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[Bug] Dispel Magic removes the natural weapons granted by shapeshifting spells and abilities.

JaceJace Member Posts: 193
edited November 2012 in Original BG2 Bugs
This is my first bug report, so I will try to be as concrete as possible.

GAMES: BG1Tutu / BG2:ToB (Patch version 26498) (No mods installed)

OBSERVED BEHAVIOR: A shapeshifted character (via Polymorph Self, Shapechange, Druidic abilities, etc.) caught in Dispel Magic will have their natural weapons removed (such as the fangs from the Spider form, the fists from the Golem form, the halberd from the Flind form, the claws from the Werewolf and other animal forms, etc.) and the weapon quickslot icons will revert back to whatever weapons you were holding prior to shapeshifting.

This will also remove any visible held weapon from the sprite itself. The Ogre form will be seen without its morningstar. The Flind form will be seen without its halberd.

Following that, any weapon can be equipped from the inventory while shapeshifted. You gain any Thac0 bonus, damage bonus and equipped abilities from the weapon you equip, but also keep the attacks per round given to you by the shapeshifted form. You do however lose the secondary effects of your previous natural weapons (for example, a Mind Flayer without the tentacles cannot drain Intelligence and a Spider without its fangs cannot poison enemies).

As such, this can result in some very weird scenarios, like a spider firing missile weapons at a base 4 attacks per round, or a huge golem going invisible and dipelling stuff because he "punches" with a Staff of the Magi. I haven't been successful in dispelling the entire Polymorph/Shapechange effect, however, even with a cleric 10+ levels above the polymorphed caster.

DESIRED BEHAVIOR 1: The natural weapons granted by shapeshifted forms should not, in any circumstances, be subject to removal by dispelling.

DESIRED BEHAVIOR 2: I am not sure about this, but I believe the Polymorph Self and Shapechange mage spells (and other such spells I may forget) should be completely dispellable, so that a successful Dispel Magic reverts them to natural form and strips them off their ability to further shapeshift.

Post edited by Balquo on


  • Ascension64Ascension64 Member Posts: 560
    I think Spell Revisions has a component that does some of what you describe, with dispel not being able to dispel the magical weapons created. The component makes use of an .exe hack (TobEx also includes a hack to enable the potential use of this too).

    Modding a forced Shapeshift to Human Form into the dispel magic should be achievable without any executable modification.

  • BhryaenBhryaen Member Posts: 2,874
    I don't know if I'd want even a Mage shapeshift to be reversible with a Dispel. It seems like a full transformation physically rather than an illusion to be disrupted. The timer aspect is just when the 2nd transformation back occurs. No idea if there are already rules implemented on this though- i.e., regarding Polymorph and Dispel. For sure the attack item lock-in should happen- as mentioned in this thread:

  • JaceJace Member Posts: 193

    The description for Polymorph Self in the AD&D Handbook states that the caster will prematurely return to their original form when slain, or when the effect is dispelled. Yet, the description for Shapechange states that the only way to prematurely end the effect is to shatter some expensive jade circlet used as a material component. Since it's absurd to enforce material components in the game, and since the game treats both spells more or less the same mechanically (only thing that changes is the variety of forms provided), I guess it should be dispellable, although I won't complain if it's decreed that it should not.

    The attack item issue should really be fixed though. It is easy to pull off and very cheesy (however funny and hilarious it may be... NERF FUN!). :-)

  • AntonAnton Member, Moderator, Mobile Tester Posts: 513
    edited September 2012
    Jace said:

    DESIRED BEHAVIOR 2: I am not sure about this, but I believe the Polymorph Self and Shapechange mage spells (and other such spells I may forget) should be completely dispellable, so that a successful Dispel Magic reverts them to natural form and strips them off their ability to further shapeshift.

    Perhaps "Dispel Magic" should only dispel "Polymorph Self(Other)".
    "Shapechange" is 9th level spell thus I don't think that it should be dispelled by Remove Magic \ Dispel Magic

  • BollywoodHeroBollywoodHero Member Posts: 89
    Is there a plan to fix this? If a real fix would require an overhaul of the engine, I recommend the Refinements mod implementation. Is this a viable solution?

    FYI, as per refinements:

    "Refinements includes a new fix for the infamous Shapeshifting bug. Shapeshifting in the original game didn't get the intended bonuses in the target forms, and also the paws (or specific weapons) were dispellable! Unfortunately the problem resides in the inner code of the game, so only work-arounds can be attempted. Westley Weimer provided (for some of the forms) a really smart and revolutionary solution, which unfortunately still has some problems, especially for players who are concerned with "roleplaying" consistency: the player has to equip the paws himself and this may seem a bit odd. So, we've taken the really good idea from Weimer and added some thought of our own :) With this fix the player can finally use shapeshifting as originally intended: they gain all the resistances and immunities of the target forms, but they also lose the capability to cast spells and talk (otherwise you'd just want to remain a werewolf or a Fire Elemental forever...). Yes, the paws can still be dispelled, unluckily, but... they will reappear after a short while, so the player has nothing to bother with. The current maximum delay for this to happen has been choosen after some performance tests.

    All the forms available to the various kinds of druids have been fixed: wolf, bear, spider, wyvern, salamander, and werewolf. Furthermore, turning back to the natural form now heals the druid somewhat. Regarding the elemental forms gained as HLAs, a fix and a complete revision are included in the first component of this mod, for which we added the two missing elemental forms (air and water) and reunited them all under the same ability.

    The cost of this fix is tolerable in our opinion: a few portrait icons cannot be displayed for the character while shapeshifted. Hey... The world is not perfect :) Last thing: turning back to a humanoid from the Shapeshifters' werewolf forms now requires a round. The other forms do not have enough fitting animations for such an adjustment and we also wanted to emphasize the difference with the other cases (shapeshifters are affected by lycanthropy, they really have to dominate their "beast side"). Werewolf forms are also very powerful after all, especially if you pick the "Feral Spirit" HLA (included again in the first component of this mod)."

  • CrevsDaakCrevsDaak Member Posts: 7,128
    A fix for this would mean no more Cloak of the Sewers -> Change Rat -> Melf's Meteors -> Then use main weapon, with 95 resistance to physical attacks.

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