Hard Times
a mod for EasyTutu, by Macready

One thing that's always bothered me about Baldur's Gate is that even with everything that's going on within the game, the Sword Coast region doesn't really feel like it's in crisis.  Sure, all of the commoners and townsfolk talk a good game about iron shortages and the like, but any time that you walk into a store, metal gear can be had for very reasonable prices.  Even magical items are readily purchased in stores!  And the problem of ubiquitous magic equipment is exacerbated by all of the freebies that the game throws at you early on (now made obvious by Throne of Bhaal's TAB key highlighting).  You are supposed to feel like a sheltered kid thrust suddenly into a hostile world with only the clothes on his or her back, but with the easily obtainable "presents" to be had early in the going, you are empowered to afford the finer things in life before you've even reached the Friendly Arm for the first time.

Hard Times aims to address these issues.  Here are some of the highlights:

The point of all this is, quite simply, to have the game's economy and environs reflect the difficulties inherent in the crisis being experienced along the Sword Coast.  Furthermore, I've always enjoyed games where you start with nothing and have to pull yourself up by your bootstraps, and I believe that Baldur's Gate is intended to be one of those games.  By removing the early game gifts and toning down the supply (and occasionally, the power level) of magic items, you experience the region's troubles a bit more directly, and are forced to earn your rewards in a more honest fashion than simply by plucking diamonds and magic rings from the surrounding foliage.  The end result is, for me at least, a more satisfying feeling when I've succeeded.  Hard Times is intended for everyone who feels the same.

NOTE: In order to help showcase EasyTutu's switch to the Baldur's Gate 2 spell system, I've included a second, optional component which adds a "boss" type encounter to the Ulcaster School ruins.  I've designed this to be a higher level encounter, so if you install the component, I recommend avoiding the Ulcaster School until your party is at or near the level cap.  Be advised that this component is solely about adding a challenging combat and one additional chance to dip into the loot table mentioned above.  If combat and items are not your thing, avoid this like the plague.



Download the self-extracting package and extract it to your EasyTutu folder.  The setup program will run automatically.  Run the Setup-HardTimes.exe installer (WeiDU, of course) to uninstall it.

HardTimes-v2.exe (last updated 08 February 2009)
MD5: 274F0350D8E8A453B0D87B316BCEAB2B