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Description templates

AndreaColomboAndreaColombo Member Posts: 5,326
edited September 2012 in General
Here I will post the description templates as were discussed privately among team leaders. Any doubt on how to apply the template to specific items can be posted and discussed in this thread. I will also drop some team leaders' names since they never commented on the templates via PM, and I'd like to hear their opinion (if you are okay with the templates as is, please say so).

@powerfulally @La_Voix @inthel @Faldrath @Nasher @Maru @Kyon @theggenes

I have already heard from: @kangaxx @christof @cherrycoke2l
:: WEAPONS ::

STATISTICS:

Equipped ability/ies:
- Xxxxx

Combat ability/ies:
- Xxxxx

Special:
- Xxxxx

THAC0: +X
Damage: XdX (damage type)
[Damage type: Crushing / Piercing / Slashing / (Missile)] [see notes]
Speed Factor: X
Proficiency Type: Xxxxx
Type: One-handed/ Two-handed
Requires:
X Strength
X Dexterity
X Constitution
X Intelligence
X Wisdom
X Charisma

Weight: X
:: ARMOR & SHIELDS ::

STATISTICS:

Equipped ability/ies:
- Protects against critical hits [for helmets]
- Xxxxx

Special:
- Xxxxx

Armor Class: +X [or "Armor Class: X" when the item sets AC to the given value; remove if AC is unaffected]
Requires:
X Strength
X Dexterity
X Constitution
X Intelligence
X Wisdom
X Charisma

Weight: X
:: SPELLS ::

(School)

Level: X
Sphere: Animal // Charm // Combat // Creation // Divination // Elemental (Fire/Earth/Air/Water) // Guardian // Healing // Necromantic // Plant // Protection // Summoning // Sun // Weather
Range: X-ft. radius // X yds. // Touch // Unlimited // Special
Duration: X rd./level // Permanent // Instantaneous // Special
Casting Time: X
Area of Effect: Line of sight, max X ft. // The caster // Person touched // X creature // Special
Saving Throw: None // Special // Neg. // 1/2

Post edited by AndreaColombo on
kangaxxKyon
«13

Comments

  • AndreaColomboAndreaColombo Member Posts: 5,326
    edited August 2012
    NOTES:
    • Of templates and their structure.
      All templates in the OP display all fields simultaneously for the purpose of showing the hierarchical relation between them. In practice, only relevant fields will appear in each item description (e.g. if an item has no "equipped abilities", the "equipped abilities" header will not appear in its description). However, when two or more fields appear simultaneously, they will always appear in the order shown in the template.
    • Of the "Damage type" header.
      For the vast majority of weapons, where damage is just "XdX" or "XdX+X", the damage type will be written next to it between parenthesys. For example, "Damage: 2d4+1 (crushing)".
      In those rare occasions where damage has a longer string for exceptions or special cases, the "Damage type" header is retained to guarantee the immediacy of the information. For example, "Damage: 2d4+1, +3 vs. lycanthropes" "Damage type: Crushing".
    • Of the "(Not) Usable by" header.
      As you already know by now, this header has been killed in the original English document. I started a poll to ask whether it should be kept or ditched, and just recently learned it is irrelevant. The devs are looking into adding this information to item descriptions via GUI code, rather than via text. Thus, the header will not be restored in the English document regardless of poll's outcome, waiting for the GUI code to be implemented. Since there is currently no ETA for its implementation, feel free to keep it in your language until it's there (but when it is, don't forget to remove it).
    • Of THAC0, AC and Saving Throw bonuses.
      Even though it would be the most correct to indicate bonuses to THAC0, AC and Saving Throws as "-X" (these stats follow the "the lower the better" rule), they have always been written as "+X" in all IE games so far. This practice is likely well-entrenched in old players' minds, and changing it would be counterintuitive for players who are not acquainted with AD&D rules. Thus, the "+X" will remain for all these bonuses.
    • Of legendary/ unique item names.
      Legendary or otherwise unique items have proper names. For consistency, they'll be treated as follows: proper names take no quotation marks (which often appear in the original text as inverted commas ); proper names drop the "+X" tag and the indication of the item type (e.g. "Spear +3, Backbiter" becomes Backbiter: No quotation marks, no +X, no item type); proper names are repeated within the item description right at the beginning- the description follows suit starting a new line (and not on the same line as the proper name).

    Post edited by AndreaColombo on
    Kyonkangaxx
  • DemivrgvsDemivrgvs Member Posts: 315
    Within Item Revisions I've used pretty much the same template to standardize all descriptions. The only difference is that I've put "Special Abilities" first, instead of last. I think it's a better solution because it's the least common type of ability on a weapon/armor, and the least related to the actual weapon/armor stats (vice-versa I like Combat Abilities to be the closest to weapon stats - and Equipped Abilities automatically becomes the closest ones to armor/shield stats).

    Just my 2 cents, nothing more. :)

    AndreaColomboGaryou_Tensei
  • KyonKyon Member Posts: 128
    Agreed . It seems better than before :)

  • AndreaColomboAndreaColombo Member Posts: 5,326
    edited August 2012
    If the majority would like to apply @Demivrgvs's proposals, they will be implemented.

  • AndreaColomboAndreaColombo Member Posts: 5,326
    Here come my first doubts.

    In helmet descriptions there's always a line that reads "Special: Protects Against Critical Hits" right below "Armor Class: X". However, there are helmets (like Kiel's, for example) that also have additional special abilities that go under the "Special abilities" header on top of everything else (like the one in the weapon template). Shall we merge the two headers into a single "Special abilties" header that appears on top of everything else? E.g.:

    Special:
    - Protects against critical hits [never saw a reason why this should be capitalized]
    - Protects from fear and morale failure


    Another doubt concerns helmets that don't grant any AC bonus. Shall we just remove the "Armor Class" header from them? Shall we keep it and write "Armor Class: +0" (looks hideous, imho)? Will this be the only case where we keep the word "bonus" in the header, e.g. "Armor Class bonus: 0" (inconsistent with the template for helments that actually provide a bonus to AC)?

    Tanthalas
  • kangaxxkangaxx Member Posts: 681
    @AndreaColombo

    I side with you concerning merging special abilities into single header.

    I would remove "Armor Class" if it states a value of 0.

    AndreaColomboAnton
  • TanthalasTanthalas Member Posts: 6,738


    Of THAC0, AC and Saving Throw bonuses.
    Even though it would be the most correct to indicate bonuses to THAC0, AC and Saving Throws as "-X" (these stats follow the "the lower the better" rule), they have always been written as "+X" in all IE games so far. This practice is likely well-entrenched in old players' minds, and changing it would be counterintuitive for players who are not acquainted with AD&D rules. Thus, the "+X" will remain for all these bonuses.
    Just a heads up on this one. Sometimes the descriptions for the saving throw bonus are very misleading. Take for example the description for the Entangle spell:
    By means of this spell, the caster is able to cause plants in the area of effect to entangle creatures within the area. The grasses, weeds, bushes, and even trees wrap, twist, and entwine about the creatures, holding them fast for the duration of the spell. A creature that rolls a successful saving throw vs. spells avoids entanglement. All creatures have a +3 bonus to their saves. An entangled creature can still attack.
    When I read this description the impression that I get is that the target creature has a bonus to their saves to escape the effect, when in reality its a +3 penalty to its save.

    kangaxx
  • AndreaColomboAndreaColombo Member Posts: 5,326
    @Tanthalas - I will edit the spell description to reflect the fact that it is actually a penalty. That description is "actively" misleading as it not only lists a "+3" that should be a "-3", but it even openly calls it a bonus when it should be a penalty.

  • TanthalasTanthalas Member Posts: 6,738
    @AndreaColombo

    No, its actually a +3 penalty, the penalty doesn't actually subtract 3 from your roll. It forces you to, force example, roll a 18 instead of a 15. You can see it in the battle log text.

    AndreaColombo
  • DemivrgvsDemivrgvs Member Posts: 315

    Here come my first doubts.

    In helmet descriptions there's always a line that reads "Special: Protects Against Critical Hits" right below "Armor Class: X". However, there are helmets (like Kiel's, for example) that also have additional special abilities that go under the "Special abilities" header on top of everything else (like the one in the weapon template). Shall we merge the two headers into a single "Special abilties" header that appears on top of everything else? E.g.:

    Special:
    - Protects against critical hits [never saw a reason why this should be capitalized]
    - Protects from fear and morale failure

    Those are not special abilities, those are permanent "while equipped" features. Within IR under Special Abilities I only put x/day or charge-based abilities.

    If you ask me, I'd simply list "Protects Against Critical Hits" without "Special:" ahead of it. Large shield's bonus vs. missiles can simply be listed in the Armor Class line instead (e.g. Armor Class: +1 bonus, +2 vs. missiles)

    Another doubt concerns helmets that don't grant any AC bonus. Shall we just remove the "Armor Class" header from them? Shall we keep it and write "Armor Class: +0" (looks hideous, imho)?

    Mmm...not sure what to do here. Within IR all magical helmets give +1 bonus to AC, thus it isn't a problem there. :D Not to mention the next version of IR will removes the "immunity to critical hits" from all helmets and give a +1 AC instead (non-helmets such as Ioun Stones will get neither of them). :)

    Just a heads up on this one. Sometimes the descriptions for the saving throw bonus are very misleading. Take for example the description for the Entangle spell:

    By means of this spell, the caster is able to cause plants in the area of effect to entangle creatures within the area. The grasses, weeds, bushes, and even trees wrap, twist, and entwine about the creatures, holding them fast for the duration of the spell. A creature that rolls a successful saving throw vs. spells avoids entanglement. All creatures have a +3 bonus to their saves. An entangled creature can still attack.

    When I read this description the impression that I get is that the target creature has a bonus to their saves to escape the effect, when in reality its a +3 penalty to its save.

    Actually afair it indeed was a +3 bonus to target's saves (aka targets make their saves very easily). :)

    AndreaColombo
  • AndreaColomboAndreaColombo Member Posts: 5,326
    Demivrgvs said:

    Those are not special abilities, those are permanent "while equipped" features. Within IR under Special Abilities I only put x/day or charge-based abilities.

    If you ask me, I'd simply list "Protects Against Critical Hits" without "Special:" ahead of it. Large shield's bonus vs. missiles can simply be listed in the Armor Class line instead (e.g. Armor Class: +1 bonus, +2 vs. missiles)

    You are correct about them being equipped abilities rather than special. I could/should have thought of that--special abilities should indeed only be charge-based. I have been consistently listing extra AC bonuses from shields in the Armor Class line just like in your example. However, I personally believe that writing "Protects against critical hits" just like that in the middle of nowhere would look funky; I'd rather put it under the "Equipped abilities" header.

    Since @kangaxx seems to be the only one commenting on this thread, I'll wait to hear his opinion before I actually make this change.

  • kangaxxkangaxx Member Posts: 681
    Every ability which is not "standard", should be put under the "special" header.

    "Standard" means: Every ability with immediate effect without the need to be activated(AC/Saving Throw bonuses, resistance, HP, critical hit protection etc).

    Everything else (e.g. charges) which needs to be activated should fall under "special" header.

    I think the best place for "Protects against critical hits" is below the AC line.

  • AndreaColomboAndreaColombo Member Posts: 5,326
    @kangaxx - what about the "equipped abilities" header then?

  • kangaxxkangaxx Member Posts: 681
    edited August 2012
    I would only create headers when you've got exceptions. The main purpose of an item is to be equipped, making it a standard.

  • AndreaColomboAndreaColombo Member Posts: 5,326
    Here are a few items I have edited in the English document. Would you mind changing them to fit your idea, so that I can get a clear picture of how you'd like them to be? :)
    Kiel's Helmet: This is the helmet worn by Kiel the Legion Killer [...]

    STATISTICS:

    Special:
    - Protects against critical hits
    - Protects against all forms of panic and boosts morale

    Weight: 2
    This is the buckler of Kiel the Legion Killer [...]

    STATISTICS:

    Equipped abilities:
    - Dexterity: +1

    Special:
    - No protection against missile and piercing attacks

    Armor Class: +1

    Weight: 2
    "Bala's Axe - Wizard Slayer: Bala was a foul-tempered [...]

    STATISTICS:

    Combat abilities:
    - Miscast Magic affects the victim on each successful hit
    Miscast Magic: Any spellcasting creature that is affected by this spell has its casting ability severely disabled. When the creature attempts to cast a spell, it has an 80 % chance of failure. A successful Save vs. Spell negates the effect, but the victim incurs a -2 penalty on it.

    Damage: 1d8 (slashing)
    Speed Factor: 7
    Proficiency Type: Axe
    Type: One-handed

    Weight: 6
    The deep green stone at the center of the amulet seems to shimmer [...]

    STATISTICS:

    Special:
    - This amulet confers the wearer protection against all Charm, Confusion, Fear, Domination, ESP, Detect Alignment, Hold, Stun, Psionics, Sleep and Feeblemind, much like the 8th level wizard spell Mind Blank. However the protection effect uses one charge each time it is used and will only last for 1 turn.

    Weight: 1

  • kangaxxkangaxx Member Posts: 681
    Okay... this is not trivial. My mind is doing rearward loopings right now. ;)

    I hope this suggestion clarifies:
    Kiel's Helmet: This is the helmet worn by Kiel the Legion Killer [...]

    STATISTICS:

    Equipped abilities:
    - Protects against critical hits
    - Protects against all forms of panic and boosts morale

    Weight: 2
    This is the buckler of Kiel the Legion Killer [...]

    STATISTICS:

    Equipped abilities:
    - Dexterity: +1
    - Armor Class: +1
    - No protection against missile and piercing attacks

    Weight: 2
    "Bala's Axe - Wizard Slayer: Bala was a foul-tempered [...]

    STATISTICS:

    Combat abilities:
    - Miscast Magic affects the victim on each successful hit (Saving Throw vs. Spell, -2 penalty)

    Damage: 1d8 (slashing)
    Speed Factor: 7
    Proficiency Type: Axe
    Type: One-handed

    Weight: 6
    The deep green stone at the center of the amulet seems to shimmer [...]

    STATISTICS:

    Charge abilities:
    - This amulet confers the wearer protection against all Charm, Confusion, Fear, Domination, ESP, Detect Alignment, Hold, Stun, Psionics, Sleep and Feeblemind, much like the 8th level wizard spell Mind Blank. However the protection effect uses one charge each time it is used and will only last for 1 turn.

    Weight: 1

    AndreaColombo
  • AndreaColomboAndreaColombo Member Posts: 5,326
    If we remove the canon description of Miscast Magic from Bala's axe, we should write somewhere that it causes the recipient to incur an 80 % failure rate when trying to cast a spell. Other than that, I agree with your modifications and will apply them (unless someone chimes in with a valid reason not to).

  • kangaxxkangaxx Member Posts: 681
    @AndreaColombo I side with you; Maybe we should leave this piece of information in there.

  • AndreaColomboAndreaColombo Member Posts: 5,326
    What about:

    Miscast Magic affects the victim on each successful hit (80 % chance of spellcasting failure, Saving Throw vs. Spell to negate, -2 penalty)

  • kangaxxkangaxx Member Posts: 681
    Minor suggestion:

    Miscast Magic affects the victim on each successful hit (80 % chance of victim's spellcasting failure, Saving Throw vs. Spell to negate, -2 penalty)

    Tanthalas
  • TanthalasTanthalas Member Posts: 6,738
    edited August 2012
    @AndreaColombo

    I'm not sure if that's needed as there's already a Miscast Magic spell for people to check.

    Though you could change the description to:

    - Miscast Magic: each hit results in 80% chance of spell failure for the target creature (Saving Throw vs. Spell, -2 penalty)

    Or something similar to that.

    EDIT: I'd use kangaxx's description.

  • AndreaColomboAndreaColombo Member Posts: 5,326
    @kangaxx's description will be used, then :)

    Tanthalas
  • AndreaColomboAndreaColombo Member Posts: 5,326
    edited August 2012
    Couple more to check out:
    This cloak projects a sphere of energy that protects [...]

    STATISTICS:

    Charge abilities:
    - Armor Class: +5 vs. missile weapons, +1 vs. melee weapons

    Duration: 1 turn
    Number of Charges: Unknown

    Weight: 4
    Scratched deep into the side of this cursed goblet are the words "Taste My Fear." [...]

    STATISTICS:

    Special:
    - Heals imbiber by 5 hit points
    - Causes imbiber to run at the first sign of trouble

    Duration: 12 hours

    Kyon
  • AndreaColomboAndreaColombo Member Posts: 5,326
    Tagging @Aedan that he may see this thread.

  • AndreaColomboAndreaColombo Member Posts: 5,326
    Question to all team leaders (I have a hunch only David is going to answer :P).

    The sword Flaming Tongue, string #23970, provides a bonus to THAC0 and damage as follows:

    Special: +2 vs. Regenerating Creatures +3 vs. Cold-Using Creatures +4 vs. Undead

    The special header will of course be removed and bonuses moved to the THAC0 and Damage header. However, I find the expression "Cold-Using Creatures" unclear. In vBG1, they are basically only winter wolves. Shall we change it to "winter wolves", then?

    Regenerating Creatures in vBG1 are basically only lycanthropes, but vBG2 also introduces Trolls, against which the sword is supposed to be +2, so I wouldn't change that.

    kangaxx
  • kangaxxkangaxx Member Posts: 681
    "Cold-Using Creatures":
    It doesn't make sense to create a category for one specific creature. As a consequence, we need to check if "winter wolf" is the only "cold-using creature" as I can't confirm this.

    I would rank these attributes by frequency of occurrence:

    +4 vs. Undead
    +2 vs. Regenerating Creatures
    +3 vs. Winter Wolves

  • AndreaColomboAndreaColombo Member Posts: 5,326
    Apparently-

    It does appear in BG2 and works against lycanthropes, winter wolves and undead, plus trolls. The BG1/BGEE item is identical except for the trolls.

    So, I suggest modifying the text to read "+2 vs. lycanthropes, +3 vs. winter wolves, +4 vs. undead". I have nothing against the German translation (or any other translation, for that matter) changing the order of the above to match frequency of occurrence. For the English document, however, I prefer to list the bonuses in increasing order for aesthetic reasons.

    kangaxx
  • kangaxxkangaxx Member Posts: 681
    Follow-up:


    #1 Inconsistency regarding names
    On the one hand some "Legendary items" like Spider's Bane (10291) don't include their +X tag in their name. On the other hand, items like "Spear +3, Backbiter" (6729) come with an +X tag.

    I recommend to agree on one way. For legendary items I would always leave the +X tag out. (e.g. "Spear +3, Backbiter" -> Backbiter
    To my knowledge there's no decision been made so far.
    @AndreaColombo What do you think?

  • AndreaColomboAndreaColombo Member Posts: 5,326
    I would drop the +X tag. Those "legendary items" name are actual proper names, just like Andrea is my name. It makes no sense to state what kind of item they are in their name, it would be like saying Human being Andrea Colombo. It also makes no sense to specify their level of enchantment in their name because that's a game mechanic: in-game, no one refers to magical items as +X items, it would be awkward.

    The point is: shall we drop it from the tooltip alone, or shall we drop it within the item description as well? I'm asking 'cause item descriptions do have flavor text, but are also there to be informative with regards to game mechanics.

  • kangaxxkangaxx Member Posts: 681
    Are you sure about being a human? My black square eye sees something more orcish :D

    As for 6729 I can only find two related strings:

    6729 Name (needs to be changed): "Spear +3, Backbiter" -> "Backbiter"
    6653 Description (doesn't include the name)


    Despite that, it is different for 6723 (Dagger +2, Longtooth)

    6723 Name: "Dagger +2, Longtooth" -> "Longtooth"
    7342 Description (includes name): I would change "Dagger +2, longtooth" -> "Longtooth"

    In my view a special name already emphasises the exceptional abilities of an item. Furthermore, you also see the game mechanics of this item in the same UI window.

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