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Guide to polymorph self.

SionIVSionIV Member Posts: 2,673
Hello everyone!

I have been talking about polymorph self on quite alot of threads, and it's by far my favorite mage spell. And it's incredible powerful if you know what every form does. So here i'm making a quick guide and some reasons why you should use these forms, and when.

You can't cast spells once your polymorphed, but you can buff up before. You can also use minor sequencer (level 4 mage spell) and later on some higher sequencers. Once you're polymorphed you're still able to click on your sequencers. As an example you can put strenght into your minor sequencer, and once you're polymorphed into a sword spider you can use the sequencer and then the spiders strenght of 16 will go up to 18.

Polymorph self makes you hasted automatically (Trilogy) Only bear, wolf and flind are hasted in BG:EE but you can ofset this by using haste on yourself first. Spider can still reach 5 APR.

-----------------------------------------------------

[Sword spider form] :

5 APR - This is very many attacks, it's one more than if you have a ranger dual wielding with a haste spell.
Poison - 18 damage per attack in pure poison, interrupts spell casting. [Removed in BG:EE]
Immune to web spell
Immune to poison
Thac0 = Same Thac0 as your Base Thac0.

Theese are the most important parts about the spider. One of the best tactics with the spider is throwing web first, and then changing into your spider form. Now everyone around you is held, and you're free to wander around and hit the enemies 2-3 times each and watch them die from the poison.

-----------------------------------------------------

[Flind form] :

17 strenght
17 dexterity
3 APR
+1 fire damage
Thac0 = 2 better Thac0 than your BaseThac0 [Bugged in BG:EE, until fixed do not use Flind]

Weapon enchant +3 - This is the best part with the flind, and sadly only usable once you get into BG2. If you turn into a flind you can hit things that would otherwise require a +3 weapon to hit. It says that it uses a +1 halberd but it does work as a +3 when it's about what you can hit.

The flind is the closest thing you can get to a fighter. For those enemies that are immune to poison, or just require a beating from someone that can deal out damage, this is the form to pick. Also it's fire damage will help you kill trolls.

----------------------------------------------------

[Mustard Jelly] :

Resistance -

50 cold
100 electricity (!)
100 magic (!)
50 magic cold
30 slashing
60 crushing
100 piercing (!)
105 missile (!)
Thac0 = Same Thac0 as your Base Thac0

I don't think i have to tell you why this form is amazing. You're immune to magic, ranged attacks, piercing (Short sword, dagger, halberd etc) and electricity. A mage can't touch you while you're in this form, neither can any archer or bandits. If you're worried about a lightning trap, just polymorph into a jelly and walk over it. You also take less damage from other damage sources.

---------------------------------------------------

There are also other forms, but they don't have anything special to them, and one of these 3 will always be the better choise.

Now for buffing on your mage.

Shield (lvl1) - Gives a bonus to AC but that's not why we are using it, we are using it to get immune to magic missile.
Protection from evil (lvl1) - Saving throws
Mirror image (lvl2) - Once they get through your AC they still have to get through your mirror images.
Blur (lvl2) - All attacks against you will have a -3 penalty (Same as +3AC) and you get +1 saving throws.
Strenght (lvl2) - Is only usable if you use it with a minor sequencer. If you use polymorph after this, you'll get the strenght the form you pick has.
Ghost armor (lvl3) - Puts your AC to 2 (Plate mail +1)
Haste (lvl3) - You do get haste from polymorph, but it's always nice to have it as standard for when you move around without being shifted.
Minor sequencer (lvl4) - If you want to put your strenght to 18 while polymorphed.
Stoneskin (lvl4) - First they have to go through your insane AC, then your mirror images and last but not least your stoneskins.
Flameshield blue/red (lvl4) - Not able to get this in vanilla BG1. But it's a great spell for a sorceror or in BG2.

These are only the spells you can have in BG1. There are many more fancy buffs you can put on your spider in BG2.

You can't get stoneskin and fireshields in BG1 unless you're a sorceror. You can get them in BG:EE

-----------------------------------------------------

[Tactics! step by step]

I'll keep this as simple as possible.

1.) Buff up. You might want to take a look at duration on the spells and pick what to do first and what to leave to last.
2.) Cast polymorph self, do not change yet.
3.) Cast web form if you're going to play as a spider.
4.) Polymorph
5.) Use sequencer if you something in it you want to cast (Strength)
6.) Kill stuff.

------------------------------------------------------

[Items and gear]

Helm - None (BG1)
Chest - Robe of archmage
Ring - Ring of protection +1/+2
Ring - Anything
Boots - Anything (You don't need boots of speed as polymorph form has haste)
Belt - Preferable one with + AC
Amulet - Metaspell Influence Amulet
Gloves - Anything
Cloaks - Cloak of Balduran
Weapon - None

Polymorphed with these items and the buffs mentioned will put your AC to -9.

My gear for solo playing :

Helm - None (BG1)
Chest - Robe of archmage
Ring - Ring of protection +2
Ring - Ring of fire resistance / ring of free action
Boots - Boots of grounding
Belt - I change belt depending on what i fight.
Amulet - Metaspell Influence Amulet
Gloves - Gauntlets of weapon skill (+1 Thac0)
Cloaks - Cloak of Balduran
Weapon - None

You can change gear depending on what you're about to fight. And the resistance gear stacks with the mustard Jelly. So if you want to give your jelly 40% fire resistance, then put on the ring while you're in jelly form and it will get added to it's resistance pool.

Any item you have that gives a bonuc to Thac0 will also work with your shapeshifted form.

----------------------------------------------------

Well there it is, my short and quickly put together guide for Polymorph self. I'm sorry for the outlay, couldn't get it any better with the short time i spent on it.

Feel free to ask any questions!

Post edited by SionIV on
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Comments

  • EudaemoniumEudaemonium Member Posts: 3,199
    I should point out that both Stoneskin and both Fireshields (Red & Blue) are present in BG:EE.
    [Deleted User]KidCarnival
  • AHFAHF Member Posts: 1,376
    Great guide! I think it would useful to explain how thac0 works with polymorph self since different transformation abiilities give you different thac0 consequences throughout the game. I think people will want to know if it varies by form and how it is calculated (whether gauntlets apply for a F/M, etc.). Thanks for sharing this!
  • SionIVSionIV Member Posts: 2,673

    I should point out that both Stoneskin and both Fireshields (Red & Blue) are present in BG:EE.

    Thank you i'll add that. :)
    AHF said:

    Great guide! I think it would useful to explain how thac0 works with polymorph self since different transformation abiilities give you different thac0 consequences throughout the game. I think people will want to know if it varies by form and how it is calculated (whether gauntlets apply for a F/M, etc.). Thanks for sharing this!

    I'll try to explain it a little bit better. If you have any items with + Thac0 they will get added ontop of shapeshifted ThacO. It's the reason you minor sequence strength aswell, that bonus to STR will put up your Thac0 in your shifted form. But i'll add the Thac0 every form has.

  • francofranco Member Posts: 507
    Thanks for the idea. I'd love to give it a try sometime.
  • smeagolheartsmeagolheart Member Posts: 4,686
    does the +apr addition item (ie Belm) do anything when polymorphed? Either in main or off hand?
  • SionIVSionIV Member Posts: 2,673
    edited March 2013

    does the +apr addition item (ie Belm) do anything when polymorphed? Either in main or off hand?

    I haven't tried with weapons, but i would imagine that they don't as the shapeshifted forms come with their own weapons which replace yours. You do get the ½ apr from the gloves and other items if you're able to use them.

    You can dispel the shapeshifted weapons with dispel magic, and then your normal weapon will be the one you attack with. So it is possible to get the spiders 5 APR with a two handed sword +2 if you dispel it's fangs, but you lose out on the poison.
  • Aasimar069Aasimar069 Member Posts: 803
    That's only since Diablo II that the weapon you wear is used during polymorph (IE : Bear form or Werewolf form from the Druid).

    It's easy to imagine they made this so acquiring better gear allows better damage ;-)
  • Aasimar069Aasimar069 Member Posts: 803
    That's only since Diablo II that the weapon you wear is used during polymorph (IE : Bear form or Werewolf form from the Druid).

    It's easy to imagine they made this so acquiring better gear allows better damage ;-)
  • lunarlunar Member Posts: 3,302
    Can you use chill touch or ghoul touch from minor sequencer while shapechanged? Like, poly into spider, use sequencer for str and ghoul touch and it will override your spider weapons, you will have 5 attacks/round that can paralyse your foes with some not too shabby damage from high str too!
  • smeagolheartsmeagolheart Member Posts: 4,686
    @lunar

    I am interested in hearing how that went as well
  • SionIVSionIV Member Posts: 2,673
    edited March 2013
    lunar said:

    Can you use chill touch or ghoul touch from minor sequencer while shapechanged? Like, poly into spider, use sequencer for str and ghoul touch and it will override your spider weapons, you will have 5 attacks/round that can paralyse your foes with some not too shabby damage from high str too!

    I haven't tried it, but i'm sure it would be possible. Anything you run in the sequencer after you enter polymorph will replace what you had innitially. I'll have to try it out sometime, but if it did work then you could run phantom blade and lots of other nasty stuff there. But i think you won't find many things in the mages arsenal that will beat out the 18 poison damage.

    I'll try it out now and see what happens.

    [Edited] : It does replace the spiders weapons, and i just kept stunning Firebead with 5 APR. It took about 3 hits before he got held.

    Now to the problematic part, which can turn out to be a blessing aswell. After your ghoul touch is over, you don't get back to the spider weapon, you get back to your own weapon (In my case, my fists). This kind of destroys the plan for a pure mage or sorceror, but imagine if you're a F5/M9 using a two handed sword. Then you're swinging that sword with 5 APR right after you stunned someone. This also happens to be the easiest way to dispel your shapeshifted weapon.

    Now i want to mention that you can only have 2 level 4 spells at the most with the BG cap. So it's not optimal to use minor sequencer, but you can replace stoneskin with it if you feel that it's more important.

    1 lvl 4 spell = Polymorph
    1 lvl 4 spell = Stoneskin / fireshield / Minor sequencer.

    Remember you can also do a sequencer with Ghoul touch / strenght. Or you can use Ghoul touch / Web.
    lunar
  • lunarlunar Member Posts: 3,302
    Does the spider poison offer no save? If it doesn't, than it is clearly more powerful. Still ghoultouch can be used to disable as many foes as possible, then you can switch to Flind form to apply some trashing, or switch back into spider to continue poisoning ghoultouch'ed victims etc. Oh, if you are f/m or a bard you can use your own weapons with 5 attacks too, when ghoultouch is gone. Can you use bow/arrows when you are spider? That would be ridicolous :-)
  • smeagolheartsmeagolheart Member Posts: 4,686
    lunar said:

    Does the spider poison offer no save? If it doesn't, than it is clearly more powerful. Still ghoultouch can be used to disable as many foes as possible, then you can switch to Flind form to apply some trashing, or switch back into spider to continue poisoning ghoultouch'ed victims etc. Oh, if you are f/m or a bard you can use your own weapons with 5 attacks too, when ghoultouch is gone. Can you use bow/arrows when you are spider? That would be ridicolous :-)

    A spider should be able to fire 4 arrows per round due to 8 legs and 2 hands per bow. ;)

    lunarsecretmantraMortianna
  • SionIVSionIV Member Posts: 2,673
    lunar said:

    Does the spider poison offer no save? If it doesn't, than it is clearly more powerful. Still ghoultouch can be used to disable as many foes as possible, then you can switch to Flind form to apply some trashing, or switch back into spider to continue poisoning ghoultouch'ed victims etc. Oh, if you are f/m or a bard you can use your own weapons with 5 attacks too, when ghoultouch is gone. Can you use bow/arrows when you are spider? That would be ridicolous :-)

    I don't think you can, but you might be able to. And you can't save vs the poison from what i know. Atleast when you attack it doesn't come up as "Saved vs XXXX".
    lunar
  • lunarlunar Member Posts: 3,302
    I see. Is it a bug then? Every poison in the game, from spiders to wyverns, even the cleric spell poison, and hobgoblin arrows and arrows of biting, offer a save vs poison/death to negate the effects, right? Also, do poison damage stack? If it does, you can give a dose of 90 hp poison to a victim in a single round! As long as all your attacks hit. (And if the enemy is webbed or ghoultouched, you hit every time) 90 hp damage will kill most anyone with no save. Phase spider and wyvern poison is much more horrible, doing 5 damage per 'tick', but they all come with a save. (Although maybe with a penalty?)
    [Deleted User]
  • AHFAHF Member Posts: 1,376
    lunar said:

    I see. Is it a bug then? Every poison in the game, from spiders to wyverns, even the cleric spell poison, and hobgoblin arrows and arrows of biting, offer a save vs poison/death to negate the effects, right? Also, do poison damage stack? If it does, you can give a dose of 90 hp poison to a victim in a single round! As long as all your attacks hit. (And if the enemy is webbed or ghoultouched, you hit every time) 90 hp damage will kill most anyone with no save. Phase spider and wyvern poison is much more horrible, doing 5 damage per 'tick', but they all come with a save. (Although maybe with a penalty?)

    I don't think the assassin or blackguard poisons offer a save - only immunity works.
    lunarrevaar
  • lunarlunar Member Posts: 3,302
    AHF said:

    lunar said:

    I see. Is it a bug then? Every poison in the game, from spiders to wyverns, even the cleric spell poison, and hobgoblin arrows and arrows of biting, offer a save vs poison/death to negate the effects, right? Also, do poison damage stack? If it does, you can give a dose of 90 hp poison to a victim in a single round! As long as all your attacks hit. (And if the enemy is webbed or ghoultouched, you hit every time) 90 hp damage will kill most anyone with no save. Phase spider and wyvern poison is much more horrible, doing 5 damage per 'tick', but they all come with a save. (Although maybe with a penalty?)

    I don't think the assassin or blackguard poisons offer a save - only immunity works.
    A! You are right, ofcourse. I forgot that! Still even that does allow a save to avoid some fraction of the damage IIRC

    [Deleted User]
  • aldainaldain Member Posts: 161
    This thread is made of win. While I'll probably stick to purely offensive spells in BG:EE for my sorc, I will definitely pick up Polymorph Self in BG2:EE for some fun. Thank you for the guide!
  • JaceJace Member Posts: 193
    As it currently stands, only the Spider and Jelly forms are worth a thing. The Flind is (still, even after so many patches) not proficient with its halberd, so you may actually end up with worse THAC0 than before, especially if you are a pure mage. Until the fix stops falling through the patching cracks, you'd better avoid it if you want to hit anything.
  • ErgErg Member Posts: 1,756
    @SionIV

    Are you sure, that the spider form has poison?

    I know that the spell description says so, but did you test it in game with BGEE?

    I'm asking because

    1) you polymorph in a Sword Spider, and normal Sword Spiders can't poison with their attacks.
    2) more importantly, I can't find any poison effect on attack for the Spider form with NearInfinity
  • SionIVSionIV Member Posts: 2,673
    Erg said:

    @SionIV

    Are you sure, that the spider form has poison?

    I know that the spell description says so, but did you test it in game with BGEE?

    I'm asking because

    1) you polymorph in a Sword Spider, and normal Sword Spiders can't poison with their attacks.
    2) more importantly, I can't find any poison effect on attack for the Spider form with NearInfinity

    I have only used BG trilogy, but it should be the same. Both the sword spider from polymorph self and avenger has poison on it's attacks. A nomal Sword Spider has almost the double damage on it's normal attacks compared to the polymorphed one. The polymorphed one does around 2-5 damage a hit, so if it didn't have poison it would be worthless.
    Jace said:

    As it currently stands, only the Spider and Jelly forms are worth a thing. The Flind is (still, even after so many patches) not proficient with its halberd, so you may actually end up with worse THAC0 than before, especially if you are a pure mage. Until the fix stops falling through the patching cracks, you'd better avoid it if you want to hit anything.

    The flind is important in SCS, as it's the earliest you can get hold of a +3 weapon. It makes fighting certain golems and such much easier. Also it kills trolls without much problem. It has 2 better Thac0 than your own base Thac0. It's using a halberd + 1 (+3 enchant) with +1 fire damage. With strenght buff and other stuff it can easily deal out 15-17 damage a hit in SoA. It's not as useful in BG1.

  • smeagolheartsmeagolheart Member Posts: 4,686
    Jace said:

    As it currently stands, only the Spider and Jelly forms are worth a thing. The Flind is (still, even after so many patches) not proficient with its halberd, so you may actually end up with worse THAC0 than before, especially if you are a pure mage. Until the fix stops falling through the patching cracks, you'd better avoid it if you want to hit anything.

    Does CHARNAMEs proficency in Halberd's matter? and two handed weapon proficiency?
  • smeagolheartsmeagolheart Member Posts: 4,686
    In BGT my sword spider (from avenger) got stuck in web so that was pretty lame
  • AHFAHF Member Posts: 1,376
    I just tested it for BG:EE and there was no poison.
  • SionIVSionIV Member Posts: 2,673
    edited March 2013

    In BGT my sword spider (from avenger) got stuck in web so that was pretty lame

    I haven't tried enough with the Avenger to know about the web and such. I have heard some rumors that it's own spell (The one you learn from level 2 wizard) let's it walk through it. But i really have no idea if this holds any truth to it.

    And CHARNAMEs proficency doesn't do anything until the shapeshifted forms weapon have been dispelled or replaced by ghoul touch etc.
    AHF said:

    I just tested it for BG:EE and there was no poison.

    Then the poison doesn't work in BG:EE while it works in Vanilla, Trilogy and Tutu.

    Might be something they changed to tune it down a bit. Like they nerfed offensive spin for the Blade.
  • ErgErg Member Posts: 1,756
    edited March 2013
    I have installed both BGEE and BGT on my laptop (together with vanilla and tutu, for mod testing purpose) and I can confirm that in BGT the spider form has indeed poison, but not in BGEE.

    The BGEE form looks heavily nerfed, and this may be on purpose, for the same reasons why some of the summons were nerfed too.

    It was deemed that they were too overpowered for BG1, but likely in BG2EE they will be as they were in BGT.

    Edit: ninja'd
  • bbearbbear Member Posts: 1,180
    What are the stat differences for each form from human form?
  • AHFAHF Member Posts: 1,376
    It makes logical sense that if a sword spider can't poison and the polymorph spell turns the PC into a sword spider that there wouldn't be a poison component to it as the whole idea is to mirror the sword spider's abilities. I never understood why a sword spider would have poison ability in the first place.

    Definitely puts a damper on the mage as melee weapon idea but the sword spider + web remains a deadly combo.
  • SionIVSionIV Member Posts: 2,673
    bbear said:

    What are the stat differences for each form from human form?

    http://www.gamebanshee.com/baldursgateii/shapeshifting.php

    That's a great page to look up stats on the different forms. Not all their special abilities are mentioned but their stats are.
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