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How Mages SHOULD work...

I'm going into this as a video gamer, not as a D&Der. IOW, this isn't in relation to D&D rules, it's just how I think Mages would work better implemented in the BG computer game.

I never liked the "chance to learn a spell" mechanic, and I still don't think it's implemented correctly, but I never go by it anyway. I typically save up my scrolls, then set the difficulty to Normal and scribe everything, then set it back to whatever I was using.

Here is how I would like to see INT implemented for Mages. Instead of giving you a higher chance to learn spells, it should have an impact on casting itself.

I think it should have an impact on saving throws. I'd do it something like:

Level - Saving throw bonus

1-4 : +3
5-7 : +2
8-9 : +1
10-15 : +0
16-17 : -1
18-19 : -2
20-22 : -3
23-24 : -4
25 : -5

You could tweak the numbers one way or the other I'm sure, but I'd like to see something like that. This would make INT actually meaningful and also make things like potion of Genius actually cool.

This would also apply to SORCERERS, and would thus make INT meaningful for them, as it should be.

It would also makes Gnomes much more attractive, since with a tome of INT you would be able to get -3 to savings throws with Gnomes (on top of -2 for Illusions).

Ideally, to do this you would first add 1 to the base saving throw modifiers of every spell, so that castes with 16-17 INT would basically have the same saving throw mods that they currently do, while casters with 18 INT would be 1 better than current.

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Comments

  • OlvynChuruOlvynChuru Member Posts: 1,618
    That would be great, but the problem is that it's basically impossible for modders to change saving throw modifiers based on the caster. Specialist mages have a hardcoded way of doing it which is impossible to replicate.

    I agree with you on the "chance to learn a spell" mechanic. I hate it because it takes away the satisfaction of obtaining a rare new scroll for my accomplishments.

  • Artemius_IArtemius_I Member Posts: 2,601
    You can sort of imitate it. That said I’m not sold on how it makes sense for INT to affect all five saving throws. DEX, CON and maybe WIS would make sense and a Mage needs those anyway.

    ThacoBell
  • MortiannaMortianna Member Posts: 1,351

    I never liked the "chance to learn a spell" mechanic, and I still don't think it's implemented correctly, but I never go by it anyway. I typically save up my scrolls, then set the difficulty to Normal and scribe everything, then set it back to whatever I was using.

    Which is why the EE developers set "normal" (previously classified as "easy") to 100% scribing success for the significant number of players who prefer not to play this part of the game by D&D rules.

    @OlvynChuru Have you tried using Potions of Genius or Mind Focusing before scribing scrolls? They grant +4/+3 to INT, and the bonuses will stack if you drink more than one. Also, if you boost your mage's INT to 24 or 25, they will get automatic scribing success.

    ThacoBellsemiticgod
  • deltagodeltago Member Posts: 5,604
    D&D agreed with you, because this is how it worked in 3e.

    Higher INT also increases how many spells your mage can learn per level. So chug a couple of genius pots for that temp raise instead of just always bringing the difficulty down (or do both)

    If I buy a spell scroll, I'll drop difficulty down figuring I am paying to learn the spell, not just have a copy of it. If I find a scroll, I let RNG and stats determine if I can learn it.

    wsnavigator
  • DevardKrownDevardKrown Member Posts: 418
    well you got the good and the bad.

    bad.
    learning spells sucks , unless you chugging potions.
    a lot of mechanics are missing or downright wrong.

    good.
    game lets you kinda rest everywhere with no penalty aside 3-4 timed missions.

    overall BG-saga mages are still in a pretty sweet spot.

  • gunmangunman Member Posts: 210
    Icewind Dale 2 (which implemented 3rd ed. rules) implemented this. Enemies received saving throw penalties according to INT bonus for wizards, CHA bonus for sorcerers and WIS bonus for priests.

    semiticgodwsnavigator
  • malachi151malachi151 Member Posts: 152
    Are there any mods that do this for BG1&2?

  • chimericchimeric Member Posts: 1,163
    edited October 2017

    well you got the good and the bad.

    bad.
    learning spells sucks , unless you chugging potions.
    a lot of mechanics are missing or downright wrong.

    Compared to what? An action game? Jesus Christos. This IS an Advanced Dungeons&Dragons role-playing game! Which means, before everything else, that it has particular rules and a logic instead of throwing all rules and all logic out of the window for convenience, as you expect it to. There is probably just one end-all of convenience, something along Diablo lines, and that's where all rules and logic-throwers end up, jostling for space.

    Try role-playing something just once, you might like it.

    And it wasn't because "D&D agreed," as @deltago put it, that the rules got changed. In case anyone has forgotten, it was the new owner of the franchise, Wizards of the Coast, who made 3E, and that company cared about just one thing in the world:

    $

    Mortianna
  • malachi151malachi151 Member Posts: 152
    Mortianna said:

    If only the process of learning new things were so easy. I find that's the same attitude many university students have toward education today: "I paid the tuition, so I should pass the class!"

    The whole mechanic is just stupid, and it still seems that the real rate of failure is much higher than it should be.

    It's the equivalent of having it so when fighters equip a weapon there is a chance the weapon might be destroyed. It makes no sense. Spells are the weapons of Mages just as weapons are the weapons of Fighters.

    "Oh, great, I finally got Spiderbane! Let me just equi... Doh!"

    This doesn't make sense. And when you implement something like chance to learn on RNG in a game where people can save and re-load, you know the mechanic is going to be mostly ignored anyway, so it's a stupid thing to implement. People don't generally accept and go along with game-breaking RNG. RNG in a fight is one thing, RNG that prevents your character from developing and being able to implement your intended strategy is quite another, and no other class faces such a situation.

    Anyway, it seems that the issue has been figured out and somewhat resolved in the sequels.

    wsnavigator
  • deltagodeltago Member Posts: 5,604
    Mortianna said:

    @deltago said:

    If I buy a spell scroll, I'll drop difficulty down figuring I am paying to learn the spell, not just have a copy of it.

    If only the process of learning new things were so easy. I find that's the same attitude many university students have toward education today: "I paid the tuition, so I should pass the class!"

    The difference is one is governed by RNG, the other by commitment and understanding and applying the knoweldge gained through what the tuition paid for.

    I could also reload scum my way into learning the spell.

    But I prefer to role play that my mage, eager to learn and understand a new power they seemed, finding a mage willing to teach it to them for a price.

    If they find a scroll, they attempt to decipher it's secrets by themselves. Sometimes failing and sometimes gaining new insights into the workings of the weave.

  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 3,659

    This doesn't make sense. And when you implement something like chance to learn on RNG in a game where people can save and re-load, you know the mechanic is going to be mostly ignored anyway, so it's a stupid thing to implement. People don't generally accept and go along with game-breaking RNG. RNG in a fight is one thing, RNG that prevents your character from developing and being able to implement your intended strategy is quite another, and no other class faces such a situation.

    It makes sense to me - in fact I like the mechanic. You may be right that people generally prefer to ensure spell learning, but there are those of us that like leaving something up to chance. The results of that are anyway far from game-breaking - most spells have multiple scrolls available and no single spell is required to complete the game (in fact spells as a whole are not required).

    If you want to make sure you learn a spell, while still following Core rules, you can just boost your intelligence up to 24. I think it's quite fun though to sometimes be forced into using spells you don't normally take due to failing to learn some scrolls.

    If you're finding failure is much more common that you expect that's probably the result of the specialist mage issue - they have a penalty of 15% when trying to learn spells from other schools (though that penalty doesn't apply when intelligence is 24 or 25).

    ThacoBelltbone1semiticgodNeverused
  • recklessheartrecklessheart Member Posts: 688
    It is problematic that no stat really matters to a Sorcerer, although this is because it was pushed through at the last minute by the original developers of BG2. It's a 3E class that hasn't made the transition backwards perfectly.

    What I'd meant to say, though, is that Intelligence needn't really matter to Sorcerers anyway: they aren't spellcasters by virtue of study. The way that BGEE has written Neera is more akin to what a Sorcerer is than to what a [Wild] Mage is. Sorcerers inherit their powers through bloodlines or contact with the Arcane, and as such Charisma is considered their governing stat. Sorcerers are a bit like the X-Men of D&D. They have a lot of power for which they have no accountability except their own moral compass, and that makes them highly dangerous (and super awesome). Intelligence is for the ones who have to work hard for greatness. I don't disagree with your theory, though, and as somebody has already mentioned this is what was applied in 3E. :)

    byrne20
  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 9,353

    Are there any mods that do this for BG1&2?

    My mod has INT affect your own saves vs. spells, and also give extra weapon proficiencies (so it's actually useful for fighters too).

    But to have your INT affect the saves of your targets... I don't think that's possible. Not without major hacking of every spell in the game.

    semiticgodLoldrup
  • SkatanSkatan Member Posts: 3,383

    Are there any mods that do this for BG1&2?

    My mod has INT affect your own saves vs. spells, and also give extra weapon proficiencies (so it's actually useful for fighters too).

    But to have your INT affect the saves of your targets... I don't think that's possible. Not without major hacking of every spell in the game.
    If that was the case I guess a cleric/mage could cast a doom/GM combo, drink potions to up their INT to epic proportions and get what, -10 to enemy spell saves? They could cast 'sleep' on the entire world, heh.. or maybe have some fun with Chromorb or whatver. It would be ridiculously strong.

  • RedrakeRedrake Member Posts: 423
    It is possible to have bonus spells due to high Int.

    Auril's Bane has this feature.

  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 9,353
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 6,770
  • RedrakeRedrake Member Posts: 423
    It can be added basically by creating an innate ability for certain classes. This ability grants extra spells for high int or char or whatever you like. As such, you can even mod a sorcerer to be dependent on Cha for spells. Obviously, once you install this mod with that innate ability the odds of other Weidu mods working with it are quite slim.

  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 9,353
    That's... weird. I'm aware of how to do a lot of stat-based stuff - my mod does so, it's based on some technical stuff that are derived from the old IWD engine. But I'm not aware of a good method to make spell slots dependent on stats. At least, not in a dynamic way. My mod gives stat-based spell slots but only at level-up.

    Then again I think Tome & Blood might do something like that.

  • wsnavigatorwsnavigator Member Posts: 17

    It's the equivalent of having it so when fighters equip a weapon there is a chance the weapon might be destroyed. It makes no sense. Spells are the weapons of Mages just as weapons are the weapons of Fighters.

    "Oh, great, I finally got Spiderbane! Let me just equi... Doh!"

    This doesn't make sense.

    Perhaps 30+ years ago, when the game rules were created, it made sense. Some of the creators probably thought mages are much more powerful that warriors. And they probably decided there should be some blocks in the way mages progress and get spells, to make the game more balanced.

    This is just a speculation from my side, I am new to these games and have no idea when exactly the 'chance to learn spell' mechanism was introduced, and whether it was part of the tabletop games or appeared later in the computer games.

  • ArizaelArizael Member Posts: 255
    edited November 2017
    I don t get why people hate spell learning so much, the feature is completely fine IMHO. First it depends on INT of the wizard, which makes complete sense. Second, the game gives you potion that effectively gives you auto success when needed. Thus you can buy supply of said potion. And if you don´t have it, you are presented with strategic decision to either wait until you can obtain the potion or risk the 20% or so failure chance. If you fail to learn important spell it´s 1st because your lack of planning, 2nd because your impatience, and only then comes the RNG.

    If anything learning new spells is way too easy. Mages can learn spells right after difficult battle, in the middle of dark dungeon, while being severy injured, cursed, blinded and level drained. In a matter of seconds. Yet thats not enough and people still complain about RNG.

    tbone1SkatanConjurerDragonDJKajuru
  • tbone1tbone1 Member Posts: 1,924
    And they can learn spells too powerful for them to cast, which was verboten In thePnP game, IIRC.

  • SkatanSkatan Member Posts: 3,383
    Arizael said:



    If anything learning new spells is way too easy. Mages can learn spells right after difficult battle, in the middle of dark dungeon, while being severy injured, cursed, blinded and level drained. In a matter of seconds. Yet thats not enough and people still complain about RNG.

    ^- This. If I RP I always wait until I am at an inn, just before or after resting. Sometimes resting a couple of times to suggest it took a day or two to really learn that spell. That's still not much though but I guess part of the learning of new spells is embedded into the actual leveling of your class so that once you actually get that new scroll, you know what to do with it.

    Magic is magic though and no matter how it's implemented in a game, it can obviously never be realistic by nature.

  • demilichdemilich Member Posts: 2
    I kind of like the saving throw modification based on intelligence as a mechanic; however for Baldur's Gate, it would be a straight up buff to already overpowered mages. They just don't need it.

  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 9,353
    Plus everybody does/would just max out their stats so why make it stat-dependent in the first place? Just add a penalty to every saving throw for every spell and call it a day.

    The only way to make it meaningful is to give bonuses for every stat, so you have to give up something valuable from one stat, in order to gain a valuable bonus from another.

    ThacoBellStummvonBordwehr
  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 1,993

    What ever the mechanic used, in a game there should be some actionable task that the player has to do to implement it.
    Not rely on dice throws. turning the difficulty down or potions.

    So I'd go for @Skatan idea, maybe expanded a bit.

    Or perhaps, a newly learnt spell has some penalties to casting it. For a period of time there's a possibility that it fails or that it is less effective. And that could be based on intel.
    This would force the player to take a decision as to whether to risk using the new spell in a fight.

    Basically, anything that engages the player with the process more.

  • O_BruceO_Bruce Member Posts: 2,598
    I disagree with the OP, because if you remove chance to learn a spell thing, you basically remove one of the disadvantages for specialsit mages (they usually sufer pentaly to scribing scrolls from any school that is not their school) and you also make potions of genius nearly obsolete.

    The other problem is, if intelligence would effect saving throws (whether it would make the spells easier to resist for mages or harder to resist for enemies), the specialist mages would turn out OP. With 18 intelligence, imagine Chaos from Enchanter. -8 to saving throws at default, -12 with Greater Malison. -14 with Greater Malison and Doom. Or Finger of death, with -6 base from Necromancer. And so on.

    The other thing is, Sorceres should recieve some bonuses from stats, but definitely not from intelligence. That doesn't fit, because Sorceres, contrary to mages, aren't the types to actually study arcane, seek knowledge and so on. They are just born with abillity to cast spells. They have for free what mages have to study for. There is furthermore no need for memorization spells or other standard procedures for Sorcerers, furthermore making intelligence unrequired for them. The fact that Sorcerors also doesn't study nearly as much as Mages do is reflected by lore bonus per level. Mages gets 3 points, Sorcerors only one.

    And while at it, I have always though that if people are okay with making rolls for hitting enemies, avoiding attacks, saving throws, then they should be still okay with rolling for HPs and memorizing spells. It is only fair and consistent. Part of the game. And even if you fail with scribbling the spell, the game still give you plenty of possibilities around that.

    ThacoBellConjurerDragon
  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 3,742
    Grond0 said:

    This doesn't make sense. And when you implement something like chance to learn on RNG in a game where people can save and re-load, you know the mechanic is going to be mostly ignored anyway, so it's a stupid thing to implement. People don't generally accept and go along with game-breaking RNG. RNG in a fight is one thing, RNG that prevents your character from developing and being able to implement your intended strategy is quite another, and no other class faces such a situation.

    It makes sense to me - in fact I like the mechanic. You may be right that people generally prefer to ensure spell learning, but there are those of us that like leaving something up to chance. The results of that are anyway far from game-breaking - most spells have multiple scrolls available and no single spell is required to complete the game (in fact spells as a whole are not required).

    If you want to make sure you learn a spell, while still following Core rules, you can just boost your intelligence up to 24. I think it's quite fun though to sometimes be forced into using spells you don't normally take due to failing to learn some scrolls.

    If you're finding failure is much more common that you expect that's probably the result of the specialist mage issue - they have a penalty of 15% when trying to learn spells from other schools (though that penalty doesn't apply when intelligence is 24 or 25).
    i beat the game with 6 swashbucklers once on insane, so definitely true that you do not need a single spell to beat the game :)

    ThacoBell
  • The_CheesemanThe_Cheeseman Member Posts: 149
    Let’s just say that the expectations for RPG mechanics are very different today than when AD&D 2ed came out. Also, a big part of the problem comes from translating a tabletop game with a human DM into a computer game. The most annoying part of spell learning is when you fail on an extremely rare or even unique scroll (looking at you, Wraithform) and then have no way to get another to try again. This is especially bad if that was a spell you planned to rely on heavily for you build.

    In a normal, tabletop D&D game, your DM could give you the opportunity to learn the spell again, either dropping another scroll, or allowing you to hire another mage to teach you directly, or whatever. A decent DM won’t ruin your enjoyment of your character over one failed die roll (unless you’re running Tomb of Horrors, but then you asked for it). But in a CRPG, your only recourse is power word: reload.

    Honestly, this difference is the main reason I mod Baldur’s Gate (and basically any other CRPG) so heavily: I know what aspects of the game I enjoy, and which ones I don’t, so I change them like a good DM would. It’s not a competition, so if a rule just causes annoyance for you, get rid of it.

    ThacoBell
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