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Topic: Golden Dragon Interview: Sir Otus  (Read 3407 times)
« on: September 12, 2008, 09:56:20 PM »
BenWH Offline
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Gold-tinted Silver Dragon
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Today's interview is with Sir Otus, who won the Golden Dragon award for Best PnP Conversion with the Ghost Tower of Inverness. Sir Otus tells us about the inspiration for his modules, what he likes about them, and what's coming next...

What made you start building modules for NWN?

I was actually cleaning out a storeroom and came across an old campaign I developed long ago for AD&D (back in the days of TSR) and decided to give the Aurora Toolset a try.  When I explored the NWVault and discovered such an active, helpful community of players and builders, I was encouraged to bring that old campaign of mine to life.  Since my first NWN module (A Forgotten Evil, Chapter One) was such a tremendously rewarding experience, I decided to expand the adventure and write Chapter Two of my Forgotten Evil series.  The process of world creation, and the feedback I received for my work, was really addictive, particularly for an old-school DM often frustrated by the lack of like-minded afficionados; that is, until NWN and the Vault provided the opportunity to bring my old adventures into being...


Can you tell us a little more about the inspiration for your module?

As I mentioned, I've always been a fan of the older AD&D modules.  Upon completing Chapter Two of my original series (A Forgotten Evil), I decided to take a break from true creation and thought I'd tackle a PnP conversion for a change of pace.  For my first PnP conversion, I wanted to do one of the shorter modules from the early days, and The Ghost Tower of Inverness was always a favorite of mine, so it seemed like a good fit.  Since the original module had a lot of barren chambers but a fertile back-story, I thought it would represent an interesting opportunity to do a faithful conversion while including a good bit of new content.


What is the 'best bit' in your module for you?

That's a hard question to answer.  I am particularly proud of the story development, detailing the history of Galap-Dreidel's "Tower Beyond Time" and how I tried to knit the planar levels of the Ghost Tower together into a coherent theme.  I am also pleased with the classic "Chess Room", which took quite a while to script properly.  While most folks who played the module were likely spared the fate of being swallowed whole by the Dinichthys or being "bleached" by a close call with the Soul Gem, each present a new dimension to the adventure which (hopefully) added to players' enjoyment.


What would you do differently if you could?

I am a terrific fan of modules which dedicate a great deal of time and effort to story development.  In my previous modules, I really tried to create a robust collection of interesting conversations, where everyone in the module may have something interesting to say.  When I was writing C2, I was anxious to release the module since it had already taken me too long (in my estimation) to complete.  If I could do anything differently, it would be to add more conversations and even more back-story to Galap-Dreidel, the legend of Inverness and the Ghost Tower, and the efforts of Iuz to possess the fabled Soul Gem.


What did you think when you first heard about the Golden Dragon Awards?

To be perfectly honest, I was utterly shocked (and humbled) to be considered for a Golden Dragon Award.  As an amateur scriptor & module-builder, it was an honor indeed to be welcomed into a community of such gifted modders.


Have you ever tried the other finalists in your category?

Unfortunately, I have not yet had a chance to try the other finalists' work, but I am anxious to do so.  Udasu has been a prolific module creator, and he has a few modules in his stable that I am especially interested in.  We must have some of the same taste in old TSR modules, because I also thought about doing PnP conversions of White Plume Mountain & Temple of Tharizdun.  I'd also like to take a stab at Chuck Crawford's first installment of the Cup of Akbar series, as it too has receieved great reviews.


What are you up to currently?

I am *very* close to completing my PnP conversion of S4 - The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth.  The areas are essentially done; I have only to flesh out each of the 8 henchmen with original back-stories and conversation lines.  Because the adventure spans so broad an area (the entire Yatil Range), not to mention the lesser and greater caverns of Tsojcanth, I wanted the henchmen to be truly instrumental in driving the plot - that means eight fully-developed conversation trees (which, as any modder knows, takes a considerable amount of time to do)...  If anyone's interested in helping me out with some play-testing prior to release to the Vault, please let me know!

I've had several requests for Chapter 3 of my original "Forgotten Evil" series, but my addiction to PnP conversions has not yet been satisfied.  There's some beautiful Modern d20 content on the Vault which really calls out for a conversion of S3 - Expedition to the Barrier Peaks - perhaps that will be my next calling...  Stay tuned!

-Sir Otus
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