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Frustrated by God-mode enemy NPC mages on SC tactics in BG1

randomhero890randomhero890 Member Posts: 82
edited July 2016 in BG:EE Mods
So far I am greatly enjoying the mod SC tactics for BG:EE, and am currently playing it on insane mode. However, one thing bothers me, and that is how the mod turns every single spellcasting NPC into an invulnerable God.

So far I have tried the following counters: Dispel magic (priest), dispel magic (mage), spell thrust (mage), secret word (mage), and malison (mage) to try to remove the bubble around NPC named casters during storyline fights. None of it ever works. For every single storyline fight, there is at least one caster who is a complete God, and cannot be touched by weapons or spells. No dispel of any type works; it doesn't give a "failed" message, the dispels just do nothing. Usually, no magic weapons (not even +2) can hit, no normal weapons can hit. Any time I try to target the mage with any spell or ability it says something to the effect of "you cannot cast on a target that is in a sanctuary". Yet the enemy mage can still fire offensive spells indefinitely, and never run out. My melee chars are able to swing, yet the swings do no damage. The screen will still shake during a crit, but it wont give a damage message. It also won't give a "weapon ineffective" message either

Whatever spell or item they are using, I've seen the same thing for the last 3 major fights in a row. It's getting really annoying seeing the same "you cannot target an enemy in a sanctuary" message for every single spell and ability in the game....

...Basically, the way I've had to deal has been to ignore the God-mode NPC mage that is flinging spells at me, and kill everyone else in the room, then retreat. Then leave the floor, then rest for 8 hours. At this point the mage's God-mode spell will have worn off, and it will be possible to damage him. Whatever the spell(s) are, they take a long time to fade, generally resting is the only way...

Really frustrating to have to use this tactic, I am hoping there is something that I am missing here...

Comments

  • Artemius_IArtemius_I Member Posts: 2,607
    The reason dispel doesn't work is likely because the majority of NPC mages are higher level than you. I'll admit I'm not a fan of BG1-SCS myself because you're too low level to have the necessary spells to surgically remove the buffs of enemy mages. That said, there's a few ways to make your life easier. I find summons to be the best aide against spellcasters since they can't just Death Spell them like they can in BG2. Most mages are especially helpless against Animate Dead and are forced to MMM them to death, but even the Wand of Summoning, which is arguably the best wand for SCS after the Wand of Paralyzation, can waste a mage's entire spellbook while also distracting them long enough for some of their buffs to wear off.

    A decent archer can also be an effective anti-mage. SCS-mages cast Protection from Normal Missiles, but Arrows of Biting can penetrate it. Someone like Imoen is unlikely to land any shots through illusion magic but I've found that Kivan, Coran and even Khalid can land a poison arrow within a decent amount of time. A solid dart-thrower is also great as darts of stunning and wounding also go through PfNM and are effectively guaranteed death if they land.

    I hope this helps, good luck and I hope you'll find SCS much less frustrating with practice. That's how it was for me.

  • randomhero890randomhero890 Member Posts: 82
    edited July 2016
    I would just love to know what spell or item they are using that puts them in a "sanctuary". The game will still let me target them with a spell, it will still let the spell fire (and waste my memorized spell), just to say that I cannot target an enemy that is in a sanctuary. Generally most invulns seem to be defensive in nature, but this one let's them just fire spells away from inside

    I've tried enchanted arrows +1, +2 (of cold or of fire as well), being fired from a hasted archer with 19 dex, nothing touches the mage NPC. My melees have a THAC0 of like 7 now at level 6-7 and are swinging away in rapid-fire with haste and +2 weapons. Their swings shake the screen on crits, yet no damage happens. Sometimes, I can kill the npc just from the magical damage procs of 1-2 damage (procs of cold or electricity from weapons) being spammed when a hasted melee is swinging at their face, but nothing else hurts them

    Generally this is all happening while 3-5 summoned undead and monsters are all swarming around the God-like mage and holding it in place. It really kills the realism and is sad to have to clump an army on top of a Godlike mage and then have 1-2 damage weapon procs bring him down. Or else running and resting....

  • Artemius_IArtemius_I Member Posts: 2,607
    Mages cannot cast Sanctuary. What you're thinking of is likely Improved Invisibility, which makes it impossible to use spells that require targeting. Wands can still be used however.

    I believe there's an SCS component which gives PfNW immunity to fire/cold arrows and another which turns +1 arrows into unenchanted masterwork arrows, which makes them ineffective as well. Arrows of Biting still work.

    The alternative is stacking on Potions of Magic Blocking which provides immunity to level 5 spells and below since only one enemy in the game casts spells above that level... but they're expensive and limited in quantity.

    You're not supposed to play fair against mages.

  • randomhero890randomhero890 Member Posts: 82
    edited July 2016
    I was thinking it might be invisibility, but the mage is still completely visible, just inside a blue globe with mirror image up (in the storyline fights). So i doubt it was improved invis

    In a different recent fight....I was fighting that named ogre mage that comes when you try to get the jar from that possessed woman, and it used a different tactic. It used invisibility and vanished, then dimension door teleported around. When it appeared, it had protection from magical weapons, protection from normal weapons, protection from missles, and the spell sanctuary thing. It was visible on the screen (in a blue bubble and mirrored) but I couldn't cast any targetting spells or abilities on it. I could tell that it had a different type of protection, because we got the message "weapon ineffective" when we damaged it with +2 melee weapons

    In the case vs him, we ran, slept, and came back. He refreshed all the buffs. So we ran again. Slept again, came back. He refreshed all the buffs. Ran again, slept again. He still kept refreshing the buffs (I'm assuming he could do it infinitely, unlike the storyline mages). Finally I just saved it from outside range, and kept re-engaging over and over and over until a dispel magic finally landed. He could do 80+ damage a melee swing, so I'd need blur, haste, etc on my melees when we finally took the protection from magical weapons off. Finally killed him and got the 3,500xp

    The storyline mages have a different type of protection, because it doesn't say "weapon ineffective", the weapon just does nothing. And at least for them, running and resting removes the invulns

  • KuronaKurona Member Posts: 784
    edited July 2016
    If the weapon simply does nothing, it is probably Stoneskin. The blue gobe is (Minor) Globe of Invulnerability which just blocks incoming spells (even area of effects) but makes the mage still targettable. It's completely possible that the mage uses both Improved Invisibility and Globe of Invulnerability.

    Also, keep note that Improved Invisibility only makes one totally invisible until they do something, at which point the mage becomes translucent but STILL can't be targeted.

  • randomhero890randomhero890 Member Posts: 82
    So it's a combination of stoneskin, minor globe of invulnerability, and maybe improved invis (but I can see them the entire time so I doubt it)

    I guess I can try to find some kind of dispel illusion/dispel invis effect just in case it's invis. But considering that dispel magic doesn't do anything, I bet the dispel invis/reveal won't work well either. But it's better than retreating and resting I guess. I regret having turned this "smarter mages" feature on, I was assuming it was going to operate within the framework of having some kind of a dispel magic/other counter. But too late now, already in chapter 5...

  • KuronaKurona Member Posts: 784
    The level 3 cleric or druid Invisbility Purge spell should take care of the Improved Invisibility problem and Spell Thrust should take care of the globe. You're out of luck for Stoneskin though, since I don't remember Breach being available in BG1 and mages are always much higher level than you.

    When all else fails, Wands of Fireball and of Monster Summoning will do the job. Wands are plentiful.

  • randomhero890randomhero890 Member Posts: 82
    edited July 2016
    Thank ya I'll try invisibility purge. I remember trying spell thrust before (fired multiple times from multiple chars) and it did nothing, but maybe that was because of the invis

    Summoned monsters won't be able to hit the invincible mage, but at least they can somewhat slow the mage down by getting in his way. Like I mentioned before, I had some storyline fights end with a mage in a blue bubble literally surrounded by my 4 characters and 3 summons all sitting on top of him in a circle, all swinging away with haste doing no damage :(


    I remember fireballs didn't ever hurt the boss Mage of the cloakwood mines. Even his own fireballs didn't hurt him, he would drop fireballs on his own feet and wipe the guards that came to defend him lol. So fireball won't help me :(

  • WolfieBRWolfieBR Member Posts: 4
    You need to dispel, in order.

    a) the improved invisibility effect - for that use either True Sight (from a PC inquisitor or priest of Helm), invisibility purge (lvl 3 spell), or detect illusions by a sufficiently skilled thief (this is one of the most important skills for SCS in BG1). This will have the bonus effect of dispelling mirror images and blur.

    b) The spell protections (globe of invulnerability - minor or otherwise). You can take care of this with spell thrust or secret word. If it doesn't go down on the first cast it is because the mage will have cast spell shield, then you need to cast again.

    c) the combat protections (stoneskin, protection from missiles/normal weapons/magical weapons, shield). In BG2 you'd go to breach for this, but it is not an option in BG1, so one would have to go with Remove Magic by a higher leveled arcane caster (bard's fast leveling helps) or a dispel by a high level priest and pray that it works. Or just kill the mage with magic since it won't be immune anymore, but NOT magic missiles since almost all SCS mages will have shield up and will be immune to magic missiles, and shield is a combat protection. One can also use weapons with elemental effects (bassilus hammer, ashidena, priest flaming swords).

    Or you can just deinstall the "smarter mages" part of SCS, if it is too frustrating (and for BG1 it can be).

  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 9,541
    1) You can play with SCS General AI improvements and spellcaster AI improvements, without installing every single "improved" encounter component. There is a middle ground where you get the best of SCS AI without the ridiculousness of the later components. (I'm sorry, Improved Kahrk is kind of just stupid.)

    2) I recommend playing with Spell Revisions in addition to SCS. They work well together and some of the spell battle stuff is slightly smoother with SR.

  • GrimLefourbeGrimLefourbe Member Posts: 635
    Minor invulnerability globes are really strong in bg1 as they basically negate all of your spells.

    I found the best way to deal with the mages is to get weapons with effects that bypass the combat protection, you're looking at elemental weapons(ashideena and varscona) as well as poison weapons like the dagger of venom, arrows of biting and poison weapon(the spell).

    You can gather an infinite amount of arrows of biting by sleeping in the lighthouse area where sirines interrupt your sleep.

    If you haven't played BG in its entirety though, SCS will reveal difficult and confusing I think because the enemies will get access to abilities before you so you don't have the knowledge to identify what you need to do.

    Sooner or later you'll meet mages with a blue circle at their feet and your archers will be dead in no time because it's a spell that throw arrows back at their origin.

    And there'll be others like that so, either take a while to look through every spell online or do a "normal" playthrough with a strong mage of your own and take notes.

  • brunardobrunardo Member Posts: 493
    Yeah Im considering my next run with SCS but not sure I want to put improved on mages/Liches as reading these nightmare scenarios but want a bit more of a challenge...what does spell revisions do?

  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 9,541
    "Basic SCS" plus Spell Revisions is IMO the gold standard for these game. SR reduces the power of some spells to eliminate cheesy uses (no clones using scrolls, etc.) and increases the utility of other spells (Know Alignment becomes "True Strike" etc.). It very slightly, subtly, increases the game's overall challenge, while also giving you more fun stuff to play with. And SCS AI will detect and use the new stuff from SR.

    brunardo
  • GodGod Member Posts: 1,114

    @God what's your beef?



    I honestly know nothing of a Secret Cow Simulator.

    sarevok57
  • brunardobrunardo Member Posts: 493
    Never knew @subtledoctor about SR but that sounds like it balances SCS out nicely so will have to add it when I start my scs/mod run, thanks for the help!

  • The_CheesemanThe_Cheeseman Member Posts: 162
    I've been playing through with SR and full SCS on LoB mode.

    Honestly, I don't recommend it.

  • DemivrgvsDemivrgvs Member Posts: 315

    I've been playing through with SR and full SCS on LoB mode.

    Honestly, I don't recommend it.

    @The_Cheeseman may I ask why?

  • brunardobrunardo Member Posts: 493
    I dont recommend LOB in general, though giving it a try with a modded Drizzt PC is making it...bearable

  • The_CheesemanThe_Cheeseman Member Posts: 162
    Demivrgvs said:

    I've been playing through with SR and full SCS on LoB mode.

    Honestly, I don't recommend it.

    @The_Cheeseman may I ask why?
    It's just not fun. Battles take too long and Mage fights are a huge pain, essentially forcing immersion-breaking, exploitive tactics. The extra HD given to mages makes your Dispel Magic useless, and theirs irresistible. You simply can't kill them before they get their defenses up, and the extra HP allows them to empty their entire spell books at you. Also, enemy summon spells really suck.

    Basically, it's just too annoying to be enjoyable.

  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 9,541
    So in other words, it's the silly LoB mode that's the problem... :wink:

  • DemivrgvsDemivrgvs Member Posts: 315

    So in other words, it's the silly LoB mode that's the problem... :wink:

    Yeah, I thought he was saying SR and/or SCS were the problem, but the examples given simply show how silly LoB mode is.

  • GrimLefourbeGrimLefourbe Member Posts: 635
    It's not really a surprise, is it? LoB triples hp and gives other ridiculous bonuses, the best way to deal with absurd bonuses is cheese, through either terribly unbalanced stuff or bugged (not working as intended) spells. SR and SCS try to remove cheese by making the game more "fair" though SCS sometimes go too far.

    LoB and SCS/SR work in opposite directions from the get go.

    subtledoctor
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