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The only legitimate issue regarding xp for summoned monsters is the repeatability of summon spells, resulting in an infinite xp exploit for the party. Since as others note, summoning and Gate spells do not create the creatures (but transport them from other locations), in pnp this type of abuse is usually handled (in my experience) by attaching game world consequences, such as friends of summoned/slain creatures seeking out the wizard or the discovery of areas laid waste due to the disappearance of entire families of wolves, to a powerful spellcaster summoning the offending party to die in an impossible battle, etc.

 

In BG2 there can be no such restriction, but since other xp exploits exist in most builds of the game, I see no reason why this one should be singled out here. It is clear that summoned monsters killed in the course of normal play do not unbalance the game.

 

Furthermore, I think it is very clear, both in pnp and BG2, that summoned creatures killed by the party are intended to yield xp. In particular, for BG2 note the "I wish to be more experienced" option for Limited Wish, which immediately summons hostile monsters for the party to defeat (and gain experience from).

 

In AD&D, combat xp is assigned for killing creatures, generally modelling the expected gain to combat ability from the experience of defeating them. As others in this thread have noted, this value is meant to be the combat potential of the creature. The actual events of the battle, including the spell selections of spellcasting enemies, and other factors such as environment, difficulty of reaching the battle, importance to the story, and placements within a larger quest, are modeled through quest xp which pnp and BG2 give in addition to combat xp.

 

I find it nonsensical that a party could defeat a monster without gaining xp from the battle, regardless of how the monster was transported to the battlefield. I am not pursuaded why the experience value of fighting, say, an orc, disappears simply because a wizard summoned him. If the wizard used Teleport Without Error instead (and stayed out of sight), any resulting battle would obviously gain the party xp, despite the entire battle having been caused by the wizard's spell.

 

What about wizards who have Golems, mephits and other magically constructed/bound creatures guarding their lairs? These were created/summoned by the wizard, so shouldn't they also yield zero xp?

Edited by amanasleep
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Well, there should be no XP for summoned monsters which can be controlled by the caster. Yes, they are just another way of representing damage dealt on battlefield. So I don't see a difference between fireball and Summon Monster I. But with demons it's a bit more complicated. In my opinion demons should be uncontrollable force, much stronger than for example most of spells - used in desperate situation "okay, I don't know how to win. I'm going to use a Demon. If he's going to kill me, whatever. If he's going to kill my enemies - great."

 

I'd even suggest XP penalty for summoning a Demon, which would be regained when killing him. But I think summoned Demons should be powerfull and should deserve something like 20-50% of their normal XP value.

 

Also, I was thinking that 4th level summon Call Woodland Beings summoning a creature with access to 4th level spells is a bit ridicolous. Don't you think? It's good that she doesn't have access to Call Woodland Beings. :)

Edited by yarpen
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The actual events of the battle, including the spell selections of spellcasting enemies, and other factors such as environment, difficulty of reaching the battle, importance to the story, and placements within a larger quest, are modeled through quest xp which pnp and BG2 give in addition to combat xp.

 

I'd be interested to hear the evidence that enemy spell selection is modelled through quest XP. Are you seriously proposing I should model this in SCS? (If so, it's pretty easy, in principle: a wizard whose spell selection includes a spell that summons a creature worth N experience points also yields a minus N experience point quest xp reward!)

 

More generally, I think people are treating XP as if it's some kind of mystic energy, rather than an abstraction that represents a reward for the difficulty of the combat. Any such abstraction, applied along simple rules, is going to have occasional pathological cases that don't work properly - the monster-summoning wizard who teleports away is a case in point. But in general, not giving separate XP for summoned monsters seems to produce far fewer problematic cases than giving it.

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The actual events of the battle, including the spell selections of spellcasting enemies, and other factors such as environment, difficulty of reaching the battle, importance to the story, and placements within a larger quest, are modeled through quest xp which pnp and BG2 give in addition to combat xp.

 

I'd be interested to hear the evidence that enemy spell selection is modelled through quest XP. Are you seriously proposing I should model this in SCS? (If so, it's pretty easy, in principle: a wizard whose spell selection includes a spell that summons a creature worth N experience points also yields a minus N experience point quest xp reward!)

 

More generally, I think people are treating XP as if it's some kind of mystic energy, rather than an abstraction that represents a reward for the difficulty of the combat. Any such abstraction, applied along simple rules, is going to have occasional pathological cases that don't work properly - the monster-summoning wizard who teleports away is a case in point. But in general, not giving separate XP for summoned monsters seems to produce far fewer problematic cases than giving it.

 

In pnp, this modelling is possible and desirable: a wizard who devoted all his slots to throwing monsters at the party has fewer to defend himself directly. In practice, it makes sense only if summon spells are relatively equal in power to other spell selections the wizard could have made. I think the case has been made that many summons are more powerful than other spells of their level, particularly when cast by the AI (Demons with no risk, etc). In particular, subtracting the xp total of summoned monsters from the wizard has many operational difficulties and perverse incentives: what if the summon is disrupted? It would seem to be not in the player's interest to do so, lest the xp for the summon be lost. What if the xp total of the summons exceeds that of the summoner?

 

A pnp enemy wizard who makes sub-optimal spell selection (perhaps he is insane) would justify a lower xp award, and any gm would have discretion in making it based on the overall combination of factors present. This is not really possible in BG, although many quests (Circus Tent is a great example) do seem to follow this pattern, with a weak and low xp enemy surrounded by powerful (and higher xp) minions/effects and quest xp-bearing challenges.

 

At the risk of treading on your sovereign right to decide the philosophical limits of your own mod, I might note that since SCS increases tactical difficulty significantly without then increasing xp awards, it may be outside of its purview to modify xp here on that basis.

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Reading this brings to mind that some of us are old skool D&D 1st and 2nd edition players, and others of us are 4th edition players, and all of us are gamers. There are some pretty darned different approaches to "getting more powerful through killing stuff" modeled in different ways now. To a person who buys the argument that a wizard = {hp + abilities + offensive capability + defensive capability + spells and their antecedent effects}, XP is tied up in the caster, not in summons, because you do get that "double XP". For those who see a castor as a conduit, so wizard = {hp + abilities + offensive capability + defensive capability } + { spells and their antecedent effects} could argue that passing a save vs. magic or a save vs. fire needs an XP gain; after all, dodging that fireball successfully is a skills gain through repetition. Summons would be XP gain killing them.

 

The problem here is always going to be that XP vs game balance cannot be set aside. If XP were dealt with in some of the more modern systems then killing an orc would be level dependent; {orc vs. L1} = XP, {orc vs. L2} = XP/2, {orc vs. L12} = XP/12, or some such system of relative strength (the argument being picking up scissors and cutting paper is a routine exercise that "plateaus" and gives no additional knowledge/gain. Or, the more common these days "level with PC" approach, where {orc vs. L1} = XP, {orcL2 vs. L2} = XP, {orc_shamanL12 vs. L12} = XP, etc. Functionally, though, every argument about better ways of modeling gain in level through reasonable achievement comes back to the limitations of the BG2 engine's implementation of experience. I don't think there is a good way, within the i.e. constraints, out of the inherent problem of granting XP for summons, no matter how passionately and logically argued. The trouble is a functional, non-in-game, non-roleplaying one, already worked on/shown with igi's iiLearnThroughUse mod - leveling too powerful, too quickly, in the hands of an experienced gamer. Yes, it is illogical when you look at it from within the game world/seeking internal consistency. But when you look at the outside, there are already really stupid XP gains to be had for simple things like delivering letters, because the game design and plot expects to push you to do certain things. If this were completely internally consistent, PC would not be wandering around alone. He would go out and raise an army, and storm Irenicus with enough backup to actually make a difference. He sure as heck would not get XP for delivering a letter - he has been doing that since his earliest Candlekeep days. Unless the local post office is run by shapeshifting bears weilding _+1 swords and chaneling Golden Compass...

 

Just saying, the passions raised here are cool, and the discussions well argued, but when push comes to shove we really don't want people to be bored with the game. A full, completionist BWP run threatens maxing of the *modded in L50 ruleset* - way, way, way above design specs. Seriously - in the sourcebooks, Elminster is L12 or so. L50? Ao himself is probably not that level.

Edited by cmorgan
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The quest XP comment was facetious, to be honest - I don't actually think it does make sense to use quest XP to allow for spell selection.

 

This is largely academic as far as SCS is concerned, for broadly the reason amanasleep gives: SCS isn't really in the business of changing XP levels, period. But someone suggested it was my call, so I thought I might as well answer.

 

I continue to be unpersuaded that it is more effective for enemy NPCs to use summons than to use equivalent attack spells.

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This is largely academic as far as SCS is concerned, for broadly the reason amanasleep gives: SCS isn't really in the business of changing XP levels, period. But someone suggested it was my call, so I thought I might as well answer.
It wasn't meant in that way. I thought removing XP from summoned creatures came from SCS, now I know it was a wrong assumption.
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Furthermore, I think it is very clear, both in pnp and BG2, that summoned creatures killed by the party are intended to yield xp. In particular, for BG2 note the "I wish to be more experienced" option for Limited Wish, which immediately summons hostile monsters for the party to defeat (and gain experience from).
Limited Wish is not really a combat, it's a wish.

 

What about wizards who have Golems, mephits and other magically constructed/bound creatures guarding their lairs? These were created/summoned by the wizard, so shouldn't they also yield zero xp?
They should definitely count, because wizard has created them long ago. Even more, if a wizard were to summon several long-lasting things, then rest/wish rest, then start a fight, he'd be at max potential again and with extra backup, so in this case his monsters from yesterday would definitely be an XP gain.

 

But when it's a confined dungeon with no yesterday, I'd expect physical laws to have their effect.

 

 

To a person who buys the argument that a wizard = {hp + abilities + offensive capability + defensive capability + spells and their antecedent effects}, XP is tied up in the caster, not in summons, because you do get that "double XP". For those who see a castor as a conduit, so wizard = {hp + abilities + offensive capability + defensive capability } + { spells and their antecedent effects} could argue that passing a save vs. magic or a save vs. fire needs an XP gain; after all, dodging that fireball successfully is a skills gain through repetition. Summons would be XP gain killing them.
Yep, that's what I've been saying. Either summoned XP is included into caster's worth, or all spells should count individually as well.

 

 

Now, I fully agree on demons, and not only because indeed they're tougher and all. If we assume that in order to gain a fiend's servitude a caster must give something in return (precious gems, as per coming revision in v4), then those extra resources - gems - indirectly become a fighting force. And since wizard is presumed to have carried them from the start, then of course these resources should be added to the total XP worth of challenge.

I'd say 20%-30% would add a bit of a bonus, without unbalancing the fight. 4000 for DK, 5500 for Glabrezu, 7000 for Gate.

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I continue to be unpersuaded that it is more effective for enemy NPCs to use summons than to use equivalent attack spells.
Yep, that's what I've been saying. Either summoned XP is included into caster's worth, or all spells should count individually as well.

 

thanks for the sanity. had this crap continued we'd eventually reach the point where Charname would start losing levels every time a mage cast a sub-optimal spell at him or because a fighter attacked him with a dagger instead of a katana.

Edited by phordicus
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Just saying, the passions raised here are cool, and the discussions well argued, but when push comes to shove we really don't want people to be bored with the game. A full, completionist BWP run threatens maxing of the *modded in L50 ruleset* - way, way, way above design specs. Seriously - in the sourcebooks, Elminster is L12 or so. L50? Ao himself is probably not that level.

A bit belated, but where did you pull that extremely random number from? :)

 

Heroes' Lorebook (1996)

Elminster:

Human male 29th-level mage; one of
the Chosen of Mystra
ARMOR CLASS: 6 (3 w/ring)
MOVE: 12
HIT POINTS: 96
THAC0: 12
NO. OF ATTACKS: 1
ALIGNMENT: Chaotic good
STR 13, DEX 18, CON 14, INT 18, WIS 18, CHA 17
Spells (7/7/7/7/6/6/6/6/6): As one of the Chosen of Mystra,
Elminster knows and can cast virtually any spell (he is exempt
from the rule that mages of 18 Intelligence can know only
18 spells per spell level)

Edited by Dakk
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Probably from manual for Baldur's Gate I. I remember that Volo there was at 5th level, and Elminster probably 12. I think it was based on old core rules without High Level Characters campaign. It introduced for example tabels for high level characters...

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Guest BerduskanBlatherer

In General:

1. Ao. Argh. Ugh.

2. XP for summoned monsters makes sense, unless they're friendly summons in which case it's cheesy.

3. There is not enough XP given for killing. Quests stand in for the 1gp=1xp campaign regulator... already too little XP is given out for hacking and slashing.

 

Spell Revision-ish:

a. Spells - can the XP for learning spells be assigned directly to the individual rather than the group?

b. Disarming Traps, Opening Locks - ditto, for individualized thieving XP. (semi-related)

c. Spellbooks - could they be implemented? What would rate higher on a wizard's wish list? Maybe an archmage's 55% magic resistance robe?

d. Experience for spellbooks, see (a).

e: IWD2 has a skill that reduces the arcane spell failure penalty, is it possible to have something like that in BG?

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let's just do this

IF
  !GlobalTimerNotExpired("skillXP","GLOBAL")
THEN
  RESPONSE #100
  SetGlobalTimer("skillXP","GLOBAL",3600)
  AddExperienceParty(25000)
END

now you can just assume all the things you think should provide XP do so. You could even substitute a Hotkey check for the timer and any time you think "Hey, I just used a skill! WHERE'S MY XP??!!?" you could get your well-deserved XP with the touch of a button.

 

yay.

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