Jump to content

Let's conjure up this great brainstorm and invent Surprise


Recommended Posts

Surprise in pen-and-paper AD&D is a roll made when the party is not expecting an encounter. A surprised party is helpless for one round, while enemies beat up on it. It is separate from ambush, which, if it succeeds, gives the ambushers another free round before surprise. Now, it's probably not possible and maybe not desirable to have one roll for the entire party in the IE games, but, perhaps, a separate saving throw for each creature - ally or enemy, when the conditions are right?


In these games, I think, the line between ambush and surprise blurs. It might make sense to make this surprise roll in a specific situation, such as when a creature suddenly sees enemies very close. So let's rack our brains and think how that might be written out.


For the party side, I was thinking about a combination of






Range([EVILCUTOFF],7 or some other small number)


But how to add the suddenness here? A lot of situations and dialogues logically end with creatures turning red, and they are, of course, close. We need something that restricts this to combat, the first round of combat, and exclude cases when a party member has seen the enemies from way off. Only make this work when they pop up suddenly.


What do you think?

Link to comment

Tweak area scripts. Example, Suna Seni ambush area - apply a spell on party which makes all party members have a 50% chance to "not react" to first combat round (pause them/make unselectable/set attacks to 0 + disable spellcasting/whatever you think ambushed people should do or not do).

Link to comment

That's possible, in principle, because there are only so many areas. But, I think, a more universal solution would be more beautiful and useful for custom areas and other games like BG2 or the Icewind Dale(s). It would also cover eventualities like modder-made spells that suddenly conjure up creatures and other cases that can't be known in advance. What we should try to do is come up with a definition of surprise and then write the mechanism in baldur.bcs.

Link to comment

My current ideas on this topic are as follows: surprise should only happen when an enemy and a PC suddenly see each other, it should not happen very often and only one of them should be surprised, not both. Although mutual surprise is an interesting possibility, it's not what surprise is for in AD&D. Moreover, if the PC or the monster was not surprised by the first encounter, he should probably not be surprised upon seeing other PCs or other monsters. With this in mind I decided to develop this concept for baldur.bcs:












And so on for each of the players. This makes use of the "visual relationship" between a PC and a monster: the trigger will activate as soon as sight connects them. I should add a range check to make sure this only happens up close, but the idea is clear. The spell cast on either one will stun him for one round and also contain an immunity-to-itself effect lasting, say, one hour. This will prevent the monster or PC from being continually stunned, and the Wait(2) won't let the engine throw the spell several times, as it is prone to doing. The stun effect, or it may be paralyzation, should be itself not work on the undead, who cannot be surprised in AD&D, and perhaps on slimes and golems. Do these opcodes work on slimes and golems, who can say?


Among other things, this system should encourage parties to travel through dangerous territory in close formations so that no lone character straggles and wanders across some monsters off-course, who surprise and devour him.

Link to comment


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

  • Create New...