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> EMS - Bugfixed and PHB-ish magic for NWN
arQon
Posted: Sep 14 2004, 04:40 PM
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EMS creator and DN Offical Bug Manager


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> as I wanted a way to make Spell Focus Divination useful.

So did I. Legend Lore and Premonition. smile.gif
It's not much, but you'd certainly have to be INSANE to specialise in Necro and lose them entirely.

I'd be willing to look at nice ways to give Focus Div an impact on Power Words, by granting an extra +2 on your conceptual level etc (i.e. L13 can PWS 130HP, L13 with Focus can PWS 150) or something along those lines.


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azmaveth> so, for my first stint as a dm, I feel the need to spawn a dragon or two on a party of babies...
dave> go find Kev when he makes his next baby :p
dave> he prolly kill it
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Strider
Posted: Sep 14 2004, 07:40 PM
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While posting all this, I would like to commend you for the work you've done. Thats alot of effort put out... I do respect your work.

(And now comes the shredding... evil.gif)

QUOTE
Summons are T/L rather than H/L. You don't need to be a one-man party
all the time if magic actually works.
Does this include the Monster Summon series?

QUOTE
Stoneskin
Personally I like the way the SS family works right now.

QUOTE
Heal
I like the no-cap-but-level-dependent idea...

QUOTE
Premonition
Druids cannot cast this spell, and never should have been able to.
It makes no sense at all, and was a side-effect of BW turning
Magical Foresight into just "Even Greater Stoneskin".
I disagree. I feel its a good spell for Druids.

QUOTE
If you're wearing metal armour, which is anything other than Cloth or
Light, any spell you attempt to cast will AUTOMATICALLY FAIL.
I don't care that BW incorrectly gave you Medium Armour proficiency,
or that you can MC to Fighter and run around in Full Plate with no
side-effects. EMS is about fixing bugs, and that's a bug. Deal with it.
You're lucky you don't lose all spellcasting for 24 hours, which is
the real rule.
The 'real pnp rule'. If Druids were restricted to non-metal armor in NWN, they would need to be compensated somewhere else. Druids are not a popular nor easy class to run, at least from what I've seen. The inability to get good armor would seriously cramp this class even more.

I agree that the rule makes sense in PNP, but there are alot of Druidic features in PNP that don't translate at all into NWN.

Course, I haven't built a new one since the rework on DN... Either way I'm not liking the idea. (Hehe, btw I'm the rank Druid on DN biggrin.gif)

BTW, the getting medium armor prof is from 3.5 PHB. Page 34. Not sure on 3.0...


QUOTE
Elemental Swarm

4T/L rather than 24H
Why?

QUOTE
Ability Buffs
Per PHB +4 rather than 1+d4, and T/L rather than H/L
There's actually real value to casting these rather than drinking them now
Not a fan. In either PNP or NWN. My PNP group hasn't used one of the buf spells in a long while. Were considering houserulilng it back to 3.0. (Making the option of which spell the spellcaster wants to use...)


Manny of the changes you have implemented are based on the D&D 3.5 ruleset, while we know NWN *was* built and ballanced on the 3.0 ruleset. Changing them 'to make them closer to the PHB' when your really talking about 3.5, is to a certain respect incorrect. Of course, thats the desision that you made, so it's really up to you. smile.gif


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Strider
Posted: Sep 14 2004, 07:56 PM
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PowerMuchkinGamer


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Woops, forgot one...

QUOTE
Owl's Insight
T/L, not H/L. This...
As a Druid, the only time I use this spell is for when I shapechange. It allows me to keep my modified WIS score, as currently when you shapechange you loose the benefits of WIS rings and amulets etc, thus wiping out your extra chosen spells. Otherwise it's rare that the spell advances my WIS beyond that of what I have from equipment...

The only other time I use it is for casting on party members like Monks. (Which I accept is a pretty sweet deal. smile.gif )

This post has been edited by Strider on Sep 14 2004, 09:10 PM


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dave
Posted: Sep 14 2004, 10:31 PM
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QUOTE (Torrilin @ Sep 14 2004, 06:59 PM)
Fixed fixed or does it still have the -2 magic damage thing? As it stands, it irritates the hell out of me every time I go through hobgobs, since it doesn't do a helluva lot for 'em. Our current version *does* fix the missing will save problem, but not any of the others.

/me sees no bug report, hehe.

/me runs away and hides behind arQon's code.

-shad cool.gif


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Dreu Noctem
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[12:32] <arQon> i can design a munchkin in 2 minutes, but it takes me hours to pick a name :P
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Phage
Posted: Sep 14 2004, 10:33 PM
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I think we can stand here forever debating smile.gif

Depending on when the poll closes, let's just load up the set and start testing smile.gif

Thanks for letting us kick around test your system, arQon tongue.gif


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Veni, vidi, dormivi. - I came, I saw... I slept.
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arQon
Posted: Sep 14 2004, 10:43 PM
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> Does this include the Monster Summon series?

Yes. That's what it was originally changed for, and it spread to (most of) the other summons over time. It's actually 4T+T/L rather than a raw T/L, to keep it usable for starting chars.
If you want to travel in a party 24x7, you should be IN a party, not simply BE the party. As a level 9 Druid, you already have yourself and a 9HD Ani: adding a 12HD Dire Bear to that as essentially another PERMANENT companion? Come on. The idea is that Summons are for big battles and panic situations, not virtual henchmen.
I'm a Wizard. This affects me as well, and a lot more so than it does you since you're not the one with d4 HD and a single d6+0 attack per round at +2, and even I can live with it.
Since DN has its own Summons already, you'd have to ask Dave what he's planning on doing with durations etc, but I think Summon abuse is a little to prevalent in NWN. If I got to keep Mr Pointy for 24 hours, I'd be willing to bet you'd scream blue murder. tongue.gif

> Stoneskin etc

This was mostly a fix for non-low-magic and L21+ worlds, where everyone and his dog has at least +5 weaponry, though GMW pretty much made it a requirement for anywhere. You can still pound your way through SS and GSS and exhaust them in a very reasonable amount of time, but 20/ DR is utterly pointless when people are doing *300 damage per hit*.
You can't expect OC-era spells to continue to function properly in the face of Weapon Munchkin exploit uberclasses. Every time BW bolt something new onto the side of NWN without updating the existing pieces, any pretense at balance gets blown out of the water.

The "no new Premo for Druids" is a design decision, and I certainly didn't expect Druids to like it. Again, there's nothing in here that Dave can't change IF it's better for EVERYONE to have it a different way, but Druids poly'd into Elder Ellys with mass buffs isn't better for everyone, it's just better for Druids.

Premonition is there to give incredibly-fragile d4 low-AC casters a chance at surviving for more than one round, not to give d8 armoured minitanks an overwhelming advantage. You do still get the second best defensive buff in the game, and you're the ONLY other class that gets it, and with the improvements to that and the fact that a single Lesser Dispel won't STRIP it from you every time, I think you'll find that that's enough to "succeed" with, just not enough for you to charge into a Dragon's Lair with unsupported. smile.gif

Again, it's one of those "time will tell" deals.
Nothing in EMS is set in stone, and especially not for DN. This isn't a "suck it, bi0tch" package where you have to take it or leave it in its entirety. EMS was created predominantly as a way to RESTORE the balance that NWN lost by removing half the spells of D&D because they're too complicated to work in a CRPG (hello, WISH) then boning the implementation of what was left. It's there to IMPROVE the game across the board, and if it genuinely doesn't do that then I'll hit it with a +12 Axe of Design until it DOES.

> Elly Swarm

24 hours of 24HD Ellys? You get the equivalent of FOUR SUMMON IX's with this spell already - you don't think that's enough?! huh.gif

> Owl's Insight

You're getting at least *90 Rounds* out of this spell, and you won't automatically lose it at the first Lesser Dispel any more either. If you're morphed longer than that, shouldn't you be playing an NPC? tongue.gif
I'm well aware of the problem with ability modifiers getting shafted on morphs. Try playing a WIZARD sometime and using Shapechange. Enjoy the 20 minutes it takes to repair your spellbook. mad.gif
I did some experimentation trying to work around this back in the earliest days of EMS, then left it on the back burner because there were more pressing issues to worry about (like, why don't ANY of the AOE's work?). I do still plan on revisiting it when I have time.

--

> Hehe, btw I'm the rank Druid on DN

Yeah, I kinda guessed... tongue.gif

Personally, I've always considered Druids to be the easiest of the "caster" classes to play in NWN, especially since HOTU. They're very clearly the pet class of SOMEONE at BW, which is why they actually put effort into fixing the Druid shapes while leaving Shapechange and the other wizard polymorphs completely unusable.

Druids get not only most of the good Cleric spells and average BAB, but also a significant number of the good *mage* spells, with no ASF. On top of that, they get some great Immunities and an Animal Companion.
Druid/Monk MC's get UAB strikes, in polymorphs usually stronger than any PC char of an equivalent level that last hours and aren't subject to dispels; insane AC boosts; great saves; Evasion; and a whole bunch of other goodies depending on how you mix them.
The Shifter class, which is ONLY available to Druids, has outrageous exploits like walking around with 68AC and 600HP, and AB's like +41/+41/+38/+35/+32/+29 at 2d8+20 damage, with saves pushing 30 across the board, WITHOUT counting buffs. I realise that some of that is a consequence of HOTU levels and not readily available in DN, but you're going to have a hard time convincing people that "us poor Druids" really got the short end of the stick... tongue.gif

> If Druids were restricted to non-metal armor in NWN, they would need to be compensated somewhere else.

I think they have been already, several times over. Leather doesn't seem to be a big issue for Rogues, who have smaller HD than you; and Wizards manage to survive in Cloth with less than half your melee capabilities when you have virtually all of their protective spells.
There's a way to designate AC4+ items as "Druid Legal" (Ironwood Breastplate etc) but they shouldn't be commonplace. It MIGHT make sense to allow up to AC5, but certainly by the time you're talking about Full Plate I think that's well into the realm of RP vs Munchkin debate, which I'd rather not get into right now.

> we know NWN *was* built and ballanced on the 3.0 ruleset

NWN is balanced in the same way that a paranoid schizophrenic on crack is. But that's just MHO. tongue.gif

> Of course, thats the desision that you made, so it's really up to you.

No, it isn't, and that's why I'm here. It's up to YOU guys. Obviously, I have opinions about most of this stuff and what I think are good reasons for all of the changes, but none of this is by fiat. If something genuinely doesn't "work", it'll get fixed. I'm not going to stand here and say "this is better because I say so" if everyone else disagrees with me: that would make me as bad as BW with their "squirrel wizards, none of us ever play one" attitude.


--------------------
azmaveth> so, for my first stint as a dm, I feel the need to spawn a dragon or two on a party of babies...
dave> go find Kev when he makes his next baby :p
dave> he prolly kill it
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arQon
Posted: Sep 14 2004, 10:48 PM
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SQUIRREL?!

Four letters. Starts with F...


--------------------
azmaveth> so, for my first stint as a dm, I feel the need to spawn a dragon or two on a party of babies...
dave> go find Kev when he makes his next baby :p
dave> he prolly kill it
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dave
Posted: Sep 14 2004, 11:15 PM
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shad but true


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Vic,

I won't have time to apply our summon script changes, (incubi, deity+domain ellies selection) and dump this into the HAK until saturday afternoon at the earliest. May as well let the poll and debate run while we wait. I really won't get much work at all on the mod done 'til the weekend I suspect.

----
Here's arQon's Doom script, Em.

CODE
//:: Copyright (c) 2001 Bioware Corp.

/*

Willsave or -2 to saves, attack+damage rolls, skill checks

KHB 12-Mar-04 grr. retards can't even get cantrips right. they forgot the SAVE ffs

*/


#include "khb_inc_spells"


void main()
{
object oTarget = GetSpellTargetObject();
SignalEvent(oTarget, EventSpellCastAt(OBJECT_SELF, SPELL_DOOM));

if (KHB_ResistSpell(OBJECT_SELF, oTarget) || TrueSavingThrow(SAVING_THROW_WILL, oTarget))
 return;

ApplyEffectToObject(DURATION_TYPE_INSTANT, EffectVisualEffect(VFX_IMP_DOOM), oTarget);
ApplyEffectToObject(DURATION_TYPE_TEMPORARY, CreateDoomEffectsLink(), oTarget, KHB_MetaTurns());
}


I like reading some of this stuff just for the commentary. ohmy.gif

arQon, regarding Tensers's, I'm musing on tangents. I like your changes.

Regarding heal and harm, we currently calculate both kinda funny (~50% of potential hp change, capped at 150 or 10/level, I think). It's ugly ish anyway. That applies to offense + defense. We are a bit devoid of undead for similar reasons we are a bit devoid of outsiders; lotta potential cheese we just choose not to deal with, basically. For better or for worse.

*spoiler below*

We do have hard to find heal pots; also capped at 150. We also have scripted Potions of Heal Light/Moderate/etc wounds with scaling (lesser) caps on them. So we don't follow the Bioware progression of CCW (heal 39 points) -> Heal Pot (heal all hp) . Our potion progression goes more like 39, 65, 80, 105, etc etc. Uhm, not all of those are totally available in game yet *wink*.

*end spoiler*

***

Gang, a lot of the controversial stuff will be up for debate. So far I see druid armor, empowered stuff, stat buff durations, and summon durations as obvious sticking points. Some of these may be worth deviating from arQon's work simply because of how DN is balanced, through no fault of arQon's. Please try to keep that in mind - arQon is not familiar with DN. Anyway, I'd like to try stuff as-is before tinkering too heavily with it. (ie changing anything more than absolutely required.). But that will be longer term'ish stuff. Spell durations are some of the easiest changes to make after the fact, so please, do voice your opinions but remain calm. smile.gif

Also, don't let the nerfs cause you to lose sight of the boosts elsewhere either. IGM +firebrand nerfs coupled with boosts to other spells might mean some people don't fill umpteen spellslot with 'nothing but IGM'. Spell selection may become a lot more interesting. ohmy.gif Everyone loves IGM, I know, but y'all bitched at me for having Barb sorcs use it, too. A good sign of a balanced spell for me is one I'm allowed to use on monsters from time to time. A good sign of a spell that needs help is one I avoid using for other reasons. smile.gif

***

As for stoneskins and premo, any opponents but dragon bosses/epic bosses are capped at +3 weaponry on DN. Players are pretty much limited to +3 offensive weaponry and low DR armor as well. We're quite low magic with that regard. No permahaste, truesight, or freeedom either, beyond legacy gear. Very few pieces of gear with immunities or free feats. So, any sense of balance derived from Bioware OCs or hacked up WoTC "Epic" rules doesn't necessarily translate well here. We have our own sense of balance, and your SS/premo stuff may not work as-is. I'm willing to try it though. smile.gif

I do appreciate your motivation in those changes, but perhaps some of this background info helps a bit for where we come from.

***

arQon, can you explain in a bit of detail how your metafeat stacking and epic meta-spellcasting works? I don't want to post random code comment snippets, but I've seen enough that I think people may be more recpetive with a better understanding of "Empower Spell", "Maximize Spell", "Extend Spell", how they can stack, and how they can automate under your changed ruleset. Standard deviations be damned. ohmy.gif I think your stuff makes sense when taken all together, from what I see so far, but some detials are still murky in my noggin.

Maybe the simulated Heightened Feat thing could use a bit of a talk too. I'd type it up myself, but I'm still piecing it together along with the rest. My PnP hardcopy resources predate the existence of feats, prestige classes, and metamagic. smile.gif

-Dave


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Dreu Noctem
- featuring arQon's EMS Spell system
- DN Bug reports go here or here!


[12:32] <arQon> i can design a munchkin in 2 minutes, but it takes me hours to pick a name :P
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Torrilin
Posted: Sep 15 2004, 04:37 AM
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Well, I'm pretty clear on how metamagic stacks... dunno about the rest of you guys. Doesn't change my opinion of the empower change tho *shrugs*.

I'll try and grab some doom screenshots at some point ohmy.gif. The code looks good, but hell we all know about my marvelous code skillz. Bugfinding, sure. Coding? hell no.

ArQon, meet the profanity filter *snickers*.

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dave
Posted: Sep 15 2004, 05:35 AM
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shad but true


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Strider, for what it's worth, my baby druid has only been run in new/recently reworked areas, and she's done nicely. She's wearing breastplate +1, bracers of AC +3, and no shield (longbow or sickle/torch are hotkeyed). Not being able to wear breat plate woudl suck; her shiny mental pixels are much more attractive in a custom dye job in that than they are in hide armor, but hide armor + competitive shield would leave her at the same AC or so and doing fine.

For what it's worth. smile.gif

And she has had fewer growing pains than some of the wizzies/sorcs I've got, despite the smaller spellbook. Of course, I'm marginally better at building twinked out min-maxed caster types now too ohmy.gif

As for buffed up Elder Elemental druids, they make nice tanks, but they can't kill much. I played extensively partied up with one in the past, and while they're nice tanks, they do have their limits. And shifters are more versatile. Half the problem with shifting is that monsters with X/DR don't get automatic credit for using +X weapons with thei natural (claw/bite/etc) attacks, either as bad guys or as good guys shifted into bad guy shapes.

-shad


--------------------
Dreu Noctem
- featuring arQon's EMS Spell system
- DN Bug reports go here or here!


[12:32] <arQon> i can design a munchkin in 2 minutes, but it takes me hours to pick a name :P
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arQon
Posted: Sep 15 2004, 05:39 AM
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EMS creator and DN Offical Bug Manager


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Yeah - I'd noticed it earlier, but "squirrel" was just so WILDLY unrelated I had to laugh. smile.gif

> Legend Lore rework is pretty cool. And if I'm reading it correctly, I don't need to worry about people putzing with 100,000 gp item restrictions; the restrictions on those types of items are out of reach for LL modification

Yeah. Ali (my favourite mage, 26W HOTU char) is as pure as you can get (18 INT buy etc) but she's non-C, and even she couldn't make the HOTU Firespell only-by-C Uberbelt usable.

Roughly: if an item has ONLY class restrictions, AND you've got your primary absolutely maxed, bought, and buffed, AND you would be able to use the item on an ILR server, AND it's not especially valuable, you can probably make the DC. If ANY of those aren't true, you almost certainly can't.

If it has a race restriction that is not your race, you might make the DC around 4 levels past what its ILR would be. There aren't enough of those that I've really felt the urge to try, since the few I *have* seen are like "Full Plate +20, Only By Dwarf", which aren't much use unless you're in a party. And since it's "usable by YOUR race" first, with "by ANY race" not coming until a few levels later, I'd need another Elf in the party who felt like wearing Plate, and not too many of us do. tongue.gif

If it has an alignment restriction that is not your alignment, forget about it. By the time you CAN modify it, it'll be a trinket to you.

The real reason this stuff exists though, coincidentally, is FOR party play. Say you manage to score Yummy Loot: a ring of WIS+3 but it's Only By Monk. Your Rogue can probably UMD it, but that's a fat lot of good. Meanwhile, your Cleric's looking at it like she'd steal it if she wasn't Lawful, but it's no use to her anyway. So you come to an arrangement. You're going to have to give up a C6 for a day to study it, and that's probably your best spell. So in return, she offers to take care of your True Seeing, or carry the Greater Dis that you're losing as a result, or whatever. The party bonds, the party gets stronger overall, and you get a genuinely useful item instead of a few gold.

I think it's pretty cool in concept. I hope it actually works out that way in practice. smile.gif


--------------------
azmaveth> so, for my first stint as a dm, I feel the need to spawn a dragon or two on a party of babies...
dave> go find Kev when he makes his next baby :p
dave> he prolly kill it
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arQon
Posted: Sep 15 2004, 06:14 AM
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Ali would love Groo (she's a sucker for cute fluffy things) and I even get the reference tongue.gif, but she'd hate Meg. As in, "don't even talk to me or I'll kill you on basic principles" hate.

Okay, metamagic. This may be long and complicated, pasted from old conversations, and it doesn't apply until you reach at least 19 levels in a casting class. Enter at your own peril...

--

I had a key realisation just now: an understanding of why even level 40 chars DO still sugar themselves when they encounter mages in real D&D.
Above all else there's Wish, which at its heart is really a battle of wits between the wizard and the DM; and "true" Morks mean people can't just run around with "Items of Immunity To Everything" because those items will be DESTROYED.

But there's another really good reason.

There's no such thing as a "Class 10" SPELL, but there IS such a thing as a Class 10 SLOT. In other words, at level 19 you can actually "slide" your Wiltings up two levels into the 3 or 4 C10 slots you receive then, and cast them as AMPED Wiltings for 19d8 * 1.5 damage each. That also means you've kind of freed up a couple of those original C8 slots, so you move a couple of your Chains in there too, for 19d6 * 1.5, and so on.

This is essentially the behaviour that I implemented when I toyed with the idea of making Metamagic "innate" (i.e. once you take the feat, everything you cast is *automatically* Extended/Amped), although I didn't make the connection at the time, and I set the threshhold for it much too low (level 11 for AutoAmp).

If you think about it a bit more though, look at your conceptual spellbook as a level 21 caster. Your top slots are now C11, allowing you take virtually your entire spellbook and move EVERYTHING up two slots. You won't have "room" for one or two spells from each class, but the vast majority of them WILL now only exist in your book in their Amped form, and the spells that you DON'T raise are going to be ones that wouldn't actually benefit from it: e.g. there's no point moving your Premonition to C10, because it doesn't have any roll-variable elements that CAN be Amped.

So at level 21, it IS fundamentally correct to auto-empower *every single spell you cast*.

The same thing applies to Extending spells, except those only have a one-slot cost so you should auto-extend everything, automatically, from level 19 on. Auto-extend is of fairly minimal use really, because by this point you're getting either 20 Turns or even 20 HOURS out of almost everything, which means they'll last though anything less than a colossal assult or serious dungeon crawl. The R/L spells are almost all mage-vs-mage buffs: Mantles, Globes, etc, and a couple of oddities like MrPointy.

Where NWN makes this mildly ugly is that spells which can benefit from both forms of Metamagic (e.g. Mantles) shouldn't be granted both automatically at 21. In real D&D, you'd choose which by putting your GSM at either 10 for Extended or 11 for Amped when you went to bed at night, but there's no nice way to make that determination in NWN because you don't have those slots to work with.

The thing is, that's only an issue for 2 levels, because although NWN doesn't let you combine metamagics (official reason: "the UI is too hard" - nothing to do with gameplay), the real game *does*, so as of level 23 you just shift everything for which it's relevant up ANOTHER class, and they're Extended AND Amped if you want them that way.

But an even more interesting thing happens at level 23: you can take all those Amped spells and shift them up once again to have them all MAXED instead. And for any given XdY scheme, it's implicit that a Maxed version is just fractionally less than twice the damage.
THIS is how magic stays viable in the P&P world: by sheer coincidence. At the point where the Save scheme just completely collapses (remember that chart?) and everything becomes half damage all the time, the shift to all spells being Maxed "reclaims" that lost half, so everything's back in balance except when Evasion's involved.

Your Wiltings go from 22d8=22*4.5=99 to just 23 TIMES 8, or 184. Even at level 22, you actually already had the option of sacrificing one of your Amped C9's for a Maxed C8, which is 176 damage worth of Wilting - it's just that there's no viable way to express that desire in an NWN spellbook.
(ed: this was before I limited Wilting to 20d8).

Remember that bit about combining metamagics I just mentioned? It applies to ALL metamagics. So with the "virtual" C11 slots that you pick up at level 21, you could cast either an Amped Meteor Swarm (20d6*1.5=105, R/2: STILL a totally sugar spell even then), or Maxed Wilting (21*8=168, F/2: pretty clearly the better choice even if everything IS a Figher with a much better F than R, just because there's no Evasion and no DR), OR, a Chain that is both Maxed AND Amped for 20*6*1.5=180 R/2 to the primary target.

When you reach level 25, you're all the way to conceptual C13 slots: 5 levels higher than C8. With Max costing you a 3-slot premium and Amp a 2-slot one, you can pull the same trick with the single most damaging PHB spell in the whole game thanks to its d8 base and the fact that it's the ONLY spell in PHB that doesn't have a "to a max of 20" cap on it. I've never understood WHY Wilting maxes at 25 instead, but it does, so you cast it at 25*8*1.5=300 damage each. Of course, everyone makes the save because of the DC problem, but that still leaves 150 damage that actually hits.

It's still nothing compared to a melee class that can do 300 per ATTACK, 5 times per round, but it's certainly more than enough to make you think twice about just charging in on a wizard who'll be getting 5 rounds (1+1d4 Maxed) per Timestop. PHB Haste DOESN'T give casters a second spell each round: only Quicken can do that. But you'd come out of the TS to find yourself looking at a PO'd Balor with an even more annoyed Wizard behind him, and in about 3 rounds you'd be 600HP worse off than you were a second ago. You're dead Jim.

And THAT'S why high-level casters scare the living sugar out of everyone in real D&D.

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Epic Spells are still broken without the fixes we already discussed: Ruin's 35d6 is ALWAYS insignificantly (10HP) superior to Wilting's 25d8 no matter what its metaproperties are, especially when you consider that Ruin = 1 target and Wilting = many. They both have the same save, and although Ruin is conceptually a C10 spell and thus has a DC 2 points higher, in reality the lack of a "Spell Focus: Epics" means that it will be at best the same as Wilting's because everyone will have taken Focus:Necro at some point, and potentially Greater as well. Ruin's also still weaker than even a real Harm, let alone BW's "assrape a demigod" version.

But, all that metamagic/slot stuff above applies to Epic Spells as well. Hellball may be laughably pathetic now, but Maxed and Amped it jumps to 90 points per type, times 4, is 360 damage. It's also an area spell, so that's "360 to EVERYONE in your party", and since it doesn't allow Evasion it's 180 even for Monks. If it wasn't for the fact that it's excessively DR-sensitive, it would be pretty darned terrifying.

There's also a Heighten Spell metamagic feat, which is implicitly innate, that says "if you put a Chain in a C9 slot, it 'is' a C9 and thus has a DC 3 points higher than normal". This is how they address the Save problem for non-Epic spells.
As a level 39 wizard, your highest virtual slots are C20: 11! above "normal". Not only does that mean that every single spell you cast is (when applicable) Amped(+2) AND Maxed(+3) AND Extended(+1) AND Quickened(+4), thus giving you two castings per round, it's also Stilled (+1) and/or (depending on if it was Extended or not) Silenced(1), meaning you can cast it in Full Plate while carrying a Tower Shield if you feel like it.
Since it's innately Heightened as well, it has a DC of 11 (base), plus your INT bonus (which by this time is going to be at least +20 (50 INT) and probably much higher because of Wishes and no +12 limit on Ability boosts from items), plus its "true" spell level (8 for Wilting), plus 11 from Heighten, plus any spell focus bonus. That's 11+20+8+11=50.
DC 50! No wonder PHB doesn't need the DC hack. People might actually FAIL that, especially once their Ring of Resistance +20 has been Disjoined. smile.gif

--

So, this is what the standard 35d6 Ruin looks like when you put it in a "virtual" C12 slot so that it can be Empowered. Pretty spiffy. It's actually, wow, USEFUL. Sure, it costs a feat and an assload of levels to get something that's weaker than Harm without this fix, but hey, for NWN it's miraculous... smile.gif

--

Anyway, hope that made sense. A lot of it won't be applicable to DN simply because of the levels you need for it to kick in, but a level 21 NPC Wizard is a serious threat to a level 11 party now, not the other way around.


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azmaveth> so, for my first stint as a dm, I feel the need to spawn a dragon or two on a party of babies...
dave> go find Kev when he makes his next baby :p
dave> he prolly kill it
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arQon
Posted: Sep 15 2004, 06:28 AM
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EMS creator and DN Offical Bug Manager


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Couple other bits and pieces, sent to someone who was trying it with HOTU.

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Make sure you take the Metamagic feats. With PHB behaviour they're EXTREMELY desirable now once you reach Epic levels. Remember that they're essentially handled as "innate" abilities: DON'T use the UI to mark spells as Empowered etc, just memorise them normally and let the system take care of it.

Stay pure. I would definitely NOT take more than ONE level at most of a second class throughout all of HOTU.

The biggest mental hurdle, I think, is looking at the fixes in the correct context. Typically, your gut reaction is that mages feel "overpowered" simply because magic WORKS now, which makes them just massively stronger than what you're used to in NWN. It's essentially "culture shock".
What you SHOULD be doing though is comparing their overall effectiveness to other classes at the same level, and they're actually still the weakest (or most handicapped) class by a significant amount in almost every situation.

You can TRIVIALLY complete all of HOTU with a melee class on HC without EVER resting, dying, or even feeling threatened. If you want to look at the classes side by side, CH3 really smacks you in the face with it: your Lovely Companions do about as much damage PER HIT as your best spells do per casting, and that's at 5-7 attacks per round with no daily limits.
Even if you go Sally Malevolent, you still don't come remotely close to them. When I played a Fighter in HOTU, I was averaging about 450-500 damage a round at level 21. The best spell you have is an Empowered Meteor Swarm for about 130 damage, without counting DR.
It's quite funny if you think about it. Even if you had UNLIMITED uses per day of all your spells, you'd STILL only do roughly half the damage of even a mediocre melee char, let alone a "good" one. Keep that in mind when the new Wizards seem "too strong". smile.gif


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azmaveth> so, for my first stint as a dm, I feel the need to spawn a dragon or two on a party of babies...
dave> go find Kev when he makes his next baby :p
dave> he prolly kill it
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dave
Posted: Sep 15 2004, 08:33 AM
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shad but true


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Cool. So this system changes your meta magic feats into autometa feats for wiz+sorcs once they become Epic. An actual reason to take more than 20 levels of wizard or Sorc, go figure. smile.gif

It will make raising the level cap to 27 or 28 later pretty significant for some of those characters as well.

I guess we should be clear that there is a pre-requisite sequence for the feats. Maximized only works automagically if you take Empowered, right? Are there other dependencies for these things you've implemented?

-shad


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Dreu Noctem
- featuring arQon's EMS Spell system
- DN Bug reports go here or here!


[12:32] <arQon> i can design a munchkin in 2 minutes, but it takes me hours to pick a name :P
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Torrilin
Posted: Sep 15 2004, 09:12 AM
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QUOTE (arQon @ Sep 15 2004, 08:14 AM)
There's no such thing as a "Class 10" SPELL, but there IS such a thing as a Class 10 SLOT. In other words, at level 19 you can actually "slide" your Wiltings up two levels into the 3 or 4 C10 slots you receive then, and cast them as AMPED Wiltings for 19d8 * 1.5 damage each. That also means you've kind of freed up a couple of those original C8 slots, so you move a couple of your Chains in there too, for 19d6 * 1.5, and so on.

Improved spell capacity is a *feat*. You don't automatically get L10 slots at L19 and L11 slots at L21. The earliest you can get L10 slots is at L21 by ganking Improved Spell capacity. You can get L13 slots by L25 as a pure wizard by blowing *all* your feat slots on Improved spell capacity. That means you're skipping other potentially tasty feats in favor of being able to maximize L9 spells. A sorc has to make the painful choice between higher level slots and knowing more spells, since they've got an epic feat so they can learn more spells... Wizzie has to chose between the "lower" level greater spell focus feats and the "higher" level extra slot feats, which both have big effects. Cleric and druid also have to make some nasty choices.

I'm all in favor of L10 and higher slots - it makes the "epic spell system" less worthwhile to fool with. Frankly, designing a spell with the epic spell system in the Epic Level Handbook is a pain in the ass, and not worth the time or effort. But giving the higher slots to characters for free is perhaps um... Not the best design choice.

Kalli
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