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Caster level

Does BG2EE use caster level properly?
I was just thinking about a max level Bard actually having a significantly higher casting level than a max level Mage. I know it doesn't affect many spells but there are a few that would benefit. Maybe a decent reason to actually play a Bard...? :D

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Comments

  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 1,116
    For the purposes of spell effects, most spells cap caster level at 20. Draw Upon Holy Might will never give more than +6 to attributes, Haste will never last more than 23 rounds, and so on.

    The one thing that reliably scales? Caster level for dispel checks. A full cleric or a bard in the endgame can reliably dispel anybody else's spells, and their own spells are practically impossible for anyone else to dispel.

    ThacoBellalceryes
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 11,734
    Reasons to play Bards

    1.spell casting
    2.Higher caster levels faster
    3.Archery
    4.Can use 99% of weapons BEFORE UAI
    5.Free identification
    6.Bardsong
    7.Free Pickpockets
    8.Wands
    9.GETTING ALL OF THIS ON ONE SINGLE CLASS CHARACTER

    The ultimate toolbox and support.

    Got Bards?

    alceryesilduderinoMoomintrollPokota
  • alceryesalceryes Member Posts: 373
    Thanks for the input @ThacoBell @jmerry
    Haha! I'm assuming that list is in no particular order.

    ThacoBell
  • ilduderinoilduderino Member Posts: 667
    edited July 14
    It’s a shame bard spellcasting caps at level 6 in BG, the cap of level 8 in IWD makes them much better there (although I guess UAE in BG provides some balance).

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 11,734
    alceryes wrote: »
    Thanks for the input @ThacoBell @jmerry
    Haha! I'm assuming that list is in no particular order.

    Haha yes, the only order was as I thought of it.

  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 949
    edited July 15
    Probably the closest analogue to a bard is a fighter/mage/thief. I'd argue a FMT is a more valuable party member in most respects since he can handle traps/locks and has the APR to properly leverage mage buffs in melee. But blades especially are competitive in other respects, as they can stand toe-to-toe DPS-wise with FMTs for brief periods and have a high enough caster level to reliably dispel enemy effects, which FMTs can't really hope to do.

    ThacoBell
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 11,734
    Multiclasses in general are stronger than single classes. Its the only way to out utility a bard. You DO sacrifice caster levels and bard song, though. So its still a bit of a tradeoff. I would give the edge to multiclasses though.

    Fun fact about Blades, they are 1 of 2 single classes that I have been able to go toe-to-toe with Sarevok without support and win.

    jsaving
  • alceryesalceryes Member Posts: 373
    ThacoBell wrote: »
    Fun fact about Blades, they are 1 of 2 single classes that I have been able to go toe-to-toe with Sarevok without support and win.

    ...and the other one iiiiis? [drum roll]

    ThacoBell
  • ilduderinoilduderino Member Posts: 667
    alceryes wrote: »
    ThacoBell wrote: »
    Fun fact about Blades, they are 1 of 2 single classes that I have been able to go toe-to-toe with Sarevok without support and win.

    ...and the other one iiiiis? [drum roll]

    Well it’s not monk

    ThacoBell
  • Balrog99Balrog99 Member Posts: 6,444
    alceryes wrote: »
    ThacoBell wrote: »
    Fun fact about Blades, they are 1 of 2 single classes that I have been able to go toe-to-toe with Sarevok without support and win.

    ...and the other one iiiiis? [drum roll]

    My guess, Dwarven Defender?

    ThacoBellAdam_en_tium
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 11,734
    Balrog99 wrote: »
    alceryes wrote: »
    ThacoBell wrote: »
    Fun fact about Blades, they are 1 of 2 single classes that I have been able to go toe-to-toe with Sarevok without support and win.

    ...and the other one iiiiis? [drum roll]

    My guess, Dwarven Defender?

    We have a winner! It is indeed the Dwarven Defender.

  • VanDerBergVanDerBerg Member Posts: 143
    edited July 17
    Fun fact about Blades, they are 1 of 2 single classes that I have been able to go toe-to-toe with Sarevok without support and win.

    This I can believe, as looking at the description of level 10 blade at the end of BG1, it looks like it was written especially to face a single, non moving meele enemy that deals lots of damage, i.e. Sarevok. Defensive spin for -10 AC is maybe the only thing that can prevent Sarevok with his thac0 hitting you almost every time. Offensive spin that can be used in conjunction with oil of speed (can offensive and defensive spin be used together?). Plus stoneskin with 5 skins at level 10. And mirror image and blur.

    In terms of out-utilising a bard, that is quite hard to measure non-subjectively. In terms of single class chars, I could also argue for a Priest of Lathander late in the game.

  • DanacmDanacm Member Posts: 837
    I dont know, i always facetank Sarevok with right buffs from potions and use of Durlags Goblet if i do it with vanilla fighter. But i rarely play solo, i found it boring.

  • VanDerBergVanDerBerg Member Posts: 143
    I never play solo either and by the time I get to that fight, I am kinda done with BG1 and want to move to SoD or BG2 as soon as possible, and I use whatever tactics kills him the fastest. Which is, switching between Minsc/Jaheira/Ajantis/Khalid (depending who I have in my party) for facetanking him while my two mages take him out with magic missiles.

    In the original 1998 game without ToSC, he was (as far as I remember) immune to magic, so you couldn't do this. But he was not hasted either, so an archer or two could take him out in the same way the mages can do in ToSC/EE with magic missiles.

    I don't think I ever killed him melee way.

  • VanDerBergVanDerBerg Member Posts: 143
    I mean, the guy has a thac0 of -6, 4 attacks per round and does tons of damage per hit. Keeping away from him still sounds like a good idea.

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 11,734
    @VanDerBerg "In terms of out-utilising a bard, that is quite hard to measure non-subjectively. In terms of single class chars, I could also argue for a Priest of Lathander late in the game."
    You have me intriqued, please elaborate. I don't personally see how a cleric can do as much as a bard.
    Danacm wrote: »
    I dont know, i always facetank Sarevok with right buffs from potions and use of Durlags Goblet if i do it with vanilla fighter. But i rarely play solo, i found it boring.

    Yeah, but that's using consumables. I'm talking about going in with just equipment and class skills. No potion chugging, no scrolls.

  • VanDerBergVanDerBerg Member Posts: 143
    edited July 17
    Might be just because it is my favorite class, but...

    1. boon of lathander gives +1 thac0, +1 damage and 1 extra APR. And they stack together. So, level 21 priest can have 4 APR with two handed weapon for 21 rounds.

    2. holy power + draw upon holy might + righteous magic gives the priest a thac0 of a fighter, extra hit points and maximum damage for the duration of righteous magic (1 round per level). Plus a huge increase in strength, constitution and dexterity - you can easily have 25 in all three.

    3. 1 and 2 together make the priest more devastating than a fighter of the same level

    4. High level turn undead makes fights against hordes of level-draining undead you encounter trivial. At level 21, you can turn almost everything, including liches.

    5. Clerics have some quite damaging spells at levels 5-7. Possibly more damaging than mages up to level 6.

    6. Clerics can cast TONS of spells with high wisdom. Being able to cast 13-14 level 2 and 3 spells means you can, pretty much, have a few skeleton warriors summoned all the time. With that, you can, for example, disable traps in the whole dungeon without resting - memorise a bunch of find traps at level 2 and walk around with a skeleton warrior which is almost completely magic resistant.

    7. Sanctuary is incredibly useful - you can get out of trouble by casting it on yourself, then healing yourself before returning to battle.

    8. Death ward, chaotic commands, free action (when you need it) protect against some of the most annoying effects in the game

    9. They share the same benefit of dispel magic as bards, as both reach level 40 by the end of the game

    ThacoBellalceryes
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 11,734
    So, cleric gets spells. Bards don't get divine spells, but that's still a lot of utility. Plus pick pocket, high lore, archery, lots of weapon types.

    If I arrange your points the same way I did mine:

    1. spellcasting
    2. Turn undead
    3. caster level

    That's not really a large list of things. (You'll note that I group all spells together in one point for my bard list.)

    I'm not gonna argue power, but the bard has more diverse skills than a cleric.

  • VanDerBergVanDerBerg Member Posts: 143
    edited July 17
    Fair enough. The reason I love clerics is that I find their spellcasting so diverse and you have so many spells memorised that they can transform between a healer, party buffer, debuff remover (remove paralysis, cure disease), insta-death protector, nuker and a tank at will.

    For a mage or bard, you kinda need to decide what you want to do between rests, as you don't have enough spell slots (at least not before the end game) to cover different situations.

    Plus, I find that my mages need to cover most of their slots with anti magic spells if I am to survive without having to rest after every fight.

    Though, I totally want to try a blade once. I'd memorise just the protection spells (stonesking, PfMW) and go destroy foes.

  • ReticentReticent Member Posts: 116
    I feel like it's basically a toss-up between Bards and Clerics, but Clerics seem to be a lot more at risk from having a Dispel or Remove Magic go badly against them.

    Over the course of a full play-through Clerics are probably the bigger quality of life improvement to have in your party. Being able to raise dead without marching back to town is a massive convenience.

  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 949
    Clerics have a great spell list whose value is often underestimated by new players who prefer flashier spells like fireball. However there is a bit of irony in that by the time you understand how helpful their spells would have been to you as a new player, you don't need healing/debuffing/resurrecting as much as you once did, because you have gotten better than you once were. Still a solid party member though.

    ThacoBell
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 11,734
    I haven't used a raise spell outside the one ToB quest in over 10 years.

  • VanDerBergVanDerBerg Member Posts: 143
    edited July 18
    I haven't used a raise spell outside the one ToB quest in over 10 years.

    I mean, if this statement is true, I guess it means one of five things

    1) You always play solo
    2) In the last 10 years, only once it happened that one of your party members died
    3) You restart after one of your party members dies
    4) You go to temple to resurrect your fallen party members
    5) You play with no-reload and ditch party members who due

    If 1) or 5) is true, that's quite a different playstyle that most of the people do.

    If 2) is true, it means that every time (but one) you played the game in the last 10 years, you managed not only to beat it without reloading, but also without losing a single member of your party. If that's true, that makes you one of the best, if not -the- best player of the game in the world. In which case, I suspect that you wouldn't have use of many spells, items and tricks that normal players use.

    If 3) is true, that's fair enough, but that doesn't mean the spell itself has no use. It would be the same as saying, for example, that I have no need for chaotic commands spell as I can just reload the game when mind flyer's psionic blast stuns any of my characters.

    If 4) is true, that's again fair enough, but similar to me saying identify is useless since I can just pay a merchant 100 gold to identify an item. Which I myself did wrongly say, now that I think of it.

    Coming back to cleric spells, as I said, I love their versatility. Just some examples

    - You wanna do nuking? You can use Holy Smite (better damage at high levels than fireball, has chance to blind targets and is party friendly if you play with a good party), Flame Strike, Sunray, Fire Storm, Bolt of Glory.
    - You wanna fight at the frontline? Holy Power + DUHM + Righteous Magic will make you hit harder than a fighter of the same level. If you are a priest of Lathander, you can even have more attacks per round than a fighter
    - You wanna tank? Use Armour of Faith, Blade Barrier, DUHM and, being able to use any armour, you will have better AC than a fighter and be able to harm enemies just by standing there.
    - Debuffing? Silence 15' Radius, Greater Command, Mental Domination, False Dawn
    - Support? Use Chant, Protection from Evil, Bless, Defensive Harmony and you get massive bonuses to the AC and Saving Throws for the whole party
    - Cure and Prevent Effects? Remove Paralysis, Remove Disease, Chaotic Commands, Death Ward and Free Action can protect you from most debilitating effects


    While mages can do many of these things, and obviously some things better (there is no doubt arcane spells are better), I love the fact that a cleric can still stay in fight and survive when his magic is dispelled. If a mage loses his protections and is caught in fight, it usually means they are dead very quickly.

    Post edited by VanDerBerg on
  • ilduderinoilduderino Member Posts: 667
    The spell mass raise dead dishes out some nice group healing

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 11,734
    @VanDerBerg In BG1, yeah, its really rare for party members to die. BG1 tends to accidentally be no-reload for me. That flies out the window for BG2 though. So I guess its a partial mix of 2 and 3.

    It helps that my charname is always first one into combat, so when someone dies, its usually them, so I HAVE to reload anyway. But yeah, clerics have great spells. I actually prefer divine magic to arcane (hellooooo Druids!). I will never dispute the usefulness of clerics.

  • VanDerBergVanDerBerg Member Posts: 143
    In BG1, yeah, its really rare for party members to die. BG1 tends to accidentally be no-reload for me. That flies out the window for BG2 though. So I guess its a partial mix of 2 and 3.

    I appreciate it and I have deep respect for people who have mastered the game so much that they very rarely have party members die. But for me, my party members die in BG1 and especially often in BG2. So, 'Raise Dead' is a matter of great convenience for me, especially for hard fights like Beholder Lair, Kangaxx or Twisted Rune. It is a matter of 'I will reload 5 more times until I win this fight cleanly' or 'I will just use one Raise Dead and get on with the game'. I do the former only if I especially enjoy the fight, like I enjoyed the Twisted Rune.
    I actually prefer divine magic to arcane (hellooooo Druids!)

    I do too and I love druid spells. I feel like the divine spells are generally more focused and most of them (save for some lower level crap) are quite important and useful. On the other hand, take just summoning spells for mages. There are like 20 different summons, but all I ever read even from experts was 'Summon Mordekainen's Sword to tank non-magic enemies, summon skeleton warriors to tank mages and for high level fights, summon planetars". I never saw anyone saying that summoning nishruu saved their life.

    ThacoBell
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 11,734
    I am convinced that the people who manage to no-reload BG2 practice actual black magic.

  • MaurvirMaurvir Member Posts: 891
    ThacoBell wrote: »
    I am convinced that the people who manage to no-reload BG2 practice actual black magic.

    I haven't managed it, but if you restrict yourself to purely forced reloads (main char dying), then it shouldn't be that hard. To be honest, I wish that BG2 worked like IWD in that you only have forced reloads on full party wipe. I believe you can lose your PC, but as long as one party member remains, the game is salvageable.

    Yes, I know, being a bhaalspawn changes that, but you can raise Imoen from the dead even AFTER you find out, so I think that's bull.

  • VanDerBergVanDerBerg Member Posts: 143
    I am convinced that the people who manage to no-reload BG2 practice actual black magic.

    Especially the ridiculous The Throne of Bhaal part where the policy of designer seems to be "Let's throw an army of 20 magic resistant enemies at you at every step, with at least a few level 30 mages that immediately spawn 10 high level summons". Stupid, idiotic Watcher's Keep.

  • Adam_en_tiumAdam_en_tium Member Posts: 46
    The only thing that I don't like about clerics spell is the casting times... So many of their spells have a casting time of 9

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