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SuperAerie, power tactics for the C/M *spoilers*

This is a discussion to share our tips and points of view about the power use of Aerie and the multiclass Cleric Mages. I think that is a really special multiclass and the synergy of the 2 classes, not only of the arcane and divine magic, has some really interesting uses.
So please don't tell that you use her to make undeads explode, or to cast Chaotic Commands on your tank, those are things that every Cleric can do. Same for Time Stop, Improved Alacrity and spamming ADHW, every mage can. Those are true things, but not related to this topic, things like clerical spells in sequencers and contingiences are, as only a C/M can do it.

In this first post I will not give any of my "personal recipes", just point out some of the peculiarities of the C/M.
Using and mixing arcane and divine magic is the first and more self evident one, but there is a lot more.
One is the clerical THACO table. Clerics share the same table of rogues, that caps at 6 (fighters at 0 and mages at 10).
An other is that both Mages ans Clerics have the best castable only on self buffs. The mage has the better protection ones, like Stoneskin, PFMW, SI, Spell Shield, and the Cleric has the better boost ones, like DUHM and Righteous Magic. Only the C/M can benefit of both.
Good THACO, boosted with clerical buffs, in a character protected with mage only ones can make an effective fighter, even if he lack of the APR that a proper fighter have. And C/M has also ways to boost his APR, both cheesy (I think in EE some of them are now nerfed, and not cheesy ones.
Those ingredients can used, from early game to the end, to cook some very tasty recipes, up to AFAIK something like 400dmg x round mlee.

I will post my recipes in the next future, I hope in a short time, but I have some RL problems at this moment so I am not sure when.
Feel free to post your ones, I am really interested as I love to have the whiny one in my parties.
I hope that this discussion can become a good reference in how use effectively the C/M, something that you can link when someone say that Aerie is just a weak, slow leveling, not useful toon.

haniatri72JuliusBorisovJLeeRaduzielMusignyNonnahswriterDexterAndreaColomboAngulimala
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Comments

  • WowoWowo Member Posts: 2,058
    @semiticgod had a wonderful play through including 2 cleric/mages (Aerie and a Priest of Lathander 11 -> Mage) which was amazing.

    Spider form and buffing with sequencers turns them into juggernaughts of destruction.

    I really hope that IWD spells get ported to BG. I'd love to be able to do the prayer+recitation+greater malison combo in a sequencer.

    semiticgodJuliusBorisovlolienGotural
  • RaduzielRaduziel Member Posts: 4,271
    Maybe it's a little off-topic, mas I need to ask:

    Can Quayle can be as good in BG1 as Aerie is in BG2?

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 2,421
    Pantalion said:


    "Save or suck": Spell Trigger: Doom, Greater Malaison, Glitterdust. The classic -10 to saves if they fail their -6 save penalty against Glitterdust.

    I also was convinced of this but recently I have been corrected.
    Sadly seems that Blindness give a -4 on saves.... only in the spell description.
    But in sot implemented in the game. Still the blindness itself and the other penalties work and are useful, but a -10 on saves would have been wonderful.

    semiticgodGoturalEadwyn_G8keeper
  • Jaheiras_WitnessJaheiras_Witness Member Posts: 486
    Blindness is never supposed to apply a penalty to saves. Never has, never was, never says. It is supposed to give -4 to hit and -4 to AC. But you need ToBex to enable that since vanilla blindness (mistakenly) just gives -10 to hit and no AC penalty.

    Btw, clerics do not use rogue THAC0 table, that's another fallacy. They have their own THAC0 table and it is better than a rogue's, at -2 THAC0 per 3 levels (rogue is -1 per 2 levels).

    JuliusBorisovgorgonzola
  • ifupaulineifupauline Member Posts: 404
    With robe of vecna you can do instant group healing. Only a C/M can do it. It's my favorite.

    semiticgodgorgonzola
  • PantalionPantalion Member Posts: 2,137

    Pantalion said:


    "Save or suck": Spell Trigger: Doom, Greater Malaison, Glitterdust. The classic -10 to saves if they fail their -6 save penalty against Glitterdust.

    I also was convinced of this but recently I have been corrected.
    Sadly seems that Blindness give a -4 on saves.... only in the spell description.
    But in sot implemented in the game. Still the blindness itself and the other penalties work and are useful, but a -10 on saves would have been wonderful.

    It doesn't?! Damn you confirmation bias, I could have sworn I had better luck getting off save or Xs post dust. Is there a bug report for this? Clearly it needs fixing to... uh... rescue the underpowered Cleric/Mages.

    Never has, never was, never says.

    J'accuse.


    Light centered on the visual organs of a creature blinds it, reducing its attack rolls and saving throws by 4 and worsening its Armor Class by 4.

    Also:


    This spell creates a cloud of glittering golden particles within the area of effect. Those in the area must roll a successful saving throw vs. spell or be blinded (-4 penalities to attack rolls, saving throws and Armour Class) for 1D4+1 rounds.

    The spell description in game also mentions saving throw penalties, since it was lifted almost verbatim. Don't believe me? Here's c&p'd straight from the original BG2 manual (thank you Sorcerers.net):


    GLITTERDUST (CONJURATION/SUMMONING)
    Range: 10 yards
    Saving Throw: Special
    Casting Time: 2
    Area of Effect: 10-foot radius
    Duration: 4 rounds
    This spell creates a cloud of glittering golden particles within the area of effect. Those in the area must roll a successful saving throw vs. spell or be blinded (-4 penalties to attack rolls, saving throws, and Armour Class) for 4 rounds. In addition, all within the area are covered by the dust, which cannot be removed and continues to sparkle until it fades. Note that this reveals invisible creatures. The dust fades in 4 rounds.

    Does say. Did say. Should say. Based on the PnP spells which always have said.

    But yeah, Clerics totally do have the second best THAC0 progression. Honestly, the Rogues should probably have had Cleric THAC0, and Clerics Rogue THAC0, since one is a primary spellcaster and the other a lowly peon.

    gorgonzolaEadwyn_G8keeper
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 2,421
    edited February 2016
    @Jaheiras_Witness
    http://baldursgate.wikia.com/wiki/Glitterdust
    "Those in the area must roll a successful saving throw vs. spell or be blinded (-4 penalties to attack rolls, saving throws, and Armor Class)"
    I don't know if the EE description has been corrected, I play not EE, but this is the one of the old not EE (I can not access to the manual or the game now but I am pretty sure it say the same. And also in not EE is not implemented.
    This thing has misleaded myself, Pantalion and a lot of other people for a long time.

  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 17,701
    edited February 2016
    Among other things, the EE fixed the description of the Glitterdust spell.

    image

    gorgonzolaPantalionBanArd
  • PantalionPantalion Member Posts: 2,137
    bengoshi said:

    Among other things, the EE fixed the description of the Glitterdust spell.

    image

    Bah. A pox on "fixes" that change the text to match the spell, rather than the spell to match the text and the original source (and provide an awesome AoE -4 save penalty).

    AndreaColombo
  • Jaheiras_WitnessJaheiras_Witness Member Posts: 486
    Ok, so I guess the Glitterdust description is wrong! It even references being blinded. Here's the Blindness description:

    Blindness temporarily blinds its targeted creature. Successful saving throw negates spell effects. Blinded creature receives -4 penalty on attack rolls and 4 penalty on armor class.

    So I guess it did say (for Glitterdust) but wrongly!


  • PantalionPantalion Member Posts: 2,137
    While I appreciate that PnP and BG are different beasts, the description I have provided mentioning save penalties is shown in the Light spell (referenced in the Dancing Lights spell), the Glitterdust spell, the Continual Light spell, the Total Darkness rules, the "Blinding" trick of rogues (an improvised attack to blind a target), and in the Shadow Mage's table showing the penalties of operating in darkness: -1 to saves in moonlight, -3 in starlight, and -4 in total darkness, with increasing AC/To Hit penalties as well.

    There are, reading through, two places I can find that don't mention saving throw penalties, one of which is the level 2 spell "Blindness", the other "Cure Blindness and Deafness", with blindness save penalties being printed both before and after the two of them. It's possible that for BG they considered the spells too powerful and intentionally opted for the weaker version (or also possible, just based the Glitterdust effect on the Blind spell they already created, when they're actually different, just like Command and Emotion and Stinking Cloud are all wrongly based on the "Sleep" effect).

    Regardless, back onto topic, I suppose the only thing that can be done for Save or Suck is to replace Glitterdust with Chant for a meagre -7 to all saves?

    gorgonzola
  • KorbuKorbu Member Posts: 61
    edited February 2016
    The good ol' Spell Trigger with Lower Resist+Lower Resist+Greater Malison, followed by a Spell Sequencer with Doom+Doom+Chromatic Orb. Insta win against just about everything, even Dragons.

    Eadwyn_G8keeper
  • abacusabacus Member Posts: 1,307
    Korbu said:

    The good ol' Spell Trigger with Lower Resist+Lower Resist+Greater Malison, followed by a Spell Sequencer with Doom+Doom+Chromatic Orb. Insta win against just about everything, even Dragons.

    Does Doom stack with itself then?

  • PantalionPantalion Member Posts: 2,137
    abacus said:

    Korbu said:

    The good ol' Spell Trigger with Lower Resist+Lower Resist+Greater Malison, followed by a Spell Sequencer with Doom+Doom+Chromatic Orb. Insta win against just about everything, even Dragons.

    Does Doom stack with itself then?
    Used to, but no longer.

    abacus
  • BubblesBubbles Member Posts: 580
    Off topic, occasional C/M is fun.
    Running through the a few runs drive me nuts with all the excessive micromanagement X_X

  • MMMMKMMMMK Member Posts: 30
    Also, they finish at a high level of power but they get there really slowly. Not always the best choice for a full BG->ToB run.

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 2,421
    edited March 14
    i did some further experimentation for the high level mlee aerie
    at high level if after the usual buffs she cast bbod she gets an outrageous main hand thac0, i got -15 while dw with the gear i usually equip on her, possibly she can get better. rm grants that with the blade equipped she rolls every time 24 base damage, and str bonus and the other ones add, 2 attacks with the blade and 2 attacks with the oh weapon grant her an impressive dmg/round, superior at the one she gets shapeshifted to golem as the apr is doubled. and the mh attacks connect very often also against enemies with really good ac.
    also her simulacrum can do it, and as it can use the scroll to summon the blade it can be done every time she decide to summon it. this fix the relatively low thac0 the simulacrum shapeshifted has as having a lower cleric level than the original gets lower thac0 from the holy power spell, usually enough to hit, but non optimal with the end game enemies with really good ac.
    also the bbod does not block spell casting so the simulacrum can apply new stoneskin, pfmw or what ever as the battle goes on to be super tanky for a long time.
    as a high level aerie simulacrum is capable to cast 1 lev 9 spell she can equip the rov and aop before summoning it, then if needed give them back to the main caster before the battle begins. this mean that the simulacrum can buff himself in a very short span of time thank to improved alacrity, having also the time to cast some ih and protection spells on the other party members, this at the cost of only 1 lev 8 spell. and the simulacrum should also equip a wand of spell striking in a quick slot for better efficiency.
    edit: i did a test equipping more gear and aerie so buffed with flail of ages +4 in the off hand gets -17/-12 thac0 and deals 160 dmg/round + the elemental damage of the 2 attacks with foa.
    it is 320 dmg/round + 4x elemental damage if also the simulacrum is used and all hits are successful.
    not bad for a squishy "healer".
    i had to change some values cause during the test i had a bard singing improved song, so both the thac0 and dmg was boosted, now i inserted the correct values.

    Post edited by gorgonzola on
  • Gatekeep3rGatekeep3r Member Posts: 88
    Sorry for the necropost, but what gear do you equip her with, @gorgonzola ?

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 2,421
    edited May 8
    It really depends on the party composition, as i give the items to the character that more need them and/or can make the best use of them. Ie Aerie equips the FoA if there is not a fighter with more attacks that has a better chance to slow the enemies and to spread more times his high damage.

    Anyway for defensive items some bracers and a generic mage robe until i have the good archmage robe, then the latter that frees the gauntlet's slot. But she can switch to ac bracers if i need to give her the robe of vecna cause in a particular battle i want her to cast very fast, she is the only NPC that can cast really fast some clerical spells like the healing ones, the ones that save a disabled toon or some useful attack spells like the storm of vengeance, harm, implosion. often when she uses a PI and always for simulacrum she has the RoV and AoP equipped, for the PI, being the original freeze the items are not available for the main mage, with simulacrum she gives them back to the main mage a split second after the clone is created.

    as she has the gauntlet's slot free from the ac item she uses the best bracers that boost thac0 and dmg that the fighters don't need, it helps her when she use only partial buffs and make her thac0 and dmg at full buff even more outrageous. the hands of takkok are also a good candidate, not needed when she is at full buff as holy power set the STR so override them, but she need a str boost, if only to carry around her equipment. Also the mace that set str to 18 is a good candidate early game, late game as i usually run small parties she uses a belt to boost str.
    With a str enhancer item, DUHM that boost that str and her good dex and a good enchanted sling with enchanted bullets (their thac0 and dmg bonuses stack) and with her cleric thac0, the 2nd in game after the fighter's type one, she hits ranged and does good damage even if only partially buffed.

    she has a good helm, it depends on the other party members need, it can be the balduran one, or the helm of glory or whatever and as amulet probably the best choice is the sensate amulet, some more hp (i play without maxed hp roll on level up so every hp more is a god send for me, more chance to survive to a damaging spell) and permanent protection from evil is nice.

    as rings she surely has always on her cleric ring as she get it, that is quite late as she is multi, before often i use the ring of acuity on her, more low level arcane spell, while my main mage equip the one that give bonus high level ones, and some protection ring.

    for the belt and cloak it depends again on the party needs and also on the items i have available depending on how far i am in the game. so it can be cloak of displacement and inertial barrier belt or a cloak of protection, the sewer's cloak and maybe a str enhancing belt.

    as weapons always a good silng, the best one i have if i have not a fighter at least proficient in sling, enchanted bullets and some mundane ones to hit PFMW protected mages. For mlee if is available her standard main weapon for not vampire/undead fights is always the FoA, but at the beginning the Mauler's Arm can be used to boost her str, and the anti undead mace and when i get it the star mace are good weapons. She always DW as she gets enough levels to do it efficiently when buffed, so has at least 2 1H crushing weapons. She can also use the SoTM for invisibility after casting or to dispel on hit.

    for the boots i give her boots of speed as long as i have a pair of them that my other fighters and my thief don't need.

    She equips the AoP when i use her as tank against undeads, she is very effective at it, if i upgrade adzuredge instead of the mace. In some runs she uses the ring of gaxx (sorry RP players, but in my way to RP an item is only a tool, and there is not problem in equipping a tool created for evil purposes for a good purpose :) ).

    Her best late game weapons are the erinne sling using +3 or +4 bullets, +2 ones only for very minor foe and FoA +4 or +5, in some runs i like to unequip the +5 one, haste the welder and then equip it again, in other ones i upgrade it only to +4), the runehammer +5 and the Storm star +5.

    Edit: i very often use her arcane spells to protect her so i rarely use a shield when she goes mlee, but she often equips the shield that reflects to the enemy the ranged ammo and the sling as ranged enemies are around, as she can draw their fire on her, protecting the other party members and the party mages, as she does ranged damage to the ranged enemies (and this with the party positioning assures that she is the target of the ranged enemies), focusing on every enemy that switches to an other target to have him target her again. She can make the ranged enemies completely not effective, doing them a good damage thanks of the damage an enchanted sling with enchanted bullet does boosted by the str bonus, and it can be doubled by haste and thanks to the arrows her shied reflects, this as she has still the time to cast her spell/round. that shield is also really useful to reflect melf magic arrows and flame arrows to the caster or to cast them to a caster that is protected by a spell that reflects back spells as the spell bounces between him and aerie and finally lands on the enemy mage, consuming his protection spell and damaging him.

    only in very specific situations she uses other shields, mainly when i am bored to have her tank with stoneskin, mirror images and pfmw and i want to do it with blur, improved invisibility and the other ways to get a really good AC, thing that is safe only when her hp are boosted by the clerical spells as 2 critical hits in a row are always possible. Her 68 hp not buffed end game or her 117 hp buffed make a difference when she wants to tank using ac...

    Post edited by gorgonzola on
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 2,421
    edited May 8
    I already have posted those screenshots elsewhere, but i think that to have them also in this thread makes sense.

    in all the screenshot there is a high level Aerie and the same equipment is used, only the weapon changes in her ranged version, but it is obvious...

    aerie mlee without buffs

    cn5lhzv26lye.jpg

    aerie mlee with buffs

    tqupcd51kzqu.jpg

    aerie ranged and buffed

    sid1v5noho35.jpg

    Those screenshots are done using a particular aerie of one of my runs without giving her additional equipment that possibly can make her even better. She has only the items she used normally in that phase of that play trough and is a good representation of how can be equipped an Aerie of mine.
    She game uses the italian localization, but it is easy to recognize the items and read the values also for not italian speakers.
    Check the hp, ac, thac0, dmg output.
    A different shield then the reflecting one is used for her ranged version to better represent her AC potential when she uses a shield, she has no AC boosting spells on.
    With the best end game equipment and using for her all the best equipment she can have even more dmg output, better ac and thac0 and probably some more hp. If using the best items for ac and buffing for ac it can be way more in the negative values then the respectable -8 shown in the ranged version, and if she cast doom on who attacks her is like if 2 more ac points are added to her as the attacker's thac0 is reduced, so she should perform as a tank that has something like -20 ac, i am too lazy now to calculate the exact value.


  • DJKajuruDJKajuru Member Posts: 2,969
    I was hoping for mid level tactics...

  • MaurvirMaurvir Member Posts: 126
    Assuming you aren't going to use her as a tank, probably the most impressive ability she has is putting cleric spells in a contingency or spell sequencer. It's kind of amazing when you think about the possibilities.

    I believe this will also work with Spell Trigger, but by the time you legitimately get a copy of the scroll, you are almost done with the game. (Well, that and given it is an 8th level spell, Aerie won't be high enough level to cast it until close to the end of the game anyway)

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