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#1 khayman

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Posted 18 July 2004 - 03:36 AM

First thing`s first, and one of the most important aspects of the mod is how will the PC get to be hired by the organization? In the case of the Shadow Thieves, Gaelan Bayle is the connection, in the case of Bodhi, the PC is approached by Valen. Now I`m not entirely sure if we should take the very same route and have someone approach the party and say something along the lines of 'Join us, we`ll give you Imoen'.

One thing that crosses my mind is leaving it to the sole option of the PC. He can go to the Government District by himself and talk to someone like Corneil about being hired; he could direct the PC to a higher-ranked wizard. Now should this be available before paying the 5000 gold pieces of after?

#2 Pekka

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Posted 18 July 2004 - 09:13 AM

Hmm, I think it would be nice for a change if the PC had the initiative in this one. The Cowled Wizards are a pretty secretive organization (on the other hand, aren't they all in Amn?), so I don't think they would necessarily be offering their services just to anyone. The Wizards are also greedy and corrupted, so maybe the option to join them should be available only after the PC has shown he isn't just one poor beggar sticking his nose where it doesn't belong. Money opens many doors.

I was wondering how quickly the PC would be promoted within the Wizards' ranks? Wouldn't it actually take many years to achieve the most powerful positions? Of course this is not possible in the game, so the PC needs to be some kind of special case, who rises in the ranks with phenomenal speed.

#3 Galactygon

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Posted 18 July 2004 - 09:29 AM

About ideas:

There is a mod in the RPG Dungeon forums that improves the asylum. Both of these mods (yours and the other one) sound very intriguing. Are you both planning to merge in someway or another for the most seamless integration? I believe it might be a batter idea than 'simple compatibility' due to the fact there might be slight differences between the asylum as a stronghold, etc.

Another few things I might add to the FAQ, Khayman (or answer them in this post):
1.) Since this is a mod specifically centered on wizards, will there be new spells?
2.) Will the cowled wizard encounters when spellcasting is restricted be changed?
3.) Is there a way to alter the path of whom you serve in case you mess up? Meaning that can you switch to the vampires/shadowthieves if you angered the superiors?
4.) Will the dialogue be PS:T (or RtW) style? Meaning that actions are portrayed outside of quotation marks, while the dialogues themselves will be written within quotation marks.

I am very glad a new mod has recently popped up dealing with one of the many plotholes of the game. :groucho:

-Galactygon



#4 Userunfriendly

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Posted 18 July 2004 - 10:22 AM

khayman, on Jul 18 2004, 11:41 AM, said:

First thing`s first, and one of the most important aspects of the mod is how will the PC get to be hired by the organization? In the case of the Shadow Thieves, Gaelan Bayle is the connection, in the case of Bodhi, the PC is approached by Valen. Now I`m not entirely sure if we should take the very same route and have someone approach the party and say something along the lines of 'Join us, we`ll give you Imoen'.

One thing that crosses my mind is leaving it to the sole option of the PC. He can go to the Government District by himself and talk to someone like Corneil about being hired; he could direct the PC to a higher-ranked wizard. Now should this be available before paying the 5000 gold pieces of after?
nice to see this mod project starting...

some ways to contact the cowles...

if you go to the bridge district, you can talk to some kids, and at least one walkthru i think mentions you can turn in mrs craigmoon, the potion seller near neb's house into inspector brega because she practices magic without a license, making potions...suppose you can turn her into cornell, so that the cowles grab her and take her away...it pretty much establishes you as a right bastard, willing to turn in a defenseless old lady to become friendly with the powers that be in athkatla...

how about the tried and true way...lots of people, myself included, just cast magic whenever i feel like killing some cowles...i go to bridge district, then cast spell sequencer, load up on mirror image, and 2 skull traps, and after the cowles appear, trigger it on myself, almost always insta-killing them...i'm sure other people have their own versions of cowles traps, like using wands of cloudkill, or using the helm of simulacrum to cast protection from magic on themselves without losing the scroll...so after you decimate their ranks, and kill off the last encounter of cowles, the greatest enforcer of them all, i can't remember her name right now...

after you kill her off, a first level apprentice cowles appears a few hours later, literally stuttering in terror, (he was sent cause he's utterly expendable) and invites you to attend a meeting with the surviving cowles in athkatla, the ones you haven't killed yet...they try to bribe you, and offer you a position in the organization simply cause you've proven you're more powerful than the rest of them put together...

i never really liked the logic of them simply stopping attacking you after you kill off the first 8 groups of them, after you kill off the most powerful cowles...i mean if some adventurer killed off all my collegues, including the most powerful in the organization, you'll hire an assassin to poison their food, or you're going to quit the organization, and take a nice long vacation in the countryside until they leave athkatla...or hire them...they're far too much of a threat to you to leave alone..

i understand that this would take a while, so this path would be best for people who really take their time getting to spell hold...

so how about making several approaches possible?

turn in mrs. craigmoon...evil path
talk to cornell...neutral or good path..
kill cowles...good path...

also by killing cowles until they try to hire you in self defense pretty much proves to the council of six that you're not going to be pushed around, and you might be willing to help them...

finally, a cool thing of the good path would be that the dialog your cowled collegues would say would be...

fun...

"Siii...sss...ssir, nnnuu..number six would like to speak to you...(*whimper*...please don't kill me...*whimper*)

option 1: sure, now who is number six?
option 2: don't worry girl, i am not going to bite your head off. I already had breakfast, so you're at least safe until lunchtime.
option 3: Boo!
option 4: girl, how can you expect to recite spells with that dreadful stutter! you stutter worse than aerie! go home, raise babies and forget about being a mage, you're obviously too incompetant to be one!!!

a: ssss...sir, number six is waiting for you in the main chamber. (runs off just glad she's still alive.)
b: yes sir, I'm sorry sir. (walks off glad to be just alive)
c: screams and faints...
d: runs away weeping...

it would be so cool to start off with a strut, and feared and respected by everyone... ??? :( :D :groucho:

#5 MrEnnigma

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Posted 18 July 2004 - 10:52 AM

My memory is fuzzy so forgive me if I'm wrong here. What about the Valygar quest? Can you normally get into the sphere by killing Valygar? If not, it seems like a good way to get on the CW's good side. They thank you for a job well done, invite you into the organization, and then send their newest member to scout out the sphere. Regardless, it would be a good way to garner their favor.
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#6 BobTokyo

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Posted 18 July 2004 - 10:56 AM

The Valygar quest is the most natural way to go. The easy way into the Cowled Wizards would be turning him in, the hard way would be completing the Planar Sphere quest. Now, rather than Teos telling you that no one will know you're with the wizards, Teos can tell you that the price of holding the sphere is to formally join. It wouldn't even have to interfere with the other Sphere quests, or with the Planar Sphere mod.

#7 Userunfriendly

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Posted 18 July 2004 - 11:15 AM

BobTokyo, on Jul 18 2004, 07:01 PM, said:

The Valygar quest is the most natural way to go. The easy way into the Cowled Wizards would be turning him in, the hard way would be completing the Planar Sphere quest. Now, rather than Teos telling you that no one will know you're with the wizards, Teos can tell you that the price of holding the sphere is to formally join. It wouldn't even have to interfere with the other Sphere quests, or with the Planar Sphere mod.
yeah...and of course killing/imprisoning lord angrim would make a heck of a lot more sense... :groucho:

#8 igi

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Posted 18 July 2004 - 02:10 PM

Please dont tie the start of the new method to get to Spellhold into an existing quest - the quests are convoluted enough already, everything is related to everything else, and it sort of ruins suspention of disbelief.
As for time progressing up the ranks of the Cowled Wizards, year is probably the right time-scale, but in BG2, time is messed up anway.
As for joining a secretive, partially paranoid organisation, unlikely, but then, in BG2 everyone seems to know all the secretive organisations in the local (and not so local) area anyway.

I like the pretense of this mod though, lots - magic is cool.

#9 BobTokyo

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Posted 18 July 2004 - 02:19 PM

igi, on Jul 18 2004, 02:15 PM, said:

Please dont tie the start of the new method to get to Spellhold into an existing quest - the quests are convoluted enough already, everything is related to everything else, and it sort of ruins suspention of disbelief.
On the other hand, there is already an in-game quest where the Cowled Wizards actively try to recruit you, asign you tasks, and eventually reward you with their tacit support. If you're going to make a mod where you can join the wizards, which makes more sense; expanding the existing quest so that it ends with an official rather than an unoficial membership, or creating an entirely new quest where the wizards somehow don't know that you're already working for them?

Edited by BobTokyo, 18 July 2004 - 02:48 PM.


#10 MrEnnigma

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Posted 18 July 2004 - 03:32 PM

Had a few other thoughts. What about Lilicor? The CW's have heard rumors about an item of power hidden in the sewers. As none of them are likely to go trapsing around down there, they send the PC. Granted Lilicor can be irritating as hell but it's still an intelligent weapon. Seems to me it would be worth studying.
The Book of Kaza also came to mind for similar reasons.
Strom III's Mask as well.
New uses for old items that the player usually collects anyway. There's most likely plenty of other items that could be used this way. Might be good for a neutral path type.
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#11 khayman

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Posted 19 July 2004 - 02:32 AM

Pekka said:

on the other hand, aren't they all in Amn?
Yes, they are.

Pekka said:

he Wizards are also greedy and corrupted, so maybe the option to join them should be available only after the PC has shown he isn't just one poor beggar sticking his nose where it doesn't belong. Money opens many doors.
Excellent point, although not all of them are as greedy and corrupted as many think. The organization was created to help preserve magical lore 'in a realm that might benefit from this knowledge despite the peoples` fears'.

Considering the fact that time in BG2 is already messed up anyway (as igi pointed out) and that the PC can be considered a special case (the Wizards most likely know about his heritage), therefore speedy rising in ranks isn`t really an issue. :groucho:

Galactygon said:

There is a mod in the RPG Dungeon forums that improves the asylum. Both of these mods (yours and the other one) sound very intriguing. Are you both planning to merge in someway or another for the most seamless integration? I believe it might be a batter idea than 'simple compatibility' due to the fact there might be slight differences between the asylum as a stronghold, etc.
I have already thought about this and we most likely will present compatibility, although I haven`t discussed anything with Rastor yet. Due to my intelligent ISP I cannot access the RPG Dungeon forums since a while. :(

Thanks for the excellent suggestions, Userunfriendly and everyone else. I would like to add more than a single way of joining the wizards, then. One of them would be the one of Mrs. Craigmoon (I see this as an evil one).

Killing the Cowled Wizards wouldn`t be such a good idea, since some of the quests will directly involve lady Zallanora Argentresses (I believe she`s one who attacks you in the final battle against them). I`m uncertain, but I believe she attempts to escape during the battle by summoning a Pit Fiend and casting Dimension Door. If you kill her, there go the quests. I also don`t want to alter the encounters.

The Valygar quest, on the other hand, is a good point. It could be done in two ways: you turn in Valygar and get hired by them (evil way) or finish the Planar Sphere quest, defeat Tolgerias and choose between the Planar Sphere and being hired by them. I believe it can be done not to seem so artificial.

Very good points, MrEnnigma, these can be nicely used for quests. ??? I like Lilarcor, I believe it was nicely added funny bit.

#12 BobTokyo

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Posted 19 July 2004 - 03:31 AM

khayman, on Jul 19 2004, 02:37 AM, said:

The Valygar quest, on the other hand, is a good point. It could be done in two ways: you turn in Valygar and get hired by them (evil way) or finish the Planar Sphere quest, defeat Tolgerias and choose between the Planar Sphere and being hired by them. I believe it can be done not to seem so artificial.
If I may make a suggestion/request:

I've been a fan of the Planar Sphere quest expansion since it came out. In that mod, the cowled wizards turn the sphere into a school of magic, fill it with researchers and students, and give you the position of "Head Tutor", which means that there's finally a use for that sphere other than as a plae to store junk. Hlidskialf finally got the mod working as well. :groucho:

I'd rather not have to choose between the Sphere and membership; it never made sense that in the original game the Wizards would let you keep the sphere, give you quests, and never make you an official member of their orgaization. I'd much rather see a situation where you can only keep the sphere if you agree to join the wizards officially; it would only require a very minor dialog tweak, and it wouldn't require revoicing. You'd also need to include a "casting license" when CHARNAME got the sphere. Yes, CHARNAME would end up with two strongholds that way, but if that is a problem you can always have the wizards demand that CHARNAME give up his ownership of the sphere in exchange for becoming master of Spellhold. That would also keep both this mod and the Planar Sphere expansion compatible.

Edited by BobTokyo, 19 July 2004 - 05:00 AM.


#13 hlidskialf

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Posted 19 July 2004 - 04:28 AM

I'd be willing to tweak the PSM to work with this one if the story doesn't ring as artificial. Although myself I've always prefered to tell the cowled wizards to pound sand, since my sorcerer is usually waay outta their league. Perhaps if the player already has the PS, and is high level they would be willing to offer a partnership instead of a membership. It has possibilities IMO.

#14 Creepin

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Posted 19 July 2004 - 06:33 AM

Quote

The Valygar quest, on the other hand, is a good point. It could be done in two ways: you turn in Valygar and get hired by them (evil way) or finish the Planar Sphere quest, defeat Tolgerias and choose between the Planar Sphere and being hired by them. I believe it can be done not to seem so artificial.
I think that choice between planar sphere and acceptance into ranks of cowleds is a wery good idea, but only if asylim will be further turned into mage stronghold by the mod, since otherwice you'll end without having one. I really like such turn of events, although it may lead to incompatibility with mods like "Return to planar sphere".

#15 khayman

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Posted 19 July 2004 - 08:04 AM

We will ensure to avoid incompatibilities as much aspossible.

The Asylum will be a full Stronghold with a bunch of extras thrown in for good measure, I hope to add hours of extra playing time. :groucho:

I was actually thinking about making the player choose between the Planar Sphere and working for the Cowled Wizards to avoid an annoying amalgam of quests which will most likely end up to be frustrating for the player, since some things are and might be time restricted. I`m not entirely sure letting the PC to handle both the CW quests and the PS quests in the same time is such a good idea, but I haven`t played the PSM yet, so I cannot say for certain. ???

Edited by khayman, 19 July 2004 - 08:05 AM.





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