The formula to calculate Communication is 3/4 Intelligence + 1/4 Luck.
In the VGA version, this formula is calculated after you create your character, meaning if you dump some point in Intelligence as you create your character, you will improve your Communication skill, which will allow you to bargain better prices from merchants and maybe chip enough on item prices to acquire fifty loose centimes to acquire a map. That method might be useful for a Wizard because that class starts with higher Intelligence than a Fighter or Thief. I haven't tested it recently, but I seem to recall that in the VGA version, you can bargain with every merchant, on every purchase, regardless of your Communication skill. The higher your Communication skill is however, the cheaper you will be able to purchase items. In the VGA version it is also possible to bargain when you fence items with Dinarzad, to get more money out of the loot you sell her.
In the EGA version of Quest For Glory II however, Communication works differently. For a starter, Communication is calculated before you create your character, meaning no matter how many point you dump in Intelligence during character creation, you will not be able improve your starting Communication skill beyond 42 for a Fighter, 65 for a Wizard and 52 for a Thief. The only way to improve your starting Communication skill is to import a character from Quest For Glory I that would have more Intelligence and Luck than the starting characters you get when you use the "Start New Hero" button. Communication also work differently it seems. I tried to bargain the Force Bolt spell from Keapon and he flat out refused to give me a discount, although he did give me a discount five minutes earlier when I bargained with him with a cheated character with maxed out Communication skill. It seems like in the EGA version, every item you can purchase has a bargain threshold, if you bargain for an item and your Communication skill meet that item bargain threshold, the merchant will gladly give you a 50% discount on the item, but if you do not meet that threshold, you will have to pay full price for the item. Which works differently from the VGA version where a starting character with low Communication skill could still bargain 10% or 20% off every purchase right from the get go.
Also, I tested Keapon's shop, the adventurer guild, the apothecary, the money changer and the weapon shop and it seems like the inn is the only building where you do not need to be perfectly lined up with the door to leave the building, all you need to do is run to the bottom of the screen and the character will leave the inn. That being said, there seems to be some sort of finickiness to it. It does not always work, and it seems to only work when you run, (it doesn't work when you walk or when you sneak.) But considering the number of time you leave the inn in that game, I suppose you could shave off a couple of seconds during a full playthrough by not having to run horizontally or diagonally to reach the door. I have not tried doing this in the seedy bar in Raseir. And it is not possible to do in the VGA version.
Also, regarding that thing where you could maybe fence the inn key to Dinarzad. Here's the problem: Shameen only gives you the key when you leave the inn at night, but if you go back to bed right away, and sleep 'til morning, and then run to the money changer, she won't be awake yet, the doors will be closed and she won't be there, but that can be fixed if you sleep 'til morning, and then sleep an additional two hours in your bedroom.
Alternatively, you could modify your route so that you change your money, fence the key and steal the bellows at the start of the game, during the first evening:
You will start the game,
Go to bed, sleep 'til evening,
Try to go outside, receive the key, go outside,
Run all the way to the money changer,
Change money, make thief sign, fence the key for 30 Dinars (depending on your Communication skill, you may be able to get more dinars)
Run all the way to the Weapon shop,
Cast Fetch on the bellows,
Run all the way back to the inn,
Get inside (if you do all that fast enough, it won't be midnight yet and the door should still be unlocked)
Go to bed, sleep 'til morning,
Go outside, buy the map,
The rest of the route would proceed normally I guess, except you won't need to go outside the city ever, I think, and everything that happens at night will be out of the way, I think.
Post edited December 18, 2016 by blueskirt42