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Ess-Eschas

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About Ess-Eschas

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  1. Home, sweet home.

    Hello Yanson, I had a quick trawl, and I think the update you want has been preserved on the Internet Archive. You can download it here: https://web.archive.org/web/20021006220405/http://www.dragonlore.com:80/files/Patch103m_103z.exe Spiderweb’s pages hosting the games have actually been preserved in quite some detail, too! Have a look here if you want to indulge in some nostalgia: https://web.archive.org/web/20020808075034/http://www.spiderwebsoftware.com:80/dragonlore/index.html
  2. Hello Thralni, Kelandon beat me to this, but here's what I wrote anyway! The maximum number you can store in an SDF is 255. There's no mention of this in the main documentation, but there's a line about it hidden away in the appendix. It's in the section that looks at functions relating to SDFs. "void inc_flag(short a,short b,short how_much) - Changes SDF(a,b) by how_much (which can be negative). Note the legal range of values for a flag is 0..255." This limit is a very common one for small numbers in code. Limits are generally set by how much space is needed to store the number. Since computers store information in binary, that is, in blocks that can take one of two values, these limits are generally powers of 2. 256 is 2^8, and is so common that it gets its own terminology: a byte. That 32000 limit you mention is another power of two: 32768 is 2^15 (although the number is usually stored as 2^16 allowing for a positive and negative range). Most limits you will see are 255, 32767 or 'really big'. This means that you won't be able to put a number as big as 1021 into an SDF. However, and I should stress that I'm not very familiar with scripting in Avernum, you might be able to get the same effect by splitting the number up. For instance, you could use four SDFs to store each digit of 1021. You could then recreate the number by doing something like this: myhealth = sdf(a,1)*1000+sdf(a,2)*100+sdf(a,3)*10+sdf(a,4) where sdf(a,n) is the nth digit of the creature's health (e.g. the 3rd digit of 1021 is 2).
  3. Scenario graphics problems

    Just for the record, I've been running SheepShaver for a while now, and it runs the original BoE very nicely. The only problems I've come across are tiny little graphical glitches that don't really get in the way (such as the numbers showing how much damage is done during a combat move sometimes not displaying on the main screen, but still appearing in the log). I've also been able to emulate the three Exile games and Nethergate in the same way with no major issues! I was about to write a quick little guide about setting up Sheepshaver, since it can be relatively quick and painless with the right setup, but unfortunately there's one issue that has come up recently that makes it more difficult. In order to run the emulator, you need a copy of Mac OS. When I originally set up the emulator, Apple was freely giving away Mac OS 7.5.3. However, I'm unsure if that's currently still the case; Apple have removed the download from their website. If the system is no longer freely available, that's a shame. With it, it's possible to bundle everything needed for the emulator to run in the same place, effectively having a classic mac running straight out of the box. I actually original started using Sheepshaver using an 'out-of-the-box' emulator like this.
  4. A4 - Rearranging party members

    Hello Vee, I'm using a Mac, but I'm hoping that the approach is the same for Windows! If you click the 'Train' button for a character, there should be some text that reads 'Change Party Order' just under where their spell energy is displayed. Next to it should be buttons labelled 'Down' or 'Up' (depending on where the character is in your roster). By clicking on these, you can move this character around in your party. You'll need to move around each character individually for this game, rather than swapping them around as in some other Spiderweb titles. I see that Randomizer has just replied, but I'll leave this in!
  5. Hello Thralni, I've just had a quick check, and apparently the maximum number of dialogue nodes is 200 per script. There's a comment about it in the editor documentation, although it's hidden away amongst other details. Here's a line from the section 'How a Dialogue Node Is Structured': "Each dialogue script can have up to 200 nodes, numbered 0 to 199." This was something I was interested in many years ago when I was tentatively designing a small scenario. This scenario involved one town with several slightly different copies of all of the town's characters, resulting in a very large number of dialogue nodes (probably pushing 200). However, I didn't get far enough to write the full dialogue, so I haven't actually tested this limit myself yet.
  6. Homeland progress report

    I’m happy to help! Don’t feel that you need to rush the update on my account, though. I’m happy to start playing whenever it’s ready. I’m looking forward to trying out a few different things this time around, and possibly attempting some of the alternative approaches to certain situations (such as actually fighting the one-eyed slime, which looks hard). This interaction between Kass and Ethass is one of my strongest memories of The Magic. It’s particularly poignant. At the time, I found it distinctly disconcerting that Ethass both refuses to speak about Kass and also implies that she will refuse to visit him (as she says she will visit Silthokh). I also felt that Kass’s refusal to acknowledge his past self was also pretty ominous, as if something happened that he did not want to acknowledge. However, it would also be quite in keeping with his character not to pay any heed to people talking about such things, so I’m not entirely sure on that point. As you say, something really very bad must happen in the Homeland for the two of them to behave in this way. I can’t quite figure out what that might be, and that’s great! I like the sense of mystery. I can think of situations where Kass severely damages the expedition, and I can think of ones where Kass seriously hurts Ethass, but they’re mostly mutually exclusive. I can’t quite figure out the chain of events that causes both things to happen. I suspect that it involves Phaedra (and, perhaps worse, Arcadia), but I can’t get much further than that. I believe we know that Ethass dies before Phaedra (and she seems a little surprised about Phaedra’s fate in my eyes), so Phaedra’s death can’t be directly involved. In any case, I’ll hopefully be able to see what happens with my own eyes eventually, and I look forward to it!
  7. Homeland progress report

    Uh oh. I get the feeling that’s not going to end well. I’ll hold out on going through Exodus again until you’ve put out the newer version. There’s no rush, and one reason I wanted to play through the scenario again was precisely because it had been updated, although I appreciate it’s probably entirely bug fixes. Thank you for your kind inclusion of me in the documentation, by the way. It’s much appreciated . I’ll tell you what, I’ll keep a deliberate eye out for any more bugs and typos when I go through Exodus this time around. I suspect there won’t be much (if anything) to find given Chessrook44’s recent playthrough, but there’s no harm looking. Bahssikava was great fun to go through again, by the way, and all the little changes you put in for an all-slith party really heightened the experience. It’s one thing to travel to the Homeland as outsiders, but quite another as sliths! Yeah, I think my experience of Avernum is oddly skewed compared to most. I played the Exile series way back in its infancy, and spent a long, long time playing BoE, but I only actually started playing Avernum when the second trilogy was being released. I played those three games first, then BoA, and then the original first trilogy. So I played Bahssikava before Avernum 1!
  8. Homeland progress report

    I realise I’ve been derailing this topic a little, so I’ll try to close this off briefly. I very much agree with you that it doesn’t make sense! I was just trying express my internal thoughts when I first played through Avernum, and my suspicions at the time that some people might interpret the portraits in masculine and feminine terms. I think I was a little more cynical back then! I do agree that Kass’s picture isn’t what a human would wear to cover the breast area, and on reflection wouldn’t be that effective for the purpose, but I think it could at least nominally and simply fulfil the required function, even without the analogue. I thought that might be enough to trigger an instinctive ‘this person is female’ response, but I’m no psychologist, and I’d be very happy to proved wrong on that point! After all, that wasn’t my own reaction! Perhaps I was over-thinking the issue? As for the second portrait I mentioned, I was referring to Ethass’s. I realised it contradicted my argument at the time, and I should have clarified on that point, but I didn’t want to be too longwinded! But that brevity cost me correctness in this instance. On the same lines, my feelings were that Ethass’s portrait could also have an instinctive implication of female characteristics, but on a much more superficial level. At least in my own culture, covering the head in certain circumstances, particularly in religious institutions, can have a broad (and now traditional and mostly outdated) association with female roles. Having said that, though, I can immediately discount that argument, too. If you look at Crystal Souls, Ethass’s potrait has been updated, and the result mixes in some strong characteristics I would be tempted to put in the masculine box. Oh well. I guess it just goes to show that judging characters this way isn’t the way to go! Honestly, I think I’m happier with that outcome. However, I do have one final comment on this, though. In Avernum 4, sliths and nephils have two character portraits each. It seems reasonable to assume that these are supposed to represent male or female characters. The two slith choices are Talas’s portrait and Kass’s, so I think at least in one instance that Kass’s portrait has been used to represent a generic female slith. Maybe that’s what I was thinking of at the time after all? I did play Avernum 4 before BoA. I also very much agree that Kass’s gender matters hugely! Because I realised my mistake at the start of Exodus, I in a sense played through the scenario with two versions in my head: one with a male and one with a female Kass. The dynamic of female Kass is hugely different, particularly with regards Ethass, as you say. The tension between Kass and Ethass has very different connotations depending on Kass’s gender, and the scenario overall sits most comfortably Kass is male. Which is as it should be, since that’s what you intended! As it happens, I’m about to play through Exodus again (with an all-slith party this time, who I’ve taken through Bahssikava too), so I’ll try to remove female Kass from my thinking entirely this time around. But that’s enough rambling theorising from me! Work on Homeland sounds like it’s going well, and it’s great to hear that Chapter 1 is getting closer to completion, and that you’re spilling over into Chapter 2 as well. Keep up the excellent work!
  9. Homeland progress report

    For the record, I have a pretty good idea why I initially thought that Kass was female; I think it’s different from the comment you gave about the gender of the name, although I suspect that contributed too. Unfortunately, I realised my mistake quite late on (a short way into Exodus), and it’s a little difficult to reprogram my initial reactions. I still lapse into thinking of him as female occasionally, as you can see! I think it’s interesting that I’m not the only one who’s made this mistake, too. Here’s my reasoning. The dialogue portrait used for Kass is one of the five BoA slith character portraits. Three of these show sliths with bare chests and two have sliths covering their upper chest. Now, as mammals, our society tends to associate a covering of the upper chest area as a female characteristic. I suspect that Kass’s portrait was intended to be a female slith by the artist, given the ratio. At first glance, I suspect that some people will instinctively associate that portrait with a female slith, given no other information. However, whatever was intended, there’s no reason for these portraits to actually show female sliths. Sliths aren’t mammals, so there’s no reason whatsoever to link femininity to an upper-body covering. Sliths could choose to wear a covering like that depending on their work or social situation. For instance, Ethass and Kass could wear such coverings as signs of priesthood/academia. That would fit with Pathass, too, who is male and yet still wears such a covering in Avernum 4. This mistake could be explained away for most parties, though. After all, it feels to me that it’s often hard for mammals to gauge the gender of non-mammals. Perhaps the humans and nephilim in some parties might come to the same false conclusion and accidentally speak to Kass as if he were female? Still, since I feel awkward about making a gender mistake in this way, I just want to point out that I try not to think about things that way (and I don’t want to imply that gender can be easily treated in such simple and concrete terms). My thought processes about the portrait would have been along the lines I wrote above, i.e. thinking that the portrait was intended to be female rather than actually showing a female. My portrait of Thissa shows a male slith wearing an upper-body covering, and I didn’t feel there was a need to make any comment about that in the following piece of fiction. Also, I had a thought about Motrax’s age as I was writing this. I’d forgotten about that comment of Sulfras’s about dragons ageing at different rates and, as you say, it seems unlikely to explain all the strange continuity. Still, my scientist side is tempted to interpret what Sulfras says slightly differently. If what she says is the case, perhaps there’s more to it than the dragons are aware? Suppose that there’s a recessive genetic trait in dragons, something equivalent to the nepharim for the nephilim. That trait might only cause some small physical differences, but it could mean that the lifespan of those dragons affected could be significantly altered. If it’s a rare difference, dragonkind might only be partially aware of it (hence Sulfras’s fairly general comment), particularly since Avernite dragons seem to be mostly isolated. That might explain why Motrax could be different in several areas from what might be his brethren, and why he could seem so much older while not actually being so.
  10. Homeland progress report

    As you can see, this is a part I don’t remember as well! I had a quick check against the town texts to remind myself. Legare’s unusual name is indeed mentioned, although it doesn't seem to be referenced at exactly this point in Avernum 1. I found it in Sss-Voss’s dialogue in Lost Bahssikava, but it amounts to the same thing, and it’s repeated in the remake, too. I had forgotten there was already dialogue about Legare’s name! I believe what I quoted is new, but it seems less likely to be a reference if it’s restating some earlier text. Oh well. I thought it was probably unlikely! I think it’s great to take points like that to paint small but important details in fiction, such as those slith accents you mention. It’s completely in keeping with how things work in Avernum and, at least to me, helps to make Bahssikava feel like a natural extension to the main series. The similarity between the names is very good at highlighting names that are unusual, such as Calindor, as you mention, while enhancing the links between the Bahssikavan sliths. That’s an interesting point about the dragons, by the way. I hadn’t noticed that comment from Motrax about his not being related to the others. I suppose you could argue that Motrax is mistaken, and the remarks come from his ‘senility’ as mentioned by Sulfras and Athron, but that also doesn’t hold true. The other dragons repeatedly mention that Motrax is an older sibling but, if they were from the same clutch, wouldn’t they all be almost exactly the same age? After all, Athron’s brood seem to be all the same age. If so, how likely is it that only one of them is becoming senile? I think it can be safely said that there are dragon clutches sometimes, though, since we see Athron’s clutch throughout most of the series, but it’s probably hard to go for consistency much outside that. Using Avernum 1 as a basis seems best, though. Bahssikava only appears there, after all. Oh, and I do find the changing dragon genders a little amusing, even though I know they’re simple mistakes. I tend to default naturally to thinking of the dragons mostly in a mishmash of the early Exile variants (so with Sulfras and Khoth both being male, for instance), which is why I was slightly surprised that Pyrog was female this time around. Without wishing to ramble, I’ve a quick question now I’ve reminded myself about Avernum’s Bahssikava. Is the Kass in Avernum 1 related to your Kass? I’m guessing probably not, given what the Empire does in the town, but there are some similarities between them. Legare escaped from the Empire too, after all. <Edit: I'm leaving this in, but I realise my initial thought didn't make sense. For some reason, I always have it in my head that Kass in Bahssikava is female, despite clearly being male in the dialogue. Hence my confusion!>
  11. Homeland progress report

    Well, it’s a small change and easy to miss. Also, the remakes are a significant investment of time. It took me months to get through each one. It’s a little disconcerting to think how much time I must have spent on all the different versions of Exile I in total. Actually, if I’m being honest, I’m still not quite done with Crystal Souls. I stalled just before Garzahd’s fortress, the last major dungeon I’d need to work through, during a busy spell at work. I should really get back to that. While I think about it, there is one other possible Bahssikava reference, although perhaps this is a little more of a long shot. Legare’s text is slightly changed in the remake. In particular, in his opening dialogue, there’s one extra little paragraph: ‘He nods to you. “Is this rescue for Legare? Dare I dream it?” His speech is entirely without lisp or accent, and his name is unusual.’ I can recall you saying that Legare’s unusual name was part of what inspired you to make him such an important feature in Bahssikava. Maybe Jeff felt like putting that in there as a little reference too? Or perhaps I’m reading too much into this. Oh, and the dragons still aren’t quite consistent? Ha ha.
  12. Homeland progress report

    I'm pleased that you stumbled upon this little change! I noticed this the first time I played through the remake, although only really by chance. The text at the doors is significant, and I must have committed the Avernum 1 words to memory without really intending to do so. When I played the remake, I thought something was different, so I went a checked (and I still have the couple of screenshots I took back in early 2012). I actually almost pointed it out to you when testing The Magic, but I never got around to it. Perhaps it's coincidence, but I'd like to think that it was a little nod of Jeff's to Bahssikava. It seems like such a small, specific point to change otherwise. You could even argue that the change of sense from 'watching' to 'returning' might be a nod to Bahssikava too, since the Goddess does indeed return to the Darklings during the scenario, albeit it physically only briefly to Legare. Once the narrator is talking about returning, it then seems natural to talk about restoration of wisdom, too, rather than simple bestowing, but perhaps that's going a bit too far out on a limb. In any case, it's nicely fortuitous that it fits in to your series's continuity so neatly! Incidentally, I hadn't noticed that typo until just now, though …
  13. Hello jeffreywilens, All that you should need to do to get in to Pyrog’s Cave is to pick up the papers in Fort Dolthar and report to Elohi-Bok. He’ll then give you the information you need to find the secret passage. The other pointers you mention (Erika and Solberg) are references to other quests; Olgai is the central point for all of the vahnatai quests, so it can be a little confusing separating out which bit of information relates to each quest! It sounds like you might have missed picking up the right set of papers in Fort Dolthar. If you have the papers with you, Elohi-Bok should always mention Pyrog’s Cave at this stage, even if he only reminds you how to get in. There are several sets of papers in Fort Dolthar, and it’s easy to miss the one that you need. You need the information that directly refers to the crystal soul, and not just to the vahnatai. The papers are in a slightly different place in this remake compared to the original Avernum 2. Which cabinets are you checking? Have you tried checking in other important places on the upper level of the fort?
  14. River And Leaf: How Do I Enter the Mist Realm?

    Oh, I misunderstood the point you were having problems with! Sorry about that. The walkthrough is indeed correct for this section of the port. In order to get to the entrance of the Realms of Mist, you need to get a boat from Skane. Sorali stands in your way, attempting to bribe you with the boats to do a questionable mission. Instead, someone else in Skane (Sain) suggests that you do away with Sorali and use the keys on him to steal a boat. Sain is telling you the truth. If kill Sorali, you'll get access to the boats and be able to proceed.
  15. River And Leaf: How Do I Enter the Mist Realm?

    Hello Hyena, If you press Scyld a little, you'll get a little more information. The place you're being sent is 'the western isle'. This isn't referring to Skane, but a place not too far from there. If you have a look around, you should be able to find the entrance. Have a look for an interesting natural formation! If you can't find it, there's a detailed walkthrough for the original, Blades of Exile version of this scenario. The ported scenario is almost identical except in some small points, so the majority of the information in the walkthrough should still apply. You can find it here: http://db.gamefaqs.com/computer/mac/file/blades_of_exile_river_and_leaf.txt
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