The World of Greyhawk
Q. What sort of locations and setting will the player get to see in the game?
A. (T.C. - HomeLAN - 1/16) The module is set near the small village of Hommlet in the Flanaess area of the Oerik Continent. There is another village nearby, along with the evil temple and some other points of interest. There is even some extra-planar adventure to be had.
Q. Will the in-game events that take place be inconsequential to the world of Greyhawk as a whole?
A. (T.C. - RPG Player - 3/5) Greyhawk is a HUGE world, and we are connecting as much of our story as possible to events and people in that world. So even though the adventure takes place in a relatively small corner of Greyhawk, you will meet important persons and have the opportunity to make decisions with far-reaching effects.
Q. What kind of monsters are in the game?
A. (T.C. - RPG Vault) We have a large variety of creatures, from the common bugbears and gnolls to cool outsiders like demons and efreeti. There are lots of undead too. I think we are at 60-plus different types of monsters, and counting. We have lots of variations on each type that are not included in that figure. For example, there are seven different bugbear models, depending on temple affiliation, and there's a separate model for female bugbears too.
Q. How many types of monsters are there?
A. (Gamespy - 2/7) 90-100.
Q. Will the game keep some of the monsters found in the PnP module (elementals, juggernauts, fungi)?
A. (T.C. - RPG Vault) Of course, we have elementals (you can't have a temple of elemental evil without them). And yes, the Juggernaut and the fungus creatures (ascomids, basidironds, phycomid, zygoms, etc) are all in there. I think the artists had some fun with these creatures.
Q. Will there be beholders?
A. (S.M. 2/23) Not to be a Negative Nancy but I don't think there is a beholder in the module. Nor are the indigenous to the areas that the module takes place in. But I haven't looked at the monster list in a while, who knows what might be on there.
Q. How many different towns/locations will we see in the game aside from Hommlet and the Temple itself?
A1. (S.M. 2/11) Good question. There are bout eight major areas, but they are multi maps. um... I don't want to spoil anything but there are quite a few maps.
A2. (L.F. 2/11) lotsa BIG maps
Q. How many NPCs (in total) will be in the game?
A. (S.M. 2/15) Um, I think there are about three dozen NPC followers, and over a hundred NPCs with non trivial dialogs. These are numbers off the top of my head, Tim would know exact details.
Q. Are there going to be factions? If so, how many will there be?
A1. (T.C. 2/11) Yes we have factions. You can be in more than one, mostly by gaining a certain reputation. Some do contradict each other. I am not sure of how many.
A2. (S.M. 2/11) Currently 27 factions in factions.mes :)
A3. (T.C. 3/28) ToEE has a smaller scope than Arcanum. So while there are fewer factions, they have more of an effect in the game. If you piss off the people in village of Hommlet, it's not like you have 20 other villages to go to.
Q. Will monsters of opposing factions fight it out?
A1. (H.N. 2/23) as far as I know and have seen, monster factions are in and functional. so if monsters are set up (AI, scripting, or otherwise) to fight one another, they'll do so.
A2. (T.C. 2/24) I think a little monster on monster action will take place. It's fun to experience, and it reminds you that not everyone is out to get you.
Q. How is PC death handled in the game?
A1. (T.C. 2/11) You die. You're dead. Someone raises you. You are alive.
A2. (S.M. 2/11) We're still hung on whether or not to charge a level/xp for dying.
Q. Are there situations/status conditions where you are unable to be resurrected?
A. (T.C. 3/14) Nope. You can always get raised.
Q. Will there be any NPCs that perform important tasks for you?
A. (T.C. - RPG Vault) There are friendly non-followers who provide support for the group, such as the NPC cleric who can heal and raise dead, and the variety of shopkeepers who buy and sell goods. The latter are important for the player who wants to make magic items, since he needs to buy masterwork arms and armor to enchant. We also have NPCs that can help out the player with advice or additional background information, in case the player isn't sure what to do.
Q. What types of coins are used in the game?
A. (S.M. 2/18) [The coins in the game are...]
And I believe that many of the dialogs refer to them by their native mint type too. We did drop the idea of weight for coins. We felt that the realism it added detracted from the game more than it added.
Q. Will there be any romance in Greyhawk?
A. (H.N. 3/19) I don't want to give away any spoilers, suffice to say that there are some romances of all kinds in ToEE
Q. Are parts of the game funny?
A. (T.C. 3/28) I'd like to think so. Some of the humor is very low key, and some of it is a reference to out of game things, but we did it in such a way that if you don't get the reference, the humor does not seem out of place. You just won't know that there is a sub-context.
Q. Will there be a shop that sells super-powerful items?
A. (H.N. 3/30) most likely high-powered enchantments won't be sold in stores near you. tim could tell you for sure about what kind of magic items are sold by vendors
Q. Will NPCs wander around the map?
A1. (T.C. 3/27) I have worked towards giving NPC's goals. Many will join your group for a purpose and leave when they achieve it. But if they get too realistic, for example, if they constantly move all over the map, that's annoying when you want to find them. We have a few NPC's that move around a lot, but most stay in a particular area.
A2. (T.C. 3/27) We do have NPC's that cross maps and wander about. It's just that most of them who give or administer quests will stay at or near one location, so you can find them easily. That doesn't mean that Farmer Joe won't go into his fields during the day and go home at night, it just means that he won't go all over the village.
Q. Will your party interact with each other?
A1. (T.C. 3/4) There is interaction between followers and PC's, and sometimes your players will make comments on things (like a critical hit by another player. But I don't want to impose too much personality on player characters. That's your job.
A2. (S.M. 3/4) We try not to take any control away or force your player characters to do anything.
Q. Will there be special dialogs for stupid characters (ala Arcanum)?
A1. (I.B. 3/6) Apparently, YES!
A2. (S.C. 3/4) the "Stupid" dialogs are really funny.
Q. Can we rely solely upon speech skills to get through the game?
A1. (S.M. 2/11) I don't think you can solely rely upon speech skills. Some combat is necessary, although it doesn't have to be fatal combat.
A2. (T.C. 2/11) And your followers can do that combat.
Q. Will we be able to tag a diplomat character as the default talker for speech events?
A1. (T.C. 1/16) Ok, I like this idea of a designated talker, but he will only talk if it is valid to start a dialog between him and the NPC. Also, you should be free to select a character and use him as a talker. We have so many dialogs that check different things that the idea of the "best" talker is a vague one at best. Sometimes you want your highest Diplomacy guy to talk, sometimes your highest Bluff, sometimes your druid or sometimes your evil character. These may not be the same guy.
A2. (H.N. 1/16) our discussion included selecting the "designated talker" from the party formation UI. the designated diplomat will only do the talking if you have multiple PC's roped. i.e. if you have one PC selected, he/she will do the talking. if you have more than 1 PC selected when initiating a conversation, the "diplomat" will speak (if possible, as Tim said - otherwise it will default to the party leader).
Q. Are there any forced dialogs?
A. (T.C. 1/17) We have a few forced dialogs in the game. Some occur when you enter an area you aren't supposed to be in, so the NPC begins dialog with the nearest PC. Sometimes, forced dialogs begin when the NPC sees an item on a PC, so he begins dialog with that PC. But by far, the majority of our dialogs are initiated by the PC.
Q. Will languages be incorporated into ToEE?
A. (S.M. 2/1) Currently everybody in the game speaks common. I do not believe there are plans to implement language, at this time. Again, we felt it added very little to the module.
Q. If I kill Jim Bob of Hommlet, will Joe Bob, located halfway across town, know about it?
A1. (S.M. 2/6) Depends. How loud did you kill him? Does Joe Bob know Jim Bob? Could someone else have seen you?
A2. (T.C. 3/27) There are a few opportunities for this, but in some places, they will just know it's you. You're the only new person in the area, and people are dying. It doesn't take Sherlock Holmes to figure out who is doing it.
Q. Will there be any NPCs that are "forced to die" in a cutscene or script?
A. (T.C. 3/27) I don't think I kill anyone automatically in front of you. However, I can think of one place where you can stumble upon a person who has just killed someone.
Q. Will different classes have different dialog options?
A. (T.C. 2/17) Different classes (and class abilities, like bardic knowledge) can open up new dialog options. Usually, this means a new way to solve a quest. I don't think we have any quests that are restricted to one class only, but we do have several that are much easier to solve with a particular class.
Q. In dialogs, does the alignment of your diplomat character count? Or is everything based on your party alignment?
A. (T.C. 2/6) In dialogs, almost *everything* counts: intelligence, alignment, dialog skills (diplomacy, bluff, intimidation, sense motive, gather information), class, level, etc. Not with every character, mind you, but name a stat, and somewhere there's an NPC who checks it.
Q. What else counts in NPC dialogs?
A1. (T.C. - RPG Codex - 1/13) In addition to the speech skills (Bluff, Diplomacy, Gather Information, Intimidate, and Sense Motive), NPC's will also react to the things like class, alignment, and some stats like intelligence and charisma. You will also see changes in some NPC's depending on how you solved certain quests (not just that you solved them, but HOW you chose to solve them).
A2. (H.N. 2/7) there are certain dialogs that have different interactions for different faiths/religions and gods.
A3. (T.C. 3/4) The biggest emphasis is on skills. But intelligence plays a large part too. And sometimes we check your race, class and alignment. And sometimes optional class abilities. And once I checked for a feat...Well, more than once. Dialogs have many paths.
A4. (S.M. 3/16) I know of one item (which I wont say what it is), and one spell (True Seeing) that actually affect dialog.
Q. How do we know what skill is being used in our dialog responses?
A. (S.M. 3/15) We use little icons next to dialog lines that appear because of skills. IIRC, Bluff is a green circle with a big grinning smiley face, diplomacy is a yellow circle with a diplomatic looking document in the center, gather information is a cyan circle with a funny looking ear in the center, intimidate is a red circle with a buff looking bicep/arm, and sense motive is a purple circle with an eye. I'm sure all of this is subject to change of course.
Reputation and Alignment
Q. You'll be able to pick your party's alignment, correct?
A1. (I.B. 2/7) Yes. Party alignment will be chosen at the beginning of the game. Your characters can be only one alignment away from the party alignment. Take a look at the following alignment grid:
Lawful Good Lawful Neutral Lawful Evil Neutral Good True Neutral Neutral Evil Chaotic Good Chaotic Neutral Chaotic Evil
If your party is Lawful Good, a party member can be Lawful Good (LG), Lawful Neutral (LN), and Neutral Good (NG). If your party is Chaotic Neutral, a party member can be True Neutral (NN), Chaotic Neutral (CN), Chaotic Good (CG), or Chaotic Evil (CE).
As Tim explains it...
"Right now, we have the 9 party alignments that allow the following:
L/C/G/E: the three alignments on the edge
LG/CG/LE/CE: the four alignments in the corner
N: the five neutral alignments
I can see why people may want true neutral in the L/C/G/E group. I am torn on this. On the one hand, I feel it dilutes those party alignments. On the other hand, TN *is* included in the LG/CG/LE/CE group, so to be fair, perhaps the first group should have it too."
He also goes on to say... (Game Banshee - 2/3)
"Party creation is relatively straight-forward. You first pick a party alignment, which is the overall alignment for your player characters. You can then make up to five player characters, and their individual alignments must be at most one step away from the party alignment. For example, if you pick a Chaotic Good party alignment, your player characters can be Chaotic Good, Neutral Good, Chaotic Neutral, or True Neutral. If you pick an Evil party alignment, your player characters can be Lawful Evil, Neutral Evil, or Chaotic Evil.
In addition, you cannot mix paladins and any evil characters. Even though a Lawful party alignment allows characters of Lawful Good, Lawful Neutral and Lawful Evil alignments, once you make a paladin character, the Lawful Evil alignment is no longer available. Similarly, once you make a Lawful Evil character, the paladin class choice is no longer available for the rest of the party.
Both individual and party alignments affect game play, from the starting vignette to the dialog options, quests and even followers that will be available."
A2. (T.C. 2/11) The True Neutrals are the one alignment I haven't decided on. On the one hand, I may allow it in ALL groups. On the other hand, I may just allow it in the center group. I haven't decided. I *like* the Law group being the three Lawful alignments. Not those three plus TN. It's a purity thing. Anyway, there you go. I may not decide until 30 seconds before gold.
A3. (T.C. 2/14) OK, those are some good arguments. Now I am leaning towards putting TN in every grouping, even though I lose the purity of my edge groups. I don't know why I liked those edge groups so much. I guess I liked the idea of a Lawful group being comprised of all Lawfuls. But it makes sense that edge groups have TN if the corners do.
Q. Other than dialog options, what will keep the rest of the game tailored to your choice of party alignment?
A. (T.C. 2/17) Varying the dialog options leads to a lot of things: new quests, new solutions to existing quests, and even story branching. We have some end slides that can only occur for a particular alignment or set of alignments, solely because the actions that lead to them are not available to the other alignments.
Q. Aside from the party alignment, is there any sort of reputation system that affects how much people like you?
A. (S.M. 2/6) We kept the Arcanum style reputations system, and there are a variety of reputations you can make for yourself in and out of town.
Q. Can you actually play as a villain, or are you stuck playing as a goodie-two-shoes?
A. (I.B. 2/12) Troika is a big fan of supporting any type of player. Be it a killer, a diplomat, or just your average Joe. They've said over and over that they fully support the evil character. Judging from their past games (Fallout, Arcanum), they MEAN it!
Q. If you play an evil party, can you have a spotless reputation?
A. (T.C. 2/6) You can have a spotless reputation, but in this game, alignment dictates action. You will be offered mean things to say in combat, and often the evil way to complete a quest is the easiest. Then your reputation will suffer. The dark path is a slippery slope...
Q. Will you be able to change (or be forced to change) your alignment during the game?
A. (S.M. 1/15) I'm certainly not the final say on this, but as far as I know I do not think we will be supporting any alignment shifting. Instead we try to tailor the game to the alignments you have chosen.
Q. How many followers (NPCs) can join your party?
A1. (S.M. 2/3) I'm not sure on the NPC follower limit. It is either going to be 2 or 3. This is the most you can have at one time. However there are at least 8, probably more like 16-20 NPC followers you will be able to pick up for portions of the game. You may have to make decisions on who you are bringing with you, and they may require a share of the treasure.
A2. (T.C. 3/28) Most followers are humanoid, but there are some animal and monster followers (maybe 5 out of 40). But you can always animate some zombies or find a familiar or summon an animal companion.
Q. If I have a party of 4 PCs, can I hire 4 NPC followers?
A. (T.C. 3/14) You can always get 3 NPC's, whether there are 1 or 5 PC's makes no difference.
Q. How many different followers are there that you can pick-up?
A. (T.C. 2/11) Around three dozen...
Q. Will the icons from the PHB be used as follower portraits?
A. (S.M. 3/30) As far as I know, we are implementing all of our own art. And all concepts and 2d artwork (portraits, interface, etc.) are being done by Chris Glenn. What he is using for reference I'm not sure. But personally I think his stuff is freaking amazing.
Q. Will friendly fire make your followers hostile?
A. (H.N. 2/27) as of right now, general friendly fire does not make your followers hostile towards you. this will probably change (as per previous AI thread about this)
Q. When an NPC dies, do we have to carry his/her body back to the temple?
A. (T.C. 3/14) You never have to carry the body of a PC or an NPC back to the temple. You can target their portrait to raise them, and then they appear next to you with all of their stuff.
Q. Do you get EXP for killing your NPCs?
A. (T.C. 3/14) I think you will still get EXP (it's debatable but right now you will).
Q. Would NPCs you kill still be hostile if you raise them from the dead?
A. (T.C. 3/14) If you kill a follower, he will still be mad if you raise him. I mean, come on, you KILLED him!
Q. Will there be any chances to pick up new NPC's within the Temple?
A. (S.M. 2/16) If I remember correctly there are many NPCs to pickup in the temple itself.
Q. Who in the party will NPC followers actually follow?
A. (S.M. 2/15) NPCs should follow whoever picked them up.
Q. Will there be a canine NPC companion available?
A1. (T.C. 2/11) Yes
A2. (T.C. 3/27) Almost certainly.
Q. Do NPCs level up? Do they share/steal your EXP?
A. (T.C. 2/6) Yes, they level up and share your XP. In theory though, you can take tougher monsters with some NPC's to help, so there is balance.
Q. Can you control the NPC follower's actions?
A1. (T.C. - Game Banshee - 2/3) We are still debating the control issue in combat. Our NPC's have their own agendas, so we'd prefer that they control themselves. But given the limitation of AI and also the fact that a lot of people prefer controlling their followers in combat, we may allow such control, with ramifications later. For instance, if you make your good follower kill a good creature, he may leave the party after combat is over.
A2. (T.C. 3/27) Currently you control the PC's and the NPC's outside of combat, but only the PC's in combat. We may allow NPC control inside of combat too, but if you make them do something they hate (like make a paladin kill a good person), they will leave the party.
A3. (T.C. 3/29) Right now, you have no control, but we are adding the ability to take total control. We will probably end up giving you the option, for both PC's and NPC's, of controlling them in combat. If you choose not to control them, the AI will do it.
A4. (T.C. 3/29) There will be no difficulty settings associated with the control. Think of it this way: you control your NPC's except when it's safe to let them go, e.g. there are only 2 rats left and you let the fighter NPC's go on auto.
Q. Can you see an NPC follower's stats and skills?
A1. (T.C. - Game Banshee - 2/3) NPC's join the party with their own agendas, and you are not able to see their character stats or inventory.
A2. (T.C. 3/29) You can never see their stats or what they are wielding.
A3. (T.C. 3/29) [Even though you can't see their stats,] they will tell you their class and relevant info in dialog.
Q. Can you access an NPC follower's inventory?
A1. (T.C. - Game Banshee - 2/3) You can give them items to use, but you may not be able to get those items back. As there are no items that are absolutely required to finish the game, an NPC who leaves the group takes his inventory with him.
A2. (T.C. 2/8) You can see an NPC's inventory but not his wielded inventory. So you cannot dress him, but you can use him as a pack mule. He *might* decide to wield an item you give him, or he might not. It's his choice. If you give an NPC an item and he wields it, you cannot get it back. You can control this by not giving him wieldable items (make him carry gems, books, etc).
A3. (T.C. 3/29) You can add and remove things from their inventory, to use them as pack rats. So if an NPC wields a shield you give them, you cannot get it back unless they unwield it (perhaps if you give them something better) or when they die.
A4. (T.C. 3/29) The stuff they want to keep will not be visible in their inventory.
Q. Can you instruct followers to use non lethal attacks?
A. (S.M. 2/11) Not currently, although it sounds like a good idea
Q. Will any of the NPCs fight each other (physically)?
A. (T.C. 3/14) Whether they fight is kind of spoilerish, so I won't answer that. Oh what the hell, yes, sometimes two will get mad and fight each other.
Q. Are there any other NPC quirks worth mentioning?
A1. (T.C. - Game Banshee - 2/3) Some NPC's demand extra or special shares of loot when they join you (one wizard demands every wizard scroll you find).
A2. (T.C. 2/11) Many of the followers have their own agenda. They join for specific shares of treasure, and many will leave when their goals are completed. As with all things in the game, some of this can be altered by the player, using the right skill(s). This is part of the reason we do NOT want you to have full control of an NPC or be able to see his character sheet. We need to hide some information, for DRAMA
A3. (T.C. 3/29) We already have several NPC's that perform actions spontaneously, like attacking something or leaving the group or starting dialog. It's part of their hidden agendas.
A4. (T.C. 3/4) Some of the followers comment on a LOT. [Similar to Magnus in Arcanum.]
A5. (M.M. 3/4) Followers do some extra cool stuff. [They] will respond to actions you perform or they perform while in your party.
A6. (T.C. 3/27) We have deceptive NPC's, where they seem nice or seem evil, but they're not. As for quests though, most of them are not deceptive in that way.
Beginnings and Endings
Q. How will the game begin?
A1. (I.B. 2/10) During party creation, you choose an alignment for your party. This alignment determines which beginning scenario (called a vignette) is played.
As Tim Cain explains it...
"Each vignette is quite different. Some have the party meeting with a powerful NPC who is sending them on a specific mission, while others have the party roaming through a dungeon and discovering a treasure map. Depending on your alignment, your starting location changes, and your ultimate reason for coming to Hommlet and eventually to the Temple of Elemental Evil is different."
A2. (T.C. 2/11) Each vignette establishes the reason for your party to be in Hommlet. Therefore, each one gives a quest, your starting quest, which may be easy or hard to finish. We like variety.
Q. What is the average length (playing time wise) of a starting vignette?
A. (T.C. 2/17) Wow, they really vary. One has a dungeon to explore, while another is a dialog with an important person and then you are on your way. They were intended as story elements, not major locations.
Q. How well do the vignettes flow into the rest of the game?
A. (T.C. 2/17) They feel like part of the game. I'll admit that some of them could be cut scenes (the ones that are mainly dialog), but several involve combat. Heck, you might even die in the one that has you exploring a dungeon at the start.
Q. Will there be other PCs our characters have to compete with to beat the game first?
A. (T.C. 3/28) No. You are the heroes of the game. There aren't NPC groups running in parallel with you.
Q. What happens when you beat the game?
A1. (I.B. 2/10) You get a slide show that reflects what effects your actions had on the world.
A2. (T.C. - RPG Vault) The lack of a specific end to the module was perfect for us. We made a list of all the ways the module could end, both combat and non-combat solutions, good and evil. Then we supported all of those endings. Combined with the game tracking your choices through the story, there are a lot of possible end slides we can play.
Q. Once you beat the game and the slides roll, can you keep playing it?
A. (S.M. 2/6) We originally had an idea for doing this but it got scrapped. Ending the game should be a significant event, and thus it should be the end.
Q. Can we kill everyone and still beat the game?
A. (T.C. 1/17) Yes, you can kill everyone. In fact, I dare you to do so.
Q. How does time progress in the game?
A1. (T.C. 2/5) Duration is real time outside of combat.
A2. (S.M. 2/5) Duration is real time outside of combat. This is not set in stone currently, but is what we think it will be. To accelerate time further you may use the sleep/rest interface.
Q. Will there be any livestock to terrorize, and will we get EXP for doing so?
A1. (S.M. 2/6) Sheep, dogs, cows, small children are already there. We have chickens on our cool stuff list. But it will take a modeler and animator to make sure chickens get on the list.
A2. (T.C. 3/27) There will be children. And consequences for messing with them.
Q. Will there be ride-able horses or any other mounts?
A. (T.C. 2/11) No, unfortunately, no horses or mounts. Thus, not mounted feats or Ride skill.