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GF1- M - Changes from Original Geneforge [Spoilers]


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This is for version 1.0.0 and doesn't include all changes/


Changes to Geneforge 1


This remake changes everything except the general story and map. Everything was revised so don't assume anything and read descriptions and instructions. There are lots of new things and some things were replaced like Luck is now Stealth.


There are still the three classes: Shaper, Guardian, and Agent, but they work a little differently than any of the 5 original Geneforge games. All classes gain experience the same way with you no longer getting slightly less experience penalty for having creations or having nearby NPCs making the kills. So there is no penalty for having a large number of creations. Jeff encourages you using creations. Some places in the game you may not survive on the hardest difficulties without creations. A few expert areas require a large number of creations to deal with all the attackers or just to shield your character or you will need to use the Geneforge to help you,


You still do better if you specialize in your class abilities because it costs less skill points. Costs per level will rise as you gain levels in an ability or skill. So eventually even in your strong class skills the cost will require more than one level to gain a new level in a skill.


Besides 4 new zones, you have little extra levels within a zone like below ground storage in Vakkiri and a back door to the bandit store room in Bandit Woods so you can loot without fighting them.


One major change is your to hit chance is based on your character’s level and modified by armor penalties. Skills in the attack type and relevant related attributes like strength, agility, or intellect no longer improve your to hit chance. Instead they give a bonus percent increase in damage or duration. You still increase damage as you gain levels.


Resistances are from armor and items with a hefty mental resistance bonus at the start. Armor and resistance are capped at 90%. Armor now works like Queen’s Wish in that each piece has a physical and a magical value.


Casting the lowest spell in each category no longer needs that magic skill: firebolt, daze, war blessing, and heal.


No more action point increasing items or spells. Maximum 8 action points per round and you only get a maximum of 2 attacks per round.


Please remember to use the “t” command to turn on the text console at the screen’s bottom to see messages about damage, to hit chance when you miss, and other useful information.





Strength - increases melee weapon damage by 5% per point, increases carry capacity of equipped armor and weapons

Agility - increases missile weapon damage by 5% per point, gives 2% per point chance of evasion. acts faster in combat

Intellect - increases all spell effects by 5% per point, increases spell energy gained per level

Essence Mastery - increases essence gained per level

Endurance - increases health gained per level


Combat Skills:

Melee Weapons - increases melee weapon damage by 8% per point, 3% chance of attack using less action points, can use more powerful melee weapons (maximum required for best is 8 )

Missile Weapons - increases missile weapon damage by 8% per point, 3% chance of baton attack using less action points, can use more powerful batons (maximum required for best is 8 )

Quick Action - gives 4% chance per point of weapon attack using fewer action points

Evasion - gives 4% chance of evasion against single target attacks


Magic Skills:

Battle Magic - can cast more powerful spells, +8% per point bonus to effect (damage)

Mental Magic - - can cast more powerful spells, +8% per point bonus to effect (duration)

Blessing Magic - can cast more powerful spells, +8% per point bonus to effect (duration)

Spellcraft - gives 3% bonus per point to all spells, restores 3% per point spell energy and essence, 3% per point chance of using less action points


Shaping Skills (increasing will affect current creations):

Fire Shaping - can make more powerful Fire creations, each point increases level

Battle Shaping - can make more powerful Battle creations, each point increases level

Magic Shaping - can make more powerful Magic creations, each point increases level

Healing Craft - can cast more powerful spells, +8% bonus per point


General Skills:

Leadership - increases number of dialogue options and gives some mental resistance to creations to avoid going rogue (maximum 12)

Mechanics - use fewer living tools to open containers and door or disarm traps (maximum trap is 14)

Stealth - reduce the distance that creatures can see you but increasing game difficulty level decreases the time between checks



Fire Shaping:

Create Fyora - at fire shaping skill  1 - cryoa - at skill 3

Create Roamer - at skill 1 - unstable roamer - at skill 3

Create Drayk - at skill 2 - cryodrayk - at skill 4


Battle Shaping:

Create Thahd - at battle shaping skill 1 - unstable thahd - at skill 2

Create Clawbug - at skill 2 - iron clawbug - at skill 3

Create Battle Alpha - at skill 2 - battle beta - at skill 4

Create Ornk - at skill 1


Magic Shaping:

Create Artila - at magic shaping skill 1 - plated artila - at skill  3

Create Vlish - at skill 1 - charged vlish skill 3

Create Glaahk - at skill 2 - ur-glaahk - at skill 4

Create Cockatrice - at skill 1


Battle Magic:

Firebolt - fire damage at single target

Searer - energy damage at a single target with poison bonus, acid at level 2 (need Battle Magic level 1)

Essence Lances - cone of  energy damage (need Battle Magic level 2)

Airshock - circular area of energy damage with chance of stun (need Battle Magic level 3)


Mental Magic:

Daze - circular area to daze foes

Wrack - circular area to make foes have  -15% to hit and damage, chance to slow to lose turn (need Mental Magic level 1)

Terror - circular area an cause foes to flee (need Mental magic 2)

Dominate - causes foe to be charmed (need Mental Magic level 3)


Blessing Magic:

War Blessing - +!0% to hit and damage for 4 turns

Protection - -10% chance of being hit and reducing damage (need Blessing Magic level 1)

Speed - hastes to give chance using fewer action points (need Blessing Magic at 2)

Mass Energize - gives all blessing, shielding, and hastes (need Blessing Magic at 3)


Healing Craft:

Heal - heals damage

Cure Affliction - reduces rounds of damaging status and mental effects (need Healing Craft level 1)

Essence Shield - shields from damage by taking it instead (need Healing Craft level 2)

Mass Restore - heals damage and cures affliction for all  nearby (need Healing Craft level 3)



The basics stats are Strength, Agility, Intellect, and Endurance have been clarified with Essence Mastery added to separate Spell Energy from Essence. So Shapers want more Essence Mastery to have more essence for Shaping Creations, Guardians want Strength or Agility depending upon whether they are melee or missile fighters, and Agents want Intellect for more spell Energy for spells.


Attack skills: Melee Weapons, Missile Weapons, and Battle Magic do +8% more damage per level over base damage. For physical weapons Quick Action can also reduce action point costs and Spellcraft does the same for spells. This means you have a chance after acting to get a second action.


Evasion reduces the chance of a foe making a single target attack from hitting you. It doesn't affect area of effect attacks.


Shaping skills are really different in that when you increase a level in the appropriate Shaping skill or gain a level in that creation type, an existing creation automatically goes up a level. No more need to compare an existing creation with a new creation to decide which is better. You now have greater control over designing your creation at a cost of extra essence you can improve strength, agility, endurance and give your creation an extra level up to 5 levels over a basic creation, and special attacks for each creation type. You can add on extra active attacks like area of effects or leaps, and passive abilities like haste or spines. Active abilities have cool down periods before you can use them again. You can also add these abilities later to existing creations when you have more essence. You still need to absorb and create when you want to remove them.


Leadership when high enough will give you additional dialogue options that can give you experience and avoid fights or doing quests to join a faction. Picking the peaceful resolution through leadership means you will no longer get experience by killing creations. For example in the Abandoned Vale you can pacify all the fyoras or fight them all and get 14 more experience points. Some places fighting will give you more experience and let you get to loot. Other places the leadership option is better for experience or avoiding a major fight. The most used in game is 12.


Mechanics still means using less living tools to open doors and containers. You now get experience points for opening things and disarming some traps. This can be significant in some placed like the Hill of Jars. You also now click on a simple yes/no instead of each individual living tool. The most for a trap is 14 and you can get by with significantly less. Mechanics 10 and Tinker’s Gloves for +2 will work well if you don’t mind fighting the few box mines that summon monsters, a few traps, and not being able tp activate some power spirals.


Stealth has replaced Luck. It helps to avoid fights by letting you sneak around foes to cross a zone without fighting. Some zones will only be cleared to cross freely by killing things. So if you want to go through them on the World Map you need to at least meet the killing condition or sneak through each time. The time between checks to see if creations notice you decreases with difficulty level. Some creations can allow you to pass closer than others before they react especially if you are both in motion. Jeff made pylons more difficult to encourage stealth to get past them. Stealth doesn’t help as much with a large party of creations.


Shaping creations now allows you more customization to give them things that your foes have. Remember when you absorb a creation to go back to a town or an essence pool.to get essence back. Also if creations get damaged you may lose control of them and they briefly get charmed status where they attack your party.



Character Building


Jeff said it is possible to build a character that can’t complete the game so remember there is a cheat code to change where you used you skill points. Type shift and d, then enter “retrain” in the box that appears. This will let you fix building mistakes. You won’t lose points from canisters, books, and bought from trainers.


The easiest build is a Shaper with lots of creations. Pick a Shaping type and Essence Mastery for most of your skill points and let your creations do the fighting for you. Individually they won’t do as much damage as a Guardian or an Agent, but with 4 or more of them they will do more and most have area effect attacks. Higher tier creations will do more damage, but the essence costs will mean fewer of them,


A Guardian will do plenty of damage and Evasion will help avoid single target attacks. However he does physical damage so you need creations for magical damage. Also switching between a spray baton for area damage and another range attack will use up 4 action points. Some missile weapon skill is recommended since there are more unstable creations that explode doing damage when they die.


An Agent starts off weak, but after about 16 zones will do plenty of magical damage. Weak on making creations, you will rely on spells and physical attacks against some foes. The advantage is no wasted action points when shifting attack types.Raising Battle Magic and Spellcraft for almost all of your skill points. Also in the beginning rely on sword, javelins, and batons to do more damage than you spells.


For all characters the following applies for non combat skills.


There are trainers for only one level of Leadership, Mechanics, and Stealth. There are sarcophagi (coffins) for them too, but you probably won’t want to wait except for Stealth.


The maximum Leadership needed in the game is 12 and Girdle of Leadership gives +2. You can easily get by with less. To avoid fighting to reach Kazg, you need 6, but the fights aren’t that hard and you can dodge patrols in the Kazg Ruins to reach Rosen at the north gates. Depending upon how badly you want to avoid fighting Trajkov you need at least 8 and up to 10.


The highest trap is Mechanics 14 and the Tinker’s Gloves gives +2. You can get through the game with much less and there are plenty of living tools available to open harder doors and containers.


Stealth is helpful, but not needed unless you want to do the Pacifist Challenge or avoid some fights. You need more at higher difficulties. Soft Shoes gives +2 and Charmed Falchion gives +5 but you can’t get that until the Drayk’s Vale.






Combat is essentially the same except you may get extra actions with enough Quick Action or Spellcraft. Speed gives a 35% greeter chance of being hasted and using less action points. Also even on torment difficulty monsters do less damage per attack and there are few that can kill in one shot. However this game is easier with having creations and harder to play as a solo character at harder difficulties.


Use the most damaging attack when possible. Since your to hit chance will usually be the same it pays to compare between weapons and spell damage against the enemy’s armor and resistances. You can right click on an enemy to see health, armor, resistances, and status effects. For instance in the Abandoned Vale, javelins usually do more damage than firebolt against the fyora.


The game is programed to be much smarter in fighting. Pick off a foe on the edge of a group will usually cause the others to come after you instead of ignoring the attack.


Switching between melee and missile attacks costs no action points, Swapping a weapon from your backpack costs 4 action points. Using a pod, spores, or wand uses 5 action points. You never know in advance when you will get to use fewer action points from Quick Action or Haste.


Increasing the game difficulty level to Veteran gives creation foes 2 extra abilities and at Torment gives them all 4 extra abilities. Some of these extra abilities make the fights significantly harder. However you can get most of them for your own creations.


Cure Affliction only uses 6 action points and now removes mental effects in addition to poison and acid. It can be used to regain control of a rogue creation that has Charm status.


Monsters respawn in some zones so don’t assume even if you cleared a zone that it is completely safe to wander around wounded. The upside is that if you are near leveling up that you can find a few creations for those needed experience points.


Monsters heal if given enough time or you move away from them and end combat, so don’t give them the chance.


Weapons have changed:

Acid baton is now Tranquil baton and does terrify for 3 rounds.

Submission baton is now Spray baton and does a cone area of effect of physical damage. However it needs to be targeted on a foe.

Crystals and wands no longer get missile weapons’ bonus and their effects are different. However they have a better chance of hitting. Icy does a cone of physical damage, spray does a circular area of acid for 3 rounds, airshock is a circular area energy damage with stun for 1 round, blast does a circular area of effect of fire damage.

Wands now remain in your backpack and act like crystals.


Armor, meaning chitin, chain mail vest, and breastplates, all give stun resistance at the cost of lower to hit chances for the better armors.

Robes give more magical armor and less physical armor and give hostile effects resistance to non-physical attacks.


Mental attacks are very useful when they work. Daze will prevent them from attacking until they are damaged. Wrack will reduce their to hit chance by 15% and give a chance that they will lose a turn. Terror works best when they can’t flee out of your attack range so you can kill them while they are too terrified to fight back. Dominate will let you charm a foe to fight for you and make your enemies attack them instead of you.





Fire Shaping tends to be the best Shaping type both because you can find canisters for fyoras early in the game and all fire creations have range attacks. There are decent area effect attacks and the roamer’s Fiery Wind doesn’t harm your party on higher game difficulties. Average health, but some can get hardiness against damage. They also have cheaper essence cost for base and upgrades.


Battle Shaping creations have higher health, but lack range attacks. They act more like melee Guardians in combat, but can get nice extra abilities.


Magic Shaping creations have the worst health, but better base resistances to damage. Some have the ability to buff the party and curse your foes. Glaahks have nice area effect attacks like terror and shockwave (stun). These creations work well, but cost more than Fire Shaping, however you can take advantage of searing artila using innate haste and no cool down period between special attacks.to spam acid attacks for extra damage on later rounds


One of the easiest play through is increasing Fire Shaping and Essence Mastery to use cryoas through out the game as soon as possible to replace your starting fyora. They are cheap and have decent attacks even though they are more susceptible to mental attacks. Even on torment difficulty they will survive since there are 4 canisters and joining the Obeyers to get another level.


Unless you use the Geneforge, you will not likely have enough essence to use lots of high tier creations. The later creations do more damage per attack than the lowest tier creations.



Junk Bag


You can remove items from the Junk Bag only in town (Vakkiri, Pentil, and Kazg) so be careful on using it if you might want an item or removing it before sell all to a merchant. Store items in your backpack where it doesn't count towards your weight limit for encumbrance. Or consider dropping extra items for later in a cleared zone like the Crumbling Docks. Also items with bo value will usually sell if you sell all from the junk bag.


Items that can stack will stack automatically in the junk bag.





You get one eighth the value of an item when selling it. When items stack, make sure the item's value divides evenly by 8 to get maximum value. More items have no value than previous games.





You can only buy one level of training in Mechanics, Stealth, and Leadership. There are no other trainers.


Sarcophagi or coffins can provide training in skills you have not gotten already a level. Items that give skills like Carnelian Gloves need to be removed before using them to get a level, Item bonuses don’t count to being able to use weapons requiring a minimum skill level.



Experience, Codexes and Canisters


You get less experience points (XP) as you gain levels compared to the monster's level and expected quest level. Quests usually give the most experience. Eventually the Shaper Inner Crypt is the only place where you might get experience killing creations.


Unlocking a door or container instead of using an area key gives experience even using living tools, Disarming some traps gives experience. Unless you never get any Mechanics, there are plenty of living tools in the game. The highest trap is 14 and you can get by with 10 and then getting the Tinker’’s Gloves for +2.


The first time you read a specific Codex or use a creation canister you get 25 XP regardless of level. So when you are near leveling up make sure you complete quests first. Or wait until the end game to use them to maximize their value


Spawner made creations give no experience.


Box mines being disarmed or killing their summoned creations gives no experience.


You get no experience for killing livestock, peasants,  some people in towns and zones, and creations in a few places like Kantre’s Realm. Since most also don’t have loot, consider not killing everything that moves.


If you use a leadership option to avoid a fight, you won’t get experience if you kill them later.


You get 10 skill points per level. The game seems to be capped at 20 levels just because you run out things that will give you experience. I got to level 21 with using the Geneforge, destroying the Geneforge, and then going back to read all the Codexes and use the creation canisters for the first time.


Level Experience


2 1000

3 2000

4 3400

5 4800

6 6200

7 7600

8 9000

9 10400

10 11800

11 13200

12 14600

13 16000

14 17400

15 18800

16 20200

17 21600

18 23000

19 24400

20 25600





In the Thorny Fens the thorn bushes that previously weren’t ready may have thorns when you return later in the game.


Depending upon how much you turned up your monitor’s brightness, using lanterns and candles may improve seeing in the dark.


Food now takes a long time between being used for healing so don’t carry much with you. However wine now heals damage. :)


Use consumable items and don’t worry about money since you don’t have much to spend it on in the game.


It’s harder to bankrupt the economy by getting every last coin because there are fewer sellable items.

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7 hours ago, Randomizer said:

Combat Skills:

Melee Weapons - increases melee weapon damage by 8% per point, 3% chance of attack using less action points, can use more powerful melee weapons (maximum required for best is 😎

Missile Weapons - increases missile weapon damage by 8% per point, 3% chance of baton attack using less action points, can use more powerful batons (maximum required for best is 😎



Looks like your numbers got replaced with emojis 😛


If my notes are correct, the maximum required is 8.

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Something I'll admit I'm curious about: The later Geneforge games cared a lot about how many canister you use but Geneforge 1 didn't. This one has people who can check how many canisters you've used but does anyone know if your level of Canister Usage affects gameplay/endings? As playing through as an Agent going 'Hmm...not sure I can afford to use any of these canisters' is...more than a little painful with the game lacking the later game's ability to just buy training in various spells.

Edited by Judanas
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There are a couple places in the game where there's a popup/part of a conversation where you realize that the changes are happening/driving you into a rage, but other than that there seems to be no impact to gameplay/choices (like in later chapters in the series).  There is one ... er ... 'canister' very, very late in the game, that if you use it will change how others react to you. 


The Geneforge itself


Other than that particular one though, go wild if you want.

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26 minutes ago, Random said:

I'm trying for a minimal canister run to see if there is any changes to the ending slides. I figure I'm only going to use a few, so Learned Pinner doesn't notice any changes.


Just saying, you could simply change through script the number of cannisters you have used before the ending. 

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