .src contient une directive de taille NN qui ne peut être convertie sans erreur.

Could not open aFileName for input. 

Le compilateur n'a pas été capable d'accéder en lecture au fichier aFileName.

Could not open 'aFileName' for input. 

Le compilateur/décompilateur n'a pas été capable d'accéder au fichier .src/.qbn pour travailler dessus.

Hmmm, this quest doesn't seem to have anything to say. 
('qcomp' would like some text to work with)

Le compilateur s'est aperçu qu'il allait devoir créer un fichier Qrc vide, ce qui semble improbable.

Implicit task gives template more than NN words. 

Une directive de ressource dans la base de données .src a tenté de placer plus d'arguments qu'attendu dans une brique ressource.

Line NNNN 'fragment' 

A la ligne NNNN du fichier source d'une quête, le compilateur a trébuché en analysant un fragment de cette ligne. Une plainte détaillant le problème rencontré suit généralement.

No command handler for Qbn section NN has been created yet. 

Le compilateur a découvert qu'il lui était demandé de créer une section inutilisée dans le Qbn. Dans la mesure où toutes les sections connues de Qbn en usage ont des gestionnaires (handlers) créés pour eux, dans la pratique ça ne devrait pas arriver, à moins que Windows ne fasse encore des siennes.

No command number; cannot convert template to Qbn section. 

Un modèle de commande ou de directive a été ajouté à la base de données .src du compilateur, qui ne définit pas de façon propre une ressource de Qbn. Toutes les directives de ressources correctement définies doivent spécifier un index de section Qbn en tant que premier champ dans le modèle définissant la ressource.

No template matches this pattern. 

Le compilateur ne peut pas localiser une correspondance pour une directive de ressource dans sa base de données .src..

Quest contains errors. Please review the output log. 

Une ou plusieurs erreurs sont survenues durant le traitement du fichier source de la quête. Les fichiers Qrc/Qbn pour cette quête seront probablement inutilisables.

Quest: 'aFilePattern' doesn't follow the pattern for Daggerfall quest file names. 

La directive Quest: utilisé dans le préambule de la quête ne suit pas le modèle des noms de fichiers quête de Daggerfall.

Seek to text offset barfed (NN != MM). 

En se parcourant le fichier Qrc pour traiter un bloc de message existant, le décompilateur a découvert que la position demandée ne correspondait pas à la position actuelle. Cela indique généralement que quelqu'un etait en train de modifier le fichier Qrc au moment où le décompilateur essayait de le lire.

Source file has no extension. 

En tentant de définir les noms de fichiers Qrc/Qbn à partir du nom de fichier source, le compilateur a découvert que l'extension .src n'était pas présente. Pour diverses raisons internes, le compilateur compte sur la présence de l'extension .src.

Stopping compilation because Qrc compile has failed. 

La compilation d'une quête se déroule en deux parties. D'abord les blocs de messages sont assemblés pour produire un fichier Qrc. Ensuite les définitions de ressources de la quête sont assemblées pour produire un fichier Qbn. Chaque partie va généralement essayer de compiler toutes les déclarations associées. C'est pourquoi vous pouvez recevoir toutes les plaintes du compilateur "en masse" pour ainsi dire. Cependant, si la partie Qrc ne se compile pas avec succès, la partie Qbn remarque cette situation et ne démarre pas.

Template failed to assign an item. 

Un des modèles d'objets a échoué à assigner un paramètre requis pour ce type d'objet. Si vous modifiez un des fichiers .src du compilateur (pour définir des objets additionnels par exemple), il se peut que ce changement dérange le compilateur.

This clock doesn't have an associated timer task. 

Le compilateur a essayé d'assembler une action se référant à une ressource "clock" et a découvert qu'aucune tâche n'a été créée pour cette horloge. X-engine s'attend à ce que chaque "timer" ait une tâche définie pour lui, même si aucune action n'est associée à la tâche.

Too many Daggerfall variables. Symbol table size of NN is too small. 

While compiling the Qrc message blocks, the compiler discovered the table it uses to track misspelt symbols was used up. This table can hold up to 1000 symbols, which ought to be adequate for ordinary quests.

Unable to create command output. 

The compiler was unable to manufacture an argument brick for a quest resource. This usually indicates that system resources or memory are low.

Unable to determine the <parameter> (NN). 

Quest resources (like NPCs, Foes, etc) have to be reduced to a numeric form for the X-engine. When the compiler tried to do so, it couldn't figure out how to represent the parameter as a number. This usually means you've mispelled a quest resource or used a quest resource that isn't present in the compiler's .src database. If you've made changes to the compiler's .src database, the field number where the mishap occured is given by NN. parameter spans the names of the qbn fields for all the Qbn record types.

Unable to determine the permanent site. 

A quest Place resource has requested an unknown location as a permanent site. Either it didn't recognize the spelling for the permanent site, or the requested site isn't part of the permanent site database.

Unable to open aPathName for reading. 

While constructing the quest resource database, the compiler encountered a .src file name which it could not access.

Unable to open qrc file aFileName. 

While creating a new quest, the compiler was unable to access the Qrc file for writing.

Unable to open the decompiled file 'aFileName'. 

While setting up to disassemble a quest, the decompiler was unable to access the source file aFileName when it tried to create it or reuse it.

Unable to open the qbn file 'aFileName'. 

While setting up to disassemble a quest, the decompiler was unable to access the Qbn file aFileName.

Unable to position the qrc file to next message descriptor. 

While decompiling an existing Qrc file, the decompiler was unable to scroll the file to the next message block that it expected to process. Unless you're having hard drive problems, this usually indicates a mutant Qrc file has been found.

Unable to rewind the qrc file. 

While decompiling a quest, the decompiler discovered it could not reposition the Qrc file to its beginning.

Unable to write an empty qrc file header. 

While creating a new quest, the compiler was unable to write the Qrc file preamble.

Unknown configuration directive. 

While processing its configuration file (template.cfg) the compiler encountered an unknown configuration directive.

Unknown switch '-x'. 

While analyzing the command line arguments, the compiler encountered an unrecognized switch or setting.

Unable to open qrc file aFileName. 

While setting up to disassemble an existing quest, the decompiler discovered it was unable to open the Qrc file of the Qrc/Qbn pair.

Unresolved symbolic references. 

The compiler was presented with a quest resource definition which did not completely replace all symbols with numeric values in the resource argument brick. There should be one or more preceding complaints detailing which bits could not be resolved.

Warning: &N did not resolve to a numeric value. 

After performing all the symbolic resolutions correctly, the compiler detected that parameter N was still a non-numeric value. This usually means that one of the .src files in the compiler's data base has been edited to create a non-numeric template. Typing the letter O instead of the number 0 can cause this.

Warning: making system quest file. 

The compiler discovered that the file name pattern for the quest indicates that a main-story quest is being produced. The interrelation between main-story quests and their global states isn't well-understood, so the risk of substantial changes having surprising side-effects is higher in these cases.

Warning: no command templates have been detected. 

After processing its configuration file (template.cfg) the compiler detected that no quest resource operations have been included.

Warning: no item definitions have been detected. 

After processing its configuration file (template.cfg) the compiler detected that no quest items were present in the resulting database.

Warning: template does not assign all parameter tokens. 

Each quest resource is determined by an argument brick of parameter values required by the X-engine to describe that resource. The compiler discovered a command template that failed to provide values for all of the parameters required to describe the resource.

Warning: this configuration has no command template files. 

After processing its configuration file (template.cfg) the compiler detected that no quest resource operations have been included.

Well, that didn't work. 

After processing a configuration directive the compiler noticed that something was amiss. Generally there is a preceding complaint detailing the trouble.

Wrong number of command line arguments. 

While processing the command line arguments, too many parameters were encountered.

Utiliser le débogueur de X-Engine

When creating new quests, it is helpful from time to time to see which steps of a quest have been taken, and which have not.

X-Engine has a cheat mode key to overlay the main view with the tasks of a quest to show which ones have been acted on.

To access the X-Engine debugger, edit z.cfg and include the line

cheatmode 1

in the file before starting Daggerfall.

After acquiring the quest you want to examine, you can use the apostrophe or single quote key (') in the main 3D view to overlay a display of the quest tasks on the main view, on an active quest by active quest basis. (NDT : Sur clavier azerty, la touche est "ù")

When the overlay is active, the name of the quest, along with the player position, is displayed at the bottom of the overlay. You may need to adjust the camera position to find a suitable contrast between the view background colors and the yellow letters of the overlay.

The apostrophe or single quote key (') will step the display through each active quest of the character. Each time the key is pressed, the tasks of the next active quest of the PC will be displayed, until the display finally returns to the first quest shown.

The quests are displayed in no particular order, so you will have to cycle through the open quests until the one you're interested in appears on the screen.

To clear the task overlay from the screen, press F9. If you have used the game's control panel to modify the behavior attached to F9, you may need to revert that assignment to enable F9 to clear the overlay display.

For each open quest, X-Engine displays a flag to indicate which steps of the quest have been taken, and which are as yet inactive.

Tasks are listed in the same order which the scenario declared them. But as a fail-safe check, the symbol name of each task is displayed in numerical form. Executed tasks are highlighted in dirty orange; unexecuted ones in yellow.

When you use the -v[erbose] option of the compiler program, the end of that listing will show the same numerical values which will appear in the X-Engine debug screen.

In addition, debugging information is added to the quest file which X-engine will access to provide symbols in the display overlay in place of raw numbers.

When -v is used to compile a quest, after cycling the display to that quest with the apostrophe (') key, you can use the semicolon (;) key to cycle through the various quest resource sections.

For items, persons, and foes, the world coordinates of the thing are displayed. If the thing hasn't yet been installed in the game world, its coordinates will be zero. If the thing is in the same vicinity as the PC (the current town or dungeon) it will be highlighted a dirty orange color, else displayed in yellow.

For clocks, the elapsed time and the alarm time are displayed in game minutes.

For randomly selected dungeons, whether the location has been revealed or not is available, as well as its world coordinates once it has been revealed. Note that even if the dungeon has already been revealed on the province map by an earlier quest, this display shows whether the present quest has revealed it or not. Other quest locations are never hidden, and so always appear on the world map.

And as before, without the debugging information, the state of the tasks of the quest is available, but now all the tasks have their names from the quest scenario source displayed too. Executed tasks are displayed in dirty orange, unexecuted ones in yellow.

Note that the compiler calls these symbols, while X-Engine calls them flags--they refer to the same task block in the quest scenario.

When X-Engine indicates a flag is true, this means that task is presently executing/has already executed. When X-Engine indicates a flag is false, this means that task has not been executed, or that the task has already been cleared so it may rerun when conditions are ripe.

Certain game conditions (e.g., daily from) are automatically rescheduled for execution each game world minute, and so always are reported as false, even though the task has executed.

Again, use the apostrophe (') or single quote key to cycle through the different open quests. Use the F9 to remove the task overlay from the screen.

Examiner une quête "live"

The quest decompiler engine can be used to examine the contents of an open quest in the player's logbook. In addition to the usual disassembled details, links to other saved game records for items, NPCs, and places are available, among other details. The native Linux decompiler supports date recovery, which is not available without the ATLAS package and isn't implemented under Dos.

To decompile a living quest, the desired quest must first be extracted from the saved game of interest. The TES2 tool will extract all the open quests with its -Q option.

C> tes2 -Q 3

extracts all the living quests in saved game slot 3 into the fictitious quest player.qbn. Each open quest is assigned an arbitrary serial number (1, 2, 3, ...) when the saved game is created. The serial numbers change whenever quests start up or stand down, and so must be determined in situ each time. The end of the regular TES2 report shows the serial numbers currently in use by open quests:


                          Active Quests
      (2)         s0000977                  (4)         S0000021             
      (6)         s0000012                  (3)         s0000999             

The gaps (2, 3, 4, 6) in the serial numbers are normal.

To examine the living state of quest 3, s0000999, use the SAVEQBN tool to extract quest 3 from player.qbn and feed the extracted quest to the decompiler using the -s switch instead of the usual -d switch:

C> saveqbn 3 <player.qbn >s0000999.qbn
C> template -s s0000999.qbn snapshot.src

where -s stands for sans Qrc. For example, from an unrelated living quest

--	Quest start-up:
	place item _I.01_ at _L.04_ 
--	exec: 1 (000b58c6) 09:42 Morndas, 7 of Mid Year, 405.
--	hash: 00644605 44ebfa04 00000000 00000000
	dialog link for person _victim_ 
--	exec: 1 (000b58c6) 09:42 Morndas, 7 of Mid Year, 405.
--	hash: 00000000 483b3e45 00000000 00000000

The exec tag gives the last time of access and whether the action has been accomplished yet. 0 generally means not performed while 1 indicates completed. Other states are possible, e.g. for letters as yet undelivered to the PC but already en route.

The hash tag lists the object identifiers for the four possible opcode operands. There will be an item record in the saved game with object id 0x00644605, a quest location with object id 0x44ebfa04, and an NPC record with id 0x483b3e45.

NPC and place object identifiers use the Daggerfall GPS notation. So this quest NPC's birthplace is somewhere in site 0x483b. ATLAS shows that 0x483b is Langpath, Anticlere. The specific lot number, 0x3e45, is tied to a quest location 0xfann by another record in the saved game. If the PC isn't presently in Langpath, that relation won't necessarily exist until the Langpath site has been rendered.

MAPS.BSA identifies the possible quest locations at a site with a special codex listing the lot numbers that correspond to quest locations. A quest site, whether in town or in a dungeon, is indexed by the special lot code 0xfann, where nn is the consecutive serial number of quest locations at a site (0xfa01, 0xfa02, ...). If the site is a dungeon, these correspond to the rooms which the teleport jump cheat links together.

The place 0x44eb is the Ruins of Ashsly Manor in Anticlere province, where the fourth teleport jump has been randomly assigned as the spot where the quest item will be hidden.

You can use the -s option to decompile just the Qbn portion of an ordinary quest file, but the resulting extra information is uniformly uninteresting.

Organisation d'une quête

The source file created by the quest decompiler is divided into three parts:

  • Quest preamble
  • Qrc text blocks
  • Quest resources and operation (Qbn)

which are discussed subsequently.

Préambule d'une quête

The quest preamble lays out the general requirements of the quest: who offers it, who can receive it, how it is started, etc. The purpose of this preamble is to collect the information required to fabricate a standard quest file name pattern. There are two ways to do so, concisely or verbosely.

Quest: pattern

where pattern is the desired quest file name pattern. For example

Quest:  b0c00y13

Alternately, the pattern can be inferred by the compiler from the following verbose descriptions. Case is insignificant.

StartsBy: [Letter | NPC]

Indicates whether the quest starts by the player character receiving a letter or by contacting an NPC (non-player character) in the game.

Questee: [Initiate | Member | Anyone]

Indicates what general relationship the PC must have with respect to the NPC / group that offers the quest.

Initiate 	Initial invitation to join
Member 		PC must be a member of this group
Anyone 		Anyone may be offered this quest

Questor: quest grantor or single letter key

The questor is the group, guild, or daedra prince which offers the quest. It can be specified by single letter key (as used by the quest file name pattern) or by the proper name of the group, taken from the following list:

Questor Key Ids[1] Questor Key Ids Questor Key Ids
Akatosh D 0 Lady Azura T 0 Peasant A 0-18
Arkay E 0 Mage N 1-18 Peryite 5 0
Boethiah U 0 Main S [2] Royalty R 0-28
Brotherhood L 0-11 Malacath 8 0 Sanguine 7 0
Clavicus Vile V 0 Mara H 0 Sheogorath 6 0
Dibella F 0 Mehrunes Dagon Y 0 Stendarr I 0
Fighter M 0-19 Mephala Z 0 Temple C 0-15
Hermaeus Mora W 0 Merchant K 0-10 Thief O 0-12
Hircine X 0 Meridia 1 0 Vaernima 9 0
Julianos 0 0 Molag Bal 2 0 Vampire P 0-10
Knight B 0-17 Namira 3 0 Witch Q 0-8
Kynareth G 0 Nocturnal 4 0 Zenithar J 0

[1]See QuestId: below. CompUSA quests are included. [2]Main story numbers in use are 1-22, 100-107, 500-503, 977, 988, and 999.

Again, case is not significant. Space, for those daedra princes with two names, is. Main refers to the main story quests.

Questor: Arkay

indicates a quest offered by the temple of Arkay, for example.

Repute: mm

The repute is the minimum repute the PC must have with respect to the group / prince offering the quest. It can also indicate a range of reputes for which the quest is offered.

If mm is strictly numeric, then it indicates the minimum repute the PC must have, with 0 being the smallest repute and 99 the largest.

Quests can be restricted to a particular decade of the PC's repute with the questor by writing the units digit as the letter x.

Repute: 3x

limits the quest to PCs whose repute is between 30 and 39 with the questor.

QuestId: nn

X-engine expects every quest associated with one of the questor groups to have a unique two-digit serial number assigned to it.

QuestId: 17

assigns 17 as the quest id in the file name pattern for the quest.

If the quest preamble describes a quest that already exists, the compiler will replace the original contents of that quest with the new contents from this source file.

If that quest does not already exist, the compiler will create a new Daggerfall quest for it.

Please see the table of guilds/questors for the quest ids already in use by the game.

Messages: aNumber

The quest compiler needs to know approximately how many message blocks will be recorded in the Qrc file before it begins processing. By default it reserves space for 50 message blocks. If the quest scenario supplies more than 50 messages, the compiler needs to be told the number of messages to expect with this directive.

The decompiler now automatically includes this directive when it decompiles a quest, as a convenience for recompiling quests. However, adding additional messages to existing quests may bump into the message count limit. The limit need not be exact, just more than enough.

AllowDupes:

Some existing quests from Bethesda have Qrc files that contain duplicate message block numbers. This is arguably wrong when you're creating a fresh quest, and the compiler normally smacks you if you try to do such a thing. But to allow the existing quests to recompile without trying to figure out which text block is the valid one--good luck--supplying this directive in the quest preamble will instruct the compiler not to whine if it finds message block numbers are being reused.

QuestDir: aDirectoryPath

You can tell the compiler where you want it to produce the qrc/qbn files by supplying the directory path name where you'd like them to go. By default, the compiler drops them in the same directory as the scenario source file.

QuestDir:  d:\games\dag\arena2

directs the compiler to the arena2 directory of my Daggerfall installation.

Les blocs de texte du QRC

Every message displayed by a quest is assigned a serial number starting from 1000 and increasing. The first dozen numbers have stock behavior associated with them, and may be called for display automatically by the game engine during the quest, without an explicit trigger in the compiled quest script.

The text block section of the source file is announced by the directive:

Qrc:

The compiler will expect to find text message blocks thereafter in the source file, until it is told otherwise. Again, the case of the directive doesn't matter.

In the source file, the text composing a quest message is introduced by the Message: directive followed by the message number to assign to the text block.

The compiler accepts synonyms for the stock quest messages:

QuestorOffer:
Message: 1000

What the questor says when the PC makes contact for the quest. Although not enforced by the compiler, for quests started in person, this is likely a required message.

RefuseQuest:
Message: 1001

What the questor says when the PC refuses the quest offer. Again, while the compiler is silent about its omission, for quests started in person, this is likely a required message block.

AcceptQuest:
Message: 1002

What the questor says when the PC accepts the quest. Again, this block is likely expected for quests started in person.

QuestFailed:
Message: 1003

What the questor says until the PC completes the quest. Again, this block is likely expected for quests started in person.

QuestComplete:
Message: 1004

What the questor says when the PC completes the quest and returns. Again, this block is likely expected for quests started in person.

Note that certain quest actions will post this message automatically. See give pc / give pc nothing.

RumorsDuringQuest:
Message: 1005

Gives information that may come up during Any News? dialogs the PC has during the quest.

RumorsPostFailure:
Message: 1006

Gives information that may come up during Any News? dialogs the PC has after failing the quest. The X-engine eventually retires these after a suitable time lag.

RumorsPostSuccess:
Message: 1007

Gives information that may come up during Any News? dialogs the PC has after completing the quest. The X-engine eventually retires these after a suitable time lag.

QuestorPostSuccess:
Message: 1008

What the questor says to the PC in dialog after a successful quest. That is, when the PC chats with the questor through the dialog screen.

QuestorPostFailure:
Message: 1009

What the questor says to the PC in dialog after a failed quest. That is, when the PC chats through the dialog screen.

QuestLogEntry:
Message: 1010

The message inserted into the PC's log when the quest is accepted. Probably not used automatically.

QuestTimeLapse:
Message: 1045

Displayed when the PC fails to meet a quest with a dead-line. Probably not used automatically.

The quest author can create as many additional message blocks as the quest requires, although the compiler arbitrarily complains if you choose message numbers larger than 2100. 1000 message blocks isn't a quest, it's a whole game.

Since remembering what text is associated with a Qrc message number is tedious, the compiler will accept an arbitrary label in place of a message number. The compiler will automatically assign the next available message number to each message label you provide. And you can refer to the Qrc message by that label in the Qbn section of the quest file.

Message: NpcPeeved
What? I can't believe you took so long
for such a simple request!

You can mix labels with section numbering in different message blocks.

Following the Message: directive are the lines composing that message block. By default, left justification is used.

Text can be centered by using the <ce> tag at the beginning of the line to be centered.

An empty or blank line can be inserted by using the <br> tag for the content of a line.

A message block may be divided into subsections. When X-engine displays a subsectioned message block, it displays only one of the available subsections of that block at a time. The selected subsection is chosen at random from the subsections available for the block. The next time X-engine is asked to display that message block it repeats this process, and so may select a different subsection for display.

Subsectioning gives variety to the messages that appear when the PC performs the same quest more than once. Indeed, with clever use, the quests can appear quite different when coupled with the randomizing feature in the Qbn section. While there may be an upper bound on the number of subsections the X-engine can handle, there are existing quests with upwards of a dozen subsections each in several different message blocks.

Any message block can be subsectioned by using the <---> tag on a line to start a new subsection:

RumorsDuringQuest:
<ce>I heard that %ra is a complete loser.
              <--->
That %ra is after some loser's hide.
              <--->
<ce>Isn't %ra chasing after _questgiver_ for something?

The position of the tag on the line is irrelevant.

RumorsDuringQuest:
         <ce>I heard that %ra is a complete loser.
<--->
That %ra is after some loser's hide.
<--->
<ce>Isn't %ra chasing after _questgiver_ for something?

works just as well. The decompiler takes advantage of this to center the decompiled text as required.

Be careful of leaving blank lines between different quest message blocks unless you intend the message to display empty lines in the block. Generally, you want only one blank line between the end of one block and the next message block:

RumorsDuringQuest:
Very strange sounds come out of the _house_.
           <--->
_qgiver_'s house has really gone to Oblivion.
RumorsPostfailure:
Poor _qgiver_ has to hire an exterminator.
         <--->
It's going to cost _qgiver_ to clean that house.

Les symboles du QRC

X-engine likes to name replaceable parts of text as _symbol_, where in fact symbol can be any meaningful mnemonic. (See Quest Resources for how symbols are created)

There are some fairly intricate rules for using symbols in a Qrc message block.

_foo_ is replaced with the name of foo : a ring, an NPC's name, or kind of enemy. It is generally an error to use this form for a Place or Clock quest resource. The quest compiler won't stop you from doing so, but the results within the game world aren't likely to be what you expect.

=foo_ is replaced by the clock time (expressed as the number of days that the clock will be active) when _foo_ is a Clock quest resource. Or by the character class when _foo_ is an NPC quest resource, or by the foe's name for enemy resource.

==foo_ is replaced by the faction association for an NPC quest resource. So for a Person symbol:

_foo_ of ==foo_

would result in something like

Zaphod Beeblebrox of the Blades

while

_foo_ the =foo_

would result in something like

Zaphod Beeblebrox the Acrobat

If _foo_ is a Person resource then ___foo_ (three leading underscores) gives the town name where _foo_ can be found. While __foo_ (two leading underscores) gives the name of the house/shop in that town where _foo_ can be found. If you move _foo_ to different places in the game world, it isn't obvious that these symbols will track those moves. I tend to regard them as 'birthplace' markers, rather than present residence markers.

Place symbols follow slightly different semantics.

_foo_ is the form of a shop name.

__foo_ is the town where the shop can be found.

___foo_ is the form of a dungeon name.

____foo_ is the name of the province where the place can be found.

This pattern holds regardless of whether _foo_ was created as a shop or as a dungeon. This is why some existing quests give out mysterious hints about non-existent shops. The quest author left out underscores in the Qrc text, and got the shop name format instead of the dungeon name format.

Note that quest locations which are not randomly generated, the permanent sites, do not follow these rules at all. The symbol used to represent a permanent site is always replaced by random garbage in a Qrc block. So the information for a permanent site must needs be written out in full inside a Qrc block.

The following table summarizes the usage. NO means you probably don't want to use that substitution. At any rate, there aren't any such examples in the existing quests.

Symbol Item Person Place[1] Foe Clock
_foo_ ring Zaphod Beeblebrox Lord Marcus' Arms warrior NO
__foo_ NO Adams residence Daggerfall City[2] NO NO
___foo_ NO Gothway Gardens Ruins of Bethsoft NO NO
____foo_ NO NO Daggerfall NO NO
=foo_ NO Acrobat NO Arthur Dent 4 days
==foo_ NO Blades NO Fighter NO

[1]Not available for permanent sites. [2]This form is invalid for remote dungeons.

There is a whole family of %symbols to scrape out information about the PC, NPC gender, and the like, which are tabulated below. [1]

The pronomial forms (%g, %g1, etc) refer back to the last NPC or foe symbol appearing in the same Qrc text block to determine the proper declension. It is usually an error in content to use one of them prior to the first appearance of the proper noun you want them bound to. When a computer refers back that way, it's anybody's guess which person will actually be used for the construction. That happens from time to time in the existing quests, and so you may see quirky constructs like "...her research lab where Andystair Bonedoggle..." when you're pretty sure Andystair takes the masculine, not feminine gender.

All of these symbols appear at one time or another, either in arena2\text.rsc, fall.exe, arena2\*.qrc, or arena2\bio*.txt. It is unclear whether their use is restricted to contexts appropriate to each of those file sets, or whether you're free to mix bio*.txt symbols within Qrc blocks. If you use one of these symbols in an improper context, Daggerfall generally posts an error message naming the offensive symbol and dies.

Symbols in italics appear in the existing qrc files from Bethesda.

%1am 1st + Magnitude
%1bm 1st base Magnitude
%1com Greeting (?)
%1hn  ?
%2am 2nd + Magnitude
%2bm 2nd Base Magnitude
%2com  ?
%2hn  ?
%3hn  ?
%a Cost of somthing.
%ach + Chance per
%adr  ?
%adr + Duration per
%agi Amount of Agility
%arm Armour
%ark  ?
%ba Book Author
%bch Base chance
%bdr Base Duration
%bn  ?
%bt Book title
%cbl Cash balance in current region
%clc Per level (Chance)
%cld Per level (Duration)
%clm Per level (Magnitude)
%cn Current City
%cn2  ?
%cpn Current shop name
%cri Accused crime
%crn Current Region
%dae A daedra
%dam Damage modifyer
%dat Date
%di Direction
%dip  ?
%dng Dungeon
%dts Daedra
%dwr  ?
%ef Local shop name
%enc Encumberence
%end Amount of Endurance
%fcn Another city
%fe  ?
%fea  ?
%fl1 Lord of %fx1
%fl2 Lord of %fx2
%fn Random first(?) name (Female?)
%fn2 Same as %mn2 (?)
%fnpc  ?
%fon  ?
%fpa  ?
%fpc  ?
%fx1 A faction in news
%fx2 Another faction in news
%g He/She etc...
%g1 He/She ???
%g2 Him/Her etc...
%g2self Himself/Herself etc...
%g3 His/Hers/Theirs etc...
%gii Amount of gold in hand
%god Some god (listed in TEXT.RSC)
%gtp Amount of fine
%hea HP Modifier
%hmd Healing rate modifer
%hnr Honorific
%hnt Direction of location.
%hnt2  ?
%hol Holiday
%hpn  ?
%hpw  ?
%hrg  ?
%hs Holding Soul type
%htwn  ?
%imp  ?
%int Amount of Intelligence
%it Item
%jok A joke
%key A location (?)
%key2 Another location
%kg Weight of items
%kno A knightly guild name
%lev Rank in guild that you are in.
%ln Random lastname
%loc Location marked on map
%lt1 Title of %fl1
%ltn In the eyes of the law you are.......
%luc Luck
%map  ?
%mad Resistance
%mat Material
%mit Item
%mn Random First(?) name (Male?)
%mn2 Same as %mn (?)
%mod Modification
%mpw Magic powers
%n A random female first name
%nam A random full name
%nrn Noble of the current region
%nt  ?
%ol1 Old lord of %fx1
%olf What happened to %ol1
%on  ?
%oth An oath (listed in TEXT.RSC)
%pc  ?
%pcf Character's first name
%pcn Character's full name
%pct Character's class
%pdg Days in jail
%pen Prison sentence
%per Amount of Personality
%plq Place of something in log.
%pnq Person of something in log
%pp1  ?
%pp2  ?
%pqn Potential Quest Giver
%pqp Potential Quest Giver's Location
%ptm An enemy of the current region (?)
%q1 to %q12 Effects of questions answered in bio.
%qdt Quest date of log entry
%qdat Quest date of log entry [2]
%qot The log comment
%qua Condition
%r1 Commoners rep
%r2 Merchants rep
%r3 Scholers rep
%r4 Nobilitys rep
%r5 Underworld rep
%ra Player's race
%reg Region
%rn Regent's Name
%rt Regent's Title
%spc Current Spell Points
%ski Skill
%spd Speed
%spt  ?
%str Amount of strength
%sub  ?
%t Regent's Title
%tcn  ?
%thd Combat odds
%tim Time
%vam PC's vampire clan
%vcn Vampire's Clan
%vn  ?
%wdm Weapon damage
%wep Weapon
%wil  ?
%wpn Poison (?)
%wth Worth

[1] Reproduced from Appendix A, Daggerfall Quest File (QRC/QBN) Hacking Results - v1.00, by Dave Humphrey uesp@m0use.net. I've added 2 or 3 additional symbols from the qrc files.

[2] Appears in d0b00y00, the Akatosh Chantry quest, but looks like a simple misspelling of %qdt.

Ressources et opérations

Once the text blocks for the quest have been laid out, the contents of the Qbn file are described by using the Qbn directive

Qbn:

to instruct the compiler to finish the Qrc section and begin the Qbn section of the source code.

The Qbn section is by far the more complicated part, and is itself further divided into subsections:

  • Items required in the quest
  • Persons encountered in the quest
  • Places encountered in the quest
  • Clocks or timers used in the quest
  • Foes encountered in the quest
  • Condition/responses that operate during the quest

The exact order you pick is somewhat irrelevant. The only requirement by the compiler is that the condition/responses appear last, since they generally refer to resources defined by the other sections.

Gérer l'écran de dialogue

The scenario can control whether to include each quest item, person, or place resource in the pick list under the Tell me about... dialog tab.

Each item, person, or place resource can be embellished with the tag

anyInfo aQrcNumber

where aQrcNumber is a Qrc message block to display in the dialog screen when the PC chats about that particular resource.

When the scenario assigns an anyInfo Qrc message to a quest resource, the name of that resource automatically appears as a new entry in the pick list under the Tell me about... dialog tab.

Such entries are available throughout the duration of the quest for use in conversation with anyone the PC happens upon in the game world.

Note, however, that the PC's repute with the NPC being spoken to affects the outcome of chatting about such entries. So not every NPC spoken to will offer the information provided by the scenario when quizzed by the PC. But, when combined with the subsectioning message block technique, different pieces of information may be supplied at each chat session.

But sometimes a scenario wants to make such information available only after the PC has met certain milestones within the quest. In such cases, the scenario can control when the anyInfo messages become available through the dialog link and add dialog family of quest actions.

Note that once an entry has been added to the Tell me about... pick list, it is stuck there for the remaining life of the quest. There does not appear to be any quest action to delete entries from the list.

A person or place quest resource may be further embellished with the tag

rumors aQrcNumber

where aQrcNumber is a Qrc message block to display in the dialog screen when the PC selects the Any News? dialog option.

Oftentimes, adding a rumors tag will insert the quest resource into the dialog picklist as well, but this insertion can be suppressed with dialog link family of commands.

Objets de quête

Every item associated with the quest must be described for the X-engine using a form of the Item command. Items include not only things, like rings, letters, drugs, or artifacts, but also quest rewards like gold payment.

In addition each item can have message text from the Qrc file associated with it, which is displayed when the item is discussed with an NPC or when the PC 'uses' the item in the inventory screen.

Quest items with usage text will also appear in the About picklist when conversing with NPCs. The Qrc text will be 'spoken' by the NPC if asked about the item.

Whether the item automatically appears as a topic under the Tell me about... dialog tab is somewhat variable. Non-letter items tend always to appear, while letter items tend to depend upon their method of delivery to the PC.

Regardless, the scenario can regulate the contents of the Tell me about... picklist with the dialog link and add dialog actions.

To prevent a quest item with usage text from appearing in the dialog picklist, simply include a dialog link item for it in the quest start-up. If there is no corresponding add dialog item action for it, then it will never appear.

As a rule, when the PC acquires a quest item in the inventory it shows up with a green background. Furthermore, such items will be automatically taken from the player when the quest terminates. Special steps have to be taken in the condition/response section to bestow an item (like an artifact) on the player permanently.

So in general, don't expect a quest item to hang around after the player completes the quest unless you provide for that specially in the condition/response section.

Also note that quest items are unknown to X-Engine until the scenario puts them somewhere in the game world. The practical consequence of this is that displaying a Qrc message block referring to a quest item before that item has been placed in the world, or after it has been destroyed, will most likely result in the infamous BLANK text when the Qrc message is shown to the player.

A quest isn't required to have a item section, but most quests that do anything interesting have them.

There are three general forms for the Item command:

  • reward (gold) items
  • artifact items
  • other items

Objets de récompense

Item  _symbol_  gold
item  _symbol_  gold  range  nn to  mm

The first form creates a random amount of gold reward proportional to the player's current level. While the relation isn't exactly linear in player level, expect about 100 times the player's level when the quest begins. So for a level 2 player, expect the gold reward to be in the neighborhood of 200 gold.

_symbol_ is an arbitrary name to refer to the item throughout the quest scenario. It must be unique among all the item resources--the compiler will smack you if it isn't--and it is helpful to make it unique to all the symbol names you use in the Qbn section, as well as indicative of what the item is:

Item _reward_ gold
Item _bribe1_ gold range 50 to 100

The second form of the reward item selects a random amount within the requested range. If the PC repeats the quest, that attempt won't necessarily have exactly the same reward amount.

This isn't always a bargain. Some players react to this with "Goody, it's different this time." But others react with "Boo! This quest isn't the same! What's wrong now?"

To make a reward of an exact amount, use the same number for the beginning and end of the range.

Any Item command can be embellished to provide a message when the player chats about the item with another NPC.

Item _reward_ gold anyInfo 1017

requests the X-engine to display Qrc message block 1017 when the gold reward is discussed with another NPC.

Every item command can be embellished to provide a message when the item is 'used' in the player's inventory screen.

   Item _letter1_ letter used 1022

requests the X-engine to display Qrc message block 1022 when the item is used in the player's inventory screen.

The two embellishments can be combined:

Item _letter1_ letter anyInfo 1014 used 1022

Artefacts

   Item  _symbol_  artifact  artifactName

describes an artifact item appearing in a quest. artifactName must be one of the known Tamriel artifacts:

Auriels_Bow Oghma_Infinium
Auriels_Shield Ring_of_Khajiit
Azuras_Star Ring_of_Namira
Chrysamere Sanguine_Rose
Ebony_Blade Skeletons_Key
Ebony_Mail Skull_of_Corruption
Hircine_Ring Spell_Breaker
Lords_Mail Staff_of_Magnus
Mace_of_Molag_Bal Volendrung
Masque_of_Clavicus_Vile Wabbajack
Necromancers_Amulet Warlocks_Ring

As usual, case doesn't matter, but notice underscores (_) used instead of blanks. You can, however, change the names to your own liking by editing items.src. Indeed you can change most of the compiler's notion of spelling by editing any of the *.src files to your own preferences.

The artifact item command can be embellished with an anyInfo notice. Some item artifacts in the existing quests from Bethesda are embellished with the used tag, but this is inconsistent. When an artifact is used in the inventory screen, the message displayed is invariably taken from TEXT.RSC, not the Qrc block.

Autres objets

Item  _symbol_  someItemName
Item  _symbol_  item  class nn subclass mm

Some common items are prefabricated in the items.src data base. Daggerfall also uses a sort of generic item specification, to select randomly one item from a group of related items. These forms are shown in italics in the following table.

aegrostat amulet armbands
armor book book0
book1 book2 book3
boots bracelet bracer
cloth_amulet coins common_symbol
daedra_heart decanter deed
diamond drug element
emerald finger flamable
gem gold_bar harpy_feather
horn indulcet ivory
jade junk kimono
lantern large_plant large_sack
letter lich_dust lodestone
magic_item malachite mantella_crux
map mark mens_clothing
mineral misc mummy_wrappings
mythic organs painting
pearl portrait quaesto_vil
random_map random_recipe religious
ring root_tendrils ruby
sapphire scarab skin
small_plant small_sack snake_venom
specials straps sursam
talisman telescope torc
totem transport trinket
turquoise tusk wand
weapon werewolf_blood womens_clothing
womens_robe wraith_essence yellow_flowers

Other items can be created at will by using the class/subclass form to describe any Daggerfall item.

Again, the item command can be further embellished with an anyInfo notice and/or a used notice.

You can find tables of the known Daggerfall item codes at the Unofficial Elder Scrolls Pages.

Quest Persons

Each NPC involved in a quest has to be described in the Qbn section with a Person command. Most quests will have at least one Person command to describe the questor NPC granting the quest to the player. This appears to be how the X-engine couples the change of repute to the allied/enemy factions associated with the questor when the PC completes or fails the quest.

Factional alliances / repudiations are fairly involved in Daggerfall. This document won't treat all aspects of factions or how to choose correct factions for a quest. Basically it just depends on the goals of the quest.

Briefly, the Daggerfall social structure forms a four-tier hierarchy of Guild-Group, Social Group, Faction Type, Individual-Faction. Unfortunately I haven't been able to determine the magic numbers used to describe Social Groups in the Qbn files. The elements of the remaining classifications are, however, known.

For example, Clavicus Vile, a Daedra, Supernatural Being, of Oblivion. The guild-group name is Oblivion, the social group is Supernatural Being, the faction-type is Daedra, and the individual-faction is Clavicus Vile.

Or another example, The Battlelords subgroup of the Guild Members of the Knightly Order. The guild-group name is Knightly Order, the social group is Guild Members, the faction-type is Subgroup, and the individual-faction is The Battlelords.

All the non-permanent NPCs in the game can be so classified.

Permanent NPCs are slightly different, in that they have no top level guild-group name. For example, King Gothryd, a person of nobility. The social group is nobility, the faction-type is person, and the individual-faction is King Gothryd.

For the nonce, NPCs can be selected by faction type, guild group, individual faction, or permanent NPC.

As with Items, message blocks can be associated with NPCs in two different ways.

anyInfo nn adds the Qrc message nn to the Tell me about... dialog responses under the NPC's name.

rumors nn adds the Qrc message nn as a possible response when gossiping in the dialog panel under Any News?. Under patch 213 it also adds the NPC's name to the dialog list of choices, even if there is no anyInfo nn entry for the NPC.

These tags can be appended to any Person command.

Permanent NPC

Basically, a permanent NPC is one of the named major figures of the royal houses in Daggerfall, Sentinel, or Wayrest, or supernatural figures like the King of Worms. They are all generally involved in the main quest in one way or another.

The Person command tags a permanent NPC with the named field, since all permanent NPCs have invarient names within the game.

Permanent NPCs can be used in one of two ways. They can be located at their regular place in the game world, which the Person command tags as atHome. So the player would encounter a permanent NPC at their normal place in the game world.

Alternatively, the permanent NPC can be positioned elsewhere in the Bay area for the duration of the quest. The X-engine needs to be told up front which you plan to do so it can do all the necessary bookkeeping to keep the NPC portraits managed correctly.

Be aware that fiddling with the NPCs associated with the main story in side-quests can have surprising side-effects. Recall that it is always possible for the PC to have several quests operating concurrently.

It's even possible to have multiple copies of the same side-quest active at the same time. Consider the typical mage guild quest to fetch a rare ingredient from a dungeon. It's perfectly possible to pick up that quest from the guild in Wayrest, say, and immediately teleport to Sentinel and acquire the same quest from the guild hall there.

You need to consider consequences of that sort if you use permanent NPCs in a quest offered from more than one location in the game world. It probably isn't realistic to expect the X-engine to situate the King of Worms in two different places at the same time.

The quest condition faction available can help to determine whether a permanent NPC is presently starring in another quest.

Person  _symbol_  named  aPermanentNPC
Person  _symbol_  named  aPermanentNPC  atHome

The complete list of permanent NPCs is shown below.

Azura Baltham_Greyman Baron_Shrike
Baroness_Dh'emka Boethiah Br'itsa
Charvek-si Chulmore_Quill Clavicus_Vile
Farrington Gortwog Hermaeus_Mora
Hircine Karethys King_Eadwyre
King_Gothryd King_of_Worms Lady_Bridwell
Lady_Brisienna Lady_Doryanna_Flyte Lord_Auberon_Flyte
Lord_Bertram_Spode Lord_Bridwell Lord_Castellian
Lord_Coulder Lord_Darkworth Lord_Harth
Lord_K'avar Lord_Khane Lord_Kilbar
Lord_Perwright Lord_Plessington Lord_Provlith
Lord_Quistley Lord_Vhosek Lord_Woodborne
Malacath Medora Mehrunes_Dagon
Mephala Meridia Mobar
Molag_Bal Mynisera Namira
Nocturnal Nulfaga Orsinium
Peryite Popudax Prince_Greklith
Prince_Helseth Prince_Lhotun Princess_Elysana
Princess_Morgiah Queen_Akorithi Queen_Aubk-i
Queen_Barenziah Sanguine Sheogorath
Skakmat Sylch_Greenwood Thaik
The_Crow The_Night_Mother The_Squid
The_Underking Thyr_Topfield Vaernima
Whitka
Person _qMother_ named mynisera

creates the queen mother Mynisera as an NPC in a quest. She'll be teleported to a remote spot by the start-up task of the quest.

Note that you may easily confuse the player if your quest, say, teleports the King of Worms away somewhere while the player is off to fetch the lich soul for him as part of the main story. On the other hand, it might serve an interesting twist to the main plot.

Faction Type

An NPC can be created with an affiliation with one of the twenty-odd factions to control how the success or failure of the player in the quest is spread among the Iliac Bay inhabitants.

Person  _symbol_  factionType  aFactionName
Person  _symbol_  factionType  aFactionName  female
Person  _symbol_  factionType  aFactionName  male

where aFactionName is one of the known faction types:

Court People
Daedra Person
Generic_Group Region
God Subgroup
Group Temple
Knightly_Guard Thieves_Den
Magic_User Vampire_Clan
Official Witches_Coven

You can use the generic name Faction to select a faction at random when the quest begins.

The first form of the Person command picks the gender of the NPC at random, while the latter two forms request a specific gender.

anyInfo nn and rumors nn tags can be appended to supply message block numbers to use in the dialog screen.

Person _npc1_ factionType temple male

would select a male NPC allied with the temple crowd.

Group Alliances

An NPC can be created with an affiliation for one of the occupations found in Tamriel.

Person  _symbol_  group  aGroupName
Person  _symbol_  group  aGroupName female
Person  _symbol_  group  aGroupName male

where aGroupName is one of the social groups/guilds:

Armorer Jeweler Resident3
Banker Librarian Resident4
Bookseller Noble Shopkeeper
Carpenter Pawnbroker Smith
Chemist Questor Spellcaster
Cleric Resident1 Tailor
Innkeeper Resident2

By coordinating the occupation of the NPC with site selection, you can control the venue that your NPCs appear in. Selecting a spellcaster as an NPC and a mage's guild hall for a site ensures the resulting sprite will be one the player is accustomed to finding in that locale. See Local and Remote Sites for additional information.

The first form of the Person command picks the gender of the NPC at random, while the later two forms request a specific gender.

anyInfo nn and rumors nn tags can be appended to supply message block numbers to use in the dialog screen.

Person _npc1_ group pawnbroker

would select an NPC allied with the pawnbrokers. The gender of the NPC is taken at random.

Faction Alliances

An NPC can be created with an affiliation with a specific faction in the game.

Person  _symbol_  faction  aFactionName
Person  _symbol_  faction  aFactionName  female
Person  _symbol_  faction  aFactionName  male

where aFactionName is one of the 400-odd factions from the table below.

Abibon-Gora Agents_of_The_Underking Akatosh
Alcaire Alik'ra Anticlere
Antiphyllos Apothecaries_of_Akatosh Apothecaries_of_Arkay
Apothecaries_of_Dibella Apothecaries_of_Mara Apothecaries_of_Stendarr
Apothecaries_of_Z'en Arkay Ayasofya
Bergama Betony Bhoraine
Binders_of_Arkay Children Court_of_Abibon-Gora
Court_of_Alcaire Court_of_Alik'ra Court_of_Anticlere
Court_of_Antiphyllos Court_of_Ayasofya Court_of_Balfiera
Court_of_Bergama Court_of_Betony Court_of_Bhoraine
Court_of_Cybiades Court_of_Daenia Court_of_Daggerfall
Court_of_Dak'fron Court_of_Dragontail Court_of_Dwynnen
Court_of_Ephesus Court_of_Gavaudon Court_of_Glenpoint
Court_of_Glenumbra_Moors Court_of_Ilessen_Hills Court_of_Kairou
Court_of_Kambria Court_of_Koegria Court_of_Koegria
Court_of_Kozanset Court_of_Lainlyn Court_of_Menevia
Court_of_Mournoth Court_of_Myrkwasa Court_of_Northmoor
Court_of_Orsinium Court_of_Phrygia Court_of_Pothago
Court_of_Santaki Court_of_Satakalaam Court_of_Sentinel
Court_of_Tigonus Court_of_Totambu Court_of_Tulune
Court_of_Urvaius Court_of_Wayrest Court_of_Wrothgaria
Court_of_Ykalon Crafters_of_Julianos Cybiades
Cyndassa Daenia Daggerfall
Dak'fron Dancers Dark_Binders
Dark_Mixers Dark_Plotters Dark_Slayers
Dark_Trainers Default Dibella
Dragontail Dwynnen Ebonarm
Enchanters_of_Kynareth Ephesus Fighter_Equippers
Fighter_Questers Fighter_Trainers Gavaudon
Generic_Knightly_Order Generic_Temple Glenpoint
Glenumbra_Moors Healers Ilessan_Hills
Isle_of_Balfiera Julianos Kairou
Kambria Koegria Kozanset
Kynareth Lady_Northbridge Lainlyn
Mara Menevia Mixers_of_Akatosh
Mixers_of_Arkay Mixers_of_Dibella Mixers_of_Mara
Mixers_of_Stendarr Mixers_of_Z'en Mournoth
Myrkwasa Northmoor Oblivion
Orsinium People_of_Abibon-Gora People_of_Alcaire
People_of_Alik'ra People_of_Anticlere People_of_Antiphyllos
People_of_Ayasofya People_of_Balfiera People_of_Bergama
People_of_Betony People_of_Bhoraine People_of_Cybiades
People_of_Daenia People_of_Daggerfall People_of_Dak'fron
People_of_Dragontail People_of_Dwynnen People_of_Ephesus
People_of_Gavaudon People_of_Glenpoint People_of_Glenumbra_Moors
People_of_Ilessen_Hills People_of_Kairou People_of_Kambria
People_of_Koegria People_of_Koegria People_of_Kozanset
People_of_Lainlyn People_of_Menevia People_of_Mournoth
People_of_Myrkwasa People_of_Northmoor People_of_Orsinium
People_of_Phrygia People_of_Pothago People_of_Santaki
People_of_Satakalaam People_of_Sentinel People_of_Tigonus
People_of_Totambu People_of_Tulune People_of_Urvaius
People_of_Wayrest People_of_Wrothgaria People_of_Ykalon
Phrygia Pothago Questers
Random_Knight Random_Noble Random_Ruler
Santaki Satakalaam Secret_of_Oblivion
Seneschal Sentinel Shalgora
Smiths Smiths_of_Julianos Spellsmiths_of_Kynareth
Stendarr Summoners_of_Akatosh Summoners_of_Arkay
Summoners_of_Dibella Summoners_of_Julianos Summoners_of_Kynareth
Summoners_of_Mara Summoners_of_Stendarr Summonists_of_Z'en
Teachers_of_Akatosh Teachers_of_Arkay Teachers_of_Dibella
Teachers_of_Julianos Teachers_of_Kynareth Teachers_of_Mara
Teachers_of_Stendarr Teachers_of_z'en Temple_Blessers
Temple_Healers Temple_Missionaries Temple_Treasurers
The_Academics The_Acolyte The_Akatosh_Chantry
The_Anthotis The_Archmagister The_Bards
The_Battlelords The_Beldama The_Benevolence_of_Mara
The_Blades The_Cabal The_Citadel_of_Ebonarm
The_Crafters The_Crow The_Crusaders
The_Daggerfall_Witches The_Dark_Brotherhood The_Daughters_of_Wroth
The_Dust_Witches The_Fey The_Fighters_Guild
The_Garlythi The_Glenmoril_Witches The_Great_Knight
The_Guildmagister The_Haarvenu The_Host_of_the_Horn
The_Host_of_the_True_Horn The_House_of_Dibella The_Isolationists
The_Khulari The_Knights_Mentor The_Knights_of_Iron
The_Knights_of_the_Circle The_Knights_of_the_Dragon The_Knights_of_the_Flame
The_Knights_of_the_Hawk The_Knights_of_the_Owl The_Knights_of_the_Rose
The_Knights_of_the_Wheel The_Kynaran_Order The_Lyrezi
The_Mages_Guild The_Maran_Knights The_Master_at_Arms
The_Master_of_Academia The_Master_of_Incunabula The_Master_of_Initiates
The_Master_of_Initiates2 The_Master_of_the_Scry The_Mercenary_Mages
The_Merchants The_Montalion The_Mountain_Witches
The_Necromancers The_Odylic_Mages The_Oracle
The_Order_of_Arkay The_Order_of_the_Candle The_Order_of_the_Cup
The_Order_of_the_Hour The_Order_of_the_Lamp The_Order_of_the_Lily
The_Order_of_the_Raven The_Order_of_the_Scarab The_Palatinus
The_Patricians The_Prostitutes The_Quill_Circus
The_Resolution_of_Z'en The_Royal_Guard The_Royal_Guards
The_School_of_Julianos The_Selenu The_Septim_Empire
The_Shadow_Appraisers The_Shadow_Schemers The_Shadow_Spies
The_Shadow_Trainers The_Sisters_of_Kykos The_Sisters_of_the_Bluff
The_Skeffington_Witches The_Tamarilyn_Witches The_Temple_of_Kynareth
The_Temple_of_Stendarr The_Thieves_Guild The_Thrafey
The_Tide_Witches The_Travelers_League The_Utility_Mages
The_Vraseth The_Witches_of_Alcaire The_Witches_of_Devilrock
The_Witches_of_the_Marsh Thyr_Topfield Tigonus
Totambu Tulune Urvaius
Venom_Masters Wayrest Wrothgaria
Ykalon Zen

The first form of the Person command picks the gender of the NPC at random, while the later two forms request a specific gender.

anyInfo nn and rumors nn tags can be appended to supply message block numbers to use in the dialog screen.

Person _lamper_ faction The_Order_of_the_Lamp anyInfo 1031

would select an NPC allied with The Order of the Lamp. Qrc message block 1031 is associated with the Tell me about.. dialog option of the game. The gender of the NPC is taken at random. (Although for the Order of the Lamp, females are rendered by male images as it happens)

Quest Places

Different locations can be associated with a quest. For example, the PC may have to steal something from a shop, scour a dungeon for some special ingredient, or what have you. These places must be tracked both by the X-engine and the quest itself (You might want something special to happen when the PC arrives at a quest location)

A Place command is used to describe each place a PC might visit in the quest where something out of the ordinary may take place in pursuit of the quest goal.

Message blocks can be associated with locations in two different ways.

anyInfo nn adds the Qrc message nn to the Tell me about.. dialog responses.

rumors nn adds the Qrc message nn to the rumors to spread when the PC asks for Any News? in the dialog panel.

These tags can be appended to any Place command. Although, beware that adding a remote dungeon to the pick list under the Tell me about... dialog tab doesn't always do the right thing.

Instead of displaying the name of the dungeon in the pick list, X-Engine usually displays the name of a fictitious alchemy shop. However, rumors spread through the Any News? query will display the remote dungeon name properly.

This unfortunate side-effect can be mitigated somewhat, by using the dialog link command to suppress the entry of the bogus shop name in the pick list.

Quest locations are divided into three groups:

  • permanent sites
  • local sites
  • remote sites.

Permanent Sites

A permanent site is one that appears the same for every Daggerfall incarnation, and they are the obvious main story 'hot spots': Sentinel, Wayrest, Daggerfall, Dirinni Tower, Scourg Burrow, and so forth. Your quest is free to send the PC on a romp through Castle Daggerfall or Medora's tower if you want to.

Place  _symbol_  permanent  aPermanentPlace

where aPermanentPlace is one of the permanent Daggerfall sites. Some places have several forms, each of which indicates a different location within the dungeon that the teleport cheat travels to. These are used to indicate specific rooms in the castle dungeons, or rooms along the chain of teleport cheats for other dungeons.

DaggerfallCity1 MantellanCrux Sentinel4
DaggerfallCity2 OrsiniumCastle1 Shedungent1
DaggerfallCastle1 OrsiniumCastle2 Shedungent2
DaggerfallCastle2 OrsiniumCastle3 Shedungent4
DirenniTower OrsiniumCastle4 Skeffingcoven
GlenmorilCoven PirateerHold1 TotambuCoven
KykosCoven PirateerHold2 WayrestCastle
LlugwychCastle ScourgBarrow1 WoodbourneHall4
LysandusTomb1 ScourgBarrow2 WoodbourneHall5
LysandusTomb2 SentinelCastle

If you choose a permanent location, you may need to make it visible on the proper province map. The three main castles and the starting dungeon are always present on the province map. The dungeons for Lysandus' tomb, Nulfagu, etc are initially absent from the travel map.

The reveal quest action can put permanent sites on the travel map.

Note also, that quest locations specified as permanent do not have their _symbol_ substituted properly in Qrc text blocks. So their names must be written out in full in any Qrc messages refering to that site.

Local Sites

A quest can associate a house or shop in the town currently occupied by the PC--there are no local dungeons in Daggerfall.

Place  _symbol_  local  aLocalSite

where aLocalSite is:

apothecary house1 palace
armory house2 pawnshop
bank house3 random
bookstore house4 tavern
clothingshop jewelryshop temple
furnitureshop library weaponstore
generalstore magery

house1 through house4 select between different styles of Daggerfall homes. Random selects the type of shop at random when the quest begins.

Remote Sites

A quest can associate a house or shop in a remote town, or it can associate a remote dungeon with the quest.

Place  _symbol_  remote  aRemoteSite

where aRemoteSite is:

apothecary generalstore magery
armory house1 palace
bank house2 pawnshop
bookstore house3 random
clothingshop house4 tavern
dungeon jewelryshop temple
furnitureshop library weaponstore

When you specify a remote place, X-engine selects a location in the current province that has the type of remote site requested.

Note that this sometimes means the current location will be selected if it satisfies the site criteria. Really, local implies that no distant travel will be required, while remote implies that distant travel is optional.

Although there are no local dungeons, your quest scenario may request one. Why would you want to do this? One reason is to hide another quest resource where you are certain the PC can not locate it. Selecting a different remote dungeon that the quest does not reveal is not a certain guarantee that the PC can not locate the resource in the other dungeon. After all, the other dungeon may already be visible on the province map from an earlier quest. The present quest has no way of determining this fact.

Quest Clocks

Quests can associate time limits or durations to various parts of the quest by creating clocks to time events. Clocks specify how much time must elapse before a task in the condition/response section is activated.

Clocks can specify an absolute amount of time, or a range of time, or a random amount of time. Use an extended version of clock time format to specify an amount of time: days.hours:minutes

so 1.4:45 represents a time 1 day, 4 hours and 45 minutes in the future.

Clock  _symbol_

creates a clock with a random amount of time to run.

Clock  _symbol_  dd.hh:mm

creates a clock that runs down in dd days, hh hours, and mm minutes.

Clock  _symbol_  dd.hh:mm  aa.bb:cc

creates a clock that runs down between dd.hh:mm and aa.bb:cc.

The symbol assigned to a clock also names a task in the condition/ response section of the Qbn file. When the timer runs out, that task is actived in response to the time-out.

Note that a Clock resource doesn't automatically start ticking, and must be started by using the start timer action.

Quest Enemies

Quests can create specific enemies to plague the PC with.

Foe  _symbol_  is  anEnemy
Foe  _symbol_  is  nn  anEnemy

The first form creates a single foe of type anEnemy while the second form creates nn foes of type anEnemy.

Please see the file foes.src for the complete list of quest foes.

Foe  _angryMages_  17 mage

would describe a mob of seventeen (17) mages.

Unlike quest NPCs or places, quest foes must be installed in the game world through actions in the condition/response section of the quest file.

Quest Condition/Responses

The quest condition/response section is probably the most involved section of the quest. Here is the logic or scripting of what happens during the quest.

This section can be thought of as tasks or steps which are triggered by various events in the game world. It probably helps if you've been exposed to some programming concepts before, but it isn't essential.

Each task of the quest has a symbol name associated with it, which can be used in other tasks to determine whether that step has been taken yet.

The general pattern of a task is:

_symbol_  task:
 action1
 action2
  :
  :

or

_symbol_  task:
 condition1
 condition2
  :
  action1
  action2
  :
  :

or

_symbol_  task:
 condition1
 condition2
  :
  :

or

until  _symbol_  performed:
 action1
 action2
  :
  :

where an action is the desired quest activity and condition is the quest event to trigger the desired action.

Quest tasks are usually written in what's called their positive-definite form, and so are usually performed but once. However the until performed form creates a task to perform over and over again until another task is finished.

There are also task forms which condense the task and conditions together as a sort of shorthand.

For example, suppose part of a quest involves locating an NPC to receive a hint or clue. When the player locates that person, the quest must tell the X-engine what to do. We can create a task to handle this event in the game world.

_npcClicked_ task:
 clicked _npc_
 say 1014
 log 1015 step 1
 reveal _dungeon_
 place _item_ at _dungeon_

which says roughly when the player clicks on _npc_ the NPC makes a speech from a Qrc message block, adds an entry to the player's log book, adds a dungeon to the province map, and hides a quest item in that dungeon.

Life isn't quite that simple though. What happens if the PC returns and clicks the NPC again? Does he get a free item? Oops. A better solution might be:

-- This task remembers whether the PC has clicked _npc_
_npcClicked_ when _npc_ clicked
-- This  task remembers whether we've hidden the quest item or not.
_itemHidden_ when _hideItem_
-- This task checks whether the PC has clicked _npc_ and only
-- proceeds if we've not yet hidden the quest item.
_hideItem_ task:
when _npcClicked_ and not _itemHidden_
 say 1014
 log 1015 step 1
 reveal _dungeon_
 place _item_ at _dungeon_
-- This task intervenes if the PC clicks _npc_ again
-- after we've hidden the quest item in the dungeon.
_alreadyHidden_ task:
when _npcClicked_ and _itemHidden_
 say 1016

If the PC tries to 'cheat' by clicking the NPC again, the NPC chides the PC with message 1016.

Quest conditions

Apart from the quest start-up actions and clock time-outs, quest tasks are triggered by conditions or events within the game world which the quest wants to take special notice of, usually to supply some stimulus to the player character which would not otherwise arise.

This section catalogs the game world events which a quest can check for, to take appropriate action on as the circumstances require.

The game world events that a quest may capture are

  • cast aSpell spell do aTask
  • clicked anItem
  • clicked anNPC
  • clicked anNPC and at least anAmount gold otherwise do aTask
  • daily from aTime1 to aTime2
  • dropped anItem at aPlace
  • faction aFaction available
  • from aTime1 to aTime2 daily
  • have anItem set aVariable
  • injured aFoe
  • killed aFoe
  • level nnnn completed
  • pc at aPlace do aTask
  • repute with anNPC exceeds nn do aTask
  • toting anItem and anNPC clicked
  • anItem used do aTask
  • anItem used saying nnnn do aTask
  • when aFoe killed
  • when aTaskHasBeenPerformed
  • when anItem clicked
  • when anItem used
  • when anItem used saying nnnn
  • when anNPC clicked
  • when anItem dropped at aPlace
  • when aSpell spell cast
  • when repute with aFaction is at least nnn
  • when pc at aPlace
  • when pc not at aPlace
  • when aSpell cast
  • when toting anItem and anNPC clicked

Some of the conditions seem to describe the same thing (e.g., killed aFoe vs when aFoe killed) and they do refer to the same game world event, but have different contexts within the quest source file.

For the X-engine, conditions always have task names associated with them. But as a quest author you don't necessarily care about the task name a condition is associated with unless you need to refer to the completion of that task elsewhere in the quest.

So many of the conditions have two equivalent forms of expression, one which must follow a named task, and one which does not. The basic rule is that the forms beginning when ... create their own task names automatically while the other forms do not, and so must appear within a task named by the task: directive.

The detailed descriptions of the quest conditions follows.

Locating things in the game world

clicked aThing
when aThing clicked
toting anItem and anNPC clicked

When the player character clicks on a quest related item or NPC this condition will schedule the actions associated with this task for execution by the X-engine. aThing must be a quest item created by an Item command, or a quest NPC created by a Person command.

Message: 1017
 <ce> Your quest is complete.

when _item1_ clicked
 say 1017
 end quest

In this quest fragment, when the PC clicks the mouse on _item1_ in the game world, message number 1017 is displayed and the quest is finished.

Alternatively, the same task could be written:

foundItem task:
 clicked _item1_
 say 1017
 end quest

Sometimes you only want to take action if the PC approachs your NPC with a specific quest item

Message: 1020
 <ce> Thank you for returning my widget.

returnItem task:
 toting _item1_ and _questor_ clicked
 say 1020

So the questor won't congradulate you unless you return with the quest item he's waiting for.

This last form, toting and clicked has an important side-effect when you include it in a scenario: The item is destroyed when both parts of the condition are true.

By the player's cash on hand

clicked anNPC and at least anAmount gold otherwise do aTask

When the PC clicks on a quest NPC in order to obtain a quest item from the NPC, the quest can assign a cost to the quest item and take different actions if the PC doesn't have the requisite cash available.

If the PC has at least the specified amount of gold on hand, that number of gold pieces will be taken from the PC and the remainder of the actions in this task will be performed.

If the PC doesn't have enough gold (and it must be available as pieces of gold; letters of credit don't seem to apply) none of the actions in the task are performed. Instead, the X-engine schedules the other task mentioned by the condition.

_buyTalisman_ task:
 clicked _healer_ and at least 20 gold otherwise do _pcTooPoor_
 say 1013
 get item talisman
 log 1017 step 2

_pcTooPoor_ task:
 say 1015
 clear _buyTalisman_ _pcTooPoor_

By the clock

daily from aTime1 to aTime2
from aTime1 to aTime2 daily

A quest may direct the X-engine to perform some task on a daily schedule. Often this involves sending nasties to plague the player, but any quest action is possible. This condition is used in the main story for example to make the ghost of King Lysandus haunt Daggerfall City for several hours after sunset. For example

from 06:00 to 10:00 daily
 create _foe_ every 10 minutes 7 times with 100% success

or

plague task:
 daily from 6:00 to 10:00
 create _foe_ every 10 minutes 7 times with 100% success

would create waves of nasties to plague the player character every morning from 6 to 10 for the duration of the quest.

Note also that each Clock command creates an implicit time-out condition. Create a task with the same name as the clock to activate when the clock runs out. Note that a Clock resource doesn't automatically start ticking, and must be started by using the start timer action.

Message: 1019
 <ce> Well, you've run out of time now.

Clock _tooSlow_ 12.0

-- Quest startup:
 start timer _tooSlow_

_tooSlow_ task:
 say 1019
 end quest

In this quest fragment, if the PC is still plodding along after 12 days on this quest, chide him and terminate the quest.

Checking the PC's repute

A quest can check the player's repute with a particular quest NPC and take different actions according to whether the NPC likes or dislikes the PC.

repute with anNPC exceeds nn do aTask

is the condition to schedule a different task if the NPC favors the player character enough. NN is the PC's minimum repute with the NPC, usually between 0 and 100, although the PC's reputation can be negative.

Message: 1019
 <ce> I suppose this will have to do.
 <ce> Couldn't you have brought a fresher sample?

Message: 1020
 <ce> I say, that was quite good work for a %ra.
 <ce> Here, take this extra reward for special service.

checkForBonus task:
 repute with _npc_ exceeds 41 do bonus

variable bonus

bonusReward task:
 when deadFoe and bonus
 say 1020
 give pc _reward_ _extraReward_
 end quest

regularReward task:
 when deadFoe and not bonus
 say 1019
 give pc _reward_
 end quest

which bestows one reward if the PC's reputation with the NPC is smaller than 42 and bestows two rewards if the reputation is larger than 41. You can write quests to shine the PC on if the NPC doesn't like the PC's previous affilliations.

Using items

have anItem set aVariable
have anItem do aTask
anItem used do aTask
anItem used saying nnnn do aTask

There are times when a quest author wants to take some special action when the player manipulates an object pertaining to the quest.

A quest can detect when the player has a particular item in the inventory by using the have anItem condition. The two forms are really equivalent, for in the X-engine a variable is just a task without any conditions or actions.

Message: 1015
 <ce> You notice a sudden change in your surroundings.

ambush task:
 say 1015
 move _foe_ to pc

waiting task:
 have _questItem_ do ambush

would set up to ambush the PC after a quest item was added to the inventory.

Message: 1015
 <ce> As you examine the parchment
 <ce> you notice your surroundings change.

ambush task:
 say 1015
 teleport pc to _newDungeon_

waiting task:
 _questItem_ used do ambush

would teleport the PC to a different dungeon when the quest item was used in the inventory screen (to read a quest letter perhaps).

Attacking foes

A quest can detect when the PC first injures an enemy in a fight or when the enemy is dead.

injured aFoe
killed aFoe
killed nn aFoe
when aFoe injured
when aFoe killed

For example

Message: 1099
 <ce> No, I won't let you kill me.  Begone!

When _foe_ injured
 say 1099
 teleport pc to _newDungeon_

which contrives to teleport the player elsewhere if the specified foe has been injured.

Message: 1099
 <ce> Congradulations, you've killed the orc commander.

When _foe_ killed
 say 1099
 end quest

which pops up a message box when the PC slaughters the specified foe.

Recall that the Foe command will create mobs of kindred foes. You can specify how many of the mob must be slain for the condition

Foe _foe_ is 17 vampire

enoughDead task:
 killed 5 _foe_
 get item _reward_
 teleport pc to _newDungeon_

would trigger the requested actions after killing 5 of the 17 vampires.

Note that the killed task will be permanently retired by the X-engine once the number of foes created by the associated Foe command have been slaughtered.

That sounds reasonable enough, but notice that it clashs with the use of the create foe command, which may create more foes to be killed than can be tested by the killed condition.

Even worse, you can't use several kill commands to check for different numbers of foes slaughtered. You can have only one killed action for each Foe declaration. If you provide more than one, the action response becomes unpredictable.

Locating the PC in the game world

Sometimes you want to take some action when the PC arrives at a particular quest location.

pc at aPlace do aTask
when pc at aPlace
when pc not at aPlace
pc at anNPC do aTask
when pc at anNPC
when pc not at anNPC

So for example,

when pc at _dungeon_
 place _questItem_ at _dungeon_
 place _foe_ at _dungeon_

says that when the player character arrives at the dungeon the quest item and its defender are hidden inside the dungeon for the player to find.

waiting task:
 pc at _dungeon_ do hideItem
hideItem task:
 place _questItem_ at _dungeon_
 place _foe_ at _dungeon_

accomplishes the same thing.

Writing a task when the player character isn't at a particular place is possible but rather tricky to avoid unwanted side-effects. You need to think through carefully what it means to have an action on-going the whole time the player isn't at a place. It may not be obvious but X-engine will schedule such a task every minute of the game when the player isn't at the specified place. The actions you can reasonably take are very limited. Say something? Not unless you want the user to dismiss pop-up messages til kingdom come.

Some of the Bethesda quests describe tasks when the PC isn't at a place, but not often. Decompile the _brisien quest if you're curious. Presumably the PC is not in the starter dungeon while using the character generator.

You can also detect when the PC is at the same place a quest NPC has been positioned. Usually you won't need this form since the place where the NPC is often has its own symbol. But you can use this form to check when the PC arrives at the birthplace of the NPC when your quest prefers to rely on such random selection.

Noticing player discards

You can detect when the player character drops quest items from the inventory into the game world.

dropped anItem at aPlace
when anItem dropped at aPlace

schedules a task when the PC drops a quest item at a quest location defined by a Place command.

Message: 1019
 <ce> You put the poisoned decanter back where you found it.

when _item_ dropped at _house_
 say 1019
 end quest

A quest can detect when the player abandons a quest item via the remove option on the inventory screen.

Message: 1019
 <ce> Good.  You replace the poison-filled decanter.
replaceItem task:
 dropped _poison_ at _house_
 say 1019

Noticing spells cast

A quest can notice when the player character casts specific spells within the game.

cast aSpell spell do aTask
when aSpell spell cast

A quest can notice whether the player has cast one of the standard magic spells available in the game, and activate a task to take charge when that event occurs.

aSpell must be one of the stock spells from a spell vendor.

You cannot detect custom spells built by the spellmaker since there isn't any way for a prefabricated quest to know what combination of features a player may select through the spellmaker.

The names of the standard magic spells are shown in the table below. Not all spells can be purchased from the spell vendors. These spells are shown in italics.

Arsenic Balyna's_Antidote Balyna's_Balm
Banish_Daedra Buoyancy Calm_Humanoid
Chameleon Charisma Charm_Mortal
Cure_Disease Cure_Poison Drothweed
Energy_Leech Far_Silence Feet_of_Notorgo
Fenrik's_Door_Jam Fire_Storm Fireball
Force_Bolt Fortitude Free_Action
Frostbite Gods'_Fire Hand_of_Decay
Hand_of_Sleep Heal Holy_Touch
Holy_Word Ice_Bolt Ice_Storm
Indulcet Invisibility Iron_Will
Jack_of_Trades Jumping Levitate
Light Lightning Lycanthropy
Magebane Magicka_Leech Medusa's_Gaze
Moonseed Nimbleness Null_Magicka
Nux_Vomica Open Orc_Strength
Paralysis Pyrrhic_Acid Quaesto_Vil
Quiet_Undead Recall Resist_Cold
Resist_Fire Resist_Poison Resist_Shock
Shadow_Form Shalidor's_Mirror Shield
Shock Silence Sleep
Slowfalling Somnalius Soul_Trap
Spell_Absorption Spell_Drain Spell_Reflection
Spell_Resistance Spell_Shield Sphere_of_Negation
Spider_Touch Stamina Strength_Leech
Sursum Tame Thyrwort
Tongues Toxic_Cloud Troll's_Blood
Vampiric_Touch Water_Breathing Water_Walking
Wildfire Wisdom Wizard's_Fire
Wizard_Lock Wizard_Rend

Noticing player levels

A quest can notice whether the player has achieved a certain level-up in the game world.

level nnnn completed

This condition is associated with Snnnnnnn quests. It is true if the player has achieved level nnnn at the present time within the game world. If so, the actions associated with this task are performed.

Noticing several things together

The preceding conditions essentially describe a single event each in the game world. But from time to time a quest needs to take one action when several conditions are satisfied. We've seen the preliminaries in the condition for toting an item and clicking on an NPC. More elaborate chains of circumstance can be crafted.

when aTaskName and ...
when not aTaskName and ...
when aTaskName or ...
when not aTaskName or ...

Any named quest task can be checked to find out whether it has been performed or not. The X-engine allows up to four (4) tasks to be checked at the same time.

Message: 1019
 <ce> You've slain the =foe_.
 Here's your magic item reward.

deadFoe task:
 killed _foe_

variable haveItem

reward task:
 when deadFoe and not haveItem
 get item _reward_
 say 1019
 have _reward_ set haveItem

which bestows a reward on the PC after killing a quest foe. Since the quest may not yet be finished, remember the gift in the haveItem variable so the reward will only be given one time--which is probably what you want.

Message: 1019
 <ce> You've slain enough enemies.
 Here's your magic item reward.

deadFoe1 task:
 killed _foe1_

deadFoe2 task:
 killed _foe2_

deadFoe3 task:
 killed _foe3_

variable haveItem

finishQuest task:
 when deadFoe1 or deadFoe2 or deadFoe3
 get item _reward_
 say 1019
 end quest

which bestows a reward on the PC if any one of three different foes have been slaughtered.

Using a combination of ands, ors, and nots it is possible to construct a contingency from any of the preceding basic conditions, which can make for very interesting plot lines, especially when combined with the random task selection command.

It is also possible to mention several different quest conditions together at the beginning of a task. When you do so, the actions of the task are scheduled if one or more of the conditions are satisfied.

_bigFinish_ task:
 clicked _item1_
 clicked _item2_
 clicked _item3_
 killed _foe_
 end quest

which would stop the quest whenever the PC finds any one of three quest items or has killed the quest foe.

Checking faction repute

when faction n1 repute is at least n2

This condition checks whether the PC's repute with one of the Daggerfall factions exceeds a particular value.

Main quests use this condition to test the PC's repute with the principal NPC of the story before scheduling certain of the subplots for execution.

Some main quests do not declare a Person command for permanent NPCs that they wish to monitor. Instead the faction number of that permanent NPC is used to access the PC's repute.

Although the main story limits the use of this condition to permanent NPCs, checking the NPC's repute with any of the Daggerfall factions is likely to work.

Checking faction availability

when aFaction is available

This condition checks whether the specified faction is available for assignment as a questor in an upcoming quest that the present quest would like to schedule. nnn is either a faction number, or the proper name of a faction. See the Person command for the complete list of factions.

This condition is triggered by the player clicking the mouse on an NPC sprite associated with the specific faction in the game world.

The main quest monitors the availability of NPCs connected with the main story before attempting to schedule a new subplot. The player triggers this check by clicking on the NPC sprite that corresponds to the specified faction.

Some permanent NPCs play a role in several different subplots. To avoid inadvertently scheduling a new subplot which uses a permanent NPC in a starring role while the same NPC is already starring in an active quest, the monitor quest checks whether the desired NPC is free at the moment, to schedule their entrance in the upcoming subplot.

Quest Actions

Quest actions have appeared briefly through the examples of quest conditions, but this section documents all the known activities which can take place during a quest task.

A task may include any number of actions to respond with when its conditions for activation are met. A task may have no explicit actions at all, in which case it serves to remember that one or more conditions have been met.

Quest actions can be divided into groups for

  • Managing inventory
  • Managing geography
  • Managing characters (PC, NPCs, and foes)
  • User interactions
  • Managing special quests

But what follows is an alphabetic listing of the known quest actions.

add anNPC as questor

Adding a new questor

add anNPC as questor

In guild quests the PC is often given some chore to perform, after which the PC must return to the questor to receive the reward or bonus that successfully completing the quest provides.

However, X-engine allows the NPC playing the questor role to change during the quest itself, which is one way to break the 'FedEx' monotony of questing. Different NPCs can be given responsibility for separate stages or subquests.

It is possible to adopt more than one NPC as the questor, in case your scenario is set up to have different endings.

changeQuestor task:
 drop _oldNPC_ as questor
 add _newNPC as questor

shows a quest fragment that hands control of the quest from one NPC (the _oldNPC_) to another (the _newNPC_).

add anNPC face

Adding an NPC's portrait

add anNPC face
add anNPC face saying nnnn

So-called escort quests involve rescuing captured nobles, returning kidnapped children, bodyguarding officials in transit, and the like, usually display the character portrait of the NPC under escort.

When writing a quest with a suitable escort section in it, we need a way to tell X-engine to pin the character portrait of a quest-related person on the screen.

Optionally, the NPC can make a speech before pinning up a portrait by supplying the number of a Qrc message block.

Message: 1011
 <ce> Oh, thank you so much for rescuing me.
 <ce> Please take me home.

when _trappedNPC_ clicked
 say 1011
 remove npc _trappedNPC_
 add _trappedNPC_ face

shows an escort quest fragment where the trapped NPC makes a speech when the PC clicks on the NPC, after which the NPC image is removed from the game world and the character portrait for the NPC is overlaid on the 3D view.

It is important to remember to use the drop face command at some point during the quest after using the add face so the NPC's image won't be left on the screen when the quest ends.

Note also, there are other difficulties in continuity with this action. Some permanent NPCs put up portraits that clash with their ostensible gender.

For example, pinning up the traveling portrait for Cyndassa, the maid in Castle Daggerfall, puts up the picture of a bearded, black haired man with an eye patch.

Also note, that for randomly rolled NPCs, the travel portrait is automatically associated with the dominant race of a province. So adding a face in Daggerfall province will select a portrait from the collection of Breton faces. While the same NPC in Sentinel province will select a portrait from the collection of Redguard faces.

If your quest uses the same NPC for more than one escort, (for example, you might want the PC to deliver an NPC to a place and then later on in the quest, take the NPC to a second destination) if the starting province and the destination province are different, the second pick-up of the NPC won't be guaranteed to provide the same travel portrait as the first pick-up did.

Adding a foe's portrait

add foe aFoe face

Some quests, notably temple quests to retrieve deranged priests, require the PC to injure a quest foe representing the priest to bring him to his senses for return to the temple. In this sort of escort quest, after injuring the foe, its character portrait is pinned on the screen until the PC returns the priest to the temple.

Those quests use this command to display the enemy's portrait on the screen. As usual, you need to drop the foe's face at some point before ending the quest.

add dialog for ...

Managing dialog entries

add dialog for item anItem
add dialog for person anNPC
add dialog for location aPlace
add dialog for location aPlace item anItem
add dialog for location aPlace person anNPC
add dialog for person anNPC item anItem
add dialog for location aPlace person anNPC item anItem

To tie chatting wih townspeople about current events to a quest, you can add stock dialog replies about quest npcs, items, and places to the replies given to the Any news? query in the dialog screen. See dialog link for details.

You can also add additional entries to the picklist under the Tell me about dialog tab. Note that there are two ways to incorporate quest-related information into the dialog screen: the incredibly obvious, and the not so obvious.

When you create a quest Item, Person, or Place adorned with a Qrc text number, this creates an incredibly obvious dialog opportunity, by adding the thing in question to the principle pick-list under the Tell me about dialog tab.

Such entries generally don't require especially good repute or etiquette on the part of the PC, although townspeople may still refuse to have anything to do with a PC they don't particularly care for.

But the presence of the entries themselves can give the PC a clue about what might possibly be going on with a quest that is currently in progress.

To exercise a PC's social skills, and thus to discriminate against PCs who lack them, a quest can silently add stock replies to the Any News responses that a townsperson might say, as well as create links between quest resources which are logically related to each for the purpose of the quest.

While the Qrc messages adorning quest items, npcs, and places are always available for reply throughout the whole time a quest is active, the Tell me about dialog entries can be extended when certain quest milestones occur.

So a quest may, for example, turn on gossip about the location of a remote dungeon once the PC has made contact with a certain quest npc. Of course, the player may take no heed of the townsperson blabbering on about the goings on in some remote dungeon, but so it goes.

These features can make quest resolution much more challenging that the typical "Fed Ex" escapades. Players often complain that quests using these features are "buggy" because their PC's social skills aren't up to the task of finishing the quest.

You can add stock dialog replies for any combination of a quest item, npc, or place with one add dialog for command. And you can repeat an add dialog for command as many times as needed to add replies for as many quest things as you need to.

Read the cure lycanthropy and cure vampirism quests to see how these quest elements can be used.

add dialog for item anItem

This action adds anItem to the Tell me about dialog picklist and includes the Qrc text block from the item's anyInfo tag. If the item has no anyInfo tag, no entry for the item will be created.

When the player selects that item from the dialog picklist, the NPC may recite some useful information about the item, depending on how well-respected the PC is with respect to the NPC's affiliations.

If the item has been linked to another quest resource by the dialog link command, when the NPC recites the Qrc message from the item's anyInfo tag, the linked quest resource name is added to the dialog pick list, just as though the quest scenario issued an appropriate add dialog command for the linked resource.

Please note, if you want to use linked dialog entries in a quest, you must first use the dialog link command to establish the desired relationship before using the add dialog command to update the dialog picklist.

add dialog for person anNPC

This action adds anNPC to the Tell me about dialog picklist and includes the Qrc text block from the person's anyInfo tag. If the person has no anyInfo tag, no entry for the person will be created.

If the person has been linked to another quest resource by the dialog link command, when the NPC recites the Qrc message from the person's anyInfo tag, the linked quest resource name is added to the dialog pick list, just as though the quest scenario issued an appropriate add dialog command for the linked resource.

Please note, if you want use linked dialog entries in a quest, you must first use the dialog link command to establish the desired relationship before using the add dialog command to update the dialog picklist.

add dialog for location aSite

This action adds aSite to the Tell me about dialog picklist and includes the Qrc text block from the place's anyInfo tag. If the place has no anyInfo tag, no entry for the place will be created.

If the location has been linked to another quest resource by the dialog link command, when the NPC recites the Qrc message from the place's anyInfo tag, the linked quest resource name is added to the dialog pick list, just as though the quest scenario issued an appropriate add dialog command for the linked resource.

Please note, if you want use linked dialog entries in a quest, you must first use the dialog link command to establish the desired relationship before using the add dialog command to update the dialog picklist.

If you have several different kinds of quest resources to gossip about, you can combine location, person, and item (in that order) with one add dialog for command:

add dialog for location _store_ person _contact_ item _gem_
add dialog for location _house_ item _letter_
add dialog for person _qgiver_ item _ring_

cast aSpell spell on aFoe

Magically enhancing a foe

cast aSpell on aFoe

You can magically enhance any foe in a quest by casting one of the standard spells with this action. Of course, you can repeat the action any number of times with different spells to achieve whatever effect you would like to have.

Please see the spell detection condition for the spell enhancements which are available. For example

cast Free_Action spell on _foe_
cast Spell_Reflection spell on _foe_
cast Shield spell on _foe_

strengthens _foe_ with the indicated enchantments.

change repute with anNPC by nn

clear aTaskName ...

create aFoe every m minutes n times with k% success

create npc anNPC

create npc at aPlace

cure aDisease

destroy npc anNPC

dialog link for item anItem

dialog link for person anNPC

dialog link for location aSite

dialog link for location aSite person anNPC item anItem

dialog link for location aSite item anItem

dialog link for person anNPC item anItem

drop anNPC as questor

drop anNPC face

drop foe aFoe face

end quest

get item anItem

get item anItem from anNPC

give item anItem to anNPC

give pc anItem

give pc anItem notify nnnn

give pc nothing

hide npc anNPC

legal repute nn

level n completed

location aPlace magicNumber2 magicNumber3

log nnnn step i

make anItem permanent

make pc ill with aDisease

mute npc anNPC

Selecting tasks randomly

pick one of aTaskName1 aTaskName2 aTaskName3 aTaskName4

place aFoe at aPlace

place anItem at aPlace

place anNPC at aPlace

play sound aSound every time1 minutes time2 times

play video magicNumber1

prompt nnnn yes aTaskName1 no aTaskName2

remove foe aFoe

remove log step n

restore anNPC

reveal aPlace

reveal aPlace in province aProvince# at magicNumber

rumor mill nnnn

say nnnn

send aFoe every m minutes n times with k% success

start quest nnnn mmmm

start task aTaskName

start timer aClock

stop timer aClock

take anItem from pc

teleport pc to aPlace

transfer pc inside aPlace province# magicNumber

Common pitfalls

Reusing Quest elements

cfg: aFileName

src: aFileName

Substitutions

macro aCommandPattern

Sample quests

Lady Brisienna

Nocturnal's Quest

Acknowledgments

Annexes du traducteur