(note this is an incomplete post that I figure I would start off while I'm home on my lunch break. More to come later, when I'm home and feel like taking a break from editing the best god damn pc rpg ever made.) I started editing Arcanum a few weeks ago and have had a lot of success at it. Because the game is not particularly friendly for editing, I figure I'll lay out the basics for how I've done things so far. Firstly, things which I can offer advice on: editing most stats of almost every spell, weapon, armor, item, effect, blessing, curse, background, race, and creature in the game. The basic way in which I do this is by undatting the .dat game files, and changing the values in the associated desc/mes/rules/proto sections. Things which I cannot currently offer advice on, and things to look out for: 1. Some items seem to be reset by the game every time Arcanum starts, probably due to their association with important scripted events. Ex: ruby items or bone weapons 2. Some items seem to be based on items you can edit, but then the stats are changed for that particular item within the game. Ex: bangelian scourge 3. Some items seem to be associated with scripts and therefore changing them in certain ways causes crashing or instability. Ex: add item scripts to guard armor 4. Some spells seem to cause bugs if changed. A good example is if you move the Resurrect spell from it's last rank in necro white to the first rank, then you only resurrect the image of the being and it does not act as if alive. 5. Some stats can be applied to certain items but not others. Adding mana storage to wizard cloaks has so far not worked for me, only on weapons. 6. I have never added anything new to the game, only changed something that already existed. I cannot give advice on how to make a new item, but I can tell you how to change an existing sword into the sword you want. 7. Only most of the things in the game show up when unzipped from the .dat files. What this means is whatever is not in the .dat game files is something I cannot edit (like some items, for example). 8. I can only change 'numbers in the game' and not the fundamental way in which those numbers interact. I can change an ogre's strength, but I cannot change the way in which strength affects damage. Overall though, I have already edited 95% of what is in the game, and if I can figure out the last 5% then I will post it here as well. On to the guide! The Beginning: -------------- The first thing you should do, if editing / modding Arcanum, is leave the one you play the hell alone. Quite important. Arcanum is already a heavily bugged game, which took fans years and years to get it to the playable state we enjoy today (thanks again Droggy). SO! Therefore, the second thing to do is to install Arcanum again in separate folder. I recommend C:\Games\ArcanumEdited, or a folder that is right next to your original install. Use the updates you like to play with on the new install, of course (UAP, Hi Res, LevelCapRemover, etc.). Now you have to unravel the game files to reveal things you can actually change. This means undatting the .dat files, which contain the game's data. For this, I use dbmaker (downloadable from terra-arcanum here). Dbmaker is Troika's original undatting tool. Dbmaker: ---------- To use dbmaker to undat a .dat file, you need three things in the same new folder, which you just inexplicably felt the urge to make, specifically to hold these three sacred things. 1. A copy of the .dat file to be undatted. 2. A copy of dbmaker.exe 3. Create a shortcut of the dbmaker.exe you just created, inside the folder you just created it in. Right click the shortcut, open it's Properties, and go to the Target field, because you need to enter something special there. You need to enter -u "nameofdat.dat" An example is: 1.Create new folder 2.Copy Arcanum5.dat into folder 3.Copy dbmaker.exe into folder 4.Right click dmaker.exe, create shortcut 5.Right click shortcut, open Properties 6.At end of Target, type in -u "Arcanum5.dat" 7.It now looks like: Target: C:\FuckingFoldersNamesAndShit\StopReadingFolderNames\arcanum5 undatted\dbmaker.exe" -u "Arcanum5.dat" 8.Double click that shortcut. 9.Watch that sweet DOS prompt work its magic. If you are wondering why your new Arcanum install doesn't have an Arcanum5.dat, it's because you didn't use the unofficial patch. Now that you can undat the game files, you can change them. The files I like to change are .txt and .mes. The .mes files can be changed using your everyday Notepad program. The proto folder holds the .pro files which are also important to edit. The items are edited by using qtScribe from here. The creatures are edited by changing monster.txt, npc.txt, and unique.txt. Here are .txt and .mes files you might want to look out for and why. Remember that when changing something, you must be exact in spelling and syntax, which means STR is not allowed, only ST is appropriate abbreviation for strength. If data is divided into 10 numbers per line, each with 1 space inbetween, don't add two god damn spaces anywhere in there. mes\description.mes Shows the ingame names of .pro files inside the proto folder, offset by 20. That means weapons, armor, items, NPCs, Monsters. mes\gameback.mes Has the text of backgrounds in the game mes\itemeffect.mes Overrides the autogenerated item description. Used to let players know that an item gives special effects not normally listed (like mana storage, crit bonuses, +stats and so on), or if the regular item description would go on too long (like armor with bonuses to every resist). mes\schematic_text.mes Holds the text shown on schematics in the crafting window. It automatically fills in the picture of the required items using data from schematic.mes. rules\ai_params.mes Determines the AI behavior of monsters and followers. Changing fleeing, casting, and when a follower will join you is particularly useful. rules\effect.mes Contains all the effects used to change stats of creatures in the game. This includes spells, backgrounds, classes (yes, there actually are classes in Arcanum, but only for NPCs!), item bonuses, blessings/curses, and so on. Be warned that changing some of these will change it WHEREVER it occurs, which may be more places than is readily obvious. rules\gamelevel.mes This has the leveling scheme info which is how NPC's spend their character points, including followers. NPCs will do whatever is required to meet the next order in the scheme. For example, you don't need ST 19, ST 20. You can just put in ST 20 and they will take strength to 20. Similarly, melee 20 (which is the max) will make them take dexterity to 18 as well. rules\InvenSource.mes Determines what shops sell. Notice you can change the beginning shop. Notice how each shop's final item value doesn't have an associated probability after it (just ends with item ID and closes the bracket like: 10001} ). Shops which do not end like this (because of improper editing) will go empty at their next refill, which is 24 hours of offscreen time passage. They stay blank forever, until you fix your mistake. rules\monster.txt Monster data. Ones at the end there are summons/crafted. Waromon shares the data of 28326 if I remember right, so do be careful. Changes will not take effect until you delete the monster prototypes (just delete all >17000 for convenience) and then restart the game, forcing the generation of new proto files using the new values in monster.txt rules\npc.txt NPC data. Changes to these will affect ALL of that type, including many followers. It is better to export Arcanum as a module and change that module using World Editor if you would like to change individual NPCs. http://terra-arcanum.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=16118 shows how to do this. rules\schematic.mes Change what is required to craft what item here. You can also change how many are created per combination, like say 500 bullets, which maybe they should've done since the start, because maybe it's the only humane thing to do instead of making players go back and forth buying bullets 260 at a time in shops, wasting all their time and gold for no reason except sheer unadulterated sadism, until their soul is whittled away and an insane husk of a man remains. Maybe. rules\SpellList.mes Behold the holy grail of spells. Also determines how many tech items, magic items, cursed items, and consumables work. It has a special format which I will explain in the spells post. rules\unique.txt More monster data! Except most of them are lacking the line: Hit Points : #EnterANumberHere (like you see in monster.txt). Add the hit points line after Basic Stats like I did and change it at your heart's content. Changes will not take effect until you delete the monster prototypes (just delete all >17000 for convenience) and then restart the game, forcing the generation of new proto files using the new values in unique.txt mes\tech.mes This is what shows up when you want to put points into tech disciplines. If you change an item, you should change it's description to match. mes\spell.mes Spell descriptions here. There is limited space for each spell description, so use words carefully when you change those 700s.