These images might have more to do with a misinterpretation of the first encounter which is actually listed as a gynopshinx. But the tail spikes are clear to see. So it was my hope to use the manticore model here and in the later encounter to replace the Spectator Beholder placeholder I had currently -the cover images are to iconic in relation to this module not to use it. The creature in the first encounter is described as mangy and bedraggled and sitting atop a pile of bones. So here we are:
The later encounter occurs in the Terraces of Doom (a level I'm fond of and may release as a prefab)
the terraces from above - run the gauntlet from the entrance to the exit in this inverted ziggurat!
In return for the favour, I offered to work up the creature blueprint and AI. Coding the AI was fun and I emulated Dirtywick's approach to implement the tail spike attacks without using 2da modifications (essentially spell creation) so the model is more widely usable. The script got a little cumbersome to take certain things into account such as deflect/protection from arrows, but now seems to be working fine - while it has tail spikes left, the manticore will unleash them and try to keep at range. If caught in melee, when it gets badly injured and has spikes left, it will try to flee to fire them again. Here some screenies showing the test module I used for trialing this out.
(Without resorting to bundling up more custom content and custom vfx I can't have the spikes fire from a tail node, sadly, but I think this effect works well and is less noticable in game. For scripters, I'm using the SpawnProjectile function and manually coding hit/damage in the custom AI)
This aside, I've also just made 7 stores for a hidden market to be found in the game at later levels. Store building is mind-numbingly time consuming if you want them to have flavour or a theme, so a trip tothe gym might be in order to wake me up.