Lets talk about Lareth

Discussion in 'The Temple of Elemental Evil' started by Ranth, Sep 30, 2010.

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  1. Sitra Achara

    Sitra Achara Senior Member

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    Attached is what I've done so far. Can you guys test it?
    (to install, extract to ToEE folder; 5.9.2 must be already activated prior to installation)


    Details: (includes spoilers of course!)

    1. Lareth joins his men in combat after two casualties.
    2. Spider reinforcement only happens if casualties are greater than 4.
    3. Initiating combat with Lareth without having talked to him first will trigger a series of float message in which he speaks his lines.
      Injuring Lareth will halt the sequence, and elicit an appropriate response from him.
    4. If you somehow attack Lareth in his room without having fought his men, they will actually join the fight.
    5. Lareth will break up combat and offer his Necklace / Temple escort as usual. His dialogue hasn't been changed.
      This pacifies his troops as well.
      His Lieutenant, Seleucas, will also have some insights about the new situation ;)
    6. Reactive Moathouse behavior -
      • Triggered by eliminating 2 of the following:
        Ground floor brigand group, Lubash, Bugbear group, Gnoll group.
      • A suitable amount of time later, a regroup will trigger.
        (it takes 12 hours for the killings to register for most of them, except for the ground floor brigands, whose absence is felt only 48 hours later)
      • The guardsmen at the corridor will join up with the other ones at the big room.
      • A lone guardsman stands watch at the door, and he will act a little more aggressive than the Sergeant who is usually there.
      • On that note, if you intimidate the Sergeant in the non-regroup scenario, his men will also run off to the back.
    7. Some AI tweaks also included. In particular, the guardsmen with spears will take a 5' step away if they are close to you.
    8. Included also are all the other fixes and changes I've posted since 5.9.2 was released. (Lodriss fix, Assassin fix, Bugbear defection quest adjustment, expanded Help file, etc.)

    Known issues:

    1. I haven't yet handled post-battle situations (Moathouse Respawn, mass run off of troops, reappearance elsewhere etc). As they say - to be continued!
    2. Lareth's floating message sequence has an audio issue - if you perform an action, it will mute the speech (thus only a text message will be displayed).
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Oct 2, 2010
  2. mmonagle

    mmonagle Established Member

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    In all fairness, I wasn't asking for spaceships or startroopers or laser rifles. I was just saying that Lareth is a character who is fairly one dimensional and would benefit from fleshing out.

    Saying that keeping to Troika's vision of this module maintains integrity is also a tad bit hypocritical. So much has already been changed that a true purist cannot even download the non-NC patch. Perhaps that stems back to changes made before the present crew of modders. However, so many other things have been done to improve this game that Troika did not have in the original. Examples would be the reactive temple, the assassin response, and the addition of all of the masterwork items in the Hommlet shops. These areas are all core parts of Troika's original work that have been changed in more than a minor way. Haven't the XP awards for many of the quests been reduced as well?

    When you really take a moment and look back over things, you will see that a small adjustment here and a small adjustment there, have added up. I will play this game for a while and then set it aside for a time. When I come back to it and download the latest patch, the changes are more pronounced. Perhaps by being in it more as a modder or participant in this board, those changes are not seen as so dramatic since they occur one step at a time.

    I think the real issue here is that Lareth is a key figure in the early part of this game and there is concern that adjustments to him will make a big impact. So be it. However, there is work underway even now to adjust his responsiveness to an attack and I applaud the work. The game will benefit from this.

    If there is resistance to doing more with him, fine. But don't tell me it is due to puritism and please don't put words in my mouth like wanting futuristic stuff either.
     
  3. Ausdoerrt

    Ausdoerrt Veteran Member

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    Can't Lareth be different in Lite and NC versions of the modpack?
     
  4. wizgeorge

    wizgeorge Prophet of Wizardy

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    Lareth was the focus and main object of the original T1 module written by E.Gary Gygax. It was intended that the moathouse be cleared and he eliminated. There was no evil options, etc, etc. The Troika/ToEE version is quite a bit difererent with the evil alignments and other stuff available. My questions is why make the encounter much more challegening and perhaps more entertaining if the goal is to eliminate him? If it's an evil alignment thing and you have plans for him, then that's another thing. I guess i'm not following the plan/goal here.
     
  5. Gaear

    Gaear Bastard Maestro Administrator

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    Not without putting more effort into separating standard and NC than I'd like to.

    What a lot of people don't realize is that the NC and standard modpacks are almost identical, save mainly for Brother Smyth's dialog file, which contains the 'someting different' line in NC and doesn't in standard. This is possible because we've tied all the major expansion NC to that one line (and subsequent dialog node), and this is in effect what makes the two concurrent modpacks doable, realistically. If we were to have an NC Lareth and a standard Lareth, it would require a lot more effort than that, and I really don't want to go down that road. I think time is better spent tweaking and optimizing the NC stuff than fidgeting around with what-goes-in-this-but-doesn't-go-in-that efforts and the like, which can become really quite complicated in very short order, because of the radiating effects. e.g., modding Lareth (as we already see in this thread) involves not just Lareth but all his guards, and the dialogs of his speaking guards, and all their script files, etc. ... so suddenly, instead of having 1 different file between the two modpacks, we've got a dozen, then two dozen, and we have to keep track of exactly what it is that's different between the NC and standard versions ... not gonna happen.

    What may happen one day however, when the modpack is technically 'done,' is that a third version may be built off of it that strips away most all of the non-bugfix modifications that Co8 has done over the years. So you'd in effect have lite, medium, and heavy versions. That would be a significant undertaking though. We'll see.
     
  6. Gaear

    Gaear Bastard Maestro Administrator

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    @Sitra Achara -

    Sadly no one seems to have downloaded your modded Lareth scenario files. (I'm not in a real good position to test stuff myself without committing it to the mod, since my install is always the working version of the next modpack.) Do you suppose it is ready enough for prime time to include in 5.9.3? (I understand that it's not complete atm.) I'm about ready to publish 5.9.3 and since it contains your fixes for the merchant inventory refesh-related bugs among other things, which are kind of serious, I'd like to get it out sooner rather than later. Do you think we should put this in as well? I have no objectons to the theme of the content or the impetus behind it myself.
     
  7. wizgeorge

    wizgeorge Prophet of Wizardy

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    I have a problem with this. There should be a seperate, distinct script for evil alignments. Lareth doesn't fit in a good align game. If that encounter becomes too hard and makes the ambush un-doable, then that wont work. Lareth has to go and the moathouse cleared in a good aligned game. That is the intent of the game as I see it.
     
  8. Sitra Achara

    Sitra Achara Senior Member

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    No, too early.
     
  9. mmonagle

    mmonagle Established Member

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    Would it be fair to assume that I could put the files in the 5.9.3 patch?
     
  10. Sitra Achara

    Sitra Achara Senior Member

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    @ mmon:
    I don't know. Depends if Gaear modified the same files as I did.

    @Gaear:
    I think this release should be ok for 5.9.3. (Hope it's not too late)

    I've fixed a couple of the things that bugged me. For the post-battle consequences, for the meanwhile I'm just going to make the troops go away.

    Edit:
    Hold on, don't download yet. Just when you think you nailed everything... bleh...
    Edit2:
    Ok, I fixed the error. (apparently I accidentally deleted one letter in Lareth's script that made it fail to compile :p )
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Oct 8, 2010
  11. gazra_1971

    gazra_1971 Knights of Legend

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    I've only just read this thread (because there has been SO MUCH traffic in this forum lately that I haven't caught up yet), so that is why I haven't downloaded and tested Sitra Achara's new Lareth mod yet. Thank you VERY MUCH for the mod - it's what I've been hoping for.

    I am confused. If the only thing that is different between the standard version and the NC version of the modpack is Brother Smyth's dialogue options, then wouldn't adding Sitra Achara's new Lareth mod files to the NC version of the modpack change that situation? Isn't this exactly the kind of thing that Gaear wrote previously in this thread would never happen?

    The following is how I would like the Lareth scenario to work:
    Lareth is repositioned next to Seleucas (Lietenant) in the barracks, and all of the guardsmen (including the Sergeant) in the corridor are repositioned in the barracks also. Lubash (the ogre in the moathouse dungeon) is repositioned right behind the corner that is the entrance to the barracks. The party enters the now vacant corridor, turns the corner, and Lareth automatically initiates dialogue with the party's leader. All of Lareth's dialogue options work as they originally did. As soon as Lareth's dialogue ends, the mother of all combats starts! Lareth summons in the monstrous spiders (as normal) as a free action in the first round of combat (instead of when he bargains for his life when he has low HP). There is standing room only in the barracks! Lareth doesn't cast the nancy spell Shield of Faith as his first round action, but instead keeps casting Hold Person until he has run out of 2nd and 3rd level spells (he has Hold Person memorized for all of his 2nd level spell slots, and for all of his 3rd level spell slots as well). Lareth's dialogue (when he bargains for his life when he has low HP) only triggers if he is the last surviving enemy. This still enables him to join the party and lead the party to the ambush in the broken tower, or to become a vendor. It's up to the player to ensure that Lareth doesn't die and that Lareth is the last enemy standing if the player wants Lareth to join the party. This is how boss fights are supposed to be - epic and insanely difficult! Yeah!
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2010
  12. Gaear

    Gaear Bastard Maestro Administrator

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    Nope, not too late. Thanks much.

    No. Fixing lame AI and boring battles is not outside our purview. See the entire Reactive Temple and improved Smigmal, Falrinth, Terjon, assassin, Rainbow Rock, etc. battles for examples. Those things are all the same in standard and NC.

    I'm not really the spokesman for this project, but I'm having a hard time following your objections, george. How would adapting the Lareth battle make the ambush un-doable, for example? And how would this affect whether you can get rid of Lareth or not?
     
  13. aehchua

    aehchua Member

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    I think what George is trying to highlight is that a reactive moathouse would greatly increase the CR of the Lareth encounter. This would have the following implications:

    (1) It would be NECESSARY to do some NC material before meeting Lareth. Don't forget that immediately after Lareth is the spiders and then the moathouse ambush.

    (2) Lareth is a relatively LOW level encounter. As versus attacking the temple priests, which is relatively high level. You can wipe out huge mobs with a couple of fireballs, icestorms, flamestrikes and cones of cold. At 4th level and below (Lareth), the PCs have no or few effective area of effect spells.

    (3) The Lareth encounter would have a HUGE experience award for the level. The moathouse gives me a multi-level jump. Most of the xp from the Lareth encounter would be wasted, because you can only jump one level at a time.
     
  14. Gaear

    Gaear Bastard Maestro Administrator

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    3. I believe that SA has carefully designed the reactive stuff so as to not increase XP rewards ... you either fight everything separate, or together to some degree. There are no extras introduced.

    2. ... Which should make the Lareth battle challenging. :) Plus, we get the added bonus of Lareth not acting like an idiot and waiting for all his guys to be killed so that he can stand a much lesser chance of surviving alone.

    1. I'm not really convinced that simply adding Lareth to his troops will make the battle undoable. It looks like SA has tested this and gauged difficulty fairly rigorously (Lareth joins after two casualties, etc.)
     
  15. Necroticpus

    Necroticpus Cthulhu Ftaghn!

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    Entangle, grease and/or web would make any encounter at the moathouse an easy massacre.
     
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