I initially planned to do Avernum 2 as well, but I may not get around to doing it since this ended up being far more time consuming than I intended.
For those of you who don’t care about my data, I will begin with a short summary of my findings.
Weapons share a common damage multiplier, so a stick should receive the same stat bonus from Melee Weapons as Demonslayer.
Weapons that have a + or – damage modifier, like Demonslayer, which has a +3, or a stone dagger, which has a -1, appear to increase or decrease both damage and chance to hit in increments of 5% - this in turn affects skill damage. I am unsure if this applies to arrows and bolts, or if they only alter hit chance.
Avernum 1 has a max damage cap of 99 - melee weapon damage will not go any higher, although fist damage, ranged weapons and spells can. Furthermore the game has a base damage cap of 89, even with max stats any melee weapon will do a range of 89-99 damage, regardless of the weapon's original range.
Increases Hit Points
Increases skill points by 8 per level. A custom level 40 character gets 377 skill points.
Increases chance to Unlock Doors (spell) by 2% per level.
Adds .5 damage per level on its own; this does not include the increased weapon skills from leveling Strength.
Strength has no effect on ranged damage or chance to hit.
Strength adds hit chance and damage for fists, at the same damage per level as weapons, fist damage can exceed the damage cap.
Adds 30 lbs. to carrying capacity per level, begins at 110 and caps at 350 lbs. or 10 Strength.
Only adds damage and chance to hit through increasing weapon skills.
Only adds dodging through increasing the Defense skill.
Interestingly, Dexterity adds 5% chance to hit for fists per level, and this can exceed 95% (537% to-hit is just absurd). On that note, fists are not affected by Melee or Pole skills.
Dexterity adds 1 initiative. Gymnastics, Fast on Feet and Sluggish will be considered relative to Dexterity.
Dexterity adds ~5% stoning resistance per level, base resistance is ~30%-40%.
Adds ~.4-.5% parry when defending. This is then multiplied by the amount of action points remaining (this value includes the effect of Defense, on its own Dex. gives ~1/3 per point).
Increases spell damage by .5 per level . This is also dependent on the spell’s damage modifier. I will cover Intelligence and the other magic skills in depth in another post on spells.
Determines item lore and rune reading.
Increases Hit Points
Increases Poison Resistance by 1 per level.
Increases to-hit by 5% per level, as advertised.
Increases damage by 1 per level when base to-hit is at 95%. (To-hit maxes and begins increasing damage at about skill level 13 against most early monsters. This is affected by enemy dodging. Enemies with a higher dodge chance will require a higher skill level to begin increasing damage. This is the reason you get such low damage against hard monsters, it's not just armor reduction.)
Does not add damage for fists.
Weapon bonuses increase base to-hit, and reduce the skill level required to do more damage.
May add ~.2 damage per level before level 12.
Works like the melee weapon skills - increases to-hit by 5% per level.
Increases damage by 1 per level when base to-hit is at 95% (Ranged weapons get 10% higher base to-hit than melee).
Ranged weapon quality also affects chance to hit, and thus when weapon skills begin to increase damage.
Reduces armor penalty by 4% per level.
Armor penalty will reduce your base chance to hit; this will affect the level of weapon skill necessary to begin increasing damage. Every 5% of armor penalty will reduce chance to hit by 5% and will require an additional level of weapon skill to cap your chance to hit. Armor penalty will also decrease 1 action point every 16% armor penalty, so at 32% armor penalty you have -2 AP.
Each level of Hardiness will block an average of .5 damage. This likely means a point of Hardiness has a ~50% chance to block 1 point of damage.
Hardiness does reduce elemental damage at an average of ~.3 damage per point. This probably works by increasing Resist Elements, meaning every two levels of Hardiness may have a 5% chance of blocking 1 point of fire and ice damage. The same may apply to the chance of resisting poison and disease.
Adds 4% chance to dodge, as advertised.
Does not reduce armor penalty.
Gives .5% parry bonus per level, this is then multiplied by the amount of action points remaining when you defend. This should only apply in combat.
Doubles the damage range, so an iron spear, which does 2-20, will do either 2 or 4-40 with assassination. I am unsure if it applies to the base damage, though it probably does; see my data for an explanation.
Each level adds 5% chance to assassinate. Character level increases the chance of assassination. The equation for assassination may be [(Level + Char. Level) - Monster Level]*5%.
Assassination will cap at 100% and additional points will do nothing, damage from assassination cannot exceed the damage cap, and it does not apply to ranged damage or fists.
Adds 1 damage per level; like Intelligence, this is dependent on the spell’s modifier.
Affects item lore (Mage) and rune reading (Priest).
Used to identify items and read spellbooks.
Helps determine item lore and rune reading. Both of these use the entire group's value.
The highest rune reading needed is 30 for Spell Level 3 of Smite and Return Life.
Steel Plate Mail requires 277 item lore to be identified, I did not check any magic items or Blessed Plate Mail so I don't know if 277 is the highest needed.
Adds 8% success chance to potions per level.
Each potion begins at 50% chance at its minimum level.
Potions can reach 100% success and all potions will have this at level 19. Although by level 12, every potion below the haste elixir has 100% success.
Descriptions of the potion effects will be in a post below.
Adds 7% chance to unlock doors, and 8% chance to disarming traps.
Needed to avoid wandering monsters and identify/find some herbs. Uses the entire group's value.
The highest requirement is 17 for a one-time mandrake and graymold find. Some wandering monsters may require more to avoid. The highest herb patch needs 12 Cave Lore.
Each point of First Aid adds 5% chance of successfully healing hit points. Failures either heal no hit points, or cause damage.
The chance of success likely caps at 95%, 50 First Aid still resulted in failures.
The amount of damage healed averaged -.25-.75 hit points per level. At low levels you will cause more damage than you heal.
Each level adds one level of Poison Resistance, Magic Resistance, Willpower, and Resist Elements. Each of these probably give a 5% chance per level of resisting one point of damage, or entirely resisting the effect, like poison or sleep.
Each level also gives a 50% chance to block 1 point of damage like Hardiness.
Each point of Luck gives a 5% chance to “Luck Out” or not die when your health is at zero. This appears to cap at 95%, or 19 Luck. You can still die even with 100 Luck.
Adds 1.1-2.1% of an item's value to its sellback per level (base sellback is 1.33% per point). Barter caps at level 20 for all but one shop, so don't sell anything to Cliff in Spire.
Barter caps the sellback at 59.99% of an item's value (rounded to whole numbers).
Items below 5 value do not ever sell for more than 1 coin.
Does not affect purchase price of items.
At zero barter, the sellback begins at one of the following – 28%, 33% (base sellback), 39%, 44%, 49%, or 55% of an item's value - depending on the shop. Different shops will have different sellback values, but this is determined by a hidden modifier and not the displayed one, expensive, exorbitant, etc. I have listed most if not all the shop sellbacks and buy prices below.
Unnecessary math below:
Adds 5% to-hit per level.
Like weapon skills, damage is dependent on chance to hit, Blademaster adds 1 damage per level when chance to hit is less than 95%.
Adds 2 damage per level chance to-hit is 95%.
Blademaster does not apply to ranged weapons but does apply to fists at 1 damage and 5% chance to hit per level. Fists do not receive the 2 damage per level, probably because they do not cap at 95% to-hit.
Adds 1 damage per level against humanoids. I did not test what constitutes a humanoid.
This boost fully applies to both melee and ranged weapons (though now that I think about it, I only tested it using javelins, bows may receive half damage. Feel free to test it yourself; I’m not going through the Grim Cavern for a third time).
Adds 5% dodging per level.
Adds 1.2 initiative relative to Dexterity. So 5 Gymnastics is equivalent to 6 Dexterity.
May add stoning resistance, if it does, it caps at level ~5 (though my results were unclear).
Does not add to Poison Resistance on character sheet, no idea if it increases resistance or does something else.
May add 1 damage per level, also likely dependent on spell modifier. Magery was difficult to test since it can’t be raised through the editor.
Adds 1 to Rune Reading per level.
Increases Magic Resistance and Willpower by 1 per level.
Adds 2 points to Magic Resistance and Resist Elements per level.
Adds 1 point to Poison Resistance per level.
Decreases resistance to elemental damage, magic, and physical damage (possibly by about 6-15% per level). May decrease status effect resistance and/or Willpower and Poison Resistance. Appears to negate or reduce the effects of Luck. Dread Curse may simply be a negative Luck stat.
Does not appear to affect damage, to-hit, dodge chance, magic skills, weapon skills, assassination, tool use, or barter.
May affect other stats not mentioned (not tested).
Armor does not appear to always block damage. Each piece may have a 50% chance, or it may work like it does in BoA, with each type having a different chance to block damage.
Armor does not appear to block elemental damage.
Now I will present my data for those of you who have more patience, seriously, there’s a lot of it! I realize I have a large amount of text, so I have tried to bold the information I feel is important
All melee skills were tested against the bats in Bat Cave. This was done because I felt the bats had lower armor than the goblins near Fort Avernum and it meant I didn’t need to reload very often. This is also why I did not do any tests against townspeople, it was far too tedious to go through all the dialog boxes needed to kill them. Ranged weapons and spells were tested against the rats in the Southeast corner of Fort Avernum.
In most cases, I will refer only to average damage, or the range of observed damage. This is because I am not certain how stats that add less than 1 per level work. For example, I have concluded that Strength adds an average of .5 damage per level, but I don’t know if it adds a flat .5 every level or 1 every 2 levels. However, I am 99% certain that stats do not add "dice" as they do in later games.
In Avernum 1-3 spell damage is calculated with a random base damage, and stats add a flat bonus damage. I suspect that weapons work the same way, and stats only add a flat amount of damage.
As many of you know, in Avernum 3 and later games, weapons add a 1dx die with every stat increase, and the size of the die is usually equal to random/base damage. However, as my data below shows, weapons do not have a multiplier dependent on their base range. While I realize it is unlikely to see the full range of damage, a flat stat bonus makes more sense.
Unfortunately, in several instances I could not explain the differences in my observed ranges through armor because the observed maximum exceeded the expected maximum. For example with the iron dagger, I had a damage range of 2-14 on 4, 5, and 10 Melee skill, but if Strength and Melee work by adding a flat amount (a total of 1 damage at those levels), then I should have seen a maximum of 13 damage. This means that either weapon skills add less than .5 damage per level before level 12, or skills do add damage through dice. I cannot tell which of these is the case (possibly both).
Melee Weapon skills:
Ranged Weapon skills:
Hardiness Pt. 2:
Shop Sellback Ratios:
The stats affecting magic damage are now in a post below.
Credits: Some of the information in this post was inspired by various walkthroughs. The walkthroughs I consulted include Silver's A1, Harehunter's A2, and Rache's A3 Annotated Maps, AverMan's A1 walkthrough, Matt P's A2 FAQ/Walkthrough, and Relle's A3 FAQ/Walkthrough. In addition to these authors, I would like to thank all the forumites who contributed both directly and indirectly.
Edited by Thoukydides, 04 January 2015 - 10:44 AM.
Clarified Arcane Lore