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Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Episode 4: Encountering New Monsters!

Last week had me getting to grips with the overland map again. In the process, I had to start looking at the related 2da files that covered the monster encounter information, and "goodies" that the PCs may find while exploring the map. While I did not get around to the latter, I did manage to get some more updates done on the monster side of things, especially as that is one of the first major differences that the player can expect in module two.


First and foremost, I managed to finish putting together the terrain 2da encounter tables for my overland map. It involved ensuring the monsters that could be encountered had valid blueprints, and the correct scripts attached. I have edited the way the encounters work because of the way my campaign works, but the end result is the same as a player may have experienced before: While exploring the overland map, a miniature version of a monster may spawn nearby and potentially be the source of an encounter. The monster ones aside, I now need to sort out the "goodies" 2da that allows PCs to find stuff as they explore. This is over and above other "map elements" they may find along the way; some of which may be new areas!


So once the blueprints were setup, I made sure there were various variant types available (e.g. archers, shaman, clerics, etc) where needed. However, I also spent some time going over some older blueprints removing original campaign string references both to the first name and description. This is because even though the description may appear blank, if a valid string ref remains, then that ref will be used with some of the code I use, which I do not want. I believe this may have been an oversight of the tool set design (i.e. a bug), but removing the original str ref resolves the issue. I also spent some time checking over module one for any missed there too, ready for its re-release.


Once all the new blueprints were in place for the map monsters, I decided to update the Althéa Bestiary with entries to cover some of the new monsters that the PCs will encounter. Some readers may recall that I have included a bestiary (accessible from the journal as an extra tab there), that gives an image and some extra information about a creature upon its encounter, which the player may find helpful when dealing with the monster in question. So far, I have added an extra 22 entries to an already existing set. I include a full list of the images I have used for individual entries below. I deliberately removed any naming info, to keep spoilers to a minimum. Furthermore, there is a possibility that one or two of the creatures represented by the images below may still not make it into module two. The ones that I have added to the overland map encounters will, of course, definitely be included.

Note, in the image below, "animals" of the various types are covered by their own single generic image. Therefore, creatures that would fall under such titles as "domestic", "dire" or "vermin" are not shown. Therefore, the icons you see below would represent monsters outside that description. E.g. The spiders below are not of the "vermin" variety, which would include any large or huge variety the PCs may have already met.

The Bestiary Increases In Size!


As well as general building, I have been testing the campaign further, which makes for improvements of the first module too. For example, I have improved the way spell feedback works, which in turn has helped remove some strain on the heartbeat script. Most players may not notice any difference, but I definitely do, as the PCs move more smoothly in the game now.

And on the note of mentioning the first module, testing continues, all be it, somewhat less now that I am focussing on the second module. However, because I am still finding the odd minor issue (e.g. It was possible for a cleric to enter the world with a invalid god if they imported the PC from a campaign that had their own gods.), I am allowing myself just a little more time for checks.

That time has been helpful, however, as I also discovered one or two other minor issues that I have now squashed, which will all help towards a trouble free game for the player. To end on a big plus, all those points I addressed since the last post have not caused any issues since their updating. ie. The inventory/store/transitions and conversations all appear to be working fine so far.

If there is anything you want to ask, have a suggestion, or simply want to chat about something so far, then please leave a comment.

1 comment:

Jennifer Botelle said...

I have now finished playing the single play mode and would like to say how much I really enjoyed being in control of all characters and choosing characters that suited my style whilst being diverse. I thought the variety of quests and the whole story was excellent and original in a lot of places. It was much bigger than I had expected and again quite diverse in areas.

You have asked me for some feedback on what I would like to see added. The one area that I would like to see more of is places to buy crafting items or for the items to be found in loot i.e a gem trader and more alchemy items to use for enchanting like dire badger/bear skins, Panther pelts etc.which I suppose could be purchased either from a skin trader or achelmist. I also struggled finding any cold iron anywhere which was a requirement for some armour enhancements.

I know how much this game has meant to you and how much of your time, care and attention you have given it so thank you very much as it was worth it.