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Bursk

Anyone got some ideas on how to improve Drew's Berserker Minsc mod?

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Drew is prepared to make an update to the mod that adds immunities to confusion, feeblemind and level drain, and he's asked me if there are any other changes I'd like to see. I think the mod is pretty great as it is, so can't really think of anything myself.

 

Oh, one purely cosmetic change I would like to see is the removal of the priest spells gained message when you reach the appropriate level (it's cosmetic because Minsc still can't cast spells, as per the kit description), if that's possible.

 

So, anyone got some ideas for the mod?

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Heh, Bursk, you're too kind. To be perfectly honest, I've always kind of doubted that a lot of people played this one. One thing I've thought of doing, though, is changing his base class to fighter (the only way of which I'm aware to remove the spell casting messages at level up) and pulling in some barbarian class features. The ultimate effect would be to do something like this:

 

-Maximum of ** per weapon type.

 

-Give him a slightly slower rage progression than the standard barbarian (one extra level between new rages) and a slow charm animal progression.

 

-Grant him damage reduction as per the barbarian.

 

-Change the kit title to something more specific. I'm open to suggestions on this one (Ice Dragon Berserker is one idea I've had, but that's damn long for a kit title).

 

-The only downside to this approach is that Minsc wouldn't be able to stealth any more (which isn't necessarily a big deal if you're already plating him up)

I've also thought about making his rage more similar to the 3E whirling frenzy rage variant or even just replacing it with the Barbarian's. At any rate, I'm open to suggestions, and haven't yet made up my mind.

 

EDIT: Whirling Frenzy description. (Scroll down a little.)

Essentially, Minsc would get a strength bonus, a small AC bonus, a penalty to hit, and an extra attack.

Edited by Drew

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To be honest, I wasn't even aware this mod existed until you mentioned it in your install log a week or so ago, Bursk. Is there an online readme/mod description/difference between regular Berserker kit somewhere for those of us too buggered at the moment to download and install the mod?

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I'll give that some thought over the weekend, Drew.

 

Miloch, here's some choice bits from the readme:

 

Section I: Introduction

 

Have you ever looked at Minsc and wondered what bioware was smoking when they set up his abilities? I have. In fact I've had several gripes about everyone's favorite Ranger. His rage, for example. It seems great on the surface until you find out that Minsc is actually more likely to attack your party when enraged than attack your enemies. Also if you're a PnP lawyer like I am you're probably more than a little annoyed at the fact that Minsc, with his pathetically low wisdom is allowed unfettered spellcasting. This mod seeks to rectify these two issues by:

 

1. Fixing his beserker rage. I brought it more in line with a standard berserker rage. His rage is now grants +2 to strength and dexterity, 15 extra hit points and all the standard berserker resistances. The duration is now the same as a standard berserker rage. Minsc does NOT become winded after raging. He gains his new rages at the same rate as a standard berserker.

 

2. Taking away his spell casting. Minsc can no longer cast spells with this mod installed.

 

His new kit description is as follows:

 

BERSERKER:

 

This is a warrior who is in tune with his animalistic side and, during combat, can acheive an ecstatic state of mind that will enable him to fight longer, harder and more savagely than any human has a right to. Opponents on the battlefield will be unsettled when they see the savage elements of the berserker's personality.

 

Advantages:

May use 'enrage' ability once per day per 4 levels, starting with one use at level 1. This grants the berserker +2 to strength and dexterity for 10 rounds. While enraged the berserker gains immunity to Charm, Hold, Fear, Maze, Imprisonment, Stun and Sleep. He also gains 15 temporary hit points which are lost at the end of his rage, potentially killing him.

 

Disadvantages:

The berserker gains no spell casting ability.

 

and

 

Section IV: Version History

 

3 - Minsc's rage can no longer stack if selected multiple times. If you try to select it twice in a row the ability is now wasted, so don't do that. Thanks, Bursk, for pointing this out!

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So... basically this makes him a standard Berserker, only gives a +2 str/dex bonus instead of a +2 hit/damage, -2 AC bonus?

 

The regular berserker gets this disadvantages:

- Becomes winded after berserking. While he's winded, he receives -2 to hit, -2 to damage and a +2 penalty to AC.

- Cannot specialize in ranged weapons.

 

So this kit seems rather lean on the disadvantages. "Can't cast spells" isn't really a disadvantage, since fighters and fighter kits cannot do so anyway - only by comparing him as a ranger can you make this comparison, which is kind of apples to oranges, or apples to pears at any rate. Or is this actually a ranger kit?

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Actually, Miloch, Minsc is still a Ranger (I don't change this), so losing spell casting is a pretty big deal. Like most Rangers, Minsc can also only assign ** to weapons he uses, so I didn't really see much point to barring him from specializing in ranged weaponry, either. It's been a while since I've looked at it or played BG2, but I think Minsc may well become winded after raging, too.

Edited by Drew

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Minsc is still a Ranger (I don't change this), so losing spell casting is a pretty big deal. Like most Rangers, Minsc can also only assign ** to weapons he uses
Well yes, those are pretty big disadvantages then. I guess given the choice, I would probably make Minsc a standard berserker, since at least then he can get grand mastery in weapons. I don't really see him as a skilled spellcaster either though.

 

Are you distinguishing your kit somehow from the standard berserker kit in terms of its label? In other words, "Berserker Ranger" or "Rashemaar Berserker" or whatever? Or is it somehow unselectable as a kit?

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Are you distinguishing your kit somehow from the standard berserker kit in terms of its label? In other words, "Berserker Ranger" or "Rashemaar Berserker" or whatever? Or is it somehow unselectable as a kit?
I don't distinguish it, no, but the kit is unselectable and his class still reads "Ranger" in game.

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Minsc's class now says 'Berserker' on his character sheet in-game. Also, he doesn't get winded after his rage.

 

The main reason I like and use the mod is because the original rage was poo. I'm not opposed to a complete class change, but I do think it's very important that we don't lose the 'essence' of what makes Minsc who he is. I've always thought of him as a ranger, albeit a special kind of one. I suppose you could change him to a non-ranger class and his personality would still be the same, but I do wonder about in-game banters (vanilla plus those added by e.g. the PPG Banter Packs) that refer to him as a ranger. I think any custom kit title should have the word 'ranger' in there somewhere (like I said, this ain't currently the case with v3.2 of the mod).

 

If you did make him a fighter class, wouldn't he lose his automatic 2* in dual-wielding? But Minsc losing his stealth ability wouldn't be a problem IMO, since he doesn't strike me as the stealthy type. One final thing to keep in mind is that any changes made to the mod will need to be balanced for both Tutu and BG2, just like v3.2.

 

Thanks again for looking at updating this, Drew.

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If you did make him a fighter class, wouldn't he lose his automatic 2* in dual-wielding?
I'm not sure - something to test in L1NPCs I guess. I usually end up giving him a two-handed sword anyway... makes more sense for him. If I use him at all... he kind of grates on my nerves after a while.

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Minsc's class now says 'Berserker' on his character sheet in-game. Also, he doesn't get winded after his rage.

 

The main reason I like and use the mod is because the original rage was poo. I'm not opposed to a complete class change, but I do think it's very important that we don't lose the 'essence' of what makes Minsc who he is. I've always thought of him as a ranger, albeit a special kind of one. I suppose you could change him to a non-ranger class and his personality would still be the same, but I do wonder about in-game banters (vanilla plus those added by e.g. the PPG Banter Packs) that refer to him as a ranger.

Both vanilla and custom banters refer to him as ranger in one breath, and a berseker in another.

 

The "Essence of Minsc" is that he is whatever we want him to be. You want him to be a ranger, I want him to be a berseker, others want him to be a barbarian/Jester, and a few just want him gone or dead.

 

As for his original rage, I requested a couple of options specifically for Minsc in L1NPCs: (a) keep original rage, not matter what other innates are added by kits; (b) discard original rage, not matter what other innates are added by kits. Not sure if these made it into version 1.

 

So if you chose (a) and also give him Berserker, you'll have your choice of which rage/berserk to use. Makes for interesting game play, because his original rage can be used as a last-resort option.

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Drew,

 

First of all I just want to say that I really like what you did with your mod, I think you really captured, and improved, what makes Minsc, well, Minsc. I'm sure alot of other people feel the same way.

 

Second, I wanted to voice that I think Minsc should stay a ranger. If people think he should be something else, well, that's what Level One NPCs is made for.

 

Finally, if you really want to change his class, what would make the most sense would be a kind of Fighter/Berserker with some limited ranger abilities (mostly charm animal here I think) and call him a Rashemaar Berserker Ranger or something to that effect.

 

Great job on the mod, once more!

Edited by Freelance Cynic

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Drew, perhaps for the next version, have two options for the kit: 2nd Edition and 3rd Edition.

 

The 2nd Edition version could be similar to the version we have now, but with added immunities to confusion, feeblemind, and level drain when enraged.

 

The 3rd Edition version could use that whirling frenzy rage variant you mentioned.

 

For both versions, I have some suggestions:

  • Remove any double spaces from the tp2 and readme (I noticed that double spaces can look a bit odd in-game)
  • How about changing his title to 'Rashemaar Ranger' (idea shamelessly stolen from NPC Kitpack)
  • Make the kit player selectable, so that it can be chosen during Level One NPCs setup

I'll let you know if I think of anything else.

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I've had a look at Rbrage.spl with NI, and it appears that Berserker Minsc is already immune to confusion, feeblemind and level drain - at least according to the 'Immunity to effect (101)' entries - so maybe only the in-game kit description needs updating. One thing I do need to ask, though, is this: All the 'Immunity to effect (101)' entries have 'Not dispel/Not bypass resistance (2)' except the one for Maze, which has 'No dispel/Bypass resistance (0)'. Is this correct, or is the entry for Maze wrong?

 

Also, like I mentioned in my recent PM to you Drew, make the kit player selectable so that it can be chosen during Level One NPCs setup isn't necessary, since it turns out that Nythrun can make the kit appear during Level One NPCs setup without it having to be player selectable. This is the preferable way of doing things, I think.

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