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Are there any good Slayer mods?

CalemyrCalemyr Member Posts: 238
I'm curious if there are any mods out there that make the Slayer a worthy consideration in the game? Normally it's something of a joke, being absurdly expensive (-2 rep per transformation?), short lived (if you stay in it for any length of time, it'll kill you), and not very effective (either your THAC0 sucks, or your HP takes a hit, and either way your gear stops factoring in and odds are it's going to be pretty good gear by the end of Spellhold). As it is, the only place it's remotely useful is the mindflayer hive in the Underdark, where only it or a mindflayer can open the doors, and only then when some bug renders it impossible to enslave a mindflayer.

I mean, I understand the argument that "it's literally an evil power and you shouldn't be using it" and all, and I've played through this game so very many times with that logic in mind, but it has always irked me that such a fundamental aspect of the character and the game is squirreled away into a corner and then nerfed into irrelevance. Charname isn't just a Bhaalspawn, they're the Bhaalspawn, to the point that they can take the form of their father's avatar while still alive. That really shouldn't be a throwaway line and a self-destructive ability button safely hidden in a sub-menu where you'll never have to look at it again. It should either be so absurdly powerful that it's tempting despite the cost or something you can tame and bend to serve you instead of evil.

Back in the day, I used NearInfinity to strip out the rep hit from the transformation script, but I can't remember how I did that nor can I find the modified script. So I'm wondering if anyone's heard of any mods that do anything to make that ability something worth considering using - either powerful enough to be worth the cost and risk, or cheap enough to be worth the anemic buff it is.

I know the Ascension mod allows you to upgrade the Slayer to the Ravager, and I've already installed that for my current run, but I expect the same costs and limitations apply such that it's still more of a self-destruct button than a living nuke. Are there any other mods that could help with this?

Comments

  • SkitiaSkitia Member Posts: 713
    edited June 2020
    There are three files that really govern the entire thing: Player1.DLG, State 27, Response 2, which is the dialogue that fires from the initial spell, then the transformation spell SPIN823.SPL, and then the weapon, SlayerW3.Itm.

    If you want to do it yourself, I'd ignore the DLG (I think the -2 Reputation is fair) and modify the SPL and the slayer weapon, which are pretty easy to do on your own. From there it's kind of what you want to do with it.

    If I were doing this, I'd probably do a mix of the following:
    Make the damage the player takes have a a save stop it.
    Push back the last hit of lethal damage: Probably to a third turn rather than a single turn.
    Increase AC *slightly*.
    Increase THACO *slightly*.
    Increase hitpoints *slightly*.

    You could also have the last hit be non-lethal damage that knocks you out, then have the spell be auto-canceled, making it a dangerous spell to use beyond whatever time-limit you give it as you're incapacitated and could die from any hit that occurs after the fact. That might be more fun as there is at least an option of protecting yourself with your other party members.

    Post edited by Skitia on
  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 2,076
    Don't forget the polymorph target, SLAYER.CRE. I'm not sure exactly which attributes are inherited from the creature, but some certainly are.

    On the hit points - the slayer transformation *sets* maximum hit points. The only other transformation effect that does that is the hostile "Polymorph Other" effect. It would be eminently reasonable to increase maximum hit points by some amount instead, although that might come with some risk when the transformation ends.

    Comparing some values between SlayerW3.itm and SLAYER.CRE:
    Base THAC0: 0 from the weapon, -6 from the creature.
    Base AC: 5 from the weapon, -4 from the creature.
    Maximum HP: 100 from the weapon, 150 from the creature.

    Strength, dexterity, and resistances are definitely inherited from the creature; that's 25 Str, 25 Dex, 40% magic resistance, and no resistance to anything else.

    Most item bonuses still work when polymorphed, although any weapons will definitely be overridden by the slayer weapon. Warriors do get their effective THAC0 downgraded in most cases, because the slayer weapon doesn't have any intrinsic bonus to hit and doesn't get specialization bonuses. You'll still hit things pretty often because of that base THAC0 zero and the +7 to hit from strength.
    The slayer weapon is one-handed and blocks the use of any off-hand weapons. Either an empty off-hand with single-weapon style or a shield can increase combat effectiveness.

    This is the only transformation effect that sets saves. I'm not sure how this interacts with save bonuses, but I'll note that some characters (like high-level dwarf fighters) can have even their base saves in the categories that matter better than the 2s this transformation gives.

  • DavidWDavidW Member Posts: 820
    Ascension successively upgrades the Slayer at various XP thresholds (it does more than just make the Ravager form available), and you install that component separately if you like. The Slayer's powers are extensively documented in Ascension. You can change the XP thresholds in ascension.ini before installing if you want to get the more powerful forms earlier (immediately, in principle).

    Ascension also (by default) shifts to increasing rather than setting hit points.

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  • SkitiaSkitia Member Posts: 713
    edited June 2020
    Very easy. It's just a matter of removing the property from the transformation spell and saving the new version to the over-ride folder.

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  • SkitiaSkitia Member Posts: 713
    edited June 2020
    Yep.

    Required - NearInfinity
    1: Load NearInfinity.
    2: Bring up the file SPIN823.SPL (Search for it in Search-CRE/ITM/SPL/STO, or check the SPL Folder).
    3: Edit/Doubleclick SpellAbility under View.
    4: There are Five Damage effects. Effect 29 should be the one that does 1500 magic damage. After clicking it once, click the Remove button. You can also remove the other four lesser damage effects if you like.
    6bn61j9xjpi3.png

    5: Exit out of the spell ability screen, and then hit save on the View of SPIN823.SPL to save it to your override folder.

    [Deleted User]
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  • SkitiaSkitia Member Posts: 713
    That could be the morale break, Effect 20 by default. Could experiment by removing it.

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