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Saturday Spellcaster Strategies #3: triggers and contingencies

XerxesVXerxesV Member Posts: 187
In your experience, what are the best uses of sequencers, contingencies, or triggers? I am embarassingly amateur with these spells. I usually fill them with acid arrows or magic missiles. Any advice would be appreciated.


Contingency- Level 6:

Spell sequencer- Level 7: (3 spells lower than level 5)

Spell trigger-Level 8 (3 spells lower than level 7)

Chain contingency- Level 9 (3 spells lower than level 9)

BelgarathMTHAristilliussemiticgoddess
«134

Comments

  • MathsorcererMathsorcerer Member Posts: 3,009
    A decent use of Contingency is either Dispel Magic on yourself if you become helpless or Stoneskin if you get hit.

    Spell Sequencer? I concur--3 Skull Traps for offense, but I often load it with Greater Malison, Slow, and either Confusion or Stinking Cloud. For a different kind of offense, try Melf's Minute Meteors, Haste, and Stoneskin.

    Spell Trigger...for defense try Protection from Magic Weapons, Spell Shield, and Spell Deflection. For dealing with mages try 3x Pierce Magic and against things with high magic resistance use 3x Lower Resistance.

    Chain Contingency...Protection from Energy (or Spell Turning), Improved Mantle (or Stoneskin), and Spell Shield.

    Minor Sequencer is great for loading two Magic Missiles or Melf's Acid Arrow.

    These spells are even more effective if you are playing a cleric/mage because you can load them with any appropriate priest spells, as well.

    XerxesVKaigenGemHoundsemiticgoddess
  • Nic_MercyNic_Mercy Member Posts: 405
    Here's some common uses I have done:

    Minor Sequencer: Magic Missile x2 or Magic Missle + Chromatic Orb
    Basic offense and a potential instant kill.

    Contingency: Dispel Magic or Mislead on self if helpless
    Basic defense if I lose control of my character for some reason.

    Spell Sequencer: Greater Malison + Emotion + Skulltrap or Skulltrap x3
    Combo of debuff, CC, and damage or just brutal damage.

    Spell Trigger: Chain Lightning x3 or Greater Malison + Feeblemind x2
    Either lots of party safe damage or Heavily penalized CC that can even affect Dragons rendering them helpless and simple to kill.

    Chain Contingency: Horrid Wilting x3 on "see enemy"
    LOVE just decimating foes the instant they come into view!

    XerxesVrexregNordom
  • pekirtpekirt Member Posts: 111
    edited October 2013
    Nic_Mercy said:


    Chain Contingency: Horrid Wilting x3 on "see enemy"
    LOVE just decimating foes the instant they come into view!


    Hm. Say, you see some enemies in the middle of Athkathla, where there are also many poor, poor NPCs going
    about their business... kids playing...

    Instant attention from Dark Powers, if you had been living in Ravenloft. ;)

  • Nic_MercyNic_Mercy Member Posts: 405
    pekirt said:

    Nic_Mercy said:


    Chain Contingency: Horrid Wilting x3 on "see enemy"
    LOVE just decimating foes the instant they come into view!


    Hm. Say, you see some enemies in the middle of Athkathla, where there are also many poor, poor NPCs going
    about their business... kids playing...

    Instant attention from Dark Powers, if you had been living in Ravenloft. ;)
    Thankfully as a sorcerer you can cast chain contingency at the drop of a hat! Like say in the midst of combat with no civilians around!

    pekirt
  • KaltzorKaltzor Member Posts: 1,050
    I usually use Spell Sequencer to store 3 fireballs or flame arrows..

    Minor Sequencer usually gets 2 magic missiles or melf's acid arrows

    I don't remember what I did with Spell Trigger and I really need to use more Contingencies...

  • rexregrexreg Member Posts: 292
    minor sequencer - 2 magic missiles...always...not only a decent amount of damage, but it takes care of stoneskins, as well...
    spell sequencer - magic missile, fireball (or skull trap, depending), & melf's acid arrow (holy smite if i'm playing a cleric)
    contingency - dispel magic when helpless

    i like cleric/mages...mixing those two classes can change what i use in these spells...chain contingency becomes dispel magic, cure ???? wounds, & stoneskin when helpless...which changes contingency to Cure ??? Wounds when hp are below a certain %

  • ZarakinthishZarakinthish Member Posts: 214
    It has been some time since I last played BG2 and thus my memory is slightly hazy, but I seem to recall one of my favorite uses of spell trigger was to have Aerie (a cleric/mage) have at least two of the priest spell false dawn in one. It makes very quick work of vampires.

  • YgramulYgramul Member Posts: 1,059
    It seems people are not doing a no-reload run...

    In a no-reload run (especially with SCS) contingencies/sequencers are better spent on worst case "oh shit!" scenarios. Also spell immunities (abjuration and divination, in particular) is a good idea, if you have the SCS option that permits you to have them in sequencers.

    Every round you are *guaranteed* to remain alive as a mage (or fighter/mage) is a good round. Sequencer help with that -- especially if you are not meta-gaming a memorized run-through.

    Antagonistsemiticgoddess
  • ZanathKariashiZanathKariashi Member Posts: 2,867
    Usually load up on webs, if I bother using them. A double-tap Web, and two or 3 shots from wand of cloudkill/Wand of Fire will take out or heavily weaken pretty much everything, and anything that it doesn't has proven dangerous enough to warrant my paying attention and using my memorized spells, which are much more precious with my restrictions then consumables are.


    With my rest restrictions, they just aren't efficient use of slots most of the time, unless I know I'll be travelling extensively and have time to become fatigued twice before engaging in serious battle. (And since I corrected Contingency/CC's cast time (1 and 2 rounds, respectively), there is no in-battle cheese available)

    Tsyrith
  • comebackhomecomebackhome Member Posts: 254
    Would a Greater Malison + Hold Person x2 be a good combo for a Mage/Cleric?

    XerxesVQuartzsemiticgoddess
  • PalanthisPalanthis Member Posts: 283
    edited October 2013
    Any spell with a save that follow a greater malison is good indeed.
    With a cleric / mage i even add a doom spell after the great malison to get a -6 save.
    Then you can add hold person / (dire) charm / polymorph other ... or even more potent spells with greater sequencers.

    The thing to remember is : you have to cast the malison and doom before the third spell in the sequencer, because this order does actually matters when the sequencer is released (even though all the 3 spells appear to be instant).

    With contingencies i like to get some invisibility or remove magic (not the dispel one) on helpless status as a defensive last option.

    Another great classic for the small sequencer is mirror image + blur.

    XerxesVsyllogsemiticgoddess
  • XerxesVXerxesV Member Posts: 187
    edited October 2013

    Would a Greater Malison + Hold Person x2 be a good combo for a Mage/Cleric?

    Sweet. Malison, doom, and lower resistance would be great to try on high level enemies.

    So many good tips here guys, thanks.
    Maybe I can finally cast a successful Polymorph Other if I knock down their saves. I want to turn them into squirrels so bad!

    booinyoureyes
  • bbearbbear Member Posts: 1,180
    Did you know that contingency spells fires a bit slower in the game because all the conditions must be checked by the engine first? Exploit that to full advantage in combination w/ spell trigger (which fires instantly after you unpause.)

    My favorite/lazy strategy of killing almost anything:

    Spell Trigger (3x lower resistance)
    Chain Contingency (3x horrid wilting)

    In the actual D&D realm, do Trigger/Sequencer Spells hit the enemy before or after the Contingency Spells?

    XerxesV
  • Nic_MercyNic_Mercy Member Posts: 405
    edited October 2013
    bbear said:

    Did you know that contingency spells fires a bit slower in the game because all the conditions must be checked by the engine first? Exploit that to full advantage in combination w/ spell trigger (which fires instantly after you unpause.)

    My favorite/lazy strategy of killing almost anything:

    Spell Trigger (3x lower resistance)
    Chain Contingency (3x horrid wilting)

    In the actual D&D realm, do Trigger/Sequencer Spells hit the enemy before or after the Contingency Spells?


    You have to actually "cast" a trigger... as in activate it. Whereas a contingency will activate the instant its conditions are met. In most cases a contingency will activate first but if by some quirk of luck both activate in the exact same instant, a DM would likely give each an initiative roll to see which happens first.

  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,611
    How do you avoid your Chain Contingency, See Enemy, Horrid Wilting x3 going off against some random mook you forgot about outside or near the bigbad staging area? (Nice, I hit that kobold for 480 damage, whoops, there's the dragon at full hp.)

    Wouldn't you need some pretty thorough metagaming knowledge to make that strategy actually work as intended?

    semiticgoddess
  • Nic_MercyNic_Mercy Member Posts: 405

    How do you avoid your Chain Contingency, See Enemy, Horrid Wilting x3 going off against some random mook you forgot about outside or near the bigbad staging area? (Nice, I hit that kobold for 480 damage, whoops, there's the dragon at full hp.)

    Wouldn't you need some pretty thorough metagaming knowledge to make that strategy actually work as intended?

    Scouting as mentioned before is one method. The other method is... you don't. You actually cast chain contingency in the middle of the fight and the 3 wiltings go off as soon as you finish selecting the spells and conditions (and the action is paused while you do so). Basically Chain Contingency becomes a combat spell in this case. This tactic is hard for wizards to abuse but Sorcerers can make use of it quite easily because how their spellcasting works.

    XerxesVBelgarathMTHbooinyoureyes
  • lunarlunar Member Posts: 3,412
    pekirt said:

    Nic_Mercy said:


    Chain Contingency: Horrid Wilting x3 on "see enemy"
    LOVE just decimating foes the instant they come into view!


    Hm. Say, you see some enemies in the middle of Athkathla, where there are also many poor, poor NPCs going
    about their business... kids playing...

    Instant attention from Dark Powers, if you had been living in Ravenloft. ;)
    Horrid wilting does not hurt non-hostiles in bg, odd it may seem. If it did hurt everybody, including party, like it is in iwd games it wouldn't have been the best damage spell in the game ^^

    Minor sequencer-mirror image+invisibility on self can save a mage's life when he is troubled.

    Triple skull traps and triple flame arrows do insane amounts of damage. For area debuff, greater malison+slow+confusion is nice too, enemies will have hard time to save vs spells. Triple ice storms can cover a large area and can really hurt a lot of enemies who are stupid enough to stay still. (6-48 points of damage each round, no save, lasts four rounds)

    Triple cone of colds are fantastic against Yaga shura! Damage is insane against normal enemies, too. That's 120-300 instant cold damage if I am not mistaken. (Lvl 20 cone does 40-100 points of damage) Triple sunfires will fry those pesky drows good, although damage is lower than cone of cold, area effect is better and it ignores magic resistance.

    Chain contingency was broken in bg2. Three project images, self, when helpless. Then cast project image yourself. Three more PIs will spawn, you now have 4 extra mages with full spell books. Then each can start casting a time stop with one second delay in between, so when one's time stop+improved alacrity+nuke combo ends, the next one can begin.

    XerxesVmylegbigAbelsemiticgoddess
  • XerxesVXerxesV Member Posts: 187
    @nic_mercy "You actually cast chain contingency in the middle of the fight and the 3 wiltings go off as soon as you finish selecting the spells and conditions (and the action is paused while you do so). Basically Chain Contingency becomes a combat spell in this case."

    Brilliant. It seems so simple now, but I'm so conventional in my strategy that I never would have thought of that. It's time-stop without delaying the game.

    Nic_Mercybooinyoureyes
  • ZanathKariashiZanathKariashi Member Posts: 2,867
    CC only works like that cause they F'd up the casting time, giving it 1. It's supposed to take 2 full rounds to cast. Should've at least gave it 1 round like normal Contingency.


    As for the other question...

    In PnP no spell can ever drop below a speed of 1. So Contingencies and triggers activate at the same time, assuming you set your contingency to go off when you said the command word for your spell-trigger. Otherwise you'd have to get lucky and try to activate the trigger right as the contingency fired.

  • syllogsyllog Member Posts: 158
    edited December 2013
    Is there a fix so that Chain Contingency is not instant cast?

    @OP
    Triggers are great for casting when you can't. - e.g. Polymorph and Tenser's (not wraithform though.)

    For tough mages with SCS (AI mod) Chain Contingency is a great start - blow through spell defenses then tack on an effect like blindness or stun.

    Stacking save or 'dies' such as blindness, enfeeblement, web, etc. always useful.
    Remember Cleric/Mages can use cleric spells.
    3x bolt of glory is great for demons.
    Sunrise/bolt of glory in a chain contingency after spell removal is great for liches.

    Improved Invisibilty + Spell Immunity:Divination + Other (spell shield for scs) is classic. (Do Spell Immunities fit into sequencers in vanilla?)

  • syllogsyllog Member Posts: 158
    Palanthis said:


    With contingencies i like to get some invisibility or remove magic (not the dispel one) on helpless status as a defensive last option.

    Whoah.
    The contingency targeting you with Remove Magic makes it work on you? It doesn't just fizzle?
    Does it affect your whole party? Gotta test that. Thanks!

  • XerxesVXerxesV Member Posts: 187
    Update: I've been using chain contingency like crazy in the Black Pits 2. It seems to be the only spell you can cast in the building, that means you can still assign offensive and defensive spells that activate when seeing an enemy.

    It's also great for an initial boost in the first round of battle, and you can use it to speed your spell casting by 300%. Let's say you want to cast 4 spells but a monster is closing in on you. Just click CC and it pauses the game so you can select 3: such as true sight, magic sword and haste. If you select "see enemy" as soon as you hit OK all three spells cast instantly. Then you can cast the fourth spell like normal.

    I've been exploiting this like crazy. Running from enemies and casting dozens of fireballs over my shoulder without stopping. It's amazing.

    jackjackcomebackhomeAbel
  • DragonspearDragonspear Member Posts: 1,835
    Glitterdust spook chromatic orb; doom spook chromatic orb or blind are two that come to mind for minor sequencers. Second requires being a C/M

    Brude
  • DragonspearDragonspear Member Posts: 1,835
    edited December 2013
    double post

    Post edited by Dragonspear on
  • Nic_MercyNic_Mercy Member Posts: 405
    syllog said:

    Palanthis said:


    With contingencies i like to get some invisibility or remove magic (not the dispel one) on helpless status as a defensive last option.

    Whoah.
    The contingency targeting you with Remove Magic makes it work on you? It doesn't just fizzle?
    Does it affect your whole party? Gotta test that. Thanks!
    As far as I know Remove Magic does not affect you in any way. I have no idea why someone would put it in a contingency upon being rendered helpless...

    jackjacksemiticgoddess
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