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Hey folks,

I haven't really done one big update, so I'll just outline what I've been up to in NWN for the last two months - which isn't all that little, but pretty spread out over the server.

Merchants

The Fork now has a few more merchants around - enough to provide most nonmagical necessities and equipment. I'd like a few more still, but new folks should be able to get most of their starting equipment together now. What's definitly missing so far is Peroks alchemical wares and a merchant at the Academy, for providing wands, potions and scrolls - especially scrolls for new wizard characters. There's the oddity that some spells aren't actually available at the minimum caster level, which would needlessly raise the price with our system - so, we'll need to take a look at that first.

There's also two merchants down in the Fardrimm, which I will elaborate on further down.

Mines and Caverns

Upper Turons Folly in the toolset

I added a number of mines and caverns thorughout the maps - some are just small ice caves, others a bit deeper, orc nest and wolf den included, and then there is Turons Folly. Turons Folly is an old mine near Winterwatch, just across the lake from Blackfeather Tower. It was abandoned (and then unnamed) when we started the server, but it has been a source of metal and site of a resurging mining operation for some time.

So using Sens reworked Mines tilesets, I drew up new maps for that. It's most awesome feature (icy cavern variant aside) is the addition of the Raise/Lower function in it's terrain.  That coupled with a 30x30 map size actually makes for a terrific cavern system - you can walk for quite some time. You can get lost, too. Right now, it's two of those maps - once ice, one normal, with the 'safe' region being all up near the entrance on the ice map.

There is a little sidemap too, where one should be wary not to blunder in carelessly. I have some plans for further expansions, towards the Fardrimm and the Upperdark in general.

The Wailing Lake and the Crypt of Falros

There is a new place in the Ghostwood, too. As a bit of history, the Ghostwood is an ancient, massive forest covering much of the area between the East Road and the Ice Mountains to the far north. It is heavily populated by undead, especially incorporeal ones, and was the home to a cult of death mages during the days of Old Ilusk.

The new area there is only the second Ghostwood one - the other being Rans witch hut, which I gave a sneak peak of in an earlier blog. It's very draft-ish still, but features a large lake, wailing sounds and partially submerged towers. I'm planning for some ghost spawns or similar, as well. For now, you can enter a series of flooded (and haunted) tunnels, and finally reach an old hideout from that death cult - namely, the Crypt of Falros. It's filled with restless cultists and incorporeal wizards, so take care!

At the moment, further plans include prettying up the areas in general (no placeables yet, even), adding more spawns, and adding interiors to the pair of towers in the lake - unconnected stairs to the towers can be found in the Crypt already.

Tjelfes Quarry and the Halfling Village

Tjelfes Quarry

Two new maps to the southeast of the Fork. One features an abandoned halfling village (built by players long ago) that has now been taken over by goblins, and the other is the site of a stone quarry. It was built by a dwarven PC named Tjelfe Goldhand, and is the primary source of stone for the Fork, aside from all the rubble the dwarves dig out below.

It will need tunnels leading down actually, eventually connecting to the Fardrimm as well, and the halfling village will feature an interior. Who knows, maybe it'll be cleared and resettled one day?

Summon Runes and Animate Dead

As some might know, we have our own summoning system - it's rune-based, allowing you to have a similar set of possible summons as in P&P, or at least those we can roughly implement. I've been busy creating various creature templates for it's use, and the druid and ranger summons are mostly complete now - just spell levels 8 and 9 are still an issue, since those are sparse in P&P already, let alone that we could properly implement it - what is an elder tojanida anyway?

The other list - so, sorcerers, wizards, clerics and bards - is still very incomplete, with only elementals and our selfmade arcane defenders at many spell levels. Most of those creatures are a bit more work too, but with normal animals completed, creating fiendish and celestial versions of them won't be much of an issue anymore. More special stuff like devils or angels will take a bit more time.

I've started on some new templates for Animate Dead, too - weakening and downsizing mostly. The undead will still scale, but I like just having a greater variance of weak skeletons and zombies, mostly normal-sized with the occasional larger ones thrown in the mix, like a lumbering ogre zombie with a club or somesuch. Will take some tweaking. Once that is done, I will get to include Create Undead and the like into the undead controlling system.

The Fardrimm

The Fardrimm is a network of underground tunnels and roads dating back to Old Delzoun. One major route, the Lowroad, connected Delzoun to Netheril via Ascore, and it ran right below the Fork. We've had some maps of that network for some time, and recently started reworking and uploading some of them. Right below the Fork is Uldans Cross, a roadcrossing including some graves of dwarven heroes and several now resettled chambers. Those chambers include a fancy little dwarven tavern, too!

The other two maps ingame so far include Ghaurins Gate, the underground entrance to Ghaurins Hold, a famous dwarven adventurer - though the hold is unmapped for now - and Redmane Hall, a dwarven delve that was once built by players, raided by Drow and then abandoned, and now is being resettled.

I'm curious to what becomes of those areas - because we actually have a new player and builder who has started working on them instead of myself. His drafts are very promising already!

Miscellaneous

There's been various other changes, too. Probably missing a few of them as well. There's a new interior for the Temple of the Triad - an alliance of gods, including Tyr, Torm and Ilmater - and Lantanek has built a sturdy little temple to Helm in the southwestern part of the city. Various shops received new interiors, and we're presently looking through some upgraded textures and models for several tilesets. Would be nice to have some ceilings for all the interior areas, for instance.

Well, that's it for now!

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