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dtgreene: To be honest, I feel like having a universal trap removal option cheapens the purpose of traps.

It would be better, IMO, if every trap had to be dealt with a specific way, and that you couldn't just have one class disarm every (or almost every) single trap you run across.
This is your opinion. I happen to like the simplicity, instead of having to play "Guess what the designers had in mind".

Just like real life, traps are meant to be surprises for certain (kinds of) people (like intruders), and the unwary are more likely to run afoul of them. No need to over complicate the process of getting rid of them once you've found them.

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dtgreene: There are certainly spells that look like they should be able to deal with traps (Dispel Magic (which unfortunately can't actually be used this way in BG2), Summon Monster), spells that would protect you from traps, and spells that might let you bypass them (polymorph teleporting, Dimension Door if you're actually playing BG1 or IWD1), but if you have a thief who can just disarm traps, they become less interesting.
Not all traps are magical. In fact, a great many of them (outside BG2) are not. Just because most (all?) BG2 traps are based on spells does not mean that Dispel Magic should be a viable method of removing traps.

Having a thief to disarm traps is simply one means of dealing with traps, and one of the draws of having a thief. The fact that other methods exist means you don't have to have a thief to deal with them. I don't know why you're making this complaint, seeing as how you were actively complaining that "it artificially makes the thief class required. Either make the thief class useful without making it necessary," in post 20 of this very thread. If you don't like using a thief's ability to disarm traps, then by all means, don't use it and let traps be "more interesting"!

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dtgreene: With that said, it would help if there were some way to get some clues about the nature of a trap before you spring it, so that you can know how to defend against it. Something like the CALFO spell from classic Wizardry would work well for this purpose, and perhaps thieves should be able to do this (though requiring a Detect Magic cast to get the details on magic traps might be interesting), but they fall short of eliminating the trap entirely.
Meh. This would add more busywork to the process of dealing with the traps once detected. You were already complaining in Post 23 that "their existence tends to slow down gameplay." Adding more steps to the process of dealing with a trap is only going to make it worse.
I thought you need higher levels of find trap to find and disarm traps in later game, as well as other thief skills - what is the meaning of spending points in thief skills if it is suficient to have thief on 4 level ?

What about diference between 6 and 4 guys party ? What do you think guys makes 4 characters party diference in exps ?
Post edited February 20, 2018 by rupert1435
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rupert1435: I thought you need higher levels of find trap to find and disarm traps in later game, as well as other thief skills - what is the meaning of spending points in thief skills if it is suficient to have thief on 4 level ?
Read Hickory's full comment. Imoen will need some potion/spell/item help later in the game to disarm/open everything you run across, but there are sufficient resources available for her to handle it. An invisibility spell can let her handle scouting, removing the need for lots of Hide and Move Silently (though items are available to boost those as well).

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rupert1435: What about diference between 6 and 4 guys party ? What do you think guys makes 4 characters party diference in exps ?
A 4 man party will have fewer resources for dealing with challenges. They'll have fewer actions per round of combat, fewer people to divide the enemy attention, fewer characters that can soak up some damage, fewer spells, fewer classes to provide a variety of abilities, etc.

However, the 4 man party will gain more experience per encounter, and will level faster. This means they'll reach the higher tiers of ability sooner than a 6 man party, and some of their abilities will be stronger than a 6 man party who had completed the same amount of the game. [Edit: The experience per encounter is split among fewer people in a 4 man party. I'm not saying that a 4 man party gets more experience overall, just that there are fewer people sharing the same amount of XP.]

I don't know how much of a level advantage the 4 man party will have over time. I like taking a 6 person party to have extra bodies doing things and to have more NPC interactions available. [Edit: Also, a 6 man party can use more of the loot you find in your adventure.]

Both sizes of party will be able to beat the game. You can take anything from 1 character (provided it can advance as a mage and/or thief) up to 6 characters all the way through ToB.

[Edit: Each person in a 4 man party will probably get about 1.5x the amount of experience that a person in a 6 man party would have. This excludes quest rewards, where a certain amount of XP is given to each character in the party regardless of size.]
Post edited February 20, 2018 by Bookwyrm627
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Bookwyrm627: Not all traps are magical. In fact, a great many of them (outside BG2) are not. Just because most (all?) BG2 traps are based on spells does not mean that Dispel Magic should be a viable method of removing traps.
I wasn't saying that Dispel Magic would work well as a universal trap removal; I'm just saying that, when dealing with traps that are magical, that particular spell ought to come in handy. Meanwhile, Detect Magic can be useful for detecting magical traps.

Against non-magical traps, one would need to find a different method; this isn't a universal method of dealing with traps. Perhaps the party's barbarian could fly into a range, smash the trap mechanism, and get around the trap that way; also, if the party has a healer, the barbarian can afford to take damage, which the cleric can then heal. (Of course, this would require that healing magic be at least decent in the game.)

The way I see it, if the game is going to have traps, there shouldn't be a universal method for dealing with them.

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rupert1435: I thought you need higher levels of find trap to find and disarm traps in later game, as well as other thief skills - what is the meaning of spending points in thief skills if it is suficient to have thief on 4 level ?
I can categorize thief skills into two categories: "essential" and "non-essential".

The essential thief skills are those involving locks and traps. These skills can be easily boosted with potions, or if you have some way to boost the character's Dexterity. At high levels, you could even use Wish to (hopefully) boost your stats to maximum long enough to deal with the troublesome trap. Alternatively, you can opt to just trigger the trap and either tank the damage or find a way to avoid it (Mirror Image can protect against damage effects, for example). It just so happens that Imoen, in particular, has most of her skill points spent on the essential skills.

The non-essential skills are those that are nice to have, but that you can do without (and don't necessary need a substitute). Setting traps, while a valid strategy, is not required; hiding is never necessary; detect illusion, probably the most important of these skills, can be trivially replaced with True Sight/Seeing (at least if not using a difficulty-increasing mod). There are a few nice items you can pickpocket, but you don't need them, and I am not sure if any of them are actually unique.

Also, if you have multiple thieves in the party, they can focus on different skills; hiding is probably the only skill that is worth having on multiple thieves.
Post edited February 20, 2018 by dtgreene
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Bookwyrm627: I don't know how much of a level advantage the 4 man party will have over time. I like taking a 6 person party to have extra bodies doing things and to have more NPC interactions available. [Edit: Also, a 6 man party can use more of the loot you find in your adventure.]
There are three cases here:

At low levels, when XP requirements scale exponentially, a party of 4 will likely be at most 1 level ahead of a party of 6, and probably none much of the time.

At high levels, when XP requirements are the same for every level, a party of 4 will gain levels 50% more often than a party of 6. In particular, the mage in the party of 4 will get 9th level spells before the one in the party of 6 gets 8th level spells, if we ignore non-split quest XP.

At really high levels, levels stop being worth as much, and you eventually reach the XP cap. This is more likely to happen with a small party, and will happen sooner the smaller the party. At this point, the smaller party loses much of the XP advantage that they used to have.

There's another advantage to smaller parties, which becomes especially apparent in speedruns; many area transitions require the whole party to be close to the exit. When you have a limited number of Boots of Speed, it is much faster to get to the next area if your party is small enough for everyone to get one. (Of course, you can use Haste, which makes everyone nearby fast, which makes this fact less important in the classic edition; apparently in the EE Haste *stacks* with the Boots of Speed, so it again becomes important to not have slower characters.)
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Bookwyrm627: Not all traps are magical. In fact, a great many of them (outside BG2) are not. Just because most (all?) BG2 traps are based on spells does not mean that Dispel Magic should be a viable method of removing traps.
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dtgreene: I wasn't saying that Dispel Magic would work well as a universal trap removal; I'm just saying that, when dealing with traps that are magical, that particular spell ought to come in handy. Meanwhile, Detect Magic can be useful for detecting magical traps.

Against non-magical traps, one would need to find a different method; this isn't a universal method of dealing with traps. Perhaps the party's barbarian could fly into a range, smash the trap mechanism, and get around the trap that way; also, if the party has a healer, the barbarian can afford to take damage, which the cleric can then heal. (Of course, this would require that healing magic be at least decent in the game.)

The way I see it, if the game is going to have traps, there shouldn't be a universal method for dealing with them.

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rupert1435: I thought you need higher levels of find trap to find and disarm traps in later game, as well as other thief skills - what is the meaning of spending points in thief skills if it is suficient to have thief on 4 level ?
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dtgreene: I can categorize thief skills into two categories: "essential" and "non-essential".

The essential thief skills are those involving locks and traps. These skills can be easily boosted with potions, or if you have some way to boost the character's Dexterity. At high levels, you could even use Wish to (hopefully) boost your stats to maximum long enough to deal with the troublesome trap. Alternatively, you can opt to just trigger the trap and either tank the damage or find a way to avoid it (Mirror Image can protect against damage effects, for example). It just so happens that Imoen, in particular, has most of her skill points spent on the essential skills.

The non-essential skills are those that are nice to have, but that you can do without (and don't necessary need a substitute). Setting traps, while a valid strategy, is not required; hiding is never necessary; detect illusion, probably the most important of these skills, can be trivially replaced with True Sight/Seeing (at least if not using a difficulty-increasing mod). There are a few nice items you can pickpocket, but you don't need them, and I am not sure if any of them are actually unique.

Also, if you have multiple thieves in the party, they can focus on different skills; hiding is probably the only skill that is worth having on multiple thieves.
Wouldnt it be easier simply to pick good thief other than Imoen ? :D But yeah you are right there are some other ways to run the game without a good thief, I never tried them though.
Post edited February 24, 2018 by rupert1435
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rupert1435: Wouldnt it be easier simply to pick good thief other than Imoen ?
In BG2, not really, the selection of recruitable thieves is rather sparse, and not everyone wants to use the main character slot on a thief. In particular, you have:
Nalia: Worse than Imoen as a thief.
Jan Jansen: Can level up as a thief (unlike Imoen and Nalia), but has horrible (IMO) voice acting, and still levels up more slowly than a single class thief would. Probably your only decent option, however.
Yoshimo: A pure thief (albeit with a kit), but leaves right when Imoen (Spellhold version) joins; skipping the event requires skipping a sizeable portion of the game (most of Chapter 4, including many critical plot events). There's a way to get him later (at least in the original version), but it requires being fast and still means you can't use him in Chapters 4 and 5, and is clearly not intended by the developers. (Also, importing an incomplete save into ToB will cause him to be removed from the party if present.)
Tutorial Imoen: Only way (without console cheats) to take her out of the tutorial is to import a tutorial save into ToB (skipping SoA entirely), so you can't use her in SoA, but at least she's good at setting traps.

The only other options are to make the main character a thief (something not everyone will want to do), creating a generic thief using multiplayer trickery, mod the game to add a recruitable thief, finding an NPC thief to use the Ctrl-Q cheat on (no guarantee that won't cause issues later), or, in the EE, recruit a certain new thief who happens to be evil (and hence unsuitable for many parties).

So really, BG2 is rather sparse in terms of thief selection.
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dtgreene: To be honest, I feel like having a universal trap removal option cheapens the purpose of traps.

It would be better, IMO, if every trap had to be dealt with a specific way, and that you couldn't just have one class disarm every (or almost every) single trap you run across.
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Bookwyrm627: This is your opinion. I happen to like the simplicity, instead of having to play "Guess what the designers had in mind".
There is a reason the find traps spell disarms traps in NWN... and Thieves can't disarm Spell wards... so... I guess you're both wrong.
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Hickory: The arsehole approach. :)
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Bookwyrm627: :D

Reminds me of a quote I once ran across:

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"An important thing to consider is motivation, as Sword & Sorcery characters generally don't help people in need out of pure compassion. Offering them a reward always works, but it's a rather weak and impersonal motivation. What I discovered to work really well, is to have the villains of the adventure hurt the PCs pride in some way. If you tell the players they characters are total badasses and someone burned down their favorite tavern, you only have to ask them if they are letting those punks get away with it. Aim at the players pride. The villain does not have to be defeated to protect the innocent, out of justice, or any other noble goal like that. He has to die because he picked the wrong people to mess with! It doesn't have to be complex or clever in any way. If you can make the players feel insulted or humiliated by the NPCs, the players will work themselves into a furious rage and hand out righteous carnage."
-Yora, from GiantInThePlayground forum
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How true that is. I once had a party frothing after an elderly Halfling woman absconded with nearly all of the 500 gold the party had started with. Replaced it with lead, she did. The funny thing is they never questioned why they had started at level 1 with such a high amount. By the time they discovered the theft they had about 25 gold left, bwah ha haha!

Flynn
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Bookwyrm627: You are ignoring part of what he said in an attempt to dispute his point, which is that Imoen is fully able to handle all thief related duties.

Which doors is Imoen unable to unlock, once items, spells, scrolls, and potions are factored in? Which traps is she unable to detect and disarm, once items, spells, scrolls, and potions are factored in? She can cast the spells that remove spell protections, including spells that remove Spell Immunity (Illusion), so she can perform that function as well; you even note that she isn't likely to need to do this.

You are technically correct in that she can't level up her thief skills (though she can improve them), and that she doesn't have access to Thief HLAs. Of course, those HLAs don't affect which functions a Thief provides the party: removing traps, opening locks, scouting, removing illusions, and dealing damage.
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dtgreene: The thing is, there are some thief skills that are essential, and others that are not; it is the non-essential ones that she isn't as good at. She can't backstab as well a character with more thief levels (though she can Shapechange without a one-time Limited Wish or a scroll sooner and backstab in that form), she can't abuse some of the more broken trap HLAs (spells are subject to magic resistance), and she can't use certain items. Furthermore, she needs to use spells or consumables to do certain things that a character who levels up as a thief doesn't need them for.

There is a difference between being able to fulfill the necessary thief duties (which Imoen can) and being as good as a character who can level up thief at them (which Imoen can't do).

It'e like mages performing cleric duties; sure, they can do so at high levels (think Limited Wish, Summon Planetar, and the use of Project Image with Rods of Resurrection), but it's more cumbersome to do so when a cleric can just cast a spell and have that be enough to heal.

(Incidentally, as another side note, I honestly don't like the inclusion of traps and lockpicking in this game; it artificially makes the thief class required. Either make the thief class useful without making it necessary, or don't include the class in the first place. I'm inclined to take the second option, though some JRPGs (Dragon Quest series and Final Fantasy series (except one part in FF3) take that option in games with thieves).
Imoen is a mage in BG2, that has some bonus thief skills. This has been said numerous times.

If you want the HLAs of a thief, you gotta go with Jan or play the PC as a thief. BG2 is lacking in the NPC thief department. The only single class thief is Yoshimo, and we all know what happens with him.

That being said, Ive never found backstabbing to be essential, nor removing illusions, nor picking pockets. I'd rather have a second spellcaster.
If you desperatly want to remove illusions, pick up Keldorn.

Backstabbing is not an issue, this is not Icewind Daler.
Consumables are never a problem from the point of BG2. I see you want stealthing though, and that's related to the backstabbing issue. Well, get the Staff of Rogue Stone Doorway, and your mage will overplay any thief.

There's 1or 2 item worth stealing (ring of regenerationand bottle of efretii), otherwise you only can use the skill to get questrewards without doing the quests.

And if you desperatly want to use traps HLA you don't need a thief, as those traps work 100% success rate. Bards also can lay them. And bards at least marginaly are better fighters/overal characters than thieves.

EDIT: oh,and you don't want to brew potions and scirbe scrolls, believe me.
Post edited April 14, 2018 by twillight