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The possibility of Vahnatai as a playable race


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Originally Posted By: Thaluikhain
Vahnatai PCs? Hmmm...would be interesting to have a PC race which had disadvantages, not just humans with bonuses.

What sort of graphics would be needed? I mean, is there a distinction between male and female nephils, do the different colours mean anything, should nephul PCs wear clothes (my graphics do, but the original ones set the precedent of not doing so) and so on?


This probably isn't the best thread, but what advantages and disadvantages would you suggest for Vahnatai PC's? Presumably some form of natural "Magically Apt" as an advantage, and maybe less HP / not as strong as disadvantages?
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Something like that, yeah. Though they are effective warriors as well.

 

Though, a dedicated thread for comparisons of different races and cultures would probably be more useful, yeah. There's a thought, different stats/skills for Empire or Exile humans, barbaric sliths vs normal PC ones etc...

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Originally Posted By: Cryolemon
This probably isn't the best thread, but what advantages and disadvantages would you suggest for Vahnatai PC's? Presumably some form of natural "Magically Apt" as an advantage, and maybe less HP / not as strong as disadvantages?


Maybe creating a new anti-Vahnatai spell? or some-kind of weakness in front of fire and other elements... susceptible to acids, ice, anti-Vahnatai blades?
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Well...since they have "make poison worse" and "make disease worse" traits already, maybe cursing or webbing would be worse against them? Though, I can't think of a good reason why.

 

The vahnatai seem only to use waveblades and razordisks, and nothing else...maybe minuses to archery, pole and clubbing weapons? Or not using shields. Though, a warrior using edged weapons often won't use them anyway.

 

Perhaps extra encumbrance penalties? I think that could be quite characterful and affect the game, without it being crippling. It'd also probaly encourage using them as magic-users...I think that'd be better than giving them better magic use per se, as some vahnatai don't use it.

 

Would it be worthwhile making a distinction between those vahnatai exile is in contact with, and ones from other groups further down? I'm not sure about having seperate factions as well as races...it would tend to complicate things, but could be characterful...otherwise PCs can get pretty samey?

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Although numerous distinctions have been made between the Human, Nephil, and Slith races as described by Jeff, there are exactly three differences in game, one of which is totally irrelevant:

 

- starting Str, Dex, Int

- bonuses to hit with certain weapon types

- alternate, but equally crappy, starting equipment

 

The simple set of corresponding bonuses for Vahnatai, presumably, would be +2 to starting Intelligence, +1 to starting Dexterity, and +10% to hit when using Wave Blades or Razordisks.

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Originally Posted By: CRISIS on INFINITE SLARTIES

The simple set of corresponding bonuses for Vahnatai, presumably, would be +2 to starting Intelligence, +1 to starting Dexterity, and +10% to hit when using Wave Blades or Razordisks.


That makes sense, unless we are going to completely revisit how racial advantages are balanced, which may be 1) a lot of work, and 2) not desirable.
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Originally Posted By: CRISIS on INFINITE SLARTIES
and +10% to hit when using Wave Blades or Razordisks.


Can that be done, or would it just be edged and throwing weapons? Most scenarios are unlikely to have people find wave blades or razordisks anyway.

As for starting weapons...even the worst vahnatai weapons are alot better than the bronze knife and crude buckler, though you don't tend to use starting weapons for long.

Originally Posted By: Cryolemon
That makes sense, unless we are going to completely revisit how racial advantages are balanced, which may be 1) a lot of work, and 2) not desirable.


Maybe, but I think if it could be made to work, it could be alot more characterful.
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Originally Posted By: Thaluikhain
Originally Posted By: CRISIS on INFINITE SLARTIES
and +10% to hit when using Wave Blades or Razordisks.


Can that be done, or would it just be edged and throwing weapons? Most scenarios are unlikely to have people find wave blades or razordisks anyway.
It can't be done easily, no. Nothing is impossible, of course.

I suppose a bonus to hit with Thrown Missiles might be possible...
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I am not a programmer so keep that in mind as you read this...

 

I don't think that weapon bonuses(to hit) are necessary or even sensible for the Vahnatai. Even if Jeff scripted in one game or another that they were superior swordsmen or throwers of edged weapons or something I think that could be ignored(BoE sliths has a bonus to Intelligence but Jeff wisely did away with that in BoA didn't he?).

 

What seems to make most sense in my mind is:

 

+2 Int

Bonus to Spell Points(+%25?)

Penalty to Hit Points(-%25?)

Experience penalty -15%?

 

That is assuming the current code is not dramatically altered to allow for greater variation on what can and cannot be done.

 

Ideally having bonuses and penalties with specific weapons, armor, spells, etc. for different races would be great if it could be done.

 

Though I have played BoE since it was first released, I have not played enough BoE to understand(or remember?) what the problems with archery and such being alluded to above are. But my response would be that the code/design should be altered to fix this. For example, having archery attacks benefit from 'aiming'(ala Jagged Alliance 2) in some way.

 

I would not stop at the Vahnatai either. I can see Goblins as P.C.s:

 

-1 Str

+%5(or +%10?) Exp bonus.

 

or

 

-2 Str.

+1 Dex

-%10 HP

+%10-%15 exp bonus

 

And ogres:

 

+3 Str

-2 Int

-2 Dex

 

Etc.

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One's personal subjective opinions about which races are more interesting are fine and good but should not be used to LIMIT the game's potential. Ideally creators should have a checkbox type option for which 'extra' races would be included in his/her scenario as PCs.

Personally I am not much impressed with so called 'original' fantasy races that generally turn out to be the same old fantasy races we have seen a thousand times(i.e. cat people, lizard people, strange bulbous-eyed aliens etc.) only with ugly names(re: Elves that are in some game called "Venrila k'thasians" or some such nonsense) and am much MORE impressed with new twists on familiar fantasy races(such as the dwarfs, elfs and trolls of RuneQuest who are ten times as original and interesting as any race this side of Talislanta!).

 

But to each his own. I would be happy with just Vahnatai added even as something is better than nothing.

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Originally Posted By: SkeleTony
One's personal subjective opinions about which races are more interesting are fine and good but should not be used to LIMIT the game's potential.


That's true, certainly...but what do, for example, goblins do when not being killed by adventurers? They get enslaved by ursagi, about which we also know very little...apart from that, nothing much springs to mind.

Vahnatai mostly, but sliths and nephilim also have character behind them, mostly everyone else is just there.

On the other hand, BoE doesn't have to have anything much to do with exile, and a dedicated scenario about goblins using goblin PCs, for example, would have alot of ground to work with.

Originally Posted By: SkeleTony
Ideally creators should have a checkbox type option for which 'extra' races would be included in his/her scenario as PCs.


That's true...though I wouldn't say it was true just of 'extra' races. Sliths and nephils aren't appropriate for all scenarios, and the same could be true of humans.
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  • 2 weeks later...

This is seemingly a moot point since the coders do not seem interested in such alternatives but Goblins do not have to be uninteresting 'adventurer-foddder' and such and even at their least interesting they are still more interesting than humans, cat-people etc. IMO. RPGs have always been full of humans,lizardmen, cat-people/furries, elves, munchkins etc. I just think it is high time someone thought a little outside of that box.

 

Goblin PCs could be a cut above the goblins one encounters as enemies in scenarios. For example allowing PCs to select one of several possible 'mutations'(extra arms, fluctuating attributes, etc.). There are infinite ways to make ANY species an interesting playable race.

 

But of course that takes coding skill if it were to be done in BoE so until some programmer gets tired of the same old, same old...

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Originally Posted By: SkeleTony
Goblin PCs could be a cut above the goblins one encounters as enemies in scenarios. For example allowing PCs to select one of several possible 'mutations'(extra arms, fluctuating attributes, etc.). There are infinite ways to make ANY species an interesting playable race.


Oh, that might be cool...extra traits available, or maybe even different points/gold cost to train in certain skills, maybe with some flat out restriction (though that's getting a bit complicated).
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Originally Posted By: Thaluikhain
Originally Posted By: SkeleTony
Goblin PCs could be a cut above the goblins one encounters as enemies in scenarios. For example allowing PCs to select one of several possible 'mutations'(extra arms, fluctuating attributes, etc.). There are infinite ways to make ANY species an interesting playable race.


Oh, that might be cool...extra traits available, or maybe even different points/gold cost to train in certain skills, maybe with some flat out restriction (though that's getting a bit complicated).


It would be complicated, but it would be very cool to have.
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  • 4 weeks later...

How about for waveblade/razordisk advantages, make an option for item trait "Vahnatai weapon" (similar to magical/cursed/always identified) meaning Vahnatai would have bonuses using them. I don't know, that may be a bit too far fetched.

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  • 1 month later...
Originally Posted By: BainIhrno
How about for waveblade/razordisk advantages, make an option for item trait "Vahnatai weapon" (similar to magical/cursed/always identified) meaning Vahnatai would have bonuses using them. I don't know, that may be a bit too far fetched.


That would be cool if maybe you included other possibilities as well (eg: "Giant Weapon", "Nephil Weapon", "Slith Weapon").
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Though it would be alot of work done exclusively by people who aren't me, I would like the way weapons work to be revised.

 

I mean, for armour, with encumbrance you've got actual reasons why eveyrone doesn't just wear plate armour all the time.

 

But for weapons...the one which does the most damage (broadsword (or waveblade if you can find it) for single handed, halberd for double and don't bother with bashing at all) is the one you want, anything else is something you carry round until you get the best.

 

Now, I don't know what you could do, really, to make using other weapons at all viable. Making double handed weapons more powerful, but less accurate or giving them extra encumbrance would make them characterful, if not very accurate. Maybe some kind of bonus or "negative" encumbrance for smaller weapons or double handed ones (that don't do more damage than single handed)?

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Well... allowing weapons to encumber could likely be done. I'm not sure whether we could make it accept negative encumbrance. I don't think I'd change the default bladbase apart from fixing actual bugs, but there'd be nothing to prevent others from using the new feature in their scenarios.

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Unbalanced though they may be, changed fundamental game rules could unbalance existing scenarios. I have nothing against someone forking the source to fix game balance (once the trunk is fully stable), but I feel it is important to keep a version in which game balance (or, in this case, game unbalance) is unchanged except for fixing blatant bugs.

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I would have to agree with CM here. Us scenario designers back in the day were quite aware of how unbalanced things were even if we did not have the mathematical formulas back then. Indeed, we wrote and balanced scenarios that made certain assumptions about the game mechanics.

 

Changing the core workings, unbalanced as they may be, will change the game balance of many scenarios. For instance, fights were balanced pretty much assuming that a player would make liberal use of haste and bless. Weakening them would likely increase the difficulty of many scenarios dramatically. This would be undesirable.

 

Now, I would support a version where you could have different mechanics that would be far more balanced. Nonetheless, legacy should be preserved somehow. Perhaps a flag in the scenario file indicating whether it is a legacy scenario or not?

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Originally Posted By: *i
Now, I would support a version where you could have different mechanics that would be far more balanced. Nonetheless, legacy should be preserved somehow. Perhaps a flag in the scenario file indicating whether it is a legacy scenario or not?
It could be as simple as changing the version number of the scenario format, though that would mean the re-balanced version can still play older scenarios.
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Not every scenario is aware of the unbalance though. We should strike a compromise by balancing the game but modernizing the scenarios too. Just an idea.

 

Hell, we might as well add to it too, but that would be a little extreme!!

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I'm personally against keeping an inherently unbalanced system solely for legacy reasons. Obviously you would have to keep compatibility as far as possible, but the idea of updating the scenarios, or at the very least adding a flag that a scenario is a legacy scenario would be a good idea.

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Quote:
We should strike a compromise by balancing the game but modernizing the scenarios too. Just an idea.


Indeed this is just an idea. Easy to suggest, but I would argue it nigh impossible to do in practice. I've seen the long history of scenario design here and I know this will not happen. Legacy preserving flags are the only tractable way to go.
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  • 2 months later...

Considering the huge number of scenarios there are, modernizing the scenarios would take over 9000 years. Or some other ridiculously long amount of time.

 

*i, please don't ban me for going against you and I a noob. eek

 

Well, I actually do have more posts, but that's on Zalatar which kindof broke (password and password reset stopped working)

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  • 1 month later...

Game balance is important, but incompatible with legacy material. 1 or the other must go. Of course a just using a 2nd app for legacy scenarios is okay by me, though dual options in 1 app is better.

 

The real pain's adding new stuff & balancing the old. The improved game could use better balance & more than 3 playable races. Of course races are just mechanics, a look, & what your mind wants them to be, so not quite as impacting as attack-able terrain, being able to fight on a boat, or having more character graphics.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The problem with that is you can't do it on a large scale. Last time I checked, you could only have so many monsters on the map. It'd work for a few specific applications, but not for the scale I'm talking about(most walls/mountains).

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I know move mountains exists, but it's instant & only good for casters. I'm talking about anyone being able to target & damage walls.

 

Of course, it shouldn't be easy to destroy walls(& should be an optional feature, so some games aren't shut down by the party simply tunneling around the trouble).

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Originally Posted By: CRISIS on INFINITE SLARTIES
Yeah, this is a very specific change, that most scenarios would probably not want to use, and that would entail fairly major changes to a few aspects of the game engine.

Not gonna happen.


Would it be possible to make a type of terrain that could be destroyed by attacking though? It wouldn't have to be the default wall terrain, it could just look the same.
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Originally Posted By: Cryolemon
Would it be possible to make a type of terrain that could be destroyed by attacking though? It wouldn't have to be the default wall terrain, it could just look the same.

Originally Posted By: Celtic Minstrel
Attackable "terrain" is already possible. Just make a monster that cannot move.


If you want actual terrain that you can attack, THEN the answer is just NO.
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Originally Posted By: JtD
I know move mountains exists, but it's instant & only good for casters. I'm talking about anyone being able to target & damage walls.

Of course, it shouldn't be easy to destroy walls(& should be an optional feature, so some games aren't shut down by the party simply tunneling around the trouble).
This really isn't worth it. And, as you just said, it would be game-breaking. It's not going to happen. Unless you fork it and do it yourself, of course... though I'd advise waiting until it's stable before doing that.
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Considering I dropped C++ after a few weeks & still am not sure how managed to pass Java without having any clue as to what on earth I was doing, I think it's safe to say I can't program jack(microprocessors excluded).

 

I just thought it'd be a neat idea to add to the interactivity of the game world.

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Originally Posted By: Celtic Minstrel
It is indeed a neat idea, but not, I think, one that could be implemented in Blades of Exile without breaking the game.


As I said though, if you added it to a new terrain type that wouldn't exist in old scenarios, it wouldn't break the game.
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