Dimon & Dionysus - a match made in Hell

Not too much going on, really. Its around that time again where everything starts piling up even if you didnt procrastinate. I unfortunately won't be able to work on TN until about Thursday or Friday of next week, but this doesn't really stop me from working on it in some way or another. Typically what I do is run ideas and dialogues through my head and refine them. Well, a day or two or three ago, I found this advertisement of this one mod in the making. Some of you may have seen it. The Moonlight Path. I briefly ran through their goals, plot and other stuff about their mod in development and it seemed overly ambitious to the point where I doubt it'll be done by the time the next toolset game comes out to replace NWN2. I'm not dissing the project or anything, but I think they may need to narrow the scope down some. And I've seen others make the same comment, and it'll likely be very difficult for them to attract other developers to their cause. It sounds like an interesting mod, but not really my thing. I'm personally not a big fan of completely non-linear games. Usually means relying on what you think is common sense or aimlessly walking around to the point of disinterest (Oblivion anyone?).

But now that I've sidetracked from the actual point. I saw some of their artwork which is fairly impressive, and then I saw the custom music involved for the module. It was developed by a guy named Stephen Kelly, and I'd have to say the guy is pretty talented. One of his works actually struck me with an inspirational idea that I really like. Unfortunately the song is far too short for the idea I had in mine, but I can just the see the scene in vivid detail. The song I'm referring to is called Violin Composition (Link: http://www.freewebs.com/filezupload3/ ).

But before I go on to the idea, I would like to introduce a new character, which you'll hear plenty of in Chapter 2, usually in absolute disgust or unworthy praise. His name is Dimon, the tharchion of Tyraturos. The concept of Dimon was iffy the first time I shaped him, but I've recently reconstructed him into something more fitting, and now he has much more character. Have any of you ever heard of Dionysus? Likely I may have mis-spelled it, but Dionysus is the god of wine in Greek mythology. However, he wasn't known simply for wine. Often times, sex was involved, and not your typical passionate ones either - more like your angry and wild ones. Dimon is much like this. He is a snotty-nosed noble with an interest in wine and sex. He's also rather paranoid of those who might try to steal his power, but that discussion is for another time. And being a level 5 (and a noble), he's more of a coward than an actual warrior of merit.

(In the Unapproachable East, it briefly mentions Dimon as having been a devout of Waukeen until Bane returned. Whenever Bane came back, he came sprawling to him on all fours, and started imposing heavier taxes and other unfair laws.)

Dimon is certainly one of the more interesting characters in Tyraturos, you'll come across.

So what is this idea, you ask? Well, the more I actually thought about the idea - the more I saw it incorporated into other games as well. BG2, Jade Empire, MotB all had this idea, but never really took it very far (with the exception of JE). The idea is to create a play - of what kind, I am currently running ideas on. Classical, moral, Shakespearian, Tragedy, I'm not sure yet. I was even contemplating whether to make a contest of some sort and let others write it, but its not likely to attract anyone and if it does, it'll probably be a Comedy that's more appalling than funny, or way outside the scope of NWN2.

The player would first see the play during one of Dimon's celebrations, where he finds another way to tax everyone for entertainment, usually geared to the noble side. Dimon has other means of taxing like the Blood Ring where people can pay to watch Gnolls and Orcs tear into each other's flesh with an occassional catch (a human or some other foul beastie) added into the fray as well. I won't mention why the player is there; I'll let you guys speculate. But I think it would be rather interesting if there were NPCs on the stage acting out a play.

Is this idea completely stupid, outside the scope of NWN2 or brilliantly clever? I'm not sure, but I would like to hear your comments on it. It's an idea running through my head at the moment, so it can easily be changed or removed.

Power Surges + Corruption

Beware: Just a rant.

As some of you may know, the southeastern states got hit pretty hard with a storm passing by. Couple of tornadoes to cause all sorts of havoc. Not as bad as what dirtywick had to go through, but enough to annoy a person with power outages. I've been through far worse (Hurricane Frances and Jeanne anyone? Which power was out for a whole week), but I was hoping to work on TN. What was particularly annoying about this power outage was the awful noises that came with it. Do any of you own a surge protector? Whoever had the bright idea of having them make so much noise whenever they're on battery back-up should've been shot. And the worst part, it never died! (Which btw, my computer doesn't have a surge protector, someone else's did - thus no work on TN). I wanted to tear that thing out and throw it out the window so bad :) . Combined with a long day at college and a 3 hr power outage, I didn't get anything done. Well, as it would turn out - it went backwards.

Power surge crashed my comp and corrupted an area where I applied a days worth of fixes. Luckily, I use SVN so I have back-up copies of everything. Although, I do have to go through the tedious process of applying those fixes again, but I'll manage... hopefully. Could've been much worse. Imagine if I didn't use SVN and I worked in module mode. Then my whole mod would have been corrupt with no backups.

I know alot of people don't really see the difference between directory mode and modular mode, but in this case, thank god for directory mode :) Not to mention, its ideal when using SVN or working in teams.

PS. Title is kind of deceiving. Made it sound much worse than it actually was. ;)

Sorry for the rant :)

Companion Update

As promised, a few of the companions you'll find in Chapter I:

Selina Aermane
Race: Human
Sex: Female
Age: 19
Class: Rogue
Alignment: Chaotic Good
Region: Thesk (Telflamm)

Selina Aermane has been your companion for quite some time now, traveling in the East as mercenaries/adventurers - whatever may have been the case. She is usually always one of the first to give life to a party, except in times of great despair as in the case of Aragaard, where your group was subjected to experimentation. Unfortunately, Selina can often get you into trouble when around wealthy merchants and nobles.

Selina is considered the youngest and most juvenile of the available companions.

Balthier De'Avren
Race: Human
Sex: Male
Age: 27
Class: Paladin
Alignment: Lawful Good
Region: Aglarond

Balthier is one of the few men in the paladin orders of Aglarond to be entrusted with being personal bodyguards of those traveling from the Simbul’s Palace. Bounded by his sworn fealty, it is his soul duty to protect Lady Thalance’s daughter, Arilyn, from harm’s way while she travels to Two Stars to discuss political matters of the trade-routes. He would gladly sacrifice his life for hers if need be.

However, Balthier’s tale has only begun. When his group is ambushed, they are captured and thrown into slave camps deep within the sands of Thay. Arilyn had been taken elsewhere and all knowledge of her whereabouts remained a mystery to him for over two years. His faith in the Morninglord hangs on the balance as time marches on and his oath remains broken and unredeemed. Dangerous as the lands of Thay are, as long as his follower’s intentions are the same, he will cope with their behavior (regardless of how foul they may be) until he has fulfilled his oath. (Eventually if the player continues to play an evil character, Balthier will become a fallen paladin and no longer be able to take paladin levels).

Krahzgorr Ghrakskull
Race: Grey Orc
Sex: Male
Age: (Unknown, but appears to be an older and wiser orc)
Class: Spirit Shaman
Alignment: Neutral
Region: Rashemen

Little is known about this orc's past, other than what he discloses through his stories of other tribesmen, but he remains a loyal and faithful companion. You first meet Krah as your cellmate in Aragaard, and he has kept you company and tended to your wounds for countless months. Krah is rather spiteful towards Thayans for the crimes they have committed against his tribe but moreover their disregard for the dead. Built as a healer and a combatant, Krah makes a great companion in all ways.

-Edit: Some typos in Krah's paragraph. Had to type it up really quick before I had to leave.


As promised I do have a sneak peek of some of the companions you can get during your adventures. I've only included the first three ones you obtain in Aragaard. There is one other in Chapter I, you'll meet towards the end and the others are all in Chapter 2 (or 3). You'll find them in another post on the same date. But first a few words of note.

Thayvian Nights is slightly ambitious in scope although manageable I believe, all total approximately 3 Acts (or 7 seven chapters + Prologue & the Epilogue). Chapter I (dubbed Escape from Aragaard) is only one of the 3 chapters in Act I, the second largest of the three. Most notably Chapter II is probably the largest of all the chapters planned and the least linear in scope. To help you visualize what I'm talking about, I went ahead and made a chart with estimates of how long the chapter will be:

Prologue: 0.3 hrs
Act I
Chapter 1: 2-3 hrs
Chapter 2: 15+ hrs
Chapter 3: 2-3 hrs

Act II
Chapter 4: 2-3 hrs
Chapter 5: 2-3 hrs

Chapter 6: 2-3 hrs
Chapter 7: 2-3 hrs

Epilogue: 0.5 hrs

And these are merely estimates, Chapters 3 through 7 could be longer than that for all I know. It's too early tell at this point. However, I can definitely say that they'll move along much quicker than Chapter I, or at least I would certainly hope so (I've redone Chpt I so many times now :) ).

I would also like to mention that Chapter I's main goal is to attract players to keep the motivation up, while at the same time perhaps even attracting a few potential developers at the same time. I don't expect any developers to come around, but I'll still remain optimistic. A second person providing ideas and incorporating them into the module would be ideal and help alleviate the weak points of the module and expediate the process of building it.

I find that my writing is one of most biased things about me. I have a certain type of writing that you either like or hate it completely. Every once in awhile, you'll find something really poetic or well-written, but most often its just... I don't know how else to describe it... Josh-like. Which is typically the case in all of my informal writings, such as this blog. And for some reason I can never type a conversation first, I'll sit there for hours on end staring at the screen unmotivated to type. Give me a pen and a piece of paper, and I'll have it written in minutes. I s anyone else like that? Gets annoying, but its the only I can get myself to work on dialogues.


And on a final note for this post in particular. I ran through the module with a lvl 19 and finished it within 1.5 hours while not really reading the dialogues, noting down bugs, quirks and things I just didn't like how it was done (or portrayed). By the end, I had about 3 pages of stuff between the two. A few things like switch some of the cutscene dialogues to NWN1 styled, some of the commoners when they respawn don't have dialogues (which is odd, b/c in the palette they do), and some strange convos going on if you do things out of order. Some of are easy fixes, others - not so easy.

Updated Screens

Its come to my attention that the last screenshot was pretty bad. I imported the wrong sunrise file :) Oops...

New Screen

Not a whole heck of a lot to report in terms of interesting things or things I want to reveal. Couple of interiors for this village, minor dialogues and some scripts for Chapter 1. Next time I may give you a sneak peak at another companion that you can obtain during your travels. But nevertheless, here's a screenshot for your woes.

Finally... Some Progress

That's right, I finally had a small break in my schedule to work on TN. I managed to write a couple hundred more words and a really cool exterior as well. And when I say really cool, I mean really really hot. The area looks downright awesome I have to say. There's several quests that run through it, one of which is the main one, but you can visit there before then and do some side quests.

Surag is a small fishing community positioned off the shore of the Surag River and a few miles (or kilometers) from Lake Thaylambar. The villagers have been having issues with these nightly attacks lately. Upon daybreak, they would notice that one of their people had been murdered during the night. Breaking the quest down into it's basic form, you're presented with a conspiracy, and you have to determine who the culprit is and choose a side from that point. I'll be honest with you, the correct answer (if there is even one of those ;) ) is not obvious.

I have one screenshot that shows off the village some while I was still working on it. It looks relatively the same, maybe some color adjustments and what not. The caravans in the center of the picture is a fish stand, the main centerpiece of the community. In the upper right hand corner, you'll see the Chief's house. The other buildings are either empty or not very important. Not shown is the small dock on the Surag River featuring small fishing boats and some dunes.

But that's all I've got for today.

New Blog

So, I actually got around to making a new blog, which is always a plus, but life is just as busy as ever. This week happens to be the week where all the exams and assignments fell, so I haven't had much time for anything else - including TN. I've been wanting to work on it, but some of you know how life goes - very hectic.

6 courses... dunno what I was thinking, but this is the last I'll have to do that. We just had an exam on Thermodynamics, which the subject wasn't too bad I suppose, but this guy's exams are crazy hard. He chooses the hardest ambiguous problems out of that test generator for his book. Such a lousy teacher, I tell ya. Never in his office when he's supposed to be - doesn't go over homework ever (defeats the purpose of giving it out), he's anti-social and the list goes on and on. Differential Equations is starting to give me some problems, finally. It's starting to be come significantly more difficult. Second Order Linear Equations and Substitution. But I think got the hang of that stuff now.

I also have a Macroeconomics exam tonight, but it's not all that difficult I dont think. I just have to watch out for tricky wording and ambiguous questions (which the book is notorious for doing).

But to celebrate the new blog, I thought I would shower you with screenshots from Chapters I and II:

And that's all I got time for now. Hopefully, I'll have more time later to finally get some work done!