Battle Mechanics FAQ by slartifer

Version: 1.0 | Updated: 04/23/12 | Printable Version

                        AVERNUM: ESCAPE FROM THE PIT

                        Battle Mechanics FAQ

                        by Slartifer
                        (GameFAQs handle: Slartifer)

                        v 1.0
                        April 22, 2012

This guide provides information on how damage is calculated, and how damage
blocking is calculated.

                              TABLE OF CONTENTS

[1] Damage Formulas
        [1.1] Multipliers
        [1.2] Damage Level Calculations
        [1.3] Bonuses
[2] Armor and Resistance
[3] Acknowledgements & History


                                DAMAGE FORMULAS

Avernum generates damage numbers using old-fashioned, dice-rolling mechanics.
What this means in practice is that you are much more likely to see numbers in
the middle of the damage range, than at the extremes.  The general formula
used for any attack is:


In dice terms, the multiplier is the size of the dice used, and the damage
level is how many dice are used.  For example, with a multiplier of 4 and a
damage level of 10, you'd roll 10 4-sided dice.  In theory you could roll 10
1's for a total of 10, or 10 4's for a total of 40, but most of the time you
will get a result relatively close to the average roll, in this case 25.

       BASE DAMAGE: This number is entirely dependent on the weapon, item,
                    spell, or battle discipline you are using.  This number
                    is often zero, and is never high.  It tends to have
                    little, if any, impact on your ability to deal damage.

        MULTIPLIER: This number is entirely dependent on the weapon, item,
                    spell, or battle discipline you are using.  As you can
                    achieve comparable levels in the other factors for
                    most attack types, the MULTIPLIER is the most important
                    factor in how much damage you do.

      DAMAGE LEVEL: Many factors contribute to damage level, including your
                    level, primary stats, skills, item level, and spell

           BONUSES: Percentile bonuses and penalties are summed and then
                    applied.  They can come from equipment, skills, spell
                    knowledge, and traits, as well as blessings and curses,
                    and a few special modifiers.

Critical hits are further multiplied by 1.5.  However, this multiplication
happens after the basic damage formula is calculated, with the result that
critical hits can add more to actual damage output than a +50% damage bonus
would, assuming you have other damage bonuses.

Finally, after total damage is calculated, armor (or resistance) is applied.
See chapter 2 for the effects of armor and resistance.


For regular attacks, multipliers are dependent on the type of weapon used.

For items, spells and battle disciplines, multipliers are dependent on the
item, spell, or battle discipline used.

1..3   Daggers, Short Bows, Long Bows, Razordisks,
         Cleaving attacks (from Broad Swords & Halberds)
1..4   Short Swords, Broad Swords, Spears, Halberds, Javelins, Razordisks
1..5   Chaotic Halberd

1..4   Blade Sweep
1..5   Flawless Shot, Shield Breaker, Leg Sweep
1..6   Blinding Shot, Well-Aimed Blow, Stunning Blow
1..7   Mighty Blow

1..2   Spray Acid
1..3   Bolt of Fire, Smite, Call the Storm, Icy Rain
1..4   Lightning Spray, Divine Fire
1..5   Fireblast
1..6   Arcane Blow, Divine Retribution

1..5   Mass Healing
1..7   Minor Heal
1..10  Heal
1..12  Divine Restoration

One special note about battle disciplines.  When a dual-wielding character uses
a single target melee battle discipline, the battle discipline replaces the
first weapon strike.  The second weapon strike then happens as usual.  This
means that the damage increase for dual-wielders is not very impressive, but
at the same time, they will do more damage with these disciplines than other
characters.  Unfortunately, the damage dealing battle disciplines are just not
that great.


In the following formulas, "weapon level" and "item level" refer to the
inherent bonus level of the weapon or item itself.  This is based on the
weapon and never changes.  Better-crafted weapons have higher multipliers.
"Spell level" is always 1, 2, or 3 and refers to what level of skill you
have with that spell.

Daggers        = WEAPON LV + 1 + [PC LV / 2] + STRENGTH + MELEE WEAPONS
Short Swords   = WEAPON LV + 1 + [PC LV / 2] + STRENGTH + MELEE WEAPONS
Broad Swords   = WEAPON LV + 1 + [PC LV / 2] + STRENGTH
Spears         = WEAPON LV + 1 + [PC LV / 2] + STRENGTH + POLE WEAPONS
Halberds       = WEAPON LV + 1 + [PC LV / 2] + STRENGTH + POLE WEAPONS
Battle Disc.*  = WEAPON LV + 1 + [PC LV / 2] + STRENGTH

Short Bows     = WEAPON LV + 1 + [PC LV / 2] + DEXTERITY + BOWS
Long Bows      = WEAPON LV + 1 + [PC LV / 2] + DEXTERITY + BOWS
Javelins       = WEAPON LV + 1 + [PC LV / 2] + DEXTERITY + THROWN WEAPONS
Razordisks     = WEAPON LV + 1 + [PC LV / 2] + DEXTERITY + THROWN WEAPONS
Battle Disc.*  = WEAPON LV + 1 + [PC LV / 2] + DEXTERITY

Mage Spells    = SPELL LV + 1 + [PC LV / 2] + INTELLIGENCE + MAGE SPELLS
Priest Damage  = SPELL LV + 1 + [PC LV / 2] + INTELLIGENCE + PRIEST SPELLS
Priest Healing = SPELL LV + 1 + [PC LV / 2] + PRIEST SPELLS

Consumables    = ITEM LV

*All the single target, melee battle disciplines use Strength.
 All the single target, ranged battle disciplines use Dexterity.
 Blade Sweep also uses Dexterity, despite what the tooltip claims.


Percentile bonuses and penalties to damage are all summed together before
being applied.  Bonuses and penalties include:

  -10%        War Curse
  +10%        War Blessing

              DUAL WIELDING MODIFIERS:       (only apply to dual-sword attacks)
  -20%        Automatic penalty for using 2 weapons
   +2% / pt   Dual Wielding skill
   +3%        Ambidextrous trait
   +2%        Dual Blade Mastery trait

              HAND WEAPON MODIFIERS: (apply to single- and dual-weapon attacks)
   +3% / pt   Blademaster
   +5% /      Backstab trait (up to 3)
   +3% /      Mighty Blows trait (up to 3)
   +38%       Cloak of Blades, level 3
   +28%       Cloak of Blades, level 2
   +18%       Cloak of Blades, level 1
   +8%        Talisman of Might
   +5%        Dragonskin Gloves
   +5%        Mauler's Ring
   +3%        Charmed Plate
   +3%        Assassin's Shield
   +3%        First Expedition Boots
   +2%        Warrior's Cloak

   +4% / pt   Sharpshooter
   +3% /      Sure Aim trait (up to 3)
   +50%       Cloak of Bolts, level 3
   +40%       Cloak of Bolts, level 2
   +30%       Cloak of Bolts, level 1
   +10%       Marksman Vest
   +6%        Farsight Band
   +5%        Deadeye Chainmail
   +5%        Gazerskin Sandals
   +5%        Farsight Longbow
   +5%        Eagle Eye Band
   +3%        Archer's Band
   +3%        Cap of Farsight
   +2% / pt   Spellcraft
   +3% /      Elemental Focus trait (up to 5)
   +40%       Cloak of the Arcane, level 3
   +30%       Cloak of the Arcane, level 2
   +20%       Cloak of the Arcane, level 1
   +8%        Incantor's Ring
   +6%        Robe of the Magi
   +5%        First Expedition Vest
   +5%        Runed Plate
   +5%        Sage's Longbow
   +5%        Lava-Fired Spear
   +4%        Clarity Talisman
   +4%        Magestone Band
   +3%        Drake Hide Gloves
   +2% / pt   Spellcraft
   +3% /      Healing Focus trait (up to 5)
   +40%       Cloak of the Arcane, level 3
   +30%       Cloak of the Arcane, level 2
   +20%       Cloak of the Arcane, level 1
   +8%        Missionary Cloak
   +8%        Starlight Greaves
   +6%        First Expedition Vest
   +5%        Medic's Shield
   +5%        Samaritan Sandals
   +5%        Bow of the Deep Woods
   +3%        Ten Blessings Band

As you can see, the -20% dual wielding penalty is as bad as it looks, since it
also increases the value of other bonuses you may receive.  Since dual
wielding allows you to deal twice as much damage as most other weapons before
taking that penalty into account, it is far and away the best option when it
comes to dealing physical damage.

Unfortunately, the generous area effect and high damage multipliers of spells
mean that spellcasters are far and away the best option for dealing damage.
Even dual wielding can't compete very well.  Some players find tactical uses
for warriors, and having a tank is never a bad thing; but in terms of numbers,
magic-users are simply superior.


                              ARMOR AND RESISTANCE

After the total damage of an attack is determined, it can be reduced by armor
and resistance.  The text window displays how much damage was actually dealt,
as well as how much was blocked by armor or resistance.

There is some random fluctuation involved in how much damage is actually
blocked.  It may be higher or lower than your actual armor or resistance score.
However, the amount blocked will be equal to your score, on average.

The armor and resistance shown in the PC info window is usually accurate.
These numbers are arrived at by applying each source of defense separately.

For example:

Wearing chest armor (40% defense) will provide 40% armor.
Wearing a shield (40% defense) will provide 40% armor.
Wearing both at once will provide 64% armor, not 80% armor.  The first piece
reduces damage to 60%; the second one reduces it further to 36%.  Ergo, 64%
of damage is blocked.

As you can see, a single large reduction is far superior to many small

Armor and resistance bonuses from skills count as one source per skill.
For example, 10 points of Hardiness will give you one 30% reduction to damage,
not ten 3% reductions.

Defensive status effects, like Protection and the Ward spells, also count as
one source per effect.

Also, note that an item's armor rating also functions, at half strength, as
Magic, Fire, Cold, and Acid resistance.  For example, a 20% armor item would
also provide 10% to each of those resistances.

Finally, a note about difficulty level.  Playing on the higher difficulty
levels can indirectly increase the damage enemies deal (by raising their level
and their stats).  However, it as directly increases the damage you take.
When you play on Torment, you have an invisible -30% penalty to armor and all
of your resistances.  This penalty is NOT multiplicative; it is simply
subtracted from your final score.


                          ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS & HISTORY
Thanks to Randomizer and Synergy for their item list
Thanks to Lilith, Timmy and others for discussion of mechanics

1.0 - April 2012 - Initial release