Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Categories

Dark Dreams of Furiae - a new module for NWN:EE! Buy now
Attention, new and old users! Please read the new rules of conduct for the forums, and we hope you enjoy your stay!

Removing "Remove Magic"?

I'm doing (yet another) trilogy run using SCS with everything dialed to 11, and I'm starting to think that the most overpowered and unfair spell in all the realms is:

R. E. M. O. V. E. M. A. G. I. C

I know, bear with me for a second.

In Baldur's Gate 1 (and Siege of Dragonspear), there is *no* way to avoid the effects of Remove Magic (except gaining levels, or being invisible). For example, when fighting Angelo and Semaj (and their sidekick, Sarevok), both of them cast Remove Magic and it nearly always strips everything from whoever they hit (and any unlucky friends standing nearby). Then you have to pull those characters out of the fight, often make them invisible, re-buff them and send them back into the fray. I have long considered that a reasonable "tactic" when faced with Remove Magic, but lately it just feels like busy work that could be avoided if Remove Magic was no longer in the game.

In Baldur's Gate 2, where the Yuan-Ti mage reigns supreme, Remove Magic is even more of a pain. In fact, I would contend that it is a key reason that everyone who plays SCS long enough starts to develop a painful case of "only plays arcane casters". The reason being that the only way to stop Remove Magic is to cast SI: Abjuration, making it a *MUST HAVE* buff in *EVERY* fight. The problem with every other class in the game is that all the work you've done to buff them can be undone by one spell, with absolutely no recourse. That makes every other class in the game nearly useless against mages, without (ab)using items that give invisibility, running into and out of rooms, endless re-buffing after fleeing, or other things that are either tedious or cheesy.

Finally, despite Remove Magic being unquestionably uber when cast by your opponents, its mostly useless when cast by the PC and their merry band because most of the enemies that you'd want to cast it on are a lot higher level.

Has anyone ever considered removing Remove Magic from the game? I took a quick look through the SCS code and I think I can see a way to get rid of it from mages, but I'm less sure about other creatures, like Yuan-Ti mages. Is there anyone more familiar with how SCS works that could give me pointers on how to get rid of Remove Magic entirely? I'd like to try a few runs through the trilogy without it, to see if it makes the game way too easy, or just removes some tedium that I won't miss at all (while making my non-mage characters feel more useful and less vulnerable).

Comments

  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 6,636
    Taking remove magic out would change game balance. As the spell works on levels, characters with high levels are better off both when casting and defending against it. For instance that means bards are better equipped to manage it than sole casters - and sole casters are better off than dual or multi-class characters. I think that's actually a pretty good thing in moderating the extent to which multi-class characters in large parties become the obvious power game option.

    SCS is a great mod, but it does make dealing quickly with mages more difficult and time consuming. If you find the strategies required to do that tedious, you might want to consider not using the mod, or toning down the extent to which casters benefit from it, as an alternative to fiddling with remove magic. Of course if you want to do the latter though you should - but I'm afraid I don't have the knowledge to help with that ;).

    ThacoBellJuliusBorisovPokotagorgonzola
  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 1,176
    Tinkering with the "spell choices" files should do it, at least for enemies with arcane casting. There are some fiends that get innate Remove Magic, which would be unaffected.

    On the other hand, I don't think this would do what you want. Without good dispels, buffs reign supreme ... and spellcasters have so many more buffs than fighter types. If all the buffs get removed all the time, it's fighter types that rule.

    I play with SCS, and three out of my four complete runs have been with non-caster protagonists. In the latest, I went so far as to ban all spellcasting in the entire party (innate and item abilities allowed). They still cleared the game on Insane, and could consistently defeat the Ascension final battle. As long as my warriors could hit the enemies - and they had an Inquisitor to help with that - they could win.
    Some of my other runs have relied on passive defenses, to the point that I could basically just auto-attack my way through fights against high-level mages.

    Grond0JuliusBorisov
  • ithildurnewithildurnew Member Posts: 232
    edited November 2
    There's a LOT of ways to succeed in this game even with SCS that doesn't require lopping off core elements; just need to get to know the game better. Remove Magic can be countered just like 99% of stuff in the game.

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 11,901
    I stopped using the improved casters component of SCS. It got so tedious having to peel away all those spell layers for every single mage. Sometimes 2 or three times depending on their contingencies.

  • liberalbiasliberalbias Member Posts: 4
    Grond0 wrote: »
    Taking remove magic out would change game balance. As the spell works on levels, characters with high levels are better off both when casting and defending against it. For instance that means bards are better equipped to manage it than sole casters - and sole casters are better off than dual or multi-class characters. I think that's actually a pretty good thing in moderating the extent to which multi-class characters in large parties become the obvious power game option.

    SCS is a great mod, but it does make dealing quickly with mages more difficult and time consuming. If you find the strategies required to do that tedious, you might want to consider not using the mod, or toning down the extent to which casters benefit from it, as an alternative to fiddling with remove magic. Of course if you want to do the latter though you should - but I'm afraid I don't have the knowledge to help with that ;).

    I completely agree that removing Remove Magic would change the balance of the game, but that's what I was after. The vanilla game makes mage enemies a bit of a joke, for the most part, and SCS definitely gets some revenge for them. I'm wondering if there is a middle ground where the balance shifts back towards the non-arcane casting classes, just for the sake of variety. I'm definitely not looking to remove the tactical challenges of mage combat. Even without Remove Magic, the room full of Yuan-Ti mages in Mekrath's sanctum (and the Planar Prison) would still be terrifying for most parties that haven't already been through the Underdark.

    I should note that I don't have any trouble with Remove Magic when I'm playing with a solo character, which I did for years. When I was playing solo, I was generally closer in level to my antagonists, and it was easier to flee/invis and re-buff if something important got removed. In a party of six, that gets dramatically more challenging, and not in a way that feels very "fun" to me (I understand that this is *completely* subjective, and I'm not trying to make some sweeping generalization here), so I've set off in search of a way to make it more fun for me.

    And now I'm totally over-justifying, thanks for your comment, cheers!

    Grond0
  • liberalbiasliberalbias Member Posts: 4
    There's a LOT of ways to succeed in this game even with SCS that doesn't require lopping off core elements; just need to get to know the game better. Remove Magic can be countered just like 99% of stuff in the game.

    Yep, I think I mentioned all of the ways to counter it in my post, but please correct me if I missed one (invisibility, higher level characters, SI: Abjuration).

  • liberalbiasliberalbias Member Posts: 4
    jmerry wrote: »
    Tinkering with the "spell choices" files should do it, at least for enemies with arcane casting. There are some fiends that get innate Remove Magic, which would be unaffected.

    On the other hand, I don't think this would do what you want. Without good dispels, buffs reign supreme ... and spellcasters have so many more buffs than fighter types. If all the buffs get removed all the time, it's fighter types that rule.

    I play with SCS, and three out of my four complete runs have been with non-caster protagonists. In the latest, I went so far as to ban all spellcasting in the entire party (innate and item abilities allowed). They still cleared the game on Insane, and could consistently defeat the Ascension final battle. As long as my warriors could hit the enemies - and they had an Inquisitor to help with that - they could win.
    Some of my other runs have relied on passive defenses, to the point that I could basically just auto-attack my way through fights against high-level mages.

    I'd be curious to hear more about how you relied on passive defenses against high-level mages. In late SoA and ToB there is often enough gear to equip one or two fighters with the right passive defenses to defeat specific mages (like the fire Lich battle in the Watcher Keep seals), but I've never found enough gear to get six party members equipped that way. I generally run with 3 - 4 arcane casters, and 2 - 3 non-arcane party members, and I often have to leave the latter away from the fight while the arcane casters peel protections from the mage antagonists.

    Thanks for the note about "spell choices". I did some "grep" for DISPEL_MAGIC, after figuring out that it is the right enum for Remove Magic, and that was one of the areas that came up, so I'll focus some attention there.

  • NeverusedNeverused Member Posts: 785
    The key thing about Remove and Dispel is that they're AoE, and they're also projectiles which have a travel time. It's totally possible to dodge Removes or Dispels as long as you're not boxed in: enemy spellcasters can only target characters, not areas, so get the boots of Cheetah Speed on the targeted character, and run away from everyone else. If done on time, you have 1 person that's stripped of buffs, not all 6.

    gorgonzola
  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 1,176
    How did I make passive defenses against high-level mages work? The all-werewolf party, exploiting a loophole in how the shapeshifting tokens are designed. I've got a thread for my first version of that party, and I replayed it with a slightly different protagonist after that. By ToB, everyone had spell saves of 1 or better, heavy magic resistance, fire immunity, and rapid regeneration. Also Enhanced Bard Song for a few immunities.

    Incidentally, the fire lich battle is one that I did just autoattack through. Party-wide undispellable fire immunity for the win.

    On the subject of this thread ... that party had a bard's Remove/Dispel Magic as their main way of breaking enemy caster buffs. In one iteration, I even gave him the Robe of Vecna for instant-cast dispels. The other arcane caster (Jan) was too busy getting into melee to use anything other than sequencers and contingencies.

  • MaurvirMaurvir Member Posts: 907
    This is what summons are for. Make sure you summon one, buff it somehow, and send it - while making sure your party if far enough away. Let your summons soak up those early spell slots, and then send in the troops.

    Naturally, this strategy only works when the enemy has a limited number of said spells/defenses, but it's remarkable how even a few skeleton warriors or gnolls can help drain an enemy party enough to make a fight more manageable.

  • WrathofreccaWrathofrecca Member Posts: 98
    Can I ask what buffs are so detrimental that remove magic is griefing you?

Sign In or Register to comment.