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Not sure where to put this really, but can somehow help me how to use magic?

So I admit, I'm still working my way to BG 2 EE. I have made my way through BG 1 EE, and working my way through Siege, and I've noticed: I don't use magic much. I rarely use potions, wands, scrolls, nada. For BG 1 my main character as an archer has 55% of the total kills/exp for the party, with my tank (Ajantis) having another 20 something percent. My mage (Neera) mostly cast identify and had a pitiful 4% of kills/exp despite being on my team nearly the whole game. On the other side of things, my druids and cleric mostly cast healing. I'm trying to change that around in Siege, as looking ahead to BG 2, half the characters I'm interested are magic casters.

So yea, I'm rambling here, but I'm looking for some magic tips, a guide, something to level up my magic skills. Thank you for your time!



  • PokotaPokota Member Posts: 728
    Given what your play style sounds like, I would look into party buff spells like Haste, and disabler spells like Web or Stinking Cloud.

    Keep in mind that you'll have to have your mage of choice re-learn these spells in BG2 - only Gorion's Ward will carry over all their skills and abilities, everyone else will "reset" to their BG2 self.

  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 6,526
    The % of kills a mage gets is not an accurate guide to how useful they are to the party. In general mages are probably most useful in BG1 when using disabling spells - like blind, sleep, web, glitterdust, stinking cloud, hold person, various charms, confusion & chaos and emotion. Their relative lack of damage though means they are unlikely to get kills in a party even when attacking helpless targets. If you do want to push up their kill %, then they can take more aggressive spells, but you can also have your cake and eat it by using disabling spells, while also making use of wands - the wand of fire, using both fireballs and scorchers, is very effective in BG1.

  • Permidion_StarkPermidion_Stark Member Posts: 4,589
    I am also fairly useless at using magic and so struggle when I get to BG2 and the high level spells start flying around. However, I have just started playing SoD and I find that Horror is still a useful spell to cast when you are facing large numbers of enemies (so long as they are not undead). I imagine it becomes less useful as the campaign progresses and the enemies you are facing are higher level but at the start it seems very effective.

  • borntodieborntodie Member Posts: 199
    edited September 9
    Pokota wrote: »
    Given what your play style sounds like, I would look into party buff spells like Haste, and disabler spells like Web or Stinking Cloud.

    +1 to haste, that's the first spell to look at.

    Web and Stinking Cloud are potent spells, but they can backfire. I would recommend Slow. It's simple, party friendly, highly effective when it hits and has a great save penalty.

  • odessa333odessa333 Member Posts: 59
    Hm, I tried haste, but the exhaustion effect is pretty annoying after. Not something I can rely on too often. And area things like Web, Fireball, Cloudkill.... they tend to backfire when I use them lol. I'm not so good at avoiding my own spells. I tend to use magic missiles, wands of frost, and other single target damage spells, which works, but it's not impressive. Most fights I don't bother and let my mage fling darts/sling as the enemies die too quick to worry about spells.

  • PokotaPokota Member Posts: 728
    edited September 10
    Exhaustion from haste isn't nearly as dangerous as you'd expect, particularly when weighed against the benefits from Haste in the first place.

    Per this post by @semiticgod, fatigue itself only impacts "Luck" (which has a few other effects but the most important ones are that it impacts damage taken and received), and only after you have so much of it. In Baldur's Gate, the only characters that would get and remain fatigued after a single Haste wears off are characters of weak constitution - specifically, of CON 7 or weaker. The emblem should disappear after the next Fatigue calculation reminds the game "hey, they're not actually fatigued enough to take penalties"

    For the fatigue penalty to be overwhelming, you would need to not rest for about three days in-game. Post-Haste Fatigue is negligible at worst.

  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 1,109
    edited September 10
    Haste is ... yeah, you're not going to cast more than two of those between rests. It's still a good idea for the big set-piece battles, which often conclude quests so it's natural to rest afterwards. And if you're only using serious magic in those major battles, that's fine. Spells are great to bring down the serious threats, while warriors are there to clear out the minor encounters efficiently.

    For party-unfriendly AoE spells, there are a few things you can do.

    First, and most applicable to BG1, aim for a party composition high in ranged attackers. If most of your party is shooting arrows into the fray and you only have one or two melee tanks to worry about, it's not so hard to get them out of the way.

    Second, and most applicable to BG2, find ways to protect your party members. Resistances to damage types, saving throws, specific immunities. Cast a web? Spider forms, free action effects, or unbeatable saves will let your people fight in it. A fireball? Now it's fire immunity you're looking for, or something like the cloak of mirroring..

    Third, with instant effects like fireball, you can target places your party simply isn't at yet. Obviously, this isn't such a good idea with effects that stick around, unless you plan on staying away for the full duration.

    After my current no-spellcasting run finishes, I plan on hitting the opposite extreme with a theme of "Kill it with Fire". Five out of six party members capable of casting Fire Storm or Incendiary Cloud once the party matures, and all of them fire immune so they can fight while those are running. Even in the BG1 portion, I'll have two fire-immune tanks so I can throw fireballs into melee.

    Post edited by jmerry on
  • MaurvirMaurvir Member Posts: 891
    Everyone always wants to cast "Fireball". I know when I first started playing PnP years ago, I rolled a mage and couldn't wait until I got my first level 3 slot, which I immediately used to have my character learn Fireball. Then you learn that it really isn't that useful of a spell about 95% of the time.

    I am not sure if BG/BG2 implement it, but in the PnP game, it's a true volumetric spell. If you cast it in a narrow tunnel or hallway, it will expand until it reaches the specified *volume*, and if your party happens to be within that volume... Needless to say, my first real "fail" in that game was using Fireball in an area where it was not wise to do so... After that lesson, my mage character stuck with more practical spells - invisibility, haste, knock, etc.

  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 1,109
    The volumetric stuff definitely isn't implemented in the BG series. It's a simple circular area of effect.

    Of course, the thing about fireballs in this series is that you don't need to spend a spell slot, or even have a mage. There are potions, necklaces, and wands that all let you throw fireballs. They're not quite as powerful as a mage's fireball can be, but they're certainly good enough - especially if you stack a few of them.

  • ChroniclerChronicler Member Posts: 1,289
    The percentage of kills stat only tracks who deals the killing blow. The heavy damage dealers will naturally get most of that.

    The mage's role is more to facilitate kills. They might knock the enemies unconscious with a sleep spell, or debilitate them with a slow spell, or dull their senses with a blind spell, and that'll be when your archer or paladin swoops in for the kill.

    Since your main guy is an archer, a fun thing to point out is that if the enemy is blinded, they literally can't find you. Your archer can just shoot them from a distance and they'll stand there like an idiot all "What was that? Who goes there?". You've gotta get right up in their face for them to see you and start trying to attack you, after which of course they'll chase you for as long as they can without losing track of you, but for somebody like your archer who can murder from a distance the advantage is even greater than normal.

  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 949
    To my mind, there are a couple of things you want to do with magic in just about any party. One is to disable enemies with sleep (low levels) and emotion hopelessness (mid levels) so enemy DPS will fall to zero. Another is to buff yourself with spells like draw upon holy might (cleric) and haste (mage) so your DPS will spike. A third is to armor yourself with spells like mirror image and stoneskin (mage) or ironskins (druid) so you won't take damage even if enemies are physically attacking you. And a fourth is to provide quality-of-life improvements like invisibility, identify, and cure/restoration spells that let you scout without fear of failing a stealth check, identify items without spending any gold, and handle hit point and level drain issues without needing to burn potions or visit priests.

    As you move into BG2, dismantling enemy-mage defenses will get added to this list. I'm sure people will be happy to help with that when the time comes, but for now the key is to get a basic handle on how using magic can benefit your party.

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