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Glitterdust and Improved Invisibility


Lemernis

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This may not be a SCS/SCSII issue, but it would be surprising to me if this hasn't been addressed in all these years of bugfixing and modding the game: I'm finding that Glitterdust doesn't seem to be revealing invisible enemies. SCS/SCSII's enemies use Improved Invisibility, but regardless whether it is Invisibility or Improved Invisibility Glitterdust should make the target visibile, shouldn't it? At least as I'm reading the spell description.

 

Glitterdust's saving throw is "special" but one would think it should be "none": how can any creature who is moving around in glittering dust that clings not be revealed?

 

Anyway, I assume that targets are often making a saving throw, but what is the rationale for this given the physics of the spell?

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Yeah, I was finding this with those muggings when traveling between Athkatla district maps. I've since uninstalled Quest Pack's Miscellaneous Enhancements component that makes them spawn. But when the human mage(s) would have no globe but rather Protection from Normal Missiles (fuschia colored cylinder), I would still get the message that I'm unable to target them.

 

The following is really more of a discussion of the AD&D 2E spell: I understand that Minor Globe of Invulnerability prevents a level 2 spell like Glitterdust from penetrating. But we're talking about a fine shiny dust (ground mica) that clings to everything it comes into contact with. So even if it doesn't cling to the globe, wouldn't one probably be able to discern a sphere within a cloud of dust? I.e., it would reveal the globe in terms of negative space. Just sayin'.

 

Note for example that in darkness when a light spells is used, the presence of a minor globe would be revealed as a contrasting sphere of darkness. (Not to mention that in PnP the globe is immobile and the mage steps in and out of it. But anyway.)

 

MINOR GLOBE OF INVULNERABILITY

 

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

( Abjuration )

 

Level: 4

Range: 0 Components: V,S,M

Casting Time: 4 Duration: 1rd/level

Area of Effect: Segment(s) Saving Throw: None

Frequency: Common Author: TSR

Book: 2 Page: 568

 

Description: This spell creates an immobile, faintly shimmering magical sphere around the caster that prevents any 1st-, 2nd-, or 3rd-level spell effects from penetrating (i.e., the area of effect of any such spells does not include the area of the minor globe of invulnerability). This includes innate abilities and effects from devices. However, any type of spell can be cast out of the magical globe, and these pass from the caster of the globe to their subject without affecting the globe. Fourth and higher level spells are not affected by the globe. The globe can be brought down by a successful dispel magic spell. The caster can leave and return to the globe without penalty. Note that spell effects are not actually disrupted by the globe unless cast directly through or into it: The caster would still see a mirror image created by a wizard outside the globe. If that wizard then entered the globe, the images would wink out, to reappear when the wizard exited the globe. Likewise, a wizard standing in the area of a light spell would still receive sufficient light for vision, even though that part of the light spell volume in the globe would not be luminous.

 

The material component of the spell is a glass or crystal bead that shatters at the expiration of the spell.

 

NOTES: Common spell (PHB).

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Glitterdust's saving throw is "special" but one would think it should be "none": how can any creature who is moving around in glittering dust that clings not be revealed?

 

Anyway, I assume that targets are often making a saving throw, but what is the rationale for this given the physics of the spell?

 

I assume that it's the same as any other saving throw - you've managed to roll out of the area of effect of the cloud, or taken cover, or resisted the effect by force of will, or...

 

If you want to change it locally, just slip

 

COPY_EXISTING ~spwi224.spl~ ~override~ WRITE_BYTE 0x11e 0

 

into the TP2 of a random mod. (nt)

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Yeah, I was finding this with those muggings when traveling between Athkatla district maps. I've since uninstalled Quest Pack's Miscellaneous Enhancements component that makes them spawn. But when the human mage(s) would have no globe but rather Protection from Normal Missiles (fuschia colored cylinder), I would still get the message that I'm unable to target them.
From that description, it might also be Sanctuary spell, and it provides the same IInvisibility's non-target-able protection even when the caster is visible, so it's not PfNM or Minor Globe, but Sanctuary spell. By the way, the dialog string that says the target is not-target-able should have Sanctuary mentioned.
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I uninstalled the feature so I can no longer check the feedback window to see what spells they're casting. But these are female mage spawns--usually just one, but sometimes two depending on the random spawn. It could be that they're actually cleric-mages. But my impression is that they're just mages. The cylinder around them isn't white and slightly wider (also wider at the top), like for Sanctuary. It's the narrower magenta colored cylinder for PfNM.

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Btw, I turned off the enemy spellcaster prebuffs because that moves me closer to the sweet spot for my own personal tolerance/enjoyment of increased difficulty. Other than some minor tweaks I now have installed only Smarter General AI, Improved calls for help, Potions for NPCs, Smarter Mages, Smarter Clerics.

 

Maybe you guys can help me understand why I'm often unable to target mages with SCSII scripting. Here's an example.

 

In the battle shown below against Tolgerius (first his sim, then the real one), the party begins by casting Dispel Magic, Glitterdust, and Greater Malison against Tolgerius' sim to counter his Chain Contingency and Spell Sequencer. Apparently Dispel and Greater Malison succeed. Then the area of effect spells Chaos, Glitterdust, and Slow get through. However, even though Tolgerius does not appear to be invisible, the individual target spell Breach fails because his sim is 'invisible or sanctuaried'. Spook however does succeed and Tolgerius' sim become panicked. Tolgerius' then confused, blinded, slowed, and panicked sim is helpless and is killed.

 

The real Tolgeius then appears. He does not appear to be invisible. In fact don't I see any visible spell protection effects on him. Yet I am unable to target him with individual target spells such as Hold Person, Thunderslap, or Armor Melt (the latter two are DSotSC spells; it's a BGT game) because he is 'invisible or sanctuaried'. Tolgerius then saves against AoE spells Slow and Chaos--which is fair enough. Only Ariena, who wields the Flail of Ages, is able to get any hits in him (she's using the only +3 weapon in the party's possession). Then a successful Remove Magic spell against Tolgerius apparently allows the other party members to start hitting him with their +2 weapons. Tolgerius falls to back to back crits.

 

Incidentally, the way I fought this was to remain in the corridor before the entrance to first defeat his magess henchperson. I kept the party there and let the magess approach to meet them at the doorway. I suppose it's possible that during that time, Tolgerius' might have cast some spells protections (such as Globe of Protectionl Improved Invisibility, etc.) that expired by the time he finally appears for real, i.e., in the time it took to battle his magess and his sim. But I didn't see any scrollbar feedback text to that effect, however.

 

So to sum, I'm confused about why apparently non-invisible, non-sanctuaried enemy mages can't be targeted by individual target spells. I admit I'm not as knowledgeable as I would like about spells mechanics. There must be something basic that I'm just not understanding.

 

 

Tolgerius: Chain Contingency

Improved Mantle

Abi-Dalzim's Horrid Wilting

Immunity

Protected by Improved Mantle

Spell Sequencer

Improved Invisibility

Invisible

Kession: Spell Cancelled: Cannot target spells on invisible or sanctuaried creatures.

Tolgerius: Fire Shield (Red)

Fire Shield (Blue)

Kession: Casts Dispel Magic

Kelsey: Casts Glitterdust

Kession: Casts Greater Malison

Tolgerius: Save vs Spell: 14

One of the spells has failed.

One of the spells has failed.

Saving Throws Lowered

One of the spells has failed.

One of the spells has failed.

Kession: is Casting Breach

Spell Cancelled: Cannot target spells on invisible or sanctuaried creatures.

Tolgerius: is Casting Abi-Dalzim's Horrid Wilting

Kelsey: Casts Chaos

Tolgerius: Confused

One of the spells has failed.

One of the spells has failed.

Kession: is Casting Breach

Spell Cancelled: Cannot target spells on invisible or sanctuaried creatures.

Tolgerius: One of the spells has failed.

One of the spells has failed.

Kesley: Casts Slow

Tolgerius: Slowed

(Tolgerius does some fire shield damage to Kession; Kession ceases physical attacks and casts Ettin's Healing)

Kelsey: Casts Emotion

Tolgerius: Save vs Spell: 17

Kelsey: Casts Glitterdust

Tolgerius: Blinded

Kession: is Casting Breach

Casts Breach

Tolgerius: Specific Protection Dispelled

Spell Protections Removed

Kelsey: is Casting Spook

is Casting Spook

Tolgerius: Contingency

Protection from Magical Weapons

Protected from Magical Weapons

Kelsey: Casts Spook

Tolgerius: Panic

Kession: Casts Draw Upon Holy Might

Tolgerius: Casts Misled

Misled

(party now racks up physical damage on Tolgerius)

Tolgerius: Death (of Tolgerius' sim)

(actual Tolgerius appears)

Viconia: is Casting Hold Person

Kession: is Casting Thunderslap

Viconia: Spell Cancelled: Cannot target spells on invisible or sanctuaried creatures.

Kession: Spell Cancelled: Cannot target spells on invisible or sanctuaried creatures.

Viconia: is Casting Hold Person

Spell Cancelled: Cannot target spells on invisible or sanctuaried creatures.

Kido: Casts Slow

Kelsey: Casts Chaos

Tolgerius: Save vs Spell: 14

Viconia: is Casting Armor Melt

Spell Cancelled: Cannot target spells on invisible or sanctuaried creatures.

Kido: Casts Remove Magic

Kelsey: Casts Chaos

Tolgerius: Save vs Spell: 10

(Kession delivers back-to-back critical hits)

Tolgerius: Spell Failed: Casting Failure

(Nalia deliver killing blow with an arrow)

Tolgerius: Death

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To me it looks like Tolgerias was still under Improved Invisibility.

 

You managed to get Glitterdust on his simulacra and were able to Breach it, but the real Tolgerias appears to still have been running with Improved Invisibility.

 

I would really suggest you switch to something more reliable than Glitterdust.

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I also use Detect Invisibility, but in this particular instance I had already used the spell prior to the battle. I have found the same thing happens, though: the mages almost always save against it.

 

It guess it may be because of the party's relative low level versus SCSII's enemy mages?

 

It looks like Remove Magic is what brought down (the real) Tolgerius' Improved Invisibility.

 

I know this will sound like dumb question, but is it a shortcoming of the game engine that I'm able to clearly see the enemy when they have cast Improved Invisibility? Shouldn't they actually be invisible to me, the player? It seems to me that I have seen that elsewhere in the game, i.e., where I'm being attacked by enemies that I cannot see. The spell description states that at least from the characters' vantage that is the case, i.e., those using Improved Invisibility remain invisible while making attacks.

 

Again, I'm talking about how to combat this with level-5-and-under spells. Any suggestions about what other spells I can use?

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I also use Detect Invisibility, but in this particular instance I had already used the spell prior to the battle. I have found the same thing happens, though: the mages almost always save against it.

 

It guess it may be because of the party's relative low level versus SCSII's enemy mages?

Detect Invisibility shouldn't allow for a save as far as I know. Relative level shouldn't matter either.

 

I know this will sound like dumb question, but is it a shortcoming of the game engine that I'm able to clearly see the enemy when they have cast Improved Invisibility? Shouldn't they actually be invisible to me, the player? It seems to me that I have seen that elsewhere in the game, i.e., where I'm being attacked by enemies that I cannot see. The spell description states that at least from the characters' vantage that is the case, i.e., those using Improved Invisibility remain invisible while making attacks.

If you are seeing the enemy clearly, it doesn't sound like Improved Invisibility. As you probably know, II makes the affected creature semi-translucent after they have initially revealed themselves. Dunno what it could have been if it wasn't II.

 

Again, I'm talking about how to combat this with level-5-and-under spells. Any suggestions about what other spells I can use?

Oracle and Spell Thrust are not bad. Spell Thrust ensures they really don't have SI: D and Oracle is the next best thing to True Sight.

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I think that block of buffs at the start is on Tolgerias, not on his projected image. (You can't, unfortunately, give spell sequencers to simulacra or images). So you take out the fake Tolgerias pretty quick, but you've still got the real Tolgerias wrapped in protections.

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