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Shadow Door vs. Improved Invisibility

Shadow Door does the exact same thing as Improved Invisibility, but it's one level higher than Improved Invisibility. To make it worse, it also lasts three rounds less than Improved Invisibility. The only advantage is that it has a casting time of 2, while Improved Invisibility has a casting time of 4, but then again, with the Robe of Vecna, it becomes immaterial.

So, is there any reason to justify taking Shadow Door, which is at a higher level, when you can do the same thing with Improved Invisibility at one level lower?

Comments

  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 5,828
    perhaps if you had some great level 4 spells that you wanted to cast instead ( stone skin, emotion hopelessness, ice storm, contagion, poly morph other ) and had no good level 5 spells, you could save your level 5 spell slots for shadow door to be invisible and start blasting all those cool level 4 spells

    in bg1 i can see that being the scenario, but realistically in bg2 there are some killer great level 5 spells ( well actually there are in bg1 as well ) but at least in bg2 you will have about the same amount of slots for level 4 and 5 while in bg1 sometimes level 5 slots can be rare with level 4 slots being more plentiful

    ironically enough i have cast shadow door more times than i have cast improved invisibility in my play throughs and it was mostly do to the paragraph i first mentioned

    another thing i suppose is that globe of invulnerability makes you immune to improved invisibility but not shadow door, maybe that is why liches use shadow door instead?

    BlackravensemiticgoddessJuliusBorisov
  • Rik_KirtaniyaRik_Kirtaniya Member Posts: 1,742
    edited October 2018
    sarevok57 said:

    another thing i suppose is that globe of invulnerability makes you immune to improved invisibility but not shadow door, maybe that is why liches use shadow door instead?

    The description of Globe of Invulnerability says:

    "[...]However, any type of spell can be cast out of the magical sphere, and these pass from the caster of the globe to their subject without affecting the globe.[...]"


    According to that, if someone having a Globe of Invulnerability on him, casted Improved Invisibility on himself, it should still affect him, for he is both the caster and the subject.

    Maybe liches like the fancy animation effects of Shadow Door? ;)

    sarevok57
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 12,267
    Shadow Door is an "Oh Crap!" button. Maybe your positioning wasn't as good as you though and an opponent has targeted or is barrelling towards your mage, maybe you got waylayed and the game put your mage in a BAD position. With its short casting time, Shadow Door is basically a get out of jail free card.

    JuliusBorisov
  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 5,828
    ThacoBell said:

    Shadow Door is an "Oh Crap!" button. Maybe your positioning wasn't as good as you though and an opponent has targeted or is barrelling towards your mage, maybe you got waylayed and the game put your mage in a BAD position. With its short casting time, Shadow Door is basically a get out of jail free card.

    getting waylaid by enemies and having your mage in a BAD position, never........ ;)

    uh dynaheir, her ultimate weakenss, being surrounded by 10 archer enemies, and as soon as you unpause the game, she dies instantly, good times...... good times

    ThacoBell
  • semiticgoddesssemiticgoddess Member Posts: 14,833
    I essentially never memorize Shadow Door unless it's Edwin because of his ludicrous number of spell slots. There are only three differences between the two spells:

    1. Improved Invisibility can be cast on other party members; Shadow Door is on-self only
    2. Improved Invisibility lasts 3 rounds longer
    3. Shadow Door has a casting time of 2; Improved Invisibility has a casting time of 4.

    Globe of Invulnerability will indeed block Improved Invisibility, but only if cast by someone else, which Shadow Door can't do anyway.

    The only advantage of Shadow Door is its shorter casting time, but it's already identical to the equally-effective escape option, Invisibility, at level 2. It's worth memorizing Shadow Door if you're more strapped for level 2 and 4 spells than level 5 spells, but that would be extremely situational. There aren't even any divination spells that will dispel Improved Invisibility but fail to dispel Shadow Door.

    Long story short, there are times when it's better to have Shadow Door, but they are extremely rare, extremely specific, and the advantage would be extremely small. Improved Invisibility is nearly always the better choice across the board.

    ThacoBellJuliusBorisovNoobacca
  • KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 5,876
    Another advantage: Shadow Door has a way cooler name!

    ThacoBellsemiticgoddessPermidion_Starksarevok57
  • The user and all related content has been deleted.

    ThacoBellsemiticgoddessGrond0Zaghoul
  • ZaghoulZaghoul Member, Moderator Posts: 4,197

    Yet another thread demonstrating why mods are so important. (In this case, Spell Revisions. It increases the difference in casting time to make SD more of an "oh crap!" button; and it gives SD a chance to Maze enemies who are very close to the caster. THAT is worth a 5th-level slot...)

    Heh, I found out the hard way how that can end a solo no-reload run. ;)

    OlvynChuru
  • SkatanSkatan Member, Moderator Posts: 5,347
    I don't think I've ever cast Shadow door, not in all the years I've played BG.

  • The_CheesemanThe_Cheeseman Member Posts: 175
    I use Shadow Door all the time on my F/M/Ts. My level 4 slots are devoted to Stoneskin, my level 2’s to Mirror Image, so Shadow Door is my most convenient invis option for mid-battle backstabbing.

    Gotural
  • lroumenlroumen Member Posts: 2,391
    There are so many more useful spells at level 4 than level 5 that I use dimension door more often.

    Gotural
  • QuickbladeQuickblade Member Posts: 959

    I use Shadow Door all the time on my F/M/Ts. My level 4 slots are devoted to Stoneskin, my level 2’s to Mirror Image, so Shadow Door is my most convenient invis option for mid-battle backstabbing.

    lroumen said:

    There are so many more useful spells at level 4 than level 5 that I use dimension door more often.

    We seem to have a difference of opinion here. *insert shrug ascii-art*

    lroumen
  • DragonKingDragonKing Member Posts: 1,957
    The difference is obvious, shadow door is obviously a door! Improved invisibility is not :p;)

  • FinneousPJFinneousPJ Member Posts: 6,456
    Which is better, door or not door?

  • Jaheiras_WitnessJaheiras_Witness Member Posts: 614
    Shadow Door is indeed redundant.

    Level 4 the only spells I memorise are Stoneskin and Improved Invisibility. There are a few half-decent other spells at this level but nothing that cuts the mustard. Along with level 1 and level 2, it is the level where there is least competition for spell slots. No tough choices needed.

    Level 5 on the other hand...along with level 6, these are the levels with the most intense spell competition, where it is really tough to decide and where you can never have enough slots. You can fill out your level 5 slots with Spell Immunity and Spell Shield alone and you would never be wrong to do this; it’s almost the default choice to go 67% Spell Immunity 33% Spell Shield. Situationally or if you have enough slots there are a whole bunch of level 5 spells that you would always want to memorise: Breach, Animate Dead (for solo), Lower Resistance, Chaos, Cloudkill, Sunfire etc. Frankly I have no idea what anyone who goes for Shadow Door here is thinking.

    Rik_Kirtaniya
  • DragonKingDragonKing Member Posts: 1,957
    Or be a wild mage, never worry about spells again because you can cast any spell you want at anytime!

  • The user and all related content has been deleted.

  • The_CheesemanThe_Cheeseman Member Posts: 175

    I use Shadow Door all the time on my F/M/Ts. My level 4 slots are devoted to Stoneskin, my level 2’s to Mirror Image, so Shadow Door is my most convenient invis option for mid-battle backstabbing.

    lroumen said:

    There are so many more useful spells at level 4 than level 5 that I use dimension door more often.

    We seem to have a difference of opinion here. *insert shrug ascii-art*
    I think it’s just a matter of play style. On a mage, I’d never use Shadow Door. But I prefer to play a F/M/T as a melee combatant and backstabber with the mage spells primarily for defense and escape options. So I don’t get fancy with my spell selection, it’s just enabling my stabbiness.

    ThacoBellGotural
  • ArgyleArgyle Member Posts: 48
    Shadow Door is a hold-over from 1st Ed. AD&D spell list unique to Illusionists. Back then, it gave the caster regular invisibility combined with an illusion of the caster passing through a door. It was one of the very few spells which required only a somatic (S) component, and thus could be cast silently and without materials. At that time I think every other spell required at least a verbal (V) component except Hypnotic Pattern (S,M). Later in Unerathed Arcana we got Wraithform (S,M) Rainbow Pattern (S,M), and Mislead (S) which did actually have improved invisibility. I never checked this, but in theory if your character got hit with the powerful Silence spell, he should still be able to cast Shadow Door and Mislead, but not Improved Invisibility.

    I still wonder what it would have been like if 2nd Ed. AD&D had not absorbed Illusionists as a school of the Mage class. I liked the idea of unique spell capabilities, rather than having a generalist knowing everything. But that is all so many editions ago now!

    ZaghoulsemiticgoddessGrond0Permidion_Stark
  • DrakeICNDrakeICN Member Posts: 623
    Screw both!

    Shadow dancer lvl 13 -> mage = HIPs + 4 x backstab. HIPs is neither an ability nor a spell, so it cannot fizzle, doesn't take up any spell slot AND is unaffected by the 1 spell / round rule (although it takes one round to recover but whatever). Spell + attack + HIPs can all be done in one round.

    Also, you will get 80 HP by level 10 instead of 60. Also, you get a better weapon selection. Also, I think there are some mage / thief armor in BGII (but maybe those are all for either elves or bards only? Can't remember).

    ALSO, you get two shadowsteps / day. While those are abilities and thus takes your 1 spell / round alotment, you shadowwalk for 7 seconds, meaning that you will regain your spell (unless you are hit so your spell fails), so as soon as the shadowwalk ends, you can follow up with another spell... letting you aggro a horde of enemies and when they descend upon you, you slip into shadows and fireball / explode skull them!

    Nah, J/K. The +4 AC bonus from being invisible REALLY helps shadow dancer mages. Use both!!!

  • semiticgoddesssemiticgoddess Member Posts: 14,833
    I prefer to dual-class a Shadowdancer at level 8 or 9. Dualing at level 13 is much, much slower and mostly just provides a bonus to backstabbing, which I personally don't think is the real strength of the Shadowdancer. Hide in Plain Sight is the primary benefit for the Shadowdancer class, as it makes the Shadowdancer much more difficult to kill, and grants a powerful escape option that ignores aura. I don't think the backstab bonus and the extra skill points are quite worth the investment:

    A level 8->9 dual takes 70,000 XP to dual and 205,000 XP to recover thief levels. You can reach this in late BG1.
    A level 9->10 dual takes 110,000 XP to dual and 360,000 XP to recover thief levels. You can reach this in late SoD.
    A level 11-12 dual takes 220,000 XP to dual and 970,000 XP to recover thief levels. You can reach this in early BG2.
    A level 13->14 dual takes 660,000 XP to dual and 2,160,000 XP to recover thief levels. You can reach this in late BG2.

    By the time the Shadowdancer/Mage hits mage level 14, backstabbing is going to be a minor strength compared to its mage spells, and it won't be much longer before it will barely be backstabbing at all.

    Grond0Ludwig_IIGotural
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