# Mechanics skill?

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I’m currently in vakkiri playing on veteran.  Mechanics skill was 3. I have a quest to open ham’s box. I tried and it wanted me to use 1 living tool. I raised it to 4 and it told me the same thing. I raised it to 5 and it let me open it without a problem. I thought the skill reduced the # of tools you needed on a 1 for 1 basis.  Why did I need to raise it 2 points?

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Every locked item in Geneforge has a given lock strength. This value is hidden, and there's no way to see it directly in-game. What you're seeing when you try to open a lock that will require tools to open isn't the lock's strength, but a derived value.

When you try to operate or open a locked item, if this lock strength is equal to or less than the level of your Mechanics skill, you open it instantly. Otherwise, you need to use Living Tools to operate/open it. The number of tools you have to use is ((Lock Strength / Your Mechanics Skill) - 1), rounded up- basically, each Living Tool you use multiplies your Mechanics skill +1 times for the purpose of your unlock strength vs a lock's strength.

Thus: when your Mechanics skill is 3, you can open locks with strength 3 or under without using any tools; using 1 tool, you can open locks with strength 6 or under; using 2 tools, you can open locks with strength 9 or under, and so forth. With Mechanics 5, you can open locks with strength 5 or under without using any tools; using 1 tool, you can open locks with strength 10 or under; using 2 tools, you can open locks with strength 15 or under, and so on.

One can thus deduce that Ham's box has a lock strength of 5: with a Mechanics of 2, it'd take 2 Living Tools to open (lock strength 5 vs unlock power 3x2); with a Mechanics of 3 or 4, it takes 1 LT (lock strength 5 vs unlock power 2x3 or 2x4); with a Mechanics of 5, one can just open it without using any tools at all.

Edited by googoogjoob
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There are some locks that will need like 5 living tools if you have mechanics 3-4. To give you an example, a lock that would require a single Living tool with mechanics 10, (a level 20 lock) would require 4 living tools with mechanics 4 and 6 living tools with mechanics 3.

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Ouch.  I'm pretty early in the game, but so far it seems kinda hard to find the tools.  i appreciate the responses!

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Living Tools are kind of tight in the early game. Later on, if you consistently invest in Mechanics (ending up with, say, 10+ at the end of the game), you can pretty easily end the game with several dozen spare tools. If you don't invest in Mechanics, they remain relatively tight, and you have to prioritize which locks you want to get past, versus the ones you have to pass by or find other ways around.

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14 hours ago, Sircedric said:

Ouch.  I'm pretty early in the game, but so far it seems kinda hard to find the tools.  i appreciate the responses!

In the early game, you cannot open all locks. Make a txt file with the doors or locks you haven't opened.

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19 hours ago, Sircedric said:

Ouch.  I'm pretty early in the game, but so far it seems kinda hard to find the tools.  i appreciate the responses!

'Everyone' should get at least a few levels in Mechanics, it will make the game much easier/less expensive.  Don't neglect your character's main needs (melee for Guardians, magic for Agents, etc), but points invested in Mechanics (or Leadership) are rarely wasted.

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Don't neglect your character's main needs: Shaping. Magic? Melee? Pffft. There are OTHER things to do those for you.

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