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Syvishtar's Journal


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#1 Usurper

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Posted 07 December 2011 - 10:51 PM

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I've always wanted to do a Let's Play of the greatest mod compilation of Baldur's Gate II. Good mods, bad mods, all mods. A celebration of the work that has been going into this game and this community for about 10 years now. And I started doing it on the Something Awful forums. It's actually still in progress there, but I realize that not everybody can access it. So I wanted to re-post it here and let more people read it. Let's get started!

Let's Play Rules
I want to set down some ground rules to make the game more interesting.

1. Semi-hardcore mode: What happens, happens. I will only reload if I die. I don't expect to be able to do this Ironman style, although that's my goal. But if Minsc gets disintegrated, then he's gone. But this mod brings in so many additional NPCs that replacing a dead one is no trouble. In fact, with enough treasure we can bribe random dudes on the street (or even animals, golems, beholders, dragons...) to join our party. As long as one NPC lives in the Sword Coast we will never be without cannon fodder friends. I also won't cheat in any way.

2. Blissful Ignorance Roleplaying: I need to make this a game I want to play, so I've picked my own character. He is a chaotic neutral wild mage. He's wild mage because I want to play a wild mage, and he's chaotic neutral because you all are the voices in his crazy wild mage head that he listens to in order to make decisions. I will poll the thread for every major plot decision, and go with whatever vote is the majority. That's about as chaotic neutral as things can possibly get. Make yourselves heard! Also, there are so, so many mods in this game that its practically brand-new. I worry that if I spend hours on a German-language message board just to figure out the optimal path to take in yet another maze of conversation options I'll never finish the game. So if you want to help me out in research and meta-gaming I'd also appreciate it.

3. Class-changing characters: There are approximately 100 classes total now in this game, and while some of the characters that can join our party have been changed to new classes, some still haven't. Also, sometimes you just think a character would be great as another class. So sometimes I will change a character's class when I first meet them, or I will select some possibilities and let the thread vote on it. The three characters I've got in mind right now for modifications are Montaron becoming a Thug, Xan becoming a Bladesinger, and Coran becoming a Swashbuckler. You can brush up on the available classes by reading this 200 page PDF. Also, I will give full class descriptions during each vote.

4. Party Membership is a Democracy: The mechanics of this modded game allow us to tell almost all the characters we meet to go wait for us in a major inn, such as the Jovial Juggler in Beregost, or the Copper Coronet in Amn. Periodically, such as after 2 or 3 major quests are completed, we will have a party composition vote in the thread. Each thread poster has 5 votes, which they can use to either vote FOR or AGAINST any character to be a party member. You can use all 5 votes for one character, or spread them out. You can vote both positively and negatively. If you vote too many times, only the first 5 votes are counted. If there is a tie, the character with the least amount of negative votes wins. If there's a tie in both positive and negative votes, I'll flip a coin. After voting is closed, the top 5 characters will join the party until they die.

5. Resurrection Rest and Relaxation: All party members get resurrections on the party dime if they die, and we can afford it. However, after being resurrected, party members are required to have some rest and relaxation at the party inn. They will be kicked out and replaced with the next-most-popular character. This will give them time to get over their horrifying ordeal of death and let the other party members work through their guilt at letting them die. Best solution all around. In this way we will be able to switch out characters more often and showcase them all. (Don't worry about spreading the total xp too thin. There's enough xp in this game to open an xp shop.)

6. Game mechanics and commentary: I will transcribe everything that happens in-game into thread updates (I use OCR, don't worry about my fingers) in italics. I will describe what happens in tactical encounters as a kind of play-by-play commentary, also in italics. Finally, I will also include my own roleplaying stream-of-consciousness thoughts in italics as well, to provide motivations for what I do in-game. But when it's time to comment on the game itself or talk extensively about mechanics or bitch about the plot, I'll do that in normal text, and I'll preface it by saying "Gameplay note."




FAQ

1. Why didn't you use <insert class="" here=""> or let us help you choose? I have a very specific Plan ™ for my character's progression as a wild mage and a Child of Bhaal. The chaotic nature of magic is extremely compelling to me from a storytelling perspective, and I plan to have my character be extremely superstitious of the random number generator. He will believe that the Magical Weave speaks to him through wild surges, and tailor his gameplay and spellcasting practices based on signs he appears to get from the Weave in the form of wild surges. If he does some type of magical tactic and he gets a bad wild surge, he will interpret it as the Weave not wanting him to do those types of things anymore. And if he gets a good wild surge, he will interpret that as approval of his actions. Also, later on there are other plot-related devices that I will inflict upon him. Finally, the mods in the BiG Picture make playing a wild mage more compelling than any other class, with special items, unique spells, and even a secret class that we could potentially convert to. So there's that. Also, when Irenicus captures me and tortures me for months in order to unlock my true potential, he's going to be successful. Don't worry, I'm not going to give myself a ton of xp. I'll still be entirely within the rules. But it's going to be good, trust me.

Also, there is a really frightening gameplay mechanics reason for playing a mage. I tested out quite a few different characters by starting them up in the Throne of Bhaal section of the game and playing around with them at the quite high levels you begin with. There's a demon that attacks you right away there, a difficult fight. And horrifyingly enough, he easily gibbed every single character that I rolled up. Druids, paladins, bards, fighters - all gibbed in about 10 seconds. Now the characters were solo, and only had the sub-par magical equipment that is automatically given to a new ToB character, but still. It was one demon! The only character to survive his attack was a bladesinger. The bladesinger managed to cast Summon Fallen Planetar and then Energy Blades. The Energy Blades were the only weapons that ever hurt the demon, contrary to everything in the new character starter kit. And the Fallen Planetar was the only summoned creature that could stand up to the demon (the Planetar managed to vorpal his ass in about 3 rounds). So I decided that in order to actually survive this game, I would have to be someone who could summon Planetars. That meant either be a mage or a cleric. And since I want to become a god, that ruled out clerics.

2. How do you feel about spoilers for the original game's plot? The original games are old, and there's already Let's Plays all the way until Throne of Bhaal. I'm trying to focus on and emphasize the number and scope of the mods, and how they add to, differ from, and perhaps subtract from the original game. So I'm totally fine with people referencing everything in the original game without spoilers. Besides, there are so many changes that what people think are spoilers may not be. One of the best things I am looking forward to is people losing their shit and saying, "But it was supposed to be <original way="">! It is now <modded way="">?! Holky fuck!"

3. How do I install this myself? Theoretically you should be able to simply download the Big World Project installer and the Big World Project pdf and follow the pdf exactly to install the Big World Project. However, there are some common misunderstandings and hiccups that always seem to come up.

First most common problem is that you should not use the beta installer, which despite being a more recent file with a higher version number in the same file collection, does not work. It is called BiG World Setup v9.10, and it doesn't work. Don't use it.

Another common problem is that you must make sure to have a full installation of Baldur's Gate I on your hard drive, preferably installed to a very simple directory to type such as C:/baldur. You should start BG1 and save a game after you have installed it. Later on, during the batch file installation of the Big World Project, the install script will seem to stop and a cursor will appear. If you don't catch the note, this is the prompt for you to enter in your BG1 installation path, which in this example would be C:/baldur. Hence the easy-to-type directory advice.

Still another common problem is you MUST have a full installation of Baldur's Gate II and Throne of Bhaal with patch 26498 installed to ../BGII - SoA. For some reason the installer requires that exact directory name. It can be anywhere, but it needs to be named that. Also you should start a game and save a game in both the Shadows of Amn and Throne of Bhaal portions of the game, just as you did with BG1, before beginning installation.

Another common misunderstanding is what the Big World Setup program actually does. It downloads, extracts, and updates all of the mods you tell it to, and arranges a custom batch file to install them all. But then you have to click on the batch file yourself and run it. You should expect the process to take anywhere between 6 to 24 hours depending on a lot of variables. You can run the Big World Setup program multiple times to make sure that everything is exactly the way you want it to be, and you probably should. Some files may be hosted on sites that are slow, or currently down, and a second, third, or fourth try may be what it takes to get a complete set of install files. Also, running the program several times will familiarize you with the possible options, so you can make better-informed choices. Nothing is set in stone until you end the Big World Setup program and start the batch file, so take your time.

Sometimes the Big World Setup program will not be able to find some mods automatically. There may be timeouts or naming inconsistencies. During the install the Big World Setup will inform you of those and allow you the opportunity to download the mods manually, fix the typos yourself, or just say fuck it and move on without those mods. Up to you. If you do choose to download the mods manually, then you can use this site to track them down.

If you have more specific questions about the install, you should ask in the Spellhold Studios Mega-mod Help forum.

And finally, according to the GOG Baldur's Gate forum if you buy BG1 or BG2 there they both come in the condition you need to start the install, no further patching or whatnot necessary.

4. How do I change NPC classes or kits, like changing Khalid to a Duskblade or Rose to a White Dragon Disciple? To change NPC character kits, you have to follow a bit of a complicated procedure using Shadow Keeper, the BG2 save game editor. Shadow Keeper can change the kits of any NPC for you, but it doesn't have all the data it needs to name them. So you have to first discover the value by making a character with that kit, then copy the value from one save to another. I'll give an example of changing Minsc to a Feralan, but the procedure works with all kits.

1. Download, extract, and run Shadow Keeper. It can run in the background of BG2 no problem.
2. Fire up BG2, and save your current game with the NPC whose class you want to change in the party. Save it with an easy name to remember, like "Change Minsc to Feralan."
3. Exit your current game and start a new one.
4. Create a new character for yourself that uses the Feralan kit.
5. Save the game with a name you can easily remember, like "Generic Feralan".
6. If you have a full-screen BG2 game going, just press Alt-f4 to close BG2 and get the little popup window that says "Are you sure you want to quit? Boo will miss you..." Ignore that window and switch to Shadow Keeper.
7. In Shadow Keeper, open up both save games "Generic Feralan" and "Change Minsc to Feralan."
8. In the save "Change Minsc to Feralan," use the scroll bar under your character portrait to change the selected character to Minsc.
9. Write down the amount of XP that Minsc currently has, like 9882.
10. On the Abilities tab (default tab you should be looking at already) change Minsc's Base HP and Current HP to 1. Change THAC0 to 20. Change Experience to 0. Change Levels to 0/0/0.
11. On the Characteristic tab (next one after Abilities) change Class if necessary.
12. Then select the "Generic Feralan" save. Look at that character's Characteristic tab. Click on the Set Value button for the Kit. A small window will pop up with two boxes in it, Value and Known. Copy the Value ... value, which will be something like "0x40A70000". This is the Feralan kit value.
13. Then press cancel, select your game save that you called "Change Minsc to Feralan" and again click on the Set Value button. Paste the value that you copied earlier, and press OK. You should have changed the Value from "0x00000000" to "0x40A70000". That will give the kit to Minsc.
14. Go to the Memorization tab and erase all spells.
15. Go to the Innate tab and erase all Innate abilities.
16. Go to the Wizard tab and erase all spells.
17. Go to the Priest tab and erase all spells.
18. Go to the Proficiencies tab and erase all proficiencies.
19. Go to the Thieves tab and set all thief skills to 0.
20. Save the game in Shadow Keeper. It will be called "Change Minsc to Feralan (Edited 0001)"
21. Alt-tab back to the confirmation dialog for BG2 and select No to get back to BG2.
22. Load the game "Change Minsc to Feralan (Edited 0001)"
23. Minsc should level up from 0 to 1 on game load. Click his Record, level him up, and press ok. This will give him all the stats and skills and hit points and what-have-you for his new kit.
24. Then give Minsc back the xp he used to have, which in this example is 9882. You can do that by pressing CTRL-Space and using the cheat code CLUAConsole:SetCurrentXP("9882")
25. Level Minsc up to the level that his current xp allows and continue the game as normal.

Edited by Usurper, 17 June 2014 - 11:41 PM.

The Monk is always out to keep a wild mage down. But the Weave, she speaks to me. Together we work our collective will on this brittle, cracking world.
Playing the Big World Project Let's Play both here and on the Something Awful forums.

#2 Usurper

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Posted 07 December 2011 - 10:54 PM

reserved for:

The%20Golden%20Company.jpg

Edited by Usurper, 17 June 2014 - 11:41 PM.

The Monk is always out to keep a wild mage down. But the Weave, she speaks to me. Together we work our collective will on this brittle, cracking world.
Playing the Big World Project Let's Play both here and on the Something Awful forums.

#3 Usurper

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Posted 07 December 2011 - 10:55 PM

reserved

Edited by Usurper, 17 June 2014 - 11:40 PM.

The Monk is always out to keep a wild mage down. But the Weave, she speaks to me. Together we work our collective will on this brittle, cracking world.
Playing the Big World Project Let's Play both here and on the Something Awful forums.

#4 Usurper

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Posted 07 December 2011 - 10:56 PM

reserved

Edited by Usurper, 17 June 2014 - 11:40 PM.

The Monk is always out to keep a wild mage down. But the Weave, she speaks to me. Together we work our collective will on this brittle, cracking world.
Playing the Big World Project Let's Play both here and on the Something Awful forums.

#5 Usurper

Usurper
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Posted 07 December 2011 - 10:56 PM

reserved


Edited by Usurper, 17 June 2014 - 11:40 PM.

The Monk is always out to keep a wild mage down. But the Weave, she speaks to me. Together we work our collective will on this brittle, cracking world.
Playing the Big World Project Let's Play both here and on the Something Awful forums.

#6 Usurper

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Posted 07 December 2011 - 10:56 PM

reserved


Edited by Usurper, 17 June 2014 - 11:40 PM.

The Monk is always out to keep a wild mage down. But the Weave, she speaks to me. Together we work our collective will on this brittle, cracking world.
Playing the Big World Project Let's Play both here and on the Something Awful forums.

#7 Usurper

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Posted 07 December 2011 - 10:57 PM

Journal prologue

25 Tarsakh, 1369

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I've finally done it! Vox Interioris Extrinsecus! I picked it up from one of the visiting mages here. He told me that an unexamined life is not worth living, and that a well-documented life is a well-examined life. Then he taught me this spell, or ritual, or whatever. Basically it is a permanent minor enchantment that continuously documents everything I see, everything I hear, everything I say, and my internal monologue. Its the perfect document for the well-examined life!

So, let this be the secret journal of Syishtar, oppressed elven minority member of Candlekeep. Do your chores, they say. Tend to your lessons, they say. The Monk is always trying to keep a good elf down. "Do what you want but you're never gonna break me, sticks and stones they're never gonna shake me oh... oh whoa!" Just a line I picked up from a song by some traveling bard. Damn she was hot. Anyways, I show the Monk he's not going to keep me down whenever I cast magic. And I cast almost every day now! The magic knows me, and I know it. I can feel its true nature - capricious, wild, and free. I love letting it loose to work itself through the world. Always a surprise, always a laugh. Even better when the Monk disapproves. Its kinda dangerous sometimes, but that's just what you gotta deal with when living on the edge!

Part of making the enchantment permanent is putting your vital statistics down early, and to be thorough. Otherwise some other magic-user might be able to co-opt the enchantment. So here we go, so the Monk can't take my journal away from me and pass it off as his own, I'll unequivocally document my vital test scores here. They uniquely identify this journal as belonging to Syishtar, and no one else ever! You hear me, monk?

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Who cares about Wisdom anyways? I don't care about wisdom. But the Monk cares. Oh boy does he. The Monk always cares about wisdom and gets onto your back about becoming more wise, cuz the Monk always wants you to be like him. Well, screw the Monk I tell you!

You know what the best thing in the world is? Magic. Personally, I prefer Wild Magic. It's really alive, you know?

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And just in case the Monk has some more tricks up his sleeve to steal my journal, I'm also going to include all the spells I know. Then nobody will ever be able to say that this journal is theirs! Nobody else. Besides me, I mean.

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Azragan's Chanelling [sic] is the first spell I learned. I like it because its effects cannot be predicted. Late at night when I can't sleep I imagine casting it at enemies. I imagine that they are usually as surprised as I am!

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Armor is how I survive fights. Or, it would be if I ever had any. This one time a stableboy got pushy with me, but after I cast this and my body glowed everywhere, he backed down. Magic really intimidates the uninitiated. That boy was probably working for the Monk, but I showed him.

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Color Spray is actually good at parties. Get a few drinks into you and your friends and they start asking you to cast it. But not many of them can really handle the spell. And of course the Monk says that stunning and temporarily blinding your friends could have long-term health problems. Yeah, they WOULD say that!

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This spell I just learned today. Find Familiar. The monks say that I should wait until I'm ready to care for a familiar full-time before I cast it. They talk about feeding and walking and dealing with the shit. But then again they all have them. I don't know what the big deal is. One day I'm going to cast it and then we'll see what the Monk says.

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I've only ever cast Grease when one of my tutors was around to dispel it. Its actually a pretty disgusting thing to do. I feel like the magic doesn't want to do this, but I can see how it would be useful in a combat situation. The monks call it crowd control. I bet its their first resort when confronted with a peaceful protest, too.

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I love Identify. With it I can know the Truth that the Monk doesn't want you to know. They used to be able to hide things from me, but not anymore. Now I, too, can know the real truth behind anything.

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This is my favorite spell - Nahal's Reckless Dweomer. When I use this spell I can really feel like the magic is speaking through me, ya know? The magic knows what it wants, and where its needed. I just come along for the ride, sometimes. Together we make some beautiful harmony, and this is the best spell to let that happen. The Monks say this should be a last-resort spell, but I tend to lead with it. Or I plan to tend to lead with it. The Magic and I, we know what's best together. You just gotta feel it.

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Chaos Shield is the only level 2 spell I know, and the only way I can cast it is by using Nahal's Reckless Dweomer first. I love the way it feels. The magic just comes down on me and embraces me, ya know, and lets me know everything is going to be alright. I can successfully cast this more often than not, even though its a level 2 spell. The magic is strong with me.

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I can feel Improved Chaos Shield in the back of my mind, waiting for me. The magic wants to protect me more than it does, but I have to be worthy first. I have to prove myself. I have tried to cast this through the medium of Nahal's, but the result was almost too dangerous for me. I'm not sure if I should even try to use this, or to just stick with its lesser brother for now. We'll see some day, won't we.

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I remember the day I learned this spell. Gorion taught it to me himself. He told me that if my life was ever threatened, and there was no other alternative, I should cast Magic Missile. He said not to hesitate to aim for the face. He gave me a little wink and an eyebrow wiggle. That old man is pretty cool sometimes. I've never actually had to cast it, though, but the day I do, its going right for the face!

The other thing I learned from Gorion was 5 techniques for how to talk to people.

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Gameplay note: These special abilities are additions from the relationship mod. This is basically an extensive bribery interface. If you give enough items to a random NPC, they will be nicer to you, help out when you are in combat, and possibly even join you as a fully-controllable party member. These are not NPCs like Imoen or Minsc, these are random people standing around like townspeople or bartenders. Or, perhaps, a dragon. When I was testing it out I got Firebead Elvenhair to join me from the Candlekeep Inn. He was an 11th level wizard. He also automatically gained the ability Scribe Scroll, so with enough money he could have given me all of his spells. I plan to bribe high-level mages as often as possible. The only drawback is that higher-level NPCs want higher-level treasure.

Using the Detect Relationship ability, you can always find out your current standing with NPCs. It goes something like Hostile > Relation Crisis > Neutral > Close > Special Friend > Bosom Friend (the mod was translated from Chinese). NPCs will be open to joining your party when they feel Close to you. You can seal the deal with Invite to Party. If you want to get someone to like you more, use the Show Friendship button. If you have what they want in your inventory they will take it and you'll get a message that they are friendlier. Humanoid NPCs such as people, gnolls, and goblins want necklaces. Animals don't want anything, they just appreciate the attention. They are the easiest to make friends with, but you can only do it once a turn. The Undead want to drain your experience. Giants, ogres, golems, and similar want gemstones. And for beholders, dragons, and other monster npcs you can just outright pay them. If you want a given NPC to like you less, hit Show Hostility. I imagine if they hate you enough they will just attack. Finally, to get help from those allies of yours which are friendly to you in a given area, use Call for Help. You can imagine a scenario here in which you pass out jewelry to an entire room full of people, then show hostility to one guy in the middle. When he attacks you, call out for help, and the whole room will jump him with you. I don't know if that's ever going to be necessary but its sure as hell going to be funny!

Gorion said a little friendship goes a long way. I'm thinking a little glad-handing and jewelry in the right palm and you can 'make things happen.'

I gotta go do chores now. I should hide this somewhere safe. Somewhere that nobody will ever find it. Then again, nowhere is safer than on my person. Yes... yes... I will never let this go. How could I? Its everything to me now. Journal, you're staying with me!


Gameplay note: That's the sum total of Syishtar's abilities at level 1. Lets do this!

Edited by Usurper, 17 June 2014 - 11:40 PM.

The Monk is always out to keep a wild mage down. But the Weave, she speaks to me. Together we work our collective will on this brittle, cracking world.
Playing the Big World Project Let's Play both here and on the Something Awful forums.

#8 Usurper

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Posted 07 December 2011 - 11:00 PM

Posted Image

1 Mirtul, 1369

Baldur's Gate Introduction Movie

I had a really weird dream last night with very awkwardly-shaped figures in it. Oh well, no biggie. Gorion interrupts me from my chores today (sometimes I love the old dude) and tells me that we have to go on a journey. He hasn't been talking much lately, but the old man hasn't ever been very open. Try asking him about my mother sometime. Nevertheless, the guy's alright, ya know? Not like all the other monks. He tells me I have to buy the things I need to survive on the road for a few days. I guess food? Water? Well, he said it was dangerous out there, so maybe I should get some weapons too. I've always wanted a bow...

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Gameplay note: Here I stand, outside the Candlekeep Inn. The green guy near the top is a Tutor, who will give you a tutorial on movement if you don't know about such things. But I do, so we'll skip it. Actually this entire Candlekeep area is a tutorial.

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But its really, really boring so we're going to hit a few interesting points and then skip the rest. There's nothing else to do now but walk into the Candlekeep Inn like my daddy told me to.

When I get in there, I'm greeted by someone unexpected.

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Posted Image Hello Haiass! Where have you been? I've been searching the whole morning for you. Come over here. (You give a toy to your wolf.)

Posted Image (Haiass chews his little toy and then returns next to you and wags his tall. He seems very happy.)


Gameplay note: The dialog says that we gave a toy to our wolf, but actually, he gave it to us!

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What a stark story that was. How could I have forgotten it? It looks like Haiass is a pretty nice meat shield with his 15 hit points. Much better than my 6. Also, having a wolf around is pretty cool. If he ever gets lost, I can just blow on his whistle and find him again.

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I think I remember making this whistle from one of his dead brother's paws.

Man, that's one less weight on my shoulders. I've been looking for this guy all over the place! I guess its time to see what Winthrop has for a journey.

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Posted Image You always were the big kidder, Winthrop. That gets funnier very nearly every time I hear it. Well, perhaps not quite so often.

Posted Image Haw! Just having a bit o' fun with ye, my friend. Them monks may be walking about with poles in their nethers, but you know you are always welcome here in my sight. Gorion did well by you, he did. So, is there anything I can do for ya. Some drinks, a room to sleep, or anything to buy?

He doesn't have any food. I'm not sure what else to buy. I have a quarterstaff, my wolf, and my spells. Gorion always told me that ranged weapons are essential, but I only have 20 gold, and a short bow costs 90. I might have to settle for a sling right now. But maybe I could scrounge up some more cash first?

I stealthily go over to the dresser in the back room and quietly pry around to see what I find...

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Ok maybe not quietly, but I eventually jiggle the drawer so much that it pops open. I find 18 gold, a scroll of True Strike, and a scroll of Armor.

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Seeing into the future sounds helpful... I guess? I'm not sure when I'll use this though when I can just use Magic Missile. The Armor scroll I'll keep for a rainy day. Maybe I can get some more stuff upstairs?


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Gameplay note: Ransacking the upper floor of the inn nets me 4 more gold and a silver necklace. I could use this necklace to make an NPC like me just a wee bit more, or I could sell it and donate the funds to my favorite charity - Elves Without Bows. Just as a side note, mages weren't be able to use bows in the original BGII, so that's a new thing.

Having those guys stare at me makes me nervous, I think I need to talk to them. Green guy first.

Posted Image What? I certainly hope there is an explanation for this intrusion! Explain yourself!

Posted Image Just getting to know the neighbors. Who might you be?

Posted Image My name is Quincy. Beyond that is my own business and none of your concern. Leave, lest I report this intrusion to the guard.

That neighbor schtick didn't go over so well. But if he wanted privacy why didn't he get a room with a door? Lets try a new tactic with this blue guy over here.

Posted Image Yes? Might I help you?

Posted Image My apologies. I have been knee-deep in the tomes of the keep all day, and I am in quite the fog as a result.

Posted Image Oh indeed! Such a wondrous depository it is. I have returned on many an occasion, much to my banker's dismay, and have not even scratched the surface of the collection here. Would that it were so for all of my noble brethren. I fear many come to the Keep merely to proclaim that they did. I suppose it makes them appear more intelligent, though simple quizzing places the majority of them securely about the chimp "level." I am sorry, I tend to ramble. Good eve to you.

Not much help up here. Maybe the people downstairs will be better? For instance, that guy by the fireplace. I wonder who he is...

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An errand? I guess I could do this. It might give me enough money for a bow. I think I might really need it, since Firebead mentioned the dangerous trip to get here. What's out there, book bandits? Hmmm, what about that couple I saw earlier in the parlor area.

Posted Image has nothing to say to you.

Damn she's snobby. What about this yellow guy?

Posted Image Step up to the heat, young one. You'll NEED a good fire to warm the chill stares of those monks. Most inhospitable, they are. Isn't that so, Lovey?

Posted Image Oh yes darling, they are MOST standoffish.

Posted Image Perhaps they have not been as welcoming as they could have, but you ARE strangers in their home.

Posted Image Perhaps. But if they wish no one to enter it is a simple matter or not letting anyone enter at all. 'Twould certainly be a shame if they did, though. Such a storehouse of knowledge has limited use if no one can use the stored knowledge. Ah well... 'tis cozy enough here by the fire to wash away any troubles I otherwise have with the place.

People keep talking about how amazing the library is. Do cities not have libraries? I should ask Gorion when we're traveling. There was one more person here, right? A woman wandering all over the place. Let me go see what's on her mind.

Posted Image At last I am in Candlekeep, where I've wanted to be for so long! But now I wander the rooms here, moody and sad...

Posted Image You look very pale indeed. Aren't you feeling well?

Posted Image I... had a terrible adventure. For me, as well as for the man I love. *sigh*

Posted Image Lovesickness, hmm?

Posted Image If only that would be...

Posted Image You are Gorion's foster child, aren't you? Yes, I think I want to talk with you about it.

Posted Image Have you been to the infirmary? My fiance is recovering there from the injuries he got in his last fight.

Posted Image Aha.

Posted Image He has an obvious injury: he lost an arm. But the wounds that are still troubling him are his memories of what happened during this fight, and the conditions under which he lost that arm. I... I am troubled by it too.

Posted Image You see... I cut off his arm. It... it was the only thing to do.

Posted Image Ha! How sweet. Is that some kind of courting ritual where you come from?

Posted Image Keep your mockery to yourself, please. Of course it is not.

Posted Image We were on our way to Candlekeep, when suddenly a portal started opening near us. Monsters came out and started attacking. It was horrible. Sir Trun defended us, and it looked as if he would win easily. Then one of the creatures bit into his arm, dragging him toward the portal. He lost his sword...

Posted Image There was only one possible way to save him, and I used it. Otherwise, he would be dead by now.

Posted Image It is a great pity he lost his arm, but you saved him nonetheless. Doesn't he feel thankful for that?

Posted Image No, it is not that easy. Sir Trun proposed to me, what seems a long, long time ago, and we went on this educational journey to Candlekeep. You have to understand, I am the daughter of noble family, and never touched any kind of weapon. His... his gaze upon me when he realized what happened...

Posted Image Forgive me, but I do not want to talk more about it. I need to be patient, and hope that he will overcome his feelings. poor Sir Trun... he is so brave. He grimly tries not to attribute any importance to the matter, but doesn't succeed in overcoming his feelings of horror. He is bound to his proposal to a woman he now fears, and is trying to convince himself it is nothing to worry about. I still see that look in his eyes...

Posted Image I decided not to go to the infirmary until someone brings the news of his recovery, or until he approaches me himself.


Gameplay note: This is the first new quest of the Big World Project, right here in Candlekeep Inn. Its got some tricky emotional stuff here too.

The infirmary, the infirmary... that's on the south side. I'll go find this Sir Trun. I go outside... to be greeted by the nicest monk in the entire keep.

Posted Image

Posted Image But before then, it's probably a good idea if you go round the Keep in a leisurely fashion finding lost property and running errands, all for an economically implausible cash reward and an astonishing amount of experience.

Posted Image Can't I just get the cash and experience right now? The longer I wait, the higher the chance that those first-level assassins in the Keep will finish me off.

Posted Image I don't see why not. How much are you really going to learn about spell-throwing and swordplay by fetching crossbow bolts, after all?

Posted Image Here's the cash and a couple of potions, and some random junk that you can probably sell to someone. Go do your shopping, then I'll take you to Gorion.


Gameplay note: The guy gave me 38 gold, 2 healing potions, a Fire Agate gem, and two daggers. That bow is looking closer than ever!

Going into the central grounds I find Tethtoril immediately.

Posted Image


The Monk is always out to keep a wild mage down. But the Weave, she speaks to me. Together we work our collective will on this brittle, cracking world.
Playing the Big World Project Let's Play both here and on the Something Awful forums.

#9 Usurper

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Posted 07 December 2011 - 11:01 PM


Posted ImageFirebead has sent you to me, hasn't he... Very well, return this scroll to him but then you must hurry and speak with Gorion. He is waiting for you on the steps of the central library. I assure you, child, it is a matter of greatest urgency.

And since I'm already on the way, I continue south to the Infirmary. But before I get out of the central garden, I practically run into this little gnome.

Posted Image

Posted Image Ooh! I'm sorry. I wasn't watching where I was going!

Posted Image Haven't I seen you wandering around Candlekeep the past tenday? Who are you?

Posted Image I am Finch, Finch Bloomwhiffler. So grand to make your acquaintance! I must say I am truly envious of you having the good fortune to live here in Candlekeep.

Posted Image Why do you say that? It is a simple walled village, hardly filled with the wonders of cities such as Baldur's Gate or Waterdeep.

Posted Image The wondrous books! Rows and stacks of scroll casings and leather-bound volumes covering every subject under the sun and stars! I can imagine no greater joy than the opportunity to learn something new with each passing day. Perhaps that explains why I found my heart's home in the service of Deneir.

Posted Image Ah, you are a cleric of Deneir. No wonder you love this place.

Posted Image Truly, my brief time here in your home town has been a great joy. I can imagine no finer occupation than living with my nose in a book! Alas, I have dallied in Candlekeep longer than I should have in service of my temple, though I am certain Deneir would understand.

Posted Image Anyhoo, I leave with all haste. I have a list of works needed to establish a new library on the Amnish border. I located a likely seller of one volume in Beregost, so off I go!

Posted Image Perhaps we shall meet again. I bid you a fair journey!

Anyhoo?


Gameplay note: This is the first new NPC of the Big World Project. Finch is a gnome cleric of Deneir, and a librarian stereotype. She has glasses of identification that she wears, and a book-related quest that we could perhaps do in the future. I'm not really into cute gnomes but perhaps some of the voices in my head (that's you!) are?

Again, on to the infirmary... except that I get ambushed again, this time by my partner in crime and purple fashion buddy forever, Imoen!

Posted Image
Posted Image

Posted Image I'm afraid I cannot chat today, little one. My foster father wishes me to prepare for a journey, but will not say to where.

Posted Image Little one? I'm not much younger than you, though you sure got tall fast. Relatively, anyway. A journey, eh? I never get to travel. Wish I could go with ya. Yep, I really wish I could. Yessir. Really do.

Posted Image All right all right. I get the message. I'll ask if you can go with us.

Posted Image Oh don't be silly, Gorion would never even let you finish the sentence. Especially after what that letter of his said... er... did I say that? No, of course I didn't. Never saw no letter. Nope. I'll just get back to work now. You had better go. Gorion is waiting.

Everyone keeps telling me that Gorion is waiting, but the story of that lady back at the inn is really bugging me. I have to know what the one-armed knight looks like.

I arrive at the Infirmary and take a look around.

Posted Image

There's only one guy standing so I go over and talk to him. Yep, its Sir Trun!

Posted Image What do you want? Please let me rest. As you can see, I am injured.

Posted Image Are you Sir Trun? I talked with your fiance. The poor woman doesn't feel well at all.

Posted Image *sigh* I know, and it tortures me that I am incapable of helping her. It... it is like I am paralyzed...

Posted Image My injury is no reason for my behavior toward her. I... I fell in love with a beautiful young maiden and proposed to her, and now...

Posted Image Does it seem as if the whole world's gone crazy?

Posted Image I... in a way, yes.

Posted Image *sigh* Since she already talked to you, it won't hurt if I do so, too. Actually I feel a great urge to talk about this with someone who cares to listen.

Posted Image We got into an unexpected fight. Everything was going well. Then all of a sudden, one of the creatures sunk its teeth into my arm. I wasn't able to free myself, and it was dragging me toward the portal... There was a pain at my shoulder, and next thing I knew, I was lying in front of the portal, watching it close behind the last of the monsters. Linda was standing beside me, pale as a ghost, my sword in her hands.

Posted Image She saved my life the only way it was possible in that moment, by chopping off my arm.

Posted Image I am not talking about the loss of my arm. That was lost the moment the monster bit into it. I... What I mean...

Posted Image You have problems with the fact that she mutilated you, don't you? How dare she chop off the arm of her fiance?!

Posted Image That... no, no, that is not what troubles me. I have to think about it some more. *sigh*

I feel a little shitty now. Here I am cracking some stupid joke and this knight is honestly troubled about his inability to express his feelings about what happened. It sounds like actual PTSD, like I read about in the library that one time. So I try to talk to him again, a little more earnestly.

Posted Image Ah, you've returned.

Posted Image What bothers you is her sudden foresight and prowess. Not only did she understand the only way to save you, she also *did* it in what must have been a timeframe of mere seconds. And all that despite the fact that she is "only" the daughter of a noble house.

Posted Image That... yes... yes, that's it! That is what keeps troubling me. She is completely inexperienced, if it comes to fighting, yet she... acts like a long-established knight! I couldn't have done it better, had I been in her position.

Posted Image The... the sensible detachment she showed by cutting off another's arm, if it was the only way to save him... How much experience must one gain, how many friends must one lose in battle before developing this insight? She... she just did it, when it was necessary. My poor Linda! Surely she is terribly frightened. But... how should I confront her, after being so distant toward her... All she did was save me!

Posted Image First thing you should do is go and talk to her. You should seek communication with Linda. It would help you both if you could talk about it.

Posted Image We tried talking, but it didn't work. No, I have to bring something with me when I go to her. If I only could think of something appropriate...

Posted Image There is only one possibility. Linda has to learn how to fight, so you will have to teach her. Take her as your squire.

Posted Image I beg your pardon? That is absurd. She is a young maiden, innocent and frail...

Posted Image ...and she chopped off your arm with one hit. These things don't fit together, do they?

Posted Image Wait... I... I see, what you mean. It is hidden inside her, isn't it? The gift shows differently in different people. Some know from early childhood where their path will lead. For others, the revelation comes all of a sudden, as a great surprise.

Posted Image Yes, it seems the only way to go forward, and leave this horrible memory behind us. She made the first step onto this path. To expect her to return to her former life would be cruel... and unrealistic. I will go to her now. I'll be approaching her with an unusual present for a woman of her origin: my sword.

Posted Image My body recovered a long time ago. It was my mind that felt injured and wouldn't come to rest. You dragged me out of my thoughts of despair, and I thank you deeply! We are in your debt.

Posted Image Now I will go to her... I am eager to see how she will react. Is she really ready for this? I am also bothered as to what I will tell her parents, who imagine their daughter on an educational journey in Candlekeep... *weary smile* Farewell, in case we don't meet again. May Tyr protect you.


Gameplay note: For helping a knight come to terms with the harsh reality of living in a monster-infested world and being in love with a stone cold fox, I receive 68 xp and +1 reputation. Also, the Priest of Oghma manning the infirmary gave me a healing potion just because I asked. Time to go back and share the good news with Linda!

Great, its all worked out! On the way back I idly check some barrels and chests and find a few loose coins. When I get back to the front of the Candlekeep Inn, the friendly Watcher speaks to me again.

Posted Image Ready to go, Syishtar?

Posted Image No, I haven't finished shopping yet.

Posted Image Very well, Syishtar, but get a move on, I don't have all day.

Posted Image In any case, you don't realize just how dangerous it is here for you. Those bounty hunters can do up to one point of damage per blow!

Bounty hunters? What bounty hunters? I head back into the Inn... and Linda is nowhere to be found. I guess those two just couldn't wait to give me a cinematic ending to their relationship problems. No big deal, I return to Winthrop with my bounty.

I sell the two daggers that the Watcher gave me, and keep the Silver Necklace and Fire Agate Gem for later bribery. I have managed to scrape together 99 gold, which means I get to buy a short bow. Woot!


Gameplay note: Arrows do 1D6 damage, which is better than darts (1D3), throwing daggers (1D4 at 3 gold a pop!) and sling bullets (1D4+1). The only thing more damaging is crossbow bolts (1D8) but a light crossbow costs 105 gold and doesn't really fit into an elf's idiom. In this game, at low levels, ranged weapons are the difference between being mauled to death by a bear and surviving until the next screen. I'm going to get a lot of use out of this bow.

I buy the short bow and 180 arrows, which takes up all my gold. Its time to blow this keep and start on my grand adventure with my wise old mentor, Gorion! I'm sure I'll get to shoot something soon!

After stocking up, I head back outside.

Posted Image

Posted Image Yep, take me to Gorion.

Posted Image Right this way.

The Monk is always out to keep a wild mage down. But the Weave, she speaks to me. Together we work our collective will on this brittle, cracking world.
Playing the Big World Project Let's Play both here and on the Something Awful forums.

#10 Usurper

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Posted 07 December 2011 - 11:01 PM

Gameplay note: I'm immediately teleported to another part of the keep where Gorion is. He talks to me right away.

Posted Image

Posted Image What should I bring with me on this journey? If you would just give some clue as to what I will need...

Posted Image My dear child, you should know yourself well enough to purchase the gear you need. I have given you what I can spare, so hurry off to the Inn and speak with Winthrop. Use your skills as a reference and buy what basics you must, though spend wisely. His prices are fair, but you may not have enough gold to purchase all that you would want.

Posted Image What could possibly harm us here? This place is a fortress, and guarded beyond measure.

Posted Image Candlekeep is indeed a formidable obstacle for ne'er-do-wells, but it is not insurmountable. No matter how thick the mesh, at least one mosquito always finds its way through. No my child, we must leave as soon as possible, for our safety, and for that of our friends here.

Posted Image Please father, tell me where we will be going.

Posted Image Alas, I cannot, for I have not truly decided yet. All that is certain is that we will be far safer on the move. Perhaps the woods might offer some secluded security, or perhaps the city of Baldur's Gate would offer cover amidst its teaming throngs of people. I do not know where we shall end up, but I have a few friends here and there. Hmm... I will think on this...

Posted Image I'm ready to go right now.

Posted Image Dear child, before we set off on our journey, I want you to have my most treasured possession: this enchanted stone will take you to a sacred sanctuary created a long time ago by Shaundakul for the sake of few faithful followers. Do not abuse it, for every time you call on its power you will part with a bit of your own soul, to honour the ancient pact with the God. Keep it always close to you because it might save your life!


Gameplay note: This is also new. Sounds like a life-saving way to rest when there's no other place, inspired by the pocket plane in Throne of Bhaal. But it costs xp to go there. Shaundakul is a lesser Faerunian deity of travel, so it definitely makes sense that he would be involved in this type of venture. The question is, overpowered or not? In my admittedly short experience with this modded game, nothing is overpowered. You need every single edge you've got just to survive.

Posted Image

My father casts a quick heal on me as we head out. He's always watching out for me like that. I've got to ask him how a mage can cast a heal later on when there's time.

Posted Image

Its quickly gotten dark. I've got a bad feeling about this...

Posted Image

Shit. Shit. Where's my bow?

Posted Image

Posted Image You're a fool if you believe I would trust your benevolence. Step aside and you and your lackeys will be unhurt.

Posted Image I'm sorry you feel that way, old man.

Posted Image

Wait, he said your ward. He wants...

Posted Image

what?

Posted Image

shit!

Posted Image

fuck!

Posted Image

damnit, he's out of spells!

Posted Image

But Mage Armor protects against...

Posted Image

.......!!!


That's it for Chapter One! I'm all ears for feedback and critiques. Also, Syishtar's mind will be contemplating staying and exploring the immediate area or running down the road like a scared little girl. Add your voice to the cacophony of his newly-hatched madness!
The Monk is always out to keep a wild mage down. But the Weave, she speaks to me. Together we work our collective will on this brittle, cracking world.
Playing the Big World Project Let's Play both here and on the Something Awful forums.

#11 Usurper

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Posted 07 December 2011 - 11:07 PM

Please note that currently this Let's Play is about 40 updates on the Something Awful forums, and as such this board is behind the times right now. But I will post one entry a day until I get caught up with the Let's Play on the other board, and then you all can begin to fully participate in voting and other stuff in real-time! Until then I will modify the calls for votes at the end of some updates to reflect the final totals. Please be patient as I get everything caught up.
The Monk is always out to keep a wild mage down. But the Weave, she speaks to me. Together we work our collective will on this brittle, cracking world.
Playing the Big World Project Let's Play both here and on the Something Awful forums.

#12 Lollorian

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 01:08 AM

Holy bleep that's huge! :woot: Still at post #2 but man this looks like some major effort! Respect :Bow:

"I am the smiley addict, yellow and round, this is my grin :D when I'm usually around :P.
When there's trouble brewing, see me post, cuz it's usually a wall o' yellow and your eyes are toast!!!"

BWP GUIDE - BWP FIXES - impFAQ - NPC LIST - KIT LIST - AREA LIST

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#13 Tempest

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 05:45 AM

Welcome to the board, Vorgen. Should be interesting to see how non-goons react to the "features" the LP encounters.

"The righteous need not cower before the drumbeat of human progress. Though the song of yesterday fades into the challenge of tomorrow, God still watches and judges us. Evil lurks in the datalinks as it lurked in the streets of yesterday, but it was never the streets that were evil." - Sister Miriam Godwinson, Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri


#14 Usurper

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 09:47 PM

Posted Image

2 Mirtul, 1369

Gorion... Gorion is... I saw him... but it can't be. It could be some trick, some illusion, it could have been Shadow Door. It could have been Phantasm. There are... there's a perfectly ...

I don't know how it became light again. I must have lost track of time. I don't know where I am. I don't know where I ran. What do I do now? I don't... I can't...

Posted Image
Posted Image

Posted Image How could you have known? Gorion did not even tell me.

Posted Image I... accidentally... read a letter on his desk the other day. Can't remember exactly what it said, but he might still have... it might be on his... his body. Anyway, I'm not gonna let you wander around out here all alone. Never let a friend down, no sir! Stick with you until you say otherwise, I will!

Gameplay note: Imoen has joined the party! She brings along 2 gold. Lets take a look at her.

Posted Image

She's got great DEX and very high INT, which was the reason a lot of people in the original BG dual-classed her to Mage. This was so common that her stock character in BGII was a dual-classed thief/mage. You can still do it with her in this modded game, but she's got a custom class all her own as well, the Charming Rogue. This custom class is also what explains her permanent Mind Shield enchantment. It is part of the Neverending Journey mod (warning, ugly web site) which also includes our future adventures in Icewind Dale.

Posted Image

Better defense, offense, and movement plus some innate enchanting and illusion spells scaled by level. I guess they're doing a smoother transition to Imoen becoming a mage. You can't have too much ranged combat, so Imoen seems like a solid companion. Lets take a look at her skills.

Posted Image

Wow, she comes with 4 spells right away. There are not formal info pages for innate abilities so that adds a bit of mystery sometimes and saves me screenshot time, but let me explain these abilities in brief. Set Snare is a normal thief ability that you use with the skill, but Imoen's skill is 5 right now so it'll never successfully work, and will probably damage her if she tries to use it. I've never been one for traps in this game but perhaps we can focus on that, if the consensus is to train a thief's trap skill up. Charm Person is the second skill, and basically turns an enemy to your side in combat. Also you can try to use it on neutrals but I think they turn hostile after it wears off. We might have to confirm that. Magic Missile is exactly the same as my spell. Friends causes the caster to gain 6 points of Charisma temporarily. That will kick Imoen's CHA up to 22, which will be helpful to get a discount when shopping. I don't know of any other use for it. Finally, Reflected Image is the level 1 version of Mirror Image in that it creates one duplicate of the caster which has a 50% chance of being attacked instead of the caster. When the image is attacked it shatters. Note that it shatters when attacked, not when successfully hit, like Mirror Image images. So its weaker in two aspects.

That's Imoen. As always, I leave it up to the audience on what we do with companions. So, what do you guys think? Keep or kick?

His body. She said it, so she must have seen it. Dare I go there? What should I do? What can I do? What do we even have?

Gameplay note (again): Here is Syishtar's inventory screen.

Posted Image

On the top left is the Quiver in which you can see his 180 arrows:

Posted Image

Underneath that, in the Quick Items slot, you can also see his two equipped weapons, the quarterstaff and short bow:

Posted Image

Posted Image

There is no one who can't use a short bow. The text isn't really cut off. In the Quick Items slot he has the spare scroll of Armor, a spell we covered last update, and the healing potions that he picked up in Candlekeep.

Posted Image

It restores more than my or Imoen's current total amount of hit points. That's reassuring. For equipment, Syishtar is not wearing anything except the Silver Necklace he picked up in the Candlekeep Inn.

Posted Image

He's keeping this around to use it in conjunction with the Show Friendship bribery ability later on. Down at the bottom, you can see his backpack. He's got Haiass's stuff on the left, and the strange stone that Gorion gave him before he left Candlekeep. The stone's icon is currently blue because it is unidentified. The modder was attentive enough to include a custom unidentified description, though, so its still interesting to take a look at.

Posted Image

You can see that the Identify button on the left-hand side is lit up, which means we can identify it if we want. That's because in Syishtar's inventory on the right-hand side, just under the Fire Agate Gem, is Firebead's Identify scroll that I totally, completely forgot to give him before we left Candlekeep. Since its impossible to get back into Candlekeep and since I wouldn't give loot to an NPC even if I could, I use it. It identifies the stone:

Posted Image

Grammar nazis might be getting itchy at this point, which is understandable. For completeness, lets take a look at the gem.

Posted Image

Now lets take stock of what Imoen brought to this picnic.

Posted Image

The girl managed to bring her own arrows and short bow - not bad. Also she picked up 3 healing potions, just like me. That white potion in her backpack is an Oil of Speed:

Posted Image

At low levels using this turns anybody into a dervish of destruction. And when you get the spells Haste and Group Haste later on, the gibs really start flying. We'll keep that around for when we need to turn someone into a pincushion. She also brought a wand!

Posted Image

It shoots out 1 magic missile at a time. Magic missiles always strike their target, so they can be useful in a pinch. I think Syishtar will appropriate that from her. After all, she's the one who gets bonuses to ranged combat from her class. Syishtar needs it more. And after equipping it in his quickslot I realize that its not an infinite wand of Magic Missile, which I was expecting, but instead only has 10 charges. I'm pretty sure that's different too.

I don't know what to do. I don't know where to go. We only have some arrows and healing potions and scant supplies. Gorion told me we would be safe if we found friends. Friends... I have Imoen. I have... Haiass! Where's Haiass?

I reach into my pack to blow on the whistle, but before I can do anything, Imoen speaks up.

Posted Image
Posted Image

Posted Image I still can't believe that Gorion is dead.

Posted Image *sadly* Me too.

Posted Image Is that why you don't talk much lately? All quiet and stuff...

Posted Image Yes, and I have a lot more on my mind.

Posted Image I'd hate to see this eat away at ya. we'll get him, ya know. That guy, whoever he was, who killed your dad. We'll find out who he is, and pay him back good!

Posted Image And don't even think of ditching me, either. I know what I'm doing, and I'm in this as much as you. I liked Gorion, and you're my best friend.

Posted Image I'm your best friend too, whether you know it or not. You can count on me, and don't you forget it!

Posted Image What brings this on, Imoen? I don't think I've ever seen you act this way!

Posted Image I'm just mad, that's all... mad, sad and a little worried, I guess. I'll get over it. Heh. I was trying to make you feel better, and now I'm all worked up.

Posted Image Come on, let's go find an evil dragon's lair or something to loot. Um, on second thought, a hobgoblin cave is more your speed. Or maybe a xvart village? Hmmm. I'll have to think about this one...

I laugh a little, then reach in and blow the whistle. Nothing happens. Haiass appears to be nowhere near. I had hoped he would show up eventually. With nothing else to do, but feeling a little better, I start walking down the path in front of me.

Posted Image

Gameplay note: Here is the area map. Gorion was murdered just to the north, and a small path leads east-west. We go east. Not ten seconds later we hit a dude and a conversation.

Posted Image

Posted Image Heya, I'm Imoen, and that's my friend Syishtar. We just got out of Candlekeep, and are startin' out on a grand adventure, avenging that great mage and all... uhm, Syishtar, why are ya standing with your mouth shut as a clam when the tide is out? Ya know more than I 'bout that fightin' thing, anyway. So go tell 'bout it! That's what adventurers do! Famous ones, anyway. Or how would they ever get into bards' songs?

Posted Image Could yo help me? My foster father and I were attacked last eve, and now I'm not sure where to go.

Posted Image The carnage to the north must be the aftermath of your little skirmish then. I am most assuredly sorry about your predicament, though there be little I can do for you. I've nothing of serviceable vaue to impart, except common sense and a few directions. A ways east of here you should find a crossroads. North of there is the Friendly Arm Inn, and south is the town of Beregost. Both can offer shelter, though rates at the Friendly Arm are likely better. It is a friendlier atmosphere for the young adventurer as well. Staying close to the roads will make your journey safer, but that will depend on where you are heading as well. I cannot accompany you, though there were a pair of travelers not far up the road. They might offer assistance, but I would be wary of the cost. I didn't like the look of them, myself.

Posted Image Can you do nothing else? I could use any help.

Posted Image I have little to give besides advice and good will. Make friends where you can, as traveling alone is almost certain death. You will want to surround yourself with like-minded companions, lest you risk making enemies in your own party. Aside from this little tidbit of wisdom, I'd say you're on your own. Luck be with you.

Posted Image Ya hear him? 'Like-minded companions'! That'd be me! Yer doin' alright, despite bein' thicker than Candlekeep's walls! Imoen the Magnificient is gonna make an adventurer out of ya yet!

Posted Image Fare thee well, as they say.

Posted Image To you as well.

You know, that guy's right. Like-minded companions, fellow travelers on the road, friends and compatriots. Friendly Arm to the north, Beregost to the south. I think I can manage to make some kind of plan ... wait, Gorion mentioned the Friendly Arm last night. He said there were two friends of his there. Jarid and Khaliea? Karin and Jajila? I'll have to look around when I get there.

I need friends, but I also need to find out what happened last night. Maybe I can get those other travelers on the road to help me find Gorion's body.

Gameplay note: We continue on the path, now angling northeast. Soon enough we find Xzar and Montaron, two very famous and old-school BG original NPCs.

Posted Image

I go talk to the taller guy then.

Posted Image
Posted Image

Posted Image Aye Xzar, looks to have been roughed up quite well.

Posted Image Indeed. I can offer you healing potions, if you wish, as a token of good will.

Posted Image Psst, Syishtar, the mage speaks like he's layin' honey on bread, but I dunno... I don't like his eyes a single bit!

Posted Image I d be grateful for any assistance.

Posted Image Nothing to fear from these simple potions, and I'll not even hold you in debt, though your conscience knows otherwise.


The Monk is always out to keep a wild mage down. But the Weave, she speaks to me. Together we work our collective will on this brittle, cracking world.
Playing the Big World Project Let's Play both here and on the Something Awful forums.

#15 Usurper

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 09:48 PM


Posted Image Just like all good people.

Posted Image Perhaps as payment you would go with us to Nashkel. It is a troubled area and we mean to investigate some disturbing rumors surrounding the local mine. Some acquaintances are very concerned about the iron shortage. Specifically, where to lay blame in the matter. You would be useful, though I'll not hold you to it. We are to meet the mayor of the town, a man named Berrun Ghastkill, I believe.

Posted Image Your conscience be your guide.

Posted Image I would join with you, but I must meet someone first. Perhaps you will go with me?

Posted Image We've precious little time, but it's best to travel accompanied.

Posted Image I don't like the looks of these two jokers, Syishtar. Nope. I don't. Not at all.

Posted Image Let's get to the Friendly Arm Inn soon, huh? I'd like to have some people I can trust traveling with us.

Posted Image Aye, we'll go wit ye. Ye owe us fer our time though.

Gameplay note: Xzar and Montaron have joined the party! Lets take a look at their Records.

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Xzar is a Necromancer of average intelligence for a mage. He is unchanged from original BG. As a necromancer he needs a wisdom of 16. I don't know why, with a WIS of 16 and an INT of 17, he's such a raving lunatic, but what you gonna do?

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I guess because there are already so many specialist mages, no modder has bothered to do much with custom wizard classes. No Illusion spells means no Mirror Images, or invisibility, or maybe Phantasm? There are tons of new spells in the game that I'm not yet aware of so I'm sure he's missing out on other things. In return he gets extra spell slots per level, like me as a wild mage. He has 2 slots at level 1, a 100% advantage over a non-specialist mage. Strangely enough he only knows 2 spells.

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Honestly, both of those spells suck. Chill Touch needs a melee hit to be effective, and Larloch's Minor Drain does a whole 2 hit points of damage every two levels, maxxing out at 10 points at 9th level. The greatest indication that Xzar is insane is not his character portrait, its his awful spellbook.

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He also comes with two scroll copies of his spells (which I take and copy into my spellbook anyway because I'm a spell packrat) and a dagger.

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Imoen interrupts all this game talk with another conversation as soon as I unpause.

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Posted Image It has been interesting, to say the least. Not quite what I had in mind either, but its not like I have a choice.

Posted Image That's 'we' remember? And yeah, 'spose we don't have much choice at that. Still, we can do a lot of good, I think.

Posted Image Wonder if they'll make a tale of our adventures? Just think, one day folks will be in the common room of some inn, maybe even the Candlekeep Inn, and ask a bard to tell 'em a tale of 'Imoen the Qucik and her trusty side-kick, Syishtar!'

Posted Image 'Side-kick'...!?

Posted Image Oh, okay. We'll be partners, I 'spose. What ya think? 'Imoen the Quick' sounds good to you? Quick with the blade and wit! All the best heroes and heroines have handles. Hmmm, maybe 'Imoen the Terrible'? Nah, too dark. 'Imoen the Bold'? 'Imoen the sly'? 'Imoen the Magnificent'? Hey that sounds pretty good!

Posted Image Um, how about 'Imoen the...?

Posted Image Shush you! I'm thinking! Where was I? I still kinda like 'Imoen the Quick'. Wonder if it's taken already...?

Gameplay note: With that out her system, we take a look at Montaron the halfing Thug. This is the first instance of a Big Picture modded character class you'll see, and I've changed him myself. He was a multiclass fighter/thief just like in the original but I want to show off all the awesome custom classes in this mod.

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He's got acceptable stats, and a whopping 18 hit points, which serioiusly outshines my 6, Imoen's 8, and Xzar's 4. He's a better meat shield than Haiass even. But he's a trained bastard.

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That's where all the extra hit points come from - a class feature. A thug sounds like a fighterish thief, which is pretty close to what he was already, but with some extra flavor quirks that I appreciate matching up closer to his personality. He comes carrying a healing potion and some oil of speed...

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... and dual-wielding two short swords. He is also, of all crazy things, WEARING ARMOR, something that we have not yet seen.

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This definitively qualifies him as the Tank of the Hour.

Since we now have a half-decent party here, its time to explore the map. We set off patrolling, in that weird rectangular search pattern that I always seem to end up using in baldur's gate 1 outdoor maps (its the most efficient way!)

Over on the west side, near cliffs that overlooked the ocean, we find Chase.

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Posted Image Hey, ya know what? Syishtar over 'ere was just locked out of his home-town without a penny, and some monsters killed his father. If anyone here should be jumping cliffs, it's him! And d'ya see him jumpin'? So what's yer problem?

She has a point, I thought. And I didn't like this guy's petulence.

Posted Image By all means, jump if you must. More air for the rest of us.

Posted Image HOW could you be so CALLOUS? I am so obviously in PAIN here! Have you no care for MY needs? No, of course not. No one does. Not mumsey, not daddums, not Jeeves; I bet they'd be glad I was gone. In fact, I'd probably be doing them a favor! That's it, I'll stay alive just to spite them! I'll be the most miserable, selfish, upstart of a child! Actually, this won't be much of a change, but now I'm justified! Life is good

Posted Image Ya could of at least tried to talk him out of it, Syishtar, even if he was just lookin' for attention.

Posted Image Eh? Never mind. I've a score to settle with a callous world.

Gameplay note: This was in the original game, if I remember correctly, but Imoen's interjections weren't. All of her new interjections and conversations so far have come from a mod. NPCs are going to be talking to each other a lot more than usual. If you guys get tired of that, we can always grab people off the street, or possibly just tell our companions to shut the hell up. Let me know how you feel!

We walk around, looking for Gorion's corpse, but we find wild dogs instead!

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Imoen and I pull out our bows and shoot at the closest ones, while Montaron AND XZAR close in for melee. I tell Xzar to hang the hell back and try casting a spell, so he goes with his Drain. Then he casts his other Drain. Then he just stands there and looks on as we shoot arrows and Montaron flails about wildly with his short swords. There is a lot of whiffing, but eventually Imoen gets the kill on the last dog. VICTORY! The dogs have nothing on them. I'm not sure how intimidating Montaron can really be when he's having so much trouble killing a pack of dogs with 2 short swords.

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Xzar is totally out of spells and any other abilities to use if another fight comes up, so I reluctantly give him the Wand of Missiles. Hopefully he doesn't use it in melee...

We continue to explore, and find a cow. I decide to try to pet the cow. I'm not quite sure how to feel about what happens next.

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After that, we see what we have been looking for, and I had been dreading. We see Gorion's corpse, stretched on the ground like a... some dead animal. Surrounding him is the equipment and money of his fallen enemies. We silently and quickly clean up the area, and then wonder what to do next. There is Gorion's dagger and a scroll of Identify. There are two morningstars, wielded by the big monsters that had died first.

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We also find a scroll case and two notes.

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Gameplay note: There are a lot more containers in the Big World Project, of many different colors, in order to make your sorting life easier. Unfortunately having a lot of filled containers tends to cause the game to start lagging. I'm not sure how much I can comfortably carry in containers, so we'll just have to see.

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Dun dun DUNNNNN! E is obviously Elminster, the only DnD guy whose name starts with an E. You know, Elminster's involvement/noninvolvement in this whole plot never made sense to me. Why does he want to be neutral, anyway? As far as I know, everything that's going on, the whole plot, is a direct threat to the balance of the region, as we shall soon see. And as one of the leaders of the harpers who are all about balance and secrecy, he should be countering the effect of the... uh.. problems, as directly as possible. But its like the Harpers dropped the ball on this completely. In fact the men-on-the-spot turned out be Zhentarim agents (sorry Xzar and Montaron for blowing your cover so early!), and they have already recruited me into their party. The nearest Harper agents are in the Friendly Arm inn to the north, just chilling, waiting for me to show up and get in touch with them. Why didn't they meet Gorion outside of Candlekeep? With a couple of level 1 mooks around, Gorion could have held off Armored Figure long enough for Gorion's acid arrow to do him in. I blame Gorion's death on Khalid and Jaheira, just so you know. Jaheira was probably too busy tying Khalid up and whipping him in the basement of the Friendly Arm to go out and actually be Harpers.

Anyway, the second note is NOT standard plot material from a 15-year-old game.

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Another wild mage, near here? Wow, I'm sure he can help us! The magic speaks through us all, and it must be conspiring to bring us together. I may have lost one mentor, but the magic could bring me another, one skilled in the true ways of the weave. We have to go find this guy, after we have finished exploring this area, of course.

Imoen walks up while I'm reading the notes, still standing over Gorion's body.

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Posted Image Yes. He died saving me from some... thing.

Posted Image Don'tcha even know what attacked you? Whatever it was, looks like it was vicious.

Posted Image I was scared out of my wits! What do you expect?

Posted Image Really? I'm glad I wasn't right there. I've seen you get surprised and jump before, but never ever afraid. I-I don't even want to think 'bout what could scare you.

We keep walking. We find Binkos.

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Posted Image Another caravan raided?! Wow, that's no good! Remember those Flamin' Fists passin' by Candlekeep last week? They said there was at least two missing! I think we should keep our eyes peeled, or we'll be killed by bandits for nothin'!

Posted Image Excitin' though... Caravans, bandits, road... like an adventure from a book!

Posted Image Just keep your heads down and your weapons handy.



The Monk is always out to keep a wild mage down. But the Weave, she speaks to me. Together we work our collective will on this brittle, cracking world.
Playing the Big World Project Let's Play both here and on the Something Awful forums.

#16 Usurper

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 09:48 PM

All the more reason to find that wild mage I'm thinking. I'm sure he will be able to keep us safe from the bandits.

A little later Imoen spots some more wild dogs.

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Montaron gets hit, but we take them down. We continue exploring the area, hoping for some insight or sign of what is to come. Later we see a black bear, which seems peaceful enough. I have heard of rangers and their animal companions, and a bear would definitely help us, so I walk over to it and try to make conciliatory sounds. It doesn't go over well.

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Imoen opens up on it with the bow and Xzar with the wand. I run away as the bear starts to attack... Xzar. He turns and runs, screaming. The bear switches to me, to Imoen, to Xzar, never seeming able to make up its mind about which target it wants. Each time we are targeted we naturally start running. For some reason Montaron isn't participating in the fight, but nobody seems to care. While running after me, the bear passes by Imoen, and gives her a swipe. She looks almost dead and runs away to try to get enough room to down a healing potion. Thankfully the bear switches targets again and she is able to drink her way back to health. The killing blow is Xzar with the wand. Maybe he's not totally useless after all.

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Shaken and sobered, we gather our breath and continue patrolling, a little more cautiously than before. I am making a mental note, right now, to not approach bears in the future. He looked so peaceful though...

Gameplay note: The bear was in fact neutral until I tried to befriend it. Silly me.

We encounter a beautiful cliff-view vista of the sea. Xzar says we should paint it. I tell him he is welcome to without us. He mumbles something about me wanting him to get mauled by bears.

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Suddenly Montaron shouts MONSTERS! I am already worried. When he shouts ARCHERS I get even more worried. I try to look for sometwhere to shoot.

Gameplay note: Some sadistic modder has hidden a pack of hobgoblin and goblin archers in the northwest corner of the map. I'm pretty sure if we're going to survive this we'll have to do a running skirmish through most of the map. Here we go....

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Montaron says he isn't taking any chances and pops his oil of speed. Imoen actually runs up to one of the hobgoblins and tries to cast some sort of spell [Charm Person] but is interrupted by an arrow from another monster. Montaron charges in and the archers seem to fall back in front of him. Xzar hasn't done anything yet when an arrow slams into him, looking serious. I shoot wildly, not quite sure which target to hit first. Imoen throws Xzar a healing potion, and he drinks it. Then Xzar starts running at the nearest hobgoblin, and I have to tell him to get back again. He stops and casts Magic Missile with his wand... and Imoen casts one too! The combined missiles take out the first hobgoblin. I am a little shocked at this unexplained magical display but I'll save it. Instead I cast a little magic of my own...

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I was trying to cast Grease. Instead, four gems appear in my inventory.

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I am confused, so I go back to shooting arrows. A few seconds later, a badly-injured Montaron tries to retreat from the battle and is shot in the back. He falls.

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Xzar says, "Montaron... I... I never loved you!" with a cackle. The monsters keep pouring out of the trees. Imoen pops her oil of speed while I retreat. Xzar looks like he is going to get another wand shot off but the hobgoblins get too close and he and Imoen are forced to retreat too. I turn and try to cast another Grease spell, but at the last second I change my mind and throw Azragan's Channeling at the nearest monster. There is some kind of noise, and two huge glowing balls appear, one on me and one on my target. Whatever it is, it looks like it hurt.

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Gameplay note: 13 damage from a level 1 spell? SWEET!

The hobgoblins just keep coming, so Imoen and I just kept retreating one by one, like the Candlekeep guard captain taught us. I fire and she retreats, then she fires and I retreat. That way we are able to constantly pelt the monsters with arrows. Xzar tries to run into melee a few more times and I contemplate just not telling him it is a bad idea next time. He shoots once more with the wand and it breaks. I tell him to run into the trees, AWAY from the monsters. Then I turn around and see two of Imoen, rather than one. We are going to need to have a talk, she and I. We keep firing and running, firing and running, and two more go down. The remaining two get smart, though. One comes after me and the other after Imoen. This is getting dicey.

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2 Mirtul, 1369

We are running in circles. I try to get the hobgoblin chasing Imoen to chase me, and Imoen does the same with mine. Eventually they both attack me, which lets Imoen stand still and pelt them with arrows continuously. One of them panicks and starts to run. We let it go.

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The one who doesn't go, dies. We stop to catch our breath, the first time we've had the opportunity the whole fight. We look at the monster's corpse. He has masterwork arrows, which I gave to Imoen, and a longbow, which I keep for myself. I also take a gem and a longsword off him. Imoen puts on his leather armor. Then we go to hunt the rest.

Gameplay note: I gotta stop here, guys. This is a freakin huge update what with all the exposition and item examining. I just wanted to get some combat in before I called it. What do you think, should we raise Montaron? It would cost about 100 gold, since he's level 1. Also want your opinions on Imoen and Xzar.
The Monk is always out to keep a wild mage down. But the Weave, she speaks to me. Together we work our collective will on this brittle, cracking world.
Playing the Big World Project Let's Play both here and on the Something Awful forums.

#17 Usurper

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 09:51 PM

The thread voted to keep Imoen, dump Montaron's corpse in the forest, and ditch Xzar at the Friendly Arm Inn.

Edited by Usurper, 08 December 2011 - 09:53 PM.

The Monk is always out to keep a wild mage down. But the Weave, she speaks to me. Together we work our collective will on this brittle, cracking world.
Playing the Big World Project Let's Play both here and on the Something Awful forums.

#18 Leokosta

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Posted 09 December 2011 - 03:04 AM

Hello, Vorgen ...
First of all, tx for the montruous effort you put on this project. Been following it on SA, but since I dont have an account there, I couldnt express my apreciation till now.
Keep it going, cant wait to participate on the votes from here, SS Forums.
Sorry bad english, and tx again

:Bow:

#19 Dakk

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Posted 09 December 2011 - 01:54 PM

Two things:
a) majestic update!
b) why are we calling Usurper "Vorgen"? :)

#20 Tempest

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Posted 09 December 2011 - 02:26 PM

Two things:
a) majestic update!
b) why are we calling Usurper "Vorgen"? :)


Vorgen is his username on Something Awful, and I'm gathering that I'm not the only goon here at SHS. To preemptively answer another question "goon" is a nickname for a Something Awful user.

Edited by Tempest, 09 December 2011 - 02:27 PM.

"The righteous need not cower before the drumbeat of human progress. Though the song of yesterday fades into the challenge of tomorrow, God still watches and judges us. Evil lurks in the datalinks as it lurked in the streets of yesterday, but it was never the streets that were evil." - Sister Miriam Godwinson, Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri




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