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Sword Coast Stratagems v33 now available

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Sword Coast Stratagems is a collection of interconnected mini-mods for Baldur's Gate (on the BGT/BGTUTU/BGEE versions) and Baldur's Gate II. It is primarily a tactical and AI-enhancement mod: the idea is to make the game's combat more interesting, tactically challenging, and realistic by more effective use of, and choices of, creatures' abilities. It also contains a few rule tweaks and ease-of-use features.

 Version 33 is largely a bug-fixing release: it features fixes to 40-odd bugs and compatibility issues, including serious problems with the NPC customization component, the random scrolls component, and Death Spell (which was turning neutrals hostile). It also adds a small new cosmetic component (improved Tales of the Sword Coast textscreens), allows IWD spells to be tied to hotkeys, tweaks the shapeshifter tokens, and makes some slight changes to mage and priest AI.

 Grab it direct here. You can also visit the extensive project pages, readme, or SCS forum for more information. 

Full changelog in the next post.

EDIT: Updated to 33.7. Changelog:

  • Non-English-language installs that lack a string will again use the English version instead of failing to install. (Bug introduced by 33.5's changes.)
  • Cure Moderate Wounds no longer gets mangled on a Spell Revisions / IWD Divine Spells install.

EDIT: Updated to 33.6. Changelog:

  • Fixed an edge-case function-library bug that was blocking some install configurations.

EDIT: Updated to 33.5. Changelog:

  • Updated to WEIDU 247; some tweaks to resolve compatibility problems.
  • Archers now get their proper script
  • The Cult Wizard in Ulgoth's Beard is now a more reasonable level.
  • Conjurers no longer use divination spells.
  • Under the hood: many updates to SFO function library.

EDIT: Updated to 33.4. Changelog:

  • Updated Russian translation (thanks to Arkie)
  • Guarded against the variable that tracks Time Stop not resetting to zero when the spell ends (I don't have a theoretical explanation for how this happens but there's some evidence that it does, and that it causes sporadic bugs, including Sendai's statues not activating).
  • Aec'letec's Death Gaze now works properly. Witness the power of this fully armed and operational nabassu.
  • Fiends in a few install configurations (notably BGTUTU/BGEE installs) weren't getting Teleport without Error.
  • Mages should no longer use Spell Sequencers when out of range (thus wasting the spell)
  • Player-summoned fiends should now attack properly
  • On non-EE installs, Iron Skins was being treated as a Spell Protection when precast by enemies
  • The BG2 Improved Random Encounters now check Player 1's XP, not Player 1's level, when deciding what to spawn. (The new XP totals correspond to a fighter's XP at the old level.)
  • Giant Spiders should no longer use their Web Tangle attack more often than once per round
  • Giant Spiders are now properly affected by Fear
  • Necromancers no longer use Blindness (for some inexplicable reason, when I coded spell choices I thought it was Necromancy, not Illusion)

EDIT: Updated to 33.3. Changelog:

  • Deprecated the Chinese, Korean and Spanish translations, as they haven't been updated since 2012 or so and the mod has changed radically since then.
  • Language entries now note for which version the translation was most recently updated.
  • SCS's function language no longer chokes on resource names with hyphens in (no base-game files do this, but it was breaking compatibility with some mods)
  • SCS now allows for the edge case where a spell-memorisation file contains a column entirely of zeroes (again, this was blocking compatibility in rare cases)
  • SCS's 'correct antimagic descriptors' function now allows for malformed spells with no name (this was causing crashes when Dark Side of the Sword Coast's spell system was installed)

EDIT: Updated to 33.2. Changelog:

  • Corrected a typo which prevented some mage/thieves from getting proper scripting
  • Optimized the troll-regeneration code to increase install speed
  • Foreign language translations of the new strings in the IWD spells components no longer get corrupted (which in some cases was causing crashes)
  • Fixed a stutter bug with 'Improved NPC customisation and management' (previously, if you never turned on the AI for a character they would stop moving every few moments). The stuttering remains if you haven't yet levelled the character, but that's not a problem as you should be levelling them immediately in any case.
  • 'Improved NPC customisation and management' no longer hard-codes the assumptions that only humans can dual-class, that only nonhumans can multi-class, and that only single-class characters can have kits. This should improve compatibility with various other mods. (It remains incompatible with any mod that removes dual-classing from humans, as it doesn't know what to do with existing dual-class characters like Imoen.)
  • The tweaked version of Entropy Shield is now correctly identified by Detectable Spells.
  • The console command to stop enemies targeting the main character with Maze now works (thanks to Polytope for spotting the bug here)

EDIT: Updated to 33.1. Changelog:

  • Updated French translation (thanks to Jazira and Gwendolyne)
  • Updated Russian translation (thanks to Arkie)
  • In rare circumstances, liches were summoning Planetars on too-low a difficulty setting
  • Spell hotkeys now work for high-level mage spells
  • Hotkey 'D' is no longer remapped to 'Q' by default
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New or Substantially Modified Content

  • Updated Russian translation (thanks to Arkie)
  • New Enhanced-Edition-only component: improved Tales of the Sword Coast textscreens. (This spaces out the text in the go-to-island textscreen to keep pace with the spoken text, and moves the intro text when you arrive at Ulgoth's Beard into a new textscreen.)

Other content changes

  • Various tweaks to shapeshift tokens: they no longer count as daggers for proficiency purposes; they block any changes to Strength, Dexterity and (for Earth Elemental form) physical damage resistance; they now do token-appropriate damage types (instead of all doing Slashing); they are now granted direct when you level up, instead of the 'create token' spell being granted instead
  • On EE, IWD spells (and any third-party spells you have installed) are now available for hotkeys
  • Fiends more often avoid using attack spells against obviously-immune targets
  • High-level wizards will try to take down antimagic shells
  • High-level wizards carry Spell Strike slightly more often
  • The fear auras of demons, dragons and liches no longer penetrate an antimagic field or the protection from a Scroll of Protection from Magic


  • The NPC auto-leveller now works (mostly) even if party AI is turned off
  • Added a guard into the NPC auto-leveller so that it fails more gracefully if there are any other problems (characters should level once and stop, rather than infinitely levelling)
  • A few characters who are plausibly enemies to fight (currently Caelar (SoD) and Hexxat (BG2) ) are no longer set to level zero. (A side effect is that these characters cannot be customized.)
  • NPC auto-leveller now more robustly ensures that NPCs who go hostile aren't invincible.
  • "Wider range of random spell scrolls" component is recoded to work slightly differently, and to avoid (I hope) the duplicate-scrolls bug.
  • 'Earth/Fire elemental transformation' are no longer mislabeled 'Earth/Fire elemental token' on the HLA select screen
  • 'Ease of use AI' hotkeys can now be reallocated from stratagems.ini at install time (previously this wasn't working properly)
  • 'Ease of use AI' no longer spams Impervious Sanctity of Mind
  • Fine flails and composite bows now do the correct amount of damage - thanks to Merlin for catching that
  • Entropy Shield no longer displays (harmless) cruft when cast
  • Entropy Shield blocks Flame Strike properly
  • Fixed glitches in the ds_make_detectable function (they were causing a couple of spell-labelling problems)
  • Summoned lesser air elementals no longer look like myconids
  • Cure Moderate Wounds now properly matches the other (level 1-5) healing spells
  • Storm Shell is no longer non-functional
  • Balor swords now grant a save vs death at -4, and kill without chunking (this had been lost at some point)
  • Some minor fixes to 'innate triggers': triggers no longer appear on sorcerer spell-selection screens; Contingency is properly named in the quickbar and on level-up; Contingency no longer appears in sorcerer spellbooks.
  • Baresh's lycanthropy is now less virulent: he no longer transforms into two werewolves
  • Better journal handling in 'improved Balduran's Isle'
  • Rogues now use the 'Evasion' HLA
  • Bandit camp should more systematically gang up on the player if they go hostile
  • On non-EE installs, an incompatibility between Innate HLAs and Smarter Mages was causing CTDs; it's been fixed
  • The area-assigned scripts for Torgal's giant trolls no longer overwrite their creature-file-assigned scripts (this was largely cosmetic on EE, but made them unkillable on vanilla)
  • Improve demilich saves, give immunity to mace of disruption
  • Impervious Sanctity of Mind's SPELL_SHIELD splstate now removed correctly
  • Rakshasas and demiliches no longer absorb their own Sunfire spells
  • Truesight dispels blindness instead of just blocking it
  • Time Stop was not properly being marked for detection
  • The various anti-defense spells now correctly record whether they take down an Anti-Magic Shell (the only one that does is Spellstrike)
  • The modifications to protection from normal missiles no longer prevent Physical Mirror and Entropy Shield from reflecting Flame Arrows
  • Spellcasters do not avoid using summoning spells against foes protected by an scroll of protection from magic or an antimagic shell
  • Summoned fiends don't attack each other
  • Player can't target summoned fiends before they're properly gated in (hopefully actually working this time!)
  • Vampires now use their bat cloud correctly
  • Vampire summons turn up near the vampire, not offscreen (this was throwing bugs on EE due to the redefinition of the CreateCreatureOffscreen function in EE).
  • Conjurers can now use the scrolls added by IWD spells
  • Righteous Wrath of the Faithful handled correctly by DS
  • Faldorn and Cernd fight properly when Cernd is not in the party (for real, this time).
  • Cosmetic fix: the text on antimagic spells is better aligned
  • Though it remains controversial that Death Spell can be used to kill insects, it no longer annoys friendly NPCs so much that they turn hostile

Compatibility Fixes

  • Item Upgrade now avoids using Contingency scrolls if Innate Contingencies is added (thanks to Cam for the code)
  • Most of SCS's functions now throw warnings, instead of failing outright, if they run into a broken item from another mod (e.g. "cmstq04.itm" from Dark Horizons)
  • Fixed some largely-cosmetic issues with Spell Revisions and Item Revisions compatibility, which were throwing WARNINGs at install time
  • Guarded some more against malformed copies of the max-spell 2das
  • Somewhat more systematically allowed for fighter/mage/thief characters in 'smarter mages'.
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Guest serikas

Can I ask why 'Ease of use AI' hot key D now defaults to Q? Found "hot_key_D=Q" in stratagem.ini after install today. Any way to change the hot key after install?

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3 hours ago, Lilaina said:

Nice! One minor bug: When using a PC berserker's enrage ability in BG1 EE, I get the message "When the berserk state ends, Minsc will take 15 points of damage." Looks like the previous version had this as well.

Can reproduce; will investigate. Thanks.

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2 hours ago, Drakensang said:

In 32.6 you disabled the Improved Abazigal's Lair component on non-EE installs due to crashes related to the maps. Any idea if you'll ever re-enable it at some point?

Yes, but to be honest I'm unsure when - it's fairly clear my player base is mostly EE so this is low-priority. If I do re-enable it, it'll almost certainly not be with the area map changes in the new version, just the caves from the old version.

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1 hour ago, DavidW said:

it's fairly clear my player base is mostly EE 

How did you realize that? I saw a few people around here that seems to be using still BGT

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12 minutes ago, Guest fan said:

How did you realize that? I saw a few people around here that seems to be using still BGT

It's guesswork, of course, but I read a lot of bug reports over the last couple of weeks, so it's educated guesswork. Most importantly, SCS v32 had a fairly critical bug involving CTD in fights with high-level spellcasters, but very few people reported it over the eight months or so that it was in the wild.

(I'll admit that EE is also much more pleasant to mod, so that skews my preferences.)

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