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Kit Revisions (Thieves)


Demivrgvs

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Rogues Skills

Just a quick discussion because I'm starting to effectively mess with thief files.

 

We have 7 skills, the number of skill points gained at each level is hardcoded, and with the revised xp table I assume the maximum level a single class can reach is 30. We have the following situation:

- Thief/Swashbuckler: 40 + 25/lvl = 765 at 30th lvl (can get all 7 skills to 100%)

- Bounty Hunter: 40 + 20/lvl = 620 at 30th lvl (can learn 6 skills out of 7)

- Assassin: 40 + 15/lvl = 475 at 30th lvl (can learn 5 skills out of 7)

By the end of the game Thieves and Swashbucklers get slightly too many points, but considering certain skills can benefit from values above 100% (e.g. to counter IR's stealth penalties while wearing armors) it's not a big deal imo, and it still allows these classes to spread points into multiple skills at mid-low levels. The whole system work fine within BG2 imo.

 

What I don't like instead is that AD&D % system severely hampers rogues at lower levels, forcing to focus on just a couple of skills to make them effective within BG1 (the Assassin has barely enough point to handle the two stealth skills). There is little I can do about it imo, and raising % values at low level would cause mid-high level rogues to have simply too many points imo, but one thing I may suggest is the following...

 

Leaving aside race/DEX modifiers, all rogues start with the following skill values in vanilla: pickpocket 15% ; open locks 10% ; find/disarm traps 5% ; move silently 10% ; hide in shadows 5% ; set traps 0% ; detect illusion 0%

 

I suggest to take those 45 points (they may as well be 40 or 50 imo) and spread them based on the kit. For example:

- True Thief starts with 15% pickpocket, 15% open locks & 15% find/disarm traps

- Assassin starts with 25% hide & 20% move silently

- Bounty Hunter starts with 25% set traps and 20% move silently (or focus entirely on traps?)

- Swashbuckler starts with ...

This may not seem a big deal, but it actually is early on imo, especially for the very first few levels where the Assassin struggles to make his stealth actually work reliably (the suggested change allow the kit to reach values he can only currently reach with 2 more level ups) and the BH fails to set up too many of his traps.

 

Swashbuckler

Since you removed the "+1 damage every 5 levels" part this kit loses much of it's offensive potential. It was the only thing that helped the Swashbuckler compete with warriors - this and Use any Item (which hopefully get removed too).
This kit will rely on Precise Strike to raise his combat performance, and I'm tempted to later expand it with Combat Tricks (e.g. Dirty Trick like features but applied on successful strikes).

 

Assassin

Is there a possibility of implementing Hide in Plain Sight? Because backstab-reliant (looking at you, Assassin) characters have no "second chance". If there'd be a possiiblity of enabling hiding even when there are opponents around (with let's say -20% penalty) that would at least give theoretical reason for using Hide in Shadows.

...

Assassin still sucks. He has no tools to do his job (killing people) at all. 15 skill points per level is really hindering, he really needs some real advantages - especially since you removed Dirty Tricks from him (Smoke Bomb?!).

Afaik BGEE implemented it as an hardcoded feature available only to the Shadow Dancer. I don't know why they did not externalized such feature.

 

KR's Assassin will have a 3x backstab multipler at level 1 (this by itself almost justify the whole kit imo). I obviously need to nerf vanilla's Poison Weapon for BG1 as it was seriously broken for early levels, but I do expect KR's poison ability to be much better than RR's one.

 

After implementing Quarry I started to realize I may actually try to implement Death Attack in a similar way:

- self targeted effect imposes a x seconds pause on the Assassin by forcing a pause (PnP Death Attack requires 3 rounds of study, but I think 1 is enough)

- by keeping it self-only we can make it not break invisibility

- after the pause you get the actual benefits (e.g. nex hit is a critical and/or save or die, and/or ...) for 1 round

 

Anti-illusion spells

I also think that anti-Illusion spells should not affect hidden characters at all. They detect illusionary magic, not potential danger. There are some candidates for that (Clairvoyance as the best example) but for example True Sight? Hell no.
I'm sympathetic to this, but I fear my hands are tied on this matter. I'd be fine making Invisibility Purge only dispel magical invisibility and not reveal creatures hiding in the shadows, but I think such change would seriously screw the current AI.
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Anti-illusion spells (and to an extent, invisibility in general)

I'm sympathetic to this, but I fear my hands are tied on this matter. I'd be fine making Invisibility Purge only dispel magical invisibility and not reveal creatures hiding in the shadows, but I think such change would seriously screw the current AI.

What imo makes any stealth skill moot in the damn wizard spells. Not for detecting invisibility (one can always equip non-detection cloak for his thief) but for granting it...for all eternity.

The one thing that can potentially make stealth useful (and kits that rely on it per their namesake) is nerfing the spell's duration down drastically (only 2nd level version and 3rd 10' radius, not imp.invis since AI depends on it a lot). I'd also make any character who has any kind of metal armor equiped "immune" to invisibility alltogether.

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By what, allowing Thieves to get a single hit onto opponent?

Damn.

I mean... in theory:

Fighters > Thieves (you try to burst me down with single backstab, I don't care, I'll fuck you up in combat)

Thieves > Mages (I'll slice your throat before you'll be able to cast your cute spells)

Mages > Fighters (I'll summon meatshields, control you and then finally blow you up with thousands of spells)

 

And that'd make Clairvoyance important. Currently it's k when you want to defeat Shadow Thieves... and besides of that? Nah.

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Rogues Skills

...

I suggest to take those 45 points (they may as well be 40 or 50 imo) and spread them based on the kit. For example:

- True Thief starts with 15% pickpocket, 15% open locks & 15% find/disarm traps

- Assassin starts with 25% hide & 20% move silently

- Bounty Hunter starts with 25% set traps and 20% move silently (or focus entirely on traps?)

- Swashbuckler starts with ...

This may not seem a big deal, but it actually is early on imo, especially for the very first few levels where the Assassin struggles to make his stealth actually work reliably (the suggested change allow the kit to reach values he can only currently reach with 2 more level ups) and the BH fails to set up too many of his traps.

...

 

This. Seriously, it's a great idea.

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I agree on Rogue skills - these changes are amazing. Playing single-class Thief in BG1 sucked hard. And as overall, Assassin was kind of a mistake (I'd still say he doesn't deserve to get 15 points per level but whatever).

 

What about making change I've mentioned for stealth as some kind of alternative component? This could actually have some level of depth.

 

Let's say we have two completely different abilities

- Illusion Detection

- Awareness

 

Illusion Detection is what Mages can do. They can instantly slay the illusionary clones, get rid of that annoying Blur or dispel Invisibility. On the other hand, they'll not instantly know about Assassin being hidden in the shadows because they focus on detecting illusionary magic, not on detecting *things*.

 

Awareness is a feature that allows some people to detect stealthed units. Enraged Barbarians, Wolves/Dogs with their Scent, some of divination magic like Clairvoyance and unique items allow that. Some of them give you only a signal of incoming attack (immunity to Backstab), other allow you to detect any nearby, stealthed creature.

 

Illusion Detection

- Detect Invisibility/Detect Illusions (could be merged)

- True Sight/True Seeing

 

Awareness

- Barbarian's Feral Senses: pernament immunity to backstab. During Rage, detects stealthed units in 5' radius.

- Ranger's Companions Scent: detects stealthed units in 5' radius.

- Thief's HLA

- Ring of Awareness

- Clairvoyance: detects stealthed units.

- Divine Spell (maybe some kind of Ward/Trap)?

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On vanilla install only stealing and both stealth skills sometimes need values up to 200.

Locks and disarming traps - I've played with 50%-200% randomized difficulty for all existing traps/locks, it worked out rather nice. What I couldn't pick I'd Knock open. As for traps, I had auto-detection installed as well, so I at least always knew there was some trap ahead.

Setting traps - the skill function as the probability, we can change it into bonus power level instead.

Detect Illusions - the only thing I have no idea how to approach, it's hardcoded too much :(

 

What I don't like instead is that AD&D % system severely hampers rogues at lower levels, forcing to focus on just a couple of skills to make them effective within BG1 (the Assassin has barely enough point to handle the two stealth skills).
Just so you know, I've played multi fighter/assassin (even worse when it comes to skills), but still it was bearable enough to practice sniping enemies with ranged backstabs on a regular basis after getting 4th level, and iirc I also had another skill used as well.

 

Of course, it all was only possible due to Booth of Stealth and IR's revised DEX gauntlets, but still.

 

I suggest to take those 45 points (they may as well be 40 or 50 imo) and spread them based on the kit. For example:

- True Thief starts with 15% pickpocket, 15% open locks & 15% find/disarm traps

- Assassin starts with 25% hide & 20% move silently

- Bounty Hunter starts with 25% set traps and 20% move silently (or focus entirely on traps?)

- Swashbuckler starts with ...

Sure thing.
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Thief

RR has Revised Thievery component, which, among the other, allows three failed attempts to steal from someone before they permanently turn you down. 15th/17th level "ability" could eliminate such failure count, allowing one as many steal attempts as they desire. Naturally, we'd need to duplicate RR's failure dialogs and scripts in order for this to work.

 

 

Swashbuckler

Disadvantages:

- Cannot use the Backstab ability

How about to replace no backstab with no traps? Striking someone in their back in the heat of combat is certainly less dishonorable than setting a snare.

I'd add -1 penalty to backstabs, though.

 

Precise Strike - it may be limited to piercing weapons only, but I think the result is totally not worth the effort. Perhaps the next hit becomes an automatic critical?

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Rogues Skills

 

...

Leaving aside race/DEX modifiers, all rogues start with the following skill values in vanilla: pickpocket 15% ; open locks 10% ; find/disarm traps 5% ; move silently 10% ; hide in shadows 5% ; set traps 0% ; detect illusion 0%

 

I suggest to take those 45 points (they may as well be 40 or 50 imo) and spread them based on the kit. For example:

- True Thief starts with 15% pickpocket, 15% open locks & 15% find/disarm traps

- Assassin starts with 25% hide & 20% move silently

- Bounty Hunter starts with 25% set traps and 20% move silently (or focus entirely on traps?)

- Swashbuckler starts with ...

This may not seem a big deal, but it actually is early on imo, especially for the very first few levels where the Assassin struggles to make his stealth actually work reliably (the suggested change allow the kit to reach values he can only currently reach with 2 more level ups) and the BH fails to set up too many of his traps.

 

The BH might want some skill in detecting/disabling traps as well. Perhaps he can get:

- find/disarm traps 10%

- Set Traps: 25%

- Move Silently: 10%

 

-or-

 

- find/disarm traps: 10%

- Set traps: 35%

 

True Thief: Looks good, though some points in hide/move silently would be good. Alternately, he might have some skill in all of them. He is a generalist after all. Another possibility is to use the starting array but take 5% from pick pocket and put it on find/detect traps.

 

Assassin: Stealth all the way!

 

Swashbuckler: The hardest to decide, especially if 'honor' is a large part of the class concept (I recommend it not be). Picking pockets doesn't seem to be their forte'. Stealth, locks and traps, perhaps, for the musketeer types that need to sneak into the bad guys castle. They might be thought to have a 'mettle' that lets them see through the ruses of others. Detect illusion might be a good candidate. Maybe:

 

- open locks 10%

- find/disarm traps 5%

- move silently 10%

- hide in shadows 10%

- detect illusion 10%

 

-or, getting rid of stealth-

 

- open locks 15%

- find/disarm traps 10%

- detect illusion 20%

 

-or, if he shouldn't be mechanically inclined-

 

- move silently 15%

- hide in shadows 10%

- detect illusion 20%

 

Thief

RR has Revised Thievery component, which, among the other, allows three failed attempts to steal from someone before they permanently turn you down. 15th/17th level "ability" could eliminate such failure count, allowing one as many steal attempts as they desire. Naturally, we'd need to duplicate RR's failure dialogs and scripts in order for this to work.

 

 

Yes, please!

 

EDIT: And this should be for every thief. Otherwise it is just reload metagame bollocks.

Swashbuckler

Disadvantages:

- Cannot use the Backstab ability

How about to replace no backstab with no traps? Striking someone in their back in the heat of combat is certainly less dishonorable than setting a snare.

I'd add -1 penalty to backstabs, though.

 

Precise Strike - it may be limited to piercing weapons only, but I think the result is totally not worth the effort. Perhaps the next hit becomes an automatic critical?

 

I'd go for it. (Is it possible to prevent them from putting points in set snare?) The benefits should be pretty good, though.

 

Perhaps, among other things, they could be more durable? D8 hit die? I know they aren't any tougher than other rogues but hit points also represent luck and skill, something Swashy's should have in abundance.

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Swashbuckler

Perhaps, among other things, they could be more durable? D8 hit die? I know they aren't any tougher than other rogues but hit points also represent luck and skill, something Swashy's should have in abundance.

Actually, I think this "luck and skill" fits a swashbuckler thief perfectly. Moreover since a "Luck" opcode exists in game. Given how awesome it's effect is, giving Swashbucklers a +1 Luck (level 2 or level 5) is very fitting. In addition, there's no need to buff up their HP if they get Luck bonus.

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Swashbuckler

Actually, I think this "luck and skill" fits a swashbuckler thief perfectly. Moreover since a "Luck" opcode exists in game. Given how awesome it's effect is, giving Swashbucklers a +1 Luck (level 2 or level 5) is very fitting. In addition, there's no need to buff up their HP if they get Luck bonus.

At that level, those seem a little too much of an effect for such a small investment. I see my Imoen at level 5 with a +1 Luck bonus to be a little too much ... too powerful case to just let go and Dual already. :p

I hope you Demi can enable us to disable the thieving skill update with an easy build in option.

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What would be the generalized rule of what Luck affects? Because you know...

- Attack Rolls

- (Minimum) Damage Rolls

- Armor Class

- Saving Throws

- Thief skills (+5% per point)

- Minimum Hit Points per Level

- (ToBEX/BGEE) Chance for spellcast interruption while being hit

For me it means "nearly anything rolled". Still, Demi said there are some issues with Luck opcode currently. And actually, Luck would be a great effect to actually tie to Charisma. Make it scale very slowly - but then having 18 Charisma gives you for example +2 bonus to Luck and you get all around stats instead of for example, just Attack Rolls/Damage Rolls bonus from Strenght.

That'd be awesome, but undoable tho.

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For me it means "nearly anything rolled". Still, Demi said there are some issues with Luck opcode currently. And actually, Luck would be a great effect to actually tie to Charisma. Make it scale very slowly - but then having 18 Charisma gives you for example +2 bonus to Luck and you get all around stats instead of for example, just Attack Rolls/Damage Rolls bonus from Strenght.
Well, have you understood that setting the charisma to 18 is really important if you even gain a +2 luck bonus out of it ? As you can set your Dex to 10 and still get the same bonus out of the to hit with ranged weapons... as you do with if your luck bonus is zero but you set your Dex to 18. You hit better, your saves etc are better... so unless you really go for heavy armor rate or are thief, you can maxout the CHA and drain your Dex to 6, or even 4.
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Swashbuckler

Perhaps, among other things, they could be more durable? D8 hit die? I know they aren't any tougher than other rogues but hit points also represent luck and skill, something Swashy's should have in abundance.

Actually, I think this "luck and skill" fits a swashbuckler thief perfectly. Moreover since a "Luck" opcode exists in game. Given how awesome it's effect is, giving Swashbucklers a +1 Luck (level 2 or level 5) is very fitting. In addition, there's no need to buff up their HP if they get Luck bonus.

+1 What Kreso says about luck.
Fine with me, but I agree with Jarno that it has to be a mid-high level feat considering how game-changing even a simple +1 luck is.

 

@yarpen, not sure what you mean with "Demi said there are some issues with Luck opcode". Just to be sure, the opcode doesn't have "issues", it's not broken, but it simply doesn't cover most of what is supposed to cover by itself. The only "issue" I was talking about in the bard topic is that we need to keep an eye on luck bonuses because even a moderate +3 or +4 bonus completely ruins the game balance.

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