[Quests] Black Horse Courier, Iliac Bay Edition (WIP, current version: 0.2)

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haloterm
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[Quests] Black Horse Courier, Iliac Bay Edition (WIP, current version: 0.2)

Post by haloterm »

1. Description

This quest mod brings you the early “Iliac Bay Edition” of Tamriel’s one and only newspaper, the “Black Horse Courier”. As we all know from The Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion, the newspaper was founded by three Khajit brothers in the Imperial City, but few men and mer know that in fact the “Courier” exists since at least 3E403. From that time, a letter is giving us a few more information:

Dear Varnard Bienne,

I am writing to you after I've read your excellent summary of the demise of the "Black Horse Courier". It was an inspiring read, but I want to add a few points, based on my own historical research.

As we all know, the "Black Horse Courier" is a newspaper that was run by three Khajiit brothers in the Imperial City. Few men and mer, however, know that in fact the “Courier” existed already in 3E403, and not just in Cyrodiil. Over the years, I have gathered a collection of early issues. I think these early issues were an attempt that failed in the end, due to missing funding and support, which the later "Black Horse Courier" enjoyed. Therefore it's understandable that most historian's accounts on the topic don't speak of the early "Courier" issues.

During the early years, the three Khajiit were quite young. As far as I know, they already operated from the Imperial City, but just from a small shack in the Waterfront. Especially one of the brothers, Ji’Radh (much later to be known as Ra’jiradh) tried to expand the circulation of the “Black Horse Courier” to other provinces, namely High Rock, and all the early issues I got hold of were from the so-called "Iliac Bay Edition".

With this letter, dear Varnard, I send you a copy of one of the early issues. I found it inside a bank in the city of Daggerfall, amidst other old documents. If you are interested, I can provide more early issues from my archive.

I even have a copy of the very first issue, which is especially interesting since its owner used the back of the paper for writing a personal letter. In it, she hints at some contacts she had in the Imperial City and to the Elder Council. She wanted to inform the council about this Khajiiti project. My impression is that she was quite sceptical regarding the Khajiit brother's intentions, the origin of their funding and if news brought by Khajiit can be trusted at all. Maybe it were her actions that led to the shutdown of the early Black Horse Courier, before it got revived and officially sponsored by the Elder Council much later (but this is just speculation on my part.)

Yours sincerely,

Manane Nelaai

Merwark Hollow, Wayrest



2. Features as of version 0.2:

As of now, this quest package is just a demo version with the features outlined below. I wrote this quest package to get used to Daggerfall Unity’s quest language, and because Daggerfall desperately needs story quests which bring some background to its otherwise generic lands. What is included should be fully working, but the storyline is not complete. I will add more features over time. It currently ends once you are awarded the rank of “freelance reporter” (no, it’s not a real custom guild – ranks are given after quests in text messages).

- 4 “main” quests (2 of them are mutual exclusive to each other, depending on outcome of previous quest)
- 1 (fairly long) side quest
- 1 custom book (more to come)
- 5 issues of the “Black Horse Courier / Iliac Bay Edition” (partly given during quests, partly to be found)

You may wonder: “Is this a mod for me?”
- Yes, if you like to read a lot, have no problems with post-Daggerfall lore integrated into Daggerfall and don’t mind walking to people for “interviewing” them.
- No, if your main focus is on dungeon crawling, you don’t like to read lengthy articles or you want to keep Daggerfall-lore clean of future additions.


3. Download and Installation

Download the questpack here:
BlackHorseCourier_v0.2.zip
(40.02 KiB) Downloaded 202 times
Copy the contents of the downloaded zip-file into the “StreamingAssets” subfolder within your Daggerfall Unity folder. Merge existing folders.


4. Recommended Mods

None of the following mods are strictly needed in a technical senses, but the in-game texts (newspapers, books) assume that the game world includes them:

- Distant Terrain: The hiking guides in the custom books assume that this mod is installed. The walking descriptions only make sense with it. Honestly, I can’t play Daggerfall Unity without this installed and distance setting cranked up the maximum of 4 in DFU settings. It is the only way to see the Iliac Bay as it was intended, with correct shorelines and far away mountains. Performance impact is noticeable when new terrain is loaded, and it has a few issues (especially that the southernmost places in the game world are not working correctly), but these are really just a few and usually it works stable and is usable.
- Airships: The “Black Horse Courier” issue #6 assumes that airships are a regular means of transport in the Iliac Bay.


5. Starting the Questline

The preferred way to start the questline is by starting a new character. The quest will then start automatically at game start. The story assumes that you are not a well-known strong hero, but mostly a normal person.

You can manually start the questline with an existing character by opening Daggerfall Unity’s console window and entering “startquest MDBHCSTART”.


6. Walkthrough

Download as zipped PDF (includes also index of included "Black Horse Courier" issues and books):
The Black Horse Courier - Readme and Walkthrough.zip
(203.77 KiB) Downloaded 174 times
Last edited by haloterm on Sat Oct 03, 2020 7:32 am, edited 6 times in total.

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Hazelnut
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Re: [Quests] Black Horse Courier, Iliac Bay Edition (WIP)

Post by Hazelnut »

Great to see more people trying their hand at quest writing. Out of interest, how are you thinking of initiating these BHC quests?
See my mod code for examples of how to change various aspects of DFU: https://github.com/ajrb/dfunity-mods

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Helegad
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Re: [Quests] Black Horse Courier, Iliac Bay Edition (WIP)

Post by Helegad »

Hazelnut wrote: Wed Feb 05, 2020 11:25 pm Great to see more people trying their hand at quest writing. Out of interest, how are you thinking of initiating these BHC quests?
Off the back of _BRIESEN_ :lol:

Looking forward to this coming out, sounds very promising!

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Hazelnut
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Re: [Quests] Black Horse Courier, Iliac Bay Edition (WIP)

Post by Hazelnut »

Helegad wrote: Wed Feb 05, 2020 11:39 pm Off the back of _BRIESEN_ :lol:
HALT!

HALT! HALT! HALT!
See my mod code for examples of how to change various aspects of DFU: https://github.com/ajrb/dfunity-mods

haloterm
Posts: 194
Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2019 5:21 am

Re: [Quests] Black Horse Courier, Iliac Bay Edition (WIP)

Post by haloterm »

Hazelnut wrote: Wed Feb 05, 2020 11:25 pm Great to see more people trying their hand at quest writing. Out of interest, how are you thinking of initiating these BHC quests?
For the main questline I do it similar to Jay_H's Cartographer's Guild. The very first quest is started automatically with a new game (thanks to a questlist entry) or by using "startquest" in the console, if you play with an existing savegame. The following quests are started at certain points from within the previous quests, often with a timed delay and at a certain time and place.

Maybe I will also add some additional quests which are offered by NPCs and guilds, but first I focus on the main questline.

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Hazelnut
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Re: [Quests] Black Horse Courier, Iliac Bay Edition (WIP)

Post by Hazelnut »

Great, glad to see the init quest feature I added is going to get more usage.
See my mod code for examples of how to change various aspects of DFU: https://github.com/ajrb/dfunity-mods

haloterm
Posts: 194
Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2019 5:21 am

Re: [Quests] Black Horse Courier, Iliac Bay Edition (WIP)

Post by haloterm »

Hazelnut wrote: Thu Feb 06, 2020 5:03 pm Great, glad to see the init quest feature I added is going to get more usage.
Yes, that's very useful. :)

I made good progress today towards a demo version. Although a stupid mistake on my side delayed it for several hours (I used "give pc _item_" where I shoud have used "get _item_" ... thanks to Jay_H for helping me seeing my mistake).

Currently, the questline consists of 8 quest files and a lot of text (because of the "Black Horse Courier" issues included, and quest givers who like long monologues ;) In each quest I still have TODOs, mostly writing proper log entries, and some missing BHC issues. The quests focus on exploration and talking to people. I noticed that I am bit influenced by the typical MMO quest style, like in The Elder Scrolls Online, where smaller seemingly unconnected quests form something bigger in the end. (I did not really plan for this, but it somehow naturally happens. I hope it's consistent in the end.)

This means that (even though the locations and people names change) there's probably not much replay value for my quests -- I have one branching event, where the player either does quest A or B (but not both), and maybe I have another one, but there is much story and much to read, so I guess if one has done that one or two times, it's enough.

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King of Worms
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Re: [Quests] Black Horse Courier, Iliac Bay Edition (WIP)

Post by King of Worms »

All new quests are very welcomed :) This seems like a nice idea

haloterm
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Re: [Quests] Black Horse Courier, Iliac Bay Edition (WIP)

Post by haloterm »

Another short status report:

My first demo version of this quest pack has now a, well, "feature freeze".

The quest logic is complete and, as far as I can tell, works fine. I now mostly have to write the remaining texts, test the balancing (the quests should work for relatively new characters, so battles should not be too hard) and improve the texts again (mostly regarding language, thanks to MS Office spell/grammar suggestions and the Internet I can iron out most of the problems, but I will surely make mistakes, use wrong style, etc.; lore-wise I think I am not contradicting anything).

Story-wise I have already prepared the quest pack for future additions, but its story is, for now, self-contained.

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Helegad
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Re: [Quests] Black Horse Courier, Iliac Bay Edition (WIP)

Post by Helegad »

haloterm wrote: Fri Feb 07, 2020 7:25 pmStory-wise I have already prepared the quest pack for future additions, but its story is, for now, self-contained.
Always a good idea. It bugs the shit out of me when mods use main characters and they start to talk funny.

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