Ted's RPG Rant

A place to rant about RPG games, particularly the Temple of Elemental Evil. Co8 members get a free cookie for stopping by. Thats ONE cookie each, no seconds.

Friday, March 24, 2006


Winnings: $1093

I love it when a new script I have invented out of my head actually works. Its so rare for one thing ;-) I much prefer to use existing stuff, and Liv has left so little for the rest of us to discover!

Anyway, I came up with the tiny little idea that follows as a way to get multiple (similar) NPCs to fire off a single dlg file, without a complicated script to have to check which NPC is using it. Something like this:

def san_dialog( attachee, triggerer ):
________if obj.name == x:
________if obj.name == x+1:
________if obj.name == x+2:
________if obj.name == x+3:
________return SKIP_DEFAULT

Etc. I can imagine C-Blue sending me viruses if I did such a thing.

So instead I did this (the npcs in question are at 14596 onward. Thats for KotB btw, if anyone is using these numbers for ToEE, don't sweat it ;-))

def san_dialog( attachee, triggerer ):
________line = attachee.name - 14590
________return SKIP_DEFAULT

Simple! I wasn't sure if obj.name could be used as an integer like this, but it can apparently. 8^D I really have to learn to do Python properly, so I can use some of this integer-handling stuff. If u know of a GOOD Python tutorial site u have personally used, post the url here (no don't just Google it, I could do that, and I did, and it didn't get me far). I know some folks at Co8 have taught themselves Python and have clearly gone way past me, so time to share!

The only problem getting it to work was for some reason I shoved the dlg/py files off at 500, forgetting there was already a 500 in the game (an obscure demo file). SO the first time I ran it, it didn't work and I screamed and ranted and raved and went to bed in frustration. Lying in bed I remembered seeing the 500 file and figured out the problem, and got it going this morning.

The original 500 file has this, btw:

def san_use( attachee, triggerer ):
________cheats.kos = 0
________return SKIP_DEFAULT

Verrrrrrrrry interesting... stay tuned for an investigation into how these damn flags can be accessed.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


Hacked in some new maps, updated all the armour with the new stuff, and did some internal stuff (catalogued all the used dlg numbers so I can add new ones without getting confused.)

Took my ma to register her car the other day, and went to McD's for something to eat. My ma had fries, and after eating a couple she says, "these need salt".

What IS the world coming too???

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Modding frenzy!!!

Winnings: $694

Here's a spooky moment from yesterday (Saturday): I wander past Co8, check down the bottom to see if Gaear has shown up yet, and there are just two names:

ShiningTed, 0rion79

Hmmm, I wonder what shenanigans await this development. O well, on to more interesting things.

I was unable to partake of St Pat's day in a befitting manner, as per what I said on the forum, since I had blown all my money the night before. I had just finished winning back the $600 I lost before I left for Malaysia - in fact, I was $30 on the happy side of par and closing in on the pleasant mark of being $1500 ahead overall, when I hit a run of monumental bad luck.

Now, my system is not predicated on good luck - I can have bad luck and still win. 'Hoping for a winning streak', as most people do when they gamble, is a mug's game - the returns on roulette are calculated with this in mind, and the numbers even out so that the house is paying back less than it takes in, so winning streaks are less profitable for the player than losing streaks are for the House. Only 3% or so - 1 in 37 - but enough. The odds are against you, and just hitting a winning streak is hard enough anyway. Since my system takes a little over an hour to do a full cycle (and I try to run two cycles on any given trip to the club, with a beer break between) I get to spend a LOT of time just sitting there watching my fellow gamblers, and let me tell u, I see a LOT more people put money in than I see take it out. A scary, depressing lot more. I would smash NSW's reliance on gambling revenue in a heartbeat if I could, even if it put me out of a profitable past-time. But I digress. The point is, I see a lot of people betting, hoping they will hit a winning streak, and it doesn't happen very often.

My system does well when I have a winning streak, but even on a losing streak I can still win. All that is required is I NOT get hit by a CATASTROPHIC losing streak - these come along very rarely, and the system is designed so that even if one DOES come along, the chances are I WON'T be backing it (I will be on the other side, cleaning up).

But not this day...

This day I got nailed fair and square, losing a further $800 [sigh] Bugger. Still nearly $700 up, and rethinking the whole situation. Yvy asked me the other day if I had a gambling problem - its a fair question. I don't think so, but u never do when u r winning (and sometimes not even when u r losing). I guess how I react next will show the depth of my character. For one thing, I am back to running simulations, lots of them.

The silver lining? Well, I expected to win and have money in my pocket! Since I didn't, my Friday plans for St Pats and my Saturday plans to head to the club after work and watch the Eels game (broadcast from Hamilton NZ) both got scuttled. Instead, I stayed home and modded. Hacked in the new maps I wanted to add (just two more to go), did some sectoring, and started redoing the guards (and adding new ones) to include the new armour, capes etc. Very nice!

Hopefully will have the maps finished tomorrow, including the Worldmap Icons (did the Thorp map on Friday and was running around on it testing, opened the WorldMap, and it was in exactly the right spot! Gratifying :-) then on to the swamp map for Allanon. Once that is done, can finally get the existing dlg files etc in order, and do a release. The plan for the release is to have basically all the characters in the game, erm, in the game - well, for the opening part of the game (the Outer Bailey with all its various buildings) and then people who want to contribute will have their desired NPC already mobbed in, and can get straight into the dlg (will also have assigned dlg file numbers). Of course people can feel free to fiddle the mobs if they think the character should be tall, short, dressed differently or whatever.

Still feeling very confident: nice to have issues like the worldmap graphics and the guard's armour dealt with by the initiative of folks in the community. Ideally, I would like to 'manage' this in such a way that it can carry on without my specific input - currently feeling far too dictatorial for my liking. To this end I am going to add a sticky on 'how to get involved' once the new release is up, and a thread where the latest versions of files can be kept.

O and I don't get paid til Thursday so I can concentrate on the mod without having the urge to wander off to the club. Too smokey down there anyway. Lets see how the simulations go.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006


Winnings: $1329

Here are some pix of me and Yvy: no, we won't be married for several months, but apparently in Asia u take the pix well beforehand. Makes a lot of sense: all the weddings I have been to have had a bloody great gap between the ceremony and reception - 3 hours or so - where u gotta go amuse yourself while the couple take pix. Ur in formalwear, probably far from home, wtf are u gonna do? One time we went to a dodgy pub, all done up in suits, my mates' wives all there and dolled up, and played pool in the public bar. I got beaten by 7 balls (ie without sinking anything) and for anyone who doesn't know, the penalty for this shameful loss here in Oz is a lap of the table with your pants down. So I did: top half besuited, bottom half nothing but underdaks. Very liberating experience. The locals were highly amused, and being a wedding party there were plenty of cameras on hand [sigh].

But I digress. The photographer was very professional, knew how to deal with amatuers, but kept telling me to smile (I wanted to smoulder ;-)) At least Yvy is enough of a babe to make the shots look good. Still dunno what she sees in me!

Sunday, March 12, 2006

I'm back, baby!

...and I don't just mean back in the country.

Winnings: $1167

I landed 9:30 Friday night, it was after 11 when I got home, unpacked, destressed etc. Finally got to bed, and was asleep around 1am, only to get up at 6:30 and head off to work. Thats 3:30am Malaysian time, so you can guess I was pretty knackered all day yesterday, especially since on Friday my flight left Penang Airport at 7:15am, so I was up at about 4:50 to check out of the hotel and go down and check in at the airport the mandatory 2 hours before flying international (or hour & a half in this case - 2 hours before a 7:15am flight? Get real). Then a 50 minute hop down to KLIA, a stopover of an hour (bought a litre of Scotch duty free for c. AU$14, woohoooo!!!) and off on the 8 hour haul to Sydney. I expected the plane to be crowded, it usually is fairly full (there's only maybe 2 flights max a day to Sydney and it includes people who flew Malaysian Airlines from Europe) and on top of that, the Commonwealth Games is powering up in a few days and I thought there might be some locals heading down to see their team, travelling via Sydney because if you were heading out to Melbourne, you'd wanna see Sydney as well (much nicer place. Melbourne is worth a visit though, so I dare say is NZ if you are out this way, or vice versa). However it was a smaller plane (777 I believe) and not that crowdy, though I did have a woman sitting next to me, no lazing across many seats. She slept the whole flight - I got her lunch. 8-D

You know there is that thing, "only one piece of carry-on luggage", and you have room above you in the overhead compartment for one (albeit decent-sized) case? I mean sure, people also have duty-free bags, handbags, laptops etc with them, stuff you aren't going to put in the baggage area. But it always fascinates me how much trouble some people have counting to one. There was a guy in front of me getting on, had a case he was dragging, a big bag he was carrying, what looked like a sleeping roll (though he was in a suit), and about 4 boxes. Reminds me now of something one of my teachers (an Anglican priest) said back in my Masters days: "If you weren't a Christian, I bet you'd be a real asshole". Well probably if I didn't have the morals and values of the Holy Roman Catholic Church keeping me in line, I would, because I had an urge to beat the shit out of that guy. "YOU'RE ALLOWED ONE BAG, DICKHEAD!" [SMACK!] "CAN YOU COUNT TO ONE, MOTHERF%$KER!?!" [BIFF!] "HERE'S HEADBUTTS TOTALLING A SUM OF ONE!" [THWACK!] Not healthy [sigh] but selfishness and inconsideration really annoy me. Its what's wrong with the world, people just live there lives without even thinking of the impact their actions are going to have on others. This guy would probably need an entire overhead compartment to himself, and tough luck for anyone else who was sitting near him. Actually when I got on, there was this old couple (looked sub-contintental) and the old guy was carrying on about how he couldn't put his case in his own compartment (because it was full) and the stewardess was saying to him over and over, "just put it in the next one". Then he starts carrying on about his seat, he's not sitting next to his wife (maybe she cunningly arranged it - wouldn't blame her - maybe they checked in seperately; hey, screw everyone behind us, we'll use two checkin counters cause we're selfish assholes and this way is slightly easier for us, everyone else can wait! [That actually happened to Yvy and I on the way down to KL (by accident, I hasten to add) and we were damn lucky that the next 2 seats that came up were, naturally, adjoining, so we still got to sit together]. Anyway, maybe there was some innocent reason this couple were not sitting together, I dunno). So then the stewardess says they can change once they are in the air, but for now he has to sit down (so they could tick off who was on the plane and if anyone was late / missing). She was getting frustrated and frankly in this era of heightened airline security I reckon the guy long overstepped the mark where he shoulda been thrown off. If I was a steward I would rule with an iron fist - two bags? Not on my flight. Causing trouble? Let me introduce you to my friend the air marshall - FIRE!! Failing to obey my every directive? Tazer time! Mind you, I wouldn't be a steward - mustaches don't suit me. I later looked over at this couple (reunited once we were airborne) and despite the seatbelt sign being on due to turbulence, they were happily up wandering around. Grrrr... O well, I am being unhealthy again, lets hope they were nice old grandparents just having a bad day, and God bless them. Lets not get started on people who jump up and start getting their bags down the moment the plane hits the tarmac, even as the pilot is saying, "stay in your seats til we reach the terminal". Grrr...

Now, work yesterday... not a bad day at all. After I went home, washed my car despite being exhausted, then off to the club to watch the Eels opening game of the season (it was taking place a few hours away in Newcastle and my efforts to get a mate up there to come with me had fallen through. Got a text message from another friend who lives 2 streets away, she was there with her b/f, but I doubt I would have had the energy to drive that far safely under the circumstances anyway). So I started playing roulette at the club - planning on running the system once, then sitting down to weatch the game - and found there was a little TV up on the wall right behind the machine, or I should say, right behind where I was sitting at the machine. So I laid my bets then spun to watch the game and basically imitated a metronome for the duration. The Eels were very flat (lot of injuries in pre-season) and we got well beat: bugger. But I spent the night at the roulette machine (between heading out for dinner, beers etc) and won over $300. I woulda kept going but about 11, I just got bored. A few close calls that almost lost had me a bit shaken up too, and I decided to just head on home.

So - why wasn't I modding? Well, I was too tired to think straight, no other reason than that (since I gamble by a system, there is not much thought involved. Plus they give me complimentary coffee). Which brings us to KotB.

Tomorrow, I will be back into KotB. Now what has to be done?

The main thing is, the changes to the World Map mean the maps I have done will have to be renumbered, reassigned etc to get them to coincide with the appropriate game areas. Thats simple enough, though the jumppoint.tab will be a pita to redo (so that when you go through a door, you come out at the right place on the other side). There will also be other fiddly little things, like some of the mobs have their map number internally: very few at this point, any I miss will come out in testing. This is all part of the process of learning the way to create a module: since we are learning as we go, there are inevitably going to be times we have to go back and redo stuff. In future, of course, when we do other modules, we will benefit from this learning process now and things will work more smoothly. But for the moment you will have to be patient with me while I redo some stuff.

Once that is done (hopefully tomorrow, as I will get it fixed before I add any more maps) I will sector in the remaining Keep South maps (jeweller's residence, priest's residence, the other tower maps etc) that Screeg has long since supplied (with .svbs!) and the other wilderness maps that there are (2 atm, never u mind where). Then I want to finish the swamp map for Allanon to sector (assuming he hasn't gotten bored waiting and wandered off) then I can fix up the dlg files that have been sitting around, and mob in a bunch of characters so anyone wanting to get involved will have it all ready for them. And tidy up new elements like the new stuff from Cuchulainn and Ace and Sheriff.

Sounds like a lot of work, but I seriously can't see it taking much more than a week. Sectoring new maps is second nature, mobbing doesn't take long and the dlg files are largely done. So lets say week and a half.

For now, off to church!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Travelling Ted

Been overseas? Remember the fears? Would I forget / lose my passport / tickets / money / anything? Be stranded in a foreign land? Be mugged / raped / murdered / deported / jailed?

I remember them, but no more: I am just so blase about international travel nowdays. And why not? Its my 4th time out of the country and I have been to a whole TWO other nations ;-)

Yvy and I did the pre-wedding 'get Catholic' thnig on the weekend, that was VERY full-on, hardly a moment to scratch yourself, but well worth doing. Then it was off to the Oz High Commission in KL to get Yvy a visa for after the wedding (which will be up here). Took about 3 hours and cost the AU$1305 I whined about a few posts back (plus another AU$100 or so for a form I swear we don't even need) but the application was very well received: they said we had all the evidence we needed (which was why I was so damn busy right before leaving, getting official forms, stat decs, photos etc - even modding had to take a back seat for a while!) Should hear in a few months. Then had to take Yvy out to the KL boondocks to get her a Letter of Good Conduct (why they stick the government buildings out there is beyond me). There was no train etc to the place, but luckily one of the other Catholics at the weekend course worked at the US embassy down the road from the Oz one, and when we explained what had to be done, he said "gimme a ring" which we did and he got a courier heading out there to give us a lift there and back. Damn nice of him! And a touch of divine intervention of course, since we would have been r00ted otherwise.

Back in Yvy's home town up near Penang now, got the official wedding photos tomorrow, and gotta get another form stamped by the priest doing the ceremony. O and had to register with the Malaysian government for the marriage too, forgot about that - also a lot of running around but all went smoothly in the end. Might actually squeeze a couple of hours holiday time in tomorrow night before I head off Friday morning.

Now, modding... sorry to hear that damn update didn't work as a pack, but use the files in there by all means! I will be back on Friday night, straight back to work Sat, first Eels game of the season Sat night, so will do a blog on Sunday explaining where things stand.

O and if some of my typing here and on the forum looks a little dyslexic (more than normal) its Yvy's keyboard, I swear ;-) Just can't keep up with me!

Selamat Tinggal!