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With this mod fighting becomes a little more entertaining and lively as every scoring strike with a weapon or fist leads to a quick finisher, a little feint or maneuver. Shots from ranged weapons that hit also evoke a little cheering from the shooter every now and then. A melee weapon's connection may also lead to a swapping of places, when both parties end up on the ground and then up again and facing each other. Plus I slightly increased daggers' range.

Spears, staves and halberds will show more strike variations, with thrusting and thwacking. All blunt weapons, spears and halberds, and slings, or rather shots from slings, will also knock the hit creature back unless he saves vs. death.

Installing on an Enhanced Edition game, there will be another element: weapons' ability to control ground. Every weapon except fists will increase the character's personal space, in these categories progressively: daggers and darts; short swords, hammers, maces, clubs; long swords, scimitars, morningstars, axes, flails, bows, slings and crossbows; staves, spears, two-handed swords and halberds. The change represents both the amount of free space a weapon requires to be used effectively and its "danger range," ability to keep away attackers or anybody who comes near. There is no breaching a character's personal space while the weapon is drawn. The only way to get past the character is to kill him. The big weapons are effective at blocking corridors and doorways, including when you want to enter a tavern and the door is not wide enough. Put them away then. As for usefulness in a fight, this screenshot was taken on an open plain, but it shows ground-controlling power of two weapons:

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Notice the distance between the xvarts. This is close to how near they can come to each other and fight with their short swords. Minsc, for his part, is unapproachable any closer than that with his greatsword. He is still attackable at this range by anybody, the mechanics don't allow actually preventing xvarts' attacks on account of too-short blades, but if he were standing in a corridor in, say, the Firewine ruin, he could hold them all back. There would probably be no elbow room for another party member to stand next to him with a large weapon, though. Special provisions were made for ogres with their huge morningstars and gnolls, so that they only partially obstruct each other on the stairs of the Gnoll stronghold.

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While you can switch a party member to a smaller weapon or the fist any time and get past or around a control zone, the AI can't and his minions with large weapons would be hopelessly stuck behind each other. Often the party may be able to use this to its advantage, but you have to keep in mind personal space of your characters as well, even outside of combat, for such things as pathfinding. Characters don't know to switch to fists to slip between each other and may go half a way around the map if you don't watch them. Also NPC sometimes strike conversations with party members as if they were near instead of walking up to them - tolerable but ineradicable weirdness.

Fixes for the EE-only component

In this update I made some fixes to weapons, in particular spears had been overlooked before completely. Now they also have a personal space and their damage type is either piercing or crushing, whichever is better against the enemy's armor, given that they sometimes use a thrashing animation now. This should give spears a bit of a boost as a weapon choice. Enemies' ability to "deflate" sometimes and sneak between others' personal space, which I thought was a good idea, turned out to make them stick on terrain, and was eliminated. On the whole, the play with personal spaces is a little ornery, so it is now an optional component. Without it only finishes and falls will be installed.

This picture shows the final weapon reaches. The tasloi, armed with spears, cannot approach each other or Halen in blue with a staff any closer than this. Imoen with a bow could actually move a little closer to the tasloi on the left, but when personal spaces touch, it is melee range with ranged-weapon penalties. Viconia will have to put away the mace (switch to the fist) to go between Imoen and the tasloi below Edwin. You must tell her to do this - if you simply click below without relieving her of the largish weapon, she will walk all the way around the tangle. The unarmed Edwin's own space is very small, as is Xzar's on the right - even smaller than shown, in fact. Two bare-handed characters can almost walk through each other.

All weapons now also have a hidden property to unhitch stuck creatures. If a character becomes stuck on terrain for any reason (hopefully not on account of this mod), you can switch to any weapon or fist, and he will be off the hook.

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Edited by temnix
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I like this idea; from training HEMA and MMA, I'm very aware of the reach of weapons having a huge impact on the flow of a fight and have tried to model this in wargames I've designed.

Is your list of weapon categories in order of their reach?

If so, I would argue that the effective melee range would be more likely to run as follows:

  1. Fist / Dart
  2. Dagger / Throwing Axe (melee)
  3. Short Sword / Wakizashi / Ninjatō
  4. Club / Mace
  5. Hammer / Axe / Morningstar
  6. Longsword / Katana / Flail
  7. Scimitar / Bastard Sword
  8. 2-Handed Sword / Halberd
  9. Spear / Quarterstaff

I'm making a few assumptions here including that a Longsword in D&D = an Arming Sword/Backsword, with a real Longsword = a 2-Handed Sword.

I'm not sure where you'd put other missile weapons, but here are some thoughts:

  • Slings are likely to be 2.5-3.5" long with a stone in them, and could be used as a makeshift flail.
  • Crossbows are horrifically unwieldy and can vary wildly in size, large windlass crossbows or arbalests can be over 3" long and weigh over 14lbs. I'm not sure it makes sense to pretend these have a zone of control at all.
  • Bows can similarly vary wildly, and can be used as (poor) staves in a pinch. You could stick shortbows in with clubs and longbows with longswords maybe?
9 hours ago, temnix said:

With this mod fighting becomes a little more entertaining and lively as every scoring strike with a weapon or fist leads to a quick finisher, a little feint or maneuver.

Can you clarify what these are?

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Hold off downloading for now. I'm still adjusting the ranges. What you say about your weapons training I respect, it's good to have a perspective from experience here, but you must realize that faithful representation goes only so far, and not far, with this toolset. For one thing, unwieldiness and "danger zone" are different animals, of course, but here they are represented by the only effect available. Ranged weapons should theoretically have an enormous "danger zone" and keep away everyone, but, of course, I can't squeeze people off the map. And using bows as makeshift clubs and things like that - well, here is where superiority of real life makes itself felt. :D You can do that sort of thing there, anything could be a weapon, in principle, but in these games it would require giving bows separate melee abilities, and there aren't even animations to represent thwacking with a bow. The different gradations are also not so fine, just one point makes a big difference. I think I've done as much with the mechanic as can be done and is worth doing.

I am making some adjustments to animations used for spears, staves and halberds for apparent flexibility. Spears will sometimes be used to thwack with, backhand and overhead, staves will have more varied swinging too, and halberds show every kind of blow, including thrusts. This ought to make ground control more sensible. Also blunt weapons, staves, spears (now that they are sometimes used to whack), halberds and slings, when they score a hit, will be delivering knockback.

The feints and finishes have no gameplay effect but they make fighting a bit more convincing, as do falls and turnarounds. I still can't make this much more than chugging THAC0, in essence, but it's something. Also I have a couple of mods that do add a tactical dimension: "Flanks and Rear," "Initiative," you can count "Surprise!" here as well...

Edited by temnix
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What range gradations do you have available for melee? Is there a limit to melee range?

Another thought, D&D darts are a fabrication, I tend to assume they are equivalent to Bo Shuriken, rather than plumbata, hence my minimal effective range suggestion.

I absolutely understand there are limits to how closely we can (or should) simulate the real world, and appreciate your effects to improve this a little.

Facing and awareness are great additions too, are those mods already published?

EDIT - Found them. Note to self, search before posting!

Edited by 4udr4n
Laziness
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When the big tree grows strong, mice hang pants on the branches.

~ Imaginary dojo crap

The gradations are in the radius of personal space. There are no fractions, and even one point makes a difference. The mod is complete now, I'm updating the head post. Held space was somewhat reduced to take into account that both creatures approaching will probably have a weapon equipped. Not the case for, say, coming up against a slime or an elemental, but with equipped fighters it is the space of the short sword of one + the spear of the other. The parties can switch to smaller weapons or fists to get past a deadlock. The computer can't be expected to know this, so I added a small random variation in space size. Sometimes an enemy who looks securely blocked away behind a couple of his fellows with halberds taking up all the room will suddenly go through. When the opportunity runs out and space swells again, he may become stuck until someone moves away. Anyhow, accidents may happen, but hopefully that will make things more interesting.

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None. There is only one effect for changing personal space. But you, being a living being with a mind, can switch to smaller weapon or to the fist to reduce the size taken up. I think it should be possible to tangle up opponents, too, by coming in close with a small radius and then switching to something large. You will or may both get stuck. The effective minimum range between creatures, though, is a combination of both of their weapons. You can only approach an enemy with a halberd or a staff only so close, even if you go fist. The computer is brainless and can't know when to switch to a smaller or larger weapon, not that most enemies have a choice of them, and that's why I put in a little randomness where an enemy will suddenly deflate for a few seconds and come through. Makes the AI appear less dumb.

I should mention that this changing of personal space is not always safe. If not done right, a creature can get stuck on terrain. That's not something I've observed for this mod, and switching to the fist nullifies changes, but if somebody notices a sticking problem, where a creature just can't get off a spot, do write about it here. I can include a bump-off effect then.

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