"Fair Play" Mod in General Mod Discussion Posted February 28 Hi everyone, I am an experienced SCS BG1/BG2 player (~500 hours) and am thinking about creating a mod that adjusts some of the squishier areas of game difficulty. I thought I would post about it here and see if there was any interest or feedback. I'm planning on calling the mod "Fair Play", because the intent is to force the player to play fair and to not use certain types of "cheese" that exist in current high level play, particularly high level no-reload play. I'd like to tackle one modification each time I do a run (which happens every few months) and just chip away at the list over time. Modifications: BG2: change "on recruit" experience caps for NPCs to 500k XP, except for Imoen in Spellhold dungeon who stays the same at 1.25mm XP cap Purpose: Remove cheesy solo / small party play in Chapter 2-3 that allows the player to recruit NPCs at high level and then be over-leveled for the rest of a run. 500k matches the SoD cap and allows some benefit for XP gaming, but keeps the benefit to a reasonable level. Questions/Concerns: Are the experience caps actually moddable or are they hardcoded? No stealing from most merchants Purpose: stealing some low level items is fine, but robbing Athkatla blind is a little egregious and removes a lot of the interesting economic decision making. The intent isn't to remove all useful stealing, but to make it more reasonable and make gold management more important. In addition, reduce the prices fences purchase at, and make them "no-steal". No item recharging Purpose: make limited resources limited. The 1 charge cloud kill from Jon's dungeon would no longer be possible to immediately convert into a 50 charge "infinite cloud kill" wand that gives the party nearly unlimited use of one of the strongest spells in the game! Green amulet charges have to be used a little more carefully, resurrection rod heals are a limited resource, etc. Questions/Concerns: not sure if anyone has figured out how to do this. Possibly making any item with charges unsellable would work, but I'm not sure if that would make them unpurchaseable, which would mess with shops like SS. I'm also not sure how easily tunable the "unsellable" status is. Another potential solution I thought about is to raise the charges cap to something gigantic, like 99999, to make them charge expensive to repurchase (not sure if this is possible either). Maybe someone else has already figured out a solution to this modification. No Project Image / Mislead spells Purpose: I have never seen anyone use either of these spells for anything other than egregious cheese Questions/Concerns: is it possible to remove player access only? I know some mage scripts use mislead. I think if all scrolls were removed, and NPC starting spellbooks were adjusted (Jan starts with mislead I believe), that would mostly get rid of it, although it wouldn't stop sorcerers. Not sure if the player sorcerer book is easy to modify, although presumably it is possible given that there are custom spells that I presume sorcerers can choose on level up. I'm sure there is a well established way to remove player access to a spell. Reduce the power of Chain-contingency Purpose: Remove the ability to use any attack spells, which are generally too strong / cheesy (e.g. the notorious 3x ADHW on spot enemy). Alternatively, remove ability to target enemies. Worst case, remove player access to spell. Questions/Concerns: the contingency / sequencer spells are sui generis and I'm not sure how easy they are too modify in any way (e.g. preventing certain spells from being used). Might be easier to just remove, although that hurts the player a little more than I would like. Rest restrictions Purpose: Optional modification. Don't allow the player to rest in unreasonable locations, or give them limited numbers of rests. Makes spell resource management more interesting, whereas right now it generally is not. Not sure if I really like this idea, but thinking about it. Questions/Concerns: I'm sure this is possible, given that Jon's dungeon and the MFs in the UD have this restriction. Might be too much work to adjust more than a few areas, however. Time limits Purpose: Another optional feature I'm not sure about. Similar to rest restrictions, force more player resource management. E.g. 48 hours in Bodhi's dungeon, possibly some other areas. 30 days to leave for Spellhold (perhaps a customizable time period). Needs a mechanism for the player to explicitly know how much time they have left. Questions/Concerns: this feature may be too irritating to players in practice, or may not make the game more difficult in an interesting or enjoyable way. Remove or reduce the effectiveness of kiting Purpose: a HUGE percentage of dangerous enemies in the game can be defeated by kiting. So many "high skill" solo games are just kiting every enemy to death, with the monsters unable to force the player into melee range. No offense to those players, but I would like to make this impossible or at least very difficult :). I think removing the player's ability to get movement speed upgrades (e.g. haste, cheetah boots), while increasing enemy movement speed and reducing weapon speed would work. Questions/Concerns: I don't know if modifications along these lines have been tried before. Lots of potential problems and tradeoffs here to think through. Adjust power of protection from undead scroll Purpose: Some adjustments have already been made by SCS. Adjust: allow high level undead to ignore the effect with a minor thac0 penalty. Perhaps mid-level undead get a larger thac0 penalty, so it has some use against vampires without being unreasonable strong Questions/Concerns: Not sure whether spell effects can depend on enemy level. May need to just check monster type, or give certain monsters immunity. This might be a lot of work for a relatively small benefit. Prevent casting pfM on enemies Purpose: I think the ability to cast pfM exists in either some installation or some version; would just make it consistently self-only to remove the cheesy dispel effect Reduce thief xp (lock/trap) and mage xp (spell learning) Purpose: Remove the ability to generate huge amounts of xp for doing nothing. Particularly egregious when combined with scroll theft, small parties, and NPC level up on recruit. Probably reduce BG2 xp by ~90% Questions/Concerns: Not sure if this is adjustable via mod Remove potion stacking I know this has been done by other mods; I think it's a good change and would include Prevent enemy spellbook draining Purpose: no cheesing enemy fights by removing all their spells via area changes or summons. I think this can be solved by creating more movement barriers (like certain lich fights receive in SCS) and possibly more aggressive teleport-to-player behavior from the AI. Questions/Concerns: not sure how tedious this is to deal with across a large number of encounters. This feels like something that might be too much work to do for many encounters, but perhaps some additional fights could prevent the player from area changing or hiding out of LoS and sending a stream of summons. Maybe enemy casters could check if they haven't seen a party member in a few rounds and refresh all spells if so. Consider reducing the power of player thief traps Purpose: reduce the power of spike traps in particular. I know some mods have already made adjustments. OK! Some of those I think are not too difficult, some are probably beyond my abilities. But hopefully over time I will chip away at this list and end up with an interesting challenge mod that removes cheese from current high level play for those players that are interested to do so. If anyone has any comments I would love to hear them!