Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Tile project released

The purpose of this project is to add tint support and retexturing support to all NWN2 tilesets. Additionally, this project adds the ability to use all exterior textures on interiors. Due to the wide variety of tiles and textures, not all combinations will look good on all tilesets, you will need to experiment.

Includes the unreleased Jungle Ruins set by RWS. This set is not complete.

Notes: Several tilesets were released without all the standard tiles. These tilesets have a zero in the tiles.2da for the missing tiles, to indicate this tile is a standard tileset tile that does not exist. There is some intentional duplication of textures, as several tilesets use the same textures. The duplicates exist in folders for each tileset that uses them, so if you elect to not use a tileset and delete it's texture folder, other tilesets that use that texture will not be affected.

The Huge Caves tileset is supported for retexturing, but not tintable because of the tile geometry.

Screenshots here are RWS Citadel using rust, copper, and Codi-Sigil textures. RWS Dark Mines using the exterior textures Cobblestone44, Snow02, and Grass19. Sunken Ruins in hot pink snow, I don't know why you'd want to do that, but you can. link.

Vault download link.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Literacy in the rpg world

Something for me to think about for Bedine, literacy.

No, not among the players. I assume players can read :-)

Instead I'm talking about the pc. I think just about every rpg ever assumes the pc can read. While a universal literacy assumption is reasonable in a modern day/future setting, historical/fantasy rpgs also assume pc literacy. The data dump to the player by reading books is an old, old trope.

In the real world, literacy rates were low, even among the upper classes/elites of society. Scribes were a well paid profession in the real world for a reason. Old versions of the Dungeon Masters Guide only obliquely reference the literacy issue in their tables of wages for common professions when they listed wages for a scribe (scribes are among the better paid of the commoner professions).

In Baldur's Gate it's entirely reasonable the player can read, after all they did grow up in Candlekeep! In NWN1 the player is attending an hero school at the beginning of the game. It's reasonable that at least basic literacy would be taught to a would be hero, knowing which book on the evil wizard's shelf is the one that has his plans is a useful skill in the hero trade. In NWN2 Daeghun could reasonably teach the pc to read given his knowledge of the pc as carrying the shard, and there are bookshelves in the players house so there are certainly books around.

On the other hand fantasy worlds are full of barbarians, nomads, tribal groups and other such societies where learning is an oral process, possibly supplemented with pictures or pictographic representations. What about a pc from these groups? They can be highly intelligent, yet illiterate. Back to the example of the evil wizard's shelf, how does the nomad know which book to take? How do you give them information while in the dungeon, so often done with a reading data dump?

Friday, October 11, 2013

Bedine update

I stopped working on proof of concept areas since I've discovered I can make decent looking desert areas with the toolset. I've done some work on implementing some of the quest ideas from the Anauroch sourcebook as sidequests. These are relatively straightforward quests along the lines of "merchant hires you to find something" and will make up some of the sidequests. Any obstacles for the player will go in later, puzzles, enemies etc. I've put in placeholder blank areas so I can put in the area transitions.

I've worked out a basic outline for a main quest and put in placeholders to support it. These are generic named npcs such as "shaman" and their conversation say things like "go click the clicky first!". While the written down plot outline has more detail than that, some specifics will be worked out over time as they grow into their spots organically. I haven't worked out the details of the ending yet, but that can come later as I currently don't have any inspiration for it. I'm not going to work on something like the endgame when I'm not feeling inspired, the lack of inspiration would show.

One big thing to come later, specific dialog lines for npcs. I try to find "voices" for the npcs so not everyone's dialog reads the same. Placeholder conversations will allow me to do basic testing of the main plot. The basic testing will focus on ensuring the story flow of the written outline is translated to game dialog correctly, making quest options show at the right times for example. Specific "voices" for npcs can come later.

Next step is setting up a test module and putting in these npcs/script to allow me to run through things and do basic testing of conversations and scripts.

Sunday, September 15, 2013


I've opened up the toolset again, and settled on a setting. I'll be working on things as I feel like it, instead of grinding things out, so who knows if this will ever see the light of day. These pictures are from proof of concept areas.

Bedine will take place in the Anauroch desert, and the player will play a member of one of the nomadic Bedine tribes. The timeline is some point after the NWN1 expansion Shadows of Undrentide.

Why Bedine? I like nonstandard settings. I like the cleanness/brightness of desert area settings. Tada!

I won't be forcing the plaayer to play specific race/class, but as a Bedine tribemsan the story will treat the player as a human male and a non-spellcasting class. Non-spellcasting as Bedine are very suspicious of magic, and there are very few Bedine spellcasters. Players will also be restricted to traditional Bedine weapons (dagger, kukri, scimitar, sling, spear) and armor (max of leather, Bedine are nomads) until they find other things or reach somewhere they can trade for them.

I'm trying to keep things relatively simple compared to PoE and Crimmor. Of the official campaigns plus my past work, it will be most similar to SoZ. Soz party building will be included, as will a number of cohorts. The cohorts won't have their own stories or quests, just be "lore appropriate" party members for players that would prefer that. The SoZ overland map will be used, though as a native and nomad the player won't be slowed as much by bad terrain.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Campaign ideas

I haven't had any motivation to work in the toolset, after pounding away at things for 2 years (Path of Evil), and then immediately another 2 years and a few months (Crimmor). Here are some ideas I've tossed around at various points. In no particular order.

A sequel to Path of Evil, with the player playing Tan, the tiefling companion from the first Path of Evil. The idea would be the PoE pc granted Tan's request, and now Tan is free to seek his revenge. This would be a high level campaign set in the Abyss (and possibly a short stay in Sigil to transition there, as the PoE stronghold has access to Sigil). Starting level would be 16-18. Instead of the open world and "blank" PC of PoE, the story would assume the player is Tan the Tiefling, so it would be more story focused than PoE. The PoE companion Carcarin the wizard also has unfinished business on the Lower Planes, so she may come along as a companion.

Merchant: The player would be a merchant trying to build and run a merchant company. This would take advantage of the customizable SoZ trade system I published. You'd probably start as a merchant apprentice, and work for a merchant company before striking out on your own.

Asmodeus successful: Official lore has Asmodeus repeatedly trying to drag Abeir-Toril into his plane of the Abyss, as part of plots to increase his own power. This campaign would start after Asmodeus has succeeded. Waterdeep, or some other suitably large power, would call Faerun's powers together to try to get Abeir-Toril back to the Prime, and provide portals to whatever locations were necessary to do so. You could easily have good and evil characters working towards this goal, since the evil Faerun powers would be facing existential threats from being in the Abyss (or being there is simply inconvenient to their own plans). Obviously this would be an epic level campaign as the most power people in Faerun would get called for the effort.

Generic adventuring without an overarching story, based out of Crimmor. This would let me reuse the Crimmor maps as the base, and this would resemble Wyrin's White Plume Mountain of different areas on an OM to have adventures.

Dark Sun: I'd love to do something here, but it's basically not doable as too much custom work would need to be done to do the setting justice.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Perfect World Employees posting as regular Neverwinter Online Foundry authors.

PWE employees are creating Foundry content which is not marked as PWE created. Something I pointed out. All PWE employees are supposed to have red or blue forum names instead of the orange of general users or green of community moderators..

 Forums link
 (assuming my post doesn't get removed)

Then a marked dev stepped in and removed the post.

The person lives 20 minutes from Cryptic studios according to his twitter account...

Edit: Apparently another PWE employee posting as a regular player.

Sunday, April 14, 2013


It's virtually inevitable that there will be bugs found in any release, and naturally Crimmor was not immune to that. I followed the good practice of included a patch hak. What I've done is make the odd number patches via the patch hak, to allow updates for people that have already started and have savegames, and the even number a full update that addresses the things that can't be patched, map changes and such. Version 1.04 should be up at the Vault/Nexus today.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Crimmor is released!

Vault link.

Now to cross my fingers and hope no one finds any gamebreaking bugs. :-)

Crimmor is a module for solo rogues of level 8 (you can level up and receive appropriate gold ingame). Use skills and rogue abilities as a Shadow Thief in the streets of the Amnian city of Crimmor.

You may like this module, you may not. Crimmor is experimental and is focused primarily on the urban environment and providing the "feel" of a city, as well as rogue focused non-combat gameplay. If you are all about combat, this is probably not the module for you.

Crimmor pushes the NWN2 toolset's hard limit on objects in the external city areas, additionally, there are numerous npcs in the city. I recommend a modern pc. You've been warned.

Crimmor takes many things, from food, street, shop, and npc names, to the unusual relationship of the Shadow Thieves to the city, from Ed Greenwood's article on the city in Dragon Magazine issue 334. Thank you Ed. Some things I had to change in the interest of gameplay.

Characters without rogue levels are unsupported, though bards will probably work fine as well. You are not required to have levels in the Shadow Thief of Amn prestige class. You are not required to be evil.

Magic levels are low, there are few +2 items. Don't worry about that, Crimmor isn't a module about "powering up". You can reach up to level 14 in Crimmor. There are four possible endings, not all of which are good for the pc, and it is possible to end the game via decisions you make before the "end".

Among other things, Crimmor uses a custom lockpicking system (courtesy of RWS), all custom sound in the environment (courtesy It has custom weapon and item classes, and pseudo prestige classes (Crimmor does not change any 2das except for the loadscreens and trees.2das, so it works with any custom content that does not alter these, including class packs). Finally, the thieves speak cant. A pdf guide has been provided that goes over gameplay things, and includes a dictionary of the cant used as well as some background on Crimmor.

The module is completable without killing anything. There's no secret achievement or bonus for doing so. No xp is awarded for combat, only quest completion and exploration. There are approximately 10 hours of content.

There's a lot going on behind the scenes with things, and some things are pretty complicated. As with any 1.0 release, there are bound to be some bugs that managed to slip by, but there are two I am aware of:
Lockpicking does not consume lockpicks (yay for you, freebie!). Lights do not affect the hide skill though the DM will tell you it does, as there were seemingly unsolvable problems with this (I hope to get this fixed via patch). These have minimal game effect and were significantly delaying release, so I chose to go ahead and release.

Thanks to my testers: Arkalezth, PJ156, GFallen01.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Beta Progress Update

Most of the reported bugs with Crimmor are fixed. I'm still tracking some performance related things down and trying to figure out good ways to implement some tester suggestions.

I haven't been able to give things my full attention (I'm not secretly playing Neverwinter Online or anything, though I did go through a week of Civ5), just lacking motivation recently. Not to worry, it will pick back up at some point and I'll get things done and released. I go through periods when I've not been the most dedicated modder, they always go away :-)

Monday, March 11, 2013

Neverwinter Online Beta

I have a beta key (they can be gotten for free). I played much of the weekend.

Neverwinter Online (NWO) is an Action RPG MMO. NWO is Diablo or Torchlight, but with a third person camera. NWO is not a translation of DnD rules of any edition into MMO format, it uses a traditional action rpg style ruleset, with DnD names assigned to things.

If you do not like action rpgs, you will not like NWO. You can safely ignore any and all dialog and story. If you like RPGs, I would in fact encourage you to actively do so, as your head may explode otherwise.

The game is slated for release "early 2013", and official video streams from Perfect World (PW is the owner of Cryptic, the dev making NWO) mention April. The game as it stands in this second beta has numerous serious bugs and other basic multiplayer and party issues. I do not believe all the issues and bugs can be addressed before the end of April (the latest possible date that fits their current release announcements).

Neverwinter Online will be free to play. Cryptic plans on making money via microtransactions, selling game currency, armor dyes, unique mounts etc. During beta, it did not appear that anyone would need to buy anything before coming to a conclusion on whether they like they game or not.

Thursday, February 21, 2013


Crimmor is ready for beta. I've messaged people that tested the proof of concept long ago, and a few builders. Since dropbox doesn't have unlimited bandwidth on accounts I don't want to post links for everyone and get the dropbox account temporarily locked, preventing people from downloading, if you are interested send me a message via Bioware Social, my profile is here: .

Monday, February 11, 2013

Bringing .max files into Gmax, without Max

You need 3DExplorer from (version 1.8 or above), which will open .max files and allow you to save them as .3ds and .obj. Once they are in .3ds you need gmax scripts that can import the object into gmax. Fortunately someone made scripts for that. You need the 3ds importer v1.1 from I found that page via the Natural Selection modding website, at

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Summoning the Sound Ninja - a PlaySound fix

The PlaySound function puts a sound playing request into the queue of the target creature, which means it doesn't actually play the sound until the other actions in the queue happen. "But I want to play the sound now, not when and even if the queue finishes" you say? mentioned using a scripthidden "sound ninja" to stand in and play a sound, but didn't have an implementation, and the suggested implementation looked like it hard coded the sound into the onSpawn script of the sound ninja, so you'd have to make a different ninja with a different script for each sound. So here you go, a generic sound ninja summoning version of PlaySound, this ninja does not require any scripts at all.

    credit to kevL at
 ga_play_sound replacement, summons the "sound ninja" creature to play sounds since
 playsound goes at end of action queue, so an npc may not play immediately
 for more see

 Note that the sound ninja does not need to have any scripts on it at all, but "Disable AI
 while hidden" must not be checked.

 Also note the string sSound is not the tag of a sound object, but the name of the actual
 wav sound file to play

#include "ginc_param_const"

void kL_PlayNinja(string sSound, object oSoundNinja, float fDelay)
    DelayCommand(fDelay, AssignCommand(oSoundNinja, PlaySound(sSound)));
    fDelay += 10.f;
    DelayCommand(fDelay, DestroyObject(oSoundNinja));

void main(string sSound, string sTarget, float fDelay)
    object oTarget = GetTarget(sTarget, TARGET_OWNER);//
    location lTarget = GetLocation(oTarget);
    object oSoundNinja = CreateObject(OBJECT_TYPE_CREATURE, "sh_sound_ninja", lTarget);
    if (GetIsObjectValid(oSoundNinja))
        DelayCommand(0.1f, kL_PlayNinja(sSound, oSoundNinja, fDelay));

Friday, February 1, 2013

January Update : Part 2

Unfortunately I caused myself lots of problems switching from a single module campaign to a six module campaign. I lost my up to date journal, since I had it at the campaign level and the journal importer/exporter utility only handles module level journals. I had to go to a backup journal. Updating mapnotes and door lock status doesn't work when the targets are now in different modules either :-). The modules were also confused about what their campaign folder was, even after I used the campaign editor to set things. I had to take my old campaign folder and move it out of the campaigns folder entirely, even though the modules were supposedly not referring to it. Even the test module was confused about what campaign folder it should use.

So now I'm fixing all the things I broke in my bungled conversion to a six module campaign. While I had played Crimmor to completion in December, I'm currently not able to. Not to worry though, I've fixed lots of other bugs that were present when I was able to play all the way through.

In this image, the pc was tasked with forging some orders for a caravan company. This was made complicated by the fact the merchant representative of the company is standing behind the counter, and there is a locked door behind/next to him where the offices and the order book is.

Solutions available:

1.Pickpocket the door key from the merchant, then use that key when the merchant isn't looking in order to get inside the office (PRR ownership scripts mean the merchant "owns" the door and pays attention to attempts to pick it/knock it down).
2. Intimidate or bluff the merchant into giving you the key. Now that you "legitimately" have access to the door, the merchant doesn't pay any attention to you using the door.
3. Use the special Hidden Theurgy ability if available to cast a suitable spell on the merchant, so he will willingly give you the key.
4. Kill him and take the key. How gauche. Plus the merchant will fight back, and stands a decent chance of killing the thief.

The PC is a thief/wizard and has Hidden Theurgy. He knows a relevant spell for use on the merchant, in this case Charm Person, and passed the skill checks (Concentration, Sleight of Hand, and Spellcraft) that allowed him to cast it on the merchant during conversation without the merchant knowing.

Charmed, the merchant thus willingly gave him the key, and the thief is in the offices.

Now the player has to actually forge the orders in the books. He can try his penmanship via skill and stat check, cast a True Strike he has memorized in order to temporarily give himself perfectly matching penmanship, or simply call the merchant he charmed in order to have the merchant change his own orders.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

January Update: Commoner AI

January has a large update, so I've broken it into two parts so your eyes don't glaze over reading. :-)  The first part is about the commoner ai.

I started testing Crimmor with commoners running my commoner ai, and discovered performance with as many commoners as I wanted was terrible. Miserably terrible. Horrific. I was actually causing spontaneous crashes because of high memory usage. For me, this was happening around 1.5 gigs of memory in use. For comparison, Storm of Zehir uses up to around 900 megs on my pc.

I had Crimmor as one big module, something I had wanted so that once the game loads the player can move around the city with minimal loading. So I split Crimmor into 6 modules, each of moderate (15-20 area) size, one module for each ward of the city and one module for the few areas outside the city.

At the end of that, my campaign was still crashing from memory usage, so I had to address the commoner ai directly. I decided to have my commoners adopt specific activities instead of dynamically deciding, and only change twice a day, to go home at night and wake up in the morning. So I wrote up activity specific heartbeat scripts for commoners covering the 20 or so activities I felt would be most common from the commoner ai. (released at

These new generic activity heartbeats actually support combat, so they can be used for enemies, and many only require setting a heartbeat, so they are even easier to set up than the full commoner ai. It's a major addition to my existing commoner ai. You can now easily have your orcs eating dinner when the player walks in, and they will get up and attack :-)

Anyway, these new heartbeats brought Crimmor's memory usage back down to a reasonable level, typically 1 to 1.2 gig, and my crashes have ended. It's still higher than other modules because I have a lot of things going on ai wise, lots of city folk. I may still write custom versions of these scripts to include the Brian Meyer's CSL if that's necessary to make the city as crowded as I want, as his CSL ai can handle hundreds on npcs in combat simultaneously.