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PnP Elementals [IMPLEMENTED]

PnP Elementals aTweaks

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#1 aVENGER

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Posted 28 January 2012 - 10:15 PM

Introduction

This component brings all elementals in the game closer to their PnP counterparts. Legitimately missing abilities are restored and spuriously granted benefits are removed. For this purpose, the AD&D Monstrous Manual and the Monstrous Compendium were used as reference. The creatures' AI has been improved as well, and it now allows them to act in accordance to the behavior described in the source books. In effect, these changes may slightly increase the difficulty of dealing with elementals.

Relevant links

Edited by aVENGER, 30 May 2012 - 07:38 PM.


#2 aVENGER

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 12:19 AM

A couple of notes on the revised elemental classification. Lesser Elementals now have 8 HD, regular Elementals have 12 HD, Greater Elementals have 16 HD, Elder Elementals have 20 HD and Elemental Princes have 24 HD.

Edited by aVENGER, 08 April 2012 - 01:23 PM.


#3 aigleborgne

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 03:51 AM

I am surprised by some stats.
I have done my own PnP Elementals (excluding Princes) and I haven't found the same stats.
My sources are 2nd, 3.0, 3.5, and eventually 4.0 if needed.

Here is one of your earth elemental (18HD):
Greater Earth Elemental
Ability Scores: STR 20, DEX 12, CON 16, INT 10, WIS 11, CHA 11
Damage: 4d12 at +4
Thac0: 5

Mine is at 16HD:
Ability Scores: STR 24, DEX 8, CON 21, INT 7, WIS 11, CHA 11
Damage: 4d10 at +3
Thac0: 5
Movement: 6

I could list more differences, but I wonder what sources did you use?
Also, a level 18 monster should have a thac0 of 3 unless special mention in book.

I saw you removed 24hd elementals, maybe because they could be stronger than Princes.

Well, well, beside these remarks, I'm very interesting by all of their abilities. This is something I can't do sometimes, lack of time or too complex abilities.

A couple of notes on the revised elemental classification. Lesser Elementals now have 6 HD while Greater Elementals have 18 HD. Both now use the corresponding PnP stats and traits. Regular elementals now come in a single variety and always have 12 HD. As in PnP, Elemental Princes have 20 HD for caster level purposes but their hit points have been reduced in order to match the values presented in the source books.

Interestingly, this makes most Greater Elementals physically stronger than the respective Elemental Princes. OTOH, aTweaks restores all of the missing PnP abilities and traits of the Elemental Princes which should give them an edge in combat. However, as the princes only come into play in ToB, I have thought about rectifying this issue in an optional component by offering to restore their unmodded hit point values. For reference, Bioware simply doubled the PnP hit point amounts for all Elemental Princes in the unmodded game which put them slightly above 20 HD. Any thoughts on this?


Edited by aigleborgne, 29 January 2012 - 03:53 AM.


#4 aVENGER

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 04:00 AM

I have done my own PnP Elementals (excluding Princes) and I haven't found the same stats.


For lesser and greater elementals I used [2405] Monstrous Compendium I (Dark Sun). Here are a two examples: Lesser Earth Elemental and Greater Earth Elemental. Regular elementals use the stats from the Monstrous Manual (core book).Elemental Princes are from [2635] Monstrous Compendium - Planescape Appendix III

I saw you removed 24hd elementals, maybe because they could be stronger than Princes.


Pretty much, yeah. AD&D's weird like that in some cases. :D

Edited by aVENGER, 29 January 2012 - 04:08 AM.


#5 aigleborgne

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 04:33 AM

There are many inconsistencies in D&D :)
Back to elemental, I've just looked at this book: 3rd Edition - Monster Manual (I have almost every books in pdf format)
Earth elemental strength is huge, starting at 17 (2hd) and ending at 33 (24hd).
33 is converted to 25.
At level 16, it is 29, converted to 24 (using 3rd edition converter book)

Abilities score are somewhat important, especially for elementals (generally, very few special abilities, and only 1 apr for most of them)
Earth elementals are very slow (twice as slow as humans : 6 vs 12) but hit like a truck.
Your greater earth elemental only have 20, seems low to me.
According to my book, 20 str is a for a level 8 earth elemental.


For lesser and greater elementals I used [2405] Monstrous Compendium I (Dark Sun). Here are a two examples: Lesser Earth Elemental and Greater Earth Elemental. Regular elementals use the stats from the Monstrous Manual (core book).Elemental Princes are from [2635] Monstrous Compendium - Planescape Appendix III



#6 aVENGER

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 04:42 AM

Abilities score are somewhat important, especially for elementals (generally, very few special abilities, and only 1 apr for most of them)
Earth elementals are very slow (twice as slow as humans : 6 vs 12) but hit like a truck.
Your greater earth elemental only have 20, seems low to me.
According to my book, 20 str is a for a level 8 earth elemental.


I usually use Tables 6 - 11 from the High Level Campaigns supplement for determining the ability scores of monsters whenever possible, though I'm fairly conservative in any changes to damage/THAC0/AC and try to keep them to a minimum.

I also look at the 3.5E stats for guidelines, but I don't usually do direct 3.5E -> 2E stat conversions as they tend to be imprecise (the rulesets are simply too different).

Edited by aVENGER, 29 January 2012 - 04:46 AM.


#7 Daulmakan

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 08:22 AM

Sounds cool, as always. :new_thumbs:

Interestingly, this makes most Greater Elementals physically stronger than the respective Elemental Princes. OTOH, aTweaks restores all of the missing PnP abilities and traits of the Elemental Princes which should give them an edge in combat. However, as the princes only come into play in ToB, I have thought about rectifying this issue in an optional component by offering to restore their unmodded hit point values. Any thoughts on this?

I endorse that extra option.

BTW:

Elementals with this trait can envelop opponents within their form. The victim must make a saving throw vs. paralyzation be pulled into the elemental's frame, becoming helpless and unable to move for 2 rounds.

"or" missing?

item_pack.jpg   Drows.jpg

 


#8 aVENGER

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 09:54 AM

Sounds cool, as always. :new_thumbs:


Thanks! :)

"or" missing?


Cheers, fixed and updated. If you notice anything else that might be amiss in the readme feel free to report it here.

#9 Shaitan

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 11:57 AM

Whoa, seems very fine. How do you intend to implement good/evil elemental princes?

Cheers

#10 Andrea C.

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 12:25 PM

You rule. This component rules. I love P&P. :Tasty:

Just like Daulmakan, I also endorse the extra option (flexibility is always a welcome feature in any mod).

#11 aVENGER

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 12:55 PM

How do you intend to implement good/evil elemental princes?


Heh, I didn't plan on making the evil ones summonable by the party, if that's what you're asking. :D

For reference, the evil princes are already present in unmodded ToB and serve as opponents. Cryonax and Yan-C-Bin can be found near the essence pools in the Throne of Bhaal, Imix is in Yaga-Shura's temple Ogremoch is in Sendai's enclave and Olhydra is in Abazigal's lair.

Edited by aVENGER, 29 January 2012 - 12:59 PM.


#12 Pol

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 05:27 PM

Looks good, to make extraplanar creatures immune to Harm you could possibly add an eff under harm.itm (before the damage) targetted for elementals, demons and undead etc. to grant immunity to effect: damage, duration zero.

Isn't the jump in air elementals' damage (2d10 at 12 HD, 5d10 at 18) too much? In general, the Athas creatures (such as greater elementals) seem a lot stronger than FR creatures. I'd make the damage breakpoints something like:

Earth: 4-24, 4-32, 4-40
Air: 2-16, 2-20, 2-24
Fire: 3-18, 3-24, 3-30

Also, I'd change the attack of the air elemental from crushing to slashing or piercing (to distinguish from Earth elemental) and restore at least some strength bonus to damage for them. Should air elementals be worth more xp than regular elementals? They can fly, but that's meaningless in BG2, I guess you could simulate this advantage with immunity to "ground level" spells like grease, earthquake etc.

The aerial servant looks a bit too strong, with slightly better stats than vanilla, more immunities and natural improved invisibility; maybe reduce their hp to 80 or so? I don't think such a good summon needs max hp/level.

I'd imagine the frost salamander to have a better strength score than the fire salamander, as it is larger and has more HD.

#13 aigleborgne

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 11:35 PM

The aerial servant looks a bit too strong, with slightly better stats than vanilla, more immunities and natural improved invisibility; maybe reduce their hp to 80 or so? I don't think such a good summon needs max hp/level.


Remember that Aerial Servant, as any Earth Elemental indeed, hit very hard but not that often with only one APR.
As a 6th level spell, mountain bears are more efficient in offense with 3 APR. And with their PnP stat, they should have 21 str.

Again, compare to wizard summons, you will see that Aerial Servant is not that good.
I have tested an aerial servant similar to aVENGER's ones (since I've already made a similar component). I can assure you that only one attack per round seriously balance their great attack.

Finally, a problem with summons' balance is that vey few enemy casters use them. So, if a summon is really strong, party will have an advantage.
I think that enemies should use more summons, just like players.

#14 Andrea C.

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 01:22 AM

Isn't the jump in air elementals' damage (2d10 at 12 HD, 5d10 at 18) too much? In general, the Athas creatures (such as greater elementals) seem a lot stronger than FR creatures.


I understand your point, but I believe that as a PnP component this mod should remain as faithful as possible to the source books. However, adding more options in order to correct inconsistencies and/or adapt PnP to the game could be good, if it wasn't a problem for aVENGER to code them :)

#15 Pol

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 03:19 AM


The aerial servant looks a bit too strong, with slightly better stats than vanilla, more immunities and natural improved invisibility; maybe reduce their hp to 80 or so? I don't think such a good summon needs max hp/level.


Remember that Aerial Servant, as any Earth Elemental indeed, hit very hard but not that often with only one APR.
As a 6th level spell, mountain bears are more efficient in offense with 3 APR. And with their PnP stat, they should have 21 str.

Again, compare to wizard summons, you will see that Aerial Servant is not that good.
I have tested an aerial servant similar to aVENGER's ones (since I've already made a similar component). I can assure you that only one attack per round seriously balance their great attack.


A hasted aerial servant does less damage in theory than a pair of hasted mountain bears (62 vs 100/round - and haste on summons makes sense as they don't stay around long enough for fatigue to kick in), but the servant has an adjusted THACO of 0 (or -4 when attacking from invisibility) vs the bears' THAC0 of 8, the bears will need a good (if not critical) roll to hit many tough creatures like dragons, demons and drow. Combined with the servants' improved invisibility and immunities it's a better all-round summon.

Isn't the jump in air elementals' damage (2d10 at 12 HD, 5d10 at 18) too much? In general, the Athas creatures (such as greater elementals) seem a lot stronger than FR creatures.


I understand your point, but I believe that as a PnP component this mod should remain as faithful as possible to the source books. However, adding more options in order to correct inconsistencies and/or adapt PnP to the game could be good, if it wasn't a problem for aVENGER to code them :)

Those greater elementals' stats are from the Dark Sun setting? I wouldn't expect them to be the same as the regular BG2 elementals, although strangely 2nd ed doesn't list varying damage dice for "normal" elementals regardless of whether they have 8 or 24 HD.

#16 aigleborgne

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 04:06 AM

Those greater elementals' stats are from the Dark Sun setting? I wouldn't expect them to be the same as the regular BG2 elementals, although strangely 2nd ed doesn't list varying damage dice for "normal" elementals regardless of whether they have 8 or 24 HD.


2nd edition is poor regarding informations anyways.
Damage is clearly stated in 3rd edition.

#17 Aranthys

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 09:18 AM

WEEEE great news !

Frost Salamander

[...]
Attacks per Round: 5
[...]

Is this a typo ? 5 attacks per round for such creature seems, well, quite high :D

#18 Quester

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 09:57 AM

Looks very good overall. My only comment would be that possibly the Elemental Princes' hp are a bit on the low side? Not sure here, but it seems they'll go down pretty fast once you find what works against them.

#19 aVENGER

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 10:37 AM

Wow, some great feedback here. Keep it up guys! :)


Looks good, to make extraplanar creatures immune to Harm you could possibly add an eff under harm.itm (before the damage) targetted for elementals, demons and undead etc. to grant immunity to effect: damage, duration zero.


I initially wanted to externalize the item's effects to a SPL file and then protect the creatures from it but your suggestion is cleaner and a bit simpler to implement. I like it.

Isn't the jump in air elementals' damage (2d10 at 12 HD, 5d10 at 18) too much? In general, the Athas creatures (such as greater elementals) seem a lot stronger than FR creatures.


I understand your point, but I believe that as a PnP component this mod should remain as faithful as possible to the source books.


Generally, I try not to alter the monster's core stats (HD, THAC0, damage, AC... etc.) in aTweaks unless an engine issue requires it. For example, if a creature has 3 separate weapons (i.e. tail, claw, bite) each with a different damage output, due to technical reasons, I'm forced to make them into single attack with an average damage value instead. BTW, even though the greater/lesser elementals are from Dark Sun they still get summoned from the Inner Planes i.e. just like FR's elementals.

I'd change the attack of the air elemental from crushing to slashing or piercing (to distinguish from Earth elemental) and restore at least some strength bonus to damage for them.


While I see the gameplay benefit of this, there's no PnP rationale to back it up. The Air Elemental's attack is described as a "giant invisible fist" which implies crushing damage. As for the low strength, that's actually intentional. OTOH, the Air Elementals' great spead implies that they should have exceptional dexterity scores, which aTweaks grants them.

They can fly, but that's meaningless in BG2, I guess you could simulate this advantage with immunity to "ground level" spells like grease, earthquake etc.


I completely forgot about that, thanks. The Flight ability and the corresponing spell immunities have been added to their stat block. That said, Fire Elementals should probably be immune to Web and Entangle due to being entirely made of flames.

The aerial servant looks a bit too strong, with slightly better stats than vanilla, more immunities and natural improved invisibility; maybe reduce their hp to 80 or so? I don't think such a good summon needs max hp/level.


That would be inconsistant with all the other aTweaks' creatures which always have max hp per hit dice. Incidentally, this component will alter the regular Conjure x Elemental spells so that they will have a 10% chance of summoning a Greater Elemental.

I'd imagine the frost salamander to have a better strength score than the fire salamander, as it is larger and has more HD.


Good point.

Frost Salamander

Is this a typo ? 5 attacks per round for such creature seems, well, quite high


Nope, it's per PnP.

Looks very good overall. My only comment would be that possibly the Elemental Princes' hp are a bit on the low side? Not sure here, but it seems they'll go down pretty fast once you find what works against them.


An optional component will be available to restore the princes' hit points to Bioware levels (2x of the values in the readme).


P.S.

Readme updated.

#20 aVENGER

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 12:22 PM

I've made a small change to how flying creatures are treated concerning immunity to ground-based spells.

The trait which grants this immunity will be called Hover and not every creature with flight movement (Fl) will get it. Only those that have perfect or near perfect flight maneuverability (i.e. A or B) will get Hover, as per PnP rules (see Monstrous Manual -> Movement explanation). That said, it might be a good idea to add Movement to the creatures' stat blocks in the readme.





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