I have been making slow but gradual progress over the last week or so, mostly to do with the main quest. This includes trying to design an interior area as well as do a little scripting to help generate specific random items in particular circumstances based upon PCs statistics and attributes. The results are exciting to see and I look forward to hearing how players get on with this aspect of the module.
On a more unsettling note, I appear to have lost contact with Hosa, who was going to be designing some exterior areas for me. The last email I had from him was over a month ago now, and even though he seemed quite positive at the time, I have heard nothing from him at all from all my last emails trying to contact him. I have not given up hope totally, but the lack of response is disheartening.
I also had the opportunity to play a little of Wyrin's White Plume Mountain with a friend of mine. We don't play for long, but in the little time we did play, we managed to get our party together and equip ourselves. We did discover an error in the scripts that prevented players (apart from the main PC) and companions from acquiring the required XP and gold on start up, but it was easy enough to fix and I sent Wyrin an update to help him fix it. The error would not have affected anybody playing a SP game, but only those playing a MP game. If we discover any more MP bugs, I will be letting Wyrin know.
It was after playing Wyrin's module that I thought I would explain how my own module, Better The Demon will work with respect to party creation; especially as my module is geared towards MP play as much as SP. So, without further preamble, here is how it will work:
As soon as the host player (SP or MP game) has finished reading the introduction to the module and established the background for the party, they will be introduced to the Party Creation Rules for the campaign. This information GUI basically explains which classes are not supported in the World of Althéa and therefore not permitted to join. If a PC is imported or created with any of these anachronistic classes in it, then they will be prevented from entering the world.
The same GUI also explains that party creation is not a requirement, but merely an option. To begin with, if the player decides to take up the opportunity of rolling a party at the start of the game, then they are restricted to 3 additional PCs (to a maximum of 4) at this stage. This figure is reduced by one for each subsequent player that enters the world in a MP game.
The screenshot above shows the current party at the start of the game with the main PC already within the party (Adarkin Bundais) in a SP game. The player now has the opportunity to add 3 more PCs now, or wait to see if they find and recruit companions from the world instead. Subject to whatever the player decides to do, they will begin the game either as a single PC or a party of 4, or somewhere in between. Later on in the game, the player will be given the opportunity to increase the party again. (See next.)
Whatever the player decided to do at the start of the game, later on in the game they have the opportunity to extend their party further. This can be done by going to the local tavern and climbing the soap box stage to rally some troops, which basically brings up the Party Editor GUI again. Depending upon how the player responds to the options and whether the game is a SP or a MP game determines what happens next. In most circumstances, the current party members will be automatically temporarily dismissed (allowed to wonder the tavern) while the leader of the party "gives the speech". Basically, the player is able to create more PCs for every blank slot remaining. In a SP game, this will be another 3 PCs. In a MP game, it will be 4 minus the number of players. In other words, if there are four players joined at this stage (the maximum number of players supported), then no more PCs will be able to be created this way and only companions can be added.
The bottom line is, the party size can grow to a maximum of 6 PCs. This can comprise of any of the created PCs the lead player cares to spend time creating each time they use the soap box to rally troops. In other words, if they believe a previous created PC in not good enough for the job, then they can choose to create another one to take its place. Of course, the player does not have to use created PCs at all, but can use a complement of any companions they may find along the way to bring the party size to 6 as well. The best combination would probably be a combination of created PCs and companions. (Henchmen can be added over and above the maximum of 6 in the party. The 6 maximum is for created PCs and companions only.)
POLL: Maximum Party Size
This topic brought me to a poll I have been wanting to run for some time: What is the optimum party size in your opinion? Please cast your vote on the poll and then tell me in a comment your personal class combination in the following two circumstances:
a) What classes would you play if the party size was a maximum of 6 PCs?
b) What classes would you play if you could play any party size (if not 6)?
And tell me anything else about your party that would be interesting to know!