Author Topic: Damage Types  (Read 2061 times)

Offline Iranon

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Damage Types
« on: May 30, 2009, 12:36:07 AM »
I hope this isn't generally known already... otherwise untold acts of cruelty to genetically engineered lab goblins will have been for nothing.

Fiddling around with D.J. Morton's excellent spell editor, I noticed that damage types were a little more complex than assumed. Damage type 11, listed as 'mundane' gave no message but fire resistance worked just fine against it. CkitForm contained the same erronous information. Time for some testing...

*

After zapping dozens of goblins with various resistances with several homebrewed spells, I found that rather than set damage types the number checks for several different flags. Simply add the following to reach the desired effect:

1 for fire
2 for cold
4 for electricity
8 for magic
32 for a breath attack
64 for a death effect
128 for poison


So the missing 11 between the common damage types is anything but mundane... it's magical cold fire (1+2+8). Spiffy enough for me!
I suppose 16 also does something, but I have been unable to find out what, despite extensive testing.

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The elements will make the spell obey appropriate resistances/vulnerabilities/immunities and give the appropriate damage message if there is no conflict. Checking several will give an unlisted damage type, but any immunities still work as supposed. Magic + Element will give the appropriate elemental message... in fact the elemental damages we're familiar with are flagged as magical.

If the flag for magic is not set, the spell will ignore magic resistance. Although I'm not sure there are spells that are supposed to work like that in 1st/2nd edition, this would make them a potent tool against the likes of beholders or drow. Other defenses - like Globes of Invulnerability or Rakshasa MR - still work as normal.
So, anyone who wants a source of nonmagical fire - say, from a flask of oil - should use a damage type of 1 rather than the usual 9 for fire.

If the flag for death is set, creatures immune to death effects (next to confusion, poison and vorpal blade immunity in the monster editor) will take no damage. In my opinion, spells like Slay Living or the Cause Wounds series should have this set (damage type 72 rather than 8) to conform more closely to D&D rules.

If the flag for poison is set, creatures ticked as immune to poison in the same section will be unaffected; the immune to poison/paralysis special ability will not help. I'm not sure whether green dragon breath should have this property as chlorine is also corrosive; in the unhacked game it doesn't.

Iron golems are healed by magical fire only but slowed by any kind of electricity. If the damage effect contains fire, electricity and magic, they are healed and not slowed.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2009, 12:39:31 AM by Iranon »

Offline nologgie

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Re: Damage Types
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2009, 02:54:24 AM »
Thanks for this! I've read a few articles on damage types, but I haven't seen one with this much info in such detail.
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Offline DesertScrb

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Re: Damage Types
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2009, 11:33:43 AM »
If the flag for death is set, creatures immune to death effects (next to confusion, poison and vorpal blade immunity in the monster editor) will take no damage. In my opinion, spells like Slay Living or the Cause Wounds series should have this set (damage type 72 rather than 8) to conform more closely to D&D rules.

If the flag for poison is set, creatures ticked as immune to poison in the same section will be unaffected; the immune to poison/paralysis special ability will not help. I'm not sure whether green dragon breath should have this property as chlorine is also corrosive; in the unhacked game it doesn't.

Do you think these sort of spell revisions or corrections should be included in the FRUA v 1.3 update?

Offline Iranon

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Re: Damage Types
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2009, 02:42:51 AM »
Personally, I would prefer this added... but if we start fixing spells, we're opening a huge can of worms. Some other candidates:

- Damage caps wherever applicable; hacks exist for the fireballs and lightning bolt. Would also be helpful for Magic Missile and, to a lesser effect, Burning Hands.
- Burning hands: set to 2 damage/level capped at lvl 10 if possible; I think 1-2 targets is also a better implementation and use that in my designs.
- Delayed Blast Fireball really needs to get its canonical casting time of 7; it's highly unbalancing on high levels.
- Area damage for Flame Strike
- Fix level equivalents for Sleep and Death Spell (they are weaker than they should be)
- Make Power Words work off current rather than maximum hit points
- possibly get rid of coup-de-grace for held/sleeping victims
- possibly reduce the duration of charm spells (as combat should give victims an opportunity to snap out. As it is, UA charm > P&P dominate)
- possibly changed Saving Throws. Surprisingly, Flesh to Stone using spell rather than stoning is canonical. However, Slay Living for example is supposed to use Poison(/Paralyzation/Death) rather than Spell.

Offline Krys Tamar

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Re: Damage Types
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2009, 03:44:14 AM »
Though I would love to have a hack available for making all these spells "niftified", I don't think we should include them unless they reflect 1st/2nd D&D rules.

Offline DesertScrb

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Re: Damage Types
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2009, 09:01:09 AM »
It looks like these suggested changes (such as damage caps, DBF casting time) do reflect 1st edition rules for the most part.  Some of them, however (such as charm duration and ending the coup-de-grace) are open to debate as to how UA should interpret the pen & paper rules.

Offline Iranon

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Re: Damage Types
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2009, 05:38:13 PM »
Yes, those are just things that I feel aren't in the spirit of 1st edition in the unmodded game... my personal change list is far longer :)

As far as a 1.3 fix goes, the important question is what we want to be faithful to: 1st edition or gold box conventions. I suppose a lot of goldbox veterans would miss their larger-than-life spellcasters with high-powered blasting and ultra-efficient save-or-essentially-die spells. However, I think most of these changes actually result in better, more balanced gameplay even if the charm modification is a very quick-and-dirty fix.

*

Two questions:

Would it be difficult/expensive in terms of resources to extend the hack for damage caps to other spells?
And, more relevant to the original topic: Does anyone have a clue what damage type 16 does?

Offline DesertScrb

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Re: Damage Types
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2009, 07:56:32 PM »
I think that the point of the 1.3 movement is to bring the game closer to its AD&D roots--hence the corrected saving throws and so on.  Therefore, I support having the software match the pen & paper version as much as possible.

To answer your questions:
  • I have no idea what kind of resources it would take to hack the damage caps (or anything else) for spells.
  • I don't have a clue as to damage type 16.  Mundane?  Acid?

Offline ProphetSword

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Re: Damage Types
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2009, 10:21:52 PM »
I'm going to play devil's advocate and suggest against spell changes that aren't bug-fixes.

The reason behind this is simple:  If you design a game while using these altered spells and get a balanced combat and then someone plays *without* the 1.3 patch installed...they will probably die very easily due to the monster spells being far more powerful than when you balanced it.  Also, their characters will be far more powerful than you anticipated, making your combats a breeze.

This should be an optional add-on.

Also, some of us like the spells the way that they are...
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Offline Iranon

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Re: Damage Types
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2009, 04:24:24 AM »
@ ProphetSword: That is a very good point... for example I'm not sure the endgame of Pools of Darkness would be winnable for any but the most twinked-out parties without uncapped, instant DBFs.

@ DesertScrb: The format makes me assume that 'mundane' damage would simply be type 0 - i.e. lacking any of the flags. Anything to do with weapons (blunt/sharp/pierce/weapon immunities/weapon damage reductions) seems to be handled elsewhere. This is a little unfortunate because it restricts our options for spell hacking - having Blade Barrier deal sharp damage would have been a nice touch (Yes, even if it only affects the damage messages to skellies before it destroys them anyway. Yes, I am a dork.)

I was wondering about acid myself... it doesn't have its own damage message, but poison and death don't either. The former is actually used in the game: Creatures immune to poison take no damage from cloudkill. Still, afaik nothing interacts with acid, so the only evidence would be checking for the damage type of black dragon breath. If that's it and there's no 'immune to acid' specab hidden anywhere, it's useless as of now.

Offline Iranon

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Re: Damage Types
« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2009, 11:53:50 AM »
Hmm, DesertScrb was right in a way. Damage type 0 does not work as expected... it seems to be identical to the regular magic type damage (8), complete with corresponding damage message and respecting Magic Resistance.
Strange when 1 works fine for nonmagical fire, 2 for nonmagical cold, 4 for nonmagical lightning and so on.

So if damage type 16 does nothing in itself, it would be useful if we wanted mundane damage that can't be prevented by anything... or for masking a true damage type. 25 (1+8+16) seems to act like the default fire for all intents and purposes, but the damage isn't listed as fire. Maybe that's all the functionality the creators of the program wanted, but that still has me puzzled why damage type 0 is suddenly magical if the usual magic flag isn't set...

Offline Null Null

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Re: Damage Types
« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2009, 05:29:53 PM »
Ha, ha! Thank you Iranon! Is there a way to set these using one of the standard spell editors? I don't feel like using UGE again.

Offline Null Null

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Re: Damage Types
« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2009, 05:18:15 PM »
1 for fire
2 for cold
4 for electricity
8 for magic
32 for a breath attack
64 for a death effect
128 for poison


The most obvious application (apart from Fire Bolts and Lightning Balls) is to create poison-elemental attacks. This lets you have four elemental attacks and could make an interesting connection with the four elements (counting Poison as Earth). Of course, poison isn't really the opposite of electricity. Somehow I don't see rubber damage as being a good substitute except in very silly mods, and the opposite of poison is...healing? Ironically, even though 3.5's use of acid as the opposite of electricity never made much sense, there is a quite natural opposite to acid... I look forward to casting Cone of Lye and wiping out my enemies who have cast Acid Shield. :)

If we had the bytes that let you change Immunity to Fire to something else, we might be able to make it, say Immunity to Byte 16. This would open up a new elemental attack, complete with Rings of Acid Resistance. (We have way too many varieties of fire resistance as is...besides, if you really think mages should be able to cast Fire Shield, wear rings of Fire Resistance, and have their cleric buddies cast Resist Fire on them so fireballs do an eighth damage if they fail their save...)

Incidentally, what does a spell that's damage type 16 do to trolls? They're supposed to be unable to regenerate acid damage... (Can trolls regen black dragon breath damage?)


Offline Iranon

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Re: Damage Types
« Reply #13 on: August 02, 2009, 01:02:33 AM »
It's possible to edit this with the only dedicated spell editor I used, Dan Morton's SpellEd (dos version, could never find the windows one); I still use that for my everyday spell editing needs because it's a lot more convenient than using uge. Values outside the one it suggests (default ones and 11 as 'mundane' which is in fact magical cold fire) work, and that's what I still use for most of my spell editing.

Not sure about the trolls; I'll have a look but IIRC they regenerate fire damage just fine.

 

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