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Subtledoc's Random Tweaks


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@subtledoctor
Regarding inns and making new characters and adding them to the party, what about these?  (Note the starting level/EXP can be adjusted in the install, such as to be the minimum for BG1/SoD/BG2/ToB, the party's average EXP, or the main character's EXP.)

-Use NPC_EE as a base.

-Use multiplayer character creation/arbitration screens as a base.

You're more powerful than you realize!

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Okay: big idea here.  Digest and discuss.

I'm working through the "spell battle" system in my head.  Here are some things I don't like about it:

  • Impossible to keeps straight what protects from what. Minor Deflection at 3rd level protects from 4 levels of spells up to 7th level; Minor Turning at 5th level protects from 4 levels of spells up to only 4th level (!).  If you cast Minor Turning, you are completely vulnerable to 5th-level spells.  Deflection sounds a lot better!
  • Turning is useless.  No player will cast a serious spell that will get turned against them; likewise, SCS AI will not cast spells that will be turned against it.  So why even have Turning?  This has been discussed ad nauseam.
  • SR simplifies things by only having Deflection, but it is still complex (some defenses only protect against low-level spells) and too multi-layered (you can layer Minor Deflection plus Deflection plus Greater Deflection plus Spell Trap plus Spell Shield, and it will take FIVE magic attacks to get through that.  With SCS you can't cast breach until you've knocked down all those layers so... good luck.
  • The AI isn't great in these games.  As far as I can tell the AI, even SCS AI doesn't really take advantage of all those layers.  It just uses its best protections.  Which is how it should be!  So let's design a system that encourages that sort of sensible behavior.

The first principle is: assume SR and SCS.  Notably, I will assume SR's "Deflection protects from AoE spells" is installed. 

Second principle: any deflection cast from any level spell can block up to 9th-level spells.  This is simple: Globes of Invulnerability block an unlimited number of spells, of certain spell levels; Deflections, by contrast, will block a limited number of spells, of unlimited spell levels.  That is a clear, sensible trade-off that is easy to remember and internalize.  So MGOI can block a hundred Fireballs but won't protect you against Disintegrate; MSD will block a Disintegrate or even Finger of Death or Energy Drain, but afterward you will be vulnerable to Chromatic Orb.

Stronger protection spells automatically add more layers of protection.  Casting Greater Spell Deflection will also automatically cast Spell Deflection and Minor Spell Deflection, giving you three layers of protection against magic attacks in addition to more 'spell levels' of protection against normal spells.  But, stronger magic attacks will remove multiple layers.  This can create a clear, easy-to-internalize contrast between weak attacks and strong attacks: you can chip away at the mage with three layers of protection by casting lowly little Spell Thrust three times; or, you can blast all three layers away instantly by casting Ruby Ray.  Lower-level mages will not be left in the lurch, utterly unable to pierce an opponent's defenses; but higher-level mages will have a clear advantage in the speed and power of their attacks.

Here's what I have so far:

DEFENSES:

  • 3rd level:  Minor Spell Deflection.  Blocks 4 levels of all spells.  This means that anything 4th level or higher - anything that can bypass a MGOI - will be blocked but blast away the Deflection.
  • 4th level: Minor Globe of Invulnerability.  Blocks unlimited spells of 3rd level and lower; but no protection at all against 4th level or higher.
  • 5th level: Spell Deflection.  Blocks... 10? levels of spells.  This can block a single spell of any level, just like MSD, and then one more spell after that.  Or a handful of lower-level spells.  It also auto-casts MSD, so you have two layers of deflections.  (You can still only block 10 levels of incoming spells - the 4 from MSD do not get added to the 10 from this spell.  This 'layering' works solely against magic attacks like Pierce Magic.)
  • 6th level: Globe of Invulnerability.  Blocks all spells of 4th level and lower; no protection at all against 5th level or higher.
  • 7th level: Greater Spell Defection.  Blocks... 20? levels of spells.  So it can block two 9th-level spells and then one more spell of any level; or a bunch of lower-level spells.  It also auto-casts MSD and SD, so you have three layers of deflections.
  • 9th level: Spell Trap.  Blocks 99 levels of spells. 
  • 5th level: Spell Shield.  Blocks one magic attack, to protect all your layers.

ATTACKS:

  • 3rd 1st! level: Spell Thrust.  Removes one layer of protection (up to 8th level - not Spell Trap).
  • 4th level: Secret Word.  Removes one layer of protection up to 8th level, and also removes Minor Spell Deflection.  (So this is instantly effective against Spell Deflection, or against MSD + MGOI.  If cast against SD + MGOI (which is really SD + MSD + MGOI) the target would be left with one or the other. (I'm not sure which.))
  • 6th level: Pierce Magic.  Removes one layer of protection up to 8th level, and also removes MSD and MGOI.  And lowers the target's magic resistance.
  • 7th level: Ruby Ray of Reversal.  Removes one layer of protection of any level, including Spell Trap, and also removes MSD, MGOI, and SD.
  • 7th level: Warding Whip.  Like Secret Word, but re-casting itself one round later and two rounds later.
  • 8th level: Pierce Shield.  Removes one layer of protection of any level, and also removes MSD, MGOI, SD, and GOI.  Also removes all combat protections.
  • 9th level: Spellstrike.  Removes ALL spell protections, and causes 100% spell failure for 6 seconds.  I've never liked that Spellstrike is blocked by Spell Shield.  Maybe I can make it such that Spellstrike will knock down the Spell Shield and prevent the target from raising another one...?  And maybe the spell failure should go through the Spell Shield, even if the other defenses are retained?  Hm, maybe it doesn't matter, nobody sensible will  cast Spellstrike against a Spell Shield when a Spell Thrust will remove it.

So: what effect would this have?  Well,

  • Pierce Shield is more powerful, taking down multiple defenses and thus slightly stepping on Spellstrike's toes.  But it's an 8th-level spell, and I'd like to buff Spellstrike anyway. 
  • Greater Spell Deflection is better - it now leaves you protected if you are hit with Pierce Magic or Secret Word.  Hm.  Not sure I love that.  Maybe Pierce Magic at least should be able to take this down in one go? 
  • On the other hand, PM can take down SD plus a GOI, together.  So against low- and mid-level defenses, Pierce Magic is stronger.  
  • Secret Word is notably weaker, because it cannot take down GSD.  But it  can take down both MSD and a GOI, so it is stronger against low-level defenses.
  • Spell Thrust is  more useful, it can be used to tear down one layer of defense of any spell level; so against GSD, Pierce Magic and Secret Word won't expose the target, but you can follow up with Spell Thrust to finish the job.
  • The MSD and SD are slightly stronger, because they block higher-level spells.  But on the other hand, they won't block many!  (This is for the sake of convenience/memory more than for balancing.)

That's the rough idea.  I know it sounds like Pierce Magic and Secret Word are nerfed, because they cannot remove Greater Spell Deflection; but in the current  suystem you  can layer MSD, SD, and  GSD, and it would take three Pierce Magics to remove them all, instead of just one Pierce Magic and one Spell Thrust. 

This would be meant to install over SR, and should work with SCS AI. 

Thoughts?

Edited by subtledoctor
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8 hours ago, subtledoctor said:

Okay: big idea here.  Digest and discuss.

I'm working through the "spell battle" system in my head.  Here are some things I don't like about it:

  • Impossible to keeps straight what protects from what. Minor Deflection at 3rd level protects from 4 levels pf spells up to 7th level; Minor Turning at 5th level protects from 4 levels of spells up to only 4th level (!).  If you cast Minor Turning, you are completely vulnerable to 5th-level spells.  Deflection sounds a lot better!
  • Turning is useless.  No player will cast a serious spell that will get turned against them; likewise, SCS AI will not cast spells that will be turned against it.  So why even have Turning?  This has been discusses ad nauseam.
  • SR simplifies things by only having Deflection, but it is still complex (some defenses only protect against low-level spells) and too multi-layered (you can layer Minor Deflection plus Deflection plus Greater Deflection plus Spell Trap plus Spell Shield, and it will take FIVE magic attacks to get through that.  With SCS you can't cast breach until you've knocked down all those layers so... good luck.
  • The AI isn't great in these games.  As far as I can tell the AI, even SCS AI doesn't really take advantage of all those layers.  It just uses its best protections.  Which is how it should be!  So let's design a system that encourages that sort of sensible behavior.

The first principle is: assume SR and SCS.  Notably, I will assume SR's "Deflection protects from AoE spells" is installed. 

Second principle: any deflection cast from any level spell can block up to 9th-level spells.  This is simple: Globes of Invulnerability block an unlimited number of spells, of certain spell levels; Deflections, by contrast, will block a limited number of spells, of unlimited spell levels.  That is a clear, sensible trade-off that is easy to remember and internalize.  So MGOI can block a hundred Fireballs but won't protect you against Disintegrate; MSD will block a Disintegrate or even Finger of Death or Energy Drain, but afterward you will be vulnerable to Chromatic Orb.

Stronger protection spells automatically add more layers of protection.  Casting Greater Spell Deflection will also automatically cast Spell Deflection and Minor Spell Deflection, giving you three layers of protection against magic attacks in addition to more 'spell levels' of protection against normal spells.  But, stronger magic attacks will remove multiple layers.  This can create a clear, easy-to-internalize contrast between weak attacks and strong attacks: you can chip away at the mage with three layers of protection by casting lowly little Spell Thrust three times; or, you can blast all three layers away instantly by casting Ruby Ray.  Lower-level mages will not be left in the lurch, utterly unable to pierce an opponent's defenses; but higher-level mages will have a clear advantage in the speed and power of their attacks.

Here's what I have so far:

DEFENSES:

  • 3rd level:  Minor Spell Deflection.  Blocks 4 levels of spells.  This means that anything 4th level or higher - anything that can bypass a MGOI - will be blocked but blast away the Deflection.
  • 4th level: Minor Globe of Invulnerability.  Blocks all spells of 3rd level and lower; no protection at all against 4th level or higher.
  • 5th level: Spell Deflection.  Blocks... 10? levels of spells.  This can block a single spell of any level, just like MSD, and then one more spell after that.  Or a handful of lower-level spells.  It also auto-casts MSD, so you have two layers of deflections.  (You can still only block 10 levels of incoming spells - the 4 from MSD do not get added to the 10 from this spell.  This 'layering' works solely against magic attacks like Pierce Magic.)
  • 6th level: Globe of Invulnerability.  Blocks all spells of 4th level and lower; no protection at all against 5th level or higher.
  • 7th level: Greater Spell Defection.  Blocks... 20? levels of spells.  So it can block two 9th-level spells and then one more spell of any level; or a bunch of lower-level spells.  It also auto-casts MSD and SD, so you have three layers of deflections.
  • 9th level: Spell Trap.  Blocks 99 levels of spells. 
  • 5th level: Spell Shield.  Blocks one magic attack, to protect all your layers.

ATTACKS:

  • 3rd level: Spell Thrust.  Removes one layer of protection (up to 8th level - not Spell Trap).
  • 4th level: Secret Word.  Removes one layer of protection up to 8th level, and also removes Minor Spell Deflection.  (So this is instantly effective against Spell Deflection, or against MSD + MGOI.  If cast against SD + MGOI (which is really SD + MSD + MGOI) the target would be left with one or the other. (I'm not sure which.))
  • 6th level: Pierce Magic.  Removes one layer of protection up to 8th level, and also removes MSD and MGOI.  And lowers the target's magic resistance.
  • 7th level: Ruby Ray of Reversal.  Removes one layer of protection of any level, including Spell Trap, and also removes MSD, MGOI, and SD.
  • 7th level: Warding Whip.  Like Secret Word, but re-casting itself one round later and two rounds later.
  • 8th level: Pierce Shield.  Removes one layer of protection of any level, and also removes MSD, MGOI, SD, and GOI.  Also removes all combat protections.
  • 9th level: Spellstrike.  Removes ALL spell protections, and causes 100% spell failure for 6 seconds.  I've never liked that Spellstrike is blocked by Spell Shield.  Maybe I can make it such that Spellstrike will knock down the Spell Shield and prevent the target from raising another one...?  And maybe the spell failure should go through the Spell Shield, even if the other defenses are retained?  Hm, maybe it doesn't matter, nobody sensible will  cast Spellstrike against a Spell Shield when a Spell Thrust will remove it.

So: what effect would this have?  Well,

  • Pierce Shield is more powerful, taking down multiple defenses and thus slightly stepping on Spellstrike's toes.  But it's an 8th-level spell, and I'd like to buff Spellstrike anyway. 
  • Greater Spell Deflection is better - it now leaves you protected if you are hit with Pierce Magic or Secret Word.  Hm.  Not sure I love that.  Maybe Pierce Magic at least should be able to take this down in one go? 
  • On the other hand, PM can take down SD plus a GOI, together.  So against low- and mid-level defenses, Pierce Magic is stronger.  
  • Secret Word is notably weaker, because it cannot take down GSD.  But it  can take down both MSD and a GOI, so it is stronger against low-level defenses.
  • Spell Thrust is  more useful, it can be used to tear down one layer of defense of any spell level; so against GSD, Pierce Magic and Secret Word won't expose the target, but you can follow up with Spell Thrust to finish the job.
  • The MSD and SD are slightly stronger, because they block higher-level spells.  But on the other hand, they won't block many!  (This is for the sake of convenience/memory more than for balancing.)

That's the rough idea.  I know it sounds like Pierce Magic and Secret Word are nerfed, because they cannot remove Greater Spell Deflection; but in the current  suystem you  can layer MSD, SD, and  GSD, and it would take three Pierce Magics to remove them all, instead of just one Pierce Magic and one Spell Thrust. 

This would be meant to install over SR, and should work with SCS AI. 

Thoughts?

I am playiong through EET with SCS (almost at full), SRR, IRR and loads of your mods. This topic has come up a lot as the improved mages (and I think some of @Angel's encounters, need to start recording and checking what added who!) are brutal and use a mix of protections. I'm having to cross reference a lot of stuff to ensure that descriptions and notifications match reality and that I understand the effects of potential pierce effects. The system you describe sound much simpler and more sensible to me. Not sure how much of that is just seeing it laid out like this, rather than jumping around readmes and spell descriptions in game though!

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I guess it's worth writing out a simplified account of the proposed changes:

-- 1) All Deflections will block all spells up to and including HLAs The number of spell levels blocked can be tuned for balance.

(This is a change to the way low-level protections work; it means a 5th-level novice can cast MSD and block PW: Kill... but then the novice will be totally vulnerable.  I think the actual ramifications are small, and the simplification is well worth it.)

-- 2) All Deflections auto-cast all lesser Deflection spells.  So a single cast of Spell Deflection gets you two 'layers' of deflection, and Greater Spell Deflection gets you three.

(This is a change to how the high-level defenses work, but it just reflects what already can happen, to wit, you can combine MSD and SD for two layers of defense.  So this just acknowledges and sytematizes what already happens in the vanilla system.  It probably helps the AI, which is less likely to exploit multiple layers of Deflection.  (The AI will certainly combine  GOI + Deflection + Trap, but probably not multiple versions of Deflection.  This puts the AI on the same footing as the player.))

-- 3) Magic Attacks like Pierce Magic et al. can all pierce any defense up to 8th level.  So Spell Thrust can take down a layer of Greater Spell Deflection (but not the lesser layers that it automatically applies).

(The vanilla system of "only Ruby Ray or better can take down Spell Trap remains, because I feel like most players pretty easily internalize that rule.)

-- 4) Magic Attacks like Pierce Magic et al. can all pierce auto-dispel ALL low-level defenses in addition to their usual effect of removing one layer.  The idea is, just as you get multiple layers of defense from more powerful protection spells, you can dispel more layers of protection with more powerful attack spells. 

(This is the biggest factor in simplification.  In the SR system, a defender can have MSD+SD+GOI+GSD+Spell Trap, for five layers of protection (setting aside Spell Shield). An attacker would need to cast Ruby Ray or something similar 5 separate times to fully break those defenses.  In this system, Ruby Ray would eliminate everything except GOI + GSD; two more attacks would make the defender vulnerable, so it would need three attacks.  Pierce Shield auto-dispels GOI, so with Pierce Shield you would only need two attacks to break down the defenses (GSD would be the only left, and

...

#4 can leave donut holes in the middle: e.g., if the defender casts GSD and you attack with Pierce Magic or Secret Word, the attack will pierce the GSD layer, and  auto-dispel the MSD layer, but a layer of SD will remain.  You will need to follow up with a Spell Thrust (or any other attack) or hit the defender with 10 levels of spells. (And recall one of my assumptions is that, per SR, AoE spells contribute to that.)

This can be done slightly differently.  Instead of more powerful attacks auto-dispelling low-level defenses, we can simply apply the 'remove one layer of protection' effect multiple times.  Then they would remove multiple layers from the top instead of one from the top and a bunch from the bottom.  We might say Secret Word can remove two layers, and Pierce Shield can remove three.  So in the case of GSD, Secret Word would remove the GSD and SD layers, and the defender would be left with only MSD; Pierce Magic would remove all three, leaving the defender totally vulnerable after one attack.

Adding (M)GOI to the mix changes things slightly.  In my proposal from two posts up, if the defender has GSD + MGOI, then:

  • Secret Word would remove the GSD and MSD layers, leaving the defender with SD and MGOI. 
  • Pierce Magic would remove the GSD and MSD layers and MGOI, leaving the defender with only SD.

By contrast, in this alternate proposal:

  • Secret Word would remove the GSD and SD layers and leave the defender with MSD and MGOI.
  • Pierce Magic would remove GSD, SD, and MGOI, leaving the defender with only MSD.

Two potential issues with this alternate proposal.

  1. GSD only create three layers of protection, so GSD + GOI + Trap "only" gets you five layers.  If Ruby Ray and Pierce  Shield remove 4 layers from the top down, they start to really step on the toes of Spell Trap.  Maybe we could say, RR and PS could remove 4 layers OR remove Spell Trap.  If Spell Trap provides extra protection for your lesser protections - a little bit like an extra Spell Shield - that would be quite powerful.  And it would preserve the power of Spellstrike, which would remove everything (except Spell Shield) in one fell swoop.
  2. As a technical matter, you cannot remove two layers simultaneously.  I think there has a to be a 1-second delay for each extra layer being removed.  This delay might be annoying - Pierce Magic could entirely remove GSD as described above, but it would take three seconds to do so.  EDIT - actually this is not a problem!  I was mistaken.
Edited by subtledoctor
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As a quick note, Turning isn't quite useless in SCS. SCS mages will try to burn through Spell Deflection by casting lower-level spells at it (if they haven't got any better options), but they won't try that against Spell Turning. (This is new as of v32 and I haven't had much reported as to how it's working out in practice.)

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1 hour ago, DavidW said:

As a quick note, Turning isn't quite useless in SCS. SCS mages will try to burn through Spell Deflection by casting lower-level spells at it (if they haven't got any better options), but they won't try that against Spell Turning. (This is new as of v32 and I haven't had much reported as to how it's working out in practice.)

Right. By "useless" I really meant "it amounts to effective immunity, rendering meaningless a major facet of the spells (the number of spell levels turned), and the Turning spells are thus only differentiated by what spell levels can bypass them completely, which is the same thing that defines Globes of Invulnerability, which means Turning spells function a lot like GOI.  So the opcode is somewhat "useless" for being fairly redundant; with SCS behavior I would prefer to simply have a series of Globes of Invulnerability with different levels of power.

For these purposes though, I'm going to focus on SR setups, in which the Turning opcode is unused and Turning spells are converted not into Globe spells, but Deflection spells.  (Like Demi I think the Deflection mechanic is more interesting.)  As I say, especially with AoE Deflection, this creates a nice contrast between protection that is limited by spell level but not by the sheer amount of magic, versus protection that counters a limited number of spells of any power. 

Given this nice duality in the SR system - and, to be clear, this tweak will only work on top of SR, and only on EE games - my goal here is simple: 1) simplify things for the payer by removing incoming-spell-level-based limits to Deflection's defensive power, and 2) address the fact that players can apply multiple layers of Deflection spells.  I think #2 is not great design, or maybe just an unanticipated consequence of how the opcode works.  Conceptually, if you are protected by Deflection, then you are protected by Deflection, and application of Pierce Magic or Ruby Ray should simply remove the Deflection.  This could maybe be addressed with opcodes 321 and 206, preventing Deflection spells from being layered at all; but I think there might be pitfalls there.  At the moment, my inclination is to address that in the way magic attack spells work, instead.

While I have your attention, maybe I'll ask a more specific version of the question I asked in the SCS forum.  Currently with SCS, SR spell protections apply the following spellstates:

  • Minor Spell Deflection:  "PRO_SPELLS_LEVEL_FIVE_MINUS"
  • Minor Globe:   "PRO_SPELLS_LEVEL_FIVE_MINUS"
  • Spell Deflection:  "PRO_SPELLS_LEVEL_FIVE_MINUS,"  "PRO_SPELLS_LEVEL_SIX_SEVEN_EIGHT"
  • Globe of Invulnerability:  "PRO_SPELLS_LEVEL_SIX_SEVEN_EIGHT"
  • Greater Deflection:  "PRO_SPELLS_LEVEL_SIX_SEVEN_EIGHT,"  "SPELL_PROTECTION"
  • Spell Trap:  "SPELL_PROTECTION"

If Minor Spell Deflection and Spell Deflection can block any spells up to level 9 (albeit few of them), should I change which spellstates they apply?  I see this in /stratagems/ssl/library.slb:

TRIGGER=SpellProtectionTargetSpellThrust
        CheckSpellState(scstarget,PRO_SPELLS_LEVEL_FIVE_MINUS)
	!CheckStatGT(scstarget,0,MINORGLOBE)
TRIGGER=SpellProtectionTargetSecretWord
	OR(2)
	     CheckSpellState(scstarget,PRO_SPELLS_LEVEL_FIVE_MINUS)
	     CheckSpellState(scstarget,PRO_SPELLS_LEVEL_SIX_SEVEN_EIGHT)

Since in this system Spell Thrust could be useful against Greater Spell Deflection (partially useful - two applications of Spell Thrust could take down SD, and three applications could take down GSD), it seems like I should add the "PRO_SPELLS_LEVEL_FIVE_MINUS" spellstate to the higher-level spell.  Does that sound right?

Incidentally that !CheckStatGT trigger is interesting.  I thought Spell Thrust can bypass, and in fact remove, Minor Globes?  Making MGOI a valid Spell Thrust target? 

Edited by subtledoctor
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Well, the trigger blocks in library.slb are fairly self-explanatory - SpellProtectionTargetSpellThrust checks if the creature is a good target for Spell Thrust, etc. SpellProtectionTarget is shared by Ruby Ray, Warding Whip and Spellstrike, and so I think I use Warding Whip even against 9th-level protections if there's nothing better, but that's a bug.

The MinorGlobe bit is deliberate, though, IIRC - Spell Thrust can't remove a full Globe of Invulnerability, and there's no convenient way to distinguish them - and it didn't seem worth using up a splstate just to label them. (But I could just be misremembering, or could have made a mistake coding this.)

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Okay, I'm doing a bit of testing right now.  I think I'm going to code this up.  Probably a simplified version; rather than have the magic attacks remove one layer of protection and auto-dispel low-level protections, I think I'll just have more powerful magic attacks remove more layers of protections.  It's easier to code, for one thing.  Something like:

  • Spell Thrust: remove one protection spell up to 8th level.
  • Secret Word: remove two protection spells up to 8th level.
  • Pierce Magic: remove three protection spells up to 8th level, and nullify MR for two rounds.
  • Ruby Ray: remove three protection spells, up to and including Spell Trap.
  • Pierce Shield: remove three protection spells, up to and including Spell Trap, and also remove combat protections.

For defenses:

  • Spell Deflection: auto-cast Minor Spell Deflection
  • Greater Deflection: auto-cast Minor Deflection and Spell Deflection.

How this works in practice:

Low-level defender casts Minor Deflection (3rd-level) and Minor Globe (4th-level):

  • Spell Thrust removes the Globe.  A 2nd Spell Thrust will remove the Minor Deflection.
  • Secret Word removes both defenses.  Defender is left vulnerable.

Mid-level defender casts Minor Globe (4th-level) and Spell Deflection (5th-level) (auto-cast Minor Deflection):

  • Spell Thrust removes Spell Deflection.  Another ST will remove the Globe, and a third will remove the Minor Deflection.
  • Secret Word removes Spell Deflection and the Globe.  Defender is left with Minor Deflection.  A follow-up Spell Thrust or any other attack will remove it.
  • Pierce Magic removes all defenses.  Defender is left vulnerable.

High-ish-level defender casts Globe of Invulnerability (6th-level) and Greater Spell Deflection (7th-level) (auto-cast SD and MSD):

  • Secret Word removes Greater Deflection and the Globe.  A 2nd Secret Word will remove the Deflection and Minor Deflection, making the defender vulnerable.
  • Pierce Magic removes Greater Deflection, the Globe, and Spell Deflection.  The defender is left with Minor Deflection.  A follow-up Spell Thrust or any other attack will remove it.

Huh.  Note that Globe of Invulnerability only protects against up to 4th-level spells; but since it sits in the middle of the layers of Deflection, it east some of the attack and preserves the Minor Deflection, which can block high-level spells.  By contrast, in the current  SR system if you have GSD + GOI, Pierce Magic will remove the GSD and the attacker can then ignore the Globe and follow up with Disintegrate or something.  In this proposed system, even if you don't like Globes (I almost never use them), here they can be useful in shoring up your Deflection defenses.

High-level defender casts Globe of Invulnerability (6th-level) and Greater Spell Deflection (7th-level) (auto-cast SD and MSD) and Spell Trap (9th-level):

  • Ruby Ray removes Spell Trap, Greater Deflection and the Globe.  The defender is left with Spell Deflection and Minor Deflection.  A follow-up Secret Word or other more powerful attack will remove them and leave the target vulnerable.

This is faster, in that it only takes two actions to remove all defenses, whereas with SR currently it would take three actions.  (Or, if the defender manually added MSD and SD, it would take five actions.)

Alternatively, when Ruby Ray and Pierce Shield hit a Spell Trap, I could make removal of the Trap exhaust the entire attack spell.  In this case, after removing the Trap the defender would still have 4 defenses (3 Deflections and a Globe), so it would still take two actions (Pierce Magic + Spell Thrust or 2x Secret Word) to remove them all.  So still three actions in this case, but it wouldn't take five actions!  I think this would just require another subspell for RR and PS, and a patch to Spell Shield.

Edited by subtledoctor
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21 hours ago, 4udr4n said:

Hey @subtledoctor are all of these tweaks designed to work with SR/SRR, or as alternatives to it?

Everything I ever do works with SR. (And probably with SRR too, though no guarantees there.)

57 minutes ago, Endarire said:

@subtledoctor
With your proposed system, how do breach and dispel magic work?

Same as normal, depending on your SR/SCS install. 

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On 5/31/2020 at 4:05 PM, 4udr4n said:

I am playing through EET with SCS (almost at full), SRR, IRR and loads of your mods. This topic has come up a lot as the improved mages (and I think some of @Angel's encounters, need to start recording and checking what added who!) are brutal and use a mix of protections.

My encounters are brutal?  Well, things are in the eye of the beholder I guess, but I never thought that what I added is particularly difficult.  Well, except the PnP greater basilisks maybe, and that is entirely on purpose, those things are practically mini-dragons and should be difficult. ^^

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58 minutes ago, Angel said:

My encounters are brutal?  Well, things are in the eye of the beholder I guess, but I never thought that what I added is particularly difficult.  Well, except the PnP greater basilisks maybe, and that is entirely on purpose, those things are practically mini-dragons and should be difficult. ^^

I think it's the combination of mods I have, basically anything where additional creatures or abilities are added gets compounded by SCS and other tweaks! Mages, Battle Horrors, Greater Basilisks, Wraith Spiders are all problematic. This is further enhanced by my disabling Lock/Trap/Scroll XP and halving murder XP, leavign me pootentially underlevelled for some encounters.

It wasn't a complaint, I want the game to be hard.

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Oooh, I just got an idea.  In addition to the spell battle changes mentioned above, maybe I can move Spell Thrust and Minor Spell Deflection to 1st level.  (Or maybe just Spell Thrust?)  The point being, then you could combine this with Tome & Blood's "Level 1 Cantrips" and you would never lack for a Spell Thrust. 

I recently played against a couple mages in early BG2, Aerie only have a few 4th and 5th-level spells.  She successfully used Spell Thrust and Secret Word to take down an enemy's Deflection and MGOI, but soon enough a contingency or sequencer fired, and he had another deflection up!  And there was nothing I could so about it.  (Yes, this is with SCS AI.)  What, should I spend all of my 3rd- or 4th-level slots on magic attacks?  What if I face two mages (or 12? :jump:)  What if I don't want to rest between battles?  Making Spell Thrust at-will would simply take some of the annoyance out of the memorization management, making sure I always have something useful to use against enemies.  It won't help much at epic levels, but with this new system it would allow me to chip away at enemy spell protections even when most of my resources have been exhausted.

I'm not sure it can actually be done in a satisfactory way; we'll see.

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