Hearkenwold

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Dorateen
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Hearkenwold

Post by Dorateen »

To continue updating progress on the Hearkenwold campain, the current version uses build 176 of the IceBlink engine, and is available to download here:

https://neverwintervault.org/project/ic ... earkenwold

Here are some screenshots of some of the newest content:

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I am presently getting a lot done with the Thief Guild adventure, starting on the next level of the dungeon complex today. In a couple of weeks I will make a status report with the aim of releasing a new version by the end of February.
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slowdive
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Re: Hearkenwold

Post by slowdive »

Awesome! I'm still playing through on my iPad (part of testing IBx) so maybe I'll be caught up by the time the next release is ready :D
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Dorateen
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Re: Hearkenwold

Post by Dorateen »

Thanks! If you come across any bugs in the module, just let me know. I try to do a lot of testing across versions, but it is always helpful to have another set of eyes on this kind of project.
youngneil1
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Re: Hearkenwold

Post by youngneil1 »

Nice to see Hearkenwold made the transition to the new form, time for regrouping :)
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Dorateen
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Re: Hearkenwold

Post by Dorateen »

youngneil1 wrote: Mon Jan 20, 2020 9:43 am Nice to see Hearkenwold made the transition to the new form
One door closes, and another opens.
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Dorateen
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Re: Hearkenwold

Post by Dorateen »

Sneak preview time. I just tested this big battle and party got wiped...

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Now before we panic, this is with characters of 5th and 6th level. The way I test balance is when I see such a party get slaughtered, it tells me that a player will likely need to be stronger and have more powerful equipment to survive. To be fair, this adventure as part of the Thief Guild quest should be for more advanced characters. I have a 7th/8th level party in another test file that might very well have an easier time, or even cut through the enemy like butter. So the challenge level is probably right where I want it. I will still run the encounter many times, and see if lower level characters could pull out a victory through better use of tactics.
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slowdive
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Re: Hearkenwold

Post by slowdive »

That sounds and looks great! Looks like a tough group of creatures there. I hope my adventures will be ready for them.
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Dorateen
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Re: Hearkenwold

Post by Dorateen »

The close quarters fighting got me, with opponents falling right on top of the party. Looking at the initiative bar, our wizard acted last. He was able to fire off a sleep spell, but then was pinned down by a duergar in round two. That took a lot of potential options off the table, and things went bad from there...
youngneil1
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Re: Hearkenwold

Post by youngneil1 »

That's a really cool looking battle setup there :) . Freing oneself from being surrounded like this or at least shielding casters somewhat is challenging and fun indeed. Dimension door, area slow effects or crowd control hold spells as well as a sneak/shadow trait on a caster can help, but most importantly does knowing about AI behaviour when it comes to choosing targets. Then again, the different AI types (go for nearest, most wounded, most sp possessing or being a caster type with different cast percentages and thresholds for healing spells) mix this up, so it's imporant pay attention to AI running each opponent. The upcoming little combat revamp (it's so many little details stacked on eahc other, work on optics as wells on gamepaly when it comes to effects/vulnerabilties/creature types) will emphasize such thinking/gameplay even more (or so I hope).

It might be nice to have some kind of aggro traits for fighters to lure cretaures onto them, overriding what their AI would normally tell them to do. Then again, messing with the AI is very tricky subject (that I will have to revisit anyway one day as the non-stadnard AI types, especially with larger creatures, somteimes skip attack opportunities without a real reason).
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Dorateen
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Re: Hearkenwold

Post by Dorateen »

There are so many variables that play a factor, for example something as simple as initiative order has big effect on one's fortunes in battle. Another thing I enjoy a lot is unpredictability in combat and adjusting to the enemy's tactics. The second troll is a shaman, and I have had it cast group damage spells, hold person and heal its allies during the fight. This is all with the default Ai. So I think it can do a pretty good job to create a challenge, even before using the Ai overrides, which I have done in some other instances.

I genuinely enjoy talking encounter design. This particular one has a good mix of ranged, melee thumping opponents, and that one caster, which makes it tricky to decide what targets to prioritize. It is also possible to avoid this confrontation so in no means is it forced to win to complete a mission. Still, I found the showdown to be a fun test for the mid-level party that I use as a measuring stick.
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