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The Wonders of Grease

BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,653
Hi, just wanted to share this.

Based on some advice about sorcerer spell picks here in the forum, I finally got around to trying the Grease spell with my IWD sorcerer.

Good grief, Grease is good.

I was such a hard sell on this spell, I've spent since 1998 on the EE games without ever trying it, always reading the spell description and saying "meh - I'll pass".

Grease has got to be one of the most under-used and underappreciated spells in the game.

Here's why it's so good: Even if creatures within its AoE make their save against falling down, they are still under the effects of the spell's slow movement. And, that slow movement is *really, really, really* slow. As in, the creatures within the Grease field might as well be Entangled for all intents and purposes.

I think now that Grease is even better than Entangle, because even if the enemies choose to stand there and cast spells or use ranged attacks, which they can do freely while Entangled, with a Grease spell, they still have to keep saving every round or fall down, interrupting spells or taking out a whole round's worth of ranged attacks.

I look forward to seeing if this spell is as effective in Baldur's Gate as it is in Icewind Dale. If so, I think that Grease is going to become a staple of my first level spell repertoire. I'm starting to think that Alveus Malcanter himself could become useful to a party using only the Grease spell.

EDIT: Apparently I was wrong about Grease causing "fall down" on a failed save. A successful save is supposed to completely negate the effects of the spell. But, my experience with the spell in practice is that it is much, much more effective than the spell description would lead one to believe. I assumed the "fall down" effect based on observed behavior in the game. I was testing against Icewind Dale lizardmen, who may just have very lousy saves. I'll keep testing. Judging by the amount of agreement I got based on this apparently mistaken post, a lot of other people have found that the Grease spell is much more effective than advertised, for whatever reason. :)
Post edited by BelgarathMTH on
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  • lolienlolien Member, Moderator, Translator (NDA) Posts: 3,107
    Good advice @BelgarathMTH‌, i'll definitly try this next time. As i think after, i used this spell rarely too, if ever. Though it has much roleplaying possibility in it too.
  • BelanosBelanos Member Posts: 968
    edited December 2014

    I look forward to seeing if this spell is as effective in Baldur's Gate as it is in Icewind Dale.

    It's even more effective as it has a wider radius in the BG games, 15' as opposed to 12' in IWD. And I agree, it's one of the best 1st level spells you can take, it works well all the way through the game. You need to be careful where you cast it though as it also affects your party members. Even in Neverwinter Nights 2, it was one of my preferred spells. It's good to use along with Entangle, since Entangle will keep the enemies within Grease's zone of effect, as they won't be able to move out of it. And Grease's slowing effect increases the chances that they'll become entangled again. Another one to add along with those two is the Druid's "Spike Growth". The three of them together makes for a very deadly combination. While you're at it, you could also add Web.

  • lunarlunar Member Posts: 3,433
    Wait, do grease make people fall down uncouncious in iwd? In bg games there is no falling down effect, there is only the slowing down to a crawl effect but it has a saving throw with +2 bonus so it is kinda weak. Any creature that passes its save is totally unaffected. Spell revisions mod made the grease cause people to fall uncouncious for one round when a save is failed, and it had become an extremely powerful spell. In its vanilla bg state, it is one of the weakest spells. Sure, it really slows down enemy movement but only if they fail a save with +2 bonus.
  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,653
    @lunar, I can't speak for what it does in BG yet, since I've never tried it there, but my observation in IWD is that they either freeze if they fail their save, as though effected by a web, or they move forward at a crawl.
  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,653
    edited December 2014
    @lunar, I checked the spell description, and you're right. It says that there is no effect on movement on a passed save. However, that is not how I'm seeing the spell behave in practice. I have yet to see any creature move at normal rate through a Grease field. Either the spell description is wrong, or I have incredibly unlucky enemies.

    If the spell description is wrong, then no wonder the spell is underrated. :)

    EDIT: When the enemies fail a save, they freeze in the Grease field, as though held by a Web. I'll keep testing. Maybe the lizardmen I was fighting when I came to this conclusion just have lousy saves or something. Or, perhaps their programmed AI has them prioritize getting out of the field over any other action. Somehow, though, it's much more effective than the spell description would lead one to believe.
  • lunarlunar Member Posts: 3,433
    edited December 2014
    Just tried on the starter party, those who save vs spells are unaffected and can flee the area of effect quickly. Those who fail have the purple grease animation under their feet, there is the grease icon on their portraits, and their movement is reduced to a crawl. In the screenshot Kirika (the halfling thief) saved vs spell and was able to run away.

    However, the duration of the grease effect on a failed save is a bit weird, as once a member failed a save and greased, and then she succeded in the next round, she was still greased for a few seconds before breaking free. I guess the grease effect lasts slightly longer than a full round.
  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,653
    @lunar, thank you for clarifying, and I apologize for my mistaken "information". Perhaps it is the "duration of the grease effect on a failed save (being) a bit weird" that you mention, but the effects of the spell in practice are much greater than the description would lead a reader to believe.
  • lunarlunar Member Posts: 3,433
    Hey, np, I enjoy solving the mysteries of the game engine. It is weird because the effect lasts longer than a round. Say, in the first round, the enemy fails a save and is greased. After six seconds he makes a save for the second round and is not re-greased again, however the first grease effect is not gone, it sticks up to half of the second round, continuing to hamper the character. Only in the last few seconds of the second round the character is not greased. In the third round if he fails a save again he is greased once again. In these three rounds he was ungreased for about only 3 seconds, half of a round, despite making a saving throw. This makes the spell more powerful than intended as you have experienced.

    In bg it behaves exactly the same, but the area of effect is bigger and the save is easier to make. In the screenshot only Karan, the blue suited elf cleric, made the save and is seen fleeing the area quickly, while others have black grease animation under their feet, and are struggling to move.
  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,653
    Okay, I just tested my new favorite spell against bombadier beetles. None of them saved and moved normally, especially not after I stacked two or three Grease spells together over overlapping cave paths.

    And this is a first level spell. Of which my sorcerer can keep casting them almost all day. Heck, yeah!
  • NimranNimran Member Posts: 4,875
    edited December 2014

    @BelgarathMTH‌ Wonders of Greece...

    Is that a stinking cloud in the background?

    *casts Facepalm Self*
  • JarrakulJarrakul Member Posts: 2,029
    I actually wasn't that impressed by it in IWD, although I certainly used it. But in Baldur's Gate... dear gods above, Grease is literally my favorite spell in BG1. Not only is the area fireball-sized, but any enemy who fails their save once is slowed for several rounds (I think the same duration as the spell, but starting at the time they fail), and they still have to save once per round. Grease and a couple decent archers will trivialize nearly any melee enemy in the game.
  • by_the_swordby_the_sword Member Posts: 42
    edited December 2014
    Grease is one of my go to spells. It seems to slow down any creature that walks, runs or slithers through it. I use it in conjuctuon with Web and Stinking Cloud, and they help slow down the hordes of beasties that swarm you in some places. For a level one spell, it is effective very late into the game, as I have a level 12 Mage who throws it down in just about every fight.

    Grease is the word!
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 22,133
    "meh - I'll pass" Perhaps, this was the best explanation for my feeling towards this spell too.

    Thanks so much for this inspiring thread, @BelgarathMTH‌ . Again :smile:
  • ShikaoShikao Member Posts: 376
    I have just finished BGEE (doing Saga run while waiting for IWDEE) and for battle with Sarevok's mercenaries in Undercity I used combo: Greater Malison+Grease+Web+Cloudkill (with couple Fireballs to quicken the dying process). The combo worked marvellously! Whole bunch was killed just by Neera+Xan duo (ok invisible Safana helped by scouting) XD
  • WoodManWoodMan Member Posts: 10
    Grease has long been an early game choice of mine, along with Sleep. :-)
  • JarrakulJarrakul Member Posts: 2,029
    Do not blaspheme Magic Missile :P. It may not be the most flexible spell around, but it does cheap, reliable damage and doesn't rely on enemies having bad saves.
    lolienlunarJuliusBorisov[Deleted User]
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