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Divine Remix Overview


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#1 CamDawg

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Posted 19 September 2005 - 05:01 AM

Well, the party line on Divine Remix is as follows:

Quote

This originally started as a project to simply add some cleric kits to Baldur's Gate II. Andyr and NiGHTMARE, already planning something similar (though far more extensive) for their upcoming Lands of Intrigue mod, came on board and helped us with the concept, implementation, and scope of the mod. The mod has several goals, aimed at enhancing role-playing for these four classes. First was an overall expansion of kits and options available for each class--there are many, many Faerûnian deities available, and while we won't be able to address all of them, including several of the more common deities (or more specifically their specialty priests) will give the players new ways to explore the stories and adventures of both BG and BG2. To truly accomplish differentiation, however, we had to really revamp the divine magic system. Most notably, we've adapted the PnP system of spell spheres (more on this below) to better reflect the diversity of beliefs among deities and their followers. New spells have also been added.

Spells and spheres

The most notable change to the spell system is the proper implementation of spheres. Like arcane magic and its school system, divine magic can be broken into spheres such as animal, necromancy, protection, etc. The spells available to a divine caster are limited to spheres related to their deity's portfolio. There are three levels of sphere access:

    * Major - character can cast all spells in this sphere
    * Minor - character can cast spells up to and including level three in this sphere
    * None - character can not cast spells in this sphere

The different spell selections available to a character can vary, sometimes significantly, between classes and even within kits of a class. The spells available to the character reflect their beliefs, and as such, one spellbook for all no longer makes sense. Sphere restrictions are now included in kit descriptions. Under the implementation of spheres, spells that had previously been druid-only are now accessible to some specialty priests and in some cases (Dolorous Decay) available to trueclass clerics as well. New divine spells are included. If a spell belongs to multiple spheres, access to any of the spell's spheres will grant a character access to the spell. Access to all spheres is not required.

General cleric changes

Clerics were the starting point of the mod, and as such are the most changed of the four classes. A full sphere system has been implemented for the three existing kits as well as the new kit priests. Trueclass clerics receive an additional spell per level to compensate for their smaller spell selections in spell levels four to seven, whereas kits gain innate abilities relevant to their deity. Kits also have unique holy symbols for their deities, for ToB players.

General druid changes

In this version, only minor changes are made to druids. Druids have looser bounds on their neutrality requirements--rather than being restricted to True Neutral, druids are now allowed to have any alignment that contains neutrality: neutral good, neutral evil, lawful neutral, and chaotic neutral are now allowed in addition to true neutral. Druids (and their kits, mod or otherwise) have been moved to a druid-appropriate spell sphere selection of major access to all, animal, elemental, healing, plant, sun and weather.

General paladin changes

Paladins (and their kits, mod or otherwise) have been moved to a paladin-appropriate spell sphere selection of major access to the spheres of combat, divination, healing and protection.

General ranger changes

Rangers (and their kits, mod or otherwise) have been moved to a ranger-appropriate spell sphere selection of major access to all, animal, healing, plant, and weather.

... and while I think that's a fairly good overview, I'd like to invite questions on anything and everything to do with the mod. We're extremely interested in feedback, suggestions, and criticism, but I'd like to limit this particular thread to a Q&A (think interactive FAQ) regarding the mod.
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#2 Kulyok

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Posted 19 September 2005 - 06:16 AM

Quote

Clerics were the starting point of the mod, and as such are the most changed of the four classes. A full sphere system has been implemented for the three existing kits as well as the new kit priests. Trueclass clerics receive an additional spell per level to compensate for their smaller spell selections in spell levels four to seven, whereas kits gain innate abilities relevant to their deity. Kits also have unique holy symbols for their deities, for ToB players.

I'd like to see the kits overview in the FAQ, if it is possible. By the way, about Holy Symbols: as it is possible to receive two in the game via Bodhi abduction, does the mod present a control, so the player cannot wield two Holy Symbols at once?

#3 CamDawg

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Posted 19 September 2005 - 06:44 AM

Kulyok, on Sep 19 2005, 10:21 AM, said:

Quote

Clerics were the starting point of the mod, and as such are the most changed of the four classes. A full sphere system has been implemented for the three existing kits as well as the new kit priests. Trueclass clerics receive an additional spell per level to compensate for their smaller spell selections in spell levels four to seven, whereas kits gain innate abilities relevant to their deity. Kits also have unique holy symbols for their deities, for ToB players.

I'd like to see the kits overview in the FAQ, if it is possible. By the way, about Holy Symbols: as it is possible to receive two in the game via Bodhi abduction, does the mod present a control, so the player cannot wield two Holy Symbols at once?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

We had kit info posted previously, but it quickly became dated as we went through multiple overhauls. The most recent information is on the project's web pages, specifically the Changes to original kits page for the three BioWare kits and New kits for the eight new cleric kits. Alternatively, the readme will always have the kit descriptions as they're implemented in the current release.

A fix for Holy Symbol duplication is not included yet, mainly because I ran out of time trying to make yesterday's deadline. This is already on our radar as something for the Fixpack, but once completed we'll include the fix in DR as well.
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#4 NiGHTMARE

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Posted 19 September 2005 - 08:05 AM

Incidentally, we know that in pnp rangers only have access to the spheres of animal and plant, but if we restricted them to just these two they'd only be able to chose from less than a dozen spells. Once/if more spells in the animal and plant spheres are added, we'll "correct" rangers' sphere access :p.

Edited by NiGHTMARE, 19 September 2005 - 08:06 AM.


#5 Riviera

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Posted 16 October 2006 - 09:47 AM

I'm fairly sure that I may be one of the few who doesn't know, and that it is somewhere in some documentation and I just skimmed over it.. but..

If you don't want to use the Shar or Tempus kits, but want Viccy and Branwen to have them, can they still get kitted without installing them for use by the PC?

I get the feeling the answer to this was yes, but I can't find where it was. :)

#6 CamDawg

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Posted 16 October 2006 - 10:30 AM

No, the PC version of the kit needs to be installed to kit them. With WeiDU ADVANCED LIBRARY TECHNOLOGY ™ that shouldn't be required any more--perhaps we can look into it for the next version.
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#7 Miloch

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Posted 18 October 2006 - 03:58 AM

Hi,

I've been playing a BG1 EasyTutu game with Divine Remix v4. So far, I've only had one cleric in the party (Branwen) and chose to make her a Battleguard of Tempus during installation. After recruiting her and getting her up to level 5 or so, noticed a few quirks that may or may not have anything to do with the mod:

1) Branwen has zero lore, yet has 16 wisdom (even my dimwitted half-orc barbarian has more lore :)). Speaking of which, does lore serve any function in the game? I've never been able to identify any items with even a high lore.
2) She begins with a proficiency slot in sling, but apparently that isn't a weapon she is supposed to be able to put any slots in (it has no +/- next to it on the proficiency screen).
3) Necromancy is a major sphere, yet she doesn't even have access to Animate Dead at level 5.

The kit description doesn't say any of these things are restricted. So am I being stupid about something I missed in the documentation, is Branwen stupid (or too 'unwise'), is this a real glitch or just a legitimate (albeit undocumented) feature?

I might have to dump her anyway since she's been making pigeon noises at me and talking about love (thanks to the BG1 NPC mod :D) but I just wanted to verify whether something's wrong here.

Please don't tell me this is all fixed in v5 and I have to start a new game... :) Though I didn't see any of it in the changelog either.

Incidentally, I don't think the forum user validation system is working since I still haven't received an email and registered 3 days ago.

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#8 NiGHTMARE

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Posted 18 October 2006 - 04:21 AM

3) Certain spells of the Healing and Necromancy spheres are considered 'evil', and cannot be cast by good or neutral aligned clerics. As well as Animate Dead, this also includes the Cause Wounds spells, Finger of Death, Slay Living, etc.

#9 CamDawg

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Posted 18 October 2006 - 04:39 AM

View PostMiloch, on Oct 18 2006, 08:03 AM, said:

1) Branwen has zero lore, yet has 16 wisdom (even my dimwitted half-orc barbarian has more lore :)). Speaking of which, does lore serve any function in the game? I've never been able to identify any items with even a high lore.
Not sure what might be causing this--DR doesn't mess with the lore tables.

View PostMiloch, on Oct 18 2006, 08:03 AM, said:

2) She begins with a proficiency slot in sling, but apparently that isn't a weapon she is supposed to be able to put any slots in (it has no +/- next to it on the proficiency screen).
That's definitely an oversight; we'll need to fix this is a future release.

View PostMiloch, on Oct 18 2006, 08:03 AM, said:

Incidentally, I don't think the forum user validation system is working since I still haven't received an email and registered 3 days ago.
That's at least something I can fix right now. :)
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#10 BigRob

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Posted 18 October 2006 - 07:14 PM

View PostMiloch, on Oct 18 2006, 10:03 PM, said:

Speaking of which, does lore serve any function in the game? I've never been able to identify any items with even a high lore.

Yes, Lore should allow you to right click on unidentified items and find out what they are. Generally speaking, only mages and bards will be able to do this reliably, and to more generic items, such as Arrows of Fire, weapons +1 and so on.
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#11 SixOfSpades

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Posted 18 October 2006 - 08:41 PM

View PostNiGHTMARE, on Oct 18 2006, 05:26 AM, said:

3) Certain spells of the Healing and Necromancy spheres are considered 'evil', and cannot be cast by good or neutral aligned clerics.
What are the odds of tweaking the description of kits a bit, to include any additional quirks of Sphere access, something like the following?

Major Access to: Numbers, War, Weather, Necromancy
Minor Access to: Law, Summoning, Elemental (Fire), Elemental (Air)
No Access to: Animal, Plant, Elemental (Lightning)
Sphere Override: May not cast Necromantic spells that draw on the power of the Negative Energy plane. (Animate Dead, Finger of Death, Unholy Blight, Symbol: Death, etc)

Edited by SixOfSpades, 18 October 2006 - 08:42 PM.


#12 Miloch

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Posted 19 October 2006 - 01:26 AM

I agree with that, Six... at least if the kit is alignment-restricted it would make sense to include such spell restrictions in the description.

I don't see why at least a neutral (if not a good) cleric couldn't cast Cause Light Wounds, especially on an evil foe. Not a big deal to me, since my philosophy of "clericking" is that a decent mace is worth more than a spell like that anyway. I did notice that Jaheira begins the game when you recruit her with a couple slots of Cause Light Wounds memorized. Yet she can't rememorize it once she casts it if you're playing by these rules. (How did she learn it in the first place? :))

I would even go so far as to say the same for Animate Dead. I mean, it's not *necessarily* evil to raise an army of skeletons or zombies to vanquish your foes for a noble cause. If so, I guess that would make Aragorn evil in Return of the King. :) But if you abused it for evil purposes (like for anything you would lose rep for) maybe you'd have a chance to lose your good-aligned kit or something.

Either that or replace the restricted spells with a spell of similar power only good- or neutral- aligned characters can cast that evil clerics can't. Maybe something like Spirit Guardian that heals/protects your allies instead of an undead army to smite your enemies. Then again, maybe something like this is already in... I haven't really explored all the facets of the mod yet.
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#13 NiGHTMARE

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Posted 19 October 2006 - 02:53 AM

It's not a case of particular kits being alignment-restricted: the alignment restrictions apply to all divine spellcasters, even unkitted ones. Also, the alignment restrictions rely not only on the deity's alignment, but the cleric's as well. Neither neutral priests of evil deities or evil priests of neutral deities can cast evil-only spells; only an evil priest of an evil deity can cast such spells. (In the case of druids, paladins, and rangers, it is impossible to tell their deity's alignment, so only their own alignment matters.) These restrictions were extensively debated prior to being implemented, but they .

It's also important to note that there are two types of alignment-restricted spells in the mod: spells which are only castable by casters of a particular G/E alignment, and spells which are restricted from casters of a particular G/E alignment. A spell of the former type (such as the evil Healing and Necromancy spells) aren't castable by neutral priests, which a spell of the latter type (such as Holy Smite/Unholy Blight, and Holy Word/Unholy Word) are.

Since the mod's restrictions mean a neutral priest of Xvim would be different in regards to spell selection than an evil priest of the same god, the suggestion of mentioning the restriction in the kit description unfortunately isn't really feasible. However, the kits' descriptions to mention the deity alignments, so you should be able to work it out for yourself.

The evil-only Healing and Necromancy spells are taken from 2nd Edition pen & paper D&D, as is most of this mod's content (if not directly, then it is at least inspired by it). In D&D, controlling evil spirits and forcing spirits to return from the afterlife against their will are seen as evil acts, regardless of the caster's intentions. Also, a large number of deities consider undead to be abominations; this includes all the nature-related deities (e.g. Silvanus and Chauntea), most of the other good aligned deities (especially Lathander), and several of the other neutral-aligned deities (particularly Kelemvor).

These restrictions were one of the last things added to v4 of the mod, and so there were a few oversights when adding them. Updating the lists of spells known by divine spellcaster NPCs is one of them.

There is no need to add direct counterparts to the evil-only spells, since different divine spellcasters have completely different spell selections anyway; for example, even a good cleric of of Lathander has different spells than a good cleric of Ilmater. However, there are a number of spells only accessible to good aligned divine spellcasters. These currently include Alicorn Lance, Bolt of Glory, and False Dawn. A number of others may be added in future versions of the mod.

Edited by NiGHTMARE, 19 October 2006 - 03:07 AM.


#14 Miloch

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Posted 19 October 2006 - 03:33 AM

Ok, maybe it's mainly a documentation issue. I suggest a revision to the description above (italics added):

Quote

The spells available to a divine caster are limited to spheres related to his or her deity's portfolio and alignment, as well as the caster's own alignment. There are three levels of sphere access:

* Major - character can cast all spells in this sphere (unless restricted by alignment)
* Minor - character can cast spells up to and including level three in this sphere
* None - character can not cast spells in this sphere

The different spell selections available to a character can vary, sometimes significantly, between classes, alignments and even within kits of a class.

It would be great to see a breakdown chart by kit/alignment for spell access. Might be difficult given all the variables, but some sort of color-coding or shading could address it. Hell, if someone gives me the details I'll even offer to do it. :)

Obviously, NPC clerics shouldn't start the game with spells memorized they shouldn't be able to learn. Dunno if that's an easy fix or not.
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#15 Wanderer

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Posted 19 October 2006 - 07:39 AM

View PostMiloch, on Oct 19 2006, 05:31 AM, said:

I mean, it's not *necessarily* evil to raise an army of skeletons or zombies to vanquish your foes for a noble cause. If so, I guess that would make Aragorn evil in Return of the King.
Not Aragorn, who released them from undeath; and even Isildur, who issued the curse on them, did so in a more complicated moral universe than anything D&D encapsulates, IMNTHO. :)




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