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Spells per level limit: Worth keeping it in the game?

AlonsoAlonso Member Posts: 806
EDIT: Changed the title to make it a bit more descriptive.

After a lot of hours playing, I just realized that the reason why it was so difficult to find new spells for Haer' Dalis, Aerie and Jan is... That they've already reached their maximum number of spells (11) in most levels! This was so frustrating, I've spent hours carefully checking all the spell stores looking for the green highlight that indicates that a spell is available for them to learn.

Had I been aware that they had reached their limits, I might have removed the less useful spell in each level to make sure that the game highlights all the spells they don't have. However, I'm starting to wonder if even that is a good idea. I mean, at this stage (I'm currently beginning ToB) they have already filled up half of their spell levels. This means that, in order to keep the green highligt useful, each time I go to a store I need to fully review each of their spell levels, check if it has already reached the 11 spells limit, and if it has, decide which one of their current spells is the less useful one and remove it just to reactivate the green highlighter. That's so much micro, and not a lot of fun!

I think that a mod would be very helpful here. Something like an improved highlighter, which, apart from the current green and red highlights, uses a third one, say, amber. The amber highlight means that your wizard doesn't know that spell but they have already reached their spell limit for that level, so you'll have to get rid of an old spell if you want to learn this new one. On top of that, it might also give you a warning each time learning a new spell means you have reached the limit. And also let you know in the spell book the levels that have reached the limits already (by greying those out, for instance). Such a mod would save hours of micro. Unfortunately, AFAIK nothing like that has been done. I'd love to do it myself, but I'm just starting to learn the ropes of modding, so such a mod is most likely way above my current modding level.

Until such a mod is created, I'm thinking that the best I can do is just using The Tweaks Anthology to remove the limit of spells per level altogether in order to save myself hours of boring micro.

Post edited by Alonso on


  • AlonsoAlonso Member Posts: 806
    jmerry wrote: »
    do both your shopping and your scribing under the influence of potions.
    I know I can do that, but I feel that's using an exploit, essentially cheating. If I do that I'm removing the Intelligence stat from the game, it doesn't matter any longer whether the intelligence of a wizard is 15 or 25. There is no practical difference between doing that and using EEKeeper to raise the intelligence of my mages to 25 because potions are so cheap anyway. I like to keep the game as challenging as possible, and it feels like doing this would take a significant amount of the challenge away.

  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 1,502
    OK, if you'd rather play that way, go ahead. On that note, if you're currently beginning ToB? Lazarus in Saradush sells two of everything (except for only one Wish scroll, only one Identify scroll, and double Vocalize with no Wraithform). You can sculpt your spellbooks to be exactly what you want by shopping there. Erase whatever you need to, fill back up, and never worry again.

    Aerie will eventually reach 6 million experience and the ability to cast 9th level wizard spells. As learning 9th level spells requires 18 Int, she won't be able to learn any non-HLA spells there without help. Your options there, without potions? There's a +1 Int Ioun Stone, and the Machine of Lum the Mad in Watcher's Keep can boost her Int by 1 permanently. Combine those, and 9th level spells are within reach.

  • AlonsoAlonso Member Posts: 806
    jmerry wrote: »
    Lazarus in Saradush sells two of everything (except for only one Wish scroll, only one Identify scroll, and double Vocalize with no Wraithform). You can sculpt your spellbooks to be exactly what you want by shopping there. Erase whatever you need to, fill back up, and never worry again.
    That's very interesting, specially because that's exactly where I am now, shopping at Lazarus'. If I only have to do the micro once, then that's no problem at all, I'll just do that.

    Still, my purpose with this thread was no so much to find a solution to a problem as to spark some discussion about this aspect of the game. What do you think about using potions to learn spells of higher level and more spells per level? Is it "fine" or is it too "cheesy"? Do you agree that it is an exploit? Is it the way the game is meant to be played? What do you think about the limit of spells per level? Is it a challenge or is it a chore? That kind of stuff.

  • semiticgoddesssemiticgoddess Member Posts: 14,768
    Using Potions of Genius to help with spell scribing is definitely not an exploit. Potions of Genius were added to the game specifically to enable that behavior; they have no other function in Baldur's Gate.

    In BG2, they can also stack your INT beyond 25 (though the Record screen will display 25 at most) and help you survive hits from mind flayer attacks. That's not intended behavior, but since that's the only other use for the potions, using them for scroll scribing is not an exploit.

    If it was an exploit, then Potions of Genius would have no function in the game whatsoever.

    I guess you could say that it's not intended behavior to use Potions of Mind Focusing for that purpose, since those potions also increase DEX, but I don't think the developers gave those potions an INT boost just for flavor. Both types of potions are specifically designed to help with scroll scribing.

  • leeuxleeux Member Posts: 115
    edited June 2019
    I think the game should highlight that the character is able to learn that scroll, or, phrased differently, that the character doesn't know that scroll yet, even when the spell limit doesn't allow them to learn it at that time... Or at least, maybe only in the context of browsing a store, when the highlight is needed to be able to decide what is needed and what isn't.

    Else, an otherwise QoL feature (green scroll highlight) that was added for that purpose is rendered useless most of the time, since almost all affected characters have INT less than 19 and is relatively easy to reach the spell book limits

    EDIT: wording

  • AlonsoAlonso Member Posts: 806
    edited June 2019
    @semiticgod: Of course potions of Genius are intended to help with spell scribing, I'm not contending that. What I wonder is up to which point. My initial intuition (you're making me doubt now) was something like this: The number of spells per level is supposed to be limited by the intelligence of the wizard. If a wizard of intelligence 15 uses potions to raise his inteligence and learns 20 level 6 spells, those 20 spells look a bit dodgy in his spellbook when his intelligence falls back to 15. On the other hand, there's nothing special about that same wizard raising his intelligence temporarily in order to improve his learning chances. He raises his intelligence, learns the spells, his intelligence goes back to 15, everything looks good. Therefore, I thought, the intended purpose of the potions of Genius must be to improve learning chances rather than breaking the limit of spells per level.

    The flaw of this logic, of course, is that learning chances and limit of spells per level go hand in hand, you cannot raise one without raising the other. But then again, if breaking the limit of spells per level is intended behaviour, why put a limit there in the first place? During the first half of the game the limit is irrelevant because you haven't found enough scrolls to fill your spell levels anyway. And during the second half it's still irrelevant because you have plenty of money for potions...

    @leeux: Yeah, that's just what I mean. And I agree that it would be a very nice feature for the vanilla game. I just think that the chances of ever seeing that feature in a mod are better than the chances of seeing it in the vanilla game (although very low in both cases, tbh).

  • Mantis37Mantis37 Member Posts: 1,120
    It was an optional rule in 2nd edition AD&D. So it's optional for you too, depending on how thematic / meaningful you feel it is.

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  • leeuxleeux Member Posts: 115
    I played BG1 with a mod loooong time ago (as part of a BWP installation with BGT in the classic games) that added spell books to enemy mages... I don't remember which one it was, sadly... they were like scrolls, that you could scribe them, but they contain more than a single spell and you could learn several of them in one action.

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  • mlnevesemlnevese Member, Moderator Posts: 10,106
    Captured spell books were a major source for new spells in PnP. It was interesting to observe as a DM how the party wizards would change their battle tactics the moment an enemy wizard used a spell they didn't know in the off chance he was carrying his spell book with him.

  • leeuxleeux Member Posts: 115
    It's the bigg's tweaks. Good stuff. I think that component, at least, works on the EEs. (Though I haven't tried it since the 1.3 patch.)

    Sweet! Thanks! I'm gonna keep it in mind for my new modded installation I'm building up, and check if it indeed it still works :smile:

  • TressetTresset Member, Moderator Posts: 8,143
    @leeux your comment here was caught by the forum's automated spam filter. I have restored it and verified you so that this should not happen again.

  • leeuxleeux Member Posts: 115
    Tresset wrote: »
    @leeux your comment here was caught by the forum's automated spam filter. I have restored it and verified you so that this should not happen again.

    Thank you Tresset! Yeah, I imagined it was because of the link in the quote :smile: No worries!

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,678
    int should do 3 things
    1. allow to cast high level spells (this is not working in the game)
    2. allow to learn more spells
    3. decrease the chance of failing to learn them.

    does not matter the player's attitude towards the potions of genius and the points 2 and 3, the potions are a very useful way to know what spells your casters have still to learn.
    1. save
    2. go to a spell shop
    3. have your casters stack how many potions they can until they reach the int value that allow them to learn all the spells.
    4. check which spells are green for every caster and keep note of it
    5. reload and buy the spells.

    then the casters can drink potions or erase spells to make possible to learn other ones as the player likes more, the scope of the potion use before the reload is only to have all the still not known spells green.
    a mod that would make them yellow or mark them as not learned in some other way would be great, but i am not able to write it and as it does not exist my method is the easiest way to know which scrolls the casters have still to learn ignoring the fact that they have reached their int limit for a given level.

  • AlonsoAlonso Member Posts: 806
    @gorgonzola: Yeah, I guess that's the way to go with vanilla, but that's a lot of meta gaming for me, so after all the discussion in this thread I just installed the Tweaks component that removes the limit of spells per level to make everything more convenient.

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