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SR v4 (detailed list of changes - ongoing update)

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Faerie Fire

Maybe it was just a small bug in my game (and if it is just ignore me), but I think that creatures affected by the spell should be glowing as in spell description.

When I first used it, I really thought it didn't work and it was useless, because there were no visual effect at all.

Maybe you could add this ?

Strange, I actually gave it a new unique animation (similar to the one I used for False Dawn, but on targets instead of caster). I'll check it asap.

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2nd Level Priest Spells

 

Aid

It should be fine imo.

 

Barkskin

Very powerful buff imo. It has been suggested to make it grant immunity to criticals, but I think this spell is already fine as it is (just compare it to Blur, which isn't a bad spell itself), and I'd prefer such immunity to remain a rare thing (Barkskin is kinda cheap imo).

 

Chant

I'd leave it unchanged. I know some players dislike the incredibly long casting time, but that's the only thing which keeps this spell balanced as long as we don't make it require continuos concentration on the caster's side.

 

Charm Person or Animal

It's fine as it is.

 

Cure Moderate Wounds

See Cure Light Wounds, I'll try to make it remain useful later on.

 

Draw upon Divine Might

Still hugely more powerful than PnP, where it raises only one stat between STR, DEX or CON, and where the fatigue effect is ridiculously more penalizing. Does SR's fatigue effect makes it balanced enough?

 

Find Traps

There's little to do here.

 

Fire Trap

A really great addition imo. It should be fine. I've thought about reducing casting time to 5 (then doing the same buff for Glyph oWarding - and a similar nerf for Skull Trap, from 3 to 5), but I fear it would make this cheap spell too effective. Mmm...

 

Flame Blade

It should be very powerful early on in BG1 but I fear it quickly fades within BG2. Does it need to be boosted a little? My main concern is its enchantment lvl, which should probably be at least +2 to make it appealing later on. What do you think of it in general?

 

Goodberry

If you ask me, even after my huge boost I would never memorize this spell. It would be really cool if within BG players had to eat a meal at least once per day to avoid fatigue, but such feature don't exist (too bad, it would make taverns more interesting :D ). I'll think about the possibility of making the berries remove various fatigue effects, but in the meanwhile (and regardles of such tweak) I'd vote to move this spell at 1st lvl as per 3E.

 

Hold Person

Cleric's version is great imo because it's extremely cheap, while mages have more appealing 3rd lvl spells.

 

Know Opponent

Conceptually I love it, I hope some of you found it useful too. How does it perform?

 

Resist Fire and Cold

No changes planned, though for a moment I was thinking to turn it into an elemental barrier (e.g. 25% res to fire, cold and electricity - not sure about acid)

 

Silence

It should be fine.

 

Slow Poison

Obviously it doesn't need any change.

 

Spiritual Hammer

It's because of how good this spell is that I think Flame Blade currently is underpowered. What do you think of this spell?

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Spiritual Hammer & Flame Blade

 

I wouldn't change them. Spiritual Hammer is fine as it is and Flame Blade will be mostly useful vs enemies weak against fire (think how useful it could be against trolls :D )

 

Goodberry

 

Removing fatigue sounds like a good idea to me but I'd make it chance based (10% per berry eaten) to keep it balanced.

 

Draw Upon Holy Might

 

I like it the way it is now. The fatigue is a good countermeasure.

 

Barkskin

 

I think I'd like to introduce the immunity to critical hits, with a shorter duration as countermeasure.

 

All the others

 

They're good as they are. No much work for you here, Demi.

Edited by Salk

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Spiritual Hammer

It is pretty powerful. I find the touch attack (+4 Thac0) feature quite spurious. Is it a pnp thing?. Consider 2nd level Branwen has three of these up her sleeve. The ranged effect is truly awesome though.

 

Otherwise I think this level's spells really are pretty solid - I may even come around to barkskin one day.

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Barkskin

Needs no buff unless duration is shortened.

 

Find Traps

Never liked this spell as it performs one fundamental role of the thief. (Disarming is another matter, haha.)

 

Fire Trap

I've thought about reducing casting time to 5 (then doing the same buff for Glyph oWarding - and a similar nerf for Skull Trap' date=' from 3 to 5), but I fear it would make this cheap spell too effective. Mmm...[/quote']

I use this spell extensively already. I don't think Skull Trap needs a nerf unless FireBall also gets one. As I mentioned before, if it becomes possible to improve the concentration check of druids with an HLA or something, I vote to leave their spells very effective but with a long casting time for flavor.

 

Flame Blade

This has the same issues at remaining competitive that I mentioned previously. The only solutions I can see are the aforementioned.

 

Goodberry

Yes for level 1. If it is left at level 2, it should be almost a Cure Light Wounds when eaten.

 

Know Opponent

Like it.

 

Resist Fire and Cold

25% is probably too little to make me want to use it, even if it affects electricity. That would change if it lasted 8 hours, though. (Can't remember what current duration is.)

 

Spiritual Hammer

Nice +thac0 and range. If it had +attacks/round, it would be MMM. :)

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Fire Trap

I really think all trap spells should take a full round to cast.

 

Flame Blade

Shillelagh gets greater enchantment level, but FB has better thaco and damage. Both are cheap, and up to 10th level - and even after - they soundly beat any weapon a druid can find.

I think they're fine as low-level sure picks. And later on a druid has enough slots to memorize a single instance of them, just in case a demanding situation will occur.

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Flame Blade

Clerics Spiritual Hammer on the same level performs better in every single aspect. It can be used to perform ranged attacks, the enchantment lvl / thaco / damage scales with caster lvl & last but not least it uses the better damage type. I don't think they should be equalized, but Flame Blade deserves at least a small boost imo (and my main concern is the enchantment level too)

 

Goodberry

Moving it at 1st lvl is actually a good idea and I also like the fatigue-idea.

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Leaving aside my doubts regarding Flame Blade I think 2nd lvl divine spells are settled, so...

 

3rd Level Priest Spells

Prepare yourselves, this is going to be tough...

 

Animate Dead

First of all, the obvious change. Forget about summoning Skeletal Warriors with this cheap spell, but V3 Greater Skeletons will still keep this spell very great. With a 3rd lvl slot you get 2x 5HD undead warriors, just take a look at other summoning spells and let me know if you find a better deal!

 

Then, the hard part. THIS SPELL IS EVIL. Good aligned priests, not to mention paladins, should not have this spell! Please tell me you agree. :)

 

Assuming you agree, I wanted to give good aligned priests and paladins something "to make up for the loss of AD". I thought to make Repulse Undead that good only spell (eventually improving it), but it's not a PnP spell, and Ardanis suggests to use a 3E spell instead, Searing Light. My only real problem with this spell is that it's too much similar to Sunscorch (afaik I would also have to use the same animation). Initially I was also concerned because within AD&D sun related spells were granted only to druids and Morninglords of Lathander, but then I realized that in vanilla BG False Dawn and Sunray were granted to all clerics, and that now they could actually perform well as non-evil (or good only?) "compensation" for good aligned priests not getting Skeletal Warriors and Death Knights. What do you think of the whole matter?

 

Break Enchantment

See mage version, it only needs to be tweaked to make it "cure" charms.

 

Call Lightning

I think this spell is fine as it is.

 

Cause Serious Wounds

We'll discuss it.

 

Contagion

Priests at least get it as a 3rd lvl. I'm not in love with this spell but it should be fine.

 

Cure Disease

Obviously no change here.

 

Cure Serious Wounds

We'll discuss it.

 

Dispel Magic

There's the neverending story about capping or not its potential as per 3E. Other than that there's little to discuss I guess.

 

Glyph of Warding

A more expensive Fire Trap using a better damage type (I'd dare to say that it's even better than Skull Trap's magic dmg if we make ). It probably doesn't need any change.

 

Gust of Wind

I'd dare to suggest moving it down at 2nd lvl as per 3E. It can actually become a mandatory change if you approve the change I'm going to propose for Storm Shell.

 

I would also suggest to make this spell "dispel" an insect swarm affecting the caster (its casting time 1 makes it possible).

 

Hold Person or Animal

It should be fine.

 

Holy Smite

I think this spell is fine. Within 3E it deals half damage to non-good characters (aka neutrals), but it's not a must have. Ardanis have something in mind though. ;)

 

Invisibility Purge

This is a little tricky. Unlike mage's Detect Invisibility this is an abjuration spell, and should work differently imo. This spell should not grant the caster the ability to target an II creature with spells, neither to attack him without suffering -4 penalty to hit rolls, but it should instead work as a sort of "dispel invisibility", effectively removing any form of invisibility unless protected by Non-detection. Am I right?

 

Miscast Magic

I don't know, is it fine/appealing?

 

Remove Paralysis

It's fine as it is.

 

Repulse Undead

See Animate Dead.

 

Storm Shield

I suggest to replace this spell with another probably more canonic PnP spell, Wind Wall. SS kinda overlaps with Resist Fire/Cold, whereas WW would be slightly more unique, and seems little more druidic to me. It would still offer a high degree of protection against missiles (perhaps even more than SS, though I'm tempted to use AC instead of full immunity), but it would also grant immunity to cloud based spells making it an "offensive" variant of Gust of Wind, with the latter being the party oriented spell, and the former act as a shield to "exploit" cloud spells by fighting without problems within them. As a small but cool add on, I'd make Wind Shield protect from insect spells.

 

What do you think?

 

Strength of One

Not my favourite spell, but I guess there's little to do here. I would make it not usable by druis though.

 

Summon Insects

I'm extremely pleased of the huge technical revision we made to insect spells. I'm considering to lower its casting time to 5, but I'm not sure because all conjurations/summons are supposed to take a full round to cast imo.

 

A global change that I'd really like to implement to all insect spells is to make them bypass magic resistance. They are summoned creatures attacking a target, aren't they? We are offering tons of new ways for every type of spellcaster to counter them, and since V3 a creature under a swarm can still make a check each round to be almost unaffected by it for that round, I don't think this buff would make it OP.

 

Unholy Blight

See Holy Smite, though being evil I would instead suggest to make it harm neutral characters as per 3E. Not a big deal though, it's pretty much an "AI only" spell, extensively used by SCS priests, thus I suppose it's already fine anyway, even if it has almost zero appeal for players.

 

On a side note, I wouldn't feel bad at all for evil PC priests (such as Viconia) not getting a spell as good as Holy Smite if we decide to limit Animate Dead to them. :)

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Holy Smite

I think this spell is fine. Within 3E it deals half damage to non-good characters (aka neutrals), but it's not a must have. Ardanis have something in mind though. ;)
First, I too am certain it should affect neutrals in some way.

 

Second, I think this spell should be merged with Unholy Blight. The only difference between them is the alignment targeted, nothing more. It could be fine if evil priests get only UB and goods - only HS, but then what about neutrals? I really think it makes them no justice to occupy two slots with basically the very same spell. It only gets worse if a CM has to decide what to put into sequencer.

 

Third, imo a neutral aligned Smite should affect both good and evil targets at half strength, as good and evil versions affect adjacent alignments in PnP.

 

3e also adds lawful and chaotic versions. So I propose to let every one of nine existing alignments to cast it's own exclusive version of Smite.

 

In PnP Smites are 3e spells that belong to 4th level, rather than 3rd.

4th level has Castigate spell, which is essentially an alignment-dependant Smite, and also uses the same damage values as BG's Smites do.

 

Same goes for Holy/Unholy Word.

 

Repulse Undead

PnP has 7th level Repulsion spell, that affects everyone, not just undead. I think it can be an excellent Teleport Field/PFMW substitute for priests.

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Animate Dead

First of all, the obvious change. Forget about summoning Skeletal Warriors with this cheap spell, but V3 Greater Skeletons will still keep this spell very great. With a 3rd lvl slot you get 2x 5HD undead warriors, just take a look at other summoning spells and let me know if you find a better deal!

 

Then, the hard part. THIS SPELL IS EVIL. Good aligned priests, not to mention paladins, should not have this spell! Please tell me you agree. :)

Definitely no Skeleton Warriors. That was ridiculous. I'm fine with making it evil-only as long as good/neutral priests get compensated.

 

Assuming you agree, I wanted to give good aligned priests and paladins something "to make up for the loss of AD". I thought to make Repulse Undead that good only spell (eventually improving it), but it's not a PnP spell, and Ardanis suggests to use a 3E spell instead, Searing Light. My only real problem with this spell is that it's too much similar to Sunscorch (afaik I would also have to use the same animation). Initially I was also concerned because within AD&D sun related spells were granted only to druids and Morninglords of Lathander, but then I realized that in vanilla BG False Dawn and Sunray were granted to all clerics, and that now they could actually perform well as non-evil (or good only?) "compensation" for good aligned priests not getting Skeletal Warriors and Death Knights. What do you think of the whole matter?

I like spells being unique to casters of different alignments. Gives flavor to the system. However, I am not sure that Repulse Undead and Searing Light are enough to replace the only (IIRC) early-game summon possessed by clerics. Clerics have turn undead, after all, so I think adding more anti-undead spells is rather redundant.

 

Gust of Wind

Yes to dispelling insects. Don't care if it's level 2 or 3.

 

Miscast Magic

If I can recall correctly, I think that Silence is currently a better deal than this spell due to its AoE. Maybe buff it?

 

Storm Shield

Wind Wall sounds fine. Storm Shield is fine, too. Either way.

 

Summon Insects

I'm considering to lower its casting time to 5, but I'm not sure because all conjurations/summons are supposed to take a full round to cast imo.

Again, please only stick with the annoyingly long casting time if there will be a way to improve druids' concentration checks...

 

A global change that I'd really like to implement to all insect spells is to make them bypass magic resistance. They are summoned creatures attacking a target, aren't they? We are offering tons of new ways for every type of spellcaster to counter them, and since V3 a creature under a swarm can still make a check each round to be almost unaffected by it for that round, I don't think this buff would make it OP.

It only makes sense, but definitely not necessary to make the insect line of spells appealing (they are appealing already).

 

Unholy Blight

On a side note, I wouldn't feel bad at all for evil PC priests (such as Viconia) not getting a spell as good as Holy Smite if we decide to limit Animate Dead to them. :)

Animate Dead and such spells are more than enough compensation.

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Animate Dead

I don't really see why calling the dead to aid you is such an evil thing to do. Demon Knights on the other hand......

Removing them both from good priests is a good idea only if you can find a suitable good summon to replace them. Otherwise they should stay as is, roleplaying be damned. Besides, a player could always CHOOSE to not use these spells.

 

Break Enchantment

Removing charm sounds great.

 

Call Lightning

I think it's underpowered. Even though it's only a third level spell it was a druid's main damaging spell for a long time in the vanilla game. I say the damage should be increased at the cost of rounds of duration.

 

Dispel Magic

I don't like capping it but I guess it wouldn't be so bad.

 

Gust of Wind

Yes move it down a spell level.

 

Holy Smite

I don't see why it shouldn't do full damage to all non good alignments. Same for unholy blight.

 

Storm Shield

Sounds really neat.

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Animate Dead/Repulse Undead

 

I am with Demi here and I believe Animate Dead should be Evil only (even for consistency with the Turn Undead power) and if we go for it the logical choice for Repulse Undead (I like it better than Searing Light) is to make it a good-alignement only spell. But then the problem is: what about neutral clerics? Will they lose both spells? It'd be atrocious so my proposal is to let neutral clerics gain both spells halving their effectiveness somehow.

 

Dispel Magic

 

Useless to keep on discussing the capping option. Leave it as it is.

 

Invisibility Purge

 

I agree with you here, Demi.

 

Wind wall replacing Storm Shield

 

I like the proposal and would welcome the change.

 

Holy Smite/Unholy Blight

 

Following the same idea above, I'd say these spells should inflict half damage to neutral targets. But if Ardanis says that it's okay to make it a combo then how would it be different from my own proposal of making Cure and Cause Light/Medium/Serious/Critical wound the same spell too? If the latter is not accepted neither should this one be.

Edited by Salk

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Animate Dead/Repulse Undead

 

I am with Demi here and I believe Animate Dead should be Evil only (even for consistency with the Turn Undead power) and if we go for it the logical choice for Repulse Undead (I like it better than Searing Light) is to make it a good-alignement only spell. But then the problem is: what about neutral clerics? Will they lose both spells? It'd be atrocious so my proposal is to let neutral clerics gain both spells halving their effectiveness somehow.

Animate Undead is gonna be useful against any type of enemy, while RU - against undead exclusively. The latter, albeit common, are not dominant. And non-evil priests already can repulse (or even kill) them through the innate Turn Undead. It would be a wasted spell imo, not to mention a non-PnP one.

 

Whereas Searing Light can perform adequately against living beings as well.

 

 

Holy Smite/Unholy Blight

 

Following the same idea above, I'd say these spells should inflict half damage to neutral targets. But if Ardanis says that it's okay to make it a combo then how would it be different from my own proposal of making Cure and Cause Light/Medium/Serious/Critical wound the same spell too? If the latter is not accepted neither should this one be.

Cure&Cause Wounds use different damage types (positive and negative in PnP), and are complete opposites engine-wise.

Cure should be healing living beings are damage undead, reverse for Cause, but this is not really possibly without breaking AI in several places.

Also, would anyone really want a priest in party who can't cast cures? Evil enemies also tend to heal themselves at times, so it will lead to even more inconsistency.

 

Holy/Unholy, otoh, are pretty much the same, because both use divine energy, and target the hostile alignment.

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Animate Dead

I knew this was going to be tough.

 

I like spells being unique to casters of different alignments. Gives flavor to the system. However, I am not sure that Repulse Undead and Searing Light are enough to replace the only (IIRC) early-game summon possessed by clerics. Clerics have turn undead, after all, so I think adding more anti-undead spells is rather redundant.
That's why Ardanis suggests a spell which is still quite effective vs any target, Searing Light. My idea instead is that an anti-undead spell is indeed less appealing but more appropriate (aka an evil cleric casts an undead army and the good priest wipes it out), following the "reverse" spell philosophy which was so heavily used within AD&D for clerics (I guess Salk has a similar thought).

 

"Balance wise", from a PC point view I'm really not that much concerned about good priests losing Animate Dead because they can memorize Holy Smite, whereas evil PC priests have pretty much no reason to memorize Unholy Blight. It's only a matter of "being fair" and giving good priests either the reverse spell, "Bury Undead" :D, or a good aligned spell to make the total spells per level equal.

 

I don't really see why calling the dead to aid you is such an evil thing to do. Demon Knights on the other hand......

Removing them both from good priests is a good idea only if you can find a suitable good summon to replace them. Otherwise they should stay as is, roleplaying be damned. Besides, a player could always CHOOSE to not use these spells.

"Roleplaying be damned" is a blasphemy for me! :)

 

I know it may seem the obvious bargain, evil clerics get an undead army, good clerics get a "celestial" army. The thing is that within AD&D clerics had very few summons with the exception of evil clerics with their undead ones. I do like to preserve this because it distinguishes the class more from druids, who instead focus much more on summons and damage dealing spells. Anyway, even if I wanted to there's not a single PnP summon spell at 3rd lvl or around it within AD&D.

 

Conceptually, much like mages have different specializations I don't see as a problem having evil clerics look more like necromancers with undead summons and good clerics focusing more on light spells. Am I wrong?

 

I am with Demi here and I believe Animate Dead should be Evil only (even for consistency with the Turn Undead power) and if we go for it the logical choice for Repulse Undead (I like it better than Searing Light) is to make it a good-alignement only spell. But then the problem is: what about neutral clerics? Will they lose both spells? It'd be atrocious so my proposal is to let neutral clerics gain both spells halving their effectiveness somehow.
Halving a spell's effectiveness would mean making it pointless imo. Neutral clerics should just simply get both spells (as they do for Holy Smite, Holy Word and their evil versions) or only one.

 

Call Lightning

I think it's underpowered. Even though it's only a third level spell it was a druid's main damaging spell for a long time in the vanilla game. I say the damage should be increased at the cost of rounds of duration.
Underpowered? o_O It's a 3rd lvl spell dealing 30d6 points of damage. I cannot raise its damage because else it would make Lightning Bolt look like a pathetic lesser version of it. Within 3E PnP this spell deals 3d6 points of dmg per round when cast indoor and 3d10 when cast outdoor, while I pretty much kept outdoor dmg for both situations, making it deal twice as much dmg as it would do in PnP in most situations.

 

Miscast Magic

If I can recall correctly, I think that Silence is currently a better deal than this spell due to its AoE. Maybe buff it?
Well, the difference is that you can both prevent and counter Silence with Vocalize (plus various items and a new IR's potion), whereas there's neither a protection nor a counter to Miscast Magic (unless we add Wildshield spell, but it would still be a very expensive 6th lvl spell to protect from a 3rd lvl one).

 

Summon Insects

Again, please only stick with the annoyingly long casting time if there will be a way to improve druids' concentration checks...
As I said I'm torn on this. Some players (such as you) dislike this aspect of the druid class, others actually appreciate it. As Kalindor realized this is a peculiar aspect of druid's spellcasting, as many of druid's unqie spells are extremely powerful for their lvl but at the cost of very long casting time (e.g. Sunscorch, Call Lightning, insect spells). It's both a flavor and balance thing imo.

 

But yeah, having a concentration check feature is an absolute must.

 

A global change that I'd really like to implement to all insect spells is to make them bypass magic resistance. They are summoned creatures attacking a target, aren't they?
It only makes sense, but definitely not necessary to make the insect line of spells appealing (they are appealing already).
Indeed I'm mainly suggesting it because it seems the obvious behaviour.

 

Holy Smite

I don't see why it shouldn't do full damage to all non good alignments. Same for unholy blight.
Concept wise, the idea is that good aligned priests and paladins would not harm non-evil creatures, while evil priests, being evil, actually enjoy hurting neutrals too.

 

PnP opted instead for making both spells deal half dmg to neutral characters, which still makes sense imo, but having a good-aligned spell do full damage to non-evil creatures would be "out of character" imo.

 

Cure/Cause Wounds & Holy Smite/Unholy Blight

...if Ardanis says that it's okay to make it a combo then how would it be different from my own proposal of making Cure and Cause Light/Medium/Serious/Critical wound the same spell too? If the latter is not accepted neither should this one be.
In fact I'm not sure I like Ardanis suggestion, though gameplay wise it makes sense. If we really dislike the good/evil spells then we should just replace both spells with a Divine Smite spell affecting all enemies of the priest...but for some reason I'd be sad about merging these two spells. :(

 

That being said, there's a radical difference between merging Holy Smite with Unholy Blight (good - evil version of the same spell), and merging Cure and Cause Wounds (one the reverse spell of the other). In the first case we have two offensive spells, doing pretty much the same thing but only affecting different alignments. In the second case the two spells do the complete opposite thing, one curing the target, the other harming it.

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Regarding animate dead and holy/unholy blight - the whole ADnD alignment system never made much sense to me. While I can understand it somewhat when it is used just for flavour (i.e. a simple tag on the character sheet very roughly describing character's motivations, etc.), it loses its meaning completely when it starts to be used as an actual game mechanic. If an "evil" priest casts unholy blight type of spell on the enemy, why shouldn't the enemy be affected, just because he also happens to be evil? It's not like there is some sort of an alliance between all evil gods of Faerun :) Same idea applies to "good" priests with their holy smite. In any case, I'd say we can safely assume that whatever actions the priest performs are somewhat aligned with the goals of his god - otherwise the priest would probably lose access to all his spells anyway.

 

The idea to restrict "animate dead" based on alignment makes even less sense - animate dead is a simple necromantic act, and it's not like necromancy is considered inherently evil in ADnD (one could create good-aligned necromancer mage, both in BG and pnp; there are descriptions of good-aligned liches in pnp; etc.). I'd say the only reason why "animate dead" can be forbidden for a given priest is if his god is very anti-undead - but unless we want to create separate priest kits for each god, or differentiate gods in some other way, I'd say such restrictions are better left to player's discretion.

 

Merging cure & cause wounds spells actually is quite interesting IMO, though that would probably be imbalanced for heal/harm. Conceptually that would make sense - the only difference between these spells is whether "positive" or "negative" energy is used - and this is a kind of decision that could conceivably be made "on the fly". At the very least that would make more sense than the third-edition ability of priests to convert any spells to same-level cure/cause (now, this is the idea that never made sense to me).

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