This mod corrects and improves the descriptions of most spells and special abilities in Baldur's Gate 2.DETAILED DESCRIPTION
Some spell and ability descriptions in the original game are incorrect or inaccurate. Some are incomplete. Some are unnecessarily wordy or repetitive. This mod attempts to fix these shortcomings.GENERAL IMPROVEMENTS
- Added the stat “Party friendly” to some offensive spells. It can have the values Yes or No.
- Removed duplicated titles: The original spell descriptions include the name of the spell in the description. The Enhanced Editions also display the name of the spells and abilities in other parts of the screen. This duplication seems unnecessary, so I’ve removed the names of spells and abilities from the descriptions.
- Visual range: Casters cannot cast spells at points beyond their visual range. Since the visual range of every creature is 30, all the ranges higher than 30 are incorrect. To fix this, I’ve replaced all ranges equal or greater than 30 with “Visual range”.
- Saving throw: Added the kind of saving throw used (breath, death, etc.) and the bonuses or penalties applied, if any.
- Added stats at the beginning of some abilities.
- Many stats corrected.
- Grammar corrections.
- Other minor improvements.
- Removed expressions like “also note that” and words like “effectively”, “completely”, or “automatically”.
- Replaced expressions like “When this spell is cast, it does x” with “This spell does x”.
- Moved information about the duration, area or saving throws to the stats summary, except when it’s too complex (like spells that have a saving throw for one effect but not for other), and removed duplicated information.
- Removed the line “Saving Throw: None” from spells that cannot possibly have a saving throw, like helpful spells, summoning spells, etc.
- Removed the line “Area of Effect: Special” for summoning spells and other spells for which it’s not helpful.
- Several other improvements.
The original descriptions are inconsistent about saying whether a spell is dispellable and whether it bypasses magic resistance. Sometimes they say it, sometimes they don’t. For the sake of consistency, I’ve followed these two rules:
- Magic resistance: If a spell bypasses magic resistance, the description says so. If the description says nothing, it means that the spell doesn’t bypass magic resistance.
- Dispelling: If a spell is not dispellable, its description says so. If the description says nothing, it means that it is dispellable. I’ve made two exceptions, though:
- When dispelling is the only way of getting rid of the effects of a spell, like in the case of Polymorph Other, the description says so.
- Summoned creatures cannot be dispelled, but I feel it’s not necessary to say so in the description of each summoning spell.
The original descriptions use the gender of the protagonist for gender sensitive pronouns –like he/her- whether they refer to the protagonist or not. I have replaced these with the masculine form (I don’t think that gender neutral plurals, like they or them, work here).IMPROVEMENTS OF SPECIFIC DESCRIPTIONSCorrections
The original descriptions of Non-detection, Protection from Fire (both the cleric and the wizard version), Protection from Cold, End Slayer Change, Immunity: Abjuration, Time stop Slow poison, Luck, Haste, Slow, Dispel Magic and Remove Magic are completely incorrect, so I’ve written a new description for them. For other spells I’ve made specific corrections:
Added missing information
- Bigby's Clenched Fist / Crushing Hand / Earthquake: The same saving throw roll is used for all the rounds that accept a saving throw.
- Blur: Clarified, the original uses a confusing explanation that essentially means that the spell provides an AC bonus.
- Burning Hands: It doesn’t have an area of effect, it only affects one creature.
- Call Lightning: It triggers every round, not every turn. Each target after the first must be within ~30-ft. radius of the previous. It can’t last more than 4 rounds. It must have a valid target within range for every bolt, or the spell will end. It cannot target the same creature twice in a row.
- Chant: The original description is ambiguous, inaccurate and incomplete. Since the effects of this spell are very complex, the improved description is still somehow inaccurate, but it’s meant to be a significant improvement over the original.
- Chaotic Commands: The original description is ambiguous and incomplete. The improved description attempts to be clear and comprehensive.
- Charm/Dire/Domination/Mental/Control spells: When the caster is the player most creatures turn hostile if the player attacks them. However, enemies can attack charmed players without breaking the incantation.
Regular Charm does not cause player controlled creatures to attack the party, they just turn hostile (red). More powerful spells, like Dire Charm, do turn them hostile, though.
- Contingency: The original description says it cannot be an offensive spell because the target must be the caster. This is incorrect: Even using the caster as the target many offensive spells can be used, like Greater Malison or summoning spells.
- Delayed Blast Fireball and Glyph of Warding: Added the radius of the proximity trigger, corrected the radius of the explosion.
- Dolorous Decay: Listed the duration of the damage (56 seconds) rather than the total damage because Haste and Slow can alter the total damage dealt by the spell, as with all poison and disease effects.
- Detect Invisibility: It reveals invisible creatures to everybody, not just the wizard.
- Enchanted Weapon: Clarified how it works for ranged weapons, which is ambiguous in the original description.
- Farsight: Added missing stats. Like Chant, this spell is quite difficult to describe. My current description is meant to be an improvement over the original but it still requires a thorough revision.
- Feeblemind: The save penalty is actually -2. Clarified its effects.
- Globe of Invulnerability: The area of effect is just the caster. Can be brought down by Secret Word, which is a fourth level spell. Remove Magic and Dispel Magic (third level) penetrate the globe but don't remove it.
- Minor Globe of Invulnerability: The area of effect is just the caster. Can be brought down by Spell Thrust, which is a third level spell. Remove Magic and Dispel Magic (third level) penetrate the globe but don't remove it.
- Heal: Corrected the list of maladies it cures.
- Implosion: The duration is 1 round, not 2.
- Improved Invisibility: Once they've revealed themselves, creatures can be targeted with attacks and items, but not with spells.
- Insect Plague: Corrected the targeting description. It affects all enemy creatures in the area of effect immediately after casting (it is much stronger than what the original description conveys).
- Invisibility Purge: Ignores Magic Resistance. Does not remove Sanctuary.
- Iron Skins and Stoneskin: Corrected the protections they offer.
- (Minor) Spell Deflection, (Minor) Spell Turning, and Shield of the Archons: They absorb all the spells directed at the caster, not just the offensive ones.
- Mislead: The wizard is not affected by Improved Invisibility, the invisibility he gets is not dispellable and can only be removed by killing his clone.
- Remove curse: It removes all curses, not just some.
- Simulacrum: This spell is bugged. Until the bug is fixed, the description describes the behavior of the bug. Apart from that the corrected description adds a breakdown of the stats and capabilities of the clone.
For these spells I’ve added the information listed:
Removed incorrect information
- Blade Barrier and Globe of Blades: Area of effect.
- Blindness: It reduces the visual range of the victim.
- Breach: It bypasses protections against spells, like Spell Deflection or Spell Turning. It dispels but doesn't bypass Spell Shield.
- Called Shot: The THAC0 penalty lasts 20 seconds, the Saving Throw penalty 15 seconds, and the Strength penalty 10 seconds.
- Chain Lightning: Area of Effect: 16-ft. around the target.
- Clairvoyance: It only works outdoors.
- Cure Light/Medium/Serious/Critical Wounds: They remove intoxication.
- Death spell: It doesn’t affect devas or planetars.
- Emotion: Hopelessness: For gameplay purposes the creatures affected by this spell are unconscious.
- Entangle: If there are no plants in the area of effect the spell creates them.
- False Dawn: Deals fire damage. It ignores the target's Magic Resistance.
- Hardiness: Does not stack with Defensive Stance.
- Holy power: The maximum hit points are increased by 1 per level.
- Lower Resistance: Bypasses all protection spells except Spell Shield.
- Magical Stone: The stone ignores most spells that protect against weapons.
- Minsc’s Berserk: The maximum hit points are increased by 1 per level. You lose control of him and he can attack your party. +2 to hit and damage while uncontrollable.
- Offensive spin: Its effects are cumulative with the effects of Oil of Speed.
- Polymorph self: Spellcasting is disabled while polymorphed, but spell sequencers and contingencies can still be activated. Attributes which had been magically modified before the polymorphing (by a Strength spell, for instance), are passed to the new form.
- Project image: The clone doesn't receive any of the temporary effects that the caster might have at the time of casting, like buffs from spells or potions.
- Righteous Magic: The maximum hit points are increased by 1 per level.
- (Minor) Spell Deflection, Spell Turning, Spell Trap, and Shield of the Archons: They don’t protect against Lower Resistance.
- Spell Immunity: Added a description of Spell Immunity: Abjuration, which works quite differently than the other versions of this spell.
- Contingendy, Chain Contingency, Minor Sequencer, Spell Sequencer, Spell trigger: The wizard can only choose among spells he has memorized and hasn't used yet, and the spells chosen are consumed in the process.
- Spellstrike: It removes Shield of the Archons.
- Tenser’s Transformation: The caster loses his ability to cast spells.
In the descriptions of these spells I’ve removed the information listed because it is incorrect:
- Animal Summoning III: Only animals within visual range of the caster at the time the spell is cast will come.
- Cure Light/Medium/Serious/Critical Wounds: This healing cannot affect creatures without corporeal bodies, nor can it cure wounds of creatures not living or of extraplanar origin.
- Doom: The target receives a -2 penalty to all <PRO_HISHER> rolls, including THAC0 and Saving Throws. Actually, it only receives penalties to his THAC0 and Saving Throws.
- Find traps: Due to the nature of the spell, the caster must stop to concentrate 1 per round which will effectively interrupt any action. This however will not affect spellcasting.
- Fireball: The part about the flashing streak.
- Glyph of warding: Prevents unauthorized or hostile creatures from passing, entering, or opening. It can be used to guard a small bridge, to ward an entry, or as a trap on a chest or box.
- Immunity: x: Grants the wizard protection from one spell school of his choice. After the spell is cast, the wizard must choose the school he wishes to be protected from.
- Monster summoning I, II and III: These monster(s) appear within spell range and attack the caster's opponents. Actually, they do whatever the caster tells them to do, which might or might not be attacking opponents.
- Charm Person or Mammal: Changed to Charm Person or Animal.
- Neutralize Poison: Name changed to Neutralize Poison, Blindness and Deafness to reflect the actual effects of the spell.
- Protection from Evil, 10' Radius: The radius in the name is wrong, corrected to Protection from Evil, 15' Radius.
- Protection from Good, 10' Radius: The radius in the name is wrong, corrected to Protection from Good, 15' Radius.
- Slow Poison: It actually neutralizes poison. Name changed to Neutralize Poison.
- Mazzy’s Strength: Apart from modifying Mazzy’s strength it also improves her THAC0, so I’ve renamed it to Heroism, which I feel is more descriptive.
- Changed the name of the mod from Improved spell descriptions to Corrected spell descriptions, which I think reflects better the contents of the mod.
- Added information to: Hardiness, Spellstrike and Offensive Spin, (Minor) Spell Deflection, Spell Turning, Spell Trap, Shield of the Archons, Lower Resistance, False Dawn, Polymorph Self, Project Image, and Simulacrum.
- Corrected descriptions: Globe of Invulnerability, Minor Globe of Invulnerability, Chain Contingency, Chant, Contingency, Dimension Door, Luck, Heal, Feeblemind, Invisibility Purge, Stoneskin, Iron skins, Protection from Fire, Haste, Slow, Dispel Magic, and Remove Magic.
- Changed names: Slow Poison to Neutralize Poison, Mazzy’s Strength to Heroism.
- Removed most gender specific tags (like PRO_HESHE) because they don’t work correctly.
- Corrected some mistakes in this readme.
- Other minor improvements.
First public release.
: The only game supported at the moment is Baldur's Gate 2 EE. In the future I intend to make this mod compatible with BGEE and SoD.Installation
If you want to check what the descriptions look like before installing the mod open the file setup.tra located in ImprovedSpellDescriptions\Languages\English. That's a text file that contains all the improved descriptions (and some numbers and special characters used by the mod).Compatibility
- Download the attached file and unzip it into the main folder of your game installation.
- Run setup-ImprovedSpellDescriptions.exe and follow the instructions provided.
: This mod is not compatible with Spell Revisions. Other than that, I don't expect any compatibility issues.Acknowledgements
: Big thanks go to @jastey
for their help and encouragement, and to @kjeron
for his very valuable feedback.
Since this is my first mod it might have some issues. Still, I don't expect anything major because technically it's very simple. Any feedback will be greatly appreciated.