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Narrow of Cobblestone

Avernum: Escape from the Pit - Avernum Remix 1.1 Released

330 posts in this topic

Shields above wooden type reduced to hit chance, but in Slarty's version they all seem to. Of course I still have a long way to go.

 

Made it to level 7, but it's a bit harder than I remember last time on torment. Sniper is giving more second shots and javelins are still best consistent damage.

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Unintended consequences?

 

As I approach level 9 I decided to skip finishing the Underground Fort and try to do the Nephilim Fortress and Ancient Crypt. Nephar archers get the weapon multiplier that we do and on torment that means armor doesn't reduce damage enough. I saw 157 penetrate in one bow shot.

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Originally Posted By: HOUSE of S

Also: I just tried to see if I could make the "Cloak" spells target one ally, because I realized that they have a deleterious effect on party construction, by rewarding LACK of diversity. Unfortunately, I can't: if one ally gets the status, the game is hardcoded to apply it to everyone.

Soooo.... what would the reaction be if I ELIMINATED the Cloak spells entirely, and replaced them with something else? I am not sure I am likely to do this, but I had the idea and am curious what you all think. (I don't think I can change the fountains, so that could be another problem, although not an insurmountable one.)


I agree with the basic comment, my current party uses 4 bows (and 4 summons), because the bonus from the cloak is pretty great.

But to make the cloaks more interesting, could you just change the effects that the cloaks give to be more general? Like a generic to-hit modifier, a Crit-Chance Bonus, 1 or 2 AP bonus?

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Unfortunately I don't think that changing what status effects do is within the bounds of what can be accomplished by script editing.

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Originally Posted By: Randomizer
Unintended consequences?

Nephar archers get the weapon multiplier that we do and on torment that means armor doesn't reduce damage enough. I saw 157 penetrate in one bow shot.

No, they don't. I checked before releasing, to make sure NONE of the upgraded weapon abilities are used by enemies. That's the main reason I left short bows not-upgraded.

Nephar Archers have NEVER had regular bow shots at all, actually. Nepahr Archers have a regular bow shot, but it is a short bow shot that still does 1-3. They ALSO have always had both ranged battle disciplines as regular actions. Battle disciplines are less of an issue. Since enemies never have QA or Sniper, they can't use the upgraded versions. So the Nephar Archer gets two ranged attacks. Let's look at how the regular versions have changed:

#1: Used to be a single shot at 1-5 per level, now is a single shot at 1-6 per level.

#2: Used to be a single shot at 1-6 per level that immobilized, now is a shot at 1-4 that cleaves at 1-4.

In fact, this means that Nephar Archers do LESS single target damage on average, than they used to; and their greatest damage shot now, is exactly equal to their old greatest damage shot, it just doesn't immobilize. Soooo...

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Originally Posted By: Lilith
Unfortunately I don't think that changing what status effects do is within the bounds of what can be accomplished by script editing.

Lilith is correct.

And due to the hardcoded way the cloaks are programmed to affect all party members, really the only options are to keep them as they are, or to get rid of them entirely.


I am a little surprised that there is not more reaction to the suggestion of getting rid of them. Are people really that indifferent? If so, I think I will be replacing them. (Including Cloak of Curses; if that were left in without the others, it would be on all the time and would dramatically devalue all the skills, abilities, and spells that gain some of their effectiveness from causing curses.) So if you think there is good reason to keep the Cloaks in the game, please speak up now!

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Originally Posted By: Kinsume
Originally Posted By: HOUSE of S
Originally Posted By: Kinsume
ran through the first cellar place on torment and I missed atleast 20 times

That's probably because you are used to playing that level on Normal or Hard.

The only playthrough I've done was on Torment, so that is unlikely.

Click to reveal.. (LAST WEEK)
Originally Posted By: Kinsume, on the 11th
(Current playthrough's party listed, at level 5) ... My first playthrough [i.e., not this one] I ran into several doors that needed like 6 and 7 tool use... I'm planning on trying out Hard/Torment with a more refined setup

Originally Posted By: Kinsume, on the 12th
(Listed a potential party setup) ... I'm currently doing this build on Normal in order to get a feel for its playstyle before going into Torment.

Originally Posted By: Kinsume, on the 13th
I'm on him right now in Torment, in Normal and Hard my party breezed through him.

Originally Posted By: Kinsume
If you mean my first time on the demo I got to like level 5. I don't consider that a playthrough. I'm refering to my most recent level 20 torment one.

We were talking specifically about the entrance dungeon, so what you consider as a "playthrough" is irrelevant. It's clear from what you said last week that you played through the beginning of the game with multiple parties before switching to Hard or Torment. It's even possible that you switched to Torment _after_ completing the entrance dungeon, which would explain why you found the unchanged hit rates so surprising.

That's all perfectly fine. Call your playthrough what you like; I don't care. And do give feedback -- you've had very helpful things to say! But please don't misrepresent where your feedback is coming from. That makes my job, of trying to make the remix balanced and fun, more difficult.

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Originally Posted By: HOUSE of S

I am a little surprised that there is not more reaction to the suggestion of getting rid of them.


Well, you didn't suggest what you would replace them with. As it is now, the cloaks tend to give a 20% or so bonus on overall party damage, since hardly anybody seems to go for 4 members with the same damage type. If you replace them with spells that are equally usefull, but more interesting, I doubt anybody will really complain. But if you replace them with 3 Spells that won't be used because stronger spells already exist, you just make the game harder.

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Just chiming in to say I haven't had time to play Avernum lately, but I'm following this thread and very curious to try out your handiwork, Slarty, when I get a chance (maybe next month?).

 

Re: Cloaks. I like the cloaks...but I also liked dual-wielding in the original game. If you're already changing up a bunch of stuff, I don't feel like it hurts anything to switch out the cloaks too. As long as I save copies of the original game files, I can always go back and play with Cloaks again if I want.

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But then what would the pools etc. do?

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Cloak of the Arcane.

 

In the middle to end where Fort Emerald gives this it provides an important boost to spell attacks. Especially since you've weakened some spells.

 

Cloak of Curses is okay at the start, but rarely does much to make a difference.

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The big advantage to cloaks and wards is that they give a buff that you don't have to tediously cast at the beginning of each fight. I wouldn't be opposed to a replacement that also maintained itself, but replacing it with another spell that had to be manually cast each battle would add very little other than frustration, I think.

 

Question: if I load up this mod, will it retroactively change the items I have in my current game, or do I have to restart to get the new items. I'm not worried about skills, as I can always "editor" to redistribute.

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It will retroactively change everything, yes.

 

My issue with the Cloak spells is not the damage boost, it's that they encourage lack of diversity within a party. Suppose you've decided you'll have a tank, a priest, and a mage. Cloak of the Arcane is a really good case for having your 4th member be another spellcaster, as it's a free, eventually quite huge (> 30%) bonus you can't get if you use an archer or warrior instead.

 

Honestly, I don't particularly think spellcasters need the boost to spell attacks. The fact that they can hit a large group of enemies with every attack is already a huge advantage.

 

But if I just take out Cloak of the Arcane, that creates an even bigger disincentive to have both melee and ranged fighters -- which is what I don't want. Meh.

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Awesome! I had been anticipating this mod for a few days, and when I started a game, I've kept every "special" item I've found; I had about 25 of them accumulated in one character's inventory. It's really neat to load it up and see that so many of them, formerly useless, are now pretty neat.

 

Should have split my steel javelins into two stacks before loading it up, but ah, well. What can you do? =D

 

I play on torment, but use the editor to give my characters an extra stat point and skill point every level, which allows them to diversify without making the game impossible. So, now I've got my archer with sword and shield when forced into melee, my priest with a pole weapon as backup, my dual wielder with javelins when necessary, and my mage with sword and shield and a bow as backup. I'll give razordisks to my priest when they come along, I think.

 

Liking it so far, even though it's only been 10 minutes! Thanks so much.

 

Honestly, if you removed the cloaks and such, I'd probably edit them back in for my own use using the current files you've got up, but it's your mod, your call.

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The weakness on adrenaline rush is a good idea, but easily counteracted by having my priest use it last, then cast Protection (which overrides it). Don't know what else you could do about that, though.

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I never play through with the cloaks on. Any of them. So, for me, they just represent spell slots that could be utilised for fun/useful spells.

 

(Of course, I only ever play on normal, so I can't say if removing will mean the game becomes harder for players on torment, so feel free to ignore me if you want.)

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About Spirit Echo, there's an issue with enemies using it in outdoor fights and warping far into the black, where they are unreachable. This traps you in the fight and forces a reload. I assume Divine does the same, but I've no way to verify. I like the sound of Splinter, it seems like an interesting addition.

 

Also, the Echos are still listed as Summon Shade and Divine Host on the character info screen.

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Originally Posted By: JoltJade
About Spirit Echo, there's an issue with enemies using it in outdoor fights and warping far into the black, where they are unreachable. This traps you in the fight and forces a reload. I assume Divine does the same, but I've no way to verify. I like the sound of Splinter, it seems like an interesting addition.

Also, the Echos are still listed as Summon Shade and Divine Host on the character info screen.

Thanks for reporting both of these issues. The second means I have to update an extra file I thought wasn't used. The first should be fixed in the next update when it changes to Splinter. There is only one enemy that uses Divine Host/Echo, and I just changed that enemy so it uses a slightly different ability instead.

Still mulling over the Cloak issue.

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Is it possible to create a spell that checks primary statistics? For example if a character's highest stat is Intelligence then they get Arcane, Strength gets Blades, etc.? That would solve the diversity discouragement problem. Seems quite powerful, so it should replace Arcane. The problem (assuming this can be done at all) is what to do with the other slots. Cloak of Curses is fine, but the other two become pointless. You could have a defensive one, but that steps into Ward territory.

 

Perhaps the two in the middle could be personal modifications to the spellcaster. For example, a spell that gives the user Invulnerability, Daze, and Immobility, essentially turning the caster into a tanking statue- Cloak of Stone. (Which I can see being broken with Unshackle Mind. :/)

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Unfortunately, no.

 

Spells (and other abilities) can check any one stat and have differing effects depending on how high that stat is. They can't check multiple stats. Also, spell levels count as a stat, so if I change this for any spell, it will make acquiring levels 2 and 3 of that spell pointless. I'd prefer to avoid that.

 

Also: it is literally impossible, in this engine, for 2 PCs to have different Cloaks at the same time.

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Hmm... I don't suppose temporary stat boosts are possible independent of status effects? If a spell just multiplied all stats by 1.1, then each character would improve mostly at their specialty. I haven't noticed any non-status boosts, though. I'm sorry to be so ignorant of the available mechanics. D:

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Originally Posted By: Acheld
Should have split my steel javelins into two stacks before loading it up, but ah, well. What can you do? =D

Split up your steel javelins into different characters and sell unneeded ones because a stack becomes a single one and you will lose the money for selling the extras.

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Originally Posted By: Randomizer
Originally Posted By: Acheld
Should have split my steel javelins into two stacks before loading it up, but ah, well. What can you do? =D

Split up your steel javelins into different characters and sell unneeded ones because a stack becomes a single one and you will lose the money for selling the extras.

Yes, I realized that too late, though.



Re: Cloaks. Why not something that helps everyone offensively, but in different ways. e.g.:

Cloak of Curses
Cloak of Speed (gives some small number of AP to each player, or a chance of AP; maybe at level 3 it guarantees it. Not sure what the right balance would be)
Cloak of Power (increases damage of all kinds by some percentage; a lower one than would be increased by any of the individual damage increasing ones)
Cloak of Godliness (or some other adjective) (This one would give the effects of all of the other three cloaks, but at a lower level. Possibly something like:
Level 1: Effects of lvl 1 cloak of curses, and lvl 1 cloak of speed
Level 2: effects of lvl 2 cloak of curses, lvl 1 cloak of speed, lvl 1 cloak of power
Level 3: effects of lvl 2 of all three lower cloaks.

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Originally Posted By: Acheld
Originally Posted By: Randomizer
Originally Posted By: Acheld
Should have split my steel javelins into two stacks before loading it up, but ah, well. What can you do? =D

Split up your steel javelins into different characters and sell unneeded ones because a stack becomes a single one and you will lose the money for selling the extras.

Yes, I realized that too late, though.



Re: Cloaks. Why not something that helps everyone offensively, but in different ways. e.g.:

Cloak of Curses
Cloak of Speed (gives some small number of AP to each player, or a chance of AP; maybe at level 3 it guarantees it. Not sure what the right balance would be)
Cloak of Power (increases damage of all kinds by some percentage; a lower one than would be increased by any of the individual damage increasing ones)
Cloak of Godliness (or some other adjective) (This one would give the effects of all of the other three cloaks, but at a lower level. Possibly something like:
Level 1: Effects of lvl 1 cloak of curses, and lvl 1 cloak of speed
Level 2: effects of lvl 2 cloak of curses, lvl 1 cloak of speed, lvl 1 cloak of power
Level 3: effects of lvl 2 of all three lower cloaks.

I really like this suggestion.

EDIT: Though I might think you would switch Speed and Power. Adding extra AP can often give extra actions, which means more or more effective damage. AP boost is, I think, more powerful than a straight damage boost.

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Yeah, you're probably right on that.

 

 

 

Also, another point of feedback: Though the other battle disciplines are certainly neater than they were before, I still don't find myself using anything but adrenaline rush, ever, especially since the standard protection spell eliminates the weakness you added to it. You might consider nerfing it even more, to just give 15 AP instead of 20, say. Enough for 2 actions.

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I can't change the direct effects of PC statistics or status effects at all. Period. Not in any way.

 

If I could, there would be an awful lot more changes, believe me. But I can't.

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Ah, sorry; I guess I didn't realize a cloak was in the same category as status effect. It's obvious, upon reflection.

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Originally Posted By: Acheld
Also, another point of feedback: Though the other battle disciplines are certainly neater than they were before, I still don't find myself using anything but adrenaline rush, ever, especially since the standard protection spell eliminates the weakness you added to it. You might consider nerfing it even more, to just give 15 AP instead of 20, say. Enough for 2 actions.

Adrenaline Rush gives 10 AP at first. You need 10 QA to get 20 AP out of it.

Perhaps that's still too good. It will take mages 25 skill points to get there now instead of 15, which takes away the biggest problem with it. But maybe you are right. I'll think about reducing its power a bit more.

Perhaps at high levels of QA, it will give a small chance of 20 AP, and a larger chance of 15 AP.

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Is it possible to make it so that when you move away from an enemy in battle, instead of being slowed, they get an extra hit at you, like in Exile? Although I'd guess that is probably hard set too.

 

The way I visualise the battles, I'd see something like a "stone paper scissors" effect between different classes of characters, weapons and armour. I prefer a more "organic" looking kind of party so I'd see a dual wielding swift moving melee fighter with medium chain mail, half helm and two swords, nimble and agile, lightning slicing their way through lightly armoured archers, a tall halberd wielder, long arms and long reach, wearing heavy plate mail and full helm, much more slow moving but powerful like a tank engaging and cutting down fast attackers with his physical power, long range archers standing at the edges sniping at robed spell casters and vulnerable fighters, mages completely without armour (how come mages can also equip shields in fights?) possessing far more types of offensive and defensive and support capabilities, very devastating, but a much shorter casting range than when they become vulnerable to archers, and completely at the mercy of melee fighters who are able to get inside their spell casting range. Encumbrance of armour will be a big negative affecting dexterity for archers who need to snap off their shots very quickly and aim accurately, and a complete no go for mages who can't do their casting encased in a suit of armour (coz they put their stats into intelligence by studying for hours and poring over text books and tutor notes rather than into strength by going to the gym and pumping iron!)

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It might be okay, on reflection. As I mentioned in passing, I'm playing on Torment, but giving my characters an extra skill point and stat point each level. This makes it not too demanding to get the 10 quick action. It might no be a problem for someone playing with the standard skill point allotment.

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I think, re: cloaks, it may be best to just accept that those who want to play a boring game with 4 of the same type of character will be able to powergame a bit via the cloaks. I don't think it's a big deal.

 

Thanks again for all your work.

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I'd imagine that chain mail would be FASTER and more FLEXIBLE to fight in than heavy full plate armour but more vulnerable to a long reach weapon with a heavy thrust, like a spear, a halberd has thrust like a spear but is worse in that respect making up for that with the ability to cleave thru plate armour and chop mages and archers in half with one blow, if they can get to them. Big plate armour has great protection but you aren't going to be as nimble or agile in it. A great sword two handed zweihander was just the thing used in the 15th century to defeat pole weapons. Of course, you cannot use a shield with that, and though it is nearly as fast as a dual wielder, might be far less flexible in combat. A bashing weapon like a mace or flail might do extra trauma than a spear against plate and mail though it comes with the shortest reach, even shorter than a good ol sword.

 

The point I'm trying to make is that VARIETY is interesting and every advantage in every tool, weapon or armour will come with a tradeoff in another respect.

 

Anyway that's just my thought on the battle system, thanks for reading smile

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If cloaks are removed, I'll probably either stick with version 1.0 or mod them back in. Unless of course they're replaced with something really cool.

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Originally Posted By: Gon
The point I'm trying to make is that VARIETY is interesting and every advantage in every tool, weapon or armour will come with a tradeoff in another respect.

Well put. This is sort of the ideal in my mind -- in such a situation, things are more a question of tactics and creativity, and less a question of minmaxing and powergaming.

There is no capacity to reach that ideal here.

Okay. I'm leaving the Cloaks in. I am, however, replacing the 3rd summoning spell (4 is not necessary, without greater variety of critters than the game has) with something I've been wanting to fit in for a while:

Blink Burst. It's another teleport spell, but in this one you tunnel through space and arrive with a bang, causing energy damage to creatures near your arrival point. Increasing the spell level increases the radius of damage slightly (from 1 to 2), and at level 3, it causes an additional explosion that deals extra fire damage at radius 1. (I even figured out how to give it different animations by level.)

This spell has inflexible targetting and does not do as much damage as the regular attack spells. But it combos in many ways: you can be a Tunnel Mage and follow up Blink Burst with Shadow Blink, popping in to damage and daze your enemies and dashing to safety; you can use it to set up a better position for a cone spell while still doing some damage; or, you can use it to set up Heartshock. Heck, you could even combine it with Splinter.

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LATEST UPDATE: Version 1.1 as of 4/21/12

 

DOWNLOAD LINK: Here

 

NEW CHANGES

- New spells: Splinter, Blink Burst, Beast Binding, Earth Binding, Arcane Binding

- Adrenaline Rush and Battle Frenzy rebalanced, stronger weakness effect, fewer APs for AR

- A few more changes to items (mostly later in the game)

- A few minor tweaks to monsters to conform with the above changes

- Fixed some text display and cosmetic issues

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Excellent update; I like the re-balancing, though I'm not sure both the fewer APs and the weakness effect are necessary for adrenaline rush.

 

The weakness effect works well; not only does my protection spell fail to cancel it, but it simply fails to work at all, so I'm facing a 20% increase in damage taken, and a 20% increase in enemies hit-rate. It's definitely making me hesitate, at least for the longer battles. (The shorter ones are still over before the penalties matter)

 

In battles that will last more than a round or two, Battle frenzy now totally outclasses adrenaline rush. Which, I think, is a good thing, as it's something that fighter classes will get to, but is even farther out of the reach of casters than adrenaline rush.

 

I don't personally think the weakness effect works well with blade shield.

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Hmm, I wasn't thinking of it as a 20% penalty, but you're right, that's what it amounts to. I may need to rethink that -- or allow the 10 QA version to have 20 AP again. Thoughts anyone?

 

The weakness effect was not supposed to be on Bladeshield. That was an error! I've now fixed it and uploaded the corrected version (as of 10 PM, EST).

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I dunno, I kind of like the 20% penalty. 10% I think would still not make me hesitate. It fits, too; you're giving up defense for a flurry of offense, basically, in both cases.

 

I would keep it at 15 AP, also. The penalty of 20% hurts fighters more than casters, as they will be on the front lines. I think by keeping at 15 AP, you make it a real question as to whether it's worth it for casters to invest in that direction. If it's at 20, then it will always make sense for casters to do so, in my opinion.

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I also just observed that if it's at 15 AP, there is little incentive for casters to invest in quick action, as they will get 2 actions even with no investment in QA. That means, of course, that adrenaline rush doesn't benefit in any measurable way from QA investment. Don't know if that's bad or good.

 

bladeshield seems to be working as intended, now.

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It might be a good balance to put the maximum at 18. That way, if they have another source of AP (such as gymnastics), it can push them over into three actions.

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Yeah, that's exactly the dilemma.

 

One thing to note is that Haste gets 3 chances to activate off any Adrenaline Rush: once when you use the discipline, and then on the two actions you take. So if AR gives 15 AP or more, and you have Haste on, you actually do have a 19/27 chance of getting three actions off. So actually, at 15 AP it is quite usable for casters, although probably not worth 10 skill points, which is fine.

 

I'd put it at 18 for Gymnastics, but that also hands it to anyone in Mercuric armor. I'd prefer to avoid that.

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Originally Posted By: HOUSE of S
I'd put it at 18 for Gymnastics, but that also hands it to anyone in Mercuric armor. I'd prefer to avoid that.


Does Adrenaline Rush actually work that way in the first place? I remember it not taking into account your base AP unless you already had 10 or more at the time you used it (in which case it was a smarter idea to just attack and then use it anyway).

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Originally Posted By: HOUSE of S
Yeah, that's exactly the dilemma.

One thing to note is that Haste gets 3 chances to activate off any Adrenaline Rush: once when you use the discipline, and then on the two actions you take. So if AR gives 15 AP or more, and you have Haste on, you actually do have a 19/27 chance of getting three actions off. So actually, at 15 AP it is quite usable for casters, although probably not worth 10 skill points, which is fine.

I'd put it at 18 for Gymnastics, but that also hands it to anyone in Mercuric armor. I'd prefer to avoid that.

Hm, you could always put it at 17, then. Gymnastics at 10 points gives you a pretty decent chance of getting 2 or more bonus AP.

I'm not 100% certain if haste works right when you activate adrenaline rush. Maybe it does and I haven't noticed; I'll observe.

You're right, at least, about the two actions after you've activated it.

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The way it works is as follows:

 

1) Deduct 9 AP for using an action

 

2) If Haste activated, get back 4 AP

 

3) If your AP is below 0, let AP = 0

 

4) Add AP as dictated by Adrenaline Rush

 

Haste CAN activate on using AR (I just tried). You will normally end up with 23 AP instead of 20. The reason is that the usual AR math is 8 - 9 = -1 = 0 + 20 = 20. With Haste it becomes 8 - 9 + 4 = 3 + 20 = 23.

 

Acheld, the good news is that 2 bonus AP from Gymnastics indeed allow you to attack and then use AR. Then the math is 10 - 9 = 1 - 9 = -8 = 0 + 20 = 20.

 

(Replacing +20, with + whatever in the remix.)

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Ah, yes. I wasn't thinking that if you had 10 or more AP at the start of the round, you'd want to perform an action, and *then* activate adrenaline rush anyway.

 

Anyway, I think that's more reason to leave it at 15 AP.

 

The only other alternative I see is to make it go to three actions at QA 12, or something like that, which can be achieved with trainers.

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Wishful thinking here. Is it possible to change Gymnastics' evasion bonus to an absolute chance to evade?

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@ House of S

 

Sorry I had no time to read more than your introduction to changes in your 1.1 version, so I ask only one question: what about Divine Retribution and Dual Wielding?

These features are the foundation of my party playthroughs, I will try the new version for sure but I am also a bit worried about changes in this features... oh, and compliments for this huge work of yours!

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Seriously? "I'm downloading the thing you made, but I don't have time to read two paragraphs (they are all labelled, you see) about what's in it, so I'm going to post and ask you instead"? Go read the first post, Superba.

 

Azuma:

Originally Posted By: HOUSE of S
I can't change the direct effects of PC statistics or status effects at all. Period. Not in any way.

 

If I could, there would be an awful lot more changes, believe me. But I can't.

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Originally Posted By: HOUSE of S
a few of the items buried in the higher Cave Lore patches (requiring 8 - 11 skill) have been replaced...

Is the regrowing Mandrake still there?

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Although you need Cave Lore for the regrowing herbs, they are not actually in cave lore caches, so I couldn't edit those even if I wanted to. I should probably use the word "cache" to avoid confusion.

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