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Can I Add Premade Characters To A Party Via Special Nodes?


Snallac
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Just recently gave the Exile trilogy a spin and decided to fiddle about with Blades of Exile too. I want to try and make a Geneforge-type adventure, where you can add special "creation" characters to your party as you go along, and so I'm trying to figure out whether or not I can add a premade character to a player's party if they trigger the appropriate node. Is this possible, and if so, what kind of node type/effect do I need to use to do it?

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No, it can't be done, currently, in legacy BoE or in OpenBoE. Sorry. It might come in the future, in an open source version, but it's not currently possible.

 

EDIT: Actually, did Celtic Minstrel implement this in OpenBoE yet? I know he said he wanted the ability to allow PCs to join the party, including PCs of different races than the preset three. I'm not sure if he did that yet, though. I don't think he did.

Edited by The Almighty Doer of Stuff
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Nope. Not possible in original BoE or CBoE. I suppose you could utilize the kill/resurrect bug plus stat boosting nodes to create a "new PC" as long as the original party was small enough, and just provide a note that the player should change the name and graphic manually; but I think that's as good as it gets. It'd be pretty kludgy.

NPCs joining the party has been a thing for a while, but that's done with normal friendly NPCs and special nodes, and the ability to actually command them is... limited at best. The usual thing for making them more effective has been to limit their capabilities to useful things; e.g. I know at least one scenario where "spellcaster" ally NPCs have high AP and powerful breath attacks and abilities, instead of level-whatever spells (and the resulting tendency to clog the battlefield with summons, or try to poison portculli etc).

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As it happens, you can add NPCs to the player’s party in BoE, at least in a manner of speaking. There are several scenarios that do this, and that do it rather well!

 

You see, one interesting thing about BoE is that it was very popular for quite a few years. It attracted huge numbers of designers, many of which were very innovative. Quite a few of these designers pushed against the limitations of the engine, and found ways around them.

 

For example, is it possible to add spells to the spell list in BoE? No. That’s an engine limitation. Except, by careful use of nodes and special items, you actually can do that, and there are quite a few scenarios that do so! Can you make monsters that are larger than 2x2 squares in size? No. Although, actually, you can! Can you create gates that prevent parties of a certain level from passing? No. Although, actually, you can! And so on ...

 

Recruitable NPCs are another idea that scenario creators have managed to implement. While there isn’t a built-in functionality to do this in BoE, designers used a variety of techniques to simulate it. By clever use of nodes and special items, designers effectively add NPCs to the party.

 

Now, you should be aware that the nodework for this can get quite complicated, and can result in a little busywork when creating towns/dungeons. But the results can be quite impressive.

 

Rather than describing approaches here, I think it might be informative if you looked at an example for yourself. The best example I’m aware of is in the scenario ‘Doom Moon II: Dragons’ Revenge’. This scenario features many recruitable NPCs, who will join you if you complete certain quests, and you can only choose some of them to take with you.

 

I suggest reading the documentation, and just playing through the early portions of the scenario to see how the NPCs are handled. If necessary, slog through using an edited party! If you can’t find a copy, let me know, and I’ll send you one.

 

For my mind, I think you might want to use a slightly different approach for your scenario idea. I’d be tempted to use a special item in the style of ‘Shape Drakon’, which uses a chain of nodes to call forth a suitable NPC using a summoning node – and perhaps run node checks during battle to make sure they perform as expected.

 

But that’s just a thought. I’d still suggest trying out Dragons’ Revenge first, to see NPC recruiting in action!

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16 hours ago, The Almighty Doer of Stuff said:

EDIT: Actually, did Celtic Minstrel implement this in OpenBoE yet? I know he said he wanted the ability to allow PCs to join the party, including PCs of different races than the preset three. I'm not sure if he did that yet, though. I don't think he did.

I did implement this. I'm pretty sure it works perfectly (unlike some other parts of OpenBoE).

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On 2/17/2021 at 12:21 AM, Ess-Eschas said:

Rather than describing approaches here, I think it might be informative if you looked at an example for yourself. The best example I’m aware of is in the scenario ‘Doom Moon II: Dragons’ Revenge’. This scenario features many recruitable NPCs, who will join you if you complete certain quests, and you can only choose some of them to take with you.

 

I might mention, I think it was Odessa, where the scenario is you escorting someone somewhere, so every random encounter and dungeon they show up (sometimes in creative places in dungeons).  Simple, but IIRC, worked fairly well.

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