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Everything posted by Kelandon

  1. Homeland progress report

    Oh, huh. I remembered the point being made, but I didn't remember where it was made — he added something reinforcing the point? Interesting. You're not the only one. Chessrook44 kept referring to Kass as "she" throughout the Let's Play, much to my consternation. But no, Kass is from Gnass. Sss-Kass is from Bahssikava and dies in the Empire raid. I honestly can't recall now why Kass has a feminine Bahssikavan name, although he does. I think it had to do with how far removed Gnassish is from Bahssikavan, so what is a feminine ending in Bahssikavan isn't necessarily so in Gnassish. Sulfras says that age doesn't affect all dragons the same way; that's her explanation for being born at the same time as Motrax but seeming so much younger. But yeah, this seems a little weak given all the other inconsistencies.
  2. Homeland progress report

    That was actually in Avernum 1 already. That little snippet is part of why Bahssikava always mentions whether a slith speaks with some kind of accent (e.g., a couple of the Honeycomb sliths at the very beginning) or without (e.g., Ethass). It's also part of why most of the sliths in Bahssikava have fairly hissy names that all kind of sound the same and are heavy on TH and S sounds (Ethass, Pithoss, Kass) except the occasional historical reference to a Bahssikavan with an unusual name (Calindor). Yeah. In A:EftP, Motrax says that he was "born" (hatched, presumably?) in the underworld, while the other dragons are from the surface. He makes a point of saying that he "came to know humans only recently" and that the other dragons "are all young, compared to me," as well as that the dragons in Avernum "are not hatched from like broods." He mentions that he is a thousand years old. But in A2:CS, Sulfras says, "Motrax is my brother. We come from the same brood." Athron says, "The five dragons of these caverns were the last brood to be hatched anywhere near here, well over a century ago. My siblings." Some of this could be chalked up to lying, I guess — Athron is deliberately cagey about her mate — but it's not clear to me why they'd be so gratuitously lying. I came across this when researching for Homeland. We know from Bahssikava and Exodus that the slith homeland has dragons (Galthrax, Velthkhogroz, the ancient Mahanyakshetra), so I had to refresh my memory on dragon lore from the Avernum series so as not to be completely inconsistent with it. Except that dragon lore isn't really consistent with itself. I ended up deciding that, when there are inconsistencies, I'm using Avernum 1 as my canon; it fits better with what I intend.
  3. Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

    ... it is possible to use Return Life while in combat mode.
  4. Homeland progress report

    Yeah, it seems like it has to be. There aren't many changes to the text from A1 to A:EftP — even some minor continuity problems involving the dragons don't seem to have been cleaned up after the second set of remakes — and I can't imagine any other reason to change this. I probably would've noticed this sooner, but I don't think I ever got very far in either remake.
  5. By way of background: There are two Avernum trilogies: the First Avernum Trilogy and the Second Avernum Trilogy. Unsurprisingly, the former is Avernums 1-3, and the latter is Avernums 4-6. The First Avernum Trilogy has gone through a series of remakes. It was originally Exile 1, 2, and 3. Then it was remade into Avernum 1, 2, and 3. (After this, the Second Avernum Trilogy was released.) Now, there is a new series of remakes: Avernum: Escape From the Pit, Avernum 2: Crystal Souls, and the upcoming Avernum 3 remake. As far as what spoils what, there is a central mystery in Avernum 3 that later Avernum games may mention the answer to, so that's a possible spoiler. Avernum 4 definitely gives away what happens in Avernum 3; I don't remember if later games do. (I don't think Avernum 6 does, but I couldn't promise that.) In general, I'd recommend playing in order (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) if possible, but if you're playing on iPad, Avernum 4 and Avernum 5 are not going to be on iPad any time soon. Playing 6 without 4 and 5 is possible; a few things won't make perfect sense, but most things will. So, bottom line, you'd be okay playing in the order 1, 2, 6, 3, although if you can stand to wait after finishing Avernum 1 and 2 and if you can stand to play on a computer for Avernum 4 and 5, I'd recommend 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.
  6. Homeland progress report

    From time to time, I've been checking things against the Avernum games because I don't want to do anything overly inconsistent with their continuity. I've been using the Avernum 1 Template to check town layouts and such, and I've been using A:EftP to check the dialogue. But in A:EftP, I just noticed something. In Avernum 1, the message on the steel gates in the Bahssikava Deeps said: This was the underlying inspiration for the entire Slith Homeland series: Thsss was exiled from the homeland, and Legare finds the way back. The tiny clues here and elsewhere in the Deeps became major plot points in my scenarios; for example, the complicated theology of Exodus basically comes from the reference to "the Gods" in this message. In A:EftP, the message has been changed slightly: Setting aside the typo ("Goddessess"), the change from "Gods" to "Goddesses" seems like a direct reference to my scenario Bahssikava, which I know that Jeff looked at during the First BoA Contest. The premise of Bahssikava is that a mysterious goddess inspires Legare to lead his expedition back to the homeland. There's another change in wording, too: "watch you and grant you wisdom" -> "return to you and restore your wisdom." The difference is the sense that the Darklings were once better than they are. In this wish, the gods are not just watching; they are returning to the Darklings, implying that they had been with them before. The gods are not merely granting wisdom; they are restoring wisdom that the Darklings once had. This works really well within my continuity, although I don't think Jeff could've known that. I'm surprised. This is cool.
  7. Bugged Path to Attack in Avadon 3

    This has been true for a while in Spiderweb games — for whatever reason, if you're out of range and select an attack, the game will move you one space more than it needs to get into range. I think it's true in every Avadon and Geneforge game, although I couldn't swear to that. I agree that it's weird.
  8. Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

    The Martyr Beam hits for 300 damage, then hits for another 100 fire damage, then stacks large amounts of poison and acid. It targets a random visible party member. I had forgotten this, but apparently statuses persist after death, so when you raise a character from the dead, it still has all its poison and acid. It will take damage at the end of the turn in which it was raised. So summoning things could work, but you'd have to get the Bugbear Mage down to almost dead and then run everybody out of the room while your summons kill it out of sight. This is a little tricky. Or you could train someone's Endurance until they're over 300 hit points. If they have 301 hit points, then the first hit will bring them to 1, the second hit will bring them to 0, and they'll take poison and acid damage when the turn ends. So if you can have a healer wait and heal/cure them before the turn ends, the character survives. (I think this was probably the intended approach. EDIT: But see below.) Or, similarly, you could get everyone else out of the room except one character right before the Bugbear Mage dies, have that one character quaff an Invulnerability Potion, and then be immune to most of the damage that it would take. I'm not sure whether it would block the initial 300 damage — going to test that right now — but it would block everything else. (EDIT: It does. Invulnerability blocks everything. So this is probably the easiest thing to do.) Or you could let them die and then raise them from the dead in combat mode so that you can heal/cure before the turn ends, and they won't die immediately.
  9. Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

    The names are a strange hodgepodge of European (mostly German-ish) and Japanese-ish. I never did figure out if the difference was meaningful (i.e., if the Japanese characters were different from the European characters in some way), but TM did this pretty consistently throughout a variety of scenarios at the time, if I remember correctly. So, for example, I assume that "Moerder" is pronounced as it would be in German, which is a fair bit like the word "murder" in English, especially non-rhotic dialects of English.
  10. Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

    Canopy is next! I mentioned I might check back in for this one. I have a certain attachment to it; it was released a couple months before Bahssikava, and those two were the first lengthy (i.e., 20+ towns) BoA scenarios, so they were spoken of in the same breath a fair bit back in 2005. And Canopy influenced me quite a lot at the time, at least in terms of technical elements. I found the writing pretty impenetrable, but I definitely took note of the special spells, town design, etc. Exodus is the way that it is because of Canopy. (Which is not without irony, given that TM... um... was not fond of Exodus.) Canopy is not TM's best scenario — it's probably not even TM's best early BoA scenario, which for my money is Emerald Mountain — but it was a milestone, back in the day.
  11. Groups

    It's only within a script. For certain group functions, you may also need to do something in the editor, e.g., using the groupnpc script, but you assign the groups in a script.
  12. Grand Poll 2017: Results Part 1

    At this point, you're not even talking about the survey anymore. "Other" with a fill-in explanation was an option here. I guess you could think it was a waste of time, but I'm not sure why — it would be read and understood just like any other answer. And assuming that someone meant something other than what they said and then criticizing them for meaning that is maybe not a good move? You might want to stop and rethink all of this. You're drifting farther and farther away from sense here.
  13. Homeland progress report

    Basically, yes. In the scenario editor, every location that is not in the outdoors is a "town." So you might see someone refer to, e.g., Mount Galthrax in Bahssikava as a three-town dungeon because there were three levels to it. By way of comparison, Avernum 1 (before the remake) had 82 towns. As for cities:
  14. About checking the current tick

    As far as storage, the problem is that variables are sometimes (always?) reset when you reload from a save. So you really would have to store it in an SDF, not a scenario script variable. As far as doing math, yes, the docs say: So you would have to be a bit careful doing math with numbers well over 30,000. You can still do it, but it requires some convolution. But I don't think any of this is relevant to what Thralni is trying to do, really. Nik's script should work well enough.
  15. Homeland progress report

    Some mixed work on Chapters 1 and 2 over the last couple of weeks. It looks like Chapter 1 will consist of 18 towns, not including a couple that are shared between the Prologue and Chapter 1. Nearly all are near completion; a few have a little dialogue to be added, and one has some combat still to be designed, and one town I haven't created at all (because it's part of a side quest that I won't finish for some time). It's possible there may be one or two more as I add one or two more significant side quests. But Chapter 1 is otherwise done, although still not thoroughly tested. I have 4 towns from Chapter 2 in various stages of completion, but there's still a long way to go. (Probably 10-12 more towns, give or take, which will bring me to a little over 40 by the end of Chapter 2. Aaaaaaauuuggghh.) One thing I'm trying to play with is how much combat (vs. non-combat tasks) there is in any given portion of the scenario. In Chapter 1, the main quests are pretty heavily focused on combat, but the side quests involve almost no combat at all — but this wasn't particularly intentional. It just happened that way. But as I plan out the details of Chapter 2, and even more so as I will get around to planning out the details of Chapter 3, I'll be paying closer attention to this. I worry that I may be Nethergate-ing this scenario a little bit. In Nethergate, the main quest line is spelled out to you pretty immediately, and every step is made clear as soon as you finish a previous step. But there are tons of side quests that you can do, if you go and seek them out — and if you don't, you'll miss most of the color of the game. Homeland is structured in kind of the same way. Still, maybe in BoA, I can count on players to seek out all the little details in the world and find all the side quests, at least more than Jeff could for players of Nethergate.
  16. About checking the current tick

    Yeah, I'm not sure that anyone who knows will respond, so you should probably just test this yourself. Create a testing scenario (on the surface), put something like print_num(get_current_tick()); into the START_STATE in the scenario script, and walk around for a while to see what happens. I wouldn't be at all surprised if Eph was right and the manual was wrong, but it would be good to check to be sure. Let us know what you find out!
  17. The Grand Spiderweb Poll, 2017 Edition: Demographics & Favorites

    Under existing law, sure. The concern, apparently, is that the law could change, and it's not clear how the Constitution would apply to this. By way of example, back in the early '80s, Bob Jones University — a private, non-denominational (but conservative) Protestant institution — prohibited interracial dating among its students. The federal government threatened to strip the university's tax-exempt status because the ban on interracial dating was contrary to public policy (eradicating race discrimination). Bob Jones University refused to eliminate the ban; it said that the ban was grounded in its religious principles. In the ensuing lawsuit, the Supreme Court held that the First Amendment didn't prevent the federal government from ending Bob Jones University's tax-exempt status on this basis. At oral argument in the last same-sex marriage case (Obergefell v. Hodges), the lawyer for the federal government (the Solicitor General) conceded that it was an open question whether the same sort of thing would be constitutional if done in the context of gay marriage. That is, it's not entirely clear whether the government could strip the tax-exempt status of religious institutions or religiously affiliated institutions that refuse to perform or recognize same-sex marriages. To be clear, no one has proposed such a step, and it's not clear to me that anyone ever would. As far as I can tell, this is not a thing that anyone actually wants. So I don't think it matters at all. But just quoting the First Amendment isn't quite enough to address this.
  18. The Grand Spiderweb Poll, 2017 Edition: Demographics & Favorites

    The "than anyone else" part is a bit overbroad; judges and various other officials generally can officiate marriages as well. So there is a parallel, totally secular system.
  19. The Grand Spiderweb Poll, 2017 Edition: Demographics & Favorites

    Other than adding a modifier to the term "marriage," is there any other separation that you would want? Because I don't really understand what you mean other than that we don't use separate words for the two concepts (except when we do).
  20. The Grand Spiderweb Poll, 2017 Edition: Demographics & Favorites

    Yeah, not so much. The federal government sometimes prohibits discrimination in its own ranks more broadly than it prohibits in private employment (and occasionally vice-versa as well — it can exempt itself from federal antidiscrimination law). So no, there's never been an explicit general federal ban on employment discrimination based on sexual orientation, or discrimination in public accommodations, or (as far as I know) anything else. People have tried to pass a federal ban on employment discrimination based on sexual orientation, but the last few efforts have failed. Generally, blue states have such a law, so I suspect expect that it will pass at the federal level the next time that Democrats have unified control of the House, the Senate, and the Presidency. Not just possible — this is essentially the system that we already have.
  21. The Grand Spiderweb Poll, 2017 Edition: Demographics & Favorites

    There's kind of a long way between recognizing same-sex marriages and enacting an antidiscrimination law stripping tax exempt status from nonprofits that discriminate in their services on the basis of sexual orientation. Heck, we don't even have a federal antidiscrimination law that expressly bars employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, and that's a lot less of a leap. So the slippery slope argument here, like most slippery slope arguments, seems grossly overwrought.
  22. The Grand Spiderweb Poll, 2017 Edition: Demographics & Favorites

    I've said this before, but making up definitions of terms is worse than employing standard definitions of standard terms. Even if you just lift definition out of Wikipedia or something, you'll still have something a little more plausible than something that you made up yourself. And it looks like these political definitions were basically just made up, rather than drawn from some outside source. And I get that there is some value in maintaining continuity with past survey questions, but how great is that value when the questions themselves aren't very good? Do you want to keep asking a biased/unclear question over and over again for comparison's sake? If the question is invalid, the comparison is also likely to be invalid. Also, just as a general reminder, italics, bold, and all-caps convey emphasis. If you fill up your post with these kinds of emphatic markers, you seem like you're shouting.
  23. That is presumably holdover text from a previous version in which resting was still a thing. That's been changed; you don't need to rest anymore. Just enter any friendly town.
  24. Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

    Yes, that is the point that I have been making. Hey, what a great example! It's probably true that these loosely Echoes-linked TM scenarios are about as related as NH is to Bahs/Ex/The Magic. But that Chessrook44 did in fact choose to play Nobody's Heroes in chronological order between Exodus and The Magic. So to the extent that doing that made sense, it also makes sense to do TM scenarios in order, at least the ones with plausible Echoes tie-ins (particularly RoR and maybe Canopy and Settlers). I honestly can't tell if you're joking — I honestly can't tell if the last handful of posts have all been some kind of elaborate and evidently successful attempt to troll me — but if you aren't, look to my previous post, where I did exactly this. If you want more detail, I can dig into the scripts if I have to, but it's there.