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[Released] Black Hearts - BG1

AWizardDidItAWizardDidIt Member Posts: 196
edited January 2023 in BG:EE Mods
Introduction
Black Hearts is a new Quest mod for Baldur’s Gate Enhanced Edition that follows a plotline involving a character from Throne of Bhaal, Illasera, and a Red Wizard plot involving a dangerous new ally that has joined Sarevok’s cause. This mod repurposes fights from the Black Pits module, using those as a basis for various objectives given to players for the questline (with some variations to them in many cases).

There is a small additional ‘Dialogue patch’ supplement mod that can be downloaded for BG2. This adds some additional dialogues to Illasera in TOB to reflect that the two of you knew each other before.

This is my first ever big released mod, but I’m quite proud of how it all came together. It was a big learning experience for me. I apologize that it was about a year delayed from what I original intended, but I hope the wait was worth it :)

The mod includes:
  • A brand new questline that spans from Chapter 3 through to the end of BG1.
  • An expanded non-party companion, Illasera the Quick. While she does not join the party, she is a major presence in a Baldur’s Gate game with Black Hearts installed. In addition to being the major quest giver for the mod, she comments on your journey, provides rumors and advice, has 2-3 conversations with all BG:EE companions, and two long form social events if you choose to befriend her.
  • Around 3,000 new lines of written dialogue with an emphasis on roleplay.
  • Six brand new areas.
  • Eighteen new items with unique magical properties.

Downloads
Blackhearts BG1 - The mod for Baldur’s Gate Enhanced Edition (with or without SOD)

Blackhearts BG2 Patch - Dialogue patch for Illasera in TOB

Blackhearts EET - EET Compatible version of the mod with the Dialogue patch implemented.

Screenshots
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Installation
For BG:EE
Download Blackhearts_BG1.zip and unzip the mod into your Baldur’s Gate EE directory, making sure that the folder “Blackhearts_BG1” and file Setup-Blackhearts_BG1 is in your base game directory (the same location as the chitin.key. Run the Setup-Blackhearts_BG1 weidu exe file to start installation.

For BG2:EE (patch file for additional Illasera dialogue)
Download Blackhearts_BG2 Patch.zip and unzip the mod into your Baldur’s Gate 2 EE directory, making sure that the folder “Blackhearts_BG2 Patch” and file Setup-Blackhearts_BG2 Patch is in your base game directory (the same location as the chitin.key. Run the Setup-Blackhearts_BG2 Patch weidu exe file to start installation.

For EET
Download Blackhearts_EET.zip and unzip the mod into your EET Baldur’s Gate 2 EET directory, making sure that the folder “Blackhearts_EET” and file Setup-Blackhearts_EET is in your base game directory (the same location as the chitin.key. Run the Setup-Blackhearts_EET weidu exe file to start installation. Make sure this is done AFTER the EET Core component is installed but BEFORE EET End is.

Note:
The mod should only be started on a fresh save. Uninstalling the mod and loading up a save that had been installed will probably not totally break your save, but may result in weirdness.

FAQ
Will this mod get ported for the non-EE BG (BG1 or BGT)?
Not from me. I learned to mod using a lot of EE shortcuts that I am not going to relearn to mod vanilla BG. If someone else would like to do this for me, feel free to reach out.

Is SOD required?
No, however an SOD add-on epilogue chapter will be coming Soon™

Are there any mod incompatibilities?
There shouldn’t be. I tried to make the mod with best modding practices in mind towards compatibility with other mods. However if anyone finds anything that doesn’t work together, notify me and I’ll look into it (contact details below).

What languages are the mod in?
Only English so far. If someone would like to assist me in translating to other languages, please contact me (contact details below).

Where does the quest start?
The Questline begins in the Feldepost Inn of Beregost and can be started in Chapter 3 and forward.

Are there any time limits or requirements for the quests?
There are no time limits on any quest. However, all available quests must be completed prior to starting Chapter 7 (post-Candlekeep) or else the last chain in the questline will not be available. It will be obvious when you’re safe to move on to Candlekeep.

Illasera is kind of mean. Can she not be?
No, I tried to write the character as very firmly in the evil camp. However, she is not a cackling villain, simply practical and without much empathy for others. She’s intentionally condescending towards the PC to start, but lightens up over time (and can even respect/befriend them).

Are there story consequences for doing/not doing the quest?
Yes. Without spoiling things, playing through the questline to its completion will add an extra benefit to the end game. However, failing to do it will make for a complication towards the end. This is a quest about Sarevok getting a new ally. Failing to stop this will make for a fairly tough battle near the end.

I’m not getting experience from quest turn ins. Is that intended?
Yes. I feel like the amount of XP you get in BG:EE is already incredibly high and the fights in this mod generally award pretty good XP for the enemies you kill, so I decided awarding even more XP for quest turn-ins wasn’t really necessary. There are a couple instances of XP rewards given however for alternate quest solutions.

Is there any special content for specific npcs/characters?
Imoen gets a few extra bits of content in this mod, including an expanded Eversong Bar scene. Besides her, all other EE base npcs get quite a bit of banter and a few even provide alternate routes for some quests to usually shortcut them.

I'm stuck on X quest. What do I do?
Please check the mod Quest Guide here :)


Credits
- New Area assets sourced from Lionheart: Legacy of the Crusader
- Nerys’ song is So Close by FlyByNo (Endless Legend)
- Nerys voice lines pulled from Legends of Runeterra (Riot Games)
- Special thanks to DnD Detective (https://www.youtube.com/@dnddetective4463). His modding tutorial videos started out my own dabbling in modding. I couldn’t have made this mod without his work.
- Thank you to all the BG modding community. You’ve inspired so much interest in this game/series that has kept it fresh and fun for decades. This entire process of modding was a lot of trial and error learned from scouring through various mods and trying to put it all together myself.
- Beamdog for their work to maintain Baldur’s Gate as a game. You all aren’t always appreciated, but I think deserve accolades for the work you’ve done updating the game (and SOD is a pretty swell little expansion).

Contact
For any issues with the mod, send me a message through the beamdog site or contact me at mandatorymarley@sbcglobal.net and I'll get back to you when I can.
Post edited by AWizardDidIt on
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Comments

  • EndarireEndarire Member Posts: 1,511
    Seeing this update is encouraging!

    I have 2 major requests for this mod for its initial release.

    1: Include native EET compatibility. Ask the people on Gibberlings3 as prudent for aid.

    2: Include Orange Ioun Stones for +1 caster level. This is one item that seems easy to make/include but one that I've not been able to use in any D&D video game yet!

    Thankee!
  • AWizardDidItAWizardDidIt Member Posts: 196
    @Endarire

    1. EET compatibility is definitely something I would like to do. Probably will be one of the last things I visit before I look to Release it.

    2. That seems like a great idea for a new magic item and definitely within the scope of magic items I want for the mod. I *hate* when mods introduce OP gear and have specifically been making gear that's less god-tier and more trying to make items that are lesser used in BG or have interesting/unique effects.
  • LavaDelVortelLavaDelVortel Member Posts: 2,648
    It looks impressive and I am quite excited that I'll be able to play a mod I have nothing to do with. Something new, something fresh, and something with stories and details I do not know. I'll happily play it once it's released :)
    StummvonBordwehr
  • IseweinIsewein Member Posts: 499
    Another proper quest mod in the making, eh? Looks great. I always appreciate some fleshing out for ToB characters.
    StummvonBordwehr
  • EndarireEndarire Member Posts: 1,511
    @AWizardDidIt
    Thankee! I realized that +1 caster level is most appropriate for low levels when the +1 CL matters a lot. Once in BG2, that +1 CL matters much less.

    (I also like the notion of integrating the Black Pits' fights into the main BG story. Baeloth is my favorite NPC! Alleluia!)
  • GiovanskiGiovanski Member Posts: 13
    @AWizardDidIt
    Looks incredible. Very eager to see it released.

    @Endarire
    You mean... this thing? B)
    n26d7x38ao89.png
    StummvonBordwehr
  • EndarireEndarire Member Posts: 1,511
    @Giovanski That is the first I've seen of that item! Where is it normally?

    I'd also like an Orange Ioun Stone equippable by all classes, like the Pale Green Ioun Stone in BG2EE.
  • AWizardDidItAWizardDidIt Member Posts: 196
    @Endarire

    Well, as soon as my mod's ready, you'll be able to grab a non-class restricted Orange Ioun Stone from an enemy nearish to the end of the questline :)

    bj971hh5wyaf.png


    StummvonBordwehr
  • EndarireEndarire Member Posts: 1,511
    edited July 2021
    Thankee!

    The Bright Orange Ioun Stone linked above is from the Angel's Made in Heaven Item Pack mod.

    And to clarify, the Orange Ioun Stone is +1 caster level to all classes, yea even Rangers, Paladins, Bards, Shamen, Clerics, Druids, and obscure kits that can cast.
  • LavaDelVortelLavaDelVortel Member Posts: 2,648
    BTW, would you make the portraits optional? While I understand many people like them, these days I prefer to stick to the original game design, where only NPCs and sometimes really crucial/main characters have portraits (like Irenicus etc.)

    Plus, if I were to see portraits, I would rather see original ones (like the ToB Illasera) rather than those introduced in mods. Illasera's portrait you use was made by Artastrophe and was designed as a part of PaintBG portrait mod, not as a standalone thing. They do not blend in well with original portraits and such a mix always felt weird... that's also why I think I prefer to keep quest mods portrait-less or minimalize a number of portraits.
  • AWizardDidItAWizardDidIt Member Posts: 196
    I've always used the Artastrophe mod for Illasera in my recent BG playthroughs, so it's just kind of ingrained in my head that she should look like that and I used it while I was making the mod. But I also want to be very careful about involving other creator's content so unless Artastrophe has specifically said somewhere that they don't mind these portraits being used in mods, I'm going to have to remove it for the final release and probably revert back to her TOB portrait (which I'll probably be touching up in photoshop). Either way, I'll def think about making it a choice to use the TOB portrait during install.

    As for other npcs, only a few of them have portraits and those are the more major ones and I've been toying with the idea of doing non-party romances for them. A few of those portraits I created myself, so I'm kind of proud of the work I did and want to include them. I promise it won't be too immersion breaking!
  • EndarireEndarire Member Posts: 1,511
    Did you use a unique prefix for all your files (AW, DJ, etc. for KPWizar1.xxx, etc.) so as to ensure compatibility with other mods?
  • AWizardDidItAWizardDidIt Member Posts: 196
    Yes
  • LavaDelVortelLavaDelVortel Member Posts: 2,648
    @AWizardDidIt - just to let you know: I really think you're doing a great job and that portrait thing would only (in my opinion) make your work better :) I can't wait to see your mod released.
    Cheers!
  • tangelo1023tangelo1023 Member Posts: 6
    This mod sounds amazing.
  • IseweinIsewein Member Posts: 499
    I love the pub scenes in BG1 NPC project; it's nice to take a rest from adventuring for a while. Looking forward!
  • UlkeshUlkesh Member Posts: 196
    edited July 2021
    I'm really really curious of what you're cooking. I wonder if you added some meaningful (And rewarding) evil options :P
    Post edited by Ulkesh on
  • ZoltanavrZoltanavr Member Posts: 41
    I'm looking forward to get this mod released and play it in my next playthough.
  • EndarireEndarire Member Posts: 1,511
    @AWizardDidIt
    I have plans for other items that I would like included in this mod or/and other mods. How receptive are you to implementing more items suitable for sometime in BG1?

    Thankee!
  • AWizardDidItAWizardDidIt Member Posts: 196
    edited July 2021
    @Ulkesh
    There are selfish and aggressive options in dialogue and you can kill some npcs along the way if you feel like it and get some extra items for doing so, with the trade off being that they aren't around to help or talk to you later. Otherwise, the whole questline is pretty morally agnostic. I didn't really approach it with "Good" or "Evil" in mind. Everyone knows "Law" vs "Chaos" is where it's at B)

    @Endarire
    Feel free to give me item suggestions if you'd like! I don't have all my items laid out beforehand; my process so far has been taking a fight and then just sort of thinking what type of magical item might make sense for it and then scouting around the item effects in NI to see if I can't do something fun. If your suggestion seems neat to me and I can figure out a way to make the item, I'll def throw it in.
    ZoltanavrUlkeshbonewhiteglory
  • ShirakShirak Member Posts: 84
    This mod is shaping up really well! Looking forward to playing it in my next trilogy run!
    StummvonBordwehr
  • EndarireEndarire Member Posts: 1,511
    @AWizardDidIt
    Apologies for the delay. I've been working on other things, and I'm expecting to start a new employment position next week. (It's seasonal for 11 days.) Mid-to-late August at soonest is when I can give you the proper item descriptions.

    Thankee!
  • UlkeshUlkesh Member Posts: 196
    I play the Enhanced Edition, but I strongly dislike SoD. Please, do not make it a "requisite" for playing your mod.

    Also, do you think you will release the mod for BGT too?
  • AWizardDidItAWizardDidIt Member Posts: 196
    edited August 2021
    @Ulkesh
    Oh, I would never require SoD. The epilogue component would be 1.) Optional and 2.) Would be present in *either* SoD or in post game BG1 via the Endless BG1 mod so you could play it through that mod instead of SoD if you so wished.

    For BGT, I am a first time modder and have been taking advantage of a lot of shortcuts the EE versions of the game have in terms of modding. I unfortunately don't see myself being very motivated to do the work needed to backport it into BGT so I'd say it's extremely unlikely to get a BGT version, at least from me.
    UlkeshBrokenkatana
  • EndarireEndarire Member Posts: 1,511
    @AWizardDidIt
    Next week is the soonest I can work in earnest on the item proposals for this mod. Thankee for your patience!
  • ThrasymachusThrasymachus Member Posts: 865
    This looks quite intriguing. I'm looking forward to trying it out once I play BG again and it's available!

    I like SoD and so am pleased that there will be some additional content for it. (The main thing I dislike about SoD is that, like ToB, there is little mod material for it.)
    StummvonBordwehr
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