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What does time stop really do?

AlonsoAlonso Member Posts: 781
The effects of the spell Time stop are significantly different than what the description says. The description says "The caster can move and act freely, but all other creatures are frozen in their actions, for they are literally stopped between ticks of the clock". That's not the case, though. Most of the states of the other creatures keep evolving for the duration of the time stop:
  • The duration of temporary effects they had, like a globe of invulnerability, keeps decreasing.
  • They keep taking damage from negative effects that affected them beforehand, like Creeping Doom; and from area of effect spells, like Storm of Vengeance.
  • The aura cleansing state seems to freeze: characters that didn't have their auras cleansed when Time stop was cast still don't have their auras cleansed when time "resumes".
  • The behaviour of HLAs seems quite random. The remaining duration of Greater Evasion, for instance, keeps decreasing, but the remaining duration of Magic Resistance doesn't.

So what does this spell really do? What does stop and what doesn't?

Permidion_Starkgorgonzola

Comments

  • KorbenDallasKorbenDallas Member Posts: 16
    I know when I recently fought the litch in the Crooked Crane Inn that the priest spell True Seeing kept going through the litch's time stop.

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 11,712
    I think this is more a case of engine weirdness than spell effect. In 2e, it does literally stop time. In 3rd edition I think they changed it to the caster just moving so fast, its as if time stopped. Yet Elminster was still immune to it somehow :D

  • Mantis37Mantis37 Member Posts: 1,105
    ThacoBell wrote: »
    I think this is more a case of engine weirdness than spell effect. In 2e, it does literally stop time. In 3rd edition I think they changed it to the caster just moving so fast, its as if time stopped. Yet Elminster was still immune to it somehow :D

    In Jack Vance’s Rhialto the Marvellous, an inspiration for much of D&D’s magic system, Timestop is known as The Spell of Temporal Stasis, or of time-stopping. Many magicians carry monitors to warn them of when such a ‘hiatus’ has occurred.

    ThacoBell
  • BlackbɨrdBlackbɨrd Member Posts: 250
    Stops time. I'm sorry, I'll see myself out.

    ThacoBellSelerelAlonso
  • AlonsoAlonso Member Posts: 781
    Thank you for all the answers.
    kjeron wrote: »
    script triggers continue to function, including those from op232.
    What does this mean in practice?
    kjeron wrote: »
    frequency-based effects (poison/disease/regeneration/op272) do not trigger
    What are frequency-based effects? I see that poison doesn't trigger, but the acid from Melf's arrow does.
    kjeron wrote: »
    limits which script actions they may execute
    So which script actions can they execute?
    kjeron wrote: »
    Area-effect projectiles will not trigger
    What are area-effect projectiles?

  • kjeronkjeron Member Posts: 2,185
    Alonso wrote: »
    kjeron wrote: »
    script triggers continue to function, including those from op232.
    What does this mean in practice?
    As opposed to states like panic, charm, or petrification which disable certain creature scripts, or sleep or dead which "hides" the creature from certain object specifiers. Timestop does none of these.
    op232 is contingencies, including fake ones like Fire Shield and Blade Barrier.
    Alonso wrote: »
    kjeron wrote: »
    frequency-based effects (poison/disease/regeneration/op272) do not trigger
    What are frequency-based effects? I see that poison doesn't trigger, but the acid from Melf's arrow does.
    Just those four I listed. op272 is primarily used for insect-spells and phasing damage (IWDEE). Melf's uses multiple delayed effects, same as Find Traps or True Sight. Storm of Vengeance also uses some delayed damage.
    Alonso wrote: »
    kjeron wrote: »
    limits which script actions they may execute
    So which script actions can they execute?
    They can attempt those in 'INSTANT.IDS'. If the action isn't actually instant, they still won't complete it until timestop ends. It's similar to pausing and giving someone an order through the console - an instant action can be performed while the game is still paused, while all others will require unpausing to complete. They fall into the "non-sleeping, but helpless" category I detailed here.
    Alonso wrote: »
    kjeron wrote: »
    Area-effect projectiles will not trigger
    What are area-effect projectiles?
    Web, Entangle, Skull Trap, Snare, Storm of Vengeance, etc...
    Projectiles like Fireball are as well, but it will always be stopped as in "mid-flight", as it has only a single trigger, undelayed and unconditional (not a trap).

    gorgonzola
  • AlonsoAlonso Member Posts: 781

    kjeron wrote: »
    Alonso wrote: »
    kjeron wrote: »
    script triggers continue to function, including those from op232.
    What does this mean in practice?
    As opposed to states like panic, charm, or petrification which disable certain creature scripts, or sleep or dead which "hides" the creature from certain object specifiers. Timestop does none of these.
    op232 is contingencies, including fake ones like Fire Shield and Blade Barrier.
    Alonso wrote: »
    kjeron wrote: »
    frequency-based effects (poison/disease/regeneration/op272) do not trigger
    What are frequency-based effects? I see that poison doesn't trigger, but the acid from Melf's arrow does.
    Just those four I listed. op272 is primarily used for insect-spells and phasing damage (IWDEE). Melf's uses multiple delayed effects, same as Find Traps or True Sight. Storm of Vengeance also uses some delayed damage.
    Alonso wrote: »
    kjeron wrote: »
    limits which script actions they may execute
    So which script actions can they execute?
    They can attempt those in 'INSTANT.IDS'. If the action isn't actually instant, they still won't complete it until timestop ends. It's similar to pausing and giving someone an order through the console - an instant action can be performed while the game is still paused, while all others will require unpausing to complete. They fall into the "non-sleeping, but helpless" category I detailed here.
    Alonso wrote: »
    kjeron wrote: »
    Area-effect projectiles will not trigger
    What are area-effect projectiles?
    Web, Entangle, Skull Trap, Snare, Storm of Vengeance, etc...
    Projectiles like Fireball are as well, but it will always be stopped as in "mid-flight", as it has only a single trigger, undelayed and unconditional (not a trap).

    I'm struggling to understand all this, there is a lot of programming jargon here. My goal with all this (apart from understanding what the spell does) is to create a spell description that I can include in my Corrected spell descriptions mod. Do you think you can express all this in a way that is more or less suitable for a spell description, i. e., that the average non-programmer player can understand? It doesn't need to be perfect, of course, I'll take care of softening the rough edges myself.

    If you can't or don't want to do that it's fine, of course, I can ask specific questions and we can get to something usable little by little.

  • kjeronkjeron Member Posts: 2,185
    I can try, but as the entirety of the Time Stop effect is hardcoded, there really isn't a non-technical distinction for why one thing works during Time Stop and another doesn't.
    The rest of the world remains motionless for 3 rounds while the caster may do as they please.
    Objects, creatures, and spells in flight are supported(need better word?) by the spell - they will not fall to the ground. Anything that was in motion will continue it's momentum when the spell ends.

    Foreign substances (poisons, diseases, insects...) in or on the casters body are not affected by the Time Stop.

    Any missile or spell that leaves the casters direct contact will immediately become affected by the Time Stop.

    Any attack the caster makes against an affected creature will automatically hit, and is not subject to critical hits or misses, as if the target was helpless.

    Creatures affected by Time Stop remain fully aware of what happens. They will know if and how you attacked them, and their automated/reactionary defenses (Contingencies, Fireshields, True Sight, etc...) will continue to function during Time Stop, but similar to the caster, any missile or spell those defenses create that leaves their (or your) direct contact will immediately become affected by the Time Stop.
    Some creatures may be able to use some of their innate abilities during Time Stop, if doing so is instantaneous and only requires that the creature be aware.

    Some very powerful creatures are inherently immune to the effects of Time Stop. Should they also cast Time Stop during yours, your Time Stop will be terminated, and theirs will begin.
    I don't have anything for why the caster can breath in an area of Cloudkill or similarly dangerous gasses during Time Stop and not be affected. Or for why acids or earthquakes continue to function during Time Stop while other similar spells do not.

    AlonsoGrond0gorgonzola
  • AlonsoAlonso Member Posts: 781
    Wow, thank you, @kjeron, that's really good! :)

    With your permission, I'd like to add your description to my mod and also to the first post of this thread (with full credits to you, of course). Before I do that, I'd like to ask you for a couple of minor clarifications, though:
    kjeron wrote: »
    Some creatures may be able to use some of their innate abilities during Time Stop, if doing so is instantaneous and only requires that the creature be aware.
    Can you give an example of one of the innate abilities that work this way?
    kjeron wrote: »
    I don't have anything for why the caster can breath in an area of Cloudkill or similarly dangerous gasses during Time Stop and not be affected.
    We are not supposed to understand why, it's magic after all! ;)
    kjeron wrote: »
    Or for why acids or earthquakes continue to function during Time Stop while other similar spells do not.
    Do you know what are the spells of this kind that don't function during Time Stop?

    gorgonzola
  • kjeronkjeron Member Posts: 2,185
    edited October 19
    Alonso wrote: »
    With your permission, I'd like to add your description to my mod and also to the first post of this thread (with full credits to you, of course).
    Go ahead.
    Alonso wrote: »
    Can you give an example of one of the innate abilities that work this way
    Balors: Symbol Stun and Fireshield
    Beholders: A few of their abilities, though they have trouble with it. They use several abilities per round, and will choke up on the first non-instant ability they try to use during time stop, preventing them from using their instant ones.
    Dragons: Fear
    Efreets: Fireball
    Some of these are actual spells that the creature just cheats with (rather than using an innate duplicate or proper casting). Also, all enemy sequencers and contingencies function this way, as opposed to using the mechanic allowed to players (which is slower, though both work during time stop).
    Alonso wrote: »
    kjeron wrote: »
    Or for why acids or earthquakes continue to function during Time Stop while other similar spells do not.
    Do you know what are the spells of this kind that don't function during Time Stop?
    Any effect that is repeated by it's projectile: Agannazar's Scorcher, Web, Entangle, Stinking Cloud, Cloudkill, Incendiary Cloud, Grease, Ice Storm, Fire Storm, Meteor Shower - these all repeat because the projectile repeats itself. You have to remain in their area to receive repeated effects. These will not reapply themselves during timestop, but they also don't run down their (area) duration during a time stop. An entangles hold will expire during Time Stop, but it will still have just as many triggers remaining after the time stop ends.
    This also includes all trap-like spells (Glyph of Warding, Skull Trap, Delayed Blast Fireball) and thief snares, even though they don't repeat, they trigger in a similar manner.

    Storm of Vengeance is a mix - the projectile repeats 3 times, but each time it deals instant and 2x delayed damage (a total of 27d6 (split fire/cold/elec) damage if you stay in the area - the in-game description is not accurate). You would still take any delayed damage that had been applied before Time Stop but not yet expired(triggered).

    Earthquake, Bigby's(both), Acid Arrow, True Sight/Seeing, Khelben's WW, Find Traps will all continue to function during Time Stop. Their repeating effects are achieved through a single application of multiple delayed effects.

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