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Leveling the ability scores?

Sorry guys, I'm very confused because I played Icewind Dale II and Neverwinter Nights and now — bang! — rules are completely different. I always distributed ability scores by myself with strong amount of points and now I'm confronted by same good old — and, unhappily, older than me — dice rolls. It is beautiful, but I need to get used to it.

The question is: do characters get additional ability score points due to leveling? In IWD2 and NN they get it every fourth level. The main part of this question is: if my mage will start with, e.g., 14 intelligence, will there be chance for him to use (and even to learn) spells of levels 8 and 9?

Comments

  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 21,817
    Karamzin said:

    The question is: do characters get additional ability score points due to leveling?

    No.
    Karamzin said:

    The main part of this question is: if my mage will start with, e.g., 14 intelligence, will there be chance for him to use (and even to learn) spells of levels 8 and 9

    You'll be able to find/to buy potions that could improve your INT so that you'll be able to learn them. And you don't need high INT to use any spell scrolls - in this context, you need only 9 INT to use scrolls.

    Karamzin
  • moody_magemoody_mage Member Posts: 2,054
    Note: Potions that temporarily boost your INT.

    Unlike 3+ editions stats don't ever naturally increase.

    JuliusBorisov
  • reedmilfamreedmilfam Member Posts: 2,808
    I actually prefer the 3+ editions, because of this. It keeps me from rerolling 1000 times for 90+ total (I do this every time, but that's another issue). Instead, there's a strategy to point allocation and the playing field levels a bit.

    Although you don't raise stats on level up in BG, there are so many permanent and temporary stat boosters that it's a moot point.

    FinneousPJJarrakul
  • reedmilfamreedmilfam Member Posts: 2,808
    bengoshi said:

    Karamzin said:

    The question is: do characters get additional ability score points due to leveling?

    No.
    Karamzin said:

    The main part of this question is: if my mage will start with, e.g., 14 intelligence, will there be chance for him to use (and even to learn) spells of levels 8 and 9

    You'll be able to find/to buy potions that could improve your INT so that you'll be able to learn them. And you don't need high INT to use any spell scrolls - in this context, you need only 9 INT to use scrolls.
    There is no minimum INT to cast spells in BG. That's a 3rd edition thing. You'd need 19+ INT to cast 9th level spells in 3rd edition (and up) rules.

  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 21,817

    There is no minimum INT to cast spells in BG.

    @reedmilfam Actually, there is a requirement of having at least 9 INT in BG1&2EE and IWDEE in order to use spell scrolls. If your character has, for e.g., 8 INT, she won't be able to use in a quickslot. This is what I've been telling in the first comment here.

    Also, during the patch process of BGEE they've made it so that only having 18 INT (either base or because of using potions) gives you a chance to scribe 9th level spells. This is how it works now in BG1&2EE and IWDEE.

    KaramzinMerina
  • KaramzinKaramzin Member Posts: 9
    Giving an example of
    Karamzin said:

    … [more than] 14 intelligence … to use (and even to learn) spells of levels 8 and 9 …

    I depended on some random D&D wiki source that stated that 9, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18 intelligence is needed for (1–4), 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 spell levels respectively — for Icewind Dale exactly, but for who knows which version.

    In 3rd edition it was 10+x (intelligence, wisdom or charisma) for x level for any caster, as I understand.

    I don't like rerolling a little because I can't bear these uncertainties — you got bad roll? Just reroll it. Another one? Reroll until you get good one. Got good one? Trying to get even better? Do it until you get tired, then choose the best you got and start playing. It is about playing, isn't it? — for me it seems like it's not, because what is this RANDOM roll if not part of the game? Yet I can't get even this RANDOM roll as it is because of many little demons flying around. For example: I want to create some big brawny fighter if I have luck. Roll — no, I don't, he gets his 9 or 10 strength. Okay, why not weak and agile fighter? Because I have already chosen his portrait, big brutal hairy barbarian portrait, as it's the first thing (after gender) you need to choose in all D&D CRPG I ever played (there aren't so many of them, actually).

    Terrible problem.

  • GreenWyvernGreenWyvern Member Posts: 247
    Karamzin said:

    For example: I want to create some big brawny fighter if I have luck. Roll — no, I don't, he gets his 9 or 10 strength. Okay, why not weak and agile fighter? Because I have already chosen his portrait, big brutal hairy barbarian portrait, as it's the first thing (after gender) you need to choose in all D&D CRPG I ever played (there aren't so many of them, actually).

    In BG/BGII/IWD, can't you redistribute the points between the different abilities?

  • reedmilfamreedmilfam Member Posts: 2,808
    @Karamzin - For me, I just think that the game punishes weak stats. I don't like missing on most of my attacks, etc, so I do push my rolls to somewhere around 88 or better. If that makes me a power gamer, then so be it. I agree that the portrait is picked too early; I would rather roll, then do class and portrait, as sometimes the roll will be high in strange stats that make me wish I was rolling another character. Anyway, roll until you get scores you can live with for a 60+ hour game, followed by a 80+ hour sequel, and have fun!

    @Bengoshi - I agree with the 9INT, but didn't see it as relevant to discussion, as we were talking mages and they must have 9 INT (minimum). The point I was making had to do with the casting of level spells, based on INT, which is a 3rd (+) edition rule set limitation. You can use potions of INT to scribe/learn higher level spells, and 2nd ed will let you cast them.

    --------------------------------------------

    Anyway, I do love the point buy system of 3rd edition, plus. I didn't understand it (at all) when I first played IWD2, but KOTOR made it make sense to me (and then NWN, etc). Admittedly do not really know the differences between 3 and 3.5, so, to me, they're one and the same, but I digress.

    KaramzinJuliusBorisov
  • KilivitzKilivitz Member Posts: 1,459
    Karamzin said:

    Because I have already chosen his portrait, big brutal hairy arbarian portrait, as it's the first thing (after gender) you need to choose (...) Terrible problem.

    I agree that the portrait is picked too early; I would rather roll, then do class and portrait, as sometimes the roll will be high in strange stats that make me wish I was rolling another character.

    You guys will be happy to know that you can change a character's portrait at any given moment after you start the game. Go to a character's record screen, click "customize" and then "appearance".

    Same goes for soundsets, colors, etc.

  • KaramzinKaramzin Member Posts: 9
    edited May 2015

    In BG/BGII/IWD, can't you redistribute the points between the different abilities?

    Yes, you can, but if you do it the only thing that will remain from roll is the sum. It just erase all fun/sense from it, I think. What the point is in luck if it's just proportional decreasing/increasing of all stats or just killing some charisma or intelligence if you partying? Especially when it depends on your, player's, own stamina (I mean reroll-reroll-reroll-reroll-reroll…)

    HP roll on new levels is much simpler. It's just "Luck" or "Ideal". In term of ability scores "Ideal" is really an illusion. I don't even know what this ideal is. I've just read today that it is 3d6 for each stat, then matching with class-dependent minimum. But it seems to not be true (at least in this exact form): I rerolled human fighter for testing god-knows-how-many-times and I got values of (10-x) much rarer than (11+x), yet they must be of equal frequency, and sum must alter only when Strength roll is less than 9 (for fighter), and again it is not how it actually is.

    Does anybody know exact mechanics of it?

    @reedmilfam, nothing offensive. I used to play only powered and fully charged characters myself, with additional goal to complete as much quests as possible, until some day I've decided to role-play Fallout with Clint Eastwood's nameless hero from «Per un pugno di dollari», and ended the ultimate goal without even getting water chip (I just did what my hero would!) But, as I wrote above, it is not question of only role-playing vs. power-gaming, but of user's endurance vs. user's ambition and alongside it. You need to have enough power to get big sum and yet enough power to stop. It's horrible.

    @Kilivitz, nope, it's not acceptable. You can do it only after the game starts, so your character begins with muscles and somehow refuse them after. My obsessive–compulsive self cannot agree with that.

    I'd like to put some emoticons, but they are changing to yellow smilies. Don't like them. Sorry.

  • bob_vengbob_veng Member Posts: 2,307
    here's an ok constrained method for bg and iwd:

    - decide upon which class you want and roll until you get a roll that seems ok
    - you may push the primary stat up to 18 but only by subtracting a maximum of one point from any other stat and transferring to it (but you may not transfer points from the primary stat to a non-primary stats or from one of those to another non-primary stat)

    this way, you'll have a good set of stats in a very short time
    if you want to be more restrictive you can decide on a maximum number of rolls
    going as low as 4 (and using the storing function) is probably going to produce a workable set of stats

    KaramzinMerinaJuliusBorisov
  • KaramzinKaramzin Member Posts: 9
    @bob_veng, yes, I'm thinking around choices similar to or same as yours. Maybe in time I will make some strict decision about how exactly to combine them.

  • bob_vengbob_veng Member Posts: 2,307
    there's another idea:

    the average of NPCs' attribute sums is 85 (as referenced here: http://www.gamefaqs.com/pc/663934-baldurs-gate-ii-enhanced-edition/faqs/68513)

    so you can aim for 85 (which is pretty high) and not go above that

    for example, use the above constrained redistributing method with infinite rolls but none over 85

    MerinaKaramzin
  • MerinaMerina Member Posts: 303
    edited May 2015
    rerolling 1000 times for 90+ total
    Players may eradicate such thoughts from their head. You can be successful also with rolls below 85. It doesn't need to be maximized abilities. It can be more fun, if you get hit because of Dexterity not being at max. It makes combat more interesting to me ... as I don't want every frontline fighter to be the invincible low-AC champion that never gets hit. You could turn on Story Mode, if you wanted invincible characters.

    So, INT or WIS is only 16 and doesn't give you the max known spells per level. CON is only 16, and you don't get a max HP bonus. So what?

    An Elf getting DEX +1 doesn't imply you have to create an Elf with DEX 19.

    It's similar with the max HP setting during levelling up. Or with saving and reloading when writing spells. When was the last time you used a potion before learning from a scroll? And how often do you drink potions to increase strength? I mean, there are even items with a minimum required strength. Where's the point, if every character can equip them?

    There are so many ways to over-power your characters. Decide yourself whether to remove even the smallest hurdles.

    Btw, don't cry if you created a good aligned character and the great item you find is only for evil aligned characters.

    JuliusBorisovKaramzin
  • KaramzinKaramzin Member Posts: 9
    bob_veng said:

    the average of NPCs' attribute sums is 85 (as referenced here: http://www.gamefaqs.com/pc/663934-baldurs-gate-ii-enhanced-edition/faqs/68513)

    As I understood, it is said about companions in BG2, yet in BG1 it is 80.79 according to author. When I was rolling human fighter, it was definitely less than 85 in average. And there my thoughts go two ways.

    1.
    Repeating previously asked question, does anybody now how exactly it rolls? As I consider now,
    A) it rolls 3d6 for each attribute;
    b) applies any race and class bonuses/penalties (not race-class combination limits);
    C) compares result with minimum value for race-class combination, choosing greater of them;
    *) somewhere between or after A, b, C it rerolls all if result is less than 75 in total.
    Yet I don't know actual mechanics.

    2.
    As it follows from above stated and from just experiments, average sum for different race-class combination is different. Human fighter with only restriction of minimum STR of 9 rolls mostly in 70s. Human ranger with lower limits of 13 STR, 13 DEX, 14 CON, 14 WIS rolls mostly in 80s. I am not in quite a mood to calculate chances for all cases, unfortunately, so it remains uncertain what values are actual averages for every combination.
    And it really matters, because there are much less options for ranger than for fighter with same sums. For example, with total of 85 points and your desire to have smart and lovely 14 INT and 14 CHA character there will be only 3 free points (doesn't matter, free for you for dice) for customizing ranger and whole bunch of variants for fighter. I don't agitate for Jacks-of-all-trades, but the game itself does: if weak and sick young bookworm decides to become ranger, he automatically (see section 1-C above) grows strong and healthy; If many-talented "All-14" becomes ranger, he remains many-talented All-14 and nothing more. But anyone intended to become fighter must submit his inheritance, except for some really low-STR luckers.

    And it goes forward to some thoughts echoing with @Merina and even further. I've spent a night to roll dices automatically and manually, trying to create a method to create (!) party in Icewind Dale. First thing to say is that I realized that for me whole party of fully randomized characters turned out to be not so interesting as I happened to thought. They just do not fit one to another. So I tried to keep random element mixing it with manual generation. For example, my last test was like this:
    A) roll until it reaches 80–89 points total for the first time;
    b) d6 for some ability and reduce it by this number (must reroll freely if it potentially goes under lower limit for this ability)
    or
    d6 for some ability and increase it by this number (must reroll freely if it potentially goes above upper limit or if rolled number is greater than amount of free points you have).
    Total number of rolls (increasing and reducing) for each ability must not exceed three.
    So in general I had what I wanted, but sometimes some base 6 STR for (intended) combat priest with +1, +2, +1 rolls were frustrating, as it must be, I suppose.
    It was quite fun, actually.
    But it brought me to another problem: sometimes it is disappointing to have too much ability points. Zealous wizard slayer with 90 roll could have his 18 STR, 18 DEX, 18 CON and yet there was 36 extra points for INT, WIS and CHA. I didn't want him to even have those 18-18-18, but WIS and CHA above 8 and INT above maybe 12 were ridiculous here. So it would be great for him to have this minimum of 75 points or even less, if it was possible. Yet good (literally) Archer with common brain and common face should have at least 80 points for 16 STR and DEX, and nobody asks me do I want his damned ranger's 14 Wisdom or not. Again, for now I think randomizing is more interesting for solo and less for partying, because, first, god knows why these people didn't kill each other yet, and second, if somebody in stronger part of the party somehow (high INT+WIS?) realizes that common experience is divided between everyone including these 70s losers, it will be good reason to just fire them and continue in less number.

    And again, again, again I do not see how to decide what this "golden mean" for different classes should be. Enough. It's bedtime.

  • ZyzzogetonZyzzogeton Member Posts: 526
    Because a high INT+WIS character would realize that a Mage with 3 CHA is practically the exact same Mage as one with 18 CHA.

  • KaramzinKaramzin Member Posts: 9
    edited May 2015

    Because a high INT+WIS character would realize that a Mage with 3 CHA is practically the exact same Mage as one with 18 CHA.

    Mage with 18 CHA can be party's diplomat, not saying that such character can just suddenly become actual leader of the team. Not so many people will follow 14 CHA zealot if there is a reasonable person with ready tongue. And if he is somewhere near Lawful Good, I presume this previously mentioned shining armor with paladin inside will readily follow him itself.

    Sorry, paladin has 17 CHA at least. Let's say it was about meaning, not numbers :).

  • bob_vengbob_veng Member Posts: 2,307
    Karamzin said:


    2.
    As it follows from above stated and from just experiments, average sum for different race-class combination is different. Human fighter with only restriction of minimum STR of 9 rolls mostly in 70s. Human ranger with lower limits of 13 STR, 13 DEX, 14 CON, 14 WIS rolls mostly in 80s. I am not in quite a mood to calculate chances for all cases, unfortunately, so it remains uncertain what values are actual averages for every combination.
    And it really matters, because there are much less options for ranger than for fighter with same sums. For example, with total of 85 points and your desire to have smart and lovely 14 INT and 14 CHA character there will be only 3 free points (doesn't matter, free for you for dice) for customizing ranger and whole bunch of variants for fighter.

    but remember the system is not about customizing it's about roleplaying.
    to become a ranger you must fulfill much stricter criteria than to become a fighter so it makes sense that when drawing randomly from a pool of individuals, those who meet those criteria will be more similar among themselves. so i don't see a problem here

    Karamzin
  • KaramzinKaramzin Member Posts: 9
    @bob_veng, I agree, but it was after your 85 points mostly. I think this limit (either strict or just upper) must be different for different classes. 85-points ranger is really good among other rangers, but 85-points fighter is almost an icon.

  • ZyzzogetonZyzzogeton Member Posts: 526
    Except anyone can have 18 CHA. I'm talking about stats that are actually integral to a class.

  • bob_vengbob_veng Member Posts: 2,307
    edited May 2015
    i think an 85-points fighter would just be a normal hero in the context of the game experience, nothing mutatedly disproportionately powerful...gotta draw a line somewhere. it's a functional problem, not an aesthetic one. the issue for me is simply how to play the game as soon as possible with a satisfactory character and without using external tools

    edit:
    okay there's another way:
    - aim for 80 (approximate bg1 average...or 81)
    - if predermined requisites for some classes push you over that ok - but in that case you can't alter anything and push the primary stat
    - ^ but you can't go above 85

  • KaramzinKaramzin Member Posts: 9
    @Zyzzogeton, in my vision of world, character with 3 CHA is as lucky as one with 18 CHA. It is really hard to be born with low undesired stat and keep it this way. I presume, ugly tongue-tied guy has little chances to be taught magic or anything else. Not impossible, though. But questionable.

    @bob_veng, I have unexpected interpretation problem, is it core language or just this context. What do this function — aesthetics opposition and "external tools" mean?

  • bob_vengbob_veng Member Posts: 2,307
    external tools = ee keeper (a savegame editor)

    aesthetical would be thinking whether it's ok playing with an 85-point fighter because he might unnaturally stand out from other characters in the world (presented both in the game and the broader imagined world that the game is set in); you can phrase it like this: are the iwd protagonists supposed to be these freakishly talented guys or should they have more humble beginnings (they will become powerful in the end stats or not); and is there a problem with the disparity in being able to have an fighter icon on one side and on the other at best a rather typical/bland ranger

    functional would be thinking how such a character would work in the game. would he break the balance and make other party members pale in comparison.

    so while he might stand out a bit (or a lot) aesthetically, functionally you wouldn't notice *that* much of a difference between him or an 80-point or a 75-point fighter. they'd both be strong and valuable party members but wouldn't take away from other characters...certain other warrior kits and multiclasses and even sorcerers and maybe even bards would perform more impressively.

  • ZyzzogetonZyzzogeton Member Posts: 526
    Don't really see what that luck blah blah has todo with what I'm talkng about.

    A high INT+WIS character would know that stat totals are a poor way to rate a character. All the classes make very little use of CHA, anyone who isn't a Cleric or not casting Wish has little use for WIS. Not a Mage or Bard? INT is fairly useless. And there's Potions of Genius to make up for that. Not a Warrior? 17 or 18 CON in pointless.

  • bob_vengbob_veng Member Posts: 2,307
    yeah...all in all stats aren't all that important

  • KaramzinKaramzin Member Posts: 9
    Ah, to hell with that. I don't really think there is a point to use something like save editor in IWD (it doesn't mean I will not abandon the game playing with weak "interesting" characters eventually, I haven't played yet, waiting for company). And I prefer to have high INT+WIS character thinking not just about practical use of team members in battle. Though there isn't much to think about in cold deserts. So I presume I'm not so high INT+WIS myself dreaming about charismatic mages and intellectual warriors.

  • atcDaveatcDave Member Posts: 1,933
    Well it is a role playing game! The fact there's no real in game implementation for a high intelligence warrior doesn't mean you can't play such a character.
    An intelligent or wise warrior or thief is an appealing protagonist. I've definitely played around with such characters.
    And sometimes a complete moron is fun too...

    elminsterKaramzinMerinaJuliusBorisov
  • GrumGrum Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 2,100
    Sometimes high int is fun just for the rp. I once played an all half-orc party, where the leader has int 16. Everyone else was 6-8. I found the idea amusing that among all of these berserkers, barbarians and whatnot, you had this one half-orc with wizard level intelligence keeping everyone else pointed in the right direction.

    atcDaveJuliusBorisov
  • RigelRigel Member Posts: 239
    I have just tried to create an avergae character, and take the first ability scores that I receive.
    She is a halfling vanilla thief. I play a lot of halflings, usually thieves (vanilla or kits) and of course usually, I put 19 in Dex, a high Int score and enough Con to get at least +4 bonus on Saving throws.
    And for the first time, I have a very average thief. Let me introduce Bilby Rattail.
    CG thief, S 11 D 15 C 13 I 12 w 12 C 13 total 76 ! The first rolling I did.
    It is very interesting. Things that were obvious (for example opening the chest in Candlekeep and getting the Star Sapphire) suddenly are not possible anymore ... the AC ... ouch, it is difficult. Moreover, she does not wear any armor ( I play with the Tweaks option of influence of armors on thieves skills), so she needs to take care and not to be dragged to fights.
    For the moment, she does well (I play with SCS Tactical level) but I need to be very careful with her. ANd she is not a very skilled thief for the moment but she will learn. I love her, it is a very interesting experiment.

  • DanacmDanacm Member Posts: 872
    I done iwdee with average joe party. No ability was allocated. The run was so much harder in the first 6-8 levels and until the party had enough powerful items. After that there were not much difference.
    My party were:
    Dwarf fighter
    Human paladin
    Dwarf fighter/cleric
    Halfling fighter/thief
    Human bard
    Elven ranger

    I not using kits in iwdee, and there is a huge difference, just try a berserker or and archer, cavalier etc, everything so much easier.

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