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BlackDragon

ENOUGH WITH THE DREAD CURSES ALREADY!

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Seriously, towards the end of the game, these things are being handed out like candy on Halloween. Seems like every time you turn a corner, somebody's putting a Dread Curse on you. Read a spellbook? Dread Curse! Step into somebody's bedchamber? Dread Curse! Complete a quest you picked up to deal with a hostile religious faction? That's good for a Dread Curse, all right! Oh, did you piss off the Anama ages ago? Then enjoy your PERMANENT DREAD CURSE!

 

It's ridiculous. ESPECIALLY when there's only ONE, EASILY-LOST WAY to clear them, and even then it costs you XP. :angry: And it's only made worse by the fact that the priest in the Tower of Magic outright says that he COULD decurse you, if he felt like it, but he won't because he needs to 'conserve his strength'. For what, eh? Just in case some nutso wizard decides to summon a powerful demon-lord to the tower (again)? Yeah, fat lot of good your precious 'conserved strength' is going to do you at that point. Methinks you'll need the help of a group of powerful, demon-slaying adventurers at that point, but ya know what? They might just be busy somewhere else! Might need to 'conserve their strength' for important stuff like, I dunno, SAVING THE WORLD?!? :mad:

 

EDIT: Woops, found another one... deal with a band of man-eating drakes? DREAD CURSE!

Edited by BlackDragon

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Wow, you must be playing a really hardcore, no-reload Torment run to be so stressed out by a 500 xp penalty. I think I missed the drake one (where is that?), but you don't have to actually wipe out said cult to complete the quest, the Empire only wants to know their location. And it's not like that bedroom has anything particularly valuable in it, so you can choose to respect the wizard's privacy (which the curse is there to protect in the first place). The only curse I've noticed that was worth it was the cult one, since they have a Quicksilver Plate which otherwise requires a far tougher fight to get, and it goes great with the Black Halberd.

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Well, since I pissed off the Anama ages ago, it's not an XP-penalty for me, but rather a permanent penalty to EVERYTHING. Only a small one, but enough to make you consider whether the stuff you can get out of that encounter is really worth it. Ultimately, 90% of what you do in a game like this is about increasing your combat-potential, right? Acquiring new spells and gear, collecting gold to buy new spells, gear and training, earning XP to level up and get stronger... a permanent Dread Curse is a step BACK in that regard. And thus you have to ask yourself - is it worth it for the sake of leveling up a spell I'm probably never gonna use? Is it worth it for getting THIS much gold, or THIS much, when there's so much other gold to find? Is it worth it for getting a unique Chaos Halberd when I'm on my way to pick up the presumably-better Black Halberd anyway? So you wind up having to decide between doing something that's ultimately counterproductive, or just NOT DOING STUFF, which is the exact opposite of what a game's supposed to be about.

 

Plus, running into, like, FOUR things that's cut off from me by the threat of a Dread Curse, rather quickly after each other, kind of ratcheted up my frustration. First time, it just seems like an anomaly. Second time, it starts to get annoying. Third time, you're grinding your teeth. Fourth time... yeah, that's when you start to feel like swearing at the screen.

 

Ultimately, my problem is this: Early on, a Dread Curse is an understandable penalty for doing something stupid. Praying at a Dark Altar instead of Sanctifying it, leaving a vampire's tomb without making sure he's ALL the way dead... stuff like that. And that's perfectly fair! But lately, it seems like it's just a penalty for DOING STUFF, period, with the only way to AVOID it being, as previously mentioned, 'not doing stuff'. But, sure, I probably wouldn't be so frustrated by it if I still had a way to get RID of the Dread Curse. But I don't. Because in this huge world of clerics, archpriests, wise hermits, wandering healers, reclusive mages, master wizards and diverse charlatans, there is exactly ONE GUY who is willing and able to fix a Dread Curse for you, and you have the option of permanently pissing him off really early in the game. Frankly, my entire complaint would be rendered invalid if there was just ONE OTHER GUY (or girl) willing to do it. They could even charge you for it, so that losing access to Ahonar (who does it for free) remains a penalty.

 

(Oh, and the Drakes are in the mountains just west of Dorngas... I found them while I was basically just exploring it east-to-south. You have to fly to reach them. They're nonhostile, but make it clear that it's only because they're currently well fed, and suggest that you'd best be gone before they get hungry... so that they can prey on some poor Empire-patrol or a helpless peasant or two, presumably. But if you elect to fight them, hep, Dread Curse! And a unique Chaos Halberd, and some gold.)

Edited by BlackDragon
Precise directions

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It's not like you are not warned at least a couple of times that robbing the Anama will have permanent consequences, and the unavoidable Dread Curses (at least if you want the loot) are all quite late in the game and all due to obviously evil or foolish acts like robbing temples that don't worship demons or breaking into the bedrooms of cranky hermits. The one exception to this would be the Level 3 Summon Aid spellbook, which isn't particularly useful so I suppose it's another one of those cases where the reward does not always match the obstacle. This discussion makes me wonder if perhaps you should have to accept some form of penalty to gain truly powerful spells and artefacts, just like how I find Dark Thoughts adds to the ambience of a party of adventurers delving into the dark places of the world. However, I suspect this would unpopular.

 

I'll have to find those drakes before my party heads to the final confrontation and see what happens.

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Ya know, I'll give you the whole 'bedroom invasion' bit... that's basically a classic 'sucker trap', and you are indeed warned. But the fight with the Lucre-cultists can very easily happen by accident. If you run into the nearby patrols, they demand a 'toll' for passing through 'their' lands - classic banditry, basically. And if you refuse, they'll attack you. If you kill them, the remaining patrols will attack you on sight... and if you subsequently approach the compound (to complete the quest), THEY will attack you TOO. And bang, ya got a Dread Curse. Which, yes, DOES make a sort of sense, but what DOESN'T is that there's nobody besides Ahonar who can help you with that. And like I said, fighting a group of self-admittedly man-eating Drakes hardly seems evil OR foolish, any more than trying to learn the third tier of a mid-level spell is...

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To put it like this, if you go around robbing churches, why would you bother fighting off a bunch of drakes just because they eat people. That's what righteous heroes do, who haven't angered the only man holy enough to lift the curse the nefarious drakes place on them.

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Have you looked in the Shayder sewers? The Anama are a CULT of anti-magical extremists who routinely persecute and, apparently, bury alive any who dare stand against their agenda. Robbing them might not exactly be a GOOD deed, but I daresay it's morally gray at worst. Which just makes it all the stranger that their charismatic leader is the only one with the chops to help you with Dread Curses...

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Seeing what happens in the Tower of Magi with their free for all magic policy, I'm starting to wonder if Jeff Vogel is an Anama symphatizer. Anyway, I found the dragons but they said nothing about eating humans. Just that they had fed recently and were resting before hunting again.

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I don't feel like walking all the way back there to quote the full text, but they definitely make it clear that their well-fed state is the only reason they aren't attacking you on sight, and suggest that you'd best be gone before they get hungry again. How would YOU interpret that, exactly? A setup for one of those "You are not you when you're hungry" Snickers-adds? :p

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It doesn't necessarily mean that they actively eat humans (which would be quite foolish while living in the middle of the Empire as it would invite swift retaliation), just that it's hard to resist when something tasty is standing right in front of you. Sort of like how it would be difficult for a human not to eat a candy bar lying on the table in front them despite having recently had dinner. It was quite obviously one of those encounters where you can choose carnage and plunder and be slapped with a reputation drop or curse, or just be on your merry way. Just like the Church of the Divine Lucre where you can pay an exorbiant sum for some basic spells and having people detest you, or take a 500 xp penalty and score some of the best armour in the game Though that assumes you didn't do anything as silly as anger the Anama for the measly contents of their treasury, in which case you at least get to boast that you finished the game on Torment+ (add one "+" for every Dread Curse you have).

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Bah. I will carry to my grave the firm conviction that there should be at least one other person - somewhere in Valorim, Upper Exile, or the Tower of Magic - who could deal with Dread Curses, however morally or amorally they were acquired. =_=

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The Empire did evacuate most powerful magic-users to Blackcrag, so there are probably dozens of people there capable of removing them, except that they are in the part of the fortress where you are not allowed to go.

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Dread Curses are Jeff's little way to remind adventurers that you can't just break into every place and just loot without consequences. Getting yelled at or attacked by locals in their homes didn't work so he kicked it up a notch.

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Although I do kind of question Dread Curse's effectiveness as an actual theft prevention method.

 

"Oh, you want to steal all my stuff? Sure, go ahead. But beware: you will get this curse that makes you, like, 5% worse at everything you do... until you get rid of it."

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Eh, the ONLY one who actually uses the Dread Curse for theft prevention is the wizardly hermit near Gale... and he doesn't really have anything worth protecting. Rooting through his sock-drawers is more a matter of curiosity than greed. In the case of the Drakes and the Church of the Divine Lucre, it seems to work more like a Dreseden Files-style Death-Curse. And the spellbook in the Tower of Zkal is just... well... cursed, basically. :p

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It would be neat if all spellbooks cursed you or drove you mad in some way, though happily this theme has already been explored with the canisters in Geneforge. 

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8 hours ago, Minion said:

It would be neat if all spellbooks cursed you or drove you mad in some way, though happily this theme has already been explored with the canisters in Geneforge. 

Sssh, don't spoil it for me... :p I never got into Geneforge back in the day, but I've been low-key hoping for a remake so I could give it a chance. >_>;

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Doesn't one of the cheat codes (freemymind) remove dread curse?


Edit: Oops, thats for death curse

 

Edited by Kennedy

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2 hours ago, Kennedy said:

Doesn't one of the cheat codes (freemymind) remove dread curse?


Edit: Oops, thats for death curse

 

 

...what's a 'death curse'? I don't recall ever running into something like that... you SURE it isn't actually for Dread Curses? 'cuz if so, I could totally use that... shame the letsbefriends code doesn't actually work for calming down Shayder and thus Ahonar, otherwise that would be an option too.

 

If freemymind DOES work for clearing Dread Curses, well, I suppose that solves my problem. I can just use that - maybe go talk to some suitably holy character first, and drop something valuable on the ground in front of him to roleplay being cured. :p (Wait, do the cheat-codes disable achievements? I've heard no mention of this, but it seems likely...)

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Death curses kill the character in a certain number of rounds. Much worse than a Dread Curse.

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Huh. Okay, where exactly do you pick those up? >_> Just curious. I don't remember running into those back when I played through Exile 3, and I certainly haven't run into one during this playthrough either...

Edited by BlackDragon

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Guess I defeated that demon before it got the chance... ah well. Guess even cheat-codes won't help - there isn't one for getting rid of Dread Curses, and you can't de-hostilify Shayder even with the code that's apparently made for that purpose...

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Are you sure you're thinking of the right demon? There was a decently bulky demon in the northwest corner of Giant's Forge who instantly hit my entire party with a Death Curse. I vaguely recall trying to blow it up with some Adrenaline Rushes and it still survived for another turn or two, so it should've at least hit you with the status effect unless you were playing on Normal or lower.

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The monks in the southern island monastery use a death curse-like ability but it's called something else, I believe.

 

On topic: I agree that the Dread Curses are given out a little too freely in this game. I'd never gotten one in an Avernum game before simply because I play Nice Adventurers who don't steal from citizens and the like. In this game all you have to do is read a spell tome or kill some threatening man-eating beasts and boom, you're cursed. The fact that apparently the one and only person in the game who can cure them can be made permanently hostile is an extra kick in the butt. Of course, I didn't, because I am Nice. :p But it really is quite a change from the previous games when you had to do something pretty egregiously wicked or foolish to get one.

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Darn, was cleaning up remaining tidbits before finishing the game...stole the Anama's treasure, then came to the tower of Zkal.  :eek:  Hadn't accepted a dread curse before so hadn't realized Ahonar was the only person who would cure it.

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Posted (edited)

If you are using cheat engine and the gog version of the game (i'm sure its not hard to find on in the steam version)

 

I have:

 

"Avernum 3.exe"+4BA14A   -- Dark Thoughts

"Avernum 3.exe"+4BA14C   -- Dread Curse

 

cheers :-)

 

EDIT:

Not that I condone such things

Edited by unixtroglodyte

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If party gains Dark Thoughts, a variety of Dread Curse:
This has no prevention and no cure that I know of. To get rid of the Dark Thoughts, put this in a town's Init State:
if (has_spec_item(65) > 0)
    set_spec_item(65,-1);
    
This assumes the party has only one instance of Dark Thoughts. If party has two instances, change last line to:
    set_spec_item(65,-2);

This Dark Thoughts is not very heroic, I think it is a bad idea...

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Ishad Nha said:

If party gains Dark Thoughts, a variety of Dread Curse:
This has no prevention and no cure that I know of. To get rid of the Dark Thoughts, put this in a town's Init State:
if (has_spec_item(65) > 0)
    set_spec_item(65,-1);
    
This assumes the party has only one instance of Dark Thoughts. If party has two instances, change last line to:
    set_spec_item(65,-2);

This Dark Thoughts is not very heroic, I think it is a bad idea...

 

Haven't looked at the game's actual scripting yet. I mostly use it to keep the days from advancing (still at Day 1), turn fake Anama rings on/off (so i can take all the quests, use all the services), adjust Vahnatai Lore as needed, freeze hp/mp if needed, change stats as needed, group reputation, edit inventory as needed, change available attr/skill/trait points during level up, etc.

 

As far as Dark Thoughts and Dread Curse go those addresses do at least seem to update them on your "journal - special items tab", including turn them off or on. Never tried it with more than one, never got more than one :-) I'll take a look after i beat it. Getting ready to make my run on the Black Fortress. I wasn't aware it wouldn't actually have any effect on your chars since everything else seems to work. If I set Dread Curse to 0 at that address, the one guy in the game that can remove it never knows i have it. I'll look through the scripts before my 2nd play through. Thanks for the info :-)

 

EDIT: I can mid-battle set my dread curse to say 50 or 100, during battle and never do *ANY* damage, setting to 0 mid-battle seems to make everything work as normal again. Its got to be reading that value correctly or at least to some degree for some stat. Does a dread curse mess up your defense as well? *chuckles* never had enough stacked to know :-) Anyway I will look at the scripts when I have a second. Again, thanks for the info.

 

EDIT: Also, yes, I agree with you on Dark Thoughts. I have as much fun using cheatengine or any memory editor as I do playing the game. So I always see what I can do. Just because I can, doesn't mean I do, on my first play through :-) I just checked, i'm currently at 3. I'd think most of the nuts and bolts or meat and potatoes are in the .dat or .exe. So, I have to throw darts from a distance :-D

Edited by unixtroglodyte

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On steam version, I found dark thoughts at 013E026A. Haven't tested Dread curse, but it is likely 013E026C

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