Converting Exile to AFF

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Zettonsperson
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Converting Exile to AFF

Post by Zettonsperson » Sat Jan 25, 2020 12:26 am

Somewhere on this forum, someone suggested maybe converting the old Exile PC games from Spiderweb Software into pen and paper AFF. I don't know if someone's tried, but this will be where I'll post my attempts. Disclaimer: The Exile PC games are not my intellectual property, they are the intellectual property of Spiderweb Software. Advanced Fighting Fantasy is not my intellectual property. I am not attempting to make money by this conversion. The conversion documents marked "Zettonsperson" are my intellectual property.

Before getting to monster stats, quests, towns, the environments and so forth, the first thing that comes to my mind to work with are Exile's spell lists (I'll be working from the Blades of Exile lists for nearly everything, given it's open source these days), which have Mage and Priest spells. Mage spells are fairly easily converted to Wizard spells, but Priest spells are slightly different. As AFF doesn't really have Priestly magic except as the powers granted by the gods, one way to reconcile them might be to conceptualise the Priest spells as being powered by one's innate magic, as with Wizard spells, and learned separately to one's god-granted powers, thereby still using the Magic Priestly skill, but powering them with MP. One's Devotion score will be used as the test for whether a Priest spell succeeds or not. (This may also work for converting Clerical spells from other pen and paper RPG systems into AFF).

Documents soon.

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Re: Converting Exile to AFF

Post by SkinnyOrc » Sat Jan 25, 2020 11:01 am

This is the computer game? It looks a lot like the Ultima games, which I played a few of back in the day. Of course the look isn't what's important when converting to a pen and paper RPG.

Zettonsperson
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Re: Converting Exile to AFF

Post by Zettonsperson » Sat Jan 25, 2020 12:37 pm

Yes, that's the game. First game I ever played, as Shareware on a fourth-hand '98, was Exile:Escape from the Pit. And its sequels, including the moddable, now open source, Blades of Exile.

Anyways, as promised, the first of my attempted conversions, of the Priest spells to AFF. I welcome all suggestions to this project.

Exile Priest Spells Converted to AFF, verson 1
download/file.php?mode=view&id=108
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Exile Priest Spells Converted to AFF v1.7z
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Zettonsperson
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Re: Converting Exile to AFF

Post by Zettonsperson » Sun Jan 26, 2020 12:34 pm

I've now done version 1 of my conversion of the Exile mage spells into AFF Wizardry spells. It's this document.
Exile Wizard Spells Converted to AFF v1.7z
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Zettonsperson
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Re: Converting Exile to AFF

Post by Zettonsperson » Sun Jan 26, 2020 12:49 pm

Overnight notes/thoughts in progress.
Exile was based around the premise of undesirable characters getting shoved through a portal to the cavernous underworld by the un-diverse Empire and then trying to escape and make a new home on the surface. To make the underworld possibly connected into Titan, my concept for the portal would be a random magical phenomenon that zoops up random people from random worlds and dumps them into the underworld - to be called Cavea in my AFF version <dodges copyright (I think)> (spot the play on words, and linguistics, and I'll be delighted)- where they may, or may not, remember their previous lives, thereby allowing either continuing characters or completely new ones to adventure out into Cavea. It will be hinted that the people-sucking portal must have a balancing portal -an Escape- that sends people back to where they come from. If a concrete connection to Titan is wanted, there may be an entrance to Cavea - so named by the inhabitants- wherever a Director wants it, although one option might be the Chasms beneath the Khulian kingdom of Gorak. This might allow some of the inhabitants of Cavea to be Gaddon, as well as standard humans and so forth. Or Firetop Mountain. Or Khakhabad. Or Fangthane.

Nuvole!
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Re: Converting Exile to AFF

Post by Nuvole! » Mon Jan 27, 2020 4:00 pm

Lovely project! Enjoy it (and thank you for letting Caveatitan enjoy us as well!
He's a real Nowhere man, sitting in his Nowhere land, making all his Nowhere plans for Nobody.

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Re: Converting Exile to AFF

Post by Slloyd14 » Mon Jan 27, 2020 10:31 pm

Awesome! I once played a game called Avernum which TVTropes tells me us basically Exile. I would love to see more!
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A blog about writing gamebooks. My musings on how to write a gamebook and what makes a good gamebook.

Zettonsperson
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Re: Converting Exile to AFF

Post by Zettonsperson » Fri Jan 31, 2020 11:54 pm

Monsters

Before working my way through the conversion of Exile's monsters into AFF, I wanted to discuss Exile's intelligent beings, and where they might fit. Aside from humans, goblins, ogres, giants, the occasional dragon, demons (nearly all fire-based, conversion obvious), there are four other main non-traditional fantasy varieties of intelligent beings. They are the lizard-men Slithzerikai, the cat-people Nephilim, the wonders that are Giant Intelligent Talking Spiders (GIFTs for short.All named Spider! Who like kissing people!) and the deep cave-dwelling crystal-magic-using Vahnatai.

Sliths (for short) in the Exile-verse originate deep underground, and, despite being largely amphibious, despise cold. For the most part, they fit with existing AFF Lizardmen, except for their two-tined fish-hunting spears, their tendency to worship heroes and their tendency to (depending on the tribe) not be overly hostile to outsiders. Being underground-based, one might imagine finding them in any cave system and quite possibly in Temperate regions in the summer months.

Nephils (for short) in the Exile-verse end up underground because of the Empire and its dislike of difference. There are two varieties, standard Nephils, and the stronger, but sterile, and more savage, Nephars. I suppose, with their tendency to prefer bows, they are Exile's version of elves, in a way. However, in an AFF setting, it is possible to imagine that they are a more organised, and settled, version of Cat People. To find them in Cavea, it is quite possible that they would be zooped up by that random portal, and are forced to band together largely to defend themselves against everyone, and everything else, that struggles for life there.

GIFTs are clearly, in the Exile-verse, the comedic lightening of the mood - but Spiderweb Software's developers have a great dry wit all through their games. They don't attack people who don't attack them first. In AFF, it might be possible to find them everywhere other spiders live, willing to help nice people for a kiss and a correct guess at their name. But of course, characters would have to be careful of which spider they decide to attack because it's a giant spider. The GIFTs in the Exile-verse exist in a constant battle with their magic-using, savage cousins, the Aranea, who have sophisticated methods of recording knowledge in their webs. Magic-using spiders might make a great enemy for AFF, or a great focus for a spider cult...

Vahnatai are mysterious and powerful, wisp-thin people who hibernate once they have exhausted the thin resources of their caves, often for centuries, who have magics to imprint their spirits into crystals. They live deep below the world, and in the Exile-verse, only reveal themselves after being attacked by the Empire as it steals away some of their crystal-imprinted elders. In AFF, it is possible to imagine them as a branch of the N'yadach, less degenerated from their prime, but turned more towards contemplation and crystal-magic, respectful of their environment, seekers (perhaps based on the Japanese) of perfection in all their arts, whether they be farming, blade-smithing or their magics.

Orcs don't exist in the Exile-verse, however, that darned random magical portal might've zooped some into Cavea if the Director wants...
Dark-Elves likewise, or they might've tunnelled downwards from their cities...

Zettonsperson
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Re: Converting Exile to AFF

Post by Zettonsperson » Wed Feb 12, 2020 12:27 pm

Alrighty, then, one Exile-to-AFF Monster Conversion List, as promised. It's very rough. It is literally a list, and you WILL need the AFF bestiaries for reference. But almost every monster and non-named NPC is present and comparisons found or made, or alterations made. All suggestions welcome!
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Converting Exile Monsters to AFF, v1.zip
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Zettonsperson
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Re: Converting Exile to AFF

Post by Zettonsperson » Wed Feb 12, 2020 12:58 pm

Thoughts and Notes in Progress

I have gotten permission from Spiderweb Software, as long as I don't officially publish this Cavea project anywhere else, to use specific information from the Exile games.

Life in Cavea, v1
Cavea, so named by the inhabitants, has been occupied by the unfortunates gathered up by the random magical portal (known by the Caveans as the Taker) for centuries now. However, it is only in recent years that the Kingdom of Cavea has been formed, with the intention of every person helping others to survive in the harsh cavernous underworld. It only occupies a sixth of the known underworld, and is a tenuous confederation of Cavean towns (which on the surface, wouldn't even rate as villages) that currently control the main site where the Taker delivers its captives, known as Entrance (there are other sites). Caveans live in permanent dimness, the underworld only lit by trawling glow-worms and bioluminescent moulds such that flames are blinding. They eat only mushrooms, or the pallid, bloodless meat of giant lizards, pale cattle and blind fish. As such, those who bring foods (if the Taker hasn't stripped them clean) from their surface homes will find themselves immensely rich, a mere loaf of bread worth a thousand times its surface value to the Caveans. Trouble is, newcomers are stuck in Cavea with their new wealth. Wealth is different in Cavea. Jewels and precious minerals are kept by even the poorest of Caveans in great handfuls. Wood from real trees (instead of the fibrous fungal Cavean variety) is true wealth, and true currency in Cavea. Caveans, due to the unpleasantness of their existence, are very religious, with even the Taker being worshipped in an expiatary sense (to cleanse sins) , as well as the hopeful doctrine of the Returner (the Escape portal). They fight monsters, other tribes of Cavean inhabitants, hunger and chaos every day. They live in constant fear of the sky (as the jokers call it) falling on their heads (by Toutatis!). Some joys do exist. Mostly bitter fungal ales, though, that result in choking and cases of blindness in newcomers. Somehow, life in Cavea continues, people have children who have never seen the sun, and adventurers go forth in search of wealth and the Returner.

Zettonsperson
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Re: Converting Exile to AFF

Post by Zettonsperson » Sun Feb 16, 2020 9:20 am

Life in Cavea, v1, Continued.

Religion
Aside from the penitent doctrines of the Taker, and the hopeful doctrine of the Returner, Caveans look to a vast collection of gods to make their lives better, or at least, prevent them being worse. Titanners give their prayers to Throff of the Earth, Lorodil of the Magma and Titan Himself more than other gods (that sense of preservation, given Cavea's underground placement), but also pray to Sindla, Usrel, Libra, Courga, Telak, Hamaskis, Fulkra, Aqualis and not a few Beast Lords. Logaan is also regularly given sacrifice. Brought down from other worlds are the doctrines of the Anama and the Divine Lucre: the Anama despise wizards and all their magics; adherents of the Divine Lucre attempt to gather corrupting wealth to themselves to protect others from its corruption. Caveans have also developed faith in a god of Cavea, called variously the Digger, the Tunneller, the Rock-Eater, the Hole-Maker, the World-Carver, or, impolitely and used as an expletive, the Hell-Sculptor.

Construction
Caveans cannot build structures above two storeys. Most of their construction is, of course, of stone, or thick clay, or, if desperate, fibrous fungus wood. Glass is non-existent, but then, so are the things -weather and bugs- that glass windows are designed to keep out. Some Caveans carve their homes directly into the living caves, whether downwards into a cave-floor or into a cave-wall. Light in homes is provided either by the everpresent bioluminescence or from gathered glow-worms. Furniture is of fungus wood.

Boats
It might seem strange, but Cavea has a thriving boat-building scene. Boats provide transport on the dark lakes and rivers of the underworld, as well as allowing the collection of a major Cavean food-source: blind cave-fish. They are, however, flimsy: a true wave would sink them. They are leather, or thick, oiled fungus cloth, stretched out over a fungus-wood frame.

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Re: Converting Exile to AFF

Post by Zettonsperson » Sun Feb 16, 2020 9:35 am

Cavean Dragons

Cavea, being underground, may not seem the place to find dragons, creatures of the air that they are. Their occupancy of Cavea began long before the Taker began its work, and may long continue. To Titanner scholars who have come to Cavea, the native dragons are very much like the dragons of Titan. They are coloured a jade-green with trimmings of garnet. Despite the colouration, scholars would name them Grey, to fit into the Titan schema of dragons, or others Rock, or further others, Cave. The one dragon who deigns to speak with scholars, Motrax, will not speak to their arguments.

(Note that the names of the dragons, and their locations, are directly from the Exile games).

Of the Cavean dragons, only five are known to dwell in the known tunnels.
Motrax, mentioned above, lives within the tunnels claimed by the Kingdom of Cavea, and welcomes humans to his cave for conversations.
Athron, known to live in the maze of tunnels just beyond the Kingdom's reach, is known not to be hostile, but will not actively prevent outsiders being consumed by her vicious brood.
Pyrog, living deep in caves claimed by giants, has slain all who have attempted to converse with him.
Khoth, far, far from the Kingdom, is a gatherer of knowledge, and has texts in his hoard-library written by beings unknown to any human. Nothing but the delivery of a choice ancient text will move him to conversation, but otherwise, outsiders may browse his library, as long as they do not steal.
Sulfras, remotest of all the dragons, has a lair that is rumoured to have an entrance to the surface. She will not converse, and will block entrance to the innards of her home, but will allow outsiders to live - provided they leave quickly.

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