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Controversial Opinion: Constitution is a surprisingly good dump stat

2

Comments

  • ArviaArvia Member Posts: 845
    @Maurvir and @BelgarathMTH, I think you both underestimate how much difference it makes if you're an experienced player or not. Not only in BG, but in this type of games in general. You probably don't even remember how it was to get surprised by enemies. A scout doesn't tell you how many others will suddenly spawn, or what kind of spells they will throw at you, or if they have backstabbers...

    gorgonzolaThacoBellCrevsDaakBanArd
  • MaurvirMaurvir Member Posts: 234
    Arvia wrote: »
    @Maurvir and @BelgarathMTH, I think you both underestimate how much difference it makes if you're an experienced player or not. Not only in BG, but in this type of games in general. You probably don't even remember how it was to get surprised by enemies. A scout doesn't tell you how many others will suddenly spawn, or what kind of spells they will throw at you, or if they have backstabbers...

    Oh, I definitely remember, and yes, there are times when the game throws in some curve balls. However, there are usually tell-tale signs you should be cautious long before getting to the gauntlet. In my very first run through ToB, for instance, I had a pretty good idea where to send my scout just looking at the area.

    I will admit that you almost inherently metagame the second or later runs, since you now know what the enemies will be and what they will throw at you, but I would argue that any decent adventurer should be able to see that trouble is ahead.

    gorgonzola
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 18,698
    I've come to understanding it's better to take rolls as they come, without adjusting. This way I don't have to worry about "dump" and OP ability points.

    gorgonzolaBelgarathMTHChroniclerCrevsDaak
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 2,728
    Arvia wrote: »
    I have to pay much more attention to my formation, especially if the attackers are scattered. I would switch off the AI completely, but then I occasionally forget to give another command when somebody has killed their target.

    It's not my paladin sense of honor that keeps me from using the spells you mentioned. When we're under attack, it's war, and we have to survive and protect ourselves, not the attackers.
    (Okay, I do have a conscience problem with Charm Person in a battle, with backstabbing, and with summons, but that's all).
    i NEVER have the AI enabled. the day i will learn to write my own AI scripts, custom tailored for my style, maybe i will do it, every single time i enable the AI i regret it :)
    enable the auto pauses is the key, the auto pause on enemy destroyed helps in not having toons waiting idle for new tasks, and i keep it on all the time, as well as the one for all ammo used, so i am sure that the ranged toon don't switch to an other ammo type, the one on trap find and few others. when i really want to micromanage i enable also the autopause on round end, this allows me to cast and attack in the same round and gives a finer control on the toons.

    about your conscience problem if you are going to kill someone i don't see much difference in doing it in a sneaky way with a thief or to charm an enemy to help you in the work and in bashing the enemy with a big mace/sword. killing remains killing, and there is no more honor in being strong and tough then in benig smart.

    i see the problem using summons, if you consider the summons as sentient beings that you use as cannon fodder, but the problem is related to what you do to the summons, not to the tactic you use against the enemies (so summoning a bear or a gnoll is different from summoning a magically created sword).
    DragonKing wrote: »
    So I have no choice but to multiclass because AC just doesn't mean crap anymore? Or I have to make my mage the tank by tossing every protection spell on him and toss him head first in battle... Ye that goes again every mage instinct I have.
    AC always matters, even in ToB, as there you have the best equipment and magic can improve it even more, spells like defensive harmony or improved invisibility make your tank ac better and spells like grater malison make the enemy thac0 worst.
    this, the huge HP pool and damage reduction, by hardness and/or items let the fighters survive.
    there are also very good potions that can help in some situations those that can not protect themselves with arcane magic, a certain potion gives an AC bonus against crushing of 10, and this is only an example.

    a protected mage and summons can also be used as tanks. you are not compelled to use only dual classes.
    i actually like to use dual classes and run parties where all the members have arcane casting capabilities, but that is my style, other players are as effective as me if not more using plain fighters, that surely are not hopeless in tob.

    BelgarathMTH
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 2,728
    edited June 12
    Maurvir wrote: »
    I will admit that you almost inherently metagame the second or later runs, since you now know what the enemies will be and what they will throw at you, but I would argue that any decent adventurer should be able to see that trouble is ahead.
    surely a player can not forget at will what he already knows and the game is not smart enough to change what happens making the meta knowledge use not possible.

    but i personally try to avoid the use of meta knowledge as better as i can.
    i always scout the areas where i know that the enemies are (i don't do it in areas where i meta know that is not useful as my RL time is not infinite...), i never buff in advance beyond stoneskin if i have not spotted the enemies and/or i know from the game that i will face certain types of enemies.
    and when the enemies spawn at a trigger point or i can not spot them for some reason i treat it as an ambush and accept to begin the fight not buffed.
    it is not like running the game the first time, but is a good approximation. and it needs a deliberate and active way to play, i deliberately avoid to do things because i know that the party ignores the reasons why i should do them.







    shabadoo
  • ArviaArvia Member Posts: 845
    Maurvir wrote: »
    Arvia wrote: »
    @Maurvir and @BelgarathMTH, I think you both underestimate how much difference it makes if you're an experienced player or not. Not only in BG, but in this type of games in general. You probably don't even remember how it was to get surprised by enemies. A scout doesn't tell you how many others will suddenly spawn, or what kind of spells they will throw at you, or if they have backstabbers...

    Oh, I definitely remember, and yes, there are times when the game throws in some curve balls. However, there are usually tell-tale signs you should be cautious long before getting to the gauntlet. In my very first run through ToB, for instance, I had a pretty good idea where to send my scout just looking at the area.

    I will admit that you almost inherently metagame the second or later runs, since you now know what the enemies will be and what they will throw at you, but I would argue that any decent adventurer should be able to see that trouble is ahead.

    Well, then I suppose by that definition I don't fall into the "any decent adventurer" category.
    I see that trouble is ahead, but if you don't *know* that mages are suicidal enough to cast lightning bolts in narrow dungeon hallways, there's no way to protect yourself and your companions the first time.
    And you can't have the adequate counterspell or protection memorized for every possible situation, if you don't know what the most likely attacks are.

    Or maybe you can. I can't. But maybe that's just because I don't fall into the "any decent adventurer" category.

    @gorgonzola , I disagree. For me, there is a big difference between approaching someone and drawing my sword, or sneaking up on him, invisible, and stabbing him in the back. That doesn't mean that I won't throw a fireball from a distance, or stun somebody and then kill him, but I make my own decisions what I consider correct in my fights (there are still some rules for me, even in war).
    I'm a bit annoyed that some people seem to think that fighters are the dumb players.

    I see that I'm beginning to take this personally. It's probably time to do something else.

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 2,728
    Arvia wrote: »
    @gorgonzola , I disagree. For me, there is a big difference between approaching someone and drawing my sword, or sneaking up on him, invisible, and stabbing him in the back. That doesn't mean that I won't throw a fireball from a distance, or stun somebody and then kill him, but I make my own decisions what I consider correct in my fights (there are still some rules for me, even in war).
    I'm a bit annoyed that some people seem to think that fighters are the dumb players.

    I see that I'm beginning to take this personally. It's probably time to do something else.
    you are getting me wrong.
    i did never imply that the fighters are the dumb players, there is a good rp value in playing them and also mechanically are really strong in the game.
    maybe a little too "point and click" and boring to play for my taste, at least if not in a very hard game setting, but this is only a personal preference, i see both the RP and mechanical value of playing them.

    my point is an other. every class must use its own abilities at the best, so to take a big sword and a big shield and boldly charge the enemy is perfectly fine for a fighter, barbarian or paladin, is what those classes are made for.
    but to have a mage take his staff or dagger and do the same would be silly, he instead uses what he is strong at, magic.
    and the same is true for the rogues, a thief does not have the raw power of a fighter, nor the magic power of a caster, he has stealth, he knows how to set traps and how to not be fooled by illusions. this must be its contribute to the battle. even if like a mage he can give a (very marginal as he lacks of apr and thac0) contribution ranged and even if he can in some situations be a semi decent flank attacker has no sense to have a thief and don't use him in what he excel in, traps and stabbing.
    as you (player or charname) decide to go into a battle or are forced to it, and the game can be won killing probably 1/100 of the enemies that are usually killed, his goal is to kill the enemies before they kill him, the ethic problem comes before, at the moment that he accepts the fight instead of trying to avoid it. or maybe he deliberately seek the battle, let's say that is a paladin that want to destroy an evil creature.
    then when the decision is taken to use every mean that he has at the best, fighters with swords, casters with wands and spells, and thieves with their daggers and stealth, is only a consequence.

    let's take as example the firkraag quest, it is totally possible to do it killing only the paladins transformed by illusion in monsters at the beginning and conster to get the key to free garren's son, the game forces you to do that, you can reach firkraag protected by invisibility without problems and find your way back to garren's home in the same way. or you can kill only the creatures that you think is good to kill, lets say the undeads if you rp an undead hunter.
    but a fighter that kill samia with his sword, a mage that do it with a fireball or a thief that stabs him to death do the very same thing at the end, the only difference is in the way they do it, each class has its way.

    i agree that even in war there must be some rules, even if in the RW those rules are completely forgotten and almost all the armies deliberately target civilians with bombings and on and over.
    but to tell that to use stealth to gain an advantage is not fair would be like telling that using the modern stealth planes or sending some commando to stab the sentinels before an attack is not a fair mean. while it has always been a part of the warfare.

  • MaurvirMaurvir Member Posts: 234
    Of course you can't know that a mage will be a moron and do something stupid. That is part of the adventure!

    What I am saying is that it's usually not that hard to figure out where the bad guys probably are in most cases. There are a few exceptions, but I've gotten to the point where I can spot an obvious trap a mile away. Like the curiously empty hall on the way to the Cult of the Eyeless quest. Doesn't take a genius to figure out something is going to attack you in there.

  • DreadKhanDreadKhan Member Posts: 3,850
    Well, summons CAN be good, but for a pure mage, there aren't that many great ones really in BG1 are there? Spider Spawn with Webs is very nice, but it needs the webs or they get steamrolled, assuming you didn't buff your summons.

    Clerics get Animate Dead, and those are tanky buggers, able to be a real threat against most BG1 opponents, though they'll quickly get smoked if you don't support them vs most opponents.

    The Wand of Monster Summon though is a real beast, able to instantly deploy at reasonable range a small army, which you can buff with haste and cleric buffs, making them more effective, and these can do real damage, or serve as very good sponges, able to distract strong foes in BG1 quite easily, even if they get hit by a rough Horror or something.

    That said, by the time the Wand is kinda junk, you have access to better spells/items, like the many in SoD that can summon decent critters, and BG2 is littered with good summoning spells/items.

    That said, I think you can get overrun by large groups, even with 2 tanks and 2 supporting melees, but most smaller groups will be caught up by your forward troops. That said, who wants to run 4 primarily melee characters?? Thats how I played before I knew how to play, and I was bad at this game! ;) I cleared Durlag's and the rest of the game with an almost all fighter party, probably the hardest game I'd beaten to date, as I mostly played kid games, or didn't finish them. So yeah, I think a more reasonable build is 1 pure melee (ideally a tanky character), who has boots of speed likely to get out ahead of everyone, as well as supporting fighters in the form of rogues and clerics, who might use ranged weapons, depending on their ability scores, and likely 2 mages. This would leave one dedicated archer, and this is closer to what I run most games. THe cleric usually fights up front with the fighter, and has very good AC usually, with the best shield and a single handed weapon. The rogue might fight up front if it's a fighter rogue, or a swashbuckler PC, and either way these can be solid secondary characters. The two mages hopefully will cast spells and make the enemies fall down, as is their wont. The archer can pick of magic users or other high priority targets from relative safety, and this character usually leads in kills, unless you maybe have Dorn or a dual wielding berserker with 18/00 strength, as archery is very overpowered in BG1.

    Dumping Cons seems questionable, but making it affect the die roll's probability is something I've heard of in DnD before, that a high cons set a minimum roll for each die, making a high cons useful even for a non-fighter iirc, but I probably don't. I regularly cheat my PCs to have crazy-good stats, since I don't want to miss any opportunities due to being dumb in SoD, so even Cha is usually solid. I have fun my way, I don't expect everyone to by any means!

    gorgonzola
  • MaurvirMaurvir Member Posts: 234
    Summons in BG1 are purely there to be damage sponges. They give you just enough time to either escape or setup an attack, period. Unless you are clearing that Kobold village, then perhaps they may be useful as part of the attack.

    In BG2 and ToB, this changes. Once your mages/clerics are high enough level, those skeleton warriors suddenly become very, very powerful. They are naturally magic resistant, which makes them perfect for hemming in mages. Sure, they don't work so well against more muscular targets, but even then they can buy time. Elementals, sirens, golems, and djinn, on the other hand - those can actually get down to business. Once you can summon planetars and devas... You may as well set out a picnic lunch and watch the action.

    DreadKhanPsicoVic
  • DreadKhanDreadKhan Member Posts: 3,850
    I dunno, I use them as weapons too, especially in solo builds, or with parties that lack melee presences. Animate Dead makes a pretty rugged skeleton actually, and if you are using the other characters to do something else, they can easily hold a line, but I guess you'd consider that damage sponging, though they'll be swinging decently, as they are passable warriors. I think since the skeletons are so slow to summon, they are usually summoned before the fight, and can thus be buffed to improve them. Decently buffed skeletons are actually pretty effective vs most opponents in BG1, though they'll fall flat vs some opponents they can't damage.

    Its true though that in the harder fights, the summons will mostly be a distraction, rather than a real threat, until you get the really good summons in BG2. In my experience, the hardest fights in ToB often are too much for a planetar alone to handle, but they sure make a great 7th party member, and are usually the best thing you've got on the field. The two silver dragons for example can easily handle a planetar without any risk to themselves, and I found that the hardest fight in my last play through.

    ThacoBellPsicoVic
  • PsicoVicPsicoVic Member Posts: 347
    edited June 16
    And do not forget Nishruus and Hakeashar to fight mages, or invisible stalkers against ilithids.
    B2 summons are very good.

    In BG1 I think It is more practical to use enchanting spells and web as main cc.

    DreadKhanThacoBellCrevsDaak
  • ChroniclerChronicler Member Posts: 976
    edited June 16
    PsicoVic wrote: »
    And do not forget Nishruus and Hakeashar to fight mages, or invisible stalkers against ilithids.
    B2 summons are very good.

    In BG1 I think It is more practical to use enchanting spells and web as main cc.

    Web is an invokation spell. It makes for a very potent combination with Dynaheir and Minsc, since she can cast web with extra save penalties, and he can use Spider Bane to attack the webbed enemies with impunity.

    Enchantment Spells are mostly charms, which can often be more potent than summons, since you're turning a powerful enemy into a powerful ally instead of like summoning a gnoll or something. Of course, that's only if you can get the enemy to fail their save.

    Probably the best one in BG1 imo is in the final battle. Sarevok has this Big Powerful Ogre Companion whose saves I'm pretty sure are just normal ogre saves. Use a Nymph's Cloak to turn him against his master.

    Edit: I misread. "Enchanting Spells and Web". You weren't listing web as an example of an enchanting spell. It was an addition.

    BelgarathMTH
  • DreadKhanDreadKhan Member Posts: 3,850
    By the end game, Xan's Chaos is a pretty nasty thing to use, and it feels somehow thematic, like his depression leaked out into them, driving them to madness through his magic. Really, anyone's Chaos spell is nasty, and casting a 2nd and even a 3rd if needed, or following up with a horror or 2 can really mess up any dangerous party. That said, it's still best to use prepared ambushes for tough fights like the last one, in order the neutralize some of the side-threats, so you don't lose too many party members.

    Chaos IMHO is a very broken spell, because it's very hard to save against, and is pretty much debilitating once it hits.

    PsicoVicChroniclerStummvonBordwehr
  • ChroniclerChronicler Member Posts: 976
    DreadKhan wrote: »
    By the end game, Xan's Chaos is a pretty nasty thing to use, and it feels somehow thematic, like his depression leaked out into them, driving them to madness through his magic. Really, anyone's Chaos spell is nasty, and casting a 2nd and even a 3rd if needed, or following up with a horror or 2 can really mess up any dangerous party. That said, it's still best to use prepared ambushes for tough fights like the last one, in order the neutralize some of the side-threats, so you don't lose too many party members.

    Chaos IMHO is a very broken spell, because it's very hard to save against, and is pretty much debilitating once it hits.

    It's a fifth level spell in BG1. I should hope it would be broken. You can cast one of those a day by the level cap. Two if you're a specialty mage.

    That being said I've actually never toyed around with it too much. I'll have to check it out sometime.

  • DreadKhanDreadKhan Member Posts: 3,850
    Last I checked, you do have a stack of Chaos scrolls you can buy and use, so you can use it fairly often.

    Like a good stacking of Webs, Chaos is very good crowd control, trivializing most match ups.

    Chroniclersemiticgod
  • ChroniclerChronicler Member Posts: 976
    I hadn't considered that. I do the same thing with Otiluke's Resilient Sphere.

    DreadKhan
  • DreadKhanDreadKhan Member Posts: 3,850
    Huh, I think I really should start using that spell, could be useful!

  • ChroniclerChronicler Member Posts: 976
    If I recall, Beamdog changed Otiluke's Resiliant Sphere so that now allies don't save against it. It's implicitly understood that if you're casting it on an ally they don't try to resist.

    So now in addition to controlling enemies, its also super reliable for getting your allies out of danger.

    For some reason I never really use it on allies though. I just use it to separate super tough enemies from the crowd.

    In the final battle with Sarevok, it's really gamechanging if you can get his mage companion into a Sphere. His Save vs Spell i good enough that you won't get him every time but I still think it's worth throwing one at him to see what happens.

    gorgonzola
  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 15,944
    Chronicler wrote: »
    If I recall, Beamdog changed Otiluke's Resiliant Sphere so that now allies don't save against it. It's implicitly understood that if you're casting it on an ally they don't try to resist.

    So now in addition to controlling enemies, its also super reliable for getting your allies out of danger.

    For some reason I never really use it on allies though. I just use it to separate super tough enemies from the crowd.

    In the final battle with Sarevok, it's really gamechanging if you can get his mage companion into a Sphere. His Save vs Spell i good enough that you won't get him every time but I still think it's worth throwing one at him to see what happens.

    The sphere is a hostile spell. So using it on non-party member allies isn't recommended. But using it on a companion of Sarevok I suppose would work.

    ChroniclerJuliusBorisovCrevsDaak
  • PingwinPingwin Member Posts: 190
    I look at it this way:
    - With average rolls a 10th level thief or bard has 35 hp. If hit by a 10th level Fireball, on a failed save it would do... 35 hp damage. Say goodnight.

    Not quite, first level is always max hp so on average, that 10th level fireball would leave the rogue on 2 or 3hp depending upon how it rounds half hitpoints.

  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 5,321
    Pingwin wrote: »
    I look at it this way:
    - With average rolls a 10th level thief or bard has 35 hp. If hit by a 10th level Fireball, on a failed save it would do... 35 hp damage. Say goodnight.

    Not quite, first level is always max hp so on average, that 10th level fireball would leave the rogue on 2 or 3hp depending upon how it rounds half hitpoints.

    If we're going to be picky, it also depends what you mean by average :p. The 35 was referring to the theoretical average from a d6 HP roll, but the Enhanced Edition games are bugged such that the actual average HPs are significantly above that theoretical average.

  • ChroniclerChronicler Member Posts: 976
    Grond0 wrote: »
    Pingwin wrote: »
    I look at it this way:
    - With average rolls a 10th level thief or bard has 35 hp. If hit by a 10th level Fireball, on a failed save it would do... 35 hp damage. Say goodnight.

    Not quite, first level is always max hp so on average, that 10th level fireball would leave the rogue on 2 or 3hp depending upon how it rounds half hitpoints.

    If we're going to be picky, it also depends what you mean by average :p. The 35 was referring to the theoretical average from a d6 HP roll, but the Enhanced Edition games are bugged such that the actual average HPs are significantly above that theoretical average.

    Is that confirmed? I have felt like they've been trending pretty high since the 2.0 patch.

  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 5,321
    Beamdog acknowledged that HPs were too high quite a while ago. I'm not sure if they've found the reason why though.

    Chronicler
  • DreadKhanDreadKhan Member Posts: 3,850
    Maybe that low HP rolls are so bad that they can make a character nearly useless? I remember in Vanilla some playthroughs where I rolled bad for HP I was getting steamrolled, but a restart and decent rolls meant I could survive. I like max rolls most games, but I play sloppy most of the time (when not solo, really, and solo is one time I probably need max HP). That said, I doubt they'd do that on purpose, even if its a nice feature.

    ThacoBellgorgonzola
  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,399
    Chronicler wrote: »
    If I recall, Beamdog changed Otiluke's Resiliant Sphere so that now allies don't save against it. It's implicitly understood that if you're casting it on an ally they don't try to resist.

    So now in addition to controlling enemies, its also super reliable for getting your allies out of danger.

    For some reason I never really use it on allies though. I just use it to separate super tough enemies from the crowd.

    In the final battle with Sarevok, it's really gamechanging if you can get his mage companion into a Sphere. His Save vs Spell i good enough that you won't get him every time but I still think it's worth throwing one at him to see what happens.

    If it can be cast on the grand dukes in the Ducal Palace at Sarevok's coronation, that would be super helpful. I think I tried it once, and there was a saving throw made. Does anyone know if it's been changed to always work on a grand duke?

  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 5,321
    Chronicler wrote: »
    If I recall, Beamdog changed Otiluke's Resiliant Sphere so that now allies don't save against it. It's implicitly understood that if you're casting it on an ally they don't try to resist.

    So now in addition to controlling enemies, its also super reliable for getting your allies out of danger.

    For some reason I never really use it on allies though. I just use it to separate super tough enemies from the crowd.

    In the final battle with Sarevok, it's really gamechanging if you can get his mage companion into a Sphere. His Save vs Spell i good enough that you won't get him every time but I still think it's worth throwing one at him to see what happens.

    If it can be cast on the grand dukes in the Ducal Palace at Sarevok's coronation, that would be super helpful. I think I tried it once, and there was a saving throw made. Does anyone know if it's been changed to always work on a grand duke?

    In the unmodded game it allows a saving throw.

    BelgarathMTH
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 18,698
    But wouldn't it make the dukes hostile?

  • DreadKhanDreadKhan Member Posts: 3,850
    That would suck, because it would be nice to find an easy solution to that fight, which can be ugly with some weaker parties, or solos.

  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 5,321
    But wouldn't it make the dukes hostile?

    I think it's varied with my installations, but I certainly have seen that happen.

    JuliusBorisov
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