Dungeon Siege generates items and treasure during the adventure through its system of Parameterized Content (pcontent). Monsters, chests, small breakable containers, and merchant NPCs all possess random goodies with specified types and ranges of properties, hence "parameterized." Their inventory may be up for grabs or up for sale, depending.
Getting items and merchant deals is the bread and butter of dungeoneering, and thus an important part of any round of Dungeon Siege.
- Unfinished: Enchantments by Type (DS1)
When a random item needs to be generated, usually the code provides a range of power for it, and this is known as a call to the pcontent system. This "budget" of power could result in a weak base item with excellent magical mods, or a very strong base item with little or no magic. Some valid base items never allow magical mods, and some only allow exclusive Rare or Unique pcontent, and other items are specifically prohibited from being generated by the pcontent system at all (just for instance, the Standard Plate the legionnaires wear).
These are the quality levels for Parameterized Content in Dungeon Siege. Set Items were introduced in the Legends of Aranna expansion.
|Blue or Brown||Magic Item|
|Purple or Rose||Rare Item|
|Green & Teal||Set Item|
- Normal Items are lettered in white and are non-magical. The pcontent generator has a chance of spawning all sorts of mundane equipment. In fact certain items cannot be generated with magic mods (though they could be forced into doing so by scripting outside the pcontent system).
- Magical Items are normally lettered in blue. A blue affix generally creates a single effect, such as, "of Insight" - "Adds 2 to Intelligence," and an item can have up to two of them, a prefix and a suffix. These single effects scale higher than Rare and Unique mods; for instance, Magic reaches as high as +150 Armor ("Hulking"), and Rare is a very distant second-place with +50 Armor ("Utmost").
- Brown lettering indicates give-and-take properties, such as "Grounded."
- Rare Items have either a suffix or a prefix, and the item will be lettered in one of two different shades of purple.
- The cooler purple is a typical "rare" affix, and one affix bestows multiple properties to an item.
- The rosier purple indicates a special, sustained spell effect suffix (introduced in DSX) that duplicates buffs such as Spirit Armor or Ogre's Might. It creates a visual effect and slowly increases in power with the wearer.
- Unique Items have a prefix and a suffix, and each of these mods generates more than one effect. Uniques have yellow lettering. "Unique" is a technical misnomer, because these items are no more unique than Magics or Rares— they just have a lot of powers.
- The closest thing Dungeon Siege has to unique items are certain pieces with preset powers and no pcontent allowed. Altan's Leather and The Staff of Stars are examples of preset items that will never get any random magic affixes.
- Oftentimes a normal or magic base item has a "powered-up version" associated with it, a base item with better bang for the requirements that supports only Rare or Unique pcontent. Compare Assault Axe with the more powerful Flesh Splitter, which is always either rare or unique, or likewise Brigandine Armor with Prime Brigandine.
- Set Items are labeled in teal and green. As they are assembled, each piece of the set augments the others, so that the whole is much greater than the sum of the parts. They do not spawn with any extra pcontent mods.
- Set item chests have pre-designated locations in the Legends of Aranna campaign. Multiplayer mode disables the set item chests and replaces them with generic, but arbitrarily-high quality, multiplayer-only chests that can drop practically anything.
- There are many sets only found in multiplayer mode. These are not assigned to any particular containers in the multiplayer worlds; rather, they can randomly drop wherever unique-quality (yellow) pcontent permissions are assigned.
- External resource on Set Items hosted at DSHeaven
When attemptiing to generate high-value items from the #armor call, the pcontent generator may (extremely rarely) settle on an out-of-place base item and successfully assign it a single blue prefix. The prefix will always be one of these:
- Hulking: Adds 150 to armor
- Refined: Adds 9 to Nature Magic Skill
- Warring: Adds 9 to Combat Magic Skill
- Eradicating: Adds 10 to Melee Skill
These events only happen in games staged near the end of the Elite mode, for the very highest pcontent rolls. The majority of high rolls fail to generate anything, and the ones that succeed will normally create something appropriate.
Good kingdom coin frequently appears in random drops, and nearly every item has an inherent gold value to merchants, adjusted by any magic properties. The maximum amount of wealth the party can carry is 9,999,999 Gold.
Gold Value & MerchantsEditMerchants always mark up by a factor of two when selling their wares. The player can pawn all items except weapons at 2/3 of their value (so the buying price is 3x the selling price). The player can change his mind after selling; merchants are willing to sell back stuff they've just bought from players at no penalty.
The pawnshop value of weapons is adjusted by the Game Difficulty at the time they were found, and the inherent value of the weapon. Weapons acquired in Hard Difficulty can all be sold for 2/3 of their value, but the lower the difficulty, and the more valuable the weapon, the more it gets marked down, per exponential decay. Strong weapons found in Easy mode sell at less than 1 percent of retail.
The value of a Gold Piece is almost certainly inflated to make degrees of value between total garbage; for instance, an ordinary Pitchfork at 42 Gold is worth more than a Dull Pitchfork at 15 Gold. But in reality a coin of pure gold could buy scores, if not hundreds, of pitchforks, and as gold is an extremely dense material, ten million quarter-sized gold coins would weigh 172 tons.
It is therefore safe to assume that in-game "gold" ranges from copper pennies on the low end to gold ingots and gemstones on the very high, and that they are all lumped together under the heading of a liquid tool of exchange, valuable anywhere and every day, the Gold Piece.
The bulk of a character's protection is granted by Body Armor, the item in the chest equipment slot. Body Armor has a far higher armor rating, and stronger magical properties, than other equipment of the same level. In wildcard pcontent calls (common on monsters), 46% of wearable items dropped will be armor, and in armor pcontent calls, Body Armor is the most common drop, at 30%.
While the most important items for magic-users are their spell scrolls, and for ranged and melee fighters their primary weapon, Body Armor is certainly the second most-important item for all characters. If one has the choice, it is advisable to gather Intelligence, Dexterity, and especially Strength modifiers in other equipment slots, and then buy the very best Body Armor that one's attributes can afford.
Armor Types and DesignsEdit
Apart from the sound made when the wearer is struck, the different armor types such as cloth, leather, chain, and platemail are functionally equivalent. Anyone can don any armor piece as long as the prerequisites are met.
The following section offers a general, visual overview of the body armor types in Dungeon Siege.
- a1 class
- These are mostly very light, form-fitting material, and of no use whatsoever on the front line of a battle. Some high-quality suits in the class are big scores for a low level character or party.
- Pictured, left to right:
- Noble Leather, 59def, 13str
- Mage Plate, 215def, 16str
- Black Widow Brigandine, 266def, 37str
- Thick Leather, 10def
- Thin Chain, 80def, 12str
- Xulphae's Plate, 187def, 40int
- Fiber Suit, 28def, 13dex
- a2 class
- This is a large class of leather and light-mail shirts with tunics. Armor of this style ranges from worn-out leftovers from peasant militias to the stuff of legends.
- Studded Leather, 19def
- Ranger Banded Armor, 205def, 22str
- Tarnished Chain Mail, 84def, 15str
- Thin Scale, 61def
- Stellar Leather, 84def, 14str
- Dragon Weave, 327def, 29str
- Torn Leather, 16def
- Illicor's Beaded Hauberk, 30def, 18int
- Hassat Hide Hauberk, 91def, 19str
- a3 class
- The pieces in this class are either of chainmail or the metal-upon-cloth style known as brigandine. The 10th Legion's standard-issue is of this type.
- Brigandine Armor, 63def, 14str
- Chain Mail, 116def, 17str
- Standard Plate, 204def, 31str
- Ranger Plate, 197def, 22str
- Copper Plate, 166def, 27str
- Stiff Chain, 98def, 20str
- Nemean Armor, 409def, 52str
- Articulated Alloy Armor, 129def, 23str
- Night Leather, 65def
- a4 class
- This is a minor winged-shoulder variation on a3, above. Scale mail vests and some Utraean carapace suit designs use this style.
- Rusty Chain, 122def, 22str
- Bulky Scale, 73def, 17str
- Noble Scale, 94def, 15str
- Inscribed Suit, 337def, 69int
- Woven Suit, 21def, 12int
- Plate Coat, 213def, 23str
- Flywing Hauberk, 58def, 17dex
- a5 class
- The a5 type is full plate armor, popular in the courts of Ehb and Hiroth. While a steel body suit may be a formidable defense, fighting in one without exceptional strength and conditioning is impossible.
- Battle Plate, 334def, 44str
- Thin Plate, 341def, 20str
- Full Plate, 615def, 73str
- Zaurask Padded Leather, 110def, 21str
- Magical Plate, 509def, 62str
- Dented Heavy Plate, 185def, 29str
- Imperial Plate, 242def, 24str
- Serpentine Scale, 472def, 58str
- Arboreal Battle Plate, 396def, 70dex
- a6 class
- This is ultra-heavy armor with respect to its appearance, armor rating, and the strength required to bear it in battle; pieces in this class are adequate for final showdowns between good and evil and such.
- Full Plate, 428def, 54str
- Basic Battle Plate, 291def, 40str
- Heavy Mechanized Suit, 232def, 50int
- Banded Armor, 434def, 54str
- Crystal Plate, 347def, 45str
- Battle Plate, 659def, 77str
- a7 class
- This is the model for mage robes. Robes are poor on defense but have the strongest magic properties of all items, and evidently, the user needs to be highly-experienced to harness the powers of the strongest robes.
- Cloak, 30def, 26int
- Shadow Finery, 107def, 61int
- Ash Burlap, 9def, 13int
- Coat, 57def
- Elaborate Beaded Robe, 107def, 28int
- Tatters, 1def
- Robe, 69def, 48int
- Starlight Vesture, 20def, 19int
- a8 class
- This model is for a bulky, fibrous suit with a full pectoral collar. It is introduced in DSX.
- Bark Casing, 43def, 15dex
- Thessic Suit, 98def, 22dex
- a9 class
- The a9 model is the stylized ethnic battle dress of the DSX Utraeans, consisting of tapered synthetic plates over a soft lining. Any non-Utraean caught in possession of one of these suits will be subjected to funny looks.
- Utraearch Battle Plate, 559def, 67str
- Heavy Electric Plate, 278def, 58int
- Transcendent Plate, 634def, 75str
- Chitterskrag Armor, 218def, 37dex
The graphic below orders every chestpiece along an x-axis and tracks the equip-requirement and armor rating. The degree to which an item's defense exceeds its requirement has been filled in with a blue area; a negative degree (see other kinds of armor for that) is colored red/orange.
Body armor's defense rating is generally more than twice the sum of all other coverage— shield, boots, helm, and gloves— so that again, one should search high and low for the best piece for this slot.
The DS robes and DSX suits give the lower-left chart a sawtooth appearance. The spellcaster armor introduced in the expansion has lower equip-requirements than robes with the same defense. There are also some top-of-the-line suits, such as Recondite Battle Plate, or for archers, the Arboreal Battle Plate and Midnight Suit, which rebalanced the endgame equipment to not be so drastically in favor of fighters.
The left-hand equipment slot in Dungeon Siege, es_shield_hand, accommodates Shields. In addition to their defense rating, shields usually have an innate chance to block melee and ranged attacks, ranging from 5% to 35% for different styles. Arguably, this feature is the chief concern when choosing a shield and a case for choosing one-handed weapons over two-handed.
The armor rating and chance to block attacks are not available when the character has a two-handed weapon, missile weapon, or a spell activated. Any enchantments conveyed by the shield, though, remain intact. Shields carry relatively weak enchantments if they carry any at all.
- The cheapest shields are wooden and metal discs called bucklers. Bucklers with exquisite designs and strong magicks exist, but are alike with common bucklers at being poor for blocking attacks. Dedicated infighters prefer the classic pointed design, the Kite Shield, for its greater coverage.
- Although archers and spellcasters cannot bear shields in-hand, there are special shields they can wear as focus items for enchantments.
Blacksmiths are the most reliable source of shields, and kite shields in particular. Shields found in the wild will need to be examined with a critical eye; while those dropped by Bosses and treasure chests can be much stronger than the ones in stores, they might have poor blocking rates.
The selection rate for shields under an #armor pcontent call is 15 percent. Direct #shield pcontent calls only get invoked for stores and for monsters that can equip and use them.
The following graphic orders every shield along an x-axis. The relationship between the strength requirement and armor rating is shown. Since the armor ratings for intelligence and dexterity-based shields don't amount to a hill of beans (the shield cannot be in-hand), the magic capacity of the items is charted instead.
The foot equipment slot in Dungeon Siege, es_feet, accommodates Boots. Boots bestow a small boost to a character's defense rating, very close in strength to gloves & helms, inferior to shields, and far below chest armor.
Boots have potential for modest enchantments. This is a good slot to try to find an attribute-boosting item for— one that could let the character fulfill requirements for a slightly better weapon or chest armor piece. Boots make up 20 percent of all armor drops and store inventory, via the #armor pcontent call. Some stores make direct #boots pcontent calls.
- The default "naked" texture for feet is a sort of tanned-hide sock. Commonfolk usually own a pair of leather boots suited to outdoor work and little else. As melee fighters gain experience, they can equip increasingly heavy greaves with inlaid chain, scales, or full-plate. Lacking the requisite Strength for these items, magic-users and archers will seek out footwear made of various natural and synthetic fibers, such as flywing or bead mosaic.
Blacksmiths are the most reliable source of boots. However, the best individual specimens come from enemy Bosses and treasure chests, and again, about 20 percent of the armor pieces they drop will be boots. If they drop anything at all, these finds could be drawn from among magical, rare, and unique bases superior to the ones found in stores of the same level.
The following graphic orders every boot along an x-axis (the only one not pictured is the bugged 559-Defense Transcendant Boots). As the boots' armor rating increases, their equip-requirement does, too. In fact, the requirements for boots generally exceed the defense offered (the orange areas), and this is especially so for intelligence and dexterity-based pieces.
Several boots are noticeably more efficient than average, and appear as downward cuts on the chart. They are Black Widow Greaves, and Bone, Woodland, Crystal, Serpentine, and Molten Boots. They only carry unique (yellow) mods. They are only found in dangerous places.
The es_forearms equipment slot, not to be confused with the left and right-hand slots for weaponry, accommodates Gloves. Like boots and helmets, gloves boost a character's defense rating by a small amount. The level of protection they offer is inferior to shields and far inferior to chest armor.
Gloves have potential for modest enchantments. As with boots, this is a good slot to try to find an attribute-boosting item to wear in order to secure the best possible chestpiece or weapon. Gloves make up 20 percent of all armor drops and store inventory, via the #armor pcontent call. The only "containers" that make direct #gloves calls are the companions with gloves equipped, such as Kroduk or Phaedriel.
|Molten Boots & Gloves|
- Gloves can be crafted of cloth, leather, or a more unusual fiber. The reinforced metal varieties are usually called gauntlets and require strength to use. In Dungeon Siege, all gloves use the same base model, and its defining feature is the extended cuff around the forearm that is visible when using the lighter chest armor styles.
What goes for boots can also be said of gloves. Blacksmiths are the most reliable source of them, yet the best gloves must be taken from enemy Bosses and treasure chests, and again, 20 percent of the armor pieces they drop will be of this type of coverage.
The following graphic orders all gloves along an x-axis and tracks their armor rating and equip requirements. On the whole, this slot does not offer much protection for the requirements, and especially so where the mage and archer gloves are concerned.
Several gloves are noticeably more efficient than average, and appear as downward cuts on the chart. These are powered-up base items that only carry unique mods (in order along the axis): Black Widow Gauntlets, Woodland Gloves, Crystal Gauntlets, Serpentine Gauntlets, and Molten Gloves.
The spike on the chart is an extra-bad specimen, Transcendant Gauntlets, 34def, req. 67str.
Helms occupy the head equipment slot, es_head; they are very close in defensive strength to boots and gloves, inferior to shields, and far below chest armor.
Models and TexturesEdit
|Variations on the standard legion captain's helms.|
- Helms are diverse. The original release contained 49 different helmet models, and Legends of Aranna introduced one more, type90, a sort of omnibus model that is adapted to crowns, headbands, headdresses, and brimmed caps by leaving portions of the model transparent as necessary. Each helmet model might handle several textures and icons, and overall, there are 160 helms.
- Use of headgear disables any special hair model, such as pony tails or a full mane, which the character may have. The character's face is still at least partly-visible for all but the plated great-helms.
- Headgear can be made of cloth, metal, and everything in-between, but only warriors with sufficient Strength can wear helms made of the heavier materials. Without the expansion, headwear for experienced mages and rangers is non-existent, and the expansion takes pains to introduce it and allow enchantment loads comparable to the best warrior helmets.
As with other armor types, blacksmiths are the most reliable source of random leveled helms, and superior rare and unique specimens must be found out in the field, the highest-quality sources being Boss monsters and important treasure chests. The selection rate for helms under an #armor pcontent call is 15 percent.
The best helm in the game, by a long shot, is the Mac Daddy Cap of Procurement. The pimp hat, as it is called, is a secret reward for completing the LoA campaign; it contains preset mods that make it the strongest headgear, no matter what profession the player is: 100 Armor, +10 to Intelligence, +50% chance to inflict an armor-piercing hit, 10 Life Steal, and 10 Mana Steal. The only troublesome part is that it breaks immersion since it looks outrageous.
The next-tier options for this slot are random helmets that can possibly exceed the the pimp hat in some regard but not carry its full breadth of abilities. Mods to jump at are the Rare leveled mods "of Personal Stone Skin" (adds up to 85 Armor), "of Ogres Might" (adds up to 5 Strength), or "of Personal Mystic Aid" (adds up to +13% chance to hit in Melee and Ranged).
The following graphic orders every helm along an x-axis, tracking their armor rating and equip-requirement.
The spikes on the graph indicate several exceptional helms that are easter eggs, and/or quest rewards, and have no equip-requirement: the Super Helm of Khar, The Helm of Storms, the Supreme Helm of Khar, and the Mac Daddy Cap.
There are four equipment slots for rings, named es_ring_0 through 3. Rings have a moderate capacity for enchantments. Plain ones are not normally found; rings can be either magic, rare, unique, or set-quality. The great thing about rings and amulets is that apart from the ones in sets, they have no equip-requirements.
Rings have weaker mods than an amulet from a given source. A plain ring has a sale value of 50 gold, but enchantments on rings add approximately ten times more value to the item than for amulets.
There are three materials used for magic ring designs. Though never explicitly stated, the materials appear to be brass, silver, and gold, with increasingly elaborate mountings being associated with higher enchantment loads. Rare rings have gemstones worked into the loop, rather than being mounted. Barely more than half of these designs are ever seen- many of them seem to be outside the bounds of end-game pcontent.
The character can wear one amulet. The equipment slot is es_amulet and the value of a plain amulet (not found) is 100 gold. These items behave very much like rings, but are stronger, and their sale price scales more slowly.
Amulets come in three materials. Though never explicitly stated, they appear to be brass, silver, and gold. The magic amulets create auspicious two-dimensional shapes and may have one or more gemstones. The rare amulets are more ostentatious, with a single large gem cased in a gold hedron. Barely more than half of the amulet designs are ever seen- many of them seem to be outside the bounds of end-game pcontent.
Spellbooks occupy the es_spellbook equipment slot. They hold spells.
Spellbooks all function the same way: the item has a capacity at any one time for twelve spells that can be swapped into the primary and secondary attack slots with hotkeys. It's impossible to throw spells without a spellbook equipped. Don't leave your Farmhouse without it.
There are 25 spellbook designs of ascending rank and quality. Newly-made characters possess the first type, internally known as the 'Symbol' Book, a plain book that never appears with any magical mods. Higher-ranked spellbooks have different designs on their bindings, will demand higher Intelligence scores to use, and will have exactly one magic affix.
Note that the 'Lips' Book pictured above is disabled for some reason.
In the original release, there were no special enchantments of note for spellbooks. The expansion introduced rose-colored affixes which could improve the spells cast from that book in some way and effectively be an area of specialization for the mage character.
|Adds Dexterity||Adds Armor||Nature Magic Skill||Chance to Block Magic|
|Adds Intelligence||Adds Health||Combat Magic Skill||Reduced Magic Damage|
|Adds Strength||Adds Mana|
|Reduce Fire Spell Cost||Increase Fire Spell Damage|
|Reduce Ice Spell Cost||Increase Ice Spell Damage|
|Reduce Electrical Spell Cost||Increase Electrical Spell Damage|
|Reduce Healing Spell Cost|
|Reduce Summoning Spell Cost|
Spell merchants are very nearly the only source of spellbooks. Monsters do not drop this type of item. The merchants customarily sell books in a comparable power range to their spell scrolls; i.e., a merchant selling the 90-108th level spells is probably going to stock books requiring 67-70 Intelligence. Still, they will always carry some extra 'Symbol' books.
There are two very singular sources of spellbooks out in the field. The first is Umberteen in Xot's Badlands, who awards a unique book for his rescue. The other source is the "Elemental Air Container" near the Great Clock. This chest awards two randomized books, as well as a Book of Convoking and a Book of Compassion worth 12 million gold each.
PContent Syntax Edit
This section is presented as a basic modding resource, as well as for anyone who wishes to peruse the game files to see what is going on under the hood, and finally for anyone who wants to generate items through the console. The console is brought up by loading Dungeon Siege through DSMOD or DSLOAMOD, included with the Siege Editor, and pressing the tilde (~) key.
Skrit code is responsible for generating pcontent in objects' inventories. The code is all in the template database files, such as Logic.dsres and Expansion.dsres. A line of skrit for putting something in someone's inventory (including stores, and what a monster might drop on death) looks something like this:
- il_main = #*/103-115;
This is a wildcard normal or magic item placed in the main inventory of the person of creature. The numeric power range argument has to be supplied for most pcontent calls to work. Items generated in the inventory will be dropped if the actor is killed. A wildcard could be any weapon, gloves, boots, helmet, chest armor, shield, ring, or amulet, with probabilities as described in the next section.
In the console, aiming the cursor at the ground and typing out "add #*/103-115" will instantly simulate this pcontent roll, placing the resultant random on the ground under the cursor.
Base Items Edit
#spell and subtypes
#* wildcard call
#armor - 46%
┃ #body - 30%
┃ #boots - 20%
┃ #gloves - 20%
┃ #helm - 15%
┗ #shield - 15%
#weapon - 46%
#ring - 5%
#amulet - 3%
Specific weapon calls
#melee - includes staves
#ranged - any ranged
#bow - only bows
#minigun - only crossbow
Specific armor calls
#body,ro - robe
#body,m - mage armor
#body,r - ranger armor
#body,f - fighter armor
#shield,m - mage shield
#shield,r - ranger shield
#shield,f - fighter shield
These arguments try to force the item to be plain. The strength of the base item is often increased to compensate, or the roll might simply fail.
These arguments try to force 1 or 2 magic affixes.
This argument tries to generate a rare affix.
This argument tries to generate two unique affixes.
This argument generates the given prefix and/or suffix; i.e., Gliding. See the complete lists of prefixes and suffixes for the internal template names to use here. This argument is quite forceful and ignores most of the rules. For instance, it is possible to run the following command through the console:
- add #shovel/+praised/+ofomniscience
And it will result in a somewhat better-than-average shovel:
This roll ignores the rule that a shovel cannot be generated in a roll for treasure; that shovels cannot be generated with mods; that a rare and a magic mod cannot be spawned together on the same item, that the mods' power ratings cannot be far above the range defined for the base item (zero in a shovel's case); that there is no power range defined by the call itself; and yet it can still generate the item.