The Scenario That Wasn't.

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AuthorTopic: The Scenario That Wasn't.
Member # 5048
Profile #0
I spent a fair amount of time on a scenario for BoE, and (surprise!) never finished it. BoA has led to me thinking about it again, but won't be able to finish it now either.

The plot went something like this:

begin in Avernite town on surface

quest to kill goblin leader
standard cave, leader is a human mage
lots of anti-undead items for some reason

quest to get magic tome out of insect-infested cave
standard insects
tome is suspiciously evil-looking

bring tome to town leader
leader and guards attack you instead of giving reward
whole town has turned undead
at this time an empire patrol attacks the town
hopefully use items from goblin cave to do OK
take the town's money for reward
empire patrol is friendly to you

on trying to leave empire patrol takes you to empire base
mage explains that a magic disease has been turning avernites undead
discover that this large base is there to search for a powerful scepter
gigantic reward for anyone who finds scepter
more side quests available
some quests lead to a trogolyte area
one quest is to get an item (you don't know that it's asking you to steal it from Sulfras)

find Sulfras' lair (location from quest)
kill fire lizards, etc
realize that stealing from Sulfras is suicide
Sulfras explains that a powerful lich in the area made the disease
Sulfras wants something the lich has
Sulfras can't enter because of wards, killing lich destroys wards
promises reward for killing lich, describes location
lich is underground in a cavern reached through a cave
gives item that lets you see entrance

(lich is in the area to find the scepter; created disease to distract other lookers)

look at base
attempting entry deals massive damage, causes certain death

back to Sulfras
gives you exploding item to throw when past 1st part of entrance
gives you items to help kill the enemies in the base

find trog area
some side quests there
trogs also have a steal from Sulfras quest (whichever one you get 2nd, you refuse)
trogs make you kill a drake to get their trust
head shaman's quest: powerful potions and spells for bringing father's corpse to him from a dangerous cave
get corpse
get potions and spells, including invincibility potions

a lot of effort was put into side quests because they were necessary for a lower level party to make it through any of the lich's base.

use invincibility potions to get into lich base
use exploding item to destroy the rest of the impenetrable entrance
begin assault on lich's base
base is very well designed for defense
basic enemy is a mid-level mage cater with a decent attack and freezing touch
there are additional enemies that are "pets" -
-fire-raying ruby skeletons
-dumbfounding gazers
-undead giants
make your way to the back of the base where the wall is being excavated
valuable gems are around
basic enemies and giants are around, mining
killing one of the basic enemies gives you a book
book is a journal, describing how this thing has found the scepter, wants to keep it for itself, hid it in a chest in its room, think gollum
book has a key in it

make your way to the private rooms
journal subtly implies which room you want
open that room, use key to open chest, get scepter
scepter is powerful, giving spellcasting bonuses and casting a powerful party buff
go back to entrance, find a magic wall

find the room where the lich is
having scepter, kill lich
behind lich, break crystal powering the machinery of the base and the magic walls
take powerful anti-dragon items of the lich

coming back to the surface, Sulfras teleports you to his lair - he wants the scepter
use scepter, attack with lich's anti-dragon items
defeating Sulfras, he casts a tracking spell on the scepter and teleports out
says to give it to him or die shortly once he is prepared
you decide to turn it in to the empire base for the reward

get to empire base: town has turned undead, and you are trapped
fight your way to a portal
turn on portal and go through... find yourself in an empire base with all their powerful mages
you are paralyzed, tested for the undead disease
scepter and some items taken from you
this allows defeating the lich, Sulfras, etc, without Monty Haul
it's explained that most avernites are now undead from the lich's unintentionally powerful disease
rewards given for scepter, mages in tower will teach you spells, etc

wandering around tower, it becomes suspicious
find a "forbidden area"
there is an inaccessible area saying
trained avernite storage
stasis field
keep out
basically discover that the whole thing is a trick:
the portal is actually a magic based virtual reality
the empire is building up a supply of highly trained avernite adventurers
you are discovered and attacked
from "forbidden area" entrance proceed to real portals
this is the final fighting, against mages and through the "zoo" of creatures to study.
enter the portal to where you want to go and escape

This is far too complicated for me to do. It's also useless for you guys, but I felt compelled to post it here - as a warning, perhaps. Feel free to rip off any part of it, obviously.

If I find the lists of items and monsters I was going to use, I'll put them up too.

[ Saturday, October 09, 2004 22:30: Message edited by: bjlhct2 ]
Posts: 33 | Registered: Sunday, October 3 2004 07:00
Member # 4552
Profile #1
You're talking about a BoE scenario, aren't you?

If this is the case, I can't be of any help. Please ask in BoE forum.

[ Sunday, October 03, 2004 21:06: Message edited by: bobleblob ]

Funny how it all falls away... ;_;
Posts: 48 | Registered: Wednesday, June 16 2004 07:00
Member # 14
Profile #2
If you had read the topic, you would know that he is talking about an idea he had for a scenario that originally came to him while he was playing BoE, but would now like to turn into a BoA scenario.

Dragyn Bob

"Abandon all hope, ye who enter here!"-The Divine Comedy
Posts: 1481 | Registered: Thursday, September 27 2001 07:00
Member # 22
Profile #3
Alot of this plot seems to be unnecessary filler - if it were ever to be used as a workable plot, it would need to be streamlined somewhat.

Also, it seems fairly standard Avernum fare - no break from the traditional scenario structure.
Posts: 2862 | Registered: Tuesday, October 2 2001 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 4153
Profile Homepage #4
Wow... that is scrambled... it seems slightly novel in that you start out fighting goblins and end up killing Sulfras, but the novelty seems to end there. And if you can't explain the presence of anti-undead/anti-dragon items, you've got a plot hole.

Gamble with Gaea, and she eats your dice.

I hate undead. I really, really, really, really hate undead. With a passion.
Posts: 4130 | Registered: Friday, March 26 2004 08:00
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Profile Homepage #5
The "magic disease turning people undead" sounds a little... borrowed from Warcraft3, but maybe that's because I just got done playing it.

Otherwise, a work-able idea, to be sure. I wouldn't mind playing it.

Posts: 1582 | Registered: Wednesday, November 13 2002 08:00
Member # 27
Profile #6
its most likely a cliche idea, and it has been used a thousand times before
Posts: 1233 | Registered: Wednesday, October 3 2001 07:00
Member # 5048
Profile #7
Thanks, Bob, and special thanks to everyone else for missing the point.

The items are obvious, Ephesos. The mage was aware of the lich's activity, and was trying to do his part to fight it, until you killed him. The mayor was already undead at that point, which is also why he wanted the evil-looking tome. The lich, being intelligent, knew that Sulfras was in the area and wanted this scepter. That's the point. You are the one who least knows what is going on, and you start out as a pawn and unwittingly stay one until the very end. Demonslayer, I wonder if you think that the myth of vampires also came from Warcraft 3.

The problem is not the plot. The problem is that this would be a scenario, and so making it would involve making a scenario.

IIRC, puzzles included
a teleporter maze with portculli and levers (1 portculli to 1 lever) in Sulfras' lair
activating the portal in the end - and determining how it needs to be set up to get to somewhere safe
determining which room the scepter is in
setting the demons against the spirits in the cave for the trog quest
in the insect cave, a room with a lever, then a block of runes, then a portcullis, and some jewels. pulling the lever opens the portcullis but makes enemies appear by it, and also makes the runes with jewels on them into a wall, or wall of blades, according to the rune type

[ Wednesday, October 06, 2004 21:56: Message edited by: bjlhct2 ]
Posts: 33 | Registered: Sunday, October 3 2004 07:00
Member # 869
Profile Homepage #8
I don't think Slith was criticising your scenario. In context, he looks like he was responding to Demonslayer, and talking about the magic-disease-turning-people-undead thing being a cliché. Which it sort of is.

[ Wednesday, October 06, 2004 01:13: Message edited by: Prince Albert in a Can ]

The Empire Always Loses: This Time For Sure!
Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
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Profile Homepage #9
Originally written by Prince Albert in a Can:

I don't think Slith was criticising your scenario. In context, he looks like he was responding to Demonslayer, and talking about the magic-disease-turning-people-undead thing being a cliché. Which it sort of is.
To be fair, just about everything has been done in one way or another. For instance the plot for Avernum reminds me a lot of Ultima. And Jeff himslf admits this. In the code for the BoA editor, he says

"Thank you to all the great rpg's that came before Exile that provided ideas to steal" or something. The fact that the stories take place in Avernum limits us dramatically.

-- Random Fact Number 2 - "Coffee is a guy's best friend"

[ Wednesday, October 06, 2004 23:36: Message edited by: SupaNik ]

And when you want to Live
How do you start?
Where do you go?
Who do you need to know?

Posts: 2864 | Registered: Monday, September 8 2003 07:00
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Profile #10
monsters, again if i recall correctly, included
a trio of splitting slimes (recolors of each other)
--web touch
--acid touch
--dumbfounding touch
the aformentioned
--mid-level mages with freezing touch
--rock-throwing undead giants with disease touch
7 static, Living Crystals (recolors of each other) vulnerable only to melee
--ice lances (was light blue)
--lightning spray (was yellow)
--healing (was blue)
--haste (was red)
--summon shade (was green)
--dumbfounding ray (was purple)
--fire ray (was orange)
a gelatinous cube with 1 AP, high HP, paralyzing touch, vulnerable only to fire (D&D)
cactuars, plant type cactus looking spine throwers with no other attack (final fantasy)
trollocs, 7 AP swords-ogre/beast/things with poison touch, high health and damage (wheel of time)
a powerful death knight, which you can either try to kill or give information on his brother's fate for passage, and which has 7 AP, freezing touch, and draining touch. (D&D)
an aurak with high fire resistance, a strong attack, fireblast (lvl1) and cloud of blades (lvl1). on death, it creates an aurak with no spells and 7 AP, which creates a fire explosion on death. (dragonlance)
snarks, 7AP creatures that come in swarms, with poison touch and cloud of blades creation on death
the lich, with lots of HP
a 2AP invisible paralyzing touch thing, great for making an easy skeleton fight harder
the 1HP floating skull that triggers the lich fight, 6AP, static, casts ice lances and slow
2 water elementals, large and small, immune to melee, poison, mental, and cold, with cold breath
the assassin was an invisible monster with 1 HP and no armor with moderate damage and lots of poison that on death created a monk graphic assassin with the same attack. these would be alone early, and in pairs later.
all townspeople were undead-ified. They got extra health and attack, and one of the following: 6AP, disease touch, poison touch, slow touch, cold touch. duplicate undead versions of Empire troops were made.

and of course many of the standard monsters

the lich fight went as follows:
the party finally reaches lich's throne room, enters through portcullis
sees magic barrier at back of room, one square surrounded by walls in center, lever
party pulls lever, removing walls, exposing skull, closing portculli
skull is killed, triggering lich et al teleporting in

the skull, of course, was the lich's attempt to appear to be a demilich to scryers.

spell casting became use of only certain spells for BoA

some terrain squares would have a 16% chance or so of creating monsters when stepped on. all assassins came from these. other monsters from these would always be out of sight of the party, obviously.

[ Monday, October 11, 2004 17:35: Message edited by: bjlhct2 ]
Posts: 33 | Registered: Sunday, October 3 2004 07:00
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side quests:

i put a lot of effort into the side quests since it was necessary to do most of them to make it through the lich's base.

i know how this can lead to a bad scenario (za-khazi run) so i did try to make them connect with the plot, have original enemies, original items, etc.

side missions were generally available at:
--the empire base, blocking off the pass
--the large trog town, in a canyon across the valley from the empire base
--the nephil town, hidden in the mountains

there were only one or two side missions available at the original avernite town

side quests included:

the meeting between the mayor and the undead
--return to the original avernite town
--fight a few undead to get to the mayor's room
--door to it is now open
--read notebooks of officials, which describe how the mayor was the first in the town to turn undead
--read mayor's notebook, which describes his meeting with a vampire in a cave, which now becomes visible. you read that he met with undead regularly but this was an important meeting where he made some sort of deal
--if you go to this cave, and fight your way through some undead, you come to the vampire
--after killing the vampire, you can read about how he made a deal with the mayor that the undead would stay away from his town and kill some bandits in the area in exchange for him giving them information on weaknesses of the empire fort in the area, killing a certain mage (that was you) and bringing them a certain spellbook (again you). the vampire betrayed the mayor and infected him with the lich's disease, but did technically keep the agreement that the mayor made with a magical device to bind the vampire to it. however, the vampire was betrayed by the lich, who tried to kill it instead of giving it its promised position
--you get some new items and gold for your trouble, of course

find the brother
--a dervish offers a reward for finding out what happened to his brother
--tells you to talk to someone that he knows saw him
--who gives you a cryptic clue to take back to dervish
--dervish is now gone, so the clue is taken to his wife
--wife tells you it means the brother was last seen in a certain area, where a dungeon entrance now becomes visible, and that the dervish disappeared, leaving a small ash pile, a broken sword, and 10k gold pieces in his room
--in dungeon, there are some generic fights, then you meet death knight who offers you passage for information on his brother, whom you now don't know the location of
--the dervish has now appeared in the trog town, somewhat hidden
--talking to the dervish, you find out that he became a werebear recently and so he had to leave, as the empire has no sympathy for this, and he came to the trogs because of a rumor that one of the trog priests could cure this.
--so, he burned his journal where he recorded this, broke his sword to signify that he was no longer a dervish, and left the gold for his family by selling a magic painting that he had pillaged to the mage that you killed for your first mission.
--go back to the death knight, who says that you are telling the truth, but that his brother just died, and leaves, letting you through.
--a higher level party could also have killed the death knight to get through.
--past the death knight, there are some magic weapons, and then further along, a demon, a spirit, and a naga having a meeting. all are friendly unless you killed the death knight.

i may add more as i remember it - there's a ton more
on the other hand i'm getting tired of writing this crap down
wasting space on the board, whatnot
Posts: 33 | Registered: Sunday, October 3 2004 07:00
The Establishment
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To be fair, just about everything has been done in one way or another. For instance the plot for Avernum reminds me a lot of Ultima. And Jeff himslf admits this.

In the code for the BoA editor, he says
"Thank you to all the great rpg's that came before Exile that provided ideas to steal" or something. The fact that the stories take place in Avernum limits us dramatically.
These apologetics are really incorrect on two perceived limitations.

1) All plots need not take place in the Avernum universe and even if they do are not limited to the "kill the monster plague" mentality. There are good scenarios in BoE (Drizzt's and Brett's for example) that do. There many good ones (Alcritas' for instance) that do not. These have all developed innovative ideas and plot lines that are not in the cookie cutter Vogelesce style.

2) The limitation of the Blades of Avernum engine is far more solid, but it is also far more fluid than one might think. I use Blades of Exile as an example. If you would have asked if Special Spells, pseudo-joinable NPCs, the Cube of Teleportation, and Frame Animation were possible in 1998, you would have probably got a resounding "no" from the "experts" at the time. BoA is at least an order of magnitude more powerful and I suspect that there are even less limitations if creative designers put their minds to it.

bjlhct2 -- I do not want to sound pompous by saying this, but I seriously doubt anyone really cares about posting your plotline. You are, of course, free to post it here, but you should realize that, for all intensive purposes, the chances of a scenario being made off of your plot being made is breaktakingly slim.

This is not to say that your plot is flawed, uninteresting, or unworthy of playing. Designers tend to be fairly independent and creative individuals who enjoy using their own ideas. Ideas are usually not the shortfall of scenario design -- time and motivation are. These posts have been made in the past, and have faded into distant memories.

Your flower power is no match for my glower power!
Posts: 3726 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00