Reduction and avoidance of damage is oftentimes given more scope than damage output. The trend in more recent games is towards more weapon or magic types and abilities
In the early part of Black Isle's Fallout series, the power of healing items in inventory was balanced with a cost of Action Points; players had to allocate resources between damage output and damage control; it cost points to use items, and points to access the Inventory. Diablo and Diablo II sped things up considerably, increasing damage while removing any tactical cost for using healing items. The only resource required is game money, and healing potions can be used almost instantaneously and infinitely. PS:T likewise is fast damage. As in Fallout, a similar tactical resource, namely time, is required to use items from the 'quick' inventory, but access to the main inventory is almost unrestricted, if the spacebar or Autopause functions are used to pause the game. Healing others with items again takes time, but items can be traded from one character to another within a wide radius, and the recipient can use the item(s) on themselves, all while the game is paused.
Fall-from-Grace is the only character that uses spells to heal. The Nameless One, Dak'kon and Ignus (who like TNO starts with high enough Con to regenerate his health points) can heal others at the expense of their own HP with the spell Blood Bridge. The Blood Fly Charm increases the rate of regeneration.
Damage avoidance Edit
Temporary Hit PointsEdit
Spells such as Cloak of Warding and Vampiric Touch work the same way as armor does in Quake, providing extra hit points. However, they only exist for the duration of the spell, and then expire. If damage is sustained while they are active, they are used up as and before normal HP.
There are very few ways to increase Resistance bonuses in classic D&D and in Torment, in marked contrast to games like the Diablo series, where such bonuses, and similar ones on weapons, are the primary purpose of the game to the point where their pursuit become grinding.
Armor Class bonusesEdit
Spells such as Armor and Shield increase the Armor Class of the target temporarily, making for a chance of damage being negated altogether (enemies missing). Items increase it while equipped, and a few rare permanent bonuses can be acquired through dialogue.
Crowd Control Edit
True Crowd Control (CC), which removes enemies' capacity to fight or move temporarily, is rare in Planescape: Torment:
- Stun: Blacksphere is a damage spell with a true stun component; the target gets a Save vs Spell. A true Stun effect is one of four possible effects of Confusion. Horror and Ignus' Terror use the (mostly) more powerful Dungeons and Dragons Fear mechanic, and stop opponents damage by making them flee. This is often inconvenient; when monsters flee into the Aggro Range of other monsters, it is worse than had they stayed put. The target cannot move or take any action while the spell is in effect, regardless of being attacked. The most powerful of Crowd Control in effect, Stun is usually very limited in duration. Neverwinter Nights and other D&D games have Fear, which is Stun plus random movement imposed on characters or enemies, which is very powerful indeed, probably OP.
- Sleep / Mesmerize: None, although Ravel has it. Targets that are attacked 'wake up', but those that are left alone cannot move or take any action while the spell is in effect. Sleep spells sometimes, e.g. Final Fantasy series, allow magic damage to be inflicted without waking the target, which would be OP, except for the scarcity of targets susceptible to Sleep.
- Snare: None? Movement speed reduced. Targets that use melee will take longer to get in melee range and their damage potential is thus reduced.
- Root: None available. Movement speed reduced to zero or near-zero. Targets that use melee will not be able to get in range and their damage potential is neutralized.
- Silence: A few spells and weapon(s) are available. Targets that use magic will be unable to cast spells but can still move.
- Blindness: Blindness. Targets that use melee will suffer a -4 penalty to its attack rolls. D&D rarely/uniquely makes it easier for opponents of the target to hit the target, which makes a lot of sense, since a blind target is less able to defend itself, an advantage of +4 to their 'to hit' rolls.
- Paralyze, Unconscious. Effects in the various levels of Chromatic Orb (TNO levels up so fast as Mage with the Unbroken Circle of Zerthimon XP that he cannot use most of these effects unless the player makes a concerted effort to do so in between gaining this quest XP). Who knows what the difference between these and Stun is. Wish I knew. Must be in a D&D guide somewhere, but this info is not readily available online. Help!
- All Chromatic Orb effects for a mage of levels 7 and up have paralysis effects, so leveling up actually increases its crowd control capabilities.
- Subversion of target selection: Confusion; among the effects is making the target attack nearest targets only. The most powerful version is giving control of the target to the caster, which is very powerful, and really deserves its own classification, but space is limited. It is thankfully rarely used by enemies, even in Final Fantasy. There are numerous other versions, such as Berzerk (FF version), in which attacking is the only option, or Confusion (FF version), where the target attacks random targets, including themselves, broken by damage, including its own, or attacking friendly targets only, or Confusion, (D&D version, where among the effects is attacking the nearest targets), or Confusion, Dark Age of Camelot Suppression Runemaster version, where the target would less often attack friendlies, but more often or always attack a new target, which spreads damage between party members.
Working the game code to achieve a reduction in the number of enemies or the damage they inflict is more effective in Torment than in other games, and more necessary due to the scarcity of true Crowd Control options.
The code that directs monsters to pursue and attack targets, and choose which particular players or characters to attack first, is sometimes called Aggro, a British slang term which entered some games, with roots in the word Aggression.
Monsters may be given a code which counts the number of hits, amount of damage, distance to targets, and other factors, to make them decide who they should be attacking. In Planescape:Torment, the aggro rules are very simple indeed; not only that, but monsters do not always attack whatever is in range by default or attack while moving, so those meleeing characters will not be attacked . So it is quite easy to gain aggro with one character and Kite the monster towards the melee range of other characters, and take no damage at all.
Aggro Range is the distance within which a monster will pursue and attack a character or player. It may be the distance that a monster can see, or they may be able to see further or less far for other purposes.
Bring a Friend Edit
Monsters commonly respond to physical or spell attacks on other monsters, particularly monsters of the same species. Many games do not code monsters to respond to other forms of attacks such as debuffs, and most do not code monsters to respond if one of their race merely sees and chases a player or character, i.e. "comes into aggro range". The code for which forms of alert will cause others to respond is sometimes called Bring a Friend, or BAF for short.
Pulling means to attract, or 'pull', one monster, or one of a group of monsters, to a location better suited to a player for fighting.
In the more common case of a group of monsters, this is to avoid the extra damage that they can inflict while the first is killed, and so on.
The most common, or at least preferable way is to attack monsters, on the edge of the group, that are far enough away from other monsters that they will not BAF. When this is not possible, pullers approach within Aggro Range of a single enemy on the edges of the group, but out of the Aggro Range of others; this is known as Body Pulling.
In cases where monsters cannot be pulled individually, then the strategy is to ensure that the monsters do not use Concentration of Fire to do so much damage to a single party member that they die. This is done by getting their attacks (Aggro) onto other party members, by attacking them or commonly, with some sort of Taunting.
Fall-from-Grace is an excellent choice of character for this, as she should have nothing to do if this is done perfectly. Given sufficient control, by means of autopause or manually pausing the game, it is hypothetically possible if not always feasible to kite five monsters around in a square, pentagon or hexagon and still be able to attack with one character. Note that there are diminishing returns to the lead that kiting characters have on their pursuers when running in a circle, as the monster will always be running in a smaller circle as it heads directly toward a target that is turning across its path. Similarly, because characters in PS:Torment's will actually stop each time they are given a new command to move, there are diminishing returns to the number of times that they are micro-managed, and so near-perfect circles are actually significantly slower movement than hexagons, which may be slower than pentagons, which may be slower than squares, etc.