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How do you beat Mages in this game?

How does a fighter or thief defend himself against a mage. I'm a fighter/thief and the assassin mage at the friendly arms inn kicked my ass. What defensive measures or strategies can I take against a mage?
Anduintypo_tilly
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Comments

  • typo_tillytypo_tilly Member Posts: 5,037
    Run to the guards and keep running until you're passed the entrance. :) The 3 or 4 guards will eventually take him down. I mean, he hits you with sleep and magic missile when you're level 1. :/
    OrlonKronsteen
  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 2,193
    In the unmodded game Tarnesh doesn't go hostile until you've spoken to him. If your view on RP allows the use of metagame knowledge you could take advantage of that by attempting to blind him from distance (running away if that fails to try again) - and if you run out of blinds then just get your distance from him and rest to try again.

    Alternatively just get someone like Imoen or Xzar to backstab him or as others mention just shoot him from a distance. When doing that make sure your party are not close together and keep a close eye on the action - if he casts an area spell (like sleep) have the target run one way and anyone nearby another. That way area spells will never affect more than 1 person. Tarnesh doesn't have many spells, so if you keep the PC out of the way during the initial conflict, you will always win that fight attacking from range with a party of 3 or more.
    typo_tillyOrlonKronsteenJuliusBorisov
  • ElendarElendar Member Posts: 821
    There is this nice Potion of Clarity you can find upstairs in the Candlekeep Inn that will protect you from the fear spell that Tarnesh casts.

    Also if you have a cleric you can cast remove fear to protect yourself from it for a bit.

    Alternatively, you can get yourself, Imoen, Xzar and Montaron with all ranged weapons and the moment he turns hostile start attacking him and hope to interrupt his spellcasting.. Or attack him before he even goes hostile. And spread your characters far enough apart that they wont all get hit by the horror spell.
    tbone1OrlonKronsteenJuliusBorisovBigfish
  • malachi151malachi151 Member Posts: 120
    Yeah, it's a relatively hard fight at level 1, but don't worry. Also, if this is your first time through you may want to play a Cavalier or a Berserker, as both provide easy immunity to these types of effects.
    Artona
  • JCPheonixJCPheonix Member Posts: 15

    Hit them fast to disrupt spell casting. If you have Imoen and Monty with you, use missile weapons to attack from range.

    So if I hit him first it stops the spell from being casted?
    Grond0 said:

    In the unmodded game Tarnesh doesn't go hostile until you've spoken to him. If your view on RP allows the use of metagame knowledge you could take advantage of that by attempting to blind him from distance (running away if that fails to try again) - and if you run out of blinds then just get your distance from him and rest to try again.

    Alternatively just get someone like Imoen or Xzar to backstab him or as others mention just shoot him from a distance. When doing that make sure your party are not close together and keep a close eye on the action - if he casts an area spell (like sleep) have the target run one way and anyone nearby another. That way area spells will never affect more than 1 person. Tarnesh doesn't have many spells, so if you keep the PC out of the way during the initial conflict, you will always win that fight attacking from range with a party of 3 or more.

    What do you mean by "blind"..?

  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 2,193
    edited October 19
    JCPheonix said:

    So if I hit him first it stops the spell from being casted?

    If a mage takes damage while a spell is actually being cast the spell will normally fail, though there are exceptions. Spells like sleep or magic missile only take 1 segment to cast though, so it's not easy to interrupt those and you shouldn't rely on being able to do so.


    @JCPheonix the arcane spell "Blindness" is extremely vicious in the unmodded game. In unmodded BG1 a blinded enemy is almost always easy to kill as he can't fight back against attacks beyond his circle of vision (about range 1 - so attacks with a 2-handed weapon can be outside his vision range as well as missile attacks). In addition, failed attempts to blind neutral creatures don't turn them hostile (though successful blind does), so you can try multiple times as long as you don't let them talk.
    JuliusBorisov
  • ZagaciousZagacious Member Posts: 57
    If you time it right, the best way is to interrupt them mid-cast using a ranged weapon or spell like Magic Missile or Fire/Poison Arrow spell. Arrows are probably the strongest interruption in BG 1, Slings are a close second. For classes like Mages that can't use Arrows, Darts are a really strong alternative because they fire very fast, which makes for very easy interruption. It becomes quite easy to take out mages once you realize how easily they can be interrupted, it almost makes it too easy.
    OrlonKronsteenAerakar
  • dunbardunbar Member Posts: 1,153
    edited October 20
    There was a thread some time ago about dart throwers which inspired me to do a solo run with a dart throwing assassin. The downside to darts is their short(er) range. Any other missile wielder or mage can start firing or casting as soon as they see you, whereas a dart thrower has to take a few paces forward first to get in range - and therefore can't get the first strike.

    Edit: Found the thread https://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/45904/the-ultimate-dart-flinging-build
    MortiannaAerakar
  • NimranNimran Member Posts: 3,677
    Imoen comes with a wand of magic missiles. Fire it off at Tarnesh when he starts casting to almost guarantee disrupting his spell in time (sometimes it may hit one of his mirror images instead). The main danger is the fear spell he casts right at the start. Disrupt that, and the rest should be much easier.
    OrlonKronsteen
  • MortiannaMortianna Member Posts: 1,347
    As soon as he goes red, have Xzar cast Larloch's Minor Drain, have Imoen use the wand, and attack with your F/T and Monty (ranged/melee depending on distance). Having your autopause enabled for "enemy sighted" will help you attack as quickly as possible. He should go down quickly, especially if the guard is nearby to join in. You won't get any XP if the guards kill him, but you'll at least survive the fight.
    OrlonKronsteenBelgarathMTH
  • ZagaciousZagacious Member Posts: 57
    edited October 20
    Also wanted to add for Tarnesh, you can have one character getting ready to talk to him, and as soon as he's just about to talk to you, order your other character to fire on him right away, it won't launch until Dialogue is over, and Tarnesh will start casting immediately so this will disable his spell most of the time. Do it once more or he casts Mirror Image or Horror can't remember which order he does it.

    If you tell your character to attack him after the Dialogue starts, it's almost always too late, it's like he starts casting before the dialogue is even over so I have to get ready to interrupt him as soon as he's about to start dialogue.
  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 4,403
    If you're playing a cleric or a cavalier, it's a pretty easy fight, because you can cast Remove Fear as soon as you see him, or before the fight. (Or as soon as he turns hostile if you don't want to metagame it.) My clerics and cavaliers have a standard strategy to cast Remove Fear as soon as they see a hostile mage on the board.

    An inquisitor can make the fight pretty easy, too, by casting True Seeing against his Mirror Images.

    Xzar can interrupt him to death with Larloch's Minor Drains, and Imoen should use her wand (unless you're playing a multi-class in the original vanilla game - she doesn't get the wand in that case.)

    It's hardest if you're not a cleric, cavalier, or inquisitor, or you didn't take Montaron and Xzar. In that case, you have to worry about the Horror, and your priority is to interrupt it, or have Charname flee and avoid the fight altogether while the guards make the kill. Imoen can still win the fight with her wand if she has it.

    In all mage and cleric fights in general, prioritize hitting the mage and then the cleric with everything you've got. They are too dangerous to live. "Concentrate all firepower on that super star-destroyer!"
    bleusteelMortiannaAerakarJuliusBorisov
  • laptopman666laptopman666 Member Posts: 271
    Or, better yet, join me and my fellow lads and become a berserker :P
    typo_tillyBelgarathMTH
  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 7,000
    If you kill or pickpocket Algernon at Feldepost's Inn in Beregost, you can use Algernon's Cloak to charm the guards at the Friendly Arm Inn and turn them against Tarnesh. Algernon's Cloak has all kinds of uses--it can even charm basilisks.
  • ValciValci Member Posts: 22
    ok how is this fight hard? ... are you playing on LoB difficulty or doing a solo playthrough or something? Last time i got there (which was in my current playthrough a week ago on Core Rules) it was a piece of cake. He doesnt turn hostile until he talks to you so hes virtually in melee range. You have Imoen with a shortbow from the start to shoot him and use a spell from Xzar like the minor drain thing or have him use the wand of missiles you get early on. You have Monty there to swing a sword at him and use "charname" to do whatever it is you do (depending on class choice)...
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 12,613
    Valci said:

    ok how is this fight hard? ... are you playing on LoB difficulty or doing a solo playthrough or something? Last time i got there (which was in my current playthrough a week ago on Core Rules) it was a piece of cake. He doesnt turn hostile until he talks to you so hes virtually in melee range. You have Imoen with a shortbow from the start to shoot him and use a spell from Xzar like the minor drain thing or have him use the wand of missiles you get early on. You have Monty there to swing a sword at him and use "charname" to do whatever it is you do (depending on class choice)...

    Tarnesh speaks with you as soon as he sees you, so it's not a melee range here, it's a missile range, and in order to swing swords you first have to run to him. You might not have had problems with him during your last encounter, but an enemy mage against a low level party with a player who doesn't know what to expect clearly can be a problem.
    dunbarArtonasemiticgodDreadKhan
  • ValciValci Member Posts: 22


    Tarnesh speaks with you as soon as he sees you, so it's not a melee range here, it's a missile range, and in order to swing swords you first have to run to him.

    I swear i remember him walking to my party before dialog starts.

    I take your point on it potentially being a surprise encounter but i wasnt talking about getting it on the first try... It shouldnt be that hard after a couple of goes though. Thats why i asked about difficulty setting and such... which was a genuine question...
  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 2,193
    In the unmodded game Tarnesh does need to get into touch range to speak to you, so you can attack him or cast spells at him as you please. If you have SCS installed then he will talk as soon as you're in sight.
    JuliusBorisov
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 3,410
    Valci said:


    Tarnesh speaks with you as soon as he sees you, so it's not a melee range here, it's a missile range, and in order to swing swords you first have to run to him.

    I swear i remember him walking to my party before dialog starts.

    I take your point on it potentially being a surprise encounter but i wasnt talking about getting it on the first try... It shouldnt be that hard after a couple of goes though. Thats why i asked about difficulty setting and such... which was a genuine question...
    Mages are one of the biggest stumbling blocks to new players. Until you learn what spells do and how to prevent /respond, they can seem unbeatable. Its completely inderstandable that someone would have a lot of difficulty over Tarnesh.
    ArtonasemiticgodStummvonBordwehrContemplative_Hamster
  • malachi151malachi151 Member Posts: 120
    I still don't like the way status effects are in this game. IMO they are too strong, which drives everyone to find ways to completely avoid them, which then makes many parts too easy.

    IMO the duration of status effects should be shorter and somewhat randomized per person, so they don't all run for exactly the same duration. Fear, for example, should last between 1 and 5 rounds, not 1 whole turn (1 minute).

    The problem with all of the status effects is that, for the most part, if any status effects lands, it is game over.
    LoldrupBelgarathMTHdunbar
  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 2,193

    The problem with all of the status effects is that, for the most part, if any status effects lands, it is game over.

    That tends to be the case if you're playing solo, but not if you have a party. By keeping your characters separated a bit you can avoid spells affecting lots of people at once and there are also numerous spells and special abilities that can remove status effects.
    semiticgodStummvonBordwehr
  • ArtonaArtona Member Posts: 713
    To answer question in general - the best way is to mow them down before they get to spellcasting.
    As for Tarnesh - Minor Lalroch's Drain + Wand of Magic Missiles + arrows. You should be able to kill him before he casts Horror with a bit of luck, @JCPheonix. Alternatively you can use borderline cheese - let him cast Horror, then move outside his line of sight and try to hide in shadows. Guards should take care of him, and you should be safe.
    Go get him :).
    ThacoBell
  • BigfishBigfish Member Posts: 368
    Elendar said:

    There is this nice Potion of Clarity you can find upstairs in the Candlekeep Inn that will protect you from the fear spell that Tarnesh casts.

    This. Tarnesh drops like a sack of potatoes if he can't land horror on you.

  • DreadKhanDreadKhan Member Posts: 3,502
    Bigfish said:

    Elendar said:

    There is this nice Potion of Clarity you can find upstairs in the Candlekeep Inn that will protect you from the fear spell that Tarnesh casts.

    This. Tarnesh drops like a sack of potatoes if he can't land horror on you.

    Uh, one Magic Missile can kill a lvl 1 mage, and he gets more than one per cast.

    That said, if you can reliably interrupt him, you can kill him.
    Loldrup
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