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Evasion Vs Spell Focus

Discussion in 'Icewind Dale 2' started by Rik Kirtaniya, Oct 12, 2017.

  1. Rik Kirtaniya Gems: 1/31
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    I made a Dwarf fighter, and gave him one monk level to get the evasion feat, and he's doing pretty well evading the kegs of blasting, as he has 18 Dexterity and the Lightning reflexes feat.

    I plan to use him as a decoy with the Fireballs, since the heavy armour which he'd be wearing as a fighter won't hinder the Reflex saving throws.

    Now, from what I've heard about spell focus, it adds to the DC of spells and makes saves against them more difficult. I wished to give my sorcerer Spell focus: Evocation, but I'm wondering whether it would make evading Fireballs difficult for my Dwarf fighter, since Reflex will not be his primary saving throw. I don't know if Spell Focus really helps a lot, but I don't want my fighter getting fried by fireballs, just because the DC is increased due to Spell Focus. Is there anyway for Evasion to be effective for a high level fighter (whose reflex saving throws are not the primary ones)? I wonder whether that odd monk level helps in improving RSTs. Also, is Spell Focus potentially suicidal in the scenario I've described above, and finally, is it worth it?
     
  2. SlickRCBD Gems: 23/31
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    Just have your cleric or druid cast a protection from fire spell on him. There are several of increasing effectiveness as they gain spell levels. Oh, and take the lightning reflexes feat if it concerns you that much.

    That said, I've found that evasion isn't as great as people make it out. I've had a thief backstab an enemy, then tried dropping fireballs on him, only to get fried too often to count even with high stats and improved evasion.
     
  3. Rik Kirtaniya Gems: 1/31
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    Well, even the best protection spells offer about 10/- or 15/- elemental damage reduction, while a level 10 fireball can deal upto 72 damage with Spirit of Fire and a failed RST. Also, they are highly specific in regard of the type of damage they offer protection against, and as I'm new to this game, I cannot possibly predict what elements I'd be up against. The problem is greater with skull traps, since they do greater damage and 'slashing damage' (Is there any decent non-'caster-only' spell to protect against slashing damage?)
    Evasion looks pretty neat since it avoids the damage completely if one is lucky and has the advantage of being non-specific.

    I don't expect that I'd evade damage every time, but at least I would like to do so most of the times. Considering that I've already had lightning reflexes, is there no other way to improve evasion chances?
     
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    Buffing.
    Cat's grace has moderate duration and increases dexterity and by extension evasion.
    Luck (2nd level wizard spell) in theory should give you a +1 bonus on every die roll. On a D20 used for the evasion calculation, that increases evasion by 5%. I haven't tested this.
    I believe this stacks with Bless, which I believe stacks with Prayer or Recitation. Chant also stacks with some of these, but I forgot which combos were valid with chant.
    Note that I might be confusing IWD1 with IWD2 I'll have to check the descriptions, but the computer with the games installed is turned off as I should be in bed right now.
    A bard can also buff him to increase saving throws.

    As for "not being able to predict which element you will get hit by", you just said you were going to drop a fireball on the guy! You should know a fireball means fire damage, which is what you should put extra protection on the character before doing that. If you plan to drop fireballs on your fighter, buff him with a resist/protection from fire spell just in case.
     
  5. Rik Kirtaniya Gems: 1/31
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    Thanks a lot!
    Oh yes, of course! How silly of me! :D I should have mentioned that I wanted that to mean the AoE damage spells cast by enemy casters. However buffing a decoy with protection spells is, in my opinion, tedious, as the damage reduction is very small compared to the damage that may be received on a failed RST, and anyways, the fighter will have a pool of hit points to survive long enough to quaff a potion of extra healing.

    Back to the original question, can someone please enlighten me about the effect of spell focus in the given complication?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 12, 2017
  6. SlickRCBD Gems: 23/31
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    I was always disappointed by the ineffectiveness of the "protection from element" spells in IWD2. Especially when I found that the 4th level spell Protection From Lightning did NOT offer very much protection at all from the 3rd level Call Lightning cast by Trugnuk outside the Horde Fortress. There should have been a counter spell to Call Lightning that would neutralize it, especially a 4th level spell taking out a 3rd level spell, rather than offering very little actual protection. Heck, I made a post partially about that one encounter

    That said, I found [improved] evasion isn't nearly reliable enough for the tactics of dropping a fireball on your rogue unless you use a lot of short-duration buffs. If you are going that way, you should probably slap a spell that protects him from fire damage just for the hell of it in case he fails the save anyways.

    That was just my experience, other swear by the tactic.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2017
  7. Rik Kirtaniya Gems: 1/31
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    I share exactly the same sentiment. Well, don't you think the Baldur's Gate series of protection spells were much better? They offered at least 50% to 80% protection, and the 4th and 5th level ones offered 100% protection! Moreover if the resistance went over 100%, you got healed instead of being harmed. It's sad that there's no such thing in IWD2.
    I think you are right. I didn't realize this at first; but as they say, better be safe than sorry.
     
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    The way the mechanic is set up could work, if the damage reduction wasn't so pathetic compared to the amount of damage dealt by the spells the protection spells are supposed to counter.
    The 4th level protection from lightning should reduce the damage by 20-30, not a mere 6. Alternately, could make it do a random 1d6 per level of protection up to a maximum of 10d6 and it would be acceptable. A mere 6 damage against electricity, and ONLY electricity is nothing compared to the damage output of shocking grasp, let alone Call lightning making the spell almost worthless.
    Same for the mere 7 from protection from fire, and why is a 3rd level spell giving better protection than a 4th? Why is protection from lightning a 4th level and protection from fire a 3rd?
    The protection from element spells are almost worthless in IWD2, while they were powerful in BG and IWD1.
    Granted, I rarely used them in Baldur's Gate or even IWD, but they were at least worth it, like casting the mere second level spell Resist Fire in the ice areas so you could cast fireballs with abandon as they were super-effective against ice monsters.
     
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  9. SlickRCBD Gems: 23/31
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    BTW, on this line of thought, has anybody done a mod to make the protection spells actually worthwhile?
     
  10. Shardnax Gems: 6/31
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    I'm not aware of any. You could adjust them using DLTCEP without much trouble though.
     
  11. claudius Gems: 4/31
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    FighterX/Monk1 doesn't work with this tactic terribly well. However Illusionist4/Monk3/FighterX should probably work. It would lose 3 BAB compared to pure Fighter X and it would lose 3 or 4 feats. However the high base saves to all of Monk plus evasion and some other bonuses should make monk worthwhile. Meanwhile the 4 Illusionist levels give 4 castings of mirror image if you have 14 intelligence. Between the Monk evasion plus save bonuses and plenty of MI castings should be a good tactic. Mirror image defends against fireballs and other AoE spells in IWD2 strangely. It only burns one image per fireball etc. In other words if your single casting of 1 MI spell produces 6 images then that protects you against 6 fireballs. In pen and paper I think there is always a chance that 'the real you' is attacked I think and I'm not sure if that's a chance in IWD2. You could do Illusionist4/FighterX with no monk but monk would give you extra protection.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2018
  12. NguyenGiaThai Gems: 3/31
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    probabbly because of many lightning and fire-based spells in level 1-3, as well as the arrow/bolt/bullets. If you got Prot at too low a level you can have plentiful of protection against AI. balance reason.
     
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    Hardly, you are using a spell slot to neutralize an enemy's spell. The fire arrows also do normal arrow damage with bonus fire damage, although those exploding kegs do not. Also using protection from cold when attacking an ice temple of Auril, goddess of cold & winter would make sense, and nerfing those spells to the point where they are not worth the spell slot is really dumb, not balancing. Just omit the spells entirely if they are unbalancing.

    I've played 2nd edition AD&D and there is a game mechanic not implemented in most AD&D games called counterspell. I've checked and as far as I can tell it is similar enough in 3rd, 3.5, & Pathfinder.
    It allows you to sacrifice a spell slot to counter an enemy mage's spell completely. It has to be a similar or the same spell, the reverse of the spell, something that would logically counter it, or with a reduced chance of working, dispell magic.

    That said, I'd also like to point to "Minor globe of invulnerability" from previous games, and it's cousin, globe of invulnerability. They easily counter all low-level spells. In P&P they are stationary defenses once cast with a range of "caster" that appear centered on the caster. If the caster moves, the globe remained where it is. In the games, it is a personal buff.
     
  14. NguyenGiaThai Gems: 3/31
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    I will point out that the Elf girl in Targos sell Prot from Cold/Fire scrolls... way before you need it.
     
  15. Beren

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    The concept you're getting into works much better with a character who has an incentive towards light armor / high Reflex saving throws. Works even better when the character also has Spell Resistance to provide a second roll to avoid taking the hit.

    Examples that I've pulled this off with include a Monk and a Wizard x / Rogue 3.
     
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    True, but justified in that Targos is isolated, and you leave from Targos to the ice temple.
    Although they could have chosen to just have the werewolf priest sell those scrolls, or that spider-riding gnome you rescue.

    My point is that those protection spells and scrolls should be a lot more effective than they are, especially the spells that I find almost useless. The 3rd & 4th level spells provide a lower level of protection than I'd expect from a first level spell. Although I'm being colored by the effectiveness of resist fire and resist cold in the Gold Box games (although it wasn't as powerful in PoR as all the others) as well as Baldur's Gate I & II and Icewind Dale I.

    I wonder if as suggested last year it would be difficult to use DLTCEP to make them grant 1d6/level resistance capped at 10d6 instead of a flat 6 resistance? If not, then make it grant something like 20 at level 5, 24 at level 6, 28, 23, and so on until you get to 40-50 (thinking of the 2E massive damage rule).
    Yes, this would negate most elemental spells of 4th level or below, but that is the point of a protection spell. It should be able to counter equal or lower level spells and reduce the effectiveness of higher level ones.
     
  17. NguyenGiaThai Gems: 3/31
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    A flat res point is better than dice as it reduce the random element, ie reduce the reloads. I hate Bull Strength making me reload to get a decent +4 or +5 increase.

    And well, Clerical minor element barrier spell is at tier2, ie you can get access to it at level 3. It is cheaper than those scrolls~
     
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    I agree, although 1d6/level for a 4rd level spell means that the worst possible die roll is the same as what the original version of the game provides, since you get 4th level spells at level 7, so in theory those are bonuses.
    Although if I were to actually make the mod (I won't even try until the end of April as I'm working 2 jobs at the moment) I would probably make it so it provides the original protection and the 1d6/level is a bonus.
     
  19. NguyenGiaThai Gems: 3/31
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    Instead of 1d6, a flat +4 increase per level would be better, as we usually reload if it's below 4. 7d6 equal to average 24.5, and 7x4 equal 28 at the level you can cast it au naturel (level 7)
     
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    Maybe I'll look into using DLTCEP to mod the spells this week. However, I don't recall modding IWD2 before, and I found IEEP easier to use for modding Baldur's Gate and IWD1. But IEEP doesn't work with IWD2.
    I have tomorrow off from work, but I have to help clean my mom's house before the rest of the family arrives while she cooks. It's like I'm 12 again, doing all the chores I used to do before.
     
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