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Apparently the next Spiderweb game in the pipeline is another in the Geneforge series, but I just wanted to put in a plug for what ought to be added to the next Avernum game:

 

There should be an option for vahnatai player characters.

 

This assumes, of course, that none of the action will take place on the surface (since the vahnatai are sensitive to light). But I was disappointed that it wasn't an option in Avernum IV.

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That has been requested many, many times before and it is terribly unlikely to be implemented. The vahnatai are just too mystical to be a mere adventurer like a human, even if the adventurers will become heroes.

 

Balancing out advantages of a mighty race like the vahnatai would be difficult too. What advantages and experience penalties would you expect for a vahnatai?

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How about some character specific quests? I am thinking that (due to prejudice/racial characteristic whatever) only a specific character could do a mission and receive a bonus. Say, one of your human characters does a mission, gets the flying orb and thus can visit all sorts of the game board. Not central to the main plot perhaps (or allows the main plot to be accomplished in a different manner).

 

Or, perhaps a spell that is only available to a slith/nephilim (through their religion, history etc). This might increase replayability or cause one to choose party makeups that one would not otherwise do.

 

Although, for me the replayability isn't huge as I think you get incredible value/amount of playtime ofr $25.00

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I'd like the GIFTS to have a major part in the story. Also I want a BIG war. Evil vahnatai, bad Empire dudes, evil sliths, evil nephil, and an angered god. The allies would be: good vahnatai, good nephil, good Empire guys, and good slith. This is what I'd like to see. Obviously you wouldn't be able to kill the god. I was kind of thinking that Avernum somehow offended the god, and you have to return honor to his name.

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Couple things.

 

1) I suspect that Jeff doesn't like the kind of replayability that hides content from you because you made an arbitrary choice early in the game. I know I do. Why should I have to replay the entire game just because I wanted a racially-balanced party (or a kitty party, or whatever)? Especially if the bulk of the game is the same otherwise. Now, if you made a game that played out differently on the whole based on your party's racial mix, that'd be a different story. And a lot of work.

 

2) Vahnatai aren't all evil; they're a mixed lot just like the humans, nephil, and sliths are. Every game that's featured the vahnatai (in a speaking role; the crypt in A1 doesn't count) has had both friendly and hostile factions.

 

3) GIFTS are a one-off joke that got stamina beyond all consideration. There's a good reason why they only show up briefly in each game; players can only take so much high, squeaky voice acting, even if it's all imaginary. The Vahnatai are one thing; talking spiders are just a bit too alien.

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Originally written by Super ideal idea:
Perhaps they should put a Expension like most games (exemple: Age of the empire, Warcraft, Starcraft, etc.) or/and they should put a new generation within two or three species (exemple: Half-Human Half-Vahnatai, Half-Slith Half-Nephil, etc.). cool
I encourage you to think about why no noe would want a half breed as a son/daughter. Chances are that the species aren't close enough to breed. Not to mention how freaky those things would look like.
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I encourage you to think about why no noe would want a half breed as a son/daughter. Chances are that the species aren't close enough to breed. Not to mention how freaky those things would look like.
Well they could be magic Breed (ex: Mutant Lizard) [And there are fury, scaily and skinny but where is the feddery there should also be a Eagleman.]
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Mutants aren't crossbreeds. They're mutants.

 

Humans and nephilim are probably best classified as primates and felines. Primates and felines do not produce offspring. Slithzerikai don't even have the same reproductive anatomy.

 

A1, A2, and A3 use the same engine, more or less. So do G1, G2, and G3. How much more similar would they have to be to qualify as expansions?

 

—Alorael, who is sure that the vahnatai lands look exactly the same as they did in A2, only probably more built up from the intervening years. Rentar's war machine wasn't in lands belonging to the vahnatai before they began their plagues, so smashing all the factories makes no difference.

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But Dikiyoba imagines there must be some social upheaval. Maybe vahnatai are just too cool for social upheaval. Besides, Dikiyoba was refering to cities being rebuilt after the Resting and not being rebuilt after the monster plagues.

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Again, all four of the major species have bodies that cannot breed due to great differences in there species. It is biologically impossible for their to be a halfling for more reasons than that too. Anyways who would want to be a freak like that? People would taunt your characters on every turn.

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Originally written by Walter:
There was some nephil bandit in the great cave that had "half-breed" in his name, and when you first see him the text that pops up describes him as looking almost like a human.
Randolph Halfbreed.

"You come face to face with an enormous nephar. He is a peculiar-looking creature. His fur is thin and missing in patches, and his face is peculiar. It almost looks human.
His arms are tattooed with strange symbols, and his claws are long and tipped with steel spikes. He is truly a fearsome creature.
Then, when he sees who you are, he lets out a long, hideous howl. It is a painful, screeching sound that comes straight out of his nephil heritage. His skin begins to glow faintly in the shadows of the cave.
Then he pounces, claws outstretched."
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Oh, yes. Randolph. Despite the heavy implications of that encounter, I choose to believe that his epithet is an epithet in insult sense of the word. He's an ugly, human-looking nephar, so he gets called halfbreed.

 

Describing a nephar as having nepil heritage is iffy, but I don't want any interspecies hanky-panky.

 

—Alorael, who most definitely does want a chance to use the term "hanky-panky." It begs to be uttered!

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I think that dialogue with npcs should be more realistic.

Currently the situation goes like this: you are asking questions and choose insulting alternative. Then the dialogue ends but you can start it again, ask the same questions again and this time choose the non-insulting alternative.

It should go like in Fallouts. If you insult someone, there will be consequenses. The NPC would make your shopping prices higher, or wouldn't tell you something important. He even might tell someone about you and cause the whole town's dialogue to change.

Also everything that a NPC says should bear a meaning. If someone says he hates empire and then you say you love empire, there would be permanent or long-lasting consequences.

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Except not so blatant and contrived.

 

And I'm inclined to think that humans and nephils, at least, may be able to cross-breed. They're both mammals, clearly, and nephils surely are closer to humans than normal cats are.

 

I mean, all of this raises the question as to exactly how the humanoid races came into being. (Or humans, for that matter — are there apes on one of the surface continents?) Although Vahnatai Creationism seems silly to me, it does not seem out of the question at all that the other races were somehow shaped (in the GF sense of the term).

 

In that case, I'd expect humans to have been the base evolved model and nephils to have been shaped from them. Cross-breeding in such a situation would not be impossible.

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Originally written by Kelandon:
(Or humans, for that matter — are there apes on one of the surface continents?)
It's more likely that there used to be apes on one of the surface continents. The Empire are not renowned for being environmentally friendly.
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Originally written by Epicaricacy:
Describing a nephar as having nepil heritage is iffy, but I don't want any interspecies hanky-panky.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't Nephar just bigger, stronger, sterile Nephilim? Some just turn out differently (I remember some analogy with mules, though I don't know how correct that is), and then they're called Nephar.
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Originally written by Spidweb:
I'm afraid that this will never happen. One of the reasons the vahnatai are so cool are that they are alien, the other. It is unthinkable to me to change this.

- Jeff Vogel
I don't get it then. Nethergate was one of your best received games from a critical viewpoint, and Avernum from a sales viewpoint. To combine aspects of both could be even better (Think adding chocolate syrup to ice cream) and boost sales as well.

I'm sure a guy of your talents could create a situation where it would be possible to play the game from either perspective.
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hey how about a civil war between vanahtai...with both Empire and Avernum supporting the current regime? That would justify a Vanahtai in your group You can even have rentar ithro being the good one this time trying 2 redeem her self or something

 

off topic...one thing i would so love is 2 have the ability to wield two swords again...i so seriously miss that

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Originally written by Spidweb:
One of the reasons the vahnatai are so cool are that they are alien, the other.
Maintaining the Vahnatai's coolness is something of a lost cause, I would say. There are some other people who would agree.

In response to the original post:
Quote:
There should be an option for vahnatai player characters.
There should be an option for non-Vahnatai villains.

Edit: That said, I would find it very cool if the Vahnatai culture had a little more light shed on it in future games. That, or just phase them out. You can't keep something permanently mysterious; you'll have to either get around to actually explain them or risk them becoming a mere plot device. A kind of villain-ex-machina.
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Going back to an earlier comment, regarding character specific quests....

 

If a scenario was set up to require a specific type of character to do a task, a NPC could be provided that you could substitute into your party, allowing you to play through the game without a replay.

 

Alternatively, a NPC could offer up a quest and be the guide, if you choose to accept the guide role then perhaps the NPC unlocks a secret door/finds a sneak to help solve the mission. Without the NPC the mission may be solved but would be much harder/require a different path.

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Originally written by rantalot:
You can even have rentar ithro being the good one this time trying 2 redeem her self or something
Rentar is dead. Dead, dead, dead. And I think it's better that way.

EDIT: Oh yeah, and A5 is going to involve Dorikas going to the surface. He'll probably be the primary villain. And guess what! He's probably going to make monster plagues on the surface! Anyone who's finished A4 ought to know that immediately.
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While I'd love to see a game from the First Expidition's perspective, there are a few problems with the concept.

 

1) The First Expedition was chosen from the cream of the Empire's special agents. They were already strong, well-equipped, and dangerous. Changing this to be "You look disposable. How do you feel about caves?" would require re-writing part of the game's backstory.

 

2) The caves are completely unsettled when the expedition went through. No towns, no sanctuary. At best you would have only one town; it'd be your contact point with the surface. To make it useful, it'd have to update as you played along, but I've yet to see an implementation of that idea that didn't end up really rather contrived.

 

3) The First Expedition died. They didn't accomplish anything beyond proving that Avernum's a dangerous place to be. Moreover, they got split up. A couple fell to Nephilim in the northeast caves (just ask Motrax); someone died in the Waterfall Warrens and left the Orb of Thralni there; the pieces of Demonslayer got scattered all over (though it could have broken and then been distributed later). I think the Onyx Scepter was also a First Expedition piece of gear, and that's way over on the other side of the map!

 

Ultimately, Jeff didn't leave himself enough wiggle room here to make a game that we wouldn't already know the ending of. Which is a pity.

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Originally written by Croikle:
Quote:
Originally written by Epicaricacy:
Describing a nephar as having nepil heritage is iffy, but I don't want any interspecies hanky-panky.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't Nephar just bigger, stronger, sterile Nephilim? Some just turn out differently (I remember some analogy with mules, though I don't know how correct that is), and then they're called Nephar.
Right, and that's what makes "nephil heritage" a strange choice of words if Randolph is pure nephar. That would be like saying nephils have nephil heritage. It's true, but it's so obvious you wouldn't bother saying it like that.

—Alorael, who is sure a First Expedition scenario could be worked out if necessary. The BoE scenario Truffle Days involves a survivor, in fact. Still, that kind of survival oriented game seems more suited to a scenario than a full game, or the game would end up being very unlike other Avernums.
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All this Nephar talk reminded me of something: remember the, ummm, stupid Sliths in A1 & A2? Not the barbarian ones, but the friendly ones that were only good for menial work. I remember something about a large number being born that way. You don't come across any in A3, and I haven't so far in A4? Does anyone know what was behind all that?

 

--------------------

IF I EVER BECOME AN EVIL OVERLORD:

All naive, busty tavern wenches in my realm will be replaced with surly, world-weary waitresses who will provide no unexpected reinforcement and/or romantic subplot for the hero or his sidekick.

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I find it amusing people are arguing about biological limitations in a world where the laws of physics hold no sway and magic rules. Conservation of matter for one , and gravitational effects for the other (ridiculously high weight carrying, dont get me wrong I like the removal of such annoying things that do not enhance the game experience - ppl play games to escape reality, not to have to eat, pee, shower, sleep). I see no reason why in a world of magic, cross breeding between species would not be possible. Ehm, Half Dragon/ Half Human? Divinity in bloodline (Divinely Touched).

 

Dintiradan, some sliths never reach the age of thought or some similar. All sliths are born little less than lizards until someday, abruptly, they can have thoughts. It is not a sure thing however, since some sliths never experience this phenemonom and hence never have thoughts and remain primitive.

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The First Expedition was slaughtered "to a man and a woman." This could be interpreted as being slaughtered completely, or only a man and a woman left alive.

But that aside...

 

Please, please, PLEASE no Dorikas. If he's done WELL and CONVINCINGLY MAYBE a sidequest, but NO MORE! We want an ORIGINAL PLOT! All I can think of at this point is a ridiculously G3-type plotline involving the overthrowing of the Empire, but there's gotta be something. Take the engine and fighting system of A4 and slap a good plot on it, and you have a very nice game. Please!

 

Aw, who am I kidding. It's probably gonna be Avernum 5: Revenge of Rentar-Ihrno's Sister.

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Magic seems to have limits in the world of Avernum, and cross-breeding hasn't been seen yet. It's also a process that's remarkably difficult to rationalize.

 

Energy/matter is conserved except when magic intervenes.

 

Every force exerted on an object results in an equal and opposite force exerted by the object except presumably magical forces, which don't have an object to be acted on.

 

Incompatible species cannot breed except when magic starts altering genes so they are functionally the same but somehow compatible between very different organisms?

 

—Alorael, who can conceive of Dorikas being part of a good plot. He can also conceive of Rentar-Ihrno's return to the surface ending being the one used in A5 so that it is exactly the same as A3. Who knows?

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I just want A5 to take place in vanahtai lands i think its about time 2 spend a lot of time there.Oh and i just finished A4 and u do have an option for Ranter Ithro to live but yeah i would hate for any of the old charectors playing a major role in A5 i am up for a masive all out demon invasion and if it cant be in Vanahtai lands it should be a conflict that puts the WHOLE empire in jepordy not a few cities or the least populated continent

 

---Cross breading...half man half dragon wont that be the slith?? in fact pretty much all races look like half breeds half man and half something else. How much further can go? Less hair? Less scaled?.....the only cool truely original thing i can think of is half man half spider "spiderman" lol

 

----Vanahtai i am seriously getting a little tired of them being called masters of magic if i recall corectly Erica was breating the most powerful mage of the vanahtai...so making one wont be unbalanced (kos they are not that powerful)

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i am up for a masive all out demon invasion
Please no. Demons have been used to death in so many media, it's not even funny anymore. Demons invade because they are demons and demons are evil and like to invade, circular logic. No thought involved.

The First Expedition would be a really nice change. Bring us back to survival, escape mode.
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Originally written by *i:
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i am up for a masive all out demon invasion
Please no. Demons have been used to death in so many media, it's not even funny anymore. Demons invade because they are demons and demons are evil and like to invade, circular logic. No thought involved.

The First Expedition would be a really nice change. Bring us back to survival, escape mode.
Demons invaded because the GIFTS drove them crazy.
The GIFTS are manifestations of abandoned sanity.
Sinsanity, we fight back the demons.
It will never stop.
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