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NWN2 News June 20, 2007

Posted by Rob McGinnis , 20 June 2007 · 4830 views

NWN2 News
Neverwinter Nights 2 Community Update
June 20th, 2007

Another busy week has gone by. Since the last update, we have been playing on the 1.06 patch. Things are definitely improving and I am sure many of us are thankful for the undo functionality added to the toolset. [Edit: I was just sent a PM from JasonNH on the Bio Boards. Unfortunately, there appears to be an issue where Undo removes water. This was not reported in the beta, so some investigation is underway. New information: This is fixed in later builds. - Rob].

This week, we are going to talk about a new DM Client feature, the Model/Animation viewer, a couple toolset improvments, some great mods by Heed and Charlie and a little bit about the Red Wizard of Thay class in the expansion.

DM Client Facelift
One of the areas we have spent considerable time on for the 1.07 patch is the DM Client. In this first pass we are trying to get the DM Client to be useable for DM-led events and adventures. For 1.07 you should see console commands accessible, a new UI for changing players' alignments, and notes will be visible in the creator (The stuff between the {} brackets in the toolset) among many other changes.

We have also added a new feature to the Player List for DMs. This new feature will allow you to apply a filter to your Player List to only show the players you want to see. That means, say you are a DM on a server with 60+ players; you can select the players in the event you are running and filter your Player List to only show those few players.

Here's a screenshot to illustrate

The shot above is a picture of a Work In Progress. The portrait on top will be the portrait of your DM Avatar. It will always remain at the top. The two buttons below the portrait are for showing the selected players and showing all the players. The pic also shows the checkboxes for selecting the players.

Model/Animation Viewer
By now, those of you that have been using the toolset should have seen the new Model & Animation Viewer plugin included with the 1.06 patch. This tool is leading the way for the Granny export tools that will allow Custom Content Creators to create custom animations for creatures and objects. The Animation Viewer will allow you to see what animations are available for each model, frames and much more.

Toolset Improvements
Coming up in the 1.07 patch we'll see a few more toolset improvements. Two of those improvements are the ability to switch between male & female models in the Armor Set tab for armor properties, and the other is the SetLightActive script that will allow modders to turn lights on and off through script - without having to create and destroy them all the time.

Heed's PC Tools
Heed's PC Tools is a GUI driven suite of tools allowing player characters to perform a variety of functions. The majority of the functionality will likely be of most interest to those playing multiplayer games. PC Tools allows players access to common functions such as saving the character, displying an "AFK" visual effect, checking the game date/time, unsticking the character from unpathable locations, creation of campfire or tent objects, a full emote studio including visual effect props such as mandolin, flute, shovel, rake, etc., a dice roll pane for rolling standard die rolls as well as ability, save and skill, 9 custom buttons for end user addition of functionality -- and more! The interface is collapsable down to a core element which can be left open on screen by the player without excessive obscuring of the available screen space. Further minimization can be done so that entire menu collapses into a single icon.

Charlie's Item Appearance Changer
Tired of your gear looking like everyone else's? Change it! Charlie's Item Appearance Changer is a UI-driven system that allows you to select from a range of item appearances for your visible equipment! It can be installed for use in the official campaign, or added to your new module or online world. You can preview different armor, weapons, cloaks, helms, boots, gloves and shields.

Both Heed's PC Tools and Charlie's Item Appearance Changer are available on Neverwinter Vault.

The Red Wizard of Thay
In the expansion, we are including the Red Wizard of Thay prestige class. This long-awaited class is a very welcome addition for me, and I am sure it is for many of you too. So, I thought I'd take a moment to go over the Red Wizard and how it's implemented.

Requirements: The Red Wizard prestige class requires that you be human and have any non-good alignment. You must have 8 ranks in the Spellcraft skill and at least one metamagic feat or item creation feat (other than scribe scroll). Other feats you must have are Spell Penetration and Greater Spell Penetration, too. On top of all that you must be a specialist wizard with the ability to cast at least 3rd level arcane spells.

Class Features: The Red Wizard uses the d4 Hit Die, just like a normal wizard and has a low base attack bonus (BAB). Her high save is Will. Red Wizards gain no armor or weapon proficiencies and gain 2 skill points, plus intelligence modifier, per level in skill points.

The special features a Red Wizard gains are as follows (not listed in any particular order):

1. Red Wizards continue to gain spells per level as though gaining a level in Wizard.
2. Enhanced Specialization: Upon becoming a Red Wizard, the character becomes even more skilled at casting spells from his chosen school of specialization.
3. Specialist Defense: A Red Wizard gains a bonus to defending against schools from his specialist school.
4. Spell Power: The Red Wizard's effective caster level for determining level-dependent variable checks is increased by +1.
5. Wizard Bonus Feat: Red Wizards gain a bonus metamagic or item creation feat.

Unfortunately, we were not able to implement the Red Wizard's ability to perform Circle Magic for the expansion. Given the time we had, and the complexities involved, we felt it would be better for everyone if we spent time on other features for the expansion. Even with this in mind, the class is great fun to play... and... well... who doesn't want to be a Red Wizard?

For more information and background on the Red Wizards, checkout their Wikipedia Entry.

Persistent World Spotlight
Each week, we would like to do a spotlight on a different Persistent World in each Community Update. I invite all of your Persistent World admins and owners out there to write up a small description of your world and to go over its high points. You also should include a section that answers the question "Why would I want to play on this server?" This will be a great opportunity to really "sell" the virtues of your PW to all those players out there.

You can PM your write-ups to me here on these boards. Next week, we will be taking a quick look at The Frontier.

That's about it for this week's update. It would have been up earlier today, but I just wanted to be able to tell you that stealth and perception should be greatly improved with 1.07. In essence, it works like it did in NWN1, but there may need to be some adjustments due to the Companion system.


Jun 20 2007 05:35 PM
That's a ton of great news, Rob. Awesome! Thx. I'm especially looking forward to the PW Spotlight. original.gif

What can I say, as prestige classes go, your Red Wizard was definitely--the easiest to code?

Pretty mundane guy without the Tattoo scribing feat and the two Circle Magics.

Definitely would've been a popular multiplayer class--just for the free player feat granting ability, let alone Red Wizard hunting parties running around casting as effectively 40th level casters.

How much coding would it have been? A spell-like ability or two to bring up a menu to establish whether you're a leader or a participant, what options you want to tweak for the spell's output, a script to deplete the members' spells on use, a script to check the party is in proximity of each other? CAKE.

In summary, thanks for the wasted prestige class slot. tongue.gif


The Red Wizards are the masters of Thay, the would-be magical overlords of the land of Faerûn (in the FORGOTTEN REALMS® campaign setting). They focus on a school of magic more intently than any specialist, achieving incredible mastery of magic within a very narrow focus. Seen as cruel and evil tyrants by people across the world of Toril, a few choose to leave their region, assume secret identities, and practice magic without having to worry about political alliances and possible slave uprisings. Early in their careers, would-be Red Wizards specialize in a school of magic and acquire the Tattoo Focus feat that prepares them for entry into the Red Wizard prestige class. All Red Wizards have some skill as a specialist wizard, and most follow that path exclusively, but a few dabble in other sorts of learning (such as combat or divine magic). While it is possible for a sorcerer or bard to become a Red Wizard, such misfits are ridiculed in their homeland and are incredibly rare.

Hit Die: d4.

Requirements To qualify to become a Red Wizard, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.
Race: Human from Thay.
Alignment: Any nongood.
Skills: Spellcraft 8 ranks.
Feats: Tattoo Focus (see New Features of the Red Wizard, below) plus a total of three metamagic feats or item creation feats.
Spells: Able to cast 3rd-level arcane spells.

Class Skills: The Red Wizard’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (all skills taken individually) (Int), Profession (Wis), Spellcraft (Int). See Chapter 4 of the Player’s Handbook for skill descriptions.

Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Class Features: All the following are class features of the Red Wizard prestige class.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Red Wizards gain no proficiency with any weapon or armor.

Spells per Day: A Red Wizard’s training focuses on arcane spells. Thus, when a new Red Wizard level is gained, the character gains new spells per day as if he had also gained a level in whatever arcane spellcasting class he belonged to before he added the prestige class. He does not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained (bonus metamagic or item creation feats, bard or assassin abilities, and so on). This essentially means that he adds the level of Red Wizard to the level of whatever other arcane spellcasting class the character has, then determines spells per day and caster level accordingly.

If a character had more than one arcane spellcasting class before he became a Red Wizard, he must decide to which class he adds each level of Red Wizard for the purpose of determining
spells per day.

Enhanced Specialization: Upon becoming a Red Wizard, a character increases his devotion to his wizard school of specialization. In exchange for this, the Red Wizard must sacrifice study in
one or more schools. The Red Wizard must choose an additional prohibited school or schools using the rules in the Player’s Handbook.

He can never again learn spells from those prohibited schools. He cannot choose the same prohibited schools he chose as a 1st-level wizard. He can still use the prohibited spells he knew
prior to becoming a Red Wizard, including using items that are activated by spell completion or spell trigger.

For example, Ghorus Toth is specialized in the school of transmutation. His prohibited schools are abjuration and enchantment. When he becomes a Red Wizard, he must choose one other
prohibited school. He decides to select conjuration as his additional prohibited school.

Specialist Defense: A Red Wizard gains a bonus on saving throws against spells from his specialist school. This bonus starts at +1 and increases at higher levels, as shown on Table 6–15.

Spell Power: At 2nd level, a Red Wizard gains a bonus that increases his effective caster level for purposes of determining level-dependent spell variables and for caster level checks. The bonus starts at +1 and increases at higher levels, as shown on Table 6–15. This ability stacks with other spell power benefits that affect spells from the Red Wizard’s specialist school.

Bonus Feat: At 5th level, a Red Wizard gains a bonus feat, which must be either an item creation feat, a metamagic feat, or the Spell Mastery feat.

Circle Leader: At 5th level, a Red Wizard gains the ability to become a circle leader, who is the focus person for
Red Wizard circle magic (see New Features of the Red Wizard, below).

Scribe Tattoo: At 7th level, a Red Wizard gains the ability to place the Thayan wizards’ magic tattoos upon willing and qualified novices, giving them the Tattoo Focus feat and inducting them into his circle.

Great Circle Leader: A 10th-level Red Wizard can be the leader of a great circle, which can have up to nine other participants instead of just five.

New Features of the Red Wizard
The Red Wizard prestige class was originally created for inclusion in the FORGOTTEN REALMS® Campaign Setting, and uses several rules specific to that setting. We’ve reproduced them here so you can better see how the class works. Consider carefully before adding them to a campaign that does not use the FORGOTTEN REALMS setting.

New Feat: Tattoo Focus [Special]
You bear the powerful magical tattoos of a Red Wizard of Thay.

Prerequisite: Specialized in a school of magic.

Region: Thay.

Benefit: Add +1 to the DC for all saving throws against spells from your specialized school. You get a +1 bonus on caster level checks (1d20 + caster level) to overcome a creature’s spell resistance when casting spells from that school.

Special: Only characters with the Tattoo Focus feat can participate in Red Wizard circle magic (see below).

Circle Magic: Some of the most powerful and spectacular spells worked across Faerûn are cast in the form of circle magic. Circle magic is a type of cooperative spellcasting that allows the spellcaster leading the circle to increase his caster level significantly and achieve results otherwise unavailable to the spellcasters composing the circle.

The Red Wizards of Thay make frequent use of circle magic. Stories of other forms of circle magic abound in Faerûn.

Participation: The ability to participate in circle magic requires the possession of the Tattoo Focus feat (see above).

One spellcaster, usually the most powerful or experienced character present, stands at the center of the circle. This character is the circle leader. A Red Wizard cannot be a circle leader unless he
is at least a 5th-level Red Wizard.

A circle requires a minimum of two participants plus the circle leader. Up to five participants can aid a circle leader in a standard circle; a Red Wizard of 10th level can lead a great circle containing up to nine other participants.

All participants in a circle must stand within 10 feet of the circle leader, who stands in the center.

Circle Powers: The first use of circle magic is to empower the circle leader with the strength of all the participants.

This requires 1 full hour of uninterrupted concentration on the part of all participants and the circle leader. Each participant casts any single prepared spell, which is consumed by the circle and has no effect other than expending the prepared spell. The spell levels expended by the circle participants are totaled as circle bonus levels. Each bonus level may be used to accomplish the following effects.

•Increase the circle leader’s caster level by one for every circle bonus level expended (maximum caster level 40th). This benefit applies to level-dependent variables of a spell such as range or duration, and to level checks (dispel checks, checks to overcome spell resistance, and so on).

•Add Empower Spell, Maximize Spell, or Heighten Spell metamagic feats to spells currently prepared by the circle leader. Each circle bonus level counts as one additional spell level required by the application of a metamagic feat to a spell. The circle leader may add one of the three listed feats to a spell even if he does not know the feat or if the addition of the feat would raise the spell level past the circle leader’s normal maximum spell level (maximum spell level 20th).

These effects last for 24 hours or until expended. Circle bonus levels may be divided up as the circle leader sees fit. For example, the Red Wizard Hauth Var leads a circle in which four participants each cast a 2nd-level spell, so that Hauth Var gains eight circle bonus levels. Hauth Var chooses to use three circle bonus levels to maximize his cone of cold spell, three to increase his caster level from 10th to 13th for all level-based variables in his spells, and two to provide a +2 bonus on any level checks he needs to make. The maximized spell is used up whenever he casts his cone of cold, and the other two effects remain for the next 24 hours. Many high-level Red Wizards lead circles on a daily basis to exact magical power from their apprentices.

Rob McGinnis
Jun 21 2007 06:36 AM
QUOTE(chris421 @ Jun 20 2007, 08:55 PM)
How much coding would it have been? A spell-like ability or two to bring up a menu to establish whether you're a leader or a participant, what options you want to tweak for the spell's output, a script to deplete the members' spells on use, a script to check the party is in proximity of each other? CAKE.

That would have been a kludgey way to do it. Which would have caused even more complaints.
QUOTE(nicethugbert @ Jun 21 2007, 03:35 AM)
That's a ton of great news, Rob. Awesome! Thx. I'm especially looking forward to the PW Spotlight. original.gif

I second that... a part PW Spotlight... seeing that it will be "English language PW Spotlight" so I can't be so interested. wink.gif

However I like to ask if you could add a sort of "SetLightActive" script for other type of placeables, too... ex: placeable effects (I created a randomizer for it, too... and it has to destroy e recreate them each time)... but also as much thing as possible (almost "everything placeable" should be good! original.gif).
QUOTE(Rob McGinnis @ Jun 21 2007, 05:36 PM)
QUOTE(chris421 @ Jun 20 2007, 08:55 PM)
How much coding would it have been? A spell-like ability or two to bring up a menu to establish whether you're a leader or a participant, what options you want to tweak for the spell's output, a script to deplete the members' spells on use, a script to check the party is in proximity of each other? CAKE.

That would have been a kludgey way to do it. Which would have caused even more complaints.

I understand your decision. However, is it possible we might someday get it with patch? (like, patch 1.56 or something tongue.gif )
Rob McGinnis
Jun 21 2007 12:06 PM
I can't promise anything there.
Jun 21 2007 12:26 PM
In a way I'm sad there won't be any circle magic, but if I think about it, circle magic has never been the core of the class anyway for me personally. That is, the times I've ever played a red wizard I was always the only caster in the party anyway.

In the end, I'm glad you got the specialisation and the wizard class correct. After reading the many requests on the BW forums that demanded a "red sorcerer" I was fearing for it. But I'm extremely glad you guys decided to stick to the rules and make it specialist wizard only.

And really, if the circle magic could be sloppily created with spell like abilities as an above poster pointed out, that just means someone in the community will be able to add that easily afterwards, in the meanwhile I'm glad we got at least the core abilities of my favorite spellcaster class ingame.
Great news on all fronts, Rob. Thanks for posting such exciting info. The work going into the DM Client and the MP side of things will be repaid a thousandfold, I believe, by the longevity of the game and by the joy so many will get from it (not the least, myself).
QUOTE(Rob McGinnis @ Jun 21 2007, 10:36 AM)
That would have been a kludgey way to do it. Which would have caused even more complaints.

Um, what I described took longer to type than solve in my head.

I know the scripts and data behind this game embarrassingly well. So your comment sure feels like the pot calling the kettle...

As I'm sure you're painfully aware, the more interesting elements of D&D do not all necessarily conform to elegant, easily codeable systems. Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook and Skip Williams aren't sitting around lamenting, what feat or bonus they could regurgitate next, "to make life easier on the devs over at Obsidian".

And I think you're fooling yourself that a properly represented RWoT would win complaints upon release.

The Red Wizard is a beloved & villainous prestige class. Misrepresenting core DM Guide material, which is so readily replicable, in the way proposed frankly bites. Just saying if you're going to add new content--add new content!
Just a quick note to say that there is now a second download package of PC Tools available which is an entire translation of PC Tools into the French language by The_sAm.

This is a complete translation of the entire package including the script file, readme, demo module, hak and erf. If you are playing/building in the French language, then everything you need is in that package. If you are playing on a server that uses the English language package and want your PC Tools to be in French, then just rename the hak from heed_pc_tools_french.hak to heed_pc_tools.hak

The_sAm has done a great job on this and put in a lot of work to get it done. I thank him for providing me with a copy so I can distribute it with the main English package.

Oh, and thanks for the promo Rob. original.gif

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