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Questions about Post-20 levels, Magic scaling, stats, saving throws, etc

It's been many years since I played DnD table top. I only played a few sessions. never had the opportunity to play more. Most of my knowledge comes from BG and NWN computer games. Does spell penetration, damage, vs saving throws, etc, scale past level 20 as a caster? I remember epic levels in NWN being totally broken, as your magic wouldn't scale, but enemies' and other characters' saving throws and health increased. What about ranged weapons? ranged weapons seem very weak because they do not really increase in damage without having high strength and that's only longbows, without magic ammunition. Does BG2EE make magic scale up in damage and penetration / vs saving throws?


  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 9,282
    In BG2? Things work very differently from NWN; the BG games use 2nd edition rules instead of 3rd edition like NWN and IWD2. Also, the BG games diverge from PnP rules in many ways, and many spells don't scale beyond level 20 simply because exceeding level 20 wasn't possible for most characters until the Throne of Bhaal expansion came out (mages were stuck at level 17 in pre-ToB BG2).

    These are all of the things that do NOT scale beyond level 20:

    1. Saving throws vs. enemy spells
    2. Saving throws for your own spells (the only one that scales with levels at all is the level 1 spell, Spook; saving throws in general are very static in 2nd edition games)
    3. Spell penetration (does not exist in BG games since magic resistance is a flat percentile chance regardless of caster level; spell penetration is only present in IWD2 as a feat)
    4. Spell damage
    5. Spell magnitude (say, the stat bonuses from Draw Upon Holy Might)
    6. Spell duration
    7. THAC0
    8. Attacks per round (warriors cap at base 2 from level 7 and 13; monks cap at base 4 for unarmed attacks)
    9. Spell slots for sorcerers, rangers, and paladins (they all max out pretty early)

    These are all of the thing that DO scale beyond level 20:

    1. Hit points
    2. Caster level for the purposes of Dispel Magic (Dispel Magic in the BG games is a percentile chance based on opposed caster levels)
    3. Certain kit bonuses like a Kensai's damage bonuses and a Wizard Slayer's magic resistance (depending on how the kit is implemented)
    4. Per-day abilities from kits like a Berserker's Enrage ability or an Archer's Called Shot
    5. Spell slots for mages, druids, clerics, and bards
    6. The level of your Simulacrum clones
    7. Your ability to not die of level drain

    Every single one of these things could be modded with basic tools, to the extent that you could almost replicate 3rd edition rules. A sufficiently dedicated modder could rig a level 25 Flame Arrow to deal 25d6 damage with a save penalty of -5 and a 50% chance of bypassing magic resistance, among many other changes.

  • alastair93alastair93 Member Posts: 93
    Doesn't THAC0 improve after level 20?

    On the Wiki for Druid (for instance) it says that a Druid gets a THAC0 of 6 at Level 22, vs a THAC0 of 8 at Level 20.

    Of course I'm a bit reluctant to believe the Wiki...

  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 3,504

    Doesn't THAC0 improve after level 20?

    On the Wiki for Druid (for instance) it says that a Druid gets a THAC0 of 6 at Level 22, vs a THAC0 of 8 at Level 20.

    Of course I'm a bit reluctant to believe the Wiki...

    for warriors, the thac0 table stops at level 21, for rogues it stops at level 22, and i think mages are in the same boat, divine casters no idea

    plus there is another caveat to dispel/remove magic for high level characters, and it how the percentile is calculated:

    since all spells are capped at level 20 ( in terms of effects/duration/damage ect) any time you do a dispel check on a target who is level 20 or more, the game will think that there is only a level 20 spell on that character and dispel it easier

    so for example:

    lets say a level 40 cleric casts armor of faith on itself, you would think that the cleric casts armor of faith as a 40th level caster, but based on how the engine is implemented with the spell cap at 20, you ACTUALLY cast the spell as level 20 cleric, so if an enemy is level 30 and they use dispel/remove magic on you, it will work without fail no matter what level you are ( despite the fact it should only have a 1% chance to work), but it's also vice versa, if you are level 30 and cast said spell it will work without fail on the enemy as well, so it's kind of a double edge sword

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 5,293
    Dispel magic scales past 20.

  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 3,504
    ThacoBell said:

    Dispel magic scales past 20.

    yes, for the level that you are to dispel the effect, but not for the level to protect against it


    level 38 viconia would cast protective buffs on herself while fighting abizigal, abizigal uses remove magic and dispels all of viconias buffs EVERY time, even though he is only level 30, based on the level difference he should only have a 10% chance, but his 10% chance seems to happen 100% of the time

    my research indicates the reason why this happens, is because when you cast a spell, the game checks for the minimum level you need to be for the certain effect to happen, if you look at NI it will say: minimum level, not actual level, and since all the minimum levels stop at level 20, the game thinks it would be only a level 20 caster that cast the actual spell

  • Sar_YehudahSar_Yehudah Member Posts: 43
    Okay so ToB is kind of broken?

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 1,516
    edited February 7
    no it is not.
    even if many things are capped at lev 20 or before almost every class continues to improve after that moment.
    the casters gain spell slots and the fighters gain hla.
    even if his skull trap never improves after lev 20 a lev 30 mage is much better as he has more spells memorized in the spell book, having 4 lev 9 spells and 5 lev 8 ones is very different from having 2 and 3.
    a fighter with a bunch of gww and hardness is more effective than an other without, even if they share the same thac0.
    probably without cap on spells and thac0 the high level characters would be too much powerful, think at the damage that a single not capped skull trap od flame arrow could do, or buffs that last something like 40 rounds if not more, cast some IH on your fighters and then let them clear a whole dungeon before it expires.

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