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3rd Ed Ability modifiers in BG?

ChnapyChnapy Member Posts: 360
I have been looking around for a while but couldn't seem to find an answer so I decided I'd bother you magnificent modders :
Is there a mod that would make the BG games use 3rd edition ability modifiers? As in modifier goes up by one for every 2 points in an ability, applies the same way to everything that depends on that ability.

I suppose most of it (from the top of my head, strength bonus to damage, to hit, carrying capacity, and breaking ; dex bonus to AC, Thieving skills, ranged to hit ; con bonus to HP ; wisdom bonus spells ; charisma bonus to social interactions) would just require .2DA changes.

But there are some, such as
int&charisma bonus spells, bonus to saving throws, prolly some more,
that I have no idea how they could be done, if it is at all possible.

I'm not necessarily looking for every balancing factors (such as max dex bonus to ac on armor) but I'd really like a more linear scaling for abilities as a whole, so if you happen to know of a mod that gives that or to know what (and ideally why, i'm curious =D ) isn't possible at all, I would very much like to hear it.

Comments

  • AquadrizztAquadrizzt Member Posts: 958
    As of v2.0, this is actually possible (with limitations. Previously it was a bit sketchy (requiring extensions to the main game script, which isn't an ideal solution.)

    I'm actually working on Wisdom-based AC for Monks right now. The catch is that it only checks Wisdom at character creation (so if you have 17 Wisdom and later use the Wisdom tome, you'll still only get a +3 bonus.)

    You could have it check at every level, but if you leveled up with one of the ever popular ability modifying items (belt of giant strength or gloves of dexterity) the game would think you had that ability score, which feels a bit... cheesy.

    So it is doable, but it requires some compromises for the sake of not being exploitable.

    Another thing I've been investigating this for is having Int/Wis/Cha give caster level bonuses to appropriate classes (to replicate the way how 3/PF handles spell saves...).

    Is there anything in particular you were looking into?

  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 11,460
    The Scales of Balance "Stat Tweaks" component does something like this... but not strictly according to 3E rules. Those are just as arbitrary and unbalanced as the 2E rules IMHO. Instead I tried to use values that make sense in the context of these specific games. And I tried to give a meaningful bonus for every point above 12 or 13, not just every 2nd point.

    I also added extra bonuses for INT (extra spells for mage and bard, extra melee crit chance for everyone) and for CHA (save bonuses up to scores of 17, Luck bonuses above that.

    As @Aquadrizzt mentions, these new bonuses only happen once, at character generation.

    In a future update I'm going to add bonus weapon proficiencies for high INT.

    WHOA - poop, I just realized how to make these bonuses change over time and reflect your *current* score instead of your *original* score. WOW. Whole new modding vistas just opened up before me...

    To bad I don't have enough free time to actually implement it! :lol:

    Aquadrizzt, if you have any interest or time to contribute to SoB, maybe we could collaborate on this as well. I'll tell you my secret plan to finally achieve what people have been looking to do for >10 years... (I think it will work. I haven't thought it through completely, but it should work. Hopefully without destroying too many processor cycles while playing. Hint, it does NOT involve scripts.)

  • ThelsThels Member Posts: 1,339

    Those are just as arbitrary and unbalanced as the 2E rules IMHO.

    There's very little arbitrary about it. Every 2 steps provides a +1 bonus, or a bonus spell of 1 higher level than the previous 2 steps.

    They're also a lot more balanced. No big gaping hole at 7-14, and then when you get just a little higher, you can suddenly get into a world of difference. A 17 or 18 strength makes a huge difference in 2e if you're a warrior class.

    Score - 2e bonus / 3e bonus (2e bonuses estimated, as they vary from bonus to bonus):


    1. -4 / -4
    2. -3 / -3
    3. -2 / -3
    4. -1 / -2
    5. 0 / -2
    6. 0 / -1
    7. 0 / -1
    8. 0 / 0
    9. 0 / 0
    10. 0 / +1
    11. 0 / +1
    12. 0 / +2
    13. +1 / +2
    14. +2 / +3
    15. +3 / +3
    16. +4 / +4
    That said, BG NPCs and creatures tend to be rather overpowered. You need high stats in 2e for those stats to mean anything, so they gave most NPCs lots of very high scores to work with the 2e system.

    For example, using the standard character creation rules, a character on average has a total of 63 for ability scores. Even if you roll 4d6 and drop the lowest die for each ability score, you get to an average total of 73,5. If you look at standard (25) point buy, you can get up to a total of 73 as well, less if you want to buy scores higher than 14.

    3e is pretty balanced. The problem is that the BG creatures aren't balanced. They're pretty OP, but due to the rather odd ability score tables that 2e uses, it's not that bad (and things would have been pretty bland if they weren't OP). Had BG been created for 3e from the very start, I'm sure most creatures would have lower stats, and things would be fine, but with their current high amount of stats, 3e rules would be pretty op.

    If you want to balance the creatures around 3e stats, you'd have to change all their stats accordingly:
    3-4 stays 3-4
    5 becomes 6
    6 becomes 8
    7-10 becomes 10
    11-14 becomes 11
    15 becomes 13
    16 becomes 15
    17-18 stays 17-18

  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 11,460
    Thels said:

    There's very little arbitrary about it. Every 2 steps provides a +1 bonus, or a bonus spell of 1 higher level than the previous 2 steps.

    Yes, which is... totally arbitrary. Why every 2nd number? So, it only makes sense to ever have even stat scores... that's just weird. (A lot of 2E stuff is weird, but credit 2E enthusiasts for admitting it. Lots of 3E people seems to claim that having bonuses every two score increases is somehow the Right And True Way to implement stats.)

    Also, why does every bonus need to be the same? The 2E rule that high STR gives more in damage bonuses than thac0 bonuses makes a ton of sense to me. But 3E... arbitrarily... makes them equal. I prefer a more holistic approach that asks, "how does this bonus work in the context of this game - and therefore, how big or small should it be?"
    Thels said:

    with [creatures] current high amount of stats, 3e rules would be pretty op. ... If you want to balance the creatures around 3e stats, you'd have to change all their stats
    ...
    using the standard character creation rules, a character on average has a total of 63 for ability scores. Even if you roll 4d6 and drop the lowest die for each ability score, you get to an average total of 73,5. If you look at standard (25) point buy, you can get up to a total of 73 as well, less if you want to buy scores higher than 14.

    Right. But we're talking about BG, where the minimum stat rolls are above the average rolls for 4d6+drop. People routinely roll 85+ and then point-buy as freely as they like to min/max. If you arbitrarily grafted an unaltered 3E system onto this, it would be crazy. You could spend a lot of effort to fix NPCs, but you couldn't fix Charname. And even after all that effort, what do you get? A system that is balanced roughly like the base game is? Doesn't seem worth it to me.

    I might be able to do more interesting stuff with stats as of the 2.0 patch... I'm toying with the idea of having a inch of good solid bonuses for scores of 15+, because with total rolls of 81-87, the average is 14 (that's how ridiculous BG's stat system is). And there will be a meaningful bonus for *every* point above average. And I might institute more draconian penalties for low stats... like, anything under ~12 results in a noticeable penalty that actually affects your game.

    I'm not sure how feasible this is, but I'll give it a shot.

    jackjack
  • AstroBryGuyAstroBryGuy Member Posts: 3,414

    I might be able to do more interesting stuff with stats as of the 2.0 patch... I'm toying with the idea of having a inch of good solid bonuses for scores of 15+, because with total rolls of 81-87, the average is 14 (that's how ridiculous BG's stat system is). And there will be a meaningful bonus for *every* point above average. And I might institute more draconian penalties for low stats... like, anything under ~12 results in a noticeable penalty that actually affects your game.

    I'm not sure how feasible this is, but I'll give it a shot.

    Unless you fix the enemy CREs, that will gimp all the enemies whose physical stats are 9s.

  • ChnapyChnapy Member Posts: 360
    I completely agree that 3rd edition is no less arbitrary or imbalanced than 2nd. What I like it for is its linearity. I couldn't really explain why but I just can't bring myself to like a system that says that a 14/14/14 in combat stats is only marginally better than a 8/8/8.

    Applied to recrutiable npcs, 3rd ed would make most of them better fighters. No exStrength nor con-bonus cap means that characters without some warrior thrown in would perform much better in hand to hand combat (but would still be locked at 1apr so that wouldn't really last) and that most actual warriors would get a +1 or +2 to ac and hp/lvl and prolly about +2 to thaco and damage.

    Divine spellcasters would end with fewer low level spells (except does it makes much sense to adjust the spells one get due to abilities without adjusting what is given by the class) and arcane casters with a bit more.

    People with very 18+ scores don't gain much (very high strength comes with a very real loss of damage).(thieves prolly lose a bit on most skills) so Charname stays put.
    People with 10-17 scores gain between +1 and +3 to thac0/damage/AC/HP
    People with >10 scores get -1 to ad hoc stats.

    I'm under the impression that people like khalid would come out on top and Viconia would get the shaft...
    As for enemies, I was under the impression that most of them ranged in the Khalid area with bosses were more into Dorn territory so henchmen would get a pretty big boost and that's about it, or so I'd wager.

    Again, I'm not saying this would be better balanced. It's just not the point. The point of my asking was that I really despise 2nd ed, that's all =D

    As for the whole "Even number-only bonuses and every bonuses being the same", I consider those acceptable losses (Probably in no small part because i'm used to it, though) for the sake of clarity. AD&D had to give a table for each ability whereas 3rd only needed one all-purpose (and clearer, imo) table.

  • rapsam2003rapsam2003 Member Posts: 1,636
    The problem with this is balance. In 3E, 20Str isn't as big a deal. In BG (which is based on 2E), 20Str is OP as all getout.

  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 11,460

    Unless you fix the enemy CREs, that will gimp all the enemies whose physical stats are 9s.

    Patching CREs is easy. Oh, you mean would I be penalizing enemies. No - these would be effects that only affect party members.

  • AquadrizztAquadrizzt Member Posts: 958
    I've been toying with a more 3e version of ability modifiers for one of my projects and while I haven't thought critically about its ramifications, I think it would actually make abysmal stats of some companions a bit less, horrible.

    Take Khalid for example. In the 2e system, he gets no strength bonuses, a +1 to reaction and ranged attacks, -2 to AC, and +3 hit points per level. In a 3e system, he would get +2 to hit and damage with melee weapons, +3 reaction/ranged hit/AC, and +3 hit points per level... Total change of +2 to melee, +1 to ranged, +1 to reaction, +1 to Armor Class. Not too shabby.

    Conversely, Viconia's attribute bonuses would change to +4 Dex (AC/ranged/reaction), -1 Con (hit points per level), and +4 Wis (bonus spells). Overall she would gain +1 ranged attack and reaction, and would lose 1 hit point per level and 1 1st and 1 2nd level spell slot.

    The advantage that 3E has (and probably the reason that PF, 4E and 5E held onto it) is that it makes more intuitive sense ("my strength is higher so I will hit harder") and also has less of a binary between acceptable and unaccpetable stats (e.g. the difference between 10 and 14 Str is basically none, whereas that's a +2 bonus to hit and damage in a 3E system).

  • AquadrizztAquadrizzt Member Posts: 958
    Random update for those interested: I have gotten a live-updating Wisdom based Armor Class ability for monks working. So ability score bonuses are possible, and I have a good idea of how modifier bonuses could be extended to other things.

    modestvolta
  • ArnaeusArnaeus Member Posts: 90


    In a future update I'm going to add bonus weapon proficiencies for high INT.

    @subtledoctor Would you be able to tell me how you're going to do this? I wasn't aware you could add proficiency points dynamically like this. I've got a mod I'm working on that this could be very useful for.

  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 11,460
    Short answer is, you can't. I thought I had a system worked out to do it, but it would mimic my warrior feats mod, using arcane spells... which means you couldn't apply the system to fighter/mages. Which is kind of poopy. The only other way I can think of right now is to use a dialogue. But I really don't like that method. So for the moment at least, the idea is shelved.

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