Thursday, May 24, 2012


You'll find plenty of books in Madness&Magic. I think it's a nice way to add flavor to the world you've created without beating the player over the head with all the lore. The books are there and the player can choose to check them out if he wants to.

Some of the books are about the universe the module is set in.

You can find out quite a bit about the Citadel if you search around.
Some are about the history of the dimensions you'll visit.

People in Winterscale have been deeply affected by the Wars of Magic.
Then there is fiction...

Translated from the French original.
And of course, silly books - my favorites.

What's that behind you?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Progress update

As you may have noticed, the progress bar didn't move much during this past month. I've been busy in real life and I haven't had the time to properly work on the module. I must have built two areas and wrote something like three dialogs files. Not so great.

Right now I'm still working on Winterscale - the big city near the start of the module. I'm fiddling with an arena system, like the Gauntlet in the first chapter of the OC. I'm not good with scripting so that could take a while. Once I'm done with that, I'll probably leave Winterscale alone for a while and get to work on one of the small bits of the module - that way I won't grow bored or burn myself out.

Thursday, May 10, 2012


When it comes to roleplaying, my motto is "the more, the better".

Since Madness&Magic is a single player module, the only interaction the player will experience will be with NPCs, which is vastly different from what you can find in a multiplayer module. You cannot develop your character the same way, and it's a much more static form of roleplaying. But you can still have fun, hopefully.

I went crazy with dialog options in some cases, drawing inspiration from Planescape Torment - pretty much the greatest game ever in my opinion.

A chat with Death.
I tried to use all social skills, and then some others which are usually left aside, like taunt.

Come with me already, woman!
Note the presence of a [Lie] and [Truth] option. Lying will usually shift your character's alignment toward Chaotic.

I implemented choices in conversations but also in quests. There is always at least two solutions to a given quest, sometimes more.

There also are references to my favorite games here and there. For example, the obligatory talking chicken.

However his name is not Melicamp.
The usual question of the motivation of your character is given a central place in the plot, with numerous NPCs asking what is the driving force behind your actions.

Cartoonishly evil option provided.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Henchmen system

Madness and Magic is supposed to be a small module, so I've got only one henchman planned. I say 'supposed to be' because I'm adding areas and NPCs every now and then, expanding the original storyline. And then I berate myself for the additional workload this will give me.

Anyway, the wizard who sends you on your quest, while quite ruthless, still wants you to succeed, and he provides you with an henchman - or henchcat, I should say. Meet SunChaser, a giant tiger with the mind of a kitten.

She says she doesn't like talking, but her conversation file is over 2000 words.
She's the result of a failed experiment by Melvin, and he's more than happy to have her out of his way. At first she's childish and cowardly, but she can grow into quite the fierce warrior if you make the right choices. I've implemented two different systems to track the way she relates to the PC. The first one deals with her level of happiness. It's the most straightforward one, and you can almost always guess which dialog options will make her like your PC....

Simple example: complimenting her on her name...
And which one will make her dislike him/her.

...or saying it sucks.
The second system tracks the influence the PC has on her. While the opportunities to augment or decrease her happiness are many, the opportunities to gain influence on her are much scarcer, and not as obvious. Furthermore, the two systems are not mutually exclusive: SunChaser can hate your character (low happiness) and still do everything he asks (high influence).

Seen here: a gain of influence.
You can also equip her with items just like a normal henchman. Due to the limitations of the NWN toolset, you can give her the PC's equipment and it will fit her, which is silly, but I can't fix that. I would have to restrict every single piece of equipment to be useable by humanoid creatures only, but then equipment imported from outside the module would still fit her. Too much work for not much results. I'll just have to trust the players to act reasonably on that one.

Anyway, you can find a store in one dimension that is selling items specifically designed for animals.

A fancy collar.
And a nice cloak.
I more or less think of SunChaser as the Deekin of my module: she can be very annoying at times, but she also has her moments where she gets a chance to shine.