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Few quick questions about game mechanics

Just a few quick questions. I've been wondering about these since BG 1 through SoA.

1) Weapon Speed Factor.

Some weapons have Speed of 1, some have Speed of 4 or 7. Is lower speed = faster attacking rate? Meaning speed 1 attacks 7 times faster than speed 7 weapons?

2) Saving Throws.

How do they work exactly? I know lowering saving throws is good, since level ups decrease saving throws of my characters. But how exactly does it negate spells? Sometimes I see creatures do save throw of 1, sometimes 5, 10, or even 20, 22, 25 and spell is saved against. How do saving throws subtract from spells to "save" and negate them?

3) Level drain.

I'm curious. If my characters get level drained, can I do it intentionally to drop their levels from 15 or 20 all the way down to level 4 or 5? Then level them to 7, 8, 9, then level drain them again back to level 4 or 5. Over and over to get infinite proficiency points and HP growth?


  • RedWizardRedWizard Member Posts: 242
    edited May 2019
    1. Weapon Speed Factor is how fast it sequences, that is, how fast you get to actually attack after choosing your attack target.
    2. Lower SVs are better. In order to save you need to roll >= the number on your sheet (which can be modified by gear, buffs, debuffs). So if your character has a 1 vs Spells, it means he'll always save assuming the spell doesn't carry a save penalty. Usually when you see numbers above 20 it's because the ability you saved against had a built in bonus like Chromatic Orb which adds +6 meaning it's actually easier to save against, as opposed to let's say a spell such as Spook, Sleep, Chaos, Slow all of which carry built in penalties to SV as to make it harder to save vs them.
    As an example, since Slow has a -4 penalty, your character with a 1 vs Spells would actually need to roll 5+ to pass the save.
    3. Level Drain has a lot of penalties, but it doesn't really set your XP values back. You overall statistics get reduced/you lose access to spells, but you don't lose XP.
  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 1,079
    1 - Weapon speed has no impact on the number of attacks you get.

    2 - Each spell says in its description whether you can save to negate it entirely, save to reduce its damage by half, or has no save at all. The number you need to roll is determined mainly by the class levels you have, though you might receive bonuses from items and the like.

    3 -Level drain doesn't allow you to "re-level" your characters so you can make different choices. It's just a debuff that persists until you cast lesser restoration on them.
  • VeristekVeristek Member Posts: 114
    edited May 2019
    Thanks. Am I to understand that if you have a 1 in any category, it means 100% save chance assuming no penalties?

    The part I'm still a bit lost with is what number does the spell throw at. With attack rolls, 1 is a critical miss, a 20 is critical hit, and 2 - 19 adds your THACO and subtracts enemy AC to determine if you hit. Is there a way to tell what a successful spell needs for the enemy to fail a save? The combat dialoue doesn't show that information, only the saving roll if it save is successfully made. It doesn't say what the save thereshold is for the spell. It goes like this.

    Slow: Veristek
    Veristek: Save vs Spell 8.
    Slow: Veristek
    Veristek: Save vs Spell 14.
    Slow: Veristek
    Veristek: Save vs Spell 22.

    What number did that Slow need to be overcome? In all 3 cases, successful save is made, but doesn't say how close or far away I was from that spell succeeding on me. Was I just 1 point away, or 5 points, or 10 points from failing that save? How can I determine that using my character's Saving Throws? Or is there a pre-set save roll number for every spell in the game as a threshold for a hit or miss? Then how do I factor the casting level or other modifiers into the equation?

    That's where I'm confused.

    Another quick question. If the spell description says "-4 to save", and another spell has "+2 to save". Which is good for me / bad for enemy? A "-" or "+" penalty to save in spell description? A bit confusing, since smaller (or negative) AC / THACO = good, while bigger numbers in Hit Rolls = good.
  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 1,079
    You need a roll equal to or higher than the save-versus-spell number listed on your character sheet. Any modifiers you might have are applied to your roll, not the number on your character sheet, so plusses are good and minuses are bad. The same thing is true for modifiers you see in a spell description; if it says "-4 to save" then it means you will have a -4 modifier applied to your die roll.
  • RedWizardRedWizard Member Posts: 242
    You roll a 20 sided dice to see if you save or not.
    The number has to be at equal or higher than the one listed on your sheet to succeed the save.
    So yes, if you have a 1 vs XYZ you are going to pass every single save in that category provided there's no penalty, as you cannot possibly roll lower than 1 by default.
    The idea that a roll of 1 is a critical failure for SVs does not exist in BG, only in later editions of D&D games like Neverwinter Nights.
    You see different numbers in the combat roll because even if you need just 1 to save, you still roll the dice meaning you can save from 1-20, assuming no penalties.

    A plus means a save bonus, that is, the save is easier to pass.
    A minus means a save penalty, therefore the save is harder to pass, such as with Slow.
  • VeristekVeristek Member Posts: 114
    I understand a lot better now, thanks guys.
  • AlonsoAlonso Member Posts: 806
    jsaving wrote: »
    Any modifiers you might have are applied to your roll, not the number on your character sheet
    Not sure about this. Buffs at least are applied to the number in your character sheet. I routinely get negative values in my saving throws by using buffs like the potion of Invulnerability. And I think the same happens with hostile spells, like Chant, but I might be wrong there.

  • ZaxaresZaxares Member Posts: 1,287
    Bear in mind however that some spells, despite having a saving throw listed in their description, can still hurt you if you linger in the area afterwards. This includes spells like Cloudkill, Death Fog or Incendiary Cloud, and their subsequent round effects often have no save and are automatically applied if you're still in the area. (This can also be used to your advantage by dumping these spells on enemy spellcasters protected by powerful warding spells, because spellcasters typically don't move around and while their wards will protect them from the initial effect, it doesn't protect them from the subsequent round AoE effects.)
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