NecroBones - Neverwinter Nights

[necrobones at necrobones dot com]


  1. Freeport Necropolis

  2. Darkwood Camps


Welcome! Now that Neverwinter Nights is finally coming on the scene, I will be making modules and campaigns here, just like my Tribes 2 mapping. The first module is called "Freeport Necropolis", and you can read about the on-going progress of this module and others on the right-side of this page.

Skeleton Warrior

July 30, 2002

Things have been more or less on hold around here. I lost my job this summer, and am still searching, so my priorities got moved around a bit. That didn't stop me before, but it may be a while before I release another module. I'm also working a little on my Tribes2 projects.

Also, check out one of my new web projects:

July 30, 2002

I've uploaded version 0.93 of Freeport Necropolis. It's all a bunch of really minor fixes to problems that didn't really hurt gameplay, but just make things a little nicer visually in some cases, and in other make the challenge more consistent for higher-level characters/parties. Unfortunately, as is the case with any module, you can't take advantage of the new changes with a savegame from an older version, since the entire module is saved into the savegame. You have to start fresh to use the new changes.

July 28, 2002

I've started a "revision history" section on the Freeport Necropolis page. I've started making some fixes. So far they're pretty minor. I'll release v0.92 soon.. within the next day or two.

Actually, I decided to go ahead and upload the new version of the module, so that people just downloading it for the first time can at least get the version with some of these enhancements.

July 27, 2002

I'm beginning work on a new module already. I'm not going to make any promises about when it'll be done, since I'm just beginning, don't know how long or large it'll be when it's done, and I can't be sure that I can commit as much time to the project as on Freeport. This one won't be dominated by undead... don't get me wrong, there'll still be plenty... but the undead will just be one part of many, and not the point of the plot. :)

July 26, 2002

Freeport Necropolis is available for download! Enjoy! Let me know if you spot any glaring bugs or issues with the module. Since it's my first module, and it's taken forever as it is, I'd expect the occasional spelling error, or minor lack of detail in places, etc. I hope you like it. :)

July 24, 2002

Guess what? Freeport Necropolis is "done"! I put "done" in quotes because I'll undoubtedly think of more things to add/fix later, but I finally used up my list of things needing to be done. For now I'm calling this version "0.90". I'm not sure which day I'll set it up for downloading, since I learned the hard way from my days in shareware programming that sometimes it really pays to sit on a project for a few days after completing it to make sure there aren't any glaring mistakes or big things you forgot to add.

So anyway, expect it to be available real soon.. :)

July 23, 2002

I have a treat for you. I have a second module that I'll be releasing within the next few days. It's called "Darkwood Camps", and is a small social module... that is, it's designed for online server use as a social gathering place. People can stand around the campfire and trade stories of battle and glory, or they can go off into the dark woods to hunt beasts. There's also a well-stocked vendor with good prices, so it'll work well as a small online hang-out.

I've decided to go ahead and make the Darkwood Camps module available for download. I can always revise it later, but it's such a small and simple module I don't mind taking that risk. :)

I've made some bug-fixes to Darkwood Camps already, so if you've already downloaded it, you may consider getting it again. Most of the fixes really aren't that important though:

  • Reduced ambient sounds in encampment, so other sounds aren't cut off
  • Fixed factions so vendors don't go postal on you if you lead a monster into town.
  • Moved a brazier in the nearby grove to not be "floating" 4 feet off the ground.
  • Added simple dialogue to "Bones" that was meant to be there originally.

July 22, 2002

The mod is almost ready for it's initial distribution. I've got two mini-quests that I'd like to finish up first, but most of the items I had on the to-do list last week are done, plus a few other minor fixes and tweaks. I'll likely sit on it for at least a few days once I'm satisfied with it, to make sure I don't think of any last minute changes. So I'd expect to be able to grab a copy in the very near future.

July 17, 2002

The main plot is done! I may add more detail to it later, but for now it'll do, since it forces you to visit every corner of the map. I still have a few things left on my to-do list, so I'd say the module is almost ready for prime-time. I might have a copy ready for download sometime next week. Except for a few tweaks and adjustments, and adding some background townfolk in the city, I've done everything I set out to do with this module. I'd say it's roughly equivelant to Chapter 1 and the Prelude in terms of mission length and module complexity. The file-size is certainly smaller than chapter 1 so far (chapter1 is 20 MB, this thing is approaching 14), but mostly that's due to significantly less dialogue and scripting. This is much more of a combat and exploration module than a talking one, and my module certainly has some expansive landscape in places. :)

July 16, 2002

The move has been successful. Here we are on PlanetNeverwinter! Woohoo! Yesterday's update unfortunately doesn't give a good idea of just how much progress I made in the week leading up to it. There were no news updates because I was busy on the module. From July 7 through July 15, I probably put over 60 hours of work into the module. I'm really looking forward to seeing some good feedback once I get this thing out the door. :)

I've put up some screenshots of some notable people and places. It gives a taste of a few of the things I've put in for atmosphere, and so forth.

I've been reading a little online. Some of the instability I mentioned before appears to mostly be bugs in the game, as opposed to making the module to complicated or whatever. I guess the server was just simply more stable with a small module and hardly any players, but a larger module makes the bugs a little more likely to be seen. Oh well. I look forward to the patches that fix these issues. HERE is a good list of some things being worked on.

July 15, 2002

As usual, I've added some more zones. I've also put a lot more work into the dialogue and plot, and a lot of bug-fixes and balance issues. I've also created an NPC at the beginning of the module who will increase you to level 6 if you're lower than that. You can get by at level 5 in a party, but you'll have the most fun in the level 6-8 range with a party of about 3 people.

I've added a completely frivolous section- The Evil Castle. It's just there for some good sword and flail hack-n-slash, and has nothing to do with the story. In fact, the NPC that greets you there tells you as much.

"The Black Knight" is something I've been spending some time tweaking too. He's a nice homage to Monty Python, and at the same time is a formidable adversary. You don't have to kill him if you're sneaky. :)

I think the module is about 80% complete, so I'd expect a downloadable version within the next week or two. It also looks like PlanetNeverwinter is accepting me for hosting, so this page will move there... where I won't have to worry about bandwidth problems for a 12+ MB module file.

July 8, 2002

I've added a few more zones, specifically the Fortress and the Fight Academy, both in Freeport City. I've also updated the quests to use the journal system (it was just item-based before), and started on some new quests. It's still going to take some time to add all the characters I want, as well as the rest of the sub-plots and the main plot (which only gets started in the crypt/dungeon). I'm setting the module up so it'll be able to be run continuously on a server, so the hack-n-slash spawn areas are all set for continuous respawns, but in such a setting, obviously the individual quests can only be done once each. They can also be done in any order, and the main plot will likely allow you to jump straight to the end if you know where to go, but the module will continue to run. Stopping the bad-guys doesn't necessarily make the problems go away, so undead-hunting can be done forever. :)

In terms of running as a public-access semi-persistent environment, there are a few things added in just for that purpose. The Sanctuary is strictly Non-PVP for safe transactions and interaction, though it's a long walk from the starting point. The Fight Academy is a stricly Full-PVP area for those who want to test their skills against one another. The rest of the module respects the server-setting in this regard. There's also the Dragon Cove, where you can party-up to fight individual dragons if you so choose.

On the to-do list I have things like- Mage Tower, State Building, main plot, additional sub-plots and quests, and lots of townfolk to build.

This module is a massive undertaking. I'll probably have put about 100 hours into it by the time it's done... just a rough guess of course.

July 7, 2002

Things are coming along nicely. I've got vibrant sound effects all over the place, and did what I could to really add to the atmosphere in the existing places. I'm starting to add more NPCs (a long way to go though, especially for the town-related quests, which are tedious and take a long time to make). I've added some more zones, with more on the way. I've also been playing Chapter 1 of the single-player campaign, in multiplayer with some friends and am getting some ideas for architecture and ambience. Yes, it's taken me this long to truly play the built-in game. I've been too enthusiastic about my own mod to put it aside for long. :)

The mod is really growing. I'm building a nice little world with it's own back-history, plenty of hack-n-slash, and a little humor along the way.

July 3, 2002

I've been away from NWN for a number of days now, since I had important out-of-town family business in the middle of last week, followed by getting laid off at work on friday (Worldcom, need I say more?), and then was away for the weekend too.

I made some more progress before all of that, and more today. I added interiors for most of the Cemetery buildings, some characters in the Necropolis and Freeport City, and a new tunnel linking those two cities.

I ran the server last night, and sure enough it crashed after about 2 hours. I started it right up again, and somehow it managed to stay running all night. I'm finding that as you play through this module, if you're going solo or as a pair, the characters really need to be level 10 or better. You can get by as levels 5 to 7 if you have enough people. Level 15+ is just overkill and there isn't as much of a challenge.

June 27, 2002

More progress! I've been cleaning up glitches in the maps, dialogue, and so forth, plus fleshing a few things out. Heh. :)

I ran into a few setbacks, one of which I was able to work-around... Once I got the "infinite spawn" thing working (spawnfields now reset and thus can be re-triggered after a minute or three), I noticed that my guards would slowly get pulled away from town... so now I have "post" waypoints so they return to their posts after battle. Same with the merchants.

The problem that isn't so easily solved is the fact that I'm now seeing server instability. After fixing the spawnfields, now the server seems to crash after an hour or so. I've also increased the player limit on the server, so maybe I'll pull that back a tad and see if the stability improves. When the spawn triggers were broken, the server ran all-night with no problem. Perhaps there is a memory leak afterall (I saw arguments over this on the message board). And of course, there's little "skeleton knuckle" loot-bags everywhere after a while too, since they never fade or auto-delete.

Aside from that, I've been tweaking some of the game-balance a little. One guy said he earned about 200k gold in one run. About 50k is in one place for easy testing, the rest was news to me. I guess some treasure is worth more than I realized.

I'm really annoyed at the stability issue and non-deleting loot-bags. Bioware stated that a reasonable module size was about 10 MB, and now that mine is just getting over 4 MB, it's getting unstable. And I'm not using any wierd scripting tricks that might break something. Just really really minor scripts here and there. I really hope I don't have to write complex scripts to FIX their issues.

June 25, 2002

I've worked on the module off and on over the past few days (what time I could spare for it), and have made gigantic leaps. I've gotten the first few quests working and tested, added some new areas, re-designed Freeport City to not be just a hodge-podge random arrangement of buildings, etc. I still need to populate Freeport and the Necropolis, but at least the buildings are set up. I added a "Sanctuary" castle (no-pvp, even on pvp servers), which is owned by characters based on me and my girlfriend. It's our little castle on the sea. :)

I've fixed all the spawn fields, so now there's monsters spawned constantly, to the point where the server will probably get bogged down with little loot-bags on the ground (we really need a server-setting for such things to self-delete after about 5 minutes if they don't contain a "plot item").

Players seem very pleased with my module. And often they can't tell when I'm DMing, since I'm a good DM... I'll sometimes heal them when they're near death and often they won't notice... Plus I'll throw in the occasional monster, tweak the difficulty slider, etc... very subtle help/hindrance. Well, it's subtle up until I manifest as a friendly skeleton. :)

I'd like to get some more screenshots going here, so please be patient in that regard.

June 21, 2002

I've made enormous progress. More crypt, caverns, wilderness paths, and the beginnings of the city (buildings only, though I may start the city over again). Woohoo!

I also left the server running all night last night, and today while I'm at work. Observations: "infinite respawn" encounters stop working after a while, since none of them were working in the morning. A character I killed off with the DM client re-appeared later (maybe because I checked the "no permanent death" option on him). More observations will come later, but so far I have to say it's pretty stable... the encounters just seem glitchy in this regard.

I've added a screenshot of the graveyard, taken from the editor obviously since you can't see so far in-game.

June 20, 2002

The cemetery itself is pretty much done, aside from some minor tweaks! I'm beginning work on the crypts, and I have to say- the crypt work goes much faster. It's easy as all hell to make some corridors and throw some monsters in. The hard parts are creating dialogue, making sure the monsters aren't too close to townsfolk, the guards are balanced against the monsters well, the shopkeepers are stocked correctly, etc, all of which are above-ground concerns.

Once I get a little more crypt made, I'll work on the cavern and forest road that will lead to Freeport. The city itself will be quite an undertaking, but I'm looking forward to it.

If you happen to spot my server up, come on in. It's usually in the "Social" section when I've got it open to the public, and will always be named "NecroBones"-something. In this case, often it'll be "NecroBones Necropolis".

June 19, 2002

[This page went online, and I built the graveyard]

(All content Copyright 2002, Ed T. Toton III, All Rights Reserved)
(Unauthorized duplication prohibited)