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The Enemy Within, a New Mod Coming! [Work in progress]

ZansoZanso Member Posts: 132
edited March 2016 in BG:EE Mods
The plot will start with speaking to Lord Kuldak in the Old Plough tavern in Cragmyr Village and him asking for your help. Lord Kuldak is a retired adventurer and the Lord of the Cragmyr Lands. For the last decade he has been keeping the ogre hordes of the area, led by Ogre Magi, at bay. Luckily, they have been reoccupied fighting among themselves and Cragmyr has been left mostly untouched. Recently however, two of the three Ogre Magi leaders suddenly disappeared and now the threat has become tangible. Lord Kuldak had a firsthand realization of this, when Cragmyr Militia was ambushed and killed by the ogres. Both his sons perished in this very same ambush. Lord Kuldak tries to act strong for his people, but everyone knows that he is filled with grief for the loss of his sons, and angry towards the ones responsible.

And this is not all, due to the ogre threat and the Flaming Fist and Amn both trying to establish an alliance with Cragmyr, the caravans for some odd reason seem to be avoiding Cragmyr. Rumors say that Lord Kuldak has had to rely on smuggling to get basic supplies to the village. But there is no proof.

Due to the Iron Crisis, a war is looming in the horizon. Both the Flaming Fist and Amn (Cowled Wizards especially) want Lord Kuldak as an ally, since Cragmyr Keep is located critically between Nashkel and Beregost. Furthermore, even though Cragmyr Keep is known of having rather incompetent militia, it is also known of having a huge supply of inactive Helmed Horrors. Both Amn and the Flaming Fist fear that not only the Keep, but also these constructs, could be used to gain a huge advantage in case of a war. Will you stay neutral, or side with Amn or the Flaming Fist? What will be the future of Cragmyr Keep?

Canon Info About Cragmyr Keep

Cragmyr Keep was described by Ed Greenwood in Dragon #200

Here is a map with Cragmyr Keep and some other rarely seen locations on the Sword Coast:
http://www.forgottenadventures.com/FRMaps/Baldur's Gate West Area.htm


What is included in the mod?

I have tried to make all the stuff in the mod as canon as possible. Many new NPCs for example are canon NPCs from Volo's Guide to Sword Coast or Gold & Glory.

Adds encounters and other stuff to existing areas making many of them more interesting. At the moment areas included are Spiderwood, Ulcaster Ruins, Central Baldur's Gate, Nashkel Carnival, Bandit Camp and many more!

At the moment there is at least 30 new magic items (plus some transformation potions and such), which all should be fairly balanced with the existing Baldur's Gate content. There is definitely more to come!

Several new Stores and new additions to the old ones.

A few new spells: most are heavily quest related: for example Speak with Dead (4th lvl arcane, 3rd lvl divine)

There are 39 new areas at the moment (of various sizes). Four of these are full sized areas.

At the moment, the TRA file of the mod contains 24797 words of new text (dialogue, item descriptions, journal info etc.) and there is more to come!

Companion reactions: For example, there is a quest involving Harpers, if you decide to go against them, Jaheira and Khalid (if they are in the party) will turn hostile.

One new companion. Excellent companion for any loner mage!

Your very own Helmed Horror!


Difficult fights: the important fights will use modified Black Pits 2 scripts. However, as it is with Black Pits, if you set the difficulty setting to easy, the fights become considerably easier.

A lot more is to be added!


Here are some areas for small spoilers, feel free to express opinions and give feedback :)

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Post edited by Zanso on
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Comments

  • ZansoZanso Member Posts: 132
    edited January 2016
    Thanks @elminster :) the sc#addWmpAre works, but I still seem to have the problem of area links. Linking existing areas to this one (when traveling from area AR3800 to the south and wanting my new area to appear in addition to AR4300). Was trying to get the WMP_LINKS to work, but I guess I am missing something. But thanks a lot if you are able to help out! :)

    lolienJuliusBorisovMusignymashedtaters
  • SkatanSkatan Member, Moderator Posts: 4,669
    I know nothing about modding, but I too just wanted to say that the areas look awesome and that I think what you are trying to do seem very impressive! I will for sure try this if you finish it.

    ZansoJuliusBorisovBlackravenmashedtaters
  • ZansoZanso Member Posts: 132
    edited January 2016
    Thanks for the lifting my spirit @Skatan :smiley: I am sure to finish it, but it might take a while :) life outside of Baldur's Gate tends to keep me busy too :smiley:

    SkatanJuliusBorisov
  • Red_CarnelianRed_Carnelian Member Posts: 58
    edited January 2016
    Well done creating the areas. They look very original. Having been through the process myself I know how time consuming it can be. For my mod the Stone of Askavar I implemented the same routine the Drizzt saga uses to update the map using the WorldMap mod code to do the hard work for you. All you have to worry about is updating the links in the worlmap tables which you would most likely do anyway. I mainly used IE Tileset Map Editor for Infinity Games http://www.gameapps.com/ietme.htm and DLCEPT to create wall groups search maps etc.

    ZansoBlackravenJuliusBorisovelminster
  • ZansoZanso Member Posts: 132
    Thanks @Red_Carnelian :) have to take a look how it is done when I have the time :) Using DLCEPT and IETME isn't really a problem. I guess I know them pretty well already. Most of the areas, items, spells and creatures and such are actually nearly all done. But I still have a lot of scripting and dialogue to write. My problem came with using Weidu and how to add travel regions into an existing area (BG central) and then of course the Worldmap editing with Weidu which we have already discussed about :)

  • MusignyMusigny Member Posts: 1,017
    edited January 2016
    @Zanso
    The links between areas can be created by the sc#addWmpAre function that @Elminster already mentionned. Check the doc, you'll see that you also declare two associative arrays toNewArea and fromNewArea. These are the links (worldmap) you are looking for: going from are file names to entrance points declared either in your area (first array) or the existing game areas (second array).

    Edit: regarding travel regions, have a look at the fj_are_structure patch function.

    Zanso
  • ZansoZanso Member Posts: 132
    Alrighty! Thanks a lot @Musigny :) I'll have a look!

    Musigny
  • ZansoZanso Member Posts: 132
    sc#addWmpAre is working fine now :) Thanks and cheers for that! :smiley: However, I do have a few more questions about this: firstly, is it possible to decide the direction where/when my area is revealed? For example, I would like my new area only to be revealed when traveling from AR3800 to south, not to east or any other direction (in AR3800).

    Secondly, is the travel time always same no matter which direction you travel the area to/from? For example two of my areas (above in the pictures) should have travel time of 0 hours and others 4 hours.

    And thirdly, sc#addWmpAre is only used for adding new areas, right? So which command should I use to actually move existing areas?

    COPY_EXISTING ~Worldmap.wmp~ ~override~
    SAY 0x21d0 530
    SAY 0x21d4 981

    SAY obviously doesn't work. 0x21d0 and 0x21d4 are the x and y coordinates of AR4300 in worldmap.wmp. Can I just override the old ones?

    Any tips @Musigny or @elminster? :smiley:

    Musigny
  • WhiteAgnusWhiteAgnus Member Posts: 112
    Hmm, SAY is only used to write some string to an offset, like the name of a creature....
    You should use WRITE_LONG offset value instead... ;)

    COPY_EXISTING ~Worldmap.wmp~ ~override~
    WRITE_LONG 0x21d0 530
    WRITE_LONG 0x21d4 981

    ZansoMusigny
  • Red_CarnelianRed_Carnelian Member Posts: 58

    COPY_EXISTING ~Worldmap.wmp~ ~override~
    WRITE_LONG 0x21d0 530
    WRITE_LONG 0x21d4 981

    Should it be like this?

    COPY_EXISTING ~Worldmap.wmp~ ~override~

    WRITE_LONG 0x21d0 ~530~ //x
    WRITE_LONG 0x21d4 ~981~ //y


    Zanso
  • ZansoZanso Member Posts: 132
    Works perfectly now! Thanks a lot to both of ya @Red_Carnelian and @WhiteAgnus! :)

    Musigny
  • MusignyMusigny Member Posts: 1,017
    This is not a good way to achieve this goal. You have no guarantee that the worldmap has not changed and you may end up changing a random byte.
    A more appropriate way would be to find the area section offset then parse the entries, identify the existing area you want to modify, register its offset and modify the x/y location at this offset+constant. Or something similar, you get the idea...

    Zanso
  • ZansoZanso Member Posts: 132
    edited January 2016
    Thanks @Musigny :) have to "study" some more Weidu commands :smiley:

    Post edited by Zanso on
    Musigny
  • MusignyMusigny Member Posts: 1,017
    @Zanso
    Actually the structure seems to be known by GET_OFFSET_ARRAY. Even easier.
    No need to read the area section offset and the number of areas and the length of such an area section, it can do that for you. You just have to know the offset at which you will find the x and y values in a given "area #" structure.
    Perhaps not a shorter loop but it will be easier to read.

    COPY_EXISTING blahblah
    GET_OFFSET_ARRAY somearrayname WMP_AREAS
    PHP_EACH etc...
    read area name at area offset, test area name
    match -> write new location at area offset + location offset

    Otherwise you can fall back to a regular loop...
    COPY_EXISTING blahblah
    read area section offset at ...
    read number of areas at ...
    set var areastructuresize (from doc or read with an editor)
    loop based on these elements
    read, test, write etc... you just have to handle all offsets yourself.

    Zanso
  • AWizardDidItAWizardDidIt Member Posts: 120
    This looks great! Wonderful job with those outdoor areas, they're fantastic.

    ZansoMusigny
  • ZansoZanso Member Posts: 132
    Thanks @AWizardDidIt :) That goes way over my head @Musigny, but thanks! :smiley: I guess I have to take my time with that since there aren't really examples to go around :smiley:

    Musigny
  • brunardobrunardo Member Posts: 510
    Looks great and will definitely give it a try when finished!

    Zanso
  • KilivitzKilivitz Member Posts: 1,456
    These new areas look fantastic.Congratulations, @Zanso.

    This mod along with Eve of War and the goodies implemented by SoD are going to keep us replaying BG:EE for years to come (or so I predict).

    JuliusBorisovZansoelminster
  • ZansoZanso Member Posts: 132
    Thanks @Kilivitz! :) And I certainly do hope so! :smiley:

    Kilivitz
  • ZansoZanso Member Posts: 132
    edited January 2016
    Never mind @Red_Carnelian! Figured it out! Works now! :smile: I hope :smiley:

    elminster
  • cdxcdx Member Posts: 65
    Hi @Zanso, the maps are looking great!

    I'm wondering about the balance of the items for the mod, would there be items which are more powerful than the unmodded BGEE ones? Every time I see a large mod my initial reaction is huge excitement about the content, that is, until I learn that the added items completely ruin the balance for the rest of the game.

    If you are adding powerful items, how would you feel about creating an alternative installation option where the items are all made weaker than the best vanilla BGEE weapons, so the mod is nicely balanced as a part of a complete game run?

    Zansosubtledoctor
  • ZansoZanso Member Posts: 132
    edited March 2016
    @cdx
    I often am scared about the same thing. I am attempting to make items that don't change the balance, but only add new interesting options to itemization. If some item is very powerful, you can only obtain it at the very end of the mod (and the game, since then you need 5+ lvl characters to finish the mod) and you actually have to make a lot of effort to obtain it. I have also tried to focus on item types that don't already have that many options (for example, new bastard swords).

    I'll give few examples. The first one for example, is one of the most powerful items in the mod. It's a +1 bastard sword so, Varscona can still be better than this one even with its abilities (not to mention Drizzt's items). This sword is actually canon since Ed Greenwood wrote that there is a Sword of Sharpness in Cragmyr Keep. Let me know what ya think :smile: Too OP items? :smiley:

    [spoiler]

    Cragmyr's Revenge: Sword of Sharpness

    This old sword has clearly seen better days, but it still holds a sharp edge. The sword has been carried by the Lords of the Cragmyr Keep for as long as anyone can remember. Its power is still great and with a good hit, it will cause severe bleeding and injury to the target's limbs.

    STATISTICS:
    Combat abilities:
    25% chance per hit that the target must save vs. Death at -2 or suffer 2 hp/round bleeding damage and have a limb injury for next 2 rounds (movement speed penalty -5)

    Equipped abilities:
    +5% chance to score critical hits
    This weapon is treated as +3 for purposes of who or what can be hit by it

    THAC0: +1
    Damage: 2d4+1 (slashing)
    Speed Factor: 7
    Proficiency Type: Bastard Sword
    Type: One-handed
    Requires:
    11 Strength
    Weight: 9

    Bombur's Fury

    This morning star's history is a mystery. The rumor says it was actually made by a powerful druid for himself to prevent his enemies from fleeing melee combat. However, it is a morning star which means he could have never actually used the weapon. How it ended up in the hands of Bombur and stayed there for atleast a decade - and helped him to keep all his opponents in melee - is another mystery.

    STATISTICS:
    Combat abilities:
    On hit there is a 50% chance that the opponent is entangled to the place for 10 seconds.

    Equipped abilities:
    Immunity to entangle spell.

    Damage: 2d4+1 (crushing)
    THAC0: +1
    Speed Factor: 4
    Proficiency Type: Flail/Morning Star
    Type: One-handed
    Requires:
    10 Strength
    Weight: 10

    Pixie Duster

    This strange cloak made of out leafs seems to repulse all roots, magical or otherwise, and attract on sprites, especially pixies. However, its true potential can only be discovered by druids and rangers.

    STATISTICS:
    Equipped abilities:
    Immunity to entangle

    Charge abilities:
    Pixie Call
    Summons a group of 6 pixies to fight for you.
    Duration: 1 turn
    Weight: 3

    Potion of Mustard Jelly

    Potion of Mustard Jelly will transform its drinker into a mustard jelly. This is a concoction of Talessyr Tranth.

    STATISTICS:
    Special: Shapechange into a mustard jelly
    Duration: 1 turn
    Weight: 1

    Talessyr's Robe of Blending

    When this robe is put on, the wearer intuitively knows that the garment has very special properties. A robe of blending enables its wearer to appear to be part of his surroundings. This particular robe was made by Talessyr Tranth.

    STATISTICS:
    Equipped abilities:
    When getting hit in combat, there is a 25% chance that the wearer blends into the surrounding environment for 6 seconds (as invisibility spell)
    Weight: 3



    Easter Egg Item :smiley:
    [spoiler]

    Stick of Truth

    This legendary twig possesses limitless power. However, due to nobody able to control its power, not even the known gods, it was decided that its power is too great for any person to hold and it was throw into Stark's Pond. Wherever that might be.

    STATISTICS:
    Combat abilities:
    Each hit causes, due to it limitless uncontrollable power, both the wielder and the target to explode.

    Damage: 1d6+5 (crushing)
    THAC0: +5
    Speed Factor: 4
    Proficiency Type: Quarterstaff
    Type: Two-handed
    Requires:
    5 Strength
    Weight: 4

    Post edited by Zanso on
  • cdxcdx Member Posts: 65
    Nice items! :) Individually they seem to me fine balance-wise, maybe the morning star is a bit too strong. Dual wielding this and the Stupefier in front of five archers, then pulling back on an effect...

    Which is maybe the main point about adding items. By themselves they aren't OP but too many of good- (or even average-) quality ones and the game gets over saturated. The party fills any potential holes and gets much stronger than in vanilla game.

    Maybe a way to address that is to have the new items in a drained/less than optimal state. Have it in the description that the item most likely can be improved. Then have one of the smiths forge it. And for the forging give options of items of power which could be used up in the recipe.

    For example (bad example, but just to illustrate), get Bombur's Fury in a weaker state (e.g. 25%, no immunity), then bring it to Thunderhammer. He says that he can restore the weapon to its former glory (gives good description of the expected abilities) but needs a powerful magic item to use up in the process and gives options out of the items you carry (Stupefier, Varscona, Spider's Bane).

    The example is bad because it's not well balanced but that's the general idea. You get an item which doesn't improve the party over vanilla game. You can use it like that or you can upgrade it by destroying another useful item, which keeps the combined power of the total item pool unchanged.

    To me that's a good idea because I really dislike automatically having stronger party just because of having extra content. Maybe the only negative point of BG1NPC mod in my view. Of course, that's just my opinion, which is very conservative about item power and balance.

    As for the items: I like the sword a lot. Interesting effects, not overpowered, cool. The morning star doesn't seem way too powerful but can be abused a lot. The duster sounds cool but I have no idea how strong the summons are. Six at once sounds a lot. The potion sounds interesting, I'm guessing a quest item? The robe sounds great, too. Could lead to strange results though. "The fighter disappeared? Let's go after the mage then." The stick is very funny, it looks like it would need severe restrictions though, otherwise... "Hey Dorn, why don't you go hit Sarevok with a stick? - Um, ok." Maybe limit it to a certain area or have it drain 2-3HP per turn, so it's not (ab)usable. Can't rid myself of the thought though, an evil PC gathering five good aligned NPCs and making fireworks. >:)

    Zanso
  • ZansoZanso Member Posts: 132
    edited March 2016
    @cdx
    The Stick of Truth is actually a reference to South Park :smiley: Of course people can abuse the Stick, but well... since it is only a easter egg item, I hope not :smiley: You have some good ideas :smile: I have been thinking about making Taerom work like that, but it would take a lot of work and I am not sure if I have the time :smile: But I am sure gonna try :smile: Some items will most likely will be changed after some beta testing and after I get some kind of feedback (what is overpowered and so on).

    The Pixie Duster actually summons 6 pixies but they work as one creature (flying dots, as they are very small creatures). It has almost no damage and is very weak (low hp), but can cast a few spells: Dispel Magic, invisibility, detect evil and entangle. The cloak is only usable by rangers and druids. It's a type of Call Woodland Beings spell (4th lvl druid spell), but much weaker.

    And I actually have done, and plan to do, a lot of quests that where you have to choose between two endings. Each ending will give different reward (you can't get both). For example, Pixie Duster is one of them.

    To the morning star I was also thinking about adding a save. So, you can't really never count on it working. :smile:

    The potion is partially a quest item. There is a canon (Volo's Guide to Sword Coast) merchant in Baldur's Gate who sells all different kinds of transformation potions and such. You can buy it from him (expensive though). I made the duration very low (60 seconds) so it is hard to abuse. You can get the same effect with Polymorph Self (4th lvl arcane spell), with longer duration and more options.

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