Ardin, Slim, and Nomad Lore

Discussion in 'Fallout General Modding' started by Endocore, Feb 18, 2014.

  1. Endocore

    Endocore Look, Ma! Two Heads!
    Modder

    365
    Mar 14, 2010
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    Here are a few more simple mods for RP 2.3 or greater.

    --Random encounter nomad chieftains now offer conversation about wasteland lore and rumors, and solicit rumors from the pc (related to the current state of the Chosen One's adventures) to spread to other nomads. They also have new minor items to barter (Nuka-Cola, cigarettes, etc).

    --Ardin Buckner in Klamath offers some conversation about Torr after resolving the cattle rustling quest in the Buckner's favor. I've always been dissatisfied with the way Torr just vanishes after this plot is resolved, and is never mentioned again.

    --Slim Picket in Trapper Town has been completely redesigned-- perhaps it was overkill, but I started with a blank notepad file and rewrote the entire script from scratch. The main problem was the cheesy exploit of a free key to the rat caves available in his barter interface that I wanted to eradicate, but as a further benefit he now has all kinds of new conversation and functionality.

    The nomad and Ardin scripts are simple replacements, and don't require starting a new game. The Slim Picket script requires one map change to klamall.map (instructions are in the readme file) to get rid of that confounded key in his inventory that set me off on him in the first place, and will therefore (if not starting a new game anyway) require restoring from a point previous to entering Trapper Town for the first time.

    Sure I could have gotten rid of the Trapper Town key via script, but I like playing with the mapper. Feel free to add a line to Slim's start or map enter procedure if you prefer.

    Files available here. The most likely plays of content have been tested during actual gameplay, but please report any bugs here. The Slim script in particular offers a large variability of skill checks for different character builds, and I could not test them all myself.

    I've been hard at work lately on an FO2 modding binge; I've done a lot of work on Arroyo, Klamath, and general random encounters, and am now moving on to the Den. However, most of this new content requires substantial changes to gvars, scripts.lst, various maps, and includes many new item protos. As I've said previously I'm holding off releasing all that until The Final version of killap's RP comes out to avoid obsolescence and redundancy. In the meantime, as I continue to both update my own game and make new stuff I'll continue sharing these mini-mods when they're simple changes that don't require modifications of major game files.

    Enjoy.

    FAQ

    Q: Are these files compatible with the Megamod?
    A: Nomads-- probably, but check all global variable compatibility before trying it. Ardin-- no. There is no brahmin rustling quest in the Megamod. Slim: No. The Klamath rat caves in the AFR plotline are very different from the RP rat caves adventures.

    Q: I want to try some modding, but I don't understand the mapper and the script stuff. What can I do?
    A: An easy way to start would be with this nomad chief dialogue I've posted. The dialogue file, ecnomchf.msg, is a plain-text file that can be opened with Windows Notepad. Read what's already written, write some new rumors the nomads might share, post them here, and if they're good I'll include them in a future version.




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  2. CPL

    CPL Still Mildly Glowing
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    294
    Mar 16, 2013
    Cool, I'll check these out. 8-) I just started a new game and I'm in Klamath. I haven't gone to Trapper Town yet, so I shouldn't have to worry about that.
     
  3. Kane Vollstrecker

    Kane Vollstrecker First time out of the vault

    51
    Feb 7, 2014

    ok i have try it out and must say i like it very much..Thank you for This.:wink:

    Can you make this for more Encounters with more Loot and Things to trade?
     
  4. Endocore

    Endocore Look, Ma! Two Heads!
    Modder

    365
    Mar 14, 2010
    I'm not big on loot myself, but as for more things to trade: I'm working on it. I'm glad to hear you liked the characters.
     
  5. CPL

    CPL Still Mildly Glowing
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    294
    Mar 16, 2013
    Interesting thing happened to me, since I've never did this in this sequence before, because I wasn't able to get the location of the slave camp, but now you can from nomads. I wiped out the camp and when I eventually worked my way to the Den (I went to the Umbra Tribe then the camp after leaving Klamath) and when I went to the Slavers' Guild, Metzger had a shit fit and started shooting. So, I had to take those turds on, and wasn't able to complete any Lara tasks in relation to him. I'll have to remember this the next play through, if I want to do those tasks, and I don't go to the Den first. I'll have to curb my enthusiasm at the camp and I suppose come back later with the NCR Rangers, or whatever.
     
  6. Endocore

    Endocore Look, Ma! Two Heads!
    Modder

    365
    Mar 14, 2010
    One of the things I'm trying to do is shake up the routines we all fall into after playing the game for the 481st time, to keep things fresh.
     
  7. CPL

    CPL Still Mildly Glowing
    Modder

    294
    Mar 16, 2013
    481? Who knows, probably even more considering I've been playing this since 2003 (and visiting this forum since then) and it's the only game I actually have played, other than the first Fallout and Tactics since then. The funny thing is I rarely have ever finished a game because I keep messing with stuff and starting over, or somebody else comes up with something and I start over. I know I haven't played a vanilla game since the first RP came out (which I think I still have a file of somewhere on a CD, because I usually don't delete anything) and then there is other assorted mods. I used the ones on file here at first, then I started to tweak my own thing with the help of Cubik's editor and the realization that I simply can change shit with note pad. There is two things that I can't do that is scripting and getting that damned mapper to work. It would never load correctly and crash. I don't know if it's because I'm using a PC with Vista, or I'm doing something wrong there, or both. It would be nice to be able to get it to work, though. It's been a few years since I tried to mess with it, so I might make another attempt. I think there was some sort of tutorial on how to get it to work on Vista that was posted a few years back, so maybe I could find that and see.
     
  8. UniversalWolf

    UniversalWolf eaten by a grue.

    Aug 28, 2005
    I appreciate the type of mod you've made here. There are dozens of NPCs in the game that could be improved by increased dialogue options. I hope more folks try to make small mods like this, so perhaps at some time in the future they can be combined into some kind of Increased Dialogue package.
     
  9. Endocore

    Endocore Look, Ma! Two Heads!
    Modder

    365
    Mar 14, 2010
    [HR][/HR]

    @ UniversalWolf

    The good about small mods is they're mods that one person can finish in a reasonable amount of time. A bird in hand is worth two in the bush. If 100 people spent a few hours each working on one single npc, in a few weeks we could have 100 new or much-improved npcs in the game.


    @ Everybody having trouble with the Mapper (not meant to pick on CPL in any way, as he merely raised some very common points we see all the time)

    The only two files required to use the Mapper are the mapper package itself from Interplay, and the City Limit Remover patch (called CityLimit49 or F49). Inside the mapper package from Interplay, the only two files needed are mapper2.exe and mapper2.cfg (though the instruction manual Fallout_Editor.pdf may come in handy too). Probably many people will also want to use Mash's hi-res stuff as well.

    Some old stuff that may have been useful in the past but should now be completely ignored are Dim's Mapper and the "M2" patch for the mapper.

    The process to use is: put mapper2.exe in a folder (or just "install" the whole package if you want, it's just a self-extracting proprietary zip file that also has all the original teeming-with-bugs scripts you should never use), then modify mapper2.cfg to find your files, then install F49, then install Mash's hi-res patch. When installing F49, only modify mapper2.exe-- these days sfall does all the necessary work on the game executable (fallout2.exe) in a much better way. Then make some empty Fallout2\dev\proto\ folders in your root directory and you're all set.

    Using the mapper largely seems complex only because all the old articles contain a lot of irrelevant info. In the past there were two main problems:

    --That stupid WATCOM crap set Fallout modding back at least five years. It's all completely unnecessary, and was written by expert computer programmers for expert computer programmers. As most people are not expert computer programmers, of course endless confusion and hopelessness were the only inevitable results. Using the Mapper and scripting are two completely separate endeavors, yet all the old documents throw both at a new person at the same time. Of course a mess is the typical result.

    --Many of the old articles were written by people strangely fascinated with demented stuff like hex-editing and assembly code. All that is a distracting waste of time and creates confusion for those who don't know any better. The amazing stuff Timeslip does with DirectX is a different matter, but that's not the typical stuff most people who want to do some general modding will ever be concerned with. A good rule of thumb for making new maps, characters, items, scripts, and so forth is: if you think you need a hex-editor, you simply don't know enough about what you're doing to even know what questions you should be asking. Stop and learn some more, then come back to the issue later.

    To use the Mapper effectively, a person needs to learn four basic ideas:

    1) How to get rid of dat files and use folders instead. Dat files are a relic of the past when a cutting-edge computer had only an 8 GB hard drive and disk space was critical. Now dat files are just an obstacle to modding. My keychain flash drive has more disk space than desktop computer I was using when I first started fiddling with Fallout.

    2) How to make a Fallout2\dev\proto directory and what this directory does.

    3) How to edit mapper2.cfg to find all your files.

    4) What the various game files do; in other words, how the game works "under the hood." Basically the game consists of text files, script files, map files, and proto files. Once you learn which is which and what they do, learning how to change most of them is a mere formality.

    All this info is available in numerous discussion threads in this very forum. Here's why I (and presumably most others) don't want to write a modern tutorial on the subject: 99 percent of all questions will come from people who simply don't know how to use their own computer. The questions will have nothing to do with how to install or use the Mapper, but will all be about how to use the latest versions of Microsoft Windows anti-operating systems and why the Mapper won't work on an iPhone. These discussions are just too frustrating to invite. For example, the forum regularly gets questions associated with points (2) and (3) above. Both sorts of questions immediately indicate a question-asker who usually knows so little about the fundamental basics of how their computer works (as opposed to how Fallout modding stuff works) that helping them is likely to be a serious headache.

    If, after doing independent research in the treasure-trove of knowledge that is this forum, people have specific questions about how to do this or that then I think experience shows we have lots of people around willing to help. The trouble is only when "specific questions" are thought be such things as "This whole thing doesn't work" and "I double-clicked on some file and got some 'exception error'" that clearly indicate the person posing the question really needs to read a book or two about the basics of how to use their computer. Specific questions likely to get a helpful response are almost certainly going to be about topic (4) above, and not about topics (1), (2), or (3).

    As I said earlier, scripting is entirely different from using the Mapper. Knowing how to script is not necessary to use the Mapper in many cases, and particularly not necessary for the basic stuff most beginners will want to do with the Mapper (add some items, change some scenery, add an extra enemy soldier, etc). There's no way around the hard facts here: the Fallout Scripting Language is not merely a complex computer programming language, but an old and somewhat obscure computer programming language that is furthermore poorly documented because it was a developed as a proprietary tool for a small group of people who were already experts and whose desks were five feet away from each other if questions arose. Unless you have some experience in computer programming languages, you're probably not going to be a scripter unless you dedicate yourself to the task for months. The good news is "experience" does not have to mean "professional expertise." I'm just a hobbyist myself, and no sensible person would hire me for a paid job programming anything. I'm a writer and artist, not a computer programmer guy. Before taking up Fallout scripting, my only "programming" experience was working with Inform 7-- a revolutionary work of genius that is so unlike any other "computer programming language" that using it doesn't really even count as learning computer programming. The only reason I'm now able to accomplish any scripting task I want is: many, many hours of studying and practicing, making mistakes and learning why what works works, and why what doesn't work doesn't. Anyone who wants to be a Fallout scripter and is not already a professional computer programmer will have to follow the same course; unfortunately there are no shortcuts on this issue.


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    Last edited: Feb 25, 2014
  10. CPL

    CPL Still Mildly Glowing
    Modder

    294
    Mar 16, 2013
    Great post! I wish I knew about this years ago when I made the attempt to even mess with the damned mapper to begin with. I had a feeling I probably was doing something wrong, or leaving out certain steps in the process. Now I know what I didn't do right. I made the mistake of thinking it was a simple thing like Cubik's editor, where you can just drop the .exe right in the main location and it will just start up and work. Obviously, you have to do some other configuration, too. I don't recall doing those other steps, so no wonder I had an issue.

    Yeah, I remember all of that other stuff about WATCOM and the whole hex editor program thing, and all of the extra files that came with those. They certainly didn't make trying to figure out how that thing worked any easier.

    I do know the inner workings of my computer, but I've never had any training or education where computer programming is concerned. I just learned by trial and error and picked up a few things here and there from others who actually know what the hell they are doing. That's what's great about posts like these, if you pay attention, you can learn a lot. I remember a time when I first started playing Fallout and discovered the whole modding section here. I could barely able get a simple weapons mod to work (I remember that whole mod runner or FAME thing people use to use) that someone else made, never mind even conceiving of tinkering with anything myself. Now, it's second nature to put something like that together. There's still a lot to learn, though.

    Now that I know what I'm supposed to do correctly, I'm going to try and tackle that mapper again and see what happens.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2014