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  1. Final version Compatibility: should be with everything, but some effects may be challenging for old and weak machines, especially the ice cover. In that case delete the files ICEWOL_#.PRO, ICEDRA_#.PRO, ICECON_#.PRO and CONCO2_#.PRO. Download
  2. Fixed 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: 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. 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. Download
  3. 1. Summary 2. Compatibility 3. Who you can talk with 4. Mercy: giving it... 5. Interlude: should you keep your word? 6. ...offering it... 7. ...and begging for it! 1. Summary. These games don't have much in the way of the material in the title, so let's see if we can introduce a bit of ethical turbulence to these still waters. This mod prepares most creatures, all the ones you can reasonably have some conversation with and who have some interest in their continued existence, for opting out of combat when they are badly hurt. Some will ask for mercy, and the party may grant it, letting them live. Others, wounded so, will listen to offers of surrender from the party. And finally, sorely pressed PCs themselves can throw in the towel, or something like it, and abandon their companions to save their lives - or even switch sides and join the enemies against those they just called comrades. 2. Compatibility. Made on the Enhanced Edition, should work on "classic." 3. Who you can talk with. Most living beings want to keep living, and undead would like to continue on their merry way also. But it also takes conveying the intent. If a creature has a mind, if it is not a machine, if it can communicate its desire to be spared, then it may be involved in a talk of surrender when it descends below 30% of maximum health (around the "Badly Injured" level). Surrender is not like running away or flying berserk, it is an offer from one side or from the other. This kind of conversation is possible with a man, a halfling, a dragon, a rakshasa, an ogre, a ghoul, a vampire, but not with a golem, an otyugh, a dog, a beetle, an elemental, green slime or an ordinary skeleton raised by Animate Dead (skeleton warriors may be fair game). Winter and vampiric wolves are monsters and intelligent enough, but normal animals are out. On top of everything, some normal people just have a fanatically high morale and will not have anything to do with any surrendering. In the large pool of remaining candidates only 20% will ask for mercy. Still, over the course of adventuring with its many encounters, their white flags will fly around with some frequency. 4. Mercy: giving it... When a creature asks for mercy and the party wishes to grant it, the fight does not stop for it right away. The PCs must refrain from attacking the enemy or hurting it with spells during the next round, while the other side still goes after them. If the creature is attacked or damaged (by anyone, the party or somebody else), the offer will be considered rejected and the creature will fight to the last with the strength of desperation, which is considerable. Spellcasters in particular discover great reserves in themselves on death's door. The party would do well to listen to offers of surrender from beset wizards. If the PCs refrain from hostility during this round, the deal will be struck, the creature will become neutral, move to the sides, out of the fight, and the party will earn its worth in experience. The characters will not get the creature's items, however. Giving mercy is considered a noble act, on the whole. Doing this consistently, the party main gain somewhat in reputation later on, but rejecting an offer, that is, attacking or damaging the creature, is not penalized. On the screenshot above three xvarts indicate that they may cease fighting, while the one on the lower left already wears the blanc of surrender and heading off. 5. Interlude: should you keep your word? Sparing an enemy is the easiest way to take it out of the fight, but, besides not getting the loot, the party will not, of course, satisfy any quest demands for the destruction of this particular enemy they spared. The creature will have to be killed then or the quest abandoned. And surrenders may happen by misunderstanding, if the party simply fails to manage enough aggression while the creature waits. Once done, though, the surrender is official. If the creature dies now, no matter who kills it, the party will lose reputation immediately - though only for civilized folks. Civilized or civil, take your pick. Public opinion will not care if you break a promise to xvarts, ogres, orcs, bugbears, giants, dragons, ghouls and the like, all undead and "monsters," in fact, and you can dispatch those foul half-orcs in any quantity, too, the seventh race that they are. A human or a dwarf is another story, of course, and rakshasas look so gentlemanly in their stylish hats. In short, if the surrendered one is a disagreeable sort, the characters must look into themselves for guidance regarding the treatment of PoWs. A surrendered creature will not engage in dialogue or give any quests. Mercy can be given only once, too. Don't expect to be believed if you attack now. End of interlude 6. ...offering it... Although only a minority of eligible creatures will themselves ask for mercy, all of them will become open to offers of it after reaching that < 30% hit points depth. Even if the creature heals itself up, the experience will get it thinking. The PCs can use their new special ability, Offer Quarter, on these Badly Injured candidates. (If a character does not have this ability, let somebody else use it to teach.) Since the party has no business meddling in others' fights, it will only work on red-circle targets, not on neutrals clashing with each other. The offer must be made from a short distance and is 50% likely to be accepted. If not, the characters may try again the next round. Edwin is giving a chance to an ogre while Viconia flees several more. One of them is hurt badly and showing the white feather, though. 7. ...and begging for it! What's good for the goose is good for the gander. Members of the party can give up to save themselves in a pinch, even at full health. To attempt this use the other special ability, Surrender, on one of the enemies of the same general category you can discuss these things with. You may even try to surrender to those stern high-morale types that ignore offers of quarter. Whether it is rational to submit to ogres or, say, ghouls in the long run (to dinner or so) is debatable, but at least this rescues a character from imminent death. (Note: a PC who surrenders steps out of the party, and because games of the Baldur's Gate series cannot continue without the protagonist, Surrender is not available to the Bhaalspawn. In Icewind Dale no party members are essential and all can use the ability, but remember that it is still game over if there is no one alive left in the party.) Opponents are eager for an opportunity to "get" an adventurer, so this offer is accepted 80% of the time. If not, you can, of course, try again. What happens next depends on who you are surrendering to - alignment makes a big difference. Of course, one rarely has the luxury of choosing who to appeal to, but sometimes yes. Neutral alignment will simply want the character out of the picture. Just as any prisoner he himself might have taken, he will put on the white of submission and walk off to the side. There he will stay and can be gotten into the party later the usual way, with some explaining to do, no doubt. Evil-aligned enemies will force the character to fight on their side, or perhaps this was his intention... Putting on the black of treason, he will fight against the PCs until such time as all the other foes have been put down. Then he will turn neutral. Both maneuvers cost the character 1% of experience, and the colors of disgrace can only be cleared by the ultimate sacrifice. What really happened there? How will it go? There are many possibilities, opportunities rather, because these are, or were meant to be, role-playing games! Viconia sides with hobgoblins against the party. Download
  4. Version 3 My thanks go to @kjeron for the forward cones and a heap of other information in the last few years. @K4thos gave a helpful tip about preventing jumps after conversations. 1. Summary 2. Compatibility 3. Surprising and being surprised 4. Ambushes 5. Detect Noise 6. Money for me 1. Summary This mod introduces a hybrid of two mechanics from the AD&D Player's Handbook - surprise and ambush. Most creatures and characters may now be surprised if they suddenly run into an enemy, and neutrals may be surprised too. This may happen after a sharp turn in a hallway, in the shadow of a cave pillar, emerging in a room with a throng waiting on the doorstep or just falling out of invisibility on the tips of somebody's shoes. Party characters can put themselves in a waiting mode where they can surprise but not be surprised - ambush. In addition, rogues (thieves and bards) get the ability to detect noise, which sometimes lets them discern creatures beyond obstacles and helps to set up an ambush. 2. Compatibility Only the Enhanced Edition. For technical reasons it would be impossible to save the game in classic installations. 3. Surprising and being surprised Surprise, when it happens, stuns a creature for a round. On occasion both parties in the encounter may be surprised. Group surprises are also possible. This is the approximate radius within which surprise may happen, if creatures suddenly come face to face in that range: If a creature approaches from farther away, there will be no surprise for either in the encounter. Surprise is also impossible so long as a creature is in sight of someone - for that observer. For example, assuming that this dog has come in from a little distance and the surprise factor has been negated, it will not be able to surprise Charname, Xan, Imoen or Garrick so long as each one of them sees the dog. It would have to run into a place out of sight to make surprise against that character a possibility again - or disappear in plain view. Thieves and wizards can negate the visibility control by vanishing with stealth or magic so that they can creep in again. In this example, though, the dog is actually a green-circled ally, so Charname, Imoen and Xan need not worry about it. Creatures on the same side do not surprise each other. Who can surprise who: Red circles surprise green circles and are surprised by green circles. Blue circles do not surprise anyone but are surprised by both green and red circles. This means that between the party and enemies surprise only happens in the context of combat, but neutrals can be surprised in peace if you get the jump on them. This Flaming Fist mercenary is startled to find Charname nursing on the wine taps in the duchal palace. This prostration would give Charname a round to get away, but the second mercenary is also here, far enough to have a calm look, and in a moment he will turn around and assail him with inconvenience. Some creatures are never surprised: undead, golems and other constructs, slimes, elementals and insects. Animals are difficult to surprise also. All of them can still surprise others. Non-combatants like the commoner on the previous screenshot are left out of this mechanic completely, along with cows, chickens, horses and so on. A creature can be surprised once every three turns (180 seconds). Here are a few more situations of surprise, sometimes mutual. This is a mass surprise in the hallways under the Firewine Bridge. Here everyone but the kobold on the far right is surprised at butting into each other. A situation like this is not likely to happen naturally - here I teleported the party right into hostiles. Normally only the front runners or stragglers can wander into enemies without seeing them from some distance away. Group surprise can happen for real, though, when entering a small space densely packed: Here Imoen, Montaton and one of the hobgoblins had a case of the nerves. Surprise is not just a fluke, however. It can be used intentionally: Here Montaron has surprised one of the guards (lit up) and running away from the others. He is in their line of sight in this bare corridor, but if he turns into the adjacent room where the rest of the party is waiting, there are a couple of places he can stand and try to surprise them when they barge in. In order not to be surprised themselves, however, and to signify that they know what is coming, he and the others should make use of the Ambush special ability, which all PC have. 4. Ambushes In Ambush characters are safe from surprise, but the reactive position they chose makes them somewhat slow. They get +3 to weapon speed and casting times. Ambush lasts until they move from the spot, but the slowness persists for the next round. This mod also patches the priest spell Command. When used on allies now, it is not "Die!" but "Attend!", "Speak!", "Wake!" or "Move!" as appropriate. This makes the ally snap out of the surprised stupor, relieves confusion and panic for the moment, lifts silence from him, 50% of the time unconsciousness and 20% of the time hold and paralysis. Greater Command is not changed. 5. Detect Noise This non-combat ability of thieves and bards extends an 120 degrees-wide listening cone that can bring out creatures beyond walls and other obstacles. All characters of these classes have this ability, and if for some reason one does not, like after dual-classing into a thief, have another rogue use it, and the first PC will learn automatically. The size of the cone increases every 3 levels. Face the direction in which to listen and click on the button. At first the cone's area is larger than a fireball, ultimately it expands to about 4 times that size. Within the cone the basic chance that a creature will be revealed (sometimes also showing a little of the terrain in the fog of war) begins at 50% and improves to 80%. If a thief does not find someone by listening, it may mean there is no one there or that the thief has gotten a bad roll. Non-corporeal, ethereal and phasing creatures are always pointless to listen for. Detect Noise can be used any time, but it only gives new information to the character once every turn. If there is more than one rogue in the party, they can try to triangulate and help each other out. Thieves able to wear helmets must take them off to listen. The screenshot below is only to help picture the situation. In version 3 creatures are no longer shown beyond walls, only referenced in the bottom window. In this example Montaron has discovered one of the guardians of the Dukes' amontillado, but there are more either outside in the large hall, farther away or he just did not hear them. Spacious places like this are inconvenient for listening, especially with patrols walking up and down the floor. It is better when there are side galleries, abutting corridors and walls against which to lean. For every creature found by listening the rogue receives 8 experience points, if the creature is not under anyone's direct stare (once per creature only). Finally, I want to say that "Surprise" would probably work well with my older stuff - "Initiative" here. 6. Money for me Modding that goes beyond making kit no. 126 is not easy. If you think this module deserves a few dollars into my hat, right-click on the first surprised guy and press A+B+B+A+Up or write me a private message. Download
  5. Updated with fixes to version 2 1. Summary 2. Compatibility 3. Details 4. Tips 5. Money for me 1. Summary. This mod gives sides and back side to creatures and lets players make use of flanking and rear attacks in close combat. Combatants are considered to be flanking an enemy while they stay on his sides or a little behind, and they are taking advantage of the rear when they are almost directly at his back. 2. Compatibility. Only the Enhanced Edition. Although the mechanics might work in "classic" setups, with this mod invisible projectiles constantly fire, and only EE allows saving the game while projectiles are on the way. 3. Details For brevity let's call getting on the flanks and into the rear outmaneuvering. Red-circle enemies outmaneuver the party and its helpers and minions as they position themselves or close in to attack, and the party outmaneuvers them - intentionally or just by being on their blind sides. Combatants on the same side do not outmaneuver (do not hinder) each other, and neutrals do not hinder either fighting side, nor are they hindered by anybody so long as they are neutral. Some creatures cannot be outmaneuvered with any gain, either because they have 360-degree vision or because they have no specially vulnerable spots, organs or body parts to protect. This category includes undead, golems and other machines, slimes, elementals and beholders. (The mod also makes them all immune to backstabbing, which, by the way, is in accordance with AD&D rules.) Although these creatures cannot be usefully outmaneuvered, nothing prevents them from doing this to the party - that is, getting in the PLAYER's rear or flanks. Non-combatants, that is, commoners and other bystanders, cows, horses etc. can neither outmaneuver anybody nor can they be outmaneuvered themselves. There is not much point to running the effects on them, and this will save performance. Not counting those exceptions, most creatures have flanks and rear of about this size and position relative to their figure: Enemies on the flanks inconvenience the creature or character, lowering his Armor Class by 2 points and slowing him slightly - for every flanker present. Those in the rear do not hinder the character, but their chance of scoring a critical hit improves by 2 and they receive +4 to hit as well. This is not cumulative with the attack bonus from invisibility and stealth. The number of enemies in the rear does not matter, each receives the bonuses individually. There is no exact science with these bonuses and penalties, both because it is impossible to calculate precisely when they will apply and because the engine is not too accurate in releasing the effects. In the fractions of a second, sometimes the total bonuses and penalties may be considerably higher, sometimes they may be lower or even amount to nothing. Generally, however, those are the numbers you can expect. The AI is not going to be able to make intelligent use of tactics, and the party often has a numerical advantage, especially if it is bringing summoned minions. To compensate the computer receives considerable extras. It is very important now to keep enemies off your back, especially if the party characters cannot wear helmets to protect them against criticals. And a throng even of very weak enemies parking on the flanks can quickly bring down an excellent AC. Larger creatures have proportionally longer zones, but not much broader. It is mostly circumference that increases. There is a little more depth to move around in the zones, but weapon melee range remains the same, so attackers still have to come close. 4. Tips Here is an example skirmish. This may seem confusing at first, but will become natural very quickly. A little advice: 0) It is usually worthwhile to go the extra meter. 1) Do not send a single tanking fighter against a squad of enemies, especially if they are man-sized or smaller and can surround him. They are no longer all rolling helplessly against full plate +5, and flanking slows an escape as well. If you have to retreat, either send in another character as a distraction or click a short distance behind so that the fighter backs up without turning. 2) Missile weapons also get the bonuses, but only if fired point-blank into someone's back or sides. If all you can do is run away from a shooter, put some distance between the two of you, at least. 3) A character directly behind someone is considered to be preparing or thinking about a rear attack. This precludes flanking. You can "taunt" an enemy with the open back of a free character to get him out of a flanking position. On the picture Xan could try and turn around, if the advancing bandit decides to flank Imoen instead of pouncing on her sexy rear. 4) It is common to be flanked by someone while flanking someone else, so the AC is rarely a straight number. 5) It is also possible to complicate the life of two enemies at once by getting between them and flanking both. I call it the Trafalgar maneuver: 6) No-roll attack defenses such as Protection from Normal Weapons, Mantle and so on become more valuable, because you can ignore all the people raising hell on the sides and behind. 7) Minions do a great job at pulling very large monsters down by their hind legs. For example, you can put some here while your frontline is keeping the dragon's attention fixed: 5. Money for me Making modules that go beyond shmaltzy romances is not easy. If you think this one deserves a few dollars into my hat, fly me a paper plane. Download
  6. Hi! I did some searching, but still couldn't find a soluton to the problem. I'm playing iwd:how on Bodhi Linux (pretty much like the latest Ubuntu, I think) with all the patches (iwd-1,06-how-1,41-ToL) and I believe I'm using the newest gemrb. I also use the Widescreen Patch, tried installing it both ways - for the original IE and for GemRB, to no difference in the following. The game crahses randomly in mid-combat, sometimes I get to kill one goblin, sometimes I don't get even this far. Trying to cast a spell (Magic Missile, in this case) seems to crash the game every time. gemrb.log shows this: I thought it was my ancient ATi videocard or the drivers. But then I tried to run the same iwd on the same machine with no gemrb from virtualbox. And it doesn't crash that way. I tried to reinstall iwd to a directory with no spaces in the address, to no result. What am I doing wrong?
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