Don't have my full 8 casts of Epic Magic

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Don't have my full 8 casts of Epic Magic

Post by Ramana Jala on Sat Aug 09, 2014 7:35 am


My maximized wizard (level 40, 127 Spellcraft augmented but I'm sure enough base ranks) Ranara has only 7 casts instead of 8.

I recall that some have had this problem before, don't know if there's some fix yet?
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Re: Don't have my full 8 casts of Epic Magic

Post by Angel of Death on Sat Aug 09, 2014 8:21 am

I believe Manny mentioned something about a quick and dirty temporary fix where you die and respawn, to get the full castings back somewhere on the forum... HERE! Smile


Last edited by Angel of Death on Sat Aug 09, 2014 9:51 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Edited in a link to Manny's post ^^)
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Re: Don't have my full 8 casts of Epic Magic

Post by Ramana Jala on Tue Aug 12, 2014 8:00 am


The other day I went to Sunglory, to self-sacrifice there because it might not have any XP penalty in the arena, as per Manny's and Rusty's advices here.  But I made BoMs to use up my casts beforehand, and found that I had the right number of casts, 8, so I didn't do it.  Thought it mysteriously fixed.

But today I log in to make BoMs and again I only have 7 casts instead of 8.

Don't know if I should do the die thing or wait again and it will re-right itself like before.

But in any case, this off and on again incorrect number of epic casts is definitely a bug.

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Re: Don't have my full 8 casts of Epic Magic

Post by Ramana Jala on Wed Aug 13, 2014 8:19 am


So, I logged in this morning, and there hadn't been a reset yet since yesterday, but my epic casts had been acquired again.  Got 8 casts.

Then I rested, and afterwards got only 7 casts.

Waited for the reset, then tried again.  Got 8 casts.

Cast them all, then rested soon after, then got 8 casts.

So sorta fixed most of the time.

I've been trying to cast slowly, in case that's an issue.
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Re: Don't have my full 8 casts of Epic Magic

Post by Kalandra on Thu Aug 21, 2014 2:48 pm

I've also got a varying amount of casts, from 4 to 7. I usually start with 7, and after using them up, it only goes back up to 4. It's not much of an issue in my eyes, though.
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Re: Don't have my full 8 casts of Epic Magic

Post by MannyJabrielle on Thu Aug 21, 2014 3:16 pm

It can be though for those who rely on the casts.  My one wizard should have 6 casts, but only gets 4.  With 6 she would be able to apply all her epic buffs before battle, but instead has to stagger the casts.  It can be a headache when trying to keep relative track of the durations.  It also limits when she can actually have casts to devote towards offensive casting.

It's a wizard issue as well, since clerics, druids and sorcerers don't seem to get this issue at all.  That puts a bit of a stranglehold on wizards.  This, coupled with the incorrect number of epic spell slots, and the totally fubar DCs on their epics, makes epic magic for wizards really suck.
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Re: Don't have my full 8 casts of Epic Magic

Post by Ramana Jala on Thu Aug 21, 2014 3:24 pm


Lately it's been that after a reset my mage gets only 7 casts.  Using those and letting them recharge nets her 8.
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Re: Don't have my full 8 casts of Epic Magic

Post by daveyeisley on Thu Aug 21, 2014 5:24 pm

I find that I have been extremely fortunate that Crid gets his full alottment of 8 casts on resting/login, but I did notice if I use the Epic Spellcasting focus item to fire off a pre-slotted spell in battle, it removes 2 uses instead of one, and then as my casts regenerate, it seems to max at 7 until I rest. Hopefully that detail will help The Amethyst Dragon track it down.

I think Manny may be correct as well, it seems to only affect Wizards. Wizards have their casting stat (INT) mod included in their total bonus for spellcraft (as do all PCs since its an INT based skill), but other casters then also have their casting stat mod added to their spellcraft checks for research and casting epic spells. This means that wizards are beholden to the native cap of 127 (which governs all skills) for their epic research and casting checks, but other casters can potentially have greater than 127 natively on their checks since they seem to get their INT mod included in the spellcraft bonus, and then their casting stat mod on top of it.

Its a pretty tricky technical issue - I am not sure The Amethyst Dragon will have success fixing it without trying to recode all new spellcraft checks for research and casting - and even then... I dont think there is a way to calculate the spellcraft bonus without INT included, but still include bonuses from gear and other sources. Its a conundrum.
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Re: Don't have my full 8 casts of Epic Magic

Post by MannyJabrielle on Thu Aug 21, 2014 6:32 pm

I haven't examined the cast/research DCs, so my reference to DCs was to the saves on the epic seeds, but yes, the research numbers do appear off at first glance.  My wiz/palemaster's save DC on his epic destroy seed spell is lower than even his 2nd level arcane spells, whereas both of my sorcs have their save DC's coming out at appropriate numbers.

I think multi-classing wizards is a factor in the casts per day thing.  All three of my wizards are multiclassed (wiz/pm, wiz/animator/fsm, and wiz/rogue/sd).  They should have 5, 7 and 6 cast respectively, but get 4 without any self-sacrifice shenanigans.
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Re: Don't have my full 8 casts of Epic Magic

Post by Ramana Jala on Thu Aug 21, 2014 7:23 pm


Multi-classing might indeed throw a bigger wrench into it.  Crideas and my Ranara are both pure-class wizards (not counting semi-classes, of course).
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Re: Don't have my full 8 casts of Epic Magic

Post by daveyeisley on Thu Aug 21, 2014 10:06 pm

If I recall correctly, multiclassing is supposed to factor into it -something like, the first class a PC qualifies for the Epic Magic feat on becomes their Epic Magic class, and the caster level of that class divided by 10 is added to the base ranks of spellcraft divided by 10 to determine casts per day.

The Amethyst Dragon would have to clerify that - I could be totally wrong.
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Re: Don't have my full 8 casts of Epic Magic

Post by MannyJabrielle on Thu Aug 21, 2014 10:20 pm

That is correct.  The only caveat is palemasters.  They get 1 class cast at palemaster 20 (thus why I listed Auger's correct casts per day at 5).
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Re: Don't have my full 8 casts of Epic Magic

Post by daveyeisley on Thu Aug 21, 2014 10:24 pm

Aaaaand, I found it for anybody who cares

Das Link
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Re: Don't have my full 8 casts of Epic Magic

Post by A_Vagabond on Fri Aug 22, 2014 7:06 am

My Druid Epic does not get Int added to spellcraft for DCs, so that seems to be working as expected.

My pure wiz is screwy.
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Re: Don't have my full 8 casts of Epic Magic

Post by Kalandra on Fri Aug 22, 2014 11:09 am

daveyeisley wrote: This means that wizards are beholden to the native cap of 127 (which governs all skills) for their epic research and casting checks, but other casters can potentially have greater than 127 natively on their checks since they seem to get their INT mod included in the spellcraft bonus, and then their casting stat mod on top of it.

Woah, there! What's that? I've been wondering about weird results from epic spell design / casting - are there any caps involved?

For example, I have a bonus of 107 according to the character sheet, That seems to be correct, as he has
- 43 ranks in Spellcraft,
- +10 from Epic Skill Focus: Spellcraft,
- +14 from Int (buffed),
- +50 on items (+10 from ascended, which doesn't seem to stack with that though) for a total of
107.

But even with taking 20, my character (wizard) only reaches a total DC of 112.  Weirdly, he managed to design a spell with a DC of 113.

Is that because of hidden caps?
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Re: Don't have my full 8 casts of Epic Magic

Post by daveyeisley on Sat Aug 23, 2014 10:20 am

A_Vagabond wrote:My Druid Epic does not get Int added to spellcraft for DCs, so that seems to be working as expected.

My pure wiz is screwy.

To clarify this - I don't think the INT mod is added to the DCs for saves against your epic spells (your casting stat mod should be added though), but I am pretty sure the script that checks your total spellcraft bonus does include your INT mod, and non-wizards then get their casting stat mod added as well- and this will affect your ability to research and cast those spells. I believe that's where wizards currently get shafted.
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Re: Don't have my full 8 casts of Epic Magic

Post by daveyeisley on Sat Aug 23, 2014 10:41 am

Kalandra wrote:
daveyeisley wrote: This means that wizards are beholden to the native cap of 127 (which governs all skills) for their epic research and casting checks, but other casters can potentially have greater than 127 natively on their checks since they seem to get their INT mod included in the spellcraft bonus, and then their casting stat mod on top of it.

Woah, there! What's that? I've been wondering about weird results from epic spell design / casting - are there any caps involved?

For example, I have a bonus of 107 according to the character sheet, That seems to be correct, as he has
- 43 ranks in Spellcraft,
- +10 from Epic Skill Focus: Spellcraft,
- +14 from Int (buffed),
- +50 on items (+10 from ascended, which doesn't seem to stack with that though) for a total of
107.

But even with taking 20, my character (wizard) only reaches a total DC of 112.  Weirdly, he managed to design a spell with a DC of 113.

Is that because of hidden caps?

NWN has a hard-coded cap for skill bonuses. The cap is 127 from all sources - your total native bonus for a skill (which includes base ranks, feats, relevant stat modifier, racial bonuses and enhancement bonuses) cannot exceed 127.

There is also a hard coded cap of +50 for enhancement bonuses to skills (such as from gear, subraces, and ascension).

So basically to max out a total skill bonus at 127 you would need at least a bonus of 77 from base ranks, racial bonuses, feats, and the relevant stat mod (INT mod in the case of spellcraft) and then you would need another +50 in enhancement bonuses.

Specially scripted checks (such as those for epic magic) can take your total skill bonus and then add other things to it (such as the +10 bonus from the Mystical Insight feat, or in the case of non-wizards, their casting stat modifier) before calculating the result.

Its not easily accomplished by any means, but I put a lot of work in and made a lot of tough build decisions and tradeoffs for Crideas to get there. That's the reason it bothers me that there is a possibility for non-wizards to exceed the 127 cap by having their casting stat mod added after everything else that gets included in that 127 cap. Wizards are thematically supposed to have the best advantage for learning/using epic magic (its their reward for their class being so focused on magic that they trade most of the mechanical benefits other classes gain like BAB, hitpoints, and ability to use weapons/armor), but the system currently doesn't reflect that - they do get 10 more epic spell slots, though (50 slots for wizards, 40 for other casters).
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Re: Don't have my full 8 casts of Epic Magic

Post by MannyJabrielle on Sat Aug 23, 2014 8:30 pm

For the cast/resarch DCs, it would probably be best to just add in an additional check... if wizard, apply the int mod again to the spellcraft research/cast check so that wizards get the same bonuses applied as non-wizard casters do.

As for the save DCs.... they are just wonky as hell.
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Re: Don't have my full 8 casts of Epic Magic

Post by daveyeisley on Sun Aug 24, 2014 1:54 pm

Addint the INT bonus after having already gotten it in the spellcraft bonus would definitely give wizards a big advantage - I could see it being percieved as too much, but I could definitely live with that, and it also might be the easiest way for The Amethyst Dragon to handle the concept of all epic casters benefiting from their spellcraft bonus (including int mod), with casting stat mods also being applied after the 127 spellcraft cap.
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Re: Don't have my full 8 casts of Epic Magic

Post by MannyJabrielle on Sun Aug 24, 2014 2:10 pm

I wouldn't think it too much. I'd have to double-check the numbers, but I think non-wiz epics get their modified spellcraft+casting stat mod, so it would bring wizards on-par with everyone else.

Their innate advantage would be is they have far less investment for the same results.  The non-wizard characters would need to invest in their casting stat PLUS intelligence to hit the highest spellcraft they can, while wizards would only need to invest in one stat, which also grants more skill points to spread around.  I think that's a very appropriate advantage for a wizard to have over a comparable sorcerer of the same level/general build.  Both CAN hit the 127 nwn skill cap, the wizard would be able to do so with far less effort.
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Re: Don't have my full 8 casts of Epic Magic

Post by daveyeisley on Sun Aug 24, 2014 2:32 pm

On the plus side, if The Amethyst Dragon decides to adjust the check so wizards also get their casting stat mod added in addition to the spellcraft bonus, then it might open up possibilities for things like the high-end Destroy seed in an AoE version that might not require burning 5kxp and/or 50% health on every cast.
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Re: Don't have my full 8 casts of Epic Magic

Post by MannyJabrielle on Sun Aug 24, 2014 3:17 pm

After retooling Aga as a pureclass, he's still only getting 4 casts.  Seems for whatever reason, the script is still seeing him as a multiclass and only granting him his base spellcraft in casts, and absolutely no class castings at all.
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Re: Don't have my full 8 casts of Epic Magic

Post by The Amethyst Dragon on Sun Aug 24, 2014 6:01 pm

I'm currently rewriting the entire Aenean Epic Magic system (yeah, from scratch). Version two will be more cleanly scripted and make research easier via a conversation-based menu rather than placeables.

As far as the Spellcraft checks go, I'm almost done redoing it.  The new check will get the full ranks+bonuses for the skill, and then if a nonwizard it will remove the Int bonus and replace it with the bonus for the caster's primary casting ability.

The new research system will keep a running tally of the Spellcraft DC (for research and casting) and the costs in gold (actual gold, no more "celestial gold") and xp that is given after each choice is made, along with the current max Spellcraft check for the caster and his/her current supply of gold.

The new scripting will correctly handle number of epic castings per day without getting variable castings per day per login.

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Re: Don't have my full 8 casts of Epic Magic

Post by MannyJabrielle on Sun Aug 24, 2014 6:16 pm

Will the spells still be single seeds?

Combining seeds would rock... such as making a "lesser" hellball that doesn't have as much damage on each of the elements, but doesnt' cost as much to cast Smile  Or even making a hellball without any frost damage or any shock damage.
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Re: Don't have my full 8 casts of Epic Magic

Post by daveyeisley on Sun Aug 24, 2014 6:42 pm

Will the new system pretty much wipe out all epic spells a PC has already researched?

I don't mind starting over if the scripting will be nice and clean and polished, but I would like my gold and XP refunded for what I've already spent.... its umm.... an awful lot.

Oh and if some of the seed's base DC's, and the DC modifiers for various options could be toned down slightly, that would help a lot, too.
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Re: Don't have my full 8 casts of Epic Magic

Post by daveyeisley on Sun Aug 24, 2014 7:19 pm

Ugh, if I am understanding things correctly, I just thought of a potential problem with the new spellcraft check as proposed....

Lets say you have two different caster PCs. One is a Wizard, the other is a Cleric. They both have +50 enhancement, 43 base ranks, Skill Focus: Spellcraft, and Epic Skill focus: Spellcraft for a total spellcraft bonus (without INT mod) of 106.

The Wizard has an INT mod of 30. The Cleric has an INT mod of 8. The clerics WIS mod is 30.

The wizard caps at spellcraft 127 and effectively loses 9 points of his stat mod. He is just stuck without those mod points gained from the additional 18 points of his casting stat.

The Cleric on the other hand is only at spellcraft 114, losing nothing to the cap. Since he is a nonwizard, his INT mod will be subtracted, bringing him back down to 106 spellcraft. Now he gets his full 30 WIS mod added, taking him up to an effective bonus of 136, 9 points better than the Wizard.

Unless I am missing something, this still leaves Wizard's at a disadvantage... Sad

Please tell me I am missing something?
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Re: Don't have my full 8 casts of Epic Magic

Post by MannyJabrielle on Sun Aug 24, 2014 10:45 pm

That can easily be fixed via scripting.  The GetSkillRank function can check for both modified and base skill ranks.

So for the spellcraft check, even on wizards, Getskillrank(oPC, nbaseskill=true) + GetAbilityModifer (Int, oPC) + GetAbilityModifier (casting stat mod, oPC) would give the proper numbers for PCs with high end stats, wizards included.
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Re: Don't have my full 8 casts of Epic Magic

Post by daveyeisley on Sun Aug 24, 2014 11:38 pm

My apologies, I'm a script noob, and I am confused.

Can you clarify what modified skill ranks includes?

In my above example Wizard, I know that we can get the following values:

- Base skill ranks of 43
- Int modifier (30)
- total bonus 127 due to cap

What I'm not clear on is how you calculate what is being cut off by the cap. Is there a way to get:

- Enhancement bonuses from all sources (up to +50 cap)
- Feat Bonuses

I'm not seeing how base ranks, modified ranks, and int mod allow you to calculate what the cap is cutting off so you can correct for it?

Unless modified ranks is not getting the total bonus? Does it include enhancement and feats? Or just enhancement?


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Re: Don't have my full 8 casts of Epic Magic

Post by MannyJabrielle on Mon Aug 25, 2014 1:01 am

I just realized that... I am not sure of a way to account for the +X skill bonuses off of items/spells without some twisty scripting.

The idea with the previous post though is simply bypass the NWN 127 cap by calculating the skill 'manually', getting the base skill and the int modifier separately.

That would get the accurate spellcraft score after bonuses from intelligence enhancements.... but as I just realized and you pointed out, it won't necessarily account for the +1 through +50 skill enhancements and feat bonuses.

The feat checks are easy enough to do... just check for the relevant feats, and add the appropriate number to the above baserank+int modifier+casting stat modifier check.  There's a script function for that

For the +1 through +50 item enhancements.... that would be a little more tricky to set up, since AFAIK, there's no script function in NWN to easily get the total +X skill modifiers from spells/item properties.

I would think the best way to accurately account for those points would be to get them in a separate check using the on-equip/on-unequip events.

When a player equips an item, do a quick check to see if they can cast epic magic (check for if they have the feat).  If not, nothing more needs to happen.  If they can cast epic magic, run a check through their inventory slots, check if there's an item in that slot, if so, check if item has the +1/+50 spellcraft properties and/or the +X to all skills properties.

Add all the spellcraft boots (if any) from worn items (L/R hands, armor, helm, boots, belt, cloak gloves/bracers, ring1, ring2, amulet), and put that number into a variable on the PC or the PC's database item.

At time of epic spell casting/researching, add that variable number to the above baserank+int mod+casting mod check. Since the check is run at time of equipping/unequipping gear, the variable would be updated on gear swap and stay current.  

For accounting for +X skill points from spells/effects which aren't equipped items.... add in a check at the time of researching/casting that loops through valid effects on the PC and checks to see if they have the "focus" spell effect, the green ioun effect, or any other spell that gives direct +X spellcraft/+X to all skills bonuses.... add those numbers to the above spellcraft check as well.

The only issue I can see is, especially for someone who's swapping gear every 5 seconds, that item property check could be a burden.  I jsut can't think of any other way to account for the spellcraft bonuses in a way that doesn't get nerfed by the 127 cap.  Hopefully The Amethyst Dragon will know an even better way.  On the brigher side though... who DOES sit in the middle of combat trying on their gabillion pairs of shoes and gloves?  Weapon/shield swapping would happen more frequently, but even then not so often.
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Re: Don't have my full 8 casts of Epic Magic

Post by Ramana Jala on Mon Aug 25, 2014 1:57 pm


The Amethyst Dragon wrote:I'm currently rewriting the entire Aenean Epic Magic system (yeah, from scratch). Version two will be more cleanly scripted and make research easier via a conversation-based menu rather than placeables.

Today my epic spell summon gold dragon didn't work.  I appreciate the revision of the system, but I suppose such errors are to be expected during this transition?

[Edit:  My bad... had got it stuck in my head that it was a summons when it's actually a transform.]


Last edited by Ramana Jala on Thu Aug 28, 2014 9:49 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Don't have my full 8 casts of Epic Magic

Post by MannyJabrielle on Mon Aug 25, 2014 2:30 pm

I don't think anything's been implemented yet Razz  Probably more likely just a random glitch of the spell
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Re: Don't have my full 8 casts of Epic Magic

Post by A_Vagabond on Wed Aug 27, 2014 7:32 am

'course, one could make it simpler by just accepting that the spellcraft cap is 127, for all casters.

Then, non-wizzies get their Int bonus subtracted and their casting bonus added, and still only allow a max of 127. This makes the Int vs. other stats discussion moot.

THEN, add on the casting stat bonus again. So, wiz and non-wiz would all be subject to the same 127 cap, plus the addition of their stat casting bonus, and that's that. Makes all the math much simpler, and is fair across the board. Use this as the basis for setting the seed DCs, etc.

Thus, the max DC would be 127 + 10 (Aenea epic casting feat) + 20 (take 20) + casting stat bonus. This would apply to all casters, and would make achieving the max DC equally challenging, without having to run a lot of scripts scanning gear every time you put on or take off something.

DC would then be open to modification as it is now, and all those mods can be adjusted to this new expectation to make it "fair and reasonable" for whatever the balance is felt to be.
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Re: Don't have my full 8 casts of Epic Magic

Post by Lasombra on Wed Aug 27, 2014 9:04 am

From what I understood, that's basically what the new system would ideally boil down to, but the challenge, as I see it, is with calculating how much INT factored into the bonus, since we have no simple way to check how much spellcraft you would have without the cap. With your solution, for anyone over 127, you'd be substracting the amount of INT modifier from the same number, essentially taking away from the bonus from other sources. Even worse, the more you went over the cap, the more you would have taken away.

As Manny said, the solution would be to calculate spellcraft bonuses from all sources, but it's not that simple.
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Re: Don't have my full 8 casts of Epic Magic

Post by A_Vagabond on Wed Aug 27, 2014 10:09 am

Lasombra wrote:From what I understood, that's basically what the new system would ideally boil down to, but the challenge, as I see it, is with calculating how much INT factored into the bonus, since we have no simple way to check how much spellcraft you would have without the cap. With your solution, for anyone over 127, you'd be substracting the amount of INT modifier from the same number, essentially taking away from the bonus from other sources. Even worse, the more you went over the cap, the more you would have taken away.

As Manny said, the solution would be to calculate spellcraft bonuses from all sources, but it's not that simple.

Well, the way I look at it, any non-int caster *should* have a casting stat higher than their Int, so if they cap out spellcraft at 127 by Bioware's calculations, they'll still cap it at 127 even after the stat-swap. Considering that it shouldn't be difficult to get +50 from gear anymore, most serious epic casters will just hit the 127 cap and be done. If the caster is "well over", that just means that maybe they don't need to enhance all their gear to +50, and they can have different options. Or, maybe they don't need to take every casting feat if they know they'll cap out.

My epic druid has a native int=14, and a native wis=30. subtract 2 from his spellcraft and add 10. If I cap out at 127 without the swap, I'll cap out with the swap. No one gets hurt this way. If the boosted int is 26 and the boosted wis is 42, subtract 8 and add 16. Still doesn't matter. Unless the caster is a non-wizard with a higher Int than casting stat, nothing is being lost. And, in that case, if that is the case, then the player isn't going for any kind of optimized epic caster, and really has little ground to complain. Even with a non-optimized caster, 43 spellcraft + 50 bonus + 23 from casting feats = 116. That's without any INT bonus applied.

Any way you slice it, someone's going to lose something out of bonus points for spellcraft. Going this way just makes the math less complex, therefore more bulletproof, and less likely to mess up. As long as the whole system is geared this way, then it's equivalent for all casters, and doesn't become a "wiz vs. everyone else" issue with balance.
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Re: Don't have my full 8 casts of Epic Magic

Post by Lasombra on Wed Aug 27, 2014 10:29 am

I missed the part about allowing 127 even after calculations. Nevermind, then.

Yeah, it would be simpler. Some could find it limits their maximum potential at some point, but I could definitely accept that, if DCs reflected the cap. You would need 80 casting stat to go over the cap without feats, so I'd say it's a reasonable suggestion, as I don't think there's anyone nearing it(the highest I know of is Crid with 70 INT, and he had to take 10 Great INT feats to achieve that). Most casters don't exceed 60.

That said, this is coming from someone mainly concerned about the impact on a sorcerer. I would imagine that particularly wizards, with their feat galore, can feel much more easily limited, especially if they bet everything on their magic prowess.
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Re: Don't have my full 8 casts of Epic Magic

Post by A_Vagabond on Wed Aug 27, 2014 11:48 am

Right now, there is only one Aenea specific epic casting feat, and as such it is separate from the 127 cap.

There is absolutely nothing stopping The Amethyst Dragon from making more such feats. This would allow for more flexibility/mobility within the realm of Epic casting while still allowing the "vast majority of unwashed masses" to partake of the new system. Wizards only end up with 4 extra (pre-epic) feats. In the epics, both wiz and sorc take a bonus feat every 3 levels. Either class, under this system, should have the opportunity to max out if desired. Clerics as well. Druids get a bonus every 4th level, so they end up with 1 fewer.

Maybe there's a feat that increases save DCs without the full "hit" on the spell side, or that doubles the effective DC bonus for the same "cost". Maybe something similar for penetration, and for AOE. A dedicated offensive caster could then potentially achieve higher effective DCs/SR/AOE than a non-dedicated one, but the more casual epic caster wouldn't be completely cut off -- just needs to make more decisions regarding the various options. Maybe a feat that allows for the casting stacking, reducing DC by using multiple epic casts as described elsewhere, or reducing the cost of that stacking to allow for the spells to have even more power. Lots of options...

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Re: Don't have my full 8 casts of Epic Magic

Post by MannyJabrielle on Wed Aug 27, 2014 12:42 pm

A_Vagabond wrote:'course, one could make it simpler by just accepting that the spellcraft cap is 127, for all casters.

Then, non-wizzies get their Int bonus subtracted and their casting bonus added, and still only allow a max of 127. This makes the Int vs. other stats discussion moot.

THEN, add on the casting stat bonus again. So, wiz and non-wiz would all be subject to the same 127 cap, plus the addition of their stat casting bonus, and that's that. Makes all the math much simpler, and is fair across the board. Use this as the basis for setting the seed DCs, etc.

Thus, the max DC would be 127 + 10 (Aenea epic casting feat) + 20 (take 20) + casting stat bonus. This would apply to all casters, and would make achieving the max DC equally challenging, without having to run a lot of scripts scanning gear every time you put on or take off something.

DC would then be open to modification as it is now, and all those mods can be adjusted to this new expectation to make it "fair and reasonable" for whatever the balance is felt to be.

That wont work.

Here's why: There's no way to obtain the spellcraft skill bonuses from items/spells without checking the base skill + int modifier score , and if you say "well, don't include spellcraft boosts from items/spells", the DC cap is then not 127, it's 102+d20 (43 base ranks + 10 epic spell craft, + 10 mystical insight +3 spell craft focus +2 courteous magocracy + 34 maximum total stat bonus achievable (and that does mean maximum, bright gnome starting with 24 int, +5 tome, +10 from level ups, +9 great ints (skip the 10th cuz odd numbers do not contribute to modifier), +12 enhancement from gear/spell, and all 20 shae XP store buys)).

That would be a break from nwn mechanics as all skills get their fully modified score in rolled checks.  It would also extremely limit the range of seed DC's.  102+d20 would be *the maximum* after spending 10 million XP on stat buys, so figure on average 90+d20.

That's only a 12 point range difference to differentiate between spells all focused casters could achieve and spells the focused casters with millions more XP worth of investment can do.  Unless you intend to have certain seeds with modifications pretty much auto fail on anything but check rolls of 20, and modifers on spells being pretty much free.... all epic spells will cost roughtly the same amount DC wise, and the whole fuss over boosting spellcraft skill to achieve better epic spells becomes 100% moot....

At which point the whole skill based system for them would be better off dropped.... even simpler than a base rank + casting stat modifier skill check... no skill check at all since it's relatively pointless.

And adding more epic spell casting type feats won't necessarily be the answer either.  Even with just a base skill + feat + casting stat, there's 16 feats that can be taken to aid epic spell casting (courteous magocracy, skill focus, epic skill focus, mystical insight, combat casting, improved combat casting, great XXX 1-10).  13 of those are epic feats, so it takes a pure-class or just about pure class wiz/sorc/cleric to gain all fo them, pure class druids can't even get all of them, and certainly have to be paragon pure class to get all their epic bonus feats.

The result of adding even more epic feats won't be adding to spellcraft DC, it would be making playes choose between X and Y feats.  And if either one gives more bonus than the other, that one will always be chosen simply because there would be absolutely no room for everything and players will take the better option.... leaving the lesser option pretty much a non-choice, clutter in the feat list, and a whole bunch of coding/2da editing time on The Amethyst Dragon's part wasted on something that won't get used.
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Re: Don't have my full 8 casts of Epic Magic

Post by A_Vagabond on Thu Aug 28, 2014 6:28 am

I never suggested dropping the boosts, and I'm not certain where you got that idea? All I suggested was accepting the cap of 127 for both int-based and non-int based casting, by taking the modified spellcraft (all boosts in place), subtracting the Int modifier, adding in the casting stat modifier, and then force-capping that result at 127, to make it fair. After this, I suggested adding in the casting stat *again*, at full bonus, and then adding in Mystical Insight and d20. This will still allow the caster who maxxes out the casting stat with Shea buys to see a benefit, but keeps the math simple so that wizzies aren't getting screwed by the cap vs. other casters, and also prevents undue lag/complex scripting by trying to manually add up all the gear bonuses.

So, for your example with a +34 stat bonus, let us assume max gear, etc, so the spellcraft will be locked at 127.

127 - 34 + 34 = 127 (Spellcraft adjustment for casting stat, no worries, still remains at 127)
127 + 34 = 161 (Additional bonus from casting stat, not subject to 127 cap this time, since it's added by the script)
161 + 10 (MI) + 20 (take 20) = 191 as the maximum

This 191 will only be available to the 100% dedicated caster as you've described. Anyone who doesn't buy with Shea will already be at a -10 deficit (assuming they still max the spellcraft through other bonuses). Most will not take all the Great X feats, or super-max the starting stat as it's expensive to do so, so the difference can be ~20.

This math is easier, and more readily adjustable, too. Maybe The Amethyst Dragon decides that the second add-on casting bonus is worth 2x, or 1.5x. There are ways to tweak this math to make the range wider if desired, without overly complicating the mechanics of the math, since we already see that the math is too complicated in the current system.

I hope I've explained myself better this time around... Since casters can self-boost their own gear to +50 spellcraft anyway, I can't imagine an epic caster that won't have 127 spellcraft regardless of casting stat maximizing. If the only difference is the investment made in the casting stat itself, and that is the primary differentiator, then my suggestion gives each caster the full benefit of that stat (in the second line) as well as removing the Int penalty for non-wizards (in the first line) while keeping the playing field simple and equal. Any other tweaking can be done in the second line, if the primary differentiator is the casting stat.
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Re: Don't have my full 8 casts of Epic Magic

Post by MannyJabrielle on Thu Aug 28, 2014 12:10 pm

A_Vagabond wrote:I never suggested dropping the boosts, and I'm not certain where you got that idea? All I suggested was accepting the cap of 127 for both int-based and non-int based casting, by taking the modified spellcraft (all boosts in place), subtracting the Int modifier, adding in the casting stat modifier, and then force-capping that result at 127, to make it fair
Because, as I said, there is no function to directly get the skill enhancement bonuses.  The function to get skill gets either base ranks, or modified base ranks with skill and ability modifiers bundled together.  And that is where the 127 caps starts to play havoc.

40th level wizard with +50 spellcraft items, +12 int items, 43 base ranks, courteous magocracy, skill focus spellcraft, epic skill focus spellcraft, and maxed intelligence (18 starting, +5 tome, 10 from level ups, 9 great int (the 10th puts int at an odd number) and +20 from XP buys, 62 Int total with the +12 item enhancements is 74, modifier of 32.   Such a PC's spellcraft score should be 140, but is 127 due to the cap.

So.... we plug in your formula, and nwnscript gets: 127-32=95. Tack on the int modifier afterwards, 127....

With base ranks + skill enhancements + magocracy/skillfocus/epic skill focus, that wizard's spellcraft score *without* the int modifer should be 108.

But as I've stated already... nwnscript does not have a function to directly get the skill enhancements alone.  Hence my suggested system of checking each worn item and recording their enhancement, and adding the numbers to a variable to plug in.

Now.... let's stake another wizard, same level, same gear, magocracy/skillfocus/epicskillfocus, no great intelligence feats however, and no XP buys.  His INT score with the same gear is 45 with a modifier of 18, spellcraft score is 126.

Plug into the forumula.... 126-18=108.

That right there should tell you why the formula you suggested won't work.

Wizard 1 with 9 more feats and 10 million more XP invested gets 95, mage 2 without the 9 extra feats and 10 million XP investment gets 108.

Now we take the 18 modifier back onto mage 2's 108 score for the epic research/cast formula.... 126.

Mage 1 with 9 more feats and 10 million more investment gets ONE point more of spellcraft towards his check than does the mage who did not invest the 9 more feats and 10 million XP.

That is why it won't work, it will not be fair, it will actually be backwards in that you will get LESS spellcraft the more investment you put in.
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Re: Don't have my full 8 casts of Epic Magic

Post by daveyeisley on Thu Aug 28, 2014 6:57 pm

MannyJabrielle wrote:
A_Vagabond wrote:I never suggested dropping the boosts, and I'm not certain where you got that idea? All I suggested was accepting the cap of 127 for both int-based and non-int based casting, by taking the modified spellcraft (all boosts in place), subtracting the Int modifier, adding in the casting stat modifier, and then force-capping that result at 127, to make it fair
Because, as I said, there is no function to directly get the skill enhancement bonuses.  The function to get skill gets either base ranks, or modified base ranks with skill and ability modifiers bundled together.  And that is where the 127 caps starts to play havoc.

40th level wizard with +50 spellcraft items, +12 int items, 43 base ranks, courteous magocracy, skill focus spellcraft, epic skill focus spellcraft, and maxed intelligence (18 starting, +5 tome, 10 from level ups, 9 great int (the 10th puts int at an odd number) and +20 from XP buys, 62 Int total with the +12 item enhancements is 74, modifier of 32.   Such a PC's spellcraft score should be 140, but is 127 due to the cap.

So.... we plug in your formula, and nwnscript gets: 127-32=95. Tack on the int modifier afterwards, 127....

With base ranks + skill enhancements + magocracy/skillfocus/epic skill focus, that wizard's spellcraft score *without* the int modifer should be 108.

But as I've stated already... nwnscript does not have a function to directly get the skill enhancements alone.  Hence my suggested system of checking each worn item and recording their enhancement, and adding the numbers to a variable to plug in.

Now.... let's stake another wizard, same level, same gear, magocracy/skillfocus/epicskillfocus, no great intelligence feats however, and no XP buys.  His INT score with the same gear is 45 with a modifier of 18, spellcraft score is 126.

Plug into the forumula.... 126-18=108.

That right there should tell you why the formula you suggested won't work.

Wizard 1 with 9 more feats and 10 million more XP invested gets 95, mage 2 without the 9 extra feats and 10 million XP investment gets 108.

Now we take the 18 modifier back onto mage 2's 108 score for the epic research/cast formula.... 126.

Mage 1 with 9 more feats and 10 million more investment gets ONE point more of spellcraft towards his check than does the mage who did not invest the 9 more feats and 10 million XP.

That is why it won't work, it will not be fair, it will actually be backwards in that you will get LESS spellcraft the more investment you put in.

Thank you very much for that very clear example of the issue, Manny. Also, thank you to Vagabond for the excellent suggestion for a workaround.

I know that Vagabond's suggestion isn't perfect, but maybe we don't want to throw out the baby with the bath water? It may not be so bad, if we extrapolate the one remaining step in Vagabond's suggestion onto Manny's above example  - adding the casting stat mod *again*, *after* the subtraction of the int mod and re-addition of the casting stat mod (and then force capping the result at 127 for *all* PCs).

Lets ignore other later additions like Mystical insight, since they are not part of the calculation issue (they will always be correctly,fully applied).

So Wizard 1 comes up with 127 total after the removal and re-add of the int mod, then the forced cap of 127. Then he gets his +34 int mod added *again*, and comes out at 161.

Wizard 2 comes up with 126, never hitting the forced cap, and then gets his +18 added again for a total of 144.

This means that Wizard 1 still ends up with a 17 point edge over Wizard 2.

Compared to how it would normally be without a cap, Wizard 1would have a total bonus of 142 (43 ranks, +15 from feats, +50 from gear, +34 casting mod), and Wizard 2 would still have his 126 - for a difference of 16 points. The gap is almost the same.

I know we could put more thought into checking the rest of the comparison curve at different points, but I think you get the idea. Its not perfect, but it would help address the issue of heavily invested Wizards not being shafted on the total bonus compared to non-wizards.

That said, I am still in favor of Manny's stance that we wait and see if The Amethyst Dragon can work a miracle and devise an elegant way to calculate the gear bonuses separately, so the workaround is not needed. The idea of the onEquip and onUnequip modifications is valid, but Vagabond's point is not lost on me that that is a lot of extra work, could impact server performance, and due to complexity may not be a long-term reliable solution (but maybe it could be).

I'm very interested in The Amethyst Dragon's input on this.
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Re: Don't have my full 8 casts of Epic Magic

Post by MannyJabrielle on Thu Aug 28, 2014 10:42 pm

The problem's not necessarily the process of adding the int modifier again.

Rather it's that the problem is for when one is at or above the 127 cap, there's no simple script function to determine how much of that lost overage is actually due from INT bonus, how much is from spellcraft+X skill enhancements, and how much is from the magocracy/skill focus/epic skill focus feats.

The spellcraft+X bonuses are the actual pain to account for.  There is a script function to get the PC's base rank score, and a function to get if PC has feat XYZ.  There's just no direct function to get the cumulative +X skill bonuses from all the PC's items and spell effects in one shot.

And how much of that 1 to 16 point overage is from spellcraft bonus or from casting stat modifer determins if subtracting the int modifier and then adding it back twice again would give a correct number or give less or more than what the character is supposed to get.

And the idea is to bring wizards inline with all other casters in regards to getting the correct spellcraft score for epic magic stuff, which they currently do not.

The non-wizard casters will only run into this same issue of 127cap overage when their intelligence reaches 48 or higher (which is possible, my drow sorceress already has a int score of 40)

I'm not bashing any ideas, I'm just pointing out the simple limitations of the scripting and how that will affect the numbers array.
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Re: Don't have my full 8 casts of Epic Magic

Post by daveyeisley on Thu Aug 28, 2014 10:52 pm

I get that.

I think the practical result of Vagabind's workaround would be that all casters, not just wizards, would actually get more benefit for investing in casting stat mod than other bonuses, since it can help get them to the 127 *and* also gets added afterwards...

It would sort of make casting stat mod a 2 for 1... with that ratiot reduced by the amount chopped off by the cap. 

Since it is not possible to hit the cap without adding casting stat mod, this would only come into play with casting stat mods above +19 (108 is the best you can do without stat mod) and most PCs will not have 108 spellcraft before stat mod...

So the workaround basically levels the playing field in regards to the cap, and then actually rewards heavy investment in casting stat (but it would also devalue other bonuses as you go past +19 stat mod).

At least that is how it is looking to me. How do you see it?
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Re: Don't have my full 8 casts of Epic Magic

Post by MannyJabrielle on Thu Aug 28, 2014 11:57 pm

The way I'm seeing it is that at the high end, the wizard class will still suffer the same essential problem under the current AEMS beta of their epic spellcraft numbers being less than the equivolent druid/sorc/cleric caster, only by design, not by bug.

Even without the Aenea goodies like tomes and the XP store, just the default NWN mechanics, the wizard can go over the 127 cap on spellcraft, and the simpler forumla of -int modifier/+2x casting stat modifier will put the wizard at a lower score than a sorcerer or cleric with the exact same setup.

It's not a HUGE difference, but it is still a loss for wizards, particularly the end end ones, and that's where the wizard class should start to outshine the other casters if anything else, not start lagging behind
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Re: Don't have my full 8 casts of Epic Magic

Post by A_Vagabond on Fri Aug 29, 2014 10:14 am

I guess the way I look at it, "Spellcraft" for the purposes of AEMS should be "caster-stat" based as opposed to Int based (Bioware default). My suggestion, for the most part, is an attempt to create Spellcraft (caster) rather than Spellcraft (Int). As I see it (a non-wizard caster), this would make the playing field absolutely level for all casters, as long as they invest the same amount into their casting stat.

The impression I get from Manny's posts is that he feels wizards should have higher potential Spellcraft because it is Int based, and thus a dedicated wizard should outshine any other caster at the higher levels. I think the difference in opinion here is mainly based on the terminology/use of Spellcraft as the skill basis for AEMS, and if the intention by The Amethyst Dragon is to have it be Int-based or consider something caster-based instead.

Keeping it Int based definitely favors the wizard, as one maxxed stat is more effective than two, and it is far easier for a wizard to hit the spellcraft cap of 127 than other casters. Changing it to caster based makes it even and level for all epic casters regardless of stat, as they will all have as easy a chance to hit the cap, but does reduce the special relationship that wizards have with spellcraft at default.

I would argue that the wizards won't be lagging behind other casters at this point, just leveled off. That being said, I can see the argument on both sides, and ultimately it's The Amethyst Dragon's decision as to what the intent of the Spellcraft check really is.
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Re: Don't have my full 8 casts of Epic Magic

Post by ColdWind on Fri Aug 29, 2014 1:02 pm

why don't you just take 93 for a cap and then add your modifiers (stat+feats)?
would be much easier, 93=43 base + 50 from equip. well, in that case wizards can save some money on +sc enchantment for gear, but that's not that much of a deal
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Re: Don't have my full 8 casts of Epic Magic

Post by ColdWind on Fri Aug 29, 2014 1:51 pm

one more thing - adding +5 to reincarnated and +10 to ascended Smile
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Re: Don't have my full 8 casts of Epic Magic

Post by MannyJabrielle on Fri Aug 29, 2014 2:59 pm

No, it is not my point or intention that wizards outshine other classes.  Please re-read my posts. my point and intention is that the wizard class not get nerfed to *less* powerful than another caster class with the same build/stats.

My point is that NWN scripting has limitations which compound the 127 engine cap.

The two examples I showed above demonstrate how unless you make the AEMS check just base+casting stat, and ignore spellcraft boosts from items/spells, whatever formula you use, that scripting limitation coupled with the engine cap *will* nerf the casting focused wizard's spellcraft checks unless you use a scripting workaround to account for the spellcraft bonuses separately from all other modifiers.

The scripting workaround might not seem ideal simply because it's extra scripting, but it gives an accurate skill check that is not hampered by the 127 cap, and allows the wizard class to not get nerfed skill checks.

Let me be extremely clear on that if there's still any misunderstanding.  The scripting work around does not make wizards more powerful than a comparably equal build in another caster class.  It bypasses the scripting/engine limitations which would otherwise make the wizard get lower skill checks than the comparable sorc/druid/cleric.  It ensures that they are equal.



Coldwind wrote:why don't you just take 93 for a cap and then add your modifiers (stat+feats)?
would be much easier, 93=43 base + 50 from equip. well, in that case wizards can save some money on +sc enchantment for gear, but that's not that much of a deal

See posts above.  It works on paper, but NWN script limitations coupled with the 127 cap make it so that you cannot get the accurate +1/+50 enhancement number on wizards with 38 or higher intelligence.

43+stat modifer is simple enough to get.

43+all modifiers is simple enough to get, but for wizards will go over the 127 cap even in a default NWN module.

Stat modifier alone is simple enough to get.

The +1 through +50 skill enhancement modifiers is not a single script function to get.

43+all modifiers minus the intelligence modifier will not give accurate numbers for wizards with 38 or higher intelligence.  This is because of the 127 cap.

43+stat modifier + separate scripting routine to calculate the +1 through +50 skill enhancements *will* get accurate numbers regardless of the intelligence score and regardless of the 127 engine cap.  It also allows for swapping the stat modifier from intelligence to wisdom or charisma *without* any issue for either the sorc/cleric/druid, or the wizard.

The contention is that the separate scripting routine is seen as unwarranted for some reason that I just cannot understand, and is somehow being misconstrued as making wizards more powerful when in reality it puts the on equal footing as an equally built non-wizard caster.

Also, the reincarnation/ascension bonuses count towards that +50 skill boost cap.
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Re: Don't have my full 8 casts of Epic Magic

Post by ColdWind on Fri Aug 29, 2014 3:26 pm

well then, if a simple case check is available, then you can make a check, and if sc is 127 then take 93+stat modifier + 10 if courteous magocracy is taken
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Re: Don't have my full 8 casts of Epic Magic

Post by RustyDios on Fri Aug 29, 2014 4:36 pm

What we really need to start is a petition for Bioware (whoever currently owns the rights) to release the source code and then just modify the engine a little ... ... problem solved... ... ... ... ...
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Re: Don't have my full 8 casts of Epic Magic

Post by Angel of Death on Fri Aug 29, 2014 4:47 pm

RustyDios wrote:What we really need to start is a petition for Bioware (whoever currently owns the rights) to release the source code and then just modify the engine a little ... ... problem solved... ... ... ... ...

I don't think that'll ever happen, sadly. :/
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