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Posts posted by Kelandon

  1. It looks like there are a few characters in GF4 who were on Sucia Island. They are described as very old. Delna in Southforge Citadel is over 100 years old. Amena Blade in Derenton Freehold is also very old. On a quick skim, I don't think either one clearly says that they were on Sucia at the time of GF1, but I think Sucia was wiped out not long after, so I think their age gives us at least a vague approximation of the time between GF1 and GF4. (And yes, before someone nitpicks, it also doesn't say how old they were when they left Sucia, so conceivably the time between GF1 and GF4 could be significantly less than 100 years.) In Penta in GF5, there's some discussion of the events of GF1, but I don't see anything to give a clear indication of time.


    Either way, it's quite a long time between GF1 and GF5, enough that it would be pretty surprising for any reveal in GF1 to relate to the people in GF5, except perhaps by ancestry (e.g., you meet a grandfather of someone in GF5).

  2. 11 hours ago, Warrior Mage said:

    But can't accept that Fort Goodling is south of Great Cave because you get a message just outside it that the lands to the west of Goodling are more civilised. But does that mean the run extends into west of Goodling?

    It is true that, when you try to go west on the river from Fort Goodling, you get this message:


    To the west, you see a calm, safe stretch of river, heading  into more settled areas of Avernum. Boats similar to the one you are on are used to haul goods to and from this region.


    Unfortunately, you don't have time to explore this way. Your path lies in the dangerous, uncharted waters to the north.

    But that doesn't mean anything in particular. The area to the west is "more settled" than the area to the north, but the area to the north is the Za-Khazi Run itself, which hasn't been settled at all because it's too hostile. I don't think that means that the area to the west is any part of the Avernum map. (If it did, we'd have even bigger problems, because there's no way I can imagine to place Fort Goodling east along any river on the Avernum map.)


    Also, the area to the west is not part of the Run; the dialogue is very specific that the Run refers to the area to the north. It's just some other cave area.

    3 hours ago, "Nothing Left" said:

    I'm not really sure about the logic and extrapolation part.  This is pure invention, and it relies on a large number of technically possible but very unlikely conditions.  Not to rehash our previous argument, but this isn't simply one interpretation of many, this is a construction which is incredibly, incredibly unlikely based on the evidence we have.

    FWIW, the part that I have the most doubts about is the idea that there is a teleportation code for Fort Goodling but not for Fort Cavalier. But if that were true, and if it were true that it's faster to travel from Fort Goodling to Fort Cavalier than from the Castle to Fort Cavalier (not sure if that's plausible), then Seletine could have teleported to Fort Goodling intending to give the wands to soldiers/adventurers, as happens, and we don't need the sliths blocking/collapsing tunnels, which also seems sort of unmoored to anything.

  3. It's true that Seletine of the Triad of the Tower of Magi goes to Fort Goodling rather than Fort Cavalier, but honestly that seems more like a plot hole than anything else. It seems as though it's not particularly hard to get from Fort Cavalier to Dharmon once the siege is broken, and the siege is broken with the wands that Seletine has. So why doesn't Seletine go to Fort Cavalier directly and break the siege? I can't come up with any good reason. Commander Yale says that the "sliths have done an excellent job of blocking or trapping all safe routes to Fort Cavalier," but that seems like it's only true for someone without the wands, because the wands cut through the sliths like butter.


    I think the reason that Fort Cavalier is under more stress, though, is that it's closer to the slith lines. It's apparently surrounded on three sides by sliths, according to the commander of Fort Goodling.


    It's also potentially important that it seems like we can't map the outdoors sections in ZKR to the outdoor sections in Avernum. Fort Cavalier is 14 outdoor sections north of Fort Goodling. Even if Fort Goodling is a little off the map of Avernum to the south, that would still put Fort Cavalier far off the map of Avernum to the north. So I think we have to take those outdoor sections as not representing the same amount of distance as the outdoor sections in Avernum. Fort Cavalier is north of Fort Goodling. How much? A ways. We can't really be more specific than that.


    There's also no particular reason that the river in the Run has to be a river that shows up in the Avernum caves. It could be, but it doesn't have to be.


    Putting all this together, I think that it ultimately doesn't make a lot of sense. There isn't a clean way to account for every fact we have without some pretty serious messiness. The best I can say is that there's probably some secret passage that isn't on the main Avernum maps that goes from Fort Cavalier to Dharmon, and it's probably north or west of Dharmon (or else it would be closer to some other city), and the Run itself is probably on a different level of the caves or off the main Avernum map. Fort Goodling is somewhat south of Fort Cavalier, not as far as south as a distance of 14 outdoor sections would suggest. That would put it more or less south of Fort Remote, give or take, presumably through another secret passage and in a different set of caves.


    That still doesn't account for Seletine, but like I said, I think that's a plot hole.

  4. ZKR says:


    You find a long secret passage, leading out of the fortress and back towards civilization. It will take you past the slith lines and, from there, to Dharmon, the nearest Avernite city.

    If you leave, it says:


    The passage stretches for about two thousand feet, and deposits you well away from slith lines. From there, you maneuver your way through neutral territory. A few close escapes and minor skirmishes later, you return to Avernite territory.


    A commander in the city of Dharmon gives you 2500 gold for your services, and throws in a pretty medal as well. Even better, you get the satisfaction of knowing that you've made a difference for the better.

    The more I think about it, the more inexplicably weird it seems to me that, after this plainly military mission, you go to Dharmon rather than one of the forts. Just about any possible exit from ZKR except a secret passage in the western part of the Great Cave would put you closer to a fort than to Dharmon, and it seems like a fort would be a more natural place to go to meet up with a "commander."

  5. On 10/7/2020 at 10:20 AM, Enraged Slith said:

    If called outside of combat, it will freeze every member of your party outside of the first, who follows input normally. The more it's called in short succession, the more pronounced the effect:

    Maybe I'm being dense, but I don't understand what this means. What are you doing, and what is the problem?


    I use relocate_character() all the time, mostly for cutscenes but not exclusively, and I've never noticed any problems.

  6. On 10/7/2020 at 3:12 PM, Ess-Eschas said:

    In any case, I have a theory about where the Run is, although it’s only really a guess. There’s one feature that we can use to locate the Run, assuming it really is close to the Great Cave: the river! The Run is traversed by a large river, which flows out of both ends of the gallery. So, if the gallery connects directly to the Great Cave, this river should too.


    Conveniently, there’s only one large river on the southwestern corner of the Great Cave. It’s the river that flows past Patrick’s Tower (running through the Great Cave from the Sulphur Lake and Silverlock’s Tower). My guess is that, a little way past Patrick’s Tower, this river flows into the Za-Khazi Run.


    So where’s the entrance? Well, why not the river itself? There’s no particular reason why the primary entrance to the Run from the Great Cave has to be by land, after all. Settlers could have reached the Run by boat – and the sliths could be intending to attack the Great Cave through the river. After all, Avernum 5 shows us some settlements beyond Avernum’s traditional borders that can only be reached by boat, so there could in principle be others, too.

    I suppose that's possible, if we assume that "city" excludes all the forts and towers (which I think is consistent with how Avernites use the term, but I honestly can't remember). But isn't Patrick's Tower almost exactly halfway between Dharmon and the Castle? I don't remember whether anyone describes the Castle as a city, but it would be sort of odd not to.


    Looking more closely at the map, my best guess is that the Run is off the Avernum map to the west of Erika's Tower. Assuming that Spire doesn't count as an Avernite city because it's in the Abyss, and the people in the Abyss sometimes distinguish between themselves and Avernum, and assuming the forts don't count, the nearest Avernite city would be either Dharmon or Blosk, and Dharmon is probably a little closer.


    But there are a bunch of little rivers in the western part of the Great Cave, and any one of them could lead down into the Run.


    On 10/7/2020 at 3:12 PM, Ess-Eschas said:

    Party: “Are you an adventurer?”


    Pea Eye: “I was. Once. Long ago. I helped out in the second slith war, not too many years ago.”


    Party: “The second slith war?”


    Pea Eye: “It was a small one, but nasty, not too long after Empress Prazac let the Avernites back onto the surface. I helped ferry supplies down the Za-Khazi Run, after some other adventurers cleared it out.”

    You're right, the Run itself is canonical, which I suppose means the scenario more or less is also. I had forgotten that there was an explicit reference to the Run itself — or maybe it wasn't in the beta at the time that I got to that point. I never actually played the release version of Avernum 4.

  7. It's not at all clear to me how Fort Cavalier could be close to Dharmon, as ZKR says. Presumably, there's some sort of secret passage in the northwest corner of the Great Cave that is inaccessible in all the games. This passage presumably leads to a cave underneath the main Avernum caves, where ZKR takes place (sort of like how the vahnatai caves in Avernum 2 are deeper than the main cave, and the caves in A3 are much higher than the main cave).


    But I think the BoA scenarios are only quasi-canonical anyway. There's a veiled reference to the slith war described in ZKR in Avernum 4, if I remember correctly, but that's about it.

  8. 10 hours ago, Thaeris said:

    I suppose I'd call something "skill-based" when you have direct involvement in the "simulation," if you will (we can call all games some form of abstract simulation, can't we?). Alternately, I'd call something "stat-based" when you have table values or routines determine the outcome of a given instance. I... am not sure I excluded games that involved statistics.

    Because I'm sure there's going to be a further discussion of semantics here, I think what you mean is specifically physical skill, as opposed to strategic skill or something like that. That is, the kind of skill involved in Mario, not the kind of skill involved in Civilization.

  9. I have had less time than I'd like to work on Homeland, but basically I've been debugging the "more elaborately scripted sidequests" that I described above. I had a lot of good ideas when making sidequests in Chapter 2, and, broadly speaking, none of them actually work as coded. They're not even close. So I'm debugging and, in some cases, rewriting them altogether because BoA can't easily do what I intended.


    I'm almost done with the side quests and will pick up the main quests again shortly. The third main quest is pretty short, and I'm hoping I can get that done in a day. The fourth (the capital) is longer and will probably take a few weekends.

  10. I remember having a rule of thumb about weight-to-value ratios for items to pick up and sell in the original Nethergate and Avernum Trilogy, because if you wanted to pick up and sell absolutely everything that was sellable, even for 1 coin, you'd make a huge number of trips back and forth to dungeons. If you weren't obsessive about selling absolutely everything and were reasonably disciplined about inventory management, you could avoid a lot of tedium.

  11. 1 hour ago, Warrior Mage said:

    Hello? Can't hear you people.

    Hi Warrior Mage, please don't double-post (that is, post twice in a row in the same topic) unless you have a really good reason to. The fact that nobody has responded in a few hours does not constitute a really good reason. Wait a few days. If nobody responds by then, post "bump" to put the thread back at the top of the list and make sure that people know that you're still in need of a response.


    I realize that you may not know this, but your post comes off as sarcastic, which also is not really consistent with the forum guidelines and makes people less likely to want to help you.

  12. 29 minutes ago, "Nothing Left" said:

    My own memory is overwhelmingly of Exile 3 getting heaps of praise from forum members -- which makes sense given how BoE-centric the forum crowd was in the earlier days -- despite the vocalized dislike of its plot.  Avernum 3 got dumped on a lot more.

    Yeah, FWIW, I joined the community after Avernum 3 was released, and I don't remember anyone making distinctions between the two by that point. It's entirely possible that earlier discussions were more positive and it went negative after A3. 


    Though given the nature of the criticisms, that would be kind of weird, since they would've applied equally to E3 and A3. I guess it could also be due to a change in forum population, rather than any difference between E3 and A3.

  13. Exile 3 was by far Jeff's biggest early success. It got dumped on by forum members for a long time, though, basically because the premise is not original or interesting (monster plagues?). Almost none of the game is about what the story is ostensibly about (who's responsible?), so it's basically just an excuse to explore and fight monsters.


    But it's just about the best possible version of "explore and fight monsters" that you can do. The game is huge, and although I think that the combat mechanics for the only version that I've played—Avernum 3 (original)—were pretty bad by Spiderweb standards, they were still very enjoyable. The writing (not plot, but writing) is engaging throughout. And there's just a ton of cool stuff: well-crafted dungeons, memorable towns, interesting characters, etc.


    So yeah, the premise of Avernum 3, and for that matter the execution of the premise, are nowhere near as good as the opening of Avernum 2. I don't remember a moment in Avernum 3 that was like the assault on the Ornotha Ziggurat. But an enormous amount of cool stuff is still a pretty good draw for a game.

  14. The first two (of four) core quests in Chapter two are tested and finishable, with at least reasonably acceptable combat balance.


    Some of the more elaborately scripted sidequests are in Chapter 2, and I haven't tested those yet. I think that's up next.


    I'm starting to wonder if I need to rebalance the warrior abilities. It seems like there's one that I use constantly, and I haven't really had a need to use the others. This makes me think I need to change some things.

  15. You can change from surface to cave, but other than that, no, not by normal means.


    You could conceivably try to create custom terrains that work the same way as walls, but it would be an incredible pain. You could also use the LP approach to changing character graphics (use a custom graphic with the same number as the graphic you're trying to replace), but that only worked on Macs.

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