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Messages - Acacea

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Wild Surge Inn / Stormcrest Guides
« on: September 08, 2009, 09:36:16 pm »
[INDENT][INDENT]The clinking of many keys and the chiming of small, silver bells fills the shack at the crossroads as the small halfling balances on a stack of books in front of a noticeboard. She hmms at this posting or that, flipping through those notes left for guides that were looking increasingly ancient, and still unread. She smiles when glancing through some of the names here and there, from mountains to skies to forests, and at the traces those wanderers have left.

"All the same, it is a little bad for business, no?" she grins over her shoulder to the dwarf behind the bar, and irreverently rips the whole mess down and tosses them behind her, leaning forward on the wobbling stack to place a single notice (neat enough to make it impossible to have been written by herself) on the now-empty board, with a small, stylized lantern drawn beside its heading. Without noticing its slightly crooked hanging (likely owed to her standing on one foot and leaning while posting it), she hops down, satisfied, and waves a hand to Korim on her way out with her improvised stool.

In her absence, amid supplies, maps pinned and unrolled on surfaces, and small mementos from travels or exploits far and dangerous, the notice remains, legible without light and untouched by the dust of any time that may pass between travelers.

[SIZE=32]Stormcrest Guides[/SIZE]

[SIZE=16]For every bridge uncrossed, and mountain unclimbed
For want of aid
Every road untraveled, and wilderness unexplored
For lack of a map

Find a guide

Whether for one summit reached,
Or only to journey with far-journeyers,
To know the road you're traveling...
Find a guide[/SIZE]

[SIZE=18]Leave your requests here, or watch for guides when the torch burns at the crossroads[/SIZE]

[SIZE=10]((Please leave this thread for IC guide requests only - use the rest of the forum for rumors and trades and character communications.))[/SIZE]
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General Discussion / Having joined the ranks of the net-less...
« on: August 14, 2008, 07:51:00 pm »
Hi. Anyone who noticed or cared that I have been largely absent, it may or may not end soon! I am 100% without NWN access on the weekdays now, and internet access to, you know, something like 90% without. Heh! I got a laptop I should have before the end of the month, which will have all my toys on it again. Until then, if there is anything I needed to do for you, please remind me so that I can try to fit it in on a weekend (if it is IG) or work it out/write it in PMs during the week.

In the meantime, for those that did not know, the treehouse at 158 Silverdell Grove (Whitehorn Forest) is always unlocked and has a free portal in the first room. If the room looks like it was cut in half, just keep walking - it's a tileset thing that is usually first-time-only and should fix itself.

You can read what books and newspapers are on the shelves so far, but I'm not done with the library yet.* If you do read them, please, please, put them back. I don't care if you play a CE assassin thief of Branderback, don't take the books! I'm not asking you to be nice IC - RP taking them and trying to set them on fire if you like, but for the sake of sanity acknowledge wards as well! It's not like the Great Library where they'll just re-appear on server reset. Plus, what are the odds that anyone even knows about it unless they read it here? So no excuses :P Maybe someday with a ridiculous hoard of gold there can be a scripted auto-return script, but for now, just leave them there, thanks - especially the real books, which I don't have replacements for. General Khain's journal and the book found in the Great Dungeon are the only ones at present, I think. I would rather just add a copy of them instead, to have an explaining note on them... but I digress!

If a book is in another language that your character has the ear for, just take the book off the shelf, use a quill on it (no writing! :p ) and type ~~translate into your chat bar. This goes for any language that you read, for current and future books... (Oh. And if you use the bath transition, you RP that you jump/climb/crawl down the crate. Don't ask! [SIZE=10]Don't mind the haunted piano.[/SIZE])

It's pretty obviously opened up as a sort of rest stop waystation type treehouse now. It's open to everyone despite a framed aged notice near the doorway (...opening, thing) that says

[INDENT][SIZE=16]I have one furnished room available in the Whitehorn Forest for monthly rent for a trustworthy, considerate, respectful individual. There's adequate storage, comfortable bed, plenty of shelving, and a reliable teleporter. If interested in seeing more and discussing rates, look for me or the mephit here playing cards. -Aleister[/SIZE]

[SIZE=10]These individuals need not apply: orcs, ogres, dark elves, paladins, thieves, very angry people, people shorter than me by more than 2 feet, clerics, giants, bards, druids, barbaric people, people with nervous ticks, people that fall down a lot, blue haired people, people that don't like that old people smell, Turor, the inquisitive type, the type would would ask "whats the strange noise" then barge into my lab, people with very large cats, people with bears, people with all other animals, animal people, drunks, fanatics, busy bodies, people that stare, people that like pie too much, friends of Turor, hippies. Thank you. -Al[/SIZE][/INDENT][/FONT]

One might almost think that it was opened up as a forest waystation on purpose. :rolleyes:

Anyway, I should be seeing at least somebody soon. The lack of reliable computer access is killing me. Inbox is open as usual.

[SIZE=10]*For those interested with access, I made an index for me to update whenever I add something here.[/SIZE]
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Roleplaying / IC Opinions vs Server Descriptions - YAILWAP
« on: July 24, 2008, 11:06:14 pm »
(Yet Another Incredibly Long-Winded Acacea Post)

Hi. I'm not sure if this will do any good, but for those it might make a difference to, it bears reminding.

There is a big difference between something that is emoted, announced, or mandated to us, and what is spoken by an NPC. Obvious, right? Not always.

You see, there is very little time and manpower available to work on the module. There are many things that are great, many things that could use vast improvement, things that would have benefited from more personality or scripting. That is why write-ups, tidbits, summaries, and server messages exist. They give you a bit more to work with in order to roleplay a place or person properly. All of these show something as it is, as you are expected to perceive them. If a GM's server crashed and he has to resort to emoting that there is a huge, cascading waterfall, it is a bit mean-spirited to say IC, "Didn't someone say there was some kind of falls here? Must have meant to the ants!" or something. We make cracks about it OOC maybe, but IC, you see a waterfall.

NPCs, however, are biased. They have flaws, faults, opinions, and shortcomings. An NPC may say "There is a waterfall two miles ahead," may be quite mistaken, or a liar. He can insist until he is blue in the face, but the DM emotes that there is no waterfall. You don't see one. That's a difference between a server description of what exists, and an opinion given by a biased source.

Another example: In various writings and third person summaries of Mistone, Queen Allurial is written as being much loved by her people. She was by all accounts, benevolent, wise, and graceful. She was one of the Seven Sisters, Lucinda's Chosen, and yet even those with no love for magic came to greatly respect and love her. So she is presented to us.

If a DM, therefore, possesses her and emotes that she speaks with grace and kindness, but the DM his or herself is honestly not that great a typist, you may poke fun OOC. But don't start verses about the Queen's speech impediment - he does the best he can, and can only set the stage for you. Part of the game is being handed a cane and being told OOC "this is a hat, sorry." We ruin the game when we are unable to pretend that it is something other than what is shown. We could use more and better showing in many cases, yes! But in the end, it is our job as players to take what we are given and roleplay it, not tear it apart IC and "refuse to see a hat," simply because it wasn't a perfect representation. We are all guilty of this at some point, but it really takes the better player to bite your tongue and try not to ruin everyone else's immersion for it. We can take it OOC and remind the GM that there are really better ways to call a horse an ox, but leave it OOC.

Your character need not have loved the queen! You may indeed play someone who is not part of the norm. But there should be good reasons for it. If it is stated, under Allurial Mistone flourished, and kept safe, then should we be using the inability to have her involved in everything as a sign of her apathy, poor leadership, etc? Our characters may find fault with her. They may even believe things that are total lies, or have a twisted perception of events. They can spread it! But we, as players, should not be trying to convince other players of it. Our character's different interpretations should be delivered in a way that still represents what we were given as a server description and summary - that this one character has a really weird and messed up view of what was in reality a good and much loved queen.

I try to roleplay my character's general flaunting of authority and cynicism regarding its effectiveness. She still loved Queen Allurial, and might have gone MA Scout, had Milo not quit. It's not because I really had all that much interaction with her - that is how she was presented to me. I could latch onto all the OOC problems that existed in Mistone and go on tirades about how they were all her fault and what a terrible leader she must have been to allow it, but instead a surprising amount of us (surprising considering the amount of chaotic characters we have) still RP a general affection and respect for her, even if our characters are not exactly bending the knee in subservience.

By contrast, Port Hempstead is a mess. As a starting city on our server, it should be one of the best known and represented cities on Layonara. It's not. There are honest reasons for why it never quite made it up to par, but it doesn't change that it's still totally messed up, perception wise. An example of one reason, V3, as most remember, was not intended as a finale or anything, but a start. Its release was very rocky and with a lot of bugs and adjustments, but it was never meant to be the end. It wasn't supposed to stay a certain way. There were big plans, huge ones, remember the first announcement for V3? There was this grand plan about how it would continue on and things would change and all this stuff would happen. V3's initial release was built, not as a perfect representation of everything, but as something that set foundations for more to come. New haks, building tools, environments, these were major. A huge amount of rebuilding was done not for looks, but because of changes to tileset files that required areas that weren't even changing to be rebuilt from scratch or be screwed up.

Unfortunately, because of other projects, the module changed owners again in the middle of new stuff. It's not so much unfortunate because of the person, but rather because whenever that happens, often older things are dropped and new people have new goals. That's fine. More big plans! More grand schemes! Which also fall through, as new module op also leaves. Later, another new dev! Even better areas! Cool new challenges! Changes that start building again on what many of the v3 goals were about, such as lifting the magic level! ...But they're all new, epic based stuff for the most part, with few changes to core things. Fantastic new things, but the fact is, it is seriously unlikely that some place like Hempstead is ever going to have any serious new things to make it cooler or better represented. It's just a question of time and effort and information. Someone working at this stage has to really be pretty passionate about their project in order to keep it going, and that's not so easy with leftovers of other people's stuff.

So, what we have instead are 'server descriptions' and OOC summaries of these places. There are no NPCs claiming glory or justice. No GMs are using guards and leaders to boast about what the places are about, while emoting OOC the truth behind the lie. We are given OOC, unbiased pieces of information to aid us in our roleplay. The city's general ruling is NG. The Silverguard train with blunt weapons to avoid unnecessary bloodshed. Deliar is a primary temple, who is CG and about freedom, trade, and luck. There are more guards than just those at the gate. Trent made captain at an young age because of his good heart in a time of darkness.

The port is not the only place with half blood issues, just the only one anyone ever uses for them, making it look far more contrasting and isolated than it is. Fort Vehl is not a haven of freedom and justice, its a pit of squalor. A half-orc is highly unlikely to be murdered in an alley in Hempstead. He might in Vehl. Part of the reason for the temple is fighting back against the nastiness that is all over the place in Vehl, not because it is a shining example of anything. They're there to fight what it is, not celebrate it. Their long struggle with it has jaded some of the clergy into believing criminals deserve "whatever they get," as well...

The port is led by a trade council, headed by the Vaerans, who are also good and in general supposed to be wise with a good head for the economy as well. Not necessarily a part of the description, but something the attentive might note - the Vaerans are not new to Hempstead, nor written for them. Anyone reading the Prunilla writeup can see the Vaeran sisters in the Dragon's Whisper... Harmony, the oldest is the one that was a driving force behind fighting the tyranny and darkness in Port Hempstead; her daughter leads the trade council now. Meadow, the middle one, is rumored to be the chosen of Prunilla, even though she never claims a title. Peace, the youngest, is the head priestess at Castle Mask on Dregar, having got the wanderlust early on. Anyone familiar with the halfling tribes in Mistone can easily recognize that the Vaerans are an entire clan, as well...

There are a lot of interconnecting things floating around. Is everyone expected to know these things? Of course not. That's silly, it's floating everywhere and half the GMs don't notice them, either. None of us is likely to see even a corner of a whole writeup of it until a few fabled handbook releases. But there is a difference in sincerely not knowing, and ignoring the GM telling you that there is a waterfall. If we have read OOC how a place is supposed to be, then we should be trying to RP ways that it meets that, not how it doesn't. Our characters may not like them, may disagree with them, but it should be presented in a way that goes with the props we were given. That's part of the game. Our characters are not living in the 21st century.

Kingdoms are not perfect IG, by any means. But just like we need to break laws and sneak into places with GM help, we don't decide that they have a completely different face than what is given us as a server description. The guards may very well slip up and let something else in perhaps... but we don't decide it happens for us. We don't stand in the middle of Prantz casting spells  because we can. Havoc is encouraged! Rebellion is encouraged! But you have to do it within the realms of the game. You can't say, "I strike him with this spiked cane!" if you have been told it is a feathered hat... nor emote that fat exploiting Froigrin cheated you out of thousands of gold in order to feed her growing hoards of millions. Anyone who has any understanding of what Deliar is about knows better. We have to roleplay the standard in order for the failings to stand out.

Likewise, please, the GMs are severely limited in communication and tools to represent every place perfectly. We have tools of our own that we can use, there is no need to be take everything harshly IC because of OOC circumstances. It is part of our role to help show how the environment is, according to the server, not create huge rifts in perception because of how we decide it is. There are things that completely do not fit, and times when GMs make mistakes - a Silverguard bullying with blades, perhaps, or referring to a queen of Brelin - but a simple tell may determine if it is just an honest mistake, or something intending to be a biased interpretation. Indeed, even the churches are pretty poorly treated in this way - character opinions and arguments are great, but too often tirades are made based on OOC information and opinion, and exist to attack a given OOC statement of the ideal. If they aren't meeting it, take it up out of character and see how the whole fares.

When you see something bad happen in a city announced to you OOC as largely good and fair, if it did indeed happen as the GM intended, then shouldn't it be treated as out of the norm. Shock! Dismay! Rumors of a Rael supporter amidst a city like Port Hempstead should be a huge deal... if you use the props we are given. If you decide your hamster is a dragon regardless of what GMs ask of you though, it's just a lot of confusion and only adds to the problem.

Why don't we help places become what they should be, instead of causing a rift in perception in order to deny what they are? There's no need to be silent about things that don't fit. Make suggestions. Point them out. How many rants have I gone on about how poorly the city is represented according to how it is supposed to be? That doesn't mean I take it IC. My character has met the Vaeran sisters... One of them is even the chosen of Prunilla... She helped destroy the Shadow Thieves... I'm not ruining all of the history and personality just because someone stuck a sign on the lawn. The day someone tells me, "The Vaerans have been forcibly removed from office and the city begins sliding into corruption again," or something, is when I will RP that interpretation, and I will certainly want to know more than that, since such a huge amount of stuff will be wiped out for the sake of it. I'm not going to force it because of accidents, though - I'd rather think of ways to make the inconsistent fit back in.

Otherwise it is like losing Ozlo to a faction mess-up. Or failing to stab Bloodstone in the spine, because when you rolled attack, the server lagged and spewed out 6 rolls - your first was a 20 and your last a 1, and GM decided to take the 1... Your PC uses a custom head and shows up headless, but try as you might to RP that he does in fact have a head, there's always a few people that refuse to acknowledge it IC, even after GM acknowledgment of head... This isn't about one city. Port Hempstead is just one huge part of a larger, core issue - sometimes we are told how a place is, but they just don't support it and come to bat. We can say, OOC, how hard would it have been for you to do X and support this better? Sometimes the answer is, "Very difficult," and sometimes "not very," but it doesn't happen, but either way, we play along. We can bring down empires with our characters, but not as players decide one doesn't exist. If they sometimes don't seem to do a perfect job in representing one because of mechanical limitations and time, we can still pretend - what is added to the module and GMing at this point is largely based on pure personal motivation and stubbornness at this stage in the game, so not everything is ever going to make it. :) It would be nice, but we can do a lot on our own with what we've got.

[/soapbox] :o Long. *Hides.*

LORE Ideas, Suggestions and Requests / Port Hempstead
« on: May 30, 2008, 03:30:25 pm »
Hello, since LORE is very out of date regarding a starting city, I suggest [strike]two[/strike] three simple and minor changes:

Change the city's alignment to NG, as it is still LN in its entry.

Make the last paragraph past tense and add a new one that is a little more current.

The bottom line in Port Hempstead is still an economic one. The peasants and landowners who live in the surrounding areas often complain about being under the boot of the Port. The laws of the land are implemented to protect the interests of the major merchant powers, who sometimes use this fact to expand their exploitative labor practices and resource capturing endeavors. Some say this is the cause of the unrest which has emerged in the southwest region. Others believe the uprising it is not a legitimate grass roots movement in the interests of those in the shadow of the port, but a machination implemented by Milara or demons or both to destabilize the region in preparation for future maneuvers. Some believe it is both.


The bottom line in Port Hempstead is still an economic one. The peasants and landowners who live in the surrounding areas complained for years about being under the boot of the Port. The laws of the land were implemented to protect the interests of the major merchant powers, who sometimes used this fact to expand their exploitative labor practices and resource capturing endeavors. Some say this was the cause of the unrest which has emerged in the southwest region. Others believed the uprising was not a legitimate grass roots movement in the interests of those in the shadow of the port, but a machination implemented by Milara or demons or both to destabilize the region in preparation for future maneuvers. Some believed it was both.

After years for the rift between rich and poor to grow, the seeds of revolution planted by Harmony Vaeran and sympathizers flowered and there were burnings in the city of corrupt temples and homes of bribed officials. The shadowy hands of Branderback that had been pulling the strings of the entire city were exposed and chased out of the port, though the powerful guild was not extinguished altogether. Under the caring yet clever hands of Harmony, the halfling daughter of Vaeran's clan mother, and with covert outside aid, the city was rapidly cleaned up and turned upside down. Since then, the Vaerans have become the leading merchant family in Port Hempstead's trade council, essentially running the city and keeping it in line with Deliar's principles of individual freedoms and fair trade for the good of the people instead of merely the wealthy. Joy Vaeran took her mother's place as leader of the large and diverse trade council just before the times of suffering in the Dark Ages after Harmony became Storyteller in her mother's place, and the city is still recovering from the enormous amounts of their famed resources spent in the attempt to help the kingdom's people crawl through the longest winter.

In typical halfling fashion, the large dwelling of the Vaerans in the merchant district houses nearly their entire clan, with some room left over for a small clinic.

In addition, I suggest adding the Silverguard to Defenses.

I am unsure when they were formed, but it was likely only a few decades ago, and certainly 50 years max, so not very old at all. We can just fudge the date for the sake of the information.

The city's elite guardsmen are known collectively as the Silverguard - likely both a reference to their lack of accidental spilling of blood, and to coinage. Unlike the legendary Crimson Eagles of old, they are trained to protect rather than kill, specializing in blunt weapons in order to better subdue and avoid maiming or unnecessary death and bloodshed, and they use lethal force but rarely. Despite this, or perhaps because of it, the Silverguard would lead any Brelin military in the event of war on the home front.

These are not handbook spoilers, so they are subject to change in the future, but there is no reason not to have it as current as available. This is information that has been in game at one point or another (and you can see hints of it in the actual areas), so it might as well be up on the page for the city. I don't mind if it has to be stamped or if the writing is tweaked (I was not going for a work of art), just offering some of what I've got. Too much and it doesn't seem like a reasonable length for a LORE page...

Oh, also, I'm not sure what kind of government goes better than Monarchy. There is still a duke, but I've no idea of his name and the trade council runs the city anyway. Perhaps Monarchy/Trade Council, heh.
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NWN Ideas, Suggestions, Requests / Half Monsters and Hempstead
« on: February 25, 2008, 02:49:07 am »
I think the sign outside the gates is stricter than the city's atmosphere/alignment calls for. Halvsies were fine (even if treated like dirt at times) until the update, when suddenly they became anathema. I realize the Dark Ages were a population killer and bred a lot more suspicion, but even so. Half orcs worked the docks before that and were looked down on by most people for having orc blood and being butt ugly, while half giants are even more rare anyway and are probably registered or something but were never something deserving of a 'kill/arrest on sight' tag before. The sign itself always seemed kind of just an OOC reminder for a starting city to me anyway, as it would be seriously odd for any city of village to ever have to consciously put a sign like that out. How many orcs can read? How many dark elves care? If they can read and are actually put aside by a sign, then they probably would have been allowed in as they must be decent sorts, right? Hehe. But they aren't, so... :P

In order for Port Hempstead to start banning half-orcs, they would have had to actually go out and forcibly remove or exterminate the ones already living there, which is totally not the kind of city that is. The words on the sign always seemed like a bit of an oversight. I can see half orcs being banned from certain establishments of the city at the discretion of the owners, but not the city itself. Hempstead's laws aren't super strict compared to other places, after all - they are pretty much the common sense natural reactions of most places. Orcs, dark elves, goblins, etc = bad news. Just how it is. Half orcs, on the other hand, seem to be just 'icky' rather than "illegal just for existing.'

And LORE has stated for ages that half-giants get along with both halves of their parentage okay, and are actually treated better than say, half elves are treated by elves (usually looked at with some disgust or lack of acknowledgment from my experience). It also says that "Among Humans, a Half Giant can usually pass as a Barbarian due to his immense size and sturdy build." but judging by recent conversations that might not be the case anymore, hehe. Even if so, they just seem rare enough for most people to get by with reacting with fear/shock/suspicion because they are pretty freaking huge. I would say they would get the reaction they deserve in and out of the city because of being so uncommon, but with no law made to ban them. Why would they?

So it would be nice to have the sign either fixed or completely overhaul the city to be LE bent on suffering only pure blooded races to live free, and arresting or killing people for the crime of having been a child of tragedy. I would suggest a compromise of banning monster races (like just about every other place in the world that isn't seedy and depressingly apathetic), and allowing halvsies (except ogres maybe? Are those different? We don't have many and I'm not sure of their acceptance level. They seem worse, but I'm not sure if people can tell the difference as easily

-edit- "Half Ogres do not have land of their own, they’re pretty tolerated in human communities, where most of them do heavy manual labor or act as mercenaries. Other races despise them because of their ogrish ancestry." still true?) ...but with special laws for them or something and acknowledgment that establishments reserve the right to refuse service.

Perhaps half-giants can't purchase liquor, because of the damage inflicted by a drunken one. ;) I doubt the fancy seafood place by the lighthouse serves half orcs or half giants, and a snobby merchant with guards might kick a part blood out of the way, but outright banning them from city limits seems much.

Allowing them restricted entry leaves room for the moments of individual NPC fear and bigotry without painting the entire outlook of the city with one "no tainted blood!" brush. "Never fully accepted" != killed/arrested on sight. Just my opinion there...

Besides, they're all going to be dead in a couple decades, anyway. ;)
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Quests Ideas and Discussion / CR Modified Quest XP
« on: October 25, 2007, 01:04:32 am »
To get straight to the point - I think quest XP should work like combat, to some degree. I don't feel that epic level characters should continue to aspire to crazy levels by going on many quests targeted for lower level characters. I think that rather than a flat time-based XP amount doled out, whether it is level 30 characters attending an "open level" quest dealing with kobold persuasion or a level 2 character thrown into dealings way over his head in the planes and matters of gods, that there be a time-based XP modified by a predefined CR of the quest, by session if necessary depending on its contents.

Sometimes quests are non-combat and don't have a level limit, but skill DCs should not be raised on a mundane event simply because an epic character can do it with his eyes closed. Just like in many cases it doesn't make any sense to raise the challenge of combat because epics attend. I think sometimes (maybe even a lot of times) people attend quests solely because it is a guaranteed source of large XP. But think about it, does a level 20 character get any XP from a kobold? No? Then why should he get epic level XP for advancing his abilities, when just sitting around an inn passing DC 20 persuade checks and such things? Likewise, someone with 5 SC can't identify a disjunction and learn from it, it's over their heads.

I think that if one wants to keep progressing in their abilities, one should have to seek out challenges at their level. That is the way it works for creatures, and I think ideally it should be that way for quests as well. You need to be challenged to progress.

A helpful side effect of this might be encouraging more natural level limits.

For the record, I actually don't like OOC level limits on quests - low or high. After sampling quests from every DM on the team at the time I started questing, I settled mostly on those from World Quest GMs because I really loved being able to contribute even at a lower level than the target goal of the quests, which were epic in scope and combat difficulty. It's easier to quest up than down, but still in the event that low level characters attend World Quests for XP or epics attend quests "aimed" much lower for XP, they should be receiving less experience than if they had found a challenge near their level.

It's not just 'powergamers' or anything that go on quests for XP that they wouldn't otherwise... haven't you ever been in the middle of a quest someone nicely let you attend, only to feel kind of like a 5th wheel, knowing that if your character's abilities are respected, you'll break the plot and overshadow other characters, but if they're not it's not really fair and you just get demoted after all your work, and maybe if you weren't going to get several hours of quest XP you might give them some advice and wards and let them go on their way as you're honestly a little bored?

Or felt that way because you were surrounded by people so much more powerful than you talking about things way over your head that neither you nor your character can really help much with? Sometimes you go because you're genuinely interested and get involved and want to help in whatever way you can - and anyone of any level can contribute to just about anything, don't get me wrong - but other times you just stick it out silently because of the XP.

Is it not IC to realize a quest is not in your field or level of expertise in situations like the latter? I would never have dropped out of Angels' Tear, yet Acacea should probably have gotten less XP than others because much of the going ons were so far over her head. I would have kept going, because I loved the story and she was heavily involved and could contribute in other ways, but on the whole, it was not a challenge at her lower level, when she started. Later, in epic levels, there were lower level quests I would not have dropped out of for the same reasons, yet should not really have received full XP for, either, because of being above the challenge level instead.

The higher you go, the harder it is to find challenges. Should you get the same amount of XP running errands for mercenaries as you did for killing Bloodstone, just because the quest was the same length of time?

CR based quest xp, in this incarnation or the next. Get rewarded for using your abilities where it actually matters.
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Implemented Ideas / Bard skill points boost.
« on: April 14, 2007, 01:31:19 am »
Bards are supposedly THE jacks-of-all-trades. Moreso than rogue, even - after all, what are bards but a bit of rogue with a bit of sorc with a dash of healing, right?

They definitely have the class skills to show it.

Appraise, Bluff, Concentration, Listen, Lore, Perform, Persuade, Pick Pocket, Spellcraft, Taunt, Tumble, Use Magic Device, plus the three standard Craft skills, one of which is Gather Information in Layo. Did I forget anything? Doesn't matter...clearly they have many. Jacks of all trades!

But they only have 4 skill points + INT modifier. Woo... less than rangers, even.

It's been suggested several times that this be bumped up to the 3.5 version of 6 skill points and I've not seen it meet any resistance... It's a tiny 2da edit and requires no rebuilds for existing characters - they just wouldn't have the benefit of the extra points. Is it possible that this could be considered again?
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NWN Ideas, Suggestions, Requests / Hostesses
« on: April 13, 2007, 07:12:51 pm »
I was sort of hoping these would quietly disappear in the transfer to V3, but since they are still up to their wacky antics, could we either yank them (they serve no purpose whatsoever, not even as barmaids), or adjust them to ditch the name token and just use a generic greeting instead? This has been mentioned and made fun of for time on end, I think. It's a really simple tweak, surely?

Alternatively, they could be actually given a purpose, such as adding a small conversation about the city and work to be done around it, but obviously that would mean actually adding conversations to them, which means they are no longer smile plastered generic hostesses but rather individually functioning NPCs which sort of makes the topic moot, hehe.
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LORE Ideas, Suggestions and Requests / Wards of Lucinda added to LORE
« on: March 27, 2007, 07:52:33 pm »
The structure of Lucinda's church (and other churches, for that matter, but this is the one that I noticed) is something that any cleric trained in a temple or by a  formal member of the clergy would know by heart. That has to be almost all of the clerics submitted for her. It really should be available more immediately than the non-mandatory handbook, I think, for someone submitting a character, because at level one, they are already at the lowest rank in their field of training. But many don't even know what that is, because they either cannot download/read the handbook, or choose not to.

I suggest simply tweaking her domain list on LORE to something like the following -

Magic: Akh'faern Gis, or the Mageward, the largest ward, specializing in the core of the faith to seek out magic of all kinds.
Knowledge: Uvaer Gis, the Loreward, specializing in and recording all forms of knowledge.
Healing: Fallan Gis, the Healward, focused on ailments both mundane and magical.
Good: Ardhon Gis, or the Planeward, the smallest of the standard wards, dealing with the planes and the creatures from beyond.
Trickery: Restricted to the Guardians of the Weave, see the handbook. Requires an extended submission and a CDQ before using domain powers or spells.

 All clerics trained in the ways of the church start the game as assumed to have gone through the Rites of Affirmation and be at the lowest rank in their wards of choice, which are simply fields of expertise. More information on the church of Lucinda is available in the handbook.
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I'm familiar with the concept of 'ambushes,' where the builders set things to jump right out at a character, presumably to use a creature's sneaking abilities, or terrain advantages. That makes sense, and I don't mind them at all. My main issue is the mentality that the monsters have abilities, but the PCs don't. I love ambushes! They're great! But how much sense does it really make for a scout with practically supernatural senses to be surprised in such a way by creatures that are as loud as a titan in comparison?

To clarify, I'm not proposing to change these spawns in any way, not even touching them. So mechanically, they would still spring out in the same manner and location. I was thinking more of a skill check that is a bit distant from the trigger itself, that rolled a hidden listen/spot check and returned observations if successful. Perhaps a one-time-only minor XP reward for the skill usage for some scout love, but that's not really the point.

The spawn would still ambush, but a cautious party with a set of good eyes and ears would know about it ahead of time. The unwary would simply trample right over the signs and into it, anyway.

An example would be checks rolled a bit southwest of the actual spawn trigger. A successful listen for an ambush of spiders might be something describing the rustling of leaves in the trees to northeast, or the occasional strange chittering sound or whatever in the world gigantic spiders sound like. A spot check for a group of starving bandits may be something as simple as the light glinting off of metal in the middle of the forest.

Maybe for things that would still ambush with no chance of detection could have some message sent in the area emoting where exactly they're coming from, like springing from the lava to come up behind you, or the dead rising directly from the earth. There are cases where roleplay becomes awkward after such an ambush, because no one is exactly sure how something happens, leading to someone inevitably saying, "you'd think we would have heard something that big coming!" while someone else says, "the earth is truly sickened, if such creatures spring from it," while the last guy goes, "I hate when things drop from the ceiling!" or some similar situation. :)

I just think it would help out the groups that bother sending someone forward to check things out ahead of time, and take away the frustration of maxing out these skills and still getting magically ambushed by things half your level.

There are still some roleplaying weirdnesses with it, if people wanted to be picky, but it would seem like a large improvement if possible.
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