Red Dragon Liar

Discussion in 'General Modification' started by Edwin P, Aug 22, 2011.

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  1. Edwin P

    Edwin P Member

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    While working my way through Shining Ted's tutorials I have decided to try my hand at a new encounter area: Lair of an Ancient Dragon while I learn how to use TOEEWB.

    The concept is simple - In the Kron Mountains lies the home of an ancient red dragon. The (Map 1): Initial map present the players with the side of a mountain and the entrance to the dragon's lair. (Map 2): is the cavern that is home to the ancient dragon and the tomb that he guards. The tomb contains a +5 magical weapon.

    I envision the PCs attempting to obtain this weapon by 1) slaying the dragon (not easy with its high AC, HP and SR), 2) having one PC sneak past it; invisible, 3) talking to it and accepting a quest from the dragon or 4) talking to it and paying a hefty price to be allowed to leave the cavern alive without the weapon.

    Since my skills at arts are minimal I ordered NWN2 so I can use its tool-set to build the map images that will form the two encounter areas.

    With only a single type of monster I will be able to focus my efforts on play testing the map layout, the dragon's dialogs (yes, this ancient dragon speaks common), and experimenting (learning by trial and error) with the python script that controls the dragon's appearance on the map and AI strategy.

    My objective is to an unpredictable encounter - like the Hickory Branch Encounter where you might encounter a few or many NPCs in the final encounter and the Melkwood bog encounter where you encounter illusions that challenges the players.
     
  2. Gaear

    Gaear Bastard Maestro Administrator

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    Q for Edwin: do you intend to have these mods included in the Co8 modpack? The reason I ask is that if so, I sort of have to stick my nose in in terms of big picture considerations and whatnot, but if not I can butt out (while still happily lending technical assistance ;) ).
     
  3. WinstonShnozwick

    WinstonShnozwick Established Member

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    :D that sounds really cool! and if you can, it would be awesome to let the Co8 modpack have them. good luck, hope you do well on it
     
  4. Edwin P

    Edwin P Member

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    Gaear, if this mod turns out to be really good I would like it to be considered for the Modpack and would appreciate your comments (and very much appreciate your technical assistance). Even if it does not fit in with TOEE NC it will be a good learning experience for me.

    As I am still slowly learning my way around modding TOEE I would not expect this mod to be finished before January.

    I envision this encounter as being designed for Level 15+ PCs with lower level PCs entering the encounter area finding a Dragon that demands a hefty ransom to allow them to leave alive. If the lower level PCs choose foolishly choose to attack this dragon they will most likely die - as encountering an ancient dragon should be a life altering experience - and there are some battles that wise PCs will run away from.

    Let me also say that once the PCs spy the size of this dragon (or his illusionary double) they will know that it will not be an easy encounter. PCs will have an opportunity to run away to avoid combat and being forced to pay a hefty ransom. They will not be forced to have an encounter that they can't win.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2011
  5. Gaear

    Gaear Bastard Maestro Administrator

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    Okay. To help you along with getting it into the modpack, I'll offer the following:

    I've never used NWN's editor, but I assume it creates only 3D environments.
    • They aren't suitable for ToEE's 2D isometric structure.
    • The aesthetic won't fit with ToEE anyway. As far as this goes, here is the deal (and don't take this the wrong way but it's pretty much set in stone):

      The only 2D custom art that has been deemed acceptable over the long haul is reworked original art, which I do alot of (think almost all our NC maps, to various degrees), and exceptionally well done original art. This has really only been art with post production done by vampricpuppy, who is a professional artist/Photoshop guy (think Moathouse Respawn's Gnarley Forest map and the KotB stuff he's done). The reason for this high standard is that poorly done or even middlingly well done art brings the whole operation down to its level. Thus, a mod that is otherwise outstanding (I'm not saying ours is, necessarily, just illustrating) will only be 'decent' if the art is only decent. So we are really protecting everyone else's investment over the years and the community's reputation by maintaining high artistic standards. Some people view this as elitist or whatever, but I only view it as necessary. No offense intended to anybody, but garbage in equals garbage out. There's also the concern over aesthetic themes, which shouldn't be muddied. (e.g. we wouldn't add death metal tunes to the vanilla soundtrack.)

      BUT, all is not lost. I've become something of an old hand at manipulating existing art, so I would be happy to work up an interior and exterior dragon cave environment for you if you'd like me to help. We'll have to get creative with it, because we don't want to reuse the same stuff over and over (the ogre cave comes to mind - already used three times, and the Moathouse exit exterior - already used three times). But we'll figure something out.
    I'm pretty sure the vanilla red dragon in protos.tab doesn't work, so we would have to make a custom red dragon based on the white dragon proto. This will require recoloring the white dragon mesh, which I'd be willing to do for you as well. Unfortunately the dragon model used in ToEE (which is some other flying thing in a bigger scale) looks pretty crappy imo, but since there's precedent with the Verbo white dragon, I wouldn't object on that basis. There are no other options, being as we can't make new ones from scratch and there are no other suitable existing meshes to steal. (I've checked.) [It's kind of sad ... an awesome looking dragon would be ... kind of appropriate ... for Dungeons and Dragons. :(]

    This would best be added as another worldmap location, which I would be willing to do for you as well.

    ~

    Basically, given all the above, you would be at libery to concentrate on scripting/dialog/statting etc. with me doing the other stuff, if that's acceptable to you. I wouldn't really intrude on the other, as long as you don't get goofy with it (which I have every confidence you won't, based on your track record :) ).
     
  6. Edwin P

    Edwin P Member

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    I would greatly appreciate your help in creating the map and a custom red dragon mesh and world map. And I promise that I will not get goofy; inventive yes - goofy no.

    01. Map

    Let me see what I can do with the existing artwork to give you a few ideas for the cavern and once I receive NWN2 I will send you a few jpgs of their terrain images that may be of high enough quality to use; i.e. stalagmites that rise up from the floor.

    I was envisioning the primary cavern as being large - about the size of the Emridy Meadows Map as 1) the dragon is size: G, 2) I want the dragon to have several places to appear from - i.e. when you enter his lair you will never be sure where he is. The big dragon you see at the end of the cavern may be the real thing or an illusion, 3) I want the players to have the option to split up when the dragon is chasing them and 4) a big dragon needs a big cavern that will have the PCs navigating a maze of boulders and crevases to reach him and I was planning on side passages the PCs can use to temporairily escape the dragon's pursuit, so that they can heal in safety.

    I was planning on re-using part of the tomb at the Welkwood Bog to hold the burial chamber that holds the magical weapon.

    02. Dragon
    For me, the key question is will the dragon look really cool after its enlarged? If not, it may be best to change the encounter. When I encountered the enlarged blackwidow spiders after I slew Lareth at the moathouse I amazed by their quality and their size (they were still wimps in combat, but visually speaking quite impressive).
     
  7. Gaear

    Gaear Bastard Maestro Administrator

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    The big red ToEE dragon looks only meh, imo. I'll post a screenie for you later.

    I'm sure the big cave would be doable. Are dragon caves supposed to be completely natural, or can they be partly 'man-made?' If so, who makes them? The dragon, or do they just move into likely locales?
     
  8. Edwin P

    Edwin P Member

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    They can be partly man-made. The dragon might have moved into an abandoned dwarven city (think Lord of the Rings) or they might find residence in a natural cavern.
     
  9. Gaear

    Gaear Bastard Maestro Administrator

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    Here's the adult red dragon in protos.tab, attacking our brave heroes at Hickory Branch.

    I see that this is actually not a vanilla proto (there are no vanilla dragons), so someone here must have made it somewhere along the line. It uses the mesh of the ice lizard. A noble effort certainly (and as good as it's gonna get with what we've got), but it still doesn't really blow my skirt up. :shrug:

    (This one's got some visibility issues with its wings too that were apparently resolved with the white dragon we see in Verbo. Also it does work, obviously.)

    dragon.jpg

    [edit]

    Hmmm, I just noticed the 'kapocinth,' aka the gargoyle. I must have just disregarded it before, but it may look ... not too bad, scaled up. It seems a bit vertical and humanoid for a dragon, but it's got more personality than the tame-looking ice lizard, imo. Plus we can make it white/red/black/whatever, of course. And it's not so damn far off the ground. Here are the two facing off at HB:

    kapocinth.jpg

    What does everybody think? New dragon?
     
  10. Edwin P

    Edwin P Member

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    I agee, the 2nd image - the Kapocinith is much more impressive and englarged it will be even more impressive.

    PS: Red Dragons

    Adult and older Red Dragons are smart and powerful - they have 300+Hp, AC of 30+, Magic Resistance, DR/Magic and cast spells along with a breath attack and several physical attacks with reach. They also move fast if flying. If this encounter comes to fruition it will not be a cakewalk for high-level adventurers. It will take strategy and tactics to beat such a powerful foe without losing most of your PC party in the process.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2011
  11. Gaear

    Gaear Bastard Maestro Administrator

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    How will it stack up against the Verbo white dragon?
     
  12. Edwin P

    Edwin P Member

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    What i the protos number for the Verbobonc White Dragon? Is it the Adult White Dragon - 14999? - if so he will be about 2x to 3x as powerful

    Here are some sample stats. The exact age of the Red Dragon will be determined in playtesting and may vary from Adult to Ancient as the Dragon needs to be hard to beat, but no impossible. I will write up a detailed stat sheet for the Red Dragon along with a summary of his battle tactics.

    Adult White Dragon - #14999

    St 23, Int 10
    Reach 10
    Bite: 2d6+6, Claw 1d8+3 (x2), Wing 1d6+3, Tail Slap 1d8+9
    CR9
    Fort 11, Will 11, Reflex 11
    Armor 17
    HP 17d12+5
    Immune to Cold
    DR 5
    Size 55
    Feats: Alertness, Power Attack, Cleave, Improved Initiative, Heighten Spell

    Old Red Dragon
    Str 33, Int 22
    Bite: 4d6, Claw 2d8 (x2), Wing 2d6, Tail Slap 2d8, Tail Sweep 2d6
    Fort 23, Reflex 16, Will 21
    AC 33
    28d12+196 (378)
    Immune to Fire
    DR 10/magic
    SR 23
    Size 100
    Feats: Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Power Attack, Cleave
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2011
  13. Gaear

    Gaear Bastard Maestro Administrator

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    Sounds like a badass. :thumbsup:

    btw, the red dragon is not a liar (or is it?), but it does have a lair. ;)
     
  14. sirchet

    sirchet Force for Goodness Moderator Supporter

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    What!!? I thought this thread was about a Red Dragon lawyer. ;)
     
  15. Edwin P

    Edwin P Member

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    Re: Red Dragon Liar/ Lair

    Here are some rough ideas for the Dragon Quest backstory;

    1. The concept is that "smart" PC's could - they don't have to - seek out Spugnoir's sage for advice on how to combat a dragon.

    a. Adding a note to my Spugnoir dialog mod to indicate that his sage knows how to combat dragons.

    b. Adding a new NPC to the Protos tab for Spugnoir's Sage.

    c. Adding dialog so that Spugnoir's sage can offer advice on combating dragons - their strengths (Red Dragons are immune to Fire) and weaknesses (Red Dragons are vulnerable to Cold).

    d. Placing the Sage somewhere in Verbobonc or perhaps having him be a guest of Terjon or Burne that appears in Story State >= 5 or a guest at the Welcome Wench.

    2. The dragon that the PCs encounter at the lair may be a lying red dragon or a ........... dragon. This will be set by a flag that affects the type of dragon that appears and conversations that refer to the dragon sightings (an enourmous black dragon, an enourmous red dragon). What does this mean? Unprepared PCs that sally forth into battle armed with cold magic expecting to fight a red dragon; based on a prior play-through, will be surprised when they encounter a dragon immune to cold magic.

    3. Adding a wilderness encounter where PCs encounter the aftermath of a merchant caravan devasted by a dragon attack. I could would re-use the opening map; that shows merchant wagons, for good parties. PS: The dragon attacked the caravan looking for gold.

    Any comments?
     
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