Monday, January 25, 2010

Of Our Elaborate Plans, The End

Granted, the trilogy is done and out, but didn't end exactly like I would have liked to. The original title to III was Chasing the Golden Dragon and was to take place in Orilyn (the Asian/elf inspired eastern empire). This was before MotB got released and I included Beneath the Hearleforne as part II. Crusaders of Shalihir was to be the middle or at least a jumping off point.

The original ending wasn't an ending at all, but had the player stop the chain reaction (which I know I failed to convey it's even existence in the current build) caused by the Sarcophagus of Rel powering/channeling the remaining crystals beneath Solvheil. In doing so, the player is transported through time (because time is an illusion/fluid) to Orilyn long before, arriving naked on a beach completely respecced.

At one point, I tried to think of a reason to include a shipwreck because it's always such a dramatic piece of area design, but couldn't. Although the use of ships and docks have been used pretty liberally throughout the series, sometimes even without water.

That mod, Chasing the Golden Dragon followed the player in their quest to ascend Mount Dramoto and face the worshiped Golden Dragon with full knowledge that it is actually Rel and that all regions basically follow the same creator, calling him by different names. Torrne being a channel to Rel as a combatant of demons and demi-gods.

So getting to Mount Dramoto was going to involve conspiracy in the empire, some Sabaril vs. Zinyari action (read: Half-elf Samarui vs. Dark-Elf Ninjas), as well as a need to travel to the Zhanthul Jungle to acquire rare spices to help make the journey up the mountain.

See, the top of Mount Dramoto is actually a pocket plane, or at least where the veil between the material plane is barely intact. That is the reason Orilyn is such a spirit-infested land is the ease of passing, at least to some degree, into the material plane. So one doesn't exactly "climb" the mountain, although it indeed feels that way.

There was also a bit of a subplot involved with lycanthrope melee fighters (ala Weretiger Kung Fu) and the experimentation of some to create a weredragon. This leads into the premise that both the Orilyn and Zinyari already possess dragon blood in their lineage; Orilyn the Golden Dragon, Zinyari a shadow dragon.

This dragon heritage is responsible for many of the races unique powers such as the Sabarils channeling of their interior power, to the ability of others to use charisma based sorcery instead of traditional casting.

Anyhow, at the end, the player meets the Golden Dragon. They acknowledge each other's true identities and the player is sent on to the next module: "Champions of Rel" to do some extra-planar battle with demons, dragons, and titans (basically this is where epic levels may have kicked in as Chasing the Golden Dragon would have been generous in experience to let the player take Weapon Master prestige).

I was always disappointed in a good Sphinx model for NWN2. In NWN1, I used the Wemic and had it winged. I know there were already androsphinx and gynosphinx models added in Shadows of Undrentide, but the original host of sphinx were much more armed melee combat centaur-ish winged lions with human torsos that kicked ass and left a glowing footprint. So the player would have led an army of them for great justice (with a side order of spaghetti).

These last few mods would have wrapped up the explanation of how Torrne could be exist in multiple places within the same period of time, and how he was indeed Rel's champion selected to stand watch over mankind (from either topside, or ground level). It also would have shed a bit more light on the entire portfolio of pantheon, how Rel was basically the lone deity and merely addressed by different names or through different channels, as well as the limitations of the subdieties who did achieve immortality, but not omnipotence.

Obviously that grandiose plan wasn't going to happen and I had to wrap things up a bit. All in all, it didn't end exactly how I would have liked, but I am quite pleased that it did have an ending. There were several times that I came close to perma-shelving part III and starting fresh. Luckily I have the greatest community of builders/enthusiasts around me, and one uber-talented cutscene guy that was willing to lend a sunbeam engulfed helping hand.

Now I'm toying around with a handful of pretty decent (IMHO) areas that all fit into a separate adventure. I've been considering asking a longtime old school friend of mine to join up with me and ratchet up this romp across the continent. Him and I both had the same enthusiasm for games/gaming/design/3D Modeling, and artistically, he is faaaar superior to myself. However, he has since wandered off and never focused on game design (hasn't even ever played NWN/NWN2/etc). If I could seduce him to the darkside without losing too many midaclorians in some freak severing of limbs, things would look pretty freaking awesome. As soon as I attach that carrot to a stick, I may give this pitch a go.


Lance Botelle (Bard of Althéa) said...

Hi Raith,

Interesting plot line that has an element that reminds me of my own - saying no more. ;)

It is a shame when the steam runs out for a project, but I can appreciate wanting to start afresh. I am aiming to make my own NWN2 module a "finish" for this part of the world and, hopefully, allow players and myself to start in a new region after it.


Anonymous said...

Nice dispatch and this enter helped me alot in my college assignement. Thanks you for your information.

Design Documents: