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Guest N-ghost
With that mod, enemies become smart enough to run out of cloud spells.

 

They aren't, I fear, though I'll replay again and in different conditions to see for sure.

Scripting them to do so would be nice, but again, I think it's easier to do something with the spell per se without adding some-hundred resistance checks for behavior etc.

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Feeblemind

Weird and PK "damage" the target by tricking the mind into believing that the target's greatest fears are attacking him. Feeblemind is supposed to reduce intelligence. I don't see how making you dumb translates into damage, nonlethal or otherwise.
Considering this is an Enchantment and not an Alteration I'd say this spell doesn't directly lower target's INT, but screw his/her mind up much like an "Improved Confusion" spell would. I though that just like Weird and PK trick the target's mind causing self induced dmg, this mind affecting spell could do a similar thing. The formers achieve it with an illusion, the latter directly manipulating the mind.

 

Anyway, I didn't get much feedback on this (only you and Adanis), I'd really like to know what other SR players think.

 

Last but not least, while it may not seem the perfect solution it's the only solution I like right now, and the only one that doesn't drastically alter the pre-existing spell (e.g. turning it into a Mass spell or removing feeblemind opcode in favor of other effects). If we find a better solution I'll gladly opt for it.

 

I still think the best thing to do is make effectiveness inversely proportional to intelligence--a reverse Maze.
Leaving aside that to implement it we'd need to rely on things like "invisible creatures and scripts" (this alone is enough to discard the idea for me), I really don't get the concept, and I have doubts about its balance.

 

Concept: Maze vs INT makes perfect sense, having a spell work the opposite way doesn't imo. How can an Enchantment spell be easy to resist if you have average INT, and difficult to resist if you are a genius? It doesn't make sense. I already didn't get much AD&D's "it works better vs caster" thing, but I could accept that, while having "dumb casters" resist it and powerful spellcasters screwed by it seem a pretty random behaviour instead.

 

Balance: what's the goal? If the spell remains a single target "save-or-nothing" spell we don't get anything from this change imo. Granting the spell a huge save penalty vs genius spellcasters will simply make it OP vs them and useless vs ordinary ones. No?

 

I'm still a little fuzzy on how non-lethal damage is implemented in BG2. Can you explain? Does it wear off with rest? If so, then it will be most interesting when used by the AI against the player (when the player uses non-lethal damage it might as well be lethal, since the AI cannot rest).
Non lethal dmg is a type of dmg that ignores pretty much all resistances (no vanilla creature I know of is resistant to it), and stack with normal dmg as long as the target doesn't reach 0 hp. If the target is reduced to 0 hp by non lethal dmg, he/she doesn't die, but is instead knocked unconscious.

 

The problem with save or else spells in BG2 is that they ramp up to save or die very quickly, then have nowhere to go, especially the single target ones. Even secondary "real" damage would not make Feeblemind different enough to stand out. Incapacitating the target is good, but doing minor damage if the target saves is mostly useless.
Perhaps it's just me, but I do love secondary effects on successful saves, because I know that casting such spell never is a complete waste of time, and sometimes its secondary effect is all I need.

 

For example let's take the suggested Feeblemind and compare it to a spell like Lightning Bolt. The latter inflicts 10d6 dmg (10d8 within SR) if the target fails the save, and 5d6 if the target successfully save, while the former would completely disable the target on a failed save and inflict 5d6 on a successfull save. You can use them in a similar way (obviously it also depend on target's resistances), but the former has a higher potential imo.

 

 

Protection from Missiles

By the way, I've recently discovered the changes that SR makes to Protection from (Normal) Missile, and the spell now seems very overpowered to me. A 3rd level spell giving complete immunity to all missile weapons in the game? Even high powered stuff like Gesen's Bow and Firetooth? Heck, it even blocks arrows fired by the Fallen Solar and Ascension's Illasera. Seriously, that's way too much.

 

Couldn't you make the spell scale somehow? For example, it might be more balanced if it granted immunity to normal missiles at level 5, +1 missiles at level 10, +2 missiles at level 15 and +3 missiles at level 20. The +4 and +5 missiles would only be blocked by higher level spells like Mantle and such.

I'm really sympathetic to this, but I doubt the end result would be worth the effort. Much like pretty much all players ignore Mantle spells because they don't know if it's going to work or not (do you really know the enchantment lvl of all wepons of all your opponents?), I fear that no one would use ProMissiles unless he/she knows that the spell is gonna work. Furthermore, making it scale looks good on paper (*), but it may not work much in game. In fact, having it grant immunity to +1 arrows only at L10 means the spell is pretty much useless until then (even BG1 kobolds are chuck full of +1 flaming arrows), too random between L10-15 (+2 arrows within BG2 are relatively common), and very effective later on (but so late that you'd almost never use it in favor of PfMW or similar more effective spells).

 

Note that SCS automatically make this spell work like SR's one, probably because of what I just said: without such tweak David's AI wouldn't find this spell appealing enough to be considered a viable layer of defense. (Correct me if I'm wrong)

 

(*) For the sake of information, there indeed is an anti-missile spell which uses your suggested table of progression in PnP: Magic of Faerun's Reverse Arrow. Ironically, such spell is even more powerful than SR's ProMissile because it's a 3rd lvl spell which reflects arrows back at the target (a la BG's Physical Mirror :cool: ).

 

 

Cloud Spells

As I said, there's little I can do about them. On one hand I hope SCS AI can handle them relatively well, otoh if players want to heavily exploit them, let them do so and ruin their experience. It's not an exploit you can do "by accident", you have to purposely "cheat" to make them cheesy.

 

The only two things I can think of to limit them and maybe help the AI are:

* reducing duration to 5-6 rounds

* reducing AoE from 30' to 20'

The latter in particular may help SCS AI in quickly escape the area when doable. Let me know what do you think about it.

Edited by Demivrgvs
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Cloud Spells

As I said, there's little I can do about them. On one hand I hope SCS AI can handle them relatively well, otoh if players want to heavily exploit them, let them do so and ruin their experience. It's not an exploit you can do "by accident", you have to purposely "cheat" to make them cheesy.

 

The only two things I can think of to limit them and maybe help the AI are:

* reducing duration to 5-6 rounds

* reducing AoE from 30' to 20'

The latter in particular may help SCS AI in quickly escape the area when doable. Let me know what do you think about it.

I'd vote not to touch good old cloudkill at all, it's good as it is. If you can't resist the urge to cheat, it's only your problem.

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Guest N-ghost
If you can't resist the urge to cheat, it's only your problem.

If I can't resist, it's MY problem, you mean ;D?

 

* reducing duration to 5-6 rounds

* reducing AoE from 30' to 20'

 

Reducing AoE, if it will work with SCS as intended, would be just fine.

Also, maybe include it as optional component, since nerfing it, albeit justified, may truly look as heresy.

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Anyway, I didn't get much feedback on this (only you and Adanis), I'd really like to know what other SR players think.

 

I don't think the damage makes much sense. You mentioned Lightning Bolt still doing partial damage on a successful save. Just like Lightning Bolt's similar but reduced effect on save, it would make more sense if this spell inflicted a lessened amount of mental debilitation on save. Perhaps a 10% miscast magic chance combined with a 15% reduction to INT.

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Cloud Spells

As I said, there's little I can do about them. On one hand I hope SCS AI can handle them relatively well, otoh if players want to heavily exploit them, let them do so and ruin their experience. It's not an exploit you can do "by accident", you have to purposely "cheat" to make them cheesy.

 

The only two things I can think of to limit them and maybe help the AI are:

* reducing duration to 5-6 rounds

* reducing AoE from 30' to 20'

The latter in particular may help SCS AI in quickly escape the area when doable. Let me know what do you think about it.

 

SCSII handles them so-so. (SCS doesn't handle them at all). It's still possible to exploit cloudkill, but it's hopefully the case that you're less likely to end up "accidentally exploiting it", as it were. (Basically, (most) creatures not otherwise engaged in melee or what-have-you will move directly away from the centre of the spell.)

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Feeblemind
I still think the best thing to do is make effectiveness inversely proportional to intelligence--a reverse Maze.
Leaving aside that to implement it we'd need to rely on things like "invisible creatures and scripts" (this alone is enough to discard the idea for me), I really don't get the concept, and I have doubts about its balance.

 

Concept: Maze vs INT makes perfect sense, having a spell work the opposite way doesn't imo. How can an Enchantment spell be easy to resist if you have average INT, and difficult to resist if you are a genius? It doesn't make sense. I already didn't get much AD&D's "it works better vs caster" thing, but I could accept that, while having "dumb casters" resist it and powerful spellcasters screwed by it seem a pretty random behaviour instead.

 

My concept is that it affects only the higher brain functions, those used in spellcasting, while leaving the lizard brain alone. Therefore a spellcaster with a genius intellect is devastated while a dumb fighter (or say, an animal like a bear or tiger) has no such higher brain function to lose.

 

I do not accept that Feeblemind as an Enchantment has any relation to PK, an Illusion. Illusion spells of this kind in PNP always stated in the description that they affected the mind by the intensity of the illusion. Only an enchantment is capable of directly affecting the mind itself (and Alteration spells are never allowed to "alter" the mind).

 

Balance: what's the goal? If the spell remains a single target "save-or-nothing" spell we don't get anything from this change imo. Granting the spell a huge save penalty vs genius spellcasters will simply make it OP vs them and useless vs ordinary ones. No?

 

Untrue. The balance goal is to make it different from casting Hold Monster or Domination, which work on any target, and to make it an "anti-spellcaster" spell. This change does both. In addition what "ordinary" spellcasters are there? Every important arcane caster in the game has Int 18. There is an argument to be made that my change makes it useless vs. clerical spellcasters, which is valid.

 

Consider this example:

 

A solo sorcerer has just cast Pierce Magic on his mage opponent, removing his last spell protection. He has 3 spells in his spellbook: Hold Monster, Domination, and Feeblemind. Which should he cast? Under IR v3, they are all equally effective if the enemy mage is alone. If there are other enemies present then Hold Monster or Domination are vastly better depending upon their location. But if Feeblemind has the save penalty vs high Int then it is the best pick in this situation, because it has the highest chance of working.

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I think I got the concept.

 

Assuming that the chance of successful casting is dependant on primary ability score (like not implemented priest spellcasting failure with low WIS), the FB nullifies that chance, whatever it was before. In that light, high INT wizards indeed suffer far more than orcish barbarians.

 

Problem is, naturally, that there's no such a thing in BG as the casting failure due to low stat, and everybody is (theoretically) fine even with INT 9.

 

In other words, we're back to miscast magic in it's vanilla form. Well. It may not be such a bad thing, because enemies can be immune to hold/charm/feeblemind, but none to my knowledge is immune to the percentage casting failure. Also, being held qualifies as being helpless and may thus release a contingency with Dispel Magic on self - hardly ever happens imo, especially with AI, but still.

 

 

PS

SCSII handles them so-so. (SCS doesn't handle them at all). It's still possible to exploit cloudkill, but it's hopefully the case that you're less likely to end up "accidentally exploiting it", as it were. (Basically, (most) creatures not otherwise engaged in melee or what-have-you will move directly away from the centre of the spell.)
Big Picture uses the 180th stat (WIZARD_GREATER_MALISON), values >10, for cloud detection. Among the other uses, I saw BP trying to shoot opponents trapped within a cloud while, rather than approaching them in melee. Edited by Ardanis
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Cloud Spells

SCSII handles them so-so. (SCS doesn't handle them at all). It's still possible to exploit cloudkill, but it's hopefully the case that you're less likely to end up "accidentally exploiting it", as it were. (Basically, (most) creatures not otherwise engaged in melee or what-have-you will move directly away from the centre of the spell.)
What do you think about reducing their AOE from 30' to 20'? Judging by how your AI reacts to them it should help, woundn't it?

 

Such change shouldn't hamper much normal use of those spells imo, nor affect the nasty tactic used by SCS liches/rakshasas, which is also available to players within SR (e.g. Cloudkill + Neutralize Poson; Acid Fog + ProAcid), and is the most effective way to use those spells.

 

That being said, leaving these spells unchanged wouldn't be a huge problem as long as players don't abuse them exploiting the poor AI.

 

 

Feeblemind

Well then, if we want to exclude non-lethal dmg fine with me, but as Ardanis says, we are going back from where we started: using casting speed penalty and/or miscast magic as a secondary effect. The problem is that we already agreed that such secondary effects don't increase the appeal of this spell against an unprotected mage. I was trying to make this spell appealing against any target exactly because making it shine against mages seemed impossible.

 

Otoh, a % spell failure with no save could be the doom of priests considering they pratically don't have spell protection. Considering David said he already have problems making them shine, I'd avoid tweaking this spell in a way that wouldn't hurt much mages but would ruin priests even more. Am I wrong?

 

I do agree with Kalindor's statement that "it would make more sense if this spell inflicted a lessened amount of mental debilitation", but the in-game implementation isn't easy at all. :cool:

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Perhaps we could just agree on adding the tertiary effect, to work against casters? Percentage failure, casting speed, caster level, spell slot loss, whatever. It won't be much useful, but may add the spice and flavor.

 

Lowering INT to 3-5 will make the target vulnerable to Maze.

 

Lowering save vs spells will do... what? With only mind-affecting spells left to use this save type, it probably is safe to go with even as much as -4 penalty.

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there's just not enough ways to specifically affect a mage. could treat FM as a non-silence Silence; no spell casting for 1-3 rounds? automatic unsummoning of his summons? randomly lost buff? 100% chance of wild magic on his next spell?

Edited by phordicus
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Feeblemind

Guys, perhaps I'm lost, but I thought the problem wasn't about finding a different anti-mage secondary effect, but that a single target spell will never be a good anti mage spell at all in a world where every single mage constantly uses either or both II and many spell protections.

 

I could be fine with pretty much any secondary effect you've suggested as long as we make it not overkill against priests (e.g. spell failure should be arcane only) but they won't make the spell much more appealing imo.

 

Following amanasleep and Ardanis arguments my thoughts were:

- this spell will never be a good anti-mage option unless it bypasses II (and thus spell protections)

- but adding an AoE to it would turn it into an Improved Hold Monster

- thus I should try to make it appealing against any target (its main effect already is effective against anyone)

Was I wrong?

 

I had only two suggestions in mind that could fit the spell imo and achieve such goal, the first one was non-lethal dmg, but it seems like we discarded it, and I discarded the second one myself before posting it: a short duration stun effect (too powerful for a 5th lvl spell imo, and I was going to suggest improving PW:Stun with something like that).

Edited by Demivrgvs
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I do not think there is a niche for an anti-mage specific disabling spell unless in pierces spell protections, as you said. This is due to the fact that, once spell protections are removed, it is easy enough to swat the mage with any damage effect. In this scenario, nearly any damage spell functions as an anti-mage spell due to their low HP.

Some options are:

1) Feeblemind pierces spell protections and disables mages. Perhaps an interesting alternative to the large AoE-disabling spells like Confusion and Chaos that are available around the same level. You would have to rationalize why spell protections are ignored somehow.

2) Feeblemind permanently incapacitates the target but inflicts a side effect on a successful save. Is this patently superior to Polymorph Other?

3) Feeblemind's saving throw penalty increases with caster level.

4) Feeblemind's secondary effect gains an increasing AoE with caster level.

5) Feeblemind pierces magic resistance. Rationalization necessary again.

6) Feeblemind forces the target to save every round or be confused for that round, rather than save once for permanent confusion.

Edited by Kalindor
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