I need help with Community Feedback for Motivation to make an Expansion 'Legacy of the Undead'.



  • I've made *VERY* rough templates of the dungeon levels for the Lich's Crypt based upon this basic description: "Crypt, Level Outside,1,2,3, Lich" - https://www.deviantart.com/withinamnesia/art/Baldur-s-Gate-Legacy-of-the-Undead-717694699

    Level 0 Outside (above picture so far)
    Level 1
    Level 2
    Level 3
    Level 4 Lich Lord Kel'Zan Final Boss Room
    The templates are mostly for a starting background and to 'wall around' the scope and to put into real scope the size of the dungeon in raw image size:
    Each Level 1, 2, 3 and finally 4 are currently just a black background maximum sized 5120x3840 image to give an accurate scope of the dungeon. The dungeon *in theory* should be slightly easier to develop given the black subterranean spaces in-between the rooms and corridors. Also there is more opportunity for more unique assets due to the possibility to mirror / flip rooms for reuse due to indoor lighting not always being cast from left to right (like outside areas).
  • edited February 27
    I did some basic math to see what is roughly larger, all of the surface area of Durlag's Tower maps combined or 5 maximum sized areas combined? It turns out that Durlag's Tower is ~ 300   +   100   +   4800   +   2720   +   1760   +   2280   +   345   +   345   +   230   +   150   +   440   +   420   +   500   +   400   +   400   +   4800   +   200 = 20,190 tiles where as 5 maximum sized areas are 80   ×   60 = 4,800, 4,800 x 5 = 24,000 tiles. If this project is able to be properly completed this dungeon could potentially be larger than Durlag's Tower by almost ~4,000 gross tiles; or roughly ~1.18870% (+~19%). That is approximately the raw size of every area map for Durlag's Tower combined *plus* nearly an extra one fifth for the Lich's Crypt in comparison of scope of raw size. A Big Dungeon.
  • edited March 7
    Here is a work in progress for the entrance Mausoleum for the Lich's Crypt that leads down to 4 more maximum sized dungeon levels (Overall slightly larger than Durlag's Tower).

  • edited March 7
    This is the polished version of area art for the entrance Mausoleum for the Lich's Crypt that leads down to 4 more maximum sized dungeon levels (Overall slightly larger than Durlag's Tower):

    This Mausoleum looks like a good place for a Lord Lich Kel'Zon fake out introduction (like any good first impression to a villain) after a brief battle where an invulnerable cat npc Mr. Jigglesworth (Naxx cat reference). Which transforms into a projection of the Lich Lord, which sparks some taunting dialog to the party and disappears in a quite deadly explosion. Only after mocking the party after the party has dealt a significant amount of damage to it (no regen) ~150 damage; being a somewhat de-tuned version of the final boss. Drops nothing but a sense of foreboding and a difficulty to set part expectations.
  • Very Early Level 1 W.I.P. Progress (The Lich's Crypt):
    The placement of the rooms is not final. I mirrored the interiors and shrunk the the central gallery / main chamber to fit more rooms and encounters within the first level of the Lich's Crypt (which is a maximum sized Baldur's Gate area map).

    It still needs hallways and stairs and do-dads. Then it needs very challenging undead encounters (liches, mummies, ghosts, armed and armoured skeletons etc.) to fill out the level and kick some party ass. Either way the development is much like my own digital garden, like a hobby I do on my spare time when I am, bored bit by bit, piece by piece until it is finished and I create more artworks.

  • Good!
    I wish the items and the battles of this huge mod are balanced like the original game, so not overpowered item or spell.
    The worst part of some big mod is the bad progression of equipment drop, onestly, i can't play if is very unbalanced (old pnp player here).

  • edited March 14

    Lich's Crypt Level 1 5120x3840 W.I.P.++

    The dungeon is meant to be an extremely challenging encounter to help justify already powerful items within the Original Baldur's Gate Version 2.5+.

    In Vanilla World of Warcraft at the end game at max level the powerful items collected are progressed by tiers of difficulty where as the easier to obtain end game items act as starting gear to enter giant complexes of high challenge combat that takes from 2-4 hours to complete per run as in to raid. There was no issue in Vanilla wow with high power items in general for they were harder and harder to obtain the more powerful they became.

    Also at the very end of the game there was this massive epic super raid called Naxxramas which would kill guilds and even the starting gear from past raids was not enough to properly progress (minus the nolifing tryhards XD) and the players needed to skillfully execute every trick in the book just to kill one boss to start. When they geared up after grinding a few bosses in after many many failed attempts over a few weeks to a few months on average (every weekend attempts were made mostly) from the loot dropped they could do Naxxramas with less stress and less consumables and help other people gear up with slightly more leeway in each boss battle.

    Naxxramas when first progressing would take 2 days to clear but once geared and properly trained a raid could kill all bosses from start to finish just under 4 hours if the raid did not wipe world buffs.

    Cere said:
    I wish the items and the battles of this huge mod are balanced like the original game, so not overpowered item or spell.
    The worst part of some big mod is the bad progression of equipment drop, onestly, i can't play if is very unbalanced (old pnp player here).


    The end boss is based in part upon Kel'Thuzad and a Demi Lich and is to drop https://www.deviantart.com/withinamnesia/art/Long-Sword-3-Dawn-of-Ruin-64x64-813314108 but in the +4 version for the end boss is to be an insanely powerful encounter: Lich Lord Kel'Zan a Level 31 Demilich https://www.deviantart.com/withinamnesia/art/Testing-Out-Liches-871243107 ; a less powerful Level 27 Demilich drops the Dagger +4 'Dagger of the Star' in Baldur's Gate II https://baldursgate.fandom.com/wiki/Demi-Lich . There are to be no +5 items within this dungeon. There might only be the single Longsword +4 'Dawn of Ruin' and a handful of +3 and some uncommon +2 items around with some seldom +1 equivalent treasure scattered through the dungeon. The spirit of this dungeon is to be a slightly bigger adventure than Durlag's Tower, like Durlag's Tower would be Tier 1 this Lich's Crypt dungeon would be a Tier 2 Dungeon. Although as difficult as a Throne of Bhaal dungeon yet with way less party power.

    The 'piece by piece' expansion 'Legacy of the Undead' is planned to come with a 750,000 experience cap to allow for some progress. The expansion's progression is designed around multiple dungeons with this dungeon being the very hardest with Throne of Bhaal difficultly level encounters but with early Baldur's Gate II levels of loot. This is to give the player a reason to collect magic items around the game; and not to just super crush the rest of the ~average to ~low difficulty game. So as to hopefully face this extremely challenging dungeon and fail unless they are properly ready with this being the last dungeon to face as a sort of distant stretch goal.

    Does that make sense? It is not meant to hand out +3 items and +4 item(s); but rather be extremely challenging, border line impossible with treasure dearly earned to obtain without cheating and going to story mode. I want this dungeon to have an encounter difficulty of 'Super Hell'.
  • edited March 16
    I have added another level to the Lich's Crypt with an Ice themed level before that final level. Being in part due to finding some interesting map art assets to use. With also a desire to work in a boss with frost damage / an undead Dracolich which casts frost and death spells. I wanted this 'Death Frost Dracolich' to be before the final boss rooms of Lich Lord Kel'Zan in a kind of spirited homage to Naxxramas with Sapphiron being before Kel'Thuzad.

    With each level being a maximum sized 5120x3840 pixel area art image I am not cutting any corners. Also if the likes of the Firewine Bridge Catacombs, the Ulcaster Basement and the Ice Island Labyrinth are considered dungeons; then I suppose that each of these subterranean levels is like a dungeon unto itself. Epic dungeons are massive and feel as though they dwarf smaller dungeons in size, scope and scale. I am aiming to create a dungeon even larger than Durlag's Tower to create a truly epic challenge to throw down the gauntlet of a 'Super Dungeon'.

    So far these are the levels I have been working on and their corresponding area art and level design themes:
    Level 0: Exterior Ruins
    Level 0: Mausoleum Interior
    Level 1: Stone Catacombs
    Level 2: Ornate Halls
    Level 3: Haunted Caverns
    Level 4: Ice Lair
    Level 5: Death Chamber
  • Lich's Crypt Level 2 5120x3840 Ornate Halls Prototype--(Screenshot)

    A quick look at the project's progress. In this case pre-work staging for Level 2 'Ornate Halls'. I am hopefully for a gloomy, militant but extravagant theme with this level.
  • Will there also be something akin to Frostfire Armor?

    Is this the pre- or post-Wrath of the Lich King?
  • Endarire said:
    Will there also be something akin to Frostfire Armor?

    Is this the pre- or post-Wrath of the Lich King?

    My experiences with Naxxramas are from vanilla World of Warcraft. So Pre-WotLK. Although that being said I'm more into the spirit and themes of places than rigid dogmas so it has a chance to be added. What are your thoughts on Frostfire armour and what brought it up?

    Also I have done some more preliminary work on Level 3 Haunted Caverns and Level 4 Ice Lair. In so far as to add in the area art to edit and flipping each art layer to become more unique and appealing / interesting.
  • I have made more progress on the Level 2 Ornate Halls by developing a rough path for the level assets and architecture themes to run in with a basic level flow design.

    So far it is basic layers on the map so it does not lend itself to picture sharing. For it is rough a stack of image map asset layers with a few mental notes on what piece join to which piece for asset architecture transitions.

    So all in all I have done the pre-alpha map art work on the Level 2 Ornate Halls paving the way forward to the rough basic compiled asset layout of the (hopefully) upcoming Alpha.
  • edited April 8
    I have been working through a rough layout of the loot from the bosses and encounters within the Lich's Crypt.

    So far I have been thinking to keep 1 +4 long sword as a pure drop at the very end but to also have a White Dracolich (Icewind Dale Animation) that drops Ossified White Dragon Scales which can be crafted (via the Baldur's Gate Arms and Armour Emporium) to become Splint Mail +4 'White Dracolich Scales'.

    Here is a note I made earlier to better remember and refine this idea:
    "Ossified White Dragon Scales
    Weight: 18

    Crafted Into via Baldur's Gate Arms and Armour Emporium (requiring a finite rare Jewel within the crafting materials):
    Splint Mail +4 'White Dracolich Scale'

    Armour Class: 0 (-1 vs. missile and piercing, -2 vs. crushing)

    Weight: 18

    +50% Cold Resistance
    +50% Magical Cold Resistance

    Cast Cone of Cold Once Per Day

    -Matthew Gordon Roulston 12:02 PM 06/04(April)/2021"

    This is very similar to the buffed / reforged Mithral Chain Mail +4 from Drizzt and then improved with the Arms and Armour Emporium. yet the armour in and of itself is not vying to be the best armour in the Original Baldur's Gate barring a barbarian and niche roles such as that. Then again such class kits and niches are usually under-served within the original Baldur's gate in terms of restricted gear types and a the sort outside of the Plate, Sword and Range Weapon plentiful line up selection.

    Then past these two +4 items given at the last two major final bosses I think powerful unique +3 and unique upgraded-able/ reforge-able +3 and +2 items should be found within the dungeon and having increasing power and ability as the dungeon is deeper and more challenging.

    Then finally culminating in a full drop powerful +4 Long Sword that cannot be upgraded for it is already above the crafting ability of the Arms and Armour Emporium smithing and reforging ability for his is but a humble yet talented black smith of the coast way; not an arch wizard or chosen priest with the favour of a divine god.

    Yet there should be 'regular' +1 and +2 magical items which are not unique and are used as extra loot and rewards. I hope to have at very least basic +3 magical items in all item types. For Full Plate Mail Armour +3 it might end up being Full Plate Mail +3 'Armour of the Hart' equipped to a Lich Knight (Demon Knight Animation) far down in the bowls of the dungeon; perhaps as the end boss of the Level 3 Haunted Caverns. I am unsure if Full Plate Mail +3 'Armour of the Hart' should be upgrade-able / reforge-able but if so it would have to an ability with a user centric blood theme; almost near subtle but still useful, like lukewarm.

    Rough Idea of Loot Layout distribution throughout the dungeon levels (All levels have regular trash gear as well):

    - Level 0 (Exterior Ruins):
    +1 Regular (x2-4, ~x4)
    +1 Unique (x2 One of two on different ruin encounters)
    +2 Regular (x2 One of the ruin encounters and Mausoleum Exterior Gatekeeper Leader Encounter)

    - Level 0 (Mausoleum Interior):
    +1 Regular (x1-3, ~2x)
    +1 Unique (x1 One of the tougher encounters)
    +2 Regular (x2 Encounters within the Mausoleum)
    +2 Unique (x1 Mausoleum Interior Stair Guard Leader Encounter)

    - Level 1 (Stone Catacombs):
    +1 Regular (x6-12, ~x9)
    +1 Unique (x4-6, ~x5 where ever makes sense in lacking content)
    +2 Regular (x5-7, ~x6 at least near wing boss chambers)
    +2 Unique (x2-4, ~x3 Wing Boss Encounters / Loot?)
    +3 Regular (x1-3, ~x2 definitely requiring trash clears and some bosses kills)
    +3 Unique (x1 Lesser item type, reforge-able)

    - Level 2 (Ornate Halls):
    +1 Regular (x8-16, ~x12)
    +1 Unique (x6-8, ~x7 where ever makes sense in lacking content)
    +2 Regular (x7-9, ~x8)
    +2 Unique (x4-6, ~x5)
    +3 Regular (x3-5, ~x4)
    +3 Unique (x2 Some kind of expensive greater item type weapon [Katana +3?] and armour [possibly even as Elven Chain Mail +3?] from a very lavish ornate female Lich fighter / mage boss at the end of a wing or even as main boss encounter of the Ornate Halls)

    - Level 3 (Haunted Caverns):
    +1 Regular (x10-20, ~x15)
    +1 Unique (x8-10, ~x9 where ever makes sense in lacking content)
    +2 Regular (x8-12, ~x10)
    +2 Unique (x6-8, ~x7)
    +3 Regular (x5-7, ~x6)
    +3 Unique (x3 Possible Full Plate Mail +3 'Armour of the Hart' from Lich Knight level end boss)

    - Level 4 (Ice Lair):
    +1 Regular (x12-24, ~x18)
    +1 Unique (x9-13, ~x11 where ever makes sense in lacking content)
    +2 Regular (x10-14, ~x12)
    +2 Unique (x8-10, ~x9)
    +3 Regular (x7-9 ~x8)
    +3 Unique (x4)
    +4 Regular (x1 Lesser Item Type)
    +4 Unique (x1* Ossified White Dragon Scales craft-able into Splint Mail +4 'White Dracolich Scale')

    - Level 5 (Death Chamber):
    +1 Regular (x15-27, ~x21)
    +1 Unique (x11-15, ~x13 where ever makes sense in lacking content)
    +2 Regular (x13-17, ~x15)
    +2 Unique (x10-12, ~x11)
    +3 Regular (x9-11, ~x10)
    +3 Unique (x5)
    +4 Regular (x2 Lesser and Medium Item Types)
    +4 Unique (x1 Lich Lord Kel'Zan Final Boss Encounter of the entire Lich's Crypt Dungeon)

    This is just an initial ratioed procedural generation of scaling difficulty and scaling rewards with hopefully more difficulty scaling that out paces the loot rewards; as the dungeon progresses farther as the adventurers descend deeper into the super hell dungeon of Lich's Crypt!

  • Constructive Criticism here.  Don't make the same mistake that early modders did, like Check the Bodies, Region of Terror etc.  Limit the number of +3 items.  Certainly shouldn't have a +3 Katana.  +3 Full Plate shouldn't be available until you get it from the Underdark.  It is unnecessary to provide all this stuff too early in the game.  You may be diluting the unique or fairly powerful items sought by a party in SoA/ToB as well.  Please consider resisting the urge to dump OP loot. even sort of generic +3 items. 

    I suggest maybe creating some unusual and unique items that fill a limited role, have a handy but not world beating power, maybe some different wands or boots.  But if you start allocating +3 bastard Swords, +3 Shields, +3 cross bows etc.  It will throw the game balance off.  Baldur's Gate is not World of Warcraft.  
  • I quote LichDiet, 101%, like i say some time ago, please, stay strictly related to the original game balance, or maybe a little lower (less item and less powerfull than the original game).

    Maybe i'm a too old ex pnp player (maybe not so old), but almost every big mods are extremely unbalanced, almost unplayable with the original gamestyle.


  • edited April 9
    Yeah something seems wrong with the loot; too much and too little area to adventure.

    There is a lack of content to justify the amount of items given. I started with the hardest dungeon first yet once you get the gear it is down hill from there. The problem with OP loot is it makes the game easier. If the rest of the game until around ToB is easy mode compared the dungeon the high power gear kind of lacks a reason to exist. The powerful equipment should be a key for later progression and not a face-roll. If there was say 5-6 very hard dungeons then it would make sense; yet there are no other dungeons like that.

    I have been saving bits of content for a demon themed dungeon and a dragon themed dungeon. Yet I would have to hold off releasing the Lich's Crypt by itself in order to have more than one dungeon to load up on loot and then the rest of the game is ruined in balance. It is meant to be a hard mode Durlag's Tower but with a higher level cap of 750,000 experience.

    It kind of feels in order to justify a wide range of +3 items there needs to be more than just one dungeon but a bunch more. I hope to gate the content for when the party arrives in Baldur's Gate and travels north through the unused north gate. Yet there needs to be many more dungeons than just this one.

    I will need to make ~23 more outside maximum sizes areas (4 being the city of Arylon) and about ~40-50 full sized interior maps for the ~dungeons across the ~20 or so new areas. Most likely with all of the new building interiors and small rooms added, this total amount of new areas will most likely be over ~100. It will have to be a colossal effort but most of the time I am trying to not reuse flipped art assets. So the more areas I make the faster it should be in general; even just marginally.

    It will still take a lot of time to effectively solo a new Baldur's Gate game worth of areas. Either way I want to do it and it should be done right even if it takes a very long while. Better to be late with great content than early with bad content. In general I am aiming to be on par with the Black Isle level of quality. Near akin to a proper expansion, if not later try to release a proper 'enhanced edition' with a proper budget for voice actors and more and better art assets and a proper release. God forbid (*sarcasm*) I make something good enough ~solo to merit a remastered official version XD.

    Very old but a rough idea of the dungeons:
    "Dungeons, Areas, Levels:
    [Lich's] Crypt, Level Outside [0,] ,1,2,3, [4, 5] Lich
    Troll Fortress Outside, 1,2,3 then tall skinny towers (Blood god)
    Cathedral Ruins, Outside,1,2,3,4,5,6 is (smaller boss room demon)
    Radiant Heart stores, Outside, 1,2, dungeon basement
    Graveyard, Outside, 8 Mausoleums (2 with at least 2 levels, one minor one, one large main with 3 levels vampire in the bottom right hill)
    Watercave, Outside, 1,2 (green dragon)
    Arylon, 3 city maps in a line [update 4 city maps in a square]
    Witch's Haunt is an old house
    Marilth Ruins have basements, one with a pirate cave (outside, cellar, pirate cave from B.G.?)
    Ettin has a big one level cave and gnome town has heavy Crossbow +2 and upgrades to +3
    Beware of the undead has pale grey skinned undead ogres, ogrillons (one shouts that he is mad because he was woken up from 'sleeping'), hobgoblins, unearthed bog humans, half elves, elves, halflings, dwarves, half orcs, gnomes and gnolls and a cave with a big monster skull for an entrance (1 big open cave level 75% of normal map)..."

    Major Dungeons in Legacy of the Undead Expansion:
    - Lich's Crypt: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 (Maximum Sized Areas, Dedicated Dungeon Crawls)
    - Cathedral Ruins: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 (An homage to Diablo 1, Large in scale with a winding sprawl of corridors. Having tongue and cheek references to the classic characters in Diablo 1 like Wirt, the Butcher, the Skeleton King, the damned villagers who live by a literal portal to hell just outside their tiny village etc. finally descending down to the Icewind Dale Demon animation as the final boss, this could be used for all the demon themed encounters hopefully. No stealing of Diablo copyright material all of this is Beamdog friendly material. There can be other classic demon related easter-eggs in the dungeon as well.)
    - Troll Fortress: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 (Blood 'God' Final Boss Room), (+Small Tower Rooms)
    - Mausoleum Graveyard: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4 (Mostly larger to medium scale areas but more of them weaving subterranean corridors of winding separate tombs [some dead ends / not connected] with some of the mausoleums converging leading to a larger 'under dungeon' that eventually has a smallish boss room for a final boss Vampire.)
    - The City of Arylon, Dungeon Areas: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4 (Sewers and Subterranean caverns and more than a few smaller scale dungeon areas like the sealed haunted Dwarven river chain tower.)
    - Thundar's Ride Hills Water Cave: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4 (Green Dragon Lair)

    Minor Dungeons: (0 [Outside + Settlement Interiors], 1 [Medium to Large 'Dungeon' Areas], 2 (Optional Small to Medium 'Dungeon' Areas), 3 (Optional Tiny to Small Boss Rooms):
    - Marilth Ruins
    - Beldenshyn, Ettin Cave
    - Beware of the Undead
    - Witch's Haunt
    - Radiant Heart Chapter House
    - Lost Shavinar
    - Roaringshore
    - Lathtarl's Lantern
    - Tempus' Tears
    - The Troll Claws
    - Kheldrivver
    - River Chionthar

    Perhaps the entire expansion needs to be used to spread the loot around and not have it just be in one massive dungeon but across ~10-12 both small and massive?

    These are the total magical items given in that rough draft of loot distribution on the Lich's Crypt from earlier:

    +1 Regular (~x81)
    +1 Unique (~x48 where ever makes sense in lacking content)
    +2 Regular (~x55)
    +2 Unique (~x36)
    +3 Regular (~x30)
    +3 Unique (~x15)
    +4 Regular (~x3)
    +4 Unique (~x2)

    Even if 50% of this is the 'standard' for the rest of the major dungeons' loot distribution it would end up with more items than Baldur's Gate II and Icewind Dale combined by the end of the expansion XD.

    Yet instead of dumping all of these items in one massive dungeon it could be divided across the whole expansion. There could be other +4 items at the end of the major dungeons like a Dagger +4 or a Club +4 or Leather Armour +4, etc. Just stuff like that; rewarding, mostly niche with maybe some special effective roles developing.

    A more sensible version of this loot distribute for the Lich's Crypt could still be as deep but more narrow to force the player to play the other dungeons for hunting down other types of gear. Every dungeon should reward all play types but it should be a mixed bag; like trail mix loot distribution.

    Revamped Lich's Crypt Loot Distribution Draft: (Everything divided by ~6)
    +1 Regular (~x14)
    +1 Unique (~x8 where ever makes sense in lacking content)
    +2 Regular (~x9)
    +2 Unique (~x6)
    +3 Regular (~x5)
    +3 Unique (~x3)
    +4 Regular (~x1-2)
    +4 Unique (~x1)

    This ratio of loot distribution feels a lot more natural and in line with Baldur's Gate expectations. Also the dungeon is not a chore to manage inventory and do constant store runs every level XD.
  • (Continued...)

    If all 6 of the Major Dungeons have the loot distributed as this it could still have the same levels of loot as before but spread across much much more content. Instead of one dungeon it would spread across 20+ areas and 40-50 levels of widely varying themes and scales of dungeons, quests, shops and craftspeople...

    It is things such as this in which I greatly appreciate the constructive feedback. It all feeds into an ongoing process of quality improvement to better give more opinions to improve the quality of content, ideas and themes in development. All the feed back and life from the community motivates myself and is all the better for the 'piece by piece' expansion pack Baldur's Gate Legacy of the Undead.
  • Constructive Criticism
    Maybe, make your mod sparse through the entire saga?

    The "issue" for a very big mod like this (for player to enjoy the contents and for you to balance all the things), is where fit it, if you fit all the area into a limited "range of time" (example, SOD to SOA), we are limited to a very short quantity of "space" to manovre (limited exp, limited range of gear power, limited difficulty of enemy, limited lore), but if you segment the content through the entire saga i think is better.  

    Progressing with the original story of Baldur's Gate unlock the progression of your mod story, example:

    #A) Very early on, like from Beregost to Nashkel, some lore from NPC/book give a clue of some area to explore (the first quest of your mod, a prologue), and in that area the party find some contents (for low level, like 2-3, with normal gears but contents to play and starting to know the lore of your story), no need for this to be very big, just consistent with the difficulty of the low level and no good gear, just some supply (potions/scrolls/gems, some normal gear.
    Through the time before entering Baldur's Gate, add some other clue "there and that", some little areas, some NPC, levelled just to the ideal party level of the original area.

    #B) Bassilur can be one NPC that give you some clues, maybe a possibility for the first medium, low level (3-4 exp party level) mutilevel dungeons (the Bassilur church/house?)

    #C) After entering Baldur's Gate, you can use, like you say, the north unused gate of the town of Baldur's Gate for adding the very first big area of your mod, like a new small city surrounded by 3-4 normal worldmap areas and one of your multi levels Major Dungeons, where the difficulty of the enemy, for the first time, can be a real issues, a long threat for the party (so maybe the party have to backtrack to the small city for sleep/buy some cure/scrolls, or talk with some NPC for help/clue/what_to_do).
    Don't need to be very spliky the difficulty, but progressive increased through the dungeon, so the party maybe can think of backtrack for better supply, or waiting for one extra exp level through the original game before progressing (let the player feel the difficulty and make the choice of what to do for the progress of the adventure).
    I think this Major Dungeon has to be accessed early on when the player access the City of Baldur's Gate, because can be integrated with the original content (finding the lore/clue of what to search and where (the new small city added by you), there is a lot of possibility to aggregate that and make a very good quest progression, examples:

    #D1)Into the Major Dungeon you find a door locked whith some clues for open it, you backtrack to the new small city and talk to a specific NPC to what you have find, that NPC tell you to go to another specific specialist NPC into Baldur's Gate that can help you, that NPC open a new small subquest to go into one of the new surrounding area (of the new small city) to find something (maybe another little multilevel dungeon).
    (that add alot of playable content with great integration, without adding great gear and extreme powerfull enemy, just exploring, spent some time to think what to do).

    #D2)When you are going to search who are the NPC for the quest #1 (into Baldur's Gate and/or into the new small city), you can find some other NPC that want something, adding some other small sub-quests, that can be a honest request (find something/someone), a trap for you (an ambush fot steal you something), or a normal NPC that tell you some clue for the future adventures (the lore of one of the next major dungeons you add next to the actual major dungeon). 

    All the gear finded can be no more powerfull that the item finded into the Baldur's Gate TotSC, the experience gained can be leveled with the original one, so we can just reduce the generic exp gained throug the entire Baldur's Gate like the other gameplay (just a 0.5x multipler globally, so we can stay under the original exp cap and the balance stay the same, BUT we have much more content to play.)

    Summing up

    (point #A) Some small worldmap areas for low level (2-3lv party exp) from Beregost to Nashkel, with emphasys to adding lore 

    (point #B) One medium multilevel dungeon before entering the city of Baldur's Gate  (3-4lv party exp)

    (point #C) One major dungeon, with the surrounding worldmap area related (one small city, one major dungeon, 3-4 worldmap areas)

    (point #D1 & D2) Some small sub-quest related to the major dungeon and maybe the second medium multilevel dungeon.

    I think this can be a good starting point of the progression of your story, that are all before Durlag Tower/Isle of Balduran/Sarevock fight.

    This is the first part of your mod, just complete this and make it beta, so we can help you to find bug or adding new ideas/integration, when this segment is completed we can progress to the next "quest block" (Post Sarevock fight/pre SOD, post SOD/pre SOA, etc).
    I think is better going one segment at the time, the project is so big that can be very hard to complete if you make it entirely, better make it a chapters, one at time.

    If all 6 of the Major Dungeons have the loot distributed as this it could still have the same levels of loot as before but spread across much much more content. Instead of one dungeon it would spread across 20+ areas and 40-50 levels of widely varying themes and scales of dungeons, quests, shops and craftspeople...

  • I agree with Cere.  Spread it out, and the future content can be added as time allows module by module.  That allows beta testing by players, then tweaking/correction/bug fixes based on play testing.  Try to not have superfluous loot with what is found in later stages of the series, especially unique items.  For instance, there should be just one Armor of the Hart, one Celestial Fury, one Staff of the Magi. 
     I urge you to provide lesser powered unique items including weapons, armor, potions, wands, boots etc.  that don't basically repeat and do the same thing as other items provided in the game already.  And you really don't want to just super-size an existing item either, such as a +4 Ring of Protection, or Boots of Triple Speed.  Instead, maybe do "Boots of Speedy Insulation" (provide +10%  Fire, Cold and Electricity Resistance and +2 Movement Modifier).  Maybe a Wand of Acid Bolts, Wand of Enfeeblement, Melf's Ring of blah-blah.., Potion of Reflected Image, Potion of Sanctuary etc.
  • Running out of time in the original Baldur's Gate is a real issue I have to face.

    If Baldur's Gate Enhanced Edition did not end once Sarevok was killed the game could continue on its marry way much like Diablo II after the player kills Diablo. Also the game should transition / 'end' at the player's discretion.

    Siege of Dragonspear really should have been Baldur's Gate 1.5. Yet it under-delivered in many areas of large scale sprawling content. Yet it got the general story / voice acting to flow somewhat sensical in many areas.

    I don't like Baldur's Gate II's pacing. I don't like the starter shop offering +4 gear at the start, I don't like the sci-fi elements and the game is rushed in terms of experience. What should have taken 2-3 months of play time (~200 hours for the main story from Candlekeep to Godhood) to get to level ~40 takes far less due to the bad experience pacing of Baldur's Gate II.

    Each player level is meant to be harder and harder to gain all the way down to a literal dungeon crawl at the very end. The progression charts show this. Yet the developers just threw absurd amounts of experience at the party for no reason in Baldur's Gate II other than to give out level ups to keep that sense of progression with less content.

    The writers messed up in Baldur's Gate II and wrote themselves into a hole and skipped 4-5 games worth of content to jump to the end. It makes myself wonder if Bioware and Black Isle were just trying to dump the Bhaalspawn saga for other games like BG 3 Blackhound.

    It feels like the saga needs a complete retooling to fit with slower pacing of Baldur's Gate I but with the story of Baldur's Gate SoD, SoA and ToB. At that point what are we really doing? Making a monster Baldur's Gate?
  • edited April 10
    This is my master plan to add in these lost games around the plot with the slow progression of Baldur's Gate I that eventually leads up to a retooled Sod and SoA and ToB with slow experience pacing like the Original Baldur's Gate. I might have to re-balance the entire saga and add missing pieces and add more content to ~SoD and drastically slow the experience progression in SoA and ToB.

    It feels like Baldur's Gate is missing big pieces of content and this is created due in part with limited developer time and resources and interest to make a full AD&D campaign in a digital environment. Yet I might just end up making one Expansion, getting frustrated with the owners of the series, dump D&D entirely, spend ~100k on a new RPG team with my own IP from scratch and go from there.

    "Baldur's Gate Expansions And Experience Caps:

    Baldur's Gate 1998

    Experience Cap: 89,000 [4th Level Wizard Spells]

    Maximum Level 7: Fighter
    Maximum Level 7: Ranger / Paladin
    Maximum Level 7: Cleric / Monk
    Maximum Level 8: Druid
    Maximum Level 8: Thief / Bard
    Maximum Level 7: Mage / Sorcerer / Shaman

    Baldur's Gate Tales of the Sword Coast Enhanced Edition

    Experience Cap: 161,000 [5th Level Wizard Spells]

    Maximum Level 8: Fighter
    Maximum Level 8: Ranger / Paladin
    Maximum Level 8: Cleric / Monk
    Maximum Level 10: Druid
    Maximum Level 10: Thief / Bard
    Maximum Level 9: Mage / Sorcerer / Shaman

    Baldur's Gate Legacy of the Undead

    Experience Cap: 750,000 [6th Level Wizard Spells]

    Maximum Level 11: Fighter
    Maximum Level 10: Ranger / Paladin
    Maximum Level 11: Cleric / Monk
    Maximum Level 13: Druid
    Maximum Level 13: Thief / Bard
    Maximum Level 12: Mage / Sorcerer / Shaman

    Baldur's Gate Tales of Dragons

    Experience Cap: 1,610,000 [7th Level Wizard Spells]

    Maximum Level 14: Fighter
    Maximum Level 13: Ranger / Paladin
    Maximum Level 15: Cleric / Monk
    Maximum Level 14: Druid
    Maximum Level 17: Thief / Bard
    Maximum Level 14: Mage / Sorcerer / Shaman

    Baldur's Gate Saga of Balduran

    Experience Cap: 2,750,000 [8th Level Wizard Spells]

    Maximum Level 19: Fighter
    Maximum Level 17: Ranger / Paladin
    Maximum Level 20: Cleric / Monk
    Maximum Level 14: Druid
    Maximum Level 22: Thief / Bard
    Maximum Level 17: Mage / Sorcerer / Shaman

    Baldur's Gate Legends of the Lost Odyssey

    Experience Cap: 3,150,000 [9th Level Wizard Spells, High Level Abilities]

    Maximum Level 20: Fighter
    Maximum Level 18: Ranger / Paladin
    Maximum Level 22: Cleric / Monk
    Maximum Level 16: Druid
    Maximum Level 24: Thief / Bard
    Maximum Level 18: Mage / Sorcerer / Shaman

    Baldur's Gate Siege of Dragonspear+

    Experience Cap: 4,000,000 [9th Level Wizard Spells, High Level Abilities Everywhere]

    Maximum Level 24: Fighter
    Maximum Level 21: Ranger / Paladin
    Maximum Level 25: Cleric / Monk
    Maximum Level 21: Druid
    Maximum Level 28: Thief / Bard
    Maximum Level 20: Mage / Sorcerer / Shaman

    Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn, Throne of Bhaal, Enhanced Edition+

    Experience Cap: 8,000,000 [9th Level Wizard Spells, High Level Abilities Mundane]

    Maximum Level 40: Fighter
    Maximum Level 34: Ranger / Paladin
    Maximum Level 40: Cleric / Monk
    Maximum Level 31: Druid
    Maximum Level 40: Thief / Bard
    Maximum Level 31: Mage / Sorcerer / Shaman

    Matthew Gordon Roulston 9:00 PM 23rd / 02 (February) / 2021"
  • edited April 10
    What were we talking about before I went on a tirade about Baldur's Gate II's pacing?
    Loot distribution for the time being? Also I agree with having all unique items. I would need to replace stuff like Full Plate Mail +3 'Armour of the Hart' with something looking first through my stock piles of unreleased content without a new dungeon. Even then I don't like the EE's duplication of unique items. They should be you know *unique*.

    I have a bunch of unique magical Field Plate Armour they might just take its place or something like that. Might as well go full chad mode and make all new items and draw new illustrations to boot for a proper release. I can draw good if I just try and spend the time, I have the pencils, I have the paper and I have a scanner.

    I wish I got paid to do this stuff or more so I could pay other developers to work with but eh if I don't start it won't happen and no one knows who I am or what I do. So here I am making the free community version of the expansion with less resources and ~no budget XD. I kind of hope this community version is like the 1998 Baldur's Gate as to the Baldur's Gate Enhanced Edition Version 2.5 that came years after the first rough release of the 1998 version. Long term planning, aim high and work hard; unyielding.
  • Hah, yeah I know how it is with the tirades, driven by mood and frustration while also a true reflection of "what should have been".  I also agree that the series could have been planned out better, with a progressive modular campaign going from level 1 to level 40.  The Bhaalspawn story-line could still have been an underlying thread that kept the campaign heading in a certain direction, but it could have been maybe six or seven major modules in duration.  
    It boiled down to money and having to make a profit on a deadline, and then changing customer preferences for games, and all that stuff.  Technology too would have played a part, as software, graphics, and the whole game engine needed to keep pace, as well as what platform the customer base would actually play the games on.  

    However, you can still personally attain your goal to round out and restructure BG using the available tools and the modding community (as disjointed as it is).  As the ball gets rolling, more folks will pitch in and help, and as interest is piqued, so will other modders donating their skills.  There is very little need to actually spend your own money.  All can be done with the tools available and time.  

    That is why doing it in stages is important.  Get one modular piece up and tested, then released, and then add the next.  This allows a coherent strategy to add the pieces, and also still fit in with all the other available content (well most of it).  Don't give up my good man, just see how it goes with your first piece.  Ask for help if you need it.
  • Yeah, making longer to levelling up by adding more contents balanced with the party level is the best project that can be made, so the game last longer, with more things to do and a true progression.

    There is already so much contents that can be istalled, but almost every one of those are unbalanced, making worse the entire gameplay if added to a modlist.

    I continue to think is better to start from the low level, making step by step, with modular additions into the game, if the release seem good, maybe some other good modder around can join to the project.

    Just imagine if all the various mods that add content to the game were all balanced with ideal progression and difficulty, the game would become huge and gorgeous to play.
  • edited April 13
    What would make story sense after killing Sarevok in the original Baldur's Gate and before Siege of Dragonspear starts?

    I am wondering how to Kill Sarevok and have Baldur's Gate continue before ending the game? It feels off that the game ends so quickly after immediately killing Sarevok; you cannot even properly loot the final battle like in killing Diablo. It is like the ending was rushing to a finale in the first game with no wind-down afterwords. I suppose in the long run all the Baldur's Gate games could be combined into an 'Ultimate Edition' (like TuTu and EE but seamless story, NPCs, plot, progression and GUI theming and graphics). A significant detail would be a 'Grand Span' for all of the chapters from the three major Baldur's Gate games. With all the Chapters being sequential and uninterrupted going from Prologue / Chapter 1 to at least Chapter 23 / 24 / End of Throne of Bhaal.

    The 'Hero of Baldur's Gate' part in the intro of Siege of Dragonspear could be implemented as a follow up to Killing Sarevok in the Original Baldur's Gate. As in the party shows up and or talks to the Grand Duke to arrange a celebration or something a big public event. Then when the player accepts in the Palace via a dialog option on a date / starting preparations for the event. Then the game cuts to a cut scene happening a few days later with a celebration or something and the game ends / transitions to Siege of Dragonspear.
  • Could possibly script the "Twisted Rune" organization into it, inventing some plausible reason to attempt to assassinate or capture the Bhaalspawn.  Perhaps the legacy of the undead ties in with the Twisted Rune as well, and thus an invitation for a continued story (since a player will be enticed to install the mod) so that this fresh extra content begins after the death of Sarevok.  As I said much earlier on, the story-first concept is the most important part of creating a campaign in D&D, and the extra modules added mostly should tie together in some coherent manner to flesh out and further the story.
    The Twisted Rune idea could be a competing organization, that seeks to challenge Irenicus's future plans, and take the <CHARNAME> powers for themselves, through some Undead Necromantic dark ritual.  Therefore the introduction to your Lich Crypt idea would be explained, and the Lich within is actually orchestrating this portion of the Twisted Rune's plans.
    Ideally the end of Sarevok would transition the party to your mod.  

    By using the Twisted Rune, you will also not interfere with really any other content already in-place.  The twisted rune is a shadowy, mysterious and fragmented organization with many machinations going on throughout the Faerun.  This would be but one of their many schemes.
  • edited April 15
    I think that is a very good idea. It feels like the Soultaker Dagger story arc and how it was later used for a further point of intrigue and story arc. Of which was later tied into a larger scale story; one that was explored with Siege of Dragonspear.

    What other scheming factions are around the Heartlands / the Bhaalspawn Saga? For example there are some notable ~'Scheming Organization' examples found with the campaign; such as he Zhentarim vs. the Iron Throne, Shadow Thieves vs. Bhodi and the Vampires, Chill and the Blacktalons etc... What other such other Scheming Organizations can be found in the Faerun lore who could have sway https://baldursgate.fandom.com/wiki/Category:Organizations ?

    Also Warlock's Crypt exists with the Shadow King Larloch https://forgottenrealms.fandom.com/wiki/Larloch . Larloch would need to be a level 40 encounter; bar none. I am not even going to be diabolic and throw a level 20 party in there; maybe a Baldur's Gate II Enhanced Edition+ expansion content piece. I am just saying that the Demogorgon is a challenge rating of *23* with 3rd Edition (which was tuned down for the original Throne of Bhaal release) and Larloch has a 3rd Edition challenge rating of *34*. I am not even sure what the highest official challenge rating in the Baldur's Gate series but here is a list a lot of 3rd Edition Challenge Rating Encounters: https://forgottenrealms.fandom.com/wiki/Category:Creatures_by_challenge_rating .

  • Larloch for AD&D are write into "Volo's Guide to the Sword Coast" (TSR9460)

    Trascribed by my book (photo converted to ".pdf" and then used one "ocr" for text acquisition, i don't think is legal posting the photo directly):
    (some .pdf maybe can be finded online, but i don't know if is legal)

    LARLOCH (LE hm W26; undead ultra-lich; STR 18/72, INT 18, WIS 18, CON 18, CHA 16). The Shadow King of Warlock’s Crypt is a powerful undead mage served by, among legions of lesser creatures, many vampires and liches. Many proud adventurers have tried to destroy Larloch—and all have failed, although many of them contributed skulls or their corpses to Larloch’s decor or servant armies. His powers are mighty indeed and are vested in spells, an awesome arsenal of magical items, and his undead powers. He is said to be able to avoid destruction by sinking down into the floors of specially prepared areas of power, only to appear elsewhere, rejuvenated. These chambers are naturally where he spends much of his time. Larloch also commands a potent arsenal of curses, some spells conferred by his touch, and others unleashed by intrusion into specific areas or trapped caskets and strongcupboards. These can forcibly change the appearance, intellect, and abilities of victims long after they escape from Warlock's Crypt. Elminster warns that the true extent of Larloch's powers is not known. What the Old Mage does know of Larloch, expressed in game terms, is this: The Shadow King has at least the powers of a lich, but turns as “special.” Larloch retains his sorcerous spellcasting abilities, and wields a huge arsenal of magical weapons and other magical items. Silver weapons cause his undead flesh to burn and seem to do him double damage. Wisps of smoke curl away from all wounds caused by a silver-edged blade. Larloch continues to develop new spells and other magic. He added a few wrinkles to his own achievement of undeath so that he possesses a natural spell of each level that need not be memorized and can be recast by him 24 hours (144 turns) after he casts it. Larloch’s spells, in ascending level order, are magic missile (5 missiles per spell), web, dispel magic, wizard eye, animate dead, chain lightning, control undead, disrupt undead, and energy drain. Larloch also permanently gains hit points drained by energy drain. Disrupt undead creates a beam up to 30 feet long, requiring an attack roll only if the target can hide behind obstacles. It harms only undead and has effects identical to a mace of disruption, except Larloch gains all points of damage dealt as hit points of his own. An undead blasted out of existence surrenders all its hit points to Larloch. Larloch can permanently increase his hit point total in this way. Larloch’s spells are cast by will alone, needing no verbal, somatic, or material components. All have a casting time of 2. Larloch is immune to one specific wizard spell of each level, but Elminster doesn’t know which ones. Elminster warns adventurers that finding out is a game not worth the cost.

    So a minimum CR 26 for the 26th lv of Wizard, plus some classical modifier writed into the core manuals (ability considered like extra Hit Dice for challenge/exp reward (Table 31 & 32 "Monstrous Compendium")

    And considering his big army, is a battle almost impossible (almost=maybe post Throne of Bhaal), and tecnically hard to do because the reincarnation power. 

    It's almost like figthing Vecna.
  • Maybe can be a good think having to defeat a enemy so strong, making a parallel story that go through the entire saga, with a lot of content very well balanced.
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