Community Interview: The_Krit (Custom Scripting, Game Mechanics, NWN Wiki)

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    Image courtesy of Pexels, Pixabay, edited with GIMP

    I suppose it was not so much a question of if I would write scripts, but more how long I would be satisfied simply playing the game before I loaded up the Toolset. – The_Krit

    I had the great privilege to interview The_Krit, in December 2020. His contributions to the NWN community have been substantial over many, many years.

    The_Krit is the current community administrator for the NWN Wiki website, which is the gold standard resource for information about in game mechanics since the game’s inception. The DnD 3.0 rules that NWN 1 uses can get complicated, and such a resource is invaluable for those wanting to understand this better. The_Krit and other contributors are involved with reviewing large amounts of information in the NWN to ensure its accuracy and validity, which is an enormous task.

    The_Krit also is well known in The Neverwinter Vault for contributions to coding and custom scripting. Some examples include:

    The_Krit was the primary scripter for The World of Greyhawk PW Server. This included complex custom scripts in The Temple of Elemental Evil and The Ghost Tower of Inverness, which took extraordinary effort and skill to recreate the original PnP modules into NWN.

    The_Krit was also part of a large community effort to save large amounts of content from the Epic Character Builder’s Forum in the dying days of the Bioware Forums. The ECB forums were the premier resource for character builds, particularly level 40 character builds. Not only was the content preserved, but The_Krit coded a custom search engine to allow the builds to be searched.

    Question:

    Hi The_Krit. Thanks for agreeing to be interviewed! 

    To start, can I ask what got you interested in NWN all those years ago? Were you a fan of other computer RPGs such as Baldurs Gate 1 and 2 for example? Or were you involved with pen and paper DnD?

    The_Krit:

    I had been involved with pen and paper D&D, as well as other roleplaying games. I had also played a lot of computer games, some of them cRPGs. Neverwinter Nights was a suggestion from a friend with similar interests after I moved, making in-person gaming sessions impractical.

    Question:

    One thing that is notable is your contribution to NW Scripting. I note the custom magic crafting pack, custom cleric domains (ie Law, Chaos and Luck) and extensive persistent world scripting with World of Greyhawk, most notably the incredible work in the Temple of Elemental Evil and Ghost Tower of Inverness modules on the server. Can you tell us how you got involved into scripting, and what motivated you to develop this as a skill?

    The_Krit:

    I was writing programs long before I played Neverwinter Nights. I suppose it was not so much a question of if I would write scripts, but more how long I would be satisfied simply playing the game before I loaded up the Toolset. NWScript is similar to C, so a lot of knowledge transferred over. Mostly I just had to learn the API and how game elements interact behind the scenes.

    The ECB Search Engine The_Krit coded, to search all the data saved by many, many users in the dying days of the old Bioware NWN Forums in 2010.

    Question:

    I also noted you coded a search engine for the ECB Character builds in the dying days of the old Bioware forums in 2010. It was a huge community effort to retrieve and collate all that material before the forums were shut down. Can you tell us a bit about what happened back then, what efforts were done, your contributions obviously, and what motivated you at the time? The closure of the Bioware Forums and the old NW Vault- what impact did that have on NWN players?

    The_Krit:

    I forget who originated the idea, but I do recall thinking that a search engine was a useful and interesting endeavor. To some extent, I was interested in seeing if I could pull it off. Some things worked better than others, and I guess you could call the project “clunky” on my end. When I finished, though, I had something that not only could search the builds, but could also be adjusted to back up any forum in the “Guilds & Registry” section of the BioWare website. Which came in handy when BioWare announced that that section would shut down prior to the rest of the forums shutting down. So now the search engine can live on, without references to the BioWare site.

    The loss of the BioWare forums and the old Vault disrupted the NWN community. Fortunately, people stepped forward to create replacements. When people care about something, they will find a way to overcome obstacles and rebuild. I think the loss of the in-game listing of servers had a bigger impact than the loss of those websites, though. No in-game listing meant players had to know where to look on the web to find games to join, which is a barrier to some, especially new players.

    The NWN Wiki Website, the leading resource about in-game mechanics in NWN.

    Question:

    Now you are currently the community administrator for the NWN Wiki and have moderated content on so many articles. The Wiki is probably the best resource available regarding NWN information about the in-game mechanics. Can you tell us what motivated you to take on this role? Is it a very demanding role? Are there other moderators other than yourself involved? Where do you see the Wiki going in the future? And are you ever afraid all the content that is on the wiki might be lost, as happened with the Bioware boards in 2010?

    The_Krit:

    NWNWiki was started by Alec Usticke (austicke) back in May 2005. I started contributing in November of that year, and a few months later Alec offered me administrator rights to help out. At the time there were several active admins, but over the years the others went inactive. It’s not so much “motivated to take on this role” as “last one standing”? There are still several additions to the wiki that I’ve thought of but have not gotten to yet, and there are some presentation changes that I’d like to find time to work on.

    As for losing the wiki content, there is a built-in measure to mitigate that possibility. Database dumps are available for download, which could be used to re-create the text and history of the wiki (images would be lost). That being said, it does not look like our current host (FANDOM) will be going under any time soon, nor are they inclined to drop wikis. I do not see NWNWiki disappearing like the forums did.

    Custom scripts created by The_Krit. Top left – Dispellable Magical Properties. Top Right – Restriction on frequency of HiPS usage. Bottom left – Treasure Respawn Script for PWs (so if containers are destroyed they will respawn). Bottom right – Omnidye script (a custom inventory item allowing for colors to be changed on armor, cloaks and helmets). Screenshots from the NWN:EE Aurora Toolset (Beamdog)

    Question:

    Finally, you have a number of longstanding NWN players who are fans of your work. I took the liberty to ask them, what questions they would want to ask you. 

    The first question is from a certain DM of a PW. He was wondering if and when you might have time to help him out again with the work he is doing. I suspect this DM is laboring hard, and after creating new planes of existence (the Astral Planes, and the first four layers of Baator) he was hoping he could have a hand again one day.

    The_Krit:

    Unfortunately, the theoretical “real world” has been making demands on my time. I have tried to make more time for NWN a few times; eventually one of these tries should succeed. I don’t have a timeline, though.

    Question:

    The second question is from another long-standing fan (who has assumed you are male but has never asked), who was wondering: 

    • “I personally am a little curious as to what keeps him going, maintaining the wiki all these years. Would he have any interest in any future games? What persistent world does he frequent? Favorite builds?  Any modules that are favorites of his? Favorite books/authors that he enjoys.”

    The_Krit:

    Lot of question marks in this question.   One thing that keeps me going is variety — focus on one thing for a while, then focus on another and another, eventually getting back to the first. Throw in some new stuff, go back to the old. I guess I do something similar with builds. I like the slower, plotting types like rogues, but sometimes you just need to play someone who wades into the room, swinging an axe until all the monsters are dead. Or someone who believes that the larger the explosion, the fewer problems remain.

    I have not played online in a while, but when I did, World of Greyhawk was where I usually went. For single-player, I like the Kingmaker premium module. Reading: Piers Anthony. Also: Order of the Stick, a good source for D&D-based humor (see #696 for a better description of explosions and problem solving).

    Some links:

    WoG: http://world-of-greyhawk.github.io/
    OotS: https://www.giantitp.com/comics/ootscast.html

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