Author Topic: Erroneous and ineffective creatures. v2  (Read 1372 times)

MAB77

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Erroneous and ineffective creatures. v2
« on: March 04, 2024, 11:28:16 PM »
V2 of Erroneous and ineffective creatures thread as the Old thread grew too large.

An important part of assuring balance throughout the mod is that the creatures we've set up actually work as intended. There's no better witness to this, however, than you, the players. And likely, there's no one who knows better when something isn't living up to the challenge it suggests. So I put forward this thread to encourage you all to post what lackings you encounter here, as well as suggestions to how we could make things better and the challenges more balances and interesting.

This could be things like creatures using spells redundantly or inefficiently, spells that even harm themselves - like undeads using healing - but also inefficient behavior or tactics.

It might seem as a bit of a paradox that you should help us making things harder for yourself, but in the end, it'll make the entire experience more balanced and even for all - and make the impact we want to give with this server stand clearer. So please post away... :)
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MAB

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SardineTheAncestor

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Re: Erroneous and ineffective creatures. v2
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2024, 12:53:11 AM »
Re: Quills being used after you are downed.

It's a glitch that you are being finished off immediately after being downed. You are supposed to resist all damage when creatures target you for a round or two after you go down as part of the new instakill prevention system. Maybe physical damage doesn't count. Quills would be an awkward standout considering how few manticores the server has.
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zDark Shadowz

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Re: Erroneous and ineffective creatures. v2
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2024, 02:25:23 PM »
I think loup garou, being a more powerful variation of "werewolf" could use some buffs.

While I can't find the source stat block for loup garou (lowland or mountain), a CR of 5 is listed on the Forgotten Realms wiki for 3e for *one* of these so it should take a party of four level 5s just to deal with one of them.

At the moment with four HD, the only thing stopping a level 2 beguiler from hunting packs of the lowlands reliably is their mild spell resistance- they can still get off a Sleep followed by Coup de Grace, allowing them to kill a cursed, regenerating, physically resistant muscle-bound beast with a neck snap rather than silver or enchanted weaponry.

So, please at the very least, increase their HD/Level by 1 or 2 for the lowland loup garou.

Additional suggestion:
Spoiler: show

I think lowland loup garou should be about as strong as the mountain loup garou is currently, and the mountain loup garou should be moved to be about as strong as a dire wolf pack leader with the lycanthropy template applied.

Add the Knockdown or Called Shot feat to them: the standard d20 srd for werewolf says they know "Trip".

Since werewolves don't show up in the outskirts anymore unless lured through transitions, they can afford to be a bit stronger so just one of them gives a group of level 5-6s actual pause for concern.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2024, 03:27:33 PM by zDark Shadowz »

zDark Shadowz

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Re: Erroneous and ineffective creatures. v2
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2024, 02:48:43 AM »
The "barbed tentacle" seems to be using the shifter version of manticore spikes instead of the monster version, they're able to deal a significant amount more spike damage.

Or, the stronger versions of the tentacles are using the weaker version of the spikes. Either way its inconsistent.

Moving this over to here from the minor bug reports, as it seems the wrong variation of spikes they use also harms their allied tentacles when used if they're nearby.

EO

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Re: Erroneous and ineffective creatures. v2
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2024, 08:49:00 AM »
The "barbed tentacle" seems to be using the shifter version of manticore spikes instead of the monster version, they're able to deal a significant amount more spike damage.

Or, the stronger versions of the tentacles are using the weaker version of the spikes. Either way its inconsistent.

Moving this over to here from the minor bug reports, as it seems the wrong variation of spikes they use also harms their allied tentacles when used if they're nearby.

I must have missed this last time but I'll fix those issues.

Niffie

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Re: Erroneous and ineffective creatures. v2
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2024, 01:28:24 PM »
No idea if this goes here. Feel free to direct me elsewhere if not!

I'm just wondering as to why Greater Werebears around lake Zarovich doesn't give experience to a lvl 11, while simultaneously being exceedingly more dangerous than certain other creatures in Barovia that still give xp to that level bracket. I assume they have typically high str like most bears in the game, and thus very high AB that even while fully buffed can make short work of me if I'm not careful and with haste.
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Wyldhunt

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Re: Erroneous and ineffective creatures. v2
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2024, 03:53:37 PM »
Ineffective Creatures: Every Animal Companion with Spot, Listen, Hide, and/or Move Silently. (And mostly familiars with those skills as well)

It occurred to me that familiars, animal companions, and dominated animals lack any AI to respond to their masters. The exception, of course, is when familiars are directly controlled.
Because the AI never does anything other than follow, stand ground, or attack, all of their skills that make use of stealth or detect become largely useless.

I discussed this on Discord, and the main argument against it was just that companions are primarily for RP so it doesn't matter.
I would argue that if I want to have my dire rat with me while I solo a cave full of undead, where my rat couldn't even use his sneak attack and will likely just die, that should be my decision. I sometimes make such decisions for RP.
But there is no reason why he couldn't at least try to be stealthy while he's there.

My suggestion is to have companions/familiars/dominated mimic what their master does. If their master is detecting, so are they. If their master is stealthed, so are they.
This is a quick and easy fix that would allow everyone with a pet to have some basic control over how their pet is acting.

To make it even quicker and easier for you, I'll leave the code block for it below.
You likely already have an AI code block for "if (GetMaster(OBJECT_SELF))". If so, you can probably just drop this in. If not, it can go in any of the NPC AI code that runs for pets.

Code: [Select]
    if (GetMaster(OBJECT_SELF) != OBJECT_INVALID) // We only care if we have a master
    {
        object oMaster = GetMaster(OBJECT_SELF);
        // If our master is stealthy, we try to be stealthy
        if (GetStealthMode(oMaster) && !GetStealthMode(OBJECT_SELF)) SetActionMode(OBJECT_SELF, ACTION_MODE_STEALTH, TRUE);
        // If our master enters combat, we want to keep our current status. This will increase our odds of using backstab (IE: Dire Rat). If we have a Hold Position command, we will hold and remain stealthy.
        // Otherwise, if our master is not stealthy, we stop being stealthy.
        else if (!GetIsInCombat(oMaster) && !GetStealthMode(oMaster) && GetStealthMode(OBJECT_SELF)) SetActionMode(OBJECT_SELF, ACTION_MODE_STEALTH, FALSE);
        // If our master is detecting, we try to detect.
        if (GetDetectMode(oMaster) && !GetDetectMode(OBJECT_SELF)) SetActionMode(OBJECT_SELF, ACTION_MODE_DETECT, TRUE);
        // If our master enters combat, we want to keep our current status. This will increase our odds of spotting stealthy ambushers.
        // Otherwise, if our master is not detecting, we stop detecting.
        else if (!GetIsInCombat(oMaster) && !GetDetectMode(oMaster) && GetDetectMode(OBJECT_SELF)) SetActionMode(OBJECT_SELF, ACTION_MODE_DETECT, FALSE);
    }

Checking for action modes is one of the quickest and least laggy things that the Aurora engine can do, and the action mode is only changed when it's actually needed.
This shouldn't cause any noticeable lag at all.

(Edited to make oMaster a variable to reduce checks to find the master)
« Last Edit: April 23, 2024, 07:12:40 PM by Wyldhunt »

UrielZarriah

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Re: Erroneous and ineffective creatures. v2
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2024, 02:38:21 PM »
Sullen woods strikes me as odd.

I correctly identifed the shadow fiends and greater shadow fiends there today, and got a description about them being from the lower planes.

To that end I would suggest a slight rebrand.

From Shadow to Greater Shadow Fiend.

Into Shadow, followed by either, a flavorful name, or one related to the essence found within the creature.

For the flavorful names, I would suggest something like, "Greater Shadow, Deep Shadow, Gloaming Shadow"

I understand this might be minor. But for someone looking at it from an outside perspective. It would be REALLY easy to assume the creatures known as shadow fiends are outsiders, after doing some research.

I would just keep the description the same as the default shadow.

zDark Shadowz

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Re: Erroneous and ineffective creatures. v2
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2024, 03:25:28 PM »
Shadow Fiends *are* meant to be outsiders, but the Sullen Woods use the incorrect NWN undead application.

The Shadow Fiend & Greater Shadow Fiend found there and elsewhere should be swapped to the Shadow Demon outsiders, which we also have, and discontinued.

At the moment we have two creatures from the same d&d origin with different racial types.

I will miss watching clerics in NCE grinding their levels out there though.

Legebrin

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Re: Erroneous and ineffective creatures. v2
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2024, 12:09:29 PM »
Is there any reason why ghastrian church spectres do not use any greater dispels? Them poor creatures cant stand against the adventurers.