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Ruhk the transmuter


Guest Jekyll

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So, I encountered Rukh the Transmuter in Windspear hills and after finally spending a protection from magic scroll for a cheesy victory, I was so annoyed that I haven't played in a while. Here's my problem:

 

After Rukh goes aggressive, whenever I approach, he will fire a chain contingency with a Horrid wilting and protection from magic weapons and protection from normal missiles. Now, since he's a rakshasa, there isn't any way I can harm him. Normal weapons won't do, magic weapons won't do, missiles won't do and no spells below level 8 will do. At this point of the game I have no such spells. And breach doesn't work either, even when I have the component that is supposed to make breach work on Rakshasas. So, I started experimenting.

 

First, I aggro Ruhk and manage to run away without him pursuing. A quicksave. Then I summon some creatures and cheatkeyteleport them to him. And his contingency fires up again, even though it did that already. Then he runs to my party and lays waste. Then I use Nearinfinity and add some scrolls. I summon three Hakeashars so I could see how they fare against him, then I cast Mass invisibility over the party and the hakeashars. I teleport the hakeashars to Ruhk one at a time, always the same, contingency + death spell. So, he has unlimited amount of contingencies? And death spells that he will not use against me, only against the hakeashars?

 

I look at Ruhks cre-file and it turns out that he shouldn't have any magic like this. He should have same Melf's acid arrows and fireballs and such, but those he won't even cast. Seems that his script overrides the magic he has and instead of magic missiles, he will fire a spell sequencer of two chain lightnings and confusion. And if I use potions of spell protection/resistance, he will use remove magic to take them away from me. So the only way I can kill Ruhk, is protection from magic, after which the fight is just boring.

 

Now I've looked through my weidu-log, and I can't find anything but scs-ii that is supposed to do anything to npc SoA-mages. It seems to me that all the mages in my game have turned overpowered and use spells they shouldn't be able to. I loved the scs-mages in BG-I -portion of the game, but in SoA, mage battles have turned into something I loathe. They make playing miserable, since it seems that the only valid tactic is waiting for the protection spells to die out. So, is there some weird bug at work here, or is Ruhk supposed to be like this because of SCS? I remember reading from the readme, that only the mage ai would be made better, not so much the spells? Because this seems far from it.

 

And any idea of why breach isn't working? Anyone? Thanks.

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It's complicated to reply to this, as there's a mixture of things that should be happening and possible bugs.

 

First, things that should be happening (on the assumption that he's a L18+ wizard, which I can't check easily as I'm at work): he should be using spell sequencers, he should be dispelling your defences. These are all legitimate powers for a wizard of his level. One aspect of SCS's "smarter mages" is smarter choices of spells: the game often doesn't make sensible choices, largely because the designers used quite a small set of core files and tweaked them minimally. Similarly, he should be saving his death spell to use on summons, and not wasting it on PCs who are probably immune.

 

He shouldn't be casting spells that aren't in his CRE file, and there's basically no plausible way in which SCS could make him do so, so you may be misreading something.

 

He shouldn't, however, be immune to Breach: or more accurately, he shouldn't be if you've installed the relevant component. (Vanilla rakshasas are immune to breach.) It's possible this is a bug; however, you don' mention that you took down the Ruhk's anti-spell defences, so it strikes me as quite plausible your spell is being absorbed by Spell Deflection or the like. Did you use Ruby Ray or Secret Word or the like to remove his antimagic defences?

 

Should he have an unlimited number of contingencies? No, that sounds like a bug (possibly an interaction with another mod, more likely a failure in the logic of SCSII). It might be that teleporting things around has caused the confusion, or it could just be something that happens even when you don't cheatkey. I'll have a look when I have a chance.

 

Finally, you might want to make sure you're using the latest version.

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scs also adds a "rest" block so that most powers/spells get refreshed but i believe that timer is ~ one day in game. that seems like the most likely culprit. also, breach gets worked over from vanilla. if you're thinking it should behave the same, check the descriptions of that and his defenses. between SR and SCS, it's a different -- albeit improved -- ball of wax.

 

re: "legal" spells from CRE

 

aren't there some script blocks, especially the stored powers like sequencers and contingencies, that have nothing to do with the CRE's memorized/known spells?

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re: "legal" spells from CRE

 

aren't there some script blocks, especially the stored powers like sequencers and contingencies, that have nothing to do with the CRE's memorized/known spells?

 

Yes, but that's a feature of the AD&D game system, not of SCS: sequencers and contingencies are additional to memorised spells.

 

To be fair, I occasionally use Dimension Door and Oracle when they're not memorised (assume scroll).

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From cre-file firrak01.cre (which I checked from ar1201 as an actor)

 

Known spells:

Magic missile

Sleep

Detect invisibility

Horror

Luck

Resist fear

Remove magic

Haste

Lightning bolt

Dire Charm

Confusion

Monster Summoning III

Shadow door

Chaos

Death Spell

Mislead

True Sight

 

Memorized spells:

1 Magic missile

4 Sleep

1 Melf's acid arrow

1 Luck

1 Horror

1 Power word sleep

3 Remove magic

1 Dire Charm

2 Confusion

2 Shadow Door

1 Chaos

1 Mislead

1 Death Spell

1 Protection From Magical Weapons

 

When I played with the summons, he cast 3 separate Death spells, against my party he casted the aforementioned spell trigger with 2 Chain lightnings and his contingency involved, among other spells, Horrid wilting. Also, he cast at least couple of stone skins. I think the other spells were pretty much legitimate. He is a level 18 mage.

 

I will try to take your suggestions into account, now that I think about it, my versions of pretty much every mod I have are horribly outdated (something like 2 years old maybe), have to try and make a new build (just worried, that my saved games won't work anymore).

 

The most annoying thing was the limitless contingencies, cause otherwise I could have tried to hide and wait (which is much less cheesy than protection from magic since he could still fight back after I attack him). Seemed to me that if the battle ended in-between, he would always cast a new contingency.

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Yes, but that's a feature of the AD&D game system, not of SCS: sequencers and contingencies are additional to memorised spells.

 

To be fair, I occasionally use Dimension Door and Oracle when they're not memorised (assume scroll).

no sin on your part. i like the variety the seqs have now.

 

i've been tweaking INT & WIS scores of various mages and assigning spell blocks based on that, sometimes randomly determining the scores too OnCreation(). i try to play my own mages as LARPy as possible so it's fun for me if the bad guys aren't always perfectly optimized. they start to feel like robots sometimes.

 

===

 

re:ruhk

 

he's listed as level 18 but considering he's rakshasa and not a player race mage, i've always treated that as an arbitrary level adjustment for casting level instead of "oh he's 18th level so he has access to 9th level spells". vanilla has his highest spells as three 6th level spells besides his free rakshasa cloudkill/death fog. throw in that actual 2nd ed rakshasas had 3rd level mage spells at best (barring leader-types) and it's a good stretch to treat them as archmagi.

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When I played with the summons, he cast 3 separate Death spells, against my party he casted the aforementioned spell trigger with 2 Chain lightnings and his contingency involved, among other spells, Horrid wilting.

Sequencers and contingencies never show up on a wizard's memorized spells. That's standard for PCs and NPCs alike. There's nothing illegitimate about it.

 

But in any case:

I will try to take your suggestions into account, now that I think about it, my versions of pretty much every mod I have are horribly outdated (something like 2 years old maybe), have to try and make a new build (just worried, that my saved games won't work anymore).

Almost certainly if you're using a version of SCS that old, then (i) the repeated contingencies is a long-since-fixed bug, and (ii) I didn't bother to generate new spell sets for enemies, but winged them in various ways (so often spells cast differed from spells known).

 

If you uninstall an old version of SCS and then install a new version, it probably won't break saved games. (No promises.)

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re:ruhk

 

he's listed as level 18 but considering he's rakshasa and not a player race mage, i've always treated that as an arbitrary level adjustment for casting level instead of "oh he's 18th level so he has access to 9th level spells". vanilla has his highest spells as three 6th level spells besides his free rakshasa cloudkill/death fog. throw in that actual 2nd ed rakshasas had 3rd level mage spells at best (barring leader-types) and it's a good stretch to treat them as archmagi.

 

Having checked the files, SCS has been setting him to 15th level for some while now. I'm not very moved by constraints from 2nd ed, it's clear that BG2 rakshasas are typically much more powerful than PnP ones.

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I'll try to be of some help.

 

He shouldn't, however, be immune to Breach: or more accurately, he shouldn't be if you've installed the relevant component. (Vanilla rakshasas are immune to breach.) It's possible this is a bug;
He mentioned SR, thus it's also possible he hasn't the correct install order (SR before SCS), because SR's Breach doesn't work on rakshasas.

 

however, you don' mention that you took down the Ruhk's anti-spell defences, so it strikes me as quite plausible your spell is being absorbed by Spell Deflection or the like. Did you use Ruby Ray or Secret Word or the like to remove his antimagic defences?
Well, if your contingencies follow the rules than Ruhk shouldn't be able to cast Spell Deflection within a Contingency, being him only a L15 caster, and if Spell Deflection isn't in his memorized spells than we should assume he cannot have it in any other way, unless you use scrolls more than I thought (which is actually quite fine imo).

 

That being said, any Rakshasas under Spell Deflection is pretty much invulnerable until party has access to 8th lvl spells, even with SCS tweaked Breach. You're suggesting the use of RRoR and Secret Word, but unless you tweaked them too a la SR (did you?) they shouldn't work against rakshasas (they are 7th and 4th lvl spells respectively).

 

Long story short, against a rakshasa protected by Spell Deflection even with SCS's Breach (which you know I consider a kinda "illegal" and convoluted tweak) you pretty much still need 8th+ lvl spells to fight him.

 

The options are:

1) with SCS's Breach but no SR - you need Pierce Shield (or Spell Strike) to tear down Spell Deflection, or you can cast 2x Breach to wear it out, then you can cast Breach (potentially the 3rd Breach in a row), and finally attack

2) without SCS's Breach but with SR - Pierce Shield also removes his combat protection, if multiple PfMW are used you may need more than a single Pierce Shield

3) with SCS's Breach and SR - as 2) but against multiple PfMW you can use Breach after a first Pierce Shield

 

All this just reminds me how much I hate the whole "immunity to spells up to 7th lvl" thing. :)

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All this just reminds me how much I hate the whole "immunity to spells up to 7th lvl" thing.

 

It is slightly unfair for a lower level party - but melee fighters can come across "require +x weapons to hit" enemies too. Still, in this situation I would buff up to the max (particularly with fire protection for the pesky exploding kobolds) and simply wait out PfMW. He only has one memorised, that is 4 rounds, not very long - then move in with melee attacks.

 

First, I aggro Ruhk and manage to run away without him pursuing. A quicksave. Then I summon some creatures and cheatkeyteleport them to him. And his contingency fires up again, even though it did that already.

 

I seem to recall in an old iteration of SCS2 some pre-buffing would keep reoccurring if enemies lost sight of the player (yuan-ti mages were a particular culprit), so I am not sure if it is linked to that.

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however, you don' mention that you took down the Ruhk's anti-spell defences, so it strikes me as quite plausible your spell is being absorbed by Spell Deflection or the like. Did you use Ruby Ray or Secret Word or the like to remove his antimagic defences?
Well, if your contingencies follow the rules than Ruhk shouldn't be able to cast Spell Deflection within a Contingency, being him only a L15 caster

The OP is using a very old version of SCS, in which Ruhk keeps his original level (L18).

 

That being said, any Rakshasas under Spell Deflection is pretty much invulnerable until party has access to 8th lvl spells, even with SCS tweaked Breach. You're suggesting the use of RRoR and Secret Word, but unless you tweaked them too a la SR (did you?) they shouldn't work against rakshasas (they are 7th and 4th lvl spells respectively).

Good point.

 

Long story short, against a rakshasa protected by Spell Deflection even with SCS's Breach (which you know I consider a kinda "illegal" and convoluted tweak) you pretty much still need 8th+ lvl spells to fight him.

How can a tweak be illegal?

 

I seem to recall in an old iteration of SCS2 some pre-buffing would keep reoccurring if enemies lost sight of the player (yuan-ti mages were a particular culprit), so I am not sure if it is linked to that.

Yes, almost certainly.

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All this just reminds me how much I hate the whole "immunity to spells up to 7th lvl" thing.
It is slightly unfair for a lower level party - but melee fighters can come across "require +x weapons to hit" enemies too. Still, in this situation I would buff up to the max (particularly with fire protection for the pesky exploding kobolds) and simply wait out PfMW. He only has one memorised, that is 4 rounds, not very long - then move in with melee attacks.
Well, I was extending the analysis to any rakshasa, not just this one. A higher lvl rakshasa can have multiple Spell Deflection and/or multiple PfMW...not to mention that even Mislead (and to a lesser extent any II spell) is outstandingly more powerful when used by a rakshasa because not even True Seeing work against them (and there's no higher lvl divination).

 

That being said, I also don't like so much the "require +x weapons to hit", but it's much less dramatic imo, especially within a non-IR game where +3 weapons are found everywhere (litterally). The equivalent would be somthing like "immunity to spells up to 3rd or 4th lvl" which would still be nasty, but not unbearable. This is one of those cases where I prefer 3rd edition over AD&D, because using damage/magic resistance is much more "fair" than immunity to xth lvl weapon/spell.

 

That being said, any Rakshasas under Spell Deflection is pretty much invulnerable until party has access to 8th lvl spells, even with SCS tweaked Breach. You're suggesting the use of RRoR and Secret Word, but unless you tweaked them too a la SR (did you?) they shouldn't work against rakshasas (they are 7th and 4th lvl spells respectively).
Good point.
On second thought I forgot to mention one more thing that makes it even worse, SI:Abj. That would work just as well as SD to prevent Breach from working (even multiple Breach), and being a 5th lvl spell is even more "affordable" (e.g. Ruhk the Transmuter could easily have it).

 

I'm not suggesting you to avoid these tactics though, not at all. They are legal under vanilla's rules, it's not your fault. ;)

 

Long story short, against a rakshasa protected by Spell Deflection even with SCS's Breach (which you know I consider a kinda "illegal" and convoluted tweak) you pretty much still need 8th+ lvl spells to fight him.

How can a tweak be illegal?

I put it into "" for a reason. :laugh: A better definition could be 'inconsistent'. I say "illegal" because it breaks the established rules without any explanation other than "convenience". Such tweak makes Breach work as a normal 5th lvl spell under any circumstance (e.g. against spell protections) but then Breach suddenly ignores its 5th lvl status when it comes to bypass liches/rakshasas immunities. In my eyes it's like making Magic Missile (and no other 1st lvl spell) bypass Minor Globe of Invulnerability (I know it's a stretch, I'm only trying to prove my point).

 

 

P.S this is only a hilarious nitpick but...Ruhk the TRANSMUTER is using quite a few Abjuration spells. :):D

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just for fun i'll post my rakshasa script. coming from 1st edition, rakshasa were deadly not just for their spell immunity but their use of illusions. usually by the time you discovered that what you were fighting was actually a rakshasa you were already in the hole, so to speak. now, other than going through and adding in suitably elaborate minor plots/quests, we only really deal with rakshasas in combat. with or without SCS, rakshasas come off as JAM (just another mage) with better-than-lich spell immunities.

 

what i've done is tried to make their spellcasting less of an influence and keep illusion as the characteristic advantage along with the spell immunities. in addition to the script, i added Immunity:Divination as a permanent effect on the CRE. i also tried giving them the ability to dispel illusions at will but so far they're tough enough for the level 10 or so party i've got. of course, there are genuine "mages" farther up the rakshasa heirarchy but none of the SoA ones qualify. perhaps the Flail hunters could have a maharajah with them and maybe Adratha could be one as well.

IF
Allegiance(Myself,ENEMY)
!GlobalTimerNotExpired("cast","LOCALS")
Global("cloudinit","LOCALS",0)
Range(NearestEnemyOf(Myself),6)
THEN
RESPONSE #100
	SetGlobal("cloudinit","LOCALS",1)
	SpellNoDec(Myself,WIZARD_DEATH_FOG)
	SetGlobalTimer("cast","LOCALS",ONE_ROUND)
RESPONSE #100
	SetGlobal("cloudinit","LOCALS",1)
	SpellNoDec(Myself,WIZARD_CLOUDKILL)
	SetGlobalTimer("cast","LOCALS",ONE_ROUND)
RESPONSE #100
	SetGlobal("cloudinit","LOCALS",1)
	SpellNoDec(Myself,WIZARD_ICE_STORM)
	SetGlobalTimer("cast","LOCALS",ONE_ROUND)
RESPONSE #100
	SetGlobal("cloudinit","LOCALS",1)
	SpellNoDec(Myself,WIZARD_STINKING_CLOUD)
	SetGlobalTimer("cast","LOCALS",ONE_ROUND)
RESPONSE #100
	SetGlobal("cloudinit","LOCALS",1)
	SpellNoDec(Myself,WIZARD_GREASE)
	SetGlobalTimer("cast","LOCALS",ONE_ROUND)
END

IF
Allegiance(Myself,ENEMY)
!GlobalTimerNotExpired("cast","LOCALS")
HPLT(Myself,25)
Global("mislead","LOCALS",0)
THEN
RESPONSE #100
	ReallyForceSpell(Myself,WIZARD_MISLEAD)
	SpellNoDec(Myself,CLERIC_CURE_MEDIUM_WOUNDS)
	SpellNoDec(Myself,WIZARD_HASTE)
	SetGlobal("mislead","LOCALS",1)
	SetGlobalTimer("cast","LOCALS",ONE_ROUND)
END

IF
Allegiance(Myself,ENEMY)
!StateCheck(Myself,STATE_ILLUSIONS)
THEN
RESPONSE #100
	ReallyForceSpell(Myself,WIZARD_MIRROR_IMAGE)
RESPONSE #100
	ReallyForceSpell(Myself,WIZARD_BLUR)
RESPONSE #100
	ReallyForceSpell(Myself,WIZARD_IMPROVED_INVISIBILITY)
END

IF
Allegiance(Myself,ENEMY)
!GlobalTimerNotExpired("cast","LOCALS")
GlobalLT("spellpool","LOCALS",22)
=== TARGETING BLOCK ===
THEN
RESPONSE #100
	SpellNoDec(LastSeenBy(Myself),WIZARD_FLAME_ARROW)
	SetGlobalTimer("cast","LOCALS",ONE_ROUND)
	IncrementGlobal("spellpool","LOCALS",3)
RESPONSE #100
	SpellNoDec(LastSeenBy(Myself),WIZARD_LIGHTNING_BOLT)
	SetGlobalTimer("cast","LOCALS",ONE_ROUND)
	IncrementGlobal("spellpool","LOCALS",3)
RESPONSE #100
	SpellNoDec(LastSeenBy(Myself),WIZARD_SLOW)
	SetGlobalTimer("cast","LOCALS",ONE_ROUND)
	IncrementGlobal("spellpool","LOCALS",3)
RESPONSE #100
	SpellNoDec(LastSeenBy(Myself),WIZARD_KNOCK)
	SetGlobalTimer("cast","LOCALS",ONE_ROUND)
	IncrementGlobal("spellpool","LOCALS",2)
RESPONSE #100
	SpellNoDec(LastSeenBy(Myself),WIZARD_MELF_ACID_ARROW)
	SetGlobalTimer("cast","LOCALS",ONE_ROUND)
	IncrementGlobal("spellpool","LOCALS",2)
RESPONSE #100
	SpellNoDec(LastSeenBy(Myself),WIZARD_RAY_OF_ENFEEBLEMENT)
	SetGlobalTimer("cast","LOCALS",ONE_ROUND)
	IncrementGlobal("spellpool","LOCALS",2)
RESPONSE #100
	SpellNoDec(LastSeenBy(Myself),WIZARD_AGANNAZAR_SCORCHER)
	SetGlobalTimer("cast","LOCALS",ONE_ROUND)
	IncrementGlobal("spellpool","LOCALS",2)
RESPONSE #100
	SpellNoDec(LastSeenBy(Myself),WIZARD_BLINDNESS)
	SetGlobalTimer("cast","LOCALS",ONE_ROUND)
	IncrementGlobal("spellpool","LOCALS",1)
RESPONSE #100
	SpellNoDec(LastSeenBy(Myself),WIZARD_SPOOK)
	SetGlobalTimer("cast","LOCALS",ONE_ROUND)
	IncrementGlobal("spellpool","LOCALS",1)
RESPONSE #100
	SpellNoDec(LastSeenBy(Myself),WIZARD_MAGIC_MISSILE)
	SetGlobalTimer("cast","LOCALS",ONE_ROUND)
	IncrementGlobal("spellpool","LOCALS",1)
RESPONSE #100
	SpellNoDec(LastSeenBy(Myself),WIZARD_CHROMATIC_ORB)
	SetGlobalTimer("cast","LOCALS",ONE_ROUND)
	IncrementGlobal("spellpool","LOCALS",1)
RESPONSE #100
	SpellNoDec(LastSeenBy(Myself),WIZARD_BURNING_HANDS)
	SetGlobalTimer("cast","LOCALS",ONE_ROUND)
	IncrementGlobal("spellpool","LOCALS",1)
RESPONSE #100
	SpellNoDec(LastSeenBy(Myself),WIZARD_COLOR_SPRAY)
	SetGlobalTimer("cast","LOCALS",ONE_ROUND)
	IncrementGlobal("spellpool","LOCALS",1)
END

doing this has made me want to go through and add unique casting behaviors to more of the non-PC race mage-types. it's great when an 18 INT human archmage uses the best spells in an optimal manner, but it gets boring when that behavior is repeated across every type of spellcaster. i think it's fine for an enemy to be less than perfectly optimized if it adds some desperately needed color to the battle.

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just for fun i'll post my rakshasa script.

 

Cute.

 

What's your motivation for choosing the spells randomly, rather than assigning the Rakshasa spells from the list you use and having a more strategic casting order? Is it deliberate, or just a matter of making the script length manageable?

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i enjoy the randomness + they're such low level spells that the damage ones are actually less of a threat than the disabling ones. it makes it harder or at least use more resources to defend against. to me, random or optimal, the generic rakshasa's spells were never going to be a huge component of their combat success. i'd compare it to basic mind flayers and their psionics; their innates might have an impact (like my rak getting off a successful slow+blind on the party's best melee chars) but it's really their brain suck that is their defining combat threat. the comparison goes on if you treat the rak higher-ups like alhoons -- then the spells can start to be a primary contributor (fyi, rajahs are 6/8 Cl/M @ 11th casting level and maharajas are 9/13 Cl/M @ 13 casting level).

 

some of the lower level spells (with SR) are great with the lesser mages (& t/m & f/m) like the spawned guards at the Coronet. a few successful Blindness spells can ruin a party's day at that point typically (i make them target armored people first). even a Knock spell is, to me, miles ahead in usefulness over a simple damage spell like Acid Arrow. Know Opponent, perhaps cast on/against a PC duelling a "boss" like Captain Haegan, can really tip the scales.

 

as far as strategic casting, i won't reinvent the wheel :) i just nick parts of your code when i try to make a particular mage (or whatever) have a "theme" or style. but more than anything, i like giving creature spellcasters some consistent innate-like abilities to help set them apart from "level X mage with fur". the spellpool is a way i keep the whoever from exceeding his... power quota? 3 flame arrows over 3 rounds or 9 magic missiles over 9 rounds balances itself out, imo.

 

btw, the targeting block is this + Second/Third/Etc. sometimes i mix even that up.

	OR(11)
	!Allegiance(NearestEnemyOf(Myself),ENEMY)
	!CheckStatGT(NearestEnemyOf(Myself),0,SANCTUARY)
	!CheckStatGT(NearestEnemyOf(Myself),0,WIZARD_SPELL_DEFLECTION)
	!CheckStatGT(NearestEnemyOf(Myself),0,WIZARD_SPELL_TURNING)
	!CheckStatGT(NearestEnemyOf(Myself),0,WIZARD_SPELL_TRAP)
	!CheckStat(NearestEnemyOf(Myself),1,CLERIC_SHIELD_OF_THE_ARCHONS)
	!CheckStatGT(NearestEnemyOf(Myself),0,MINORGLOBE)
	!CheckStatGT(NearestEnemyOf(Myself),0,SHIELDGLOBE)
	!StateCheck(NearestEnemyOf(Myself),STATE_DISABLED)
	!CheckStatGT(NearestEnemyOf(Myself),0,HELD)
	See(NearestEnemyOf(Myself))

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