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SCS and the Rakshasa

I had a suspicion that my first SCS game would not also serve as a no-reload/minimal reload game. That suspicion has been confirmed (repeatedly...)

Last night's encounter with the Rakshasa in the druid grove proved an excellent case in point. I remember that being a tough fight in the past, but this time was insane. My party was doing zilch damage with +2 and +3 weapons, while they were getting hammered like a loose nail with AOE spells. I then noticed that they had cast protection from magical weapons, and as it happened, a few of my party had non-magical weapons. (Including, amazingly, a regular old club)

They were STILL doing no damage. None. They were all unhurt after several rounds, while, as usual, my party was getting pounded like a cheap steak. This was despite softening them up with greater malison and lower resistance. So, I reloaded and tried a different tactic.

I cast invisibility on Isra, then sent Imoen and Branwen into the corner where they couldn't be seen and had them unload a few skeleton warriors. I had Sirene talk to/agro the "witch", and then everyone but Isra left. Thankfully, no one cast invisibility purge, so she was able to direct the skeleton warriors unseen to "milk" the Rakshasa's spell books with no harm done. (though they did wipe the floor with them in the process)

Eventually, I had each party member pop in, get them to cast a few spells, then pop out before they could land. After a few rounds of this, they were depleted and down to straight up melee fighting. Now we were getting somewhere. Both parties clearly had good armor, as neither side was doing much damage. However, with enough greater malisons, Sirene finally got in some good hits on one of them.

The rest of the fight more or less involved Isra and a skeleton warrior herding the bad guys around so that Branwen, Imoen, Jaheira, and Sirene could wail on them one at a time. It took many, many rounds, but they finally whittled them all down. Eilrie, the party sorcerer, was down to foul language by the time it was over.

Clearly, something changed, because I don't recall that fight ever being that insane in the past. It was a fun play, though, and it definitely required a change in tactics.

JuliusBorisovOrlonKronsteengorgonzola
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Comments

  • AmmarAmmar Member Posts: 1,069
    They can be a bit rough, but people who really can't manage otherwise can cheese the doors like you did.

    Rakshasa are naturally immune to normal weapons, so if they cast Protection from Magical Weapons... (note that the PC can do the same after the Hell Trials or when wearing that one Elven Chain).

    StummvonBordwehrThacoBell
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 20,459
    Haha, I like it.

    SCS golems - party wipe, reload.
    SCS rakshasa - party wipe, reload.

    You're in for a treat! More surprises on the way.

    monicoOrlonKronsteen
  • DanacmDanacm Member Posts: 784
    It should be great if a creature (or pc) have natural immunity to normal weapons, cant use immunity to magical weapons.

  • monicomonico Member Posts: 476
    The real problem is their immunity to lvl spells 1 to 8 (so immune to Breach), seems more OP to me than the immunity to normal weapon + PfMW spell combination.

    I'm not familiar with SCS Rakshasas, so I don't know how many times they can recast PfMW, but the spell doesn't last long so it may just be a question of outlasting the spell, divert their attention to summons for the duration.

    Obviously, if they have multiple or even infinite recasts of the PfMW spell, that is another story, but I don't think that would be the case (that's basically making them immune to everything except lvl9 spells, which would break balance).

    ThacoBell
  • MaurvirMaurvir Member Posts: 496
    edited March 6
    They don't have infinite numbers of any spell. I was able to deplete their memorized spells after a while, and they were down to straight-up melee fighting. Once the PfMW expired, my party was finally able to land hits. It just took a really, really long time to go through their memorized spells.

    Also, I don't consider using the door in that way cheese because enemies can follow you outside, even if these didn't. (The trolls in the SW corner camp didn't have any issue following the party outside.) Stepping outside of the area of effect feels like a valid strategy in this case.

    In hindsight, it might have been possible to come up with protections from the gases, but this party is still (for BG2) low level. The door strategy was due to running out of skeleton warriors.

    As an aside, I am still trying to do a minimal reload run. Criteria for a reload are party member death with loss of equipment (IOW, no way to salvage gear) or multiple party member loss. The Rakshasa managed to kill Isra once with most of the party confused/stunned (party was toast) and Branwen twice (same deal - party was in no position to salvage her and her stuff)

    I don't reload on curses, less than great (but salvagable) outcomes, or stupid decisions. Which is why my party had to trek back to Athkatla after Isra was cursed in a fight with a golem at the De'Arnise keep.

    JuliusBorisov
  • monicomonico Member Posts: 476
    Maurvir wrote: »
    Also, I don't consider using the door in that way cheese because enemies can follow you outside, even if these didn't. (The trolls in the SW corner camp didn't have any issue following the party outside.) Stepping outside of the area of effect feels like a valid strategy in this case.

    Yup, that's called "strategic retreat"
    https://youtube.com/watch?v=7FPELc1wEvk

    StummvonBordwehrAerakar
  • MaurvirMaurvir Member Posts: 496
    Discretion is the better part of valor... ;)

    StummvonBordwehrAerakar
  • MaurvirMaurvir Member Posts: 496
    Haha, I like it.

    SCS golems - party wipe, reload.
    SCS rakshasa - party wipe, reload.

    You're in for a treat! More surprises on the way.

    Just ran into the lich behind the wall in the city gate. Let's just say that didn't end well.

    JuliusBorisov
  • AmmarAmmar Member Posts: 1,069
    monico wrote: »
    The real problem is their immunity to lvl spells 1 to 8 (so immune to Breach), seems more OP to me than the immunity to normal weapon + PfMW spell combination.

    I'm not familiar with SCS Rakshasas, so I don't know how many times they can recast PfMW, but the spell doesn't last long so it may just be a question of outlasting the spell, divert their attention to summons for the duration.

    Obviously, if they have multiple or even infinite recasts of the PfMW spell, that is another story, but I don't think that would be the case (that's basically making them immune to everything except lvl9 spells, which would break balance).

    Do note that with SCS no one is immune to Breach, so in this regard the Rakshasa are slightly easier. This is offset for most enemies by the fact that SCS spell protections like Spell Turning protect against Breach.

    Quoting the readme:
    More consistent Breach spell (always affects liches and rakshasas; doesn't penetrate Spell Turning)

    Although it isn't documented, the 5th level spell Breach will remove a creature's combat protections (such as Stoneskin) even if that creature is protected by Spell Deflection, Spell Turning or Spell Trap; it will not, however, affect creatures like liches or rakshasas, because they are immune to spells of level 5 or below. This component removes both features: Breach now bounces off Spell Turning (etc.), but it affects even those creatures immune to "normal" 5th level spells.

    Petycon
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0
    edited March 9
    The user and all related content has been deleted.

    StummvonBordwehrThacoBellDanacm
  • DanacmDanacm Member Posts: 784
    Im on your side @subtledoctor about to do something with the natural immunity to normal weapons and pfmw issue. :smile:

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,578
    actually from the description of PFMW:
    "This spell cannot be cast on anyone who is protected from normal weapons as well as ...."
    and being protected from and being naturally immune to are different things.

  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0
    edited March 10
    The user and all related content has been deleted.

    Post edited by [Deleted User] on
    Ludwig_IIThacoBell
  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,189
    Such linguistic hair-splitting only works if you actively convince yourself to read the words in that particular way. It says "cannot be cast on anyone who is protected." If you are permanently immune, you are protected.
    The counter to that would be - it's not the same thing because two different words are used, and that's why we HAVE different words: two distinguish similar but subtly different things.

    If someone is vaccinated against a disease, they are protected from it; if someone has a genetic quirk that means they don't get the disease in the first place, they're immune to it. The two are NOT simply synonymous.

    That being said, though, the wording isn't what matters, but design intent is. We don't know if the original designers intended for PfMW to work in tandem with immunities or not; signs point to yes, given how it's coded, but unintentional interaction cannot be ruled out completely. With SCS, we have a clear statement about how the designer wants it to work, and that's how it works irrespective of any semantic hair-splitting in spell descriptions.

    Personally, I much prefer how SCS handles things but I'm always one who likes to go the physical damage route to spell immunities never bothered me much as long as they don't mess with dispels/removals. If I was more into magic damage I could see how this would be highly irritating.

    gorgonzola
  • AmmarAmmar Member Posts: 1,069
    I like the SCS as well, but I also like the quirks of the ruleset like the general immunity to lower level spells that certain enemies get instead of magic resistance.

    By the way, Rakhshasa immunity to lower level spells is still a thing in 5th edition.

    gorgonzola
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,578
    edited March 10
    imho to be immune to something or protected from something is not hair splitting on different words, it is something very important in the game mechanics as they are implemented.
    protections can be dispelled, natural immunity can not, to deal with a foe naturally immune to some weapons, like vampires or magic golems, requires a completely different approach from dealing with a mage protected by spell from magical or mundane weapons.

    then a person can prefer the way the thing is implemented in scs or find stupid or not interesting the way things are in vanilla, where a foe immune to normal weapons and protected from magic ones is not affected by physical attacks.
    and this is perfectly fine, i am not saying that the way vanilla is implemented is the perfect one.

    i am only saying that, even if often the spell descriptions are misleading and not accurate, in this particular case there is a consistency between the word used, protected, the game behavior and the way immunity and protection are dealt with by the game.
    so it is not hair splitting, weather a player can like the way the things are implemented or not, and both things are fine in a game that we can use "as it is" or mod to suit our personal taste.

  • AmmarAmmar Member Posts: 1,069
    I think it is just an ambiguity in the spell description. Protected and immune are not synonyms, but if you look at real world use of the words you are usually immune to something because you are protected in some way.

    As example, I should hopefully be immune to the measles since I am protected by my antibodies.

    At the same time, language is imprecise and "unless protected..." can very easily be read as protected by some other spell as those are the examples given. I am fine with the way it works right now. BTW unless I am mistaken the Asylferund Elven Chain stacks with PfMW as well, so that is one more example.

    gorgonzola
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,578
    edited March 10
    yep, i think that the whole thing is you can not use PFMW and PFNW at once, you have to make a choice.
    so there is no way a mage can use his spells to get a complete immunity to weapons for a certain time.
    as with PFMW and stoneskin the skins can be consumed by apr much faster then the 4 rounds the PFMW last.

    but if a creature, charname after the hell trials or vampires, liches and rackshasas, are naturally immune (so not trough a spell that have a duration, but have a permanent immunity, does not matter that internally the game can use an invisible to the player and not lootable item), this can be combined with PFMW.

    this give some defensive options for charname and defensive limitations for the other party mages and bring some problems against some enemies that are naturally immune to normal weapons and cast protections, even more problems if they are also immune to some spell levels, but it is part of the game as it is in vanilla or with difficulty mods that don't change the spell system (ie like tactics).
    players that don't like that way can use mods that change the spell system, like scs that make breach work also with enemies immune to lev 5 spells.

    anyway i think that the way in the game immunity and protection are used is quite consistent.
    for anything that gives to you a complete and permanent immunity to something immunity is used.
    for anything that gives a temporary immunity, like a spell or the charge of an item, protection is used.
    for anything that gives you a percentage, like a shield that halves the fire damage you take, resistance is used, weather it is a percentage in the damage, like in the resistance against fire or magic energy, or a percentage of a spell or other effect to work on you, like in the magic resistance.

    this is why i don't see what i wrote as hair splitting, but reading the description of the spell using the meaning of the word that is used in the game with consistency.

  • DanacmDanacm Member Posts: 784
    I dont think is a wise or balnced choice mechanically, to be able to use tactics without counter. But natural immunity with pfmw is in that case an uncounterable game mechanism that is never good in any game.

    ThacoBellgorgonzola
  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,189
    Danacm wrote: »
    I dont think is a wise or balnced choice mechanically, to be able to use tactics without counter. But natural immunity with pfmw is in that case an uncounterable game mechanism that is never good in any game.
    It depends. Periodical complete immunity does serve a design purpose, as it requires you to think defensively. It stops all-out offensive strategies that kill things before they ever become a problem with complete disregard for defensive capability, and putting in a pin in that can force people to be more clever with their mechanics.

    That's not to say it's an unequivocally good thing either, of course, and it's definitely used badly sometimes.

    gorgonzola
  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 620
    The problem is the existence of the spell in the first place; Protection from Magical Weapons is generally better than its 7th, 8th, and 9th level counterparts (Mantle, Improved Mantle, Absolute Immunity) when cast by monsters, and is strictly better than them when cast by a creature with permanent immunity to normal weapons. You want balance? Remove the mage spell entirely, for both players and monsters. The only vestige of it that should remain is a special ability of a few high-level monsters like Mariliths.

    Incidentally, if you've got a spellcaster with enough levels (typically a bard, a full cleric, or an inquisitor), nothing has innate immunity to Dispel/Remove Magic. Only the rare casters who use Spell Immunity: Abjuration can resist that; you'll have to hit them with something like a Spell Thrust first to clear out the immunity. (And... Spell Immunity is another broken spell, which doesn't match its description. It doesn't block self-buffs in its school, and it doesn't block spells that remove spell defenses.)

  • The user and all related content has been deleted.

    gorgonzolaThacoBell
  • DanacmDanacm Member Posts: 784
    Maybe if not remove, modify the spell entirely, remove the whole magic weapon protection and either tone it down to +3 magical weapons (but not normals, like a minor spell before mantles) or use it grant other type of protections, like +10 ac etc.
    Anyway the problem in a lot of times with mantle spells, that you can easily find highly enchanted weapons, and the +3,4,5 enchantment protection not enough against a mid-game warrior. It the enchantment system is not exist (like every weapon is counted +6 as magical and non-magical normal) there should be Ac type spells, or stoneskin like spells for protection,and it should be more than enough in a mage's role (like in the latest editions of dnd), because its a team game, so your mage need to cover with party members not the ultimate solo solution for every encounter (which is extremly unbalanced amd boring).

  • AmmarAmmar Member Posts: 1,069
    Danacm wrote: »
    I dont think is a wise or balnced choice mechanically, to be able to use tactics without counter. But natural immunity with pfmw is in that case an uncounterable game mechanism that is never good in any game.

    The counter is the breach spell (in the context of SCS).

    I'd leave the levels and spells as it is. I would be tempted to move PfMW weapons 1-2 spell levels higher, but with the vanilla spell tables this means Bards never get it and they start to fall behind anyway.

    gorgonzola
  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,189
    edited March 11
    Who said they are synonymous?? Your person with genetic immunity to a disease need not worry about contracting it, because their immunity protects them. They are not synonymous but one implies the other.
    You're literally using them as synonyms here. If you weren't, you'd admit they are two different things - but that's not your position, is it? You can say A leads to B, but that doesn't mean A and B are the same thing, and, consequently, you'd have to treat A and B differently even if A always leads to B. Which is sort of the exact point people are making about the immunity thing.

    gorgonzolaPetycon
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,578
    edited March 11
    even if i am personally fine with the way those spells are implemented in the vanilla rules, and i would also be fine with the scs way, where breach affects also creatures immune to the other spells of its level, i don't see the point of the discussion.
    the vanilla game behavior is clear, you can not use PFNW and PFMW or a mantle line spell at the same time, but if a creature has an immunity to normal weapons from an other source he can use PFMW.

    if a player does not like it he is free to use mods or mod himself the game in a way that change it, and to mod it in a way that does allow the compatibility with an other mod, let's say scs, imo is non a point.
    if the other mod creator would like that change he would have done it by himself, unless there is some agreement between modders.
    SR and IR work perfectly with scs, but because there is some agreement, they are designed to work with scs and scs as is updated is updated in a way that don't collide with the modifications introduced by SR and IR.

    if there is no agreement any modification to the spell system potentially screw up a difficulty enhancing mod as the modder wrote the enemy scripts for a given spell system and the strategies he uses can non work with the altered system.

    the reasons why i like the way the vanilla spells are implemented are, beyond the ones given by @Lord_Tansheron, that for charname, the only friendly toon that can have a natural and permanent immunity to normal weapons, at the level he gets it, so final battle of soa, it is not game breaking, my not charname fighter mages, bards and arcane casters in general are just as good to tank then the immune charnames.
    and for the enemies to have some of them you can not hit and can not dispel at low party levels make those battles more challenging, a low level party imho is not supposed to go against a lich, demilich or rackshasa and win easy, those are supposed to be powerful creatures and if a party want to deal with them at low levels they should know very well what to do.

    with tactics mod one of the first quests i usually do is the one in the temple ruins, there instead of the bone golems you find, even at low levels, 2 liches, each one with some mummy and undead helpers and a demon, that has a 1 hit kill attack and if you are not fast to kill him spawn a copy, with an infinite cycle.
    still my parties and solos had never found that dungeon impossible, even if i do it usually right after the circus tent and the slavers of the CC, so at a quite low level.
    both the liches and the demons are really challenging, but challenge is the purpose of installing a difficulty mod.
    for those that play vanilla no one compel them to face kangaxx, the twisted rune or other challenging encounters right out of irenicus dungeon, it can be done, it has been done by many, but is surely not required by the main plot, that put against you enemies naturally immune to normal weapons and that use pfmw much later if it does it at all.

  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0
    edited March 11
    The user and all related content has been deleted.

    Post edited by [Deleted User] on
    ThacoBell
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,578

    At risk of being Captain Obvious: then why are you posting here?
    probably because i live in italy and here our movements are restricted for the sanitary emergency we have.
    i am allowed to go out of my home only if i have very important reasons to do it.
    i have to find some way to pass my time avoiding boredom...

    jokes apart, but what i told is very real and is not a joke at all beyond the boredom part, my point is that i find to argue about the way some words are used in the spells description seems to me quite not useful.
    even if also i did it previously.
    i would gladly edit out what i wrote, my post that tells:

    actually from the description of PFMW:
    "This spell cannot be cast on anyone who is protected from normal weapons as well as ...."
    and being protected from and being naturally immune to are different things.

    but i don't as the sense of the posts that follow it would be altered.
    at the end i think that to determine if i, you, @Lord_Tansheron or some other person is right about some semantic whimsicalities is only a matter of egos fighting against each other, does not add any quality to this thread and drives it OT.
    because the topic is how to deal with a rackshasa that is immune to detain levels of spells and the normal weapons if he cast PFMW, not if the in game spell descriptions are perfect.
    so, even if i had part in driving the thread OT i ask myself and the others that have a part in doing it "is really worth it, it is really important to continue, maybe a couple of thread pages more, to debate about protection and immunity when we all have clear both the vanilla game and modded behavior of natural immunity to NW, PFMW and breach?

  • The user and all related content has been deleted.

    Danacm
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,578
    edited March 11
    as i told before anyone is free to like or dislike how the vanilla game is implemented and to eventually mod his game.
    i like it as it is and you don't, and this is fine.
    to each one his reasons and his taste.

    also i agree that the spell descriptions are often misleading, and this is not only true for those spells, let's take as example the free action
    " It instantly cures or dispels all status effects preventing movement and grants immunity to most movement restrictions for the duration"
    i can not see how an haste spell can be a movement restriction, is the exact opposite of a restriction as it enhances your movement capability.
    and this is only one of the many inaccuracies in the spell descriptions.

    but i discovered by myself pretty quickly that if i cast free action on a toon then there is no point in improve hasting him as well as i found out the difference between a mage using stoneskin + pfmw and a lich or rackshasa using pfmw.
    the in game descriptions can be misleading and inaccurate, but it is easy to find out how the game actually works, if we should complain for every spell and item description that is not completely accurate and argue that the game mechanics should be changed in a way that have the actual behavior perfectly matching the spell description we would need many forum pages only to list the issues.

    as i read it the OP point was that he ignored that rakshasas are naturally immune to the normal weapons, so with a scs rackshasa, that cast pfmw he did not know how to react.
    the answer was given, in scs breach affects rackhasas.
    as it is his first scs run i assume that in vanilla rakshasas don't use pfmw so the fact that they can not be breached is not an issue. as a vanilla rakshasa that uses pfmw is a more difficult problem to solve.
    and if there is some problem is only that in game we have no description of the creatures and their immunity. we have to find it out ourselves playing. only trying we discover that dragons and other giant creatures can not be stabbed, that liches are immune to lev 5 or less spells, no point in casting mm agaisnt them, that vampires need enchanted weapons. only for the wk monsters we have an in game clue, the ecologies.

    the game creates the expectation that every enemy is not impossible to kill, when killing is required to progress in the quest, and also this is not completely true, at least in EE where you can not kill by stats draining, arkanis in chap 2 and 3 and maybe few others are actually immune to everything.
    and even a vanilla rakshasa that cast pfmw is not impossible, as long as he has not an infinite supply of pfmw, you can not breach him, you can not hit him with weapons and if the party is not at very high levels with spells, but you can wait that his protection expires.

    to don't like the vanilla way of implementing the things is completely legittimate, and mods are here to change it if is the case.
    but we can also live with a game that makes some enemies completely immune to whatever a player can do, for a limited amount of time, that makes a spell or items that are supposed to protect you from what impairs your movement spells that also deny you the possibility to enhance your movement and so on.
    even if the in game descriptions can be sometimes misleading, and in the case of the free action surely the description is more misleading then the ones of the protection from xxx weapons or mantle line.

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