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  1. The basics of this mod should work under all or most versions of the first Baldur's Gate, but wine should not be drunk outside of BG:EE (including the bottle from the spider house). Guest Henanigan helped add Enhanced Edition Trilogy support. Have you ever wondered why, for all the urgency of having to leave and the imminent threat of assassins, the main character of Baldur's Gate is at leisure to stroll across the grounds of Candlekeep, chatting, delivering bottles of cow cure, exterminating pests, even resting at the inn for days and weeks at a time if he has a notion to? Of course, the out-of-character reason for this back in the day was that the Prologue was a tutorial and only intended to teach players the controls and basic how-tos of gameplay. Nowadays, however, hardly anyone perceives it that way or needs to be instructed. Most players probably go from task to task for a little starting experience, if they do not find them too boring, before setting out at some time. This mod brings the Prologue back in-character and makes the urgency very real. You have one hour - sixty game time minutes - to finish your business in Candlekeep and depart with Gorion; and if you do, nothing will happen. One minute longer, however, and very real killers will show up wherever you are and whatever you may be doing - pick-pocketing idle nobles, fighting illusionary monsters, listening to prophesies of Alaundo and so on. All of those activities are very nice, but other people living it out in the monastery are not in the unique situation of being on a kill list. These assassins are much more competent than the pathetic tutorial-type thugs you already know. For a 1st-level character without a party fighting them means almost certain, but not absolutely certain, death. Most players and their characters will just have to pack it on time. If you dig your heels down and take them on, however - and defeat them - you will be treated to a little loot and some new content. Read the dialogues attentively. The most obvious reward is a new 1st-level spell, Vanishing Act, carried by one of the assassins (you will wish you had it before meeting them). If the battle turns out too difficult for your character and you end up having to run away after all, there are two other places where you can get such a scroll. One is far across a sea and another is in the home of the enemy. Taking the assassins on single-handedly is probably too much for any character, but Candlekeep is still your home after all. Think about who might help you. In the time that you have give people a reason to intervene. It also helps to be well-liked to begin with. Of course, not everyone will lay down their lives for you even then. In addition to all this, I took a hammer and pliers to some other things around Candlekeep. The spell Firebead Elvenhair casts on you to "protect you tonight" will really last into the fateful night, and so on. The best way to play this mod is in a new game, but if you load a save in the Prologue, the timer will start from there. You will not be able to win people's loyalty for helping them out, though. Download
  2. To my grandmother Table of contents: 1. Summary 2. Compatibility and limitations 3. Sweeping creature changes and revamps of old items 4. The inn selection 5. Other 6. Money for me 1. Summary Here I introduce a number of new and, for the most part, original items for the Infinity Engine games - the Baldur's Gate line and the Icewind Dales. The emphasis is on role-playing and finding occupations for characters and players other than to go from point A to point B in search of the next power-up. Some have fighting applications, others help eke out experience for the party or move neutral NPC where it is convenient to have them. There are apples to juggle, torches to light, oil to make people slip, disguises, snapshot-taking gliders, wigs, soot, glowing but illegal shields and a game of dice to play with NPC and strip them of their treasures instead of killing them - if you manage to win. Yes, and wine! With the exception of dice, where the rules are explained in detail in the item's description, I made a conscious decision not to reveal the exact mechanics for the items. The reason is simple: it is better that way. Once upon a time equipment in games came with short or even no descriptions, and it was a difficult but very, very enjoyable business to try to figure out what some cryptic tinderbox or padlock key did, if anything. In those days players had to draw area maps by hand, too, which gave a real sense of accomplishment. Over the years for the sake of "ease" and mass appeal all of that was streamlined away and resulted in - a lack of things to do, really. Here I go back to the old way. The items in this mod invite you to figure them out. The descriptions tell you no numbers, but they are not filler. Read them carefully, because every important feature or side effect is touched upon. If an item's function is not obvious at once, experiment with it. Think what it might do, try it on, see if any statistics change or abilities appear. Most of this equipment is inexpensive and you will not Lose Out On Advantages if you squander a few cans of soot. 2. Compatibility and limitations At the moment the module has only been tested for the Enhanced Edition. It may cause problems or crash your game completely on a "classic" (BG2-era) installation. I plan to get around to testing it for the old versions in a few days. That intention aside, I always make modules for Beamdog's Enhanced Edition engine, because it has functions the "classic" engine, meaning Shadows of Amn, Throne of Bhaal, Icewind Dale 1 and 2 as they were, does not. The items here have been well-tested for the Enhanced Editions, though problems may still crop up. Carry them over to this thread if they do. As for the "classics," I don't know how much of the functionality from here will work there even when I do test there. Here is what will be definitely missing from the items in "classic" installations, even if they basically do the job: - my helpful custom portrait icons and text for when the items are used and worn are not supported by the old engine, so you will see instead standard and nonsensical icons such as Dire Charm or Hold Person for states that are completely different. I can try to choose something more palatable there from the fixed list if people request it; - the whole-creature glow effect, used to underscore some on-off events, is not supported. Alternatives exist, but they are not so good. With the old engine you will just have to do without this feedback; - after oil is used to make a slick, coal is used to set a fire or an innocent uses flares that you present, you will not be able to save the game while in the area. Lead the whole party to an adjacent area, a room, a house, a cave, something like that, and you will be able to save there. This is reiterated in the items' descriptions. 3. Sweeping creature changes and revamps of old items Although this mod focuses on new items, the world had to be prepped for them a little. The statistics and alignments of innocents, those levelless bystanders - commoners, noblemen and noblewomen, courtesans, boys and girls, beggars - and also Flaming Fist mercenaries, Amnian soldiers and Candlekeep Watchers have been randomized somewhat. The innocents are no longer 9-9-9-9-9-9 True Neutral no-inventory stand-ins, although they are generally still in the middle range of things. But some will be smarter than others, some stupider, and alignment plays a role when dicing. They also have a few items on them now, mostly small stuff, but on occassion decent treasure. This is so that they can participate in a game of dice when you suggest it, and it gives your pickpockets something to do. Commoners with clothing size under XXXL (men and women, boys and girls) will all have clothes on them that you cannot steal, but can pick up from their lifeless bodies if you are playing nasty and an inn is too far away. Too many people wander in the wilderness for their own good. Children wear small-size clothes usable by dwarves, gnomes and halflings. Clothes are a component of disguise (in combination with either soot and oil or a wig to change the hair). As for the old items, three pieces of magical gear in the first Baldur's Gate game have been revised: - the ring of invisibility sold at the Ulgoth's Beard inn can now be activated any number of times, making it well worth its somewhat reduced price; - the harp for sale in the same place now changes the bard song of the character to apply a weak mind-controlling effect to everyone around; - the cloak of the wolf (a found treasure) gives sanctuary if used outside of combat, which makes it useful for reconnoitering an area, but you should stay away from strangers, or you will become noticed. Two other items in the first BG are different: the glittering beljuril gemstone and the bottle of sparkling wine that you obtain in the first underground level of Durlag's Tower. These items can now be consumed rather than used for the quest. The stone can be sold for a heap of gold and the wine can be drunk with astounding benefits. This will, of course, preclude you from exploring the dungeon below. 4. The inn selection Every inn now has a store, offering a limited quantity of the following items. The Candlekeep inn in the first Baldur's Gate, both times that you get to visit it, is a little different. It has a small selection and trades in a different and devastating variety of apple. In the second Baldur's Gate the drow inn sells nothing and the svirfneblin inn offers only some unique wigs. The inns of Icewind Dale games are few and I may increase their stock over the usual, if I get around to it. Most of the items have a number of properties. Here I give a rundown. 1) Prybar A handy door and chest opener. 2) Wine Makes characters tougher, dumber, uglier, fearless, with worse luck and better morale, unable to start a conversation - and rowdy. Keep an eye on a drunken party. One half-orc NPC in particular has trouble holding his liquor. Here it helps to remember that alcohol is poison... The severity and duration of the bad side effects are less pronounced for experienced drinkers. Wine is also a common random drop item, especially from some barbaric races who have it tough in this life. 3) Live chicken The chicken can be released to roam or cooked in a fortifying stew (if you also have coal). You can also steal chickens from the streets if you are fast enough. In the first Baldur's Gate, which is the game I'm really interested in, some of the more rustic areas and even a few places in the city have had a few hens put in, so you may notice some on your way. You can also dominate a chicken and command it into the pack! 4) Apple Apples can be thrown at people or juggled in an entertaining way, if agility suffices. This can earn you a little money and get neutral NPC to approach, which might help clear the way for your sneaks, move guards out of sight and so on. Also a common drop. 5) Buffor apple Only the Candlekeep inn sells these. Not for juggling, but they make deadly missiles for a strong throwing arm. 6) Oil Has a variety of uses: rub it into the skin to get into tighter corners and receive an armor bonus, into gear and weapons to make them somewhat resistant to the iron plague (in the first BG) and always a little faster. Does have the side effect of making one flammable. You can also pour oil on the ground to render it slippery. 7) Coal A coal pit burns for a while, singeing anyone who walks over it, warming those nearby and providing illumination. Light from a coal pit, or really any light, helps against the unnatural monsters and wild things... the light from a coal pit is strong enough to keep away the weaker monsters and all animals. 8 ) Soot Also has several applications, some of them in combination with oil. (Here is a good place to say that for technical reasons you should split stacks of oil, soot etc. before using them, or you might lose the entire stack. If you plan to mix soot with some oil, equip a can of soot, set aside a bottle of oil in the backpack, then use the soot.) Soot and oil can help with sneaking, a little for the hair is a component of disguise and makes you look stylish, plus you can use soot by itself to leave a mark on the ground. 9) Common dress, medium and small size Nondescript clothes are a component of disguise - for the body; you also need something for the hair, either soot with oil or a wig. From the picture you can tell that the disguise is not complete, because the characters have their former hair color. Medium-size dress is for humans, elves, half-elves and half-orcs, the small size fits dwarves, gnomes and halflings. As I already mentioned, you can slaughter innocents and pull the clothes off their dead backs, in addition to buying at inns. When the body component and the hair component of the disguise are in place, an icon will appear on the character's portrait. Disguise is for getting past those who would pick you in the crowd, but it does not work automatically. It is best not to hang near people for long, or you might be discovered. The more witnesses are looking and the closer they are, the greater the danger. Characters' ability to succeed in getting around disguised is tied to their intelligence. Minsc is not good at it... While disguised you cannot attack or use abilities, and it puts you at a temporary disadvantage if you are discovered and a fight does break out. 10) Torches Torches do a little fire damage but are a very clumsy and inconvenient weapon. Their light makes one stronger against unnatural abominations and natural predators, just like with the glow of coal. If you have some oil and a basic club, you can fashion a torch yourself. On the downside, stealth and invisibility are impossible with a torch in hand. And yes, they use the mace animation. 11) Flares Flares can be shot into unexplored parts of a map a considerable distance away. They will eliminate the fog of war where they burst so that you can, for example, attach a rope to places you have not yet visited. Their blaze will also singe certain enemies, and the entire map is sure to become interested who made this much commotion. Flare use is limited to the outdoors and the Undercity in BG1, where the ceilings are immensely high. You can also present a pack of these dangerous toys to someone stupid enough to accept and play around with them. The results vary, but nobody will blame the party for an accident. 12) Rope A shortcut to places, up walls and over streams. It can be attached to any explored point, even in the gray. A nimble character can then climb/swing on a rope (depending on how you turn your head in this two-dimensional world) to the destination and raise/pull others to him or lower them/send them across. This is for the party only, no minions. Characters are vulnerable while on the rope or holding it. In principle, the rope even lets you flit through walls in a cave, but here you have to decide not to exploit the mechanics and ruin the game for yourself. 13) Parascopic glider set The glider is an automated contraption with a viewfinder and an image transmitter. It can be sent to soar around the map in the Exploration Cruising mode or the Strafe for Dirt mode. In Exploration Cruising it will zoom in on groups of creatures it encounters, which shows some of the terrain and is instructive for the party directly. When it strafes for dirt, it will snap up incriminating pictures. These are not transmitted but will be delivered once the glider is back in the pack. The dirt can be sold on the black market. To get a glider down from either flying mode, hook it: stand in the way of its shadow (you can't see it here, but they cast a shadow) with a dongle in hand. Dongles are telescopic poles, one is included in the glider set. It will appear in the backpack when the glider is launched. Snatching a glider is not so easy and may take a number of tries, but nothing prevents you from leaving it to fly in an area. Away from inns glider sets are a rare creature drop. 14) Dongle You may want to buy a few more dongles to involve the party in catching gliders. 15) Dice They may come across as a humble accessory after some of the other stuff, but dice are the most interesting, involved and potentially important item I made. Dicing is a complete minigame whose rules are explained in the item description, with a number of twists and surprises. You can play for the droppable items of anybody who has any items (except undead and children), so long as you put up something as a wager yourself, and you can have party members dice with each other, too, for roleplaying, to decide who gets the loot and whatnot. 5. Other Three items are not sold at the inns. 16) Phosphoric shield This screenshot doesn't do it justice, but the phosphoric shield creates a halo when activated. Its light brings the same advantages as a torch, otherwise it is a standard round shield. In the first Baldur's Gate all Flaming Fist mercenaries now carry these shields and will switch them on in the dark hours. Phosphoric shields are only issued to Fist members, so you can only get one by killing a mercenary (and be prepared to lose reputation - I made sure there are no Fist members who "don't count" anymore for your convenience) or on the black market. Either way do not wear these in sight of Fist mercs. There is no Flaming Fist in the other games, so this shield does not appear. 17) Wig Both sexes sport wigs in Faerun. They are rare random creature drops in all of the games, and in BG1 I planted some in a few places you may come across. Early on in that game you will get an opportunity to get a wig (and, if you procure basic dress, put together a disguise, which may get you past some unpleasant initial encounters). There are many different styles and colors, but all of the wigs radically change the wearer's face, expression, and, it seems, his character itself. The third item is the svirfneblin wig. I will let people discover those on their own. 6. Money for me Modding that goes beyond making arrows +1 into arrows +2 is not easy. If you think this module deserves a few dollars into my hat, send me a note. 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
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