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Charm Person


spanyam

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After playing for a bit, I find that the Level 1 Charm Person (arcane) spell is a bit too good, making certain fights against single opponents trivial. I know it comes with a +2 bonus to saving throw, but I find that there aren't very many enemies with good saving throws at the lower levels. I have SCS installed.

 

For example, Bassilus (who is supposed to be strong at level 12) seems to fail his saving throw against charm very easily, allowing me to pretty much control him with Edwin the entire fight. Seriously, he failed it like 7 out of 8 times. I can charm him right off the bat to interrupt his first spell and waste some of his useful spells while I have him under my control (which also wastes his blade barrier). I can also use him to buff my own party if I want. I have a full 5 rounds to do all this, that too for a level 1 spell you find quite early. I also won the tough Lamalha fight by charming Zeela right away and having her effectively occupy Lamalha the whole time.

 

The spell also seems to work unfairly in the player's favor in a couple of ways:

  1. Firstly, if an enemy charms one of your party members, they just stand around doing nothing. You on the other hand have full control over them.
  2. Secondly, any creatures summoned by the charmed person continue to remain friendly to you even after the charm wears off, which seems strange to me. From what I have read of PnP and forgotten realms lore, summoned creatures should listen exclusively to their summoner. It would make more sense if summoned creatures maintained allegiance to their summoner no matter what.

I feel that if the above issues can be taken care of, the spell will be much less of an "I win" against early opponents.

Edited by spanyam
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Could charm be changed to a single target confusion spell ? Something like the charmed creature regards the caster as an ally and is confused why is his new ally fighting his curent friends. Uncertain what it should do the creature stands out of the fight, decides to fight for one side or flees from the conflict.

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Dire Charm should allow the player use the creature as he sees fit, regular charm should either just stop the charmed creature from attacking(and/or moving), or attack friendly target at sight range(but no other movement, except attack, and definitely no ordering by player).

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Dire Charm should allow the player use the creature as he sees fit, regular charm should either just stop the charmed creature from attacking(and/or moving), or attack friendly target at sight range(but no other movement, except attack, and definitely no ordering by player).

 

Looks like the original PnP versions (2.5e) of both Charm and Dire Charm do not confer any form of control of the charmed person. They simply see you as an ally and act on their own convictions (though it does seem that you can strongly suggest some actions to the charmed person, and they will do it if they are convinced that it is useful). "Controlling" the opponent seems to be more of a feature of "domination" type spells then "charm" type.

 

As it stands, charm and domination seem to have more or less the same effect.

Edited by spanyam
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Charm, Dire Charm & Domination

Short story: I can do little or nothing about them. I do hoped EE would have made them work as they should (*), but as of now neither ToBEx nor EE has fixed their 3 opcodes to make targets affected by them behave correctly. :(

 

(*) Charm Person should not allow full control indeed, the target should only be more "friendly" (standing still like party members do when charmed would be fine I guess). Dire Charm should make the charmed creature fight to protect the caster, but still not allow full control (e.g. you cannot use target's spellbook). Only Domination works as it should right now.

 

Compared to V3 I nerfed Charm Person back its save putting there a +2 bonus, duration is already as short as it can be imo. Replacing it with a confusion effect like suggested above is not an option imo. I do fear there's nothing I can do about this spell...

 

For Dire Charm I do suggested back then to try differentiating it by making it apply a berserk opcode but I don't remember why we discarded it. Mmm...

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Charm, Dire Charm & Domination

I do fear there's nothing I can do about this spell...

 

For Dire Charm I do suggested back then to try differentiating it by making it apply a berserk opcode but I don't remember why we discarded it. Mmm...

That's a pity :( Is there any way we can mimic the "purple circle" effect when two party members go beyond control and start fighting each other? That way you can make charmed characters ignore your party and go after someone else. Also, wouldn't adding a berserk opcode to Dire Charm make the spell less useful than a regular charm (in which you can full control a charmed character)?

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I don't know if it's possible at all - can Charm Person work as a single-target Hold Person that breaks as soon as the target is hit (or attacked)?

 

If nothing else is viable, I'd say we can drop the spell completely, at least for the time being. TBH, I was never aware of its power, it feels terribly OP.

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Charm, Dire Charm & Domination

Short story: I can do little or nothing about them. I do hoped EE would have made them work as they should (*), but as of now neither ToBEx nor EE has fixed their 3 opcodes to make targets affected by them behave correctly. :(

 

(*) Charm Person should not allow full control indeed, the target should only be more "friendly" (standing still like party members do when charmed would be fine I guess).

For Dire Charm I do suggested back then to try differentiating it by making it apply a berserk opcode but I don't remember why we discarded it. Mmm...

Replace Charm Person with something like Whelm or Random Action. Whelm would be a great substitute for magic missile, since Enchanters don't get it.

Berserk opcode - sirens use Dire Charm, and going berserk on a Siren that charmed you, well, is odd.

I don't know if it's possible at all - can Charm Person work as a single-target Hold Person that breaks as soon as the target is hit (or attacked)?

Kind of, yes, I guess with a dedicated secondary type, you could do that. It can be made to work in EE easilly. But that would make the spell even more OP for players (hit a charmed member with dart and he's free).

 

 

If nothing else is viable, I'd say we can drop the spell completely, at least for the time being. TBH, I was never aware of its power, it feels terribly OP.

AI uses is so "drop it" can't be made. It can be replaced with another single-target spell Fwiw, while this spell is indeed powerful in BG1, it's power drops drastically in BG2, even late BG1 when every mage has either imp.invisibility or Minor Globe.

Edited by kreso
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Kind of, yes, I guess with a dedicated secondary type, you could do that. It can be made to work in EE easilly. But that would make the spell even more OP for players (hit a charmed member with dart and he's free).

Yeah, and we are talking about a 1st level spell here... having it turn the battle like it does in the given example with a relatively well defended cleric battle is totally OP vs stunning the said cleric for a short time, where the skeletons can still kill the player.

Whelm is too magic missile like, while the Random Action... could work, but ... it boils down to the types of actions that are used. The d8 table:

 

  • 1: Attack self (succeed on any roll other than a natural 1).
  • 2: Attack nearest being (for this purpose, a familiar counts as part of the subject's "self").
  • 3: Flee away from caster at top possible speed.
  • 4: Drop anything held.
  • 5: Stand motionless (as if stunned).
  • 6: Do nothing but defend (total defense).
  • 7: Speak surface thoughts or make noises (if not capable of speech)
  • 8: Attack caster with melee or ranged weapons (or close with caster if attacking is not possible).

1, can't be done.

2, aka berserk.

3, aka spook.

4, no, you don't want to gather all that stuff up. And what if the enemy has an immunity/min-hp-ring ? Let's pick that up yey.

5, aka command spell anyone ?

6, new idea...

7, fun yeah, but how could you code that stuff up ? :whahahahahahhahahahahaa:

8, ...berserk.

Edited by Jarno Mikkola
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Maybe replace charm with a single target confusion (without -3 save penalty, unlike the 4th level spell) and replace dire charm with single target stun (lowering the duration of course)?

Edited by spanyam
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It sounds strange, but I definitely remember Charm acting as you describe here it should: making affected creature have "blue circle" and becoming not hostile for a time being, but not controllable either.

 

And it was like that years ago, probably even before BGEE was out.

 

Sadly, I can't provide any logs for that particular game, but still, just heads up that it's possible (especially since I don't use anything that changes gameplay drastically save for SCS, SR and IR, so probably that was some spell fix from a mod like aTweaks or Oversight or whatsoever).

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Whelm is too magic missile like

Really? Non-leathal damage on a failed save is like magic missile?

 

 

 

7, fun yeah, but how could you code that stuff up ? :whahahahahahhahahahahaa:

 

quite easilly actually. I'd gather your posts. sryyyy.... :D

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