Jump to content

Potential issue with the shadow dragon


Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

This is for 34.3 by the way, so maybe this has been addressed.

Anyway, it seems like Thaxll'ssillyia is casting spells as a level 1 mage. I noticed while playing that her remove magic failed to dispel characters that were around level 15. Thought maybe I just got the lucky 5% chance, but then I summoned her in multiple times, and her remove magic failed to work every time.

I put her in my party, and her class is shown as cleric.

In comparison to say Firkraag that doesn't show any class name, and definitely dispels properly.

The creature file in question is shadra01.cre

Edited by boof
Link to comment
On 6/5/2024 at 10:06 PM, JDSilvergun said:

In vanilla that dragon is classed as a cleric as well for whatever reason. I don't really have anything else to add. I don't know why that is, or why it wasn't changed in SCS.

I didn't notice, basically, with the extra wrinkle that before the Enhanced Edition, SCS changed all dragons to fighter/mage/cleric to avoid this issue. In EE, monster classes like RED_DRAGON or SHADOW_DRAGON cast spells at a sensible level so I dropped the change. I hadn't noticed that oddity with Thaxll'ssillyia's class.

Anyway, it's really a vanilla bug, but SCS fixes it as of 35.18. If you want to hotfix it, just edit Thax's class to SHADOW_DRAGON in Near Infinity.

Link to comment
On 6/12/2024 at 4:28 AM, DavidW said:

I didn't notice, basically, with the extra wrinkle that before the Enhanced Edition, SCS changed all dragons to fighter/mage/cleric to avoid this issue. In EE, monster classes like RED_DRAGON or SHADOW_DRAGON cast spells at a sensible level so I dropped the change.

If class = F/M/C or (F/X or F) they also get an extra attack per round simply for being warriors of above 13th level, this reversion thus worsens their combat abilities, although most already had a base 3 apr and some, like the black dragon near the end of SoA, had more.

2nd edition rules are a bit confusing about exactly how many times a dragon should melee attack per round as they have numerous specials listed besides their regular claw/claw/bite routine (many creature from bears to ghouls to trolls share that c/c/b attack routine), wing buffets (which are implemented as an AoE), tail slaps and kicks with hindlegs etc, but can't use all those against the same target in one round.

Link to comment
15 hours ago, polytope said:

If class = F/M/C or (F/X or F) they also get an extra attack per round simply for being warriors of above 13th level, this reversion thus worsens their combat abilities

But in 2E monsters were not supposed to get extra attacks line warriors. They didn’t have levels the way BG2 .CRE files do. They were just supposed to get the attacks mentioned in the Monstrous Compendium entry. 

Link to comment
1 hour ago, subtledoctor said:

They were just supposed to get the attacks mentioned in the Monstrous Compendium entry. 

But in this game, that system fundamentally doesn't work. Everyone has the same equipment slots, and monster attacks have the form of equipped weapons. You can have a primary attack with some number of APR, and optionally a secondary attack at one APR.

So for SCS, the question is how many attacks that creature should have. And SCS dragons get one more attack as FMCs than they do as *_DRAGONs. That looks like something that needs to be fixed to sync between game versions, applying a change to base APR on one side so it's the same for EE and non-EE. Or making them cleric/mages without the fighter component in non-EE games.

Edited by jmerry
Link to comment
1 hour ago, jmerry said:

looks like something that needs to be fixed to sync between game versions, applying a change to base APR on one side so it's the same for EE and non-EE. Or making them cleric/mages without the fighter component in non-EE games

I guess my point is, I would recommend something like the latter solution. Making them warriors subjects them to variations outside the control of SCS; what if a mod changes the proficiency system? Such mods likely do not intend to modify dragons’ claw attacks; and SCS likely does not want to have to account for such things. 

Link to comment
9 hours ago, subtledoctor said:

But in 2E monsters were not supposed to get extra attacks line warriors. They didn’t have levels the way BG2 .CRE files do. They were just supposed to get the attacks mentioned in the Monstrous Compendium entry. 

I never thought they were supposed to get extraneous warrior level attacks, but the sourced statblocks of dragons do suggest that they should be able to use an additional melee attack in most rounds besides their usual claw/claw/bite. The extra attack probably wasn't intentional, but not necessarily undesirable, so long as it's standardized between oBG2 and EE. Of course, it would be inordinately complex to ensure that the dragon's fourth attack isn't directed at the same target as the first three which I think is what was intended BtB.

If we get more technical, most creatures in 2ed aren't supposed to get a strength bonus on their natural melee attacks either, even those with high listed effective strength like giants and golems (they just get extra damage dice usually, a carryover from the earliest editions) vampires and dragons are two examples that originally did (on the flip side, healing spells and potions in game are more effective, always curing maximum listed, i.e. an extra healing potion is 27hp, not 3d8+3). Also, strictly by the rules. no melee attacks should be possible in the same round as use of a spell (like ability) or breath attack, but neither would PCs be able to cast and attack in the same round, since combat is faster for everyone, enemies, allies and PCs alike those parts are fine and don't need to change.

7 hours ago, subtledoctor said:

I guess my point is, I would recommend something like the latter solution. Making them warriors subjects them to variations outside the control of SCS; what if a mod changes the proficiency system?

Their natural attacks don't have an associated proficiency, but since those are either classed as two handed or single handed weapons, some mod that attempts to ensure enemy fighters make use of styles might do something unintended here.

Edited by polytope
Link to comment
7 hours ago, polytope said:

Their natural attacks don't have an associated proficiency

I meant that mods could change WSPATCK.2da and CLSWPBON.2da to change things for the player, and end up changing dragons’ APR quite without meaning to. 

Link to comment
3 hours ago, subtledoctor said:

I meant that mods could change WSPATCK.2da and CLSWPBON.2da to change things for the player, and end up changing dragons’ APR quite without meaning to. 

I suppose some modder might extend the APR progression so that extra 1/2 attacks are gained at levels 19 and 25 also.

I've never heard of a revision that does that, this would make equipment and buffs that enhance APR pointless for dual wielders beyond a certain level as well as the Whirlwind HLA unless solo because of the hardcoded cap of 5 APR before haste. However, it would also grant a more significant benefit to being a single classed warrior rather than dual or multi.

Then yes, the simple solution is to standardize dragons on the original engine as C/Ms, and either give them 4 base APR (so they attack as often as they already were doing in previous versions of SCS) or not, if it was always unintended and we were seeing them in overpowered form. I have to wonder why they were ever classed as part fighter though, if that's the case.

Link to comment

The extra attack certainly isn't intentional. That code goes back to the mid 2000s and I probably didn't know about the hardcoded APR progression; I haven't revisited it in ages. Adding an extra APR to dragons is fairly strongly against SCS design structure. I'll revert it in the next release. (I might leave an INI flag for people who like the old behavior.)

Link to comment
21 hours ago, mickabouille said:

A bug is a bug is a bug.

Not knowing about it for X years does not make it not-a-bug :D

Sure, but I have to wonder why dragons were ever made even partially fighter class, if not for the increased base APR, since they don't have weapon proficiencies or use magic items specific to fighters anyway. There's also the warrior's constitution bonus to hp beyond 16, but that's going to be a small fraction of their total (increased) hp.

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You are posting as a guest. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...