Monday, 23 April 2012

Althéa: A Unique World (Manual Entries)

This week's post covers a couple more pages from the manual that I hope will be completed and accompany the module by the time of its release. For as much of what I am doing at the moment is simply writing conversation lines for the NPCs, there is not much more to say that may otherwise give away spoilers. However, if there is anything more you would like me to discuss about the module, then please ask me in a comment. In the meantime, here is some general information from the manual, which I welcome comments or questions on as ever:

A Unique World

Althéa is a unique world, designed by myself and set within its own cosmology. It has nothing to do with Faerun, or any of the official campaigns that are available to buy (or download) and play. Therefore, there are some restrictions and differences that are immediately enforced, even before the player builds or imports their PC to play. For a start, the following seven classes are not found within the World of Althéa and are not allowed entry:

Furthermore, the following "named" spells have had their names removed throughout the game, and will be referred to without their "name":

The Gods of Althéa

New Gods:
With a new world, comes new gods. Some gods (especially for the non-human races) may remain unchanged. (They were kept as such within the Althéa Campaign.) However, all the human gods will be different - and subject to which god your PC has when they enter the world, they may find the god changed to one appropriate to Althéa, or have their deity name labeled as "Uncertain/Searching". If you are creating the PC from new, then you will be given a choice of valid gods from which to to choose. (See an example of some in the image below.) If the PC is imported, however, then a check is made to ensure no invalid faith enters the world. If you are playing a cleric, the game ensures you enter with a valid faith (rather than "Uncertain/Searching") and provides you with an appropriate holy book, which is required to learn spells when resting.

MP Alignment Restrictions: If a MP game is already underway, then it is possible that the current party of players has already committed themselves to either a good or evil alignment. If this is the case, then the newly entering PC will have their alignment changed to that of the party, which may mean clerics being out of favour with their god and unable to pray for spells. Therefore, make sure your PC’s alignment matches that of the party leader in a MP game to be sure of having access to spells.

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Better The ... Economy (A Manual Entry)

The World of Althéa has a long history and has undergone a number of cataclysmic changes during its time. Part of this adventure will be to learn how the world has changed yet again, and how this change has had an impact on its people and your own characters. As such, your PC’s learning curve will reflect your own when it comes to certain aspects of the game. However, there is some world knowledge that can be shared now as it differs from standard NWN games you will have played before. This is not exactly game "mechanics", which is explained in the next section of the manual, but a continuation of describing the "flavour" of Althéa.

Althéa Economy

As Althéa is considered a "low magik" world, there is little need for the huge amounts of gold that are often used in other game worlds. A high gold economy problem arises because each "better" magik item that enters the market forces a higher price to be needed for its acquisition, which quickly becomes ridiculously high, skewing many other price factors and forcing builders to "fudge" other costs. While fudging costs this way may fix some results, it often leaves many other items greatly out of proportion. E.g. Often, the costs of components to create an item are considerably higher than it would be to buy the product already made. Such an economy only serves to devalue any crafting skills a PC may have.

To this end, many of the game’s 2da files relating to the costs of items have been recalculated and reworked to reflect an economy geared around the cost to cast spells at a given level, and then all other cost factors were arranged around these figures. (See the table below for the calculated costs of each spell.)

As a result, many of the more expensive items plummeted in cost, to around a tenth of their original value. This, however, fitted more closely with Althéa’s economy where 1 gold piece (gp) was an average day’s wage; meaning it would not be unreasonable for an average NPC to be able to afford the cheapest potions after saving for a short time.

Further consequences of this lower priced economy means the cost to craft or enchant items has greatly reduced, but continues to reflect a more realistic scale of costs where the items can be found in the first place. More importantly, PCs who can craft will now economically gain from doing so.