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Thoughts on Mur'Neth


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#1 Bill Bisco

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Posted 11 March 2006 - 10:51 PM

Well, I downloaded your mod along with a ton of other NPC mods and I wanted to see how yours was. I looked forward to him just because he seemed to be a little different.

His dialogue was fair and appropriate. You gave me the options both to accept him and to Condemn him to death. I like this very much. I enjoyed Viconia's comment on him worshipping Ghaundar. Very nice.

Now, I appreciated the fact that he is an evil character. ALthough, looking at his dialogue. He seems to be more neutral than evil really. Kobolds and humans are just food for slimes. Seems like an indifference rather than evil intentions. Similar to his belief and Admiration of Oozes who themselves are neutral.

I liked the fact that he had a different kind of voice. It sounds more like a voice of a good creature rather than an evil one. Anywho, just my personal opinion. His location was good. I liked it. However, the way he is, is in my opinion unusable. I'll give you some examples.

For one, his theiving skills are very low. That is to be expected in a low level thief. However, he's level 3 and has less than 50% in every theiving skill. Personally, I would rather him have 80% in one thing or 60 or 70 in two things because at least then I could make good use of those skills. As is, his theiving skills are really useless. He can't find traps well enough, nor pickpocked well enough, nor Hide in Shadows, nor really see through illusions, and at that point in the game it really doesn't matter either.

And, on that point. I think that he deserves to have his points into hide and move silently. He's an ooze after-all and people aren't exactly keen on those. He might have to get away sometimes or sneak after-all. Also notice, that when he gets picked up, he's level 3 which in turn means that it'll be hard to level him up more just so that his theiving skills become useful. And, that is a problem.

So, that leaves me to his fighting skills. Alright, he's got ooze touch and the ability to polymorph. Well, his ooze touch is pretty cool. Yet again, this is a problem too. He's a thief. A low level one. So he's rarely going to hit anyway and even if he does, a monster has a good chance of saving against it.

Alright, how about turning into an ooze. Well, we've got the same problem only worse. Now he moves slower which means he's easier to hit, and he has fewer hit points, and his strength is still negligible. He still fails to hit many times. Now, remember that he's a thief, which means that he can only wear leather or Studded leather. His polymorph and ooze touch mean that he needs to melee his enemies. But, he's very easy to hit which means that he'll probably die.

So, the only real option for him is to wait in the back and chuck missles at people. The friendship spell is a nice touch (i mean hey, in those few situations that it counts, it's nice to have an NPC with Cha of 23 or better), on the other hand, I don't see the real use for it. As he is currently, from a purely usability/usefulness point, he is not usable. He's got some nice immunities, but he is built to melee and just can't melee and thus just isn't very good.

Don't get me wrong at all though. You have created a pretty cool guy. Perhaps consider changing around his thieving abilities to make him really sneaky. Maybe giving him some boots of stealth or equivalent or something. Maybe he'd be a cool multi-class. I could see him as a Fighter/Thief, Fighter/Cleric, Cleric/Theif, or Fighter/Cleric/Thief. He seems to show special reverence to Ghaundar so maybe he could be divinely inspired too.

Also, I noticed that he can't backstab, can't set traps, and Gets only 15 points. Hmm, maybe a bit harsh?

I guess one of the problems too is that you can't specialize your hand. Maybe you could cheat and turn prof. of Club/Mace/whatever into the equivalent prof. of his oozy touch and OOze form so that he could take advantage of Specialization. That might be nice.

Anywho, I did enjoy playing him. I also want to say thank you for treating him like a normal BG NPC. I can kick him out, let him rejoin, whatever I want just like an NPC Should. Some modders have something against the player kicking out their Modded NPC like they're extra special or something. Bah! Thank you for treating him normally as he should be.

Edit: oh and I found a bug. I was fighting a ghoul with Mur'Neth and the ghoul paralyzed him. This probably shouldn't happen. Similarly a rigid thinking spell was cast on him and we went a little crazy; also, I think that he can be stunned. It'd be nice if he were immune to that too.

(PS. I think there's lots of potential for this character. You know, he could perhaps become the Chosen of Ghaundar as he advances. Perhaps other slime abilities could develop over time. You know this guy could kind of be like a druid you know, shapeshifting and casting spells that deal with oozy stuff. Could be unique and cool. Hehe, Slime elementals would be so awesome. One of the things that I thought of when I first played this mod, was what if he had BG2 content. It'd be so cool to have an alternate path involving the Ghaundar Drow in the Underdark. Perhaps I wouldn't have to kill them for once. That could be a really cool change. Anywho just an idea.)

Edited by Bill Bisco, 12 March 2006 - 06:49 AM.


#2 Andyr

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Posted 12 March 2006 - 04:36 PM

Thanks for the input. :down:

I have found Mur'Neth plays quite differently to the normal thief--the reason I chose that class for him to base the kit on is because I felt it was closest to the abilities the monsters have (Sorcerer was a close second). Friends, as an example, is a racial ability. He doesn't have many thieving skill points due to his kit, but I think I gave him a bonus somewhere so he probably actually has more than he should do. :devil: I deliberately tried to under-power him as I feared the immunities could prove too useful, but might crank stuff up for a future version. Ooze Touch has a thac0 bonus, by the way (though, as with other touch spells in the game, it is not mentioned).

I'll look into the paralysis bug--I am not sure the others are bugs or intentional, but I may change it.

On the evilness, I had more stuff planned but didn't get around to coding it, such as lots of conflicts with divine casters in the party and a quest. So we'll have to see how stuff pans out with time. There is actually a chunk of content a lot of players won't see--if you disagree with him in a few situations and chuck him out he will storm away vowing vengeance. You then get ambushed in the Undercity near the end by Mur'Neth, a couple more Ghaunadans and a bunch of oozes.

I see it (him?) as exceedingly fanatical in his worship of Ghaunadaur, treating all else as blasphemy or an accidental side-effect of some other miracle of Ghaunadaur's. I think a difficulty in conveying this is it makes him naturally not a team player, which wouldn't be too useful in a party-based game like BG. In a similar fashion he doesn't admire oozes--they are a race without intellect he holds in higher regard than humans because they share a form with him and Ghaunadaur, but aside from that if they are weak and in his way a similarity of shape won't stop him destroying them. There's a banter about that somewhere.

As for BG2, I had planned an expansion into BG2 but it is not something I am writing/coding at this time. I had thought he would be found at the altar to Amaunator under the Sewers where you get the rod for the Unseeing Eye. Ghaunadaur's portfolio includes hatred so it seems natural he'd try to subvert the undying cultists there to his deity.

What in particular would you suggest would be the most attractive way of making him a viable choice from a power standpoint, without making him too powerful? Perhaps drop the skill points penalty, and pump the 30 extra points into the stealth skills?
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#3 Andyr

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Posted 13 March 2006 - 09:36 AM

... or actually, I had another idea. It occurred to me that other races get a racial bonus to their skills, which Mur'Neth won't have applied. So I could give a bonus to a pair of skills. Any preferences?

I then think I'd keep the low skill points per level, but perhaps reinstate Backstab.
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#4 Bill Bisco

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Posted 13 March 2006 - 12:04 PM

After reading your comments, I decided to dig up my Faiths and Pantheons book and refresh myself on Ghaunadaur. He's pretty cool. I read the part about his faith desiring living sacrifices. Ooh Boy! It might be nice having the option to charm peasants into sacrificing themselves to the ooze god. Although Mur'Neth is a thief so maybe he wouldn't have to do that.

On the evilness, I had more stuff planned but didn't get around to coding it, such as lots of conflicts with divine casters in the party and a quest. So we'll have to see how stuff pans out with time. There is actually a chunk of content a lot of players won't see--if you disagree with him in a few situations and chuck him out he will storm away vowing vengeance. You then get ambushed in the Undercity near the end by Mur'Neth, a couple more Ghaunadans and a bunch of oozes.


I like conflicts with Divine Casters. It'd be interesting seeing his reactions to Ajantis. Helm is the God of Guardians. And Ghaunadaur is the patron of outcasts and oozes. On one side he believes survival of the fittest but he still protects his creatures some. It'd be real interesting to see reactions to Viconia. Shar probably doesn't think very highly of Ghaunadaur, but Ghaunadaur is also a Deity of Outcasts which Viconia is one of. It's also nice since The Ooze God's Dogma states that one should "Slay those of other Faiths"

Getting ambushed by Mur'Neth would be So Awesome! I love that! Keep in mind that other mods add stuff too. The Secret of BoneHill adds a guy that ambushes you at the Undercity as well. Combine that with fighting the Mercenaries and Tamoko. If enough mods add battles at the end, pretty soon CHARNAME is gonna have to fight an army! ;) (while perhaps kinda weird that these diverse enemies would fight together against Charname, but I like the idea a lot :down: )

As for BG2, I had planned an expansion into BG2 but it is not something I am writing/coding at this time. I had thought he would be found at the altar to Amaunator under the Sewers where you get the rod for the Unseeing Eye. Ghaunadaur's portfolio includes hatred so it seems natural he'd try to subvert the undying cultists there to his deity.


That's an interesting point. It's a shame that Bioware chose not to mention The Great Mother. But, I think conversion from "The Unseeing Eye" to "The Elder Eye" Would be plausable. Perhaps the Equivalent of an NPC Stronghold. I like it :down: I think Ghaunadaur has Hatred as a Domain because he's kinda mad you know. His followers are always the convienent ones to get their butts Kicked in Adventures and few PCs ever worship him. He's probably Older than most of the Gods and Humanity and yet his brethren aren't as prominent in the world and Ghaunadaur is still a lesser deity. (And probably because he just doesn't like many people in general :devil: )

What in particular would you suggest would be the most attractive way of making him a viable choice from a power standpoint, without making him too powerful? Perhaps drop the skill points penalty, and pump the 30 extra points into the stealth skills?


... or actually, I had another idea. It occurred to me that other races get a racial bonus to their skills, which Mur'Neth won't have applied. So I could give a bonus to a pair of skills. Any preferences?

I then think I'd keep the low skill points per level, but perhaps reinstate Backstab.


Well, if Mur'Neth is going to be a theif. Then let's make him a thief. He needs to be able to be sneaky, shoot stuff at people from a distance and be able to run away and hide. So, I would suggest turning his oozy attacks (whether in Humanoid or in ooze form) into ranged attacks. It's always cool when you have a creature throw a piece of itself to harm it's enemies. (I really liked it when I was fighting zombies and they threw their heads, arms, legs at me, Hilarious! Or that one time I was fighting a slime Elemental and it threw it's gullet at me which exposed a hole in the center of it's body).

Yes, he may be able to paralyze people from a distance. But, there's also dispelling arrows, Sunstone bullets, Detonation arrows and bullets. So, I think that it's probably okay. And considering that many of these creatures will make their save, it's not too bad. Maybe some tweaking around with this perhaps. My thoughts are simply that because he's a theif, he really can't tank since his armor and hitpoints will be real low. Also, I noticed that Every ooze in the 3.5 monster manual regardless of the attack had some acid damage on top of whatever their touch attack did. Can't remember if that was so in 2nd edition.

Another issue is the Ooze form. If that form was able to chuck out ranged attacks, that would be a worthy improvement, but it is still horrendously slow. So, players using it will have to turn it on, fight, then turn it off, then turn it on again, then turn it off. Eventually, it'll just be faster to never be in that form and negate it's benefits entirely since it's not worth the effort.

I can also understand the fact that you might not want the player walking around town in Ooze form, but can't druids and ShapeChange do this already? I think that it needs to be faster simply to be viable. I looked at my 3.5 Monster Manual and noticed that most of the slimes' speed was 20ft which is slower than normal, but just as fast as a dwarf or armored human.

As far as skill points. Racial bonuses I could definitely see Hide in Shadows and Move Silently. I mean he's an ooze, and his first priority is to live, and his second priority is to feed. Humans have probably hunted oozes for a long time trying to exterminate them and they'd be force to hide and get away. Similarly anytime you gotta catch your prey, you'd want to creep along the ceiling and fall down at an appropriate moment or something.

I could see him as having a bonus to lockpicking. Perhaps he'd just stick his hand in and it would morph appropriately to the keyhole. I could seeing him having a penalty to it too if he had to use mechanical equipment because I'd imagine it being distasteful for his race in general to use.

Heck, he probably deserves a bonus to See Illusions. Oozes have blindsight for goodness sake! Although of course that is 3rd edition and i don't remember about oozes in 2nd. And a bonus to find traps might be able to be inferred from blindsense similarly. Perhaps penalties to pick pockets,

Anywho, I was thinking about his inability to backstab, set traps, and 15 skills points per level. If he is able to ranged attack with his ooziness then this may negate the need for a change in these areas. It would be nice to see his Kit expand as he gains levels, perhaps learning more powerful ooze forms and more powerful Ooze Attacks. (Makes me think of the Oozemaster Prc. I bet you drew inspiration from that too hehe)

As far as starting Skill Points. I personally am in favor of High Hide in Shadows and Move Silently simply because I like that in a thief and I'd imagine that he'd need to hide himself often. I could also see him with a high Find Traps skill because in that Mine there are a lot of traps and having a character capable of diffusing them would be nice.

Anywho, just some thoughts of mine :)

Edited by Bill Bisco, 13 March 2006 - 12:05 PM.


#5 Bursk

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Posted 13 March 2006 - 12:28 PM

I'm not really in a position to comment on Mur'Neth since I haven't given him any serious play time (although from a brief test I'd say he's a really good addition to the game), but I must say that I've really enjoyed reading this thread.

I think Bill has some neat ideas. I don't really like thieves who suck at hiding and finding traps, but that's just my personal preference. Like Bill says, he needs to be a decent thief if that's his class, but regarding his non-thief abilities, I'm all for making him powerful in a 'different' sort of way, since he's such a unique character.

Giving him more powerful ooze forms and more powerful ooze attacks would be a great way to keep the character fresh (in a slimy sort of way).

#6 BigRob

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Posted 13 March 2006 - 05:37 PM

I haven't gotten around to playing much with Mur'Neth yet, but I rather liked the idea of the thief who wasn't all that "thiefy". I like the idea about giving him bonuses to Find/Remove traps and/or Lock Picking because of his ability to get right into the mechanisms, but I think keeping him rooted in melee would make him quite unique as a thief (I think the only time I use a thief in melee is for backstabbing and when I don't want to waste ammo on chaff monsters).

Perhaps a good idea would be to give him a bonus to Move Silent and Hide in Shadows while in ooze form (He's low to the ground, can squeeze into little spaces and probably wouldn't make a sound). The bonus could even be quite hefty as it would be balanced out by his slow movement speed, thus meaning more chances to fail a check and making it harder for him to get away after a backstab.
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#7 Bill Bisco

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Posted 13 March 2006 - 06:08 PM

The Problem with being slow to get away means he gets killed :down: He's a thief and thus has low AC and gets owned! It's quite annoying!

#8 Andyr

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Posted 13 March 2006 - 06:14 PM

Thanks for this advice, I'll think on this.

On making his ooze touch ranged: It is based on a pnp ability of the creature (their hand oozes a slime) so I would prefer to keep it melee.

On ooze form speed: Speed is tied to animation (though I could add effects to make him faster), and he moves the same speed as other oozes. So while it is slow, again I would perhaps like it to stay this same for consistency. I don't think speed should be a problem in a mass melee situation--remember oozes get some pretty hefty damage reduction bonuses (immune to piercing or something? I don't quite recall).
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#9 Bill Bisco

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Posted 15 March 2006 - 11:05 AM

Alrighty :devil:

I would have no problem if Mur'Neth was very close-minded about Ghaunadaur and would force CHARNAME to be accepting of his views if Mur'Neth Was to travel with him. Much like one must accept Viconia's berating of Men, Surfacers, and about everything else :down:

I found something else. I hope it's a bug. Mur'Neth cannot be hasted. This makes me sad, for I do not like being slow :down:

Oh yes, and after I kicked him out, I found again that Kagain had a bug wherein he continually talked to Charname the same line. I didn't feel like dealing with it so I went back to Nashkel to retrieve Mur'Neth and now he'll be in my party till the end of BG1. (This only goes to show that it is a good idea to let players take an NPC back. They do indeed sometimes change their minds.)

#10 Domi

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Posted 15 March 2006 - 12:01 PM

Bill, if you are running TUTU version of BG1NPC could you perhaps provide more details on the the Kagain issue for me? Mainly which line does he repeat?

Cheers, and Andyr, sorry about highjacking the thread :down:

Edited by Domi, 15 March 2006 - 12:02 PM.

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#11 Andyr

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Posted 15 March 2006 - 04:14 PM

I'll look into the Haste thing; he shouldn't be immune to that.
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#12 Bill Bisco

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Posted 15 March 2006 - 06:27 PM

Bill, if you are running TUTU version of BG1NPC could you perhaps provide more details on the the Kagain issue for me? Mainly which line does he repeat?

Cheers, and Andyr, sorry about highjacking the thread :down:

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I am not Playing Tutu. BGT. My apologies. Then Line starts out "Kagain seems less aggrivated than usual." He keeps on spouting this repeatedly. The reason I have not reported this is because there is a chance that this is related to a Kagain bug indiginous to BGT 0.99 and I didn't want to post a bug that might be fixed.

#13 Domi

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Posted 16 March 2006 - 07:19 AM

Okay, thank you. This is indicative of one of the two things: you did not install the player-initiated-dialogues options the very last thing (or the order got mixed up in the reinstallation), or there is a script that prompts a scripted dialogue, but the condition is faulty, so it goes for the unconditionall PIDs. Seeing how it affects just Kagain, the second is more likely. Can you tell me when the bug first occured and I will check the TUTU version for its presence/absence.
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#14 Bill Bisco

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Posted 17 March 2006 - 07:58 PM

The bug occured when I was in Feldepost's Inn and was about to confront Tranzig. I had recently gotten Shar-Teel and had defeated the Harpers that went after Xzar (A TDD Bug).

I most definitely did install the player-initiated dialogues because that makes the experience all the better. (As a matter of fact it might be nice if I could talk to Mur'Neth that way as well some day :devil: )

It's also possible that this is partly due to Ascension64's Tweak Pack which affects Kagain. Or this may be a new one; I don't know :down:

#15 Andyr

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Posted 02 April 2006 - 02:37 AM

I'm preparing an update so have made a few changes.

Mur'Neth can now Backstab, and to make up for the fact other PC races get skill bonuses but he doesn't (since he's not flagged as one) I've given him a small bonus to each of Hide in Shadows, Move Silently and Open Locks.

I can't reproduce the Ghoul Hold bug so will put it down as a vagary of Tutu, since Ghoul Holding's a known issue. I also cannot see why he'd be immune to Haste, unless you perhaps equipped him with a Ring of Free Action.
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