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Luck: What it is and how it works

24

Comments

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 1,516
    The ting is utterly complicated, and imo both the manuals and the in game descriptions are inadequate.
    The whole thing of which spells bypass MR or not, as which kind of ST is used to save against each spell are not dealt.
    And they are relevant things. Things that I think we must deal with in other 2 different treads.
    Only using in game descriptions and manuals there is no way to know that against a magic resistant enemy we can use a party friendly spell (ADHW), but after lowering his MR, or a similar spell that bypasses his MR but is not party friendly. Or which disabling spells a fighter or a mage will have more chance to save against as we know only their class ST but not which kind of ST is used against each spell.
    At now we can only learn reading the boards or looking into the game with near infinity and looking at the opcodes used.

    semiticgod
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 1,516
    MGoI: Minor Globe of Invulnerability.
    I have in my bookmarks
    https://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/60864/jargon-buster
    really useful to answer to similar questions.

    Raduzielsemiticgodlolien
  • YgramulYgramul Member Posts: 1,053

    @Alonso: I made a mistake. Chant works like luck, but it also improves all saving throws by 1. I edited the list to correct the mistake.

    An opcode is an effect. They determine how almost everything in the Infinity Engine works. Damage, AC, portrait icons, movement rate, and vorpal strikes are all separate opcodes. There are about 300-450 different opcodes depending on the game, and each opcode works differently depending on the parameters. Immunities are often opcode-specific.

    Two examples to illustrate:


    Free Action uses opcode 101 to grant immunity to a bunch of different opcodes, all of which affect movement. However, depending on your version of the game, it may not grant immunity to opcode 45, the stun opcode. The reason why (Rings of) Free Action don't always block stun is because certain versions of the game don't block that specific opcode.

    Or, take the Ring of Gaxx. It uses one opcode to improve your AC, five different opcodes to improve each of your saves, another opcode to apply regeneration, another opcode to improve your magic resistance, two copies of the same opcode (with different parameters) to grant immunity to poison and disease, another opcode to grant 100% poison damage resistance,* then two copies of yet another opcode to give you portrait icons showing you have magic resistance and regeneration, then four copies of another opcode to prevent the dialog box from saying you got poisoned or diseased (there are four different strings it has to prevent), and finally three copies of another opcode to prevent three different portrait icons relating to disease and poison. That's 21 different opcodes to apply all the benefits that the ring is supposed to grant.

    *This is necessary because some sources of poison (like that of the Flail of Ages +5) use opcode 12, the damage opcode, to deal poison damage, rather than using opcode 25 to deal poison damage over time (like from a spider bite).

    There are lots of different examples like that. Having immunity to one opcode doesn't mean you're immune to a similar one, and it's often necessary to use multiple opcodes to produce just one concrete effect. Differing opcodes is also why you sometimes see enemies get that white orb over their head even when your Hold Monster spell doesn't paralyze them: the orb and the paralysis use different opcodes, and the target might be immune to only one of them.

    This is really insightful, @semiticgod

    Could you remind us: does (Ring of) Free Action or related items grant immunity from Stun in EE+SCS? (I thought this was in the Fixpack once, but now Fixpack is not meant to be part of EE anymore, yes?)

  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 9,574
    @Ygramul: Both Free Action and the Ring of Free Action apparently block stun and Power Word: Stun.

    JuliusBorisovAndreaColomboStummvonBordwehr
  • YgramulYgramul Member Posts: 1,053

    @Ygramul: Both Free Action and the Ring of Free Action apparently block stun and Power Word: Stun.

    Awesome. Thank you!

    JuliusBorisovsemiticgod
  • AlonsoAlonso Member Posts: 388

    Chant works like luck, but it also improves all saving throws by 1.


    In BG1, BG2, and SOD, luck DOES affect:

    1. To-hit rolls
    2. Spell damage taken
    3. Physical damage dealt

    Luck does NOT affect:

    1. Critical hit and critical miss chances (unconfirmed)
    2. Physical damage taken
    3. Spell damage dealt
    4. Saving throws
    5. Thieving skills

    Whom do those effects (to-hit rolls, spell damage taken, physical damage dealt, saving throws) affect? Allies? Enemies? Both?

  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 9,574
    @Alonso: I'll rephrase. Let's say "the creature affected" is the creature who is under the effects of a luck spell or song or item.

    Luck DOES affect:

    1. To-hit rolls BY the creature affected
    2. Spell damage TAKEN BY the creature affected
    3. Physical damage DEALT BY the creature affected

    Luck does NOT affect:

    4. Critical hit and critical miss chances (unconfirmed) OF the creature affected
    5. Physical damage TAKEN BY the creature affected
    6. Spell damage DEALT BY the creature affected
    7. Saving throws OF the creature affected
    8. Thieving skills OF the creature affected

    Chant is the exact same, counting as +1 luck for the party and -1 luck for the enemy, but it also improves party saves by 1 and decreases enemy saves by 1.

    This only applies for BG, SOD, BG2, and IWD. In IWD2, luck does all of the above, but also affects critical hit chances OF the creature affected. I don't know about Chant in IWD2.

    gorgonzolaStummvonBordwehr
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 1,516
    edited October 2016
    I suppose they affect the person/people under the effect of luck.
    So if a luck spell is used the one who receive the spell, if chant is used the ones under the effect of chant, so every friendly in a 10m (30ft) area.
    If you cast luck on an enemy the enemy, even if outside a wild surge that change the intended spell with an other of the same level or cast a spell as AoE it is only a theoretical possibility.

    In every case the effect is beneficial for the person under the effect of luck.
    More chance to hit, more physical dmg, less dmg from damaging spells (probably not dependent by who cast them, even the friendly fire of a fireball should be less damaging).
    And in case ST are also changed (chant only) better chance to save and worst chance at the enemy to save against spells cast by people under chant effect.
    @semiticgod can confirm or correct.

    Edit cross posting, semiticgod was quicker that me.
    edit2 corrected the part on ST.

    semiticgod
  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 9,574
    @gorgonzola: Almost exactly. Luck does not affect saving throws; only Chant does.

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 1,516
    Thanks, can you confirm that in case of wild surge you can give luck to enemies?

  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 9,574
    @gorgonzola: Almost assuredly yes, though the chance of it happening is probably very low. If the bad luck effect applies by default to the original target, we'd have a 1% chance of it happening every surge on an enemy target. But if it applies by default on the caster, however, we'd need an extra wild surge to switch the target, which would be vanishingly unlikely to happen.

    gorgonzola
  • AlonsoAlonso Member Posts: 388


    Luck DOES affect:

    1. To-hit rolls BY the creature affected
    2. Spell damage TAKEN BY the creature affected
    3. Physical damage DEALT BY the creature affected

    Luck does NOT affect:

    4. Critical hit and critical miss chances (unconfirmed) OF the creature affected
    5. Physical damage TAKEN BY the creature affected
    6. Spell damage DEALT BY the creature affected
    7. Saving throws OF the creature affected
    8. Thieving skills OF the creature affected

    Chant is the exact same, counting as +1 luck for the party and -1 luck for the enemy, but it also improves party saves by 1 and decreases enemy saves by 1.

    This description of Chant is different from the descriptions in the game and the manuals. Since this topic seems difficult to follow I've created a table that highlights the differences:



    Can you tell us more about these differences?

    semiticgodStummvonBordwehrSkatan
  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 9,574
    @Alonso: All I have to do add is that, in IWD2, healing rolls do benefit from luck. I don't know about Chant.

    I've also heard luck will impact the rolls from spells like Bull's Strength, but I've found it to be kind of unreliable.

  • AlonsoAlonso Member Posts: 388
    edited October 2016
    @semiticgod: Just to confirm, you mean the description of Chant is wrong both in the manuals AND in the game, right? (I'm talking about non-IWD2 games here).

    semiticgod
  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 9,574
    @Alonso: Actually, I made a mistake. I thought there were no roll-based healing spells outside of IWD2, but I forgot about Mass Cure and Mass Raise Dead. Chant should in fact affect those rolls, as well as those of any other healing spells introduced by mods like Spell Revisions or Divine Remix.

    The in-game description for Chant is accurate. Only the manual has it wrong, if it says nothing about healing rolls or spell damage rolls.

    Alonso
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 1,516
    edited October 2016
    @[email protected]
    one more question
    the tabe created By Alonso say in certain cases minimum damage and healing rolls, and in the description by Semitic god, if I am not wrong, is modifier applied (without exceeding the maximum or minimum normal roll roll, but the without exceding is something that I add now, was not stated by him ).
    ie an enemy that performs a physical attack that normally roll 1d4 damage (1-4) rolls, against a person protected by chant 0-4 or 1d5-1 (Alonso) or 0-3 or 1d4-1 (semiticgod), in case the normal roll is 2 it remain 2 (Alonso) and becomes 1 (semiticgod).
    I suppose that the word minimum is misleading and the real effect is the one by semiticgod or probably the real effect is 1d4-1 with 1 set anyway as minimum possible value of the roll, with a 1 roll the -1 modifier is not applied. Is impossible to have s stoneskin like effect, with to hit roll successful but no DMG applied as the DMG roll is 0.
    The same should apply in each occurrence where the word minimum is applied in the table, as only the modifier (-1 or +1 changes).

    And this is really relevant when some enemies and a shapeshifted form roll for 4d10 DMG, if minimum is the correct definition such enemies can roll for a 0d10, no dmg dealt, or 2-3-4d10, and in case the person under chant rolls he can roll 2d10 (double chance, as the minimum is rised) or 3-4d10.
    In case of the description by semiticgod the possible outcome is in case the enemy rolls is 0-1-2-3d10, in case of the description by semiticgod as I am correcting it now (the minimum roll is not modified) 1(double chance)-2-3d10.

    I hope that my point is clear, even if I am not satisfied, but aware that I am not able to explain it in a less confusing way.

    Alonso
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 1,516
    The multiple dice thing is interesting, the possibility of it did never come to my mind.

    So Alonso's table as is now is misleading as talk of modifier at minimum rolls but is modifier to the roll, without altering the possible minimum and maximum of it. On a d6 roll the possible minimum and maximum are still 1 and 6, even if with the modifier applied the 1 or 6 can be impossible to reach, that is different than altering the minimum making 0 (or 7) possible.

    Alonso
  • AlonsoAlonso Member Posts: 388
    edited October 2016
    @gorgonzola: I don't think that my table is misleading, at least not in the way you suggest. My table doesn't even try to say what Chant does. It only repeats what different descriptions of Chant say. Apparently all the descriptions in that table are wrong, but that doesn't mean the table itself is wrong. Don't kill the messenger!

    Having said that, there IS something wrong in the table that I've realized thanks to your comments: Only the game description talks about minimum damage rolls. Neither the manual nor semiticgod say anything about minimum rolls.

    I have updated the table to correct that mistake and to reflect the corrections and additions by @semiticgod since then:



    As you can see, according to the description by semiticgod, both the description in the manual and the description in the game are wrong. The description in the game is wrong because it says that the bonuses or penalties either apply to minimum rolls or they apply to the whole roll. The description in the manual is wrong because it doesn't even talk about healing and magical damage. Also, it is inaccurate because it only talks about +1 bonuses and -1 penalties, leaving out what @semiticgod explained in his last post.

    @semiticgod: Might you tell us how to check all this information directly?

    gorgonzola
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 1,516
    Thanks to the correction, I know that you was only a messenger, but if the message is wrong and misleading it has to be told, other way the work that we are going together, give to the players a way to really understand what luck do, is not complete and exact.

    To check this kind of things the only way is to use a modding tool, like near infinity, look into the spells and understand how they work.
    Usually a spell works applying multiple opcodes, each one has an effect on the game.
    Each opcode is applied on different conditions, like the duration, or a percentage of success or a sawing throw, if is applied to the caster or a target and so on. And opcodes are just numbers, to know what they do in the game you have to use some kind of list of the opcodes. Is quite complicated, until you get used to it.
    I never used near infinity, but used in the past a couple of other tools, mainly to correct some items from mods that where bugged, like some staves from an optional merchant that had name and description inverted, so you had to use one to have the effects of the other. And I did look in a couple of spells but never really get into it.
    @semiticgod can tell you more.

    Alonso
  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 9,574
    @gorgonzola @Alonso: All seems accurate in the chart, though there's not much difference between the spell description and my statement on Chant's effects on damage rolls. "+1 to minimum" and "+1 up to maximum" basically mean the same thing: a 1-6 roll becomes a 2-6 roll.

    Anyway, if you want to conduct any tests, attached to this post is a custom flail, usable by anyone, which has +20 Chant. It does 1d6+6 base crushing damage and an extra 5d6 acid damage on hit. So, if you whomp somebody with the flail, it should do 12 crushing damage and 17.5 acid damage, assuming no other bonuses or resistances. Or, if you give two copies of the flail to two characters and have them whomp on each other, they should 12 crushing damage and 5 acid damage per hit, without fail (the +20 chant will minimize incoming elemental damage and maximize outgoing physical weapon damage).

    Note that this item only has the chant opcode; it does not have the Chant spell's extra opcodes boosting saving throws. Thus, it will not improve your saves at all.

    gorgonzola
  • AlonsoAlonso Member Posts: 388
    edited October 2016

    there's not much difference between the spell description and my statement on Chant's effects on damage rolls. "+1 to minimum" and "+1 up to maximum" basically mean the same thing: a 1-6 roll becomes a 2-6 roll.

    Actually, the difference is huge, as you explained a few posts above. As you said, the possible results of a standard d6 roll without bonus are 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6; which is 3.5 on average.

    With "+1 up to the maximum" the possible results are 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 6. Average 4.33; average bonus 0.83.

    With "+1 to the minimum" the possible results are 2, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. Average 3.67; average bonus 0.17.

    The real bonus is 5 times bigger than what the game says! That's not even huge, that's GIGANTIC. No wonder Chant is underrated... The description in the game makes it look ridiculous, when it's actually quite powerful.

    attached to this post is a custom flail

    How do you use that file?

    Anyway, when I asked you about checking the information directly, what I mean is: How did you find out, for instance, what the luck spell does and what it doesn't do, and how it is different from the luck effect? In general, how did you find out all the information that you gave us in this thread? I'd like to be able to check that kind of information directly myself, and I'm sure that @gorgonzola and others would also like that.

    gorgonzola
  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 9,574
    edited October 2016
    @Alonso: I don't really remember where I learned this stuff. I think I read it somewhere, examined the spell files in Near Infinity, and then did some testing with the opcode itself. I often use custom item and spell files to test out opcodes.

    To use the file I attached above, unzip it into your override folder and add the item "TEST0050" via either EEKeeper or the console. It's just a flail usable by any character.

    gorgonzola
  • AlonsoAlonso Member Posts: 388
    edited October 2016
    @semiticgod: Thank you for the clarifications. I think I'll start fiddling with NearInfinity.

    I have written a draft of a "mini article" on luck. It is essentially a reorganization of the information you provided. I intend to place it in the first post of this thread once we are happy with its contents:

    Luck

    This mini article discusses luck in the games. Most of the information here has been provided by @semiticgod.

    The confusion

    The concept of luck is never explained in the game or the manuals, and most of the references to luck in the manuals are either wrong or misleading. This article tries to clarify all the confusion.
    The source of confusion is, as usual, the inconsistency of the language used throughout the manuals and the games.
    • First inconsistency: Luck is the name of a spell, but it’s also the name of an effect, like the blinded effect or the confused effect. So far, so good. Intuitively, you would expect that the Luck spell would simply improve somebody’s luck. However, that’s not the case. The Luck spell does improve luck, but it also gives several other bonuses (to saving throws and thieving skills) which are unrelated to luck (the luck state, that is).
    • Second inconsistency: Both the luck effect and the Luck spell work differently in IWD2 and the rest of the games.
    • Third inconsistency: There are two kinds of luck effects, one which stacks and one which doesn’t. The luck obtained from the Luck spell, Chant, and the Lucky Scimitar in IWD does not stack. However, the luck obtained from other sources does. So…

    What is luck?

    Luck is an effect that affects a character's performance in combat. Positive luck means better performance, negative luck means worse performance.

    Note: I don’t have information on Planescape:Torment, so I don’t discuss that game here.

    What does it do?

    As stated above, it does different things in different games:

    All games bar IWD2
    Luck affects to-hit rolls, spell damage taken and physical damage dealt.
    A lucky character hits more often, deals more damage with weapons, and takes less magical damage. By magical damage I mean all effects outside a weapon's base damage. That includes damage from spells, wands, abilities, weapon elemental damage, etc.

    A luck bonus is added to each to-hit roll and physical damage roll, and substracted from each magical damage roll. A luck penalty works the other way around. But remember, this is AD&D rules, it’s always more complicated than that. Just adding a bonus to your roll would be too “simple”. And who wants something simple when you can have exactly the same thing, but ten times more complicated? Well, you, me, the rest of the world… but not the AD&D creators, for sure. So this is the whole story:

    Each time a die is rolled and a luck modification applies, the modification is added or substracted from the roll, but without exceeding the roll natural limits. What? You didn’t understand that? Don’t worry, neither did I the first 200 times. First, let's see the meaning of "natural limits": The natural limits of a roll are its maximum and minimum value. For instance, the natural limits of a d20 roll are 1 and 20. And now let's see some examples that might help:

    A warrior has a +2 luck bonus. He attacks twice with his long sword (1d6 damage). The first time he attacks he rolls a 15. Adding the luck bonus, his effective attack roll is 17 (hit). He rolls a 3 in his damage roll. The luck bonus means he actually inflicts 5 damage (we assume there aren’t other bonuses/penalties).

    The second time he rolls a 19 in his attack roll. The luck bonus would make that a 21, but since it cannot exceed the roll natural upper limit (20), it actually makes it a 20 (hit). By the way, he does NOT get a critical hit (unless he already had a critical with 19, of course). Then he rolls a 6 in his damage roll. Again, the luck bonus would make that an 8, but since it cannot exceed the roll natural upper limit (6), it actually stays at 6, i.e., he only inflicts 6 damage.

    Now a 5th level mage casts a Fire Ball on our poor warrior. That’s 5d6 of damage. The rolls of those 5 dice are: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Without his luck bonus, that would mean he takes 1+2+3+4+5 = 15 points of damage. However, the luck bonus reduces the damage taken. The 5 becomes a 3, the 4 becomes a 2, the 3 becomes a 1. But again, the luck effect cannot go beyond the natural roll lower limit (1), so the the 2 just becomes a 1 and the 1 remains unchanged. So he actually takes 1+1+1+2+3 = 8 points of damage.

    IWD2
    Apart from the effects listed for the other games, in IWD2 luck also affects critical hit and critical miss chances (so in our previous example our warrior does make a critical when he rolls 19). That's especially useful because (1) nothing is immune to critical hits in IWD2, and (2) hammers, halberds, spears, arrows, and axes deal triple damage rather than double damage on critical hits.

    How do you get lucky?

    This is a list of the sources of luck (positive or negative) in all the games. Some of these sources only affect luck itself, others create other effects as well.

    All games
    Fatigue: -1 luck when the character becomes fatigued. An extra -1 for every extra four hours without resting.

    All games bar IWD2 (i.e.: BG1, BG2, SoD and IWD)
    Luck spell: +1 luck, +1 saves, +5% thief skills.
    Chant: +1 luck and +1 to saves.

    BG series: BG1, BG2 and SoD
    Bard Song (unkitted): +1 luck at level 1, +2 at level 15, +3 at level 20

    Baldur's Gate
    Rabbit's Foot (Alora): +2 luck, +2 AC, +10% thief skills

    Baldur's Gate 2
    Bad Luck (Wish effect): -5 luck for 60 seconds, party-wide

    Icewind Dale
    Lucky Scimitar: +1 luck
    Tymora's Melody: +1 luck, +3 to saving throws, +5% thief skills

    Icewind Dale 2
    Luck spell: +1 luck
    Tymora's Melody: +1 luck, +3 to saving throws, +2 to thief skills, Alchemy, and Knowledge (Arcana)
    Tymora's Loop (extremely rare random drop): +3 luck
    Breaking the mirror in the Ice Temple: -20 luck
    Chant: Unknown.


    A few questions:
    1. What are “points of fatigue”?
    2. You didn’t list the bard song as a source of luck for IWD and IWD2. Was that an oversight or does it mean that they don’t affect luck in those games?
    3. In your list of luck sources you don’t mention intoxication. Again, was it an oversight or does it mean that intoxication doesn’t affect luck?

    Post edited by Alonso on
    gorgonzolasemiticgod
  • VallmyrVallmyr Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 2,287
    One thing for that list is that the Blade Bard song also gives +1 luck (though it does not improve with levels). I'm currently playing a Blade Bard that throws daggers and mostly stays in the back giving out said +1 luck.

    Alonsogorgonzola
  • alceryesalceryes Member Posts: 362
    @Alonso
    Slightly OT but related to what you're hashing out - https://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/comment/795953#Comment_795953

    Apparently, lack of sleep REALLY affects your character once you get fatigued, having a cumulative -1 luck effect every 4 hours. I'll admit I didn't actually test it, but the penalty seems to top out quickly. Otherwise you could rack up a -6 luck just traveling between a few area of Cloakwood.

    Alonsogorgonzola
  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 9,574
    edited October 2016
    1.
    @Alonso: The IWD and IWD2 bard songs only provide luck if you're using the Tymora's Melody song; other bard songs provide different bonuses from luck.

    2.
    As @alceryes mentioned in their post, fatigue doesn't penalize your luck until you get 7 or more. At 1 to 6 fatigue, you incur no bonus. At 7 fatigue, you get -1 luck, and every 1 fatigue after that imposes another -1 luck, up to -94 luck at 100 fatigue (which I doubt anyone has ever reached anyway).

    3.
    And Haste penalizes fatigue by different amounts depending on the game. In IWD2, there is no fatigue penalty at all. In BG, BG2, and SOD, it applies 4 fatigue. In IWD, it applies 7 fatigue. This means Haste is much more dangerous in IWD, and only requires a single casting to imposes luck penalties at the end.

    BG, BG2, and SOD:
    1 Haste spell: +4 fatigue, no luck penalty
    2 Haste spells: +8 fatigue, -2 luck
    3 Haste spells: +12 fatigue, -6 luck

    IWD:
    1 Haste spell: +7 fatigue, -1 luck
    2 Haste spells: +14 fatigue, -8 luck
    3 Haste spells: +21 fatigue, -15 luck

    4.
    In IWD, Righteous Wrath of the Faithful applies 16 fatigue, which means you get hit by -10 luck when it ends. But level 15 druids in IWD and any halfling or gnome with the Helm of the Trusted Defender is immune to fatigue anyway, and Unfailing Endurance can reduce it to zero.

    5.
    The Restoration spell in IWD imposes 7 fatigue. I assume the BG/BG2/SOD version does the same, but I can't check because my game is modded to remove fatigue from restoration spells.

    6.
    In BG2 at least, kicking party members from the group sets their fatigue to zero, even if you invite them right back into the party. But beware that if you use this in combat and accidentally hurt them while they're walking over to your main character, they will turn hostile.

    EDIT: Removed something after disconfirming a finding.

    Post edited by semiticgod on
    gorgonzolaAlonsoStummvonBordwehr
  • kjeronkjeron Member Posts: 1,233

    2. When I had one character with +20 luck attack a character with 0 luck, the former did 16 crushing damage and 5d6 acid damage. When both characters had +20 luck, the former did 12 crushing damage and 5 acid damage. It should have dealt 12 crushing damage each time. So it seems like there's an opposing roll for luck, in that the defender's luck can cancel out the attackers luck, but only for physical damage.

    Was the one getting attacked at 0 luck unarmed? That would account for the +4 damage.

    semiticgodgorgonzola
  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 9,574
    @kjeron: I wondered about that, but I'm pretty sure I accounted for it, as I switched to a staff and saw the number come back. I'll repeat the test.

    gorgonzola
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