Author Topic: [suggested component] Characters should get missing equipment  (Read 2020 times)

Offline Sam.

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[suggested component] Characters should get missing equipment
« on: September 11, 2015, 11:17:21 AM »
The official BG1 Manual (for your convenience, see BG-english.pdf) describes some of the Power Groups and Major Characters of the region.  Part of this description includes a list of particularly noteworthy equipment possessed by some of the most powerful/influential characters encountered in the game.  My belief is that the the official BG1 Manual is just as cannon and true to the original designers' intent as any of the other loose threads BG1 UB content is based on, and thus I purpose adding a component restoring the noted missing equipment to these characters.  Quoted below are relevant excerpts from the Manual with the descriptions of the missing equipment underlined by me, along with my preliminary notes and thoughts.

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Drizzt Do’Urden
(Dritst Doe-URR-den) Drizzt the dark elf (Chaotic Good, drow elf male, ranger 16th level). A renegade drow ranger who has escaped the oppressive regime of his underground homeland, Drizzt Do’Urden is among the most famous of drow in the Realms owing to his deeds on the surface. He may be found abroad while engaged in acts of daring, particularly in rolling back the tribes of goblins and evil humans in the North. His fame and hatred of his former homeland has made him a target of other drow who hope to earn favor with their evil goddess Lloth by killing the renegade. Drizzt wears mithril chain mail +4, a gift of King Bruenor. He wields two magical scimitars simultaneously. These scimitars are Icingdeath, a frostbrand +3, and Twinkle, a defender +5, which glows when enemies are near. His most prized possession is a figurine of wondrous power of an onyx panther. The panther’s name is Guenhwyvar. He doesn’t use the panther unless severely taxed, as he is limited to using it for a certain period of time each day.
C6GUEN.CRE from BG2:EE seems a good candidate on which to base the summoned Guenhwyvar CRE.  At a minimum, the Allegiance would need to be changed and the Melee damage should probably be upped from the base "CATJAG.ITM" that is currently being used.

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Taerom “Thunderhammer” Fuiruim, Beregost
Taerom (Neutral Good, human male, fighter 5th level). This master armorer has his own smithy in Beregost and is a smith whose work is admired even by dwarves. Though he’s grown white-haired with the passing of years, he’s still an active, burly giant of a man. He keeps to himself, working at his forge, but can slay gnolls with a single blow of his12-foot-long iron staff. Taerom has often made items fine enough for wizards to enchant, but these days he’s more apt to make small, useful things like hooks, locks, hinges, and coffers. He sports magnificent muttonchop whiskers and stands almost 7 feet tall, with shoulders almost 4 feet broad. He has a distinctive rolling stride.
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Thunderhammer Smithy, Armor Maker and Weaponsmith
Taerom ”Thunderhammer” Fuiruim is a burly giant. His chestnut hair and mutton-chop whiskers are now shot through with gray and white, but his huge hands remain strong and deft. He is a master armorer, and his warmongery equals the best in Faerûn. On several occasions he’s made items for Thalantyr to enspell, and even dwarven smiths admire his work. Taerom keeps over a dozen apprentices busy with all the orders that come his way (mainly from Amn). He fights with a huge iron staff and has been known to slay gnolls with a single blow, but is generally a quiet man. He is not given to leadership, but is respected in town more than anyone else.
I would think a new item would need to be created here.  I imagine it would not be usable by the shorter races (gnome, dwarf, halfling, etc.), and IMO it should do something special against gnolls.  It could be anything from a bonus to hit and damage to double damage, or even Save vs. Death or be slain.  This last option would be my personal choice.

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Thalantyr the Conjurer, Beregost
Thalantyr (Neutral Good, human male, wizard 17th level). An archmage of note, Thalantyr is a courtly, solitary man who enjoys walks in the countryside while armed with his staff of power. He dwells in a guarded estate known as High Hedge, west of Beregost. Once an adventurer who eagerly sought the lost magic of Netheril in crumbling ruins, he’s now retired. And although he’s left the perils of that profession, he’ll help other adventurers with advice and spells for fees. He’ll also warn them that they may find a lot more than they intended to, as he did – but won’t be much more specific. One gathers from long conversations with him that he met some sort of horrible monster and was enslaved for a time, escaping only through luck. He is said to have won his freedom with spellbooks and other magical relics of Netheril that make him self-supporting, so that he need not travel the planes or go adventuring in Toril any longer.
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High Hedge
West of the main settlement of Beregost stands High Hedge, Thalantyr’s estate. Thalantyr is a courtly man who can sometimes be seen walking about the countryside, his long, black staff in hand. Locals say he’s interested in far-off places and things, and is sometimes absent for long periods. Those who’ve seen his abode say that it’s a dark, turreted stone house.
The "Staff of Power" (STAF12.ITM) from BG2:EE seems a good candidate to me.

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Keeper of the Tomes, Ulraunt, Candlekeep
Ulraunt (Lawful Neutral, human male, wizard 9th level). The head of fortified Candlekeep, Ulraunt is a proud scholar, one of the most learned – and one of the most haughty – people in all Faerûn. His sharp tongue, large nose, and dark-eyed, hawklike gaze have earned him the nickname ”the Old Buzzard” among acolytes down the years – a term that has even crept into general use in the Coast lands. Ulraunt has access to more spells than most wizards see in their lives, and he reportedly keeps in practice casting them in his private turret chamber and in caverns deep beneath Candlekeep. A secret passage is said to connect these heights and depths. He bears a magical staff of office rumored to be a staff of the magi with extra, extremely potent powers. Ulraunt and those among the Great Readers who are wizards have access to spell scrolls all over Candlekeep – scrolls hidden behind wooden panels and within false tomes. Ulraunt’s chief interest is acquiring ever more information. His aims in life are unknown beyond making Candlekeep the seat of a land of scholars and a power on the political stage of Faerûn. Several tales link him with young ladies of various noble houses, Waterdeep, and Tethyr in his earlier years – and there’s a newer rumor tying him romantically to some of the icy-cold, haughty elven ladies who come to the Sword Coast from Evermeet.
The "Staff of the Magi" (STAF11.ITM) from BG2:EE seems a good candidate to me.

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The Harpers
The Harpers are a semi–secret society based in the Heartlands, The Harpers have seen a number of incarnations through the years, with rising and falling levels of political power. They are primarily a group that is allied with a number of good churches, and are receiving support from powerful neutral parties, including druidic circles. Their aim is to keep the dangers to civilization at bay, including goblin raids, dragon flights, and the insidious control of other groups such as the Zhentarim, Red Wizards, the Commer, or the Cult of the Dragon. They believe in the power of individuals, the balance between the wild and the civilized, and the good of humankind and its allied sentient races. They also believe in preserving the tales of the past, so that one may learn from those tales for the future. The Harpers attract a wide variety of character types, but this society is most attractive to elves, rangers, and bards. Harpers are spread throughout the North and the Heartlands, often operating in secret. They are by their nature meddlers, and often operate alone or in small groups to achieve their ends, Except when battling long-term foes, it is unimportant to them if their name is connected with their actions (their own tales and songs are another matter). The Harpers are an amorphous organization, and as such have no main base of operations. The Harpers are a force of good in the Realms, and good-aligned characters may find themselves being aided by unseen allies if their business aids the organization. The only hint as to these allies’ identity is the harp and moon symbol of the group.

The question is, are any of the harpers encountered by the party of important enough status within the organization to be wearing a Harper Pin?  If yes, the "Harper Pin" (MISC5X.ITM) from BG2:EE would be a good candidate.  The description of this item is:
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A Harper pin is a treasured item, signifying that the bearer is an honored and trusted member of the Harpers. It grants the wearer exceptional protection against many different kinds of attacks. Harper pins are not attuned to any particular person, but you would be hard-pressed to find someone that would lend such an item or even let it out of their sight. It is quite literally a badge of honor.
Entillis Fulsom (ENTILL.CRE), Delthyr (DELTHY.CRE), and Tel-anon (TELANO.CRE) actually identify themselves as harpers, plus we find out Khalid (KHALID.CRE, KHALID2.CRE, KHALID4.CRE, KHALID6.CRE) and Jaheira (JAHEIR.CRE, JAHEIR2.CRE, JAHEIR4.CRE, JAHEIR6.CRE) are also Harpers.  There are also, of course, Gorion (GORION.CRE) and Elminster (ELMIN1.CRE, ELMIN2.CRE, ELMIN3.CRE, ELMIN5.CRE).

Of these, Entillis seems to have been well acquainted with Gorion and seems to be in recent if not frequent communication with Elminster, plus is described as an older man and is a decently high level (11?) mage.  I find it likely he would have a Harper Pin.  Next is Delthyr who was trusted enough by the harpers to have been chosen to deliver very important information (concerning the well-being of an entire city) to someone they suspected was one of the spawn of Bhaal.  He may or may not have been an important enough Harper to have a Harper Pin.  On the other hand, Tel-anon is obviously just a low-ranking minion, and not even a minion that can follow orders.  He definitely wouldn’t have been honored with a Harper Pin.  Likewise, Khalid and Jaheira are very inexperienced when they meet the PC, and although they seem to be familiar with many of the Harpers in the area, they don't strike me as particularly important members of the organization at this point.  I definitely think Gorion would have had a magical Harper Pin, and considering the protections it gives the bearer, he definitely would have warn it when leaving Candlekeep with his ward.  Having said that, I don't think the PC should be given such a powerful magic item that early in the game.  That just leaves Elminster.  While I have no doubt Elminster could have warn one of these Harper Pins if he wished, I doubt he would have felt the need to.  Everyone would know of his association with the organization already, particularly other Harpers.


Although not specifically stated, one could construe a number of other equipment based tweaks from these and other descriptions.  For instance, based on this description of Volo, I could see where he would always carry a few Potions of Invisibility and perhaps a scroll of Dimension Door on his person at all times.
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Volothamp Geddarm
Volo (Chaotic Good, Human Male, Wizard 5th level). A roguish magician known for his neatly trimmed beard, stylish beret and acid tongue, Volo is a feature throughout the Realms – a brief feature, since his honesty in reporting often puts him at odds with the local merchants, constabulatory, and wizards. He has written a number of works, including a popular series of guides to various cities and Volo’s Guide to All Things Magical, a suppressed work dealing with magic “for the common people.” Volo is an eminent sage who concerns himself with wizards and with the geography and lore of the Realms.
Eminent indeed! - Elminster
As a result, he is a fountain of knowledge on subjects and more than willing to share the juiciest portions with whomever will listen. As a result, Volo must move around a lot in order to stay alive, which adds to his storehouse of information on geography, Heroes may find Volo anywhere in the Realms, usually on the run from this irate wizard or that angry innkeeper.
The price of fame, or infamy? - Elminster


On a related note:
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ToSC StringRef 6493:

[Note for Daveaorn 3]Davaeorn,
As you have probably heard, the iron poison has begun to take affect around the coast.  With the majority of iron imports being disrupted by Tazok, almost all of it comes from the tainted source in Nashkel.  The Sythillisian uprising in Amn has ensured that no forces from that nation will be able to take action against our mercenary forces.  However, the Flaming Fist has caught several of the Black Talon mercenaries.  All of those captured have claimed allegiance with the Zhentarim and have thus shifted any suspicion away from the Iron Throne.  I have sent Tranzig to work with the mercenaries in transporting the iron to your base in Cloakwood.  He has brought several bags of holding so that he, alone, will make trips into Cloakwood, thereby lessening the chance that Flaming Fist trackers might find your stronghold.

Rieltar.         
Elient, 1370
I have always been of the opinion Tranzig should have a Bag of Holding.  In my earliest days of playing Baldur's Gate, I even spent a couple of RL days wandering around the Cloakwood maps looking for a guy carrying bags of holding full of ore!  :)
"Ok, I've just about had my FILL of riddle asking, quest assigning, insult throwing, pun hurling, hostage taking, iron mongering, smart-arsed fools, freaks, and felons that continually test my will, mettle, strength, intelligence, and most of all, patience! If you've got a straight answer ANYWHERE in that bent little head of yours, I want to hear it pretty damn quick or I'm going to take a large blunt object roughly the size of Elminster AND his hat, and stuff it lengthwise into a crevice of your being so seldom seen that even the denizens of the nine hells themselves wouldn't touch it with a twenty-foot rusty halberd! Have I MADE myself perfectly CLEAR?!"
-- <CHARNAME> to Portalbendarwinden

Offline Sam.

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Re: [suggested component] Characters should get missing equipment
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2015, 11:55:30 AM »
I can already foresee the coming objection that the PC has no business having access to such powerful magical items in BG1.  First, stop and consider that these are some of the most powerful and influential individuals of the Sword Coast, several of whom are favored by gods.  It makes sense that they would also possess some of the most powerful magic items and spells around.  Secondly, killing any of these characters for their equipment is not a task taken lightly.  Not only would each death be a huge hit to your reputation, but there are other considerations as well.  Killing Taerom or Thalantyr would result is losing access to their stores (two of the best in the game).  On top of that, these characters make for some of the toughest opponents in the game.  Drizzt is hands down the toughest melee fighter you will encounter (assuming you don't cheat), and Ulraunt starts throwing around 4th level spells, has an AC of -20, is immune to magic, has 932 HP!
"Ok, I've just about had my FILL of riddle asking, quest assigning, insult throwing, pun hurling, hostage taking, iron mongering, smart-arsed fools, freaks, and felons that continually test my will, mettle, strength, intelligence, and most of all, patience! If you've got a straight answer ANYWHERE in that bent little head of yours, I want to hear it pretty damn quick or I'm going to take a large blunt object roughly the size of Elminster AND his hat, and stuff it lengthwise into a crevice of your being so seldom seen that even the denizens of the nine hells themselves wouldn't touch it with a twenty-foot rusty halberd! Have I MADE myself perfectly CLEAR?!"
-- <CHARNAME> to Portalbendarwinden

Offline Echon

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Re: [suggested component] Characters should get missing equipment
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2015, 01:01:48 PM »
Will this component do anything other than adding items to the game that will skew the game balance? Players will find ways to beat these characters and loot them. If not killed, it does not really matter whether they have these items or not.

Offline Tash

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Re: [suggested component] Characters should get missing equipment
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2015, 02:28:44 PM »
It's what one could call the Final Fantasy paradox: the most difficult enemies in the series have the best loot, but at the same time, they're not the final bosses. If one sticks to the traditional idea of collecting items, all that loot is supposed to help the player in the end-game. And that's the problem! If the player can beat enemies tougher than the final boss, why even bother? Or, "If I have beaten the most powerful monsters without the ultimate loot, should I even keep playing to the end? Isn't that basically it, strictly gameplay- and challenge-wise?"

I like Sam.'s ideas. Sam., I hope I understand you correctly: all those suggested items would have collector's value, am I right? There would be a challenge factor, yes, but it doesn't matter how the player acquires these -- it's up to the player -- as the items themselves are there for immersion and attention to detail. There are certain aspects of the game which suggest that the designers really tried to provide those two core-elements, but lacked the time.

In other words, just because Taerom has the best staff in the game, doesn't mean I must gank him at his workshop and loot it. I honestly believe the sheer knowledge of him having the item is what matters to you, Sam., and a number of other BG1 players. Or maybe we're just obsessive-compulsive about these kinds of things.  ;D

Offline Cahir

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Re: [suggested component] Characters should get missing equipment
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2015, 06:17:12 PM »
The paradox here is that as I like Sam's idea and share Echon's concerns at the same time. As a FR lore freak I'd love to see those items in game for the sole immersion value it could add to the game. There's a lot of canon stuff you could add to the game as for example Duke Eltan has a tons of serious magic items, like a sentient sword named Roan. If someone decide to add Sam's ideas to the mod I could search my FR books to find what magic items are in possession of NPC's that are in game. I'm pretty sure that most (if not all) of information pointed out by Sam from is taken from 2nd ed. Volo's Guide to the Sword Coast lorebook by whoever wrote BG manual.

Anyway let me know if you want me to dig it out.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2015, 06:20:33 PM by Cahir »

Offline Almateria

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Re: [suggested component] Characters should get missing equipment
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2015, 04:31:06 AM »
This really doesn't sound like a task for UB.

Also, if the manual was canon, we'd have to fuck up like half of the spells.

Offline AstroBryGuy

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Re: [suggested component] Characters should get missing equipment
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2015, 03:53:23 PM »
Perhaps I'm just cynical, but I don't see the "immersion value" (for example) of Taerom just *having* his staff. He wouldn't be carrying it if he's working (he'd have a hammer or some other blacksmith tool), and a 12 foot staff is not something you just strap to your back and walk around with (talk about breaking immersion - Taerom carrying a 12 foot staff around inside his shop - he must have ceilings at least 15 feet tall!). So, the staff would be in a container in his shop. Where's the immersion? The "value" from such a mod would be in getting the items for CHARNAME & Co., i.e., killing Taerom, Thalantyr, etc.. for their items (or stealing them, but how do you pickpocket a 12 foot staff?)

Also, there's nothing in Volo's Guide to the Sword Coast about Taerom's staff being magical.

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He keeps to himself, working at his forge, but can slay orcs with a single blow of his 12-foot-long iron staff, which does 3d4 points of damage plus his Strength bonuses.

And in Volo's Guide, he's a first level fighter, which is consistent with Taerom's CRE (20 THAC0, 1st level fighter saves, 4 weapon proficiencies, 1 Lore, etc..). They changed orcs to gnolls for the BG1 guide since orcs weren't in the game. So, Taerom's staff should just be a mundane staff that does 3d4 damage due to its weight/size.

Offline Tash

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Re: [suggested component] Characters should get missing equipment
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2015, 04:37:18 PM »
And how do all your characters carry a dozen weapons, 1000s of arrows, 100s of potions etc. without even a trace of a backpack? You're talking realism, AstroBryGuy. And that's quite a rare commodity in the game, isn't it? There's a level of acceptable ridiculosity, which varies from person to person, but it's usually there.

Anyways, your argument is solid, but that's just Taerom. What about the other famous & unique?
« Last Edit: September 12, 2015, 04:39:07 PM by Tash »

Offline AstroBryGuy

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Re: [suggested component] Characters should get missing equipment
« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2015, 11:49:39 PM »
Point taken about the lack of realism. ;)

On the other hand, I still don't see the value of the NPCs just having these items. I think Echon is right. The items are OP for BG1, and adding them just encourages trying to kill these NPCs. If you don't loot the items, what difference do they make?

After all, look at all the "guides" on the net on how to abuse the AI to kill Drizzt and take his stuff.

Offline Tash

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Re: [suggested component] Characters should get missing equipment
« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2015, 04:21:00 AM »
The items are OP for BG1, and adding them just encourages trying to kill these NPCs. If you don't loot the items, what difference do they make?
Yeah, you're right, of course. Someone would have to spend a lot of time balancing them, so that it's not Final Fantasy.

After all, look at all the "guides" on the net on how to abuse the AI to kill Drizzt and take his stuff.
Cheaters! 8)

That's true, but if the items are BG1-balanced and the fights challenging, it would turn out OK. Personally, I'm not going to loot guys like Thalantyr -- I just want to see the blackened staff in his hands. I can imagine Ulraunt holding some kind of a shimmering staff. Cosmetic differences, I know, but soo cool!

Sadly, I don't think a panther in the original BG1 is possible, so BGT/TuTu-only. Unless... a standard kitty anim with darker palette! ;D Go Panthie! Meow! But anyhow, I'd agree on this one: a cool summonable beast is too tempting, and would need more intricate mechanism to work in a non-OP way. I'd skip that one.

Offline Cahir

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Re: [suggested component] Characters should get missing equipment
« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2015, 04:40:51 AM »
I've been thinking if all this would be a good idea for a EET mod. One of the goals of EET is open the world for modders to create a new high-level stuff for BG1 areas where you can come back at any time of your Trilogy run. What could be indeed OP for a BG1 part of the run would not necessarily be OP when you come back to the old NPC's after let's say Spellhold or Underdark.

Offline Sam.

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Re: [suggested component] Characters should get missing equipment
« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2015, 09:07:01 PM »
Sorry it has taken me so long to respond, but I have been busy and the sheer volume of stuff to respond to was a bit daunting…  So anyway, here goes:

Will this component do anything other than adding items to the game that will skew the game balance? Players will find ways to beat these characters and loot them.
No.  Are you implying that every quest mod or mod that adds any items or XP to the game should drastically overhaul all subsequent battles to make them proportionally harder?  If so, then I'm not sure there is a single "balanced" quest or item mod out there, including UB...  EDIT:  My initial thought was no, but I can see where you could add characters' reactions to noticing you using their stolen equipment if you managed to get it without killing them, or Elminster taking a Harper's Pin away from you if you killed someone for one.

If not killed, it does not really matter whether they have these items or not.
On the contrary, the Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale games (including characters, items, storylines, timelines, significant events, locations, political powers, etc.) exist within a (mostly) consistent and contiguous universe that is Forgotten Realms.  My belief is that the original game developers strove to fit the events and characters of their games into the greater Forgotten Realms universe in as synchronous and canon a way as was feasible to implement based on limited resources and time.  It is my belief that the descriptions of these notable characters and the mention of their equipment (found in the BG1 Manual) is an indication of the original game developers' intent to adhere to the established "lore" and precedence already established in the Realms.

It's what one could call the Final Fantasy paradox: the most difficult enemies in the series have the best loot, but at the same time, they're not the final bosses. If one sticks to the traditional idea of collecting items, all that loot is supposed to help the player in the end-game. And that's the problem! If the player can beat enemies tougher than the final boss, why even bother? Or, "If I have beaten the most powerful monsters without the ultimate loot, should I even keep playing to the end? Isn't that basically it, strictly gameplay- and challenge-wise?"
If I were suggesting adding these items to main "boss-level" enemies that the plot forced you to encounter and defeat, then I would agree this would be a very valid concern.  However, you are not forced into any such confrontation with Taerom, Thalantyr, Ulraunt, etc.  Instead, these are "background" characters that the PC would NOT normally kill.  In fact, killing them for their equipment comes at a cost (unlike any said "boss-level enemies/'bad guys'") of, for example, losing access to their stores AND any powerful or unique equipment you have not yet bought from them, AND a considerable amount of reputation, AND potentially making everyone in the area hostile toward you.  Furthermore, giving these characters their equipment both adds a layer of depth to the game and to these characters, and helps them and the game in general fit more smoothly into the Forgotten Realms universe, as discussed above.

Sam., I hope I understand you correctly: all those suggested items would have collector's value, am I right? There would be a challenge factor, yes, but it doesn't matter how the player acquires these -- it's up to the player -- as the items themselves are there for immersion and attention to detail. There are certain aspects of the game which suggest that the designers really tried to provide those two core-elements, but lacked the time.
Agreed.

In other words, just because Taerom has the best staff in the game, doesn't mean I must gank him at his workshop and loot it. I honestly believe the sheer knowledge of him having the item is what matters to you, Sam., and a number of other BG1 players. Or maybe we're just obsessive-compulsive about these kinds of things.  ;D
Personally, I'm not likely to kill Taerom or Thalantyr for their equipment.  What matters to me is that for the game to fit into the Forgotten Realms universe, these characters should have their canon equipment.  This gives players the option to try to defeat them for their equipment.  Just because you can doesn't mean you have to, but options are important and add depth and replay-ability to the game.

The paradox here is that as I like Sam's idea and share Echon's concerns at the same time. As a FR lore freak I'd love to see those items in game for the sole immersion value it could add to the game. There's a lot of canon stuff you could add to the game as for example Duke Eltan has a tons of serious magic items, like a sentient sword named Roan. If someone decide to add Sam's ideas to the mod I could search my FR books to find what magic items are in possession of NPC's that are in game. I'm pretty sure that most (if not all) of information pointed out by Sam from is taken from 2nd ed. Volo's Guide to the Sword Coast lorebook by whoever wrote BG manual.

Anyway let me know if you want me to dig it out.
If UBs authors decide not to include my suggestion in their mod, I think this would make a great mod all its own.

Also, if the manual was canon, we'd have to fuck up like half of the spells.
My guess would be that the game developers and writers wrote the Manual and then had to go back and tweak/update/improve the spells, but ran out of time or money to update the Manual accordingly.  Conversely, I don't think they would have included the descriptions about these characters' equipment in the Manual if they didn't intent to incorporate it into the game, but obviously they never got around to it (for whatever reason, my guess being time and money).

Perhaps I'm just cynical, but I don't see the "immersion value" (for example) of Taerom just *having* his staff. He wouldn't be carrying it if he's working (he'd have a hammer or some other blacksmith tool), and a 12 foot staff is not something you just strap to your back and walk around with (talk about breaking immersion - Taerom carrying a 12 foot staff around inside his shop - he must have ceilings at least 15 feet tall!). So, the staff would be in a container in his shop. Where's the immersion? The "value" from such a mod would be in getting the items for CHARNAME & Co., i.e., killing Taerom, Thalantyr, etc.. for their items (or stealing them, but how do you pickpocket a 12 foot staff?)
Point taken about the size of his staff, but I could see him hanging it on the wall of his shop while he's working.  There's something to be said for the intimidation factor (against potential thieves) of a nearly 7 foot tall, active, burly giant of a man wielding a famed 12 foot iron staff that he keeps within easy reach.

On the other hand, I still don't see the value of the NPCs just having these items. I think Echon is right. The items are OP for BG1, and adding them just encourages trying to kill these NPCs. If you don't loot the items, what difference do they make?
What's the point of the Demonknight on the 1st level of Durlag's Tower having a Helmet of Opposite Alignment or Winski Perorate in the Duchal Palace having a Ring of Wizardry or being able to acquire The Vampire's Revenge from Ulcaster?  My opinion is that it adds a level of intricacy, depth, challenge, and replayability for players that have already found and seen and done and tried everything else.  And because it's just plain cool!
"Ok, I've just about had my FILL of riddle asking, quest assigning, insult throwing, pun hurling, hostage taking, iron mongering, smart-arsed fools, freaks, and felons that continually test my will, mettle, strength, intelligence, and most of all, patience! If you've got a straight answer ANYWHERE in that bent little head of yours, I want to hear it pretty damn quick or I'm going to take a large blunt object roughly the size of Elminster AND his hat, and stuff it lengthwise into a crevice of your being so seldom seen that even the denizens of the nine hells themselves wouldn't touch it with a twenty-foot rusty halberd! Have I MADE myself perfectly CLEAR?!"
-- <CHARNAME> to Portalbendarwinden

Offline Cahir

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Re: [suggested component] Characters should get missing equipment
« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2015, 11:59:56 PM »
Sam, since you seem to put a lot of value to the FR lore you may want to follow this mod more closely: https://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/37704/the-eve-of-war-work-in-progress/p1. I find it super cool and can't wait for it.

Offline Echon

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Re: [suggested component] Characters should get missing equipment
« Reply #13 on: September 22, 2015, 02:21:33 AM »
Will this component do anything other than adding items to the game that will skew the game balance? Players will find ways to beat these characters and loot them.
No.  Are you implying that every quest mod or mod that adds any items or XP to the game should drastically overhaul all subsequent battles to make them proportionally harder?  If so, then I'm not sure there is a single "balanced" quest or item mod out there, including UB...  EDIT:  My initial thought was no, but I can see where you could add characters' reactions to noticing you using their stolen equipment if you managed to get it without killing them, or Elminster taking a Harper's Pin away from you if you killed someone for one.

No, I am not. Rather, I am "implying" that most mods out there do not add a load of items to the game that should only belong to high-level characters. This is BG2 equipment.

Quote
If not killed, it does not really matter whether they have these items or not.
On the contrary, the Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale games (including characters, items, storylines, timelines, significant events, locations, political powers, etc.) exist within a (mostly) consistent and contiguous universe that is Forgotten Realms.  My belief is that the original game developers strove to fit the events and characters of their games into the greater Forgotten Realms universe in as synchronous and canon a way as was feasible to implement based on limited resources and time.  It is my belief that the descriptions of these notable characters and the mention of their equipment (found in the BG1 Manual) is an indication of the original game developers' intent to adhere to the established "lore" and precedence already established in the Realms.

I guess that is one way to interpret the manual. Personally I believe they deliberately kept these items out of the game to avoid the hassle of players ruining the balance. Elminster cannot be killed by the players, probably for a reason.

I am all for lore in games like this, but powerful items are not what makes these characters come alive. Their dialogues are. Expand on those if you want to increase the flavour of the game.

Offline Almateria

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Re: [suggested component] Characters should get missing equipment
« Reply #14 on: September 22, 2015, 04:24:23 AM »
Quote
Conversely, I don't think they would have included the descriptions about these characters' equipment in the Manual if they didn't intent to incorporate it into the game, but obviously they never got around to it (for whatever reason, my guess being time and money).
Those are items. Farting out a staff with a death v. gnolls effect is literally five minutes of work, and most of it is writing a backstory. It seems highly unlikely that they'd have no time.

Also, to recap, this is the staff you want to put in the literal third area available:
Quote
Equipped abilities:
– Armor Class: +2
– Saving Throws: +2

Charge abilities:
– Globe of Invulnerability
  Special: Immunity to 1st- through 4th-level spells
  Duration: 1 round/level
  Area of Effect: The user

– Lightning Bolt of Paralyzation
  Damage: 10d6 electrical to all in its path (Save vs. Spell for half)
  Special: Stuns target for 5 rounds
  Range: 100 ft.

THAC0: +2
Damage: 1d6+2 (crushing)
Speed Factor: 1

Offline Tash

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Re: [suggested component] Characters should get missing equipment
« Reply #15 on: September 23, 2015, 07:40:49 AM »
Those are items. Farting out a staff with a death v. gnolls effect is literally five minutes of work, and most of it is writing a backstory. It seems highly unlikely that they'd have no time.
Come on, Almateria. How long did it take you to work on your mod? It's not that they didn't have time to do that single item -- it's 100s of little stuff like items, spells or sound effects that add up to considerable amount of work. Who cares about the little stuff when it's the deadline and you still have critical bugs to fix? Priorities.


Quote
Also, to recap, this is the staff you want to put in the literal third area available: (...)
Maybe I'm wrong, but I get the impression that the items in question are intended to be balanced to match the available equipment; so that they are similar in damage output, perhaps offer a semi-useful ability just for kicks, but are "blink blink" at the same time! Cosmetic effects and some cool backstory simply to provide alternatives to the existing weapons.

Offline AstroBryGuy

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Re: [suggested component] Characters should get missing equipment
« Reply #16 on: September 23, 2015, 10:38:19 PM »
Maybe I'm wrong, but I get the impression that the items in question are intended to be balanced to match the available equipment; so that they are similar in damage output, perhaps offer a semi-useful ability just for kicks, but are "blink blink" at the same time! Cosmetic effects and some cool backstory simply to provide alternatives to the existing weapons.

Nothing in the original suggestion says that. Sam explicitly called for using STAF11 and STAF12 from BG2 for Ulraunt's and Thalantyr's staffs (i.e., the Staff of the Magi and Staff of Power), not low-power versions of those items. He even later said they "should have their canon equipment." That would mean BG2-power level items in BG1.

Quote from: Sam
My guess would be that the game developers and writers wrote the Manual and then had to go back and tweak/update/improve the spells, but ran out of time or money to update the Manual accordingly.  Conversely, I don't think they would have included the descriptions about these characters' equipment in the Manual if they didn't intent to incorporate it into the game, but obviously they never got around to it (for whatever reason, my guess being time and money).

The descriptions of the notable characters are simply copy-pasted from "Volo's Guide to the Sword Coast" which was published in 1994 (http://forgottenrealms.wikia.com/wiki/Volo's_Guide_to_the_Sword_Coast). Aside from a couple tweaks, like replacing "orcs" with "gnolls" in the description of Taerom's staff, it's pretty much copied word-for-word - including Elminster's comments. I don't see this as proof of the Bioware's intent to implement items like Ulraunt's Staff of the Magi in BG1. They were just using existing text from TSR to help complete the BG1 manual quickly.

Offline Sam.

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Re: [suggested component] Characters should get missing equipment
« Reply #17 on: October 01, 2015, 11:30:21 AM »
Maybe I'm wrong, but I get the impression that the items in question are intended to be balanced to match the available equipment; so that they are similar in damage output, perhaps offer a semi-useful ability just for kicks, but are "blink blink" at the same time! Cosmetic effects and some cool backstory simply to provide alternatives to the existing weapons.

Nothing in the original suggestion says that. Sam explicitly called for using STAF11 and STAF12 from BG2 for Ulraunt's and Thalantyr's staffs (i.e., the Staff of the Magi and Staff of Power), not low-power versions of those items. He even later said they "should have their canon equipment." That would mean BG2-power level items in BG1.
AstroBryGuy is correct in that my preference is to give these characters their canon, non-watered-down equipment.  However, just because that was my original suggestion doesn't mean that is the only option here.  If this ship has already sunk (and there is no interest in including this in UB in any form), please just explicitly call it so I know to quit bailing.  Otherwise, I can think of several different implementation options for each item in my OP:

1)   Add the item in its canon, non-watered-down form to its owner, and if a player has no interest in this added content or is worried that these items would break the balance of the game, they may simply A) not install this particular component, or (in this case) B) not kill characters that were not intended to be killed in the first place for items that he/she don't want.  [This does not seem like a popular option.]
2)   Add a BG1-balanced version of the item to its owner, and provide a mechanism for unlocking its full power later in BGT/TuTu/BGEET games.  [more on this below]
3)   Only add the BG-1 balanced version of the item to its owner.
4)   Add an undroppable and unstealable version of the item to its owner, primarily for the aesthetic value.
5)   Do nothing.

[below]
The description for the BG-1 balanced version of the item could contain a line or too that says how the staff hums slightly when held in your hand, almost as if even greater power is held within, but that you are unable to fully access it.  It must be either keyed to a specific user, or require a word of power that cannot be discerned using normal magical means.  So as not to stray too far from UB's intent, any mechanism to unlock the full power of the item should be easily implemented and require little maintenance.  My thought was to add a one-time wish to the Limited Wish spell.  You could have Dao "unlock the full power of one of my magic items".  If the caster's stats fall below whatever minimum requirements, they receive an unfavorable interpretation of the wish, causing the "full power" to be "unlocked" in a magical explosion equivalent to breaking the staff and having all the charges go off simultaneously (directed at the caster) and the item being destroyed.  Otherwise the BG-1 balanced version of the item is replaced with the BG2 version.  This way, in order to get the high-level equipment, the player would have to defeat a very difficult opponent, suffer the reputation penalty, risk other people in the area turning hostile, lose access to any further quests/stores/services offered by that person, keep the item through the transition to BG2, play far enough into BG2 to acquire a Limited Wish scroll, either use up a high-level scroll or wait until they have a character capable of memorizing and casting a 7th level spell, and have high enough stats to receive a favorable interpretation of the wish.
"Ok, I've just about had my FILL of riddle asking, quest assigning, insult throwing, pun hurling, hostage taking, iron mongering, smart-arsed fools, freaks, and felons that continually test my will, mettle, strength, intelligence, and most of all, patience! If you've got a straight answer ANYWHERE in that bent little head of yours, I want to hear it pretty damn quick or I'm going to take a large blunt object roughly the size of Elminster AND his hat, and stuff it lengthwise into a crevice of your being so seldom seen that even the denizens of the nine hells themselves wouldn't touch it with a twenty-foot rusty halberd! Have I MADE myself perfectly CLEAR?!"
-- <CHARNAME> to Portalbendarwinden

 

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