Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Categories

We need your feedback on the new forum text editor switch.
Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition has been released! Visit nwn.beamdog.com to make an order. NWN:EE FAQ is available.
Soundtracks for BG:EE, SoD, BG2:EE, IWD:EE, PST:EE are now available in the Beamdog store.
Attention, new and old users! Please read the new rules of conduct for the forums, and we hope you enjoy your stay!

Can I get away with taking only one arcane caster into ToB?

dunbardunbar Member, Array Posts: 1,296
Whenever I've gone on to ToB before my charname has either been a mage or a f/m and I've always had Edwin along as well.

This time though I've gone tank heavy: Charname (berserker), Korgan, Viconia, Edwin and Hexxat are currently going through SoA like a hot knife through butter but I'm worried that just one mage won't give me enough defence-stripping spells for the big fights in ToB.

Thoughts anyone?

Also, who could I give the sixth slot to?

«1

Comments

  • BorekBorek Member Posts: 468
    You only need 1 mage as long as you maximize your repertoire with Project image/Simulacrum, it also helps a LOT if you make use of Wish and Limited Wish for frequent top up's of your spells, possibly via PI/Sims using scrolls in the quick slot (such as scroll of Wish, meaning every PI/Sim can cast a Wish for "free" via the quick slot). At that point you are basically running on unlimited spells and with Improved Alacrity are unlikely to even notice you have just 1 arcane caster. Heck every boss not immune to Time Stop is basically dead from TS + Shapechange Mind Flayer, 2 or more mages is very much overkill haha.

    dunbargorgonzola
  • borntodieborntodie Member Posts: 103
    You surely can finish the unmodded game with a single caster. Casting Improved Haste on everyone can be a little inconvenient, you might want to use improved alacrity to speed it up.

    About the sixth slot: Sarevok would feel right at home in your party. B)

    dunbar
  • dunbardunbar Member Posts: 1,296
    @Borek Thank you, in my muddled over-thinking of this I'd completely forgotten about PI/simulacrum!

    Borek
  • BorekBorek Member Posts: 468
    dunbar said:

    @Borek Thank you, in my muddled over-thinking of this I'd completely forgotten about PI/simulacrum!

    Yeah it's not particularly easy for buffing a party with 1 mage, but by the time you are into ToB a single Mage can win every fight easily, at that point you can forget about slotting party buffing spells in favour of optimizing your spells for killing. The only things the Fighters add to the party are some controllable line of sight bots to enable your PI to see more of the map without Wizard Eye lmao.

    borntodiegorgonzola
  • BorekBorek Member Posts: 468
    Oh and at some point every TOB Mage needs to use Wish for a Double length Time Stop+ Improved Alacrity, so they can Imp.Haste themselves, Tensors, then Slayer Form and break the world B)

    dunbar
  • Balrog99Balrog99 Member Posts: 2,681
    If you give Hexxat 'Use Any Item' she can cast any spell from a scroll. With all the money you can get in ToB just buy every scroll you think you may use and it's almost like having another mage. I'm not sure many people use that cheese (unless they're playing solo) but it's not cheating.

    Borek
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 6,707
    You don't even need an arcane caster at all. The games are balanced wonderfully like that. That being said, being used to having one, and not, will make it more difficult.

    StummvonBordwehr
  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 3,736
    edited September 9
    for bajillions of play throughs i've only ever used one arcane caster for ToB

    as ThacoBell said, you don't even need one, but that is IF you know what you are doing

    my normal party set ups are usually this:

    3 melees
    1 ranged cleric
    1 ranged thief
    1 ranged wizerd

    and as i said before many MANY runs done this way, in fact for ToB i find a more "warrior" heavy crew to be more useful with all the dead magic zones, wild magic zones, and the fact that so many enemies have such high magic resistance/ saving throws and the like

    nothing like having 6 characters all using greater whirlwind at once B)

    ThacoBellStummvonBordwehr
  • NuinNuin Member Posts: 400
    edited September 10
    Arcane casters mostly distinguish themselves with their (almost exclusive) ability to cast/counter mage protections and their easy access to Haste spells. Anything else can be simulated with the right combination of gear and a combination of divine casters, rogue-types and warrior-types.
    Bottomline, if you have some kind of Plan B for dealing with mage protections then feel free to do whatever you want.

    Obviously, if you run mods that makes mages more powerful (like SCS) then the meta changes and you have to adjust accordingly.

  • dunbardunbar Member Posts: 1,296
    Thanks for the advice everyone, it's just that I'm still not very good at "wizard chess" and find the Draconis battle specifically very difficult (despite the fact that there are numerous online 'solutions' to that particular problem) so I was just getting worried ahead of time.

    ThacoBell
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 6,707
    @dunbar I personally hate wizard chees, its slow and dangerous. I don't understand why people insist that mages are so good at killing other mages, they aren't. What you want is a druid. Cast insect plague. It bypasses all protections, has no save, and imparts 100% spell failure. If an enemy is invisible, summon a creature, run it up to the mage, and cast Insect Plague, its initially targeted, but has an AOE that will spread to the mage. Barring magic resistance and outright spell immunity, there isn't a way to defend against it.

    dunbar
  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 3,736
    ThacoBell said:

    @dunbar I personally hate wizard chees, its slow and dangerous. I don't understand why people insist that mages are so good at killing other mages, they aren't. What you want is a druid. Cast insect plague. It bypasses all protections, has no save, and imparts 100% spell failure. If an enemy is invisible, summon a creature, run it up to the mage, and cast Insect Plague, its initially targeted, but has an AOE that will spread to the mage. Barring magic resistance and outright spell immunity, there isn't a way to defend against it.

    im pretty sure insect plague does have a save, although it might be at a penalty, hence the reason why it's such a good spell

  • BorekBorek Member Posts: 468
    No save for the initial affect, but has a per round save or Panic, Magic resistance does work though on the initial cast, SCS also has options to reduce it's potency and give it some counters, but overall it's an extremely powerful Anti-Mage spell.

    As for the Wizard chess then over 90% of the time all you need is Staff of the Magi, go invis until PFMW drops then bash once dispelling everything, re-invis, see what new defenses they cast and tailor your next spell. For the sneaky ones (with SCS) that cast Spell Immunity-Abjuration it's a shortish duration spell so again just wait it out invisible. Heck most fights i use wand of fire, wand of Cloudkill and Staff of the Magi, it's not even worth throwing spells around unless it's a boss fight B)

    Wand of cloudkill is flat out obscene, non-Lich mages are rarely immune to poison and if you stack more than 1 cloudkill it's almost guaranteed they won't be able to cast, with RIng of Gaxx and SOTM you can stand in the middle of it invisible chuckling as they all die from your potent Bhaal farts.

    Blackraven
  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 3,736
    in the un modded game, all i really need mages for are: breach, haste and mass invisibility

    breach can be done away with with wands of spell striking, and i dont recall if only wizerds can use them, but a thief with UAI can use them, so that takes care of breach

    important battles where haste is required i can just use GWW, even early ToB i will start having 2+ of these per day, and it's very difficult for foes to live through 30+ attacks in a couple of rounds, so that takes care of haste

    mass invisibility on the other hand, this is mostly just for that mammoth +4 saving throw bonus and the -4 penalty baddies have to hit you with, but i suppose if your front line has hot saves, or if you have 3 berserkers going berserk that its almost the same thing, slap on some hardiness before battle and getting hit isnt too much an issue, especially if you are around 200 HP and have potions of superior healing, so i suppose that takes care of invisibility

    Skatan
  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 4,699
    edited September 10
    One caveat about the Insect Plague strategy is that it takes almost a full round to cast. If the mage gets off an AoE that hits the druid, or one of the mage's companions gets a hit on the druid, it can be interrupted. So, it usually works, but I don't like to stake my life on it. I prefer to have backup contingency plans.

    BorekThacoBellgorgonzola
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 6,707
    @sarevok57 The save is only for the fear effect. The cloud will hit barring magic resistance.

    @BelgarathMTH Its a casting speed of 6. It will cast faster than level 9 spells, so you don't have to worry about being immediately wrecked. In practice, the cast time doesn't even matter, as enemy mages will ALWAYS put up spell protections first. Which won't stop the swarm.

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 1,572
    Nuin said:

    Anything else can be simulated with the right combination of gear and a combination of divine casters, rogue-types and warrior-types.

    you really under estimate what a mage with IA, ROV and AOP can do, or maybe his PI can do, in the couple of rounds the IA lasts. and you also really under estimate what a competent mage can do at much lower levels. some times ago i posted the video of a mage (not played by me) that in tactics mod chateau irenicus, so at the beginning level of soa, destroys the enemy lev 19 cleric and the fallen deva summoned by him.
    stack 3 web spells and as the foe is webbed pelt him with a MMM barrage, but is only 1 of the many ways a low level mage can kill "impossible" enemies.
    dunbar said:

    Thanks for the advice everyone, it's just that I'm still not very good at "wizard chess" and find the Draconis battle specifically very difficult (despite the fact that there are numerous online 'solutions' to that particular problem) so I was just getting worried ahead of time.

    to become good with the wizard class you have to play it over and over, researching every time different strategies. this is a good reason to bring 2 mages.
    for draconis 2 mages are really not needed, a high level mage can solo him using only 2 lev 7 spells without getting a single scratch. 2 mages are useful when you have less levels so few spells to cast each day, if you don't want to rest and re memorize often.
    ThacoBell said:


    @BelgarathMTH Its a casting speed of 6. It will cast faster than level 9 spells, so you don't have to worry about being immediately wrecked. In practice, the cast time doesn't even matter, as enemy mages will ALWAYS put up spell protections first. Which won't stop the swarm.

    not true if we factor in the RoV and the fact that only very few foe need lev 9 spells to be disabled. breach is immediate with the robe and so is greater malison, a mage in full array casts at speed 4 spels that need speed 9 to a naked mage.

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 6,707
    @gorgonzola "not true if we factor in the RoV and the fact that only very few foe need lev 9 spells to be disabled. breach is immediate with the robe and so is greater malison, a mage in full array casts at speed 4 spels that need speed 9 to a naked mage."

    The mage NEEDS that overpowered robe to compete though. A naked druid will trounce a naked mage. Breach also doesn't always work, and can be blocked. Insect Plague cannot. Even with a casting speed of 4, thats 1 spell. The druid can hobble the mage further with nature's beauty. Its a pernamanent blind wih no save. So the mage cannot even target the druid. Mages get a lot of advantages over other classes, but the druid was pretty much designed as a mage killer.

  • BorekBorek Member Posts: 468
    ThacoBell said:

    @gorgonzola "not true if we factor in the RoV and the fact that only very few foe need lev 9 spells to be disabled. breach is immediate with the robe and so is greater malison, a mage in full array casts at speed 4 spels that need speed 9 to a naked mage."

    The mage NEEDS that overpowered robe to compete though. A naked druid will trounce a naked mage. Breach also doesn't always work, and can be blocked. Insect Plague cannot. Even with a casting speed of 4, thats 1 spell. The druid can hobble the mage further with nature's beauty. Its a pernamanent blind wih no save. So the mage cannot even target the druid. Mages get a lot of advantages over other classes, but the druid was pretty much designed as a mage killer.

    No it won't, Mages can protect themselves via Spell Immunity and NO ONE plays naked unless they are doing a self imposed crazy run. High level Mage Vs high level Druid? Druid should be dead 100% of the time without fail, anything else is entirely down to bad spell selection.

    Now Vs NPC mages, sure, Druids do well, but so does a lobotomized Boo. Against an actual player, no, just no, Druid is in with no chance.

  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 3,736
    well since this thread asks if you can do ToB with one wizerd, im going to with player vs NPC mages

    gorgonzola
  • butteredsoulbutteredsoul Member Posts: 76
    I’m currently at Sendai’s enclave with Ascension and SCS. Edwin is my only arcane caster, though I’ve got a F/Th CHARNAME with UAI and 5 cases of scrolls. So far so good.

    Skatan
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 1,572
    sarevok57 said:

    well since this thread asks if you can do ToB with one wizerd, im going to with player vs NPC mages

    you are perfectly right and i never wanted to start a "mage vs druid, which one will win?" debate.
    i was only telling that for game purposes, player vs engine, the player mage can cast lev 9 spells faster then the player druid casts insect plague, supposing they use the equipment we have in game.
    and this is a fact, not an opinion, give to the druid the AoP or to the mage AoP + RoV and everyone can do the math.

    that told a druid is a good anti mage in the game and the very moment insect plague kicks in the npc casters are disabled. the player mage uses different tactics against npc casters and if well played they are both effective. it boils on taste and playstyle.

    Borek
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 6,707
    @Borek Sorry, but no. Druids have far too effective mage disablers to "lose 100% of the time".

  • Balrog99Balrog99 Member Posts: 2,681
    edited September 12
    @ThacoBell
    Insect Plague doesn't stop spell triggers or contingency spells so I think @Borek is right. A properly played high-level mage should beat a high-level druid close to 100% of the time in a head to head, bump into each other around a corner type situation.

    sarevok57gorgonzola
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 1,572
    edited September 12
    without factoring in that if both begin to cast at the same moment thanks to the "cheesy robe" the mage has cast a PI and the PI has cast TS before the insects can reach the mage. then while the time is frozen the PI can cast lets say a greater malison, all the MM, MMA, flame arrows, skull traps, chain lighting, feeblemind, finger of death, PW stun PWblind and PW kill he has memorized followed by at least 3 adhw.
    and this is also the way a mage kills the mighty draconis, for the second form he has to distract the dragon with some summon if soloing or with some party member that survives adhw (thanks to the protection the mage casts on him) and time the TS casting so time freezes when the lizard is not invisible.
    or maybe can cast imprisonment if the mage is lazy and cruel...

    or at lower level the fact that the mage can disrupt the insect plague casting with a magic missile, melf magic arrow or flame arrow (all with cast time 0 due to equipment).

  • NuinNuin Member Posts: 400
    edited September 12

    Nuin said:

    Anything else can be simulated with the right combination of gear and a combination of divine casters, rogue-types and warrior-types.

    you really under estimate what a mage with IA, ROV and AOP can do, or maybe his PI can do, in the couple of rounds the IA lasts. and you also really under estimate what a competent mage can do at much lower levels. some times ago i posted the video of a mage (not played by me) that in tactics mod chateau irenicus, so at the beginning level of soa, destroys the enemy lev 19 cleric and the fallen deva summoned by him.
    stack 3 web spells and as the foe is webbed pelt him with a MMM barrage, but is only 1 of the many ways a low level mage can kill "impossible" enemies.
    Oh yes, I *gravely* underestimate what a mage who "needs" to cast IA, ROV, AOP AND PI can do when I can achieve the same thing with my fighters, clerics, druids, etc. in half the time. Because, you know, you actually DON'T need to go through that whole thing depending on what your setup is.

    This is what I mean when I say that some people seem to put too much stock in what works in paper while completely ignoring what's actually happening in the game. Are you next going to say that bringing 2, 3 mages is wholly superior to any other setup? Are you actually suggesting that everyone who wants to "powergame to the max" MUST go through the trouble of doing the whole pre-buffing/pausing thing on *three* separate mages?
    Well more power to you, I'll just go with what actually works in half the time and which requires (probably at most) half as much effort and enjoy the game that way.

    And you're in for a rude awakening if you think a BG2 starting mage. which is actually up there as one of the more powerful starting classes in the game (bar no/minimum-rest runs), is "special" for being able to handle Improved Tactics fights. This, for example, was done more than a decade ago - even before people turned playing BG2 into a number crunch/"optimal method"-fest, and is a far more impressive feat I'd say.

    ThacoBell
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 1,572
    i know that epic run, that was done on core rules, and also the run that was done by the same player with a cleric of lathander on insane. you find it in the same forums and the thread title is "a cleric is having fun", but probably you know it. an exceptionally gifted player imho, surely more competent and able than me.

    probably i did misunderstood you or you misunderstood me. i never told that the only class that can solo tactics irenicus dungeon is the mage, and i personally back stabbed everything there with a thief as i usually solo it, finding minsk and jaheira only when i am ready to leave the dungeon so i gain more xp and find them and the other npcs at a higher level.
    i felt that you was under estimating what the mage class can do, so i quoted you and wrote what i wrote.
    now you tell:" a starting BG2 mage. which is actually one of the more powerful starting classes in the game" so it seems that you are well aware of the power of the mages. and this is where i did misunderstood you.
    you did misunderstood me because i never told that other classes can not solo that modded dungeon or that the other classes lack of their own power. i never suggested "that everyone who wants to "powergame to the max" MUST go through the trouble of doing the whole pre-buffing/pausing thing on *three* separate mages? " or that your own setup is not fine.
    also i never turned playing BG2 into a number crunch/"optimal method"-fest, for me the rp aspect of the game is as important, i like to run difficulty enhancing mods but the powergaming part is not my only priority.

    the really powerful class is the player himself, as only a good player can make the classes he is proficent in playing powerful. there are players that think that the bard is a weak class, the jack of all the trades but inferior to someone else in everything he can do and other players able to make the bard shine and dominate. there are players that call the cleric "the healer" because they use him mainly for healing and eventually to cast some protective spells, keeping him in the back with a sling and the "a cleric is having fun" run shows how using a cleric only for that is using only a fraction of his potential.
    the same is true for almost every class.

    about "are you next going to say that bringing 2, 3 mages is wholly superior to my setup?" i can only answer that 3 arcane casters is my preferred setup. i love to play parties like charname bard, aerie and jan or charname F/M aerie and nalia->imoen. because a party of 3, maximum 4, is easy to micromanage the way i like to do, because i think that the defense is superior to the raw damaging power, because i like more the versatility, the ability to fight a battle in many ways than the raw power or the ability of win fast.
    but i never told that this is superior to your setup or that is the epitome of powergaming. it is only the way i like to play, the way that brings me more fun and enjoyment.

    i hope that now our misunderstanding is cleared.

    NuinSkatan
  • _Nightfall__Nightfall_ Member Posts: 99
    Um.... a caster is not needed at all in the game. My first solo run was with a Undead Hunter. I don’t know about SCS, I have not played it. Core rules, unmoded? Not at all.

    I don’t have much for the debate, wiz, tree hugger, I love both but for different reasons. This I can say with absolute certainty, Driuds were the easiest ToB play throughs I have ever had until Mel. They just don’t have a problem with so many bosses that other classes struggle with. The problem is that the Mel fight is beyond ridiculous for a Druid. Over the what? a decade and a half I have spent two, maybe even three hundred hours trying to kill her with a Druid. I only bring it up because there was talk of Draconis. A Druid has very little trouble with this fight. Really, other than Balthazar I just made it up as I went along every time and there were many times.

    I think that a mage has an answer for everything but is not better at everything than any other class. It just plain isn’t, but... I have no fear taking a mage into any combat. That probably makes no sense at all.

  • BorekBorek Member Posts: 468
    ThacoBell said:

    @Borek Sorry, but no. Druids have far too effective mage disablers to "lose 100% of the time".

    It's just a shame they cast them too slowly for it to even matter, by the time they've got an IP flying my way my mage has annihilated their entire squad of goons. My current play-through (SCS) is currently a barb dualled to a Mage, is on the Mage phase now, so basically a Mage with 230 HP's. I stroll around with Staff of the Magi, so they cannot see me coming, Robe of Vecna + Amulet of Power so my spells are mostly instant (up to 5th level) and the super high level spells STILL cast faster than IP.

    Think about that for a second, i can cast 9th level spells like Imprisonment faster than they can cast IP and have it actually land on me. That is a 100%, guaranteed win, casting from Invisible with a spell that can NEVER be prevented by a Druid unless it's interrupted during casting. Heck i'm still in Ch2 so i don't even have access to the REALLY powerful spells yet and they still are laughably easy to beat.

    Just 1 item, Staff of the Magi, makes most fights fairly irrelevant, guess who can use it? Yeah, not druids :P

  • NuinNuin Member Posts: 400
    edited September 12
    For the record, a druid can simply cast Nature's Beauty without breaking invisibility through rings, the Pixie Dust spell or whatever. If that lands, you're also screwed. Or he can just slam you with the Horn of Blasting (protecting himself with Free Action) and it's game over if you get stunned.

    There's also more than one way to look at these class vs class battles. How about from a more "raw" PoV, like if a level 9 druid straight out of character creation seeks out his level 8 (XP equivalent) wizard counterpart. If in-game druids were (in theory) ever as common and ferocious as their SCS mage counterparts then mages would be hard pressed to break past the levels where they can actually reach items like the Staff of Magi. Imagine only having access to level 4 spells max but then forced to fight druids (plural) that can summon two nymphs and use Insect Plague (each) every other new area.

    ThacoBell
«1
Sign In or Register to comment.