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Bug: spontaneous casters grant others extra spells (Nintendo Switch, possibly other platforms?)

UncleSporkyUncleSporky Member Posts: 100
I saw this thread and noticed that others seemed to have misinterpreted what the user was saying, so I decided to investigate.

I started a new game on story mode for ease of testing. Created a party of bard, fighter, archer, paladin, sorcerer, and shaman (included the three classes that the other OP said he was using).

When my bard got to level 2, she indeed had learned spells she shouldn't have: the shaman's Bless and Cure Light Wounds showing up in her mage spell book.


I learned the spells from upstairs in Pomab's and also leveled up again, and Bless and CLW still remained:


At this time I also noticed the sorcerer was able to cast Bless and CLW as well:


Notice there they are in his usable spell list at the bottom of the screen:


At this point I started over, wanting to do another test and observe more closely what was going on.

This time I created a bard, then shaman, then sorcerer in that order. Taught the shaman Doom and Sunscorch and the sorc Shocking Grasp and Spook (wanting to try out different random spells).

The three characters' spellbooks at the start of the game:




Nothing weird at all going on yet.

I then taught the bard the three spells from upstairs in Pomab's, just to see if doing so might affect or prevent whatever bug was happening:


Everything still normal.

The bard leveled up. This time, he learned the sorcerer's two spells and not the shaman's:


(For completeness' sake, the other two spellbooks when the bard leveled up...nothing weird happened to either of them at this point.)



Then I proceeded into the orc cave and all three characters leveled up.

Bard level 3, still with the sorc's extra spells:


Shaman level 2, now has learned the sorc's spells:


Sorc level 2, has not gained any spells:


So what does all this mean?

In the first game, the shaman was the bottom-most character, and in the second the sorcerer was the bottom-most.

I think what is happening is that whenever a spellcaster levels up, they gain whatever first level spells the bottom-most character has...or perhaps the lowest spontaneous caster in the list, or something along those lines. Further testing is required.

Icewind Dale is a somewhat underplayed game among all IE games, so it's possible this isn't console exclusive and the same could happen to anyone, even on PC. Again, further testing is needed.

EDIT: Above thoughts were premature, see below for more conclusive workings of this glitch.

Post edited by UncleSporky on


  • UncleSporkyUncleSporky Member Posts: 100
    I just tested this on PC and it does not appear to happen there.

    One thing I noticed is that the game's interface is wildly different on PC, even compared to BG EE on PC. It doesn't have the two-page spellbook setup with spell names on the left and descriptions on the right, instead it's just a set of icons you have to right click on for descriptions. Lots of other small differences too.

    It looks like IWD on console was retrofitted into the Baldur's Gate engine, which could possibly account for bugs like this.

  • UncleSporkyUncleSporky Member Posts: 100
    Did some further testing.

    Made a party of just a bard and a cleric. On level up, bard got none of the cleric's spells, so it definitely seems tied to spontaneous casters.

    Also made a party of a cleric, mage, and shaman. The cleric didn't get any of the shaman's spells but the mage did, so it seems that only casters who can learn new spells benefit from this glitch. You'll recall that in a different party above, a shaman learned sorcerer spells, so it's possible that's the only divine casting class this can happen to.

    Made a party of just a bard and a shaman. This time, I gained enough XP for the shaman to level up multiple times, but never leveled the bard. Got the shaman to level 4 and selected Cure Moderate Wounds for second level spell. Then I leveled the bard up. The result was that the bard got CMW, but none of the shaman's other spells:



    It seems like the way it works is, a spell-learning caster picks up whatever spells were selected most recently by ANY spontaneous caster.

    And another discovery: this persists across reloads.

    I leveled up a shaman and selected Identify as a new spell, then leveled a mage who also gained Identify from the glitch. Then I reloaded the autosave to before leveling the shaman, and this time just leveled the mage Identify again, even though the shaman hadn't chosen anything yet in this game state.

    This happens every level up, too. Following the above example, I leveled the shaman again and this time chose Expeditious Retreat, and then leveled that mage with the glitch Identify and he also picked up Expeditious Retreat. So if you level your spontaneous caster before the others, those other casters will all keep gaining whatever the spontaneous caster chose most recently.

    This all makes me wonder...if you could get a spontaneous caster enough XP to level from, say, 1 to 30 all at once, and they got to make all their spell selections at once, could other casters gain all of those spells when they level?

    You could make a fighter/mage/thief who picks up a bunch of divine spells from a shaman and have one character who has access to just about everything!

  • UncleSporkyUncleSporky Member Posts: 100
    Sorry for all the multi-posting with my findings last one.

    I guess this info follows logically from the previous post.

    I have a "main" game with a normal party on the fourth floor of Dragon's Eye. Got a gnome illusionist/thief on the team at level 6. She was at the cusp of a new level, so I gained enough to level her up and saved. Then I started a brand new game with just a shaman and picked up Bless and Cure Light Wounds, then immediately loaded my "main" campaign and leveled up the illusionist/thief. expected, she got Bless and CLW.

    So this is fully exploitable anywhere throughout the game by any party. Got a shaman leveling from 13 to 14 and picking up his first 7th level spell? Keep that save file right where it is, and teach your newbie mages, bards and sorcerers a bunch of 7th level divine spells as they level up, right into their mage spellbook!

  • kjeronkjeron Member Posts: 2,184
    edited May 2
    @UncleSporky So the spells actually work when cast by the wrong caster class (wizard/priest)? Interesting to think that they would change the spellcasting rules on console.

    It's easy enough with mods or save editing to give spells to the opposite caster classes spellbook on PC.
    However, the spells of the wrong class will refuse to cast normally (with few exceptions - instant-cast spells like Nahals), though they can still be cast through sequencers and contingencies.

  • UncleSporkyUncleSporky Member Posts: 100
    edited May 2
    In hindsight I should've tested that sooner. I couldn't imagine any reason why it wouldn't work so I didn't take that final step!

    But you're right, Bless and CLW cast by my gnome illusionist/thief do nothing. They give every appearance they are going to cast as normal and then it's like the casting gets canceled, the spell doesn't get used up and nothing happens.

    However, this exploit can still be used among the same spellbooks (arcane or divine). Illusionists aren't supposed to be able to learn necromantic spells, so I created a sorc with Chill Touch and Larloch's Minor Drain, loaded the other save and leveled up, and she can successfully cast those spells now.

    So you could use this to grant forbidden spells to specialist mages, or more spells than a sorc or shaman should be able to cast at each level (again, from their normal spell pool, shaman granting spells to other shamans). Or simply just to add more spells to mages and bards, since IWD is notorious for having limited scroll availability.

    As to why any of this should matter at all, in a world where all these games are broken wide open for players to do whatever they like...for those who don't know, the console versions are pretty locked down and don't have any modding or cheats/debug.

  • UncleSporkyUncleSporky Member Posts: 100
    Sorry to bump this again but it's fun to explore the mechanics of a glitch.

    I completely finished the game legit and started leveling a sorc and shaman in story mode, but not actually leveling them up. From testing with this, characters gain ALL spells chosen from every spell level after a spontaneous caster levels up. So the sorc is going from level 1 to 9 all at once, which means I can teach a mage 3 level 1 spells, 4 level 2 spells, 3 level 3 spells, and 2 level 4 spells. Every time the mage levels up, if I want.

    I discovered that I wasn't able to teach spells between these two level-jumping casters, though. Can't go from 1 to 9 on the sorc and then 1-9 on the shaman and have the shaman learn sorc spells. Nor can I level the shaman up, then reload the same game and pick different spells and learn the last ones I picked. But all of this was weird because in earlier examples above, sorcs and shamans were both able to learn new I did some more testing.

    The way it works is, if the new spell selection screen comes up at all for a character, that resets the glitch (for that particular level up). They only learn what they picked, and others can learn what they picked, as long as when those others level up they don't also get to choose new spells.

    So this means sorcs and shamans can only get free spells on levels where they don't learn a new spell. This is why leveling from 1 to 2 worked above, since 2 is a "dead" level for them.

    But both of them learn new spells pretty steadily after that point. The only levels where sorcs can learn these bonus glitched spells are 2, 24, 26, 27, and 29. The only levels for shamans are 2, 16, 18-20, 24-27, and 29.

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