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Slayer form tweaks, again.

O_BruceO_Bruce Member Posts: 2,735
The following feature request contains spoilers from Baldur's Gate II. If anything, you're reading this on your own risk.

Long before BG:EE was released, I already made long-forgotten feature request about usefulness of the Slayer form that CHARNAME recieves access to after the Spellhood. This time thought, I want to request not only more usefulness of this form, but also it's connection to Bhaal's essence within CHARNAME.

But for starters let's discuss why player would want to user this form, and more importantly, why he wouldn't want to use it.

Advantages:
- Quite nice for roleplaying
- The Slayer's claws counts as +5 or +6 weapon, which is great for SoA standards. It enables to damage demiliches.
- The Slayers is immune to a lot of effect, including Imprisonment.
- The Slayer's claws are dealing additional cold damage, so it's usefull against stoneskined mages.

Disadvantages:
- Latest two advantages can be easily ignored - Berserker's rage also provides immunity to Imprisonment, Spelltrap and the like can help countering it. There are a lot of weapons that are useful against stoneskined mages etc.
- In ToB, +5 weapons are norm.
- The Slayer's HP are set to 100, which means that fighter class CHARNAME who decides to transform into the Slayer is often going to become weaker. What's more, nearly in every aspect.
- The Slayer cannot cast spells.
- You can use the form for a very short ammount of time before you die.
- Every time you transform, you lose 2 reputation points. Unfortunately, reputation in BG functions as a both morality (karma) and how people around are seeing you. This is very punishing for evil characters.

Overall, not much of a reasons of using this guy, aside from dealing with Demiliches, right? So, what can be done about this guy?
image

If reputation/karma system in the game cannot be changed, then we should focus the Slayer itself. There are two things that can be done: increase it's base stats (HP, Thaco, attacks, damage, ac, resistances etc.) of the Slayer and also increase the time player can remain in that form. But, there's a catch: only evil Bhaalspawns will benefit from improvements made for this form.

Unlike the way the Slayer was improved in the Ascension mod, where CHARNAME's experience points were the key. But, I would like to CHARNAME's decision to affect his/her Slayer form. The point is: the more evil, selfish and power hungry your CHARNAME is, the more powerful his/her Slayer form gets. How it can be done?

(If none of "evil" actions here were done, your Slayer form isn't going to get stronger)

1. The Dream sequences. If you act evil/selfish/power-hungry while responding to Irenicus, The Slayer form you will recieve after Spellhood will become more powerful.

2.The Hell trials, Test of wrath: the wraith of Sarevok is tempting you to use your Bhaal's essence and transform into the Slayer. Isn't it the perfect opportunity to improve the Slayer? If you choose "evil" durning this trial, aside from gaining +2 to str, your Slayer form becomes slightly more powerful; also, the time duration of staying in the form before death is doubled.

3.Trone of Bhaal. I'm not so sure about how is Overhaul going to handle that part of the game, but it sure will use some improvements. Anyway, the idea is to yet again, enhance the Slayer stats (but no slightly this time) and then also, instead of dying, CHARNAME will turn to his natural form after transformation's time is up. The occasion for providing those could be:
a) One of the trials in pocket plane (death removed as a consequence of using the form too long after "talk" with Cyric?)
b) After destruction of Saradush, if you were speaking with Melyssan and acting evil/power hunry.
c) After killing few member of The Five, but there is no really "good/evil choice".

I know that once @Dee said that such changes require caution, when impementing, but I haven't heard definitely "no" from him. It's just my propositions, thought. The exact way Overhaul is/isn't going to implement this is up to them.

Now, the Slayer (and evil Bhaalspawns) needs some more love (and hugs!)
image

MadhaxJuliusBorisovItomonMaxxximus
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Comments

  • O_BruceO_Bruce Member Posts: 2,735
    @ZanathKariashi
    I never knew about Beholders and Vampires. Thank you. I disagree with most of things you said, though.

    Sure, you can consider the Slayer as a "last resort". But if your last resort is, in most of the cases, decreasing your staying power, in most cases of the fighter classes decreasing your offensive power and if it is nearly utterly useless in ToB, then something is surely wrong here.

    You also missed important thing. Connection between roleplaying evil character and CHARNAME's Slayer form. It is important. These dream sequences that are so disliked by people could have a purpose. Also, playing evil wouldn't be so punishing anymore. It is a good path that should enforce abnegations to you, not the evil one.

    I agree thought about reputation pentaly, but only because it has dual-function in BG series. Otherwise, there would no point in losing reputation when no one innocent sees your transformation.

  • ZanathKariashiZanathKariashi Member Posts: 2,867
    edited September 2013
    Evil is supposed to be punished though. Especially when playing around with an incarnation of pure undiluted evil that exists only to create destruction and murder. Slayer form is Stupid Evil personified. Evil characters want power, respect, and prestige, only the most violently insane end of chaotic evil would relish in using a power such as the slayer in it's current form unless they had no other choice but to rely on it, since it only craves destruction and death and nothing more and is NOT their friend and is trying to destroy them just as much as it destroys everything else.

    Even in the BG1 dreams, evil paths were punished because the essence within grew stronger from evil actions and choices making it easier for it to attempt to forces you into acts of mindless violence to strengthen it further before your inevitable demise which would return the strengthened power to the pool. Good acts on the other hand, starved the essence and weakened it, making your character more in control.

    It makes it blatantly obvious, mentioning that your character can literally feel the slayer eating away at their soul every time they use it.


    As long as they implement the enhanced Bhaalspawn powers, it's fine. That's all the bonus an evil character needs, because those powers are ridiculous.

    nano
  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 4,179
    I think both you guys have great and valid points, on the slayer, back in the days when I was a rookie, the slayer form was actually very useful, I remember the first time I ever battled the ravanger I was in my slayer form because that was the only way I could win, now adays I don't even bother with the slayer form because for me it is completely unnecessary, I do like @ZelgadisGW idea about the RP element though, that's kind of nifty, but when I play, im more of a power gamer and not really into the RP that much, so I have no qualms about @ZanathKariashi ideas either, I remember when I read the ToB novel abdel used his slayer form many times, and even
    Balthazar wrecked abdel even when abdel was in slayer form
    also he used it against bohdi, she didn't have a good day that one, and someone else even turned into the slayer in the novel series
    Imoen

  • SirFrancealotSirFrancealot Member Posts: 56
    edited September 2013
    slayer form was craaaay cray OP, and the penalties were in place to stop you from cheesing it. That being said, the reputation penalty is disastrous given how low your Rep is when playing an evil party anyway... so much of the game is based in Athkatla and being consta attacked is not fun.

    That being said... I'd LOVE to see a class / kit that takes advantage of the slayer form. Make the core abilities of the class remove the rep penalty upon assuming slayer form, but set a maximum rep cap of 10. nerf the slayer form so it doesn't have any immunity to so many things but buff it so that you dont die from using it for too long... and you'd have a seriously interesting class to play with.

    And from a RP perspective it would be amazing...

    My fondest memory in BG2, and one of my all time greatest gaming moments, was when you rest after initially gaining the slayer form in the Bhodi encounter, and Lose control of your character. The slayer immediately turns on your group, and butchered half of my party before I regained control. Still get chills.


    Include a random loss of control aspect similar to the wild magic table, where you can just go nuts at any moment and go on a rampage. That would be SWEEEEET!

  • O_BruceO_Bruce Member Posts: 2,735
    @ZanathKarashi
    Obviously, you don't get what I mean by saying that "Also, playing evil wouldn't be so punishing anymore. It is a good path that should enforce abnegations to you, not the evil one.". Basically, someone who's evil doesn't have any moral dilenmas and are focused only on their well-being. Hence roleplaying evil should have it's benefits, contrary to what we have in BG right now.

    Now, for the Slayer. True, the Slayer form is eating your soul, it is utterly evil power, but you are acting as if Bhaalspawn, of all living beings, never had any control over it. There are only two situations in the entire game when you are out of control: when you are transforming when meeting Bodhi, and after first rest after this encounter. Then, after having dream, featuring Imoen teaching you how to count to five, you are able to transform into the form at will. And control it for short ammount of time. Note the "you are losing control" massage - it shows up when you start recieving damage, when you have only like 4-5 runds of using this form left. After which, you die, which indicates that you lost control over Slayer.
    Point is: control over the Slayer form is possible, even if it's for the short ammount of time.

    And hence it is possible, I don't see why someone who's aspiring to become God of Murder wouldn't try to master the conrol over his very Bhaal essence. Since CHARNAME gained some limited control over the Slayer before, there is no reason to claim that gaining even more is impossible.

    I've also gave a thought about your "last resort" argument and I came to conclusion that it would be good argument, but only if one factor is ignored: that player would rather use "load game" spell than risk using the Slayer, transforming int which would be probably pointless. Of course, there are no-reload challenges, but it's not that common style of playing this game.

    I don't know if Overhaul is going to do anything about the Slayer form, regardless if it's because of this feature request or not, but surely I want something to be done with the Slayer. Let's face the fact, using this form is pointless, even as the last resort. You have Shield of Balduran and one nice cloak against Beholders - both of these methods work better than the Slayer. You have large access to "Protection from Undead" scrolls, which are more viable method of dealing with Demiliches and Vampires. You have magical items, summons, potions, spells... There's a lot of methods of dealing with hard situations. Using Slayer is not only pointless, but also punishing.

    From what I've read from one of your topics, @ZanathKarashi (the one about nerfing F/D) I already know that we are people that proably will not come to agreement on the same thing...

  • ZanathKariashiZanathKariashi Member Posts: 2,867
    And all of those methods are cheese that is also on the list of things that needs changed. The shield of balduran is absolutely broken as implemented. If it had a daily use or two that protected you from beholder rays for a few rounds instead of passive immunity, it would be MUCH more balanced. Same for the cloak of mirroring (I'm fine with it having a passive spell reflection effect, but it should have some sort of daily cap on the number of spell levels it can reflect, say...30. People can rest through it to abuse it, but that's their choice to do so).

    ALso....whats this $%#^ about evil having low rep? 18 rep is not low. Or 16, if you prefer more of a buffer. I've said it a dozen times, Bioware can't write evil for $%#^...at least with regard to the player's choices. Every "evil" choice in this game is stupid evil, that is just taking an evil path for the lulz, completely ignoring the fact that a callous, greedy, vain, evil twat will have no issue at all taking a "good" path if they feel it's likely to have a better pay out, or better yet, fools people into thinking they're nice. Evil only cares about results, which is why the rep system is also $%#^...every single one of the Evil characters would absolutely LOVE all the benefits of doing good quests because it brings them everything they want (Money, prestige, POWER). The only thing that really separates a "good" action from an "evil" action is why you took the action in the first place. Yes murdering people for no reason is definitely evil, but it's also REALLY REALLY dumb, because it adds additional unnecessary risks.


    People who just reload through all their problems are irrelevant......that's like saying every PC/NPC should just have an instant-death knife because people will just shadow-keeper it in or kill-command enemies they think are too difficult. Not everyone does, but a fair amount of people do. Why not just give every character all 18's. Stats are worthless anyway and it would clear up some annoyances...especially since people have no issues just using the set all 18 cheat or SKing their companions to have the stats/kits THEY want them to have anyway.


    Nothing of those matter at ALL to how an ability functions. No baring what so ever. Why limit mage spell casting at all, when people can rest all they want without penalty 99.99999999% of the time? Only a 1 battle in the unmodded game, lasts long enough to potentially run you out of spells, that you can't rest during (and by then you can Wish rest, so it doesn't matter).


    It's a persons choice if they want to cheat, instead of manning up and living with their choices. Slayer as implemented is fine. And to be perfectly honest, it's the other options that need to be looked at, because everything you brought up is brokenly overpowered as implemented.

  • SergioSergio Member Posts: 584
    edited June 2014
    I found now this topic. I admit that you are right regarding the fact that the slayer is a wasted opportunity. I always thought that the more you morphed into the slayer, the more charname dialogues should have turned evil. I think that the slayer as it is currently makes no sense.
    You get asked by your essence to turn into it everytime you got the chance. But not only you can only turn 1 time\every rest but it also gets no upgrades unless you use Ascension.
    Not to add that the transformation's duration is extremely limited.

    It should also be added that I always found rather strange that in Hell Sarevok taunts you and you can tell him that you are morphing into the slayer, but nothing happens.

    Not to add that like that Zanath's opinion makes no sense.
    Why should evil be stupid? That's your personal idea of evil, not my personal idea of it.
    If you want a baldur's gate made just for good charnames, just enjoy it as it is.

    But if someone propose a idea, you can't etiquette it as stupid, especially when it is well thought. Did you have a bad day with Irenicus that kicked your ass before making the post? Because to me it seems like so.

    And I'm sorry that for you being strong means being capable not to being imprisoned by demiliches. That's the first time I read that the slayer form is strong because you can't get imprisoned. Damn.

    [irony] I would have said that the slayer form is good because you can open the last door in the ilithid's lair instead of having to charme one of them.

    In the end, the slayer form is not strong, everyone can beat it, and the fact that is useful for demiliches doesn't mean that it has to suck for the 99% of the game.

  • EdvinEdvin Member, Translator (NDA) Posts: 3,019
    edited June 2014
    There should be something like Lesser Slayer.
    Something that would make us less powerful, but not destroyed reputation.

    image

    Advantages:
    - All stats: +2
    - Armor: +2
    - Spell casting speed: +1
    - Immune to Fear
    - Immune to Imprisonment
    Duration: 5 rounds

    After 5 rounds:
    - All stats: -2 (for 10 rounds)
    - Fatigued

    CaloNord
  • O_BruceO_Bruce Member Posts: 2,735
  • CaloNordCaloNord Member Posts: 1,799
    edited July 2014
    I like that idea! I can't honestly say I've ever really used the slayer. I find his rep hit quite annoying and I largely play goodly characters that wouldn't want to be wandering around as the avatar of Bhaal anyway. That said, I'd use a toned down version. :)
    Evil sadistic demon: Lite, if you will...

  • DeefjeDeefje Member Posts: 110
    It would be fine for me if it'd only destroy reputation if used in an area with commoners.

  • SergioSergio Member Posts: 584
    the reputation hit kinda makes sense. I mean, why would you morph into the avatar of the god of murder, if not for a evil purpose? But anyway I can understand that sometimes the reputation loss in baldur's gate makes no sense, especially when there are no people to see you transforming...

  • DeefjeDeefje Member Posts: 110
    @Sergio yup... people see you transform into something hideous and powerfull in the promenade... rep hit...

    If you do it all alone in a beholder lair... not so much.

  • CaloNordCaloNord Member Posts: 1,799
    HAHAHAHAHA! The whole logic of the reputation system is deeply flawed. I think it really should be dropped or totally overhauled.

    Grammarsalad
  • EdvinEdvin Member, Translator (NDA) Posts: 3,019
    @CaloNord
    I would not go so far, but I would introduced rule:
    No witness = No crime ( At least in Slayer case )

    If someone (civilian) sees you in Slayer form, he should start running.
    If he manages to escape from the building or area, THEN you should receive reputation decrease.
    ( Something similar can be applied on murders. )

    "If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?"
    In Baldur's Gate tree makes a sound so loud that the whole world hears it...

    CaloNord
  • CaloNordCaloNord Member Posts: 1,799
    edited July 2014
    @Edvin‌ Hahaha! :D Thats a good start! :D I don't see how the commoners in Athkatla know about my actions in the Underdark. . .
    Haha What I don't get is the store price mark up . . . "Oh look, a brutal murderer known up and down the sword coast for his awful deeds and massive violence. He rapes, he pillages and kills. He especially hates Halflings. 900% mark up for you."

  • DreadKhanDreadKhan Member Posts: 3,660
    I suspect the slayer rep drop is supposed to represent the collapse of your soul. As you embrace the taint (...stop laughing!), anyone can recognize the aura of crazy danger surrounding you as you become progressively possessed by your father's taint (...STOP LAUGHING!).

    I dont think there was any other way to represent this.

    CaloNord
  • CaloNordCaloNord Member Posts: 1,799
    Maybe it needs a new mechanic? A taint bar?

  • O_BruceO_Bruce Member Posts: 2,735
    Reputation in this game needs to be reworked in my opinion.

    CaloNordGrammarsalad
  • CaloNordCaloNord Member Posts: 1,799
    I think it should be tied to NPC reaction a bit more closely and lock and unlock dialogue options accordingly

  • ZanathKariashiZanathKariashi Member Posts: 2,867
    edited July 2014
    It'd be more accurate to think that it represents a growing stench of evil of that hangs off of you, until you can mitigate it through particularly saintly deeds or seeking atonement at a temple.

    Though yes, I'd much rather seen a LOT more enforcement of roleplaying, ala Torment.

    Particular responses requiring a minimum stat level to be able to pick, unless it's something an illiterate, uneducated peasant would think of (average 10 int), (no more low int, wis, cha characters able to talk/reason their way out of problem or for a nice reward, just because the player looked up what the appropriate answer was...though using a companion with the appropriate stats to talk in your place is perfectly acceptable, when able). Your alignment being freely shiftable between law/chaos, good/evil, based directly on your actions and choices, instead of being static, and as per PnP, preventing you leveling up if you are a class/kit with a restricted alignment, until you've gotten back into an acceptable alignment.

    I'd also like to see some greater enforcement of class restrictions.

    ANY evil choice should result in immediate falling of a Paladin, including accepting evil NPCs into the party (with a Detect-Evil warning dialog for a paladin). If a choice was absolute necessary for the completion of an important quest (such as letting Edwin join briefly in BG2 to complete Maevar's guild quest, or being forced to side with the Shadow thieves as the lesser evil), they can go and seek atonement at a good temple and be restored, but if it was simply evil without reason (choosing any evil response or killing innocents), it's permanent.

    Paladin NPCs will absolutely refuse to party with an Evil PC (or if they have evil party members) and will warn PC if they detect a potential companion is evil, and will leave if the PC accepts them anyway, or chooses any inexcusable evil actions.

    Rangers fall permanently if they ever cease to be Good, but can do what they must, as long as they don't go too far. Ranger NPCs will leave if the party has taken enough evil actions with them present to shift them out of Good (but won't actually change their alignment).

    Post edited by ZanathKariashi on
    elminsterScourge
  • EdvinEdvin Member, Translator (NDA) Posts: 3,019

    ANY evil choice should result in immediate falling of a Paladin, including accepting evil NPCs into the party (with a Detect-Evil warning dialog for a paladin). If a choice was absolute necessary for the completion of an important quest (such as letting Edwin join briefly in BG2 to complete Maevar's guild quest, or being forced to side with the Shadow thieves as the lesser evil), they can go and seek atonement at a good temple and be restored, but if it was simply evil without reason (choosing any evil response or killing innocents), it's permanent.

    Paladin NPCs will absolutely refuse to party with an Evil PC (or if they have evil party members) and will warn PC if they detect a potential companion is evil, and will leave if the PC accepts them anyway, or chooses any inexcusable evil actions.

    Do you really want to promote lawful stupid to lawful retard? :D
    Not all paladins are the same. Some orders are more tolerant (smart).

    "If a choice was absolute necessary for the completion of an important quest (such as letting Edwin join briefly in BG2 to complete Maevar's guild quest, or being forced to side with the Shadow thieves as the lesser evil." Thieves are evil, paladin can not fulfill this task. For lawful stupid paladins is not anything like the "lesser" evil.

  • CaloNordCaloNord Member Posts: 1,799
    edited July 2014
    That would make the game unplayable. . . Shadow Thieves or Vampires. Neither they are both evil! I shall sit and pout the unfairness of the universe! Because my own knightly order won't help me! ;) haha

    Edvin
  • DreadKhanDreadKhan Member Posts: 3,660
    @Edvin Paladin orders are all required to follow the Paladin Code perfectly all the time. Technically, a Paladin should fall if he chooses the lesser of two evils. House rules can change this, but the paladin code of conduct doesnt vary by order. LN patrons are thus a bit riskier, as your God may require a course of action that results in you falling. Paladins arent supposed to be easy to play, thats why they have more power than a fighter, to give additional options.

    That said, the Shadow Thieves and you arent friends even traveling companions. They wouldnt be dumb enough to knowingly ask a Paladin to behave evily, as its very bad for the asker's health. I am not sure if buying a boat ride from evil is enough to fall. Linvail wouldnt risk his life by trying to screw over a Paladin, so he'd be more cautious.

    Ideally, you patron may be understanding if you fall for a very good reason, but you'd still have to atone. DnD is not big on the doctrine of Divine Grace! Martin Luther would have hated that.

  • EdvinEdvin Member, Translator (NDA) Posts: 3,019
    @DreadKhan
    I want be Paladin of Sharess!
    They must have a great code.
    :D

    DreadKhan
  • DreadKhanDreadKhan Member Posts: 3,660
    Truthfully, being a prudish stick in the mud is nowhere mandated for Paladins. If Sharess would have them, they'd be entertaining I wager.

    Edvin
  • abazigal5abazigal5 Member Posts: 290
    edited July 2014
    @Edvin: That's an interesting idea. I love the picture of it. Much more my style.

    I think it would be cool to have that option.

    I probably would use it more than the normal Slayer; I only transformed into the Slayer once, and that was in a desperate situation.

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