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SCS spell actions per round for NPCs question

I just started BG2:EE for the first time in a year or so, after having played through 1 a few times with SCS recently. I have SCS installed now for 2 also, with most options enabled, though no mage or cleric prebuffing is on atm. I am fighting into the slaver ship right now, and the first "Slaver Wizard" I saw immediately fired off minor globe of inulnverability and shield and drank a potion (cause I had skull trapped him when he from off screen) the instant I saw him.

How does SCS make that happen? When he cast magic missile at me, it was only firing 4 missiles, so he shouldn't have any contingencies. So he took 3 spell actions in one round. Which is crazy illegal, despite SCS saying NPC mages aren't supposed to do anything that PC mages can't do.

What gives? I've said before that perhaps I just don't understand the way the scripts work and everything is kosher here... but I keep running into situation after situation that frustrates the hell out of me regarding SCS after having such high hopes due to "SCS doesn't cheat!" claims in the readme and stuff :(


  • fischsemmelfischsemmel Member Posts: 40
    For what it's worth, when I reloaded to see what happened the next time, he didn't repeat the behavior. I also notice there is a second wizard there, so I perhaps saw three actions taken by two different wizards the first time. But still, that means one of them took two spell actions in a single round, which still shouldn't be happening.
  • Jaheiras_WitnessJaheiras_Witness Member Posts: 614
    Even without the mage and cleric prebuff option installed, SCS mages still get to cast their long duration spells instantly at the start of combat (eg Stoneskin, Shield, Protection from Magic Energy etc). So that explains the Shield spell at least, though not necessarily the Minor Globe. Could he have gulped the potion and then cast the Globe in the next round (ie did 6 seconds elapse?). I'm pretty sure SCS mages get to cheat on firing sequencers and contingencies but not normal casting.

    The mage and cleric pre-buff option allows them to cast shorter term defences (like Minor Globe and Mirror Image) instantly at the start of combat as well as their long duration defences.
  • sluckerssluckers Member Posts: 280
    edited October 2015
    I've noticed this as well. Every mage and his idiot brother has stoneskin etc, and it just appears without even an action being taken. They don't even cast it; it just appears.

    However, I think it's worth noting that SCS was (likely) made by experienced players for experienced players.

    What do experienced players do? They walk around looking like statues... as in, they cast spells like stoneskin, shield and armour (which have durations measured in hours) as a post-waking routine or upon entering a new area, that way they are always ready for a fight with these minimal defences whether they've encountered an enemy or not, and whether or not they even know they're heading into a fight.

    SCS is mimicking this behaviour, as far as I know, by insta-casting minor defensive spells on enemy mages to simulate the behaviour of the mage having casted these spells before you even got there. The enemy mage did not know you were coming, but like an experienced player they probably just walk around wearing stoneskins and magical armour/shields everyday, just in case.

    It isn't giving them any real extra actions as far as I can tell, and the 'extra' castings are limited to these long duration, precautionary spells. I have never seen any mage take extra actions like drinking potions or casting more than one offensive/utility spell--unsequenced--in either BG1 or what I've played of BG2 (which is not much). Unfortunately it's hard to know what actually happened in your own game, from where I'm sitting. Like you, I also only just completed the slaver quest, and I saw nothing like what you described on my two playthroughs (one as mage, one as fighter, which I'm playing in parallel).

    After observing this behaviour in enemy mages, I came to the realization that I could also walk around looking like a stoned idiot, too. It has been educational.
    Post edited by sluckers on
  • fischsemmelfischsemmel Member Posts: 40
    Alright. So I guess maybe the spell actions per round wasn't violated, it could have played out that SCS had shield precast by one mage and then one drank a heal pot while the other cast globe to begin the fight.

    I just never would have guessed SCS would treat a 1-hour buff as something mages would always have cast coming into battle, what with that meaning they'd need to be able to cast shield 16+ times per day and all and that is most definitely the "cheating" that SCS says it avoids.

    Oh well. Maybe SCS just isn't the mod for me. I guess I'm not playing BG for intense tactical challenges so much as the fun of being the son of a god mucking about the world adventuring and having some twists and tricky fights here or there... but not every random level 4 mugger owning 1000gp worth of invis pots even though he only uses 10gp worth of equipment, mages doing all sorts of questionable stuff, etc etc. Some NPCs acting idiotically does less to ruin my suspension of disbelief than some NPCs doing things SCS makes them do, I guess.

    Hell. I just tried to engage the cowled wizards in a way I thought fitting for a FMT: bring them teleporting onto me by casting a cloudkill on myself in a remote corner of the city, then as the first guy appears I run out of the cloud and start casting a second, then as soon as my second casts (just about the time the other cowled wizards come in and throw their contingencies and triggers and stuff), I duck around a corner and stealth (non-detection cloak equipped, naturally) before going back to check on what's happening with the wizards in the toxic cloud. They ran around in it confused for a bit, got down to badly wounded, and then just fucking vanished. No spells cast, no particle effects, no doors or zonelines nearby for them to get out with. I guess they jumped off the dock we were fighting on and swam to safety?
  • ArunsunArunsun Member Posts: 1,592
    Technically these are long lasting spells a good mage should always have active, the game merely activates them when it is of use, to minimize useless processor/RAM activity
  • fischsemmelfischsemmel Member Posts: 40
    edited October 2015

    But is it any more realistic that you hit him with a Skull Trap from off-screen? No. You certainly knew the mage was there, and that the mage was going to attack. But did your Bhaalspawn know the mage was hostile before the fight even began? You played this game before and know enough to cast Skull Trap at an off-screen enemy, but your character has not, and therefore shouldn't know enough to cast a Skull Trap at an off-screen enemy.

    I haven't played BG2 enough to remember where individual NPCs or traps are, and sometimes I don't even remember when I'm walking into a big encounter upon entering a new area/building. Also, this playthrough I'm a solo FMT, and you can bet I spend a lot of time stealthed or invisible and scouting ahead as much as I can before I start fights. And I tend to use a lot of wizard eyes and farsights on games when I'm not a thief.

    This is what an adventuring party "should" play like when their lives are on the line. Scouting, carefully preparing for impending and apparently difficult fights, doing their best to end fights before they begin, perhaps entirely avoiding fights when possible, etc. The base game rewards this (most of the time) because NPCs react poorly to being surprised. SCS works to NOT reward this "proper" kind of play with the apparent assumption that the only way I could know there is a fight coming in the next room is if I am reading a spoiler walkthrough on the web while playing... and that yes, does seem to mean a lot of the SCS mod is not for me.

  • semiticgoddesssemiticgoddess Member Posts: 14,829
    @fischsemmel, my point was not that you shouldn't be using the techniques you've been using. It's that you shouldn't expect the enemy not to use the techniques they've been using. If you know how to approach the fight, you should do so. But you should expect an intelligent enemy to do the same. If your FMT does scouting and knows to prepare for a fight, then there's no reason the enemy wouldn't scout and prepare for the fight as well.
  • fischsemmelfischsemmel Member Posts: 40
    edited October 2015
    The enemy in this instance was a handful of low-level slavers holed up in a ship assaulted at a time of my choosing by a stealthed, non-detected FMT who happens to be the son of a god.

    I just can't suspend my disbelief that they should be as well prepared for that assault as I am :smile:

    It's one thing that I can't sneak into Sarevok's sanctus sanctum to find him and his buddies are sleeping around a campfire with the guy whose turn it is to take watch nodding off in boredom. It's something else that I can't EVER enter combat, no matter what steps I take to be sneaky, without the enemy, no matter how lowly he is, knowing I'm coming.

    Oh well.
  • semiticgoddesssemiticgoddess Member Posts: 14,829
    @fischsemmel: I just got an idea. If you want mages to have absolutely no buffs whatsoever, you can hit them with CTRL-R as the fight begins. If you have the console enabled, CTRL-R will dispel all non-permanent buffs on whichever target your mouse is over, even buffs that are flagged as undispellable. This way, you could still fight mages with improved AI and spell choices, but still be able to have the jump on them.
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