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What are the best spells per level? (Baldur's Gate EE)

I just started playing this game for the first time, and have reached level 4-6 with my party. I know this question will bring many different opinions, but I am struggling with spells. I have been mostly hack and slash so far, neglecting using spells that much (mostly generic through scripts - such as magic missile and fireball; or heal).

My party right now is Minsc, Ajantis, Jaheira, Imoen, and Edwin. My character is a multi-class Fighter, Mage and Thief (Half-Elf). I am now on chapter 3, and some of the enemies are difficult for me and I know that using spells correctly will help.

I would prefer if you would list spells in the format below, so I can have an easier time finding them. Advice on where I can get the good spells would be helpful also:

Mage:

Level 1 - spells
Level 2 - spells
Level 3 - spells
And so on.

Cleric:

Level 1 - spells
Level 2 - spells
Just like above.
Quartz
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Comments

  • 11302101130210 Member Posts: 216
    Oh okay. I can help you.

    Cleric:

    Level 1- spells:
    Okay, here it's kinda simple.

    Make sure you use bless. It's an area of effect spell that affects all your allies. It also gives you really good advantages, read the desc. of the spell.

    Next, have simple heal spells. In reality, you can never have too much of those - they're always useful.

    Level 1 command is an okay spell - stopping low level creatures from doing anything - but it can only be cast on one creature. It probably won't affect undead.

    Magic stone is also a good option. It's like a magic missile. It's fairly standard, but be careful! It has a casting time of 9 - which means it takes like an entire AD&D round to cast.

    Don't forget remove fear! Low level mages like to cast fear alllll the time.

    Level 2 - spells:
    Level 2 cleric spells have some nifty little effects. Aid is a cool spell. It gives a party member the effects of bless, and it raises your recipient's HP.

    Barkskin is kinda a hidden gem. Most people disregard it because it might, at higher levels while wearing better armor, not have an effect on your armor class. However, it's duration is long, and it does give the benefit of increasing your saving throws vs. attack.

    Chant is a great spell! When you use it right, you'll give yourself a great edge in a battle! Most people don't use it correctly, and they cast the spell BEFORE battle. This is not the way to use it because the effect cloaks enemies and your allies with effects. The enemies experience penalties, while you get buffs. But just remember the casting time is 9 and the duration for chant is short!

    Flame blade is also a good spell. It has a short casting time, and it can do massive damage to undead - even at higher levels,

    I don't use luck often, but it seems like a good spell. This will increase a party member's actions by +1. This includes , but isn't limited to, thieving skills, chances to hit, and saving throws ect...

    Silence is also a good spell. There are quite a few fights in the game, some of which are the hardest in the game, where there are multiple spell casters. All you really gotta do is turn off your A.I, do some micromanagement with your party, and cast the silence on the spellcasters.

    Slow poison: everything is going to poison you in BG1.

    Pause
  • PausePause Member Posts: 40

    Check out Oogi's School at Dudleyville.

    http://www.forgottenwars.com/oogi/index.htm

    Yeah, this is very helpful, thanks man.
  • PaulaMigratePaulaMigrate Member Posts: 651
    edited June 3
    Remarks on how my list was made:
    - This is for a party starting out in BG1 and keeping on from there (so playing BGT in old game or EET today)
    - It is based on uncountable playthroughs of the whole trilogy I made over the years
    - I limit it to one or two spells per level since the rest depends on your party mixture and which kind of other classes/tactics the spellcasters are supposed to support
    - it depends in the early levels on those spells most useful against those enemies/threats you normally encounter at that time
    - variations depend on mods (spell adding or spell changing) you want to install
    - sequence in same level means priority
    - does not take into account different mage schools or clerics of specific deities

    Cleric
    1 - Cure Light wounds, remove fear (later on fill your level 1 slots with cures, that's what your cleric is for)
    2 - Slow poison (in early game with your low HP every spider or ettercap can be deadly), charm person (works fine on those early creatures in the game)
    3 - Animate Dead, Sweet Air
    4 - Lesser restauration, Cure serious wounds
    5 - Raise Dead, True Seeing
    6 - Conjure Animals, Heal
    7 - Creeping Doom, Ressurection

    Mage
    1 - Magic Missiles (it is the only level 1 spell I ever use and I fill all slots with it)
    2 - Resist Fear (the early party needs every hand, no yellow runners), Web
    3 - Haste, Fireball
    4 - Confusion
    5 - Monster II, Monster II (yes twice before considering;) Spell Immunity
    6 - Invisible Stalker, Pierce Magic
    7 - Stun, Mass Invisibility
    8 - Horrid Wilting, Maze
    9 - Freedom, Time Stop
    Pause
  • PausePause Member Posts: 40
  • PausePause Member Posts: 40
    edited June 3


    Cleric
    1 - Cure Light wounds, remove fear (later on fill your level 1 slots with cures, that's what your cleric is for)
    2 - Slow poison (in early game with your low HP every spider or ettercap can be deadly), charm person (works fine on those early creatures in the game)
    3 - Animate Dead, Sweet Air
    4 - Lesser restauration, Cure serious wounds
    5 - Raise Dead, True Seeing
    6 - Conjure Animals, Heal
    7 - Creeping Doom, Ressurection

    Mage
    1 - Magic Missiles (it is the only level 1 spell I ever use and I fill all slots with it)
    2 - Resist Fear (the early party needs every hand, no yellow runners), Web
    3 - Haste, Fireball
    4 - Confusion
    5 - Monster II, Monster II (yes twice before considering;) Spell Immunity
    6 - Invisible Stalker, Pierce Magic
    7 - Stun, Mass Invisibility
    8 - Horrid Wilting, Maze
    9 - Freedom, Time Stop

    Yes, I think you understand completely what I am looking for, not discounting spells you haven't named, but being new to this game, I want to keep it fairly simple while learning how (and what) spells to use - basically to learn to use spells manually instead of always relying on the crappy scripts. Very good list, thank you.
  • PaulaMigratePaulaMigrate Member Posts: 651
    ThacoBell said:

    For level 1 mage spells, I cannot stress sleep enough. A lot of new players pass it by in favor of damage spells, but sleep is king in BG1. It affects about 90% of the enemies in the game.

    Do you know by any chance if sleep was changed for EE's? I must confess I have not re-evaluated those lower spells since I moved from old game to new game.
  • BigfishBigfish Member Posts: 365

    ThacoBell said:

    For level 1 mage spells, I cannot stress sleep enough. A lot of new players pass it by in favor of damage spells, but sleep is king in BG1. It affects about 90% of the enemies in the game.

    Do you know by any chance if sleep was changed for EE's? I must confess I have not re-evaluated those lower spells since I moved from old game to new game.
    Depending on the last version you played a WHOLE lot of magic stuff may have been changed, although even with my last playthrough of the 5 CD version of BG, Sleep worked really well.


    Personally, my thoughts on the matter are that it's less about knowing what individual spells to memorize and more about knowing how to recognize situations where some spell or other could be useful and hopefully having a scroll tucked away for the occasion.

    For example, everyone ignores detect invisibility/detect illusion because True Sight does it better later, but in regular old Baldur's Gate they're great for the occasional mages you come across, and you come across enough scrolls for them you don't even need to memorize them, generally speaking.

    I've also grown quite fond of Strength of One lately. Works wonders with summoned monsters and characters with slings/darts suddenly getting huge boosts to damage.
    tbone1PauseThacoBell
  • GallengerGallenger Member Posts: 315
    edited June 3
    Sleep is broken in the EE's in the original BG, sleep worked as intended, which is to say once an enemy had succumb to the slumber, they would wake up if you attacked them (granted you got one free attack on them essentially first, which usually meant grievous injury or death anyways). However, in the EE's they just stay asleep forever, so in general it's an absolute death sentence and is easily one of the most powerful spells in the game.

    However,

    You can buy wands of sleep which are only slightly less effective than a mage-cast sleep.

    Cleric:

    Level 1.

    Heals obvs, Sanctuary (invincibility for your cleric so long as they do nothing for a time), COMMAND: Die (it's basically single-target sleep for a round, it can save your bacon sometimes by forcing your enemies to make multiple saves). Bless and protection from evil are nice too. Armor of faith is really nice too if your cleric ever has to tank.

    Level 2.

    Basically everything has its uses it just depends on whether or not your cleric does much fighting - if they don't hold person is great - if they do DUHM is the best there is.

    Level 3.

    Animate dead, heals, dispell, and your area of effect (if good or neutral) Smite - are all great. Smite is mainly great for disrupting evil casters or laying out very mediocre AoE damage.

    Mages:

    1. Sleep is the best there is, the best there was, and the best there will be for *quite* some time - well into BG2. If you don't want sleep, Magic Missile is nice for disrupting casters. Blind is probably the next best spell to sleep however, as it can be a relatively hard save, and absolutely dooms your opponent to death more or less ESPECIALLY if they're a caster.

    2. Mirror Image. Free damage basically. Glitterdust - it's AoE blindness and will be effective into ToB and also reveals invisible creatures (only really useful in a few scenarios in bg1 - but the AoE blindness is king).

    3. Skull trap - lots of AoE damage, better than fireball due to it being magic damage. Haste - makes everybody attack faster. Slow - makes your enemies super slow (mix with haste for maximum pwnage). Invisibility 10 ft radius. The ultimate in "this doesn't look good" escape technology.

    Pause
  • PausePause Member Posts: 40
    edited June 3
    Bigfish said:

    Personally, my thoughts on the matter are that it's less about knowing what individual spells to memorize and more about knowing how to recognize situations where some spell or other could be useful and hopefully having a scroll tucked away for the occasion.

    For example, everyone ignores detect invisibility/detect illusion because True Sight does it better later, but in regular old Baldur's Gate they're great for the occasional mages you come across, and you come across enough scrolls for them you don't even need to memorize them, generally speaking.

    I've also grown quite fond of Strength of One lately. Works wonders with summoned monsters and characters with slings/darts suddenly getting huge boosts to damage.

    Personally, I am not used to the D&D format or rules, though I have played RPGs since the original NES. The magic system in this game is much different than I've ever experienced before, as are many of the spells. Memorizing the right spells in the limited slots available as well as how many I need is something I am getting used to - because there are a lot of spells, but only a few slots. I am really enjoying this game though, and am thinking about starting over now that I understand how to play it better now.
    tbone1
  • WesboiWesboi Member Posts: 269
    C.Orb is an underrated mage spell it's useful for the stun proc at times. For a level 1 spell it has its uses.
    ThacoBellPause
  • WarChiefZekeWarChiefZeke Member Posts: 579
    edited June 4
    ThacoBell said:

    For level 1 mage spells, I cannot stress sleep enough. A lot of new players pass it by in favor of damage spells, but sleep is king in BG1. It affects about 90% of the enemies in the game.

    And everyone including warriors can use wands of sleep, so by mid or end game everyone should be rocking a wand or two.
    PauseGallowglass
  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 1,654
    Gallenger said:

    Sleep is broken in the EE's in the original BG, sleep worked as intended, which is to say once an enemy had succumb to the slumber, they would wake up if you attacked them (granted you got one free attack on them essentially first, which usually meant grievous injury or death anyways). However, in the EE's they just stay asleep forever, so in general it's an absolute death sentence and is easily one of the most powerful spells in the game.

    Awaking on damage was PnP behavior, but in BG it's always been permanent (barring the odd mod like ToBex, which gave an option to change that).
    PauseThacoBellJuliusBorisov
  • Balrog99Balrog99 Member Posts: 824
    Awaking on damage seems unrealistic to me. I liked the 'coup de grace' of the Gold Box games and TOEE. Any foe that's sleeping or held should be easy to kill in one blow. Even a giant would be dead if you slit his throat while sleeping...
    PauseThacoBell
  • WatchForWolvesWatchForWolves Member Posts: 88
    edited June 4

    Check out Oogi's School at Dudleyville.

    http://www.forgottenwars.com/oogi/index.htm

    Sleep as "Horse Dung"? Is this the real world? I'd love to read his reasoning behind that.
    Pause
  • PaulaMigratePaulaMigrate Member Posts: 651
    I should have added to my list the consideration that I do not let my NPCs learn much of those spells that are very specific for a certain situation and for which you might preserve a scroll if you ever need it. In the slots should be those spells that give you the most overall benefit.

    BTW - thank you for the *sleep* clarification. In old game I always used BGT which in a way required ToBex, I almost forgot about these facts as those were my standard settings for years. If sleep equals a death sentence, I don't know what to do with it - it should give you the chance of a sneak attack but if your victim is hit it should wake up and fight for its life.
    Pause
  • PausePause Member Posts: 40
    Grond0 said:

    Yes. Having had a quick look at Oogi's suggestions there's quite a few I wouldn't agree with under almost any circumstances. More relevant though to the OP, is that the classification doesn't point out that a lot of spells are very useful in certain situations even though you won't constantly need them. For instance:
    protection from petrification (Oogi classification cheap beer) - a lifesaver and huge XP generator against basilisks
    friends (Oogi classification horse dung) - the easiest way to minimise shop prices as well as improving rewards in some encounters
    knock (Oogi classification cheap beer) - a great spell if you don't have a thief or your thief is specialising in other skills than open locks
    sanctuary (Oogi classification cheap beer) - another wonderful spell that allows you to avoid encounters while looting chests under the noses of enemies

    I could go on and on. The truth is that there are not many spells that are really useless and quite a few that are incredibly useful, although possibly only on rare occasions. It's fun to experiment and see how you can make good use of spells that others don't rate highly.

    This comment is why I wanted to create a thread to get other's opinions, because, like with the Oogi's classifications, many of his ratings are fairly accurate, but as you say, for circumstantial situations others he rates low are actually good. I will experiment and find my preferred spells.
    Grond0
  • PaulaMigratePaulaMigrate Member Posts: 651
    edited June 4
    Oogi's list is a good starter and I would agree to his choices for the *good* spells under the aspect of overall-useability-for-majority-of-cases.
    I do not agree with calling some other spells crap because of this. E.g. *Knock* can be an essential spell if you decide to play with no thief. *Protection from Petrification* perfectly does what it is supposed to do, but you rarely need it and you can use potions or the paladin ring etc in those situations.
    So if you read (or write) such an assessment, you must make clear what your criteria are, like I tried to do in the list I provided. Thus the result only applies if you accept the criteria, if your preferences are different you come to other results - which by the way is what makes the Baldur's Gate Series such an enduring success, there is never just one truth/solution/best way/ultimate class or kit...
    Grond0Pause
  • PausePause Member Posts: 40

    Oogi's list is a good starter and I would agree to his choices for the *good* spells under the aspect of overall-useability-for-majority-of-cases.
    I do not agree with calling some other spells crap because of this. E.g. *Knock* can be an essential spell if you decide to play with no thief. *Protection from Petrification* perfectly does what it is supposed to do, but you rarely need it and you can use potions or the paladin ring etc in those situations.
    So if you read (or write) such an assessment, you must make clear what your criteria are, like I tried to do in the list I provided. Thus the result only applies if you accept the criteria, if your preferences are different you come to other results - which by the way is what makes the Baldur's Gate Series such an enduring success, there is never just one truth/solution/best way/ultimate class or kit...

    I fully agree, this game is much, much more detailed than I originally thought.
  • GallowglassGallowglass Member Posts: 3,356

    Check out Oogi's School at Dudleyville.

    http://www.forgottenwars.com/oogi/index.htm

    Hmmm. Dudleyville offers the best BG1 (pre-EE) walkthrough ever made, bar none. However, as others have already pointed out, his spell ratings in "Oogi's School" are often questionable, and in some cases just plain nonsense.

    In the early stages (say, for roughly the first half) of BG1, Sleep is arguably the very best spell of all, not at all "horse dung" as Oogi's School suggests. Later in BG1 it is less useful because it only works against low-level enemies (and throughout BG2 it's true that it's useless), but it'll have saved your party's life many times (and perhaps especially in transition ambushes) before you get to that point.
    Pausetbone1
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 2,832
    edited June 4
    Sleep is useful through early BG2. A LOT of enemies smaller then ogres (including several human opponents) are susceptible to it.
  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 1,654
    edited June 4
    Ogres (and ogre berserkers) can be slept and sleep is also a good way to deal with ankhegs. In both cases it's a bit of an anomaly that sleep can affect them. The spell was intended to only affect creatures of 4 HD or less and ankhegs and ogre berserkers have far more HPs than 4 HD would suggest. However, their HPs were generated by saying, for instance, 4HD+20 and the spell was implemented by still counting that as just 4 HD.
    ThacoBell
  • WatchForWolvesWatchForWolves Member Posts: 88
    edited June 6
    I totally forgot, but PlayItHardcore has an almost complete list of Arcane spells with commentaries.

    https://pihwiki.bgforge.net/Baldur's_Gate:_Arcane_Spells_List

    Sadly no divine equivalent.
    Post edited by WatchForWolves on
    PauseluskanQuartz
  • PausePause Member Posts: 40

    I totally forgot, but PlayItHardcore has an almost complete list of Arcane spells with commentaries.

    https://pihwiki.bgforge.net/Baldur's_Gate:_Arcane_Spells_List

    Sadly no divine equivalent.

    This is an excellent reference to spells.
    AndreaColombo
  • ZaghoulZaghoul Member Posts: 1,249
    I am assuming 'best' as the OP is referring to is thought of here as most effective in some way.

    For me though, 'best' is what fits my CHARNAME, my view of background, idea of class, deities, alignment, and personality. And that can vary, so it would hard for me to give 'one' answer. Looking at it this way has given me enjoyment with lesser used spells that did not rate high on the 'most beneficial' lists. Sure, may make the game harder sometimes, but it sure is darn fun, from the viewpoint of immersion (just my personal style though of course). B)
    Grond0ThacoBellPause
  • PaulaMigratePaulaMigrate Member Posts: 651
    Zaghoul said:

    I am assuming 'best' as the OP is referring to is thought of here as most effective in some way.

    For me though, 'best' is what fits my CHARNAME, my view of background, idea of class, deities, alignment, and personality. And that can vary, so it would hard for me to give 'one' answer. Looking at it this way has given me enjoyment with lesser used spells that did not rate high on the 'most beneficial' lists. Sure, may make the game harder sometimes, but it sure is darn fun, from the viewpoint of immersion (just my personal style though of course). B)

    Interesting aspect. So far I found that mostly with joinable NPCs. Some come with their own aspects (like Foundling's shadow magic) while others represent either a mage school or are gaining mostly spells that fit their personalities - although other players critisize that since they want to control their thralls. Personally I like it, I enjoy party members to develop character, even if it is far from my own. Like Varshoon, the mindflayer. Or Chloe, I am the only one I found on this forum who likes her. Or my current githyanki thief NPC.
    ZaghoulPauseThacoBell
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