Westgate Campaign: Technical Aspects

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Westgate Campaign: Technical Aspects

Post by Carlo » Mon Apr 23, 2012 9:50 pm

This topic is intended to share something of what is "under the hood" of the campaign. There are no real spoilers, but you may not want to look too closely at some of the resources if you have no interest in building or scripting, since they give away something of the "secrets" of how things work. I'll add to the list as I incorporate features, as well; I already have a couple more systems lined up I want to use.

This topic can also serve for players' bug reporting and comments (including complaints) about particular technical features. I start out with one complaint (and fix) myself...

DMFI Wands and Widgets 1.09
https://neverwintervault.org/project/nw ... idgets-109

The last version of the original DMFI (DM-Friendly Initiative) DM and player set of in-game enhancements. Most often used by players for skill/ability checks.


City of Westgate prefab
https://neverwintervault.org/project/nw ... y-westgate

There are some minor spoilers in terms of the city features if you look at it, but I do want to give full credit to Anachrodragon and Londerwost for their work in building the city. I of course am making a number of modifications, but I would never have had the time to run the Westgate Campaign if I had to build the city from scratch.


BESIE Random Encounter System
https://neverwintervault.org/project/nw ... ystem-v181

This allows for a variety of truly random encounters and is the engine for managing the city random NPC populations.


HABD bleeding/death system
https://neverwintervault.org/project/nw ... d-003-beta

The module uses a customized version of these community-standard bleeding and death scripts.


NPC Activities
https://neverwintervault.org/project/nw ... ivities-61

Probably the best "out-of-the-box" NPC system you can find, certainly the best supported. Not employed extensively in a DM'd campaign such as this, but there are periodic uses for it.


Simple Balance System
https://neverwintervault.org/project/nw ... y-hcr-lite

I borrowed the module's resting script (8 hour limit between rest periods) from SBS. Very simple, very effective.

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How Death Works

Post by Carlo » Mon Apr 23, 2012 9:51 pm

Hopefully people won't run into this anytime soon, but just in case...

On death (at -10 hp), your corpse is shown along with an "Items on corpse" bag which has all your (droppable) belongings in it. A "corpse" item will also be in the bag. If the corpse item is picked up then dropped from inventory, a corpse will appear on the ground; the corpse can be picked up and put down repeatedly if you like. However, the original corpse graphic will remain at the death location.

The dead player will be manually "resurrected" by the DM and transported to the campaign chamber once the other PCs have exited the area. (I debated scripting this, but feel that it would be too abrupt and would also leave little flexibility in case of a technical problem.) What happens to the PC then depends on what the other players can do with the corpse. Resurrections don't come cheap, if available at all, and must be DM-run. Also, if the party has to run away and can't bear the burden of the corpse, it may be destroyed or dragged away.

* * *

Added to the death system is now a Fugue Plane area. Upon death, a PC will be DM-healed and jumped to this area, as before leaving their corpse behind for their friends (hopefully) to drag away.

If you find yourself in the Fugue Plane, be sure to stop by Morte's bar, which serves some truly exotic drinks.

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Overland travel system

Post by Carlo » Mon Apr 23, 2012 9:53 pm

Overland Travel and Random Encounter System (OTRES) 2.8
https://neverwintervault.org/project/nw ... m-28-otres

With some custom modifications, this is the engine now driving travel outside of Westgate. Essentially, it provides a Baldur's Gate-style travel system. You are told the available destinations when you enter the area transition and how long in hours it will take to reach them. Areas are typically "chained" together at around 8-12 hours of traveling distance, so you may see an intermediate area listed along with your final destination.

The system checks for random encounters after a certain amount of (virtual) time has passed and if one occurs, drops the party into a random map, facing the direction of travel. To exit the random map, simply exit off any map edge. You can have multiple random encounters during a trip, or none at all.

Important point: the party has to be together ("You must assemble your party before venturing forth", heh) to travel. In practical terms, this means that everyone has to be within 10 meters of the person initiating the travel conversation. So, you can't have individual party members flee off of a random encounter map, although everyone as a group could run for it.

I'm very happy with the system, which is easily extensible and contributes to the Baldur's Gate-style feel I like.

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Weather system

Post by Carlo » Mon Apr 23, 2012 9:54 pm

Season Global Weather System
https://neverwintervault.org/project/nw ... ystem-v350

Ensures consistent weather across contiguous areas, among other things. Westgate, on the Dragon Coast, is a moderate seaside climate, although susceptible to storms coming off of the sea.

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PC auto-export

Post by Carlo » Mon Apr 23, 2012 9:55 pm

On returning to the campaign chamber at the end of each session, your character will now automatically export and you should receive a message to that effect. You may also want to save your PC prior to that as well, if you are having connection problems, so as not to lose any XP or items acquired during the session. With the auto-export feature, at least you won't have to worry about remembering to do it at the end of the session.

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Dream system

Post by Carlo » Mon Apr 23, 2012 9:57 pm

From now on, there is the possibility that PCs may dream when the resting action is taken in-game. When a PC dreams, a placeable object - "a sleeping person" - is created at their resting location, while the PC is transported into the dream. When the dream ends, the "sleeping person" object is destroyed and the PC is returned to their original location.

IMPORTANT: when a PC enters a dream sequence, they do NOT actually rest, and the dream sequence does not count against the 8-hour resting restriction. If you wish your PC to actually rest in-game after a dream sequence, the PC will need to do the rest action again following the return from the dream.

Please note that a "sleeping person" can be interacted with, and possibly woken up from their dream, via scripted conversation.

For those interested, the module uses a heavily modified and customized version of Deva Bryson Winblood's "Dreamscape" script package, which can be found here:

https://neverwintervault.org/project/nw ... amscape151

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Alternate combat animations

Post by Carlo » Mon Apr 23, 2012 9:58 pm

I won't be adding the hak version to the module, but for those who would benefit from a personalized set of animations for your PC, this override pack looks excellent:

https://neverwintervault.org/project/nw ... ck-acp-v40

Excerpt from the docs:

Combat Styles

The Alternate Combat Animations Pack v3.0 – Override presents 4 weapon-based combat styles (unarmed styles have been untested).

The 4 weapon-based styles are Kensai, Assassin, Barbarian and Fencing.
(The unarmed combat sets are race-based and integral to the Kensai and Assassin styles, BUT ARE NOT TESTED). The archer animations are integral to the Assassin style.

Kensai
The Kensai style is based on kenjutsu and is good for all weapon types. Shields not recommended though some characters can get away with using a buckler or similar small shield.
Larger shields will clip the character and generally look bad (Kensai were not supposed to use shields anyhow).

Assassin
The Assassin style is good for 2-handed weapons, small blades, bows and crossbow weapons. Single weapon and dual wield uses reverse-grip for the blades. Two-handed weapons are wielded kensai-style. This style is intended to mimic the combat
stances uses by ninja/kunoichi.
Again, shields are not recommended though some people may get away with using a buckler or similar small shield.

Heavy
This Barbarian style is intended to convey powerful attacks and strong weapon handling. This style is especially suited for strength-based characters that can wield and swing large 2-handed weapons (i.e., Greataxe, Greatsword, Etc.) Shields may be used freely with this style. (Note: that all combatants using single handed weapons will revert to using the standard NWN combat animations)

Fencing
The Fencing style is intended for single or dual-wield long blades (rapiers or scimitars) or a long-and-short blade combo (rapier and main-gauche). The style mimics European fencing stance and manoeuvres.
There are visual drawbacks to the fencing style. Using a shield definitely will look bad when using this animation set, and
2-handed weapons (polearms/greataxes/greatswords) are supported but not recommended.
A new draw-weapon animation has been created specifically for the fencing animation set which draws the weapons from the hip instead of from the back. In addition, new dodge, combat-movement and parry animations are included to match the right-leg lead stance of the fencing style - as opposed to the left-leg lead espoused by NWN that the other weapon styles also follow.

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Persistent storage

Post by Carlo » Mon Apr 23, 2012 9:59 pm

The campaign module now uses "Hermyts Persistent Chests" system, here's the NWVault link: https://neverwintervault.org/project/nw ... ent-chests - I've made a single, very minor modification to it (giving it a set database name) and successfully tested it across module reloads.

In practical terms, what this means is, any object with inventory that has been modified in the toolset to show a "(P)" at the end of its name, is now persistent.

If you acquire/identify objects that you want made persistent, just let me know and I'll make the necessary change in between sessions.

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Kurairyu's hands - suggested override

Post by Carlo » Mon Apr 23, 2012 10:00 pm

This replaces the blocky default hand models with actual hands.

Link: https://neverwintervault.org/project/nw ... ryus-hands

To use, extract the file into your NWN/override folder.

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Items

Post by Carlo » Mon Apr 23, 2012 10:00 pm

1. Armor: all armor will be sized as follows:
-- Large: half-orc
-- Medium: human, half-elf, elf
-- Stout: dwarf, gnome
-- Small: halfling

So, if you have "Medium Chain" armor, it is sized for humans and elves, but is too big for dwarves, gnomes, and halflings, and too small for half-orcs. Armor will be available for all in stores, so it's not a handicap in normal circumstances, although there will be more styles available for certain sizes depending on the store. It does play more realistically when a halfling can't swap armor with a half-orc whenever they feel like it, or a human can't just pick up and wear goblin armor found on the battlefield.

2. Magic items: custom descriptions will be used for magic items.

All magic items will be named in some fashion, either a unique name for items with a history or a generic name for more common items. Essentially, all the "longsword +1" descriptions will vanish, although of course bonuses will still be visible in item properties. In the above case, you would see "magic longsword" for example. This is done to increase the immersion factor.

3. Healing kits: all healing kits will be +1 only and will be named "healing kits."

4. Bandages: these are custom items which are automatically given to players at start and which can stabilize bleeding at DC15 heal check.

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