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  1. #1

    Suggestions to Devs to Improve Battles vs NPC Spell Casters

    I'm only level 10 but so far the battles vs enemy wizards/sorc have been very underwhelming.

    First there have been hardly any and second of those few I've had, the enemy spell casters haven't done much / very 2 dimensional. I simply focus fire them and they die quickly.

    One of the things I loved about BG2 was the challenging battles vs enemy spell casters. They would start with multiple defensive spells (Mirror Image, Stoneskin etc) and often cast more defensive spell such as mislead, greater invisibility etc.
    We would need to strip their layers of spell defense down before hurting them.
    Plus they'd often have a contingency for some nasty surprise.

    All this added up to very challenging but fun spell caster battles.

    UPDATED IDEAS
    So I have some suggestions for the DEVS;
    It shouldn't take much dev time;

    1. More buffs (prebuffs and quickened cast buffs)
    a. Most NPC casters to have various 1 hour per lvl spells prebuffed (maybe based on a random selection)
    b. Some NPC casters to have 10 and/or 1 minute per lvl prebuffed. They could explain this in some story way (spies heard us coming etc) or if they do some hearing skill check (not sure if that skill is in Pathfinder)
    c. And have 1 round per lvl cast by NPC mages in battle, some of which would be Quicken cast.


    2. Contingencies (pre cast on NPC mages - with lots of variations of the spells which are triggered, so we never know what surprise are in store for us).
    Some examples;
    a) When the NPC mage gets to 40% HPs, the Contingency triggers a Stoneskin or they could Dimension Door away to safety, followed by a Quickened Invisible etc
    b) For higher level mages, when they get to 30%, their Chain Contingency triggers; Stoneskin then a fire protection spell then their highest level fire AoE spell on themselves (hitting all our guys!)
    Adding many combinations of these contingencies would add SO much to battles vs NPC mages.
    Last edited by Telmor; 11-15-2018 at 11:21 PM. Reason: Updated ideas based on feedback from other forum users

  2. #2
    I killed Vordokai in just 1 round!
    Present day?
    Present time?
    AHAHAHAHAHAHA!

  3. #3
    Ahhhh BG2, good times.
    For Irenicus, I just triggered the fight and then ran out of range for him and waited for all his buffs to expire, ha!

  4. #4
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    I dunno, the WORST part about spell combat in BG2 was how they introduced new unbalanced protection spells and in turn had to introduce contrived stuff like 'spell strike' to combat said unbalanced protection spells. And the solution to EVERY spell combat was to use spell strike. A more difficult spell combat was defined as needing more spell strikes.

    I agree that enemy casters should start out buffed. Agreed that enemies should use Quickened spells (they don't?). Agreed that contingency should be in the game, along with some interesting abjurations such as anti-magic shell, Aroden's spellbane, spell immunity (and greater spell immunity), spellturning, prismatic X and Mage's DISJUNCTION (a.k.a. Power Word 'No').

    The only ways to defeat said protections in PnP should also be the only ways in game: Dispel, greater dispel, anti-magic, spellbane and disjunction. Because it works fine. By the same logic, no need to introduce 2nd ed mistakes such as sequencers or spell absorption.

    I have never read anywhere that anyone would oppose the idea of enemy casters with pre-buffs.

    If more pre-buffs were abound, proper intelligence spells would be in demand, such as greater arcane sight. This would at the same time address the glaring deficiency of divination spells.

    Oh, and the real way to tweak difficulty of a caster battle is minions.

  5. #5
    Senior Member No One of Consequence's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deekin View Post
    I have never read anywhere that anyone would oppose the idea of enemy casters with pre-buffs.
    Well, long-duration (hours/level) buffs, all right, or maybe shorter-duration buffs if the spellcaster had reason to know you were coming, but if not, why would he cast pre-buff spells ? And if he did, the casting may have given the party a clue as he being there and casting spells (Perception check against a DC depending on the distance and walls in-between to hear the casting it there were verbal components). But why would an unsuspecting man cast Shield/Spell turning/Spell Immunity and the like all day long ? He would waste all his slots 99% of the time.

    To me, it all depends on situations, surprise, positions, awareness, etc. on both sides.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by No One of Consequence View Post
    Well, long-duration (hours/level) buffs, all right, or maybe shorter-duration buffs if the spellcaster had reason to know you were coming, but if not, why would he cast pre-buff spells ? And if he did, the casting may have given the party a clue as he being there and casting spells (Perception check against a DC depending on the distance and walls in-between to hear the casting it there were verbal components). But why would an unsuspecting man cast Shield/Spell turning/Spell Immunity and the like all day long ? He would waste all his slots 99% of the time.

    To me, it all depends on situations, surprise, positions, awareness, etc. on both sides.
    You have to take into consideration though that the BBEG has loaded three saves before due to dying and therefore knows exactly when you are coming and tailored his spells for your encounter. ;)

  7. #7
    Senior Member No One of Consequence's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deekin View Post
    You have to take into consideration though that the BBEG has loaded three saves before due to dying and therefore knows exactly when you are coming and tailored his spells for your encounter. ;)
    :p True enough. I am patient, though, I will wait until his buffs are over before buffing myself and attacking him ! :D YAAAAAAAAHHHHH !!!

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Deekin View Post
    I dunno, the WORST part about spell combat in BG2 was how they introduced new unbalanced protection spells and in turn had to introduce contrived stuff like 'spell strike' to combat said unbalanced protection spells. And the solution to EVERY spell combat was to use spell strike. A more difficult spell combat was defined as needing more spell strikes.

    I agree that enemy casters should start out buffed. Agreed that enemies should use Quickened spells (they don't?). Agreed that contingency should be in the game, along with some interesting abjurations such as anti-magic shell, Aroden's spellbane, spell immunity (and greater spell immunity), spellturning, prismatic X and Mage's DISJUNCTION (a.k.a. Power Word 'No').

    The only ways to defeat said protections in PnP should also be the only ways in game: Dispel, greater dispel, anti-magic, spellbane and disjunction. Because it works fine. By the same logic, no need to introduce 2nd ed mistakes such as sequencers or spell absorption.

    I have never read anywhere that anyone would oppose the idea of enemy casters with pre-buffs.

    If more pre-buffs were abound, proper intelligence spells would be in demand, such as greater arcane sight. This would at the same time address the glaring deficiency of divination spells.

    Oh, and the real way to tweak difficulty of a caster battle is minions.
    I get what you mean re the BG2 protections spells / spell strikes. I'm in 2 minds re that mechanic.

    I'd be happy if they just had;
    1. More buffs (either prebuffs or quickened cast buffs)
    2. Contingencies (pre cast on NPC mages - with lots of variations of the spells which are triggered, so we never know what surprise are in store for us)
    3. And your other suggestions (spell immunity, spell turning, prismatic sphere, disjunction etc)

    Regarding people not liking prebuffs, I had a lot of negative feedback regarding that idea on the Steam forums.
    Maybe it would be acceptable to people for;
    1. Most NPC casters to have 1 hour per lvl spells prebuffed
    2. Some NPC casters to have 10 and/or 1 minute per lvl prebuffed. They could explain this in some story way (spies heard us coming etc) or if they do some hearing skill check (not sure if that skill is in Pathfinder)
    3. And have 1 round per lvl cast by NPC mages in battle, some of which would be Quicken cast.

    Re your minions point. Can you please explain in more detail? Do you mean NPC casters have more NPC monsters/fighters/bowmen protecting them?
    Last edited by Telmor; 11-14-2018 at 11:44 PM. Reason: Correcting mistakes

  9. #9
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    Medium-term buffs are 10 minutes/level, like Heroism.

    1 minute level are short term and 1 round level are combat butts.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Caine View Post
    Medium-term buffs are 10 minutes/level, like Heroism.

    1 minute level are short term and 1 round level are combat butts.
    Ahh, cool, didn't know that, thanks. I've updated my previous reply.
    Last edited by Telmor; 11-15-2018 at 12:39 AM.

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