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Sequencers vs. Saving Throws

Hi, this thread is to discuss the effect of spell sequencers on saving throws that an enemy has to make in contrast to a situation where spells would be cast without a sequencer. I created this thread based on discussion here.

I have BG2:EE v2.3.67.3 (current latest), SCS v30, Ascension v1.4.24, Wheels of Prophecy v6, aTweaks v4.51, Rogue Rebalancing v4.91, Unifinshed Business v26, Wizard Slayer Rebalancing v1.3 and Big World Fixpack on top. I didn't install all features from the listed mods, I rather selected the components I liked. I don't believe any of my mods changes the behavior of sequencers.

1. Enemy Commoner with Save vs. Spell 0; Minor Spell Sequencer - Blindness & Blindness.
I tried 50 times and observed that the commoner almost always threw his Save vs. Spell dice exactly once.
It happened only once that I saw two throws made by the commoner.
Comment: It is as @BelgarathMTH says - putting Blindess into sequencer twice wastes one slot. On rare occasions, however, we see that enemy has to save twice.

2. Enemy Commoner with Save vs. Spell 20; Minor Spell Sequencer - Blindness & Blindness.
No saving throws were visible in the console window and the commoner got always blinded twice.
Comment: No surprise here.

3. Enemy Commoner with Save vs. Spell 10; Minor Spell Sequencer - Blindness & Blindness.
Either no saving throws were visible and the commoner was blinded twice; or exactly one saving throw was made to save against both instancess of Blindness.
Comment: No surprise here.

4. Enemy Commoner with Save vs. Spell 0; Minor Spell Sequencer - Blindness & Spook; PC at Level 16.
Blindness requires Save vs. Spell with no bonus. Spook (at level 12+) requires Save vs. Spell with -6 penalty. The commoner always threw his dice twice, no exceptions.
Comment: Were two throws observed because the spells were different? No - see below.

5. Enemy Commoner with Save vs. Spell 0; Minor Spell Sequencer - Blindness & Deafness
Blindness requires Save vs. Spell with no bonus. Deafness also requires Save vs. Spell with no bonus. The commoner always made just a single throw to save against both spells in my sequencer.
Comment: The game engine is probably lazy - it scans spells in a sequencer for unique "Save Type - Save Bonus" pairs and throws only once per such pair.

6. Enemy Commoner with Save vs. Spell 0; Minor Spell Sequencer - Web & Web
The commoner had to make exactly one saving throw initially and then exactly one saving throw each round while the two webs were active.
However, I also observed a case where two throws had to be made initially and also each following round.
Comment: Area of effect spells are no exception to the way sequencers handle saving throws.

7. Enemy Commoner with Save vs. Spell 0; Spell Sequencer - Skull Trap & Skull Trap & Skull Trap
The commoner had to make two saving throws for three succesfully saved Skull Traps sometimes (Remember that Skull Trap has two damaging components - one without a saving throw and the other with a saving throw to negate.).
He had to make just a single saving throw for three successfully saved Skull Traps other times.
Comment: No clue.

In conclusion, I think it's safe to say that Spell Sequencer - 3x Polymorph Other to turn Firkraag into a squirel doesn't offer any significant/reliable advantage over 1x Polymorph Other 2x Anything.

This is not how I would expect sequencers to work. I wish enemies had to save against every spell separately..




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  • lunarlunar Member Posts: 3,433
    edited November 2017
    Not to mention, double chromatic orb used by some scs enemies is so aggravating in bg1 when their caster level is high enough to petrify but not high enough to kill. First chromatic orb petrifies and the second destroys the statue, permanently eliminating the party member. Happened to me a few too many times.

    Triple damaging spells is a staple in bg2, like three cone of colds or sunfires give you a wonderful damage burst. How they are actually counted by the game engine is a mystery, it seems. What about triple wilting contingency? (a trademark spell combo if there ever is one) Though in most cases a triple wilting will wipe out the opposition even if they save.

    I believe if two or more effects hit at the same time and they both check for the same save/magic resistance, only one check is made. What about magic resistance? I noticed that, if you cast magic missile on a drow or something at point blank range, most of the times, missiles will hit at the same time, and ALL missiles will be blocked by magic resistance with one succesful mr check, and you only get one magic resistance text. If you cast it from a far, the missiles will travel and land on slightly different times, so each will be subject to a seperate magic resistance roll. You may get 1-2 lucky hits. Or none, and the text will show all of the succesful magic resistance checks.

  • lunarlunar Member Posts: 3,433
    edited November 2017
    Like I guessed, magic resistance checks likewise. If two or more projectiles hit at the same time, mr or saving throw check is done only once.
    A few tests:

    When cast from afar, Viconia makes 4 seperate mr checks to block missiles. But there are five missiles. I guess one hit at the same time with another and got done by single check.

    Point blank:ONE magic resistance check blocks all the missiles because they all hit at the same time. Or if V was unlucky she would have eaten all of them.

    Slightly different angle, it is not a sure thing when all missiles will hit, this time two missiles damage her, and the remaining three land at the same time and got blocked by one check. The two hitting missiles may have hit at the same time but passed the mr check, too.

    Post edited by lunar on
  • EnuhalEnuhal Member Posts: 609
    That's very strange, but also very good to know. Thanks for testing this - though I'd love to see more tests by different people on different setups just to confirm this behaviour.

  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 7,032

    Lesson learned: best to load sequencers with a variety of spells - either spells with different saves, or different projectiles, of both.

    I'm actually pretty happy about this... I always thought the "double Web" thing was pretty cheesy.

    Depends on the situation. Even if enemies only have to save against the initial effect once, having to save against both webs on following rounds could still be more of a benefit than putting a different spell in.

  • thar_thaazdhenthar_thaazdhen Member Posts: 16
    Hi @Grond0. It appears (at least according to my experiment) that enemies have to throw once even in the rounds that follow the initial effect. I believe that when two webs are cast simultaneously (e.g. from a sequencer), their lingering effect will also trigger at the exact same time during the following rounds. @kjeron suggested that any two effects (regardless of them being initial or follow up) that happen within the same time frame are condensed in terms of saving throws. That being said, I observed rare instances where two saving throws were made initially and also in the following rounds. I wouldn't count on this personally and will avoid using these kind of sequencers in my runs though.

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