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Go Back   .com.unity Forums > Illwinter Game Design > Dominions 2: The Ascension Wars > Scenarios, Maps & Mods

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  #1  
Old December 7th, 2004, 03:11 AM

RedRover RedRover is offline
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Default FR Mod Complex: Outline

Since various people want to see some modding ideas, I thought I’d do a preliminary sketch of a Forgotten Realms mod complex. ("Complex" because it would be a collection of multiple mods to represent principal nations and campaign world factions.)

One of the challenges of adapting an RPG campaign to a strategy game is that RPG campaigns often put many interesting powers too close to each other to make a good strategic-level game.

An example is the Aglarond-Thay-Rashemen-Horde complex on the east side of the FR map. (This is one reason I prefer the World of Greyhawk, which started as a military campaign map, but the FR map is available now, so…)

The FR map also has vast tracts of land with few significant military campaign details that just cry to be strategic game power centers, but have nothing particularly cool there currently. So any Dominions-style strategy game scenario based on the FR setting will most likely take some liberties with the default campaign world.

I really like the placement decisions made for the current FR map, which I consider very good from a play standpoint. For the purpose of this outline, however, I will deliberately sacrifice some of the current positional playability in favor of working with FR world details.

Also, while some Dominions 2 nations fit FR fairly closely, others do not. Instead of starting from a massive invasion of Dom2 nations, this mod complex will try to work within the confines of the RPG world details.

In the course of adapting the nations of Dominions 2 to the Realms, some existing default nations would be so completely modded as to be unrecognizable. A major challenge for this type of project would be keeping the national factions unique enough, while working from a somewhat more limited palette of design choices.

Here is a preliminary draft of what some FR default nations and themes might look like.

Code:

Dom2 Nation FR Replacement Starting Location
Abysia Red Wizards Thaymont
(Abysia Theme Witches of Rashemen Rashemen)
Arcoscephale The Horde The Golden Way
Atlantis Sahuagin Western Sea (Sea of Lantan)
Caelum Mountain Dwarves Western Heartlands (Graypeak Mountains)
(Caelum Theme Grey Elves Western Heartlands)
C’tis Mulhorand Mulhorand
Ermor Hidden Necropolis* Anauroch Desert (Plain of Standing Stones)
Jotunheim Mountain Orcs Spine of the World (Mirabar)
(Jotunheim Theme Attack of the Giants Spine of the World)
Machaka Sylvan Elves Chondalwood
(Machaka Theme Attack of the Drow Chondalwood)
(Machaka Theme Beast Nomads Shaar [Shaarmid])
Man Dalelands Dalelands
Marignon Tethyr Tethyr
(Marignon Theme Calimshan Tethyr)
Pangaea (CW) Blight Lord Rawlinswood
Pythium Yuan-Ti Chult
(Pythium Theme Halruaa Halruaa)
R’lyeh Aboleths/Illithids Sea of Fallen Stars
T’ien Ch’i Nonhuman Clans* Orsraun Mountains
Ulm Gold Dwarves The Rift
(Ulm Theme Halflings West Luirwood)
Vanheim Moonshae Isles Oman’s Isle



* Abysia into Thay is a major modding project. The Wizards of Thay are one of the coolest opposition factions in the campaign world and would require careful treatment. They are very different from Abysia.

Configuring Rashemen as a theme allows the Witches of Rashemen to be included as an option without crowding the board in that area.

* Positioning Arcocephale as the base for a Horde mod is probably this outline’s most controversial call. Originally, I thought of using T’ien Ch’i for the Horde, but using Arcocephale has the advantage of creating a Mongol-type nation that can be imported back into the original game. Again, the makeover would be fairly complete.

* Halruaa as a Yuan-Ti theme has the advantage of preventing a bottlenecked position for a Yuan-Ti player. C’tis would probably be easier to mod as Yuan-Ti, but board position dictates using Pythium (the snake themes mesh with Yuan-Ti, the powerful magic theme meshes with Halruaa). As Halruaa, the Pythian military would need to be toned down—the FR Halruaa is a magic powerhouse, but has an indifferent military.

*Sauhuagin for Atlantis is a real no-brainer and would be an exceptionally cool mod.

*Caelum into Dwarves would be a complete makeover. The Grey Elves as a theme is a plug-in of a mod that is probably more World of Greyhawk than FR, but it might be used until the Dwarves become viable.

*C’tis into Mulhorand? Well, both are sort of Egyptian, so it works out at that level. The lizard graphics would become human, of course.

* FR materials don’t detail an Anauroch necropolis. If there were such a place, the Plain of Standing Stones would be a likely place for it.

* There don’t seem to be large enclaves of giants in FR, but the orc invasions from the World Spine suggest that a massive invasion of true giants might be used as a special theme.

* I really wanted to use Machaka for drow elves, but the main FR centers of drow contact are already congested. The sylvan elf enclave in Chondalwood is far enough from the other power centers to be a viable power center itself, if not as cool as the drow.

As for drow elves, perhaps postulating a massive drow incursion into the Chondalwood from below might support a special theme as well.

I also like the lion-centaur wemics of the Shaar enough to to suggest they get their own theme.

* Man in the Dalelands is a no-brainer; Harpers are very active here. Instead of a secondary theme emphasizing Cormyr as a feudal power center, another Man-theme might be set up in Waterdeep, emphasizing a late-medieval-style military.

* Marignon/Tethyr is a reasonable fit. A Calimshan theme might be the reunification of Tethyr and Calimshan with specifically Arabian units and flavor (Fire/Air magics, etc.).

* Pangaea, in its Carrion Wood form, could be almost directly plugged into the Rawlingswood area as the Blight Lord faction.

* T’ien Ch’i might be placed in the Orsraun Mountains of Vilhon Reach. There is no FR power center here—it’s a mixed bag of goblinoids, red dragons, and assorted evil monsters. FR also has an evil power center in a volcano close to this location, which means the Smouldercone might be assigned to this group.

Another possible location for this power center is Thar, north of the Sea of Fallen Stars and east of center, since the Orcs of Thar are reasonably prominent. The orcs here would be Grey Orcs, as opposed to the Mountain Orcs of the west. However, this might make that part of the board too crowded, so in this case it might be better to sacrifice campaign cool (Orcs of Thar) for a more playable board position (Vilhon Reach).

* The Ulm/Hoburgs might be slipped in as the Luiren "hin" (halflings), in the southeast section of the map, and the fact that the nearby Great Rift is home to the Gold Dwarves doesn’t hurt. Ulm looks to me best placed in the southeast part of the FR map.

* Vanheim pretty much has to go into the Moonshaes as the only sailing power. All that remains to mod the units so they match the campaign details of the Moonshae Island military forces.

* Mictlan might be conspicuous by its absence. A blood economy is not all that thematic for FR in general, and IMO Mictlan has enough challenges in terms of modding to warrant its exclusion. It might be considered as the basis for a Yuan-Ti mod, but again, the board bottleneck at Halruaa would then severely limit the position’s viability as a default power.

If Mictlan could be modded into a clone of Man, then it might be positioned in Waterdeep.

God/Pretender lists might be Versions of game world deities such as Bane, Lathander, Mystra, Selune, Talos, and the lot. Cyric is a good example of a Pretender ascension.

Novel heroes such as Drizzt Do'Urden, Alias, Dragonbait, and others might round out the national hero spots.

Anyhow, those are the initial thoughts, what do you think?
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  #2  
Old December 7th, 2004, 03:34 AM
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Edi Edi is offline
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Default Re: FR Mod Complex: Outline

Placing Marignon in Amn would be a much more thematically correct choice, especially given how Amn or some portions of it were depicted in the Maztica trilogy.

You could also put some space into eastern edge of the map by moving C'tis to Unther (which is the same as Mulhorand, but modeled on Sumeria/Assyria/Babylon instead of Egypt) and tossing Ermor into the Plains of Purple Dust. It would probably still be too crowded, though. It's a shame the map doesn't extend all the way to Kara-Tur, I would have loved making a map of that. In such a setting, Ermor would have ended up in the Raurin desert, because that does have a lot of buried necropolises from the precursor empire of Mulhorand that annihilated itself in a war against its gods. As it was, I had to put Ermor in Anauroch which has a significant number of Netherese ruins.

Good luck with the project, it looks to be a stupendous undertaking. And thanks for the kind comments on the original map.

Edi
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Old December 7th, 2004, 04:08 AM
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Graeme Dice Graeme Dice is offline
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Default Re: FR Mod Complex: Outline

Quote:
RedRover said:
* Vanheim pretty much has to go into the Moonshaes as the only sailing power. All that remains to mod the units so they match the campaign details of the Moonshae Island military forces.
Those islands are actually a terrible place for Vanheim to start, as it ensures that they can't use their dwarves without building a huge number of water breathing rings.
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Old December 7th, 2004, 04:18 AM
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Default Re: FR Mod Complex: Outline

Or pocket ships, which is even more difficult for them. I suppose it wouldn't affect the map too terribly if there was a land connection from the Moonshaes through Mintarn and Orlumbor to the mainland, it would still keep Vanheim primarily a sea power but would not confine them. What do you think, Graeme?

Edi
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Old December 7th, 2004, 07:24 AM

deccan deccan is offline
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Default Re: FR Mod Complex: Outline

Finally! Drow in Dom2! Yay! Hmm, didn't Edi complain earlier about me asking for Drow?
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Old December 7th, 2004, 12:46 PM
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Default Re: FR Mod Complex: Outline

I did, yes, but it was an objection to a suggestion of including drow into base Dominions. Having them as part of a specific mod project, especially since the mod project is for a world that does contain them is a different matter entirely.

Edi
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