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[MOD] Ayden Project

KenethKeneth Member Posts: 25
edited September 14 in BG:EE Mods
This is a trimmed down version of the Readme. For more information, please refer to the Readme file inside the mod archive. For any additional questions or bug reports, feel free to contact me directly or post in the thread.

About Ayden Project

Ayden is primarily a companion mod, but comes bundled with a set of additional components.
  • Warlock Kit: Warlock is a Thief class kit based on the Warlock class from 3rd edition D&D. (BG:EE, BG:SoD)
  • Ayden NPC: A recruitable NPC with custom dialogues, banter, and quests. (BG:EE, BG:SoD)
  • Shadow Walking: A feature offered by the NPC to reduce travelling time. (BG:EE, BG:SoD)
  • Ayden's Refuge: A pocket plane where the party can rest and store items. (BG:EE, BG:SoD)
  • Item Crafting: A simple item crafting system offered in the form of a dialog with the NPC. (BG:EE, BG:SoD)
  • Wands for Thieves: Enable the use of wands for all thief kits (including warlock). (Any)
  • Thief Proficiencies: Enable mace and spear proficiency for all thief kits. (Any)
Ayden project is still in development. Be sure to check back once in a while to get the latest version.

Installation
  1. Make sure you have an updated version (v2.6) of Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition installed on your hard drive.
  2. Extract the contents of the archive to your Baldur's Gate installation directory.
  3. If you have BG:SoD installed you must also install the DLC Merger mod before anything else.
  4. Run Setup-Ayden.exe and follow the instructions that appear on the console screen.
  5. It is recommended that you start a new game to make full use of this mod's features.
Example Installation Directory:
  • (Steam version) C:\Steam\steamapps\common\Baldur's Gate Enhanced Edition
  • (BeamDog version) C:\Program Files (x86)\BeamDog\Games\00766
  • (Custom installation) C:\Games\Baldur's Gate Enhanced Edition\Data

Component: Warlock Kit

This component adds a new Thief kit called Warlock into the game.
Warlocks are masters of the dark arts, reckless mortals who draw their power from strange and sinister entities. Unlike mages, who approach magic through the medium of spells, a warlock invokes powerful magic through nothing more than an effort of will. By harnessing his dark gift through fearsome determination, a warlock can enhance his senses, beguile the weak-minded, or scour his foes with blasts of eldritch power.

Advantages:
  • Faster Lore progression (+6/level).
  • Can use a small number of innate magical abilities.
  • Becomes increasingly more powerful as his powers awaken.

Disadvantages:
  • Has only one weapon slot.
  • Cannot use thief skills other than Detect Illusions.
  • Gains no inherent backstab multiplier.
  • Cannot set snares.

Custom Script

The warlock kit comes with a custom script (WARLOCK0) which can be set for any warlock character through the customize menu on the character screen.

A warlock using this script will automatically use Devil's Sight and Shadow Armor if the invocations are not currently active.

By default, a warlock will be aggressive in combat, using his offensive invocations, alternating between Brimstone Ray and Eldritch Blast unless the enemies' resistances are too high. He will attempt to use his abilities as safely as possible, though he might still hit some of his allies if the positioning changes significantly after he begins invoking his powers.

If enemies are within weapon range, the warlock will also attack with his weapon between invocations to make full use of his combat actions.

If switched to defensive mode, the warlock will use Detect Illusions when possible. He will defend himself if attacked and if the enemy is in range, otherwise he will withdraw to a safer distance. Use this mode if you find that the warlock is causing too much collateral damage with his invocations and would like to control him manually instead.

By switching stealth mode on, the warlock will use his Walk Unseen invocation (if available) as long as he is not currently engaged in combat.

HotKeys
  • D: Switch Defensive mode on or off.
  • S: Switch Stealth mode on or off.

Component: Recruitable NPC

Information
  • Gender: Male
  • Race: Human
  • Class: Warlock
  • Alignment: Lawful Evil
  • Area: Ulcaster (topside)

Starting Abilities
  • Strength: 13
  • Dexterity: 16
  • Constitution: 8
  • Intelligence: 13
  • Wisdom: 12
  • Charisma: 17

Component: Shadow Walking

Once Ayden has recovered some of his lost power, he will offer to transport the party to previously visited areas through the Plane of Shadow. This ability is provided as a simple convenience to reduce unnecessary traveling time and will be unavailable during parts of the game where the player would otherwise not be able to leave the current area. In certain cases, it may provide an alternative means of escaping (such as when the player is thrown in jail).

Component: Ayden's Refuge

This component adds a new area where the party can shadow walk to once Ayden regains his powers. Ayden's Refuge is a small pocket plane created by the warlock before being imprisoned and serves as a safe place to rest and store items.
Note: As with shadow walking, this optional component serves merely as a convenience and adds little narrative value overall. If it doesn't suit your play style, you do not need to worry about missing out on anything major.

Component: Item Crafting

This component enables item crafting via the forge inside Ayden's Refuge. In order to craft items, Ayden must have recovered a sufficient portion of his power. After that, you can interact with the forge to view crafting recipes and craft items.

Some additional items have also been added to various vendors across the Sword Coast in order to more easily facilitate the crafting process. These mostly include mundane crafting components that would otherwise be hard to obtain (but should not be).
Note: This component is optional. If it doesn't suit your play style or you feel it adversely affects the balance of the game, you can skip it at installation (or ignore the forge in the Refuge).

Component: Wands for Thieves

This simple component will enable the use of wands for all thief kits (including warlocks) if they meet the ability requirements.
Note: This will change the usability flags for all wands (including modded ones) that are available at the time of installation.

Component: Thief Proficiencies

This component will change the configuration so that all thieves and thief kits can gain (at least) 1 point in spear or mace proficiency, like warlock. This should facilitate the use of light maces and certain spears.
Note: This will change the proficiency flags for all thief kits (including modded ones) that are available at the time of installation.

Known Issues
  • There is currently no way to replace the useless buttons on the action bar.
  • The level up screen will only show +3 lore gained due to engine limitations.
  • Teleporting to areas could potentially fail to trigger certain story-related game scripts.
  • Ayden seems to have rapidly aged several decades between different versions.
  • Due to engine shenanigans, Energy Resistance is only granted if the party AI is turned on.
  • Some crafting components may share the icon and/or name with an entirely invalid item.

Compatibility

The mod might be incompatible with any mods that drastically change the game's file stucture and/or story flow (like BGT, etc.).

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Furret has left the area! Can I still recruit Ayden?
A: Furret has decided to visit a nearby halfling town. You can find him there.

Q: Ayden's skills have disappeared! How can I get them back?
A: That is a side effect of skill cooldown. They will reappear in due time.

Q: Ayden keeps hitting my party members with his Brimstone Blast. What can I do?
A: Switch him to defensive mode and use his abilities manually.

Q: I started a new game in Siege of Dragonspear. Can I recruit Ayden somewhere?
A: Currently, not without using the console. This might change in future versions.

Special Thanks

Special thanks to Westley Weimer, Valerio Bigiani (The Bigg), and Fredrik Lindgren (Wisp) for creating and updating WeiDU.
Eternal glory to Avenger for giving us DLTCEP. Most of this mod's game files were created with the use of his editor.
Salutations to John Olav Hauglid and the rest of the team for their work on Near Infinity. We'd be lost without it.
A shout out to Glenn Flansburg and Andrew Bridges for their BAM editing software.
Thanks to Razfallow for his Teleport mod and for allowing me to make use of it as part of this project.
A very special thanks to all my beta testers for helping me keep this mod bug-free and balanced.
A huge thank you to Skye for helping with the research and a lot of the legwork.

Copyright Notice

All original materials in this mod are © Keneth O'Connor. Please contact me if you wish to make use of anything.
WeiDU is released under GPL. The latest version of WeiDU can be downloaded here.
Several original (unmodified) BAM icons were extracted from Icewind Dale 2 and are a copyright of Atari.
Additional (unmodified) BAM icons were extracted from Planescape: Torment — Enhanced Edition and are a copyright of Beamdog.
The warlock class concept, as well as the City of Shade source material, are a copyright of Wizards of the Coast.
Some of the map assets were copied from Pillars of Eternity and are a copyright of Obsidian Entertainment.
The Baelnorn portrait was painted by Anastasya Zakharova. You can find her art over at nodens.artstation.com.

Upcoming Features
  • General improvements.
  • Additional crafting recipes.
  • New curse eater abilities for SoD items.
  • New features for Ayden's Refuge.
  • Invocation selection screen.
  • New quest for Siege of Dragonspear.
  • More easily available gemstones.
  • Character voice-over?

Post edited by Keneth on
Mantis37jasteyAciferenergisedcamelZoltanavrStummvonBordwehr

Comments

  • EndarireEndarire Member Posts: 786
    @Keneth
    Thankee for this mod!

    Is Ayden's Refuge the Portable Hole we discussed on Discord?

    Did you know a Warlock kit for Bards exists? I'm also curious why you went Rogue/Thief as the base class for your Warlock interpretation.

    Thankee!

  • KenethKeneth Member Posts: 25
    Endarire wrote: »
    Is Ayden's Refuge the Portable Hole we discussed on Discord?
    I don't believe we've discussed anything on Discord since I don't know you and I only hang around on one Discord server. Feel free to add me if you wanna talk about anything though: Keneth#6024 ;)
    Endarire wrote: »
    Did you know a Warlock kit for Bards exists?
    I am aware, but seeing as I've been developing this mod since early 2007, I think it's safe to say mine came first. :D I did find it to be very interesting though. I looked at it to see if I could get some inspiration from how it was designed but, in the end, I decided the two were too different and I kept going in my own direction with mine.
    Endarire wrote: »
    I'm also curious why you went Rogue/Thief as the base class for your Warlock interpretation.
    Originally, I was deciding between Thief and Bard as well. I came to choose thief since its weapon proficiencies and action bar buttons were more appropriate. It also seemed more thematically appropriate and there were some engine specifics that fit better.

    They each have their own benefits and drawbacks though. I am still tackling some problems that have no great solutions even in IE v2.6. A lot of things later became possible with TobEx, but it was after I stopped developing for BG2. For a while, I was even seriously considering making the mod GemRB exclusive, where I would have the freedom to make it exactly as I wanted, but then the already small audience would drop to zero. I am currently between seeing how far I can push the vanilla engine and waiting for EEEx for v2.6 to expand the horizons.

    Thank you for taking an interest. :)

  • jasteyjastey Member Posts: 2,095
    This looks impressive. Congratulation on the release!
    I usually play good aligned PCs (if I play, which is seldom enough). Would Ayden make sense for good parties or not really? Would you give a little more info on where he comes from and what there is to be expected content-wise when he travels with CHARNAME?

  • KenethKeneth Member Posts: 25
    edited September 14
    jastey wrote: »
    I usually play good aligned PCs (if I play, which is seldom enough). Would Ayden make sense for good parties or not really? Would you give a little more info on where he comes from and what there is to be expected content-wise when he travels with CHARNAME?

    Although this is something that you can learn from him fairly early on, I'm still gonna put it in spoilers for those who would prefer to find out on their own.
    Ayden is an (ex-)citizen of the Shadow Enclave, the Netherese city that shifted into the Plane of Shadow before the Weave was destroyed and the empire fell. As the vast majority of its denizens, he is technically evil by Faerunian standards. That said, he does not mind traveling in the company of good-aligned party members and has no qualms about high or low reputation, so he's appropriate for any party that's willing to tolerate him.

    Aside from providing a bunch of convenient features, there is also a quest line that's planned to extend into ToB, eventually. The story is already written but I would prefer to leave the players guessing where things will go for now. I did a fair amount of research into the lore that surrounds his story, so I'm hoping that it fits nicely into whatever else is happening in the game.

    He will also banter with all of the vanilla companions and interject to offer his opinion on matters when he feels it's appropriate, but he will almost never do anything against the player's wishes, even if he morally objects to something.

    To sum it up: Yes, he'll do fine in good-aligned parties and should offer a moderate amount of extra content without overshadowing any of the other companions or the main quest.

    Post edited by Keneth on
    jasteyStummvonBordwehr
  • jasteyjastey Member Posts: 2,095
    Great, thank you for the answer!

  • Fishmalk_1Fishmalk_1 Member Posts: 15
    edited September 13
    Interesting work Keneth. Nice work with the AI scripts, they look like a huge QoL boon. I'm not sure I like abilities recharging over time, since the infinity engine isn't designed for that, but maybe it'll be better in practice. Will give this a shot sometime. Are you planning on bringing Ayden to bg2 in the future?

    Regarding Devil's Sight: that just looks pointless as an ability that has to be cast. Why not make it a passive bonus, like so many other kits get to thieving skills?

  • KenethKeneth Member Posts: 25
    edited September 14
    Fishmalk_1 wrote: »
    I'm not sure I like abilities recharging over time, since the infinity engine isn't designed for that, but maybe it'll be better in practice.

    It makes things a bit janky with abilities disappearing and popping back, but it was an important balancing factor. Unlike PnP, it needed a little something extra to kick it down a notch and bring it in line with the other classes. In practice, you don't really notice it, especially if you're relying on the class script.
    Fishmalk_1 wrote: »
    Are you planning on bringing Ayden to bg2 in the future?

    Absolutely. Hopefully, it won't take me another 15 years to do it. :D Jokes aside, I'm gonna focus on polishing the BG:EE version for a while longer. I still need to finish full SoD integration and add the remaining content in. After that, I will go ahead and start working on the BG2:EE version. I made a fairly solid foundation I can work on, so I expect it won't be that much of a chore this time around.
    Fishmalk_1 wrote: »
    Regarding Devil's Sight: that just looks pointless as an ability that has to be cast. Why not make it a passive bonus, like so many other kits get to thieving skills?

    I mean, by that logic, all-long lasting buffs could just be permanent class boons. :) I get where you're coming from, but I made it as it is by design, and then I made sure it's easy to maintain with a class script, so that casting it doesn't become a chore. The invocation is gonna get another small buff though.

    Post edited by Keneth on
    AciferStummvonBordwehr
  • EndarireEndarire Member Posts: 786
    @Keneth
    Ayden's Refuge reminded me of someone on the Gibberlings3 Discord Server who said he made a Mordenkainen's Magnificient Mansion mod (a portable inn), and I thought that was you.

    Maybe Morpheus would want to add the buff invocations from this mod to his scripts for ease of use.

  • KenethKeneth Member Posts: 25
    Endarire wrote: »
    Ayden's Refuge reminded me of someone on the Gibberlings3 Discord Server who said he made a Mordenkainen's Magnificient Mansion mod (a portable inn), and I thought that was you.

    I see. I mostly just wanted a version of the pocket plane in BG1, since it's very convenient to have in ToB. It makes for a good hub/stronghold. I am currently working on making it less "static".

  • EndarireEndarire Member Posts: 786
    @Keneth
    May we get a full list of Warlock invocations and item crafting from this mod?

    Thankee!

  • KenethKeneth Member Posts: 25
    Endarire wrote: »
    May we get a full list of Warlock invocations and item crafting from this mod?

    A list of invocations and craftable items are both included in the readme files inside the mod package. Since formatting is very limited on this forum, I opted not to post the tables here. I might reconsider if there's a desire for me to do so.

    AciferStummvonBordwehr
  • EndarireEndarire Member Posts: 786
    Thankee!

    I expected a mention of where to find a full list of these invocations and craftable items on the main post, even if it's a "see my documentation" note or a link.

  • KenethKeneth Member Posts: 25
    Endarire wrote: »
    I expected a mention of where to find a full list of these invocations and craftable items on the main post, even if it's a "see my documentation" note or a link.

    The very first sentence of my first post says that it's a trimmed down version of the readme and that one should refer to the actual readme file for more info. ;)

    That said, I am planning on making the release post more spiffy with images, better formatting, and links to online docs at some point. Probably with the next version, which is coming out soon-ish.

    bonewhiteglory
  • EndarireEndarire Member Posts: 786
    @Keneth
    I was accustomed to the main post of mods giving thorough detail on their new systems if they had them, such as More Style for Mages or AionZ's Warlock Mod. It seemed to be a matter of misunderstanding expectations.

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