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xzar is really squishy

I couldn't even realize how squishy he is, until I met him. I mean, he seems to be always constantly in danger. And he starts with a meager 4 hp. The first gibberling added via ctrl+q would be more useful than him

Is there something you suggest me to do to make Xzar useful? I can't justify having him just for the humour, when I have to micromanage him non-stop.

Besides, it makes me think I should just leave them alone, go to the basilisk camp, do a few quest, get level 6 then come back to them and try to see if things go better by adding them (montaron+ xzar) the xp they didn't get in the basilisk camp

Comments

  • BenjaminBenjamin Member Posts: 39
    Easy, give him throwing knives so he keeps his distance, farm knives to the south of his starting pos rather than buy them.

    Also his default spell doubles his hp with the first cast for bigger fights, i've had take hits from the orge & survive at lvl 1 thanks to that spell

    With every mage i set them in the middle back of a triangular formation with my meat shields as the outermost. Priest& thief to the forward middle.

    Is suppose if you really wanted to go to far then give him a robe, ring of protection, gauntlets of dex

  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 10,034
    edited July 2016
    What is there to micromanage?
    - stand in the back
    - watch Montaron stab things
    - cackle with glee, softly
    - occasionally cast a spell

    ThacoBellButtercheese
  • ArthasArthas Member Posts: 558
    how it works:
    > get ambushed
    > kobolds aim him (thanks SCS)
    > bandits aim first
    > wolves aim first

    rip

    sarevok57Girewan
  • KuronaKurona Member Posts: 854
    Using SCS in BG1 is an exercise in masochism.

    Archaossarevok57
  • GallengerGallenger Member Posts: 382
    edited July 2016
    Well as the song goes "I only have 1d4..." That's just the world of level 1 magery - his is just 2-4 HP worse than your average PC mage because of the lower CON. Larloch's is indeed the way around this - and at level one it's 1d4 damage and HP boost is an upgrade over MM.

    You can have him use daggers or just stick a sling on him and deal with the crappy thaco that results if you don't like micromanaging that or don't have a stack-size mod that applies to thrown weapons lol.

    He's actually not that bad of a caster - has a solid mage school (though it lacks defensive illusion spells), and you can make a pretty solid argument for dual classing him to Cleric at a later point in the game to give him oodles of spells.

    Wolves are a danger in any difficult setting, as are kobolds, and/or bandits - the key is to make sure he's not the guy in the front drawing the ire of the enemy, and you *can* block with melee characters to protect him or send said melee-types up into ranged opponent's faces - but if a mage is ever targeted in such situations, it doesn't matter if they have 18 CON or not they're going to be toast if they get hit due to their poor AC and HP - that's just the nature of level 1 mages.

    ThacoBellsarevok57Arthas
  • randomhero890randomhero890 Member Posts: 82
    edited July 2016
    Hmm I never take xzar, but I know that my Mage's level 2 spells are always blur and mirror image (times however many casts of each I can get based on memorization slots). I always keep the level 2 spells devoted to those spots and use wands for the aoe's. Using mirror image at the start of every fight, and blur when I am about to go into a dangerous area, is literally the only reason I was able to do scs on insane mode (with a lot of reloads). With blur and mirror image up, your Mage is almost unhittable

    If xzar cannot use that type of spell, I would seriously consider using Edwin instead. Not only can he use those spells, he gets more spells/level because of his amulet

    I would say get Edwin, and try to hang in there until you can get blur and mirror image, grab the gear as others have said

    Oh and lead every fight into a group of kobolds with sleep spell. I still use sleep against groups of kobolds even now at level 7-8, just to be on the safe side. SCS mod gives them arrows +2 and I don't want to risk it. Sleep at low levels is infinitely more useful than magic missle which only shoots 1 missle that hits for less than your sling

    Arthas
  • GallengerGallenger Member Posts: 382
    edited July 2016
    I don't have *too* many castings of Mirror Image + Blur on my mages - mainly just for big fights.

    Glitterdust is the higher level equivalent to sleep and will continue to be amazing until well into BG2 - especially if the caster is a conjurer (Edwin) because it blinds in an AoE (-4 to basically any roll - which is particularly handy if you have two mages because it reduces the blinded guys' saving throws by 4 as well).

    The other thing about being blind is they can't see anything that isn't basically touching them, so no ability to cast any offensive spells, and archers are also rendered useless. Most of the time the AI will simply cease to move altogether when blinded (since the blinded subject can't see anything). It also reveals invisible/hidden creatures just as an added bonus.

  • RaduzielRaduziel Member Posts: 3,457
    If the enemy is able to attack your wizard you're doing something wrong.

    I just give him the Wand of Summoning for when things gets complicated and the warriors can't hold the line.

    With any other wizard I would just cast Invisibility, but it is not possible with a Necromancer. I don't remember if he is able to cast Enchantment spells, but it would be another nice way of saving his poorly developed carcass.

  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 2,141
    Just as an aside and a bit off topic, sorry.

    I've just completed BG1 with SCS/insane, the wolves always seem to run away??

    It's actually annoying, well up for killing them and they bugger off. Is this normal with SCS?

  • RaduzielRaduziel Member Posts: 3,457
    Yes, it is. Wolves and dogs will act like animals and run when in trouble :)

    AstroBryGuy
  • randomhero890randomhero890 Member Posts: 82
    edited July 2016
    I will mention as someone that is almost through the baldur's gate city quests in SCS on insane mode, that melees are going to be very important, moreso than mages

    There are many storyline/other encounters with enemy casters where they use something that looks like a "blue globe" defensive spell or item. I'm still not sure what it is. I've been told it's minor spell invulnerability, improved invisibility, etc. The thing is that nothing can remove it, no matter which enemy char is using it. I've tried dispelling with inquisitor (should hopefully function at 2x level but maybe not in BG1) dispel, spellthrust, secret word, etc. These should be fairly high level dispels, because my party is only 4 people large so I'm always a decently high level for the content I'm on (for example in Baldur's gate right now I'm level 8). I've also tried invisibility purge (the priest spell) and glitterdust (the mage spell) as well just in case it was invisibility, but never once was able to dispel it, not in like 10+ different encounters seeing it

    I'm fairly certain it's not invisibility, because the same character will disappear completely many times throughout the fight (and you will need to have invisibility purges ready), usually with some weird floating text string like "I'm just feeling tired today, ok?" or something weird. They will re-appear on the screen in a few seconds with the blue globe still up

    You can dispell their mirror images, but you will never remove that blue globe. And the blue globe will prevent you from targetting the caster with any spell or ability. You can still hit them with aoe's. So, for me, it was the job of my melees to deal with powerful enemy spellcasters, spells are nearly useless against them


    Also, be very wary of theif/assassin enemy characters. They will instantly stealth midfight (with some weird floating text string), and you had better be casting invisibility purge ASAP. Because when they reappear, it will be to backstab your lowest-ac char (usually my mage, which is why I always keep up mirror image and blur) for 80-100 damage. I do really love SCS still :)

    Arthas
  • OlvynChuruOlvynChuru Member Posts: 1,839
    In my Baldur's Gate 1 mod, I made Xzar even squishier; I set his Constitution to 3, so now he only has 2 HP at level 1. I gave most of the mage companions 3 Constitution in exchange for all sorts of crazy powers. Xzar, for example, has Aura Cleansing and has innate abilities that let him level drain enemies and summon skeleton hordes.

    sarevok57Arthas
  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 10,034
    @OlvynChuru I'm curious how you implemented the level drain, as I think the effect that vampires use against PCs does not work against the AI.

    I ask because I'm toying with the idea of adding an innate level drain ability to a "Death Mystic" kit I'm working on...

  • OlvynChuruOlvynChuru Member Posts: 1,839

    @OlvynChuru I'm curious how you implemented the level drain, as I think the effect that vampires use against PCs does not work against the AI.

    I ask because I'm toying with the idea of adding an innate level drain ability to a "Death Mystic" kit I'm working on...

    I gave Xzar an innate ability that is identical to the Energy Drain mage spell and I let him use it three times per day.

    Enemies affected by it seem to lose hit points, so I think it works.

  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 10,034
    Got it. (Energy Drain is actually different, from a functional standpoint, than Level Drain.) I'll probably do something similar.

  • alceryesalceryes Member Posts: 362
    Larloch's minor drain is pretty powerful at low levels. It's a static 4 points (not 1d4) of damage/hit point boost and there's no save. You also keep the hit point boost for a turn giving you the chance to heal up a wounded mage. I would say it's better than magic missile until you get the 3rd missile at 5th level. Unfortunately, it doesn't scale so I wouldn't pick it with a sorcerer.

  • SirBatinceSirBatince Member Posts: 787

    @OlvynChuru I'm curious how you implemented the level drain, as I think the effect that vampires use against PCs does not work against the AI.

    I ask because I'm toying with the idea of adding an innate level drain ability to a "Death Mystic" kit I'm working on...

    vamp level draining most definitely works on opponents like you would expect. The easiest way to test it on is against mirrored / stoneskin wizards. Their AI even breaks because they lost the spells they were about to use. A couple hits later and they get stone-chunked. Even works on some dragons.

    if it doesn't work then it's because the enemy has deliberately the opcode protection (which is almost everyone past SoA)

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