Rachel "Sparks" Blackman (seattlesparks) wrote,
Rachel "Sparks" Blackman

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Along the shores of the Crescent Sea...

The mist-shrouded and rainy northern shores of the Crescent Sea have seen many an interesting tale over the ages. The tale that concerns us takes place five hundred years past...

The small port town of Aledona had reached a hundred years old, yet development to their east was forcing dire creatures into the lands surrounding it, and even into the city's streets themselves. Desperate to find a solution, the cleric-mage Halice Lannars began to study every mystical tome she could in order to find a way to save her beloved town. Six years of painstaking research, all the while Aledona was harder-pressed by encroaching darkness. Then finally, Halice found a solution.

The river which ran beneath Aledona carried several magical essences from the surrounding lands; Halice could use these as part of an intricate web of mystical energies which would form a protective aura around Aledona and the surrounding lands. The spell was complex, and Halice enlisted the aid of her brother Aeridath in order to perform it. Alas, while they were working the ritual along the riverbank outside the city, they were beset by bandits. Aeridath defended his sister, but fell in combat; Halice completed the spell, but without her brother to balance it she was literally torn from her body...her spirit bound into the very essence of the mystic web she had crafted.

Aledona found itself protected, dark creatures turned back from the borders. The river itself changed as well; touching the water could cure most ailments. Protected now and with a mystic spring, Aledona flourished and became a prospering port town. It is said that Halice still lives, that as she was bound into the web she became something other than purely mortal; and so Halice is known around the Crescent Sea as the guardian goddess of Aledona and the surrounding realm.

Soooo, I got Neverwinter Nights. Since I've decided to bite the bullet and go back into game programming, it seems like it's not a bad idea to make a game module or three to be able to show prospective employers (look, I can do design!) since most of my previous credits are two years old or more. I had the idea for the lands around the Crescent Sea and for the goddess Halice floating around my head, and so I began to put together a module called 'Aledona', representing the city. It doesn't have coded quests (though I may add a few minor ones), but it's intended to run as a persistent world for GM'd 'online tabletop' campaigns.

So far, I have the following set up in the Aledona module:

  • Temple of Halice: This is where the spring that comes from the river is. Sure enough, touch the spring and you're healed. Delliah, the priestess who watches over the spring, will happily answer questions about the town's history and religion.

  • NPC AI Engine (pre-alpha): I've been working on an AI engine for the Aledonian NPCs. This will have 'relationships' (between NPCs, and with NPCs to PCs) which determine lots of things. Right now, it's in a pretty primitive state; NPCs have 'friends' where, if they get bored, they will seek out a friend. Right now, the two child-NPCs in the town (Sanita, the daughter of the innkeeper of the Dancing Bugbear, and Sillin, the son of one of the merchant captains) are set as friends. When one of them gets bored, they'll go looking for the other. When they find the other, they'll meet up and talk for a little while, and then run off together somewhere or else get bored. The AI engine will need a lot of expansion, but it's already pretty fun to watch Sanita go "I wonder where Sillin is..." and run around asking other NPCs if they've seen him. :)

  • Innkeeper Engine: This allows an innkeeper to rent rooms and distribute keys for those rooms. Since I plan to run campaigns in Aledona, it seems only fair to let the PCs rent rooms in the city which they can lock, and let them put their things away in storage there and have a place to park themselves and call their own. It adds to their investment in the world, after all...and it means even if they wander off out of Aledona on the campaign for a while and come back several sessions later, their things will be waiting for them in their room. Right now, there's only one 'inn' in the section of city I've finished, the 'Dancing Bugbear.' It has seven rooms (each with two beds and a storage room) which lock. I plan to add other things to the Innkeeper engine, but right now it just has the rental bit.

So far, it's coming out well. I'll probably eventually end up re-working the layout of the city - I may even just toss it and start the district over, but keep all the code. If any of my friends who have Neverwinter Nights are interested either in helping test Aledona as I build or, or playing in some of the inaugural campaigns I'll put together eventually...let me know. :)
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