Author Topic: The dice are heavily loaded  (Read 2685 times)

Offline PetrusOctavianus

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The dice are heavily loaded
« on: May 16, 2013, 02:01:04 PM »
It's amazing how often a Cure Light Wounds only cures 1 HP.
But even more amazing are the dice rolls when dealing with magic resistance. Even with a measly 10-15% resistance you can bet the spells hits less than half your targets.
I'm currently facing some lvl 4 "goblyns" with 1% magic resistance (edited down from original 10%) and even then 3 of 8 targets evade the Fireball cast by my lvl 5 mage!!! Un-bleeping-believable!

I've made it a habit to always reload if a Cure Light Wounds only give 1 HP (that's a lot of reloading), but now I think I'm gonna just edit down all magic resistance from modified monsters, at least from low life with fewer HD than my own mage.

Offline Ray

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Re: The dice are heavily loaded
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2013, 07:42:49 PM »

I've noticed this, too.  This is what I think is the cause:

I'm pretty sure that FRUA--and all the Gold Box games--use the 1E Magic Resistance rules that state that Magic Resistance is based off of an 11th level caster.  For every level the caster is below 11th, Magic Resistance improves by 5%, and for every level above it is decreased by 5%.  That's why your high-level wizard blasts through drow MR so much more easily at the end of a Gold Box game as compared to the same drow at the beginning.

Mind you, this isn't based on any look at the inner workings of the game.  I'm just going off of the old rules and lots and lots of game play...


Offline PetrusOctavianus

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Re: The dice are heavily loaded
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2013, 01:36:24 PM »
Hmm...so that is how it works?
I thought the bonus applied only if the monsters were higher level than your caster.
But I guess it makes sense, then, even though it's annoying that those punks resist spells so easily, especially when the punks only take half damage from weapons and have that annoying "fear" aura that every party member have to check against for each monster. For some reason it's much more satisfying to do full damage against a 40 HP monster than chipping away at a 20 HP monster...

Offline Ray

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Re: The dice are heavily loaded
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2013, 01:59:21 PM »

TOTALLY agree!

My least favorite monsters in FRUA are drow (insane Magic Resistance) and rakshasa (INSANE Magic Resistance AND half-damage from almost every weapon).

Rakashasae are so much fun in pen & paper D&D, but they're just a nightmare slugfest in FRUA.  Maybe we need someone to design a great rakshasa adventure, so the slugfest feels like a payoff, rather than a grind...  ;)



Offline PetrusOctavianus

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Re: The dice are heavily loaded
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2013, 04:22:49 PM »
Heh, I made a thread just about Drows and how some module authors seem to underestimate just how high up on the food chain they really are.
Funnily enough, the only module I've played where the Rakshasha were misplaced was the scenario that came with FRUA. That was a very mediocre module indeed, and one that I didn't finish.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2013, 04:30:39 PM by PetrusOctavianus »

Offline PetrusOctavianus

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Re: The dice are heavily loaded
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2013, 12:38:36 PM »
I get the impression that the monsters have a global bonus of +2 or something to their initiative rolls.

Offline PetrusOctavianus

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Re: The dice are heavily loaded
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2013, 10:45:32 AM »
The more I play FRUA the more I'm convinced the dice are loaded. I'm currently playing The Devil You Know and my non-immnune characters constantly get Charmed by Charm Person spells, even though they are lvl 18 and should have max Saving Throws. Several times a battle have opened with two of my best fighters getting charmed by two consecutive Charm Person. What are the bleeping odds of that happening???

Offline steve_mcdee

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Re: The dice are heavily loaded
« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2013, 05:13:33 PM »
I'm not sure whether it is a case of "loading" the dice, or whether it is just that FRUA applies entirely wrong formulae to some situations.

Offline PetrusOctavianus

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Re: The dice are heavily loaded
« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2013, 10:42:20 PM »
I'm not sure whether it is a case of "loading" the dice, or whether it is just that FRUA applies entirely wrong formulae to some situations.

The weird thing is that the only time I felt the same when playing the Gold Box games was when I replayed Curse of the Azure Bonds some years ago, and I couldn't understand how the lowly Otyughs could hit with "every" attack. Only recently did I learn (from an old article in Computer Gaming World) that the party got penalties and/or the monsters got bonuses in the Tilverton sewers. So I wasn't imagining it.
In contrast, when playing the final battles of Pools of Radiance I could partially ignore the Pet's of Kallistes, since I knew that their Disintegrate spells would only have 1/20 chance of succeeding.

Offline Amarande

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Re: The dice are heavily loaded
« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2014, 09:30:36 PM »
The dice at least definitely seem to be loaded. Some of it's limited sample size, but it's enough to make one suspicious ...

Bad rolls for healing? Check.

Enemies seem to be favoured for saving throws? Check, I can't count how many times in Treasures I would have a Hold spell triple-whiff while I would bite my nails every time an enemy got such a spell off because it seemed they'd succeed at least half the time ... and I don't think the enemies have better saves than my characters (pretty sure the character class enemies in Gold Box games always fall within the same level limits as you, except perhaps for Vaalgamon from Gateway, what the heck is his level anyway?).

Initiative rolls ... are another thing. I swear the enemies cheat at these, judging by every fight I had with Blackrobed folks in Treasures. I don't think I got initiative on a single fight, making them all quite extreme nail biters since the Mages would always open with Hold Monsters, which (see above) seemed to have also a preternaturally high success rate compared to my own Hold spells. And that with the entire party having Dex 18, mind you. It does seem that Dexterity has some benefit, as the Spies seemed to be (thankfully ... Slay Living is practically the only thing in Treasures that's more irritating than Hold Monsters :P) significantly slower to act than the Mages and Masters, consistent with their Dex - based on their AC and gear, it appears Mages and Masters both have 18 Dex, while the Spies had 16 (I think ... I forget offhand if they were AC -3 or -4 now, in the latter case it's still only 17). But still, enemies with Dex 18 seemed to go first significantly more often than characters with the same score.

Another thing in that regard with action order seems to be spells - it looks like a random factor of some sort applies to casting time in Gold Box (at least it seems that way since sometimes you go straight from "Begins Casting" to "Casts a Spell" without any actions intervening, while other times you have to wait), and it seems like the enemies get instacast way too often too (I fairly often saw Hosttower sorceresses get their damage spell off before mine, even though I started casting first ...).

Offline Ishad Nha

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Re: The dice are heavily loaded
« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2014, 06:12:33 AM »
You might be able to decrypt the monster data records, after you expand them with DaxDump.
A lot has been done to decrypt the GB games in this forum.

Offline PetrusOctavianus

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Re: The dice are heavily loaded
« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2014, 06:01:44 PM »
Amarande, my experience is that there's no cheating in the Gold Box games, only in FRUA.
I'm pretty sure those Blackrobed guys in Treasure have 18 Dex, so they should have an equal chance of gaining initiative as your own 18 Dex guys. I also saw a Let's Play by "DosBoxMom" of Treasure of the last fight on YouTube and DosBoxMom would just ignore the spell casters while all their Hold spells failed. So maybe there is some overall modifier for single battles in the GB games, and you got unlucky while DosBoxMom got lucky? While I myself when I played that battle felt I played on even terms.

In FRUA however, it is my experience that half the monsters with Dex 10 will move before many of my 16-18 Dex guys in a fight. In the GB games I could be pretty sure that my 16-18 Dex guys would move before 90% of the 10 Dex monsters.

Offline PetrusOctavianus

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Re: The dice are heavily loaded
« Reply #12 on: August 15, 2014, 08:40:35 PM »
The dice at least definitely seem to be loaded. Some of it's limited sample size, but it's enough to make one suspicious ...

Bad rolls for healing? Check.

Enemies seem to be favoured for saving throws? Check, I can't count how many times in Treasures I would have a Hold spell triple-whiff while I would bite my nails every time an enemy got such a spell off because it seemed they'd succeed at least half the time ... and I don't think the enemies have better saves than my characters (pretty sure the character class enemies in Gold Box games always fall within the same level limits as you, except perhaps for Vaalgamon from Gateway, what the heck is his level anyway?).

Initiative rolls ... are another thing. I swear the enemies cheat at these, judging by every fight I had with Blackrobed folks in Treasures. I don't think I got initiative on a single fight, making them all quite extreme nail biters since the Mages would always open with Hold Monsters, which (see above) seemed to have also a preternaturally high success rate compared to my own Hold spells. And that with the entire party having Dex 18, mind you. It does seem that Dexterity has some benefit, as the Spies seemed to be (thankfully ... Slay Living is practically the only thing in Treasures that's more irritating than Hold Monsters :P) significantly slower to act than the Mages and Masters, consistent with their Dex - based on their AC and gear, it appears Mages and Masters both have 18 Dex, while the Spies had 16 (I think ... I forget offhand if they were AC -3 or -4 now, in the latter case it's still only 17). But still, enemies with Dex 18 seemed to go first significantly more often than characters with the same score.

I've checked on my own impressions of the game, and it seems I had some problems with those Blackrobed guys after all. This is what I wrote on another forum:

Quote
Too bad one has to resort to meta gaming and cheating because of faulty design/programing [Dispel Magic doesn't cure Hold spells in Treasures] combined with 20 enemies spamming Hold spells on you. And even with all my characters having Belts, Cloaks and Rings of Protection +2, which should give a combined +6 bonus to all saving throws, they usually get held by the first spell thrown their way.

Heh, Freezefire went down in six swings. Funnily enough with his -8 AC he was much easier to hit than those pesky Blackrobed Mages and Spies with -4 AC. The Blackrobed ones always seemed to get at least a +5 to all their rolls. Even Hasted archers and Enlarged and Hasted fighters had problems hitting them. My Paladin ended up using a measly Wand of Magic Missiles to make sure of interrupting the bastards' spell casting.