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Survival Skill - Suggestions for Improvements


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I would like to see investments in Survival have a bigger impact on game play; other than increasing the duration of food and potions. As the game is now, I can pretty much ignore it.

 

 My suggestions would include:

 

1. More NPC wilderness related questions, where a high survival skill stat opens up more conversation options.

 

2.  A wilderness related quest where this skill has a major impact.

 

3. Survival skill affects random encounters when traveling from one wilderness encounter map to another. A successful skill check provides the party with an option to avoid a random wilderness encounter or to accept the encounter. A failed skill check results in an encounter where the party may be ambushed.

  • Trolls are ahead, do you wish to sneak past them?
  • A caravan under attack is ahead, do you wish to sneak past them?
  • A patrol of Knights are ahead, do you wish to sneak past them?

4. In wilderness maps a Survival skill check can automatically alert the party to the type of creatures that inhabit an area. A higher survival skill rank reflects a greater knowledge of animal signs & tracks.

  • Those are the tracks of trolls (Survival 5)
  • I see fresh signs of Ogres (Survival 5)
  • Those are wolf tracks (Survival 3)
  • Those are bear tracks (Survival 4)
  • It is unnaturally quiet, there must be something big and dangerous in the area.

5. A successful survival skill check automatically reveals climbable paths, crossable river fords or hidden cavern entrances when traversing wilderness encounter areas.

  • When walking along a river, a passable ford is highlighted in the water (Survival 5)
  • When walking along a mountain path, a climbable route is highlighted. This route may require a grappling hook or strong athletics to climb.
  • When walling along a cliff edge a descendible route is highlighted. This route may require a grappling hook or strong athletics to descend.
  • While walking along a boulder strewn cliff face a narrow opening to a cavern is detected among the rocks. (Survival 6)

 

The addition of some or all of these changes would make investing in this skill more interesting and impactful.

Edited by EdwinP
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Why should Survival do these things and not any of the other skills? Why should Survival be special?

"Art and song are creations but so are weapons and lies"

"Our worst enemies are inventions of the mind. Pleasure. Fear. When we see them for what they are, we become unstoppable."

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The OP has at least one point. Unless you're playing on one of the highest difficulties, relying heavily on potions and food, there doesn't seem to be a point in bolstering the survival skill. Maybe I'm missing something, but that seems about all it's doing.

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Survival could be allowed to significantly improve your travel time between wilderness areas, reducing fatigue effects.

 

Conceivably it could reduce interrupts from elemental powers and attacks, given that your character is more knowledgeable about the elements.

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On POTD, TOI difficulty survival skill is important, to prolong duration of food. But, I wouldn't mind seeing it be a bit more beneficial as suggested by the OP.

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On POTD, TOI difficulty survival skill is important, to prolong duration of food. But, I wouldn't mind seeing it be a bit more beneficial as suggested by the OP.

 

That seems to be the point. It's a one difficulty skill. Next to useless on any other level.

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1. More NPC wilderness related questions, where a high survival skill stat opens up more conversation options.

 

I agree with this, nothing else though.

"Good thing I don't heal my characters or they'd be really hurt." Is not something I should ever be thinking.

 

I use blue text when I'm being sarcastic.

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So what do we do to Lore to make it "valuable" after we tweak Survival? Stealth?

"Art and song are creations but so are weapons and lies"

"Our worst enemies are inventions of the mind. Pleasure. Fear. When we see them for what they are, we become unstoppable."

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Here's what I think regarding skills. They should provide some quality of life benefits while simultaneously providing another dimension for roleplaying

 

Stealth:

 

1)If they can uncouple stealth so that it is independent for each character, I would be fine with the skill. I would suggest having Stealth allow for restealthing in combat but that would break the game and trivialize encounters.

 

2)Additionally, Stealth, like any other skill, should have some dialogue/cut scene options. Maybe Stealth can include sleight of hand so that it is easier to incorporate into dialogue. 

 

 

 

Lore (in addition to scroll use):

 

1) Creatures can be divided into tiers/levels. You would need a certain Lore level or above to be able to unlock Bestiary entries for experience. This would help slow down experience a little.

 

2) Give a chance to reduce enchantment, potion, and scroll making costs. The chance would be based on the level of enchantment, potion, etc. Maybe 2 percent per level of Lore dividing by level of enchantment. So a Lore 5 means 10% chance for a Level 1 enchantment, 5% for level 2, etc.

 

 

 

Mechanics:

 

With the ability to open locked doors and chest, disarm traps, find cool stuff, and place traps effectively, Mechanics is fine. As with any skill, adding Dialogue options would be nice though.

 

 

 

Survival:

 

I like a lot of the OP's suggestions. To this I would add

 

1) Though it is currently not something in game, players should be able to get ambushes by hidden mobs. Spiders might drop from trees, brigands may be hiding in bushes, will o'wisps may be invisible. Survival would allow players to avoid some of these encounters. Survival would be compared to the mobs stealth. If you beat the Stealth score, can see the mob before it attacks  (like traps) so you can avoid/prepare. If not, you get jumped and maybe get afflicted with a short duration daze.  May be able to work in the reverse with player Stealth.

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For Lore, may I suggest:

 

1. Higher levels of lore can open up otherwise unreadable books & tomes to unlock new quests and access to new encounter areas (example: a tome reveals the location of a long forgotten abandoned keep or temple, aka the pirate map X marks the spot quest). If you don't have the required lore the PCs can seek out a librarian or a sage to translate the book. This would provide another reason for rebuilding the library at the stronghold as the librarian can attract a librarian/sage for the PCs to hire, in addition to the lore bonus.

 

2. A successful lore stat check can unlock books that contain instructions for new enchantments for arms, weapons and clothing. These new enchantments have a minimum lore requirement.

 

3. A successful lore stat check can reveal hidden text in a tome.

  • Fail Lore Check: Lord Sailing entered a race to recover from a tipped
  • Pass Lore Check: Lord Sailing entered a race to recover money from a tipped (Secret)

4. Each point in lore adds a random entry to the players journal. The game has 100 lore related journal entries. Adding a point of lore adds one of these entries to the player's journal. Example: Entry on how to slay a spirit, Entry on a new enchantment (Enchant a Helmet, that adds an enchantment option to a helmet), Knowledge about a Personality, Knowledge about a Deity, etc. The large number of possible random entries helps to make each game different.

Edited by EdwinP
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A new skill with the potential to add to the RPG experience be: History. History reflects a study of the of the personalities, history and geography of the realms. This skill would open up new conversation options (as who else would know that Lord X likes Y or hates Z). Each level in this skill would add 3 items of knowledge to the player's journal; randomly selected from a library of 100 items. The knowledge might be as simple as information about a realm, its lord, directions to a long abandoned castle, directions to a wizard's tower or the location of a long lost temple. A character skilled in history receives a bonus journal entry for every book found. Who studies history? Treasure hunters and those that want to influence the nobles of the land.

 

Example 1: Journal Entry: Wizard Cafmes tower was besieged by forces of Defiance in the war and left in ruins 100 years ago. Its location is said to be atop a cliff to the North East of Dyrford Village. (unlocks route to new encounter area)

 

Example 2: Journal Entry: Lord Masrt of the Knights owns is a collector of books and ancient tomes for his library.  (Hint that offering a rare book would secure his aid if you encounter him)

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On POTD, TOI difficulty survival skill is important, to prolong duration of food. But, I wouldn't mind seeing it be a bit more beneficial as suggested by the OP.

 

That seems to be the point. It's a one difficulty skill. Next to useless on any other level.

 

 

I'm not sure that I'd say "useless".  "Unnecessary" is probably more accurate, since something can be useful, but not necessary.

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A new skill with the potential to add to the RPG experience be: History. History reflects a study of the of the personalities, history and geography of the realms. This skill would open up new conversation options (as who else would know that Lord X likes Y or hates Z). Each level in this skill would add 3 items of knowledge to the player's journal; randomly selected from a library of 100 items. The knowledge might be as simple as information about a realm, its lord, directions to a long abandoned castle, directions to a wizard's tower or the location of a long lost temple. A character skilled in history receives a bonus journal entry for every book found. Who studies history? Treasure hunters and those that want to influence the nobles of the land.

 

Example 1: Journal Entry: Wizard Cafmes tower was besieged by forces of Defiance in the war and left in ruins 100 years ago. Its location is said to be atop a cliff to the North East of Dyrford Village. (unlocks route to new encounter area)

 

Example 2: Journal Entry: Lord Masrt of the Knights owns is a collector of books and ancient tomes for his library.  (Hint that offering a rare book would secure his aid if you encounter him)

 

 

History is just a part of Lore.  Lore basically represents a character's formal education, be it in historical, geographical, magical, etc.

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Here's what I think regarding skills. They should provide some quality of life benefits while simultaneously providing another dimension for roleplaying

Mechanics:

 

With the ability to open locked doors and chest, disarm traps, find cool stuff, and place traps effectively, Mechanics is fine. As with any skill, adding Dialogue options would be nice though.

 

 

 

Frankly, I don't think that Mechanics is fine as is.  Finding hidden things shouldn't be a Mechanics check.  It should be a check against Perception.  Any perceptive person should be able to notice and discover hidden stuff without the Mechanics skill.  IMO, Mechanics should be about locks and traps only.  (And I suppose other mechanical related stuff, if one needed some sort of check on an odd sort of mechanics device that someone in your party needed to figure out how to turn off or on or use properly.)

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I see lore and history as two separate skill areas.

 

Whereas Lore focuses on occult, esoteric topics and creatures. History's  focus is history, personalities, politics and geography. Two different paths of study.

 

Lore represents a character's accumulated miscellaneous knowledge and trivia, often of occult or esoteric topics. In combat, it helps characters learn about enemy defenses and capabilities. Each time a character attacks an enemy, their Lore skill helps contribute to revealing their defenses and, for common enemies, filling in their Bestiary entries.

Edited by EdwinP
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On POTD, TOI difficulty survival skill is important, to prolong duration of food. But, I wouldn't mind seeing it be a bit more beneficial as suggested by the OP.

 

That seems to be the point. It's a one difficulty skill. Next to useless on any other level.

 

 

Yeah you barely need consumables at all on normal and hard. And the general audience will be playing normal.But all of the skills are like that. Barely need lore since you dont really need scrolls on normal. Think if you have 4 lore on PC you can pass most speach checks for lore. Stealth and Athletics you only really need 5 and thats if you want your entire party sneaking up to start every encounter. If not athletics just needs 3. Mechanics is the only thing to find traps. And it improves Priest trap/seal spells. That is the only skill to actually be worth something in every playthrough.

 

All the skills barely change game play mechanics. Probably wanted to include it for future dlc or sequels. But 80% of the game would play exactly the same if all the skills were removed completely.

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I agree that most skills beyond 5 barely change the game play.

 

I would like to see higher level Skill stats have a greater impact on the game play. Example: If you have Lore 8, it should occasionally open up the opportunity to a new conversation stream that totally changes the encounter, allow the PC to open an otherwise unreadable book of spells or read decipher a scroll that makes a new enchantment or a new spell available. Perhaps, Lore 8 allows a wizard to select necromantic spells (summon skeleton, summon zombie, etc.) when he levels up. Without Lore 8 those necromantic spell options are not displayed.

 

Likewise, let a high ranking in Athletics provide the character more options. Perhaps, it unlocks new talents, provides an option to climb an otherwise unclimbable cliff face, or move across a fast flowing river. If you have to swim through a sewer or climb a tall cliff, let this activity critically fatigue those with no athletic skill and have no effect on exceptionally athletically skilled characters. If an encounter is waiting on the other side or at the top of the cliff, this could have a major impact on the battle. (and greatly increase the value of fatigue reducing potions)

 

Example:

 

Climb High Cliff Face

No Athletic Skill = Critical Fatigue (-50 accuracy, -25 defenses, -50% endurance)

Athletic Skill 3-5 = Major Fatigue (-25 accuracy, -12 defenses,  -25% endurance)
Athletic Skill 6-8 = Minor Fatigue (-10 accuracy, -5 defenses, -10% endurance)
Athletic Skill 9+ = No Fatigue

 

That would provide player characters a reason to specialize in a skill, instead of becoming knowledgeable in many and a master of non.

Edited by EdwinP
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I see lore and history as two separate skill areas.

 

Whereas Lore focuses on occult, esoteric topics and creatures. History's  focus is history, personalities, politics and geography. Two different paths of study.

 

Lore represents a character's accumulated miscellaneous knowledge and trivia, often of occult or esoteric topics. In combat, it helps characters learn about enemy defenses and capabilities. Each time a character attacks an enemy, their Lore skill helps contribute to revealing their defenses and, for common enemies, filling in their Bestiary entries.

 

Honestly, I don't care that much what the in-game definition says.  Real Lore would be about education, which in game terms would most definitely include geographical and historical knowledge, in addition to knowledge about the arcane arts and monsters and so forth. 

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On POTD, TOI difficulty survival skill is important, to prolong duration of food. But, I wouldn't mind seeing it be a bit more beneficial as suggested by the OP.

 

That seems to be the point. It's a one difficulty skill. Next to useless on any other level.

 

 

Yeah you barely need consumables at all on normal and hard. And the general audience will be playing normal.But all of the skills are like that. Barely need lore since you dont really need scrolls on normal. Think if you have 4 lore on PC you can pass most speach checks for lore. Stealth and Athletics you only really need 5 and thats if you want your entire party sneaking up to start every encounter. If not athletics just needs 3. Mechanics is the only thing to find traps. And it improves Priest trap/seal spells. That is the only skill to actually be worth something in every playthrough.

 

All the skills barely change game play mechanics. Probably wanted to include it for future dlc or sequels. But 80% of the game would play exactly the same if all the skills were removed completely.

 

 

I think that there's somewhat of a need for healing potions in battle.  OTOH, pre-battle food consumables really don't matter much.  I may misunderstand their value, but it seems to me that when you're fighting the proverbial trash mobs, you hardly need them.  And against big bosses, the enhancements that food has to offer doesn't seem to give anywhere near enough to represent any major enhancement (though I admit that I could be wrong about this).  There are some potions that give significant short term enhancements, but I have to admit that once in battle, I never remember to use them.  The only potions that I remember to use in battle are healing potions, and frankly I find those a bit confusing, because there seem to be two different types of them and I don't understand how they differ. (Not talking about major vs minor, btw.  A big vs small healing isn't confusing.  It's the other differences that aren't clear.)

 

 

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I guess when looking at the existing skills, I see value in gaining high levels of some of those skills.  Stealth, Lore, and Mechanics, to be specific. 

 

High stealth lets a character get really, really close to an enemy without being spotted, and delays how long the "yellow" and "red" timers take before triggering.  This can be very useful for a thieving or backstabbing rogue, or perhaps a monk.  And for any character you're using a scout.

 

High Lore is mostly useful for casting high level scroll spells.

 

High Mechanics is useful for disarming high level traps and opening high level locks. And for a priest, is useful for improving one's Seal spells.

 

But I don't see much value in high levels of Athletics or Survival.  Oh, I suppose that it's hard to argue that extending the duration of consumables has *no* value.  But to get that value, you have to be willing or remember to use those consumables in the first place.  And for that matter, other than a few boss or near boss level fights, at least in Normal mode, one hardly needs those consumables in the first place.

 

On top of that, the idea of extending the duration of consumables doesn't exactly fit how I'd view a "Survival" skill.  For that matter, I'm not entirely sure that there's much room for a "true" survival skill in this game.  I mean, Tracking is pretty much useless after one's first play through of the game, since you'll know where the enemies are without tracking them.    I suppose that another way one could use survival skill would be for knowing how to rest in the wild without actual supplies, being able to forage for food and firewood and be able to start a fire (or know when not to start a fire for the sake of safety).  Survival might let you know when it was or wasn't safe to perform a normal rest in the wild.  This concept of Survival is probably the sort of thing that you'd only need one character to have, sort of like a guide character..... or a Ranger.  Someone who knows how to survive and live in the wild.

 

 

 

As for Athletics, this seems more difficult.  Having a minimal amount of Athletics essentially means that the character is in decent physical condition.  Is able to fight a string of battles without becoming exhausted after 2 or 3 of them.  For the most part, a character with 3 points in Athletics is only going to become fatigued after long periods without sleep, not from combat exhaustion.  But beyond that, Athletics starts to become less about simply being in shape and more about being an excellent athlete, able to perform acts of considerable (pardon the repetition) athletic skill.  Being able to climb a rock face.  Being able to swim across a fast moving river or stream.  And so on.  But the thing is that these are probably not about being able to do it without becoming fatigued.  They're probably more about being able to do them at all. 

 

And it seems to me that to enable this requires creating a lot of situations where the skill would come into play, but doing so in a way where you either have enough Athletic skill or you have no way to get to where you need to go.  It should be more about having the skill to allow you to get in some back door, so to speak, while the front door always remains an option.

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I see lore and history as two separate skill areas.

 

Whereas Lore focuses on occult, esoteric topics and creatures. History's  focus is history, personalities, politics and geography. Two different paths of study.

 

Lore represents a character's accumulated miscellaneous knowledge and trivia, often of occult or esoteric topics. In combat, it helps characters learn about enemy defenses and capabilities. Each time a character attacks an enemy, their Lore skill helps contribute to revealing their defenses and, for common enemies, filling in their Bestiary entries.

 

Honestly, I don't care that much what the in-game definition says.  Real Lore would be about education, which in game terms would most definitely include geographical and historical knowledge, in addition to knowledge about the arcane arts and monsters and so forth. 

 

It could be a neat mechanic if lore could open up some dialogue options currently restricted by backgrounds.

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Imho, the two health-recovering talents should imho be removed and replaced by a survival-based ability:

 

Something like 20+survival x 5 = health restored.

A character with 1 in survival has 1 use per rest and can only heal his own wounds. Then, at 5 points you unlock the ability to use it on other characters. Then every 5 points in survival you get an additional use per rest. The amount healed is lower than for the talents, but it can be used more often at higher skill levels.

 

Would look like this:

Survival score 1: 1x self cast, heals 25 health.

Survival score 5: 1x target; heals 45 health.

Survival score 10: 2x target; heals 70 health.

Survival score 15: 3x target; heals 95 health.

 

It even makes sense from a logical perspective that someone trained in survival is better at applying first aid help.

Edited by Zwiebelchen
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Idea: Encounter area where survival skill opens up new strategic and tactical options;

 

The scene, is a bandit camp, on a plateau protected by steep cliffs, accessible by a narrow winding path that goes by archers who watch from overhead ledges.

 

PCs can make a direct assault and suffer from archer attacks and traps that guard the passage up, or look for a way to climb up the steep cliffs.

 

----1) A party with low survival skills finds a difficult to climb path that leaves many PCs with major or critical fatigue due to a large fatigue penalty once the cliff is scaled. Fatigue Penalty: 50

 

----2) A party with high survival skill will find the climb less fatiguing, due to a smaller fatigue penalty. Fatigue Penalty: 20

 

----3) A party with high survival skill spots animal signs that lead to a cave entrance that hidden amongst boulders at the base of the cliff. This entrance is not detectable by PCs with low survival skills.

 

Idea: River Crossing

 

PCs want to cross a rapidly moving river

 

----4) A party with low survival skills spots a crossing, but suffers a high fatigue penalty when crossing (Penalty 50)

----5) A party with high survival skills has an easier time crossing the river and suffers a small fatigue penalty (Penalty 10)

 

Essentially, Survival skills allows the party to find new paths in the wilderness that are easier to traverse.

 

Idea: Snow and Ice Covered Terrain

 

This encounter area of snow and ice covered terrain has snow covered chasms and ravines (natural non-mechanical traps).

 

----6) A party with low survival skills will not spot these natural occurring traps. PCs that enter them will suffer damage. Damage is doubled if they are moving fast.

----7) A party with high survival skills will automatically spot these natural dangers and can avoid them.

----cool.png In this cold environment a party with low survival skills must find shelter; such as a cave or cabin, to rest.

----9) In this cold environment, a party that includes a PC with high survival skills can rest.

 

3 Advantages for a party with high survival skilled PCs:

 

A) They can find wilderness paths that are hidden and less fatiguing.

B) They can spot dangerous terrain; such as snow covered chasms or likely avalanche areas.

C) They allow their party to rest in hostile terrain; such as snow covered forests.

Edited by EdwinP
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High Survival - Extra Camping ration above and beyond difficulty limit?

High Athletics - Some kind of dodge functionality?

High Lore - Damage bonus against a chosen enemy with a full description?

High Mechanics - Small bonus to armour, due to better upkeep and maintenance.

High Stealth - Can't think of anything i'm afraid.

Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

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Nonek, related to your suggestion:

 

High Athletics - +1 Might at for every 6 levels of Athletics

High Stealth - +1 Reflex for every 6 levels of Stealth

High Survival - +1 Constitution for every 6 levels of Survival

High Lore - +1 Intellect for every 6 levels of Lore

 

That said, I would prefer bonuses that are more unique;

---1) Survival - In wilderness areas can reveals new less fatiguing paths

---2) Lore - High level lore adds random new enchantments to the list of available enchantments

---3) Athletics - Increase the fatigue penalty for certain tasks (climb a cliff, cross a river, sewer swim) to penalize PCs without high athletics

 

I would also like to see a separate skill for Crafting - where enchantments would have a crafting level requirement.

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