Sword Coast Stratagems II: Item Tweaks

Remove the Shield of Balduran from the game

I looked fairly extensively for ways of scripting beholders to deal with the Shield of Balduran without resorting to cheese, or for ways of toning down its powers while keeping it recognisable, but I couldn't find one. Ultimately, the character equipped with the Shield of Balduran is invulnerable to beholders, pretty much irrespective of what strategy they use. This component (which, as always, is optional) removes the shield entirely from the game, leaving beholders as a challenge again.

Remove the invisibility power of the Staff of the Magi

The Staff of the Magi allows the wielder to go invisible, at will and without losing any time to do so, and this is famously overpowered. This component just removes the invisibility power from the Staff.

Move Vhailor's Helm into Throne of Bhaal

Vhailor's Helm is not absurdly powerful relative to some of the items that can be found later in the game, but it's a bit much for something that can be bought for cash at the start of chapter 2. This component moves it into the early part of the Throne of Bhaal expansion (see the spoilers for details).

Move the Cloak of Mirroring into Throne of Bhaal

You can't get the Cloak until later in the game; still, it's hugely powerful and could be argued to be unbalancing at the time it's introduced. This component moves it into Throne of Bhaal (see the spoilers for details).

Move the Robe of Vecna into Throne of Bhaal

Similarly, the Robe of Vecna - one of the most powerful items in the game for a spellcaster - is overpowered for something that can be bought in chapter 2, and so this component moves it into Throne of Bhaal (see the spoilers for details).

Replace +1 magical weapons with Fine ones

This is a flavour tweak rather than a balance-driven one: as with the equivalent component in SCS, it replaces almost all +1 weapons in the game with non-magical versions, which still have +1 to hit and damage but don't have an initiative bonus and don't count as magical. The rationale for this is that the number of magic items lying around the Sword Coast is completely absurd. My alpha version of this component changed +2 weapons too, but that turns out to have unwanted effects on game balance - +2 nonmagical weapons are great to use against mages with the Protection from Magic Weapons spell running, and the protagonist is probably immune to nonmagical weapons in ToB and needs to be affectable by at least some of his opponents.

Remove Arrows of Dispelling from stores

This component (which was previously part of "Improved Minor Encounters") removes all the Arrows of Dispelling from stores; you might want to install this if you find Arrows of Dispelling a bit too effective.

Make the Healing and Resurrection powers of the Rod of Resurrection into separate powers

Having a magic item which not only restores its target to life but also heals them fully is extremely powerful. This component mildly tones down this power, by giving the rod separate resurrection and healing powers. It can still restore its target to life, but they have only one hit point; it can also cast a Heal spell on living targets.

Change Carsomyr so that its dispel-on-contact power gains a saving throw

Carsomyr (the holy paladin sword) dispels all magical protections instantly on hitting its target, which drastically changes the flavour of many battles (notably those with mages and priests, and to a lesser extent with dragons). This component (which was borrowed directly from Demivrgvs' and Mike1072's Item Revisions) grants a saving throw against this effect, which makes it useful but less transformative.