Orion's ToEE complete fixes - beta (part A)

Discussion in 'General Modification' started by 0rion79, Sep 30, 2005.

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  1. Gaear

    Gaear Bastard Maestro Administrator

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    Regarding the Skeletal Priest . . .

    I'm not a rules guru, so I can't comment on that aspect. But from a common sense point of view, why would a skeleton any more retain its strength (absent any muscles), or its dexterity (absent any tendons et al), than its intelligence, widsom, or charisma (absent its brain)?

    The answer to me seems simple: being undead, they are animated by some power outside of that which gives life to normal living creatures -- dark juju or black mojo or whatever you want to call it. Hence, just as they could be made to ambulate and fight without possessing the physical means needed to do so, they could be made able to cogitate after a fashion.

    Plus, I'm sorry O, but changing a few numbers here and there in someone's work is one thing; changing a character they created -- something which intellectually and morally belongs to them -- is just plain out of line. :shrug:
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2005
  2. Cujo

    Cujo Mad Hatter Veteran

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    well I don't know much at all about the "rules" but who says the the Skeletal Priest is really a skelleton at all, it might just be whatever the thing looks like to mere mortals, it could be a ghost or revenant some other thing, the skelleton might be its "true form" or might not be.
     
  3. Lord_Spike

    Lord_Spike Senior Member Veteran

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    A skeletal priest is a Lich, plain and simple. They draw energy from the negative energy plane, and are possessed of the powers they held in life. The SOB ought to be quite powerful, and have magic user levels to boot. It's probably too tough for Emridy Meadows, so the watered down version is good enough just to add flavor to the game. Fits in nicely with the whole 'fleshing out' thing the creators intended. A ghost or a spectre would probably be a better fit, though.

    A point of interest...Emridy Meadows has no encounter areas at all in the T1-4 module, just references to the battle. So, Troika already did some fleshing out of it's own...

    Dammit, now Cujo's on my wavelength... *begins crafting a new foil hat*
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2005
  4. 0rion79

    0rion79 Established Member

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    In short:
    I already thought about the lich possibility, but it requires a NPC with 120000 gold coins and 4800 px to loose to craft the philatterium, other difficult thing to reproduce and would be hard to explain his presence into that battlefield under a role-playing viewpoint. It would definitively be too strong and difficult to reproduce.

    It is only skeletons and zombies that can't keep their intelligence and that recive a drastic change to their stats. There are other kind of undeads that would fit more the role of the leader of such an ambush with an appropriate CR. the ghost was the first one that jumped in my mind because it would have all the reasons to lead skeletons and to stay in the place of his death, but even a revenant or a "cursed" or a Guard of Bane (a reasoning skeletal kind) from "monsters of faerun" manual would do.

    Since tastes are tastes, the only one that could slove the matter is Livonya but I think, in my humble opinion, that she would appreciate the change since it is a DEVELOPMENT and not a change of her original idea. I did an undead that is harder to turn, is in line with the environment from a role-playing viewpoint, is perfect as leader for the skeletons that she prepared for the ambush and is perfect as cleric, since it perfectly follows the scripts that she wished and has a proper CR without the need to "cheat". I don't think that she really cares if it is not a skeleton anymore, I don't think that I wasted or altered the concept behind her character and that she would appreciate the fact that I joined her idea with a good background and environment.
    Even if you call a rose with another name, it still smells as a rose and the same is for that character BUT, since it is a ROLE-PLAYING game, then work on it as well as on the contenents.
    Please, consider the change as a temporary change, even because soon or later she will be back and it may be reverted changing the paint and the animation in 2 seconds. In the meantime, try it, enjoy it or better wait untill tomorrow so that I'll post the second and last part of my mod.

    The only thing that I need to know is what I have to do to have a merchant with a fixed inventory, that does not refresh after 24 hours and allows the merchant to sell every single object only once.
    I'm afraid that, if I do as I think, he will refresh the inventory with the list in the invensource mes or, if I don't add any, will refresh the inventory deleting all items and showing to the customer an empty inventory. Please, give me instructions! :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2005
  5. Gaear

    Gaear Bastard Maestro Administrator

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    :eek:_O: But how is changing the skeletal priest to a ghost not a change? To quote you:

    And even if it is technically a "development," I still tend to disagree on the liklelihood of her endorsing it. She was typically very protective of her work.



    This brings up an interesting point, one that we don't seem to have really considered before: Liv granted Co8 express written (or posted) consent to use her mod in future releases. She did not grant the same express written consent to modify her mod, nor was there any implied permission given that I recall.

    Perhaps Agetian or Ted could best answer this question, since your work would seem to be the most voluminous outside of Livonya's: if someone came along and modified a feature of Toffee or DH (which in Agetian's case has ownership explicitly declared in the readme in the form of a copyright declaration), would you consider that an infringement on your rights and demand an immediate "cease and desist?" :paranoid:
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2005
  6. ordinaryjones

    ordinaryjones Established Member

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    As I recall Livonya got rather upset when Drifter released his humble npc mod, which didn't directly change anything, but messed with what Liv seemed to consider the spirit of the mod. It's obvious a great deal of work was done to make the mod what it is, anyone would be sensitive and protective of that I think.

    It seems very unfair to alter someone's else's work, even if the haven't been around in a while. So far I've only seen it happen once here that I can remember, with the Ioun stones.

    I agree with Gaear, Lord_Spike, cujo, krunch and Shiningted, it seems like it isn't yours to change.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2005
  7. Cujo

    Cujo Mad Hatter Veteran

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    a level 3 cleric with craft wonderous item could become a lich, they'd need 7800 xp to have 4800 spare and not use it to level up. that would give it a few spells but it wouldn't be overly powerfull especially if its only about 10 years old. but who says that if it is a lich, that it fought (or its living version) at emridy meadows, it might just be showing up to get some magical artifacts for itself (the self centered bastards they are) or recruit some of the locals living in the underground flats and you just happen to be there at the time .
     
  8. krunch

    krunch moving on in life

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    Part of the loot in the Rainbow Rock is a figurine idol of a demon, and it being in the loot should identify some information, if nothing else, to identify a follower of an evil entity as being the one who set the trap to be triggered when the Rainbow Rock is closed. Another major item, figuratively speaking, in the loot is Terjon's heirloom. And, the trap when sprung includes some evil form of undead priest that looks like a skeleton.

    If an observer knew nothing else about the situation than what is above, it should be concluded that someone who worships an evil entity like Iuz (who is still in power at the time, unlike Zuggtmoy), apparently, holds a grudge against either Terjon or Terjon's father, and wants whomever will retrieve Terjon's heirloom, be it whoever or even Terjon, himself - who is afraid to go to Emridy Meadows, will have to face the challenge of defeating an undead priest with its comrades to be able to retrieve the heirloom for Terjon. It is not a major undead priest like a lich, so the trap builder either must not be terribly powerful or only just wanted to attempt to take the life of Terjon or someone or some party attempting to retrieve the heirloom.
     
  9. Lord_Spike

    Lord_Spike Senior Member Veteran

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    I suppose the thing could be a "Shadow Monster" Lich, as in the 4th level Illusionist spell of the same name. It's only as tough as it is because of only being an illusion with only 20% of the HP & abilities of an actual Lich. Of course, I don't know how strong it is in terms of AC & HP, so it could be a Demi-Shadow Monster (5th level spell) creation with 40% power. No one realizes this because of it's environs, and it was placed here with the actual skeletons to be triggered upon certain actions in the Meadow. Problem with this is, it can't be dispelled. Likely candidates for placing it here are Iuz or one of his followers, except Iuz isn't an Illusionist at all, so it couldn't be him, at least not in this manner. One of his followers could do it; but Iuz could achieve the same results by using a combination of other spells like Animate Dead & Imbue with Spell Ability.

    It's really up to us to settle this part of the story & reconcile it with the rest of the module. Or, we could not explain it at all, and leave folks to wonder about it all. But I'll ad this in closing...to have a richer story, the details must be established, and furnished to the player as part of the tale in which they find themselves immersed. Add a few more lines to the ragged note from Terjon's father which explains some of these details, and set the path to another quest to hunt down this old foe of Terjon's family.
     
  10. Shiningted

    Shiningted I want my goat back Global Moderator

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    A skeleton animated by Iuz with special spell casting powers? Have I got that right? Sure, why not. And yes, perhaps we should expand the how's and what-fors of the ambush to explain why it is there (although why are there animated dead there at all? Maybe some priest of the Temple simply animated a few skels around the place and stuck an ambush in the middle when he saw Terjon's thingy, figuring he would cause some trouble for anyone come looking for it. Seems like something an evil priest with time on his hand and lots of dead bodies to play with might do - especially if Emridy Meadows was seen as some sort of site that Good folk visited to see the place Evil was vanquished).

    I'd like to think I wouldn't mind if people added to DH, or built on the new characters, but just changing them would definitely make me feel a bit weird. I might add there was a lot of private discussion about Liv's stuff a while back, just sticking it straight in Co8 without asking her etc. I would have liked to have done a combined Toffee pack, a la what Allyx has done here, for my mod and put it on my other server as well, but what right do I have to just grab Liv's stuff like that, or even the Co8 stuff that it is built on? Its partly respect and partly intellectual property rights I guess.

    Has anyone actually tried Orion's thing? With KotB (and real life) to worry about I don't have nearly enough time to look at it, but the other changes sound good: I hope someone is testing it.
     
  11. Agetian

    Agetian Attorney General Administrator

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    I hope this will answer your question perfectly: if someone was ever to create a third party hacked version of either Toffee, ToEE World Builder, or any of their components without asking my permission to do so (which actually goes 'outside' of my permission only, since it'll also imply a permission from dulcaoin (since he's a co-author of both projects and helped a lot - especially at the early stages of writing), Sapricon (since he helped a lot with visual algorithms of ToEEWB, and also made some suggestions for Toffee), Drifter (in case of Toffee, since it also includes his modifications), and possibly even Steve Moret!), e.g. someone has hacked (disassembled) the program and altered it in any way (even the slightest possible - just changed some text, or a pic, or location of the text boxes, or whatever else), I would first try to remove the hacked version of the tool if possible, with the appropriate comment (e.g. if it's posted here at the boards), or, if it's posted somewhere beyond my direct access, I'd publicly recommend NOT to use this version of the tool as the modifications in the tool are not approved by the official team that makes the tool, and could even be dangerous to the end user. Then I'd make a written request to the "author" of the hack to remove the tool from his/her site. If the situation stays the same, AND if I see that the members of the Circle of Eight tend to (for example) support the hack instead of supporting the official releases, I will be compelled to remove the official (read: my team's versions of) set of tools and let the community live with whatever they have chosen to live (in which case I will probably also leave the Co8, since I will consider that to be a mistrust in my abilities and, at the same time, a case of incredible impudence). Of course, in our case it's not possible to start any legal prosecution of whoever is making the hacks (since our work here at the Circle of Eight is unofficial and we don't have the rights on the ToEE itself), that's why it's all about the moral side of the action.

    So yeah, summing it all up in a few words, I will be very upset to see that someone is trying to hack my programs (even if he does that with good intentions in mind, e.g. adding a feature). I think that the same person can easily request adding this feature by PMing me here or letting me know somehow else, AND, if that person wishes to write some code himself and thus contribute, or perhaps even join the tool development team I'm leading, he is definitely welcome to do so! :) We are in serious lack of capable people who can work on ToEESG right now as well... ;)

    Well, I'm getting carried away from the topic of the discussion.
    Anyway, I hope I answered your question, Gaear. ;)

    - Agetian
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2005
  12. Cerulean the Blue

    Cerulean the Blue Blue Meanie Veteran

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    Have we forgotten that lesser undead can sometimes be created spontaineously, especially in an area where there was a lot of pain, suffering and death and a lot of magical energies were expeneded?
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2005
  13. Lord_Spike

    Lord_Spike Senior Member Veteran

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    Not really...it's just that there's not a precedent for a spell casting skeletal undead creature (short of a Lich, which is waaay to powerful to be what this is); and while it's a great idea, we were trying to figure out how to reconcile it with the rules of the game. Your reminder is timely and insightful, however...beyond what you've already expressed, what are your thoughts on this?
     
  14. Gaear

    Gaear Bastard Maestro Administrator

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    Yeah, I rather like the sound of Blue's idea/question. I always figured that the undead were at Emridy Meadows anyway because of just such a thing.

    And yes, Agetian, you answered my question very satisfactorily. Same with Ted. Based on your input, I don't think that I care to try Orion's mod. Sorry. :shame:
     
  15. Cerulean the Blue

    Cerulean the Blue Blue Meanie Veteran

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    My thoughts? I think the undead in Emredy Meadows , including the skeletal priest, are there because of all the intense lingering magical energies and emotions mixed and over time and animated the remains (though I do think after 10 years the zombies are a stretch, unless they were created from much more recent corpses). The skeletal priest is definately not a lich. A person makes a choice and acts on it to become a lich. I don't think the poor acolyte of the Temple who became the skeletal priest chose to do so. He was just in the wrong place at the wrong time and now his skeletal remains are trapped mindlessly fighting and casting spells in a battle that ended ten years ago. No matter what it actually is, it has a skeletal form and casts cleric spells, so we can call it a skeletal priest.

    There is a precedent for a spell casting skeletal undead creature. I've encountered them in P&P before. The Monster Manual is not written in stone. Just because a creature isn't in it or any of the other official volumes does not mean it can't exist. TSR had new creatures in almost every one of their modules, and DMs were (and hopefully still are) encouraged to create new ones as well. That is what the DM (Liv) in this case did. So what if it isn't in any official publication. It is well balanced, fits the scene, and in my opinion would make a better quest object at rainbow rock than Terjon's stupid starburst pendant. Rather than change what it is, we should flesh it out, no pun intended. Make it so you have to investigate it's back story, some cast out relative of somebody in Homlet who joined the Temple, and now to free it's tortured spirit you have to come armed with it's name in life and defeat it. That sort of thing.
     
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