Guide to Tactical mods (spoilers)

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Edar Macilrille
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Postby Edar Macilrille » Tue May 11, 2010 3:00 am

It got stickied. Cool, saves me bumping it all the time. Thanks Dragonwench.

Improved Ilyich is a nightmare unless you use the exactly right tactics, and these are vary anti-RP, your character does not know that he does not have all the time in the world to leave, he does not know that Irenicus is not coming back for him, he believes he must hurry. But hurry against I.I. is suicide... It is a tactical challenge, not a roleplaying one.

I also prefer to keep the Trolls as they are, in P & P you have to use fire or acid, so in BG you should as well. There is a glitch though, in all versions including Vanilla. Anything that provides extra damage kills them I think. I know poison does and I believe electricity and cold do as well.

In any case, I run only Ascension and either Tactics and SCS II; I prefer SCS II.

I had another comment, but I forgot- age does that to you ;-)

Edit, I remembered, Longshot, when you run sorcerer, do you have to rest to recoup all your spells in Chateu Irenicus? When I include a sorcerer she always starts with no spells. That sort of makes everything more difficult...

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Postby Edar Macilrille » Tue May 11, 2010 3:50 am

Improved Bodhi


Bodhi in her own lair, upgraded by Wes Weimer.. and upgraded further with SCSII AI.. now may pose a threat. But if you prepare yourself, her black heart shall be yours on a silver plate. Its a heavy level drain encounter, with many wampires and many archers. If you have priests, protect everyone from negative energy and charge head first into the battle, focus on the mage first (can dispell buffs) Wipe them out with sunrays and false dawns.
If you dont.. you will have to proceed slowly.
- Get as many items that protect from level drain. (amulet of power, mace of disruption +2) and give them to front liners. What you want to do is use doorway to reduce the danger to the front line characters. A mage protected with pfmw will work as front liner aswell.(thankfully level drain does not work when their claws are ineffective)
- One of your warriors should have daystar (it does not have to be used, but has to be equipped in weapon slot) use its sunray, watch them fry! Unleash magical hell from backlines! (or front lines if your mage works as a tank)
- Protection from undead scrolls will help too in reducing the amount of attacked players. Note that it does not stop Bodhi however, and im not sure if it stops the Grimarchers. Grimarchers dont drain levels tho.
- Bodhi death shroud (blue fire shield) can deal lots of damage, you might want to protect yourself from it (cold damage. Perhaps magical cold im not sure).
- If you dont chose to fight in doorway, or you killed everything except Bodhi, use holy water that Elhan gave you on the blood pool in the middle. (i have no idea what the pool does exacly, but game suggests that purifying it will make things easier, so do it )
- Bodhi heals to full health once (dialogue triggers). Make sure to have negative energy protection on everyone whom she might hit. Her claws rip 5 levels each hit meaning 4 hits are enough to kill ya.


An alternative way, while I still remember it, I am fairly high lvl so it is with HLAs.

Party and appr lvl
Kensai/Mage/Thief 13/13/15, Cel Fu + FoA, Pendant of Power (prot vs lvl drain)
Wizard Slayer 17 Bast Sw Hv Xbow both +2
Sorcerer 17, Staff of Magi, the +5 sling from Cop Cor
Saerileth 18 Carsomyr ([SPOILER]for some reason Bodhi did not snatch her when we arrived at Graveyard, just undressed her, so I lost Solaufein but had a naked Saerileth... I still met the Undead-Saeri afterwards and had to go and resurrect her. With Saeri in the party... the apparition-Saeri is still standing around :-s[/SPOILER])
Minsc 19 Mace of Dis, Hammer of Tyr
Anomen 20 (Priests rise fast as hell) undead-killing sword from WK

-Remove traps in corridor, lay your own instead.

-Buff everyone with potions (Giant Strength, Heroism, Speed) and prot from cold, I had scrolls enough to buff Drizzt and the Kiniggety as well, though in the end it did not help Drizzt.

-Summon Planetar while buffing <CHARNAME> even further with the potions I had few off (Power and Defence) and Improved Hasted him, I also summoned Khitix and the Moon Dog.

-Planetar and Anomen globe of blades, Sorc and Planetar True Sight, mages buff with short duration def spells. Anomen Prot lvl drain the 3 with none from items (beware, they run out fast, eventually lvl drain killed Sari and Wiz Slayer as well as Kiniggety). Minsc, sari and Anomen casts various, bless, defensive harmony, etc. short duration spells, so summons and allies also benefits from them.

-<CHARNAME> runs down and opens door to Bodhi's lair, hides, sneaks in and casts Inc Cloud, Bodhi then starts declaiming and so do you. Run back to friends while Planetar casts Inc Cloud in corridor and Anomen casts Storm of Vengeance. Undead-Sola teleports to <CHARNAME>, use Planetar and summons to absorb damage, your stupid allies also attack him and falls unless you heal him. Unfortunately the contingency of Sorc fired on Sola who did not care as he is impervious to any damage until Bodhi falls.

-Bodhi and her minions move up to support Sola (as if he needs it) and take damage from traps and spells. Anomen casts another Inc Cloud and <CHARNAME> activates The Sunblade to the detritement of the present undead except Sola. Sorc casts 2 Rub Ray at Bodhi, and Saeri casts Holy Smite. Then Bodhi's Cloud of bats hits and only spells from Items work as everything else gets disturbed by them.

-<CHARNAME>, alone, for Drizzt and Kiniggety fighting Sola is blocking the corridor, this should have been planned better, piles into Bodhi and starts cutting her to shreds with HLA and Kai, I might have had to Breach her first. The party starts dealing with the Revenge Spiders supporting Sola and also blocking the corridor while the Kiniggety falls, using the first HLAs to do so. Sola calls on Lolth and time stops for what seems much longer than a normal timestop.

-Sola cuts Planetar and Drizzt down while timestopped and casts a few spells that does not have any effect. Time starts again and while <CHARNAME> finishes Bodhi, Sola kills Wiz Slayer, Saeri and Anomen by hits or lvl drain. Sorc evades him to cast RR and Breach, <CHARNAME> and Minsc drinks potions, then activate new HLAs and starts cutting Undead Sola to pieces, felling him in seconds. Then gets out the Rod to resurrect their friends.

Cloud of bats suck, I had hoped to deal with Bodhi before she could cast it, but the blocked corridor prevented that.

Improved upon, this is effective as well.

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Postby Stworca » Tue May 11, 2010 4:51 am

Edar Macilrille wrote:Edit, I remembered, Longshot, when you run sorcerer, do you have to rest to recoup all your spells in Chateu Irenicus? When I include a sorcerer she always starts with no spells. That sort of makes everything more difficult...


No, but i did not use SCSII upgrade to starting dungeon, as i always run with Improved Illyich.

Using the doorway as a chokepoint is much easier, because then you do not have to protect everyone from enemy attacks, as only 2-3 (or one if you place the character IN the doorway) will be threatened. With the exception of grimarchers.

As for the bats attack that vampires use, fireshields protect from it (i believe that this is an option however, that you may choose during instalation)

Now, even tho i am against using HLAs in SOA part of the game, i'll add a link to your post to the guide (once i have the time, later today) mainly because i forgot about undead Sola beign in Bodhi fight. Why is it so? Because you don't have to drag the drow with you, to get to Eclipse fight :)

Why a link? Because most posts have 10 000 letters :rolleyes:
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Postby Edar Macilrille » Tue May 11, 2010 5:48 am

Mine do at least...

The improved Ily sorcerer also had no spells. I have been through it and the rest of Tactics 8-10 times, in none has my custom-made sorcerer NPC had spells available.

And Sola usually teleports behind lines even when using the doorway as a bottleneck as we call it in viking. Which makes things even worse as those Grimfellows and Vamps can then use the doorway against you as a bottleneck when you try to get in and kill Bodhi to make him vulnerable. At least that happened two me on my first try a few years ago and since then I have always drawn them out instead, into AoE nasty spells. The positive effect of this is that some of the Grimwarders will evade the Inc Cloud in SCS II by going into adjacent rooms and not trouble you during the fight- though they die easily anyway.

Fireshield makes you immune to insects, you choose at install, unfortunately not Cloud of Bats.

I like to have Sola with me, though at higher lvls he is a bit cheesy, at first he is merely a [url="http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/GlassCannon"]Glass Canon[/url] like Haer'Dalis. But as HD does not come with an interesting fight, he got the boot and got very insulted as usual.

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Postby Stworca » Tue May 11, 2010 6:04 am

You mean Zhivago, the priest?

Or a sorcerer added by SCSII that i do now know? This is probably a bug caused by tweaking sorcerer spell tables (if you have done such a thing) I'd reinstall the game, because enemy sorcerers having no spells.. well, what's the point of tactical mods then? :)

To be quite honest, i recommend installing as FEW mods as possible when making a tactical run, unless you're 100% sure that no bugs will occur.

The trick with undead Sola is to wait till his spell immunities run out (his level = amount of rounds. Since its in SOA i guess he's around lvl 15), he is NOT invincible :) he just buffed himself like crazy. LIVING Sola is much more powerful than the undead one.

Sola is immune to +2 and worse weapons, heals rapidly and is immune to lvl 1-5 spells + has the drow MR of 65. These are permanent. Other immunities wear off. His attacks drain levels and cause death. He is also invisible, but this is caused by a spell aswell.

With this beign said an all-out assault with chain contingency pierce shields + breach AFTER his spell immunities wear off will both lower his mr to 0, and open him up for a slaughter. Once his spell:immunity wears off, it is a MUCH easier fight.
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Postby Edar Macilrille » Tue May 11, 2010 6:35 am

Few +2 weapons on any party at that point, especially after visiting WK ;-)

I mean my custom made npc sorceress, she has no spells in Imp Illy. I have not touched the sorcerer spell lists at all, I am not competent enough for that, and my much-used list of mods are confirmed to work and be 99% bugfree.

15 Rds is a long time Longshot, he can do a lot of damage in that time, I usually RR + Breach him then lets Celestial +5, FoA +4, Carsomyr +5, etc deal with him. Damn undead, glad we have weapons that deal with them. And until Bodhi dies you cannot target him with spells, he is the equivalent of Sanctuaried, is why I want ti kill her quickly. In general, I prefer to gang up on enemies rather than fight 4- 8 duels with each character, if you can have a [url="http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/LightningBruiser"]Lightning Bruiser[/url] and another Tank take out one enemy fast, you can concentrate more and more. It is a RL Tactic, creating local superiority while either skirmishing or holing up elsewhere. The equivalent BG is to use kiting (which I dislike) or a defensively tough [url="http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/StoneWall"]Tank[/url] while a couple of Lightning Bruisers take down the enemies, creating more and more local superiority, rolling up the front so to speak- or getting behind the lines to deal with spellcasters.

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Postby Stworca » Tue May 11, 2010 6:45 am

Chain Contingency laughs at his invisibility! (and he is invisible, not sancted, which means that you cannot directly target him with spells until it is dispelled or runs out)

Pretty much like Breu drow in Improved Asylum, except : Sola attacks in melee, which results in him turning "partialy" visible.
Chain Contingency aswell as SCROLLS bypass this obstacle

Remind me which Spell:Immunities he has active, and we shall find a way around :) Unless he has immunities to both Alter and Abjur, in which case you -have to- wait.

Knowing Wes, there are some ways to weaken Sola, like using the pool, killing bodhi, or using a specific item that you've gained in one of the previous Sola encounters *hint hint*.
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Postby Edar Macilrille » Tue May 11, 2010 7:15 am

I do not mind, he is dead and revived as himself. If you wish to refine my tactic, by all means do, I know you love to do so ;-)

He definately becomes possible to hit with melee when Bodhi dies, and he can get stunned by CF +5 he he he, so could she he he he, I love that weapon.

Edit, good point about Chain Contingency, except he seems immune to everything until Bodhi dies, but in general it is a good way to get invisible creatures, I had not considered that for anything but AoE spells.

Anyway, what am I doing writing about tactics? I am a RP-er... ;-)

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Postby Edar Macilrille » Wed May 12, 2010 7:35 am

Supplement on Beholder Hive

I did not find it very difficult, my main char has very high MR at this point, 115 I think it was. So <CHARNAME> was basically immune to the Beholders and cut them down with impunity with Cel Fu and FoA.

I dared try that after hiding in shadows watching the party of Drow against Beholder and noticing the "Magic Resistance" messages when it tried its rays.

This also led me to try another tactic. Wait in shadows till they kill it, then reveal yourself, kite them towards main Beholder areas, drink a potion of invisibility and watch the carnage...

Then I reloaded and did it all myself, but it is a possible way of getting the eyestalk without doing any risky work yourself.

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Postby Rancid Sushi » Thu May 13, 2010 1:27 am

Noticing that Tactis: Smarter Dragons are pretty cheesy spamming Wing Buffets like they do. Whatever. Even Firkraag proved to be not much of a challenge to Sanchuudoku. I love my gloriously overpowered weapon. :cool:

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Postby Rancid Sushi » Tue May 18, 2010 2:00 am

Another cheesy tip for Tactics: Improved Liches are helpless against Protection from Undead + Spell Immunity: Alteration. If you have a Fighter/Mage or a Blade or something like that, you can cut them to pieces and they'll never be able to dispel your protection because the auto-dispel they cast is an alteration. Just make sure to have some copies of Breach handy to get through their protections. Yes, this works on ANY lich, though it isn't necessary for Kangaxx because he's still helpless against any character with Protection from Magic on them (just use Simulacrum so you can re-use the scrolls, naturally).

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Postby Rancid Sushi » Thu May 27, 2010 3:43 am

Anyone know how to stop Shatter Magic? Spell Immunity: Abjuration didn't work. It didn't seem like scroll of Protection from Magic (on Selfish Irenicus) worked either, but it could have been my imagination.

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Postby Stworca » Thu May 27, 2010 7:51 am

I don't think that there is a way, that's why i always tank the "shatter magic" with summons.
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Postby Saros » Wed Jul 07, 2010 6:35 am

Stworca wrote:
If my memory does not fail me, SCSII meteor can be reflected by spell turning. I have reported it as a bug however quite some time ago.



Just a minor correction. This is not a bug. MMM are enchanted missiles which on successful impact on target cast a lvl 3 spell, which actually is the one dealing the 1d4+1 fire damage per meteor.

So, when you hit an enemy protected by Spell Turning via a meteor, the magical missile actually hits the target, but the spell component (the fire gamage) of the missile is reflected back at the original thrower. Of course, 3 levels are substracted from the enemy Spell turning, meaning that when you hit the target 3 more times, you will actually cancel his Spell turning.

The HLA Energy Blades works in similar fasion, but here the electrical damage is considered to be a 9-lvl spell, thus far more potent for shredding enemy spell protections to pieces, and in the same time bypassees (m) GoI.

BtW, if there is no contradiction about it, I would like to help you with this topic, filling some IA 5.0. info, like tactics, sorcerer spell picks and such.

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Postby Saros » Thu Jul 08, 2010 4:54 am

OK, so with the problems with BWL site, Improved Anvil 5.0. help had become scarse. I will write a few details concerning the mod, tactics for the harder improved fights, eventual quest order, sorcerer spell picks, some special enemies and their abilities, and some of the more important item locations.

First of all, let me explain that more powerfull vanilla spells, as well as items, are either been ommited from the game (like Projected Image and Simulacrum, and Cloak of Non-Detection for example), or had been seriously nerfed and/or moved to harder to reach locations (example - Defender of Easthaven is a very late-game weapon, and it grants only 10% physical resistances instead of 20%, another example - Armor of Faith in IA grants only 10% physical and magical damage resistance for 15 rounds regardless of caster level).

Choosing a team: The easiest way to complete the mod is by using two multiclass Fighter/Mages. They will level up faster enough, and will have both the offensive power and the needed spells in order to survive each situation. Another very good option is picking a single-class mage protagonist and a multiclass F/M or F/M/T or F/M/C as second party member.
Multiclass Fighter/Illusionists have great edge over regular F/M in IA mod. This is because they have more spells to cast, and better saves vs Spells and Wands (being gnomes). Both the additonal spell per level and the +5 shorty bonus vs spells will be of immense help throughout the entire game, and the loss of necromancy spells is a minor drawback compared to this.

A single class mage protagonist - either a Sorcerer or an Invoker. Enchantment spells have indeed their limited use in IA, but if you choose to play a 5 or 6 member team, then there will always be someone else in the party to cover the need of Emotion, Greater Malison or Enchanted Weapon if need be. And if you play a team of 2, the other spellcaster will cover those, but I doubt there will be any need to do it.

Alignment (and its importance in IA) - some quests in the game can never be received unless the protagonist isn't of proper alignment (non-evil, or good). For a multiclass or singleclass mage protagonist (or pre-created NPC), the best alignment is Neutral. This way, you won't miss quests, and in the same time will be immune to enemy cleric/ Fallen Planetar Unholy Word deafness effect.

Here I will give pointers on creating a single-character or a 2-man team in order to complete the mod, so those who think that 5-6 man team is 'recommended' - sorry, not much info. I would never recommend such a large team. Babysitting everyone isn't my style of play, and most battles (especially the ones in chapters 2/3/4/5) with a team of 5-6 are way harder on Hard or Insane difficulty no-reload game, although in the same time relatively easy on Normal difficulty with several reloads.

Single class mage stats: Aim for these: Str 18 Dex 18 Con 16 Int 18 Wis 18 Cha 3.
Multiclass mage stats - Aim for these: Str 18/75 or higher, Dex 18 Con 18 Int 18 Wis 18 Cha 3, no matter if F/M, F/I(well here obv Int 19 wis 17), F/M/C or F/M/T.
Sorcerer stats: 18/19/16/9/18/9

Sorcerer spell picks (this is also the order of picking them):

Lvl 1:
Shield
Protection from Evil
Magic Missile
Chromatic Orb
Larloch's Minor Drain

Lvl 2:
Blur
Mirror Image
Invisibility
Web
Melf's Acid Arrow

Lvl 3:
Skull Trap
Haste
Remove Magic
Vampiric Touch
Dispel Magic

Lvl 4:
Stoneskin
Improved Invisibility
Spirit Armor
Ray of Fragmentation
Minor Sequencer or Polymorph self or Ice storm

Lvl 5
Sunfire
Breach
Spell Immunity
Lower Resistance
Spell Shield

Lvl 6
Globe of Invulnerability
Protection from Magic Weapons
Improved Haste
Contingency
Tenser's Transformation

Lvl 7
Spell Sequencer
Ruby Ray of Reversal
Spell Turning
Hand of Undoing
Protection from the Elements

Lvl 8
Spell Trigger
Abi-Dalzim's Horrid Wilting
Tenser's Partial Transformation
Protection from Energy

Lvl 9
Wish
Shapechange
Time Stop
Spell Trap

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Postby irook » Mon Jul 26, 2010 2:55 am

SCSII:
Stworca´s guide through the difficult battles is very good. In fact it brought be to downloading SCSII and play with it instead of Tactics. A lot of people mentioned here that under Tactics improvements enemies doing things they are not able to do. The same thing is with me. I like the fair play and SCSII does just this.
Anyway, I started new game (single player + NPCs) and was shocked of how it is difficult. Enemies are not so stupid anymore and battles (in fact the minor fights) are really hard. I need some time to absorb the thing that enemies are as effective as they can be: using potins, targeting my characters, spells... the scripting is awesome.
I do not know if I didn´t make a mistake with installing the part "enemy mages does not need to use ProEvil due to their summoned demons". High level mages (liches) now gating demons, fiends and other filths like there is no tomorrow. With other demon improvements this really shorten the time to killing a mage. Right now (9-10 lvls) I am not able to manage more than one lesser demon (like Cornugon). Gating demons is maybe funny now, but I don´t want to face bunch of demons in every fight with enemy mage.

But I am on the very beggining of this great game, so we´ll see the behaviour of other mages in other (epic) battles.

i.

PS: the first "random" encounter with slavers in the city (band with Suna Seni, you already know them) was everytime a "piece of cake" fight no matter the levels, number of characters, spells, or whatever. I beaten them everytime with just 8th level vanilla fighter with long sword. Under SCSII scripting I found myself reloading this part maybe fourtimes... And eventually it forced me to rest and have all spells to my disposal. Interesting. Reminded me the old times of playing BG2 for the first time ;)

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Postby Stworca » Tue Jul 27, 2010 9:13 am

Just a minor correction. This is not a bug. MMM are enchanted missiles which on successful impact on target cast a lvl 3 spell, which actually is the one dealing the 1d4+1 fire damage per meteor.


I've meant the HLA, "meteor", not MMM. Which was a bug because the spell is lvl 10 and an AoE. NPC's are however capable of targetting aoe spells as if they were single target thus causing bugs just like this one.

Thanks everyone for participating in discussion here and sharing your tactics and observations. Keep it up.

Almost a year now!
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Postby Tricky » Sun Dec 05, 2010 5:10 am

I've never played any combat affecting mods before, but considering that I know the game inside out I am willing to give them a try.

Stworca, my current computer is an old laptop and I have to keep the amount of mods to a minimum. If you had to choose 2-3 mods that have the largest tactical effects on the game, which would you choose?
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Postby Stworca » Sun Dec 05, 2010 8:39 am

SCSII is the tactical mod no#1. The one which uses no cheese, only improved AI and fixed scripts. Beware tho, on realy, realy old laptops your game may freeze for a second or two every time mage enemies are spawned. Yeah, their scripts are THAT long.

Aside from that i'd pick Solaufein (for eclipse party -late in ToB-, and for fight against Bodhi with Sola beign on her side aswell)

If you have ToB, then Ascension is a must have. With SCSII it's realy fun.

The optional content from Tactics, like Kuroisan, The Ritual, Red Badge and Gnome in the docks. are fun one time encounters. Tactics is cheesy, but these four encounters are fun nonetheless (3 of them are described in the guide! The gnome is just a f/m of high level)

Keep in mind to instal SCSII as LAST, after everything else. With the exception of G3 Tweaks, if you want these installed too.

Note that my old laptop has a X300SE radeon (i believe?) and i had all these + plenty of other mods installed with no problem.
[url="http://www.gamebanshee.com/forums/baldurs-gate-ii-shadows-of-amn-9/guide-to-tactical-mods-spoilers-116063.html#post1068546"]BG2 tactical mods guide[/url]
What? You're still here? Go write a review![url="http://www.gamebanshee.com/forums/rpg-user-reviews-118/"]Here[/url]
Insane Ironman BG2 let's play! [url="http://www.bay12forums.com/smf/index.php?topic=81201.msg2140894#msg2140894"]Here[/url]

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Tricky
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Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2005 10:21 pm
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Postby Tricky » Sun Dec 05, 2010 9:29 am

Thanks. Actually, the laptop isn't that old but it has an unfortunate combination of hardware components. Namely a very slow multicore, which is useless for newer games. BG runs ok, but I am already running many content mods. Sometimes I can feel it chucking a bit when there is too much going on.
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