Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn logo

Black Isle BioWare TSR

Beasts of Baldur's Gate II (Modified Abstract from the Unofficial Gamespot Game Guide)


Creatures: Ankheg
Strategy: Making a cameo appearance from the original Baldur's Gate, these big brutes are now laughably easy. If you come across one, though, remember that their shell can be taken to Cromwell to get ankheg plate mail made.


Creatures: Black bear, brown bear, cave bear, polar bear
Strategy: Making another guest appearance, bears should not pose any problem. Much like ankhegs, their time in the light has passed. Otherwise, you will have no trouble killing them.


Creatures: Spectator, observer, gauth, undead, beholder, elder orb
Strategy: Often appearing when you'd least like to see them, these eye tyrants pack an enormous punch. Shooting spells like the cause wounds line and various confusion and domination spells, beholders will often kill you before you even get close to them. There are two good methods for taking these guys out.

One is to grab the cloak of mirroring. This is a cloak that reflects all
damage back to its source. With this, you can walk up a character, with preferably high magic resistance, to take the hits and reflect the damage. One character using this cheese tactic can solo kill five to seven beholders. The same tactic can be used with the Shield of Balduran, an item that can be bought from one of the extra merchants who appears in the Adventurer's Store.

There is one problem to this method: imprisonment. This spell banishes your character to an alternate dimension. It can only be returned to the material plane with the level 9 mage spell freedom.

Another method is to use hold monster. This freezes a beholder so it can't cast any spells or attack. Simply have your fighters attack, and the beholder will certainly die. If you are having trouble getting your hold monster spell off, try the level 5 mage spell lower resistance. Otherwise, the most important protection against beholders is
anything that raises your magical resistance and any protection that will absorb spells.
Also, defend yourself with everything you've got, for it will be a
tough fight. If there is a group of beholders, once you see it, hit it fast and hit it hard. If you can knock a couple off, the group is no longer a problem.

Carrion Crawlers

Creatures: Carrion crawler
Strategy: Much like a grub worm on steroids, carrion crawlers are big and dumb. When you are attacked by them, you may be stunned momentarily and paralyzed. However, they are relatively easy to beat and shouldn't be difficult to kill if you charge in with guns blazing. You'll wipe the floor with them.

Demon Knight

Creatures: Demon knight
Strategy: Need a good fight? Here it is. These nasty knights are a cross
between a mage and a knight, with the hit points of the latter and the spell resistance of the former. Casting spells like charm person and hold person along hacking you for 15 to 20 points a pop, these bad boys can wear a party down in a big hurry. The key to these creatures is to create a bottleneck and let your pets do the work. If your fighters get in close, they will be chopped up pretty quickly, so weaken them from afar first.


Creatures: Doppelganger
Strategy: Posing as a nonthreat, doppelgangers are the kings of mimicking.
They will pose as a person, usually one that needs help, then attack when you are least expecting it. Just hack their easy bodies to pieces and don't worry about them. The worst of their attacks is the deception before the attack. Be aware that they are immune to sleep and charm spells.


Creatures: Red dragon, black dragon, shadow dragon, silver dragon
Strategy: Though there has been some debate, we find dragons the most difficult creatures in the game, as they should be. Ranging in form and ability, each dragon battle will be the toughest you face. Our advice is to not fight them at all unless you are extremely high level. Even then, you must have a firm command of all aspects of the game to even touch them. In general, try to collect anti-dragon equipment like armor, swords, and the like. Dragons have terribly high magic resistance, so you must cast spells that lower their abilities to block your spells. Once that is done, try to stick to damage spells that are difficult or impossible to resist.

Some great choices are magic missile, lightning bolt and Abi Dalzim's horrid wilting. Another quick and dirty tactic is to use the level 7 mage spell finger of death (if your mage has it), which has a chance of almost killing the target. Nothing is sweeter than seeing a powerful dragon fall in the first ten seconds. Otherwise, defend yourself with any and all magical defenses you have. A great weapon to combat dragons with is a bow with arrows of biting.
Although they only do a minimal 1d4 + 2 points of damage, they are poisoned and can take one third of the target's life in poison damage over 30 seconds.
When used against a large creature, namely dragons, they can do 1d4 +2 points of damage plus the 50 points of poison damage (a third of the approximate 150 hit points dragons have). Also, try to increase magic resistance and any spell immunities. Dragons will cast wicked spells that include a swipe of all characters that sends them flying in all directions.

Lastly, try to remember that the different colored dragons will be resistant to the element of their color. For example, red dragons resist fire. Most importantly, pray to the Baldur's Gate gods for luck. Make no mistake, you'll need it.


Creatures: Drow warrior, drow priestess, drow mage, and drow archer
Strategy: Obviously, when you journey to the Underdark, you will fight a good many drow. The most important thing to remember is that they use their own prized adamantite armor. It is the best armor you'll ever see and makes them wickedly hard to hit. Your best bet is to use greater malison and take down their magic resistance. Then, hit them with spells, while your fighters do what they can on the front lines. Remember to pick up their armor once you've killed your first few. It will set you equal to them for your stay in the Underdark.


Creatures: Fire, earth, and air (lesser, normal, and greater)
Strategy: Usually summoned by mages, including your own party, elementals usually have lots of hit points, but are not very tough. Though each elemental is resistant to its corresponding element, it is otherwise very susceptible to magic and is very easy to cast spells on. So, hit elementals will all you have before they get a chance to deal damage to you. If you find them in groups, try to use an opening area damage spell of an element opposite to the group.


Creatures: Ettercap
Strategy: Serving mainly as an annoyance, the only real problem with
ettercaps is their poison touch. Otherwise, hit them with all you have, and they will fall. If you have problems, use ward undead.


Creatures: Ettin
Strategy: Big brutes, ettins pose no challenge. They are weak and have no magic resistance. You shouldn't need much help dealing with these tubs o' lard.

Evil Demons

Creatures: Nabassu, pit fiend
Strategy: Usually summoned by a high-level wizard, demons are relatively rare in Baldur's Gate II. Though immune to most elemental attacks, they should pose no problem if you cast protection from evil with a ten-foot radius on yourself. That will give you plenty of room to maneuver and take you out of harm's way. From there, feel free to do whatever you need to take them out.
You will be perfectly safe.


Creatures: Djinni, efreeti
Strategy: Genies are avid spellcasters and will cast defensive spells on
themselves like greater invisibility and fireshield. A cast of breach will take care of most of their spells. Thankfully, they usually have low hit points and, with a few offensive spells, will soon by lying in ashes.


Creatures: Ghoul, ghast, fell ghast, greater ghoul, ghoul lord
Strategy: Ghouls are very abundant, and appear in very deadly numbers, and pack a nasty punch. Though they have a paralysis attack, elves are immune to it. So, try to send elves in to do the dirty work, while the rest of your party hits them with ranged weapons. Unfortunately, they are magic resistant, so many spells will not get off. If you are having trouble, pull your cleric back and have him use turn undead. Not all will be turned immediately, but the spell will send a good number away each round and let you deal with a few at a time.


Creatures: Gibberling, mutated gibberling
Strategy: Small balls of fur, gibberlings can't do much to harm most
adventurers. Serving as a minor annoyance and nothing more, they were born to be killed. They don't do much but wait for the unsuspecting adventurer.


Creatures: Elite, slasher, captain, warrior, veteran, flind
Strategy: Bringing back memories of Baldur's Gate, gnolls serve as a
reminder of what came before. But, you won't have to think too long; they'll be dead before you noticed them.


Creatures: Archer, elite archer, elite warrior, and captain
Strategy: Goblins are deceptively powerful. Using ranged attacks and
sometimes hitting from hard-to-reach places, goblins can pack quite a punch.
If you see a group, don't feel bad casting an area damage spell to take care of them. In fact, hitting them with long-range weapons and spells is highly recommended. Since they give so little experience, don't feel like they aren't putting up a good fight. They are, so don't let them live, or you will take damage needlessly.


Creatures: Flesh, stone, clay, iron, brain, sand, juggernaut, and adamantine
Strategy: In general, golems make some tough enemies. Most importantly, you'll need better than +1 weapons to hit a golem in the first place. Also, they are magic immune, so don't bother trying to cast spells on them. The only way to beat them is to haste your party, imbue yourself with spells, and concentrate on the golems with special abilities like stone and iron. Once you have taken out those that harm your party though magical means, hit them as hard as you can (make sure to use blunt weapons, anything else does little or no damage against golems) and as quickly as you can, and they will fall. Keep a priest nearby to heal your group and try using their size to your advantage. You can, cheaply, get them stuck in doorways and other bottlenecks, making your job easier.


Creatures: Archer, warrior, mage killer, wizard, captain, elite, and shaman
Strategy: Though hobgoblins give almost no experience and are beyond simple to kill, their priests do cast spells that are as annoying as any other.
With a repertoire of confusion spells, you should take out their casters. Since those pose the only threat, you can then easily destroy the rest.


Creatures: Mind flayer, alhoon, ulitharid, vampiric
Strategy: Illithids are simply the most powerful pack of enemies in existence.
You will run into illithids in groups, and they will kill you. With one cast of a spell, they will charm party members or confuse half your group. While one is doing that, the others will be attacking you and dealing hefty damage. Quickly, any strategy you have will turn into utter chaos, and all will be lost. The easiest way to defeat illithids (besides having your clerics cast chaotic commands on your party members) is to send in hordes of summoned creatures beforehand to absorb the spells. Once they have cast their spells, defend yourself with spell-absorbing defensive spells and pray that it is enough.

If you find yourself losing party members, especially your mage, don't bother continuing. Reload and try again. These will make some tough battles. Equipment-wise, there are some definite ways to combat illithids. First and foremost, fight them in their city in the Underdark. There, you will come across mind control circlets. They act like a permanent charm and let you easily control illithids whenever you see them. If you come across them at other times, wear helmets of charm protection and bombard them with melee attacks.


Creatures: Imp, quasit
Strategy: Imps are something of an ultra-mephit, with similar hit points but a more powerful poisonous attack. They can perform instant kills if your characters fail a saving throw versus poison, so you might want to use a potion of invulnerability ahead of time if you can't afford to die. You can also select the character with the lowest saving throw of your group to take them on, as they aren't very strong, with fewer than 30 hit points. They generally like to make themselves invisible, so be prepared for that as well.


Creatures: Archer, warrior, captain, commando, witch doctor, shaman, slave, and kamikaze
Strategy: Much like hobgoblins, their casters can pose a slight annoyance. Also, their archers can deal a bit of damage, so for sheer ease, clear them all away simply with one fireball.


Creatures: Kuo-toa, whip, warrior, monitor, lieutenant, priest, wizard, captain
Strategy: You will only find kuo-toa in gigantic crowds, and they are actually somewhat difficult to beat. Their archers can pack a punch, and their shamans cast wicked confusion and charm spells. Any area damage works wonders against a pack of these, and it is definitely advised you kill the casters first.


Creatures: Lich, demilich
Strategy: Liches are certainly among the elite monsters in Baldur's Gate II. These once-living spellcasters are now undead creatures with centuries of spell research to draw from, making them the most proficient mages in the game, with access to virtually every spell in the book. They'll use them, too, especially the higher-level spells like Time Stop and Power Word: Kill. Once you face off against a lich, expect it to raise spell traps and mantle spells immediately, followed by Time Stop, Horrid Wilting, Meteor Storm, and other nasty spells.

They're not unbeatable, though, especially if you can attack hard and early. One strategy that sometimes works is to send forth a sacrificial lamb. A character with high health, magic resistance, or saving throws might have a chance to suffer the lich's initial attacks and survive. Even if the character dies, the rest of your party can charge the lich and attempt to destroy it without worrying about Time Stops. You can find liches in the Underdark, the Drow City, in an inn near the city gates of Athkatla and a few other places in Athkatla.
There's only one demilich in the game, though, and most players will probably never beat him. Kangaxx is his name, and he dwells underneath the Cult of the Unseeing Eye in Athkatla. Though he only has 50 health, he can cast so many spells in such a short time that your characters will start dying before they have a chance to attack. His repertoire is similar to a lich, with Power Word: Kill and Wail of the Banshee being his killer spells in the early going.


Creatures: Red lizardmen, lizard king
Strategy: Lizardmen pose no threat. Zero. Simply dice 'em to bits.


Creatures: Lightning, fire, earth, steam, and so on
Strategy: Contrary to popular belief, mephits are actually quite difficult at the beginning of the game. With all casting various spells, they deal a great amount of damage. In numbers, they can be lethal. Since they have very few hit points, our advice is to kill them as quickly as possible and use area damage spells to knock out many at once.


Creatures: Minotaur
Strategy: Minotaurs are infrequent and mostly harmless. Though they have plenty of hit points, they'll rarely do any damage, and if you move in any character with a low armor class, they will do nothing. Simply hack and slash them away and keep your ranged weapons firing. If needed, cast spells, as minotaurs have very low magic resistance.


Creatures: Vampiric, mist horror, wandering horror, and crimson death
Strategy: Mists seem to be difficult to hit in general, but like many other undead, they do require +1 weapons to touch. Hammer them with any and all fighters you have, then hit them with simple damage spells like magic missile to finish them off.


Creatures: Lesser mummy, greater mummy
Strategy: Mummies prove annoying enemies. Since they have a knack for infecting you with disease and casting high-level spells, it's best to hit them using ranged weapons and magic. Once you are casting, they should fall fast, which is good, as their damage mounts up fast.


Creatures: Warrior, king, and spore colony
Strategy: Myconids can ruin your day fast. With their deadly charm spell, it is best never to let them get in range. The single sure way to conquer them is never to let them touch you. Start with a web, then continually cast your favorite area damage spell. Those that break through the web should be picked off with archers. Also, use any other damaging spell to take out any approaching myconids that break through your spell line. If they manage to get their spores near you, have a priest cast a zone of sweet air. Since you will find multiple colonies near each other, web, cast, kill, rinse, and repeat.


Creatures: Ogrillon, ogre, ogre mage, half ogre
Strategy: Falling into the "dumb brute" category with their hairy brothers the ettin, ogres are easy to kill and more fun to watch die. It's so humorous to hear them try to cry out: "Me will smash your face" and die before you even hear the whole phrase. So, for everyone's sake, smash their faces and be done with it.


Creatures: Archer, warrior, orog archer, orog warrior, wizard, priest
Strategy: Orcs are simply dumb and stupid. They pose little or no threat. Just for fun, cast any low-level area damage spell and watch them all fall over at once. There is no joy in the world like mass slaughter...


Creatures: Otyugh
Strategy: Otyugh's only defense is a mild disease attack. Otherwise, the only thing they seem good at is flapping their big tentacles around like a dog wags his tail. They look nasty, but are all soft and mushy on the inside.


Creatures: Rakshasa, ruhk, rajah, maharajah
Strategy: Up there with beholders, rakshasa are some of the toughest pack-based enemies in the game. They cast wave after wave of spells, including area damage spells. In fact, they cast almost any high-level damage spell you can think of. Your best bet is to summon horde after horde of creatures and send them in. Once they are in and attacking, cast area damage spells repeatedly on the group or individual rakshasas (with your summons intertwined), then hit them with magic missiles and long-range weaponry. A web to keep them in place never hurt either.


Creatures: Sahuagin, baronial guard, chieftain, baron, prince, royal guard, king, high priestess
Strategy: These cool blue enemies are fishlike creatures with low hit points and low magic resistance, but are dangerous if left unattended. They have warriors and priests, but very few wizards. Their warriors will use crossbows, and the priests have some nice spells, so the best thing to do is send buffed-up warriors into the fray and concentrate powers on the magic casters first.
Once they are dead, it becomes a quick sweep up.


Creatures: Red and blue salamanders
Strategy: Relatively simple melee fighters, salamanders are notable mostly for their elemental alignments, with red salamanders being associated with fire attacks, and blue salamanders associated with cold creatures. You can use the opposite element to deal with each variety, but they're fairly easy to dispatch with simple fighting techniques.


Creatures: Shadow, shade wolf, wraith, shimmering wraith, and spectre
Strategy: Dealing good damage and draining your strength, shadows can drain your party very fast. Though they are immune to cold damage, you can hit them with most other spells, and they will fall. In a worst-case scenario, you can fend them off with ward undead while you pick them off one by one.


Creatures: Skeleton, warrior, grimward archer, grimward warrior, and bone golem
Strategy: Rarely posing any threat, simply send in your fighters and deal out the damage. They are affected by most spells and can easily be kept at bay with ward undead. In general, they give a good deal of experience for very little effort. If you find an area populated with them, you can gain a lot of easy experience by simply plowing through them. Turn undead also works nicely.


Creatures: Green slime, jelly ochre, grey ooze, and jelly mustard
Strategy: Usually not posing any threat, slime's only notable attribute is that the harder slimes will require +1 weapons. But, you'll probably have them beforehand anyway, so it really doesn't matter. They can also poison you, but you'll most likely kill them before it ever poses a threat.


Creatures: Baby, huge, giant, wraith, phase, and sword
Strategy: These creatures can be found all over the world, but especially underground. Individually, spiders won't pose a huge threat, but when 20 small spiders attack you, you've got a problem. It is often worth it to cast the level 3 mage spell Fireball at your own party. This will do 6d6 of damage to all creatures. Yes, your own party members will take some damage, but it will kill all the small spiders, and it is often preferable to have a slightly damaged mage over a near-dead and poisoned one.

When fighting normal spiders, just use warriors and prepare to cure the poison. When fighting phase spiders, it is best to use archers.


Creatures: Ice, snow, giant, spectral, spirit, and so on
Strategy: Trolls are really not difficult if you know what to do. Though they can pack a punch, hit them from afar until they fall over unconscious. Immediately cast a Melf's Minute Meteor spell (which creates 20 throwable meteors) and attack them once. The meteors will hit, and they will fall over dead. Next time you encounter a troll, make sure your mage does not attack.

Then, when the troll is down, attack once more with the mage. Repeat as needed. If you are fortunate enough to have ample fire or acid arrows, those work as well. Any other fire/acid based spells like Burning Hands or Melf's Acid Arrow will also do.
If you're often left with no spells, pick up any kind of flaming sword/dagger, even if it's not of much use otherwise and have it in your inventory. Once you get near a troll-infested area, simply let someone jump around with it and finish off any trolls still twitching.

Umber Hulk

Creature: Umber hulk
Strategy: Easily one of the most difficult early game enemies, umber hulks will charm and confuse enemies up the wazoo. The easiest way to dispatch them is to open a door, then step back. If you've done it quickly enough, the hulks will not see you. Once the door is open, cast web and entangle or any two other hindering spells, then cast as many area damage spells as you have. Cloudkill works wonder on umber hulks as well.

If any break through, and only one or two will at a time, hit them with magic missiles and send in your fighters. In case they do get spells off, keep your mage (or whomever you use for dispel) a good way off. If you are hit with a spell, grab your mage and simply dispel the effect. Repeat until all the umber hulks have been destroyed. An even better tactic is to let your clerics cast chaotic commands on your fighters so that way you don't have to worry about who's going to do the killing if anyone else gets confused.


Creatures: Male, female, fledgling, mature, patriarch, and so on
Strategy: Casting many aggravating spells, vampires can pose a problem.
Most importantly, vampires will cast level drain, which is especially annoying when cast on mages and priests, as it will force you to rememorize all their spells once your cure them. However, to prevent this, either wait until you're affected and cast the priest spell Lesser Restoration or cast Negative Plane Protection beforehand. If your cleric would lose the Lesser Restoration spell from being hit, it is important that you cast Negative Plane Protection on the priest, so you can heal the rest or your party. Otherwise, once you kill any vampire, look for its coffin. You will need a stake to put it to final death, but it will be worth it, as you will receive an extra 9,000 experience points from the already generous amount given when it died originally.


Creatures: (Greater) werewolf, (greater) wolfwere; and dire, dread, worg, and winter wolf
Strategy: Customarily dealing small damage, the only wolves of consequence are the werewolves. As long as you have +1 weapons or better (are we sensing a pattern here?), though, you will rip through them like fresh meat.


Creatures: Baby wyvern, wyvern
Strategy: If you somehow don't kill them quickly, they have a poison attack that can get very annoying. However, they are extremely easy to kill and should be easy for anyone to dispatch once you find them.


Creatures: Yuan-ti, commander, priest, mage
Strategy: These guys look very similar to salamanders, but are much tougher.
The salamanders, who are very physically weak, posed no problems and were easy. The yuan-ti are also very physically weak, but have very strong and incapacitating magic. They are rarely alone, and if you don't concentrate on them, they will bring the effectiveness of your fighter to that of a mage in melee combat. They have low magic resistance, so hit them with spells, arrows, and, of course, good ol' hand-to-hand slicing and dicing.


Creatures: Zombie, ju-ju zombie, sea zombie
Strategy: Looking much more formidable than they really are, zombies don't do much of anything but lope around. They can disease you, though. But to prevent this, simply attack from a distance. Once they get close, move farther away and resume attacking.
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