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Skills and Abilities Mod ALPHA Release


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Just now, Endarire said:

@morpheus562
I like the new proficiencies for arcane & divine casting, as well as armor proficiencies.  How to get only those from your mod but use weapon styles from another mod?

The Weapon Styles and New Proficiencies are two different components. Choose the SoB component for Weapon Styles with Skills and Abilities new proficiencies.

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Just my quick take. The changes look pretty good overall so far. Large swords could probably be split up, maybe to straight swords and curved/single-edged swords. It seems a bit too much for one weapon group. The other groups  look fine. Staff doesn't really fit in with the other blunt weapons, but by itself, it's weak as a proficiency. Maybe something could be done with it that makes it worth a slot for mages/sorcerers? In the unmodded game, there's no reason for a mage to ever take staff except with their final proficiency. Kind of an odd situation considering so many magical staves are meant for casters.

Are you planning to nerf/change some of the HLAs (or even remove them)? Fighters seem like they could get pretty overpowered with Critical Striker on top of the usual Critical Strike + Improved Haste + dual wield. With the new proficiencies, could basically require SCS with full enemy prebuffing for any challenge in the later parts of BG2/ToB. One thing that could be done with dual wielding is give a damage penalty to the offhand. Reddbane does this with his 3.5e weapon style rebalance (which is what I currently use).

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@Dan_PThe weapon proficiency groups fall in line with original Baldur's Gate, so I don't see a need to deviate much. I might look at splitting up wakizashi and ninja-to into small swords, but that's all I'd consider.

I'm not sure what you're getting at with staff, since it belongs in the blunt group from original BG. Plus, I give mages other proficiency options that are non-weapon based.

I don't think crit strike will get that overpowered with the new critical striker proficiency. Most of the difficult enemies are crit immune, so investing points in crit striker will become mute. Plus, a character would have to spend 3 points (12 fighter levels) in order to max it out. 

I'll let players decide if they want to ramp up the difficulty to counter these changes. Note: I recommend installing this after SCS because I assign many of these new proficiencies to ALL characters in the game. Most notable will be enemy clerics, casters, and archers/ranged with their respective proficiencies.

Edited by morpheus562
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Okay, that's more interesting actually, knowing that enemies get new proficiencies, beyond just the weapons. And you're probably right about critical strike. I haven't, obviously, played that far with this mod to know the balance with it.

With the proficiency suggestions, I was mainly throwing that out, to see how open you were to suggestions (since you called this an alpha), but it seems like you have a clear idea already of what you want to do with it.

Beyond that, I was more thinking about balance. BG1 proficiencies work because you only have basic-ass weapons for most of the game, and no weapon styles. It doesn't make a huge difference what proficiency you choose (and I recently played through BG1 in BG1 engine to test my script for the game). BG2, however, wasn't balanced with these larger weapon groups in mind. It also added katanas, which weren't in BG1 to begin with, so technically were never part of the Large Sword category.

So with large swords, for example, very early game, you have a speed weapon, you have celestial fury and daystar. You can switch to Lilarcor if you need Confusion immunity, etc. In IWDEE, long sword, bastard sword, and scimitar all have speed weapons (and most weapon types have none). In classic IWD, there's no dual wielding (same with BG1), and Bastard Sword and Two Handed Sword are split into their own weapon category, which somewhat balances this.

So bascially, I'm not telling you what you should do. I think this mod looks interesting. But I thought I'd point this out, just as something to think about.

Edited by Dan_P
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For monks, what about giving them innate crit immunity? Being a melee fighter unable to wear a helmet is painful.

For the Armor proficiency, I don't like the speed factor penalty for 0 pips, and the first pip doing nothing but removing that. One speed factor is the worst return for a proficiency point in the game, save for possibly the routinely skipped third point in two weapon fighting. Compare this with the Devotion and Spellcraft proficiencies which give actual benefits at the first point.

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@FishmalkI would lean towards other mods that offer alternate options (i.e. new items) for monks to gain crit resistance; though, the idea for a defensive proficiency or HLA to gain crit immunity is worth considering. Currently, I have monks setup to gain Flurry of Blows (3.5e monk ability) at level 1 which will automatically double monk's attacks per round. This will go above the 5apr cap, and provide monks a passive 8apr at higher levels. I also have a passive HLA for them to become resistant to time stop.

For armor profs, I played around with this one and significantly paired back the non-proficient penalties I originally had. I am definitely open to tweaking this one, but I would push for more penalties to those untrained. I'd argue I have some perspective about untrained people in armor as someone who has daily worked and fought in armor. Real talk: people who wear armor untrained are slow and, in game terms, would have much lower thac0. So yes, 1st prof is really not getting you a whole lot; however, advancement in it nets 10% resistance to all damage types. Remember, proficient in weapons gives you no penalties too.

Original plan for untrained use of armor was 75% movement speed (25% reduction), -2 speed factor, and -1 thac0 with penalties applying for 0 and 1 pip. No penalties at 2 pips.

Edited by morpheus562
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I think the idea is, any joker off the street can’t just put on a set of plate mail and expect to fight and move in as well as they normally do. You need to train - spend proficiency points - in order to get the full benefit. In 3E they introduced the idea of being proficient in light armor or heavy armor. 

I like the idea of being penalized if you don’t spend the proficiency point. Maybe something like a constellation of small penalties, like -1 to weapon speed, -1 to thac0, and -5% damage resistance? Each effect is very small, barely noticeable... but in the aggregate it makes it worth becoming proficient. 

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On 1/29/2022 at 8:06 PM, Dan_P said:

In classic IWD, there's no dual wielding (same with BG1), and Bastard Sword and Two Handed Sword are split into their own weapon category, which somewhat balances this.

That is interesting and something I haven't pondered before. After reflection, maybe it makes sense to create an Exotic Weapon Proficiency for Katana, Scimitar, Wakizashi, and Ninja-to.

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33 minutes ago, subtledoctor said:

I think the idea is, any joker off the street can’t just put on a set of plate mail and expect to fight and move in as well as they normally do. You need to train - spend proficiency points - in order to get the full benefit. In 3E they introduced the idea of being proficient in light armor or heavy armor. 

I like the idea of being penalized if you don’t spend the proficiency point. Maybe something like a constellation of small penalties, like -1 to weapon speed, -1 to thac0, and -5% damage resistance? Each effect is very small, barely noticeable... but in the aggregate it makes it worth becoming proficient. 

This is the one I've gone the most back and forth on. I really like the idea of going with more penalties when not proficient, but -1 thac0 at level 1 is a bit of a hit. I'll have to put my thinking cap on and ponder this some more.

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Ideas (3e) you might want to consider, if they are even possible in the first place:

* make detect traps/illusions, hide in shadows and tracking not disabling each other; make them slow your movement rate instead. The slowing effects are cumulative with each other, meaning if you want to both hide and detect, you move even slower than when you perform only one of them

* you can now give elves keen senses and they suffer less movement rate penalties when detecting/hiding/tracking

* give rangers swift tracker and hide in plain sight abilities and make them useable only in natural terrains. This shall offset the limitations that they can only hide/detect in natural terrains. At the moment, without these skills, it’s pure nerf for rangers

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True, but the time spent at level 1 is quite short. For the large portion of the trilogy, thac0 is more or less meaningless for warriors. There are soooo many options to boost it (stats, specialization, styles, magic weapons, buff spells) and almost nothing to counterbalance those bonuses. A 1-point penalty is of course not desirable, but it will never actually hold you back.

Anyway any fighter should spend the point in heavy armor proficiency. Also, relatedly, IMHO fighters should have more proficiency points to spend overall.

Clerics have to be more parsimonious with their proficiency points, and the thac0 hit would have greater impact for them. But that also means the choice of whether to spend the point there becomes a meaningful choice - which is a good thing in RPGs. Do you want your cleric to tank? Then invest in armor proficiency. Would you prefer more advanced spellcasting skills? Find some good-quality studded leather.

(I am realizing that in my mind, I am conceiving this as a heavy armor proficiency - light armors should probably require no such investment.)

4 minutes ago, guyudennis said:

give rangers ... hide in plain sight

IIRC that is hard-coded to only work for the Shadowdancer kit. (Unless perhaps EEex can do something about that?)

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2 minutes ago, subtledoctor said:

Anyway any fighter should spend the point in heavy armor proficiency. Also, relatedly, IMHO fighters should have more proficiency points to spend overall.

(I am realizing that in my mind, I am conceiving this as a heavy armor proficiency - light armors should probably require no such investment.)

I actually have updated proficiency distribution, which you can see in one of the files that doesn't carry over into the game. Fighters were set to get 1 pip every 2 levels. Definitely still on the table, and probably deserving more of a look at once I add more new proficiencies to the mix.

I think heavy armor proficiency makes more sense than a generic one-size-fits-all proficiency. That would also help offset some of the level 1 concerns I had since someone would probably get into the plate and plate mails once they have a few levels under their belt.

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Here are some of the HLAs I have been working on for ALL classes:

Epic Toughness

The character gains +20 hit points. This feat may be taken multiple times, up to a maximum of 100 hit points.

Resilience

The character gains 2% damage reduction to all physical attacks. This proficiency may be taken multiple times, up to a maximum of 10% damage reduction to all physical attacks.

Elemental Resistance

The character gains 5% resistance to all elemental damage. This proficiency may be taken multiple times, up to a maximum of 25% resistance to elemental damage.

Magic Damage Resistance

The character gains 5% resistance to magic damage. This proficiency may be taken multiple times, up to a maximum of 25% resistance to magic damage.

 

I hope to do a rework of Turn Undead to make it similar to 3.5e, so it will give Clerics and Paladins more options.

Edited by morpheus562
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