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More encounters for wilderness maps?

I've been doing another play through in baldur's gate but one thing I did notice is that allot of the wilderness maps seem fairly empty.

It's a shame because allot of the maps are fairly large and have very interesting topography, but end up feeling really empty.

Most random spawns and encounters are typically just a tight group of skeletons, hobgoblins, xvarts or gnolls. While nice, not really challenging or interesting.

Is there any mods out there that add more spawns? Or more tailored or unique encounters?

I know the game has a level cap and I'm not looking for more gear or op items, just want to know if there is some way to populate all the terrain areas outside of baldur's gate with more encounters / challenging encounters?


  • ZaxaresZaxares Member Posts: 1,167
    Hmm, I haven't heard of a mod that increases encounters/spawns in wilderness areas, but perhaps one of the other more experienced veterans here would know something.

    Funnily enough, I actually kinda like the generally empty map feeling in BG1. XD It gave the feeling of a fairly large, interconnected world, but one in which it was still possible for ordinary people to go about their lives, farm, travel between town to town without fearing that they'd get attacked by crazy-powerful monsters the moment they left civilization. Every map has about 3-4 unique encounters, some hostile, some not, but it's spread out enough that it doesn't feel like the wilderness is unusually crowded (which was a feeling I got fairly often in SoD and, to a lesser extent, BG2).

  • Black_ElkBlack_Elk Member Posts: 30
    edited July 2019
    I think a fun project would be to populate more wilderness areas with animals. Smaller Animals more amenable to charm alongside more powerful animals or hunters of said animals that might offer the occassional challenging combat in areas where there are not many spawns.

    It would give Rangers, Druids, Barbarians or Shamans more to do when going from point to point. (Other than a few neutral mage familiars there isn't much doing with smaller animals even when the art assets exist, but those could be used for puzzlers.) I think you could fill it out a fair amount that way without getting an overly crowded or constant gauntlet style vibe when outdoors.

    Despite showcasing the Ranger and Druid classes pretty well for a 2nd ed campaign, there still isn't a whole lot to interact with outside of a few beasties here and there to help beat up on the aforementioned Gnolls or Hobgoblins or Skeletons. And even though its hinted at in the shadow druid enclave of the Cloakwood section, more low grade crises involving the animals or natural areas along the sword coast could maybe tie together some threads in far flung regions and stitch them into some kind of broader malign influence of the Bhaal saga on the wildlands. But you know, without overshadowing the main plot too much or feeling thrust at you.

    I think it also works well using more animals since its easier to blow past animals or ignore/be ignored by them. Not the same thing as like convo interupts or hostile encounters from humanoids. But if there were some new hidden interactions out there with the beasts, it would give some reward for re-exploration of zones that are all half comitted to memory by now.

    Or for an alternative, you could just expand the shadow druid concept beyond the one region in cloakwood, or have random rangers roaming about, so a party that "over hunts" or tries to overexploit an area might get periodically ambushed by wilderness protector types. But done in more random locations, a bit more like the way flamming fist encounters in the cities can arise. It would give the Evil or just the 'screw outside' type characters/parties a way to interact that does't break rp but still brings the big empty stretches into play over time.

    Finally it might be fun if the player could choose to waylay enemies, instead of just being waylaid by them all the time. Which is a little out there, but the idea would be that instead of getting teleported to a closed off area mid transit, maybe they could set ambushes on the larger area maps and then trigger encounters on camping. I think that could be fun for Nature or Evil type parties looking to exploit the whole Bandit plot line in more nuanced ways, but that can also take advantage of the cool topography and such in some of those map areas.

    I agree that a low to no loot approach would make sense. Like normal equipment or some hides and such when it comes to the animals. Making it more of an opt in type thing, where the reward is more exploration or combat fun oriented rather than monty haul or xp farm.

    Ps. Also in the original there's really not a whole lot to distinguish the ranger scout from the rogue scout when out in the bush, but maybe this could open that up some?

    Not totally unrelated, but another game element that Baldur's Gate never really tangos with is Languages. Not sure if it could be worked in but one of the cool things about having a high INT score in AD&D was the ability to learn more languages and to communicate more effectively during encounters. It was a big deal for mages but also a cool feature of the druid class too, since they have access to Sylvan for woodland creatures and to a secret druidic language known only to initiates.

    You could maybe do like a White Goddess style sub-plot with Ogham runes on trees and such? Or maybe delivering secret messages via the crane bag, which could get your bards in the mix as well. Something lore related as much as combat oriented could be fun. Since not everything requiring identification needs to be like a weapon or equipment. I don't know, seems like it could be a cool theme that doesn't railroad too much, but might still enhance the wilderness type experience.

    I feel like the druid class had a lot of cool supplemental materials going back almost to the get go with the companions rules. Their handbook for 2nd Ed dropped just a few years before the first BG with a lot of deets, so I think it fits that D&D era pretty well esp in Faerun. But there's room out there for any type of party to get tangled up in something when they venture outside of town haha

    Post edited by Black_Elk on
  • Very_BigSwordVery_BigSword Member Posts: 200
    edited July 2019
    Lethlian wrote: »
    Is there any mods out there that add more spawns? Or more tailored or unique encounters?

    I know the game has a level cap and I'm not looking for more gear or op items, just want to know if there is some way to populate all the terrain areas outside of baldur's gate with more encounters / challenging encounters?
    One option is to set difficulty to insane with the extra damage turned on. In v2.5 it does result in larger spawns here or there, e.g. 10 zombies or 8 flinds interrupt rest etc. Sometimes you get 3 ghasts or 5 ghouls. You get the idea. It does not increase diversity though, its just more of the same.

    While this is not particularly hard it forces you to concentrate more and raises the threat level - you cannot just sleep walk through everything and you will need to CC sometimes. Critical hits are especially dangerous. Rogues and mages can take 20+ damage hits from Hobgoblins or Gibberlings because it is double damage x2 without a helmet.

    There is a mod that does what you are asking, although it does add some strong magical items. It also somewhat inflates XP gain and wealth from basic loot. The harder encounters are fun and there are not too many.

    You said you do not want "more gear or OP items". If you play the mod I would suggest the following to keep your game in balance:
    • Don't loot any of the new magical items or valuable treasure from these encounters
    • On the gnoll stronghold map there are massive numbers of gnolls and you get too much loot and XP. Control+Y everything except the ogrillons, the cave residents and the gnoll group around Dynaheir's pit. Don't loot anything except the mobs that you killed legitimately.

    Keeping to those two rules should prevent you from exceeding the power/XP and gold/gear curve while still allowing you to enjoy the extra challenge from some stronger opposition. You can also complete Gnoll stronghold in full, with restricted looting, then console or EEkeeper your XP downward after. Thats what I tend to do.

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