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Avernum 3 - Skills FAQ (Rune Reading, Nature Lore, Tool Use/Unlock Doors, Barter)


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mikeprichard mikeprichard

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 06:49 AM #1 Avernum 3 - Skills FAQ (Rune Reading, Nature Lore, Tool Use/Unlock Doors, Barter)

I'm planning a third playthrough of A3 after a break of several years, but since there aren't any shiny Strategy Central posts on the forums for the older remakes, and I can't find definitive info on some skills by searching around, I'd appreciate confirmed answers for the below. Cheers!

(Answers courtesy of Earth Empires, Ishad Nha, Nikki, and old threads such as http://spiderwebforu...ore#entry125341 and http://spiderwebforu...ge__hl__barter.)

Rune Reading
1) What is the maximum total value needed across the party to learn all spells and get all other benefits from this skill throughout the game?
    ANSWER(?): ~30.
2) How does Vahnatai Lore interact with this skill (e.g. which/how many spells can only be learned by having Vahnatai Lore, and at which value)?
    ANSWER: Vahnatai Lore points are checked separately from Rune Reading for certain spellbooks (such as Capture Soul and Simulacrum in Ghikra, Return Life in Lorelei, Divine Host in Moon, and Radiant Shield in the Defiled Crypt). In addition, they are always counted as Rune Reading points, and therefore assist in understanding all other spellbooks.

Nature Lore
1) What is the maximum total value needed across the party to get all caches in the game?
    ANSWER(?): 23.

Tool Use and Unlock Doors
1) What is the maximum total value needed on one character to disarm all traps in the game?
    ANSWER: 29. This is the value needed to disarm the traps in Sharimik's City Hall; the most difficult traps after that are two cabinets in the Golem Factory and one dresser in Erox (24), two other cabinets in the Golem Factory (22), and two chests in the Chasm of Screams (21). Other traps in the game only require around 20 or less. Note that the Rogue's Leather and Nimble Gloves each add 4 points to Tool Use skill when disarming traps, but fine/magic lockpicks don't add to Tool Use skill when disarming traps.
2) Is there any need for Tool Use once you have the Unlock Doors spell at level 3?
    ANSWER: Yes. Tool Use is still needed to disarm traps.
3) Does Tool Use enhance the Unlock Doors spell if put on the same character?
    ANSWER: No. This mechanic was only introduced in Avernum 4.

Barter
1) What is the maximum total value needed across the party to get the best possible item resale prices in the game?
    ANSWER: 20. This will get you the "max" 45% item resale price rate at almost all merchants (with the exception of Winn in Blackcrag Fortress, who requires a total Barter value of 29 to reach the 45% rate); i.e., merchants will purchase the party's items for 45% of the items' base values. Note that unlike other items, the resale price for spellshards and spellbooks is capped at 36% of their value (900/2500 for spellshards, 450/1250 for spellbooks). Note also that actual shop prices are never affected by Barter.
2) Do different merchants still offer better/worse item resale prices at the maximum effective Barter value of 20?
    ANSWER: No. At the maximum effective Barter value of 20, all merchants will buy the party's items at exactly 45% of their base values (with the exception of Winn, noted above).

Earth Empires Earth Empires

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 10:52 AM #2 Avernum 3 - Skills FAQ (Rune Reading, Nature Lore, Tool Use/Unlock Doors, Barter)

rune:

1. 30ish and 1 item gives +5 so 25ish.
2. you can buy 5 levels per party member and some things and quests give +1 to lore.

nature:

1. ~23

tool:

1. 15-17 with tu items
2. yes since traps can't be disabled with that
3. don't think so

barter:

1. 16ish
2. not really

mikeprichard mikeprichard

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 11:21 AM #3 Avernum 3 - Skills FAQ (Rune Reading, Nature Lore, Tool Use/Unlock Doors, Barter)

Earth Empires - great, thanks! Just to clarify a couple things:

A new party with two magic users already starts with about 30 total Rune Reading, so are you saying a level 1 party can already access all level 3 spells etc.? I must be missing something here. Also, is Vahnatai Lore checked completely separately from Rune Reading, or does it just add to the same Rune Reading pool?

And for Tool Use, the actual max total needed is more like 20-25, and you're saying 15 "base" plus points from items gets you there, yeah?

Ishad Nha Ishad Nha

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Posted 09 February 2015 - 03:39 AM #4 Avernum 3 - Skills FAQ (Rune Reading, Nature Lore, Tool Use/Unlock Doors, Barter)

I keep a Bar of Silver in my front PC's inventory. When party visits a given store, this enables me to check how good the prices offered for our items really are, default price is 111 coins. (Each party member has 5 in Barter.)
I think Vahnatai Lore is checked by itself, so you must have enough of it or you won't learn the spell.

Edited by Ishad Nha, 09 February 2015 - 03:42 AM.


mikeprichard mikeprichard

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Posted 09 February 2015 - 04:54 AM #5 Avernum 3 - Skills FAQ (Rune Reading, Nature Lore, Tool Use/Unlock Doors, Barter)

Thanks, Ishad - so apparently there are variations in prices between different merchants even at "max" (5 points per character) Barter skill; I thought I remembered that from the last time I played a couple years ago as well. (EDIT: confirmed this from older threads.)

Ishad Nha Ishad Nha

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Posted 10 February 2015 - 04:42 AM #6 Avernum 3 - Skills FAQ (Rune Reading, Nature Lore, Tool Use/Unlock Doors, Barter)

I increased the PC's Barter to 8, using skill points, does this have any effect?

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Posted 10 February 2015 - 02:17 PM #7 Avernum 3 - Skills FAQ (Rune Reading, Nature Lore, Tool Use/Unlock Doors, Barter)

I'd be interested to know if you find merchants that still give better buy/sell prices above Barter 20 (for the whole party) - I'm still not clear on that from reading through old forum threads. The only mostly consistent thing people have said is that sellback prices cap at 45% of base item value, but there may be some lousy merchants that don't reach that cap until Barter is higher than 20 - if ever.

Ishad Nha Ishad Nha

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Posted 11 February 2015 - 03:41 AM #8 Avernum 3 - Skills FAQ (Rune Reading, Nature Lore, Tool Use/Unlock Doors, Barter)

I saw no increase, in money obtained by the party for selling items, for 32 Barter, after I used the Character Editor to increase the scores.

mikeprichard mikeprichard

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Posted 11 February 2015 - 02:44 PM #9 Avernum 3 - Skills FAQ (Rune Reading, Nature Lore, Tool Use/Unlock Doors, Barter)

OK, thanks - so I'm guessing 20 Barter is around the max that has any effect on sellback prices at all merchants. I'll probably do some more testing as I get further along in my own playthrough.

Nobear Nobear

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Posted 11 February 2015 - 10:28 PM #10 Avernum 3 - Skills FAQ (Rune Reading, Nature Lore, Tool Use/Unlock Doors, Barter)

View PostMikus MacFrenchy, on 08 February 2015 - 06:49 AM, said:

3) Does Tool Use enhance the Unlock Doors spell if put on the same character?
ANSWER: Yes.

Are you sure for A3, and what's the formula? I have seen this question answered for A4, but for A3 I want to make sure it's advantageous to make my mage the tool use character. If not, my instinct would be to make that my nephil archer (character 2).

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Posted 12 February 2015 - 03:48 AM #11 Avernum 3 - Skills FAQ (Rune Reading, Nature Lore, Tool Use/Unlock Doors, Barter)

(EDIT: See original post. Tool Use does not enhance Unlock Doors in the original trilogy.)

Ishad Nha Ishad Nha

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Posted 12 February 2015 - 04:03 AM #12 Avernum 3 - Skills FAQ (Rune Reading, Nature Lore, Tool Use/Unlock Doors, Barter)

Tool Use and Unlock Door synergy, it's nice but you get level 3 Unlock Doors without too much delay. To access the level 3 version before you get the Dispel Barrier spell, try using a Piercing Crystal or Scroll of Dispel Barrier.

Lilith Lilith

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Posted 12 February 2015 - 04:34 AM #13 Avernum 3 - Skills FAQ (Rune Reading, Nature Lore, Tool Use/Unlock Doors, Barter)

View PostMikus MacFrenchy, on 12 February 2015 - 03:48 AM, said:

As for the formula, see Lilith's old post on A4: link. I can't confirm it was calculated the same way in A3, but have no reason to believe it wasn't.

There was a massive engine change between A3 and A4, including a complete change in both the spell list and in how spells work, so there's really no reason to believe it is calculated the same way in A3.

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Posted 12 February 2015 - 05:13 AM #14 Avernum 3 - Skills FAQ (Rune Reading, Nature Lore, Tool Use/Unlock Doors, Barter)

(EDIT: See original post. Tool Use does not enhance Unlock Doors in the original trilogy.)

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Posted 15 February 2015 - 09:56 AM #15 Avernum 3 - Skills FAQ (Rune Reading, Nature Lore, Tool Use/Unlock Doors, Barter)

I've done additional testing with varying levels of the Barter skill at different merchants using the Orb of Thralni (5,000 gold item value) for reference, and can now confirm with 99% certainty that a total Barter skill of 20 - not 18 or lower, as some older forums posts indicate - is needed to get the maximum 45% resale rate at all merchants in the game. For example, Carson - the same merchant in Lorelei who teaches you the skill - had resale prices of 25% of item value at Barter 0, which was among the worst I've recorded anywhere. As I incremented the Barter skill, his resale rates increased by 1% for each point of the skill until skill 20 (45% resale rate) was reached. Further skill increases above 20 had no effect on his or any other tested merchants' resale prices, including merchants such as Grove in Sharimik who had originally offered resale rates of 30-35% at skill 0.

I'll continue checking merchants as I play through later areas and revisit earlier ones, but I think I'm now good with Barter; updated the OP.

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Posted 17 February 2015 - 11:30 AM #16 Avernum 3 - Skills FAQ (Rune Reading, Nature Lore, Tool Use/Unlock Doors, Barter)

So, I'm pretty certain that Tool Use has no impact at all on Unlock strength in the original trilogy. In fact, as far as I recall, that thing only existed in A4, right? After that total party TU started being a thing. I think the habit of sticking TU on to your mage/priest was just because they had more skill points free.

Edit: Yup. Found this: http://spiderwebforu...m/#entry262036. I think I'm more inclined to trust Randomizer on this one.

If you're having trouble figuring other things out, BoA is pretty well-documented at this point, and it shares a whole ton of things with A1-3.

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Posted 17 February 2015 - 12:03 PM #17 Avernum 3 - Skills FAQ (Rune Reading, Nature Lore, Tool Use/Unlock Doors, Barter)

nikki - thanks for the info; I'll start digging through the BoA forums. And as for Tool Use, I was relying on Jeff's post in an old thread (http://spiderwebforu...ls/#entry117462) I had initially thought was about A3, but was in fact about A4 and was misplaced in the "First Trilogy" forum (site admins, moving the linked topic to the "Second Trilogy" forum would be appreciated). Anyway, I've fixed the OP - cheers.

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Posted 17 February 2015 - 12:51 PM #18 Avernum 3 - Skills FAQ (Rune Reading, Nature Lore, Tool Use/Unlock Doors, Barter)

Oh. So *i isn't Jeff. Jeff posts under the Spidweb account (it has a picture of a dragon as its avatar). *i is one of our administrators.

As for that thread, yeah I'll take a look at moving it to the right forum. Cheers for the heads up.

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Posted 18 February 2015 - 06:53 AM #19 Avernum 3 - Skills FAQ (Rune Reading, Nature Lore, Tool Use/Unlock Doors, Barter)

nikki - OK, I should've known that; I've seen Jeff post on the forums occasionally.

Also, confirmed that Vahnatai Lore points add to the Rune Reading point total, and updated the OP.

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Posted 18 February 2015 - 08:39 AM #20 Avernum 3 - Skills FAQ (Rune Reading, Nature Lore, Tool Use/Unlock Doors, Barter)

Dang, I guess I was justifiably skeptical about that synergy, and now have a non-ideal character with Tool Use. Oh well, thanks Nikki, and Mikus for all the other info. I am planning to eventually replay the game on Torment anyway. I usually do my first play through on Hard because of things like this, and then Torment when I have better seen the full picture to properly min-max and optimize.

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Posted 18 February 2015 - 09:01 AM #21 Avernum 3 - Skills FAQ (Rune Reading, Nature Lore, Tool Use/Unlock Doors, Barter)

There's an A2 guide which says there's a Pathfinder learning crystal which makes it only necessary to buy 5 points for 3 characters and 2 for one character (17 points total). How many should you buy in A3?

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Posted 18 February 2015 - 01:34 PM #22 Avernum 3 - Skills FAQ (Rune Reading, Nature Lore, Tool Use/Unlock Doors, Barter)

I've found that 20 total points of Pathfinder in your party will get you through swampy terrain without getting poisoned 99% 95% of the time, while 40 points (or possibly less) seems to allow you to even walk on lava without taking any damage. That said, I haven't focused on testing that skill, but if you're planning a new playthrough, feel free to post anything you find through your own testing here, and we can make this a mini-"Strategy Central" for A3, at least for skill info.

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Posted 18 February 2015 - 01:43 PM #23 Avernum 3 - Skills FAQ (Rune Reading, Nature Lore, Tool Use/Unlock Doors, Barter)

Ok. Well I can confirm that 5X4 points does still get me poisoned, but much more rarely. I'm wearing pilgrim's cloak which brings my front character to 7. I'll let you know if he gets poisoned by terrain.

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Posted 18 February 2015 - 03:07 PM #24 Avernum 3 - Skills FAQ (Rune Reading, Nature Lore, Tool Use/Unlock Doors, Barter)

Pathfinder doesn't have any effect on general poison resistance, if that's what you mean; it will only help you avoid damage from walking on terrain like swamp (poison), lava (fire), etc. Anyway, you'll find that at 20 total points, you'll still occasionally get poisoned from walking on swamp terrain. But at 40 points (10x4), I'm no longer having any issues at all with either swamp or lava, at least not so far.

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Posted 18 February 2015 - 03:10 PM #25 Avernum 3 - Skills FAQ (Rune Reading, Nature Lore, Tool Use/Unlock Doors, Barter)

That's what I meant. Useful to know, thanks.

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Posted 18 February 2015 - 05:25 PM #26 Avernum 3 - Skills FAQ (Rune Reading, Nature Lore, Tool Use/Unlock Doors, Barter)

So how much Vahnatai Lore do you need to read those special spell books, or for any other things like special encounters?

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Posted 18 February 2015 - 06:12 PM #27 Avernum 3 - Skills FAQ (Rune Reading, Nature Lore, Tool Use/Unlock Doors, Barter)

Unfortunately, I haven't been able to nail down exact amounts of required Rune Reading and Vahnatai Lore (or Nature Lore - not sure where Earth Empires got that ~23 NL value for caches, though it's likely to be pretty accurate from my limited testing); that's why I've still got ?s next to those issues in the OP. But I can tell you I bought 5 levels of VL for each of my 4 PCs in Ghikra relatively early, and I never encountered any related events afterwards I couldn't handle. You also get at least 5 free points for each PC at various points in the mid/late game (including 2 points in the Defiled Crypt), but in order to get them, you'll need at least a couple points of VL on your characters to start with.

Not sure about special encounters (what exactly those might be, and how much they might need), and digging through the old forums is turning up a lot of conflicting info - or no info at all.

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Posted 18 February 2015 - 06:27 PM #28 Avernum 3 - Skills FAQ (Rune Reading, Nature Lore, Tool Use/Unlock Doors, Barter)

Yeah, it's my first time playing A3 past the demo, so I have no evidence that there are any special encounters based on Vahnatai Lore. Just thought there might be, given how Jeff thinks in his other games. You know, unless I cap my gold, I think I'll hold off buying VL until I need it, then tell you how much I needed.

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Posted 18 February 2015 - 06:36 PM #29 Avernum 3 - Skills FAQ (Rune Reading, Nature Lore, Tool Use/Unlock Doors, Barter)

I actually think you're right about certain special encounters needing VL; I'm just not sure which ones they could be, and don't want to give you any misinformation.

So if you're just starting a new game and wouldn't mind helping out, it'd be great if you save before each cache/VL book, then edit the skills by a point at a time to test the exact skill values required. I only got kind of serious about this thread after I was several hours in, and don't quite have the dedication to start over and do this myself, but just throwing it out there if you're really interested in this. You would be advancing the cause of Avernum 3 min-maxing analysis. So there's that.

EDIT: I just remembered you can't actually edit Vahnatai Lore in the Character Editor (though you can still edit Nature Lore and Intelligence - NL's "base" stat), and I doubt you want to run back to Ghikra and buy 1 point at a time every time you run into a VL event (although there aren't that many of those, I think). But do whatever works.

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Posted 20 February 2015 - 12:30 PM #30 Avernum 3 - Skills FAQ (Rune Reading, Nature Lore, Tool Use/Unlock Doors, Barter)

I've confirmed with 98% confidence that the trap in Sharimik City Hall, at 29 required Tool Use, is the hardest trap in the game, followed by certain others at 24, 22, and 21; updated the OP.

Also, I'll be taking a break from Avernum for a while, but feel free to post more info here on these (especially the unconfirmed Rune Reading/Vahnatai Lore and Nature Lore skill requirements) and other skills. Later!

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Posted 20 February 2015 - 12:39 PM #31 Avernum 3 - Skills FAQ (Rune Reading, Nature Lore, Tool Use/Unlock Doors, Barter)

From my playing so far, I haven't encountered a need for any VL, and I am now gold-capped (well, holding onto one item which would put me over). This is on Hard difficulty, no cheats or character editor. I have finished the slimes and cockroaches, and done southeastern Valorim as far north as Vahkohs, though I'm not strong enough for the Mad Monks or the Drake Lord yet. I've even been storing my spell books and Xian items. I have not bought any L2 spells, because I find I don't need them. I have been fine using L1s until I get L3s. So, in a practical sense, I'd say you don't need to worry about VL at all until you have nothing better to spend your money on. I will probably buy 4X2 levels of VL and go from 4X5 to 4X10 Pathfinder next, mostly to avoid becoming gold-capped.

As for NL, I trained to 15 NL in my party early on, and so far (based on the areas I've explored as described above), the only places where this isn't high enough are one outdoor herb patch north of the Nephilim village and east of the Drake Lord in SE Valorim, and another outdoor herb patch on the last island of the chain that has basilisks. Now I've got 19 NL and will see if I can get those.

Update: corrected this post. My NL values were 15 and then 19. 19 got me a gray mold patch north of the Nephilim village, and a mandrake patch at the end of the lost isles chain with the basilisk.

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Posted 21 February 2015 - 07:01 AM #32 Avernum 3 - Skills FAQ (Rune Reading, Nature Lore, Tool Use/Unlock Doors, Barter)

1 place where you need vl is in Midori Province.

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Posted 21 February 2015 - 01:12 PM #33 Avernum 3 - Skills FAQ (Rune Reading, Nature Lore, Tool Use/Unlock Doors, Barter)

I ended up spending my excess gold from the first time I got capped on 4X3 VL, which was apparently not a smart move at this point in the game (still haven't solved the third monster plague). I then visited the city (I forget the name) with the house and the Barter trainer for the first time, and I bought potion recipes (I'm a completionist) and was only able to afford 10 Barter and not the house after that. So, this play through is a learning process to time my purchases more effectively for my Torment play through.

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Posted 22 February 2015 - 10:34 AM #34 Avernum 3 - Skills FAQ (Rune Reading, Nature Lore, Tool Use/Unlock Doors, Barter)

if you mean Hawke's Mance that is in Lorelei and you don't have rush to buy it.

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Posted 22 February 2015 - 02:01 PM #35 Avernum 3 - Skills FAQ (Rune Reading, Nature Lore, Tool Use/Unlock Doors, Barter)

Alright cool, I'll prioritize capping Barter next.




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