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  1. Update to version 3. Bullets are safe, plus an explanation of the projectiles flaw. In version 2, a monster weapon and Arrows of Slaying fix, plus an optional component. My thanks to @Jarno Mikkola for information on patching damage. Now that it's March, it can be in the name of this module. 1. Summary 2. Compatibility 3. Widths, speeds and monster spits 4. Spell arrows 5. Bushwacking 6. Optional: ammo recovery 1. Summary. This mod changes arrows, crossbow bolts, sling bullets, throwing daggers, throwing axes and darts (and, in a separate article, beholder rays; if you are installing for an Enhanced Edition, acid spit as well) in such a way that they hit creatures on their way instead of following and stopping at one target. An arrow will pierce everyone directly in its path and continue off-screen to the limit of the area, and it's like this with the rest of missiles. All of them pave a narrow corridor of damage. Attack rolls still matter, but positioning matters just as much or more. Characters have to actively spread around and run in zigzag to avoid being hit either by missiles aimed at them, at somebody else whirring by or, quite possibly, friendly fire. They also need to consider at which angles to shoot so that they don't end up killing a friend on the way or behind the target. I increased missiles' speed greatly, and now stepping out of the way of a slowly advancing dart or axe is not a realistic option - before there was, of course, no point, since everything was decided by the THAC0 roll. Now a "Miss" is nearly always a miss even if the target is standing still, and a "Hit" can be avoided if the character or monster gets out of the missile's path, but this needs to be done preemptively. A character trying to avoid the fastest missiles - arrows, bolts and bullets - can do that only if he dedicates his time to going in zigzags. The angle of fire is also important because shooting at right or broad angles to the target's course is hopeless. Shooters in these games can't anticipate where their targets will be and always fire at them where they are at the moment. If the target moves sideways, they will miss. These Blacktalons are in a desperate position for hitting Xan. The higher guard has a bit more of a chance of nailing him. On the other hand, in a place like this... This is the gist of the mod: putting real action in the action. On the whole, everyone will miss much more often, even when it seems to be a clear and sure shot, but creatures can be hurt much more effectively by firing into crowds, and smart shooters may be able to get several targets with one shot. Nothing in a fight with ranged weapons is as before: there is no standing and waiting for attack rolls in the bottom window to float up and resolve the situation by simple THAC0 vs. AC. Good Armor Class still matters. On this screen my character was magically protected all the way down, so he risks very little even walking in this storm of Arrows of Ice. I also patched different types of missiles to have different properties, made some other changes, and thieves have a new special ability - Bushwacking. More about all that below. 2. Compatibility I tried to make the mod compatible with both "classic" and EE games. The changes to most missiles, like the ones described above and beholder rays, are acceptable for the old engine. EE users will get more changed missiles, namely acid blobs, which had to be made safe (to the monsters themselves) with some advanced effects, so these will not be installed. EE folks will also get the Bushwacking ability for thieves. 3. Widths, speeds and monster spits All of the weapon missiles fall into three categories: 1) arrows, bolts and bullets: the fastest but have a narrow "corridor of pain," continue to the limit of the area; 2) darts: quite fast, with the most narrow corridor, which means they are usually effective only against stationary creatures, and they disappear a certain distance away from the thrower or when they hit the first target (this offsets the vast advantages of weapons like Darts of Wounding, Stunning etc.); 3) axes and daggers, slower but with quite wide corridors, especially axes, and likewise disappearing. Acid blobs, if they are changed, are even wider than axes and have the same speed and properties. All of these disappearing missiles - axes, daggers, darts and blobs - should be used at closer range now. From far away it is easy for creatures to shake them off by moving a short ways, which makes the missiles disappear. They are completely deadly at close range, however, if targets are not scattering frantically. (Even so, there will be more misses than before all around.) The best way to appreciate weapons' changed behavior is to buy some cheap ones and practice on stationary and moving targets, noticing distance and corridor width. Beholder rays are wider than everything and do not vanish on hitting or with distance but cut everything in front of them like scissors. I suggest surrounding beholders. There are a few thrown weapons in the games that return to the hand. These weren't made to hit in a path, because obviously they can't fly on if they are back. They now use custom projectiles identical to the original ones. Although they use the old attack system, their speed was still increased, and they still disappear at or before the end of the visual range, like the rest of throwing axes, knives and darts. They should also be used closer. Missiles that explode on hit were made to fly faster but not changed otherwise. 4. Spell arrows. The arrows for Melf's Acid Arrow and Flame Arrow (etc) now also harm everything on their way. Hitting with them is no longer guaranteed, just as with real arrows, but you may be able to get more creatures with one shot. Sometimes you may hit a second person but not the first: And remember that arrows, bolts and bullets continue all through the area until they hit a wall. If they hit someone else out there first, well... While testing on farmer Brun's field and firing at party members and monsters, I shot Chickens, Cats, Cows, Thalantyr the Conjurer, whom I had typed in from the console to buy from the store and forgotten, and Ajantis far off screen. Think thrice before you start a shootout anywhere in a town, and at least try to aim in the direction nobody is walking strollers. Even in a forest, though, wildlife and druids will fall. That's life, and if it were safe, it would be boring. 5. Bushwacking Also known as the money shot in the biz, this special ability becomes available to thieves of all stripes at 3rd level. With it the thief calls upon some modest, unassuming, wallflower-type friends who accompany him everywhere. If you think you are completely alone in the Outer Planes or on another planet, well, the thief isn't. These groupies will fire an arrow from the sides at the chosen target and normally hit - Armor Class is not a factor here, though misses are still possible, as always with this mod. Putting a regular arrow in someone's back will cost the party 20 gold. Starting at the 13th level, if the target is under Protection from Normal Weapons or from Normal Missiles, the little helper will charge 100 gold and fire an arrow +1. Arrows do 1d6 + 4 (+1) damage if they hit. The thief calls upon more of these characters with levels, and all need to be paid. He can use this ability any number of times in a day, so long as he has the gold. I won't put in any screenshots here, but remember that you don't know from which direction the arrow will come and who it will hit before and after. Discretion is advised. 6. Optional: Ammo recovery If you install the main component, you can also install ammo recovery for path missiles. 20% of the time arrows, bolts etc. will be recovered a couple of turns after they are used, appearing one by one in the backpack - and possibly filling it quickly (they refuse to stack, which is why this is optional). If you don't install the main component, you can install ammo recovery by itself, for traditional, single-target missiles. In this version missiles will be found on corpses of enemies they hit, 20% of the time. Neither version requires the Enhanced Edition. Download
  2. Final version 1. Summary 2. Compatibility 3. Table 4. Types of "magical" weapons 5. Protection from Magical Weapons and Normal 6. For clarity: what does what 7. Special ranged attacks 8. In the plans 1. Summary This small but consequential mod implements a mechanic from the AD&D Dungeon Master's Guide which anwers the question "how all these weapon-immune monsters fight each other." One has to wonder about that. Would a lich and a vampire only pointlessly catfight with each other? Couldn't a dragon with his huge teeth, claws and tail do something to a golem? On the other hand, a dragon probably should not be able to harm a ghost for all his weaponry; but then, what could harm a ghost? Questions like that have to be decided by the Dungeon Master on a case-by-case basis, or maybe he will design an approach, but that isn't something that can be done in computer adaptations. Here I applied the DMG principle that more Hit Dice (or levels, for non-playable races who can have levels) allow monsters to break through + defenses, but changed the table to suit the abundance of high-level creatures in these games. The mod patches all creatures in any game where it is installed, except the playable races, whether in the party or among NPC. The creatures are given an "innate enchantment bonus" (similar to weapon pluses, but with an important technical difference) in proportion to their power so that they can overcome weapon immunities of wizards and engage each other. This includes summoned minions, who become more useful. 2. Compatibility Only the Enhanced Editions. 3. Table This is the table this mod applies: Hit Dice/levels Overcomes Fewer than 5 Nothing 5-7 +1 8-10 +2 11-13 +3 14-16 +4 More than 17 +5 To get an idea what this can mean in practice, remember, for example, that flesh golems can only be hit with +1 or better weapons and that ogres, whom you can summon, only have 4 Hit Dice, but ogre berserkers, who can be summoned with a more powerful spell, have 5, and so do sword spiders from Spider Spawn. 4. Types of "magical" weapons The "magical weapon" mechanic in the Infinity Engine is not so straightforward, though, as it should be. It should be that weapons with pluses count as magical and ones without as not. Instead there is a muddled double system in place, which non-modders may not be aware of. Here is how it works. Monsters' natural attacks in these games are considered weapons just like swords and clubs, only they aren't dropped on death or shown on the screen. Often weapons monsters use are swords and clubs - a duplicate of what they drop. Ogres, for example, carry one morningstar with which they hit PC and which perishes with them and another, standard one PC pick up from their corpses. Although all "weapons" are lumped in one category, Bioware must have found it convenient to introduce a special item check mark, "Magical." It was probably meant for actual arms and special items - this property makes items indestructible by a script action or two, but the check mark began to be put in all kinds of monster "weapons." Parellel to this exists the numerical enchantment bonus of the weapon. This means that for the purposes of weapon immunity a weapon can be either checkmarked "Magical" or have some enchantment bonus - either one will go through Protection from Non-Magical Weapons. The problem is with Protection from Magical Weapons. Because the "Magical" checkmark is on for natural weapons of some powerful monsters, like all of the golems, you can keep them at bay completely with this spell, which makes no sense. On top of the checkmark, golems' attacks have enchantment bonuses from +3 upwards. My mod removes all enchantment bonuses from weapons that are invisible and undroppable, along with the "Magical" checkmark. All these bonuses are excessive, hard to judge exactly and at any rate the system is wrong-headed and leads nowhere. The ability to penetrate weapon defenses should be tied to the creature's power. It's the only idea that makes a little bit of sense. Instead of bonuses that were built into the weapons, golems (to go with this example) will penetrate as much as can be expected for their Hit Dice. Flesh golems are level 9, now they can punch through defenses of up to +2 instead of +3. Adamantine golems are level 18 and can beat anything - they used to go as far as +4. When and if a creature switches to a better-enchanted weapon than its innate enchantment, the weapon's enchantment will take precedence. 5. Protection from Magical Weapons and Normal This part will be interesting mostly to modders. There was a technical problem with giving creatures these "innate enchantment bonuses." It's easy to see that if a monster is made weapon-like with the same effect that can turn a basic club magical (opcode 345), the whole creature is going to be powerless against someone under Protection from Magical Weapons. Unlike Mantle, PMW doesn't shield from particular enchantment bonus degrees but from all three kinds of "magic": weapons checkmarked "Magical," weapons with a number in the "Enchantment" field and weapons with opcode 345 - or the whole creature under that effect. Patching creatures by their power with 345 would make a wizard under PMW invulnerable to the attacks of every monster with 5 Hit Dice and more. Instead I used the neighbouring opcode, 344, to give a universal bonus, in the right amount, vs. all creatures (ANYONE). It works the same way in practice but bypasses PMW. The result (players, read this) is that PMW now protects not from any monsters but from actual armaments: in those three categories - the checkmark, the field and 345. It will protect from swords and arrows +1, +5 or any other level of enchantment, even +20 if you have those in your game, from Melf's Minute Meteors, from monks' fists when they get pluses and so on, but don't expect it to do anything against golems, elementals or good old Karoug. I think this balances the spell out quite nicely, too. Protection from Non-Magical Weapons is not quite symmetrical: it will protect from real weapons without pluses and from attacks of monsters too weak to qualify for a power bonus, i.e. with 4 or fewer Hit Dice or levels, unless somebody has been selling enchanted spears to the tasloi. (Basically this spell is now a super-weak Mantle; opcode 120, protection from Magical, was converted to protection from Enchanted at enchantment level 0, which corresponds to non-magical weapons. I applied this to all items like golem rings, to creature properties and spells.) And don't forget, player races get no bonuses from levels. It is the quality of the weapon taken up that determines penetration. 6. For clarity: what does what Protection from Normal Weapons: good against weak monsters and 20th level fighters with basic swords. Protection from Magical Weapons: against fighters of any level with enchanted swords and against special ranged monster attacks (see below). Protection from Normal Missiles: defends against specific projectiles, not changed. Mantle: against weapons up to +2 and monsters with up to 10 Hit Dice (it's very nice, but remember, basic conjured elementals have 12 Hit Dice). Natural defense against non-magical: as Protection from Normal. Immunity to all but cold iron or all but silver: not changed. 7. Special ranged attacks Some monsters have special attacks, special weapons, really, which I thought it would be nice to have in a separate category, neither enchanted nor unenchanted. For example, ankheg acid spit or the blobs thrown by slimes. I don't see why these should be stopped by either Mantle or Protection from Normal Weapons. There are energy attacks, acid, fire, icicles, webs... If these are stopped by the weapon defenses, why not dragon breath? And it would be no improvement to defuse monsters completely. Unfortunately, there is no third option, so I made undroppable, invisible weapons with a single Ranged-type ability (rather than Launcher) supremely enchanted, enough to go through everything except Protection from Magical Weapons (which is absolute). This combination should narrow the list down to the natural ranged attacks of monsters who have them. The power-up is an equipped ability - the "enchantment" bonus only lasts while the creature uses the ranged weapon. If the ankheg switches from the spit to the bite, it will again drop down to no bonus. Beware of monsters' spitting et cetera, because not even Improved Mantle will protect against it! 8. In the plans It still remains to update some of the specific monster weapons that PC get to use while polymorphed: the iron golem's fist, maybe others, fix the flind's halberd separately and more. After patching most of these will be plusless by themselves, the enchantment is on the monster who wields them. PC would lose out when using Shape Change and the rest of the spells. There will be a separate mod that will nullify these and revise the polymorph spells. Download
  3. Hi everyone, I am using beta 4 and the latest BGEE with SOD. Items added by the mod, such as the bag of holding etc. have incorrect descriptions. Monsters also have wrong descriptions (golemsn are named "what?" etc.) Attached is the debug file. How can this be fixed? Many thanks, SETUP-CDTWEAKS.7z
  4. A is for Ankheg... http://imgur.com/gallery/OhJm7
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