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illegal abilities on NPCs - how do you feel about them?

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  • ArchaosArchaos Member Posts: 1,421
    edited January 2014
    Yes - even if I think the abilities are strong
    Kinda resurrecting the thread but it's only a couple months old, anyway.

    Most of NPC "special" abilities are engine/edition limitations and others have RP explanations anyway:

    Aerie is an Avariel. Avariels can be dual Cleric/Mages.

    Edwin is a Red Wizard. His amulet simulates the Red Wizard of Thay prestige class/kit where you give up an additional school of magic for an extra slot per level. (Not fully implemented).

    Minsc is a berserker. In BG1 there was no Barbarian/Berserker so the closest thing was Ranger for a wild warrior. Also in 3E he could just be a Barbarian/Ranger.
    Plus he has too low wisdom to be a legal Ranger, his two-weapon proficiencies and spellcasting are engine side-effects. Also they kept him as a Ranger for consistency reasons.

    Coran is a Fighter/Thief and archer. Again, Fighter/Thieves should be able to put more than two points in a proficiency I believe, per ADnD rules. (Not sure on that one but makes sense since they keep ALL Thief goodies).
    Plus as a Thief he might have gotten/stole a Tome of Dexterity or maybe a noble gifted to him?

    Kagain's 20 Con. Again, he's a trader and merchant. He might as well gotten/bought a Tome of Health from someone or was given to him for another favor.

    Dorn is a Half-Orc Blackguard. Since Blackguard comes from 3E, it makes sense that he's one since it's allowed with those rules.

    Sarevok is a Deathbringer, not just a Fighter with a special ability. Not implemented as a kit/whatever but that explains it.

    Mazzy is a Paladin or Sword of Arvoreen, not a Fighter with Paladin stuff. Again, engine/rule limitation, since Halflings can be Paladins in 3E.

    Jaheira has Harper's Call. Again, this might be a spell that is given to Harpers or requires you to be one to get it.

    Might have missed some but I don't think they are as important.
    Dynaheir's Slow Poison ability might be just a potion that Hathran's know how to do. Since, you know, they are considered witches in Rashemen.

    I'm mentioning 3E many times, since the BG games came out when 3E was brand-new and they noticed how many limitations were just silly to put it politely.

    Drizzt is another example of a Ranger with a Rage. Best implemented in 3E as a Drow Fighter/Ranger/Barbarian.

    And if someone thinks there shouldn't be "special" NPCs, then it's only fair that they lose ALL Bhaalspawn abilities, including Slayer form and Hell's Trials. Not only CHARNAME is special in the Realms. ;)

    Post edited by Archaos on
    jackjackbooinyoureyes
  • SilverstarSilverstar Member Posts: 2,204
    Yes - provided I don't think the abilities are too strong
    scriver said:

    Just like Imoens unremoveable girdle in Irenicus' Dungeon is just there to make sure her death-preventing-scripts kick in at the right moment.

    So -that's- what it's for. Sheesh. Here I was entirely convinced it was part of something the devs had just forgotten about/not gotten around to. That's one less thing to keep me up at night!

    elminsterjackjackbooinyoureyesAristillius
  • egonegon Member Posts: 81
    D&D is a pretty crappy (and silly) game to begin with, so I don't understand why one would want see that game as the end-all when it comes to discussing BG.

    That said...

    No, i'm not a fan. CHARNAME is CHARNAME. Child of Bhaal. The protagonist. It makes sense that he/she should get powers other don't. It would make sense that they would be more powerful than others. It irks me to no end that Coran has 3* in longbows. It also annoys me that Haer'Dalis has 2* in short swords. No matter what I do, if I do it legally - if I play a Blade or a Fighter/thief my Blade or Fighter/thief will never be as good as those two (admittedly this is made up by the inclusion of the Archer in BG:EE). I do not mind too much about Edwin and his super necklace, because it is a magical item.

    I just feel there is perhaps a little TOO much emphasis on the power of NPC's. Like they were one of the dev's PnP characters in ages past and they wanted them too be as cool as possible.

    Let's see. The protagonist should get powers that others don't? How about the ability to re-roll attributes until completely satisfied? Or being able change into a Slayer, or cast spells even though not a spellcasting class or a bunch of other abilities that no-one in the game has? Yeah, it's really horrible that a few NPCs get some special abilities that allows them to better represent their characters' backgrounds! Who put all this "roleplaying" shit in my game anyways?!

    Those abilities are cool, they make NPCs more unique. But, I don't like them, when they are making an NPC too strong. For example, It is cool for Edwin to have a one more spell per level, but having two is just too much. And he doesn't have any weakness that could make up for this.

    Except that he's clumsy as hell, weak as a kitten, forces you to the path of evil (or at least, less good) and can't be in the same party as one of the coolest characters in the game?

    If none of the other characters had any special abilities then they wouldn't BE characters. The only difference between Mazzy and Korgan would be their alignment, a few points in attributes and what weapons they can use. The fact that the different NPCs actually are different is the entire point. Do I want a crazy ranger with head-injuries or do I want a sane ranger but who has a problem with women and mages? Do I want axe wielding, greedy murderer or do I want a righteous fighter for good?
    Hmm, nice thing I can actually choose...

    Wanderon
  • Mrpenfold666Mrpenfold666 Member Posts: 427
    Yes - even if I think the abilities are strong
    it gives the character with said abilities something to remember him/her by, something that actually defines the character rather than making him a weaker CHARNAME of a different class,

  • ArchaosArchaos Member Posts: 1,421
    edited January 2014
    Yes - even if I think the abilities are strong
    By the way, about people's insistence on PnP. Baldur's Gate is not PnP.
    Also, the Dungeon Master's Guide in 3.5E (not sure about ADnD) says that the rules are guidelines, anything else is up to the DM.

    And by the way, if you want to go pure PnP but still be a Bhaalspawn, then I give you this challenge.
    Roll for the abilities with dice per ADnD PnP rules, no reroll allowed, no reload allowed, you die once that's it, start a new game since you're a Bhaalspawn.

    It's no less cheating than the "cheating" NPCs. You get special powers both out of character and in character (Power Word: Reload/Reroll, Bhaalspawn powers) than they get.

    In the end, you can always just change the NPCs powers to make them more "legal", with the EEKeeper if they annoy you that much.

    booinyoureyes
  • egonegon Member Posts: 81

    egon said:

    [...Edwin...]
    Except that he's clumsy as hell, weak as a kitten, forces you to the path of evil (or at least, less good) and can't be in the same party as one of the coolest characters in the game?

    That's weird. I often have him in a party with Xzar, no problems at all. Am I missing something?
    Ah, good one, I'll give you that. :) I was of course refering to the Mighty Boo even though Xzar seems to popular as well.

    booinyoureyesAristillius
  • unkinheadunkinhead Member Posts: 107
    edited January 2014
    wait wut? How is aerie cleric/mage illegal? That's a doable class.

    Regular Elfs can Multi Class Cleric/Mage. (i think)

    and even still, she is not "really" an elf, she is "Avariel"

  • SilverstarSilverstar Member Posts: 2,204
    Yes - provided I don't think the abilities are too strong
    unkinhead said:

    Regular Elfs can Multi Class Cleric/Mage. (i think)

    "Regular" elves, or Moon Elves, can't do a Cleric/Mage multi-class, no. Aerie isn't supposed to be a Moon Elf though, quite correctly she's an Avariel Elf, and they can indeed use that particular multi-class. The BG engine at the time of original BGII didn't really accomodate sub-races though and thus a lot of people consider her an "illegal class" since she has a setup player elves can't have.

    typo_tillySCARY_WIZARD
  • MitchforkMitchfork Member Posts: 390
    Yes - provided I don't think the abilities are too strong
    I don't mind it as long as the abilities have a justification in the lore, which is the case for the vast majority of them. I would imagine that non-rulebook abilities for PC's and powerful NPC's is somewhat common in most tabletop games.
    Archaos said:

    Coran is a Fighter/Thief and archer. Again, Fighter/Thieves should be able to put more than two points in a proficiency I believe, per ADnD rules. (Not sure on that one but makes sense since they keep ALL Thief goodies).

    The Baldur's Gate proficiency system doesn't really exist in 2e AD&D as far as I know- I think in that system you can only put one "point" into each weapon type, and Fighters can choose to further specialize in one type of weapon only. Stuff like Grand Mastery was created just for Baldur's Gate. I'm not really an expert on the rules though, this is just what I remember from the brief times I played it as a kid.

  • lroumenlroumen Member Posts: 2,127
    -other-
    If the abilities are interesting, I don't mind. It makes the NPC kind of unique, but also a bit niche. I never go for the same team twice, so even overpowered characters have no guaranteed place in my party.

  • TwaniTwani Member Posts: 640
    Yes - provided I don't think the abilities are too strong
    Some bother me. Some don't.

    Edwin bothers me. I understand that he's a Red Wizard of Thay, but Red Wizard's of Thay don't get extra spell slots. Even if he was going to get them, I'd prefer he get them either for only levels 3 and less, or simply get one extra, not two. There is no way possible for CHARNAME to be as good a caster as him, and that's no fun.

    Viconia's Magic Resistance bothers me a bit, too, especially now that it's made to allow friendly spells in and not block all spells. She's been on the surface for long enough that she should have lost it. (On the other side, Baeloth's doesn't bother me, because he's a newbie on the surface.)

    Coran's pips don't bother me too much. AD&D doesn't have the same rules pip wise as BG, but if we tried to equivalent them, a fighter/thief should be able to put 'three pips' in weapons (actually, they should probably be able to grand master, just like a fighter). I'd prefer if the player character could do the same, but I generally install mod components that allow them to. I'd like to know where he got his dex tome, but I'm willing to accept that he got one.

    Same with Kaigan. Actually makes even more sense: Kagain's a merchant, of course he'd keep an eye for things like a CON tome on the market.

    Aerie's multiclass is perfectly legal for her sub-race, and even if it wasn't, I'd be okay with her having it due to being under the tutelage of Quayle.

    Haer'Dalis's pips, on the other hand, I'm not okay with as I am Coran's. That's straight up illegal. On the other hand, I like Haer'Dalis enough that I don't let it effect me too much.

    Most of the character's BG1 abilities don't bother me. Eldoth can make poisoned ranged weapons? Good for him. Dyna can cure poison? Awesome. Safana can... charm animals? Um, okay, I guess? (That one never made much sense to me, but I think giving her charm person instead is a bit too powerful.) The only one that's really bothersome is Tiax's Summon Ghast, which I think is a bit too powerful.

    Minsc, Mazzy, and Sarevok's strange classes are okay with me- I just pretend they're unique kits (which they basically are, in Sarevok's case). Of the three, only Sarevok is OP, and if anyone in the game world has a right to be OP besides CHARNAME, it's certainly Sarevok.

    Two things that do bother me are Minsc and Anomen. For Minsc, I can let it go- he had the head injury after he followed the ranger path, and I assume had the wisdom requirement before said head injury. But Anomen should not be able to dual to cleric. Even after his test, he's still not good enough for it. I've solved this issue by mostly ignoring Anomen's existence, which has worked out well for me so far.

    The two things in game that really, really, really bother me are Valygar and Anomen (again), though. CN Anomen cannot receive spells from Helm. He can tell himself he is- I'm sure there are gods willing to impersonate Helm and grant him spells when he prayed, as a CN cleric can generally receive spells from a CE Gods who would do it for the evil lulz- but he should not be receiving Helm's holy symbol. Helm would have abandoned him as soon as he abandoned the law. Likewise, in Faerun, rangers and druids are not allowed to directly worship nature until 3rd edition (and even then, only a few rangers have learned how to do it). Valygar should not be getting ranger spells. In my head, I figure even without acknowledgement, Mielikki sees Valygar doing good and acting like a ranger should and sends spells even without the proper prayers and worship, but that's a bit of a stretch even for a good god.

    Quartz
  • KastionKastion Member Posts: 44
    Yes - even if I think the abilities are strong
    Personally I think every NPC should have a little something that makes it unique, even if it's super strong and ESPECIALLY if it's something I can't do. We already get special abilities ourselves so I don't see why the NPCs can't have some flavor too, so long as it fits of course.

    Flavor trumps "standard" rules to me. In every game.

  • egonegon Member Posts: 81
    Twani said:



    Haer'Dalis's pips, on the other hand, I'm not okay with as I am Coran's. That's straight up illegal. On the other hand, I like Haer'Dalis enough that I don't let it effect me too much.

    Haer'Dalis is a Doomguard and they get bonuses to fighting with swords. The two pips in Short Swords (and longswords at high enough level) was the best (only?) way the give him that ability in-game.

    DragonspearbooinyoureyesQuartz
  • EudaemoniumEudaemonium Member Posts: 3,199
    Yes - even if I think the abilities are strong
    Twani said:

    Some bother me. Some don't.

    Edwin bothers me. I understand that he's a Red Wizard of Thay, but Red Wizard's of Thay don't get extra spell slots. Even if he was going to get them, I'd prefer he get them either for only levels 3 and less, or simply get one extra, not two. There is no way possible for CHARNAME to be as good a caster as him, and that's no fun.

    This isn't actually true. Red Wizard's gain an additional 1 spell slot on top of the one granted by specialisation, because they are 'double specialists'. Technically, it should only be used to memorise spells from the mage's specialist school/s, though, but this is true for all specialist mages and the rule isn;t implemented in BG, whether deliberately as a House Rule or for mechanical reasons is unclear.

    Edwin shouldn't get the 2 bonus slots in BG2, though, but rather the one bonus slot he gets in BG1. 2 bonus slots is something only the Zulkirs, the mage-rulers of Thay, get.

    jackjackbooinyoureyesQuartzFoggy
  • DragonspearDragonspear Member Posts: 1,835
    @Twani

    I'm trying to figure out what your exact problem with Valygar is =/

  • TwaniTwani Member Posts: 640
    Yes - provided I don't think the abilities are too strong
    egon said:

    Haer'Dalis is a Doomguard and they get bonuses to fighting with swords. The two pips in Short Swords (and longswords at high enough level) was the best (only?) way the give him that ability in-game.

    They get +1 to attack rolls with swords, and *in return* have to fail a save versus spell each time a healing spell is cast on them. I'm not okay with him only getting the bonus, not the penalty, although that penalty would indeed make him hard to use.

    Twani said:

    This isn't actually true. Red Wizard's gain an additional 1 spell slot on top of the one granted by specialisation, because they are 'double specialists'. Technically, it should only be used to memorise spells from the mage's specialist school/s, though, but this is true for all specialist mages and the rule isn;t implemented in BG, whether deliberately as a House Rule or for mechanical reasons is unclear.

    Edwin shouldn't get the 2 bonus slots in BG2, though, but rather the one bonus slot he gets in BG1. 2 bonus slots is something only the Zulkirs, the mage-rulers of Thay, get.

    Which books is this in AD&D? I'm not finding it in the Dreams of Red Wizards set. Even so, he's still getting too many slots.

    @Twani

    I'm trying to figure out what your exact problem with Valygar is =/

    He's a ranger without a God. That's a no-no in the Forgotten Realms. In Greyhawk, Birthright, Planescape, Ravenloft, whatever other setting of choice, that would be fine, but the Forgotten Realms specifically doesn't allow that. All divine casters- clerics, paladins, rangers, druids, 3E's favored souls- must have a god, until 3.5's Eldreth Veluuthra were introduced, I believe (and they only received that power through the workings of a lich).

    DragonspearQuartz
  • AcridSyphilisAcridSyphilis Member Posts: 129
    Yes - even if I think the abilities are strong
    Minsc still gets spells though and has no god unless you count Boo. We also don't know if Valygar is just a quiet practitioner of his faith. He's not the most flamboyant character to begin with.

    QuartzSCARY_WIZARD
  • EudaemoniumEudaemonium Member Posts: 3,199
    Yes - even if I think the abilities are strong
    Twani said:



    Which books is this in AD&D? I'm not finding it in the Dreams of Red Wizards set. Even so, he's still getting too many slots.

    Wizards and Rogues of the Forgotten Realms, published in 1991, I think.

  • booinyoureyesbooinyoureyes Member Posts: 6,162
    Yes - even if I think the abilities are strong
    Honestly, Valygar should at least have a special ability of dispel magic/true sight like Keldorn (perhaps only once per day though). That would fit his character better. I'd actually have found the Wizard Slayer kit more fitting if it didn't blow so bad.

    Edwin is super OP. Should have just made him a specialist, or at least make it impossible for him to dwarf charname in power so easily (despite his crap stats other than intelligence/Con)

  • QuartzQuartz Member Posts: 3,851
    Yes - even if I think the abilities are strong
    Twani said:

    Viconia's Magic Resistance bothers me a bit, too, especially now that it's made to allow friendly spells in and not block all spells. She's been on the surface for long enough that she should have lost it. (On the other side, Baeloth's doesn't bother me, because he's a newbie on the surface.)

    In Vanilla Baldur's Gate 1, her Magic Resistance blocks all spells, even friendly ones.

    Blame BGII, TuTu/Trilogy, and the EEs.

    jackjack
  • syllogsyllog Member Posts: 158
    edited January 2014
    Yes - provided I don't think the abilities are too strong
    Re: Edwin
    Edwin is a Red Wizard
    per 2e Red Wizard kit their specialists gain 2 extra spells per level (3 if they are the grand-muckity-muck of their school).
    The penalty is that they get -25% to learn any spells not in their school (so even with int 25 that would be a max of 75% chance to learn a spell, per level [only one try per level]).

    Oh, and everyone outside of Thay hates them.
    Oh, and except divination you're supposed to give up 2 schools. (That last one is true for all specialists though.)

    If you enforce either the lose 2 schools or the -25% (or both) Edwin becomes a strong, but reasonable character. As is he just obviates rolling your own wizard because he's just better unless you're a Wild Mage. It's silly.

    (Though if you dual to wizard after meeting him you can potentially RP being a Red Wizard yourself...
    "Sure Edwin, I'll be your 'minion'. You can (*cough* start *cough*) as my master. I'm just a mindless monkey with 19int. :)

    Quartztypo_tilly
  • syllogsyllog Member Posts: 158
    Yes - provided I don't think the abilities are too strong
    Archaos said:

    Edwin is a Red Wizard. His amulet simulates the Red Wizard of Thay prestige class/kit where you give up an additional school of magic for an extra slot per level. (Not fully implemented).

    That was my memory of the class trade off too. I recently checked the 2e source though - and I didn't see anything about losing an additional school of magic (though that makes much more sense to me). You just have an extra -10% to learn non specialty schools and get a save penalty against opposition schools. (I'd house rule an extra school lost myself.)

  • TwaniTwani Member Posts: 640
    Yes - provided I don't think the abilities are too strong
    @AcridSyphilis

    Valygar specifically mentions he's faithless in a banter that Keldorn starts- 'But I have no god, paladin. Whom would I serve?' I assume Minsc like most of his people follows the Three, and in turn gets his spells from Mielikki. He never specifically mentions her, but considering his people worship a goddess closely associated with rangers, it makes the most sense to me. In any case, I can accept a divine spellcaster who doesn't talk about their faith overmuch: I don't think Cernd ever mentions one way or another who he serves, though assuming Silvanus works. But Valygar is specifically 'Nope, no God here'. He can be of the ranger class if he wants, but he shouldn't be getting divine spells. Some deity (or, more scarily, some demon/devil/daemon with too much time on their hands) must be giving them to him.


    As for Edwin, the kit described in Wizards and Rogues of the Realm doesn't really make sense for him. He's not a dual-specialist: he's just a conj. He doesn't seem to be getting the -2 penalty against divination spells, either, though considering how little divination spells there are that he'd be saving against, that wouldn't be much of a penalty. Still, at least it would be something.

    Quartz
  • syllogsyllog Member Posts: 158
    edited January 2014
    Yes - provided I don't think the abilities are too strong
    @Eudaemonium
    @Twani

    Twani said:



    Which books is this in AD&D? I'm not finding it in the Dreams of Red Wizards set. Even so, he's still getting too many slots.

    Wizards and Rogues of the Forgotten Realms, published in 1991, I think.
    It's possible there's more than one Red Wizard kit then.
    The one I saw was in Spellbound (a book for 2e Forgotten Realms).
    Image of kit attached:

    Post edited by syllog on
    typo_tillySCARY_WIZARD
  • TwaniTwani Member Posts: 640
    Yes - provided I don't think the abilities are too strong
    Spellbound is 1995. So Dreams of Red Wizards was where they first started thinking of the idea of the kit, Wizard and Rogues was where they first put it to actual kit, and Spellbound is where they focused their kit. :) We were all working off of different sources: no wonder we were confused!

    Whether it's Wizard and Rogues or Spellbound, though, Edwin certainly doesn't meet the charisma requirements of the Red Wizard of Thay kit. Bah! I dismiss him, then. He's still cheating, darn it.

  • the_spyderthe_spyder Member Posts: 5,018
    Yes - even if I think the abilities are strong
    syllog said:


    Oh, and everyone outside of Thay hates them.

    Quite a lot of people INSIDE Thay hate them as well. They are just too frightened to say it out loud.

    SCARY_WIZARDbooinyoureyes
  • syllogsyllog Member Posts: 158
    Yes - provided I don't think the abilities are too strong
    @Twani
    Hmm. Interesting. I tracked down the Wizards and Rogues of the Realms supp.
    I've included both the Spellbound and Wiz and Rog page descriptions of Red Wizards below for the curious.
    If I track down Dreams of The Red Wizards I'll post that.

    Sb: Red Wizards are super specialists that get an extra-spell slot at the cost of decreased change to learn non-specialty schools and save penalty against them. Highest level red wizards get an extra spell slot.

    WRR: Red Wizards are double specialists. They can specialize in two schools (But not in the opposition school of one or the other) with all the normal penalties for each. Highest level red wizards become single school specialists; abandoning one of their two specializations.


    Next I play with Edwin I'm going to implement some combination of these penalties. It's great that he's great, but there should be *some* meaningful penalty.

    [Side note: Witches of Rasheman as described in WRR are AMAZING. They can cast any spell they know without memorizing it ahead of time. The only penalty is their casting time is twice as long.
    So they're basically sorcerers that can learn limitless spells with the penalty of casting last in a round for the most part. Lore note: this is part of why they associate with berserker warriors--to give them time to cast spells.
    No wonder Edwin's afraid! :) ]

    Dragonspeartypo_tillySCARY_WIZARD
  • syllogsyllog Member Posts: 158
    edited January 2014
    Yes - provided I don't think the abilities are too strong
    Alright, here's all three 2e mechanical imaginings of Red Wizards of which we appear collectively aware.

    File 1
    Dreams of the Red Wizards: There is no kit presented here. However there is the Evocation spell "spell circle" - by which Red Wizards can memorize additional spells via the contribution of power from their apprentices.

    File 2
    Wizards and Rogues of the Realms: Red Wizards are double specialists. They can specialize in two schools (But not in the opposition school of one or the other) with all the normal penalties for each. They get a bonus spell for each specialty (i.e. +2 spells/lvl). Highest level red wizards become single school specialists; abandoning one of their two specializations.

    File 3
    Spellbound: Red Wizards are super specialists that get an extra-spell slot (i.e. +2 spells/lvl) at the cost of decreased chance to learn non-specialty schools and save penalty against them. Highest level red wizards get an yet an additional extra spell slot (i.e. +3 spells/lvl).

    File 4
    Note: Also included is a list of 2e opposition schools for those wanting to mess with balancing Edwin.


    Side Note (1): While Edwin is OP even by the the above standards Dynaheir is very much underpowered compared to the ridiculously awesome Rasheman Witch kit in WRR. (See File 3)

    Side Note (2): @Demivrgs The arcane spell "Spell Immunity" *is* an actual spell in 2e. It's a 5th level spell in DRW and is described as being identical to the 4th level clerical spell - FYI. (See File 5, blue highlight)

    Post edited by syllog on
    Eudaemoniumtypo_tillyjackjackSCARY_WIZARD
  • TressetTresset Member, Moderator Posts: 7,952
    What about Anomen's illegal dual class to cleric? Whenever I use him I change his wisdom to something respectable. 12 is a rather pathetic wisdom for a cleric.

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