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Sorceror's Spell Reference for LOB challenge(updated)

zhou_muzhou_mu Member Posts: 14
This (revised) sorcerer guide is designed for the LOB challenge of Baldur’s Gate II Enhanced Edition (EE). It features: 1) combat oriented spell selection - at least one, preferably insta-cast (cast time lesser than 5, which means you can instantly empty your spell book with Improved Alacrity) damage spell for most Levels; 2) emphasis on summoning (for the LOB challenge); and 3) slightly emphasizing solo over group challenges.

Level 1: Magic Missile, Blindness, Spook, Protection from Evil, Grease
*Identify: is not a combat oriented spell. Use scrolls or the Glasses of Identification if needed.
*Blindness: this is like a cheap insta-kill spell at Level 1, extremely useful in the early game. Chromatic Orb works similarly but fails regularly due to high saves of enemies under LOB.
*Protection from Evil: marginally useful when summing demons which do not count toward the summoning limit (“Gate” for longer duration), better than Shield and Armor which are made obsolete in the end game.
*Grease: enemies fall down if save is unsuccessful, with movement slowing down afterwards. It shines when used in conjunction with Improved Alacrity, Web, Incendiary Cloud, etc.

Level 2: Melf’s Acid Arrow, Mirror Image, Web, Resist Fear, Glitterdust
*Knock: is not a combat oriented spell. Use scrolls (cast from clones) if needed.
*Web: an area disabling spell that is extremely useful in the early game, especially when used with Summon Spiders.
*Resist Fear: is useful even if you have priests in your party (featuring insta-casting when party members or summons become panicked in battle), a must for solo’ers.
*Glitterdust: Glitterdust is a cheaper and weaker version of Powerword: Blind, allowing a save. On the upside it is party friendly, boasts a larger area effect, and may be blasted away with impunity using Improved Alacrity. It also reveals invisible creatures.
Note that Agannazar's Scorcher freezes the caster for a few seconds and is therefore not an insta-cast spell (despite its short cast time), easily made obsolete in the middle to late game.

Level 3(stock up on Vampiric Touch): Skull Trap, Haste, Slow, Dispel Magic, Remove Magic
Level 3 features one of the best damage spells: Skull Trap, which deals massive aoe damage at higher caster levels, and is IMO superior to Fireball and Flame Arrow; one of the best party buffing spell: Haste; and one of the best debuffing spell: Slow.
*Haste: invaluable to improving party/summons speed and APR.
*Slow: cancels the effects of enemy haste (which are quite common) without a save, and slows them further at a save with -4 penalty. Very useful, especially in the early game.
*Dispel Magic: provides quick suicide of Project Image (PI) clones (see below) - vital in big battles. You’ll still need Remove Magic for most fights, since there is no way you can protect against your own Dispel Magic.
There is no more room left for the following spells:
*Vampiric Touch: under EE, you can no longer cast on yourself/containers for the bonus hp. You can cast the spell on your own summons (Spiders and Mordenkainen's Swords), but the spell only lasts for an hour, so it’s probably not worth the hassle.
*Melf’s Minute Meteor: you’ll probably be exploiting PIs fairly regularly later in SOA and TOB, and PIs cannot attack at all, making this spell of very limited use. Energy Blades confers better damage, 4 turns (40 rounds) of Improved Speed, and recharges Level 9 spell pool coupled with Spell Trap.
*Resist Fire: rings and scrolls for fire protection are plentiful. Your own fire spells will no longer damage you if you’re wearing the Cloak of Mirroring.

Level 4(stock up on Minor Sequencer): Stone Skin, Summon Spiders, Malison, Improved Invisibility, Far Sight
Level 4 brings a variety of good protection and support spells to the table. The only damage spell - Ice Storm - is too weak to garner a spell slot at this Level.
*Summon Spiders: Spiders + Web + Haste are a Godsend in the early Levels; even for later Levels, they can soak up enemy damage and spell casting. Sequencing 3 Summon Spiders (an alternative to 3 Skull Traps) can often save you from a tight situation.
*Malison: is complementary not only to spells but also to many weapon effects: instant death effect of Vorpal Sword, stun effect of Celestial Fury, etc.
*Farsight over Wizard Eye (cast from scrolls if needed): It can be instantly casted multiple times, cannot be killed, and doesn’t count toward your summoning limit, very useful when using clones, Time Stop, and Improved Alacrity.
*Improved Invisibility: a spell that negates all enemy single-target spells. At Level 4, this spell is cheap, which means it can be stuffed into Spell Sequencers and Spell Triggers.
There is no more room left for the following spells:
*Minor Sequencer: a decent spell at this Level, stuffing and storing 2 webs can be beneficial, but probably not worth the hassle in the late game. Cast from scrolls if needed.
*Emotion: a decent crowd control spell, which allows for a save, but we have Slow already. Higher Level enemies are often immune to the sleep effect.
*Polymorph Other: a decent insta-kill spell, which is quite cheap at this Level, substituted by Finger of Death (for reasons below).
*Ice Storm: the damage is comparable to a Level 1 or 2 spell. As mentioned, it is omitted due to predominantly better spell choices at this level.

Level 5(stock up on Spell Shield - optional): Cone of Cold, Breach, Spell Immunity, Animate Dead, Lower Resistance
*Cone of Cold over Sunfire: Better damage towards the end game, offers damage variety - more bosses are immune to fire damage than cold damage toward the end game. The area effect is normally inferior to Sunfire, but superior when you are spamming Web, Grease, Incendiary Cloud, etc, and cannot approach the enemy frontline. Sunfire no longer bypasses enemy MR under EE.
*Spell Immunity: Under EE, this spell can be sequenced with a Spell Trigger.
*Animate Dead: Skellies can be cast with a cheap Level 3 cleric spell, but clerics normally cannot make use of Project Image, which means casting for free.
*Lower Resistance: almost a must have for boss fights.
There is no room left for Feeblemind, which is a cheesy insta-kill spell for many bosses. It may be casted from scrolls with clones.

Level 6 (stock up on Contingency): Improved Haste, Death Spell, Protection from Magical Weapons, Chain Lightning, True Sight
Level 6 confers many mediocre spell choices. The must-haves are Protection from Magical Weapons, Improved Haste, and arguably Death Spell.
*Improved Haste: This spell is added to the selection because EE no longer allows you to have dozens of Planetars (via Project Image cheese) - you are tempted to make most use of your single Planetar by giving it Improved Haste.
*Death Spell: nerfed under LOB - does not insta-kill weaker enemies as it is supposed to. However, it is still useful against summons (particularly Efreet-type summons that don’t die by conventional means). It’s better than Death Fog which kills your own summons.
*Chain Lightning: a mediocre damage spell at this Level. Chosen because it’s: 1) insta-cast; 2) party friendly; 3) damage diversification (electricity instead of fire/magic).
*True sight: the ultimate invisibility purge spell, you will use it quite often, though there are many alternative solutions, such as Dispel/Remove Magic, Book of Infinite Spells, or bombard straight-ahead with aoe spell.
Other alternative spells include:
*Contingency: nerfed under EE, spell cast time increased from 1 to 9, which obliterates its in-combat usefulness, making this spell appear slightly inferior to True sight. Chain Contingency is a far better upgrade.
*Protection from Magical Energy is a vital spell for those who love sequencing Skull Traps and using multiple Wishes: Abi-Dazihm on entire map. Under EE, the Cloak of Mirroring will protect you against your own damage spells, and 2-3 Abi-Dazihms is no longer sufficient to kill enemies.
*Invisible Stalker: a summon that comes with improved invisibility and lasts for 9 hours.
*Mislead: a cheese spell that benefits fighter/mage/thieves the most, but of limited use for pure mages. Improved Invisibility works almost the same and can be casted on other party members.

Level 7: Spell Sequencer, Project Image, Mordenkainen's Sword, Finger of Death, Limited Wish
Level 7 is home to the cheesiest spell in the entire BG saga: Project Image, and most of the cheese is retained in EE: PI + Time Stop + Improved Alacrity + spell casting havoc through insta-cast spells; PI + Improved Alacrity + Wish x5 for in-combat sleep and memorizing spells. Rinse and repeat after casting Dispel Magic on PI to free up your character. Most other spells hardly justify a Level 7 spell slot.
*Mordenkainen's Sword: not as useful under LOB mode as other modes, since your summons are much sturdier. However, having the most immunities and resistances among all summons, it still garners a Level 7 spell slot.
*Finger of Death: is justified as the single insta-cast damage spell for Level 7. Its importance is leveled under LOB due to high hp of enemies. Also, clones can recharge your Level 7 spell pool with Spell Trap enabled.
*Limited Wish: of situational use, comes in handy when fighting undead, spamming Webs (“I wish to make my party invulnerable”), and curing blindness/disease/poison (“I wish for my entire party to be healed”). Another upside factor is that the wish options are not random, like Wish.
Other alternative spells include:
*Mass Invisibility: a spell that can be replicated by casting PI + Improved Alacrity + multiple Improved Invisibility, which is insta-cast, hence the spell only confers utility benefits.
*Ruby Ray: will get rid of Spell Trap (which liches love to cast, and which blocks Imprisonment), and belongs to the school of Alteration hence unstoppable by common castings of Spell Immunity: Abjuration. Spell Strike, which is more powerful, can be casted by clones from scrolls ignoring improved invisibility.
*Spell Turning: of situational usage - primarily for the Agannazar's Scorcher cheese. In terms of protection, Spell Trap from Staff of Magi and Improved Invisibility would be enough. It can be replaced by the Book of Infinite Spells.
*Delayed Blast Fireball: prolonged cast time (7), mediocre damage, but able to be casted on the ground as a “trap”.
You will make the 5th spell choice of Level 7 only at the very end (Level 31), so the choice may not be of much significance anyway.

Level 8: Abi-Dalzim's Horrid Wilting, Spell Trigger, Simulacrum, Incendiary Cloud
*Simulacrum: does not count towards the summoning limit, and can be used in conjunction with PI(have them cast Simulacrum) and Time Stop + Shapechange.
The only hard choice is between Incendiary Cloud and Powerword: Blind.
*Incendiary Cloud: Deals massive damage, which is no longer an “overkill” but rather necessary under LOB. It will no longer bypass enemy MR (using Chain Contingency: self), nor will it hurt the caster (wearing the Cloak of Mirroring) under EE.
*Powerword Blind: an insta-cast no-save disabling spell. However, as mentioned, it can harm party members (even yourself), and can be replaced by Glitterdust.
No room for Maze, which is also a decent spell with insta-cast.

Level 9(stock up on Shapechange): Wish, Time Stop, Chain Contingency, Imprisonment
The most overpowered spells are at this Level. Wish and Time Stop are the “bread and butter” for cheese tactics.
*Chain contingency: nerfed, cast time increased from 1 to 9 under EE. This makes it a far less appealing choice compared to the original version. No more in-combat instant bombings with 3 Abi-Dalzim's Horrid Wiltings. The upside is that the spell can now be normally casted by Project Images without freezing the interface.
*Imprisonment over Shapechange: 1) sorcerers can rarely afford to lose their spell casting abilities; 2) Imprisonment (PIs cannot use Energy Blades) can recharge your Level 9 slots with Spell Trap enabled; 3) enemies killed under mind-flayer form do not grant experience, while Imprisonment can - which can be exploited in conjunction with Freedom for infinite experience; 4) the Shapechange scroll can be acquired in SOA, while there are only 2 Imprisonment scrolls in TOB.
Alternatively, use Simulacrum with Shapechange and Time Stop scrolls; buff it with Improved Haste + Enchanted Weapon. The upside is that your main caster is free from harm. The downside is that you’ll need multiple castings of Farsight beforehand for a clear view of the area.

Attributes - until TOB (Initial Roll = 90):
STR: 18 + Manual of Gainful Exercise = 19
DEX: 19 + Manual of Quickness of Action – Hell Trial (“Selfishness”: good path) = 19
CON: 16 + Manual of Bodily Health – Spellhold Attribute Drain = 16
INT: 14 + Tome of Clear Thought = 15
WIS: 14 + Tome of Understanding x3 + Hell Trial (“Wrath”: good path) = 18
CHA: 9 + Tome of Leadership and Influence + Hell Trial (“Wrath”: good path) = 11
Final Stats:
STR: 19 + Machine of Lum the Mad = 20
DEX: 19 + Machine of Lum the Mad = 20 (spare stat that confers no additional benefit, may be given to another party member)
CON: 16 + Machine of Lum the Mad = 17 (ibid.)
INT: 15 + Deck of many things (“Star”) = 16 + Machine of Lum the Mad =17 (ibid.)
WIS: 18 + Machine of Lum the Mad = 19 (ibid.)
CHA: 11+ Machine of Lum the Mad = 12
- Player may copy the manual/tomes under multiplayer mode for max attributes of 25.

HP (max Level 31, vanilla): 10(d4 +2) + 21 = 81
Hell trial (“Selfishness”: good path): – 2 = 79
Find Familiar in TOB under LOB mode: (48 x 2 +20)/2= + 58 = 137
- Player may abuse this under multiplayer mode for infinite hp.
Deck of Many Things (“Moon”): +10 = 147


Original Version: 2009.01
Current Version: 2019.10

Post edited by zhou_mu on
StummvonBordwehrgorgonzolaGrond0monico

Comments

  • zhou_muzhou_mu Member Posts: 14
    I actually found more usefulness of blindness (relacing shield) at level 1, glitterdust (replacing agannazar's scorcher) at level 2, slow (replacing MMM) at level 3, and incendiary cloud(replacing PW:blind) at level 8.

    monico
  • zhou_muzhou_mu Member Posts: 14
    Don't know how to edit this post. - And cone of cold (replacing sunfire) at level 5.

  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 5,433
    There's a cog wheel at the top right of each of your own posts that you can click on to edit them. You can't totally delete your own posts, but you could ask a moderator to do so if you wanted to.

    I see you recommend grease. I agree that's an under-rated spell, but it does offer a save (at least in EE) - so I wouldn't expect it to be much good against higher level enemies with the LoB save bonus.

  • Balrog99Balrog99 Member Posts: 5,185
    No love for Power Word Silence? I haven't used it much, but in mage battles it should be useful because of no saving throw. Am I missing something?

    monico
  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 5,433
    Balrog99 wrote: »
    No love for Power Word Silence? I haven't used it much, but in mage battles it should be useful because of no saving throw. Am I missing something?

    It's not useless, but silence is not the silver bullet in BG2 it is in BG1. Mages normally carry vocalize which not only removes existing silence, but also protects against new applications of it. Once you have PW:blind as an option, that's more reliable than PW:silence.

    gorgonzolaBalrog99
  • monicomonico Member Posts: 190
    Grond0 wrote: »
    Balrog99 wrote: »
    No love for Power Word Silence? I haven't used it much, but in mage battles it should be useful because of no saving throw. Am I missing something?

    It's not useless, but silence is not the silver bullet in BG2 it is in BG1. Mages normally carry vocalize which not only removes existing silence, but also protects against new applications of it. Once you have PW:blind as an option, that's more reliable than PW:silence.

    I think that this is more of an SCS component. I don't think that so many mages carry Vocalize in vanilla (i think Tolgerias and his mage friend do, some other too definitely, but I heavily relied on Silence 15' radius in a recent FMC LoB run and it was quite useful).

    Also... I admit... you can also just wait offscreen for their vocalize to expire and cast silence again... A bit cheesy, though, I admit.

    Another option is to just dispel Vocalize I guess.

    zhou_mugorgonzola
  • zhou_muzhou_mu Member Posts: 14
    monico wrote: »
    Grond0 wrote: »
    Balrog99 wrote: »
    No love for Power Word Silence? I haven't used it much, but in mage battles it should be useful because of no saving throw. Am I missing something?

    It's not useless, but silence is not the silver bullet in BG2 it is in BG1. Mages normally carry vocalize which not only removes existing silence, but also protects against new applications of it. Once you have PW:blind as an option, that's more reliable than PW:silence.

    I think that this is more of an SCS component. I don't think that so many mages carry Vocalize in vanilla (i think Tolgerias and his mage friend do, some other too definitely, but I heavily relied on Silence 15' radius in a recent FMC LoB run and it was quite useful).

    Also... I admit... you can also just wait offscreen for their vocalize to expire and cast silence again... A bit cheesy, though, I admit.

    Another option is to just dispel Vocalize I guess.

    Another option is to ram them with spook/ melf's acid arrow/MM before their defenses are up. Most enemy mages in EE (without ascension like mods installed) don't have spell immunity up, so bombarding them with area spells also disrupts spell casting.

  • zhou_muzhou_mu Member Posts: 14
    Grond0 wrote: »
    There's a cog wheel at the top right of each of your own posts that you can click on to edit them. You can't totally delete your own posts, but you could ask a moderator to do so if you wanted to.

    I see you recommend grease. I agree that's an under-rated spell, but it does offer a save (at least in EE) - so I wouldn't expect it to be much good against higher level enemies with the LoB save bonus.

    Yeah I agree, no use against higher level enemies. But I do remember in many occasions enemies are slowed down regardless of saving - if they don't save they fall down and cannot move for a round.

  • monicomonico Member Posts: 190
    edited October 23
    I think my spell pick for LoB would be somewhat different. Bear in mind that I almost exclusively play solo, so spell pick is a bit different.
    In LoB, I find that damaging spells are quite underwhelming, and prefer to go for disabling spells, while my summons/buffed sorcerer do the melee damage.
    Although cheesy, if starting from BG1, my first priority would be to grab the Wand of Monster Summoning.
    Also, see the end of the post for the reason why there are many self buffs/polymorph advice.

    Level1:
    Blindness instead of Magic Missile, agree with the rest (Shield, PfE, Grease, Spook). If playing poverty run, I’ll swap PfE with Protection from Petrification (although solo poverty LoB seems like masochism)

    Level 2:
    Invisibility (if playing from BG1, if not, I’ll probably wait for the lvl4 improved version), Web, Blur and/or Mirror Image, probably Detect Invisibility as the last pick (True Sight comes too late, and there are better lvl6 spell picks depending on your build)

    Contenders:
    Aganazzar Scorcher (less for the damage than the ability to kill trolls and fission slimes),
    Ray of Enfeeblement (no save penalty, but can effectively make a LoB enemy as threatening as a bunny rabbit),
    Remove Fear (in case solo poverty, if not, there are other means to protect yourself),
    Strength for very situational builds relying on polymorph self and poverty (belts are better)

    Level 3:
    Slow (best disabler ever, -4AC/thac0, AoE, party friendly, saves at -4), MMM’s (for very good and consistent damage, and the ability to hit as +5), Skulltrap (too many uses of this spell to pass it, also the first damage spell in my spell picks), Haste (especially if relying heavily on summons, pick it before Skulltrap and MMM’s).
    I only picked 4 spells, since the 5th one only comes at lvl22 (4,5 mil XP), too late to be of real notice.

    Contenders:
    Dispel/Remove Magic, while very good, is affected by enemy levels, so not reliable in LoB.
    Hold person can be nice too, but less reliable than Slow (saves at -1 vs saves at -4).
    Protection from Fire if going poverty is a good choice too, as it has long duration and many enemies/traps hurl fire damage at you.
    Vampiric Touch also has niche uses.

    Level 4:
    too many good spells here. In BG1, I’d pick Greater Malison (must have) and Summon Spiders (great summons, stacks well with webs), then in BG2 Stoneskin and Imp. Invisibility.
    Or, you can go the “polymorph” route: Polymorph Self, Minor Sequencer (load up with Strength & Mirror Image or blur, or with 2 webs), Stoneskin & Improved Invisibility. Not sure how viable this build is in LoB, but it is very potent in vanilla (especially once you get access to lvl6 spells).
    Again, I just picked 4 spells, last one comes too late.

    Contenders: too many to count, you listed most of them. Quick note on Emotion: Hopelessness, on top of making enemies unconscious (no save penalty alas), it also has a Resist Fear effect on your party.
    Also, Polymorph Other is a great save-or-die spell, not very reliable since there is no save penalty, but when it hits, it’s a win since the enemy is left with 1HP. Very nice in LoB, makes it a very strong contender.

    Level 5:
    Animate Dead.
    Contenders: none.

    On a more serious note, you’ll also want Breach, and Spell Immunity.
    Last pick (again, 5th spell comes late) I’d say either:
    Cloudkill for out-of-fog-massive-destruction (cheesy but effective) and your Skeletons are immune to poison for great synergy
    Feeblemind (-2 penalty to save, duration: PERMANENT. Works on a whole lot of enemies too).
    Lower Resistance (self-explanatory, very important but can be done with higher level spells)
    Chaos (AoE disabler, saves at -4, party friendly) : great, but not awesome since enemies can still decide to attack you, and it has very short duration (5 rounds + 1round/6levels)

    Level 6:
    Well. Here is a tough one.
    If you go the polymorph route (and you should, it’s fun, just maybe not LoB-fun), go for Imp. Haste, Tenser, Prot. From Magical Energy (allows for Slayer transformation without dying) and PfMW.
    If you don't, I find the lvl6 spells a bit underwhelming. I'd choose between :
    - Prot. From Magical Weapons
    - Pierce Magic, for the lower-magic-resistance effect mostly
    - True Sight
    - whatever summoning spell you’d like (none is as good as lvl5 Animate Dead, but more options is always nice).
    - Power Word : Silence: disable spellcasters, no save, but low duration (7 rounds) and spellcasters tend to have a Vocalize spell at their disposal (though you can just wait for it to expire, only lasts 1 turn, and re-cast PW:Silence)

    Level 7:
    Mordenkainen’s sword (immune to almost everything, but low duration summon), Spell Sequencer, Project Image. As a 4th spell, Finger of Death (saves at -2) can instakill enemies who fail their saves, but by the time you get it, they won’t fail their saves especially in LoB, or they are immune to insta-death spell effects anyway.

    Other contenders include:
    Khelben’s whip, Ruby Ray of Reversal (debuffs),
    Spell Turning (to have at least one such spell deflectors),
    Delayed Fireball (like skull trap, the fact that it hovers there until someone approaches allow you to cheese an encounter by piling a mass of skull traps and delayed fireballs. Although such encounters are quite rare to be honest (last level of Watcher’s keep comes to mind)

    Level 8:
    I wholly agree with your picks.
    Abi-Dalzim is awesome, obviously. Spell Trigger might be even better as a first pick depending on your build (Trigger -> Imp. Haste, Tenser, PfME and use it just after transforming into a Slayer or another polymorph form).
    Other great spells include: Power Word:Blind (AoE, no save, but short duration), Simulacrum, Incendiary Cloud (great damage), Symbol:Stun (AoE, save at -2, party friendly if memory serves)

    Level 9:
    Shapechange (see below), Time Stop, whatever floats your boat afterwards (everything is good, depending on your needs).


    Now, I must discuss Shapechange and the reason I am talking about a polymorph build.

    In EE, there is an exploit that allows you to keep 1 form from the polymorph spells (lvl4 Polymorph Self, lvl9 Shapechange). Timing is key: you need to transform into the desired form in the 0.5 seconds before the spell expires. You lose the other forms, but keep the one you transformed into, allowing you to change form indefinitely.
    My suggestion would be to cast Polymorph Self from a scroll, and choose Mustard Jelly for the 100% Mag. Res. Plus nice weapon immunities.
    The Shapechange spell is available quite early in BG2. Just buy the Limited Wish scroll from the Adventurer’s mart, ask for a one-time wish, select “I wish to be anything I desire” and voila.
    Duration is quite long, so it takes a while to cheese the infinite form you want. Obviously, for a LoB run, you’ll want to go for the Mindflayer form: 4 APR, drains 5Int on hit: most enemies die in 2 to 3 hits, regardless of their HP, which makes it perfect for LoB.
    Now, the problem is that Mindflayer has crappy attack stats, hence the sequencers and buffs (you can’t cast spell in Mindflayer form, but can still use special abilities, like sequencers).
    Once you hit lvl13, cast Improved Haste -> Tenser Transformation -> Mindflayer form and you are a killing machine.
    Beware though that this form only hit as +2, so you’ll have to use other strategies against foes that are immune to this (or immune to INT drain/ insta death). Slayer form should take care of them though.
    Also note that attacks made during time stop don't require attack rolls, they automatically hit.

    gorgonzolaGrond0StummvonBordwehrsemiticgod
  • ZaxaresZaxares Member Posts: 595
    About Silence, I admit I never used it much myself (because I'm a blaster-type through and through and I much prefer just throwing Fireballs and Horrid Wiltings at my enemies until they cease being a problem ;) ), but since Vocalize is the main counter to Silence, isn't then the obvious conclusion that PW:Silence is meant as an anti-Cleric/Druid spell, who don't have Vocalize to counter it? True, they can still wade into melee and whack you about, but that's usually far better than them casting Hold Persons and healing their comrades.

    monico
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 2,911
    Also the shapeshifted werewolf is a possible candidate to use with the glitch, when hasted has a really high regeneration speed, just kiting a couple of rounds can replenish healt, and the apr and weapon enchantment are good.
    If EE does not change it kills for stat drain come with no xp, so abusing of the flyer form has consequences.
    I would say that using the ad will flyer glitch web becomes a candidate as webs can be stacked and as soon as someone fail ac and thaco are not used, the attack is always successful. Same later with TS.

    monico
  • monicomonico Member Posts: 190
    gorgonzola wrote: »
    If EE does not change it kills for stat drain come with no xp, so abusing of the flyer form has consequences.

    True, forgot to mention about that. So leveling up should rely on quest XP and other strategies to kill ennemies (debuffs, summons, MMM's).

    gorgonzola
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 2,911
    edited October 23
    While in werewolf form you can probably outlast every not regenerating enemy abusing the insane regeneration and some speed boots. Quite cheesy as you can shapeshift at will.
    When the sorc can cast lev7 and has a shapeshift scroll the PI can become the flyer as transformed can physically attack, the option is only delayed, not completely lost, even without breaking the glitch.
    With that approach is not even needed to learn the spell saving space for an alternate one

    monico
  • monicomonico Member Posts: 190
    edited October 23
    Indeed, but I must say, I had in mind a poverty run while writing my thoughts on spell picks, hence the choice of Polymorph Self & Shapechange despite needing only 1 scroll to get the form you want.

    I am trying to gather more info first, but my goal is to try a SIPNRLOB (Solo insane poverty no reload legacy of bhaal) run.

    I am considering for this:
    - sorcerer, obviously (probably Dragon Disciple too)
    - gnomish cleric/thief
    - totemic druid

    The totemic druid would be easier for BG1/early BG2 because summons. Harder in late BG2/ToB because... well, summons.

    gorgonzola
  • zhou_muzhou_mu Member Posts: 14
    monico wrote: »

    Now, I must discuss Shapechange and the reason I am talking about a polymorph build.

    Thanks for the feedback. :) I can understand why you'd go for a poverty shapechange build: it's easy to manage even in the early game, doesn't require too much pausing and micromanaging, and well-round powerful given any situation -with or without epic equipment.
    My build is concentrated on abusing PI and IA, which is are heavily reliant on the Robe of Vecna. I didn't go shapechange because it needs time stop (or at least mislead) to work effectively, and must switch back for summons, which is a must in LOB. In the early game I must make extensive use of the wand of summoning and abuse Web+Malison+Spider.

    monico
  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 5,433
    zhou_mu wrote: »
    My build is concentrated on abusing PI and IA, which is are heavily reliant on the Robe of Vecna. I didn't go shapechange because it needs time stop (or at least mislead) to work effectively, and must switch back for summons, which is a must in LOB.

    As was noted before shapechange in conjunction with Tenser's is an extremely potent combination against most enemies.

    In reference to mislead, I think your original comments about that spell also underplay how effective it is if you're prepared to use it cheesily - it's much better than improved invisibility. While you can attack things under improved invisibility without being targeted directly by spells in response, you will be subject to retaliation in other ways. If you leave a mislead clone away from the battle, you're free to attack most enemies without any sort of retaliation.

    gorgonzola
  • zhou_muzhou_mu Member Posts: 14
    edited October 24
    Grond0 wrote: »
    zhou_mu wrote: »
    My build is concentrated on abusing PI and IA, which is are heavily reliant on the Robe of Vecna. I didn't go shapechange because it needs time stop (or at least mislead) to work effectively, and must switch back for summons, which is a must in LOB.

    As was noted before shapechange in conjunction with Tenser's is an extremely potent combination against most enemies.

    In reference to mislead, I think your original comments about that spell also underplay how effective it is if you're prepared to use it cheesily - it's much better than improved invisibility. While you can attack things under improved invisibility without being targeted directly by spells in response, you will be subject to retaliation in other ways. If you leave a mislead clone away from the battle, you're free to attack most enemies without any sort of retaliation.

    Thanks for pointing that out. That cheese was in the original BG series. The downside to tenser's is inability to spell cast for x number of rounds. Well, if you are protected by mislead (timestop obseletes tenser's anyway), then tenser's would be more viable. Monico's build might have considered choosing this one at level 6, and Spell Triggering Imp. Haste, Tensers, and Mislead.

    monico
  • monicomonico Member Posts: 190
    edited October 24
    Here is where my polymorphing build came from. Very effective (last 2 posts in the topic discuss solo Dragon Disciple).

    Although this was a normal playthrough, no LoB, no other restriction either. Just RP stuff. But damn, was he powerful !

    There is a big power curve though:
    - beginning of BG1 can be tedious (unless, you pick lawful evil and let your imp be the polymorphing badass, it's enough to take care of the low-level enemies, but the lack of self buffs for the imp makes it lackluster afterwards)
    - non-LoB Sarevok had worse battle stats than my polymorphed sorcerer (obviously, after buffs/debuffs struck)
    - in BG2: the starting dungeon is alright, but the lack of gear and the better foes renders the polymorphed form less effective, I often relied on MMM's and normal debuffs/spells.
    - once you hit 750k XP : you're a beast. Tenser's Transformation is really awesome on that build: sure, you can't cast spells while Tensered, but you can't cast spells anyway while polymorphed. This build then relies heavily on sequencers (careful, although the polymorph form allows for sequencers, Tenser does not, so it should be the last spell/sequencer you use).

    Just so you know, here's how my original punching-melee-sorcerer looked like when he hit lvl12 (750k XP):
    1i2s9fm2xwwq.png
    3pm5h4x9nbx4.png

    I dare you to take him on with a lvl11 fighter (750kXP too) ^^.

    And yet, although impressive, 2 problems:
    - you need to get to 750k XP first. The start of BG2 until you get Tenser Transformation can be difficult.
    - I don't think it is appropriate for LoB. For LoB, only Mindflayer form is effective I think (but you can have it indefinitely as soon as you get out of Chateau Irenicus, if you don't mind the Shapechange exploit).


    Oh, and about Mislead. Could be useful obviously, but I have never used that spell the way you described (I use other cheese, but this one breaks all the fun for me).

    In fact, the first time I have used the Mislead spell regularly was in my pacifist run with a thief/illusionist, and as the name of the run suggests, I did not abuse the infinite-invisibility-backstabs-shenanigans that the spell can provide.

    gorgonzolaGrond0
  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 379
    Take him on at 750K XP? Challenge accepted.

    Since this is rather off topic and also long, I'll spoiler it.
    For our character, we choose a shapeshifter druid. Level 13, greater werewolf form. I'll use the SCS shapeshifting tokens, as that's what I've got installed.
    Since you presume a fully buffed character to start the fight, I'll do the same - and unlike you, I won't include any spells cast by allies.

    Your relevant spell buffs: Bless (6 rounds), Defensive Harmony (6 rounds), Bhaalspawn DUHM (10 rounds), Tenser's Transformation (12 rounds), Haste (15 rounds), Polymorph Self (46 rounds), Stoneskin (6 skins)
    Flind form: 2 base attacks, base AC 1, Str 17 and Dex 17, damage 1d10+1 pierce/slash + 1 fire.
    So then, your AC is 1 base, -1 for the cloak, -5 for the 21 Dex, and -9 for the total of 4 from Tensers, 2 from DH, and 3 from the kit. Check. No modifier versus slashing, so the -14 is what's there.
    For THAC0, you've got 9 base from a level 12 mage with Tenser's active, -1 from the halberd, -5 from 23 strength, and -4 total from gauntlets (1), ioun stone (1), and Tenser's (2). Overall result -1
    For damage, it's straightforwardly what's shown, aside from the 1 fire damage not displayed. The "Ability Bonuses" line is the Tenser's bonus.

    My werewolf's choice of gear: No armor, AC 3 bracers, Helm of Balduran, Amulet of Power, Ring of Protection +1, Ring of Earth Control, Cloak of the Sewers, Talos' Gift boots, girdle of piercing. I don't even have to go to the planar prison for any of that, so no quests that are exceptionally challenging for the level.
    Spell buffs: Defensive Harmony (6 rounds), Bhaalspawn DUHM (10 rounds), Resist Fire and Cold (13 rounds), Armor of Faith (16 rounds).
    Greater werewolf form: 2 base attacks, base AC -4, Str 21 and Dex 20, haste, damage 2d6 slash, resistances 40 magic/50 each element, regeneration 6/round (doubled to 12 by haste).
    The effective AC we get out of this? -4 base, another -6 from Dex 24, -4 from accessories, and -2 from Defensive Harmony. -16 overall. The -3 versus piercing is irrelevant, as the halberd just targets slashing instead.
    For THAC0, it's 12 base for a level 13 druid, -7 from Str 25, and -1 from the helmet. Overall result 4.
    For damage, it's 2d6 base, +14 from strength, and another +1 from two-handed style. Overall 17-27 per hit, all physical.
    Hit points? OK, we can't get over 200. We'll just have to live with the standard 98 for a druid of that level with maximum HP rolls and 16+ Con.

    I will, unrealistically, assume all buffs are cast simultaneously at the very beginning of the fight. Also, no new spells will be cast after the fight starts.

    In this fully buffed form, the sorceror hits on a 15, for 0.9 hits per round that deal 14-22 damage after resistances - 16.1 average damage per round. The druid hits on an 18 and crits on a 19, for 0.45 hits per round at 17-27 damage - 16.5 damage per round counting crits.

    Six rounds in, no damage has been taken on either side; they're still working on the stone/iron skins. And now, the first round of buffs expire. No Bless or Defensive Harmony anymore. Both sides lose 2 points of AC, while the sorceror also loses a point each of THAC0 and damage.
    New stats: The sorceror hits on a 14, for 1.2 hits per round at 13-21 damage - 20.4 average damage per round. The druid hits on a 16 and crits on a 19, for 0.75 hits per round - 23.1 average damage per round.

    Ten rounds in, the stoneskins are finally down on both sides. The druid has been taking hits and regenerating for four rounds, while the sorceror hasn't taken any real hits yet. The druid's down to about 65 HP.
    Now the DUHM expires. The sorceror goes down to 19 strength and 17 Dex, losing 2 AC, 2 THAC0, and 4 damage. The druid goes down to 21 strength and 20 Dex, losing 2 AC, 2 THAC0, and 5 damage.
    New stats: The sorceror hits on a 14, for 1.2 hits per round at 10-17 damage - 16.4 average damage per round. The druid hits on a 16 and crits on a 19, for 0.75 hits per round - 17.9 average damage per round.

    Two rounds of that, and it's another 9 net damage to the druid and 36 to the sorceror. Now Tenser's Transformation expires, overwriting what little damage the druid did by losing the bonus HP. The sorceror loses 4 AC, 11 THAC0, and 2 damage.
    New stats: The sorceror hits on a 20, for 0.15 hits per round at 8-16 damage - 1.8 damage per round. The druid hits on a 12 and crits on a 19, for 1.35 hits per round - 28.1 damage per round.

    One round later, the druid has gained some HP from regeneration and dealt a ton of damage back to the sorceror. Resist Fire and Cold expires, so now that fire damage on the flind weapon isn't blocked anymore. I'm pretty sure magic resistance still works, so the 60% chance of getting through adds about 0.1 damage per round for the sorceror.

    Two more rounds, and the sorceror's haste expires. Now it's only two attacks per round, cutting the sorceror's damage by a third. The druid has dealt about 84 damage to the sorceror by now, and healed back most of what he lost. Was that a contingency stoneskin? It had better be, or the sorceror's dying soon.

    Round 16, and the druid's Armor of Faith expires. The sorceror is now dealing 9-18 damage plus 1 fire, for 14.1 per hit after magic resistance. Multiply by the 0.1 hits per round, and it's still only 1.4 damage per round to the druid's 28.1. The druid is back up to full health and regenerating faster than he takes damage, while the sorceror can only tread water even if he drinks an extra healing potion every round. Can the sorceror run away with those boots of speed? No; the druid keeps pace with the perma-haste of that werewolf form.

    Victory goes to the druid shapeshifter, beating the sorceror shapeshifter in a straight fight by outlasting his buffs.

    Oh, wait, you asked for a fighter build to do it? Oops. It's still doable, but somewhat luck-based. I would recommend a Flail of Ages/Fortress Shield combination with full plate and as many AC accessories as possible. That AC will keep the damage down to levels that extra healing potions can mostly keep up with, and once a slowing hit lands the sorceror is wrecked.

    monicogorgonzola
  • monicomonico Member Posts: 190
    Hahaha, ok, that shapeshifter mod you have seem quite powerful indeed ! although I think that it might be a tad too powerful for balance’s sake, but it’s not like BG is a balanced game anyway.

    Well, I might have been a bit over-enthusiastic about my polymorphed sorcerer, but my point was that this build, even with less buffs than what I had in the screenshots, makes a very powerul melee fighter, which is not expected of a sorcerer.

    (Also, to counter your demonstration, since you use your mods, I’ll use a scroll of Limited wish -> Shapechange -> transform into mindflayer form under Tenser + a few buffs, and you’ll die in 3 to 4 hits. But since it is a one-time wish, I coul not replicate the results in another fight, unless I use the exploit of infinite mindflayer form, but that would go overboard)

  • zhou_muzhou_mu Member Posts: 14
    I love this discussion. :) Clearly for a fair duel, no arcane scrolls should be allowed... From my pure caster point of view, I'd go for (Stoneskin/Improved invisibility, spell immunity buffs), Greater Malison -> spook -> blindness and/or Web +Summon Spiders + Haste. By Level 11, the sorc should have three level 4 spells and two level 5 spells known: Stoneskin, GM, Spiders, Spell Immunity (protects against Web), and Breach. Any thoughts?

    monico
  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 5,433
    Against a player character shapechanging to mindflayer form is likely to be far less effective than you might expect - potions of genius are plentiful and can even be stacked ahead of a combat.

  • monicomonico Member Posts: 190
    edited October 25
    Grond0 wrote: »
    Against a player character shapechanging to mindflayer form is likely to be far less effective than you might expect - potions of genius are plentiful and can even be stacked ahead of a combat.

    Well, it assumes that the enemy PC know what's coming to him.
    This discussion could become endless, since as spellcasters, sorcerers, druids and the like have means to adapt their strategy to what the other throw at them.

    If think @jmerry and I both were both trying to stay clear of strategies that are specifically targeted against a particular build, and just threw our best melee-spellcasters at each other.
    If that were not the case, obviously, the one-trick-pony that is the mindflayer form would never win.

    @zhou_mu : yours is a very good strategy off course, problem is, from what I gathered, @jmerry's OP greater werewolf form has 60% magic resistance, probably very high saves too.
    So, your spells, especially greater malison would only have 40% chance of hitting, and without this debuff, I'm afraid that he would regularly shrug at the webs/debuffs you throw at him and just eat the spiders (because on top of his OP magic res, he has cheaty AC and even more crazier regen...).

    But obviously, my own sorcerer would probably die against your strategy (although, obviously, i'd go for the spider form and not the Flind form against your webs, but since i'm polymorphed, I can't cast spells and can't answer to your debuffs with my own debuffs/summons).


    EDIT : in fact, his MR is "only" 40%, so if you cast 2 GM at him, it is reasonable to assume that 1 will go through.
    I'd also suggest putting 2 webs in a sequencer beforehand and throw it as soon as possible to increase your chances of webbing him.
    And in fact, a lvl13 druid has "only" 10 save vs. spell, he gets +3 from his listed gear, but saves at -6 with GM.
    So, only a roll of 13 or higher (35% chances) would prevent him from being webbed.
    If you had 2 webs in a sequencer, we can assume he will fail one of the saves each round.

    Also remember that the duel is calculated at lvl12 (750k XP), so you'd have even more spells, and most importantly, you summon Sword Spiders.
    Then your Sword spiders will just have to hit him fast enough (they do) to overcome his high regen, and it's a win for you ;)

    Post edited by monico on
  • zhou_muzhou_mu Member Posts: 14
    Yeah. At lvl12 (750k XP), my sorc would have access to the Level 6 spell: PMW, which would definately buy me time against the wearwolf attack. I probably won't have access to Lower MR and Minor Sequencer though, due to limited spell choices. Would be a shaky win. Spell casting sorcs are definately power gaming: I'd challenge you to a duel on any level above 9 (xp 135,000), which is about the level cap for BG I (161,000)

  • monicomonico Member Posts: 190
    zhou_mu wrote: »
    Yeah. At lvl12 (750k XP), my sorc would have access to the Level 6 spell: PMW, which would definately buy me time against the wearwolf attack. I probably won't have access to Lower MR and Minor Sequencer though, due to limited spell choices. Would be a shaky win. Spell casting sorcs are definately power gaming: I'd challenge you to a duel on any level above 9 (xp 135,000), which is about the level cap for BG I (161,000)

    Well, since my own PC was also a sorcerer in this confrontation, I’d say it would be a tie between us (depending on levels, spell pick order, since I also rely on webs, blindness, slow and the likes ^^)

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 2,911
    On a side note the shaleshift glitch can be really powerful if used by aerie chosing the golem form as she can use sequencers to buff with cleric spells. 4d10 damage always maxed with MR and the rest mid SoA or even earlier is really OP.

    monico
  • monicomonico Member Posts: 190
    gorgonzola wrote: »
    On a side note the shaleshift glitch can be really powerful if used by aerie chosing the golem form as she can use sequencers to buff with cleric spells. 4d10 damage always maxed with MR and the rest mid SoA or even earlier is really OP.

    the problem I had with golem form is that they only have 1 base APR. That's why I think a fighter/mage (or even better but painful to do : kensai (13)>Mage) would make better use of this form.

    gorgonzola
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 2,911
    True, but with aerie buffed and hasted it is like 110 dmg round (40 dmg roll +14 str), add the stoneskin, the MR, the fireshields and later the blade spells and you have one of the best mid or late soa frontliners.
    Late game her simulacrum will probably carry the shapeshift ability, if you dont want to use it with FoA OH and BBOD from a scroll MH, 4 APR improved hasted, that is even more strong but trade it for the MR.

    monico
  • zhou_muzhou_mu Member Posts: 14
    I just updated the guide to reflect changes inspired by the discussions.

    gorgonzola
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