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Shield Mod - Mulling over ideas

AstroBryGuyAstroBryGuy Member Posts: 3,416
edited December 2013 in BG:EE Mods
Thanks to the newly externalized features of BG[2]:EE, I'm thinking about creating a Shield Mod. I'm interested in any comments or feedback on the ideas for the mod.

The mod would have two components:

1. Revised Sword n' Shield style - In Combat & Tactics, Weapon & Shield style is about being able to do various shield combat maneuvers (e.g., shield-punch) without losing your shield bonus to AC, but I'm not sure if "shield attacks" would even be possible in the Infinity Engine. However, I did note that C&T also details a shield proficiency, which gives a shield bearer extra AC bonuses when using a shield.

Here's how those bonuses work:

Shield Type Non-Prof. AC Bonus Proficient AC Bonus
Buckler +1* +1
Small Shield +1* +2
Medium Shield +1* +3
Body (Large) Shield +1/+2 vs. missles +3/+4 vs. missles
* Note, PnP limits the number of attackers that a shield can be used against in each round. So, shields of increasing size don't provide greater AC (for non-proficient users), they provide AC bonus for more attacks. AFAIK, BG[2]:EE doesn't do this (which would be why they implemented different bonuses for each shield type).

So, like the current SnS style, C&T's shield proficiency provides an AC bonus (for most shield types), but not just vs. missles. Its a general bonus of +2 for medium and large shields, +1 for small shields, and no bonus for bucklers.

My revision to SnS style will be to replace the AC bonuses vs. missles with flat AC bonuses. 1 pip in SnS will provide a +1 AC bonus when using a shield, 2 pips will provide a +2 bonus. There doesn't appear to be a way to limit the AC bonus by shield type, however.

Instead, classes will be limited in the number of pips they can take:
Warriors (except Kensai), including multi-class: 2 pips
Clerics, including multi-class: 1 pip
Buckler-only classes (Thieves, Druids, Bards): 0 pips
Mages, Sorcerers: 0 pips

This limits classes that normally wouldn't benefit from shield proficiency (i.e. those who can only use a buckler) from taking SnS style. While it doesn't stop a fighter from getting a +2 AC bonus with a buckler, presumably a shield-using fighter would likely choose a bigger, more-protective shield.

2. Revised Shield AC bonuses - It always struck me as odd that a buckler grants no protecting from piercing weapons, especially when the PnP description from C&T states "[a buckler's] small size makes it easy to carry, but it is of limited usefulness against anything except fencing weapons." Fencing weapons are piercing, of course.
Also, the idea that a full body shield is only more useful than a small shield vs. missle weapons just seems wrong.

Here's the revised table of shield AC bonuses.

Shield Type AC Bonus
Buckler +1/+0 vs. missles
Small Shield +1
Medium Shield +1/+2 vs. missles
Large Shield +2
I'll give bucklers an AC bonus vs. piercing, making them equivalent to vanilla small shields. So, I'll shift the AC bonuses for small and medium shields as well.

For large shields, the AC bonus will change to a flat +2 AC bonus, but -1 "to hit" penalty due to the encumbrance of the shield (idea borrowed from 3E). In addition, large shields will gain an item ability of "Full Cover" which allows the defender to sacrifice all his/her attacks for one round in exchange for a +4 bonus to AC. This is useful for quaffing a healing potion during combat.

Thanks for the feedback!


  • ShinShin Member Posts: 2,345
    Shield attacks could be implemented simply as spells attributed to the shields.. though they wouldn't have special animations, of course. But a mod like this might come close to make shields a better option both defensively and offensively than dual wielding, especially in the early game.
  • TvrtkoSvrdlarTvrtkoSvrdlar Member Posts: 353
    edited December 2013

    From a purely technical standpoint, how would one 'tweak' the Sword&Shield attributes?

    Say I wanted to make S&S have 4 pips instead of 2, or have it bestow +1 base AC per pip (instead of just the vs. missiles, like its current incarnation), how would I do that with DLTCEP? Is there any .2da table that controls all this, or is it done via some kind of hidden script?

    OT: A shield mod would definitely be a welcome addition to the game. Someone should make it :)
  • ShinShin Member Posts: 2,345
    edited December 2013
    @TvrtkoSvrdlar The bonuses are controlled by STYLBONU.2DA. You'll notice there are SWORDANDSHIELD-0, SWORDANDSHIELD-1 and SWORDANDSHIELD-2 entries for 0-2 points. Not sure if it's possible to add SWORDANDSHIELD-3 and so on on top of that, but let me know if you try it.
  • TvrtkoSvrdlarTvrtkoSvrdlar Member Posts: 353
    edited December 2013
    @Shin: Awesome, thanks for the info! As to adding a "SWORDANDSHIELD-3", I regret to say that I have no idea how to do it. One would need to append the table, right? I've never messed with Weidu, so I don't know have to do that.

    EDIT: Ok, so I've added SWORDANDSHIELD-3 via the 'add row' button in DLTCEP, but it doesn't register in the game (I still can't put more than 2 pips in S&S). Might Weidu be able to solve this somehow? I'm really unfamiliar with it, but I know people work magic with some of its commands.

    On a semi-related note, all I see in that table are entries about thac0 and AC. Is there any way to add something like +5% physical damage resistance per S&S pip? Or is the table locked to only what's already in it?
  • AstroBryGuyAstroBryGuy Member Posts: 3,416
    @TvrtkoSvrdlar - The file WEAPPROF.2DA controls the number of allowable pips for each class. In vanilla BGEE, it is set for 2 for all warrior classes. You'd need to edit that file as well.

    I can confirm that adding a SWORDANDSHIELD-3 row to STYLBONU.2DA and then adding a 3rd pip of SNS style via EE Keeper does work. I gave my cavalier a +3 AC bonus with a shield. :-)

    As for the columns in the STYLBONU.2DA file, I have no idea if new columns can be added for other effects like damage resistance.
  • TvrtkoSvrdlarTvrtkoSvrdlar Member Posts: 353
    edited December 2013
    @AstroBryGuy: Nice, nice... I think it's about time Dwarven Defenders got 5 pips in S&S! :D

    As far as other effects are concerned, DLTCEP has an 'insert column' button, and it's entirely possible to add new columns to the table. The question, now, is what the exact names of the other effects are? For example, 'AC_BASE' is, intuitively, for base AC. What would have to be entered for damage resistance?

    Is there a list somewhere of all the effects one can put in the table(s)?
  • ShinShin Member Posts: 2,345
    My guess would be that it's not the labels that matter, but the positions of the columns - i.e, even if you add a bunch of columns it won't make any difference unless the engine is altered to take more positions into account and correspond to a certain effect. It's just a guess though. You could test it by swapping e.g. the DAMAGE_RIGHT and AC_BASE labels and see if the in-game effects actually change.

    This is based on my experience with editing XPBONUS.2DA that regulates exp gains for lockpicking, trap disarming and spell scribing. In the file disarm_trap is the first row, but values inserted there are awarded for lockpicking, and the other way around.
  • CorvinoCorvino Member Posts: 2,269
    Some things that could be considered for a Sword & Shield style mod could be:

    Damage resistance
    Elemental resistances
    Magic resistance
    Save throw bonuses

    All of these sort of make sense as blocking or deflecting attacks should reduce the damage your character takes, even if it's blocking a fireball which doesn't take AC into account.
  • AstroBryGuyAstroBryGuy Member Posts: 3,416
    @Corvino - Unfortunately, none of those are available in the STYLBONU.2DA file that controls the effects of weapon styles.

    The available modifiers are: left damage, right damage, left THAC0, right THAC0, AC base, AC vs missiles mod, speed factor and critical rate. The only really applicable affects for S&S style are AC base and AC vs missles.
  • KaigenKaigen Member Posts: 1,567
    Spitballing some thoughts:

    Adding in offensive capabilities to reflect how shields were used to bash, trap, and create openings as opposed to merely blocking would be great. One option, as @Shin states, would be to add items spells to all the shields in the game to enable shield punches and shield rushes; this would also allow you to implement different damage values based on the size of the shield. Another option would be to add a "Shield Specialist" kit for Fighter and/or Paladin that gets access to special shield abilities and higher levels of S&S style (even up to "grandmastery") that add offensive benefits like THAC0 and crit rate (representing using the shield to create openings and inhibit your opponent's guard). Part of the disadvantage of the kit could be restricting access to other weapon styles and reduced proficiency with two-handed weapons to encourage sticking with the theme.

    The stuff @Corvino suggests would be great for preserving the usefulness of shields in the late game, but can't be added to S&S style. This could be jury-rigged by creating a few new magic shields with the desired properties, as one of the big problems with (most of the) shields currently is how lackluster their bonuses are apart from AC. The bonuses current shields get, e.g. 10% elemental resistance, +1 saving throws, +5% magical resistance, are easily outclassed by weapons placed in the off hand. You could even sprinkle in a couple of shields with offensive bonuses to mix things up a bit.
  • ClonazepamClonazepam Member Posts: 6
    Dual wield shields. Why? Because mods. *cue mc hammer* Can't touch this.
  • SCARY_WIZARDSCARY_WIZARD Member Posts: 1,438
    How about an option where you can slam a large/tower shield onto your opponent's feet? It could come with some movement hindrance effect attached to it.
  • MathsorcererMathsorcerer Member Posts: 3,029
    You could always put a Cast Spell on Condition effect on the shield that does a "shield bash" by applying a little crushing damage against the last person who successfully hit you.
    Even without that the idea of someone wearing full plate mail with two enchanted medium shields is...interesting, as far as characters go. Enkidu's Full Plate, Sentinel, and Shield of the Order = base AC -12, not counting dexterity or other items. Powerful opponents will still hit you more often than not but most average foes probably won't.
  • DullSkullTheSecondDullSkullTheSecond Member Posts: 243
    Is there any progress on this mod? Sounds really nice and I would love to add it to my game
  • AstroBryGuyAstroBryGuy Member Posts: 3,416
    Sorry, I haven't had much time with the BG1NPC Project and RL.
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0
    edited July 2014
    The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • JitterBugJitterBug Member Posts: 37
    edited October 2014
    I'd just like it were it to add 1 ac and 1 ac vs missile for each pip instead of 2-4 ac vs missile. Keeps its strength against ranged the same and makes it relevant in melee. The other weapon styles arn't as powerful as whats being proposed here. I think the problem is for those of us who want the "sword and board" as the most relevant tank in game finding that other options are as or more viable Especially late game when ac is less relevant. I'd like it if physical resistance was provided if only so I Didn't feel like i was missing out by not using the weapon the gives you it but than they'd probably stack so maybe not. Think the biggest thing inhibiting shields from being as rewarding as other options is the lack of good shields in the game across all types.
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