Message From Spiderweb - Brain Blocked

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AuthorTopic: Message From Spiderweb - Brain Blocked
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I'm about two weeks into coding the scenario editor for Blades of Avernum. It's pretty slow and painstaking work, as I am making a level effort to make it much, much friendlier than the earlier editor. I hope to have a few screenshots available soon.

I am hoping to write in the next month or three a sort of advance guide/warning for people who want to port their scenarios. It'll both describe new available features and things that won't be around anymore. (For example, conveyor belts simply do not work in the new engine.)

In the meantime, though, I have two quandries, and I thought I'd get a few suggestions before I made decisions.

i. Advanced skills. There are skills you can train in once you have bought enough prerequisite skills. (For example, when you've bought enough dexterity and defense, you can train in parry.) These will replace the "secret" skills you were trained at in special encounters in previous games.

What sort of special skills might you like to see individual characters of advanced level be able to buy?

ii. Replacement spells. Capture Soul and Simulacrum will not work in the new engine. Moving monster types between scenarios is problematic in many ways.

What do you think would be a really neat mid-level mage spell?

- Jeff Vogel
Spiderweb Software
http://www.spiderwebsoftware.com
Posts: 960 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
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combine spells, i think. It would probably be hard to do, and I don't know anything about the engine but I think it would be cool to be able to combine spells. Like if you're really low leveled the spells that can be combined are restricted, but as you go up in levels you can combine more powerful spells. Or if that doesn't work, you could bring back one of the field or wal spells like conflagration but make it more powerful, kind of like a stationary fireblast.
IDEAS FOR SPECIAL SKILLS/ABILITIES:

When a berserker gets to a certian level, he gets an ability called whirlwind attack, lasts for 6 rounds, +5 to attack, ap, dex, strength, resistance, and parry. or when a mage gets to a certain level and has certain # of mage spells/intelligence he can combine spells as a special ability (like above) When a priest gets to a certain level and has certain amount of priest skill, he gets the special skill lay on hands, like in d&d. Finally, when a rogue or a thief has enough strength, dexterity, and gymnastics, and when he reaches a certain level, he can assassinate for a special ability. Unlike normal assassination, this is like actual assassination which will instantly kill the target. The more powerful the target, the less the chance of success.

hehe sorry if i bogged you down with ideas.

[ Tuesday, November 05, 2002 14:37: Message edited by: The Inquisitor ]

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Posts: 659 | Registered: Thursday, October 4 2001 07:00
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So we wont have trainers who can teach the special skills, oh well.

i. I defently think barter should be in (you can train in it through the skills that give you item lore), Herb finding (high first aid skill and cave/wood lore), pathfinding (intelligence, cave/wood lore), those three are my favourite, but Blade Master (strength, melee & pole-arm), Gymnastics(dexterity & defense), Magery (Intelligence, Mage & Priest Skill) and Atonomy(Intelligence and First Aid) are all good. Vahnatian Lore would be alittle odd, seeing as you would only could realy learn it from a Vahnatia or someone who has learned their lores and things (I doubt that would be every trainer). Cant realy think of any new skills.

ii. Oh how about a Flight spell? that sort of works like the Orb Of Thralni but costs mana, seeing as not all Scenerios would have the Orb of Thralni(sp?), possible at level 1 it will cause the party to levitate (indoors and out) allowing them to cross lava, swamps and move down high drops safely, at level 2 it will cast flight outdoors instead of levitate (indoors it still casts levitate) and you can also cross water and those big black pits, and and at level 3 ... hmm, it lasts alot longer?. Just an idea.

Hope that helps.

[ Tuesday, November 05, 2002 14:36: Message edited by: Mortimer ]

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Posts: 289 | Registered: Saturday, February 16 2002 08:00
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I. (no comment yet)

II. I would personally like some single-target offensive spell that ignores resistances and immunities (if that's even possible). I have problems with my mages standing still while a Haakai is pummeling my party into shrapnel. But... that might be too powerful. Or maybe some spell that weakens/dumbfounds the opponent. And get rid of Terror, willya? ;)

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Posts: 406 | Registered: Tuesday, July 2 2002 07:00
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I. Magery- Intelligence, Magery, Arcane Lore prerequisites. I think that Barter should be available at the beginning, or include it with a sort of "leadership" skill like Geneforge, though that would make things a lot more complex.

II. I agree that some sort of cursing spell would be nice- similar to the vapor rat ability. Perhaps it affects one enemy at level 1, multiple enemies at level 2, and something else for level 3. This may be too similar to Divine Retribution, though. Perhaps an antimagic spell? One of my main reasons for using simulacrum was to summon up a null bug for protection from magic. Perhaps this spell could behave in a fashion similar to the cloud of blades spell, except with an antimagic cloud.

Thank you for involving us with Blades of Avernum!

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Radioactive cats have 18 half-lives.
Check out a great source for information on Avernum 2, Nethergate, and Subterra: Zeviz's page.
Finally, there's my Geneforge FAQ, Geneforge 2 FAQ, and
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Posts: 2831 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
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Bring back Exile 1 holy scourge, the one that slows and curses all the enemies. That was an AWESOME spell!

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Posts: 659 | Registered: Thursday, October 4 2001 07:00
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Advanced skills beyond the original in Avernum... (Resistance, Gymnastics, Anatomy, Vahnahtai Lore, Magery, Blademaster, Pathfinder, Barter, and find herbs, right? Dread Curse neither counts as a skill, nor is is likely possible in BoA anyways.) Hmmm... That's a good question I never thought of before.

May haps something similar to herb find, except with food? (Gather?) I always found it so very annoying to be marching through Footracer, getting attacked by a dozen and five groups of beasts and end up with no food in the end to rest with.

Another idea I like would be something to the effect of a blademaster skill for ranged weapons (Marksmanship?). Maybe that would be unfair and unbalanced though.

Something to the effect of Telepathy/something mental to aid in the casting of spells and/or dodging enemy attacks? I never designed any (released) BoE senarios, so I can't be considered a dependable idea man for what's balanced and what's not.

Also, this really isn't much on topic, but maybe more of a difference between the races? I always thought it plausible for a feline Nephilim to be less active during the day, but get improved vision at night, or a Slithzerkai getting imrpovements in warm conditions to speed and strength, and vise versa to cold?

As for replacement spells for Capture Soul/Similaricrum... The world of Avernum needs more wall based spells. Could of Blades just doesn't cut it alone. Maybe bring back Sphere of Cold (That was on an item, not an actual spell, wasn't it?) or wall of force maybe?

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Posts: 168 | Registered: Saturday, October 26 2002 07:00
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Ability for only shamen would be nature lore+magery+priest spells+anatomy= shapechange. You need to be at least a level 20 shaman, and as you get more powerful you can assume more powerful forms, and for longer durations. the forms you could be could include(from least to most powerful) an asp, worg, null bug, aranea, elder aranea, baslisk, ur-basilisk, gorgon, hydra, flame hydra, ice hydra, drake, ice drake, gazer, dark wyrm, drake lord (maybe the drake lord would be too powerful) that's all the suggestions from me.

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Posts: 659 | Registered: Thursday, October 4 2001 07:00
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Barter - High intelligence

Resistance - High hardiness (very, very high)

Pathfinder - High cave lore / nature lore

Blademaster - High strength, dexterity, and either melee or polearm skill

Anatomy - High strength, dexterity, and first aid. This seems like a very awkward, unlikely combination, though...

Parry - High defense and melee / polearm skill

Gymnastics - High dexterity and defense

Find Herbs - High intelligence and potion making

Magery - High intelligence and mage / priest skill

—Alorael, who hopes that NPC's will still be able to sell up to five levels of a skill. If it's not too hard to implement, leaving the skills as "secrets" that the PC's can't learn without purchasing at least one level first would be nice.
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
Lifecrafter
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quote:
Originally posted by Alorael:
Anatomy - High strength, dexterity, and first aid. This seems like a very awkward, unlikely combination, though...
I think Assassination would be a suitable prerequisite. While I'm at it, Assassination (and perhaps other skills) should enable you to exceed that USELESS 199 DAMAGE CAP ON ATTACKS WITH WEAPONS. ;) In the later stages of Avernum 3, my fighter didn't hit harder than my mages, and Assassination became nothing more than a waste of skill points.

quote:
Find Herbs - High intelligence and potion making
Nature Lore is also very appropriate.
Posts: 950 | Registered: Thursday, October 4 2001 07:00
Triad Mage
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I agree that, if you're adding new skills, a marksmanship ability (high bows, assassination) would be a good idea, since missile weapons are very underpowered in Avernum 3.

For spells, I'd like to see something like paralysis or web, like Bind Foe, rather than Forcecage. Also, I'd like another field spell, with either ice or magic damage.

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Posts: 9436 | Registered: Wednesday, September 19 2001 07:00
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Please bring back the good ol' fireball spell. I really missed it in the Avernum games.

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Posts: 595 | Registered: Tuesday, March 12 2002 08:00
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The spells missed most in Avernum seem to be the area-of-effect ones. Throw in a fireball/firestorm/divine thud/whatever type spell and you'll make a lot of friends. :)

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Posts: 1423 | Registered: Sunday, October 7 2001 07:00
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More wall spells would be nice, particularly an antimagic cloud, though possibly this should be higher level than simulacrum or capture soul, though since the cloud would be nowhere near as big, it probably wouldn't be quite so overpowered.
Another spell than aids your characters or weakens the enemy would be nice, since we no longer have divine warrior or bind foe. Also, I would disagree with the point about the flight spell: this would not be a good idea. If you have the orb of thralni in you scenario, it's presumably because you chose to give it. Not necessarily so with a flight spell
As for special skills, the current ones are good, and would work very well if given a few additions like the aforementioned marksmanship, along with some sort of hunter skill, maybe allow you to gather food outside occasionally, and do more damage to animals-this would probably come from some sort of weapons skill, hardiness and wilderness lore. Possibly some sort of divine aura that gives minor healing or blessing at random (though probably not). Also, possibly monk skills like unarmed strike (which would boost damage with bare hands) and natural armor (which would act as defense and block damage if the character wasn't wearing encumbering armor); both of these skills would probably be linked to strength, dexterity, endurance and hardiness.
Also, how will skills that you can't currently train in, like resistance, magery, and find herbs work? And will there still be mind crystals that teach you advanced skills?

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Posts: 298 | Registered: Tuesday, September 10 2002 07:00
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Antimagic Cloud might be too powerful - how about Dumbfound or Mindduel?
Posts: 950 | Registered: Thursday, October 4 2001 07:00
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Also, I really like the skills idea. You could replace "Alchemy" with a "Create Item" skill. Later when you have trained in the "Create Item" skill you could, for example:

- Do alchemy
- Scribe Scroll
- Make Armor/Weapon
- Make Arrows (I always run out of them)

I really think that BoA would be nice if you could do this.

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Who was born in a house full of pain
Who was trained not to spit in the fan
Who was told what to do by the man
Who was broken by trained personnel
Who was fitted with collar and chain
Who was given a pat on the back
Who was breaking away from the pack
Who was only a stranger at home
Who was ground down in the end
Who was found dead on the phone
Who was dragged down by the stone
Posts: 595 | Registered: Tuesday, March 12 2002 08:00
Agent
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...That would give you a reason to carry around iron bars.

As for spells, it would be fun to have Quickfire back.

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Posts: 1277 | Registered: Monday, June 24 2002 07:00
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So the new ideas for skills

Marksmanship - Dexterity, Bows, possibly Assassination? (a ranged version of the Blade Master skill)
Foraging/Hunting - Endurance maybe?, Nature Lore (getting food from the wild, like in Nethergate).
Blacksmithing - Strength, Tool Use? (making weapons armour).
Fletching - Bows, Tool Use? (making arrows and bolts)
Scribe/Scroll writer(or something like that) - Intelligence, Arcane Lore (Can write spell scrolls)
Death Strike - Dexterity, Assassination (possible instant kill assassin attack)

And a few class based skills, im not sure many would like those, seeing as most make custom characters, possibly these skills you can only get through special Traits, like you can only gain Blade Master if your character has the Elite Warrior trait, and the Monk skills could come from a Martial Artist trait, just an idea.

Also the crafting type skills suggested would make use of several of the useless items we find laying around in Avernum.

E.G. Pen & Ink + Papyrus(sp?) = Firebolt Spellscroll.
Or something along those lines.

Oh and another idea about things like Atonomy being ackward with a Str+Dex+First Aid, how about instead Atonomy and other such skills could be gained through several different combination of skills, like 10 Strength + 10 Dexterity, or 20 first aid, or 10 first aid + 10 assassination, so you will only be able to train in Atonomy if you spend so many skill points in either Strength, Dexterity, First Aid and Assassination, or any combination of those four. This would be measured in the number of actual Skill Points you spent on those skills, not the actual level of those skills them selves, or possibly a few skills would require a minimum of basic skills, like Blade Master may require a minimum of 10 strength and 10 Dexterity. E.G. Blastermaster requires a total of 40 skill points spent in either Melee Weapons, Pole Weapons, Strength, Dexterity, but requires a minimum of 10 in strength in Dexterity, so if your character had 20 melee, 15 pole, 10 Strength and 9 dexterity he cant train in Blade Master, even though he has over the 40 skill points spent, he needs 1 more point in Dex.

I apologise for the length of all that, andI know most of the examples arnt entirely accurate.

[ Wednesday, November 06, 2002 14:35: Message edited by: Mortimer ]

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Posts: 289 | Registered: Saturday, February 16 2002 08:00
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Actually, antimagic cloud wouldn't necessarily be overpowered. If it were like cloud of blades, then it would be easily moved out of. You'd have to pin the enemy inside it, so it would still be less powerful than just summoning a null bug.

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Posts: 298 | Registered: Tuesday, September 10 2002 07:00
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An antimagic cloud spell could also work with the size of the cloud determined by the level of the spell. For instance, at level 1, you could cast one 1X1 cloud, at level 2, a 3X3 cloud, and at level 3, multiple (2 or 3) 3X3 clouds.

I don't want to see quickfire, honestly. It was too overpowered, and generally not so very useful. Besides, it would be hard to make a level-based spell of it. The best you could do would be:
Level 1 = flaming death by quickfire
Level 2 = more flaming death by quickfire
Level 3 = even more flaming death by quickfire

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A few cats short of a kitten pot pie...

Radioactive cats have 18 half-lives.
Check out a great source for information on Avernum 2, Nethergate, and Subterra: Zeviz's page.
Finally, there's my Geneforge FAQ, Geneforge 2 FAQ, and
Geneforge 3 FAQ.
Posts: 2831 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
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It was good for cleansing dungeons that you didn't feel like exploring, or the monsters were too powerful. Just quickfire, come back in a number of days, and voila! Too prevent it's being used by the wrong people, you could require like 40 in arcane lore or something so it wouldn't be open to just anyone. As for levels of it, just have it do more damage.

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Posts: 659 | Registered: Thursday, October 4 2001 07:00
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I see a lot of good ideas ...

i. Some sort of Archery mastery skill. Although I'm not sure I agree that it was so underpowered in Avernum 3. It's like any other weapons skill ... more levels = more damage.
ii. Some sort of combat debuff spell.
iii. Another wall-based spell.

All of the old specialty skills (parry, anatomy, gymnastics, the safe travel one) will still be in, with a few exceptions.

Find Herbs - I HATE this skill. I should never have put it in. It's impossible to balance it, and it removes the ability to make herbs maningful treasure.
Barter - I always thought this was lame, so I took it out. But I'll consider putting it back in.

The crafts skills are a neat idea, but not something I may build into the full engine. I will, however, make sure there is the capability in the engine to do crafts things in individual scenarios. (Example: a combine box in your inventory. When you use it, it looks for a stick and a stone. if they're there, there is a chance based on your Tool Use of getting an arrow. Just as an example. This capability is in the engine as it stands now.)

This reminds me, I need to really think about the concept of monster hate lists and aggro management. If your mage is really bugging a monster, it should rush the mage.

- Jeff Vogel
Spiderweb Software
http://www.spiderwebsoftware.com

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Posts: 960 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
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How about some non-combat related skills? One I'd like to see is what I call the Recognition Factor - how well do people in the world know you? For example, a goblin in alone cave might have a recognition factor of 1 (lowset on scale), where the King of a nation would have an RF of 95-100.

Alcritas did something like this in his last scenario, and it's something I thought for years could be used to promote the story side of of an RPG.

So, when you buy points in this skill, you are in effect promoting yourself - going to bars and bragging it up, writing up your exploits, etc.

When you do good deeds, you can also earn points in this category.

Over time, this could make NPCs react to you in different ways. Shopkeepers might offer you discounts; rivals might become jealous to the point they attack, etc.

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Posts: 653 | Registered: Thursday, September 27 2001 07:00
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I feel that it would be great if a sort of "minimum [basic stat]" requirement was put in for the weapons and armour. It does not make sense to see some low-strength mage chop people to pieces with a big greatsword that he/she can barely even lift.

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Posts: 3323 | Registered: Thursday, April 25 2002 07:00
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Im a little late on this one,

but i think it would be great to bring back a anti-magic field spell, or maybe one of the barrier spells(level 1 fire barrier, lev 2 magic barrier, level 3-??)

also, i liked most of the special skills, not much i can really think of to add to them-except maybe some way to boost action points, but that has a lot of potential to unbalance things.
Posts: 15 | Registered: Thursday, November 7 2002 08:00

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