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subtledoctor

Unearthed Arcana presents Faiths & Powers: Gods of the Realms

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Following in the footsteps of a colleague, I'm going to create some threads over here for feedback and discussion of various mods I have worked on.  The first one up is...

FAITHS & POWERS - new kits, new classes, new spells, new HLAs, new rules, and more!

This mod is geared toward all of the divine classes in the BG games.  It introduces lots of new kits; several new class combinations; new spells, and a sphere system for more specialized divine spellcasting; a new weapon usability and proficiency system that liberalizes what priests can and cannot use; and more.  It is huge, in both scale and ambition. 

This all started a few years ago when Grammarsalad decided to try to continue the work left unfinished by Mordeus and Requiem in their amazing Faiths of Faerun project.  I joined him and we started over from scratch.  Over time we have bounced between adding more material, and refining the existing material, and adding more material, etc.  As of this writing the mod is at version 78sd8, which is to say Subtledoctor's 8th bug-fixing-and-feature-adding iteration of the 78th structural iteration of the mod.

You can download the latest release of the 'SD' branch here.

The last stable release in the main branch is here.

We don't have a Readme yet... for the time being, this post will serve that purpose.

Below I will list the various features of the mod.  But I want say up-front (and probably many times afterward), that the mod is designed to be completely modular.  You can install almost any part of this mod in almost any combination with almost any other part of the mod.  Want to have new paladin kits and multiclass druids, but keep the vanilla spell lists?  No problem.  Want a truckload of new cleric kits and a sphere system to further differentiate them, but no changes to their equipment and no changes to paladins and rangers?  No problem.  It's up to you.  You can even change a lot of the specific details of the way the mod's systems are implemented - like which spheres a deity has access to, or which spells are in which sphere, or how "minor access" works, etc.

COMPATIBILITY NOTES:
- This mod is more or less limited to the EE 2.0+ engine.  I am currently looking into making some of the kits available on the pre-EE engine, and making them compatible with the Divine Remix sphere system (which is the only sphere system I know of that works on the pre-EE engine).  But even with just the bare kits, I'm not totally sure, because I don't know whether any of their special abilities might use EE-only opcodes I I know several of them definitely do).  And I don't even know if anyone would even care about that - I don't know if anyone out there actually uses DR's sphere system, or would like more kits to go with it.  So long story short, no E.T.A. for this.
- This mod is expressly designed to work with the kits in Divine Remix v8, the Frosty Journey IWDEE kitpack, the I Hate Undead kitpack, and other mods with kits (like a bunch of NPC mods) which are not expressly incompatible with this mod.

Here is what is currently included in the mod:

1] Cleric kits.

In a world with dozens or hundreds of deities (the Zakharans say 10,000), it's crazy to limit the player to choosing from just three. So we originally set out to give the player a lot more freedom, to be a priest of a deity that really reflects the particular character you are making. At the moment, the list of cleric kits included and/or supported by the mod looks like this:

 

- Magistrati of Azuth
- Monitor of Azuth
- Doommaster of Beshaba
- Sworn of Cyric
- Glyphscribe of Deneir
- Watcher of Helm
- Authlim of Iachtu Xvim (DRv8)
- Painbearer of Ilmater
- Doomguide of Kelemvor
- Firewalker of Kossuth (DRv8)
- Dawnbringer of Lathander
- Mistwalker of Leira
- Paingiver of Loviatar
- Talon of Malar
- Nightrunner of Mask
- Woodscout of Mielikki
- Minion of Moander
- Weavekeeper of Mystra
- Abjurist of Mystra
- Seeker of Oghma
- Holy Strategist of the Red Knight (DRv8)
- Silverstar of Selune (DRv8)
- Darkcloak of Shar
- Windrider of Shaundakul
- Heartwarder of Sune
- Stormbringer of Talos
- Battleguard of Tempus
- Broken Blade of Tempus
- Hand of Torm
- Luckrider of Tymora
- Waveservant of Umberlee
- Feywarden of Corellon Larethian (DRv8)
- Hammer of Moradin
- Alaghor of Clangeddin
- Fastpaws of Baervan Wildwanderer
- Hoodwinker of Baravar Cloakshadow
- Bloodstalker of Urdlen
- Horn Guard of Yondalla
- Defender of Arvoreen
- Misadventurer of Brandobaris

The kits marked "DRv8" can be had in the latest version of the excellent Divine Remix mod.

All of the systems in Faiths & Powers also fully support the kits in the I Hate Undead kitpack and the Frosty Journey IWDEE kitpack, as well as all NPC mods that I'm aware of which install their own divine-class kits (Finch, Sirene, Nephele, etc. etc.).  My approach here is, if a mod author designed a kit for his/her NPC, we want to respect that design choice.  That kit will be left as-is, but will be integrated into the sphers and item usability systems of this mod.  If you want mod-added NPCs to use the kits added by FnP, that's not a problem: I designed a whole other mod for that.  (And there is also Level1NPCs, and maybe SCS lets you do that too.)  If I've missed an NPC that you use in your game, let me know and I will integrate it into our systems.

 

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2] Paladin kits.

Faiths & Powers broadens the scope of the paladin class, releasing the class from the strict Lawful Good ethos and redefining it as a class of divine Champions. With heavy armor, powerful melee abilities, and spells determined by their deity's spheres, each kit is a unique divine warrior.  We are starting loosen the mold for Champions; in the future some may not fit the pattern so tightly.  Some of them actually use the Ranger UI (so they can use stealth, but not Turn Undead). 

As of now the mod includes the following Champion kits:

 

- Inquisitor of Azuth
- Knight of the Black Gauntlet (Bane)
- Everwatch Knight (Helm)
- Knight of the Eternal Order (Kelemvor)
- Harvester of Myrkul
- Knight of the Red Falcon (Red Knight)
- Stormward of Talos
- Gloryblood of Tempus
- Paladin of Tyr
- Hammer of Moradin
- Truesword of Arvoreen

 

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3] Zealot kits.

The mod introduces a new kind of divine warrior: lightly-armored but very tough, with stealth and unique berserk abilities. The sphere system allows this, because with it, we can make ranger kits with access to divine spells instead of druid spells.  These kits are only installed if the sphere system is as well, because they rely on it for one of their fundamental characteristics. 

There are zealot kits related to the following deities:

 

- Child of Blood (Garagos)
- Companion of the Noble Heart (Ilmater)
- Disciple of the Flame (Kossuth)
- Weaverager of Mystra
- Cherub of the Ruby Rose (Sune)
- Initiate of Rust and Worm (Talos)
- Vassal of the Reverend One (Corellon Larethian)
- Darksong Knight (Eilistraee)
- Eye of Gruumsh

 

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4] Druid kits.

The mod improves the druid class in several ways. First, it greatly expands the number of shapeshifting abilities druids can use, with each kit getting a unique list of shapeshifts. Second, it adds a few new druid kits and adds a whole new variety of druid-like kits, called Mystics, which are focused on magic relating to the elements. Like Zealots, Mystics are fundamentally differentiated by their spell access, so they are only installed if the sphere system is as well.

In all, the kits available to the player in the druid class are:

 

- Forest Druid
- Totemic Druid
- Hivekeeper Druid (replaces the Avenger*)
- Northern Druid
- Lost Druid
- Beast Lord
- Elementalist
- Earth Mystic
- Fire Mystic
- Air Mystic
- Water Mystic
- Light Mystic
- Shadow Mystic

* I am aware that the Avenger is a popular kit, but hear me out.  The PnP Avenger kit is sort of useless, and would not work well in these games; the BG2 Avenger is a complete fabrication, with no relation to any actual D&D kit.  The Hivekeeper plays a similar role - a more exotic and dangerous version of a druid.  And if what draws you to the vanilla Avenger kit is mixing arcane and druidic magic... well, you will not be disappointed with this mod.  Read on!

We also support the Oozemaster druid kit from the Divine Remix mod.


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5] Ranger kits.

Faiths & Powers adds some mild variants of the ranger class - different kits that are focused on different geographical areas. Instead of a single choice of favored enemy, each kit has a pre-defined group of favored enemies related to their geographical expertise. The mod also shifts other ranger kits away from the tree-hugging ranger ethos; the ones that are focused on particular skill sets instead of nature - like the Stalker and Archer - have expanded alignment options and are not subject to Falling. 

The ranger kits available to the player include:

 

- Forest Ranger
- Mountain Ranger
- Desert Ranger
- Jungle Ranger
- Arctic Ranger
- Beastmaster
- Barbarian Ranger
- Archer
- Elven Archer
- Stalker
- Mage Hunter

We also support the ranger kits in the Divine Remix mod.


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6] Multiclass kits.

This part of the mod is bundled as a separate "mod”, because it can install a LOT of kits (well over 100), and multiclass kits are best installed after all single-class kits.  The idea is, you will install FnP in your regular mod order, and then later, after all other single-class kits have been installed, you come back and apply the FnP_Multiclass mod.  Every one of the FnP cleric kits (and DR kits) will be cloned into one or more multiclass kits as appropriate in each case.  So you will end up with a Fighter/Watcher of Helm kit; a Mage/Seeker of Oghma and a Thief/Seeker of Oghma; etc. 

In addition to the many multiclass copies of the single-class kits, the mod includes six bespoke, custom-tailored multiclass kits:
- Cleric/mage of Mystra
- Cleric/mage of Azuth
- Ranger/cleric of Mielikki
- Ranger/cleric of Shaundakul
- Cleric/thief of Mask
- Cleric/thief of Brandobaris

Finally, there are two special, extra components in the FnP_Multiclass mod.  The first one installs more multiclass druids, so now you can play:
- Druid/ranger
- Druid/thief
- Druid/mage

And, if you have already installed the Multiclass Sorcerers component from Tome & Blood:
- Sorcerer/druid

The second special component installs multiclass variants of the Shaman class.  You will be able to play:
- Barbarian/shaman
- Shaman/ranger
- Shaman/thief
- Shaman/mage

As with most other things, these kits will work with or without the sphere system and the revised item usability. If the revised Forest Druid is installed in the main portion of the mod, then these multiclass druids will use the new expanded shapeshifting; if not, then they will use the vanilla druid's shapeshifting and other special abilities.

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7) Sphere system, new spells, and new HLAs.

In addition to giving players more choice when it comes to deities, we wanted to really differentiate each kit.  Not just with a few different special abilities, but by giving each kit access to different kinds of magic right in their spellbook.  Like other modders before us, we decided to implement the 2E AD&D idea of “spheres” of magic.  Each deity can give their priests certain spells, and cannot give them certain other spells, according to that deity’s theme and areas of divine influence.

The cleric spell list in BG2 is... sparse.  So Grammarsalad recreated the extra divine spells from IWDEE.  (We supply the necessary IWD spells, but you can also use the ones supplied by IWDification or SCS... you should install them before this mod.)  Then we created a few spells ourselves (some by me but most of them, and the most creative of them, by Grammarsalad).  Finally, we borrowed some spells from the BG2 arcane spell list.  In the end we ended up with 24 spheres, each containing about 8-12 spells.

The spheres were fashioned with balance in mind: each cleric kit has major access to ~7 spheres and minor access to ~5 more.  No two kits have an identical spell list, but they all have have an effective and fun list of spells to work with.  Different priests will tackle challenges in different ways, but they will all have plenty of tools to work with.  (Of course there are exceptions... the elemental Mystics tend to be pretty single-minded.)

The list of our custom-designed spheres looks like this:

 

- All/Universal
- Life
- Death
- Creation
- Destruction
- Protection
- War
- Exploration
- Knowledge
- Deception
- Thought/Charm
- Dread
- Vigor
- Affliction
- Animal
- Plant
- Earth
- Water
- Air
- Fire
- Light
- Shadow
- Magic
- Astral

You can see the most up-to-date list of exactly which spells are in which sphere over here, starting around line 60.  That file also contains instructions on how you can change them around before installing the mod, if you are so inclined.

Once this system was in place, I made sure the spells in each sphere, and the spheres for each deity/kit, are listed in a human-readable document that can be pretty easily edited by the player. So you can fine-tune the system to your own liking.  That one document contains allows anyone to define 1) the names of each sphere; 2) the spells contained within each sphere; and 3) the spheres that each deity has access to.  So now, the mod can basically support any arbitrary sphere system that someone might want to create.

As a proof-of-concept, we have been working on a version of the system that is more strictly faithful to the old AD&D spheres. This is a playable option right now, though it could still use some tuning for the sake of balance. The list of 2E spheres looks like this:

Spoiler

- All
- Healing
- Necromancy
- Creation
- Decay
- Protection
- Combat
- Travelers
- Divination
- Wards
- Thought
- Charm
- Law
- Chaos
- Animal
- Plant
- Earth
- Water
- Air
- Fire
- Sun
- Shadow
- Weather
- Astral

You can see the most up-to-date list of exactly which spells are in which sphere over here, starting around line 60.  That file also contains instructions on how you can change them around before installing the mod, if you are so inclined.

Faiths & Powers will recognize any sphere system file named “fnp_sphere_list.2da” in the override folder. So a modder could design their own spheres and install it to /override, and then players can install FnP and our mod will set everything up according to the specifications of that earlier mod.  Or a player can just tweak things manually, and keep their tweaked version of the sphere system for future use.  This flexibility is reflected in the install options available to the player:
-- Install the FnP sphere system
-- Install the 2e AD&D sphere system
-- Install a custom sphere system (if you provide one)
-- Don't use any sphere system

The specialization created by the sphere system extends even to high-level play.  Instead of a single boring list of HLAs for all clerics, every kit will now how a unique list of HLAs available to it, determined by its sphere access.  This is generated dynamically at the time the mod is installed.  To round out the ranks of the HLAs available to players we have borrowed a few from the Refinements mod, and created a few out of whole cloth.


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8] A revised usability and proficiency system.

While the core 2E rules envisioned clerics that can only use blunt weapons, the Forgotten Realms campaign that BG is based opened this up a bit. There is very little in the way of hard rules, aside from some comments about the use of blades in a few sourcebooks. But in the Forgotten Realms, most priests were more like "specialty priests" devoted to particular deities, rather than generic Christian-style clerics modeled after Charlemagne's companions. And many specialty kits allowed or encouraged the use of all sorts of weapons - no great deal is made between those that cut and those that smash.

Given that the BG devs chose to make a game in this campaign world, and chose to include three specialty priest kits - one of which was for Helm, whose priests are specifically allowed to use bastard swords, Helm's favored weapon - it is curious that the game hews to the generic weapon rules. Curious and, I think, a mistake in judgment. So we developed a system to allow different kits to each have their own rules for the use of weapons and armor, without being limited by the small number of kit-based usability flags.

The basic rule of thumb in implementing this is, most priests can use daggers, short swords, spears and crossbows. They are all fairly simple and common weapons. More powerful weapons like long swords, bastard swords, greatswords and halberds are limited to particular kits, generally priests of war-like deities. Some kits, of deities that really have nothing to do with battle, like Deneir, might have even more limited usability than the generic cleric. Some kits are restricted to leather and chain-based armors, while others can use heavy plate mail. Some few kits can actually reach specialization with their deity's favored weapon, instead of being limited to mere proficiency.

Each kit has its own limits, and again, if a player wants to dig through the mod files a bit, you can change these pretty easily. (E.g. find the priest of Helm kit, change "u_bastard_swords = 2" to "u_bastard_swords = 5" and now Helmite clerics can reach grandmastery.)

As with so many other things, this system is totally optional, you can decline to use it if it is not to your taste.

*Whew* That was a lot!  This is a lot!  Enjoy!

 

 

 

Edited by subtledoctor
fixed spoiler formatting

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EDIT why is this post-formatting system so damn broken.  I can't even edit anything in the bottom half of that post, and it is all messed up.  Can I get a little help from a moderator please?

Why isn't there an option to turn off the WYSIWYG nonsense and just see all the formatting as code??

Edited by subtledoctor

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15 minutes ago, subtledoctor said:

Why isn't there an option to turn off the WYSIWYG nonsense and just see all the formatting as code??

Because the forum software no longer uses BBcode under the hood.

What do you want changed in the second half of the post?

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I've updated the first post to fix the formatting issue.

37 minutes ago, subtledoctor said:

(FWIW, in that case better not to process BBCode at all - it seems to be partially processing it and then failing at some point.  Better to just show the BBCode tags in plain text, at least then it would be possible to edit it and manually change them over to the WYSIWYG functions.)

The software used to store post content in BBcode format.  The editor had the option to swap between the WYSIWYG version and a text editor for the underlying BBcode.  The rewrite of the software (IPS 4+) changed the format that posts are stored in to HTML.  The editor can accept BBcode and transform it into HTML, but not the other way around.

This wouldn't be so much of the problem if the editor didn't have various quirks and bugs that mangle things every once in a while.

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Good to see you around here, doc!

Just a heads up: this forum has no limit of characters per post. I also reserved some posts but in the end I just used two and it worked even better.

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@subtledoctor I've followed you over here on your recommendation. I've been playing around with the latest FnP update and have noted a few things that don't seem to be working right (unless I've borked the install, weidu log below).

- Some of the bespoke Cleric multiclasses aren't getting priest spells under the FnP sphere system. Ranger / priests (woodscout, windrider) work fine, but the mage / priests (abjurist, monitor) only have the common spells (bless and heal, I think). As far as I can tell (haven't tested nearly all), the generated multiclasses (fighter / hand of torm, etc.) seem to get all their sphere spells just fine.

- This is not a bug per se but a compatibility issue (and so you may not care!), but monk / priests from Monastic Orders don't get priest spells under the FnP system, just like the bespoke mage multiclass priests above. Is there a way to have priests without specified spheres simply inherit a default list or something?

- This may be an error on my part, but none of the sorceror / priest classes appear despite (I think) following the install order you required and using your latest version of TnB

As an aside, I hope you know I'm reporting all these things because I like playing around with different classes and am fascinated by all the new things you're trying, not because I am in any way complaining! 

WeiDU.log

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@IvanKaramazov thanks for the feedback! 

- The Monitor/Abjurist thing should be easily fixable. I’ll take a look soon. 

- Single-class clerics without defined spheres will get a default set, but multiclass clerics don’t. It will be easy enough to support cleric/monks from Monastic Orders. Maybe I’ll even do what I sorcerer/priests and add fully-kitted versions, instead of just the generic one. 

- I’ll test sorcerer/priests again. Do you have the regular multisorcerers? Including the generic sorcerer/cleric?

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@subtledoctor Regular multisorcerers work fine, including the sorcerer/cleric. Kitted cleric/monks sounds ludicrously fun, though the total kit numbers must be skyrocketing at this point. Also, sorcerer/monks? Or is that too obscene?

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2 minutes ago, IvanKaramazov said:

@subtledoctor Regular multisorcerers work fine, including the sorcerer/cleric. Kitted cleric/monks sounds ludicrously fun, though the total kit numbers must be skyrocketing at this point.

Not a problem. 😉  In fact I have something else planned that will dwarf these numbers. 

3 minutes ago, IvanKaramazov said:

@subtledoctorAlso, sorcerer/monks? Or is that too obscene?

No - probably totally doable. I haven’t paid any attention to MOoFv4... but if there is a mage/monk, I can make it into a sorcerer/monk. 

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Reported elsewhere:

Aerie seems to a generic "cleric/mage" on my current install. No deity or kit. So she's getting only the placeholder spells.

Man, I just spent SO long debugging this, tweaking things in the NPC kits function just so, a little change here and there, wondering why it failed in every iteration when the logic of the code seemed completely sound.

Well, it turns out, the mod wasn't actually running the function.  🤪

I'm working on the n ext proper release (some tricky bug fixes, as well as, hopefully, support for SR 4b17).  In the meantime, you can run the attached hotfix mod.  It should give multiclass kits to everybody who needs them.  You can install this on top of a full set of mods; it only cannot change Aerie if you have already met her, so you need to install this, then load a save from before you enter the Circus Tent.

FnP_78sd8_NPC_hotfix.zip

Edited by subtledoctor

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2 hours ago, subtledoctor said:

Well, it turns out, the mod wasn't actually running the function.  🤪

I'm always glad when I notice I'm not the only one. Wondering why cutscenes do not trigger or NPC scripts are not being executed while forgetting to compile them is also a great thing.

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Found another relatively serious bug: if you install certain Divine Remix kits (Selune, Ilmater) and then install the FnP_Multiclass modlet, it can cause crashes when trying to choose a multiclass kit in CharGen. 

Solution: install the attached hotfix mod right before installing FnP_Multiclass.

FnP_78sd8_DR_MC_hotfix.zip

 

EDIT - making good progress.  Gonna be some fun goodies in the next release!

Edited by subtledoctor

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