Early game questions

#1Higgo_4Posted 3/3/2008 9:51:05 AM

Hi, i've got a few early game questions here which i hope someone could answer for me.

---If you pick up a new scroll and one of your party can use it, how do you memorize it? Or do you memorize it by using it?

---If a ring or a necklace does something beneficial, will it tell you when you right click it, or will you have to check your statistics for changes?

---And why is a lower armour class better? lol. I'm used to the higher the armour the class, the more defence like in the Baldurs Gate: Dark Alliance series.

I'd be grateful for some answers please. Higgo

#2RabidMidget00Posted 3/3/2008 10:59:12 AM
---If you pick up a new scroll and one of your party can use it, how do you memorize it? Or do you memorize it by using it?


Only mages can memorize mage spells. If you have a mage, put the scroll in his inventory, then right click the scroll. There should be an option that says "write to spellbook" or something like that. I haven't played in a while, so I forget exactly what it says. Clerics and druids can cast priest scrolls, but they cannot write the spell to their spellbook. They memorize all spells when they level up.



---If a ring or a necklace does something beneficial, will it tell you when you right click it, or will you have to check your statistics for changes?


Right clicking will show you all the magical properties of the item. It may have to be identified first. If you have the TotSC expansion installed, all unidentified magical items will be shaded blue. If you don't have the expansion, then unidentified items won't be shaded so it can be hard to tell magical items from ordinary items. It the item needs to be identified, you can either have a mage cast the level 1 identify spell or take it to some stores which will identify it for 100 gold. Note that many rings, gems, necklaces, etc are just plain old ordinary stuff that you can sell for a little gold. Magical items will always tell you what they do when you right click them.



---And why is a lower armour class better? lol. I'm used to the higher the armour the class, the more defence like in the Baldurs Gate: Dark Alliance series.


Okay, first off, those Dark Alliance games are not D&D games at all. The PC Baldur's Gate games are D&D. The Dark Alliance games were just a quick cash in to make some easy money. Most D&D purists hate those piece of **** Dark Alliance games.

To understand why lower armor class is better, you have to understand how THAC0 works. THAC0 stands for "To Hit Armor Class 0" and it basically is your "to hit" chance with weapons. In D&D, every action is solved by rolling dice. When you attack an enemy, you roll a 20 sided dice. If the number you roll is higher than your THAC0 minus the enemy's armor class, then you hit the enemy.

Some examples:

Example 1. Your THAC0 is 12. The enemy's armor class is 0. THAC0-AC = 12-0 = 12.... This means you have to roll higher than a 12 to hit the enemy. THAC0 gets the name "To Hit Armor Class 0" because THAC0 minus 0 always equal the THAC0 itself...

Example 2. Let's keep your THAC0 as 12. Now you are fighting an enemy with a worse armor class than the enemy from the first example. Lets say this enemy has an AC of 4. (Remember higher AC is worse). THACO-AC = 12-4 = 8. Now you only have to roll higher than an 8. Your chances to hit this enemy are better than the previous enemy which makes sense because this enemy has a worse armor class.

Example 3: Let's keep your THAC0 as 12. Now you are fighting an enemy with better armor class than either of the other two enemies. This enemy has an armor class of -4. THAC0-AC = 12-(-4) = 16. You have to roll higher than 16 to hit this enemy. Your chances to hit are the lowest since he has the best armor class.

Now, similar to armor class being better at lower numbers, a lower number THAC0 is also better. Every class starts with a 20 THAC0 and it improves as they level up and gain better weapons.

Example 4: You have a better THAC0 now. Your new THAC0 is 10. You are going to fight the same enemy from example 3 that had the -4 armor class. THAC0-AC = 10-(-4) = 14. Now you only have to roll higher than 14 to hit the enemy. Remember at the higher (ie worse) THAC0 you had to roll higher than 16....

Hope that wasn't too confusing.
#3KillerHazePosted 3/3/2008 1:26:27 PM
I'd come in here and help you out, but honestly RabidMidget00 pretty much nailed it. And btw Rabid if I was new and didn't understand THAC0, I would now. Great explanation, I've seen so many people struggle to understand it, as well as try to explain it lol. Good job.


~Haze
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If you're a dyslexic, agnostic, insomniac... Do you lay awake all night wondering if there really is a doG?
#4PsychicRutabagaPosted 3/3/2008 4:29:23 PM
Ok, a quick clarification. The Armor Class difference is primarily due to different rule sets. The Baldur's Gate PC games were based on the Advanced Dungeons and Dragons 2nd edition rules. In that rule set, a lower armor class was better as described. While I'm a veteran of the 2nd edition rules and still like them overall the best, they were rather complicated, especially when you started getting into various branches such as Forgotten Realms and Planescape, which had diverging subsets of rules. Fortunately, CRPGs like this hid the complexity under good programming and let the player worry about the Gnolls bearing down on him rather than encumbrance and THAC0s.

The 3rd edition rules were designed to simplify much of this complexity for the pen and paper D&D crowd, and amongst many other changes armor class was switched to a more easily understood upward progression and no negative numbers. The Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance games are based upon the 3rd edition rules, and that's actually the primary reason for the difference in how AC is represented.

And for what it is worth, I did enjoy Dark Alliance, which was an interesting attempt to adapt D&D rules and western style to the ARPG world. The GBA version was especially nice, as there was a glaring absence of D&D based games on the Game Boy Advanced platform other than Eye of the Beholder. Still, it plays more like a JRPG and I would agree that it really doesn't have that D&D feel to it, but I wouldn't call it crap. Just a different style.

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"What's the weather like in Lorerma?" - Xaer
#5RabidMidget00Posted 3/3/2008 5:23:44 PM
Great explanation, I've seen so many people struggle to understand it, as well as try to explain it lol. Good job.


Thanks. :)



The Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance games are based upon the 3rd edition rules


Really? I admit that I only played Dark Alliance once way way back when it first came out, and even then I could only stomach a couple hours of it before I threw it in the trash. From what I remember, it did not use any kind of D&D rules at all.... Combat was not round-based. You hit the attack button as fast as possible to make your character attack as fast as possible. You didn't need to be proficient with any specific weapon types. I remember switching from longswords to quartstaves to scimitars to dual daggers with no problems.... And didn't it also use mana-based magic? D&D has never had mana-based magic.

Really, I think the only reason the D&D logo was even on that game is because it used a few of the D&D locations and creatures (such as the city of Baldur's Gate, Drizzt who made a cameo, D&D monsters, etc).

Personally, I see Dark Alliance as being a hack-n-slash Gauntlet clone.

Now, Neverwinter Nights uses the 3rd edition D&D rules. BAB instead of THAC0 and such.... I don't ever recall hearing either of those terms in Dark Alliance. Temple of Elemental Evil was a very faithful representation of 3rd edition rules. I loved the combat engine in that game. I would drool if someone remade Baldur's Gate using the Temple of Elemental Evil combat engine.
#6PsychicRutabagaPosted 3/3/2008 5:58:48 PM
Yes, Dark Alliance was definitely hack and slash and had a lot in common with Diablo. And I agree that it didn't really have a D&D feel. But if you look under the hood, the weapon damages, weapon types, spells, and so forth were based out of the 3rd Edition, though adapted to a more hack and slash context. And you're also correct on the "mana" base of magic powers and the absence of proficiency slots. I think BioWare definitely took a few creative liberties there. But if you play it as a hack 'n slash ARPG and not as a D&D game, then it isn't too bad.

Neverwinter Nights was definitely third edition. I actually used the Neverwinter Nights manual as a 3rd edition mini-rule book when I was playing a PBEM (Play By E-Mail) D&D campaign since all I have are 2nd edition rule books. And now there's a 4th edition that's just recently come out. Arrgh, makes me feel like an old timer since I still remember the old red and blue Dungeons & Dragons basic and advanced sets. Still, my roots are mostly grounded in 2nd edition and the Baldur's Gate PC saga implements them perfectly.

Oh, and to bring this long, rambling dissertation back on topic, bards can also memorize spells from scrolls just like wizards.

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"What's the weather like in Lorerma?" - Xaer
#7RabidMidget00Posted 3/3/2008 6:29:10 PM
I think BioWare definitely took a few creative liberties there.


Actually, Bioware had nothing to do with Dark Alliance, thank god. Dark Alliance was developed by some company called Snowblind Studios.




...bards can also memorize spells from scrolls just like wizards.


Yeah, I forgot about bards, but I usually do since that is my least favorite class. The concept of a "battle worthy bard" has always cracked me up. I always think of bards as being court jesters dancing for the king, not fighting in battle.

Fighters use the power of weaponry.
Wizards use the power of magic.
Clerics use the power of the gods.
Druids use the power of nature.
Thieves use the power of stealth.
Bards use the power of....... music. WTF!?
#8PsychicRutabagaPosted 3/3/2008 7:06:46 PM
Aah, I've always had a soft spot for bards. They are jack of all trades, master of none. They know a bit of thievery, a bit o' swordsmanship, a touch of magic, but best of all they know how to inspire a party through their use of poetry and song. They're also some of the best spell casters for low to mid level spells, especially for spells like flame arrow whose damage increases based upon level. Since the bard will gain more levels by the experience cap than a comparable wizard, those flame arrows are going to do some serious damage.

Anyhow to the original poster, judging by the passionate responses of the posters, I think you can assume you're in for one heck of a great game!

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"What's the weather like in Lorerma?" - Xaer
#9goldenmouthPosted 3/3/2008 11:59:03 PM
RabidMidget00 wrote:

Some examples:

Example 1. Your THAC0 is 12. The enemy's armor class is 0. THAC0-AC = 12-0 = 12.... This means you have to roll equal to or higher than a 12 to hit the enemy.


Fixed.
Apply to all other examples.
#10Higgo_4(Topic Creator)Posted 3/4/2008 7:54:59 AM

Thanks for answering my questions Rabid. And yes, that was a very easy to understand THAC0 explanation too. Thanks very much :)