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Old RPGs and Old Computers + NWN Series Mods

Discussion in 'Playground' started by SlickRCBD, Jan 16, 2019.

  1. SlickRCBD Gems: 29/31
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    I can fully relate to your situation. Mine's a generation removed, but for nine years an Apple IIGS was my only computer. That restricted me to Apple II and IIGS games.

    While it had a PC Transporter card installed in it, it was comparable to an XT clone (an 8086 processor, not even a 286) with CGA graphics and only 768K of RAM with only the speaker, no sound card. The Apple II side was much better in terms of graphics and the IIGS had far better sound (and even better graphics). The IIGS had 4mb of RAM.

    I can fully relate to only having a few older games.
    Honestly, in the mid-'90s I found an Apple II abandonware site (asimov), possibly the oldest surviving "warez" site on the internet that I'm grateful for as I got to play a bunch of "new" RPGS and other games after only having a handful. Of course these days it's more of a repository than a warez site, but it's still technically one.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2019
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    Wow, that was SLOW, especially into the mid-90s! Glad you found a source for some games, although I don't think there was much of a selection of RPGs for Apple computers back then.

    A 286 with 4 MB of RAM was my very first computer, bought in the mid-80s. Somewhere around the mid-90s I bought a 486, and stuck with that until 2014, when I got my current computer with an Intel i5 processor. But I didn't really spend much time playing computer games until the late 90s. Until then, I worked up to 60-hour (or more) work weeks, often camping out the whole time (wildlife biologist field work), with maybe enough time left over for a hike or backpack trip after shopping & washing clothes.

    In the late 90s I finally slowed down enough to spend more time on the computer. And that's when I started playing the games I mentioned above, all on the 486. Although I only had a landline Internet connection for them, at first most games were still available only on CDs, so I didn't even have to consider downloading RPGs then. I had found enough fun ones on CDs to keep me happy.

    It wasn't until sometime in the first decade of 2000 that I began to extend my offline game playing to online playing, first with Diablo 2, and later with NWN original, including mods for NWN. THAT'S when I really started to feel the drawbacks of my 486 and a landline Internet connection. So it was the Internet that finally made me go for more.

    Sometimes I wish improvements in hardware (and the Internet) would slow down...even come to a halt...so that more computer games would come out with the same resource requirements before game makers moved on to games requiring newer computers. I'd be perfectly happy with still playing NWN if I could still find interesting mods to play. I loved that game so much that its sibling NWN 2 might be my next game purchase, even though I've read that a lot of its players still think that the original was more fun.

    Edit: Then again, I probably won't get NWN 2. The last time I read reviews about it was several years ago. Until now. Nostalgia just hit me, so I just checked out some reviews again. No, I don't think I'll be buying it: too many bad points about it, even with patches. Although I liked NWN original better than Torment, I don't think that would be the case with NWN 2.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2019
  3. ralebeau Gems: 2/31
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    I still play NWN and NWN2, but not the OCs any more, just my favorites of the amazing mods made for both. Valine's ADWR then a still being added to ADWS by prwo on NWN, and mods from Claudius33, PJ156, and tsongo (NEXUS) for NWN2. I like NWN2 for the ability to control party members instead of only the PC like NWN and Mass Effect, though I did play the NWN OC and expansions many more times than NWN2. I still break out really old school Microprose Darklands (from GOG but not that big a download) from time to time, but I think THQ's & Radon Labs Drakensang, the Dark EYE is still worth re-playing and likely can still be found on DVD's to avoid the downloads. Even with a broadband I was so unhappy at the empty box of ME:Andromeda and the long download to come for so little fun, you are not missing anything there!
     
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    Thanks, ralebeau. I'll have to check those out.

    Of course, I've read a lot about the mod "A Dance with Rogues", but I never did play it. I don't have any problem playing a female character. In fact, during all my previous NWN playing, I preferred a female character even though I'm a male. I figured if I'm going to be looking a butt the whole game & I have a choice, it may as well be my favorite kind of butt to look at - that of a female. However, I'm partial to skinny butts, so in NWN my 1st choice has always been a female halfling, though sometimes I would settle for a female elf.

    Well, since I can no longer find great NWN mods for halflings, I'm willing to try ADWR. (I am, afterall, playing a male **gasp!** in Torment!) Though I think I'll create a halfling character at least once just to see what she looks like. **silly grin**
     
  5. ralebeau Gems: 2/31
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    Halfling, Hmm. The only Halfling I remember playing was for Claudius33's new NWN2 Sci-Fi mod "16 Cygni Strike Back" while testing the English version I worked on. Female NWN elf is easy, have you tried Arandie? The others on my playlist that "might" work for a Halfling: Aielund, Tales of Arterra, Enigma Island, Gladiatrix, Lords of Darkness, Runes of Blood, and a pair of linked Ravenloft mods, Return to Ravenloft, and Beyond the Gate. With it's own wiki page ADWR is my all time NWN favorite, it takes me a week to play and I have spent more than a year, day for day, playing it.
     
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    The only one of those that I recall playing with a halfling off the top of my head is "Tales of Arterra 1 & 2". She nicely finished Arterra 1. Then I continued with her saved character in Arterra 2. It took me a couple of game hours, but I eventually realized that, because of her level, the game started her somewhere around the middle of the mod instead of at the beginning. I don't think the mod requirements made it clear that that would happen if I continued with the same character. When I realized that I wasn't at the beginning of the mod, I was so frustrated that I stopped playing it. If I recall, it was also so difficult that I felt as if I couldn't advance. That was many years ago. I still have those saves, so maybe I have more experience now & can handle it, so I might try it again...or try it with a lower level character.

    I started ADWR last night with a halfling and decided to play the mod with her. I have the wiki link saved in my Favorites but am seeing how well I can do before reading the wiki walkthrough. Because of what I've read about some of the battles being impossible or close to it, I'm trying an Arcane Archer build (rogue 9, wizard 2, arcane archer 29) made by Fernandooa in 2005. I'm thinking it will let me initiate attacks & get in more damage, and if I get chased, I can run & stay out of reach while still shooting (unless any of the hard battles are in areas too small to run around in).

    It may not work though, because I'm having to make major modifications to it because of the charisma & pick pocketing requirements. The build leaves charisma at 8, & pick pocketing at zero, the whole build. So those requirements really throw things off right from the start. I've never bothered to put any emphasis on those two things in any of my NWN characters, so I'm not sure I'm going to get a decent build this time. It all depends on how important it is to add more points to those two things in order to get through certain points of the mod.

    Also, the build's skills emphasize spotting enemies first so I can get in the first attack with an arrow, but the mod seems to emphasize hiding & stealth instead. Which really thinly spreads out my skill point allotments. Again, success all depends on how important it is to increase certain skills in the mod. I may have to read the walkthrough soon just to see if I'm going to hit a dead end somewhere.

    I hate having to read a walkthrough in order to ensure myself that I can complete a mod, but I swear, the majority of mods have deadends if you don't do this or that correctly. And I'm not just talking about where to put points. I love to explore beyond the main plot sequence. More than once, I've explored myself right into a deadend situation, including ruining the main plot sequence so that I couldn't finish the mod. It would be nice if walkthroughs pointed out those things, so that you could avoid deadends & frustration.

    Oh...when you mentioned about playing ADWR for all that time, were you talking about just ADWR 1, or also ADWR 2 and A Dance with Spies?

    Edit: WARNING, SPOILERS AHEAD: Beyond this point are many spoilers for the NWN mod called "A Dance with Rogues", including spoilers you may have never found in any of the walkthroughs that currently can be found for the mod.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2019
  7. ralebeau Gems: 2/31
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    I got started just after Valine split the mod in half and posted part one on the old IGN vault, I play both parts and get at least week with many hours per day. I'm not sure about your build, I always just start level one thief, high charisma and max thief skills, but Valine has the requirements mounting up so a pure thief can just get the doors and traps, where much of the XP is located, following the story arc. I have played with levels of most other classes, minus Ranger and Barbarian for my 50+ princesses, since some spells can help with up to middle level locks and there are lock picks and wands for traps like the few that can't be spotted. I still put thief levels in now and again to keep skills up with the required curve. There is plenty of city to explore outside of the "lessons" path, if a lock is too hard or needs a key it is likely being saved for later action or sidequest. ADWR plays quite differently with different classes added for the princess like when there is more combat in part 2 but there is heavy duty equipment for clerics and even not so wealthy thief/paladins (open the chest but don't take anything). My advice is just play thief like she intended and have your princess try anything she can think of because Valine has so many scripts running here it is a very reactive environment. People respond to what you wear and do. I think Valine gave up on sky-boxes with all the other stuff that is going on, virtually every door in the city holds a message or side area to explore sooner or later. I am most impressed with the story, characters, dialog, cyber-sex, scripting, and areas here, there are plenty of companions added later after the princess hits her stride. ADWS is very different, despite the thief heavy action again, even more story driven and nicely related to the world Valine created.

    EDIT: one NWN engine foible, that I'm sure is in the wiki somewhere, traps provide XP and plenty of income if recovered, but recovering traps from the floor or ground will not give the XP that disarming would have. On a side note here, the find traps spell will clear all nearby traps and give their XP but you won't get to keep any of the nice expensive ones of course.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2019
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    Thanks, Taluntain, for moving this conversation to a more appropriate spot. I was wondering how to accomplish that without interrupting our continuing dialogue.

    Continuing conversation with ralebeau...

    Oops...I misnamed Fernandooa's build. It's "Arcane Sniper", not "Arcane Archer". I've already realized that it's WAY off for this mod. Right off the bat, my build couldn't complete Lesson 1. I lacked the skill points to bluff, intimidate or persuade the beggar. I was able to kill him, but I didn't save it. I don't like playing evil characters, so I figured killing him would seriously effect my alignment. And I didn't have enough gold, nor the Charisma, to even think about the tailor yet. So I moved on with more exploring and other Lessons.

    I completed Lesson 2 easily enough, which got me some armor to make exploring easier, at least until my Dex modifier exceeds 4. I have yet to do Lesson 3, because the warehouse seems to be in the SE corner of S. Betancuria, which I've been avoiding because that seems to be where most of those nasty sailors hang out. I next started Lesson 4 (involving Pia), but I haven't persued that because Master Nathan now demands that I resolve the "Painting" problem immediately. I'm afraid that problem might have a time limit, so feel as if I need to resolve that quickly. I'm gathering so many Save points that it's getting hard to keep track of where to go back to if I seem to do something wrong! LOL

    I really should start over and build her differently, but I'm going to try continuing with this girl, at least for a while. I might still be able to work things out with her if I'm very careful where I put my future skill & ability points. And I do want to keep her as an archer. She loses her chance for back stabbing, but at least I can still often (?) stay away from melee attacks by running & shooting arrows. Although I don't think I can get her weapon focus as the shortbow until level 9. But her 1st 7 levels will be a rogue, so at least I'll have lots of skill points to play with. Then 2 levels of wizard, so that I'll have some magic capabilities & a familiar.

    After that, the build calls for all arcane archer levels except for another rogue level at level-ups 20 & 40. But I think the mod will require me to add more rogue levels, instead of so many arcane archer levels, before I reach level 20. And, yes, the build is made for a 40-level game, yet another reason why it may not work in shorter games.

    All that is subject to modification depending on how I feel things are going in my current point in the mod. For instance, I could see me taking a wizard level sooner so that I have a familiar that can help me. We'll see.

    Yes, I did catch that info about the results of disarming or recovering traps being different. (I started to read some of the walkthrough as soon as I learned that I couldn't even finish Lesson 1.) But I have to say that it's nearly impossible to predict whether I'll soon need more money or more XP. I constantly feel as if I could use a ton more of both! LOL At the moment, I don't have the option of a choice anyway. With my Disable Trap skill at only 5, I can usually beat the DC for disabling, but not the DC for recovering.

    Meanwhile, I'm still having fun, which is what counts the most in my book.
     
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  9. ralebeau Gems: 2/31
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    The beggar goes off to a side quest I always do for the money even if my princess won't "do" the sailors in "Top Secret". Agree to show assets but refuse more after you change location, or the clothes and money, so "Nightengale" quest will start up. I never use his clothes anyway because there is a way to get the tailor to make some for free. There are good gloves and boots for free on a lesson path, but I'm good enough at the dice game to buy them early. I'm just starting another BGEE run, but there is also BR reloaded on the NWN2 engine over on NEXUS that is pretty amazing. After another TormentEE run I'll be back to NWN mods, ADWR/ADWS will be first so I can have some fun too, maybe get NWNEE working.

    EDIT: Valine does not use timers for missions very often, better get back in time if you are asked to be back for dinner or for fixed appointment times, but she does trigger events so some quests will never start, or can't be finished. The painting does not have a timer, but lots of doors a level 2 princess can't open without a lot of help, not trapped but a big loss of XP in a place that can't be re-entered. Be sure and visit the Swordfish tavern, don't want to miss meeting the main villain early, losing the "Nice Company" mission/quest, and explore the closed Wildcat brothel for more of Valines hi-jinx.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2019
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    Well, I'm level 3 now, and I feel good...and comfortable...at having reached level 3 in 2 days & 9 hours game time.

    I may have some short-term memory problems, because I can't remember exactly when I got my level 3. It might've even been during the painting hunt, but probably before, because I didn't have a problem unlocking any doors. I had several unused skill points, so I was able to add a bunch all over the place, including getting "Open Lock" up to 9. I'm glad I got 10 HP on my first try, because it would not have been fun trying to add them again in all the same spots! (Maybe Valine made max HP on level-ups automatic?)

    However, I didn't explore beyond the NW corner of the main floor before I ran into the maid & got the heck out of there. (All those Dhorn guards do have a psychological effect! And I can tell you from experience that they can kill me in one hit.) So I may have missed some doors that I couldn't have unlocked. I'm wishing I had saved & retried exploring the whole floor level, just to see what I might have missed, but I deleted that save point long ago.

    Oh...I was wrong about when she could take "Weapon Focus: Shortbow". I discovered she could take it already at level 3, so I took it already.

    I broke down & went searching for the warehouse & Drago for the Lesson 3 sneak test. I got chased by a sailor twice but managed to reach it & complete that lesson. I was hoping its reward was at least one skill point, but no such luck. I might do some more clearing of the sewers soon, so that I might be able to get around faster, but it's easy to get lost down there...and it definitely has its dangerous spots (but I did manage to kill a couple of gelatinous cubes with my bow at level 2, thanks to them getting stuck in narrow doorways). Should be fun anyway.

    Being silly me, I failed to understand what you had meant by your comment, "open the chest but don't take anything" two of your messages ago, but I found out the hard way. I unlocked and looted 3 containers, each of which gave me 5 points towards Chaos alignment. The 3rd one changed my alignment from Neutral Good to Chaotic Good. Since it included some nice loot for selling, I saved the resulting consequences anyway. I figured I could live with some chaos, as long as I don't turn it into Evil. But that now got me wondering...if I continue to loot such containers, will I stay at "Chaotic Good"? Or can a certain number of chaotic acts eventually change you to "Evil"?

    I never paid much attention to such alignment intricacies, because mods seemed to have enough Good alignment acts to keep me in "good" shape. But that seems to be a random thing in this mod. Those three chaos containers are one example. I've already opened a ton of other containers that didn't seem to effect alignment at all, but these 3 containers did. That seems to be unreasonable, but perhaps there is some "logical" reason behind it.

    It would certainly be preferable to encounter more opportunities to add some "good" to my alignment. But if collecting more chaotic loot won't make me any worse then "Chaotic Good", it does offer me a way to make more money from selling the resulting loot.

    Thanks for the tip on how to deal with the beggar. It'll come in handy in a new game, but I've already completed that lesson in this game. I took advantage of the charisma "trick" with the tailor. Hmm...since the beggar is still alive, maybe I can still get the "Nightingale" quest even though I've completed Lesson 1...

    I'm glad to hear there are free gloves & boots on some lesson path. They could really be a nice help...although wearing something on my feet has a frustrating point in this mod. Putting anything on my feet reduces my "Move Silently" skill by 3 points. Unfortunately, all armor seems to come with footwear, so that any time I want to have those extra 3 points, I have to get naked. And more than once, even with those extra points, a guard saw me anyway & threatened me until I covered myself. At least that takes only one quick click on my armor in a quick-bar slot. But once I get some boots, I'll have to remove/put on those, too. And probably use another quick-bar slot for the boots, too, in case I suddenly find myself in a battle. And if I'm losing turns while in battle when I change equipment like that, having to do it twice (once I get boots) could really make a difference with the extra damage I might take during two equips.

    Hmm...I got side-tracked. LOL Where was I? I think I've said all I intended to say, except thanks for the two heads up at the end of your last post. I think I'll get to work on those two things soon, before I spoil the chance.
     
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    The replayability of this mod is off the charts, for me at least, so strange when you must play a female thief every time. I still find dialog I don't remember seeing every time I play, even though Valine has not updated in over 6 years now. Do something a little different with one of the major NPCs and quite a lot can change. Need to keep plenty of milepost saves though, the NWN engine can glitch a script and leave you stuck for good, worse news if it was some much earlier trigger that got lost and leave you with a lot of replay to find a good save. While I will make use of loopholes in the engine now and again, when I am involved and don't want to have my princess change her clothes in public... Find some boots with stats better than barefoot, and she won't catch a cold either, have you seen that high heels are even worse? You mentioned mage levels, I have used sorcerer quite often since they can do plenty of damage naked, and remember that the pixie familiar can pick locks too, not in stealth but every bit helps.

    Edit: Yes, I end up chaotic/whatever but the evil/good scale is not involved with stealing, just death, destruction and justice. Missions calling for death can be refused, though those few will not move even a neutral all the way, but I think evil is possible all the way from good but the princess will have to work at it, and there are even fewer good points to gain.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2019
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    The depth of aDWR is amazing. Far more complex than any of the 3 official campaigns I have.
    Are any of the premium modules any where near as complex or sophisticated as ADWR? I've only got the stuff from Platinum (OC, SotU, HotU)
     
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    I only dimly remember Wyvren Crown of Corymier(SP) as the big horses intro, but that suffered from the small area problem for horses unless jousting became fun, the other premium modules of the time seemed small and trite. Darkness over Daggerford was ok as an almost premium module but none I played beat ADWR, at least in the view of this fanboy. Bloodright, the Royal Blood is the other huge city and intricate story with good companions mod I like. Other good mods I like were listed above, A Harpers Tale deserves mention too, as does the unfinished Demonheart, but ADWR is still king of the hill. Plenty more good ones out there, but I get lost and tired in open worlds, and need some romance to keep things going.
     
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    Alignment changes in “A Dance with Rogues” have given me some frustrating moments.

    The 1st really big surprise with alignment changes was when I got back to the town gate after the experiences in the Wilderness Castle in Lesson 7. I had checked my alignment either just before entering the castle or just after rescuing Anden, I’m not sure which. What I wrote down in my notes is Chaotic 27, Good 86. Until I reentered town, I didn’t think I did anything that would change my alignment, so I didn’t check my alignment again until I was about to enter the town gate. Then, it was Chaotic 20, Good 76.

    That discovery of that alignment change was really frustrating, so I began to pay more attention to whether or not my alignment was changing with various acts. One that really pissed me off is as follows.

    When I entered one room in town, it contained 2 dogs & a commoner. All were named in red, which should mean that they’re all enemies. Which should mean that I can attack them 1st without negatively effecting my alignment. That was the case when I killed the dogs. But when I killed the commoner, I got a hefty alignment change of 10 towards Evil. I reloaded & tried again, this time letting the commoner see me and attacking me 1st. I still got 10 towards Evil when he died.

    Since alignment changes toward Good seem to be few & far between, I reloaded again and killed the dogs but didn’t attack the commoner (who didn’t even see me kill the dogs).
     
  15. ralebeau Gems: 2/31
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    Yes, I take my frustrations out on the Dhorn just before sailing off for part 2, no XP but I don't care, I just kill every one of them that does not respawn. As you have seen even some hostiles must be left alone for the sake of goodness if they are not Dhorn, I never went after that faction so didn't catch the alignment change. Factions turning hostile really spoil things in the Aurora engine so I stick to role play and leave commoners alone. The thief in the secret warehouse room, Carr's men, the basement necromancer, the werewolf, and those castle bandits are still fair game. The Dhorn patrol members still respawn I think, so I keep them non-hostile even while killing all the rest, barracks, prison, taverns, and guards, just kite them away from patrols view.

    Valine had plans for a new transition to part 2 but though she provides a sphere you still must strip companions and export with all the goods for part 2 as she didn't finish that version.

    Have you seen the bearded guy in the gaudy coat in the Bear Pit? He has been a major glitch for myself and others, since he interacts at several different times on the critical path, make some milepost saves returning from the Golden Chalice quest and right after escaping the castle prison. He has to show up properly twice more to keep things rolling, once from the dead, so he can be a right glitch.
     
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    Yes, since soon after my 1st visit to the Bearpit, I’ve noticed that the bearded guy is always there & is no doubt going to play a part in the mod eventually. For that reason, I've been avoiding using the Bearpit's trap door entrance from the sewers.


    And now you're saying that he can trigger a couple of glitches that will require me to reload & redo long sections of the mod? And could he then re-glitch again so that I have to redo again? Such happenings reduce my interest in a mod in a big way. For instance, sleeping with Pia was interesting the 1st time, but I had to redo that quest for some reason. Sleeping with her the 2nd time was boring.


    This mod may offer lots of variety through dialogue & other choices, but I'm starting to think that this mod is really restricted in how you build your character during level-ups, in where you use both ability points & skill points, & probably even feat choices.


    I can see that being a halfling could make it very difficult, or even impossible, to complete the mod. While rogue levels are almost a necessity because of all the thief skills the mod requires, her need for high Dex in order to increase her AC limits how many ability points she can put elsewhere. Though, supposedly, really hard but necessary battles are few, if I don’t increase her AC through points in Dex, I could see me being unable to survive those “few” hard battles and being able to complete the mod. So then there seems to be the chance that I won’t be able to complete the mod because my Charisma is still at 14.


    If I find that happening, that would require going back several level-ups to correct. I’ll quit playing the mod if that happens.


    And it seems that one needs a minimum amount of several different skills at specific points in the mod, in order to make “life” easier, or in many cases, in order to advance along the required plot line. And it’s unpredictable how much of what skill I’ll need when or where.


    Here’s an example involving Lore. During the Golden Chalice quest, I’ll find some Gauntlets of Thievery (+10 to Pickpocket skill). The wikia mentions that I’ll need “a high lore in order to be able to identify it”. Did they appear because they’ll be needed soon? My impression is that there’s no shop I can get them IDd at, so my only option is to ID them on the spot. So what’s “a high lore level? At character level 4, it might not be much. 4? Or is it more like 10? I wasn’t expecting my Lore skill level to be a requirement, so it’s only at 1, which definitely is not “high”. So I can’t even think about getting it “high” until my next level-up…and hope I have enough skill points to get it “high” enough before I need to use them.


    And Lore is probably one of the least needed skills. Several others seem to be more important, and maybe even necessary, at unpredictable points in the mod: bluff, disable trap, hide, listen, move silently, open lock, pick pocket, search, set trap, spot, tumble & UMD.


    I’m finding myself needing to go read the wikia just to see if I can avoid some of these many potential bottlenecks. But in most cases it doesn’t help in figuring out how many points in what will be needed when and where.


    I’m getting tired of reading the wikia. I just want to play. But with so many potentially critical requirements, it seems impossible to make it far without reading the wikia. And often it doesn't help anyway. And then there are those possible glitch points.


    So…I’m losing interest in this mod fast.
     
  17. Cornered Gems: 3/31
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    I also find myself having to read the wikia any time I get a new companion. If they're with me for any length of time, I'm likely going to have to have them carry some of my loot. So I have to go read the wikia to figure out when they'll disappear with whatever loot they may be carrying. I didn't do that during the quest where Anden and the mastiff joined me. I put lots of loot on both of them. Only to have the mastiff run off with its load of loot, & then Anden leaves before I remembered to get my loot from him. Reload & redo.

    Would it be so hard for a mod to give a warning when this will happen? For instance, just before a companion leaves for good, he or she can give a warning in dialogue something like: "I'll be leaving you now. Would you like your loot back before I go and sell it myself?"
     
  18. ralebeau Gems: 2/31
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    There is a tiny warning when the princess and Anden first look at the gate, I don't think by the time he says he has to go report in that he can swap out. He will be back with the stuff but not for a while, any Golden Chalice companions left will depart right at the campfire in front of the ship docked at the island, no warning there either. I doubt you can afford enough bags of holding for all the loot yourself, the game will let you move way overloaded, just not very fast, get to a nearby store by the docks and sell the cheapest and heavy stuff there to get un-encumbered, remember that the gas traps are worth about 3000.

    Lore potions will solve the ID needs, but you do need some lore points, there will not be anywhere to ID things once at the summer islands. I thought you mentioned mage levels, the Identify spell is great, I'll take the Knowledge domain for cleric levels to get that one, and trickery of course.

    The Golden Chalice and a very nasty Dhorn prison make Cleric levels a good choice for this mod, since you don't have direct control over henchmen. Do you know the way to use the engine while pickpocketing hostiles? No need to reload, just steal in stealth and paused, if detected then hit stealth again and un-pause to step away then return to try again. Lots of hostiles you may not want to fight have keys you need. Get enough points in pickpocket so you can get over the 30 needed without your equipment to avoid having to battle everyone who has theirs, then just leave them locked behind you. Still not enough XP to make killing everyone unless the plot demanded it.

    I don't bother raising CHR above 14, there are enough items as you go so the checks can be reached, DEX is what a thief needs. The greater rogue gloves are better than plain DEX gloves, and if you saw the note by the Bear Pit kitchen the seamstress can upgrade clothes too. Sorry it is losing your interest, the base design is for a single class rogue, who would still need some lore potions along the way, other class levels can indeed be taken but stealth, locks and traps provide a lot of XP for what comes next.
     
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    I'm glad I decided to check my email to see if you had posted any more helpful tips. I'm 2xp points from getting my level 5 level-up, & I would've taken another level of Rogue, but not now.

    Yes, I was planning on 2 levels of Wizard, but not until levels 8 & 9. But after reading your tips above, I think I'll take a Wizard level now. A Wizard can get the Identify spell at Wizard level 1. I have 15 scrolls that need IDing, & I'd hate to waste 1500g to pay for IDs, especially since several of them won't sell for as much as an ID costs.

    When you mentioned taking Cleric for the Identify spell, I pulled out my paper manual that came with my NWN CD purchase and looked up Cleric. I don't see Identify at all in the Cleric's spell list. Did my manual miss it?

    Not that it matters. My Wisdom (for Cleric spells) is only at 10, while my Intelligence (for Wizard spells) is at 12. And I'm glad to hear that I can leave Charisma at 14 & use gear if I need more. Now I can pump up Dex without too much worry.

    I made a major goof when I decided to make a Rogue 9/Wizard 2/Arcane Archer 29 build. I thought I had used that build with a halfling before, but apparently it was with an elf or half elf, because an Arcane Archer has to be an elf or half elf. However, it doesn't really impact what I've built so far, & I can still keep shortbow as my favored weapon & improve it. Instead of Arcane Archer levels, I can work towards Epic Rogue. Or maybe work towards some Shadowdancer levels, which could be interesting. Epic Rogue bonuses don't come until level 20 anyway, so getting that is moot in this mod.

    But Shadowdancer gets fewer skill points, so maybe I won't take it. I do have to put a TON of points into Disable Trap before I can do some decent trap recovering, which requires 10 DC more than just disabling does. And then there's still Lore, Stealth, Pick Pocket, Open Lock... Okay, maybe no Shadowdancer levels.

    No, I didn't know about that pickpocket tip. I'll have to practice it. Thanks.

    Oh...I'm not clear about one thing you said. You said, "Get enough points in pickpocket so you can get over the 30 needed without your equipment..." Is that "30" referring to a base pickpocket skill level of 30? Or a DC 30 that I'll have to beat?
     
  20. ralebeau Gems: 2/31
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    The Knowledge Cleric domain gives the Identify spell. One thing about the non-cleric spells though is that they will not convert to healing like most memorized cleric spells. The trickery domain will give a small boost to thief abilities for a short duration, which is why I take that pair for ADWR. I used to consider the animal domain to get the better critters sooner, but like the Ranger AI, the boar will just stand there for a long time doing nothing, useless unless he was going to block a doorway. ( Keep the Ranger Anden with his bow, or watch close when he is supposed to melee or he might do the Bioware thing which is nothing, for fun tell Vico to use the ranged weapon you gave him in conversation. You will get more fixed companions during and after the Find Pia mission, have them carry heavy stuff but nothing you would miss on a dangerous solo mission fighting spiders without armor or something.)

    With a 10 skill at pickpocket you have a one in twenty chance to roll the 20 you need for 30, more skill points would take less time, and you might not have those +10 gloves with you, or the ring or the dress etc.

    The cleric spell find traps will clear all traps and give their XP too, but no recovery for what was not on the floor. Using examine trap can show off its DC and then compare that with what the recover DC number is to see what is needed, but while working in stealth I don't always bother with examine. The mine store has a wand for traps, it is not cheap but there are traps that will never be spotted first, most are in part 2 and the warning is that catapult sitting at the end of the hallway. Spend some points in set traps too, as they are a great way to set your own ambush, that also gives extra points to disable, as does improving INT to the next even number with a ring, potion or spell. Setting traps will cancel stealth when finished, but time in a pause and select stealth again and the baddies may not have seen you set that trap right in front of them (helps with nasty golems you want dead, still not much XP though, might have been better to sneak past and sell them later). When Valine added those golems to the wizards tower she gave them true seeing, man was that ever a pain for the low level princess. I asked her if they really needed that and her reply was "silly golems", but next time out they didn't have any.

    There is some Shadowdancer armor for sale at the ranger guild, even paladins and clerics can find armor only they can use, and there are whole stores for monks and bards to visit before you leave town. The dwarf merchant has great stuff, but even with a lot of money it is best to wait and see what Igor can remake for the thief or mage type build before you leave town, for selling off loot it seems the fortune teller will most often pay more and sell for less than others. The temple is the worst but still has things worth the price when you are flush with money. For all those goods marked stolen, it seems to vary between the hideout and Drago as to where appraise will get you the best prices to buy and sell. Have you discovered what the Dhorn patrol is on the lookout for yet, maybe a thief?

    You didn't mention the "Tony the Tiger" quest, if I remember right that has to kick in before lesson 7 is over, oh well, there are more Orcs later on anyway if you missed it.
     
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