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Updated to version 2++ (important)

1. Summary
2. Compatibility
3. Rude awakening and gnawing resentment
4. A season for giving
5. Domination
6. Gazing lovingly (an optional component)
7. Hypnosis
8. Money for me

1. Summary

This module deals with mind control spells and their consequences. One of the problems it is meant to address is that Charm Person and similar spells, when they expire, always turn the creature hostile - permanently. Not only is that inconvenient and unrealistic (reactions to a past charm may vary, from hate to confusion to amusement or even enjoyment and should nearly always take into account the danger of raging against well-armored adventurers and sorcerers), but it precludes players from enjoying special NPC dialogue written for the charmed state, because they inevitably end up reloading the game after they have checked out those lines. This effectively rules out of reality charmed dialogue and discourages modders from writing their own. With this mod charm, but not domination, will most often leave creatures neutral - including enemies, when the spells are used in combat. A portion will still turn hostile either directly or after some time, but this is not dire or inevitable, and immediate hostily may be suppressed if the caster displays intimidating force. Delayed resentment is still a factor and unavoidable to emphasize that strolling around charming people is not, as they say, a sustainable strategy. There are also some extras.

2. Compatibility

Made for the Enhanced Edition, but should work on "classic." Changes everywhere are done by patching, not by replacement, except for the potion of mirrored eyes in the optional component. The module is compatible with alternative spell versions that might be installed and does not touch durations, saving throws and so on. The mechanic for hostility and suppressing it was added only to the specific charm spells and abilities present in Baldur's Gate 2 - probably the widest variety of them for this engine and including stuff in the first BG and Icewind Dale, too, certainly the standard magic in those games. If there are unfamiliar or custom charm-spells installed, they will only be changed in that they will end in neutrality, without all the sophistication. The same is true for existing charm spells that only affect animals - they simply end up neutral. Safana's kiss is also a special case. It is a proper charm spell with the ability to take items (see below) but none of the disadvantages or a danger of hostility. 

3. Rude awakening and gnawing resentment

When a charm spell succeeds, it will plant the seeds of immediate and later hostility. Those work differently. There is still a sizeable chance that the creature will turn hostile right after expiry, but not if the caster is at least 3 experience levels above it. Allies' levels also count: at expiry all friendly creatures in visual range of the subject that was just now charmed, including other party members and summoned minions, will briefly lend half of their levels to the caster - rounded down but no fewer than 1 and no more than 10 levels from each. This boost uses a reverse of the level drain effect, so make sure to get rid of any protections from level drain the caster might have and make thieves step out of invisibility, too. Arithmetic shows that to pacify a pedestrian with certainty after a charm the caster must be at least a 4th level wizard or sorcerer or priest (all classes count for multi- and dual-class characters) or have some help around, for example, it could be a 1st-level caster and three other party members in sight. Creatures and characters with Strength 18+ contribute another level to the total.

Here is a little math problem: what is the level of Thalantyr the Conjurer of the High Hedge and the level breakdown of the party, given that Dire Charm was used, the caster was able to cast it only once, four other party members were nearby, Minsc one of them, and two summoned ettercaps helped to make an impression?

There are some limitations on suppression: characters and monsters with more than 20 levels or Hit Dice cannot be intimidated and there is always 1% chance that a creature may be fearless and dare to start a fight, no matter what force is brought about. When someone does turn hostile right away, in most cases this does not last forever. It is a good bet that if the party leaves for some days and weeks and returns, the NPC will have calmed down.

A long-term change of mind, on the other hand, cannot be prevented and it is permanent if it happens. Maybe it represents delayed trauma. If a creature has not turned into an enemy right away, it may still do so days and weeks later, and a favorite store may suddenly become unavailable. When a creature has reddened this way, there is no way to charm it back again. Domination still works, but it is not helpful.

4. A season for giving

Beyond special dialogue and access to the creature's spells and attacks, charm now makes some of the subject's items available. Click on the special ability the subject receives to encourage him to drop his quick slot and backpack items. If you employ your "friend" this way, however, he becomes much more likely to turn on you when the spell expires.

5. Domination

Domination-type spells (anything with "Domination" in the name) are simpler and more savage. Since there is no pretense to a friendship, the subject is always and permanently hostile at expiry. However, the master of the puppet can and does command it to give everything it has got: when a domination succeeds, the creature will drop all items, including armor. This works on party members too, when they are dominated, for example, by vampires or Demogorgon. Every time this happens the character will strip to the skin. Note that while fighting is underway armor cannot be put back on, even if you regain control of the character.

6. Gazing lovingly (an optional component)

This component makes vampires' Domination power use the gaze projectile, as it explicitly should by AD&D rules. Because gaze can be stopped with simple potions of mirrored eyes, the bane of basilisks everywhere, that potion was changed as well to do what it is supposed to - reflect gazes back on gazers. (It no longer has any connection with petrification and does not protect, for example, from the Flesh to Stone spell.) Instead of just blocking gazes, the potion may do something much more powerful, but here is the catch: it is effective only 90% of the time. The other 10% you are naked and vulnerable and not told when it happens. The hidden check is made every second of the duration. This makes fighting vampires, basilisks and everybody else who uses gazes a much more nail-biting business. Aec'Letec in BG1 used and still uses a gaze attack also, and you can turn it back on him, but do not expect him to turn into a ghast. He is immune to his own staring. The 10% failure chance means the gaze may come through instead of being easily and cheaply blocked, though, and that, in my opinion, is the way it should be in such a fight.

The potion did not and does not protect against beholder rays.

7. Hypnosis

Back in the main component, a new Charm school spell is making an appearance. Hypnosis is an alternative to Charm Person, weak but giving a number of manipulative options. It has no side effects like hostility. In BG1 Xan will have this spell in his grimoire, but otherwise you have to look around quite a bit to acquire it. In BG2 it will be known to Edwin, sold at Bernard's and carried by some Cowled Wizards and others. In Icewind Dale 1 it will be sold at Orrick's.

8. Money for me

If you think that this module deserves a few doubloons, guineas or sovereigns as a donation, write me a private message.

Download

Hypnosis.jpg.25a8c8df6f3dead1350c70d8b6cb1f92.jpg

Edited by temnix

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This actually looks pretty useful.  I've long thought that the Charm spells need an overhaul, but never got around to doing anything about it.  (And good to see you've finally embraced "Modding that ... mak[es] arrows +1 into arrows +2")

Edited by subtledoctor

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I am uploading version 2. The first version had a rather terrible error which threw off the protection chance with the gaze component. Basilisks would kill characters so poorly protected almost every time. I apologize for getting the numbers wrong. Protection is normal here at 90%. Also there is a further option now to replace the Protection from Petrification spell and wizard scroll everywhere they are encountered (including in spellbooks of characters who have learned it) with a Gaze Reflection spell, which works just like the potion of mirrored eyes. The purpose is to make basilisk hunting non-trivial to the end, because even with the potion replacement the PfP still provided a cheap and easy way to disable stoning. With this option that temptation is gone; you can still use a green-figure scroll of protection from petrification, though, if you can find one. Finally, the Snake Gaze ability also uses the gaze projectile now. I'm not sure who has that one, but it can be reflected.

The main component of the module was also updated: it no longer uses level drain, so there is no more need to take off protection amulets and such, at the cost of some of the flexibility. Now only the caster's relevant wizard or priest levels (depending on what kind of charm spell was used) receive a boost from allies and count toward intimidation, instead of all class levels as before. A 7th level wizard/8th level thief used to suppress hostility as a 15th level character, but not anymore.

I made the mod potentially more compatible with "classic" versions of the games. I still don't guarantee that the module will work there, but at least script actions in Hypnosis not supported by the old engine (render XP worth and give the speaker backpack and quick items) have been eliminated from the version of the spell that will be installed there; as a substitute for the second the hypnotist will be able to demand all items from the subject. These are given to the party leader rather than the hypnotist, and there is no window message. You have to check what has been given, if anything, yourself.

EE users should make sure to use the latest patched version of the game, past 2.3 at any rate.

If this iteration of the mod is error-free, it will be final.

397936609_Gazereflection.jpg.627e1bd2b670c44bec54942c5b0ab260.jpg

Edited by temnix

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A small but regrettably necessary follow-up update. The main component had a flaw, which this fixes. In the optional component there are some changes: the vampire domination gaze is shorter-range now; Hexxat's is shorter too. These gazes now not only bounce back from Gaze Reflection but can charm the vampires themselves instead of simply dissipating. This is the only case when vampires can be charmed - either by reflection or with the same power used on them by Hexxat or vice versa. (To go into detail for modders, vampires have lost their absolute undead immunity to charm in order to make it possible for them to succumb to their own gaze, but they are effectively still immune, because all of the wizard and priest spells only target humanoids, except Domination and Mental Domination; just in case I gave vampires specific protection from every mind-controlling spell that exists in BG2 outside of the gaze, but they can, in principle, now be charmed with some new or custom spells that do not discriminate type or target undead especially, a "Charm Undead" or the like.)

Vampires who are encountered already as enemies (with red circles to begin with, this is a technical limitation) will use the gaze extra times on the party, and on the same rounds when they attack in other ways, too. Some will only gaze once, others will fire a few rounds in a row. This is in addition to their normal gazing from scripts. On the whole, this will probably make them more formidable if the party does not use Gaze Reflection or charm protection. There is also a new animation for the gaze projectile which vampires, basilisks and everybody uses, and a new beginning-of-charm effect.

1954505522_Eyeblasts.jpg.18fb7e30b0189b67d9f093e252db1916.jpg

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One last touch. This is nothing essential, but in the 2++ version there is now a common random-drop item, pumice (or sponge?), which can polish the armor of a character wearing plate mail to a mirror shine. This gives an additional 30% chance of reflecting gazes, compatible with either the spell or the potion. The roll is made separately, so it is still not a complete assurance, but it helps. The other function of the sponge (or pumice?) is to absorb blood from wounds. It restores a little health and can sometimes defeat poison. This item ability will work in any game setup, but the armor-polishing only in EE. It will not crash anything, though.

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