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Doomguard loot drop?

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Hi all,


So, I'm at the part where I'm defeating the third plague and a Doomguard appears (crystal room w/ laser beams). With a fighter-heavy party, it wasn't too terrible a battle. It splits, but it's splits are lower health and can be cleaned up quickly. Now, I've read they can drop all kinds of things, mind crystals and, well, mine dropped a plate armor. I save the game in a new slot and attempt the battle again, and again, and again, and it no longer drops loot. I was hoping I might find other valuable items, but nothing more happens. No mind crystals, no plate armor. What gives?


Is there a loot list, and the plate armor was like a <1% drop? I cannot get it to drop anything ever, so I cannot even verify if rumors of it dropping anything are true. I'm just going to continue with the save file that has the armor drop.


How is loot determined in Avernum 3?

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Hello Radnen,


Unfortunately, the detailed information about item drops in Avernum 3 is hidden away in the main body of the code, and very difficult to access. All we can really say with certainty is what Randomizer said above: monsters can be given a set of items that are always dropped with a given percentage.

From personal experience, I can tell you that monsters are rarely given more than one or two items that can be dropped. Each monster is given its own set of items which has to be typed in by hand, rather than consulting a big list. In other words, you might find one or maybe two valuable items when defeating an impressive foe, but you probably shouldn't expect to find any more.


That being said, it is possible to say something a little more concrete here. The next game in the series, Blades of Avernum, changed the way data like this is stored. It's possible to see all the percentage drops for every single monster! Better than that, it seems that a good chunk of the data was ported over directly from Avernum 3, so the information in Blades is likely to be a good match for the same information in Avernum 3.


Looking at the code for the Doomguards, I can tell you that they do indeed drop Iron Plate Mail, as you've seen, with a probability of 20%. However, I can't give you any information about Mind Crystals, I'm afraid. These weren't coded into Blades as standard items, and therefore don't appear in the item lists. It's entirely possible that Doomguards can drop these in Avernum 3, but it would most likely be at a similar or lower chance. I haven't seen this happen myself, but that doesn't mean that it isn't possible!


20% might seem like a lot, but probability can be a little counter-intuitive even at these odds. It's worth remembering that only the original Doomguard will drop an item; all the others are treated a bit like summons, and so drop nothing. That means that you only get one chance per fight. If you went through the fight, say, five times, the chance of you not seeing the Plate drop at all is a little over 30% – and that's still more likely than picking up a Plate on your first try! It's entirely possible that your dearth of item drops is just due to a slight run of bad luck, rather than anything else more mysterious.


To sum all this up, farming Doomguards for items is likely to be a slow process. I am interested by the idea of them having Mind Crystals, which does seem to have been reported in a few places. I might go back and have a look to see if I can get that to happen. If I do, I'll report back!

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