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Unearthed Arcana presents Scales of Balance: a post-hac tweak pack

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EDIT - it is deprecated again. Forever this time.

For my tweaks related to weapons, armor, and other items, now you should use SubtleD’s Item Tweaks.

For my revisions to the weapon proficiency system, and a feat system tied into proficiency points, now you should use Combat Skills & Proficiencies

For my tweaks related to ability scores, hit dice, XP, etc. now you should use SubtleD’s Stat Overhauls.

Those three mods should be installed in that order. Generally, Item Tweaks goes after kits but before SCS; Combat Skills and Stat Overhauls go after SCS.





This has some overhaul and tweak components:

- Item/Weapon Overhaul (in 4 parts)
- Weapon Proficiency Overhaul (in 5 parts)
- Magic Resistance Overhaul
- Stat tweaks
- Hit dice tweaks
- XP table tweaks

That's it!

If you like the SoB cleric and druid kits, you can still find those at the link for v4.3:


But really, those are totally old and busted. Instead of using them, you should ask me for a copy of the Faiths & Powers beta. Even now, in beta form, it's miles better! :)

Btw, part of the reason for breaking things up this way has to do with load order. Might 'n' Guile as usual should be installed after other kits but before SCS. This new version of Scales of Balance should be installed very very late: especially if you use the MRO, that should be installed after all mods that add creatures and items. So after SCS, and after aTweaks.


Again, to recap what's happened since v3: my single old mod got too big and unwieldy, and I also got better at this stuff and wanted to do more. So the old Scales of Balance has been broken up into a number of other mods:

Faiths & Powers (cleric & druid tweaks and kits, by Grammarsalad):

Tome & Blood (wizard & sorcerer tweaks and kits, by Aquadrizzt):

Might & Guile (warrior & rogue tweaks and kits, by me!):

NPC_EE (customize NPCs)

Just want to introduce people to my new mod, Scales of Balance (or SoB for short).

What is this?
This started out as my own personal set of tweaks that I did on top of a fully modded game. It includes some basic mechanical tweaks (e.g. modified stat bonuses and an overhaul of the proficiency system), some cosmetic changes (e.g. FR-themed paladin kit names, and magic items that don't break immersion by putting '+2's and '+5's in your face), and more than 25 new kits.

This is all about improving gameplay.
I love mods that bring the game closer to PnP, like Rogue Rebalancing and aTweaks. But BG is a single-player computer game. If tweaking a rule makes this specific game more fun, then it's a good tweak, PnP be damned. Consider this mod as a collection of 'house rules' specific to the BG campaign. Every choice has been made with an eye to the particular gameplay mechanics of BG2 and the EEs.

I try to make this as compatible as possible with other mods.
Notwithstanding the above paragraphs, this mod is 100% compatible with RR and aTweaks. This is meant to be applied alongside those mods - not instead of them.

Everything is completely optional.
You can use as many or as few of the mod components as you like. None of them rely on each other, there is no 'core' component. Use what you like, ignore what you don't.

Edited by subtledoctor
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Another update, this is getting relatively mature so I'm calling it v2




New features for v2:

- This version includes a reorganization of the components into the 30 main tweaks/additions, and then the NPC changes afterward. Hopefully this makes installation a bit smoother

- 5 new kits: the Meistersinger, a forest bard; the Loremaster, a bard who can figure out how to Use Any Item; and the Purifier, a druid devoted to fire; the Gloryblood of Tempus as a fighter/cleric kit; and the Elven High Mage as a cleric/mage kit with powerful spellcasting.

- The wizard tweaks have been expanded, with innate metamagic and tweaks to the spell battle system. These are major changes for wizards, check out the readme to learn more
- A new component that changes the school of a few dozen wizard spells so that all schools are balanced, and each school has at least one or two useful spells at each level. Now you can actually kick some butt as a Diviner!
- Within the proficiency overhaul component, each cleric kit will attain specialization with a favored weapon. This includes mod kits from Divine Remix and Frosty Journey. Now your Battleguard of Tempus can rock a battleaxe!
- More robust kitted NPC components, with options to use Divine Remix kits for Branwen and Viconia
- The multiclass component will now detect the .ini setting for ranger/cleric spells in IWDee and BG2ee, and react appropriately

- The Bladesinger now works on TOB/Tutu/BGT!
- Enhanced compatibility with Tome & Blood, and with the forthcoming v4 editions of Item Revisions and Spell Revisions
- An .ini file for enhanced configurability

Edited by subtledoctor
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Future plans:


- An overhaul of the Magic Resistance system. I dislike how chancy it is, so creatures will have their MR reduced or eliminated (depending on the creature) and in return they will get elemental resistances and saving throw bonuses. Items available to the player will get similar treatment, so players will not be able to amass high MR. I haven't yet figured out what to do about Wizard Slayers and Monks, feel free to suggest things in this thread.


- A major overhaul of the 8 wizard kits. Basically, there will be no opposition schools, and wizard can learn and cast any spell. But specialists will be able to cast some spells within their own school with greater effects. Conjurers can summon more creatures; Shadowmancers (née Illusionists) will have Non-detection built in to their invisibility spells; Enchanters will cause targets to take saving throw penalties; Pyromancers (née Invokers) will do more damage with energy-based spells. That sort of thing. I haven't worked it all out yet (what to do with Necromancers?) so if you have any thoughts or suggestions, again, please share.


- Revamping the tempo of casting magic spells. Instead of everyone being locked on a 6-second clock, I will add some variability. Some spells you might be able to cast every 4 seconds, others, every 8 seconds. The average will still be 6. Now items and abilities the reduce casting time will be more effective, actually allowing you to cast *more* by casting them faster. I haven't yet figured out what to do with Imptoved Alacrity yet, and more importantly, I haven't yet figured out of this is possible. We'll see.

Edited by subtledoctor
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I would really, REALLY love to see overhauled magic resistance system because the mage/cleric spells become more and more useless as the game progresses currently.


Why dont you just reduce the MR of creatures involved?


Say, drow get ~10-15 % MR, demons and all sorts of 'moderate magical' creatures get ~20-20%, and only the tough bosses get ~35% or so. Would love to see the mod compatible with Spell Revisions.

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Overhauling MR is definitely planned because I hate how the mechanic works. But, a lot more goes into that then just reducing MR. As always with this game, changing one thing causes ripple effects in all sorts of other areas.


So, I will reduce or just eliminate every AI creature's MR. I haven't decided which. But, drow are *supposed* to be resistant to magic, right? So, I'll give them resistance to fire damage and magic damage and electricity damage, etc. Your fireball won't be *wasted* (I hate that)... but it won't be as useful against drow as it is against other foes. I'll also probably give them a bonus to save vs. spells, to make them better at resisting non-damage magical effects.


The flip side of that is, players shouldn't get high/any MR either. No more combining the Cloak of Balduran with the Holy Avenger with the Amulet of the Seldarine etc. to get 60-90% MR and walk unmolested through enemy spells. I'll have to compile a list of all those items and change them. There are enough interesting effects that I think it should be doable... some might make you outright immune to spells of x level, like a lich or rakshasa or a permanent Globe of Invulnerability... some might give you elemental resistance... some might give you a bonus to saving throws... it'll be some work but I'll figure out some good stuff eventually.


In my eyes Item Revisions and Spells revisions are probably the best mods out there, bar none. So, everything I make will always be compatible with them.

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(from another unreleased mod readme):


Another lovely concept in 1st edition that got obliterated into imbecility in 2e. Originally, MR was the % to block a spell BASED ON A CASTER LEVEL OF 11. MR was adjusted +/- 5% if the caster was higher or lower than 11; for example, a creature with 50% MR would have an effective MR of 75% against spells from a 6th level mage, and no MR at all against a mage of level 21 or higher. Naturally, a bungle of this enormity greatly changes the balance of power in BG. The worst part is, all of those previously manageable MR creatures like drow are now so resistant to spells, particularly in Chapter 5, that battles are nothing more than bash-fests, since wasting spells when you have an at best 75% chance of success is expected against even grunt-type creatures. This isn't strategic: it's tedious. It's worse when the [PC]s have significant MR as enemy mages rarely, if ever, waste time and spell slots reducing MR one [PC] at a time, or they just hope spells get through.

Edited by phordicus
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Here's a preview of the work I'm doing on an overhaul of the game's Magic Resistance system.


I'm just starting to work on a mod that will address MR in a comprehensive way. I'm hoping to eventually have a few options.


1) Hardcore MR: it works as in the base game, but with no exceptions. So healing spells, Sunfire, Comet, etc. can all be blocked by MR. Possibly even potions as well.


2) Arcane-only MR: in BG1 MR could block healing spells, but Bioware removed this in BG2, without any stated justification. I'll offer a justification for that - the divine magic overcomes the resistance - and then take it to it's logical end, letting all priest spells bypass MR.


3) Logical MR: some aspects of MR don't make sense. A Fireball is created by magic but the fire itself is still very hot in a non-magical way, so it should still burn someone with MR, right? Under this option, direct magical effects like Charms and Holds and Magic Missiles will be blocked by MR, but non-magical environmental effects, that just happen to be created by a magic spell, will bypass it.


4) No MR: this most aggressive option will completely eliminate MR from the game. Every instance of MR in the game will be replaced with some combination of improved saves and/or elemental resistances, and/or immunity to spells up to x level (like rakshasas). MR-granting items, kits, and spells available to the player will be similarly changed.

I spent ten minutes working on option #4, and it's going to be a bigger and more complicated undertaking than I originally thought. 1-3 should be a lot easier, so maybe I'll start with them.

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in BG1 MR could block healing spells, but Bioware removed this in BG2, without any stated justification.

Actually it's that friendly spells bypass the Magic Resistance if the target so wants. Now of course the later is not actually scripted, but just set so in the spell itself.

Also it should be noted that there are far more spells than just this kind that actually bypass the resistance for other reasons... such as removal of the best spell a lich can have on itself. As it makes it almost completely invulnerable, cause you can't hit it with any melee items(as the spell is PfMW).

Ouh, by the way, I trust that you'll be re-scripting all the Liches again, as they cannot be relying to their own protection spells at all, cause they won't bypass their own magic resistance. Just a though to think about.

Edited by Jarno Mikkola
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Actually it's that friendly spells bypass the Magic Resistance if the target so wants. Now of course the later is not actually scripted, but just set so in the spell itself.

I'm sorry, are you using the word "actually" to explain a made-up fact about a made-up power possessed by made-up creatures, in a game of make-believe with a thousand inconsistent versions and a thousand internal inconsistencies within each version?


So how does it work, exactly? You can control your own magic resistance? If you can lower it for friendly spells, can you lower it halfway, or to any point between between zero and your max value? Or is it just on/off? What is the actual mechanism for lowering it? Is us psionics? A mystical/magical power? How does WS, a fighter kit with no particular aptitude for magic, develop this very magical-seeming ability with such great control over it?


And, where is your citation to any published lore on *any* of this, that leads you to use the word "actually?"


I rather think it's illogical cheesy BS coded by Bioware in an inconsistent and annoying way.


As for liches, no I won't be rewriting any scripts. MR is very powerful and if you want to play with the 'hardcore MR' option, that power comes with trade-offs. Even for liches. That is the only variant of the mod that would have this effect.


I personally would never play with that option, of course. :p It would be a little crazy and severely alter game balance. But, it would be logically consistent and it's technically possible, so as long as I'm coding up a mod, why not offer it as an option? More options are better. :)

Edited by subtledoctor
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I'm sorry, are you using the word "actually" to explain a made-up fact about a made-up power possessed by made-up creatures, in a game of make-believe with a thousand inconsistent versions and a thousand internal inconsistencies within each version?

A simple explanation is that it's controlled by the will of the person. Wizard Slayers magic resistance comes from mental training to resist negative magic. And by the way, the Wizard Slayer is not viewed as totally ignorant about magic, but quite much opposite to it. Now of course that explanation won't cover how a sword could make the person have a 50% magical resistance just from being held by the person... but then again the Earth -logic of "magic is not real" sounds kinda hollow in the streets of Athkatla.


The "actually" word is just an - a language term relaying the fact that the assumed intention of the rules was what it was, in this game, in this engine. Well whatever...

The reason why the BG1 and BG2 have different standing on the healing spells vs magic resistance is that in the BG1 game, there's barely any items that give Magic Resistance to the characters, and there's barely any other cases that need to be set... but in BG2, there's far more, as the level challenge rate goes up, so does the magical items enchantment level which brings things like magic resistance to be more of a core mechanic, and so there are spells that need to bypass the resistances as well. Or actually they didn't know what they were doing in BG1, so they just wing it. Unlike in BG2 where they took into consideration their audience and the game mechanics that were put in place(so they wing it again, now with titanium wings).


...why not offer it as an option?

If you won't be playing with the option, I don't think you are actually capable of making such a big change, cause you won't be seeing the in game/in engine restrictions that have been put into it. See the Liches don't actually have Magical Resistance, but Absolute Immunity via the opcode 102 to all spells from level* 1 to 5. That level* being the power level of the casted spells, which normally is the spells level, but sometimes is not, as it would lead to issues in the vanilla game(aka the logics of the games mechanics), such as not being able to remove PfMW spell from any Liches with the level 5 spell: Breach. Edited by Jarno Mikkola
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Then I don't understand why you're talking about liches. The 'hardcore MR' option will simply flip the switch to make every spell subject to MR. About 7 lines of Weidu. It will not affect spell level immunity one iota. Basically, it will just mimic old-school BG1 rules.


On wizard slayers: willpower? Sure, but *how does it work?* Let's say, even in a magical world like Faerun, I want to turn my skin green. If I was a chameleon I could do it through their biological process, changing the pigment of their skin. A psionicist could use willpower to activate a psionic ability. A wizard could cast a spell. A priest could say a prayer/spell. But absent some kind of mechanism like that, I could will it to happen as much as I want, but it won't happen. Likewise, I couldn't just will myself to have MR. So, with wizard slayers, what is the *mechanism* that allows his willpower to control a powerful and supernatural ability like Magic Resistance??


See, I think you give Bioware way, way too much credit when it comes to the quality of their "winging it." I am bothered by the illogical and unexplained way the ability is applied in the game, so I want to create a couple options for players who feel similarly.


If you think the vanila game's treatment of MR is just fine, then feel free not to use this mod :)


[edited for clarity in the 2nd paragraph since I don't understand Jarno's response]

Edited by subtledoctor
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So, with wizard slayers, what is the mechanism to control such a powerful and supernatural ability??

I am not a Wizard Slayer, but I would assume that it might have something to do with the Wizard Slayer not allowing a the party wizard to come within to the reach of his sword. Or the way to operate. Edited by Jarno Mikkola
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See, I think you give Bioware way, way too much credit when it comes to the quality of their "winging it." I am bothered by the illogical and unexplained way the ability is applied in the game...

The Forgotten Realms cosmology and magic paradigm are more to blame. It's shit. Between 1e and 2e, TSR wanted to dump Gygax and Greyhawk, so they latched onto Greenwood and his Forgettable Realms. Nothing there should be dug too deeply into. You're doing the right thing.

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