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Avernum 1 Damage Stat Effects

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With the upcoming release of Avernum: Escape from the Pit, I decided to replay Avernum 1. However, I grew curious about the different effects of stats in Avernum 1, since they aren’t clearly explained. After searching for threads on how stats affect damage, I discovered that few people here really understand, or remember, how damage mechanics work in the first two games. I found that most of the assumptions are based on Avernum 3 or BoA. Therefore, I began the rather time-consuming undertaking of analyzing damage in the first game and discovered some rather surprising things.


I initially planned to do Avernum 2 as well, but I may not get around to doing it since this ended up being far more time consuming than I intended.


For those of you who don’t care about my data, I will begin with a short summary of my findings.


Weapons share a common damage multiplier, so a stick should receive the same stat bonus from Melee Weapons as Demonslayer.


Weapons that have a + or – damage modifier, like Demonslayer, which has a +3, or a stone dagger, which has a -1, appear to increase or decrease both damage and chance to hit in increments of 5% - this in turn affects skill damage. I am unsure if this applies to arrows and bolts, or if they only alter hit chance.


Avernum 1 has a max damage cap of 99 - melee weapon damage will not go any higher, although fist damage, ranged weapons and spells can. Furthermore the game has a base damage cap of 89, even with max stats any melee weapon will do a range of 89-99 damage, regardless of the weapon's original range.


Character Level

Increases Hit Points

Increases skill points by 8 per level. A custom level 40 character gets 377 skill points.

Increases chance to Unlock Doors (spell) by 2% per level.



Adds .5 damage per level on its own; this does not include the increased weapon skills from leveling Strength.

Strength has no effect on ranged damage or chance to hit.

Strength adds hit chance and damage for fists, at the same damage per level as weapons, fist damage can exceed the damage cap.

Adds 30 lbs. to carrying capacity per level, begins at 110 and caps at 350 lbs. or 10 Strength.



Only adds damage and chance to hit through increasing weapon skills.

Only adds dodging through increasing the Defense skill.

Interestingly, Dexterity adds 5% chance to hit for fists per level, and this can exceed 95% (537% to-hit is just absurd). On that note, fists are not affected by Melee or Pole skills.

Dexterity adds 1 initiative. Gymnastics, Fast on Feet and Sluggish will be considered relative to Dexterity.

Dexterity adds ~5% stoning resistance per level, base resistance is ~30%-40%.

Adds ~.4-.5% parry when defending. This is then multiplied by the amount of action points remaining (this value includes the effect of Defense, on its own Dex. gives ~1/3 per point).



Increases spell damage by .5 per level . This is also dependent on the spell’s damage modifier. I will cover Intelligence and the other magic skills in depth in another post on spells.

Determines item lore and rune reading.



Increases Hit Points

Increases Poison Resistance by 1 per level.


Melee/Pole Weapons

Increases to-hit by 5% per level, as advertised.

Increases damage by 1 per level when base to-hit is at 95%. (To-hit maxes and begins increasing damage at about skill level 13 against most early monsters. This is affected by enemy dodging. Enemies with a higher dodge chance will require a higher skill level to begin increasing damage. This is the reason you get such low damage against hard monsters, it's not just armor reduction.)

Does not add damage for fists.

Weapon bonuses increase base to-hit, and reduce the skill level required to do more damage.

May add ~.2 damage per level before level 12.



Works like the melee weapon skills - increases to-hit by 5% per level.

Increases damage by 1 per level when base to-hit is at 95% (Ranged weapons get 10% higher base to-hit than melee).

Ranged weapon quality also affects chance to hit, and thus when weapon skills begin to increase damage.



Reduces armor penalty by 4% per level.

Armor penalty will reduce your base chance to hit; this will affect the level of weapon skill necessary to begin increasing damage. Every 5% of armor penalty will reduce chance to hit by 5% and will require an additional level of weapon skill to cap your chance to hit. Armor penalty will also decrease 1 action point every 16% armor penalty, so at 32% armor penalty you have -2 AP.

Each level of Hardiness will block an average of .5 damage. This likely means a point of Hardiness has a ~50% chance to block 1 point of damage.

Hardiness does reduce elemental damage at an average of ~.3 damage per point. This probably works by increasing Resist Elements, meaning every two levels of Hardiness may have a 5% chance of blocking 1 point of fire and ice damage. The same may apply to the chance of resisting poison and disease.



Adds 4% chance to dodge, as advertised.

Does not reduce armor penalty.

Gives .5% parry bonus per level, this is then multiplied by the amount of action points remaining when you defend. This should only apply in combat.



Doubles the damage range, so an iron spear, which does 2-20, will do either 2 or 4-40 with assassination. I am unsure if it applies to the base damage, though it probably does; see my data for an explanation.

Each level adds 5% chance to assassinate. Character level increases the chance of assassination. The equation for assassination may be [(Level + Char. Level) - Monster Level]*5%.

Assassination will cap at 100% and additional points will do nothing, damage from assassination cannot exceed the damage cap, and it does not apply to ranged damage or fists.


Mage/Priest Spells

Adds 1 damage per level; like Intelligence, this is dependent on the spell’s modifier.

Affects item lore (Mage) and rune reading (Priest).


Arcane Lore

Used to identify items and read spellbooks.

Helps determine item lore and rune reading. Both of these use the entire group's value.

The highest rune reading needed is 30 for Spell Level 3 of Smite and Return Life.

Steel Plate Mail requires 277 item lore to be identified, I did not check any magic items or Blessed Plate Mail so I don't know if 277 is the highest needed.


Potion Making

Adds 8% success chance to potions per level.

Each potion begins at 50% chance at its minimum level.

Potions can reach 100% success and all potions will have this at level 19. Although by level 12, every potion below the haste elixir has 100% success.

Descriptions of the potion effects will be in a post below.


Tool Use

Adds 7% chance to unlock doors, and 8% chance to disarming traps.


Cave Lore

Needed to avoid wandering monsters and identify/find some herbs. Uses the entire group's value.

The highest requirement is 17 for a one-time mandrake and graymold find. Some wandering monsters may require more to avoid. The highest herb patch needs 12 Cave Lore.


First Aid

Each point of First Aid adds 5% chance of successfully healing hit points. Failures either heal no hit points, or cause damage.

The chance of success likely caps at 95%, 50 First Aid still resulted in failures.

The amount of damage healed averaged -.25-.75 hit points per level. At low levels you will cause more damage than you heal.



Each level adds one level of Poison Resistance, Magic Resistance, Willpower, and Resist Elements. Each of these probably give a 5% chance per level of resisting one point of damage, or entirely resisting the effect, like poison or sleep.

Each level also gives a 50% chance to block 1 point of damage like Hardiness.

Each point of Luck gives a 5% chance to “Luck Out” or not die when your health is at zero. This appears to cap at 95%, or 19 Luck. You can still die even with 100 Luck.



Adds 1.1-2.1% of an item's value to its sellback per level (base sellback is 1.33% per point). Barter caps at level 20 for all but one shop, so don't sell anything to Cliff in Spire.

Barter caps the sellback at 59.99% of an item's value (rounded to whole numbers).

Items below 5 value do not ever sell for more than 1 coin.

Does not affect purchase price of items.

At zero barter, the sellback begins at one of the following – 28%, 33% (base sellback), 39%, 44%, 49%, or 55% of an item's value - depending on the shop. Different shops will have different sellback values, but this is determined by a hidden modifier and not the displayed one, expensive, exorbitant, etc. I have listed most if not all the shop sellbacks and buy prices below.

Unnecessary math below:


The range in barter effectiveness reflects a variation of the base shop sellback. If the base shop is 33%, then the others have a relative change of 16%. So the lowest sellback is 84% of the base, the next highest is 116%, 132% and so on up to 164%. Barter then caps at 180% of the base shop sellback modifier. The increase per point of barter is dependent on the relative sellback (1.33%*84% =1.11%, and 1.33%*164%=2.1% per point.




Adds 5% to-hit per level.

Like weapon skills, damage is dependent on chance to hit, Blademaster adds 1 damage per level when chance to hit is less than 95%.

Adds 2 damage per level chance to-hit is 95%.

Blademaster does not apply to ranged weapons but does apply to fists at 1 damage and 5% chance to hit per level. Fists do not receive the 2 damage per level, probably because they do not cap at 95% to-hit.



Adds 1 damage per level against humanoids. I did not test what constitutes a humanoid.

This boost fully applies to both melee and ranged weapons (though now that I think about it, I only tested it using javelins, bows may receive half damage. Feel free to test it yourself; I’m not going through the Grim Cavern for a third time).



Adds 5% dodging per level.

Adds 1.2 initiative relative to Dexterity. So 5 Gymnastics is equivalent to 6 Dexterity.

May add stoning resistance, if it does, it caps at level ~5 (though my results were unclear).



Does not add to Poison Resistance on character sheet, no idea if it increases resistance or does something else.



May add 1 damage per level, also likely dependent on spell modifier. Magery was difficult to test since it can’t be raised through the editor.

Adds 1 to Rune Reading per level.

Increases Magic Resistance and Willpower by 1 per level.



Adds 2 points to Magic Resistance and Resist Elements per level.

Adds 1 point to Poison Resistance per level.


Dread Curse

Decreases resistance to elemental damage, magic, and physical damage (possibly by about 6-15% per level). May decrease status effect resistance and/or Willpower and Poison Resistance. Appears to negate or reduce the effects of Luck. Dread Curse may simply be a negative Luck stat.

Does not appear to affect damage, to-hit, dodge chance, magic skills, weapon skills, assassination, tool use, or barter.

May affect other stats not mentioned (not tested).



Armor does not appear to always block damage. Each piece may have a 50% chance, or it may work like it does in BoA, with each type having a different chance to block damage.

Armor does not appear to block elemental damage.



Now I will present my data for those of you who have more patience, seriously, there’s a lot of it! I realize I have a large amount of text, so I have tried to bold the information I feel is important


All melee skills were tested against the bats in Bat Cave. This was done because I felt the bats had lower armor than the goblins near Fort Avernum and it meant I didn’t need to reload very often. This is also why I did not do any tests against townspeople, it was far too tedious to go through all the dialog boxes needed to kill them. Ranged weapons and spells were tested against the rats in the Southeast corner of Fort Avernum.


In most cases, I will refer only to average damage, or the range of observed damage. This is because I am not certain how stats that add less than 1 per level work. For example, I have concluded that Strength adds an average of .5 damage per level, but I don’t know if it adds a flat .5 every level or 1 every 2 levels. However, I am 99% certain that stats do not add "dice" as they do in later games.


In Avernum 1-3 spell damage is calculated with a random base damage, and stats add a flat bonus damage. I suspect that weapons work the same way, and stats only add a flat amount of damage.


As many of you know, in Avernum 3 and later games, weapons add a 1dx die with every stat increase, and the size of the die is usually equal to random/base damage. However, as my data below shows, weapons do not have a multiplier dependent on their base range. While I realize it is unlikely to see the full range of damage, a flat stat bonus makes more sense.


Unfortunately, in several instances I could not explain the differences in my observed ranges through armor because the observed maximum exceeded the expected maximum. For example with the iron dagger, I had a damage range of 2-14 on 4, 5, and 10 Melee skill, but if Strength and Melee work by adding a flat amount (a total of 1 damage at those levels), then I should have seen a maximum of 13 damage. This means that either weapon skills add less than .5 damage per level before level 12, or skills do add damage through dice. I cannot tell which of these is the case (possibly both).


Damage Skills


Damage multiplier:


These tests came as quite a shock to me, especially after Avernum 3 introduced different multipliers to different weapons. I initially wanted to find out each weapon’s multiplier, so I tested both strength and melee at different levels, then subtracted the weapon’s expected average to find the damage added by stats and compared different weapons. For example, an iron dagger does 2-12, so I subtracted (2+12)/2, or 7, from the average damage to find how much damage 50 Strength added.


I have only included the level 50 stat effects to keep these charts short, even though I tested each weapon at several different stat levels.


Strength Level 50 Tests


Weapon Str. 50 Observed Str. 50 Stat Effect per Level

Avg. Damage Range Damage Strength*


Halberd 50.9 37-67 30.9 .618

Iron Dagger 35.4 29-41 28.4 .568

Iron Short

Sword 38 31-43 29 .58

Iron Spear 39.5 31-47 28.5 .57

Stone Pike 40.1 29-53 27.1 .542


*Since Strength also adds to the weapon skills this can be considered the average damage added by Strength. However, in my analysis of Strength and my summary above I do subtract the damage added by weapon skills to find how much damage Strength does on its own.


Weapon Skill Level 50 Tests


Weapon Weapon Skill 50 Observed Skill 50 Stat Effect per Level

Avg. Damage Range Damage of Weapon Skill**


Halberd 61 47-73 41 .82

Iron Dagger 43.6 38-48 36.6 .732

Iron Short

Sword 45.9 40-52 36.9 .738

Iron Spear 48 38-56 37 .74

Stone Pike 49.3 39-60 36.3 .726


**Because of the odd effects of the weapon skills, this could be considered the average damage that weapon skills add per level, but only if you’re fond of raising your melee weapon skills to level 50. At more realistic levels (read below 25) weapon skills will add an average of 0-.3 damage per level.


Because the stat damage for every weapon is relatively close, this means that these weapons have the same damage multipliers. This has not been tested for every single weapon, but I assume that each weapon will have the same stat damage, regardless of its base range. If weapons did have multipliers based on their range, like in A3-6, a halberd should add 1-16 per level, while a dagger would add 1-6. If this were true, then each of these weapons would have very different stat damages.


Blessed weapons, such as the blessed halberd, or weapons that add or subtract (stone and bronze weapons) chance to hit will vary in damage by a few points, however they still have the same multiplier (but more on that later).


As we can see, the iron dagger averages only 18 less damage than the blessed halberd when melee skill is at 50. At lower and more realistic stat levels, the base damage of a weapon becomes more significant. However, the low damage cap of 100 means that with blessing and other damage stats, daggers (or sticks for that matter) are still practical weapons.



Melee Weapon skills:


The melee weapon skills included in this section correspond to the strength levels listed below (except level 15, but my reason for doing that will be clear soon enough). I have done this so you can see exactly how I found the damage added by strength. Each skill level includes the average damage, the observed range and the chance to hit. The final column shows the linear equation for a line of best fit.


Note: the line of best fit includes levels that I tested, but did not list below; for each weapon I tested skill levels 1-5, 10, 15-17, 25, 34, 50, and either 101 or 75, depending on whether the weapon hit the damage cap.


Weapon Base Stats 4 Skill 5 Skill 10 Skill 15 Skill 17 Skill 34 Skill 50 Skill Line of Best Fit


Halberd 20.8 21.9 21.6 21.1 24.4 26.8 45 61.1 .9x+15.8

6-36 7-35 7-35 8-34 11-40 14-42 29-59 47-73

47% 62% 67% 92% 95% 95% 95% 95%


Iron Dagger 7.6 8.2 8.3 8 9.4 10.6 29 43.6 .9x+1.1

3-13 2-14 2-14 2-14 5-15 6-17 24-34 38-48

32% 47% 52% 77% 95% 95% 95% 95%


Stone Pike 13.5 14.2 13.5 13.7 14.4 15 32.6 49.3 .8x+7.5

1-23 2-22 2-27 1-25 1-24 3-26 20-43 39-60

27% 42% 47% 72% 95% 95% 95% 95%


*Strength remained at 2 for each test.


This chart shows that when weapon skill was below 15, the observed damage did not increase at all. While this may simply be a problem with my samples, each of the melee weapons I tested also failed to show an increase in damage when weapon skill was below 15. This could also indicate that damage will only increase when the weapon skill reaches a certain level. However, I believe that weapon skill damage is tied to chance to hit.


Melee weapon skills will only begin increasing damage when the chance to-hit is over 95%. For bats, that begins at level 12. This would account for the three points of increase shown by the blessed halberd at level 15, compared to the one point for the iron dagger and the stone pike, since the halberd has 15-20% more chance to hit.


After level 12, weapon skill began increasing damage by 1 point/level. If we subtract the base stats to find the damage added by weapon skills, and ignore the skill levels below 15, we get a slope of .976x-10 for the blessed halberd, 1x-14 for the dagger, and 1x-14.7 for the stone pike.


This chart also shows that weapons with a +x receive a to-hit penalty or bonus in 5% increments. So a blessed weapon with +3 will begin at 15% more to-hit than iron weapons, and stone, or bronze weapons, with a -1 or-2 will have 5-10% less to-hit than iron weapons. This means you should get a noticeable increase in damage once you switch to blessed weapons. Furthermore, the diamond dagger, with +8, gets a whopping 40% bonus, and if my assumption is correct, the diamond dagger will begin increasing in damage before skill level 15 (around 6).


Upon testing the diamond dagger at base stats, it averaged 15.3 damage, had a range of 10-22, and 72% to-hit. At 10 melee skill it averaged 20 damage, with a range from 15-25 and had 95% to-hit. This supports my claim that weapon skills only increase damage when chance to hit is over 95%, rather than at a static level.


Summary: Weapon skill gives an average of ~.8 damage per level (average from 1-101), no damage when chance to hit is under 95% and 1 damage per level when it is over 95%.


Note: Not tested on opponents with high dodging. I don’t know if damage will decrease against monsters with higher dodging, though I doubt it will. The damage increase is likely tied to the base to-hit percent of 35%. Assuming this is true, to-hit caps at 95% at 12 weapon skill, making level 12 the magic number for increasing damage. Weapons with a + or – will increase or decrease to-hit, and will also increase or decrease the skill level needed to increase damage.


After testing against Slith Warriors, which have higher dodging than bats, (The base to-hit with an iron dagger was 24%, compared to 32%.) I have discovered that dodging does indeed affect weapon damage increases. The base damage against the Sliths was 3, versus 7.6 against bats, meaning slith warriors blocked an average of 4.6 damage, which I attribute to armor. To-hit capped at skill level 16, and damage began increasing after that. At level 25, the slith avg. damage was 8-9 points lower than against bats, reflecting both armor and the lower skill bonus of about 4 points.








Because all of the weapons I tested appear to have the same multiplier, I will only list the iron dagger for the next four skills.


Since Strength also increases weapon skill at a rate of STR+DEX/3, we need to subtract the damage added by the weapon skill level, which I listed above, and the weapon’s average damage to find the effect of increasing strength. So (Strength Average – Weapon Average) – (Weapon Skill Damage – Base Stats) = Strength Damage. We have to subtract from both the weapon’s average (7 in this case) and the base stats keep the damage added by the base strength of 2. For easy reference, 10 strength corresponds to 4 melee, 15 to 5, 30 to 10, 50 to 17, and 102 to 34.


Base Stats 10 Str. 15 Str. 30 Str. 50 Str. 102 Str. Line of Best Fit

Iron Dagger 7.6 11.9 14.4 22.7 35.4 76.8 .7x+4.7

3-13 7-17 8-19 18-28 29-41 72-81

Amount Added

by Strength .6 4.3 6.8 15.4 25.4 48.4 .48x


*Weapon skill remained at 1 for each test.


The other four weapons that I tested for the damage multiplier each showed a similar slope. The iron dagger had the lowest at, .484, and the stone pike had the highest at, .518. It is likely that strength adds .5 damage per level on average, ~.7 if you include its secondary effect of increasing weapon skills (only applies at high weapon skill levels, this will be slightly more than .5 at realistic levels).





Blademaster appears to act the same way that weapon skills do regarding chance to hit and damage.


Base Stats 5 Blade 10 Blade 15 Blade 20 Blade 40 Blade Line of Best Fit

Iron Dagger 7.6 12.9 18.4 25.5 35.3 75.6 1.7x-3.8

3-13 8-19 12-23 21-31 29-40 70-81

32% 57% 82% 95% 95% 95%

Damage Added by

Blademaster N/A 5.3 10.8 17.9 27.7 68 1.7x



*Second number is the slope if we only consider levels higher than 15, when to-hit has capped


Unlike the weapon skills, Blademaster increases damage by 1 damage/level if chance to hit is less than 95% and 2/level when chance to hit is at 95%.





Does not apply to ranged damage, and only takes effect when you are at a higher level than the monster (help file says otherwise, I may be wrong).


Base Stats 1 As 5As 10As 14As 15As 20As 50As and 25 Melee* 25 Melee*

Iron Dagger 7.6 11.28 13.6 14.1 16.3 17.5 17.8 34.6 18.9

3-13 3-26 4-26 3-25 7-27 6-26 8-28 25-46 14-24

Observed Rate N/A 36% 59% 65% 96% 100% 100% 100% N/A


*Tested to see if assassination doubles the whole range or the just maximum damage


As we can see by the observed ranges for 25 Melee skill, my data is slightly unclear about whether Assassination doubles the entire range of damage, or if it only doubles the maximum damage. If the minimum damage remains untouched, then I should have seen something lower than 25 on my last test, but I can’t rule out a the possibility of a poor sample.


I suspect however, that assassination does actually double both minimum and maximum damage and that bats have natural armor, at least enough to absorb 3 damage. I frequently noticed lower minimums than expected. My test of 2 assassination resulted in a minimum damage of 2 for the iron dagger. Similarly, in my test of the base damage of the iron short sword, 2d8, I saw a range of 2-17. I believe the 17 was a result of the base Strength, but unless Strength adds a 0dx die, I should not have seen a 2 on unarmored opponents.





Anatomy tests were done against the goblins outside Fort Avernum.


Base* 10 An 15 An 20 An 30 An Line of Best Fit

Iron Dagger 6.9 17.8 22.2 28 37.2 1x+7.4

1-12 10-23 14-28 21-34 30-43


Iron Javelin 13.3 24.8 28.3 33 44.8 1x+12.8

5-23 16-33 18-38 23-42 31-54


*The base damage is different than in other tests because it was tested against different enemies.


Anatomy was very easy to test and yielded straightforward results. As I stated earlier, I did not test it against every creature to see which are humanoids. As you can see from the last column, Anatomy adds 1 point of average damage each level to both melee and ranged weapons.





Hardiness reduces armor penalty by 4% per level. Armor penalty does appear to affect the level at which melee skills begin increasing damage, this means bulky armor will reduce the base to-hit. Armor penalties likely affect Blademaster as well.


Base Melee 5 Melee 10 Melee 15 Melee 25 Melee 34 Melee 50

Iron Short

Sword 10.6 10.3 10 11.4 20.5 29.9 45.9

2-17 3-18 2-16 4-16 14-28 24-38 40-52

32% 52% 77% 95% 95% 95% 95%

20% Armor

Penalty 9.8 9.7 9.5 9.5 17.4 25.4 42.4

4-18 3-17 4-16 4-15 10-25 19-34 34-49

12% 32% 57% 85% 95% 95% 95%


5 Hardiness 10.3 9.9 10 11.2 20.9 30 46.1

2-17 4-17 3-17 4-19 14-28 24-38 39-53

32% 52% 77% 95% 95% 95% 95%


32% Armor

Penalty 10.2 10.7 10.3 10.3 15.2 24.5 39.8

3-18 4-17 3-18 2-18 8-23 16-31 33-46

0%* 20% 45% 70% 95% 95% 95%


*Although the display showed a 0% chance to hit, it was probably a bug, like how fists can exceed 95%. The actual minimum rate may be 5%, considering the 95% cap.


As this chart shows, five Hardiness will completely counteract the effects of a 20% armor penalty, or reduce armor penalty by 4% each level. I did not feel it was necessary to test eight Hardiness for the 32% penalty, but if someone wants more evidence for the effects of Hardiness, just ask me to and I’ll try to add it in, or feel free to post your own data.


This chart also shows that bulky armor will reduce your base chance to hit (see the lower damage of the rows with armor penalty), meaning you then need a higher weapon skill before it will begin adding damage. With an iron short sword, melee skill should begin increasing damage at level 13 with no armor penalty, but with 20% penalty, it will not begin increasing damage until level 17. With 32% penalty, you need an additional 3 levels of weapon skill before it will add damage, at level 20. A T-test showed that below Melee 15, the 20% penalty test, and the 5 Hardiness test were not significantly different at the 5% level. However, Beginning at Melee 15, each of the subsequent samples for those two rows were significantly different, showing that armor penalty will increase the level necessary for melee skills increase damage.



Ranged Weapon skills:


The ranged weapon tests were done on the rats in the southeast corner of Fort Avernum.


Weapon Base Skill 2 Skill 5 Skill 10 Skill 15 Skill 25 Skill 34 Line of Best Fit


Bow* 14.9 15.7 13.9 19.4 25 32.9 43.3 .92x+11.4

6-25 6-24 6-22 13-27 15-33 25-42 37-51

70% 75% 90% 95% 95% 95% 95%



Javelin 14.3 13.5 13.2 12.5 16.2 26.5 35.8 .9x+7

3-24 4-20 2-24 1-23 6-28 17-36 25-46

40% 45% 60% 85% 95% 95% 95%


*The bow test was done with iron arrows, which I assume do not add to-hit, other arrows should modify the to-hit and subsequently damage.

Interesting note: with 101 Throwing skill, I was able to exceed the damage cap with javelins, hitting a max of 113.


Like melee weapons, ranged weapons do not appear to have different multipliers, although a bow may get two chances to modify the skill level needed to increase damage, first with the bow quality, then the arrow quality [untested].


Ranged weapon skills are also tied to your chance to hit; the blessed bow began increasing damage after level 6, while the javelin began increasing after level 12. From the last column, we can see that the Ranged weapon skills increase damage by .9/level. If we assume they begin increasing damage after the to-hit caps, we get a slope of 1x-5.7 and 1x-11.3 for the bow and the javelins, respectively. This suggests that the ranged weapon skills increase damage by 1/level after to-hit caps at 95%.





To find the damage added by Dexterity, I subtracted the damage added by weapon skills from the average damage listed below.


Weapon Base Dex 5 Dex 10 Dex 20 Dex 30 Dex 50 Dex 68

Blessed 14.9 14 14.4 19.2 24 34 43.5

Bow 6-25 6-25 6-23 10-29 15-33 26-41 35-51

70% 75% 90% 95% 95% 95% 95%

Amount Dex.

Adds 0 -1.7 .5 -.2 -1 1.1 .2


Javelin 14.3 13.4 14.2 12.7 18 25.3 34.2

3-24 3-23 2-23 3-25 7-26 17-35 24-45

40% 45% 60% 85% 95% 95% 95%

Amount Dex.

Adds 0 -.1 1 .2 1.8 -1.2 -1.6



These numbers, along with the numbers for the ranged weapon skills, show that Dexterity does not increase chance to hit, or damage on its own. It only does so through increasing the ranged weapon skills. You can see this because the ranged skills increase at Dex/2, so 5 Dex is equal to 2 ranged, and 10 Dex is equal to 5 ranged. You can see that the weapons match in to-hit in both charts. If Dexterity added to-hit, we would expect these numbers to be higher.



Defensive Skills




The chart below shows the monster's (Cave Rats) chance to hit at various levels of Dexterity and Defense. Remember that Dexterity adds to the Defense skill at a rate of Dex/4, so each row of Dexterity corresponds to the level of Defense you would get from Dexterity. The third and fourth columns show the chance to hit from increasing Defense alone.


Dexterity To-hit Chance Defense To-hit Chance

2 41% 0 41%

5 37% 1 37%

10 33% 2 33%

15 29% 3 29%

20* 21% 4/5* 25%/21%

25 17% 6 17%

30 13% 7 13%

35 9% 8 9%

40* 1% 9/10* 5%/1%

45 0% 11 0%


* At these skill levels, Dexterity increased Defense by two levels over the previous test. This explains why from 15-20 and from 35-40 Dexterity increased the dodge chance by 8%.


If Dexterity added dodging on its own, we would expect it to have a lower chance to hit than Defense. Since the chance to hit in the Dexterity column equals the chance to hit for the corresponding level of Defense, this shows that Dexterity will only increase dodging every four levels when Defense increases.




Hardiness Pt. 2:


Hardiness' armor effects were tested against cave rats and guards on the Real Hard difficulty to make sure I took enough damage, and walking in lava to test its elemental resistance. I am not sure if lava does a different type of damage than fire spells (magic?) or fire breath. I suspect that they all do fire type damage.


Hardiness Avg. Damage Range Amount Lava* Range Amount

Taken Blocked Blocked

0 16.04 11-21 0 26.6 16-34 0

0(Guards) 64.75 57-74 0 N/A N/A N/A

5 13.42 7-20 2.62 N/A N/A N/A

10 11.06 4-18 4.98 24.7 12-38 1.9

20 6.42 0-20 9.62 21.36 9-38 5.24

40 N/A N/A N/A 13.2 6-18 13.4

50 2.36 0-18 13.68 N/A N/A N/A

50(Guards) 38.52 13-61 26.23 N/A N/A N/A

Hardiness was tested at levels 0, 5, 10, 20, and 50 for normal damage and 0, 10, 20, and 40 for lava damage.


As you can see from the third column, in each test Hardiness blocked close to .5 damage per point, except at level 50. I believe this is because, as the ranges show, Hardiness does not always block damage, but that each point has a chance, probably 50%, to block damage. The 50% chance of occurrence is my own guess, if anyone has another idea, feel free to theorize. In addition, because cave rats did so little damage, by level 50, the points may have been wasted. Retesting 50 Hardiness against guards resulted in an average damage of 38.52, with a range of 13-61. With no Hardiness, guards did 64.75, from 57-74 damage. In this instance, 50 Hardiness gave a blocking of 26.23, or nearly a 50% reduction.

The Elemental Resistance conferred by Hardiness is a little more complex. I don’t know if Elemental Resistance works as described in game, but the Hardiness test indicates that it reduced fire damage at ~.68 per point. The numbers are a little odd, so it may give a 5% chance to reduce damage by 1. I do not believe Hardiness has an inherent elemental reduction; it is probably only applied through Elemental Resistance.



First Aid:


First Aid was tested with both normal, and fine first aid kits, which give an additional 32% chance of success. I am assuming that the percent displayed when using the skill is the chance of it succeeding and healing HP.


First Aid Avg. Healed Range Success % Obs. Failure % Fine Kit Avg. Range Success % Failure %

1 -3.7 -6-5 15% 96% 1.9 -6-12 47% 50%

5 -1.3 -6-7 35% 75% 6.3 0-11 67% 8%

10 2.75 -6-11 60% 29% 6.2 -2-12 92% 15%

20 8.2 -6-14 110% 13% 15.4 -4-20 142% 8%

30 18 -1-25 160% 8% 25.6 21-29 192% 0%

50 35.7 -5-44 260% 8% 37.2 -5-50 292% 17%


Even though we didn’t need more evidence that First Aid is an awful skill, I decided to test it anyway. While the average HP healed at low levels is negative, once it is raised high enough so that the displayed success rate is over 100% it can actually heal a fair amount of damage. Of course that requires about 200 skill points that you could use on Priest spells instead. If the low amount of healing and the fact that you can still cause damage at level 50 weren’t bad enough, because you can only use the skill once per day, leads me to conclude First Aid is worthless unless you refuse to use Priest spells.






Luck's life saving was tested by walking through lava, if the character died, I recorded a no, if Luck saved them, I recorded a yes. After 100 deaths or life saves, the number of saves was divided by the total to get the chance of lucking out.


Luck % of Luck Out Percent/Level

0 0% N/A

2 14% 7%

5 28% 5.6%

10 52% 5.2%

20 92% 4.6%

30 93% 3.1%

50 87% 1.74%


This shows that below level 20, Luck adds ~5% chance to survive death. Increasing Luck above level 20 has either no effect, or that after level 10, it has diminishing returns. However, I believe the former is the case.


Luck also adds armor and elemental resistance, like Hardiness. Because both stats add to Resist Elements, I did not test how Luck reduced fire damage. I will assume it has twice the effect of Hardiness (dying in lava was a pain with 50 Luck, so it definitely reduces fire damage).


Luck Avg. Damage Range Amount Blocked Blocked/Pt.

0 64.8 57-74 0 N/A

5 61.9 54-72 2.9 .58

10 59 48-68 5.8 .58

30 49.7 31-66 15 .5

50 39.3 8-73 24.5 .49


This test was done against guards on Real Hard.

Once again, because I saw such high maximum damages, I believe Luck has a 50% chance of reducing 1 damage just like Hardiness, or reduces an average of .5 damage per level.




Shop Sellback Ratios:



Done using zero Barter with Nimble Boots (sellback 1000). All of the shops are listed with the ratio of sellback to value and their displayed purchase modifier. All shops will cap at .599 value with enough Barter. Lower value items will have a lower sellback ratio than .599 because of rounding.


.280 - exorbitant - Cliff (Spire), do not sell to him if you care about maximizing your coins.

.333 - slightly expensive - Anastasia and Efram (Silvar), Grimmet (Fort Duvno), Garthass (Gnass).

.333 - slightly expensive - Dexter (Almaria) if you tell him you are an adventurer he pays more, .492.

.333 - expensive - Elspeth (Cotra), Eunice (Spire), Ramirez (Almaria).

.386 - very reasonable - Mushroom farm near Almaria.

.386 - pretty average - Darmon Armor.

.386 - slightly expensive - Julio (Almaria), Shaynee (near Fort Saffron).

.386 - expensive - Boutell weapon shop , Boutell's armor shop pays less, at .333 (Fort Draco), Rosemary (Almaria).

.386 - exorbitant - Skatha (Gnass)

.439 - slightly expensive - Jason (Fort Duvno), Glenda (Tower of Magi), Leith and Jonnhalyn (Blosk), Clive (Dharmon).

.439 - expensive - Jasmine (Formello).

.439 - exorbitant - Traveling Merchants near Formello, Terri (Mertis), Traveling Merchants near Almaria and Castle.

.492 - pretty average - Both groups of merchants at lava pit between Tower of Magi and Almaria.

.492 - slightly expensive - Sue (Fort Draco).

.492 - expensive - Jenny (Cotra), Sylow (Fort Dranlon), the wandering guards near Cotra.

.492 - exorbitant - Brantford (Tower of Magi).

.546 - pretty average - Hermit Merchant near Tower of Magi (needs 3 Barter to cap sellback).


Because of the bug/feature that makes healers always buy at maximum price (59.99% of item value) you can sell to them and completely ignore Barter.

For buying items, a shop with very reasonable will have a buy price of 70% the item’s value, a pretty average shop will have a buy price of 120% the item’s value, slightly expensive - 150%, expensive – 180%, and an exorbitant shop will have a buy price of 220% an item’s value.




Dread Curse:



Dread Curse increases the damage you receive from various sources and at least partially negates the resistance and chance to save life given by Luck. All tests were done with Dread Curse 3.


Skill Level Avg. Damage Taken Range

Physical Base* 15.7 11-20

Dread Curse 22 18-27

Hardiness 5 13.7 9-18

Hardiness + Dread Curse 19.4 13-26


Lava Base 26.4 16-36

Dread Curse 34.1 23-42


Magic Base** 24.8 15-33

Dread Curse 29.4 22-36

Luck 5 18.3 10-26

Luck + Dread Curse 30.1 22-38


Luck Out Chance*** 28% chance of surviving death

Dread Curse 7% chance of surviving


* The physical damage test was done against cave rats on Very Hard

** The magic damage test was done against an Ogre mage using Lightning Spray

*** The Luck Out test was done at 5 Luck over 100 tests







The various combinations of armor were tested against cave rats on Real Hard. After taking more than 200 attacks, I feel confident in saying that on the hardest difficulty, cave rats will do 11-21 damage, average 16, to an unarmored character.


Armor Avg. Damage Range Amount Blocked Lava Avg. Range

No Armor 16.04 11-21 0 26.4 16-36

5 items (1-1)

14.2 8-20 1.9 27 16-38

Shield (1-8+4)

11.1 2-20 4.9 27 18-40

Armor (1-16+5)

7 0-18 9 27.88 16-37

S+A (2-24+9)

2.8 0-14 13.2 26.18 16-42

Drakeskin Armor, Gauntlets of Might, Pants, Cloak (7-15+10)

7.2 0-15 8.8 26.38 16-35


If all armor blocked a minimum of 1 damage (except cursed armor), then we would assume that the five items of 1-1, would block 5 damage, yet it only blocked about 2. This leads me to believe that armor does not guarantee damage reduction. In addition, each set of tests resulted in less damage blocked than we would expect if each piece reduced damage by a minimum of 1.


As you can see from the lava columns, armor does not block lava damage. If lava causes fire damage, which I believe it does, then armor will not block elemental damage, and probably not magic damage either.




The stats affecting magic damage are now in a post below.


Credits: Some of the information in this post was inspired by various walkthroughs. The walkthroughs I consulted include Silver's A1, Harehunter's A2, and Rache's A3 Annotated Maps, AverMan's A1 walkthrough, Matt P's A2 FAQ/Walkthrough, and Relle's A3 FAQ/Walkthrough. In addition to these authors, I would like to thank all the forumites who contributed both directly and indirectly.

Edited by Thoukydides
Clarified Arcane Lore
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I attempted to test Hardiness's armor effects although my data on it has disappeared. All I remember is that it will reduce some amount of damage and that it doesn't always take effect. I believe it has a 30%-60% chance of reducing damage but don't quote me on that.


I did not have extensive data on dodging, but after doing some quick tests, I will edit it in above. I did notice that the monster's chance to hit decreased by 4% every four levels of Dexterity. Since Defense is Dex/4, and increases dodging by 4% I concluded that Dexterity does not increase dodging.

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1. Anatomy does apply to fists at an average of 1 damage per level.


2. I have no idea how anatomy or any other stat works in Blades of Avernum, it's been a long time since I played that game.


Your idea of a monk character will be very difficult. Since Strength only adds .5 damage you need a lot of it to make fists equal to a weapon. In my tests fists did about 1-8 damage. In addition, upon further testing of Blademaster, fists only get 1 damage per level and 5% to-hit from it (meaning you can ignore Dexterity's to-hit bonus). So although you can ignore weapon skills, Strength and Blademaster will become very expensive before you can equal weapon damage.


However, as long as you don't do an anti-magic monk squad or singleton, you could probably finish the game without using weapons.




Update: I have added defensive skills to my original post. Changes include adding armor and resistance effects to Hardiness, adding Barter, First Aid, Luck, Gymnastics, Pathfinder, Resistance, including Magery's other effects, and a section on Armor.

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  • 3 months later...

Although I hate to double post and necro this thread, I decided to move the magic stats down here since the original post is now too long.


As mentioned above


Adds an average of .5 damage per level


Mage/Priest Spells

Adds an average of 1 damage per level



Adds 1 damage per level, equivalent to one level of Mage/Priest Spells – applies to both



Bonus damage, henceforth referred to as “B,” is equivalent to Intelligence/2 + Mage/Priest Spells + Magery.

I believe rounding occurs after the magic stats are added, something like Rounddown(Int/2 + Mage/Priest + Magery).


Spell damage levels and bonuses are listed in the help file. I can list them below if anyone wants me to.


All damage spells were tested against the rats in Fort Avernum. While I did attempt to test the spell range at minimum possible levels against unarmored opponents, Eduardo and Andrew in Cotra, I will not present the damage ranges resulting from those tests, partly because they are in the help file (which I couldn’t read at the time. Microsoft has an update for later versions of Windows if any of you have the same problem).




Because spells and spell levels receive different bonuses from skills, I will only use Bolt of Fire to show how they increase damage; if you don’t believe me you can check the help file.

Base Int. 5 Int. 10 Int. 15 Int. 20 Int. 30 Int. 50 Line of Best Fit

Bolt of Fire

Level 1 6.8 7.5 9.2 10.1 11.1 14.7 17.7 .23x+6.7

1-11 3-12 4-14 4-15 5-17 6-20 7-25

Damage Added

by Int. 0 .7 2.4 3.3 4.3 7.9 10.9 .23x-.1

Effect per

Level 0 .14 .24 .22 .215 .263 .218 N/A



The damage added by Intelligence was determined by subtracting the average damage in each column from the base damage. The third row shows the effect per level, found by dividing the second row by the level of Intelligence. The Mage/Priest Spells and Magery skills will be done the same way.


As you can see above, Intelligence adds about .25 damage per level for Bolt of Fire level 1, which gets Bonus/2 damage, so Intelligence will add .5 damage per level of B. The increase of damage from the base stats to Int 5 was not a significant change, nor was the increase from 10 to 15, and 15 to 20. However, this is unsurprising since an increase of 1.25 damage every five levels wouldn’t be likely to show a significant difference.




Because spells have different modifiers for these skills, like Intelligence, I will only show Bolt of Fire level 1 to establish a baseline.


Base Skill 5 Skill 10 Skill 15 Skill 20 Skill 30 Skill 50 Line of Best Fit

Bolt of Fire

Level 1 6.8 8.1 11.3 12.7 15 21 29.5 .47x+6.3

1-11 3-12 4-16 5-19 8-20 12-27 12-36

Damage Added by

Mage/Priest 0 1.3 4.5 5.9 8.2 14.2 22.7 .47x-.7

Effect per

Level 0 .26 .45 .39 .41 .47 .454 N/A


While the average damages for skill levels 5 and 15 are a little low, they are both significantly different from the next lowest level. Again, because Bolt of Fire has a B/2 modifier, the Mage and Priest skills add 1 damage per level.





As mentioned, Magery was difficult to test since it can only be trained by Khoth, the Magery learning crystal, or in the Crypt of Drath. I decided that reaching Khoth and the bottom of Drath’s crypt were not worth the effort. For each test, I used the base damage range at 1 Intelligence and 1 Mage Spells, then tested them after using the learning crystal.


Base 3 Magery Line of Best Fit

Bolt of Fire

Level 1 6.8 8.6 .59x+6.8

1-11 3-14

Bolt of Fire

Level 2 9.1 12.4 1.1x+9.1

2-14 4-19

Bolt of Fire

Level 3 11.3 16.9 1.8x+11.3

3-19 8-28



For comparison with Mage Spells, my tests of levels 2 and 3 of Bolt of Fire resulted in Lines of Best Fit of .88x+8.3 for level 2, and 1.4x+10.3 for level 3. This roughly compares to the damage formula I have listed below of B and 1.5B.


Since I only used two data points, the slopes shown in the third column may be way off, but unless someone wants to offer additional data, we can assume that Magery has the same effect as Mage or Priest Spells and adds 1 damage per level. My testing of the Battle Rage spell supports this, 3 levels of Magery and Priest Spells resulted in the same to-hit chance as 6 levels of Priest Spells. 9 Priest and 3 Magery gave the same to-hit as 12 levels of Priest Spells (for more information on how Battle Rage works, see below).



Mage Spells


Bolt of Fire - Level 1: 3-12+B/2

Level 2: 4-18+B

Level 3: 5-20+3B/2


Unlock Doors - Level 1: Adds no additional unlock bonus. Every additional B adds 5% to unlock chance and character level adds 2%.

Level 2: Adds 30% to unlock chance.

Level 3: Adds no additional bonus, unlocks level 3 locks.


Priest Spells

Since two Priest Spells, Battle Rage and Divine Warrior, affect damage I attempted to test their combat effects as well. I believe both spells have different equations for their combat effects than their duration. Divine Warrior proved to be more complicated, because its bonus to hit was not as stable as Battle Rage’s. I tested the two spells by casting them in one turn of combat, then immediately attacking the next, to prevent the spells from losing chance to hit. However, the to-hit bonus from Divine Warrior often varied from one cast to the next and for this reason, I stopped testing it.


Battle Rage – Level 1: Increases Level by 3+B/6 – caps at +8 Levels, each Level increases damage and chance to hit, likely equivalent to Weapon skills or weapon bonuses, at 1 damage and 5% per level – these wear off over time


Level 2: Increases Level by 4+B/3 – caps at +8 Levels

Level 3: Same as Spell Level 2, only adds Haste


Note: I refer to “Levels” here as each time that Battle Rage will increase chance to hit. I am assuming damage will increase at the same time as well. This is not the same as spell levels, or amount of Priest Spells or Intelligence, but should be similar to a weapon receiving a +x.


More Important Note: The damage from Battle Rage was tested for the entire duration of the spell. As time passes, the spell will lose Levels and the to-hit bonus will decrease in increments of 5%, this also appears to decrease damage. Because of this, the damage I refer to will be less than the damage you would get during the first few rounds that the spell is in effect.


Slightly Less Important Note: This may also be why my damage increased upon increasing my chance to hit, I was able to hit more often while the spell was stronger than at a lower chance to hit. With that in mind, Battle Rage may add slightly more than 1 damage per Level.



Levels of Battle Rage were determined by finding stat levels where the chance to hit increased. At base stats, Battle Rage increased to-hit from 27% to 42%, and level 2 further increased this to 47%. Level 1 then increased chance to hit by 5% every 6 levels of Priest and at Intelligence 12, 22, 34, 46, and 58. Additional skill levels did not add more to-hit. Level 2 increased chance to hit at Priest 4, 6, 10, 12, and Intelligence 6, 10, 18, and 22. Using algebra and various combinations of Priest and Intelligence, I was able to figure out the Battle Rage equations, and that the magic stats are added together before rounding down. I don't know if the melee stats (Strength) are rounded down as well if they are not added in whole numbers.


Battle Rage appears to be influenced by chance to hit like the weapon skills and Blademaster. Battle Rage will add between .66 and 1.5 damage per Level (not per level of Priest or Intelligence – these will be much lower) of the spell. This may depend on your chance to hit.


No Bless Bless Level 1 Level 2 Priest 50* Priest 50*

Level 1 Level 2


Dagger Base 6.8 8.8 9.1 12.4 11.9

1-13 4-15 4-16 6-20 5-18

27% 42% 47% 95% 95%


Stone Dagger with

20 Melee 12.4 15.7 N/A 19.3 21.8

6-17 8-21 N/A 10-30 9-31

95% 95% N/A 95% 95%


*The 20 Melee test was done using spell level 1 at Priest 1, 20, and 30.


A t-test showed the Battle Rage data was significantly different at the 5% significance from the no blessing damage. There was however, no significant difference between spell level 1 and level 2. I believe this was because of poor data, or because the one level difference at base stats did not provide enough of a boost.


Since Battle Rage begins at three Levels, we can surmise that Battle Rage will add about two damage, or 2/3 damage per level, and further levels will increase damage by about the same amount. At Priest Spells 50, well after Battle Rage caps at +8 Levels, the average damage was 12.4, while at level 2, the average damage was 11.9, also not a significant difference. Since the bonus stops at +8, we can subtract 12.4 from 6.8, to get 5.6/8=.7 – this is quite close to the 2/3 damage per level that the initial bonus gives.


As you can see, because higher spell and skill levels do not add more damage Battle Rage will cap at +8 Levels. Increasing the spell level will simply allow you to cap the bonus from Battle Rage at a lower amount of Priest Spells, 12 rather than 30, and Intelligence.


I also tested Battle Rage with 20 Melee skill to see how the two interacted. Here we see an increase of 3 damage when using Battle Rage Level 1 with 1 Int, 1 Priest and 20 Melee. When Priest Spells were increased to 20 and 30, at +6 and +8 Levels, damage was 19.3 and 21.8 respectively. Subtracting the damage added by Battle Rage from the average of 12.4 gives us 3.3 at +3 Levels, 6.9 at +6, and 9.4 at+8 damage. This gives us a rough estimate of 1 damage per Level of Battle Rage when chance to hit is at 95%.



Divine Warrior:

Although I stopped testing Divine Warrior before analyzing damage, I believe it acts like Battle Rage and increases levels of damage and chance to hit, probably equivalent to Weapon skills. The initial level of Divine Warrior, at 16 Priest and 1 Intelligence adds either 35% or 40% to your to-hit, or +7-8 Levels. This will cap at 95%, but I am unsure if it caps at +13 Levels or if it continues to increase. In addition, the randomness of the spell prevented me from determining at which skill levels the +Levels increased. If it does act like Battle Rage, we can expect Divine Warrior to add at least 7-13 damage, depending on your level of Priest Spells, Intelligence, and Magery.


Protection – Level 1: Increases Strength Level by 3.33 or 10/3 + B/6 – Like Battle Rage, Protection caps at +8 Levels, each Strength Level adds +1 to armor which wears off one Level at a time

Level 2: Increases Strength Level by 4.? + B/3?

Level 3: Same as Spell Level 2, but adds magic protection


Protection appears to work like Battle Rage, adding armor instead of weapon bonuses. Like Battle Rage, Protection was tested over the entire duration of the spell. Levels of Protection increased for Spell Level 1, at Priest 4, then every six levels after that, and at Int. 6, 18, 30, 42, and 54. Spell Level 2 and 3 increased the strength at Priest 1, 2, 6, 8, and 12, and Int 2, 10, 14, and 22. This test was conducted against cave rats on Real Hard.



Average Damage Range Chance To Strength Damage Blocked

Taken Be Hit Level

No Protection 16.4 11-20 81% 0 0

Level 1 Base Skills

13.8 10-19 66% +3 2.6

Level 1 – Priest 28

11.3 5-17 41% +8 5

Level 2 - Base Skills

13.5 9-20 61% +4 2.8

Level 2 – Priest 12

11.5 4-19 41% +8 4.9

Level 3 - Base Skills

13.7 8-18 61% +4 2.7

Level 3 – Priest 12

11 7-16 41% +8 5.4


Because of the similar maximum damages observed, Protection probably works like armor and each Level, or +, has a chance to block individual damage. Each Spell Level blocked an average of ~.5 (.49-.68) damage per Strength Level. I believe each Level of Protection has a 50% to block 1 point of damage.




Credits: Some of the information in this post was inspired by various walkthroughs. The walkthroughs I consulted include Silver's A1, Harehunter's A2, and Rache's A3 Annotated Maps, AverMan's A1 walkthrough, Matt P's A2 FAQ/Walkthrough, and Relle's A3 FAQ/Walkthrough. In addition to these authors, I would like to thank all the forumites who contributed both directly and indirectly.

Edited by Thoukydides
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  • 1 month later...

Personally, I tend to stay away from anything with a negative bonus even if it is superior to what I'm currently wearing.


If you're asking whether armor bonuses somehow modify characters' stats to increase damage taken so that in reality a 1-4+1 blocks more than 3.5 damage and a 1-8-1 blocks less, then I don't know. None of my armor tests were done with a poor quality armor. I suspect that it is not the same as weapon bonuses, but I will do a quick damage test to check.

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After doing some quick tests with shields, and armor, I believe that a negative armor bonus only reduces the damage an armor can block and is not treated like weapon bonuses. Based on my test of leather armor and poor studded armor, they appear to be almost identical (for average damage blocked).


Against cave rats an unarmored character takes an average damage of 16.04, 11-21.


Wooden Large Shield (1-8-2)- with a wooden large shield an unarmored character with no defensive stats took 13.9 average damage, range 5-22. Ratio of actual blocking to expected blocking - (2.13/2.5)=.85.


Iron Large Shield (1-8) - Average 12.92, range 5-21 damage. Ratio of actual blocking to expected - .69.


Steel Large Shield (1-8+2) - Average 11.6, range 3-20 damage. Ratio of actual blocking to expected - .68.


Blessed Large Shield (1-8+4) - Average 10.9, range 0-20 damage. Ratio of actual blocking to expected - .6.


Using the above information, we can conclude that positive and negative armor bonuses do not always take effect since the blessed large shield had a max of 20 damage and the wooden shield had a max of 22. (I did have a max of 23, but after several re-tests I was unable to reproduce it and I suspect it was a typo.)


Leather Armor (1-4+1) - Average damage, 13.33, 6-21, protection ratio - .77.


Poor Studded Armor (1-8-1) - Average damage, 12.84, range, 4-20, protection ratio - .91


Although these have a slightly different average damage (.5 damage), it is not significantly different at 5%. Also, because of the chance to not block damage, the leather armor is 0-5 while the studded armor is 0-7, so despite having the same average damage, the observed range will be different. But unless the two armors have different chances of blocking damage, the actual damage blocked should be equal (~3 average damage blocked if we include zeroes). Other tests that I included in my initial post suggest that each point of damage may be determined independently since those tests never received 21 damage, though I can't say definitively if this is the case.


In addition, I divided the actual damage blocked by the average damage we expect it to block to obtain a rough estimate of how often armor will block damage. Based on my tests I believe shields block damage about 60-80% of the time. Using my other tests armor may block 75-90% of the time, and various other armor pieces will block less than 50% of the time.


In conclusion I would say that, unlike weapons, armor with negative bonuses are no worse than normal or good quality armors as long as they block the same amount of average damage. I tend to use other factors like encumbrance to decide whether to wear poor quality armor.

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  • 2 years later...

Just wanted to thank you despite the age of this, I always find it annoying that "character formulas" are hidden. I understand that avoiding max-min is preferable in a game that is aimed more at roleplay, but the core of roleplay is to willingly accept weaknesses for a faulted character... with most people being more concerned on quick max-min and less about what stuff actually does, this is a nice jewel.


/me believes the internet is infinite and that data and thanks can be given regardless of age.

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