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Song and Silence v5 discussion


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#1 yarpen

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Posted 05 November 2010 - 10:56 AM

Well, few days ago I've posted some of those on G3's staff hidden forum bit topic didn't found any attention. That's why I'm near-to-reposting this here, because probably some folks have more ideas for possibilities of enhancing Song and Silence a bit.

1. New Kits
As kits enthusiast I was working on some of those especially for my favourite Rogue class. Authors of Song and Silence did a lot of good job especially when implementing some great PnP kits (Sharpshooter, Gypsy) but there is still a place for more of those. When reading some rulebooks I've found those two Bard kits which IMO are quite interesting and they fit to existing NPCs (Garrick as the Gallant for BG1 and Haer'Dalis as Thespian for BG2).

GALLANT: There is no character as pure and romantic as the Gallant. He travels the lands on the wings of romance and true love, stealing the hearts of the young and lightening the spirits of the elderly. A Gallant seems to be blessed with a grace and charm not given to others of his race.

Gallant is restricted to non-evil alignments.

Advantages:
- Fearless: gains immunity to fear and morale failure.
- Essence of Purity: because Gallants are so infused with love, beauty, and the aspirations of a romantic, they seem to hang onto life when others would allow it to slip away. Thus, Gallants gain a bonus of 1 hit point each level. Also, they gain +1 bonus to saves vs. death at 1st level, which rises to +2 at 10th.
- Heroic inspiration: when things look grim, Gallants shows his true nature of hero. When Gallant drops below 50% hit points, he gains a +1 bonus to Attack Rolls, Damage and Saving Throws.

Disadvantages:
- Cannot use ranged weapons.
- Cannot use Pick Pockets skill.
- Gains only 3 points of lore per level.


THESPIAN: Of all the various types of bards, Thespians put the most time and energy into performances. Thespians are actors. They display their talents in plays, skits, and dramatic productions. Some even perform in streets or village squares. When a Thespian isn't acting, he is likely writing scripts or reading for upcoming parts.

Advantages:
- Observe Motions: As actors, Thespians are trained to observe the motions of others. Usually they use this skill to see cues from fellow actors during a performance. This ability also enables them to predict the movements of opponents during combat. Thespian gains +1 bonus to AC and Attack Rolls.
- Spell Acting: Thespian can act as if he can cast powerful spells. To put on such a performance, the Thespian must be easily viewed by all who will be affected. The Thespian then stands up, chants arcane words, gestures, and tosses "magical" powder about. During the spell acting, the Thespian directs his attention and gestures toward the intended targets of the spell. After one round, the targets must roll a successful saving throw versus spells or suffer from effects:
1st level: -1 penalty to Attack Rolls and Attack Speed
10th level: -2 penalty to Attack Rolls and Attack Speed, -1 penalty to Spellcasting time
20th level: -4 penalty to Attack Rolls and Attack Speed, -2 penalty to Spellcasting time
Only humanoid creatures with equal or lesser amount of HD than Thespian are vulnerable to this ability.
Note: Spell Acting ability could be also a sort of interesting ability which makes enemies flee in panic.

Disadvantages:
- Gains only half of the lore


2. Technical Tweaks and Improvements to Classes/Kits
Thief's Kits Improvements
Song and Silence tried to not introduce any enhancements for Kits because of aVenger's Rogue Rebalancing but from my experience not everyone likes those as "too-far-going" so maybe there is a place for some minor improvements to Rogue's kits as overall. They aren't game-changing too much, but are more like 'finishing touch for them'.

Assassin
- Grants +1 bonus to saving throw vs. death at 1st level. At 11th level it improves to +2 bonus.

Bounty Hunter
- Revised trap with 'Maze' effect removed (effects should be 'disabling', not 'sending to another plane')

Swashbuckler
- Currently nothing

Sharpshooter
- There could be optional component which changes his Called Shot effect to more appropriate for Thieves (possibility of Invisibility for 1/2 rounds and dealing some bleeding damage)

Bard's Kits Improvements
Well, in the terms of Bard's there is in my opinion a lot of work to do, because in current shape all of them outshine trueclass Bard in any manner. I don't mean so many changes as AVenger did, but some minor touches to make them straight.

Blade
- (Optional) PnP Offensive Spin works in a slightly different manner than in-game. After using it Blade attacks and damaged victim (if he fails saving throw) flees in panic for next few rounds.
- Cannot use ranged weapons (with exception of throwing daggers and axes)
- Limited only to 'Rally Allies' song (detailed later)

Skald
- (Optional) In PnP Skald besides his impressive skills, is really limited in terms of using magic. When improved, he should have his spellcasting abilities reduced or even removed.

Jester
- His song in it's current shape is heavily overpowered. Some changes, maybe similiar to those Avenger's are needed here.

Acrobat
- Long time ago I've proposed some bonus to Movement Speed and Saving Throws vs. Breath to emphasize on his agility and skills.

Classes Improvements
- Well, here I've got one, interesting change for in-game mechanics about Bard's song similiar to IWD-like Bard Song mod, but slightly more balanced and nerfed. If someone's interested I can post something about those. Still, there are few little improvements which we can do for rogues.
- Bardsong has 50% chance for breaking any sort of Invisibility. It's currently the best way to exploit Jester's song. When you're invisible and playing this song, you can easily remove most of enemies from battle.
- Different Bardsong sounds. It was discussed long time ago (I think Salk started this discussion). It was IMO very interesting idea to alter default Song sound and adjust it to Bard's kit. So Skald plays some war chants, Chanter got psalms and Jester some stupid giggles. It enchances role-playing a bit. I'd propose to make Bardsong play sound always when first-time played and then repeated with 10% chance so it's not getting boring.
- HLA improvements: we don't talk about complete revision as Rogue Rebalancing or Refinements, just to fix most annoying things about them. Especially removing such a silly thing as Traps for Bards.
- Maybe there would be a place for great Ardanis's Trap Revision mini-mod, which improves this aspect of gameplay a lot. Check it!

3. Additional Equipment
In PnP there is a lot of specific equipment for Thieves. After discussing some of those in Item Revision description I've found quite intriguing potions which can replace Potion of Thieving Mastery. I'll just post descriptions.

Essence of Darkness: This pure black oily fluid must be kept in tough, light-proof containers, since it is destroyed after one turn in bright sunlight or one hour exposed to daylight. Essence of darkness is pure, concentrated, liquefied darkness itself. It can be used in a number of ways:

(i) When a dose is swallowed it makes the imbiber's entire body, including hair, teeth, and even the whites of the eyes, pure matte black in color. This can enhance a thief's chance of hiding in shadows.

(ii) Essence of darkness is unstable and if a vial is struck by a crushing blow it will explode into darkness 15' radius. A single dose of the magical essence will create a darkness 5' radius if so struck. This property has been exploited by making small glass or ceramic globes filled with the liquid which are then thrown forcefully onto hard surfaces to create "darkness bombs." At the DM's option, a thief who has ingested the essence or applied it to his clothing might similarly become the center of a darkness 5' radius effect if struck a severe blow (50% of remaining hit points, with a 12 hit point minimum for the effect to operate) with a blunt weapon.

The effects of essence of darkness last for six hours plus 1d6 turns, if used externally; if ingested, it has the same duration as a standard potion. Each bottle or vial of the essence found usually contains sufficient fluid for 1d4+4 doses.


Oil of Slickness: The consistency of this magical substance is variable; sometimes it is found as a small vial of very viscous oil, sometimes as a pot of thin, creamy white salve. It is applied by rubbing into the skin of the hands (taking one round). When rubbed in, it improves the speed and coordination of the hands so that all manually-based thieving skills (pick pockets, open locks, find/remove traps) are improved by 10%. A vial or pot of this oil (or salve) usually contains 1d4+4 applications. The effect lasts for 1d4+4 turns. The bonuses to the ability scores cannot be claimed by any thief who is wearing gauntlets or gloves of any kind, including magical ones!


Edited by yarpen, 05 November 2010 - 10:59 AM.


#2 Miloch

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Posted 05 November 2010 - 07:03 PM

Good ideas, if you can implement them.
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#3 berelinde

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Posted 05 November 2010 - 09:05 PM

Thoughts?

1. Why are you trying to add this to a completed mod whose author has moved on? I'm not saying that Song and Silence is a useless mod because that would be untrue. Song and Silence is an awesome mod for players who are into Monk and Bard kit-y goodness. I'm just saying that you don't need to tack it onto an existing mod for kits to be cool.

2. See bullet point one. Let your ideas stand on their own. With ToB hax, the player can install nearly infinite kits before running out of room. Go for it.
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#4 yarpen

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Posted 06 November 2010 - 06:33 AM

completed mod whose author has moved on

With exception of Thespian and Gallant, most of those things were discussed during Song and Silence developement, and Andyr was interested in implementing them (Charlatan and current Meistersinger implementation were his ideas). But even Thespian and Gallant are just kits which come from exactly same handbook as most of S&S kits, that's why I find them quite appropriate.

Also an idea of different Bardsongs sound was discussed a lot, but sadly never implemented. After reading S&S forum you will see that it's hard to say that this mod is finished. I find it as good alternative for Rogue Rebalancing (not everyone likes it) but it's lacking any changes in existing kits. ;)

Edited by yarpen, 06 November 2010 - 06:34 AM.


#5 Miloch

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Posted 06 November 2010 - 06:05 PM

I find it as good alternative for Rogue Rebalancing (not everyone likes it) but it's lacking any changes in existing kits.

Why alternative? Why not use both - they're compatible, aren't they?
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#6 yarpen

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 06:17 AM

Well, yeah. But try to compare level od depth of Rogue Rebalancing kits and Song and Silence ones. S&S kits are balanced to be compareable with vanilla kits, where Avenger introduces a lot of brand, new stuff. (sometimes making kits better, sometimes nerfing it) But still, comparing Avenger's kits to S&S kits and even vanilla kits (for other classes for example) is bad. Avenger did a great job but after installing Rogue Rebalancing it looks like "Hey, thieves and bards are just cooler! Why to bother with any other class?". And personally I hate those icons. ^^' Call me psycho in terms of 'blending in game'. ;)

#7 Miloch

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 08:31 AM

And personally I hate those icons.

What icons? And aren't you an icon artist anyway?
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#8 Wisp

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 08:39 AM

And personally I hate those icons.

What icons? And aren't you an icon artist anyway?

aVENGER adapted some NWN graphics for use as icons. Or maybe they were from IWD(2)? In any case, they look different from the stock icons.

#9 yarpen

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 08:56 AM

His icons are drawn in completely different style than standard BG2 icons, they resemble (and are probably based on) Icewind Dale 2. And sorry, I just hate to see icons drawn in different style in one game. Well, when playing with Rogue Rebalance there is no problem in distinction of original and modded content and that's probably main (and only one) problem of this mod. You know that "you're stepping on modding part" when suddenly you've got stat-based options for all of your dialogues, your items and abilities are just cooler and more detailed and everything is shining from better sun of modded goods" ^^.

#10 Miloch

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 09:09 AM

And sorry, I just hate to see icons drawn in different style in one game.

Like for spells/abilities? So you could redraw them, no? ;)

suddenly you've got stat-based options for all of your dialogues

This is just if you get caught stealing from a shop and want to talk your way out of it, isn't it?
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#11 yarpen

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 09:43 AM

This is just if you get caught stealing from a shop and want to talk your way out of it, isn't it?

It also applies for new quest with Arledian and fight with Chosen of Cyric band. When I was translating this mod I've thought to create additional version of translation which tries to make this mod's writings closer to BG2 style (so no [INTELLIGENCE] indicators, less of dialogue-description) just to make this mod blend better into game but that'd be violaton of Avenger's rights as creator.

Like for spells/abilities? So you could redraw them, no?

I was talking with Avenger about that once but he said, he prefers those and isn't interested in implementing any other.

Miloch, we're talking about Song and Silence! ^^'

Edited by yarpen, 07 November 2010 - 09:44 AM.


#12 Miloch

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 12:45 PM

but that'd be violaton of Avenger's rights as creator.

Well I think he transfered those rights to Wisp, so it'd be up to him.

Miloch, we're talking about Song and Silence! ^^'

Heh, well not according to berelinde ;). But I would personally be ok with putting those additions in S&S if they make sense in the scope of the mod (and they seem to). Also assuming you're willing to help maintain the mod. It's not like Cam, Andyr or NiGHTMARE are in danger of making full comebacks anytime soon (if they did, great, but I doubt it). I had similar ideas for Divine Remix but interest kind of waned so I put it on the shelf to work on other stuff. You can always make them optional components in case someone objects to them.
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#13 yarpen

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 02:36 PM

It's not like Cam, Andyr or NiGHTMARE are in danger of making full comebacks anytime soon (if they did, great, but I doubt it).

Yup, I miss them too. Especially many of NiGHTMARE's ideas for Lands of Intrigue were impressive. I was thinking about implementing their's original idea for Clerics (whole Specialist Priests system) but it's doomed because of lacking of spells from spheres. Also I've currently realised that I'm here on G3 for quite, quite long ^^' for remembering Sharpshooter Mod instead of whole Song and Silence package.

But I would personally be ok with putting those additions in S&S if they make sense in the scope of the mod (and they seem to). Also assuming you're willing to help maintain the mod.

Yup, I'm also thinking about it as maintaining, not any sort of hijacking anyone's mod. As far as I know community likes resurrecting some old mods and hey, S&S is currently one of those. As far as I can see it's also present in many player's modlists. I'd even put a line between Legacy S&S and New Components ("Do you want to see what this freak has done with your beloved old mod? Yes/No"). I also think that most of those changes are in line with original author's mod vision.

As example I will take revision of Jester's song. It's currently nearly broken because of being extremaly overpowered in BG1TuTu/BGT. +4 bonus to saves vs. spells doesn't help even bosses in not being confused all the time. Connect it with Invisibility potion and you can solo everything using summoned creatures, few damaging spells and swings of blade because your enemies are overhelmed by your song. Creating lesser version of this song for BG1TuTu character is really needed. Song and Silence from it's bases was meant to be BG1TuTu/BG2 mod. ;)

I'd happily present some of the proposed changes if there's going to be any good response from community and especially retired authors (or Grim, who's the only one present from old G3 staff).



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