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magic resistance and saves from an rp perspective

The title captures my questions. Saves improve as you gain levels, suggesting they're more than just luck, however if they're your characters naturally improving ability to resist spells, what is the difference between that and magic resistance (in principle rather than in application as I realise there is no roll required if magic resistance kicks in).

Is this just another quirk of 2e?

Comments

  • Jaheiras_WitnessJaheiras_Witness Member Posts: 392
    Yeah, magic resistance is some creatures' ability not to be affected by magic at all. The saving throw is only relevant when the magic does affect you and represents your chance to avoid or resist the spell in whole or in part.

    It is a bit quirky.

  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 9,076
    Yes, it's a terrible mechanic. In PnP you have the flexibility to play it like an actual resistance instead of a 'chance to avoid' - if someone has 30% MR they would only take 70% damage from damage spells; disabling spells could have their duration cut to 70%; etc. But the BG engine doesn't allow that.

    I'm just starting to work on a mod that will address MR in a comprehensive way. I'm hoping to eventually have a few options.

    1) Hardcore MR: it works as in the base game, but with no exceptions. So healing spells, Sunfire, Comet, etc. can all be blocked by MR.

    2) Arcane-only MR: in BG1 MR could block healing spells, but Bioware removed this in BG2, without any stated justification. I'll offer a justification for that - the divine magic overcomes the resistance - and then take it to it's logical end, letting all priest spells bypass MR.

    3) Logical MR: some aspects of MR don't make sense. A Fireball is created by magic but the fire itself is still very hot in a non-magical way, so it should still burn someone with MR, right? Under this option, direct magical effects like Charms and Holds and Magic Missiles will be blocked by MR, but non-magical environmental effects, that just happen to be created by a magic spell, will bypass it.

    4) No MR: this most aggressive option will completely eliminate MR from the game. Every instance of MR in the game will be replaced with some combination of improved saves and/or elemental resistances, and/or immunity to spells up to x level (like rakshasas). MR-granting items, kits, and spells available to the player will be similarly changed.

    I spent ten minutes working on option #4, and it's going to be a bigger and more complicated undertaking than I originally thought. 1-3 should be a lot easier, so maybe I'll start with them.

  • Jaheiras_WitnessJaheiras_Witness Member Posts: 392
    Erm, creatures can voluntarily lower their MR...that's why healing spells and other friendly buffs are not blocked. You're trying to fix an issue that doesn't really exist

    KilivitzDJKajuru
  • jesterdesujesterdesu Member Posts: 373

    Yeah, magic resistance is some creatures' ability not to be affected by magic at all. The saving throw is only relevant when the magic does affect you and represents your chance to avoid or resist the spell in whole or in part.

    It is a bit quirky.

    Yeah, I get what it is in BG, but not sure I appreciate the difference from an RP point of view... There's obviously little need for saves against magic if on 100% magic resistance, but similarly there's only a 1 in 20 need for magic resistance if saves are decent (critical failure).

  • Jaheiras_WitnessJaheiras_Witness Member Posts: 392
    edited April 2015
    There's no such thing as critical failure on saves.

    But you would need MR anyway, because not all spells are harmless even if you make the save...a Fireball still does half damage for instance.

    lunar
  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 9,076
    edited April 2015

    Yeah, I get what it is in BG, but not sure I appreciate the difference from an RP point of view...

    It's a good question, I think. I haven't seen a source that explains it well. Is it an inherent characteristic? A magical ability? How does it work for Wizard Slayers - they are just fighters, not magic users, so how do they get this semi-pseudo-magical power? Do they undergo some kind of ritual, or is it something in their blood, like Valygar being descended from a powerful wizard? Can they indeed "voluntarily lower" it? Move it higher or lower on the scale like a chameleon changing colors on its skin? Literally, what is the mechanism used to do that? How does it work?

    Some of the lore suggests it is not a controlled ability, but an inborn characteristic. Drow, for instance, are exposed to some kind of radiation in the Underdark that, mixed with some elven characteristic, results in a resistance. I've seen some sources say that drow MR fades when away from the Underdark; other sources suggest otherwise.

    I agree that MR is an annoyingly vague, poorly-explained phenomenon. (@Jaheiras_Witness did you seriously just imply that I should have known a made-up fact about made-up creatures in a game of make-believe that is horribly internally inconsistent?? You better show up with some linked sources if you're going to take that attitude... :P )

  • DreadKhanDreadKhan Member Posts: 3,514
    Iirc, some MR couldn't be lowered voluntarily, ie for a Wizard Slayer.

    Saves though improving with levels makes some sense, some of its reflexes, some toughness, some willpower, etc. For HP I know non-martial classes are supposed to have low HP due to not knowing how to take a hit, or make it less dangerous. IE any character at 50% HP should appear somewhat similar in degree of injury, ie seriously injured but not in immediate danger of death. Constitution based HP only amounts to 20-50ish HP, regardless of how great Your cons is.

    Obvious example from real life, someone who regularly drinks has the ability to drink more than a teetotaler, even if the teetotaler might be tougher. Experience could also grant durability.

    lunar
  • lunarlunar Member Posts: 3,340
    Magic resistance is a magical ability that can not be achieved by the common men. No commoner can have magic resistance. But a lucky commoner may make a save vs spells if you throw a disintegrate ray into his way.

    Magic resistance shows as an unnatural (demons), mystic (monk, wizardslayer) or magical (drow, golems) occurence. While a saving throw may be due to toughness, reflexes, or just plain old luck.

    Imagine a man caught up in the explosion of a fireball. With a succesful save vs spells, he may manage to fend off the worst of the explosion, via taking cover, diving and rolling on the ground etc. He still gets burned, and is wounded, but was lucky enough to survive with horrid burns. It is a rare and surprising thing, but it can happen. Now imagine if the man was not touched by the explosion, by the virtue of magic resistance, as if the flames washed away from his body like water on a duck's feathers. To the onlooker surely this is something most unnatural! And creepy.

    GoturalJuliusBorisov
  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 9,076
    That's a good description. But I don't understand why it wouldn't apply to beneficial magic as much as to harmful magic.

    And I don't understand how a fighter kit can obtain the characteristic described above. Read the Complete Fighter's Handbook - the whole point of fighter kits is that they are warriors who focus on different aspects of what makes a great warrior. Berserkers, soldiers, tacticians, swashbucklers, thugs, pit fighters... none of them have the mystic ability to have magical fire wash off their skin like water off the feathers of a duck.

    lunar
  • JarrakulJarrakul Member Posts: 2,027
    Maybe it's an Achilles-type-thing? Like, Wizard Slayers are dunked in the spring of anti-magic or something.

  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 9,558
    Critical failures on saves do show up in IWD2. I believe spell resistance in IWD2 also is susceptible to a critical save, as I've seen 50 SR fail to block a DBFB before from a 20th-level spellcaster.

    Frankly, I think it makes sense to have such critical failures, though it would absolutely wreck certain no-reload strategies. You could implement it by adding a 5% base chance to bypass saves on all effects that offer a saving throw, and add a 5% chance of having no effect or doing half damage automatically (reflecting a save roll of 20). But that would be pretty time-consuming.

    lunar
  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 9,558
    @lunar: I think the drow's MR is due to selective breeding, which would require a certain inherent MR to be cultivated somewhere along the way. Perhaps there are rare creatures who naturally have a bonus to MR, and the drow long ago managed to find such people and make more of them.

  • lunarlunar Member Posts: 3,340

    @lunar: I think the drow's MR is due to selective breeding, which would require a certain inherent MR to be cultivated somewhere along the way. Perhaps there are rare creatures who naturally have a bonus to MR, and the drow long ago managed to find such people and make more of them.

    @semiticgod well, elves have always been one of the most magical and mysterious races, and drows take this even a step further. It is explained somewhere that by living in close proximity to some magical wells (they were called something but I forgot) deep in the Underdark, they develop such amazing magic resistances. Surprisingly, once they are seperated from this magical source, and start living on the surface, they are expected to lose their magic resistance gradually.

    If humans were adapted to live in the Underdark, close to those magical sources, lile drow did, maybe they could develop mr as well, however, I still think they wouldn't be able to have as high magic resistances as drow elves do. Drow and elves are just more magical by their nature.

    semiticgodGotural
  • jesterdesujesterdesu Member Posts: 373
    lunar said:


    Now imagine if the man was not touched by the explosion, by the virtue of magic resistance, as if the flames washed away from his body like water on a duck's feathers. To the onlooker surely this is something most unnatural! And creepy.

    That's the shit I like!

    lunarGotural
  • DreadKhanDreadKhan Member Posts: 3,514
    There are humans adapted to the Underdark, called Deep Imaskari.

    Those magic rich areas you're thinking of are faerzress. There are also Earth Nodes, old mythals, probably Shadowweave Nodes. Lots of very powerful msgic down there!

  • VallmyrVallmyr Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 2,286
    I think it's in the 2e complete book of elves it has stats for drow and surface drow. Surface drow lose their magic resistance after living a while on the surface. Here's a copy paste from the complete book of elves.
    Which I need to buy >_>
    I have the Complete Book of Necromancers for 2e, now just need Complete book of Elves and Complete Book of Halflings&Gnomes. I don't even play 2e, I just love collecting books.

    Drow
    Ability Score Adjustments: Drow are extraordinarily dexterous and intelligent. They gain a
    bonus of +2 to Dexterity and a +1 to Intelligence. However, their personalities can be described
    as grating at best (although not usually to their faces), and they have the typical elf Constitution.
    Thus, they have a -2 penalty to Charisma and a -1 to their initial Constitution scores.
    TABLE 6: DROW ABILITY SCORES
    Ability Minimum Maximum
    Strength 3 18
    Dexterity 8 20
    Constitution 7 17
    Intelligence 9 19
    Wisdom 3 18
    Charisma 6 16
    Languages: Drow Elvish, Elvish, duergar, svirfneblin, deep dwarf, illithid, undercommon,
    sign language, kuo-toa, bugbear, orcish.
    Infravision: 90 feet.

    Special Advantages: Once per day, all drow can use the spells dancing lights, faerie
    fire, and darkness. They achieve this through force of will, rather than spell components. A 4thlevel
    drow can cast levitate, know alignment, and detect magic once per day. In addition,
    drow priests can cast clairvoyance, detect lie, suggestion, and dispel magic once a day.
    At the start, drow are 50% magic resistant, and every level they rise increases the resistance
    by 2% (to a maximum of 80%). Multiclassed drow use the higher level to determine this bonus.
    In addition to their high magic resistance, drow also receive a +2 bonus on all saves
    involving magic. This includes those devices that emit magical effects or are powered by magic.
    This magic resistance does not hamper their ability to use magic themselves, however.
    Special Disadvantages: The major disadvantage of the drow is their inability to see in
    bright light. Any light greater than that of torches or continual light spells (including bright
    sunlight) will blind them and severely affect their ability to fight. Wan light, like that of a light
    spell, does not trigger this disadvantage.
    Bright light causes the drow to suffer, temporarily, -2 to Dexterity. Attack rolls are made at
    a -2 penalty, and opponents gain a +2 save against drow spells if they are within the light. When
    a drow is in darkness and his opponents are in the light, he retains his Dexterity and surprise
    advantages but still suffers a penalty on attack rolls.
    If the drow spends more than two weeks away from the subterranean caverns of the
    Underdark, the special advantages fade at the rate of one power a day. This starts from the
    most innate spellcasting and works down to the least powerful. Thus, a drow priest would first
    lose dispel magic, followed by suggestion, clairvoyance, and detect lie. Drow magic
    resistance is lost at a rate of 10% per day. This process can be halted and the powers regained
    if the drow returns to the Underdark and spends one day there for each week spent
    aboveground.
    Finally, all other elves hate the drow, and reactions to them are with at least a -4 penalty.
    This modifier is cumulative to any kits the drow player might be using. Only after a particular elf
    comes to accept a particular drow as a friend, does this penalty disappear.

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