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Brocktree

Ever wanted to know exactly what Faerie Blood does?

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Interesting to know.

"As far as I know, it does NOT affect encounters with faeries"

Encounters with Faeries are a matter of BoE-style special nodes. At some point I can see if this trait is ever mentioned in any of the nodes.

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Very interesting for original Nethergate -- given the uniquely NON-scaling XP system, this means that nearly all those traits are a bad buy!

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Which ones do you think would be worth the XP penalty? Fast on Feet seems to be a contender, since the +1 Action Point is hard to replicate, and allows a second attack. Strangely enough, initiative does not seem to exist in N: O. Your first (or sixth) character always moves first, independent of dexterity.

 

Faerie Blood gives you a 25% chance to resist curse and slow. As far as I know, nothing else in the game does this. It almost completely nullifies disease.

 

I've started to dabble with Cursed at Birth, and have found some very interesting bugs. Taking Cursed at Birth made me immune to sleep (every time I was hit by a Dark Wolf, I would receive a message stating that I was more alert). I would also resist charm 100% of the time.

 

I'd hypothesise that if your resistances are low, Cursed at Birth may push them below 0. As they say, every cloud has a silver lining.

 

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nikki.   
Originally Posted By: Brocktree
Strangely enough, initiative does not seem to exist in N: O. Your first (or sixth) character always moves first, independent of dexterity.
Quote:


This is purely from memory - I have no saved file to back this up (I think) - but I'm pretty sure that I've had my second character go before my first on occasion. I only remember because it always irritates my OCD, and I had to switch characters around so that they went in order.


I've started to dabble with Cursed at Birth, and have found some very interesting bugs. Taking Cursed at Birth made me immune to sleep (every time I was hit by a Dark Wolf, I would receive a message stating that I was more alert). I would also resist charm 100% of the time.

I'd hypothesise that if your resistances are low, Cursed at Birth may push them below 0. As they say, every cloud has a silver lining.


This is pretty awesome if it's true. I'm about to start my annual Nethergate run (original, of course), so I'll have to try CaB and see if it's as good as you seem to think. tongue

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Hmm... that IS tempting.

 

I suppose you'd have to avoid raising Luck or other such stats, though, to keep the effect going? Might be worth it anyway just for the faster rate of skill point increase.

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Regarding 'bad' traits.

 

While further experimentation is required for Cursed at Birth, I've found that:

 

- Frail reduces the total damage taken from an episode of poisoning by 3. It does not appear to affect disease. As the effect is negligible, I'd have all characters take this for the XP bonus.

 

- Rational Mind does not appear to affect spell power! You can't use scrolls, wands, and most potions (you can use Curing Potions, strangely enough). I rarely, if ever, use scrolls/wands/potions as Celts, so this might be worthwhile as well.

 

- Sluggish imposes a -1 Action Point penalty PER ROUND. That sucks. I wouldn't select this.

 

- Berserker needs a little more experimentation to work out the increase in damage output/input. However, you have a +20% chance to hit, and to be hit.

 

Quote:

I suppose you'd have to avoid raising Luck or other such stats, though, to keep the effect going?

 

I suspect so. I've only confirmed the effect for Charm and Sleep. It does not appear to work for Stoning and Disease.

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Frail reduces damage? Is that a typo or a bug? Either way, that's not much of a penalty at all.

 

Rational mind looks like another bargain. Loss of scrolls and wands isn't bad. Potions are more of a problem, since casters are likely to use energy potions and healing potions, but for the huge experience bonus it's probably worthwhile. You'll be able to add enough extra energy by stats to get by.

 

Hitting is rarely a problem. Getting hit is, and from what I can remember it's still fairly possible to avoid taking hits at the end of Nethergate. I never found Berserker, trait or skill, worthwhile.

 

—Alorael, who still isn't sold on Cursed at Birth. Alertness works fine against sleep, charm isn't all that common, and the other downsides seem fairly bad.

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Originally Posted By: Draloraelich
Frail reduces damage? Is that a typo or a bug? Either way, that's not much of a penalty at all.


A typo, sorry. It increases the damage from an episode of poisoning by 3. Toughness does the opposite (decreases by 3). By episode, I mean from the start of poisoning, until it wears off. So 3 damage over about 4 rounds.

Quote:

Rational mind looks like another bargain. Loss of scrolls and wands isn't bad. Potions are more of a problem, since casters are likely to use energy potions and healing potions, but for the huge experience bonus it's probably worthwhile. You'll be able to add enough extra energy by stats to get by.


It's a bargain for warriors. I rarely use energy potions for druids, due to the long wait function, although having the opportunity to use energy potions is useful. Beast Elixirs are nice too.

Hmm, I wonder if you can use Knowledge Brews?

Quote:

Hitting is rarely a problem. Getting hit is, and from what I can remember it's still fairly possible to avoid taking hits at the end of Nethergate. I never found Berserker, trait or skill, worthwhile.


These days I rely on damage reduction, rather than hit evasion. That's what happens when you play more recent Spiderweb games.

Quote:

—Alorael, who still isn't sold on Cursed at Birth. Alertness works fine against sleep, charm isn't all that common, and the other downsides seem fairly bad.


We don't know what the other downsides are, though. As shown by my testing, the descriptions for each trait can be vague (and sometimes downright misleading). If Cursed at Birth gives you a 10% penalty to resistances, which can be easily negated by a few points of luck, then it may be worth taking.

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Damage reduction was also the way to go in the Exile series. But Nethergate is the KING of evasion -- it's the only game where you can actually reach 100% evasion, and you can do so relatively easily.

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Actually, A1 also lets you dodge ridiculously with Gymnastics. It's not quite as easy, but it can be done.

 

—Alorael, who on the other hand finds Nethergate interesting for the fact that most of your offensive skills are rendered useless in the endgame. You won't be swinging swords or poking spears or even, often, slinging spells. You will point wands that you can't spend your abundant skill points on anyway.

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I don't know if Dexterity boosts evasion much but it seems to be the ticket for raising hp, interestingly enough.

Summing Weaponry skill Base levels, for health point purposes:

Melee Weapons, Integer ( (STR + DEX) / 4)

Spears, Integer ( (STR + DEX) / 4)

Javelins, Integer ( DEX / 3)

Slings, Integer ( DEX / 3)

Defense, Integer ( DEX / 3)

Armor Use, Integer ( DEX / 4)

Hardiness, Integer ( END / 3)

 

If (Str + Dex) is a multiple of 4, Dex is a multiple of 3, and End is a multiple of 3:

hp = 7 + (Str * 6/12) + (Dex * 21/12) + (End * 16/12) + Bought weapons skills

This only applies to the original version of Nethergate, where base skill levels could be increased by base skills: Str, Dex, Int or End.

Nethergate: Resurrection basically uses the Blades of Avernum engine.

Edit:

This assumes that all Weaponry skills are acquired equally, which won't be the case in reality.

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I can't speak to the original (which I only got about half-way through), but in N:R Clouds of Night was doing a bit more damage than crystal wands (150-180 vs 140-160), and hit five targets. Granted, only Celts can use it, and you hemorrhage energy draughts/elixirs if you use it frequently, but for hard fights it's much stronger than wands.

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Hi all.

 

I've uploaded the effects of the negative traits to my web page.

 

http://miscrpggames.weebly.com

 

As you can see, the most surprising results are for Cursed at Birth. The only negative aspect of Cursed at Birth that I could identify was a -10% to hit with weapons. There was NO evidence of reduced spell power, reduced damage input/output, or reduced resistances.

 

That's not to say that there aren't any. It's possible that the effect of Cursed at Birth is so small, that I couldn't detect it with repeated testing of sample sizes of 30-50. I'd argue that if Cursed at Birth does have some sort of negative effect, it is so small as to not be significant in the game.

 

Furthermore, my original hypothesis about sleep and charm resistance was incorrect. I pumped luck to 5 and 10, and found that Cursed at Birth continued to grant immunity to to Sleep and Charm. So Cursed at Birth is probably not granting immunity by pushing these resistance values into the negative integers.

 

Beserker Rage is a mixed bag. It increases your damage by 3.5, but increases your damage taken by 5.5. This effect wears off by 25% for every several rounds. Strangely enough, Beserker Rage grants that character initiative (whereas Fast on Feet does not).

 

Rational mind does *not* work for Potions of Knowledge. It does work for Strength Elixirs and Curing potions.

 

In conclusion, if I wanted an optimal character, here are the traits I would select.

 

Positive:

Fast on Feet

 

Negative:

Cursed at Birth

Frail

Rational Mind (for warriors)?

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If rational mind prevents knowledge brew use, then I'm not touching it. Not being able to use knowledge brews means you can't take advantage of the blessing pool hack. tongue

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Hmm. Yeah, the Blessing Pool exploit may provide more skill points than the modifier from Rational Mind would -- I'm not sure, though.

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I find myself confused as to why the blessing pool exploit matters. This isn't one of those minor exploits that gives you a little extra power or helps circumvent a difficult fight. Rather, this seems to be basically a form of cheating, in that it (presumably) isn't intentional on the game designer's part, and if used to the extent that it can be, is completely game-breaking. There seems to me be little if any distinction between turning 100 healing draughts into 100 knowledge brews and just giving yourself 300 extra points worth of skills in the character editor, so why not use the editor?

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Yeah, I suppose that's fair enough.

 

The problem is that the line between gross exploit and not-exploit is not as clear as it seems. My favourite example is the Silver Sword for sale in the town of ElfLand in the original NES Final Fantasy cart. It's grossly overpowered for the area, and it seems pretty clear it was intended to be sold in Crescent Lake only -- that's where all the other silver equipment shows up. And it makes the Fighter class, already the most powerful, grossly overpowered in the first third of the game. Its presence is pretty clearly a mistake... and buying it means exploiting that mistake. In some ways, this is more of an exploit than the Knowledge Brews -- which is just the equivalent of spending an hour resting and killing goblins; whereas the Sword bonuses in FF can't be acquired in any other way. Yet, use of the Sword is pretty universal and nobody calls it cheating.

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I imagine it's at least inordinately expensive for that area of the game? Anyway, whether it's "cheating" or not, it still sounds like it breaks that part of the game (I've only played the Playstation remake of FF1, so I couldn't say). There are other overpowered items and abilities in games that people simply don't use if they're looking for a challenge, despite them being in the game by deliberate design. Knights of the Round is the classic example of this. (Or, say, Erde Kaiser in the Xenosaga series.)

 

I maintain that while using something like KotR is not literally cheating, in the way that loading your saved file on a Gameshark and maxing out your party's stats is, it amounts to the same thing because it removes the challenge from the game. There is, however, a fine line between build optimization/mild exploits and more serious ones.

 

Hmmm...while I suspect that an hour of killing goblins is not actually going to net a party of 4 75 SP a piece/a party of 5 60 SP a piece, the fact that this is the original Nethergate we're talking about does change things a bit. If this were a game with levels (i.e. every other Spiderweb game, including N:R), then that sort of grinding would be impossible because of diminishing experience as one levels up. Since that isn't the case, this exploit is a bit less cheat-y than a similar one in the Avernum series.

 

Ultimately, I think players should do what they find fun. I for one find it more fun to use the character editor if I want an obscenely powerful party, rather than go to the trouble of using a more convoluted exploit like the blessing pool, but YMMV.

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Good point about party of 4; I always think in singleton terms. Grinding goes quickly with one PC, and I suspect it really could achieve those rates.

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I do think that the Blessing Pool is a shameless exploit. Personally, I don't use it, which is why I would consider taking Rational Mind for warriors.

 

But to put things in perspective. Wouldn't you consider Save and Reload to be the most shameless exploit in any role playing game? Save and Reload initially existed so that if you had to turn off your computer/console, you could resume where you left off. However, saving and reloading until you achieve a favourable dice roll/outcome is a huge exploit which the AI does not have in its favour.

 

These days, I still save my games compulsively in case of a blue screen, but I only reload if I've turned off my computer. 'Easy' Spiderweb games (such as Nethergate: O and Avernum) become far more difficult when you play them fairly. You approach every potential battle carefully, fully rested. You exhaust your potions. You flee battles. You take advantage of Raise Dead. You actually purchase equipment early in the game to get damage reduction. Suddenly the game switches from optimizing to get the best end-game party, to making short term decisions to just stay alive.

 

This is how such games are meant to be played, where every decision you make has consequences, and you can't just reload when you do something careless. It's far more challenging and exciting, IMHO. Save and Reload makes any game easy.

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Do you play with permadeath? In other words, if you die, do you trash any save you had and start over?

 

Once upon a time, the player was innocent and Save-and-Reload was not expected; this is not the case any more. I think the main thing that pushes Save-and-Reload is the desire for exploration. Sometimes, Save-and-Reload is necessary just to see what happens with different options in a conversation. At other times, the game imposes draconian consequences knowing that the player does not have to accept them. For example, in Exile/Avernum 2, there is a fort where you can have one PC lie on a stone slab; if you do, that PC is turned to dust with no warning. It is early in the game and reviving the PC may be difficult or impossible for the time being.

 

The other thing is convenience. Even in Avernum 4-6, where death can be reversed simply by walking through a town gate, this comes into play: "Gosh, I can walk out of the dungeon, across two zones and all the way back to town, then leave town, cross two zones and come back here -- or I can just reload and do this fight without letting my PC die. Either way, the outcome is exactly the same -- why not save some time?"

 

Anyway, I would argue that Save-and-Reload is very much expected by game designers these days.

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Originally Posted By: CRISIS on INFINITE SLARTIES
Do you play with permadeath? In other words, if you die, do you trash any save you had and start over?


Yes.

Thankfully, most full party deaths occur early in the game. Later in the game, you are powerful enough to take a few hits on the chin, and also Raise Dead if you lose a few characters. Becca also provides very cheap resurrection. Yeah, you're going to blow through some coins, but that's what money is for.

Up until that point, you need to play cautiously. I usually play on Normal Difficulty up until the first 1/10th of the game, simply because something like a giant lizard can rip through a character in one round, even when shielded.

Quote:

For example, in Exile/Avernum 2, there is a fort where you can have one PC lie on a stone slab; if you do, that PC is turned to dust with no warning. It is early in the game and reviving the PC may be difficult or impossible for the time being.


Cheap deaths are relatively rare in Spiderweb games. And I think most gamers would have the common sense not to do such a thing, although I see nothing wrong with a save-reload out of curiosity.

Sometimes you are hit with ridiculously hard battles early on (eg. The Fomorian guarded bridge). This is where fleeing is an excellent option. I think good strategical planning involves acknowledging when discretion is the better part of valour.

Quote:

The other thing is convenience. Even in Avernum 4-6, where death can be reversed simply by walking through a town gate, this comes into play: "Gosh, I can walk out of the dungeon, across two zones and all the way back to town, then leave town, cross two zones and come back here -- or I can just reload and do this fight without letting my PC die. Either way, the outcome is exactly the same -- why not save some time?"

Anyway, I would argue that Save-and-Reload is very much expected by game designers these days.


Games should be played for enjoyment. Don't get me wrong, I'm certainly no purist. I use the exitzone cheat in Geneforge to cut down on traveling time. I alter the difficulty in Avernum 5 and 6 to suit my needs. If Save-Reload (or even character editing) enhances the fun, then that's what should be done. Personally, I find a no-reload game more enjoyable, as it forces me to think through all my options and take calculated risks, instead of just 'saving-reloading' until I get the outcome I want.

Role-playing games could be considered a gamble, IMHO. You and the enemy roll the die, which then determines the outcome. However, you can tilt the odds in your favour with tactical, strategical, and character building decisions. Compulsive save-reload removes the gamble element from the equation, and lessens the importance of the tactical, strategical and character building decisions. Why should I care about having a stock of Balm of Life potions, when I can just reload? Why should I care about fleeing a difficult battle, when I can just reload and avoid it (or continue playing it until the die roll in my favour)?

Games, first and foremost, exist to entertain. If you're not having fun, then you're doing something wrong.

However, I do take issue with people who complain about earlier Spiderweb games being easy. Of *course* they are easy, when you take advantage of game breaking exploits. Trust me, when you remove those exploits, then suddenly the game becomes a challenge, even on normal difficulty. As Jeff intended it to be.

Edit: Just as an example. I've started up a Torment Roman party, and was ambushed near the entrance of the mines by four goblin warriors. I thought my party could handle them, but three party members were killed, although they took three goblin warriors with them. My mage character had to evade the remaining goblin, return with the papers to the Roman Fort, and then scavenge enough gold to raise my three dead characters. This challenge would have been avoided with a simple save-reload.

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nikki.   

The Fomorian Bridge is actually one of my all-time favourite SW fights. Not because it's crazily-scripted or anything, but because it's clearly designed to make you pay the toll the first few times you pass. Of course, I always fight the first time I try to cross, but managing to nab a victory with half your party wiped out is pretty great.

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Just a quick update.

 

I've added a little more content to my webpage. Of import, I've concluded that Berserker rage would be of benefit on spellcasters, as they shouldn't be getting hit anyway. Also, I have confirmed that Fast on Feet *does* increase initiative, as stated by the in-game description. However, dexterity does *not* increase initiative. Weird.

 

Experimentation has also revealed that Sylak's Enlightening Amber gives the PC holding it a +3 bonus to rune reading, potion making, and item lore. Sylak's etheral scalpel grants a +40% chance to heal with first aid.

 

Miraculous revival is also completely broken. It cannot be targeted on dead characters, but only on living characters, who it 'revives' by reducing their health to 1. And expending a balm of life. Yippee.

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The fact that nobody has ever noticed that before (in 13 years) just goes to show you how often people use revival spells rather than save-and-reload.

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Triumph   

Isn't part of the problem with revival spells that they are so hard to get / difficult to use, and generally acquired so late in the game? By the time a player gets them, he is so used to not having them (and using save/restore) and the revive spells are so finicky anyway, that it makes little sense to use them?

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Clever play means that you rarely get wiped out anyway.

If a fight is tough it will kill a lot of PCs, and reloading is then the way to go.

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The fact that in older games you need a special recipe, ingredients, a potion, a special spell, and a lot of spell points is one problem. The bigger problem, however, is that your party's experience is now lopsided, which is irritating.

 

Oh, and also there's the whole "all his items are on the floor and I have no room to put them in anyone else's pack" problem. That's a pretty major one.

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Dikiyoba   
Originally Posted By: Slartucker
Oh, and also there's the whole "all his items are on the floor and I have no room to put them in anyone else's pack" problem. That's a pretty major one.

Dikiyoba would say that's the biggest problem. Experience is usually a bit lopsided anyway, and most of the things you need for restoration are picked up along the way, but losing items permanently sucks.

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Stuff from dead PC/NPC all over the floor, requires other PCs to clear space in their inventories. They can start by dumping junk then follow with their least valuable items.

 

Since Miraculous Revival did not work the trick was to cast Raise Dead followed by Total Healing. If the Miraculous Revival spell had worked, the main advantage of Miraculous Revival compared to Raise Dead followed by Total Healing would be the saving of 15 sp and the ability to revive someone who was dust. As you can't cast it in combat, the ability to save an action (cast one spell not two) is nice but not that important.

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Curtis   
Originally Posted By: CRISIS on INFINITE SLARTIES
The bigger problem, however, is that your party's experience is now lopsided, which is irritating.

Oh, and also there's the whole "all his items are on the floor and I have no room to put them in anyone else's pack" problem. That's a pretty major one.


All this goes to show that YMMV. I'm obsessive/compulsive, and having unbalanced character experience bothers me not one whit.

And having no room to put all a deceased character's stuff is one of the interesting problems the game provides for us to solve. I remember one Celtic party that had to roam across two zones twice to pick up all the crap they'd lost when two party members were slain.

On the other hand, I do agree that there are times to use 'save-and-reload'. In N:R I used it the first time I ran across the Formorians at the toll bridge. After fighting them six or eight times quickly without being able to kill more than one or two, I satisfied myself that I should pay them whatever they asked. I also did the s-a-r the first time I faced the dragon in the goblin mines (as the Romans).

And there are games that are unplayable without s-a-r. Wesnoth, one of my favorites, immediately comes to mind. In that game you can't avoid problems, and you can't progress in the game until each problem is solved. Every campaign (except a couple of the shorter introductory ones) has one or two places where I'd go insane from the monotony of playing the same two hours twenty or thirty times to get past a sticky spot, so I've established a policy that if I can't get past a scenario after three or four 'honest' tries, I'll use s-a-r to refight until the luck is even on both sides. (Wesnoth keeps a running tab on your luck and the AI's.)

I tell myself that's not cheating, but there have been a couple of campaigns where I had to cheat like a sonovabitch to get past a certain point.

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kGeek   

I tried the Blessing Pool hack. I dropped a huge stack of every potion at the pool to no avail. I could only get the potions next to the pool, not in the pool.

 

Anyone know what I'm doing wrong?

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Triumph   

Are you playing original Nethergate, or Nethergate: Resurrection? IIRC, the BP cheat was removed in the remake. This thread is ALL about the original version.

 

Also, since this thread isn't primarily about the blessing pool, and since it was a year and half old, it would be preferable if you just post a new thread asking about the pool, instead of reviving this one. Don't worry about it this time, of course, but if you have a similar situation in the future, that's the preferable way to do things. Thanks!

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