A user mentioned today that the scenes used in place of monologues get interrupted from time to time, so I figured now is a good time to discuss what can stop scenes and why it’s important when reporting the behavior to be as specific as possible. With scenes, things can get wacky given all the different variables in Skyrim, but this doesn’t mean they’re hopeless. You just need to apply the right failsafes.
In this case, the user mentioned Eldawyn would stop her story and start waving her tankard, which is likely due to the vanilla bard mechanism that forces random NPCs to join its audience (There’s actually a faction called the BardAudienceExcludedFaction that is extremely useful in keeping certain NPCs, like innkeepers, from getting drunk and acting the fool). Of course, adding Eldawyn to this faction is one way to keep her scenes from screwing up inside the Bannered Mare. However, I think the real culprit was setting her scenes to interruptible, which can cause them to get, well, interrupted.
Other things that can stop a scene are:
• Missing Audio Files – F5/F9 will usually skip the missing audio phase and basically tell you if this is the case.
• A Phase Doesn’t Finish – Scenes are based on phases. If Phase 1 isn’t complete, it can’t move to Phase 2. So let’s say I tell Eldawyn to move to a specific spot for Phase 1, like a chair. Then in Phase 2, start talking.
However, if some other punk ass NPC is sitting in the chair, Phase 1 won’t complete and the scene stalls. This NPC is literally a scene stealer. He’s sitting in a chair reserved for someone else and preventing the scene from progressing. This is more of a quest thing, as most monologue scenes don’t require getting to a spot, but something to think about nonetheless.
• Combat End – If a scene is set to end on combat, then vampires and other hostiles can kill a scene halfway. This can also be a useful tool to get a scene unstuck. The solution in most cases is setting them to pause on combat.
• Another Scene Interfering – Scenes play in order. Sometimes one scene doesn’t fire because it’s waiting for another to finish. There’s no reason a vanilla scene should override one that’s currently running, with one exception.
If your scene is set to interruptible, it can be killed by a separate scene. This is what happened with the user who was trying to talk to Eldawyn. The interruptible flag is used for things like stopping a bard song halfway to play another song, but I think in general it’s a little too fragile. It kills scenes way too easily. Putting a stop on other scenes via a script is better.
Understanding how scenes work can be fundamentally crucial to deducing when bugs occur. But in most cases, it’s important to describe either the line the scene got killed or the behavior of the NPC. Being told Eldawyn was waving her tankard told me everything I needed to know to fix it. Here, she goes through her scene and resists the temptation to flagon wave.
More Monto Music
Here is a new song from Ronja Monto. Man, the end really gives me the feels. It’s even better in context, and I’m really stoked about having this NPC in the mod and the way it adds an extra dimension to one of the followers. I’d tell you more, I just don’t want to get too spoilery.
This picture basically sums up my feelings about this song. Now, all we need is the other person involved to voice his part, although that can be any time between now and forever. Still, as someone who considers composing music to be as difficult as casting magic, it’s really great to have such a healthy soundtrack for the mod. Ronja, Giramor, Arisen1, Anduniel, and Sebastain Schneider all did and continue to do great work.