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Saturday Spellcaster Strategies #3: triggers and contingencies

13

Comments

  • nanonano Member Posts: 1,632

    @nano - apparently the message you are sending is 'destroy the building. there's a fly in there somewhere'. LOL - 'nuke em from orbit. it's the only way to be sure'.

    yeah, I encountered that lich. Still, he wasn't walking the streets looking for you. You are still disturbing his resting place, regardless of how strange it might be. Maybe he was merely putting up there for the night? It is an Inn after all.

    I suppose the best argument for not using Horrid Wilting x3 on spotting enemy would be if some random cut-purse were to accidentally trigger it. For me, I'd want to save that type of firepower for something worthy of the message.

    No, no, I'm reasonable, you don't have to destroy the entire building for a fly. Maybe for two flies, or one mosquito that won't stop bothering you. But I'm just having fun. I do cast CC mid-combat. It seems to trigger faster that way, while a precast "on sight" trigger is not quite instant. I don't know what you have against nuking things from orbit though, are you sure you're a wizard? You're not one of them... multi-classed types, are you?

    booinyoureyes
  • the_spyderthe_spyder Member Posts: 5,018
    @nano - nah. It's just about subtlety rather than excess. And I'm of the opinion that 'Scorched Earth' leaves nothing left over to worship you. Besides, magic missile allows you to see the terror in their eyes, JUST BEFORE they died, etched upon their ashen faces. It's kind of hard to see that in molten ash that remains after HWx3.

    Not to mention the impressiveness when they pop after one first level spell. Imagine what would have happened had I noticed their existence instead of merely swatted them like the gnats that they are?

  • nanonano Member Posts: 1,632
    @the_spyder, who needs worshippers when you have Animate Dead? People can be so fickle, but you know where you stand with undead slaves. It's nice and all to show off by going easy, but that's the kind of thing that brings a wizard down. I'm sure it's in the evil overlord handbook somewhere. You don't start with the little stuff and work your way up... you bring out the big guns, immediately, all at the same time. Shoot first, ask questions via Speak with Dead. If you make a mistake there's nothing a little Resurrection won't fix, no hard feelings right?

    jackjackbooinyoureyessyllog
  • the_spyderthe_spyder Member Posts: 5,018
    You see, there we differ. I prefer to have people worship me because they realize that they have no other alternative. Worship or die. Free will, if you take my meaning. Undead on the other hand serve, not because they are too scared not to, but because magic compels them to do so.

    I also disagree with the approach, and the assessment. Killing someone slowly via Magic Missile, is hardly 'going easy' on someone. They end up just as dead, and it sends the message that I don't worry about you or even care enough to break a sweat in eliminating you.

    Starting out by 'nuking' the minions (plus everything in the local area) might scare off the competition, but only long enough for them to find another, more subtle manner of doing things. Showy displays like that only serve to make the cockroaches scatter until they can re-group. Showing that even the most minor of my spells can decimate you shows people the true futility of resistance.

  • SpaceInvaderSpaceInvader Member Posts: 2,125
    @the_spyder
    What?? Force undead into submission, I say!

    jackjackWolk
  • the_spyderthe_spyder Member Posts: 5,018
    @spaceInvader - Can Kangaxx be created via Animate Dead? I did not know that. Here I was figuring that all you could summon via that spell were various lesser and dominatable undead creatures such as skeleton warriors. I stand suitably corrected.

  • nanonano Member Posts: 1,632
    @the_spyder Ruling through fear? Ick. Emotions are so... messy. Leave that for the bards and the heroes. They're always going on about love and the power of friendship and silly stuff like that. Too bad disintegrate breaks romances! Hahahaha. Excuse me...

    Anyways, magical compulsion is exactly what we're all about. I didn't become a mage because I was good with people, you know? I removed "hello" from my vocabulary a long time ago and replaced it with "charm person".

    jackjacksyllog
  • SpaceInvaderSpaceInvader Member Posts: 2,125
    @the_spyder
    Mphff... Your comment was so boring that I decided to invalidate it.

    Wolk
  • booinyoureyesbooinyoureyes Member Posts: 6,162
    nano said:

    @the_spyder Ruling through fear? Ick. Emotions are so... messy. Leave that for the bards and the heroes. They're always going on about love and the power of friendship and silly stuff like that.

    oh yeah? Do you see an axe with silly shit like "Emotion" in its name? I don't. And unlike Lower Resistance the symbol for my longsword ain't no pansy-ass heart neither.

    Oh no, watch out, this guy cast a spell called "Friends" in a contingency with "Charm Person"... hide yo kids, hide yo wife ;P

    syllogWolk
  • the_spyderthe_spyder Member Posts: 5,018
    @SpaceInvader - I think one of us got off track. My initial comment was in regards to animating undead by way of the spell of the same name and how they are dominated via magic. You brought in Kangaxx and I thought you might have confused my statement to mean all undead were dominated via magic, thus making the perfectly valid comment (from that perspective) that Kangaxx would not submit to domination (or so I assumed). I was attempting to correct that miss-apprehension. Somewhere we got disjointed.

    @nano - we have philosophical differences. You think that emotions are fickle and not a very solid ground to base domination on. I believe that magic doesn't give any kind of free will and what is the point in dominating someone if they don't have a choice (albeit a bad one). I mean, give them the choice and let them despair that they have no other option but to do what you want is always my philosophy.

    @booinyoureyes very logically adds in the point that, sans magic, people have been dominating through might and fear for a very long time. while I personally think that Wizards and magic are 'The only' real power, I agree with the sentiment that domination should be fear of consequences rather than turning people into robots.

    But I don't see either philosophy as 'Necessarily' better/worse or invalid. Cheers to you and your way of doing things. We can still fight a war between our respective nations in peace and comfort (as it were). More power EVIL!!!

    SpaceInvader
  • SpaceInvaderSpaceInvader Member Posts: 2,125
    @the_spyder Ah, don't worry. I was just kiddin ;)

  • nanonano Member Posts: 1,632

    nano said:

    @the_spyder Ruling through fear? Ick. Emotions are so... messy. Leave that for the bards and the heroes. They're always going on about love and the power of friendship and silly stuff like that.

    oh yeah? Do you see an axe with silly shit like "Emotion" in its name? I don't. And unlike Lower Resistance the symbol for my longsword ain't no pansy-ass heart neither.

    Oh no, watch out, this guy cast a spell called "Friends" in a contingency with "Charm Person"... hide yo kids, hide yo wife ;P
    Sigh.. okay, who let the warrior in? @the_spyder, is this one of your "minions"? No matter. This brings to mind another advantage of my approach: smoldering corpses don't make snarky comments. Or make fun of spells that you had no hand in naming. Or laugh at the way you dress or ask out the girl you liked or give you wedgies at recess and steal your lunch money. Allow me to demonstrate...

    Regarding your other points. You are correct that free will is valuable... in me. I fail to see its value in anyone else, and especially not in some... meathead.

    Regarding the original topic! I've finally started playing the Black Pits and it's forced me to actually use contingencies because I no longer have access to prebuffs. One I haven't seen mentioned here is Mord Sword, Mord Sword, Mass Invisibility on self on enemy sighted. It's really nice for buying time in an ambush situation because the swords are great tanks and the invisibility ensures you have at least a round or two to reposition while also providing some combat bonuses. Against heavy melee with no enemy casters, or if the enemy can see through invisibility, Mord Sword x3 is good. If the initial attack isn't too scary and one sword is enough to tank then Mord Sword, Simulacrum, Mass Invisibility will give you a casting advantage.

    booinyoureyesWolk
  • DragonspearDragonspear Member Posts: 1,835
    Sometimes I think Simbul and Elminster sorta have the right idea. Sometimes.........using overkill is the right idea......and I'm a Paladin/Wizard (Invoker).........actually that might explain my approach. Its not enough to wipe out an entire army with a single spell.......I want to make sure the landscape knows not to fool around with Magic or Mystra again........

  • the_spyderthe_spyder Member Posts: 5,018
    Which isn't a bad strategy as far as it goes. However, if you shoot your entire (ahem...) "allotment of big ticket spells" against the little guys and leave nothing for the big bosses, it makes for a pretty short fight at the end there. Sure, contingencies are just that. Some battles require everything you've got and then some. hence the usefulness of Contingencies. (Kangaxx, I'm looking at you. And you Firekrag).

    Maybe I'm just old fashioned enough to believe that 'If you have to prove how powerful you are up front, you pretty much already lost the battle'.

  • jackjackjackjack Member Posts: 3,251
    That's why I like to stand off to the side and sing. And try not to get in the warriors' ways.

    booinyoureyessyllogBelgarathMTH
  • GamingFreakGamingFreak Member Posts: 639
    edited January 2014
    Biggest braindead Chain Contingency: Abi-Dalzim's Horrid Wilting x3, target nearest opponent, condition see enemy. This is a basic Bread n' butter CC that any mage can use efficiently; the biggest way to use this is to set this up in a CC, then rest. So when it triggers, cast CC again and do whatever with it, including casting 3 horrid wiltings again. With a regular contingiency I usually just do stoneskin or improved invisibility when I take a certain level of damage on the caster; simple defense strategy that can be popped on the fly.

    For Spell Trigger, which is the best form of sequencer available, one of the best I can think of is the nice debuff strategy: 2x Lower Resistance and Greater Malison. There's also Lower Resistance + Greater Malison + Emotion: Helplessness; this is a good debuff strategy that also can force an enemy into being basically helpless and allows for almost free damage. Greater Malison + Web + Web is also good, if a bit silly in how crazy it can get

    If you're multi-classed as a cleric as well with mage spells, your triggers/contingiencies can get even crazier. Chain Contingiency: Holy Power + Righteous Magic + Improved Haste... I'm sorry but did my cleric/mage suddenly become a beefy Kensai/Mage who just activated Kai? Aura of Flaming Death + Globe of Blades + Stoneskin/Protection From Magic Weapons, if you can trigger one of these two CC's and cast the other mid-fight, you basically have a massive "**** you" combo... you have to be a really high level to trigger the second one, though.

    Spell Sequencers can become way more effective too, even minor ones: Doom + Chromatic Orb; makes Chromatic's Saving throw penalty for its extra effects slightly better. 3x Holy Smite... pretty much self-explanatory, in a good-aligned party this is a lethal combo that stacks massive AoE force of evil-butt kicking into one sequencer.

    There's LOADS of good combos in this game. I can't even say I have a favorite.


    EDIT: Also to end the silly argument spyder is having: Chain Contingiency on sight is a useful mid-battle tactic and tactic to use with proper scouting and foresight. Say if you're near Yaga-Shura's base, you tried to get a rune to proceed through the lair by opening one of the nearby doors. Now, the last two you opened caused enemies to appear. Figuring this out, you *know* that this one is going to be a massive trap with enemies bound to be summoned out, so you prepare a massive force of destruction to target the nearest baddy that comes towards you.

    It's a perfectly viable solution and in nowhere near a "scorched earth" solution.

    jackjackDragonspear
  • DragonspearDragonspear Member Posts: 1,835
    @GamingFreak

    I prefer to save any malison triggers for the level 6 variety, normally either Malison+Glitterdust or Malison+Slow. I use the level 8 one as you said simply for RWPR (Rapid Wizard Protection Removal).

    And I cannot agree enough about what GamingFreak said about cleric/mages too. I'm looking forward to Vecna Robes on Aerie for my canon party. And then all the contingency and trigger fun.

    Although the issue I see with Holy Power + Righteous Magic (or DuHM by the time you get there) + Improved Haste, is that you're still hitting with either 1 APR and a 2her (thus you gain 2 attacks) or 2 APR while DWing and you go up to 4 attacks =/ Kinda feel like the Improved Haste is wasted there.

  • GamingFreakGamingFreak Member Posts: 639
    Improved Haste can stack with Regular Haste as well, though, so if haste was cast on the party before-hand, 2-3 attacks per round is nothing to scoff at, even if they aren't *quite* as good as a fighter. And if you so happen to cast Black Blade of Disaster before or after your little contingiency buff, well now you're getting another full attack per round thanks to BBoD counting as Grand Mastery for the intent of using said magical weapon... though that would require more than 6mil XP to use BBoD alongside CC, due to only getting 1 level 9 spell around that XP range.

    It's hit or miss, honestly, you can really just throw whatever buff you want. Hell, you can use a buff combo and make it work with Slings or something.

  • nanonano Member Posts: 1,632
    Have you guys figured out a way to ensure the spells hit in a certain order? I've been looking into this but no matter what I've done it's still unpredictable. I've tried using spells that share the same projectile type as Greater Malison (SPARGOP.PRO) - namely, Chaos - in order to guarantee that they hit in cast order but it still sometimes scrambles them. At the very least using the same projectile type guarantees that they will hit every enemy in the same order (ie every enemy gets Chaos>GM or GM>Chaos) while using something like Slow will result in some enemies getting a GM>Slow and some getting a Slow>GM.

    @GamingFreak, mages don't get bonus attacks from BBoD's grand mastery, and the attacks from Haste and IH don't stack. Though you have some good ideas there. If you really want more attacks the polyself:spider trick still works to my knowledge.

  • GamingFreakGamingFreak Member Posts: 639
    nano said:

    Have you guys figured out a way to ensure the spells hit in a certain order? I've been looking into this but no matter what I've done it's still unpredictable. I've tried using spells that share the same projectile type as Greater Malison (SPARGOP.PRO) - namely, Chaos - in order to guarantee that they hit in cast order but it still sometimes scrambles them. At the very least using the same projectile type guarantees that they will hit every enemy in the same order (ie every enemy gets Chaos>GM or GM>Chaos) while using something like Slow will result in some enemies getting a GM>Slow and some getting a Slow>GM.

    @GamingFreak, mages don't get bonus attacks from BBoD's grand mastery, and the attacks from Haste and IH don't stack. Though you have some good ideas there. If you really want more attacks the polyself:spider trick still works to my knowledge.

    Not sure if it's a bug or not but I can definitely confirm that haste and improved haste bonus attacks stack; I tested it on one point on my Kensai when I used Haste on the group then had Improve Haste cast on him, then checked the number of attacks in the small window in the inventory screen, it increased twice, both related to both haste spells.

  • nanonano Member Posts: 1,632
    It increased twice because the IH replaced the Haste and it went up to the higher value. It shouldn't be any higher than twice the unhasted attacks.

  • OnestepOnestep Member Posts: 225
    >Slap in 3 Horrid Wiltings
    >Walk towards Lich
    >Lich keels over instantly

    Done and done.

  • the_spyderthe_spyder Member Posts: 5,018

    EDIT: Also to end the silly argument spyder is having: Chain Contingiency on sight is a useful mid-battle tactic and tactic to use with proper scouting and foresight. Say if you're near Yaga-Shura's base, you tried to get a rune to proceed through the lair by opening one of the nearby doors. Now, the last two you opened caused enemies to appear. Figuring this out, you *know* that this one is going to be a massive trap with enemies bound to be summoned out, so you prepare a massive force of destruction to target the nearest baddy that comes towards you.

    It's a perfectly viable solution and in nowhere near a "scorched earth" solution.

    I think this went way off the deep end. I never intended to say that 'on site' was a horrible tactic. I only ever meant to say that Tactical use of it is a better solution than merely using it blindly, say, walking around town. Hence my reference to kobolds setting it off in the sewers. Of course, if you are going in somewhere that you KNOW is going to be deadly and you have a good idea that the extra firepower up front is going to benefit, use it. It would be insane not to do so.

    But the 'original' comment was that walking around town with 3xHorrid Wilting on Chain contingency of 'on site of enemy' was a standard and good practice. This, to me, is just dumb. There are any number of low to mid level threats which could pop up just walking around town that would, in my estimation, be a waste of HWx3. If you aren't going to use your spells tactically (and that includes absolutely yes using an 'on site' contingency where appropriately, say against draconis), you are wasting resources that you might need later. If your Horrid Wilting goes off on a bunch of Kobolds and before you can rest (but after you have used a significant portion of your memorized spells) you encounter that party of Gith out for a certain artifact in your possession, you are going to look like a pretty stupid corpse.

    My point in it's entirety is this. in almost no place does the game lead off with 'Big evil' unless it is followed up by even bigger evil. And you can't frighten the AI into submission by totally massacring the first mob you encounter. Therefore, if you are merely going about town, or in some early stage of an adventure where you know that the first monster is easy (either through scouting or through meta-gaming or simply having some kind of sense of how the game plays), wasting such a powerful combination on the first monster encountered (or holding one or more of your characters well out of battle for fear of wasting said spell) is just that. Wasting it.

    I'd ask kindly if people would fully read threads before making negative comments like the above without fully reading/understanding what the point was. Thanks very much.

  • nanonano Member Posts: 1,632
    edited January 2014
    @the_spyder and I were just having fun anyways, don't take it too seriously. I don't actually horrid wilting every kobold I come across... or do I? If you're a kobold, do you really want to find out? But in my playstyle I tend to err towards overkill (not that there's any such thing) because I believe it's better to overestimate your enemy and spend too much than to underestimate them and end up dead.

    booinyoureyesjackjack
  • the_spyderthe_spyder Member Posts: 5,018
    @nano - agreed, it's all in fun, so long as it doesn't degenerate into personal attacks.

    And I tend towards the overkill myself. But for my playing style, there is a difference between overkill and scorched earth (being defined as doing 4 or more times as many hit points as the monster's max HP in a single strike). It's great when Dorn does it on a critical hit, it's less so when it is a limited use spell that you might have need of later. At least in my game it is. But hey, play as you enjoy your fun.

  • nanonano Member Posts: 1,632
    I don't know about 4 times, but I mostly play thieves and those backstabs can really get up there. I will admit to blowing a CC:3×horrid wilting on muggers at least once. In my mind it was the right move at the time - there were a lot of them, they were well-stocked with invis potions and my party was low on health. If I used true sight someone would get backstabbed before it dispelled the invisibility. I needed something that would cast instantly and was party friendly, so Horrid Wilting it was.

  • nanonano Member Posts: 1,632
    Also apologies to @booinyoureyes for calling him a meathead, may your eyes remain bright and your fur forever uh, furry :D

  • booinyoureyesbooinyoureyes Member Posts: 6,162
  • the_spyderthe_spyder Member Posts: 5,018
    "@booinyoureyes smash. Puny God!"

    It's a sad state of RPGs today but in most of them, the Warriors dominate in terms of raw power and (some say more importantly) staying power. It's a great thing that wizards can still throw around pretty hefty spells like time stop and alacrity and Horrid Wilting etc.... in BG series. Wizards need more love these days. So we can crush the lesser beings under our heels as is our right.... :p

    booinyoureyes
  • syllogsyllog Member Posts: 158
    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 only targets chosen enemies.
    No friendly (or neutral) fire. ;)
    Seriously - necromancers get the worse reputations, but they're the caring sweathearts of the bunch.
    Bring people back from the dead. Avoiding casualties. Borrowing bodies rather than immolating them.
    So much prejudice! :)

    SpaceInvaderbooinyoureyes
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