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Spell Focus vs. Spell Penetration

Discussion in 'Icewind Dale 2' started by drowbard, Nov 22, 2002.

  1. drowbard Gems: 1/31
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    From what I can tell, the Spell Focus feats seem fairly simple. If my sorceress has Spell Focus (Evocation), the targets of her fireballs, for example, will make their saves less often, and thus usually take more damage. But I have no idea when the Spell Penetration feat ("You get a +2 bonus to caster level checks to beat a creature's spell resistance.") would ever come in handy. Can someone tell me what exactly Penetration does and whether or not it's a good buy? Right now I think it sucks.

    [ November 22, 2002, 21:07: Message edited by: drowbard ]
     
  2. Quint Gems: 8/31
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    It's part of the silly multi-level multi-random attack and defense mechanism that's D&D.
    When you throw a spell on someone, even a 1st level spell, while your level is 30, the target, even if he's level 0, can have "spell resistance" that will cause to fail outright. So you actually have to roll to see if your level 30 sorcerer even has a chance of getting that spell to even come close to the guy. Your "spell penetration" works in your favour here, increasing your chance by 2 or 4, which is *nothing*. Spell resistant enemies have double-digit numbers.

    If your roll succeeds, then depending on the spell, it can further allow the level 0 sucker a "saving throw" to either totally escape damage or only get partial damage. This roll is affected by your level and spell's level, against the target's reflex bonus, for example. Your "spell focus" helps you here to kill the level 0 bugger, giving you +2. This is again nothing much, not a great loss if you don't have it.

    Oh, I forgot, your level 30 wizard will have to roll to see if *HE* can cast that level 1 spell successfully in the first place, before it even leaves his fingers!

    The whole game (D&D actually) is pure randomness. That's why it is totally unplayable without reloads.

    Bottom line is, doesn't matter which feats you choose. Just make sure you save often, because whatever you do, that's the only thing that will let you finish the game you bought.
     
  3. AlexGK Gems: 7/31
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    :D :D :D Swords not words :D :D :D

    give your mage 4lvl fighter and spend the feats on weapons and fighting skills.IWD 2 like IWD 1 is battle after battle so forget the mage stupidness.I only have spellcasters to deflect the enemy ones f@#$@#n @#%#$.Ok may be some buffing too....
     
  4. Dreamagi Gems: 2/31
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    [​IMG] I normally put my feats into stuff like "Spirit of the Flame", "Scion of Storms", etc because I find that most of the spells I use to deal damage are fire/electricity/cold/acid based. Oh yeah, and also the additional resistance for their respective category comes in handy too.

    But you know, personally I wished that they could have changed those classification to just fire/wind/water/earth - kinda am a Captain Planet and "The Fifth Element - The movie" kinda fantasy guy. ;)

    [ November 23, 2002, 01:59: Message edited by: Dreamagi ]
     
  5. Beren

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    Come Severed Hand, and a little earlier, you'll actually bump into more than a few monsters with Spell Resistance (demons, half-dragons, etc.).

    My preference was to get Spell Resistance twice over at level 15. Till then, it would have been useless. Just about then, it allows the Wizard to affect just about anything with his magic.
     
  6. teekc Gems: 23/31
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    +2, +4 is a whole big thing when you are below level 20. IWD2 has set the level cap quite high so +2 looks like baby. but then, you don't spend most of your time in high level, so spell penetration is still worth it.

    also, spell penetration is significat in the sense that it actually 'level up' you spell. when determining if the target resist your spell, spell level itself is taken into consideration also. the fomula is something like 10 + INT/CHA/WIS modifier + Spell Level + spell penetration + 2 School of Magic Focus, if specialist. so if you have spell penetration with you, it might happen so a red dragon will fail to resist your magic missle.
     
  7. Quint Gems: 8/31
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    teekc, where did you get that formula from?

    To my knowledge, a magical attack is resisted with Spell Resistance, like a physical attack has to beat the AC. The formula I know is:
    1d20 + Caster Level + Spell Penetration >= Spell Resistance

    So having a +2 or even +4 extra for Spell Penetration when you have a whole 1d20 uncertainty is not what I would call insurance.

    As for your formula, I think it is the formula for Difficulty Class for saving throws against spells.
    10 + Spell Level + the wizard's Intelligence modifier(CHA for Sorcerers) + Spell Focus feat
     
  8. Lokken Gems: 26/31
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    having a +2 or +4 is certainly NOT something to think of nothing, especially not when fighting somone with huge SR. Though SR isn't that important till you get a bit up the levels, so I'd suggest a focus in enchantment, evocation or necromancy.

    Consider the fighter who waste his feats on weapon focus then, or the dodge feat which really isn't anything to cheer about in this case. I'd say spell penetration is better than either of these, especially if you a multiclassed spellcaster too.

    [ November 25, 2002, 09:36: Message edited by: Lokken ]
     
  9. teekc Gems: 23/31
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    i remembered this vaguely as i have seen this somewhere before. because i haven't played any 3rd edition pnp so i can't remember which is which. so i am wrong then? sorry for the incorrect information.
     
  10. Quint Gems: 8/31
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    Yes, I get confused wuth all those formulas too.. :) I wish they had made them all the same :D
     
  11. ejsmith Gems: 25/31
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    Well...

    Quint's first post mauled this thread completely. No damage I can do.

    Reload, reload, reload.

    It's all about reloading.

    Random number generators > you.
     
  12. Quint Gems: 8/31
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    :D
    I'll leave some damage for you to do next time.

    If you feel a bit revolted with the randomness too, read my post on the (now defunct) BIS boards here:

    A Game of Crap(s)

    [ December 02, 2002, 18:45: Message edited by: Quint ]
     
  13. White Lancer Gems: 1/31
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    WARNING , rant ahead
    You seem to be infering that your 'perfect game' would include monsters that always do exactly the same thing, always do the same damage, always either hit or miss, and you always either hit them or miss. YAY, how fun
    The entire point of games is to have variation. Why do people always complain about IWD2's linear nature? Because they want to be able to do other things. Your game would have you able to take only one possible path. You would only have one dialogue option... hell, just make it an interactive movie where you occasionally press a button or two. /RANT

    [ December 03, 2002, 08:22: Message edited by: White Lancer ]
     
  14. Quint Gems: 8/31
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    *shrug* :rolleyes:

    I won't be nasty to you, but
    did you even bother to read the whole thread?
    Because it's obvious you didn't understand what you read.

    [ December 03, 2002, 15:10: Message edited by: Quint ]
     
  15. Captain Carnage Gems: 1/31
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    [​IMG] @ Quint.
    Just to say something about the randomness. DnD is a game of randomness just like real life. Watching a character grow doesn't mean that he\she is invulnerable or that the character never misses or that the spell always works as desired. Just as with a professional athlete a baseball pitcher can't always throw a strike but the more he throws the more likely he will more often. As for the combat your character get's hit's more often and does the same spread of damage and herein lies the fault with the computer game. Unlike a fantasy novel or a pen and paper game with a dungeon master, battles take on a very impersonal quality where it is reduced to just die rolls. It is then left up to the player to imagine that this battle taking place is a struggle where a hit from an enemy might have been partially turned aside hence the two damage from that bastard sword or a slip on some blood soaked grass that caught a character off guard allowing the enemy a strike of opportunity. It's only a game and would require way too much time from Black Isle to critique every swing of a blade or acane syllable a sorcerer speaks. Have fun with it and read some R.A. Salvtore if you want to get that deep. Not trying to bash you just had a moment of inspiration and had to let fly. [So sorry about the off topic post. :( ]
    Captain Carnage

    [ December 04, 2002, 00:28: Message edited by: Captain Carnage ]
     
  16. Bloodtitan Gems: 8/31
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    i agree with teekc about spell penetration
    not to mention that SP affects ALL your spells so its worthy anyway ...
     
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