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  1. Version 2, fine-tuned 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. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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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