I did some more work with the overland map this week with respect to the “goodies” that can be discovered and random encounters. It was interesting to see the code used in the OC, but I also found it rather complicated and decided to simplify and make it more “party” oriented than the OC system. For instance, in the OC, “goodie” finds are based on the leader’s ability only, whereas my system uses the best skill score in the group to make the checks. Therefore, a well-balanced party with mixed skills has more chance of discovering “goodies” than having to rely on one good leader.
As I have barely started looking at the random encounter code, I don’t have a lot to say about it. However, I do intend to use it and would like to have feedback from readers if they would prefer to switch the encounters on and off? Or even have an option to increase or decrease the chance of encounters, as if the party were out looking for monsters, or deliberately trying to avoid them! (Please leave feedback if you have any preference.)
Another aspect of which I am very aware when playing SoZ is that making sure the player will have “potential” access to all crafting materials is vital. After all, having recipes that cannot be followed due to a lack of materials will become a quick turn off if not managed correctly. To this end, I am ensuring all recipes do have the potential to be crafted if the player ensures they have the capabilities to acquire and work with the materials. It will be a two-way responsibility: I will ensure provision if they take the trouble to learn to craft. And as regular readers of this blog will know, every recipe has now had its gold requirements reduced (in most cases) to ensure there are no extreme prices for said items, but at the same time, maintaining a balanced economy.
I have also managed to do more work on one of the side adventures. I was reminded just how difficult it can be to do something that may be slightly different from the norm. For instance, a “simple” transition I was working on was complicated by the fact that I wanted to offer more ways to use it, subject to the party’s skills and abilities. Instead of being able to use the normal simple transition lines in the properties, I ended up writing four separate scripts!
I want to stress how this campaign will be written with the party as the focus rather than a leader with a group of followers. An example of such was given above where every member of the party will be checked when discovering “goodies” on the overland map. I also wrote my own system for “party conversations” before SoZ came out, which allows responses from all party members and not just the main PC speaker. After all, party members should not stand mute if they have something valuable to offer. This system is slightly different from the SoZ system though, in that the options present themselves immediately without having to click on the party member in the conversation menu. Note: I will probably make use of both systems as required.
The Rewards Poll
This is still up and running at the Vault and currently has the following scores …