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Move Silently and Hide in Shadows

Are they actually viable in IWD (Vanilla or EE)? Is Move Silently done passively or do I have control over it like Hide in Shadows? Also, even with many points in HiS, why does it fail all the time? I would like to do more with my Thief (kit or no kit) or multi-classed (Dual for Human) than just Open Locks and Find Traps. Also, the Stalker kit class for the Ranger, is that viable as well? It relies on MS and HiS. I know this game is primarily focused on hack/slash w/periodic dialog, isn't there more to the game? Or is it really that limited?

Comments

  • UncleSporkyUncleSporky Member Posts: 100
    Move Silently and Hide in Shadows are the same in the Baldur's Gate games and IWD: the point value of the two skills are averaged for the one stealth ability. So if you have 50 MS and 70 HiS, your stealth score is 60. Thus it doesn't really matter where you put your points, if you have 100 MS and 0 HiS, or 50 MS and 50 HiS, it works out the same.

    It fails a lot because thieves aren't magic, they're just good at what they do. Eventually it won't fail as often and be nearly as good as the Invisibility spell, except completely free to use infinite times.

    Its main purpose is for backstab, getting a big multiplier on your damage for that first hit out of stealth. Other good purposes include scouting ahead to see where the enemies are and what kind of enemies (so you could buff with protection from fire etc.), and also getting into an advantageous position before the rest of the party joins combat.

    JuliusBorisov
  • RawrbarianRawrbarian Member Posts: 33
    UncleSporky:

    Gotcha, thanks. Also, with the Thieving Skills... Any reason to have more than 100 points in Open Locks and Find Traps? Especially since the max is 250. Also, is it worth it to put points in Detect Illusions? Have you encountered any traps that had illusions attached to them as well?

  • UncleSporkyUncleSporky Member Posts: 100
    edited May 12
    Rawrbarian wrote: »
    UncleSporky:

    Gotcha, thanks. Also, with the Thieving Skills... Any reason to have more than 100 points in Open Locks and Find Traps? Especially since the max is 250. Also, is it worth it to put points in Detect Illusions? Have you encountered any traps that had illusions attached to them as well?

    As far as I'm aware, no locks or traps in the game require a score of over 100. I had both at 100 and was able to open/find everything in the game. In fact I believe you shouldn't even need a Find Traps over 90, because I think the way it works is it rolls a d10 every round and adds that to your score, so you could theoretically roll a 100 Find Traps with only 90. Being that conservative with points isn't necessary in this game, though (it is in Baldur's Gate 1).

    From what I understand Detect Illusions is for things like seeing invisible creatures in the midst of a combat, it's basically a True Sight spell (or other divinations). The problem is you have to be standing there detecting rather than fighting, and there are barely any illusions in all of Icewind Dale. In fact I'm not sure what in the game would be classified that way...there might be two fights where you fight Invisible Stalkers? But I just fought the battle pretty normally. It's the least important thief skill. Well, Pick Pockets is, actually. If you have a bard you never have to put a single point into it, and even the bard will barely use it.

  • RawrbarianRawrbarian Member Posts: 33
    UncleSporky:

    These games that focus mainly on periodic dialog and vast quantities of hack and slash, don't have enough room to really utilize the Thief very well. I agree, from what many people have said, Multi or even Dual Class Thief is the way to go.

    I don't use Pick Pockets. I have a Bard in a group now and I think I used it once just to see if it would work. I got some gem that I sold for a gold. That's it really? But I did read that you can Pick Pocket weapons later on. Can you find decent ones? I'll have to look into that, maybe even make a thread here see if anyone has tried and succeeded.

    There aren't enough shadows in the game to use Hide in Shadows. Most of the time, even in shadows, it fails. Huh? Meh, I have invisibility. I will use that instead. As you mentioned Move Silently is rolled into Stealth, kind of useless when you can just devote points into Hide in Shadows and get the same result. As far as Illusions, I have found a few doors here and there, but nothing with traps.

    Making a Thief just to get to 100 in Find/Remove Traps and Open Locks, then dual to another class is a bad idea due to lack of hit points. But, vice versa can be just as bad. You are without a Thief half of the game and you can't remove traps, just detect them. Catch 22 for sure. Damned if you do and damned if you don't.

  • UncleSporkyUncleSporky Member Posts: 100
    edited May 12
    Hide in Shadows/Move Silently has nothing to do with visible shadows in this game. It's best to think about it as literally just a percentage chance of successfully casting Invisibility, which lasts 6 seconds, and has to be renewed each 6 seconds with further successful rolls. EDIT: I could be wrong about this. I don't think you can use it when your character can see enemies, it has to be done in an area without hostiles, and it's possible that it works better in shadow, but not totally sure. I've been able to do it anywhere though.

    Pick Pockets can be used about 6 or 7 times in the game. The main notable examples:
    Arundel: Free action ring
    Orrick: Free action ring, Metaspell influence amulet
    Oswald: Necklace of missiles, Protection ring +2
    Purvis (Heart of Winter): Free action ring

    JuliusBorisov
  • RawrbarianRawrbarian Member Posts: 33
    UncleSporky:

    I haven't been able to use it when in combat or when a monster notices my Thief. Recently I tried it while I was scouting in the Dragon's Eye. It didn't work where there was light. I tried many different places. Later I saw a shadowed area. I used it and it worked on the first try. I will keep using it from time to time, see if what I witnessed was just a fluke (RNGzus) or if there really is something to those 'shadowed' areas.

  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 20,620
    "Shadowed" areas don't have a penalty for hiding.

    https://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/comment/272590/#Comment_272590
    https://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/comment/258946/#Comment_258946

    And unless you're a shadow dancer, or your thief is blinded, you can't hide when enemies are present.

  • inethineth Member Posts: 580
    edited May 12
    Rawrbarian wrote: »
    There aren't enough shadows in the game to use Hide in Shadows. Most of the time, even in shadows, it fails. Huh? Meh, I have invisibility.

    Stealth works pretty well once you have enough points in it (high average between Hide in Shadows and Move Silently).
    And unlike an Invisibility spell, it doesn't cost a spell slot - your Thief can go into stealth as many times as you want per day.

    It's great for scouting, and for opening battles with a backstab.
    (Often, one nasty enemy out of a group - such as an Orc Shaman in a group of Orcs - can be eliminated with this initial backstab.)

    I prefer a multi-classed Fighter/Thief to a pure Thief, because of the better combat stats which helps both with landing successful backstabs, and with continuing to fight "normally" for the rest of the battle.
    Rawrbarian wrote: »
    Later I saw a shadowed area. I used it and it worked on the first try.
    "Shadowed" areas don't have a penalty for hiding.

    TBH I'm still not convinced either way.

    The game doesn't use dynamic lighting - shadows cast by buildings etc. are baked into the background image, where they are recognizable by the human eye but not by the game engine.

    In addition to the visible background image, the game files also includes a "light map" for each area, which defines how light or dark each part of the area should be considered to be.
    The game engine uses this information to "tint" character sprites, making them look darker or lighter depending on where they stand.
    However, these light maps are (a) pretty coarse, and (b) sometimes just plain wrong. (They seem to have been created by hand, probably by some poor intern at Black Isle back in the day...)

    So it's possible that a part of a map looks like it is covered in a dark shadow, and another part looks like it's illuminated by a nearby torch, but the lightmap doesn't actually treat them differently.

    I wouldn't be surprised if the game engine uses the lightmap information to add or subtract a few points from stealth rolls - people who have spent time testing it seem to have come to different conclusions.

    Just be sure that when testing it, you don't go by how dark the background image looks at that spot - but rather, by how dark or light your character becomes when standing there.

  • RawrbarianRawrbarian Member Posts: 33
    JuliusBorisov: Okay, I can see that. It does make sense, especially from first hand experience. I haven't used any of the Thief kits yet. Shadow Dancer doesn't really appeal to me either.

    ineth: I can't see using a single class Thief unless I try out one of the kits. I am thinking bout using the Bounty Hunter just try out the traps. I wish you could use more traps per day, especially since there are so many monsters in any given area, but what can you do?

    I must admit I haven't tried to use backstab in the game. Like you, and others, I fighter/Thief. So I tend to role the character to find/remove traps, open locked items/doors, and range support. I take it, like in the 2nd Ed. paperback rules, you need a dagger for backstab? I keep forgetting to turn on the 3rd ed. sneak attack option. If I remember correctly, it was mainly used to improve the shot of a range weapon. But that can only happen if you see the monster and the monster doesn't see you. Sniper anyone?

    JuliusBorisov
  • inethineth Member Posts: 580
    edited May 12
    Rawrbarian wrote: »
    I take it, like in the 2nd Ed. paperback rules, you need a dagger for backstab?

    You can backstab with the following weapon types:
    • Long Sword
    • Short Sword
    • Katana
    • Scimitar/Wakizashi/Ninja-To
    • Dagger
    • Club
    • Quarterstaff

    That's also the list of melee weapon types that a single-class Thief can equip.

    As a Fighter/Thief multi-class, you can equip additional weapon types (such as Two-handed Sword), but still only backstab with the ones listed above.

    I've never played with 3rd-edition Sneak Attack turned on, but it does sound like a useful option if you want your Fighter/Thief to only use ranged weapons (bow/crossbow/etc.).

  • UncleSporkyUncleSporky Member Posts: 100
    I know fighter/thief is better for combat but I just finished the whole saga (on Switch console) with this party:

    cavalier paladin
    fighter/druid
    fighter/cleric
    archer ranger
    illusionist/thief (gnome)
    bard

    In this case my physical combat was covered by my top 4 characters, and the thief part of the illusionist was mostly for the trap finding and unlocking. A mage is already going to be frail utility, it's great to add more utility with the thief half. I never backstabbed, but I never needed to, and I could scout just as well by casting Invisibility on someone.

  • RawrbarianRawrbarian Member Posts: 33
    ineth: Thanks for the info. I'll give that shot, especially since my Bard has the invisibility spell. I think my Fighter/Thief right now is using a Longsword, so that works out perfectly.

    UncleSporky: I never tried to play games like these on consoles. But that does look like one solid group. However, I don't have any experience with the Fighter/Druid. I am still trying to wrap my head around that playstyle. For me, even when I paper/dice gamed, my Thief was more of a Box Man or a Scout. The Thaco for a thief is horrid at best, especially since it gets outshined by a Cleric in later levels.

  • Djasko_AmsterdamDjasko_Amsterdam Member Posts: 35
    I thought that Move Silently governs the ability to remain hidden, whereas Hide in Shadows makes it easier to turn on stealth without failing. O_o

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