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  3. 25 Questions about Arcanum's Game Mechanics

User Info: TheSwordEmperor

5 years ago#1
First off, love this game; amazing, and shocked I don't hear it spoken of in the same breath as Baldur's Gate and Planescape: Torment.

Now, onto questions.

1. Magic items sometimes have abbreviations which are not found in the acronym section of the manual. What do they stand for? For example, "MR".

2. Is this a correct statement? All magic items have a "Magic Power Available XXX%" stat. The stat may go as high as 100%, but only if the character using it has Magical Affinity 100%, and only if the item in question has the potential to go that high. Not all items can reach 100%, even when equipped by a character with 100% Magical Affinity.

3. Unlike magic items, machined/technological items do not appear to have a corresponding "Technological Power Available XXX%". How are such items affected by a character's magical/technological aptitude?

4. Can summoned creatures and automatons gained levels?

5. Why does the community recommend [b]Drag Black Tooth's Unofficial Arcanum Patch[/b] instead of [b]Arcanum:WIP 6.0[/b]? My understanding is that the two are incompatible.

6. Having now played through the game once (mage-diplomat build), what mods/hacks/modules do you recommend for subsequent playthroughs? I considered Carcanum, but it sounds like it's execution does not equal its ambition. I have seen a bunch of Modules on the Terra Arcanum site, apparently made by Troika.

7. How do I teach schematics to my technological party members?

8. Very late in the game, all of my party members' Reactions toward my (good-aligned) character took a sharp negative turn. I do not know why this happened. I thought it might have something to do with having a Dark Helm in my inventory, but I dropped it and that didn't seem to fix the problem. I am wondering if their alignments somehow changed, or if it has something to do with starting on the Ancient Gods quest. Does anybody have some insight?

9. The game ostensibly allows only 6 followers, at max (20 Cha, Expert Persuasion). However, I was running around with 7 by end game, not including Dog (Worthless Mutt) who does not count toward the maximum. I am trying to figure out what glitch I exploited. You see, I could drop a party member, and they would not rejoin my party because "You have too many party members already". At one point I had
Dog (Worthless Mutt)
Sogg Mead Mug
Weldo Rubin

I had to drop Weldo when Raven temporarily leaves the party because she wouldn't rejoin.

10. Any advice on building and playing a technologist? I hear that I basically need a lot of inventory space.

11. What good is Conjure Spirit? I know it can be used to speak to a corpse at the Elven Ruins and find out what happened to him, but that's an extremely limited use.

12. Sometimes, when I created several nodes to follow on a map, my character wouldn't move at all, or would move only a little way. What is wrong with the game?

13. What determines whether a merchant will buy any specific good? I know they'll normally purchase only within a certain class of goods, but beyond that, is it random?

14. Am I correct in observing that junk dealers will buy practically anything, but normally at ridiculously low prices?

15. How often does Reaction really matter? I can think of only one quest where a low Reaction made any bit of difference. Mind you, I had the [b]Extreme Personality[/b] background, and walked around with [b]Purity of Water[/b] cast one to three times on myself, along with a Smoking Jacket. I'm just wondering how different the game would have been if I didn't have Purity of Water, Extreme Personality, or a Smoking Jacket.
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User Info: TheSwordEmperor

5 years ago#2
16. Do any of the Backgrounds give you "special" dialogue options, in the same way a low intelligence does?

17. How low does your Intelligence need to be in order to get the "dumb" responses?

18. How high does your Intelligence need to be to get all of the game's quests that have an Intelligence prereq? I know it's 12, at most, but I wonder if I can get away with lower (I never sustained more than two spells, so I don't need it for being cast-y).

19. Is there a way to prevent my followers from picking up objects from the ground?

20. Is there a way to prevent my followers from automatically equipping what they believe to be the most optimal equipment?

21. Are the following statements correct?
A) If your character begins with a bonus to an Attribute (whether from a background or race), the highest they can raise that Attribute is (20 + Initial Bonus), B) If your character begins with a penalty to an Attribute, the highest they can raise that Attribute is 20.
C) If your character begins with a bonus to a Skill (whether from a background or race), the highest they can raise that Skill is 5.
D) If your character begins with a penalty to a Skill (whether from a background or race), the highest can they raise that Skill is [actually, I know it's capped, but I don't know the conversion formula].
Blessings can enable a character to raise a Skill (whether from a background or race), even if they have a cap, but Blessings do not count toward meeting prereqs for Apprentice/Expert/Master training.

22. If a character can get their Charisma over 20, can they acquire even more followers? Or does the # cap at 5 (6 with Expert Persuasion)?

23. Is there a prereq for making Torian Kel appear? Maybe I just missed him; but I want to say that I visited his room in the Ancient Temple, but didn't find him. Not that I could have recruited him at the time - I played good-aligned.

24. Is there a way to determine the hidden properties of magical items? I know that magical items, especially cursed ones, [i]do[/i] have hidden properties.

25. I accepted Edward Willoughsby's quest in Tarant, but ran into a problem. When I tried visiting Pollock's place, I found the door locked, and I could not open it (although my magical affinity wasn't maxed out yet, and so Unlocking Cantrip might just not have been up to the job). Why is this? Is it because I accepted the quest? Mind you, I had sided with Pollock in the Boil conflict between the gangs.
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User Info: the_dracolich

5 years ago#3
1. MR = Magic Resistance

2. Yes.

3. Technological items have "Aptitude adj(adjustment) to chance of critical failure +x%" instead. You don't get bonuses for having high Tech aptitude like you do with magic items, but the more Magical aptitude you have the worse it becomes.

4. I'm pretty sure they don't.

5. I don't know, I've never used them, only used the official patch and didn't have any major troubles with the game.

6. I've never been interested in mods for this game. The only thing that modifies the game in some way I use is the level cap raiser, so I can't recommend anything.

7. You don't. There are several characters which have schematics and will get more when they level up (up to the 4th schematic of the disciplines they're specializing in), but you can't make them learn schematics of other disciplines. And found schematics can only be used by the PC.

8. If the Dark Helm is only sitting in your inventory and you haven't equipped it, then it's not the cause. Probably made some choice on the main quest that pissed them off.

13. No, it's not random. Most shopkeepers buy only items from their expertise and gems/jewelry (I think every merchant buys these). There are a few merchants who won't buy some items that you would think it's logical for them to buy, like a general goods shopkeeper refusing to buy some of the kinds of jackets, but those are minor exceptions. I think that there are also different kinds of blacksmiths - some will buy magical weapons/armor, some won't buy anything out of the ordinary and some will even buy a few technological items, mostly rifles, those must depend on the blacksmiths' own aptitudes and/or which side they're on with the whole magic vs. technology.

But I hate dealing with this stuff and recommend getting Expert Haggle which makes those f***ers buy anything you want to sell them. And points in Haggle make some cheap items sellable, which is good because you don't have to waste your time throwing out unsellable items you don't need.

14. Yes, they will buy almost anything.

15. Reaction also affects prices (only buying I think)

17. I think it was 5 or lower.

18. 11-12 probably

19. Nope :P
You have to beat them to the item and then throw it in a trash can/container to be sure they won't pick it up when you stop near it. NPCs are pretty dumb and can do stupid things like picking up and equipping a hexed(cursed) item when you're browsing your inventory for example. The last time I played the game with a character that reached a 2 figure level, Virgil picked up an unidentified sword and equipped it right away. It was a cursed sword that lowers your Dexterity by 1 permanently (maybe there's a way to remove it, but I didn't think of one) when you equip it. It ended up making him unable to get to 18 DEX, because the scheme won't put an extra point to compensate and that means he can't get the last rank in a few skills.

20. The only thing you can do is remove the items they want to equip the most from their up to the one you want them to use. If you don't want them to waste precious ammo, don't keep a ranged weapon and the coresponding ammo in their inventory at the same time. It's not a good idea to put more than a couple of potions/other restoration items in their inventory because they won't last long. lol

A) Yes (maybe true only for race bonus though)
B) No, the penalty (usually) results in a lower attribute cap.
C) Yes
D) You can still reach 5. But you have to offset the penalty with equipment or a blessing, otherwise you have to spend another point to make it to 5.

25. If you can't open the door, you can use the sewers to get inside and it's actually better, because if you enter through the door he can try to escape in the sewers. I'm not sure, but I think he can even dissapear if you don't follow him quickly.
Immune to criticals, criticism, negative board level, etc.

User Info: the_dracolich

5 years ago#4
Reached maximum characters for that post. lol

Can't really say something solid/useful about those that I skipped.

Good to see a new topic on this board. It's been more than 2 months. :D
Immune to criticals, criticism, negative board level, etc.
(message deleted)

User Info: The_alchemy1356

5 years ago#6
Wow, so many questions... But it's good that you ask them so that you can better understand the game :)

As a vet of Arcanum, i'll try to answer the other questions that Dracolich skipped in addition to providing further info regarding some questions that have been answered.

5) The community recommends Drog's patch because it fixes many bugs that the game still presents after the official patch. I really recommend you to use his latest patch (V091225) if you were to play through again. Note that you still need to install the official patch first, then you only install the latest UAP for the patch to work correctly. For a comprehensive bug fix, check this link:


And as for AWIP 6.0, it is a mod that is incompatible with latest version of UAP because it uses an older version of the UAP which may clash with your saves if you install the latest version (v091225) on top of AWIP 6.0 or the other way around.

7) Like what Dracolich mentioned, though there is an external editor to do so if you wish to.

8) One is that your beauty is low. The other is that you perform some evil acts in which they do not agree with. The other reason may be that some obscure glitch has caused this reaction drop but so far i haven't encountered it with the UAP installed. By chance, have you been playing without UAP?

9) If you really want to play the game by bypassing the 6 follower limit, there is a way to do so so that you do not need to painstakingly exploit any glitch in your game. It involves hex edit some values in the Arcanum.exe application. PM me if you truly want to do this.

10) Playing as technologist depends on how and what type of technologist you want to play as. There are far too many options to list down here if you want to play as a technologist without knowing what type of techie you're going to roleplay as. Though the general advice is that you need to collect a lot of ingredients as you need them to make tech items for either yourselves or your followers.

11) The purpose of conjure spirit is that it can be used as an OPTIONAL way to initiate dialogues with important NPCs after you have kill them to progress through the plot. Notable examples are Raven, Gilbert Bates, Min Gorad and Loghaire. I say optional because even without it, it is perfectly possible to progress through the game's main plot without using it even once.

12) This is an issue that i've also experienced. Sometimes my character would stop in the middle of the waypoint after he accidentally collide with sprite of an NPC or an object. Nothing you can do much except to set the waypoint again, though this is small issue for me because it does not happen that often.

16) If by special you are referring to the "dumb dialogue" responses, meaning dialogues that are only appeared when you play as dumb character (INT less than 5), then the only background that grants that is the Idiot Savant background. This background makes it that even though you increase your intelligence pass 5, you still can only initiate dumb dialogue responses and not the normal ones.

17) It was 1-4 INT to initiate dumb dialogues, anything more than that and you get normal responses.

22) The ultimate maximum limit of followers you can get in the game is 6 (with Expert Persuasion).

23) Torian Kel should appear without any prerequisites. If not then your game is either a) glitched or b) you mistook him for an enemy and kill him while he is in skeleton form in the room.

24) All hidden properties of any magical items is written on the weapon description after you identify them.
Big Smoke: "All we had to do, was follow the damn train, CJ!"
CJ: "Yeah, and all you had to do, was hitting your damn target, Big Smoke!"

User Info: viserdes

5 years ago#7
I'm pretty sure i saw this same topic on GOG forums lol.

Anyway i just started and this are quite helpful, thanks.
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  2. Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura
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