Narrative changing based on stats

This is an idea I’ve been entertaining for a while as I rewrite my game for the 600th time. I want the stats to dictate how the characters act, just like in an RPG like say, DA:2 if you were primarily sarcastic, anytime you didn’t respond Hawke was still a sarcastic ass. That’s kind of what I want to do. So if you are more Ruthless than Caring, it will be reflected in the interaction of your character when you are not “controlling them”. I don’t want to have 70000000 choices just so the player can control the MC. I want it to be reflected by past choices. I understand this will be a large workload, but I’m kind of curious to see what it would be like if I pulled it off.

I don’t feel like asking for my thread to be revived, since it’s still on hiatus, so I’ll just poll in general.

How do us users here feel about your character acting based on past choices when you aren’t controlling them?

  • Yes! <3
  • No. >:(
  • I don’t really care. (ツ)__/¯

0 voters

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Whatever the pool might say, multireplace is your friend for this


I like the idea but I could see not going well if it feels like the game is taking control away from the player. It would depend a lot of how its handled.


Let’s see if can think of an example.

Your stats are, 78% sarcastic vs 22% Genuine.

It’s the middle of a battle scene, and a choice would disrupt the narrative.

"…the sword slices across your arm, blood following the blade off your skin in a crimson arc. You stagger back, pain flaring from the cut. Erland fights his way to your side.
“Are you alright (name)?” he questions, kicking your attacker in the knee, smashing his shield over the man’s head.
“Pah! Cats have inflicted more damage than this flea!” You scoff out, smirking up at your general with a glint in your eye.
He smiles back wolfishly, eyes wild with…

“Yes, I’m fine Erland, thanks for that.” You say, readying yourself for you next opponent.
“Good, wouldn’t want you to get too hurt,” He says, rejoining the fray…"

Something like that. The little things that make it more immersive without taking the power away from the player.


See, I think that would be fine, as long as the game doesn’t make choices for you.

I know, personally, I wouldn’t like it if, for example, my character is typically stoic but when I’m talking to a character who is upset I want to comfort them but the game decides that my character wouldn’t do that. Or if an NPC would dislike my MC based on those stats and I can’t do anything to fix that.

I think Samurai of Hyuga does something similar to what you’re wanting where theres flavor text based on the MC’s personality stats and I think that game handles it pretty well.


Personally, it wouldn’t turn me off of a game, but I would approach said game cautiously if I knew beforehand that this was a feature!

From a writing standpoint, I’m all for it; it sounds interesting and a great way to inject personality into often “blank-slate” characters. However, as a reader, I would feel cautious about it because DA:II burned me a bit on the idea; the problem is that you risk readers being unhappy with a response they had no control over, if you’re not careful.

For example, I played as “sarcastic Hawke” in DA:II, and there was a cutscene where Hawke made a completely dickish comment to someone and made light of their suffering instead of being compassionate. This created dissonance for me, because while I was roleplaying as someone who was often humorous, I didn’t think that would mean they would be callous in that moment as well. The risk is that a character might get “locked in” to a personality when the reader might want to have a situation-specific response, like being sincere for once, or something. I hope that makes sense?


I can only ever aspire to write a story like Samurai of Hyuga. But since you brought it up, yes, that;s what I am aiming for.

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I love DA2…but gotta remember , that you could change that personality anytime you wanted . You could still pick ‘angry or honorable’ answer even if you have been cracking jokes about dead bodies for a couple of months now lol .

yeah in samurai of hyuga , the stat ‘perv’ come to mind . which I loved btw…

so a stat made in the same way would be fine . But if you wanna go DA2 route…then , what I said before : You still had choice and your personality wasn’t set in stone .

sarcastic hawke was best hawke…:kissing_heart:

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“Abominations are so awkward at family reunions.”

“If they’re not dead, watch out for a bunch of boneless women flopping through the street.”

"Oh! Cloak and Dagger phrases. How about, “The queasy crow flies at midnight?”

Forgot the best one.

“So I should’t slit my wrists and dance naked under to moonlight just for fun?”


This is what I’m doing in my story. I personally find it really fun, and I only had good comments about it so far, so I say go for it! Since I’m also writing in first person, changing a few lines in the narrative also helps a lot in immersion.

@{emotional It's the best feeling ever.|}

Try to find a good balance and be careful not to actually take control of the character. My general rule for it is to do it for reactions, not actions, especially, like you said, where it would disrupt the narrative if you added a choice. I don’t think anyone would bat an eye at this for example:

@{(shy > 50) I smile and nod.|"Of course!"}

I even have variables that replaces contractions like “wanna” to “want to”. :sweat_smile:

And yuuup, multireplace is your bestfriend. :blush:


I like when the story actually reacts to my ‘personality’ choices. I know some people get hung up on anything that feels like they’re being controlled, but this is a interactive fic, not a real video game. If an author writes variations into the static text for areas where I’m not making choices, then I’m thrilled. It makes for richer replay value.


I can’t help but feeling that the question you must ask is not “how do you feel about?,” rather, “when and how to do this properly.”

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I think a more interesting way to do this would be to change the way choices are presented, as opposed to making the choice for the player. Either in presenting a range of choices, where the range is determined by personality stats, or (and this one would be a little more technically complicated, I think) that the first option presented would always be the one that corresponds to the player’s strongest personality stat. I think a lot of players are disproportionately likely to select the first option given, so that could make a subtle but significant difference.