Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Categories

Dark Dreams of Furiae - a new module for NWN:EE! Buy now
Attention, new and old users! Please read the new rules of conduct for the forums, and we hope you enjoy your stay!

Assembling tips and spell routines to defeat BG2EE SCS Spellcasters (spoilers)

LemernisLemernis Member, Moderator Posts: 4,302
It's been a pretty long while since I played BG2, although back when I did via BGT it was routinely with SCS installed. So I'm gearing up, finally, for a BG2EE run SCS-style. I know it will all come back to me in-game, but I would appreciate folks sharing their favorite spellcasting strategies to debuff, counter, and debilitate SCS's enemy spellcasters (both mages and priests).

My approach in the BG series is always to target enemy spellcasters first and foremost. I shut them down as quickly as possible. That requires buffing prior to the battles. Then one must debuff the enemy. Then there are "parrying" spells that must be used to protect against the enemy's offensive spells (i.e., as they try to debuff and disable you). And then, ideally, you can disable them with a spell that shuts down their capacity to function. If you're lucky enough to get such a disabling spell in immediately after the enemy's buffs are stripped that rocks. But it doesn't always work out that way.

And of course there are weapons too that have debilitating effects, or cause continued poison damage that disrupts spellcasting, etc.

So anyway, any spell routines (and maybe accompanying coordinated party actions) that you can share about how to accomplish all this will be tremendously appreciated. I'm sure there must be other threads of this type already, so link them if you like. Depending on how much everyone contributes I would very much like to assemble a guide, actually.

I'm particularly curious about how people rate the following SoA disabling spells (let me know if I left any out):

Mage
Chromatic Orb (paralyzes at caster level 7)
Sphere of Chaos
Power Word Silence
Power Word Stun
Prismatic Spray
Horrid Wilting
Power Word Blind
Symbol Fear
Symbol Stun

Priest
Insect Plague
Confusion
Creeping Doom
Dolorous Decay
Symbol Stun
Symbol Fear

And as we know ToB adds more factors and variables with additional spells and HLAs. I guess maybe focus on SoA first, but feel free to discuss ToB strategy as well.

Post edited by Lemernis on
MacHurtoBlackravenJuliusBorisovjackjack

Comments

  • LemernisLemernis Member, Moderator Posts: 4,302
    edited May 2014
    Also--your thoughts about the ultimate overall fun value of SCS's component to have enemy spellcasters prebuff? Some players seem to feel it's more realistic AI, yes--but ultimately not as fun (ironically more tedious and PITA with all the spell-parrying back and forth). Curious what you all think.

    MacHurto
  • DexterDexter Member Posts: 253
    edited May 2014
    In the early going spells like chaos (heavy savin throw penalty and low casting time), greater command and insect plague are good options to disable SCS mages. They don't always work though so it's on your best interest to have chaotic commands and remove fear on your fighters before charge in and hope for the best.

    I seriously try to avoid high level mages until my party has enough magic power of their own (I mean when I have access to level 6 spells). Then I let them taste their own medicine. SCS mages usually need 2 x secret word (or pierce magic) followed by breach to be dispeled. I need 3 rounds to pull that off. Problem is they have 3 rounds to fire spells at me, but the "cloak of mirroring/pro magic energy + chaotic commands + death ward + PfMW + spell shield + SI:abjuration" combo makes me virtually immune to everything for 4 rounds. I use that time to break their protections and then I send the fighters for the mopping up.

    I don't install the pre-buffing component (I use option 3). SCS mages are just so much harder with contingencies and triggers alone that I don't feel I need the pre-buffing element, and they pre-cast a variety of long lasting spells like stoneskin, etc.

    BlackravenJuliusBorisovYamcha
  • SkaffenSkaffen Member Posts: 709
    I strongly suggest a druid with the insect plague line of spells. The awesome thing is that you can target your own tank or summons next to the enemy caster and hit them indirectly that way when the spell jumps to the nearby targets.

    Otherwise use lots of meatshields. Buffs are only sensible if you have spell immunity abjuration because almost all enemies dispel you like crazy.

    Inquisitors with true seeing and dispell are of course always good.

    BlackravenDexterJuliusBorisov
  • BlackravenBlackraven Member Posts: 3,466
    Don't have much time now, because am at work. I think in your case I'd use a lot of PfMW + Improved Invisibility + SI: Divination on Hector while he's meleeing. That way enemy spellcasters can't target him for his invisibility, nor can they dispel his invisibility thanks to SI: Divination, and enemy warriors can't hit you thanks to PfMW. (AoE spells can still affect you though). In the meantime your companions use spells such as Breach, Pierce Magic, Lower Resistance (for highly agic resistant foes), Ruby Ray of Reversal, and the Druid's Insect spells. I almost never use the Power Word or the Symbol spells, so I won't give an opinion on them.

    DexterJuliusBorisov
  • mumumomomumumomo Member Posts: 635
    I don't know about SCS but i guess most good tactics still apply :

    - i tend to avoid anything which allow a save, unless it goes with a heavy saving throw penalty penalty.
    - AOE spells are great since they ignore all protective spells like spell trap,.... Since mages have usually low HP, a few skull traps or ADHW should make short work of them
    - improved invis + SI divination + si abjuration = win. Go in alone (no NPC, no summons) to avoid AOE (not sure if that still works in SCS or if mages have a brain)

  • GoturalGotural Member Posts: 1,229
    Adaptation is key, you need knowledge of every spells in the game to be able to react accordingly.

    Mages battles in Baldur's Gate are like chest games, every turn, you and your opponent do something (aka cast a spell), if you don't cast a spell every round, you lose A LOT of potential.

    The goal is to kill your foe, you have 2 possibilities : You either kill them with physical damage, or magical damage. In both cases, you will have to dispel your enemies battle protections (PfMW / Stoneskin / PfME), but first you will have to dispel the magical protections (Spell Turning, Spell Deflection, Spell Trap, Spell Immunity) which protect the battle protections. Somewhere before or after the magical and physical protections, you'll also have to deal with Improved Invisibility like spells which you will counter with True Sight or with Detect Illusion.

    Avoid spells with a save attached, except if it is a save at -4. Never use spells with a save if you don't use Greater Malison before.

    The easiest way to kill casters if often to nuke them with spells, the AI rarely protect against aoes, in most cases, a Spell Sequencer Skull Trap X3 will do it.

    JuliusBorisovBlackravenDexterCahir
  • LemernisLemernis Member, Moderator Posts: 4,302
    edited May 2014

    I almost never use the Power Word or the Symbol spells, so I won't give an opinion on them.

    I haven't used them much either, but I noticed that for example there is no saving throw against Power Word Silence. Casting time of 1 which is great in the spellslinging back-and-forth. On the downside it only lasts for 3 rounds. The target must cast Dispel Magic and Vocalize to undo it.

    Similarly, there is no saving throw against Power Word Stun. This only works for targets with up to 89 HP. Not sure at what point mages in SoA will start to routinely have 90+ HP. The stun lasts for a duration based on their HP at that time. 1-29 HP = 4d4 rounds, 30-59 HP = 2d4 rounds, and 60-89 HP = 1 d4 rounds. Again a casting time of 1.

    And Power Word Blind also has no saving throw. It has a 10 ft radius area of effect. It last for 1 turn unless Dispelled. Also has casting time of 1.

    A mage's Symbol, Fear and Symbol, Stun I can't remember how they work in practice. The mage is supposed to make an inscription on the ground. So I guess it's similar to setting a trap? i.e., must be done outside of the field of perception of the target, and the target must be lured into it? The manual says Symbol, Stun lasts for only 1 round, but I wonder if that is a typo and it is actually 1 round/level of caster as with the priest version... Symbol, Fear lasts for 1round/level. Fear has a "Special" saving throw (save vs. spells at -4) and Stun has a "Neg." saving throw (also save vs. spells at -4). So these may be okay but do not look great, really.

    The priest version of Symbol Fear has no saving throw and last for 1 round/level of caster. I wonder if this might be cast safely within Sanctuary. The cleric version of Symbol, Stun seems to be the same as the mage version. But here as well the cleric might be able to cast it right in front of the enemy when protected by Sanctuary.

    DexterBlackravenJuliusBorisov
  • GoturalGotural Member Posts: 1,229
    Power words Blind, Silence and Stun are super powerful, as soon as you see that your opponent made a mistake in his spellcasting, use them, and they are likely dead. The blind one especially is so OP that SCS makes changes to it (make it single target and allow True Sight to dispel Blindness).

    Symbols spells are used like aoe crowd control (like Sleep, Chaos for example) exept they aren't party friendly, be careful ! The only "useful" one is the Symbol stun, save at -8 with Greater Malison. It is still not great but can be useful.

    BlackravenjackjackJuliusBorisovDexter
  • LemernisLemernis Member, Moderator Posts: 4,302
    edited May 2014
    So are SCS mages scripted to cast True Sight when they're blinded via Power Word Blind? :-/

  • BlackravenBlackraven Member Posts: 3,466
    Lemernis said:

    So are SCS mages scripted to cast True Sight when they're blinded via Power Word Blind? :-/

    I'm afraid so, according to the SCS readme:

    "This spell modifies True Sight (and the clerical version, True Seeing) so that the caster is immune to Blindness while the spell is effective; existing Blindness effects are also removed.
    (The main reason for this change is that Blindness is essentially lethal for enemies (especially spellcasters). With this change, Truesight effectively works like Vocalize, in addition to its other effects.) "

    Nevertheless I think you should experiment with the PW spells (Stun for example). You won't be playing no-reload (or minimal reload I think).

    JuliusBorisov
  • LemernisLemernis Member, Moderator Posts: 4,302
    edited May 2014
    Yeah, I'm reloading at will since for this game I'll be just grabbing an hour here and there when I can to relax.

    Bummer about Power Word Blind, but I guess it would be seriously OP with no saving throw. In my opinion SCS should have modified the saving throw to the spell, and perhaps duration, versus using True Sight. Oh well. I guess it can still be used on targets other than mages, though, right?

    Symbol, Fear and Symbol, Stun both work similar to Skull Trap, I see. A hovering disk is placed from a distance. For BG2EE Symbol, Stun stuns for 1 round per every 3 levels of the caster. Leveling occurs so rapidly early in BG2 that that's a decent interval. Symbol, Fear lasts for 2 rounds plus 1 round per every 3 levels of the caster. As in vanilla, both Symbol spells still save versus spells at -4.

    So, interestingly, Power Word Stun has no saving throw but (single) targets with 90+ HP are immune to it. (I would imagine that even mages start to exceed 90 HP before long in BG2.) Symbol, Stun however works for targets with more than 89 HP (along with anyone else in the AoE radius) but they can save against it (although at -4 is still very favorable to the caster). So these spells actually look fairly balanced and promising to shut down enemy mages.

    For reference sake:

    Power Word Silence: level 6
    Power Word Stun: level 7
    Power Word Blind: level 8 (presumably still useful for non-mages)
    Mage - Symbol, Fear: level 8
    Mage - Symbol, Stun: level 8
    Priest - Symbol, Fear: level 7
    Priest - Symbol, Stun: level 7

    Forgive me because it's just been too long. How will SCS mages be defended against these spells? I assume they buff with spells like Spell Trap, Spell Turning, Spell Deflection, and Spell Immunity? So then their buffs are countered with spells like Lower Resistance, Breach, Pierce Magic, Ruby Ray of Reversal, Khelben's Warding Whip, Pierce Shield, and Spellstrike.

    Are the SCS mage routines mostly set up via Contingencies and Sequencers? I would imagine so to combat Dispel...

  • BlackravenBlackraven Member Posts: 3,466
    edited May 2014
    Lemernis said:


    Bummer about Power Word Blind, but I guess it would be seriously OP with no saving throw. In my opinion SCS should have modified the saving throw to the spell, and perhaps duration, versus using True Sight. Oh well. I guess it can still be used on targets other than mages, though, right?

    Yes, except priests who have True Seeing memorized, because that spell is adapted in the same manner as Wizards' True Sight.
    Lemernis said:


    So, interestingly, Power Word Stun has no saving throw but (single) targets with 90+ HP are immune to it. (I would imagine that even mages start to exceed 90 HP before long in BG2.)

    It depends a bit. Kuo-Toa Wizards (that should not be underestimated), Rayic Gethras, Amon of the Purple Brotherhood are examples of wizards with < 90 HP. Tolgerias has just > 90 HP, and Dragons obviously have many more HP.
    Note that for the effectiveness of the spell, current HP are taken into account (not max HP). This offers the player the opportunity to use traps in a completely non-cheesy way. Weaken a foe first with one or two traps, to get them below 90 HP, and then stun them and finish them off.
    Lemernis said:


    Forgive me because it's just been too long. How will SCS mages be defended against these spells?

    As I said I'm not sure because I've never used the PW or the Symbol spells much.
    Lemernis said:


    I assume they buff with spells like Spell Trap, Spell Turning, Spell Deflection, and Spell Immunity? So then their buffs are countered with spells like Lower Resistance, Breach, Pierce Magic, Ruby Ray of Reversal, Khelben's Warding Whip, Pierce Shield, and Spellstrike.

    True. (But use Lower Resistance only to lower an enemy's magic resistance, not to remove any spell protections.)
    Lemernis said:


    Are the SCS mage routines mostly set up via Contingencies and Sequencers? I would imagine so to combat Dispel...

    Yes, all decent enemy mages use these.

    This thread could contain some useful info for you.

    JuliusBorisov
Sign In or Register to comment.