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Messages - Pen N Popper

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...a tiny figure darts. Dressed in green, she is surely not a mouse. A small sickle, hardly capable of cutting wheat, is buried beneath a quill of quills on her back. Is that a glint of magical light from a sharp edge there in the corner? No, the glint comes from a flash of smile accompanied by a small clap and giggle. There is a bee buzzing amongst the tombs of the Great Library. What will she discover beneath the dust? Whispers perhaps? Of dragons, she hopes.

General Discussion / Rust monsters, are they really necessary?
« on: September 17, 2008, 11:52:01 am »
This will come off as grumbling, which it partly is, but a discussion of the topic in general would be welcome.

Are rust monsters fun in any regard?

Some background:  My PC lost his adamantium greataxe with a 3rd enchant on it to a rust monster on a GM quest.  On another GM quest today there was literally a room full of rust monsters.  It was completely IC for my PC to panic and not go anywhere near them.  Honestly, though, those things OOCly made my head ring with pain.  Is there a growing theme here?  Is it puroseful?

Assume that you play a PC that worked very hard to get a metal item, say a RL month or more.  Now imagine losing it through no fault of your own.  Very frustrating, especially knowing that it will likely take at least that long again to reacquire the item.

I'm just wondering if rust monsters are fun or just a source of OOC grief.  Couldn't they instead unequip the item and remove from quickslots?  This would hinder battle and on a GM quest would allow the GM to say something like, "Your axe's metal is scarred and pitted, it will need a lot of cleaning before you can use it again."

Yes, I am still working hard to acquire a replacement for my greataxe.  I'm sure you've seen my pleading trade&market forum posts.  I am still several RL weeks away from working ingame enough to stay out of debt for a new one.
The following users thanked this post: lonnarin, Xiaobeibi, Muhkuman

Fixed Bugs / Ingot recycler does not recycle mangled silver
« on: September 08, 2008, 01:30:07 pm »
Where:  Northpoint
What:  Ingot recycler gives failure message when mangled silver placed within it, but the item is not removed from recycler's inventory.  No success message is ever given.  (My PC's smelting skill would likely yield a high chance of success at recycling.)
The following users thanked this post: miltonyorkcastle

General Discussion / A travelling bazaar!
« on: August 21, 2008, 04:56:14 pm »
Dream of opening an ingame shop?
First Friday Fair at Stormcrest

As much as I try, I cannot resist doing more than just hacking at giants ingame.  It is a curse, a plague, a feebleness of the mind.  So...

One thing about running a shop is that when there's no one around, it gets pretty boring.  You're standing there twiddling your thumbs when you suddenly get a whiff of an adventure afoot.  Do you join them and abandon your RP post?  If you do, you might miss that RP that is walking down the path just out of sight.  If you don't, you will likely kick yourself later as your buddies are leveling and you're dreaming of new PCs to submit for approval.

There is a solution provided to us by the very capable Layonara development team:  [lore]PC Quest System NPC and Chests[/lore].  See this image for an example of what is possible:  Dubbel's Store.

Here's what I'm thinking:  A group of RP-minded players band together and form a travelling market.  The goods in the chests would be RP items (foods, ales, pipeweed, etc.).  If you were there in person (between adventures) you could hawk your more durable goods.  Remember that the chests are not persistent across resets, nor are there any safeguards to theft since payment would be by the honor system.

I have some more ideas for this but following my own advice I'll think big and start small.
  • Sign up one or more food, ale, and pipeweed sellers
  • Partner with an existing PC-run business
  • Send out bird messages with the week's menu and small tidbits about the vendors
  • Have the paperboy sell the menu
  • Work towards establishing a new tavern in a location like the Thundervalley Crossroads
The following users thanked this post: Tobias, Grid Blader, Gulnyr, Lareth, Lance Stargazer, Zoogmunch

Fixed Bugs / No ingot recycler in North Point
« on: July 21, 2008, 09:05:25 am »
Description: No ingot recycler in North Point crafthall
 Location: North Point crafthall, central server

The following users thanked this post: miltonyorkcastle

I'd like to suggest that instead of ten tokens, you get ten tokens plus one death.  Upon receiving your tenth token you now know for a fact that your very next death will be your last.

So what, you ask?  What this allows is players to choose the ending for the characters.  Some may choose to retire to a tavern and spin tales.  Others may look for an opportunity to sacrifice their lives for the greater good.  Of course, some will just take it as more time to hunt dire bear and eventually die the lonely death under an unseeing virtual sky.

My issue with the current system is that the chance for heroic endings is based more on chance.  In nearly all cases we are crossing our fingers that we don't get that tenth token and perm.  When we live it's a breathed sigh of relief, and when the roll stinks it's a surprising bit of pain.  A chance to go out on your own terms seems a more fitting end to the story.

What do you think about this idea?  If you knew your next death was guaranteed to be your last, how would you play your favorite PC?  Would you perhaps schedule a CDQ to go out in style?

Ask A Gamemaster / Sign outside of Hempstead and what it means
« on: May 28, 2008, 04:02:38 pm »
There was some discussion on IRC today about the sign outside of Hempstead and what it means to the "evil" races listed on it.  The summary:  

It is a violation of server rules for a PC of a race listed to enter Hempstead, whether they're disguised or not, without GM supervision.  There are apparently some "famous" PCs that this does not apply to, but for the rest of us it's a no-go.

Is this an accurate statement?
The following users thanked this post: Muhkuman

Trade and Market Hall / *notice* Saphires / Muscle for Gear
« on: April 07, 2008, 05:51:57 pm »
[SIZE=24]~~ Muscle for Hire ~~[/SIZE]
My client, who oddly calls himself Pig, has commissioned me to post his desire and willingness to work for "fighterman" gear.

Apparently his tremendous girth requires some special needs when it comes to sizing.  (I can vouch for not needing to clean the equipment prior to barter.)  In return for straight coin or fighting gear my client is willing to either:
[/I][INDENT][SIZE=16]A. Provide frontline support in dangerous locales[/SIZE][/I]
[SIZE=16]B. Provide raw "shiny pretty stone"  (saphires, apparently)
C. Chop, mine, and carry wood and ore.
[/I] [/INDENT][SIZE=16]In return, payment shall consist of no less than 5,000 True plus a cut of all profits, or equipment that satisfies his need to "smasher stronger."  Saphires available at market rates by the box.

My client may be reached by falcon message or seek him in person at the Crossroads north of Dalanthar.  If writing, please allow adequate time for him to seek professional deciphering help as his mental faculties are, to put it bluntly, rather inadequate.[/SIZE]
The following users thanked this post: lonnarin, miltonyorkcastle, Stephen_Zuckerman, Nehetsrev, Cariad

[SIZE=18]~~ Whispers of Dragons ~~[/SIZE]
The Dragon's Whisper is seeking to compile all known details of the current going-ons related to dragons.  Regular updates will be delivered by falcon to subscribers and contributers.

Please include names of witnesses to described events as well as dates.


We'll see how this goes.  Those of you with plot quest details, please consider sharing sparse details with me.  I am envisioning this more as a "powerpoint" overview of what is going on:  Dates, witnesses, pertinent NPC names, guesses at implications, etc.  No need for anyone to compose prose with dramatic flair.... unless they want to.  ;-)

I'm OOCly curious to hear what's going on in the land in relation to dragons.  Perhaps others are too!

The following users thanked this post: Harlas Ravelkione, Fatherchaos

Wild Surge Inn / *notice* The Crossed Blades ~ Challenge of the Tenday
« on: March 16, 2008, 10:31:19 am »
[SIZE=16][SIZE=24]~~ Masters of Blades ~~[/SIZE][/SIZE]
[SIZE=16][SIZE=24] ~~[/SIZE][/SIZE]
[SIZE=16]This tenday's challenge is for the less-skilled blades amongst the ranks.  New recruits welcome to add their name to the list too.

The challenge is thus:  Whomever fights the most duels, win or lose, in the coming tenday shall be paid 5,000 True.  An additional 5,000 True will go to that same duelist if they win at least five duels in this timespan.

If you are a blade wielder new on the lands' trails and wish some coin in your pocket, this is the challenge for you!

This challenge is meant for levels 10 and lower to get some coin into their pockets for gear.  Not everyone reads the forums so I would appreciate spreading the word to new players you might meet ingame.  Get them to sign up in the rankings thread here:  

The challenge ends when I tally the results on March 24th.  Good luck!
The following users thanked this post: miltonyorkcastle

Wild Surge Inn / *notice* The Crossed Blades Tournament ~ Final Rounds
« on: February 22, 2008, 08:00:27 am »
((OOC here

 [SIZE=16][SIZE=18]~~ T O U R N A M E N T ~~[/SIZE][/I][/SIZE]

[SIZE=16] The first round of the inaugural tournament of The Crossed Blades dueling club is now complete!

Date of festivities to be announced
[SIZE=16] [SIZE=18]This year's tournament sponsored by[/SIZE][/I][/SIZE]
[SIZE=16][SIZE=18] ~ Pyyran Rahth ~[/SIZE][/I][/SIZE]
[SIZE=16][SIZE=18] &[/SIZE][/I][/SIZE]
[SIZE=16][SIZE=18] ~ Ketiljborn Svadi ~[/SIZE][/I][/SIZE]


[SIZE=16] May the best swordsman win![/SIZE]
The following users thanked this post: Leanthar

General Discussion / The Stormcrest Paperboy
« on: February 15, 2008, 04:23:08 pm »
~A re-post from some time ago~

I thought I'd give others the chance to try their hand at writing an ingame newsletter.  Here's how it works:
First, write up your fancy work on a parchment. The Dragon's Whisper is long enough that I need to use the lengthy parchment (10k characters), but smaller ones work too. You only need to buy one of them, so price isn't really an issue.
Feel free to make use of all the various colors. For example, I found that writing PC names in green really makes them standout when quickly scanning through the writing.
Now, arrange to get your work to me so I can stock the paperboy. Issues must be prepaid for at 25gp each in increments of 10. (Minimum investment of 250gp.) The price that they are sold at can be set at 50gp or 100gp.
For new / poor PCs, my character will front you the funds to publish your work. Depending on demand for this service, your publication could be sold for several weeks. Only one publication may be sold at a time. Changing publications discards any unsold credit.
Topics for publication:  Collection of poems, eulogies for dead friends, church news, horoscopes, etc.
PM me so we can arrange a time to meet ingame when you have something to publish. Don't forget to advertise on the forums and stir up interest!
Good luck!
The following users thanked this post: Stephen_Zuckerman

General Discussion / The Crossed Blades -- OOC discussion
« on: February 04, 2008, 02:46:27 pm »
Let's keep the other thread IC and discuss here.

First, if I had my way everyone would fight in clothing with non-magical weapons and shields.  That would be the true test of swordsmanship.  That's a bit unrealistic, though, since no one carries non-magical stuff around.  As a compromise I suggested that only permanent enchantments be allowed.

I'd like to say that anything that is of duration should not be used.  No rage, no divine might, bard song, etc.  Opening that door just lets everything in.

There are no rules against shields.

Now, let me add a caveat:  The two dueling parties can come to their own agreement.  If a high level wants to let a lower level have some advantage, so be it.  Please keep any concessions to level IC and honest.

Several have also asked what the schedule is.  That's the beauty of this, there is no schedule.  You just look at the names above you and when you run across one of them, challenge them to a duel.  Or arrange it for the arena, or whatever.  I will schedule a player event once a week depending on interest.  Others are welcome to do so as well.


Crikey!  Who would have thought there'd be so much fighting on the first day!
Just to avoid any confusion, here's how to update your ranking. If you duel and beat a higher ranked opponent, you are eligible to move up one level. Post in the IC thread with your name, your opponents name, and whether or not a level was gained. (eg. Joey beats Bob for a rank increase)  It is the victors job to post the results.  (eg.  Bob beats Joey, no rank increase)
Remember, beating someone of higher rank doesn't jump you ahead of them, it only moves you up one position. (If it's your first fight you move out of the 0-0 category to the bottom of the list on your first win.)
Do not PM me with information, it gets too confusing.  Good luck!
The following users thanked this post: miltonyorkcastle, Odranoela

Just for Fun / Game "Mount & Blade"
« on: January 14, 2008, 09:26:15 am »
Saw this and thought some of you might enjoy it.  Mount&Blade

It's a medieval mounted and unmounted combat game.  Single player currently, though they're working on multiplayer apparently.

Have fun!

Edit:  Oh!  And check out the face customization in the gallery screenshots.
The following users thanked this post: Muhkuman

NWN Ideas, Suggestions, Requests / Rumor and story telling
« on: September 14, 2007, 07:16:32 am »
This idea is for the NGoL (Next Generation of Layonara), though it would work in NWN.

Although the Layonara systems currently in place far outshine anything else I've seen, there is still a lot of story that is not disseminated widely enough.  It is nice to play in a world where there is an overarching storyline that can encompass everyone and tie them together in RP.  The question is how to involve everyone in this story.

Involvement is a pretty broad term, but at a minimum I'd like to say that it means, "Everyone knows the story and the details are available ingame."  The story is the uniter of the players, the thing that holds everything together.

So!  After that rambling, here is my idea.

A PC can write a story on a parchment ingame.  They can then "use" it to make copies.  When a parchment is copied, the copier's name and date is placed on it.  These copies can also be used, thus appending a new name and date on it.

Now here's the fun part.  This is sort of like a "pyramid scheme" by which the parchment copiers towards the beginning of the chain get rewarded more and more depending on how many people are below them in the chain.  So if the originial writer hands it out to ten PCs and those ten hand it out to ten more, that's 110 PCs that have had the chance to know the story.

Some details off the top of my head.
  • A parchment may be brought to a post office and "used" on a special device to give the player their reward.  This may be done repeatedly.  So after the first week, if there are 15 people that have the message they'd get that reward.  If the next week there are 50, then they'd get the reward for the new 35.
  • Parchments never expire.  They are, in fact, the ingame recording of legend and lore.  (It saddens me to hear that the newsletter I write is read then tossed into the trashcan.  What good is history if it is not shared?)
  • There is a way for a player to question the value of a parchment (ie. report abuse).  I don't think there should be judging of quality or content, but there ought to be some way for abuse of rewards to be determined by player feedback or database oversight.  Hopefully the "good" writers become more popular and their articles coveted.
  • A parchment folder would need to be available, but I'm assuming all the great systems in NWN will be available and working in the NGoL.
  • The reward must be enough to encourage the behavior of sharing information ingame.
  • Bards should get a leg up on the rest either through special systems or higher bonuses.  Or perhaps it is like CNR where you get "better" at doing the job of sharing.  A cleric sending out a regular church newsletter is just as valuable as a bard sending out an updated tavern menu.
Reward the behavior you want to encourage.  In a level based world, RP is not its own reward.
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General Discussion / Ideas from other PW servers
« on: August 24, 2007, 12:39:48 am »
Since NWN Layo is going away, these are probably moot points but I still think they're worth considering for the next generation too.

Hourly XP
I truly found "hourly" XP to be quite liberating.  It wasn't major, but a slow trickle of XP let me mix RP with adventure in a nice balance.  With hourly XP I felt that my time on the server was valuable whether I was bashing or sipping whisky with a fellow dwarf.

On Layo I would say that 1/4 of a quest hours worth of XP per RL hour would not unbalance things.  (If it takes 40 hours of quest XP to level, then it would take 160 hours of playtime to level.)

I am aware that the general opinion of the remaining Layo players is that XP should be "earned" through quests and combat.  However, I still am a firm believer in "story over combat."  A player that RPs for four hours entirely through emotes is not less deservant than a basher that soloed a bunch of giants.  Call me crazy but I'd rather get hourly XP at the combat academy than mindlessly bashing across a continent.

I made a post describing a different level progression in CNR.  I really liked the crafting level tied with character level, but I was never big into crafting so I'm  probably biased.

There have been discussions here about naming items.  One of the systems I saw automatically did this by naming CNRed items like this:  "Bronze Shortsword [Bumblebee]".  No exploits possible, just the crafter's name automatically added.

Corpses are fun!  To fit it into Layo's style, I would say drop a corpse that someone could pick up.  It would be like moving the gravestone.  Obviously a very complicated system that would need to be spec'ed out to avoid exploits.

Please don't take this as a "rant."  Consider it information gleaned from other experiences.  I chose to return to playing on Layo knowing fully that my primary PC would likely never gain another level, never become a WL, and certainly never have more of an impact than he already does.  Layonara is a fun world, with fun people, and with a fun future that I want to participate in just as it is.

I would also like to say that the community here as represented on the forums is far more mature than elsewhere.  I am paraphrasing Leanthar here but he once said something like, "I would rather have a server of ten exceptional RPers enjoying themselves, than a server of sixty hack & slashers."  That is absolutely correct.  Massive player numbers only increase the possibility of immaturity.  All of you players, past and present, deserve a pat on the back.
The following users thanked this post: miltonyorkcastle, Xirion

NWN Ideas, Suggestions, Requests / Next generation reward system
« on: June 07, 2007, 12:19:22 pm »
An idea for the next generation.

Some servers have a reward system for various activities.  PCs get tokens that they can save up and use to "buy" things.  Examples are:  Change to PC looks (hair, tatoo), name an item, or trade in for XP.

Personally I would remove the subjectiveness of the rewards and tie them to known quantities.  For example, keeping a char dev thread, or playing for a two hour block of time (awarded once per week).  

There could be subjective things as well:  Being spotted helping a new player, being seen sharing information about a world quest with others.  These are a bit harder to define and rely on GMs seeing and recognizing this stuff.  That's why I prefer the "good citizen" quantifiable rewards.

Some sort of data mining of the logs could lead to interesting information and feedback.  For example, a table with PC name, hours played, xp gained, lines spoken.  Break it down further by PC to see how many hours played in a party vs. solo, which areas were they in (a house, tavern, forest), etc.

With this information, each "customer" could be scheduled for attention.  If it is Bob the Slayer's habit to RP heavily on Sunday nights (solid chunk of time, in a party, lots of emotes, etc.), then he could be flagged for a GM visit then.  Perhaps the rest of his playing time is clearly sporadic and alone during the week.

This may help give the GM team a better understanding of each player's habits so they can maximize their own efficiency in taking note of the PCs.

Basically, I'm suggesting setting up a system to reward behavior that is conducive to the success of the server and community.  With hundreds of PCs, though, looking at trends from collected data may be the only feasible way.
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Roleplaying / Reproducing parchments with Autohotkey
« on: June 06, 2007, 06:15:32 am »
Some time ago I posted on using the program Autohotkey .  This program has many uses for repetitive tasks.

The recent threads on parchment copying leads me to share how my PC is working on a rather complexly formatted ingame newsletter.

Note in the script below, please(!) change the references to "Pen N Popper" to your own player name.  I don't want to get the tells spammed at me. :-)

Code: [Select]


Say(s, end_delay=0)
    global prefix

    SendInput {Enter}
    Sleep 250
    IfInString, s, /
        SendInput {Raw}%s%
        SendInput {Raw}%prefix%%s%
    SendInput {Enter}

    if ( end_delay != 0 ) {
        Sleep end_delay

last_color := ""

    MouseClick, right, 282, 382
    Sleep 250
    MouseClick, right, 350, 459
    Sleep 250
    MouseClick, left, 271, 241
    Sleep 6000

Write_Ink(name, x, y)
    MouseClick, right, 282, 382
    Sleep 250
    MouseClick, right, 350, 459
    Sleep 250
    MouseClick, left, x, y
    Sleep 250
    Say( "/tp ""Pen N Popper"" READY TO WRITE IN " . name . " INK")

    Sleep 6000

    return 1

    Write_Ink("gold", 312, 235)

    Write_Ink("red", 314, 270)

    Write_Ink("green", 315, 302)

    Write_Ink("blue", 316, 335)

    Write_Ink("white", 316, 370)

    Write_Ink("purple", 316, 399)

Write(color, text)
    global last_color

    if ( color != last_color ) {
        last_color := color
        if ( color == "white" ) {
        } else if ( color == "green" ) {
        } else if ( color == "red" ) {
        } else if ( color == "blue" ) {
        } else if ( color == "gold" ) {
        } else if ( color == "purple" ) {
        } else {
            Say( "/tp ""Pen N Popper"" ERROR!! UNKNOWN COLOR " . color . " ")
    Say(text, 6000)


    global last_color

    gold := "gold"
    white := "white"
    red := "red"
    blue := "blue"
    green := "green"
    purple := "purple"

    Say("~~erase", 1000)
    last_color := "white"

    Write(gold, "~~title Bumblebee is the man!")

    Write(white, "~~~~")
    Write(gold, "~ ~~ All About My Favorite Brownie ~~")
    Write(white, "~~nl")
    Write(white, "~What a cute little fellow, dressed in yellow.")
    Write(white, "~~nll")
    Write(white, "~Wonder if he's married, or likes to be carried.")
    Write(white, "~~nl")

    Say("/tp ""Pen N Popper"" FINISHED!")


Since this script will actually dip your quill into the inks, it is required that your inventory be structured in a certain way.  (Note that the coordinates may need adjusting to match your graphics resolution / screen size.)

The line of ink vials are ordered from top to bottom:  Gold, red, green, blue, white, purple.  The parchment next to the ink vials is the one that will be written upon.  The quill must be in its position next to the ink vials.

It doesn't matter what page of inventory this is on, but your inventory must be open to that page and positioned above the chat window.

This is all very important since Autohotkey will be moving your mouse.

Once you are ready to start writing, simply type Ctrl-9 (control key and 9 key together).  Now sit back and relax!  Don't move the mouse or try to type until it is finished.

Note that if your text is long there is a chance that an action will be missed and you'll end up resting or skipping a line or such.  Just let the script finish and try again.  The built-in delays of the script are often enough, though.

The following users thanked this post: Acacea, darkstorme, Tialle Dianesis

General Discussion / *sings* "Every player is sacred..."
« on: May 22, 2007, 05:59:13 pm »
You know that movie? :-)

Seriously.  Every single player, whether they've been here from the beginning or just for a week, is sacred.  We're a community in a growing desert; anyone that finds their way to our oasis needs to be treated like royalty.  The "elders" of our own community need to be treated even better!

I am imploring all of you to take a moment and thank the other players that surround you.  Sent them a tell ingame, "((I like what you've done with your pants!  Want to go slay orc?"

Our home here on the Layonara servers has changed dramatically in the past few months.  More changes, I have no doubt, are waiting in the wings.  Let's shore up our fellow players by attending their player quests, listening to their back-stories, and being respectful of them as people.  Let's support our team by exploring their landscape.

I, for one, feel lucky to have a place to see and share tales.  See you in there!

General Discussion / Ideas to "spice" things up
« on: May 21, 2007, 11:29:23 am »
Let's say you only had six hours a week to play Layonara.  Assuming that those six hours did not overlap any GM quests, what sort of things would get you motivated to login and play for those hours?  I'm not really asking why you login now but rather what would pique your interest.  

Ideally the suggestions would be available to all in any timezone and not dependent on scheduling with other players.

Some ideas I have:

Weekly "bounty hunter" type quest

Each week a clue is posed on the forums (or perhaps told by the town criers).  Over the course of the week, the GMs would drop further clues randomly on PCs ingame.  A single thread on the forums would act as the IC discussion about the clue.  When the riddle is solved sufficiently in this thread, a GM-placed "point of interest" flag is placed ingame for players to go touch and get XP.

This is a bit elaborate, I know.  It is sort of a server wide open quest.  Think of it as an RP hook that all can use to start conversations with.  Perhaps these are plot quest related.

CNR recipe of the week

Each week a new CNR recipe (or a couple) is made available.  The items vary in difficulty but are centered around expendable items (arrows, food, etc.).  These items would already exist ingame in the form of drops and the ingredients may be a bit obscure (like stardusts).  The recipe is valid only for that week.

If I understand how things work, new CNR recipes can be added outside of the module and will show up on a server reset.
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