"To really understand Redemption, you have to think of it as a PC storytelling tool,
and not as a game in itself." - Jay Turner, GamePro
The Storyteller mode offers the game creator the power to create any part of the single player game experience, and then some, in any combination. Storyteller mode is only active in multiplayer, as opposed to Console commands, which are inactive until enabled, but thenceforth can operate in both single and multiplayer.
WON.net, sponsored by the makers of the game, has been offline for years, but the online community revived, and there are new games operating on Tunngle as of late 2016. The Storyteller option is available to the player that creates a new game on LAN or online; LAN can also be run as a single player game. Persons who create the game and operate the Storyteller interface will be referred to as Creators for the purposes of distinguishing them from the visible manifestation of the Storyteller Head ingame.
Switching to the Storyteller Mode
At the lower left of the screen is a small icon of a bearded head (a rough copy of the face of Michelangelo's God on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel). Mousing over it shows "Switch to Storyteller Mode" in the Identification panel. Clicking on it brings up the Storyteller (ST) interface. Mousing over the icon in the same place on the ST interface shows "Switch to Character Mode", and clicking on it returns the character to full actions; although the player character belonging to the game Creator can move their character around while in Storyteller Mode, any interactions including combat, attempting to pass through doors, or accidentally clicking on some scenery, will move the Storyteller's view to that item or NPC. If this happens accidentally, go to the Jumping section for instructions. Jumping works for getting stuck in scenery to a point, beyond which, use the Change Location pane and then come back.
The Storyteller Head is a two-foot high floating white bald head (which, as all Creators can attest to, simply exudes poise, elegance, and distinction) The simplest way to enable it is to right-click on an unoccupied piece of passable ground, but there is a button on the lower part of the screen, on the furthest right, below the Pause and above the Advancement button, called "Set ST viewer".
As the player who is the Storyteller is most often playing a character as well, it is important to know how to return to character mode: left-click on the player character, and then the Possess button.
Tool list (from left to right, and top to bottom, as described either in the Identification panel, when moused over, or in the ST screen itself)
- Switch to Character Mode. Note this button is not called Return to Character Mode; if another being or object is currently Possessed, it will simply make it possible for the Possession to be complete; that is, beings can now pass through doors without selecting them, etc.
The ST screen retains the Character Pane (stats), Inventory, Quest, Disciplines, and Map buttons used on the Character Mode screen. The Storyteller Head has its own stats, inventory, Disciplines (none, unless added with Tomes), and access to the current state of Quests and the Map
The Creator has complete control over Players and NPCs that s/he Possesses, once switched to Character Mode. In Storyteller mode, non-combat NPC AI is still in operation. So, for instance, combative NPCs will run back to engage players, or static ones run back to their start position, if the Creator jumps them elsewhere. But since possessed characters and NPCs can only make combat moves that the Creator chooses, this is usually a better alternative to pausing the game if NPCs get out of control.
The usual use for Possess is to make the NPCs speak dialogue. Their speech will be displayed, they will make speaking animation if they have one, and their character model will flash bright white, just as characters do with normal chat.
Fully rejuvenates the target, whether player or NPC. Health, Blood, human Mana. Removes status effects like Disease, Mesmerize and Dread Gaze. It is even reputed to cure Permastaking, but Permastaking got to be pretty sophisticated by the time WON.net shut down, so /shrug.
Talk / Neutral / Enemy
Only works on the AI of hostile NPCs; non-hostiles such as Pedestrians can not be made to attack. Hostile creatures that attack neutral/friendly NPCs will stop fighting and resume their resting animation, if set to Neutral or Talk. However, this setting will not prevent them attacking the Player, so the Player must either be placed someplace safe and enemies put in place with the Storyteller Head, or the Player must die in their presence, whereupon they will become well behaved neutrals or friendlies again.
It would have been really nice to be able to turn 'blue' storytelling NPCs into killable enemies this way (enabling therapeutic execution of Orsi / Dominic, for instance, whose character model is not otherwise creatable in any killable manifestation, outside of mods; the Dark Age Ventrue NPC varieties all have the Dark Age Orsi model, and the console command "rename Orsi" is a possible substitution)
There is only a modicum of control available with this tool, as so many NPCs have settings of their own that it cannot override.
Note that the Cat creature acts as a policeman, attacking hostiles. It cannot be attacked by players or hostiles, and does zero damage. But use "addalldisciplines" in the Console (tilde key) and it will use its AI to go through a list of attacks, some of them ineffectual because it cannot target characters directly. Give it Blood bracelets, rings, and necklace, and it may hit the Flame Ring / Faith area damage attacks that are untargetted but still do damage. It may use its AI to hit targets with Theft of Vitae and Tongue of the Asp
This can delete anything but the walls, floor, ceiling, and players. There is no Undo button. Sounds dire, but it is simply a matter of being aware of special problems, such as areas packed with projecting Props. And of course, anything can potentially be replaced given enough time and knowledge of its Object Panel listing name.
Toggles all the triggers for the selected scene, completing any quests in that scene on players' Quest Panes, or toggles all the triggers, completing and also obtains the next quest. XP will be awarded, and there is no turning back. It is worth noting here that moving a character to a location can also trigger scene changes, which has dire consequences for editing save games in, e.g., Leaves of Three. There is no way to save changes to a location without moving the character there, and no way to move the character there without disrupting the quests; Catch-22.
Create Thing. Ah, what a thing.
Toggle Short / Long List. Sometimes, bigger really is better
Show Only Items changes the display to the list of armor, weapons, accessories, consumables; anything you might see on the Inventory screen. The sound files of those wonderful little Journals like the Letter from the Council series unfortunately will not activate outside of the single player game. But the sound files can be activated with console commands, so what is up with that?
Show Only Actors changes the display to the list of every critter in the game, with the exception of animated Items (that can be picked up) like Rat_small_wander, and animated Props like Aneska's Diary-Head-Creature-Thingy.
Show Only Props changes the display to the list of every bit of level furnishing in the game, from Blood Cocktail drinks to giant stone columns, forklift trucks, double-decker buses and dumpsters. Turn the Tower of London into a badly-lit office building or the Gun Haven into a Tzimisce torture chamber!
If extra loot is desired, it can be dropped on the ground, and a container such as a chest placed in the same spot, over the item, allowing the item to be found literally, in the chest, rather than in front of it as normal.
Lock the game. Useful when on a net infested with corpse freezers (or those weakling care bears that don't like the madd 1337 skillz of Corpse Freezing, depending on viewpoint)
All the PCs and NPCs in the current area are listed here. The buttons are just a repeat of the first five buttons on the left of the main screen, with the exception of the first, very powerful button: "Select Actor". This jumps the Creator's screen view to the selected character, whereupon right clicking on the ground will move the Storyteller Head there as well. Works beautifully with Jumping
Clicking on the "Jump to Location" button while possessing a player character will teleport them individually, and instantly, to the selected area's start point (note that Leaves of Three start points are at the 'end' of each level with respect to Lo3, where players are escaping out of the Factory rather than infiltrating into the Factory as in the single-player game). The same button will also move the Storyteller Head to those locations if nothing is possessed.
Once the above is known, the function of "Jump All Players to Location" is fairly obvious. It will move the character to the ST head if if they are in different locations, but will never move the Storyteller Head anywhere; use the "Jump to Location" button instead.
Judicious and sparing use is recommended. Possession of players, or even killing off troublesome players, is preferable to freezing everyone in place. The console toggle "AI" works wonders with troublesome critters until they can be set to Talk or at least Neutral.
Set ST Viewer
Same as right clicking on the ground, except the viewer starts at the exact character position
Attribute points and Discipline dots can be added to any player character in the game this way. Experience costs are free for these advancements, i.e. the costs will be added to the "Total Exp" value, but not subtracted from the "Earned" value.
Creators may consider that not everyone wants their character to rise rapidly, and not everyone wants to play hardcore, when using this screen; it does not cost the creator anything to conform to players' preferences, either way.
Obviously, everyone is in charge of their own preferences, but the experience of repeatedly advancing characters to levels high enough to take on Zulos with ease may well make playing hardcore and with no quest XP gains look better and better. But some have to learn the hard way.
Lamentably, advancement cannot be applied to NPCs, and experience cannot be removed. However, the console command "addalldisciplines" will give three dots to all vampire disciplines, and the human ones as well. Enemies thus empowered, even ones that give low XP, will have a very versatile palette of attack types to choose from. Individual Tomes can also be used on NPCs for a more focused attack routine
As players in Vampire cannot jump in the usual sense, it is safe to call a particular type of Storyteller-assisted movement Jumping. The Storyteller head itself can, of course, right click on the normal "walkable" ground and instantly teleport there. However, right clicking on impassable ground can often lead to the Storyteller Head embedded (but not inextricably) in the surface. This can be avoided by holding down the 'Alt' key while right clicking.
This second mode of movement can also be used while a player or NPC is Possessed by the Storyteller, and will move them anywhere the game creator desires. This is often the best way to unite latecomers to a game with the main party, particularly in Leaves of Three (Leaves of Three is run backwards with respect to the original single-player scenario, and the exit points were never rearranged. Teleporting the entire party back to rendezvous at the 'entrance' will not bring them back to the safe start, free of enemies, but in fact teleport them right into the middle of whatever enemies are at the 'back door' of the area).
This is also a premier tool for level editors; the Storyteller Head itself is poorly suited for precise placement tasks, with its idle movement and large size. Being able to move items and scenery (Props) around with Alt + Right click makes for less time spent in trial and error.
As noted above, Jumping works very well in conjunction with the Actor Pane button "Select Actor"
It is worth mentioning that there is another good tool available that is not part of the Storyteller interface, and that is the console commands familiar to computer game players from games since Quake.
Enable the console by right-clicking the desktop/folder shortcut. Choose 'Properties' and edit the 'Target' field; add a space, then a hyphen - and then the word 'console' < -console>
The tilde ~ key, top left of the keyboard under the Esc button, activates the console when in game. It appears as a wide black box at the top of the screen, into which can be entered text. It enables many tasks that the Storyteller can do, cannot do most of what the Storyteller can do, and can do a few things the Storyteller cannot, such as play sound files and place light elements such as flames (rather than objects with light effects coded into them, like the flashlight and burning torch).
- Control a NPC, then type the following, without quotes: "rename", then a space, then the name you want.
- The Storyteller can use Disciplines! Whether on a character, NPC, or the Storyteller, type 'addalldisciplines' into the console field, and the selected entity will instantly gain three dots in every Discipline. The AI for NPCs is not affected, but they will randomly choose to use a few new disciplines this way.
- Sound files can be played. They are heard probably in all areas by all players
- Light sources, including flames of various colors, can be placed
It is with deep regret and a regrettable breaking of the fourth wall of the Wikia that I announce that it has been so long, I can not remember these commands. Apologies. The activation code for the sound files, and the command for the setting of light sources, escape me.
Among the links at the bottom of the article are a few console commands, notably "addthing" which can be used in the single player game in place of the Storyteller
The failure of NPCs to react to their fellows being attacked is actually a boon for both players and scenario creators. Players can 'pull' a single enemy at a time, and deal with it without having to resort to Crowd Control. And scenario makers can add many more enemies than players would otherwise be able to handle.
For example, consider the case of a passageway with a right-angle turn. One enemy can be placed just before the turn, and will attack when the players come into visual range. Another can be placed just around the corner, in the center of the passageway, and will see the players just as they near the corner, and a third hugging the wall, just around the corner, that will not attack until players actually round the corner. The columns, nooks and crannies and even furniture of rooms make endless places for more enemies to 'hide' from the player - except patient and observant players can always look around the corner and plan their tactics accordingly.
- Role-playing in multiplayer environments: V:tM-R Susana Pajares Tosca. Presentation at the conference "Computer Games & Digital Textualities. IT-University of Copenhaguen. March. 2001
- Multiplayer - Let's Play Archive