Choose Your Language

Monday, 25 November 2019

Episode 19: The Lore of the Land.

Writing for module two of The Scroll is back underway, after the last few weeks of preparing the first module for its "Enhanced" version release has come to an end. Now, at what I believe to be a stable v1.03 E (Enhanced), the first module has been "put aside" to allow me to concentrate on module two once more ...


I really thought I would not need to design yet another area, but circumstances dictated otherwise. Simply put, I felt reluctant to have a player reach a location where everything took place outside. So, although unscheduled, I designed an area where a player would also learn more about the lore of the land ... a Sanctuary. (This week's screen shot.)


As a Christian, writing about the lore or religion of the world is something I find quite difficult. Not because I don't have an imagination for it, but because I do not want to write anything that could be taken the wrong way for whatever reason, or do a creation story "injustice". That's all I am going to say on the matter, except that I do think "religion" in a game is an important aspect for any world that wants to become more than something just superficial. Think of Tolkien's world of "Arda" in "Lord of the Rings" and the depth of lore involved in his world design, and you should recognise that is what goes a long way to giving his world depth.

That is the premise I used when I wrote the "history" for Althéa. Even before I wrote the first story or designed my first dungeon, I had much of the lore written down and in place. A complete world map was also drawn up, even though the main thrust of the campaign as it currently stands was only to take place on one continent: In the north-west continent called  Narborantra. I even have a version of the elf language that I use to help name the various places in my world with respect to the elvish names. E.g. Althéa is made from "alt" meaning "land" and "h(éa)" meaning world. So, we get the translation "world of land" from Althéa.

At the time I drew the world map, I also wrote the world history - and I also drew a second world map that showed how Althéa looked before a worldwide catastrophic event in its history known as the Debacle took place. The history written down served to explain what caused the Debacle and the events throughout all time, which included the coming of religions to Althéa. The bottom line: the religions of the world find their roots in this history of Althéa ... and not just from the perspective of what happened, but also from what was believed to have come to pass during that time. These are the "religious texts" I include in my campaign, written from the perspective of those who lived in that time ... and reflect beliefs and attitudes based upon "real" ways of thinking with respect to such. So, careful readers may notice logical arguments being posed around concepts not too dissimilar to our own world ... and not unlike the way Tolkien treated his own work.

However, I live in the age of computers, and while I have written a story about my world in book form, my main aim is to work such background for the world and campaign into the CRPG I am delivering to you in The Scroll for NWN2. And as the main thrust of any CRPG is more about action than cerebral study, these historical information dumps have to be handled in smaller packages than any normal book-reading may get away with. It is some of these parcels of lore/religious texts I have added this week. For those that have played The Scroll (module one), they take a similar format to those found in the Sanctuary of New Edgeton. The text themselves offer a deeper understanding behind the meaning to life in the world of Althéa, and careful readers will begin to see a deeper level of what drives characters in the world to do what they do, beyond the superficial.

I know many players will more than likely skip over these texts. However, I hope they are intriguing or challenging enough in their content to make the odd player or two sit back and think more about life, the universe and everything ... and not just of Althéa!


I am reaching a difficult point where I need to start bringing some of the plot lines together. At the moment, I have a number of plot lines (which the player may have followed in a number of ways), and I want to now make sure the combinations work. I also still have to finish the mega-dungeon, which is its own plot line, and a major one! I'll see what the days and weeks bring, and keep you updated.

Religious Texts To Study

Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Episode 18: The Scroll, Fixed, Enhanced & Polished!

I have to start with an apology for not bringing you anything "new" with respect to the second module ... although strictly speaking that would not be true, as there is plenty "new" that applies, but it's not so obvious to the player at first reading. It's all to do with improvements that affect the campaign as a whole, and so by default, also impact the second module. So what are these "enhancements" am I speaking about? Well, read on ...


Let me get this out of the way for module one first: There was at least one game-breaking bug accidentally introduced in an earlier version, and a couple of others that would also break the game if the player took a certain path where the bug would raise its ugly head. The last two had gone under the radar of testing, as they were less likely to manifest. However, it would only take a slight change in direction for a player and they would be unable to continue their game too. So, most importantly, this latest release, called v1.00 ENHANCED, fixes those bugs.


But what has been enhanced? This is less obvious to the player, but is certainly one of the biggest changes since earlier versions of The Scroll that the player will experience. It includes such things as:-

1) Repositioning of transitions to prevent "party squeeze" upon arriving at a destination. (Module.)
2) Removal of old scripts and some heartbeat scripts to improve performance.
3) Removed many "minor bugs", which although not game-breaking, did frustrate a player.
4) Updated core files in preparation of additional modules & improved MP support.
5) Update to the way Rules & Lore are first given.
6) Improved monster detection system & AI for more effective combat.
7) Many cosmetic improvements, such as adjusting box sizes to allow text to display correctly.

All in all, I addressed over 100 points with the earlier release of The Scroll to improve it, and as requested by players in some cases.


Well, I guess builders are forever polishing their work. However, I do think that there will be less polishing of the first module from this ENHANCED version moving forward. I have gone over many scripts where I thought they needed it; my wife has been replaying for about a sixth time testing it, and all in all, I believe between us, we have now covered almost every aspect that needed addressing ... famous last words, I know. The point is, I have now done those things I always considered needed looking at and doing since initial release, and were highligted as issues as I began to work on module two.


I have started looking at module two again, as there was some crossover fixes that affected the second module more than the first. So, while new content has been short coming, although I did even add some recently, the important thing is that the campaign files are looking more robust since this latest update to the ENHANCED version.


I am just running over some final transition testing and may allow my wife to reach the end of her latest play through, and then v1.00 of the ENHANCED version of The Scroll should be made available for you to download and enjoy ... I hope.UPDATE: The Scroll v1.00 E (Enhanced) was release on 19.11.19 and there is a link to its download at the top of this post.

New Rule Added To Players Information