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Question on Kahrk (with SCS)

Short version: do the changes SCS makes to NPCs and their spellcasting abilities not show in EE Keeper?


Long version: So my party of level 4ish players is going through BGEE on Core difficulty with most SCS options installed. I'm currently trying to handle Kahrk, and I'm pretty confused by how he behaves and was wondering if anyone could clear it up for me.

Upon appearing, he had a couple of buffs up already (stoneskin and a glove of invuln it looked like), and he did the instant prebuff for a mage that is spawned in sight of my PCs as he should have with SCS (to throw up fire shield, mirror image, maybe some others). But beyond that, I'm at a loss for understanding how he is playing. He has lightning quick cast speeds, like he's wearing a robe of vecna. He revealed my invisible fighter/thief while saying "You can't hide from a mage" even though, according to EE Keeper, he is a conjurer and can't memorize/hasn't memorized any spells that could remove it. He's also casting minor sequencers that, again, he doesn't show as having memorized in EE Keeper.

What gives?

Blackraven

Comments

  • fischsemmelfischsemmel Member Posts: 40
    edited September 2015
    Furthermore, he has cast a few spells more times than he should have been able to, his stoneskin is lasting more than the 12 hours it should, and more.

    Do I just not understand what EE Keeper is showing me, or is the game cheating on me? I mean, as I'm trying to kill Melium with my charname while my party hides on the other side of the map and I wait for the ogre mage's buffs to fade, I missed Melium with a d20 roll of 12 even though my thac0 is 12 and his AC adjusted against slashing is only 2. For all my love for BG, the apparent nonstop cheating it does is infuriating.

    Blackraven
  • HudzyHudzy Member Posts: 288
    He's probably the most bs enemy in SCS tbh. Level 4 is not high enough in my experience to take him out.

    Blackraven
  • AerakarAerakar Member Posts: 578
    @fischsemmel I usually wait until much later to take him on, as he is one of the harder (or even hardest) enemies with BG:EE SCS. High level parties can take him down. I usually try to wait out his spells with a character (thief) using boots of speed, traps and summons, with the rest of the group hiding at the edge of the top screen. He becomes much more manageable once his initial spell arsenal is exhausted. Taking him on in melee straight-up is suicide.

    Hudzy
  • NoonNoon Member Posts: 175
    EE keeper can't show you abilities managed with a script, like his invisibility disabling, which has obviously nothing to do with spell casting (scs developers must have considered it an innate ability), and sequencers and contingencies.
    IA in this game doesn't use standard contingencies/sequencers, they are fired with a specific script. If you take his control with ctrl+q, they will never show up or activate.
    Near Infinity is the tool you need if you want to see every specific of a creature (scripts, special effects ...)

    JuliusBorisovBlackravenMirageKusel
  • lunarlunar Member Posts: 3,339
    edited September 2015
    You can not see contingencies and spell sequencers via eekeeper. It is in their scripts.

    If Kahrk has a fighter/mage scs script he can cast detect invisibility when he suspects you are around. I think conjurer only scripts donot have this. However I may be wrong. Detecting invisibility may be the only thing scs scripts sorta kinda cheat. A proper scs conjurer can never cast a true sight when you have mirror image and the stuff, however.
    And also, you are not supposed to know an enemy mage is conjurer or not. Eekeeper itsel is also cheating. ;)

    I remember Kahrk was so much trouble with scs. Maybe the author gave him a special treat and gave him an unique spell casting speed bonus? He is supposed to be somewhat an unique ogre mage from the game's history, he is Kahrk the Mighty afterall.

    You can know a proper scs necromancer in that he never buffs with mirror image or invisibility which are staple spells for all others. Also, a proper scs enchanter never casts magic missile or chromatic orbs while other mages love spamming those. The mod gives those specialist kits to enemy mages somewhat randomly, from what I recall. Incidentally, it does not care if the enemy has the required ability for that specialisation, ie.one enemy can become a conjurer with 9 con. However, these are all behind the scenes and a casual player has no way of knowing such stuff, so it is okay in my book.

    No enemy is made a transmuter or abjurer because losing abjuration or stoneskin makes an enemy mage ridiculously easy to one hit kill.

    BlackravenJuliusBorisovAerakar
  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 9,051
    SCS cheats sometimes, in some ways. For instance, you can't see SCS sequencers because they are generated at the time of the encounter. If you walk in with Chaotic Commands & Death Ward, it might hit you with 3x Chain Lightning. If you're protected from elements you might see Chaos/Confusion/Feeblemind. If you have MR you might see 3x Lower Resistance. It hits you where you are weak.

    Installing a more and more SCS components takes the game from bland and boring (unmodded) to interesting and fun (basic slim SCS install) to, imho, stupid and cheaty (full SCS install). It's a spectrum; you need to know what part of that spectrum you want to be on. Full SCS installs are for players who know every cheesy tactic in the game, and don't shy away from using them. If that's not how you play, then you don't need all of the SCS components.

    Me personally? I just skip Kahrk.

  • the_sexteinthe_sextein Member Posts: 504
    edited September 2015
    The shop of magic in Baldur's Gate has a single arrow of slaying for sale. It will one-shot the ogre mage every time. Doesn't matter what protections he has up as long as you roll a hit he will die instantly. Works even with full SCS install on insane difficulty. Otherwise it's an endurance fight. You have to use a wand of summoning and spam him until some of his protections run out and have your team spread out so he can only go after one at a time and make sure you have plenty of healing potions. Eventually his protections will fall enough for you to send in melee fighters one at a time and then pull them out and heal them as they get damaged. Try to speed the process along by using spell thrust followed by secret word and remove magic as a last resort (though remove magic hasn't had much effect in my experience.) Use your thief ability "detect illusions" to your advantage.

    Considering the availability of secret word and spell thrust in a full SCS install and taking into consideration that the arrow of slaying isn't available until you hit Baldur's gate, I would assume you will be level 6 or 7 by the time you should face off with him. I usually save this area as one of the last areas I do before taking on tales of the sword coast content. If I miss a spell or I just don't feel like messing with him, the arrow of slaying has always worked. I think that arrow was placed in the game just for Kahrk and SCS makes it even more useful.

    Some areas in the game are extremely hard for a low level party and generally the rule of thumb is that you should stick to the beaten path at first. . I save Durlog's Tower and Firewine until I have left Candle Keep for the second time.

    After Candle Keep I usually take a breather. While Serevok sets up his scheme within the city I clean out the last tier 3 areas and top off my loot before finishing the game. Spending big money on a wand of summoning, wand of frost and a wand of paralyzation with 100 uses each can go a long way. Take your wands and have them charged at high-hedge if you want the best of the best. It will cost probably 10,000 gold or more to max out each wand like that but it's worth it and you should have that kind of money mid to end game. Make sure to utilize items like the ring of ram that do damage without a save. (Every bit helps)

    I would place the Kahrk fight at the top of my list of tough battles in BG1 SCS. Improved Davorn, Serevok, bandit camp, and a surprise skeleton warrior would probably fill out my top 5 contenders for pull-your-hair-out battles. Oh and the red wizards can be truly tough if you have every SCS option enabled.

    Post edited by the_sextein on
    AerakarStummvonBordwehr
  • WowoWowo Member Posts: 2,058
    Kahrk is supposed to be one of the hardest fights in the game. I beat him by sending wave after wave of summons at him to exhaust his spells and then took him with ranged weapons from behind a group of skeletons.

    Aerakar
  • fischsemmelfischsemmel Member Posts: 40

    Installing a more and more SCS components takes the game from bland and boring (unmodded) to interesting and fun (basic slim SCS install) to, imho, stupid and cheaty (full SCS install). It's a spectrum; you need to know what part of that spectrum you want to be on..

    Yeah, that's how I'm starting to feel. I'm fighting Andris right now, and he was just "injured" ... then I did over 90 damage to him in two quick rounds without him getting off any spells or drinking any potions ... and he's still alive.

    200 hit point wizards was not quite what I expected when I read "SCS plays fair" ... lol. I'm still having fun with it overall, but honestly I feel like I'm running into a game that "cheats" as often with SCS as I did without it. Maybe it's just because I don't understand everything that is going on with it to try to spice things up, but fights like these really bog down the game for me. Oh well.

  • HudzyHudzy Member Posts: 288
    That's odd indeed. I certainly don't remember Andris tanking that much damage in my last game.

  • butteredsoulbutteredsoul Member Posts: 34
    There is a way to win this fight without waiting for spell timers to run out or completely discharging your monster summoning wands. I used the SCS option to remove the Arrow of Slaying.

    You have to have an arcane caster and I'm pretty sure that you have to finish the Bandit Camp before you try. If you don't want to figure it out for yourself (I didn't manage to), go ahead and read the spoilers.

    I read this suggestion from an anonymous user in the comments section for Kahrk in the Baldur's Gate wiki. In case you don't like clicking external links, the anonymous suggestion is (and I quote):
    Spell Thrust+Decect Illusion

    Nuff said.


    It worked like a charm. I used the wand of monster summoning only twice. I did not wait at all for Kahrk's spell timers to run out.

    This I learned on my own:
    Spell Thrust counts as a summons. At least in BGEE+SCS, when I cast it AFTER the summons, it failed with the message that I had too many summons. If I cast it before using the wand, it worked.


    Some other feedback from my SCS Kahrk kill:
    • Definitely cast haste on your party. You'll need to be able to run away from him at times and intercept him with your summons. Also, if Kahrk gets off a chaos or remove magic, it won't affect more than one party member.
    • Spread your party out. It helped me, at least, when I needed to have a character flee.
    • Magic damage - MM, acid arrow, Larloch, wands. Hit him hard once Spell Thrust opens him up, and detect illusion (I used invisibility purge instead to free up my arcane casters... worked fine) as soon as he dimension doors.
    • Having two arcane casters was very helpful, but one could do the job.


    Feels good to defeat a tough opponent without cheese. Happy SCS Kahrk killing!

  • KuselKusel Member Posts: 50

    SCS cheats sometimes, in some ways. For instance, you can't see SCS sequencers because they are generated at the time of the encounter. If you walk in with Chaotic Commands & Death Ward, it might hit you with 3x Chain Lightning. If you're protected from elements you might see Chaos/Confusion/Feeblemind. If you have MR you might see 3x Lower Resistance. It hits you where you are weak.

    Installing a more and more SCS components takes the game from bland and boring (unmodded) to interesting and fun (basic slim SCS install) to, imho, stupid and cheaty (full SCS install). It's a spectrum; you need to know what part of that spectrum you want to be on. Full SCS installs are for players who know every cheesy tactic in the game, and don't shy away from using them. If that's not how you play, then you don't need all of the SCS components.

    Me personally? I just skip Kahrk.

    Fully agree. SCS is a brilliant addition to the game but it needs some consideration of what you really want. Core component, yes. Everything thereafter, read the descriptions. Just selecting everything might mean you bite off too much. I use a tailored cocktail of components that make my EET game a challenging experience through all the chapters without getting overpowered and cheesy.
    My Karkh version was hard but I beat him with many summons and lot of running away until his protections wore off.
    To see what he does look at the scripts - SCS does little with changing cre's but mostly changing bcs.

  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 15,153


    This I learned on my own:

    Spell Thrust counts as a summons. At least in BGEE+SCS, when I cast it AFTER the summons, it failed with the message that I had too many summons. If I cast it before using the wand, it worked.

    Sounds like a bug. Can you please check if it happens in the 2.5 open beta without SCS and if it does, report on support.baldursgate.com

  • KuselKusel Member Posts: 50
    edited March 2


    This I learned on my own:

    Spell Thrust counts as a summons. At least in BGEE+SCS, when I cast it AFTER the summons, it failed with the message that I had too many summons. If I cast it before using the wand, it worked.

    Sounds like a bug. Can you please check if it happens in the 2.5 open beta without SCS and if it does, report on support.baldursgate.com
    It is not a bug but an SCS feature which creates a spwi321.cre as effect from spwi321.spl (spell thrust) in
    ~STRATAGEMS/SETUP-STRATAGEMS.TP2~ 0 2020 // Antimagic attacks penetrate improved invisibility
    This is actually an invisible bird that carries the script to do the whole spell thrust operations.
    Obviously that cre is counted as a summoned creature.
    Similar techniques are used on many occasions where SCS uses advanced scripts instead of simple effects when a spell is cast, those scripts are executed by invisible creatures that the spells summon. Also used by other spell mods.
    These creatures DestroySelf at the end of spell duration.

    butteredsoulAstroBryGuyGrond0Raduziel
  • butteredsoulbutteredsoul Member Posts: 34
    One more challenge from SCS. Though in this case it’s an unfortunate one. Such are the challenges of modding.

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