Pescua [title work in progress!]

Discuss user created adventure modules
Post Reply
Pongo
Posts: 142
Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2021 8:39 am

Pescua [title work in progress!]

Post by Pongo »

Thought I'd post something about the module I'm working on! It doesn't have a name yet - "Pescua" is the name of the area it takes place in so will do for now. It's also a long way from completion, but I've already sunk dozens of hours into it and I'm really enjoying pulling it together.

It's a fantasy RPG with a six character party, all player generated. I haven't finalized all the race and class combinations yet. The current version has human, elf, dwarf and half-orc; and Fighter, Paladin (human only), Ranger, Arcane Archer (elf only), Sentinel (Dwarf only - a bit like a dwarven defender), Wizard, Blood Mage, Cleric, Bard and Barbarian (half orc only). I've got all the spells and traits for each class working at level one, with an aim of getting them all up to character level 7 in time (ie level 4 mage spells). I'm going to keep adding to race/class design as I go along rather than doing them at the start though.

I toyed with using an overland map created on the awesome Inkarnate (which I've posted about elsewhere), but graphically it didn't work and I think I'd rather have interconnect areas in any case. It's more work but it allows more scope for some of the random encounters and quests I want to include.

I've been enjoying games that capture the non-epic "low level D&D" experience recently, where the party are clearing out goblins and being excited by +1 swords and so on. I'm really hoping to capture that mood in the early parts of the mod (the bit I'm building at the minute). I’m aiming for a Pool of Radiance style for questing in the early stages - you get three quests at a time from an order of knights and you can decide to tackle them in any order you like. Certain areas are gated at the start (collapsed bridge here, closed mountain pass there) so you're not able to freely roam an open world. This means I might be able to release it in stages as I develop it.

Some screens below. Most of the tiles are from OpenGameArt (although I made a few), the character sprites are mainly FRUA, icons from game-icons.net, and portraits from Epic Character Generator. I've posted links to most of this stuff in the separate graphics thread. UI is currently WIP and will change as it goes along.

Anyway, some pics!


Juicy traits at character creation:
pic1.png
pic1.png (298.57 KiB) Viewed 2248 times

Meeting the Marshal of Castle Grimtol, which acts as a base in the early part of the module:
pic2.png
pic2.png (470.66 KiB) Viewed 2248 times

Exploring the castle:
pic3.png
pic3.png (752.14 KiB) Viewed 2248 times

Out on the road:
pic4.png
pic4.png (353.03 KiB) Viewed 2248 times

And finally - attacked by the Pool of Radiance orcs, who are dug into a nasty defensive position on the beach!
pic5.png
pic5.png (439.23 KiB) Viewed 2248 times
User avatar
slowdive
Site Admin
Posts: 485
Joined: Wed Jan 15, 2020 4:37 am

Re: Pescua [title work in progress!]

Post by slowdive »

How exciting and this looks amazing! I’ll provide more comments and questions after I get off work... I’ll edit this post.

EDIT: A couple of questions and comments:
1) Are you using the tile system only or are you using single image drawing for the maps?
2) The area design looks great so far and all the art goes well together.
3) I like the idea of having a central location to get quests and then work on those a few at a time (similar to PoR).
4) Is this based in the same setting as your previous modules (Elderin Stone, Raventhal, and Blackwinter)?
5) I also like the idea of releasing in chapters/episodes/parts/acts similar to how Dorateen has done with Hearkenwold. I did this for Lanterna in NWN2 and it helps stay motivated and get feedback early on.
Pongo
Posts: 142
Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2021 8:39 am

Re: Pescua [title work in progress!]

Post by Pongo »

Thanks Slowdive!

1. Its all tiles so far. Quite a few of them are animated props - the torches have a three frame flicker animation and the water at the beach moves in and out, for example. I'm trying to animate as much as I can this time (there are crabs on the beach, butterflies in the woods etc) - I replayed Knights of the Chalice recently and was inspired by how the screens are never static, there's always something moving. I might use single image drawing for specific purposes later in the mod, such as large props I only intend to use once (such as a shipwreck), which would save a lot of time.
2. Thanks! I've spent a lot of time browsing for assets, its gone through a few iterations over the last couple of months. Sites like OpenGameArt are fantastic, its great that so many folk are happy to donate artwork for those of us with no artistic talents. I've gone with a slightly top down perspective (eg you can see the top of the walls) so I've had to adapt some of the existing props to fit in - eg, I re-used the bookcase tile I made for the Elderin Stone but had to add the top of the bookshelf so that the perspectives broadly matched.
3. It certainly makes writing the opening section easier!
4. No, this will be separate.
5. Yeah, its great how Hearkenwold has become so massive over the years, step by step! This one won't be as big as Hearkenwold when its finished, but it will be considerably bigger than anything else I've done so far so a staged approach will help. I think I lost my way on the island project (my last bigger scale one) because the design meant it couldn't really be released until it was completely finished, which became a bit daunting. I'd sunk a tonne of hours into it though and I've still got all the work, so I might go back to it at some point - I really enjoy the concept, and it looked great with all the Oryx art assets.
User avatar
Dorateen
Posts: 262
Joined: Thu Jan 16, 2020 3:03 pm

Re: Pescua [title work in progress!]

Post by Dorateen »

Good work, Pongo. I think the tiles look great, and those trees in the outdoor area have a lot of charm. I'm really impressed with how you do the top down look of the walls, it blends together on the 2d map so well.

Are you working with build 197 of IceBlink? If so, how are you finding it so far when testing the module?
Pongo
Posts: 142
Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2021 8:39 am

Re: Pescua [title work in progress!]

Post by Pongo »

Thanks Dorateen! I had just intended to use the tiles from DungeonSoup unmodified, but the top down perspective on the overland map clashed so I decided to modify the wall tiles. The perspective is inspired by one of the Oryx tilesets, which I'm not using this time due to licensing etc.

Yes, I'm using Version 197. So far its working smoothly - the only bug I've noticed is that the line-of-sight option outside of combat isn't working. Everything else is great. I haven't used all the options yet though for stuff that has been introduced since I last did a mod. I need to learn how things like locked doors, traps, and height etc work in the coming months and start fitting them in.
cartons
Posts: 68
Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2021 5:38 pm

Re: Pescua [title work in progress!]

Post by cartons »

That looks great, Pongo! I've enjoyed your other modules and I'm looking forward to see what this entry will look like after a few years distance from your earlier work.

I agree that the trees and walls are looking great, as well as that Trait list! Looking forward to some of the more exotic party compositions we'll be able to put together with classes like Arcane Archer and Sentinal.
Pongo
Posts: 142
Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2021 8:39 am

Re: Pescua [title work in progress!]

Post by Pongo »

thanks cartons!
Pongo
Posts: 142
Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2021 8:39 am

Re: Pescua [title work in progress!]

Post by Pongo »

I've managed to find an hour or two every day to work on the mod this week, so I've made good progress.

I've mainly been adding maps. The wilderness maps are all 20x20, but some of the dungeon maps and named areas are bigger (up to 30x30). I've now made nearly two dozen maps, which nearly (but not quite) covers all the areas I think I need for chapter one. I've done most of the complex maps, but I still have to do an entire village called Horngrim, its separate quest area, and a large roadside tavern, all of which will take some time and will probably require some additional tile hunting on OpenGameArt. Some of the maps will be content light so I reckon maybe six or seven are basically complete, but most of them need lots of actual content.

My favourite map so far is a swamp area. This is possibly going to be an optional area - I've not quite decided yet - but either way it will very challenging for the party if they try to tackle it too early. I think chapter one will take characters to level three, so I'll be aiming for it to be a challenging area for level three characters. You'll eventually be able to revisit these areas in chapter two so you could level up your characters beyond three before tackling the optional stuff if you wanted.

Here's a screenshot - I think I posed a link to the tileset in the separate graphics thread:
marsh.png
marsh.png (480.55 KiB) Viewed 2154 times

When I start adding encounters to the swamp area I'd like there to be penalties for characters fighting on water tiles (maybe -3 BAB) that are avoided if the character is on the dry land tiles. Some enemies with water affinity would be immune to this, giving them an advantage. Also, going into the water would give the character a permanent "soaked" trait that reduces movement speed, which can be removed by resting at a campfire. I'll explore this stuff and see if it's possible / fun when I get to combat.

I added a few combat encounters to the wilderness areas with wild dogs, ogres and trolls. I based their stats on 2ed information from the Monstrous Compendium - the trolls are therefore pretty nasty, with three high damage attacks! I tested a few party builds against them and everything seems to be working well. I may have made the Blood Mage class a bit OP though - it's meant to be a glass cannon class, but I think I've overdone it a bit. I'll wait to get more content before taking a pass at balancing though. The Blood Mage will have restrictions I haven't implemented yet (eg, cleric heal spells won't work on them, which will be a real problem in areas with limited rests), so I need to get that stuff in place first to see how it works overall.

Next week is probably a write off for mod building (it's a busy work week), but if I get time I'm going to work on the tavern maps.
User avatar
slowdive
Site Admin
Posts: 485
Joined: Wed Jan 15, 2020 4:37 am

Re: Pescua [title work in progress!]

Post by slowdive »

The swamp area looks great! I think the BAB penalty for the wet parts of the swamp sounds like a good tactical addition if it works out. The forest encounters sound like fun especially the trolls, haha :lol: . The blood mage sounds interesting with some pros and cons. Good luck with the busy work week.
User avatar
Dorateen
Posts: 262
Joined: Thu Jan 16, 2020 3:03 pm

Re: Pescua [title work in progress!]

Post by Dorateen »

Yes, looks like this is really shaping up nicely. I'm a big fan of allowing the player to tackle content in any order, whether risking a tough encounter, or coming back to mop up monsters with stronger characters. I'm really impressed with the depth of system design.

Look forward to playing this!
Post Reply