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SCS: what’s some basic advice?

I plan on playing SCS for the first time using my protagonist and NPCs from BGIIEE.

What kind of party makeup do I need to succeed in this kind of game?

I’ve never installed SCS before and I’m interested in running through BGIEE first and importing my character.

Do I need a lot of arcane spellcasters? Do I need a lot of tanks?

I like to use between 4 and 6 characters. My parties usually include a non-multiclassed arcane caster (like Imoen, Neera, Nalia, Edwin, or the protagonist), one multiclassed arcane caster (Jan, Aerie, or protagonist), one cleric (single or multiclass), one druid (Jaheira works fine), and one thief to handle the locks and traps (Imoen is good enough, but I’ll also use Jan or the protagonist here).

I like as many tanks as possible too. Korgan, Minsc, Keldorn, even Mazzy is great if you build her up. I like having the protagonist here as well, if I dual or multiclass him later.

Thanks for the help!



  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 2,138

    Pretty much all that @OrlonKronsteen has said, especially about the "readme".

    Before I tried SCS I always played on "insane", so turned the level down for the first runs with it. You can always put them back up mid game.

    You'll be fine if you play BG1 first, that will give you a good idea about the changes. Especially about the change of behavior from enemies, i.e calls for help, targeting the more vulnerable NPC, mages actually using their spellbooks.

    Just remember to save frequently, then you can mess around and see what's what.

  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 16,741
    I would like to tag @Tresset - as during our MP game he (being an experienced BG player) had to learn how SCS plays just on the fly.

    @OrlonKronsteen I think one of the reasons "better SCS players" haven't commented yet is that they don't remember how the game felt before SCS. :)

  • BrightL1ghtsBrightL1ghts Member Posts: 26
    edited October 2018
    Klorox said:

    What kind of party makeup do I need to succeed in this kind of game?

    It depends on your installation. It's so customizable that your gameplay can vary from "OMG **** that" to "Oh it's cool and not so bad".
    But no matter what installation you will chose, you can still finish the game solo.
    Klorox said:

    Do I need a lot of arcane spellcasters?

    It's good to have at least one arcane caster. Everything else is up to you and completely optional. Grab anyone you like to enjoy the game. Consider your party's strenght at different points of the game though. If you will take 6 multiclass characters it will be harder than let's say 2 pure casters and 2 pure fighters.
    Klorox said:

    Do I need a lot of tanks?

    Sad, but truth : arcane casters are the best tanks in this game. That's one of the reasons why Kensai/Mage dual class and Fighter/Mage multiclass are so strong. Aerie for example is better tank than Minsc, Keldorn, Korgan. So no, you don't need a lot of "traditional tanks".

  • KloroxKlorox Member Posts: 741

    Klorox said:

    Do I need a lot of tanks?

    Sad, but truth : arcane casters are the best tanks in this game. That's one of the reasons why Kensai/Mage dual class and Fighter/Mage multiclass are so strong. Aerie for example is better tank than Minsc, Keldorn, Korgan. So no, you don't need a lot of "traditional tanks".

    You lost me. Aerie is a better tank than Korgan??!?

  • masteralephmasteraleph Member Posts: 30
    Klorox said:

    You lost me. Aerie is a better tank than Korgan??!?

    With the appropriate buffing, sure- can Korgan make himself immune to lots of spells and magical weapons below +x? (pick your number for the appropriate level)

    The bigger issue is the frequency with which you rest. If, for example, you dislike resting after entering a dungeon-type area, then Korgan will probably do better. If you're willing to rest multiple times as you march through the de'Arnise Keep, let's say, then yeah, you can have Aerie do a better job.

    This changes to some degree when you reach higher levels- Project Image and Simulacrum multiply the number of spells you can use per day quite significantly.

  • karnor00karnor00 Member Posts: 664
    The most important thing to know is how to get through the enemy mage protections.

    Fundamentally you want to beat enemy mages to death with big pointy stick (or equivalent).

    However enemy mages use Protection from magical weapons (pmfw) to prevent this. Plus stoneskin pretty much stops non magical weapons. Or liches are just naturally immune to non magic weapons.

    You want to cast breach (or high level dispel) to remove pfwm and stoneskin. But enemy mages use immunity abjuration (SI:A) to stop breach and dispel.

    Various spells can get rid of SI:A with varying degrees of success and you need to learn which work best. Spell Trap used by enemy mages can block some of these spells, but often Spell Trap drops in the process.

    Take a look at this sheet to see what spells you need to use

    And finally, once you do get through the protections, enemy mages love to use contingencies or triggers to replace them instantly. So bear that in mind.

    Plus they love invisibility which messes up targeting for some of your removals. And SI:D to mess with your invis removal capability.

    Ultimately it’s a mini game in itself to work out how to get past mage removals - and while you work it out they are free to pelt you with damage. Enjoy!

  • WatchForWolvesWatchForWolves Member Posts: 156
    I don't want to make a new thread, so I'll ask here.

    I never played SCS, but I read about it and it seems very focused on so-called mage fencing. Dispelling enemy mage's protections "from top to bottom" until finally you can Breach and kill them. Heh, I even remember an excel table someone made which shows which removal spell works on which defensive spell.

    The thing is, during my most recent playthrough, which for reference was a solo F/M/T, my top three mage killers were:

    1. Shapeshift into Mustard Jelly. Basically complete immunity to all forms of magic, two ranged attacks per round, poison on failed save vs. death, slow on failed save vs. breath. You literally just left-click the enemy caster, press F4 and wait. You'd think summons would counter this, but they don't - summons in EE are BG2 summons and therefore absolutely pathetic. You keep your HP, AC and all character effects(i.e. regeneration) when shapeshifted, and the jelly has decent physical resistances as well, so several Ogres or Ettercaps are entirely irrelevant. Granted, this method requires a F/M, otherwise you likely won't have the ThAC0 to hit anything, but even a pure Mage shapeshifted into a Mustard Jelly can simply tank most of a Lich's spellbook. Then there's Cloak of the Sewers.

    2. AoE damage spells. My personal favourite is the often overlooked Death Fog. A 6th level spell, so it works on Liches, Acid damage which works on undead, guaranteed 8 damage per round with no save, interrupts casting. Throw two and wait six rounds.

    3. When I just felt lazy - brute force. Stoneskins only go up to 10, and even a multiclass Fighter will have 4.5APR, so in most cases it takes only two rounds to chew through all of them. Then there's parties which can easily reach 10APR between all characters, Whirlwind and weapons with secondary effects that Stoneskin does not block at all. PFMW(or whatever Mantle they're using, I see SCS buffed the spell) is a thing, but it only lasts 4 rounds. You can simply walk away and wait it out - either way, Breaching the enemy mage takes about the same amount of time, so why even waste spells?

    So basically my question is this: how would these three tactics(if they can even be called that) work, or not work, in SCS?

  • EnuhalEnuhal Member Posts: 437
    edited November 2018
    1) I haven't tested this, but I imagine that SCS is better at dealing with jelly form, certainly, but it should still be quite powerful. SCS mages will propably hit your with MMMs (almost all of them have that spell) or just run away/go invisble, though, and very high level mages have quite powerful summons (I wouldn't want to be in jelly form against a fallen planetar). The important thing to know: SCS mages don't tend to waste spells on targets that are clearly immune to said spells.
    2) Death Fog should do decent work. SCS enemies will be better when it comes to walking out of AoE spells, though, but in multiples, lingering cloud effects can do very well (I use cloudkills and death fogs against SCS beholders, for example). Lower level AoE spells might be countered by GOI and the like.
    3) Waiting out buffs by walking away until they're done is a great strategy for SCS, if you have the patience for it. I highly recommend it. Sometimes, though, the area of combat won't allow it, so while wizard's chess can mostly be avoided, there are a couple of encounters where you should really be ready to have a go at it. Well, to be truthful, even then you can wait out enemy buffs if your own buffs are strong enough and get renewed often enough to avoid taking any damage, and there are some alternative ways when dealing with spellcasters, such as the old wizard slayer/druid dual class using fire seeds on a summoned creature next to the opponent, or just throwing non-enchanted darts/darts +5 from the Cloak of the Stars (pioneered by @semitcgod ) - most spellcasters can't do a lot against that.

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