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Creature Summoning (Mod for BGEE, BG2EE, IWDEE, and EET)


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I would like to introduce my first public mod: Creature Summoning. This will add 9 spells for the wizard-type classes, 1 for each spell level. Each spell, with the exception of the first and second level spell, has 2 options: Summon a few to several HD monsters equal to the level of the spell, or summon several to many monsters that are 2 HD lower than the spell level. The latter have a special quality, in that they bypass the summon limit, simulating Vanilla BG1's Monster Summoning. Note that these spells are separate from regular Monster Summoning (whether unmodded, SCS or Spell Revisions), so you can use both in tandem.

NOTE: IT IS HEAVILY RECOMMENDED THAT YOU INSTALL EEEX FIRST (https://github.com/Bubb13/EEex/archive/master.zip), AS THE GAME WILL CRASH IF YOU TRY TO MAKE A MULTI-CLASSED MAGE.

Download Link: https://github.com/Penguincha/CreatureSummoning/releases/

Readme: https://github.com/Penguincha/CreatureSummoning/blob/main/README.md

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I read the readme. This is a cool idea - to give the player a choice between fewer good monsters and more rubbish monsters. How was it in the Player's Handbook, I wonder? There is a little cautionary note to sound about balance, because what matters with monsters mostly is the number of attacks they can all deliver in a round - and THAC0. Hit points and defense are much less important. Two 1-HD gibberlings can hurt and confuse enemies more than a 2-HD gnoll slasher, especially with the AI being as stupid as it is. Fun is more important than balance, but I would give these penny critters some weakness or two, like bad morale. You might raise the morale break value. If you are using the same creature files for penny monsters in higher-level spells as for dollar monsters in lower-level ones (gnoll - > gnoll slasher - > flind), you could add an AOE projectile bringing up the morale break by a point for all SUMMONED creatures in the same spell, lower on the list, maybe delayed by a second. This would keep the horde from becoming Tungan-sized: after a few castings the lot of them will begin stampeding and going berserk. Just a suggestion.

I also like it that you added humans and demihumans to the mix. It's kind of mysterious where they would come from, but then, where do summoned monsters come from? I once had a fancy that certain unfortunate individuals of all species develop special signs on their bodies at puberty, indicating that they may be whisked away at any time in their lives when a wizard somewhere casts a summoning spell. :D Does your creature list include half-ogres? They are missing from the standard lists. You can get ogrillions, but half-ogres I had to add manually to my recoloring mod.

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4 hours ago, temnix said:

If you are using the same creature files for penny monsters in higher-level spells as for dollar monsters in lower-level ones

They are not. Why ? Cause the summon cap is materialized in the .cre files "gender" flag/number. Specifically the number 6, aka "summoned" in NI.

Ouh, does this use the gender flag 20 as the other non summoned summons ? Like the other mods. Cause otherwise, it's not compatible with the death spells from other mods. And the mod doesn't patch the death spells either, yes, multiple... so for example, the Death Spell needs a patch to kill the 20 flagged creatures too. This is a small thing, but still, a relevant.

Edited by Jarno Mikkola
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Wow I just realized that I presumed that TortoiseGit added the correct component files (I changed the TPAs before release). I am so sorry. The newest update should make the mod work now.

 

2 hours ago, temnix said:

I read the readme. This is a cool idea - to give the player a choice between fewer good monsters and more rubbish monsters. How was it in the Player's Handbook, I wonder? There is a little cautionary note to sound about balance, because what matters with monsters mostly is the number of attacks they can all deliver in a round - and THAC0. Hit points and defense are much less important. Two 1-HD gibberlings can hurt and confuse enemies more than a 2-HD gnoll slasher, especially with the AI being as stupid as it is. Fun is more important than balance, but I would give these penny critters some weakness or two, like bad morale. You might raise the morale break value. If you are using the same creature files for penny monsters in higher-level spells as for dollar monsters in lower-level ones (gnoll - > gnoll slasher - > flind), you could add an AOE projectile bringing up the morale break by a point for all SUMMONED creatures in the same spell, lower on the list, maybe delayed by a second. This would keep the horde from becoming Tungan-sized: after a few castings the lot of them will begin stampeding and going berserk. Just a suggestion.

It's hard to find information on 2nd Edition Monster Summoning, I found this when I was still developing my mod: https://forums.pocketplane.net/index.php?topic=17814.50. It seems like Monster Summoning works nearly like it did in PnP as it does in Icewind Dale, and by extension Baldur's gate with Iwdification and/or SCS. It is also unfortunately means that these kind of Monster Summonings fall in the bottom of the spell tier lists for Baldur's Gate/Icewind Dale due to the fact of there being better options for summons, spell-wise or item-wise. That is why SR's Monster Summoning, and this mod, is massively buffed.

On to the matter of horde creature balance, I recently played a full 4-game playthrough of Baldur's Gate with this mod, to test it before publishing it. Insane SCS Ascension Modded with SR, and I found the balance was surprisingly good (I thought it was going to be chaotically imbalanced). The lower level monsters, as usefull as they can be, still get carved by AOE, miss alot because they have low THAC0, or get cramped because BG1 and Shadows of Amn have a lot of tight fighting places. I found the higher level monsters were more practical until late Shadows of Amn/Throne of Bhaal. To be fair, I had a melee heavy party, so this is probably a different story with a ranged party. But with that said I was thinking about adding a nerfed version, like decreasing the duration. At the moment the duration is 3 turns, so I could lower it to like 1 turn + 1 round/level, or just have it be 1 round/level. But still, thank you for the suggestion; its a neat idea.

 

2 hours ago, temnix said:

I also like it that you added humans and demihumans to the mix. It's kind of mysterious where they would come from, but then, where do summoned monsters come from? I once had a fancy that certain unfortunate individuals of all species develop special signs on their bodies at puberty, indicating that they may be whisked away at any time in their lives when a wizard somewhere casts a summoning spell. :D Does your creature list include half-ogres? They are missing from the standard lists. You can get ogrillions, but half-ogres I had to add manually to my recoloring mod.

The idea of "where would summoned humanoids/demihumans come from" has always persisted in my thoughts since I was a kid. These included: They were magically whisked to the summoner, willingly or unwillingly, then dominated by the caster until the summon dissipates, being summoned from another dimension, or simply being created for a time.

Yea, half-ogres are in the Level 3 Creature Summoning Table. There is a folder in the download which has the documentation of all the creatures and their statistics.

17 minutes ago, Jarno Mikkola said:

They are not. Why ? Cause the summon cap is materialized in the .cre files "gender" flag/number.

Ouh, does this use the gender flag 20 as the other non summoned summons ? Like the other mods. Cause otherwise, it's not compatible with the death spells from other mods. And the mod doesn't patch the death spells either, yes, multiple... so for example, the Death Spell needs a patch to kill the 20 flagged creatures too. This is a small thing, but still, a relevant.

I use the normal gender (male, female, neither) in the bypassed summon limit creatures. I state in the spell description that they are "immune" to spells like Banishment because of this. I am thinking of eventually doing something like make a custom gender, then append that gender to these creatures and spells like Banishment, as well as AI adjustments.

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9 hours ago, Penguincha said:

It seems like Monster Summoning works nearly like it did in PnP as it does in Icewind Dale, and by extension Baldur's gate with Iwdification and/or SCS. It is also unfortunately means that these kind of Monster Summonings fall in the bottom of the spell tier lists for Baldur's Gate/Icewind Dale due to the fact of there being better options for summons, spell-wise or item-wise. That is why SR's Monster Summoning, and this mod, is massively buffed.

And making these OP as HELL is the solution ? No.

9 hours ago, Penguincha said:

Yea, half-ogres are in the Level 3 Creature Summoning Table. There is a folder in the download which has the documentation of all the creatures and their statistics.

Thing is, I would very much like to see your level 5 fighter fight multiple of these:

Quote

Half Ogre (3 HD)

STR 16, DEX 13, CON 14, INT 7, WIS 6, CHA 4; AL Chaotic Evil
HP 25, AC 6, THAC0 16, Saving Throw 12/14/13/15/15
3/2 Attacks Per Round, 1d8+1 Slashing Damage (Long Sword)

...at the same time. That's almost a 5th level fighter on it's own.

These's a reason why the original spells started at spell level 3(so character level 5), not at level 1, and that reason is that THIS IS OVER POWERED AS HELL !!! Throw in a few magic missiles and the fighter is dead by default.

But then again, you don't need any fighters at all. Cause your mage multi's and dual can summon the hordes and there's no need to have even a healer at all, cause these will carry the party on their slavebacks.

And one more aspect is the .cre files names. They would work with other IE games if you could bother to update them during the copy process in weidu...

Edited by Jarno Mikkola
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To the OP: to avoid smaller minions' (gibberlings, kobolds, xvarts, dogs...) getting stuck in tight places, change their personal space to 1. This will make them more useful for surrounding enemies, too. I'm going to patch all small creatures with this change in my next mod, but you can have that idea, too.

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15 hours ago, Jarno Mikkola said:

And making these OP as HELL is the solution ? No.

Thing is, I would very much like to see your level 5 fighter fight multiple of these:

...at the same time. That's almost a 5th level fighter on it's own.

These's a reason why the original spells started at spell level 3(so character level 5), not at level 1, and that reason is that THIS IS OVER POWERED AS HELL !!! Throw in a few magic missiles and the fighter is dead by default.

But then again, you don't need any fighters at all. Cause your mage multi's and dual can summon the hordes and there's no need to have even a healer at all, cause these will carry the party on their slavebacks.

And one more aspect is the .cre files names. They would work with other IE games if you could bother to update them during the copy process in weidu...

I really don't understand why you are so upset of this mod's, and by extension SR's Monster Summoning, goal. If you don't like this mod, then ignore it. If you like the PnP versions of Monster Summoning (unmodded BG2 and SCS), then I'm happy for you. But you don't need to scream ("THIS IS OVER POWERED AS HELL !!!"), use unnecessarily passive aggressive language, or throw specious accusations (again, claiming these spells are "OP as HELL" with just one creature's stats).

It's not that I don't hear your concerns either. Yes, I've thought that the median APR of the 3 HD monsters was maybe too high. I am also considering eventually making a component which boots the spell level forward by 2, similarly to PnP (So as to have Creature Summoning I at LVL 3, for example). That and I'm sure there are many other issues.

As for the last part: A. I don't know how, and B. I don't have GOG BG and BG2, so I don't feel confident in messing with that, since I cant test the results.

It still confuses me why you intend to be so merciless with your complaints, especially since this is 0.1.1 and I am a novice modder. Vehemence with infant mods like this might scare away new modders in the future. I am sorry, but I have to block you, for a time at least, since I feel like this conversation is going to go nowhere good.

8 hours ago, temnix said:

To the OP: to avoid smaller minions' (gibberlings, kobolds, xvarts, dogs...) getting stuck in tight places, change their personal space to 1. This will make them more useful for surrounding enemies, too. I'm going to patch all small creatures with this change in my next mod, but you can have that idea, too.

It's a very nice idea I'll admit. The problem I have with that is I want to have it be consistent with all the mod's creatures; It would be weird to have the the games' higher level monsters clump together. I also think that the normal personal space is a way to balance out the horde summoning. This, however, gives me an idea to eventually clone all of the INI files to make them have a lower personal space for use of Creature Summoning's creatures.

As for your idea yesterday (the morale), I've thought about it and it sounds like a nice component to make eventually.

I keep using the word eventually on purpose, since this mod was basically made as a private indulgent mod that I wanted to share to the public. I don't expect myself to work on this mod too much. But still, suggestions will very much be appreciated.

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35 minutes ago, Penguincha said:

I really don't understand why you are so upset of this mod's, and by extension SR's Monster Summoning, goal.

This tells me that you, very similarly the SR has not considered the game balance at all !

The reasoning is that you say the spell level thing... no, the fact that the player can get a summoning spell at level 1 is GOOD, but the problem I have with THIS mod and the SR is the creature balance they have. That and you allow "lesser creatures" to be summoned without a cap, and I have a strong reaction to the input I am given. Cause like shown, the lesser creatures might just be tons better than the rest cause they don't die to the death spells etc ... or rather they get a chance that they don't deserve. That then might require that spell to be changed outside of this mod so that it kills the creatures by default and we go down a rabbit hole that's deeper than an ocean, that should be addressed in this very pond, keeping in mind the original game balance. Not one taken from another mod.

A summon monster spell that is castable at level 1, by a level 1 mage might summon a 2 to 4 rats, that have 1 hit point, thac0 of 19 and other stats at 10, and 1 apr with 1 damage. That's a good distraction element for a level 1 spell. A level 2 spell might give a level 1 fighter... or a half one if it eventually summons more than 1. Just like the original games* spells did. *Meaning BG1.

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Thank you for the mod, more spells to play around is always a good thing.

7 hours ago, Penguincha said:

I am sorry, but I have to block you, for a time at least, since I feel like this conversation is going to go nowhere good.

Don't worry about this but I suggest a permanent block. Believe me, you are not gonna miss anything at all.

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7 hours ago, Zutroy said:

Thank you for the mod, more spells to play around is always a good thing.

9 hours ago, Morgoth said:

I checked your mod and you have already surpassed my expectations by adding new options rather than cutting what we have in game and leaving the player new choices. 

Welcome to this community!

Thank you guys so much! :D

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