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Old September 30, 2018, 09:41   #11
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Lets ignore the completely broken randarts. Just for a sec.

I normally play a half-orc rogue. That build has 0 sp for the first few levels, because of the INT penalty.
These levels are easy to zip through tnx to the +2 STR bonus - just kill a few orcs.
Theb you'll have your detect objects spell, at 50% fail, and you might need to rest a few times.
Ok but that is a static spell. For 2 sp.

The blackguard has much higher cost spells that are combat-oriented, less sp (due to class bonuses), and if you build even a conservative build with +2 INT you will still have no sp to speak of until well into CL20.

Generally at CL21 with my ho rogue i can cast Identify, with the blackguard you might have 1 casting of a spell (at 40% fail) that damages the enemy - no chance to fail and rest and fail and rest ...

Both ho rogue and dunedain bg start to have a ton of sp at CL30+, when you are already hunting uniques for drops. At this stage, none of the bg spells match the efficiency of simple melee.

For example, poison brand will likely fail due to the level requirements, well into the CLs where you already have easy access to *slay.
Throw enemy is mostly useless as by the time you can cast it, you have full access to phase, ts, esp, !heal, so disengaging an enemy for 1 round has no real benefit. You'd think A RANGER might need it, but a bg WANTS to be in melee.

Also here the bg basically got 5 blows PLUS a free stun, not every round but often enough that the stun more than makes up for the missing 6th blow. Remember here warriors and paladins didnt get stun, it would take another class a full round and a charge from a wand of stun to achieve the same effect.
Even post nerf, stun is a major debuff to enemy melee.

Lets look for a second at what the blackguard IS.

So, i imagine a guy in full plate, with skulls painted on his shield. An cruel bastard. The dnd equivalent would be an anti-paladin.
A class, like the assassin or a necromancer, closely associated with evil alignements.

He would be set upon by a whole bunch of town guards but defeat them all because there seems to be just no way to hurt him.

So, that seems already too close to a warrior, but it's what we got to work with.

First off i would change the blows table. We're gonna buff your spell usage so that while you have the hp and stats of a warrior, you need to cast to make up for the DPS.
Bring Poison Brand down enough so that it becomes THE thing a bg is good for. One brand spell lasts 1~few rounds, one lasts "a whole bunch of rounds". Reasonable success rates.
This becomes less important as you level up and obtain slay/acid gear.

At low-mid levels, start with AOE debuffs like cry of the damned, add stuff good for those fights - lets say Shield Wall (buff AC until moved or X rounds) and a AOE shield bash - good to fight orcs.

Mid levels you get Dirty Fighting touch-range debuffs for small uniques (-2 spd, less likely to cast, etc..) but no option to cast at distance.

Mid-high levels we get better brands, i.e. Nether brand 100 turns, as the blaackguard begins to tap into demonic power. Circa CL40 we get mass AoE damage where you walk through breeders and they just die ..

And for the endgame ... i dont know. I still really cant picture how a endgame bg would be different than a warrior. Maybe a Throw Monster spell AOE, maybe they learn Glyph, or maybe Bloodlust becomes a great spell ( increased everything but incapable of using items/spells?).
"i can take this dracolich"
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Old September 30, 2018, 10:11   #12
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18 int gnome blackguard gets 2 sps at lvl 8 & a 5 sp spell. I didn't start with a shield & there were none for sale
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Old September 30, 2018, 12:59   #13
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Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
Here's a thought: since we're splitting apart the spell books so thoroughly, there's not really much call for classes to be differentiated based on how competent they are at using spells, right? I mean, you can keep the min 5% failure rate for hybrid characters, but I feel like any spell that's class-specific should have a failure rate set such that that class can reliably use the spell at a point where it'd be helpful.
Wholeheartedly agreed. I'm fine with the casting stat affecting reliability, but if there's a spellbook for the class, that class ought to be able to use the spells in it at stages of the game in which they're useful, and that means making both the mana requirement and failure rate reasonable.
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Old September 30, 2018, 15:49   #14
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Originally Posted by Sky View Post
Nick, i trust you'll do a good job just like i trust you'll buff ranger archery back to decent levels.
I just completed the game with a ranger, had a x5 +20 damage long bow and a few slay evil arrows plus normal wounding and such. No holy might. No off weapon extra shots. I found the final fight more interesting than before and certainly not difficult although much longer than before with 1000+ damage per round. I vote to keep it as it is.
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Old September 30, 2018, 17:10   #15
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There are different kinds of spells, with different meanings of useful. Haste self and resistance spells are on one side: they are useful even at 50% fail when gearing up to fight particular enemies. Detection spells are another: fail rate doesnt matter, so long as you don't completely run out of mana. Low-mana characters can order their importance so detect monsters is always available, but detect objects becomes available much later. And finally there is the heal 300 spell, which is worse than useless at high fail rates. Attack spells with high fail rates are similar: sequential failures are likely to leave you helpless in the face of a monster at near full strength.
I think making all spells low fail from would be a mistake, because it would lose this dynamic.
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Old November 10, 2018, 01:53   #16
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Latest master has some of these ideas in it; getting it right will be a process of trial and error.
One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
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