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How can a summon be modded using NI?

NoloirNoloir Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 376
edited May 2018 in BGII:EE Mods
Found an interesting file in EEKeeper that harbours a code for a miscellaneous item that's a "Black Panther" totem that incidentally no longer works in such a manner. I'd like to change this.

In my recreation of an Evil Drizzt the ability to summon a Panther specifically would be quite a treat but how can this item be modded for the desired affect?

Comments

  • GusindaGusinda Member Posts: 1,613
    @Noloir,

    Before I start, I just want to say that I am not a modder and this is nothing but a hack! If someone else answers, or adds to the content with a better solution (which wouldn't be hard), then please use it as this method will only be the basics (old style). A Quick dirty clumsy method (doesn't fix dialog.tlk or make any creature changes at all, and you have to add the spell to your char with NI/EEKeeper but it gets Guen in play...):

    Not sure about the Black Panther item as I couldn't find it. Is it BG2EE you are looking at? If so, what is the item code? ALso, might you have any mods that could have introduced it?

    Either way, here is a method that can allow you to summon Guenhwyvar. It might also work with the totem but I need to look at it...

    I have quickly done this as I was typing it out and therefore haven't tested it properly other than to see if Guen turns up when called. So if you find any funnies during your play, let me know and I can see if it can be fixed and alter the suggested method for future readers.

    ----

    Find a Summoning spell that you want to use as a starter. I will use the Summon Dread Wolf for this example (casting time 5, duration 4 rounds+1/level) [SPIN114.SPL] as it uses a four legged critter for the BAM and is an innate spell. You could create a BAM to replace, which is simple enough and there are heaps of simple panther pics to modify and convert, but for now... The Black Panther item may already have a BAM that works as well. You can use any of the summoning spells you want and change to suit; or change the BAM (you will see where that is done within the file); or create your own spell. Any should work.

    Once selected, export the spell file (it should end up in the root of your game folder).

    There is actually a couple of creature files for Guenhwyvar already (C6GUEN.CRE and C6GUEN2.CRE) :) made. You would need to see the differences to find out which one you want to use. For this, I will select C6GUEN.CRE. Export that creature file.

    Exit out of NI and rename the files to SUMGUEN.CRE and SUMGUEN.SPL (this is to protect the in-game actions the real files might do). Once you get a BAM made, you can name it SUMGUEN.BAM to keep all the files together if you like.

    Copy them into you override folder and restart NI.

    Within NI, select Override folder, find SUMGUEN.SPL and select the Edit Tab. Don't change the Spell name as this will also change the Summon Dread Wolf spell name in-game. You would have to create a new entry in dialog.tlk to give it a proper name.
    Go to the bottom of the page where 'Spell ability 0' is and double click on it. This will open the Melee ability page. Find 'Effect 0' (Summon Creature) and open that page.
    You can see that the Resource used currently is 'WOLFDR01.CRE'. Click on that and in the lower panel of NI is a list of other resources. Find SUMGUEN.CRE and update value. Close the pages until you are back at the spell page then save the modified spell. You can recheck if you wish (I always do) to make sure the changes to place. Once that is done, allocate the spell to character (either with NI or EEKeeper), start the game and test.

    ----

    If all works, then Guen should be running around as a Summoned creature. If your game, you could also make her a Familiar (by editing the Find Familiar spell and script instead), which would give you more control, you can see where she goes when out of line of sight etc but a bit more difficult to put into place.

    You will need to consider other things like how long you want the summons to hang around for, what attributes you want the big cat to have, whether you will allow the cat to attack you and your party if attacked/mis-hit, casting time etc... and once you get your WeiDU skills going (which I am trying to do as well), you can then mod it properly and give it some meaning.


    In the meantime, enjoy your jaunt as an Evil Drizzt.
    Gus

  • NoloirNoloir Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 376
    @Gusinda

    Resourse name: OHHCLAW
    Type: Rod
    Name: The Claw of the Black Leopard
    Extracted from BG2EE

    Just recently downloaded BG2EE on my Android phone to extract it's obb files for some EEKeeper fun. The files are completely vanilla.

    Gusinda
  • GusindaGusinda Member Posts: 1,613
    @Noloir, thanks, found it (I was looking in the Misc section). I will have a play and see what happens.

    Gus

    Noloir
  • NoloirNoloir Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 376
    @Gusinda

    Now that I think about it there are two items that resemble the Black Panther figurine that Drizzt uses in the R.A Salvatore novels. There's the Golden Lion figurine from the Druid strongholds and the Moon Dog figurine from the Ranger stronghold. The latter is particularly interesting.

    The Moondog has innate healing, mirror image, and the ability to make even Dragons panic with an augmented horror designed specifically for use against evil chars.

    The Golden Lion figurine just summons a random Lion. Maybe shifting the BAM to look like a Panther and shift the image for either figurine to look like the The Claw of the Panther as well. In BGEE I'm not sure how to tranfer the BAM to the game or even if either items will work as designed though.

  • GusindaGusinda Member Posts: 1,613
    edited May 2018
    @Noloir, I like the look of either those as the base spell for modification...

    I would consider creating your own BAM. Had a look for panther pics and there are heaps. I grabbed one and quickly made a BAM from it for the spell icon. Needs more work but I wanted to test the concept. Had another look for a figurine stlye (to place in the Quick Use slot) and found a lovely head which would work as well as plenty that are full body.

    Wont post them here yet as I am unsure of their copywrite status, but I am sure that the one used for the spell icon came from one of those freebie (no copywrite) sites...

    Gus

    Edit: You should be able to transfer the BAM into BGEE by selecting the BAM, then exporting it. You can rename it to what ever then copying it into BGEE override. Once the spell is worked out, you then allocate the BAM to the spell.

    Noloir
  • NoloirNoloir Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 376
    edited May 2018
    @Gusinda

    Found a forum link that might interest you when it comes to the bare basics of integrating self-made items in game. (Forums.beamdog.com/discussion/64347/near-infinity-the-dialogue-file) Seems simple enough. Seems like just as with NI all one has to do is familiarize themselves with the basic frame work and make adjustments to create a desired effect. Copy and pasting scripts from premade mods and using them as a base template seems to be a way for beginners to get their feet wet when it comes to modding.

    Still working on Guen. By any chance do you have any recommendations on any sites to use for Bam editing? I found many unused Bams within the game's framework that'd serve well but there's something about customizing a file that creates a nice personal touch that creates a deeper connection to the creative process.

  • GusindaGusinda Member Posts: 1,613
    @Noloir, thanks very much. All I need now is the precious comodity of time :). Saw the forum you mentioned today and made a quick grab of the text used. Will have a play with it and see if I can add.

    As far as BAM editors go, I haven't been making any animated BAMs, only static, and have only tried for spell icons or the Claw so far. So for this, I use GIMP2 to edit the picture and resize and NI to do the rest.

    To describe the process I have been using:
    - find an image (or part of) that you want to use or be prepared to draw one if you are more creative than I...
    - crop the image to exactly what you want, and edit to add a backgound/special effects etc
    - resize the image to 41x41 pixels and save (you would actually be saving although the process as backups etc but I am sure you would do that anyway)
    - copy and rename an icon BAM
    - Open in NI and edit the renamed BAM
    - Add the PNG as a new frame
    - Remove the old frame
    - Add the new image as a cycle and preview
    - Save the BAM
    - You can then allocate the BAM to a spell/item.

    Unfortunately the image I found for Guen ended up a garden statue, so I don't think I would be able to post it here in its final state (and since I just found out, I wont be using it in the mod either, pity but good experience in modding it). I will try again with one of the freebie sites and post the image at various stages.

    Gus

  • NoloirNoloir Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 376
    @Gusinda

    Useful info! Aside from my failed attempts at summoning Guen I've managed to master creating items with unique secondary abilities. For instance, figured out how to create a Drow crossbow that shoots a single target web projectile that potentially snare at (Save vs. Spell @ 0) with minor acid damage using the damage profile for acid +1 darts (No Save) from BG:EE.

    Also figured out how to give weapons "on hit abilities" akin to Foebane in BG2EE but more tailored for balanced play. Created a Drow longsword that also enfeebles as per the Ray of Enfeeblement spell. Using the same opcode template this effect can be reproduced to cast pretty much any spell ability on hit. It can cast blind on hit, any tiered effect from chromatic orb like petrify on level 7 so long as the "cast spell level is set to 7", contagion for crippling enemiy stats in close ranged combat, level drain with a save, though that's fairly overpowered, etc. It's a fairly interesting way to include spell abilities that you otherwise might not use through standard play. I never really used spells like contagion or luck before in standard bgee games but as a weapon effect they can be quite useful if not moreso. As well as miscellaneous items like "Elminster's Pipe" that sets Wis to 18 and boosts Int by +3 but drops Dex to 3 when used that can also give effects as the potion of Clarity as a 2nd ability both at once per day and many other types of items similar in nature. I'd be more than glad to share how to make these types of item if you're interested. With your level of experience though you probably already know how.


    Another "problem" I've been having of late is when it comes to projectiles. For instance after creatinga Guen totem I'd like to make a weapon with an identical ability of the Drow Xbow mentioned above for a ranger Longbow but that snares icy blue with ice damage instead of acid. When creating a copy of the Entagle2.pro and customizing the web1p.pro to have a blue-ish effect while remkving the area effect NI doesn't seem to recognize my newly edited .pro. Managed to create a green fireball .pro minus the explosion effect but in order for it to translate over in bgee it had to retain the name of the original .pro file which was no issue since green fire balls (akin to the winter wolf ranged attack) aren't used in BGEE but the web1p.pro as well as entangle2.pro are very much used to the point were any editing would dramatically change in game spell appearances when the edited .pro is placed in the override file. Do you have any experience with this or tips?

  • NoloirNoloir Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 376
    @Gusinda

    My excitement got to the better of me to the point where I got distracted from my original interest, admittedly. Back to the original topic of Guen within it's .CRE file is there a line with it's resource code? With the older version of NI it unfortunately doesn't account for certain types of variables like resource codes they just register as unknown but if copied and pasted it bypasses this and works properly. I'd update but my computer doesn't run java and now isn't the time for me to buy an $800+ laptop for recreational purposes.

    In reference to this topic there's a roundabout over complicated way to use .EFF files as resources though your recommended method is preferable. Using an IWD MISC item specifically the Violin as a reference in the Cast Spell at Point special ability slot is set to a spell that has been edited to use an designated .EFF it works like a totem. Only thing is that the .EFFs are remarkably nondescriptive. I've experimented a bit and managed to summon a shade wolf which is really close to Panther/Guen but slightly off the mark and slightly too powerful for standard BG:EE. Any input in either direction would be greatly appreciated as this project is nearly complete.

  • GusindaGusinda Member Posts: 1,613
    Hi @Noloir, Sorry about the absence of reply.
    I have looked in C6GUEN2.CRE and can't find any resource code. I may be looking in the worng area though as it sounds like it should. You would think that any resource should have an identifying code somewhere.

    I think that what you are after as the resource code is actually the name of the file which would be C6GUEN2.CRE. When you apply this in the .EFF resource field, it calls upon the .CRE file used (you should be able to select this from the dropdown box in the lower half of the dialog box). If you are after something different, then let me know.

    Out of interest, what version of Java are you running and is your Windows XP 32 bit?

    Gus

  • NoloirNoloir Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 376
    edited June 2018
    @Gusinda

    Not even sure if my laptop uses Java to be honest. Checked the version of NI by browsing it's help index and if I'm not mistaken it's the 2005 version on a 2004 windows laptop. I don't know the meaning of obselete technology.

    It's a wonder I've been able to do so much with such an outdated version come to think of it. With all the undefined variables and all but it's as they say when there's a will there's a way!

  • NoloirNoloir Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 376
    @Gusinda

    When searching for C6GUEN.CRE the only options avalable are .EFFs but I believe this is a good course in spite of that. I know for certain that the basic Panther .EFF exists from the spell Animal Summoning II but the problem comes from accessing it.

    Spells that summon multiple creatures akin to the wand of summoning draw on 2DA files as resource references to randomize which given creature actually appears in any given combination. The refs for Animal Summon II(ANISUM02.2DA) are as follows. 1.)bearblsu (black bear, presumably) 2.)bearbrsu (brown bear, presumably) 3.)bearcasu (cave bear though I though identical to brown) 4.) catjagsu

    Catjagsu is the golden snitch but it doesn't seem to have an .EFF independent from the Animal Summon II spell unless it's under some incredibly obscure file name.

    Tried experimenting with the Summon EFF Opcode and tried to narrow a search down to "Big Cat" under it's racial category without the use of a specific resource but no luck there. This project has proven quite puzzling.

  • GusindaGusinda Member Posts: 1,613
    edited June 2018
    @Noloir, try this. I have included C6GUEN2.CRE into the .zip. You will need to add the spell to your character (it's an innate so you can give it to anyone) through something like EEKeeper or NI. I am still playing around with the BAM so be gentle... At the moment, it can only be used in BG2. Eventually, I will have it in both and IWDEE (I hope), with Guen being upgradable so not OP when a lower level. WIP.

    Should then be able to add the spell an item.

    Not sure why the .CRE isn't already there in your install. I found it both 2.x and 1.3. If you open NI, open the CRE folder and type C6G and it should be a couple below.

    Gus
    Edit: I am with you on no equip is out of date! I am a receiver of old kit. I do them up and give them to people who can't afford a new PC, mostly pensioners. May as well put them to use rather than throw it out.

    That's why I was asking, you might be able to use something like a live version of Ubuntu and run the latest version of NI (maybe inside Windows XP). I need to do some testing and see if it is possible.

    Noloir
  • NoloirNoloir Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 376
    @Gusinda

    I appreciate this very much, Gusinda. Early in the month unfortunately my tablet ran into UI problems and it had to be set to the manufacturer for repairs, so I haven't had much a chance to use the above file. Just came back and they factory reset my device more or less wiping everything clear.

    It's rough. Initially I had created alot of files from the BGEE 2.5 Beta but after reinstalling 1.3 it's crashing with the override add-ons like no tomorrow. Dialog.tlk files from Mods are registering invalid strings and items I created in NI that worked well in the Beta crash instantly. Looks like it's going to be a long weekend of file restructuring.

  • GusindaGusinda Member Posts: 1,613
    @Noloir, hope all goes well in the rebuild... You would have to have done some more work with the 2.5 patch release as well!

    Gus

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