Jump to content

improved vampires drink blood ability


Recommended Posts

Is there any possible way to send melee fighters against vampires?

 

The drink blood ability quickly destroys my heart band of merry fools without any possible counter that I have been able to see. Within a very short time, all my melee fighters are drained of all their CON and die and there doesn't seem to be a thing I can do about it.

 

I don't really know but I'd guess it's a melee touch attack because it seems to be automatic benefit of fighting vampires. Additionally, if my guys somehow survive then we have to wait more than 8 hours for the effect to wear off so usually I end up having to wait two rest periods.

 

I'm finding this ability extremely irritating to be honest so far. Is this intended to be so massively powerful?

Link to post
Guest Guest

I noticied the all powerful Drizzt and pals lasted about 30 seconds against the vampires. I'm just saying perhaps this ability is a bit overpowered.

Link to post
Is there any possible way to send melee fighters against vampires?

 

The drink blood ability quickly destroys my heart band of merry fools without any possible counter that I have been able to see. Within a very short time, all my melee fighters are drained of all their CON and die and there doesn't seem to be a thing I can do about it.

 

I don't really know but I'd guess it's a melee touch attack because it seems to be automatic benefit of fighting vampires. Additionally, if my guys somehow survive then we have to wait more than 8 hours for the effect to wear off so usually I end up having to wait two rest periods.

 

I'm finding this ability extremely irritating to be honest so far. Is this intended to be so massively powerful?

 

Thanks for this, it's the first feedback I've had so far.

 

Some facts:

 

i) blood drain isn't a melee touch attack. It's an ordinary melee attack, with the same hit chance as for normal attacks by the same vampire.

ii) vampires drain the same number of CON points as they do levels (e.g., 2 points for normal vampires)

iii) vampires are intended to only drain blood from enemies who are immune to level drain, so I'm rather surprised they're doing it to Drizzt... maybe he's got a secret level-drain immunity I wasn't aware of.

 

Basically, it's intended to give vampires a backup alternative to level drain against enemies who are protected from the latter. Since (a) most front-line fighters have a higher Constitution than their level at this stage of the game; (b) losing levels is more debilitating than losing CON; © there are such things as Potions of Fortitude, I'm not convinced it's overpowered - though I'd be interested in more opinions. What it does do is require you to divert from the usual strategy of making one tough fighter immune to charm and level drain and then just sending him in by himself.

 

I'm persuadable by the duration issue. Again, my baseline was comparison with level drain, which again requires a full rest cycle. But it would be tactically harmless to reduce it. (If you feel like doing it yourself, edit scsii\vampire.tph, and replace "3000" (line 159) with your preferred duration in seconds.)

Link to post

If memory serves, a potion can only raise a stat up to 18 once (it's a set value, not additive), so if tank has already drunk it and is rapidly approaching zero, then they can only ran off in panic.

Link to post

Ohh, cool idea the Blood Drain...damn I need to play this game again asap.

 

If memory serves, a potion can only raise a stat up to 18 once (it's a set value, not additive), so if tank has already drunk it and is rapidly approaching zero, then they can only ran off in panic.
You're correct, that potion isn't going to change much, especially for characters who already have high CON.

 

I don't know how this effect works, but judging by smeagolheart's post I guess it drains 2 points of CON on each hit without a save. Correct? If that's so I fear it can actually be more powerful than lvl drain itself, especially if there's no way to block it (and there isn't unless you used disease opcode to lower CON), nor a save to limit it. If the penalty doesn't drop off relatively fast it's going to be pretty annoying to fight consecutive vampires because 8-9 hits can kill even an epic barbarian no matter what, even if those hits are spread amongst different fights during its duration (this could be the worst thing for most players imo).

 

You could do various things to keep it balanced (not all of them are necessary obviously):

- allow a save vs death to avoid it

- make it curable in some way (e.g. use disease opcode - though that would also allow to become immune with a couple of items)

- make it not trigger on each hit (e.g. 33% to simulate that only the bite attack triggers it)

- make the CON penalty last only an encounter (e.g. 10 rounds?)

 

Good idea though, vampires do need to remain scary even for characters protected from lvl drain and charm. This reminds me your previous great idea of adding theme a summon swarm of bats ability, even then I really appreciated the idea but I thought you made it too powerful...did you tweaked it to allow a save to reduce the effects (a la SR) much like you did for summon insect spells?

Link to post
Good idea though, vampires do need to remain scary even for characters protected from lvl drain and charm.

allow me to disagree. lvl drain and charm are the only reasons vampires are scary beyond their raw physical prowess (preternatural speed & strength). adding a new ability, especially one that has no counter, doesn't make them more challenging or scary; it makes them cheesy, nevermind the absurdity of executing a "blood drain" in combat.

 

no offense. things like this make me vascillate between rage and bemusement.

 

granted, the gameplay is broken on the immunity side of things. addressing that might be better than adding another broken element.

Link to post
Good idea though, vampires do need to remain scary even for characters protected from lvl drain and charm.

allow me to disagree. lvl drain and charm are the only reasons vampires are scary beyond their raw physical prowess (preternatural speed & strength). adding a new ability, especially one that has no counter, doesn't make them more challenging or scary; it makes them cheesy, nevermind the absurdity of executing a "blood drain" in combat.

Tell that to illithids.

 

no offense. things like this make me vascillate between rage and bemusement.

None taken, but rage is a pretty strange reaction to a feature you don't like in an optional component of an optional mod for a computer game. I'd resolve your vacillation in favour of bemusement if I were you.

 

granted, the gameplay is broken on the immunity side of things. addressing that might be better than adding another broken element.

One of the things I've learned in writing AI mods is that people's ability to tell in advance what's broken is very unreliable. Is this post-playtesting experience or just a hypothesis? (Also, what's your definition of "broken"? - people use that in a remarkably wide variety of ways. Is illithid intelligence drain "broken" as you see it?)

 

@ Demi: I'm coming round to the idea that CON drain should have a shortish duration. Actually, though, I don't think that will make much difference to its combat effectiveness - it just makes it less inconvenient post-battle.

Link to post

yeah, from way back in 1981, mind flayers' tentacle attack was controversial. when used in conjunction with their psionic stun, free autohits that drained INT plus physical damage worked -- this is something i've done with bg2. applied as a genuine, standalone melee maneuvre, it's absurd, representational combat mechanics be damned.

 

i wouldn't care if it were some hack modder putting this out there as his solution, but i see this as a bit hypocritical (this is me with my best diplomacy face on, a rare occurance). on the one hand, you've got the AI as fair and resourceful as can be, yet introduce this retromod, Tactics-esque element. i raged when demi went from simple utilitarian goals to rabid reinterpretations involving a lot of extraneous horizontal changes instead of the previous vertical ones. there just aren't that many mods of this kind of scale that have such a high efficiency rating and i can't let them get corrupted without at least saying something. weren't you the one that came up with beholders using telekinesis to yank away a certain shield?

Link to post
Good idea though, vampires do need to remain scary even for characters protected from lvl drain and charm.
allow me to disagree. lvl drain and charm are the only reasons vampires are scary beyond their raw physical prowess (preternatural speed & strength). adding a new ability, especially one that has no counter, doesn't make them more challenging or scary; it makes them cheesy, nevermind the absurdity of executing a "blood drain" in combat.
Tell that to illithids.
In fact I don't like at all how mind flayer's INT drain works within BG. I'm with phordicus on this matter, INT drain should only work on a helpless target (e.g. stunned by Mind Blast), but I don't know if it's doable within BG.

 

@ Demi: I'm coming round to the idea that CON drain should have a shortish duration. Actually, though, I don't think that will make much difference to its combat effectiveness - it just makes it less inconvenient post-battle.
That was exactly my point, having to not take more than 5-6 hits hits per encounter is scary, but having to do so for multiple encounters or be forced to wait ages between each fight is simply annoying. That's why I'd actually suggest to make it curable in some way. The easy way is to use disease opcode, the hard one is to add a secondary type and make it curable via Lesser Restoration as per PnP (the advantage of not being stopped by any protection is still there in this case).

 

i raged when demi went from simple utilitarian goals to rabid reinterpretations involving a lot of extraneous horizontal changes instead of the previous vertical ones. there just aren't that many mods of this kind of scale that have such a high efficiency rating and i can't let them get corrupted without at least saying something.
Care to explain or give examples? I'm not sure what you mean with "utilitarian goals", and "horizontal/vertical changes".
Link to post

in reverse order:

 

Care to explain or give examples? I'm not sure what you mean with "utilitarian goals", and "horizontal/vertical changes".

both of your revisions started out with consistency and usefulness for spells/items as the major goals, but then there were undocumented cosmetic changes like giving thrusts to katanas and 2-handed swords and undocumented major strategic changes such as putting domination into its own tier in the charm hierarchy. both can be justified but really fall outside the stated scope.

 

vampires

we're trying too hard too keep vampires appropriately dangerous. i'm glad demi's here in this because this is relevant for SR:

 

scale Protection from Negative Energy and simultaneously have level-draining creatures use different, scaled level drain on-hit effects.

 

let's say Bodhi is the ultimate vampire. her attack item casts 4 spells on-hit: vamatt1 through vamatt4. each of those has the same effect: drain 1 level. the low-level grunt vampire's attack item would only cast 1 spell, vamatt1, on hit.

 

now let's make PNE cast by a 7th level cleric only protect from vamatt1, so attacks from grunt vampires don't drain any levels but attacks from Bodhi would still drain 3. maybe protection from vamatt2 would come at cleric level 13 or whatever. maybe it would never scale to protect from 3 or 4.

 

INT drain should only work on a helpless target (e.g. stunned by Mind Blast), but I don't know if it's doable within BG.

is mind blast (psionic stun) still part of improved MF? i don't remember the details but i have psionic stun usable every 2 rounds with a duration of 2 rounds with the MF's scripted to automatically hit and drain INT on a stunned PC. you definitely want to spread your party out so they don't gang up on 1 character during that round of vulnerability.

====

my apologies, mostly. i'm not trying to make this a community-built mod. :)

Link to post
i wouldn't care if it were some hack modder putting this out there as his solution, but i see this as a bit hypocritical (this is me with my best diplomacy face on, a rare occurance). on the one hand, you've got the AI as fair and resourceful as can be, yet introduce this retromod, Tactics-esque element.

 

Where's the hypocrisy? It would be hypocritical if I criticised blood drinking (or similar) in other mods and then put it in mine. But actually I hardly comment on other people's mods, so I don't know what you're talking about?

 

Or do you just mean "dishonest"? But the blood drain is fully documented.

 

This component - which has been completely overhauled as of version 16 - upgrades vampires' intelligence and abilities, roughly in line with pen-and-paper Dungeons and Dragons. They should target their magic more effectively, pick on people vulnerable to their level drain, and so forth. The component also standardises vampire statistics a bit (usually increasing vampire ability scores slightly). It allows vampires to summon wolves, bats, or rats (the bat summoning was present in earlier versions but has been toned down), to drink blood (which drains Constitution) as well as draining levels, and to make much more use of their various shapeshifting abilities (bat, rat, wolf, gas cloud).

("D&D", as usual, means some hybrid of 2nd and 3rd edition. I've been doing that ever since version 1's Improved Fiends.)

 

 

Or do you actually mean "inconsistent"? But I've always done two things in SCS: change the AI, and add extra abilities. I have some time for the objection that by now, the vampire component belongs in the Tactical Challenge section, not the AI section. But if that's what you mean, you have a very indirect way of saying it.

 

 

there just aren't that many mods of this kind of scale that have such a high efficiency rating and i can't let them get corrupted without at least saying something.

I've no idea what you mean by "corrupted". In other contexts, it tends to get used to mean changes that diverge from author intent. But I'm the author. (You're also not exactly helping your case by this kind of emotive vocabulary, although you're unlikely to offend me.)

 

Also, is the point that you really liked the original Smarter Vampires and don't like this one? Because otherwise, I don't see that this is causing any problems to you: you don't have to install the component. (Of course, that doesn't mean I don't welcome critical feedback. But so far I'm not really seeing an argument, just outrage. And I'm fairly sure you're not basing this view on any actual playtesting - correct me if I'm wrong.)

 

I should say that I've personally never much liked the original SCSII Smarter Vampires, and feedback from players on it has been consistently fairly negative - hence the rewrite. It's also been adding new abilities - the Cloud of Bats, most notably - pretty much since its inception.

 

weren't you the one that came up with beholders using telekinesis to yank away a certain shield?

Yes. Your point?

Link to post

reversed and not quoting.

 

the point, like with beholder telekinesis, is there are cleverer ways to increase a challenge without resorting to godmode abilities like uncounterable CON drain, something that is more apt in Tactics mod or IAnvil. CON drain is powerful enough that it might as well be the default ability, since it is at least as effective as level drain against fighter types (as intended) but even moreso against non-fighters who likely don't have a CON over 10 in the first place and are going to be hit at a much higher rate.

 

i don't know what others complained about in smarter vampires previously.

 

playtesting was brief, but unless there's some absolutely brand new mechanic introduced, playtesting is more for confirmation than research, wouldn't you say? reading the scripts (actually the baf/ssl is easier) and examining effects in NI is better for research.

 

i assumed the context was to use abilities to their maximum and to not let the AI cheat (i haven't read SCS's mission statement in a few years so there may be some semantic creep, real or imagined). the former is this discussion; the latter dependent on whether there's a round of combat per target to test for level drain immunity.

 

fatigue is setting in -- you're ~+7 hours so friday is bright and shiny for you.

 

here's what i hate to see:

 

Monster has X and Y as its traditional weapons.

Player uses standard spell/item Z to negate X/Y.

Give Monster automatic damage causing weapon OMG with no counter; name it something appropriate for flavor.

 

it would be an arms race to futility if the player had the option to creatively find a counter or a way to avoid it. instead, now this monster will be defined by OMG instead of X/Y.

 

i'd rather make X and Y more effective across all situations.

failing that i'd rather debilitate Z.

only as a last resort would i go with OMG just to keep Monster as a worthy threat.

 

i can't believe we're at the last resort phase.

 

it's not the implementation that fuels my typing; that's virtually flawless. it's the concept driving it.

Link to post
Care to explain or give examples? I'm not sure what you mean with "utilitarian goals", and "horizontal/vertical changes".

both of your revisions started out with consistency and usefulness for spells/items as the major goals, but then there were undocumented cosmetic changes like giving thrusts to katanas and 2-handed swords and undocumented major strategic changes such as putting domination into its own tier in the charm hierarchy. both can be justified but really fall outside the stated scope.

I don't know what you're talking about regarding Domination considering I didn't do a thing to it except increasing the save penalty from -2 to -4. Did I forgot something? :)

 

I couldn't imagine anyone complaining about katana's animation routine change from 'overhead 50% - backhand 50%' to 'overhead 40% - backhand 40% - thrust 20%'! Is this supposed to be one those "horizontal" changes that "corrupt" Revisions mods? You may not like the change (I accept it), but you surely cannot claim it's outside the scope of IR (how can it be?!?).

 

we're trying too hard too keep vampires appropriately dangerous. i'm glad demi's here in this because this is relevant for SR:

 

scale Protection from Negative Energy and simultaneously have level-draining creatures use different, scaled level drain on-hit effects.

Isn't this as "arbitrary" as the supposed "horizontal changes" you're accusing me and/or David of making within our mods? How does it differ?

 

is mind blast (psionic stun) still part of improved MF? i don't remember the details but i have psionic stun usable every 2 rounds with a duration of 2 rounds with the MF's scripted to automatically hit and drain INT on a stunned PC. you definitely want to spread your party out so they don't gang up on 1 character during that round of vulnerability.
Yep, you can achieve it via scripts if you wish, but the same wouldn't work for Shapechange's Mind Flayer form. It's up to David deciding if he wish to implement it, though it actually makes them much less scary because any character immune or highly resistant to stun is automatically protected from INT drain too (it's not necessarily a bad thing).

 

Back to vampires, I do think blood drink ability is fine as a concept, I only have doubts about its implementation, but I don't want to judge it before actually facing it in-game. As a modder though, I would have probably started allowing a save against it, and then see if feedback proved it to be too weak. I really doubt it would be weak even with a save if it triggers on each hit and there's no way to counter it.

 

Between lvl drain, dominating gaze, cloud of bats (this too should really allow a save as per insect spells) and blood drink vampires should really have a lot of ways to hurt their opponents.

 

Just that I'm here I'll give my 2 cents regarding improved vampires...did you thought about assigning classes and kits to the most powerful vampires? Tanova is a good example, but if you want to dramatically improve the threat of a group of mid-high lvl vampires you can easily make some of them Assassins or Monks. I'm not inventing anything, just look at the 3E Monster Manual and you'll see the suggested high lvl vampire is a Monk/Shadow Dancer.

Link to post

elves. many others, especially of the unexpected-undiscussed-undocumented variety, but this isn't about SR/IR.

you're right. the scope is so vast as to be meaningless as a guide. anything/everything could be changed without notice.

"accuse" is bait. not biting. it's as arbitrary as the beholder telekinesis, an ability asserted to exist but not implemented.

it's still the X/Y/OMG problem.

3rd ed? really? what's next, feats? :)

Link to post
3rd ed? really? what's next, feats? :)
Vanilla's Tanova is a conjurer, do you want to complain about that too? Live with the fact that BG is a cross between 2nd and 3rd edition, and if you're not convinced about that because you strictly follow AD&D gods like Miloch than live with the fact that for me and David D&D "means some hybrid of 2nd and 3rd edition".

 

P.S Now I remember about elves and their charm resistance, feel free to suggest it for V4 or even for a hotfix if most players agree with you I can easily "fix" that. I just never found a PnP reference saying elves are resistant to mental control (even BG says only charm), and there's a huge difference between charm and domination, even more so within PnP.

Link to post

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...