Castle Marrach - The Forever Winter


4) Communication: The Basics

Investigations and movement are all very good, but it's communication that's really the heart of Castle Marrach. It's how you collect information, learn about plots, and in general meet a lot of neat people.

When you're playing in Castle Marrach, you'll meet three types of people: players, host characters, and CNPCs.

Players are folks who are just like you. They're real people playing their own roles.

Host characters are special characters, important to the plots of Castle Marrach. They often possess valuable information that characters may need. Host characters are played by Hosts -- who may be customer experience representatives from Skotos or trusted players who are veterans at Marrach.

CNPCs are computer non-player characters. They've been programmed to respond to specific actions in specific ways, but really aren't that bright.

If you run into a player or a host character, you'll be able to have involved conversations. If you run into a CNPC, you might be able to get a few relevent snippets of information (that they've been programmed to offer), but that's it.

You'll often need to speak to a character before you can determine what type of person they are.


Just Speaking

Speaking in Castle Marrach is very simple. You just use the "say" verb, followed by what you want to say, in quotes. As an abbreviation, you can actually eliminate the word "say" altogether and just type what you want to say in quotes.

      > "Hello, m'lady, I am an intrepid adventurer who has come to 
      this place by mischance."
      You say "Hello, m'lady, I am an intrepid adventure who has come
      to this place by mischance."

      Camille stares at the roof.
      Camille whispers, "Could that be someone addressing me?"

Speaking with Prepositions

Sometimes you want to make it obvious that you're talking to someone. This can be very useful if you're in a loud and crowded room... or if you're talking to someone with an attitude. You can speak directly to a person by using the "to" preposition with the "say" verb (or any other speech verb, as discussed later). "at" works sometimes also.

      > say to camille "I am sorry if I did not offer the correct
      respect. I offer you greetings m'lady."
      You say to Camille, "I am sorry if I did not offer the correct
      respect. I offer you greetings m'lady."

      Camille stares at the roof.
      Camille stares at the onyx door.
      Camille proclaims, "I think a mouse disturbs me."


Speaking with More Verbs

Castle Marrach includes a lot more verbs for communication than just "say". You can "shout" or "whisper" or "announce" or "reply"... or just about anything else. These different verbs allow you to add additional context to your statements--to make it clear what your mood is.

      > shout "This is no mouse, m'lady!"
      You shout, "This is no mouse, m'lady!"

      > shout at camille "Perhaps you can hear me now?"
      You shout at Camille, "Perhaps you can hear me now?"

      Camille slowly smiles.
      Camille wonders, "Perhaps it is a mouse that roars."

      > reply to camille, "So be it, m'lady. Tell me, what is this
      You reply to Camille, "So be it, m'lady. Tell me, what is this

If you think you should be able to use a verb for speech, try it out. Castle Marrach has a total of approximately 1500 verbs included in the dictionary of words it understands.


Communication can be more than just speech. There are also numerous gestures available: things like smile, frown, bow, yowl, cry, and laugh. Camille has already used some of these, by staring and smiling.

If you want to use some social gesture, just type it in. It is probably available from Marrach's dictionary of 1500 verbs.

      > smile
      You smile.
      > bow to Camille
      You bow to Camille.

      Camille frowns.


Just as with the speech verbs, these gestures can be used in more complex manners--such as when the character uses a preposition to bow to Camille.

Speaking with Adverbs

There's one last complexity to basic speech. You can explain the emotion behind your character's speech even more clearly by using adverbs: words like contemptuously, swiftly, slowly, and lovingly. At launch there were a total of 1800 adverbs in Castle Marrach's dictionary. Any of them can be used with any speech verb.

      > impatiently question Camille "Is this not a simple question?
      What is this place?"
      You impatiently question Camille "Is this not a simple question?
      What is this place?"

      Camille slowly smiles.
      Camille thoughtfully says, "It is a simple question, oh roaring
      one, but the answer is complex. I might tell you the answer to
      your riddle if you did a small favor for me. Please, approach my


The character used the adverb impatiently, while Camille used the adverb thoughtfully. Note also that Camille places an adverb (slowly) with one of her gestures (smile); the character could gesture with adverbs too, if he saw fit.

Many other adverbs are possible. You can retrieve complete lists of legal adjectives for any letter of the alphabet by typing a verb followed by a letter.

      > proclaim z
      Do you mean zealously, zestfully or zestily?

      > zealously proclaim "Thank you, m'lady!"      
      You zealously proclaim, "Thank you, m'lady!"

Note that the above examples played a little bit with the structure of the commands that the player was typing. At one point the player typed "impatiently question Camille" (omitting the "to" preposition) and at another the player typed "zealously proclaim". Castle Marrach does its best to allow any legal imperative sentence. As you play around with the game, you'll note that you can shift your adverbs, verbs, nouns and direct objects around. The output will look slightly different depending on what order you arrange your words in: "say softly" and "softly say" will cause different output on the screen. But they should all be legal commands.

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