G3

Sword Coast Stratagems

A Gibberlings Three Mod
Author: DavidW

Version 32
Languages: Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Korean, Polish, Russian, and Spanish
Platforms: Windows, Linux (Enhanced Edition only), Mac OS X (Enhanced Edition only)

Sword Coast Stratagems (SCS ) adds about 90 optional components to Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition (including Siege of Dragonspear), Baldur's Gate II: Enhanced Edition, Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal, Baldur's Gate Trilogy, and Baldur's Gate 1 TUTU, mostly focused around improving monster AI and encounter difficulties, but also including a number of cosmetic and ease-of-use components, tweaks to abilities and spells, and a full implementation of the Icewind Dale spell system in Baldur's Gate. On the lowest difficulty settings, SCS mildly improves the intelligence and immersiveness of the game's enemy AI (and makes full use of the Icewind Dale spell system or the Spell Revisions spell system, if you have them installed). At higher difficulty settings, you should notice enemies behaving much more intelligently and realistically.

Table of Contents

Overview

Sword Coast Stratagems is a collection of mini-mods for the Enhanced Editions of Baldur's Gate I and II, the original edition of Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal, Baldur's Gate TUTU, and Baldur's Gate Trilogy. Although it contains many tweaks and ease-of-use components, as well as a full implementation of the Icewind Dale spell system in Baldur's Gate, it is primarily a tactics mod, intended to make the combats in the game more challenging and interesting. A full install basically rewrites the entire AI system of the game.

Since there are a lot of tactics mods out there, of very different styles, it's probably simplest to describe the distinctive features of SCS. (I don't want to suggest that all of these are automatically advantages: there are lots of different styles of play, and different mods fit different people.) Some more thoughts of mine on how to assess tactical mods can be found here.

  • SCS plays fair. I've made a fairly sustained effort to ensure that SCS opponents fight by the rules and don't use powers denied to the player (other than obvious things like dragons' breath weapons, liches' ability to see through invisibility, etc!) This is probably most notable for spellcasters - SCS mages don't randomly get uninterruptible spells, improved casting time, free Alacrity, or the like. (In fact, I've removed these powers from creatures in the vanilla game occasionally, though I haven't done so systematically.) However, "fair" is sometimes in the eye of the beholder, so please do read the component descriptions if this is important to you!
  • SCS is highly sensitive to the difficulty slider. SCS has five difficulty settings (Basic, Improved, Tactical, Hardcore, and Insane) and the great majority of enemies are affected by the slider. At the lowest settings, SCS is about as difficulty as the unmodded game on Core difficulty; at Improved and Higher then enemies will behave much more intelligently; at higher difficulties, the enemies make more systematic use of their powers, and occasionally gain ability boosts. The difficulty of each individual component may be set in Enhanced-Edition games via a new control on the Gameplay page, or on non-Enhanced games by a new special ability granted to your character; in either case this overrides the difficulty slider for that component.
  • SCS is very focussed pure AI. Most components of SCS muck around rather little with the core powers of creatures, and hardly at all with their abilities, resistances, saving throws and the like. Its main focus is on getting creatures to do as much as they possibly can with their existing abilities. In particular, its targeting is very careful - hopefully you'll almost never see a mage do something stupid like cast repeated spells at someone immune to that spell.
  • SCS is quite low-key in its changes Where SCS does modify something other than AI, it usually does so in a relatively undramatic manner - adding a few more creatures, giving a creature a couple of other magic powers in keeping with powers it's already used, and so forth. It doesn't give new ultra-powerful spells to creatures who didn't have any magic before, or give creatures massive damage resistances, for instance. (Again, there's not necessarily anything wrong with doing this, it's just not what SCS is about).
  • SCS is very customisable. Feel free to install whichever combination of components you like - there is a separate one for each major AI / tactical change.
  • SCS is systematic. I've tried to be very thorough in making sure that there aren't "gaps" in its AI modifications - so that all hostile wizards, for instance, and not just some, are upgraded.
  • SCS tries to be as compatible as possible. I've done the best I can to ensure that SCS will install on top of other mods (especially non-tactical ones) without causing problems for either. In particular, SCS dynamically alters its scripts to take (some) account of new magic items introduced by other mods.

Overall, playing SCS shouldn't exactly feel like a whole new game - it should feel like the old game, but with your foes acting much more intelligently and realistically.

SCS also makes a number of small tweaks to the spell system, all intended to modify the game in small ways that are helpful from the point of view of tactical challenge - some make the game a little easier, others make it a little harder. These spell tweaks are installed by default since the AI scripts assume that they are present, but advanced users can deactivate them. (See under Spell Tweaks for the details, and under Customisation for how to fine-tune them.) If you are playing with Spell Revisions, almost all of the tweaks are skipped.

SCS also incorporates, as an optional component for the Enhanced Edition only, most of the new spells in Icewind Dale, which will be used intelligently by the AI if they are installed.

Finally, SCS contains a few miscellaneous tweaks to gameplay, a few ease-of-use features (notably, an ease-of-use player AI script with a large number of convenience features) and a few "flavour" features that don't really affect gameplay but hopefully aid the feeling of immersion in the game world.

Installation

If you have installed version 31 or earlier of SCS, you must completely uninstall (and preferably delete) it before installing this version.

Installation is fairly straightforward. Run "stratagems.exe" and tell it to install in your BG:EE folder, BG2:EE folder, BG2 folder, BG1TUTU folder, EasyTUTU folder, or Baldur's Gate Trilogy folder, as appropriate. If nothing happens, run "setup-stratagems.exe", in this folder.

(Finding this folder for the Enhanced Edition can be a bit tricky; it's the folder with "CHITIN.KEY" in it.)

On Enhanced-Edition installs, SCS requires version 2.5 of the game (or, hopefully, later).

Special Note for Siege of Dragonspear from Steam/GOG
Good Old Games (GOG) and Steam both package the additional content for Siege of Dragonspear in a method that WeiDU, the tool used to install this mod, cannot access. You must run a program called Modmerge on your SoD installation before you can install this or any other WeiDU-based mod.

Compatibility

This game discusses the base game, then mods in general, and then goes through specific mods in alphabetical order.

Games

SCS is designed to work with any of the following install options:

  • Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition
  • Baldur's Gate II: Enhanced Edition
  • The Enhanced Edition Trilogy (EET) combination of BGEE, BG2EE and SoD
  • The original (or GoG) Baldur's Gate II, with the Throne of Bhaal (ToB) expansion installed
  • Macready's "EasyTUTU" version of Baldur's Gate Tutu", again with both TotSC and ToB installed
  • The Baldur's Gate Trilogy (BGT) combination of BG1, TotSC, BG2 and ToB into one game

If you are playing on the original Baldur's Gate II, or on BGT, you need to have the (G3) BG2 Fixpack (available here or here) installed before installing SCS.

SCS probably also works with the original "Baldur's Gate Tutu" conversion of Baldur's Gate I to the Baldur's Gate II engine, with both the Tales of the Sword Coast (TotSC) expansion to BG1 and the Throne of Bhaal expansion to BG2 installed, but is not routinely tested on that install.

SCS is compatible with the Siege of Dragonspear (SoD) expansion to BGEE, but makes few if any modifications to content from that expansion.

SCS does not work with the original Baldur's Gate, or with versions of Baldur's Gate II that do not include Throne of Bhaal. It requires the offical patch (26498) for Baldur's Gate II to be installed if you are not using the Enhanced Edition. (Do not install the "beta" official patch 26499, which is bugged.)

SCS is compatible with Max OSX or Linux only for the Enhanced Edition. (SCS requires either the Enhanced Edition engine or ToBeX, and ToBeX is Windows-only.)

Mods in general

SCS attempts to be as compatibility-friendly as possible. It is probably not compatible with most mods that change enemy scripting or AI. It should be compatible with most quest, item, NPC and tweak mods (I don't know of any significant incompatibilities with currently-used mods other than those listed below.)

Two components of SCS, on Enhanced Edition installs, alter the user interface (UI). This always risks incompatibility with other UI mods. One component, 'thief skills are spent in multiples of 5%', makes a very discrete and limited edit and is unlikely to cause problems. The other is the main 'initialise' component, which adds a difficulty fine-tune button to the UI. It does so in what aims to be a pretty compatibility-friendly way, but it may still cause problems if you have sufficiently drastically edited the UI. Most likely, the component will detect that the UI has been substantially tweaked and will avoid making its own changes (defaulting to the non-Enhanced Edition method of setting the difficulty) but there is some chance of your UI being cosmetically messed up. If this becomes a problem, you can force the UI edit to be skipped (and the non-Enhanced version to be installed) by setting 'Force_Difficulty_Widget' to 1 in stratagems.ini (see under customisation).

In general, when installing multiple mods, it matters which order you install them in. A rough guide is:

  1. The (G3) BG2 Fixpack (if applicable, i.e. on non-Enhanced BG2 and BGT)
  2. GUI mods (on the Enhanced Edition)
  3. The Ascension mod
  4. Mods which add new quests and similar game content
  5. Mods which add new joinable characters
  6. Mods which change the spell or item systems
  7. Mods which add new kits or class abilities
  8. Mods which tweak aspects of gameplay
Within each category, as a rule of thumb you should install older mods first. SCS is a tweak mod, so it should be installed towards the end of your installation. Ideally, SCS prefers to be installed last, but several other recent mods (aTweaks, BiggTweaks, BG2 Tweakpack) also say "install last" in their readmes. You can generally install any of these listed mods after SCS fairly safely. (In particular, aTweaks is designed with SCS specifically in mind, and should definitely be installed after SCS). Other mods, and in particular any mods that add new items, really need to be installed before SCS.

On more complicated installs, if you are using the Icewind Dale spells components of SCS then you may get better results if you install those two components fairly early on (before kit mods, in particular) and then install the rest of SCS at or near the end of your install order. (An alternative is to use the IWDification mod instead of SCS's version of the Icewind Dale spells.)

Ascension

Ascension is fully compatible with SCS. By default, Ascension enemies use their own scripts instead of SCS scripts, although a number of components change this. (Note in particular that the Ascension "tougher Demogorgon" component is overridden by the "Improved Fiends" component of SCS.

aTweaks

aTweaks was designed to function with SCS, but is now quite out of date (and not currently maintained). It is designed to be installed after SCS. (This is an exception to the usual rule that SCS should be installed last.) At the moment I'm fairly sure its Fiend components are at least partially incompatible with SCS Smarter Mages and Improved Fiends; to be safe, use one or the other. Its other components are probably compatible with SCS.

Big Picture

I believe that the latest version of Big Picture aims at some level of SCS compatibility. I haven't been able to investigate myself. On balance I'm inclined to think that for a stable install you should choose one or the other, as both try to do broadly similar things in rather different ways.

BG2 Fixpack

SCS requires the (G3) BG2 Fixpack when used on BG2 and BGT installs. You can download it here or here. The Fixpack is not needed (or usable) on EasyTutu or Enhanced Edition installs.

Item Randomizer

I think Item Randomizer is best installed before SCS, because SCS assigns weapon proficiencies to creatures according to which weapons they have, and Item Randomizer shuffles those weapons. One SCS component moves some over-powered items later in the game; if Item Randomizer has already moved them, they won't be moved again.

Item Revisions

SCS should be compatible with Demivrgvs's and Mike1072's "Item Revisions (IR) mod. IR should be installed beforeSCS (and indeed before most mods). Some IR components overlap with SCS features; these features will be silently skipped on an install of SCS.

IWDification

IWDification also offers a conversion of the Icewind Dale spell system to Baldur's Gate. The differences between SCS's and IWDification's versions are fairly subtle: there some minor differences in how to resolve tensions with the existing BG2 system, and at a coding level SCS's version is a systematic and automated pull of resources from IWD:EE whereas IWDification works on a more case-by-case basis. Also, IWDification works on non-Enhanced Edition games. In any case, use one or the other (SCS's version won't install if IWDification's version is detected). It is possible that the two will be merged at some point in the future.

Quest Pack

Quest Pack's AI and creature enhancements should be compatible with SCS . Install Quest Pack first, then install whichever components of SCS you want: they will override the Quest Pack for the affected creatures. Quest Pack still has some content not influenced by SCS : notably, it improves Mummies and Umber Hulks.

Refinements

As of version 32, SCS no longer makes use of high-level abilities from Refinements.

Spell Revisions

SCS should be compatible with Demivrgvs's "Spell Revisions" (SR) mod (version 4 beta 16 or later), and if SR is installed, SCS's spellcasters will make fairly systematic use of the new and revised spells in SR. SR should be installed beforeSCS (and indeed before most mods).

Some SR components overlap with SCS features; these features will be silently skipped on an install of SCS.

SCS's implementation of the Icewind Dale spell system is compatible with SR in the technical sense: duplicate spells will be skipped and (if appropriate) Icewind Dale area-effect spells will be patched to be blocked by Spell Deflection and the like. I haven't made any attempt to smooth over any incongruities between the systems, and SCS AI doesn't use Icewind Dale spells if SR is installed.

Tactics

The Tactics mod is an old tactical challenge/AI mod, and was an inspiration for SCS. By this stage, most of Tactics is incompatible with SCS, though you may have some luck getting its kits and discrete new-encounter components (Ritual, Kuroisan, Red Badge, Lich in the Docks, Fighter/Illusionist in the Docks, Improved Crypt King) to work. Try at own risk, and install Tactics before SCS.

Tweaks Anthology

The Gibberlings 3 Tweaks Anthology can be installed before or after SCS; both should work. It probably makes sense to put last whichever one you think you're more likely to modify in play. For most people I probably recommend putting Tweakpack last. (Also, it takes much less time than SCS to uninstall and reinstall.) The main disadvantage of doing so is that if you modify the spell system, SCS won't be able to detect it - but the effects of that will be fairly subtle.

Wheels of Prophecy

SCS is fully compatible with my Throne of Bhaal content-enhancement mod, Wheels of Prophecy. Install SCS after Wheels of Prophecy.

Contents

Unless otherwise noted, all components are for all forms of the game. Components that affect Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition (BGEE) also affect Siege of Dragonspear.

Icewind Dale Spells

Include arcane spells from Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition (BGEE, BG2EE, EET)

This component includes almost all the arcane spells in Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition that are not already included in Baldur's Gate. (I think Contact Outer Plane is the only exception). For the most part, if a spell is present already in BG2 then the IWD version is not used. Scrolls of the new spells are scattered throughout the game; they should be about as common as equivalent-level spells in the main system.

The system is slightly tweaked to resolve some thematic inconsistencies with the existing system:

  • The IWD version of Mordenkainen's Sword summons a weapon which the caster can use at range, rather than summoning swords that act as independent monsters. Since both versions of the spell are quite fun, I have included the IWD version, renamed as Mordenkainen's Force Blade.
  • The IWD elemental animations look very different (bulkier, more humanoid) than the BG2 ones. To avoid visual awkwardness, I have used the existing BG2 water elemental animation instead of the IWD one.
  • The fifth-level IWD 'conjure water elemental' spell has been renamed 'conjure lesser water elemental' and a sixth-level 'conjure water elemental' spell has been added; the magical-battle aspect of elemental summoning has been removed.
  • The collection of creatures summoned by Monster Summoning has been systematically rebalanced, focussing on humanoid creatures; this is to avoid thematic overlap with spells like Spider Spawn and Carrion Summons.
  • The BG2 Emotion: Hopelessness spell has been overwritten by the IWD one, to ensure consistency with the other Emotion spells added by IWD.
  • In IWD, summoning spells have green icons; in BG2, they have red icons. I recolor all BG2 summoning spells to green.

A full list of arcane spells added, and documentation for each, can be found here.

SCS's 'Smarter Mages' AI will detect and use the IWD spells if they are installed. In this case, some slightly more substantial tweaks will be made to the IWD spell system (see here for details).

Include divine spells from Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition (BGEE, BG2EE, EET)

This component includes pretty much all the divine spells in Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition that are not already included in Baldur's Gate. For the most part, if a spell is present already in BG2 then the IWD version is not used. Party-joinable spellcasters gain access to the new spells (provided you started a new game).

The system is slightly tweaked to resolve some thematic inconsistencies with the existing system:

  • IWD's third-level 'Prayer' spell is about as powerful as BG's second-level 'Chant' spell, while the IWD version of 'Chant' halves the caster's movement and blocks their spellcasting. I split the difference, installing the IWD versions of both spells but removing the disable-spellcasting effect.
  • BG's sixth-level 'Physical Mirror' spell reflects all missiles and lasts nine rounds. IWD's sixth-level 'Entropy Shield' spell deflects all missiles, gives immunity to many spells, boosts damage resistance and armor class, and lasts one round per level. There's just no real reason to learn Physical Mirror in place of Entropy Shield. (Theoretically the reflection power is nice, but any half-way intelligent enemy will just notice it.) The simplest solution is to change the level of one of the spells; in my judgement Physical Mirror is underpowered for sixth level and Entropy Shield is about right, so I lower Physical Mirror to 5th level.
  • IWD restricts its Cause Wounds spells to evil casters (and its Cure Wounds spells to good casters), but the BG versions aren't so restricted. I remove the restrictions. (There is an ini option to override this; see here.) In addition, BG Cause Wounds require a melee hit, whereas IWD Cause Wounds are just range=touch; I standardise to the IWD version.
  • In IWD, summoning spells have green icons; in BG2, they have red icons. I recolor all BG2 summoning spells to green.

A full list of arcane spells added, and documentation for each, can be found here.

SCS's 'Smarter Priests' AI will detect and use the IWD spells if they are installed. In this case, some slightly more substantial tweaks will be made to the IWD spell system (see here for details).

Gameplay Tweaks

These components could equally well be called "miscellaneous tweaks".

Move or modify some overpowered magic items (BG2,BG2EE,EET)

This component affects a handful of (in my judgement) overpowered magic items in BG2. Some are intrinsically a bit broken, others are just available much too early. The component moves some items into treasure hordes found later in the game, and slightly decreases the power of others.

Items affected are: the Helm of Vhailor (moved), the Robe of Vecna (moved), the Cloak of Mirroring (moved), the Rod of Resurrection (modified so as to resurrect creatures with 1 hit point rather than at full health), the Staff of the Magi (modified so that its invisibility power needs to be actively cast, not just activated by equipping it), and Carsomyr (modified to grant a saving throw to its dispelling power).

See here for where items have been moved to. Advanced users can disable any particular item's movement or modification via the ini file.

Replace +1 arrows and other projectiles with nonmagical "fine" ones

This component replaces the weakest magical projectiles with non-magical ones of high quality. The main point is to make the "Protection from Normal Missiles" spell less ineffective when used by enemy spell-casters, although I think there are also cosmetic advantages.

Replace many +1 magic weapons with nonmagical "fine" ones

This replaces most of the standard (i.e. non-named) +1 weapons in the game with non-magical equivalents: they still give you +1 to hit and damage but they don't give you +1 to initiative and they can't harm creatures that are immune to normal weapons.

This is mostly a cosmetic change: I wrote it because otherwise there are implausibly many magic weapons lying around the Sword Coast. It has two significant effects on the game, though. Firstly, +1 weapons cost a lot less (about a third as much). This mostly works against you (you generally find +1 weapons on enemies and sell them). More seriously, the iron plague affects "fine" weapons. I actually quite like this (feels more realistic, and makes the iron plague more a part of the game) but if it's just going to annoy you, don't use it: you can choose to have Fine weapons without the effects of the iron crisis. (It's clear from what you're told in-game that the crisis affects all iron (even iron not forged from Nashkel ore), but some people feel this is outweighed by the annoyance of having your high-quality weapons break so much. It's up to you.)

My alpha version of this component (for BG2) changed +2 weapons too, but that turns out to have unwanted effects on game balance - +2 nonmagical weapons are great to use against mages with the Protection from Magic Weapons spell running, and the protagonist is probably immune to nonmagical weapons in ToB and needs to be affectable by at least some opponents.

This component applies to all versions of the game (though on BG2 installs there is no iron crisis, of course). For technical reasons there are actually two separate versions (one for BG2, one for TUTU/BGT/BGEE): the right one for your install should be selected automatically.

Reduce the number of Arrows of Dispelling in stores

Arrows of Dispelling are arguably a little overpowered (they are all-but-eliminated in BG2, though some mods reintroduce them). This component gives you the choice of removing all, or all but five per store, of the Arrows of Dispelling from the stores throughout the game.

Standardise spells between BG and BG2 (TUTU, BGT)

At the moment, BG1Tutu and BGT are both a bit inconsistent in their use of BG2-only spells (like Stoneskin or Holy Smite). Non-player characters don't have any of these spells, and enemies don't use them, but party sorcerors, clerics and druids have access to them, and party mages can choose them at first level.

This component offers two alternative ways to resolve the inconsistency. The first (available only for BG1Tutu players) blocks player access to all BG2-only spells except for Find Familiar and the various wild-magic spells.

The second alternative reintroduces into BG all of the new wizard spells of fifth level or lower. Some are added to stores, others to treasure caches; see here for all of the locations.

Note that this is not needed for BG:EE because the BG2 spells are already available. (In fact, the code to make them available is based on SCS code, so in effect this component is already included in BG:EE.)

Wider selection of random scrolls (BGEE,BG2EE,EET)

Scrolls in random drops in BG:EE are selected from the same range as in vanilla BG, and so do not include any of the newer spells introduced in BG2. And random drops in BG2:EE include a rather small subset of all available spells. This component changes random drops so that every 1st-8th level wizard spell for which a scroll exists will have some chance of dropping. (The probability that a given creature or treasure chest contains a scroll of a given level is more-or-less unchanged, but the range is wider.) This component will also add mod-added spells (such as the Icewind Dale spells from IWDification) to the random drops.

Reduce the power of Inquisitors' Dispel Magic

Inquisitors have a very fast powerful Dispel Magic ability, which is cast at twice their level. In most bits of the game, this is usually much higher than the majority of spellcasting enemies. This component reduces the power of the Dispel a little; you can choose to use it at 1.5xlevel or at 1xlevel.

Increase the power of Cure Wounds and Cause wounds spells to the level found in 3rd Edition D&D

The Cure and Cause Wounds families are very weak, especially at higher levels - it really isn't worth (e.g.) using a fourth-level cleric slot to heal 14 hit points or do the same amount of damage. This component increases the effectiveness of these spells somewhat: they heal (or cause) 1-8 hit points per level of the spell, plus a bonus amount equal to 1 per level of the caster but no more than 5 per level of the spell (so a maximum of 5 for Cure Light Wounds, but 25 for Cure Critical Wounds).

There are three versions of this component. One determines the amount healed at random. The second always heals the maximum amount. The last heals about the average amount (5 points per die).

SCS's Smarter Priests component detects whether this component is installed, and uses rather more Cure and Cause spells if it is. The component is skipped if you are using Spell Revisions, which already increases the power of healing and cause-wounds spells by a similar (though larger) amount.

Restoration and Lesser Restoration spells heal ability-score damage (BGEE, BG2EE, EET)

This component modifies the Restoration spells (and any other resource that uses the Restoration effect) so that it also restores ability-score drain from most sources, such as mind flayer's Devour Brain, SCS vampires' blood drain, or shadows' ability drain.

Engine limitations mean that (i) this component is only available for the Enhanced Edition, and (ii) it does not affect quite all ability-drain effects. (To be precise, only ability-drain effects that do not also have other significant negative effects like poison are affected, unless those effects are also removed by the relevant spell.)

Faster Bears

"If you're in the woods, and you run into an angry bear, don't worry about it. Bears can't move very fast, you can outdistance it at a brisk walk".

It's unrealistic that BG bears can't catch up with the party. This component tweaks their movement rate (when hostile) until it's about the same as for humans. This also makes the druid's bear shapeshift less annoying.

More realistic wolves and wild dogs (TUTU,BGT,BGEE,EET)

In the real world, wolves rather rarely attack humans; indeed, they normally keep their distance. In the Sword Coast, though, wolves are apparently ruthless, fearless predators that think nothing of attacking even large parties of heavily armed adventurers. (And, as a corollary, even wilderness-oriented types like rangers and druids spend much of their time fighting off attacks from implacable wolf packs.)

This component makes the behaviour of wolves (and also wild dogs) a bit more realistic. They won't usually attack humans (they still do sometimes: it's been a harsh winter and game is scarce). They'll generally retreat if more than a few of them are injured or killed. If you approach them, they might take a bite out of you, but just as likely, they'll keep their distance.

This component has no effect on non-"normal" wolves (dire wolves, winter wolves and the like), since for all I know, they really are ruthless predators. Its main point is to spare the author (who rather likes wolves) the heartache of perpetually having to cut them down and listen to the rather sad yelp they make when you kill them.

Improved shapeshifting

This component (inspired in part by Wesley Weimer's Shapeshifter Rebalancing component) modifies all of the druid innate shapeshift abilities (and the druid/cleric elemental-shapeshift HLA) to be useable instantly (that is, without requiring a six-second cooldown before the next spell can be cast). It does so by creating "symbolic paws": if you equip one, you instantly shapeshift. Other than that, the effects of the shapeshift are largely the same as previously, though some of the ability score and attack bonuses have been tweaked slightly. Note that shapeshifting still blocks spellcasting.

If you have both this component and the "improved priests" component installed, enemy druids will use improved shapeshifting.

Decrease the rate at which reputation improves

In general, if you're playing a half-way honorable character, your reputation fairly rapidly reaches 20 and stays there. The idea of this component is to slow down the rate at which you gain reputation: you can choose the degree of slowdown.

In more detail: any time you would have gained 2 or more reputation points, you gain one fewer point than you should have. Any time you would have gained one, it's decided at random whether you actually do gain it, according to the probability you choose at install time.

Improved NPC customisation and management (BGEE,BG2EE,EET)

This component makes it much easier to customise NPCs and to make sure they keep up with your main character even if you swap them in and out of the group. When it is installed, NPCs (including mod-added NPCs) join your party at level zero. If you want, you can activate a special 'customise' power on their innate abilities to change their class and kit to whatever you like. After that, you can level the character to first level and choose their proficiencies, skills and the like. The character will continue levelling until they reach about the same level as your character. (The 'customise' power is unavailable once you increase above level zero.)

If you kick the NPC out of the party and subsequently re-recruit them, they will again start levelling until they reach about your character's level. (To be more precise: they are given that level which they would have if they had as much XP as you do; they get given exactly the right amount of XP to reach that level.)

Engine limitations lead to two slight awkwardnesses with this component. Firstly, thieves don't gain quite the right number of skill points at level one. To fix this, thieves are given one-off innate abilities that allow you to increase your thief skills by the missing amount. Secondly, mages and bards have their spellbooks selected from a fixed list (you don't get to choose yourself).

This component makes very extensive use of features of the Enhanced-Edition game engine, and so is not (and never will be) available for original BG/BG2.

Allow player to choose NPC proficiencies and skills (BG1TUTU, BGT)

At the moment the various NPCs who join your party have their existing proficiencies, thief skills etc. determined for you according to what the designers of the original game had in mind. There's nothing wrong with this, but it can be interesting - especially if you've played several times - to have more flexibility.

This component gives you the chance to select each character's proficiencies from scratch. It does so in a slightly convoluted way (to get around game-engine difficulties): when a new NPC joins your party, they start at level 0. They immediately go up a level, so you get to choose their starting skills. As soon as you've levelled them, they gain enough experience to go up to first level; after levelling again, you advance to second level, and so on until you reach the original intended level. For engine reasons, rogues gain additional powers, usable from your innate-ability bar, to finish increasing their skills.

This component is superseded on Enhanced-Edition installs by 'Improved NPC customisation and management'.

Thieves assign skill points in multiples of five (BGEE,BG2EE,EET)

This component edits the user interface so that thief skill points are spent in multiples of five. This is purely a convenience tweak: there is no real reason to spend skill points in smaller increments and it can be tedious to have to do so. The edit is compatibility-friendly and is unlikely to interfere with other UI mods.

Skip the Candlekeep tutorial sections (TUTU,BGT,BGEE, EET)

The Prologue to BG is a perfectly good tutorial in the Infinity Engine for complete beginners. By the time you return to it for the Nth time, it's unutterably tedious - but you more-or-less have to do it, because even the small amount of gold and XP it gives you is pretty vital for later. It doesn't really even add colour, because realism is always being spoiled by these damn monks telling you which button to press.

This component gives you two ways around this problem.

The first option (which leaves the tedium unchanged but resotres the verisimilitude) just removes the green-robed monks. The less-than-serious alternative choice, inspired by PPG's Dungeon-Be-Gone, lets you skip the whole thing: at the start of the adventure, a guard will come up to you and give you the chance to collect all the cash and XP from him. He'll give you a decent interval to shop, and then teleport you direct to Gorion ready for the start-of-game ambush.

Be warned that the dialogue with the guard is unrealistic and written for laughs. Realism is restored once you start talking to Imoen and Gorion.

Allow the Cowled Wizards to detect spellcasting in most indoor, above-ground areas in Athkatla (BG2,BG2EE,BGT)

The Cowled Wizards claim to ban magic everywhere in Athkatla; in practice, though, they only complain if you cast spells out of doors. This component extends their watch to most indoor, above-ground areas in Athkatla (there are a few exceptions, mostly places where wizards live (e.g. Prebek's tower) or where it's likely that the owners have made arrangements with the Cowled Wizards (e.g. the Copper Coronet).

Increase the price of a licence to practice magic in Athkatla (BG2, BG2EE, BGT)

The default price for a magic licence from the Cowled Wizards is 5,000gp. This component allows you to increase it to an amount between 10,000gp and 50,000gp, depending on which option you choose during installation.

Increase the price asked by Gaelan Baele (BG2, BG2EE, BGT)

This component aims both to make it more realistic for the player to linger in chapter 2 of SoA (which in gameplay terms is often rather tempting, but is hard to justify on roleplaying grounds) and to add an extra challenge by restricting the player's wealth in the first part of the game. As everyone knows, in the unmodded game Gaelan asks the player to provide 20,000gp. With this component installed, he will want more - between 40,000gp and 120,000gp, depending on which option you choose during installation.

Make Watchers' Keep accessible between SoA and ToB (BG2, BG2EE, BGT, EET)

In roleplaying terms, the natural time to explore Watchers' Keep is between the end of Shadows of Amn and the start of Throne of Bhaal. Before chapter 4 you're probably too weak; in chapters 6 and 7 of SoA you're in a desperate race against time; in ToB, the way the start works makes it difficult not to take random time off from urgent business to explore Watchers' Keep. Also, the NPC dialog in Watcher's Keep is ToB-only, and won't play if you do it before you start ToB.

This component moves the start location of Throne of Bhaal to Watchers' Keep, so that you're moved there immediately after the end of SoA. You can then explore WK to your heart's content. When you want to start ToB, just leave WK via the world map. You can still return to WK after leaving.

Be warned: you don't have any stable base, or any way to change your party, as long as you're starting at WK. If you find you need either, you'll need to do the first part of ToB. Similarly, although you could start a new game of ToB using this component, this is only a good idea if you're masochistic enough to want to solo Watchers' Keep with a starting-level ToB character!

Randomize the maze in Watcher's Keep (BG2, BG2EE, BGT EET)

This component is for the benefit of people who've now basically got the Watcher's Keep teleport maze memorized. It randomly rearranges the maze to one of three different alternative configurations. Don't install or reinstall this component while you're exploring the maze (before you enter it, or after you've left it, will be fine).

Remove unrealistically helpful items from certain areas (BG2, BG2EE, BGT, EET)

Vampires do not stockpile stakes in their lairs; magic golems are not usually found near stashes of nonmagical weapons; demons' lairs are not usually stocked with books explaining how to eliminate their defences and wands stocked with the requisite spells; trolls are not generally found in places filled with fire and acid arrows; cities under siege do not generally have large quantities of +3 weapons for sale in bars. But in BG2 all these things occur. Presumably this is intended to reduce frustration, but I just find it spoils my suspension of disbelief. This component tries to remove all such implausibly-placed items. (Obviously, things like stakes and fire arrows are still plentifully available, but you can't count on just finding them lying around where you want them.)

Remove unrealistically convenient ammunition from the game (BG2, BG2EE, BGT, EET)

Similarly, the game has vast stashes of ammunition lying around for the taking, presumably because the developers thought you'd be bored of having to buy it. This component removes all the ammunition from containers, for those who find things just a bit too convenient to be realistic.

This component can be fine-tuned. You can choose to remove only the non-magical ammunition, to remove all the ammunition except those nice +3/+4 items you find in Throne of Bhaal, or just to remove everything.

Delay the arrival of the "bonus merchants" in the Adventurers' Mart and the Copper Coronet (BG2, BG2EE, BGT, EET)

This component causes the "bonus merchants" (Deidre and Joluv) to appear a little later in the game (by default they are in the Adventurers' Mart and the Copper Coronet, respectively, as soon as you go there). One of them (chosen at random) will appear once you've started Chapter Six; the other will appear once you've either completed four of the "stronghold quests" or recovered the Rhyn Lanthorn.

You don't need to have the bonus merchants already installed (e.g. through Tweak Pack) to run this component; if you do, it won't matter.

Treat mages' and priests' High-Level Abilities as innate abilities rather than memorisable spells (each may be taken only once) (BG2, BG2EE, BGT, EET)

This component causes the 10th level spells that mages get as High-Level Abilities, and the Quest spells that priests get likewise, to become disentangled from existing 9th level mage spells and 7th level priest spells. If installed, 10th level and Quest spells are no longer added to the character's list of spells to learn. Instead, each can be cast once per day in addition to the character's normal spells. Each spell can only be taken once. Note that clones (Projected Images and Simulacra) of the spellcaster do not get High-level abilities.

The component should be compatible with other mods (notably Refinements) which change the High-Level Ability system. If it is installed, SCS mages and priests will also receive High-Level Abilities in this way.

I'm grateful to TheBigg and Vilcakis, from whose rather similar mod I took significant inspiration, and to Ardanis for the suggestion that each ability should only be available once, which changed me from a strong opponent of this change to a (cautious) supporter.

Make spell sequencers and contingencies into innate abilities

This component makes Minor Sequencer, Spell Sequencer, Spell Trigger, Contingency, and Chain Contingency into abilities that your mage and bard characters acquire automatically when they reach the appropriate level, rather than needing to learn from scrolls or spend spell slots on. The abilities can be used from your innate ability bar, and can be used once per day each, out of combat only. (Scrolls of these spells are removed from the game.)

This is mostly a quality-of-life tweak, as it reduces (but does not eliminate) the pressure to sort out your sequencers, change your spell choices, and then rest. It also ameliorates what is otherwise a big power disparity between characters who have or have not obtained the scrolls of these spells, and makes life a bit easier on sorcerers' spell slots.

Ease-of-use party AI

This AI script, suitable for all characters, is not intended to help you fight difficult battles, but it might make your life simpler (especially where pre-casting spells is concerned - SCS virtually requires you to do a lot of precombat spellcasting of long-duration spells, but it's tedious to do manually.)

On the Enhanced Edition, the Ease-of-Use AI replaces the standard "advanced AI", and is documented on, and may be customized from, the script control screen. On non-enhanced edition installs, it can be controlled via hotkeys (and the choice of hotkey can be customised; see under customisation).

Also on the Enhanced Edition, pre-casting is disabled by default for spontaneous casters (sorcerers and shamans). You can re-enable it via the console (see under customisation).

On either edition, the script has fairly minimal combat functions: it will attack in melee or at range, prioritising non-helpless opponents, not fighting if the character is turning undead, and not wasting Minute Meteors, Energy Blades or Invisibility. Out of combat, the character will use low-level healing resources if needed, will activate long-duration once-per-day items, and can be instructed to cast long-duration defensive spells on the party by hotkey: C for Chaotic Commands, V for Death Ward, B for Protection from Fire and Protection from Magic Energy, Z for a paladin's Protection from Evil. (These spells are cast at a highly accelerated rate, and will not be cast on characters who are already protected.)

You can further customise the character's action in several ways. The exact details vary between the Enhanced Edition and the original game; see the in-game description of the script for details.

Cosmetic change: stop Stoneskins from changing the caster's colour (BG2,TUTU,BGT)

The Stoneskin spell causes the recipient to turn a uniform grey colour, which is realistic but does get a bit monotonous when your spellcasters are permanently protected by it. Note that this effects NPC mages too. This tweak (which uses Ascension64's "ToB Extender" and so is unavailable on the Enhanced Edition) removes the colour change from the spell.

AI enhancements

The distinction between this section and the next two ("tactical challenges") is a bit arbitrary, but basically components in this section either don't alter creatures' abilities at all, or do so in a relatively low-key way.

Initialise AI components (required for all tactical and AI components)

This component makes some (mostly minor) tweaks to the spell system, which are assumed by the AI (see here for details). It also carries out some preprocessing that's necessary for any of the other AI/tactical components to function.

(Specifically: it marks up many spells so that the AI can detect them, makes some bugfixes to various creatures with the wrong stats or immunities, creates many resources to be used later, and installs the difficulty control.

Once this component is installed, the difficulty settings in the game will be rebalanced and renamed. There are five standard difficulty settings:

  1. BASIC: Enemies choose their targets and use their spells fairly unintelligently. They refrain from using some of their more dangerous special abilities and spells. (This is roughly the level of the unmodified game's 'Core' difficulty.)
  2. IMPROVED: Intelligent enemies attack and use their powers fairly sensibly, though most will not use class abilities, and some of their most dangerous special abilities are still avoided.
  3. TACTICAL: Enemies continue to use intelligence in their targetting, and now use most of their powers and often call for help from nearby allies. Spellcasters begin casting some spells in advance of combat, especially if they arrive in the area in sight of the party. Some supernatural creatures gain the ability to use their abilities instantly and uninterruptably.
  4. HARDCORE: Enemies now use all of their powers as effectively as they can; a small number receive a boost to hit points. Some enemy numbers are increased. Spellcasters more aggressively cast spells in advance. In the later game, some of the most powerful spellcasters begin to use High-Level Abilities.
  5. INSANE: Several enemies receive further boosts to their abilities and their numbers; spellcasters aggressively cast spells before combat; use of High-Level Abilities now occurs (for the most powerful spellcasters) throughout the game.

The original game also makes some hardcoded changes to monsters' and party abilities and resistances, depending on the difficulty; in SCS, these are disabled. (On the Enhanced Edition, you can re-enable them via the Gameplay page, during play; on non-Enhanced editions, you can change the ini file to re-enable them when installing this component.) On the Enhanced Edition, you can also play on Legacy of Bhaal, which very substantially increases creatures' statistics as well as including all the SCS effects from Insane difficulty.

You can override these difficulty settings for each component separately. A new button has been added to the Gameplay screen (on Enhanced-Edition installs) or to your protagonist's innate ability bar (on non-Enhanced installs); activating it will bring up a dialog menu that allows you to set a difficulty for each component that you have installed. (For a very small number of components, there are additional difficulty settings above INSANE: SUPER-INSANE and LEGACY OF BHAAL. These are, intentionally, only activatable using the fine-tuned control (or if you have Legacy of Bhaal installed); this is so you don't blame me when your tenth-level party gets eaten by liches using Dragon's Breath.)

For Enhanced-Edition users: because this component edits the user interface, there is some chance of compatibility problems with other UI mods. See under Compatibility, above.

For non-Enhanced-Edition users: if you find the difficulty-control power annoying (and if you have the cheat console enabled) you can remove the control via a dialog option. The control dialog can be activated by typing C:CreateCreature("dw#diffi"). (Power users can also set difficulty variables directly at the console; see under Customisation.)

Smarter general AI

This component improves the generic AI used in melee and ranged combat throughout BG2. In addition, it rearranges creatures' choices of proficiencies and (where appropriate) high-level (non-spellcaster) abilities, assigns kits to some fighters and thieves who don't currently have them, and ensures that creatures have correct (or at any rate consistent!) saving throws, attack rolls, levels, and kit abilities. It will mostly affect fighters, thieves, and monsters without large numbers of special abilities.

Main features of this component include:

  • Enemies will try to choose targets more intelligently. This will be most noticeable for ranged attackers - the game's engine makes it difficult to safely tell melee fighters to do much more than "attack nearest".
  • Melee attackers will fairly quickly notice that their opponent is immune to their attacks (if you're protected from magic weapons, for instance) and will try someone else; ranged attackers will similarly notice spells like Physical Mirror.
  • Thieves will use their backstab and hide-in-shadows power as much as they can, and will avoid wasting backstabs on characters with Stoneskin or Mirror Image.
  • Enemies will use potions if they have them (though this component doesn't give them any).
  • Enemies with class abilities (e.g. Kai) or high-level abilities (e.g. Whirlwind Attack) will use them.
  • Enemies above a certain minimum intelligence will usually prioritise opponents who are not stunned, held or otherwise helpless. From their point of view, they're fighting to win, and if they kill all non-helpless opponents they can finish off the helpless ones at their leisure. (They will, however, finish off nearby vulnerable opponents in preference to chasing up distant ones.)
  • In Baldur's Gate I, various creatures who foolishly moved up to talk to the party, or sat immobile while being surrounded, will now initiate conversation at a distance.
  • About a dozen (in BG1) or about seventy (in BG2) creatures now have kits assigned. Kits used are archer, assassin, barbarian, berserker, kensai, swashbuckler, and wizard slayer.
This component is sensitive to the difficulty setting (some of these settings apply to Better Calls for Help, below):
  • BASIC: Enemies have fairly minimal intelligence, and show little discrimination in how they use their attacks and abilities. Human and demihuman enemies do not use their class abilities and magical items. Groups of creatures will attack together, but will not call for help from other groups.
  • IMPROVED: : Enemies become somewhat smarter, avoiding dangerous regions and choosing their targets intelligently; they still do not use items and class abilities. Thieves will attempt to hide if out of sight of the party.
  • TACTICAL: Enemies use potions and class abilities if they have them; in particular, thieves will use invisibility potions, if they have them, to get out of sight in combat. Enemies often choose to begin combat at a distance rather than walking up to you for a chat. Intelligent opponents will sometimes call for help from nearby groups. Selected high-level thieves and fighters use High-Level Abilities.
  • HARDCORE or harder: all eligible thieves and fighters use High-Level Abilities.

Better calls for help

This component substantially improves the (in BG1 almost nonexistent, in BG2 rudimentary) scripting for monsters to help one another. Even the stupidest monsters will fight in groups (so the advance-a-few-steps-at-a-time strategy will fail); intelligent monsters will call out to nearby allies. There are some ways to abuse this component but generally it seems to strike a good compromise between amazingly unrealistic behaviour on the one hand, and the entire map emptying towards you on the other.

This component is sensitive to the difficulty setting; it shares a setting with Smarter General AI, above.

Smarter mages

This component drastically improves the intelligence of pretty much all the arcane spellcasters (liches, mages, fighter/mages, thief/mages, bards) in the game. It does so in three ways:

  1. Better choices of spells and sequencers. The spell lists of mages are systematically restructured to swap useless for useful spells. I've tended to err on the side of variety over usefulness: Maze is less useful than Horrid Wilting but it's still fairly useful, so I've kept it; but Larloch's Minor Drain just can't compete with Magic Missile (unless you're using Spell Revisions), so out it goes. Enemy sequencers, spell triggers, contingencies and the like are all completely reworked. Both the spellswap and the sequencer choice are done at random (though occasionally I've tweaked it for specific mages) - I think an 18th level wizard has about 4000 different possible combinations of contingencies and sequencers! Spell choices, including sequencers and contingencies, will change each time you reinstall SCS .

  2. Much better targeting. SCS mages are very, very careful to choose sensible targets for their spells and to avoid silly or unrealistic actions. They will renew magic defences as soon as they are destroyed, try to show some discernment in when to use antimagic attacks, prefer to target fighters with Dire Charm and mages with Power Word: Kill, etc. Multi-class characters will try to intersperse their mage and non-mage abilities. There is quite a lot of randomness, though - partly because it's tactically unwise to use too-fixed a strategy, but mostly for variety.

    SCS tries extremely hard not to cheat. It's impossible within the engine to be completely certain of this, but as far as I can manage, no SCS mage does anything that the party can't (assuming that you have installed the Spell Tweaks components of SCS ). There are two exceptions:

    • NPC-summoned fiends (which are summoned, almost exclusively, by liches) behave a little differently from PC-summoned ones: they remain directly under the control of the caster. (On Enhanced Edition installs, it is actually possible for player characters to acquire this ability, at the risk of their immortal soul.)
    • I assume that NPC wizards (who have years and decades more practice than the PC) can specify the conditions on which their contingencies go off with more discernment than the PC, so I haven't restricted myself to the conditions that the game allows for PC spellcasters. Otherwise, I have kept to the standard Contingency rules even when the unmodded game breaks them (no choosing different targets in the same sequencer; no 9th level spells in Chain Contingency, etc.)

    SCS mages obey the rules on invisibility: only spells which can be cast at a point on the ground can be used against improved-invisible opponents. So they will cast Horrid Wilting or Fireball at your improved-invisible character, but not Breach or Magic Missile. One unavoidable game-engine, glitch, though, is that (unlike with PC spells) an NPC-cast Fireball will land at the feet of its target even if s/he has moved after casting began. I can't do much about this. Note that sequencers cannot be, and are not, targetted at invisible opponents (even if they contain area-effect spells); but note also that liches can see through invisibility (even in the unmodded game).

    Out of mercy, enemy mages won't cast Imprisonment on the main character. If you're masochistic enough to want to change this, enter CLUAConsole:SetGlobal("DMWWImprisonPlayer","GLOBAL",1).

  3. SCS allows mages to cast some spells instantly, to simulate casting before battle begins (in BG2 it's very difficult to script enemies to do the sort of pre-battle buffing that PCs can do). The amount of pre-battle casting depends on the difficulty setting.
This component also makes some systematic adjustments in the levels of NPCs. The unmodded game is very inconsistent: it often makes casters much too-low-level for the spells they have (this matters because many spells have different effects at different levels, and also because Dispel Magic depends on the difference in levels between the casters.

Finally, many wizards will be specialists of one sort or another (I use necromancers, conjurers, invokers and enchanters), and this should - hopefully - lead to a lot more variety in the kind of spell use you see.

The component uses whatever memorization rules are in the game. If you've installed a component which changes the number of spells a caster of a given level can learn, this will apply to enemy mages too; if you've opted for High-Level Abilities to work as innate abilities rather than spells, this is how mages will use them.

Since Irenicus is a mage, this component upgrades him too. He gains no new spells, but he should use his existing spells more effectively, and this makes him a lot more dangerous (particularly in his final incarnation). Illasera is a fighter-mage in the unmodded (non-Ascension) game, so if you don't install Ascension then she gets upgraded. If you have the "Smarter Clerics" component then Sendai is also upgraded (unless you've installed "Tougher Sendai" from the Oversight mod).

Smarter Mages is very sensitive to the difficulty slider: due to its complexity, there are three separate settings.

The main difficulty setting for mages has these effects:

  • BASIC: Mages have fairly limited intelligence; they will renew their defenses periodically and to some extent avoid really unwise uses of their magic, but no more. They use only defensive sequencers and contingencies.
  • IMPROVED: Mages use their spells intelligently, choosing the most appropriate targets and paying careful attention to their own magical defenses. They will mostly refrain from using offensive sequencers and contingencies.
  • TACTICAL: Mages now also use offensive sequencers and contingencies. They have some chance of sensing the presence of invisible opponents and using divination to reveal them.
  • HARDCORE and above: Mages capable of casting it will normally use Melf's Minute Meteors (and similar spells) between casting spells.

The prebattle-casting difficulty setting for mages has these effects:

  • BASIC: No mages cast spells in advance of combat (though they may still use Sequencers and Contingencies to rapidly raise defenses once combat begins).
  • IMPROVED: Mages advance-cast a small number of spells with a duration of at least several hours (like Stoneskin).
  • TACTICAL: Mages advance-cast any defensive spells with a duration of at least one turn per level. If they appear in sight of the party, they also advance-cast defensive spells with a duration of at least three rounds per level; if they appear out of sight of the party, they may also advance-cast some long-duration summoning spells.
  • HARDCORE: Mages advance-cast any defensive spells with a duration of at least three rounds per level. If they appear in sight of the party, they also advance-cast defensive spells with a duration of at least one round per level.
  • INSANE: Mages advance-cast any defensive spells with a duration of at least one round per level.

The High-Level Ability difficulty setting for mages has these effects:

  • TACTICAL and below: No mages use High-Level Abilities.
  • HARDCORE: Especially powerful mages use High-Level Abilities, but only in the Throne of Bhaal section of the game.
  • INSANE: Especially powerful mages use High-Level Abilities, throughout the game.
  • SUPER INSANE: All mages in the Throne of Bhaal section of the game who can cast ninth-level spells use High-Level Abilities. In the rest of the game, only especially powerful mages use them.
  • LEGACY OF BHAAL: Any mage in the game capable of casting ninth-level spells uses High-Level Abilities.

Smarter Priests

This component upgrades the intelligence of the clerics and fighter-clerics in the game, in much the same way as the "Smarter Mages" component does for mages etc. It is sensitive to the difficulty setting in the same way as that component (note that priest and mage diffiulty may be set independently).

Potions for NPCs

Potions are one of the most effective and cheap ways for a humanoid creature to enhance its combat ability. The party collect literally hundreds of them through the game and can easily buy hundreds more; it's not that realistic that enemy NPCs don't have them. This component gives healing and protection potions of various sorts to humanoid NPCs; it also gives combat-boosting potions to fighters and invisibility potions to thieves. The potion allocation is based on level (the higher level your opponent, the more likely he is to have good potions); it also requires a higher level for a Throne of Bhaal NPC to have potions than for a Shadows of Amn one, since Throne of Bhaal is crawling with mid-level grunts, and a higher level for a Shadows of Amn NPC than for a BG1 one.

This component "plays fair", in the sense that potions are given to NPCs when they are created, not beamed into existence just in time to be drunk. This means you'll probably end up with (even) more potions if you use this component, since you'll be able to steal a few from enemies who are killed before being able to use them. However (as Alesia_BH pointed out to me on the Bioware boards) it's not exactly unrealistic that glass bottles get smashed in the heat of battle. So be default, only 25% of potions are recoverable. You can tweak this in the ini; see under customisation).

The Superior Healing potion only gets given to enemies in Throne of Bhaal (to preserve a flavour difference between the two components).

Improved Spiders

This component enhances the AI (and in some cases, the abilities) of most of the spiders you meet in the game. Its effects will be most noticeable in BG1 - it makes the Cloakwood, in particular, quite challenging. Basically, there are two main changes: giant spiders cast (single-target) webs every few rounds, and wrap their opponents in webbing when they bite them, and phase spiders teleport more effectively. All spiders also have an increased predisposition to attack webbed opponents and poison them.

This component is sensitive to the difficulty slider:

  • BASIC: Spiders behave mostly as they do in the unmodified game.
  • IMPROVED: Phase spiders use their phase-shift ability reasonably intelligently to target opponents, and sometimes use it from off-screen.
  • TACTICAL: Giant spiders gain the ability to spit webbing.
  • HARDCORE and above: Giant spiders get a modified bite attack that does less poison damage, but wraps the target in webbing.

Smarter sirines and dryads (TUTU/BGT/BGEE/EET)

This component improves the intelligence of sirines - their charms will be better targetted and they make more intelligent use of their invisibility. It also adds a little defensive magic to the hamadryad of the cloakwood - she is hopefully a little more of a challenge now.

Slightly smarter carrion crawlers (TUTU/BGT/BGEE/EET)

This small component gives carrion crawlers a slightly smarter script - they know enough to continue paralysing moving opponents before feeding.

Smarter basilisks (TUTU/BGT/BGEE)

This component spreads basilisks' gaze attacks around, rather than mechanically petrifying the nearest target. More importantly, it gives them the intelligence to see (eventually) that some targets are immune altogether, and to concentrate on others.

Improved Golems (BG2, BG2EE, BGT/EET)

This component doesn't really make golems smarter (they're supposed to be stupid) But it streamlines their scripts a bit, gives their weapons a sensible range, makes them immune to Lower Resistance and to poison, and tries to prevent situations where golems get stuck behind barricades. It also fixes an animation glitch in the Iron Golem animation - this hopefully makes iron golems a bit prettier when they attack and blow clouds. As of version 22, it also gives clay golems a cursed-wound weapon, as in PnP Dungeons & Dragons. (You can turn this off before installing - see the customisation section.)

Improved Fiends and Celestials

This component overhauls the "Fiends" (i.e., Baatezu and Tanar'ri, aka Devils and Demons) and "Celestials" (i.e. Devas, Planetars and Solars) throughout the game. More than any other component of this section of SCS , this component not only upgrades their scripting but actually gives them a variety of new magical abilities. I've based the abilities the fiends received on a combination of 2nd and 3rd edition pen-and-paper D&D; details can be found in the Spoilers section. However, the fiends' basic combat abilities and defences remain essentially unchanged: other than a certain amount of systemisation (where two similar-looking fiends have wildly different immunities, for instance) I've left their hit rolls, damage, immunities, magic resistance etc pretty much alone. In fact, in one or two cases I've removed a power (e.g. permanent haste) that seemed to be added as a cheesy way of making a fight harder.

This component is sensitive to the difficulty setting:

  • BASIC: Fiends will attack fairly unintelligently. They will use some of their offensive magical powers, but not the most lethal ones, and mostly will not teleport, attack your magical defenses or renew their own magical defenses.
  • IMPROVED: Fiends will choose their targets intelligently, attack your magical defenses, and use most of their offensive magical powers.
  • TACTICAL: Fiends can use their magical powers instantly and without risk of spell failure. They will teleport around the battlefield for tactical advantage, try to renew their own defenses, and use virtually all of their magical powers. Demon princes will summon demons once per three rounds.
  • HARDCORE: Fiends receive a modest (+50%) boost to their hit points. Balors will use their Implosion power, but only in Throne of Bhaal. Demon princes will summon demons once per two rounds.
  • INSANE: Balors will use their Implosion power whenever they are encountered. Demon princes will summon demons once per round.

Smarter Genies (BG2, BG2EE, BGT, EET)

This component improves the various genies (djinni, efreet, and the like) in BG2. Mostly this is done by improving their scripts and systematising the rather chaotic list of spells and abilities that different genies get (in the original game, if you charmed a genie you'd see that it had a totally different list of spells from the ones it was actually using!) However, the component also changes summoned genies so that they count as "Gated" rather than "Summoned"; the practical consequence of this is that they are immune to Death Spell. This makes genie-summoning rather more useful.

This component is sensitive to the difficulty setting:

  • BASIC: Genies will attack fairly unintelligently, and mostly do not use their invisibility or protective powers.
  • IMPROVED: Genies attack intelligently and use all of their magical powers.
  • TACTICAL: Genies can use their magical powers instantly and without risk of spell failure.
  • HARDCORE and above: Genies receive a modest (+50%) boost to their hit points.

Smarter Dragons (BG2, BG2EE, BGT, EET)

This component improves the intelligence of all the dragons in the game (including Adalon and Fll'Yissetat, but Abazigal is only modified if you also install the "SCS AI for Ascension" component). It tries to do this without granting them new spell-like abilities (the main grey area is exactly how many spells dragons should have: the unmodded game is somewhat inconsistent about it). At any rate, in play you should - hopefully - see dragons being a bit more discerning with their targeting and their spell priorities.

The component also systemises dragons' immunities to be consistent through the game, modifies dragon breath to penetrate magic resistance (the unmodded game is a bit inconsistent on this point, but since the spell Dragon's Breath goes through MR, presumably real dragon breath should too!) and lets dragons cast spells at a more realistic level (usually 15-25 or so).

On higher difficulty settings, the component increases dragon hit points very substantially - tripling them, in fact. At the moment dragons have about 200 hp, which by the late stages of Shadows of Amn really isn't enough to go toe-to-toe with an entire party. Somehow, it doesn't seem right that dragons have to rely on Stoneskin and Protection from Magic Weapons - this component gives them the ability to hang around in battle for longer.

This component is sensitive to the difficulty setting:

  • BASIC: Dragons behave essentially as they do in the unmodified game, though they do not use spell sequencers and triggers.
  • IMPROVED: Dragons use spell sequencers and triggers, and are intelligent enough to attack pre-emptively if the party is clearly preparing to attack them.
  • TACTICAL: Dragons gain the power to cast their spells instantly and without risk of spell failure.
  • HARDCORE: Dragons gain a significant (+ 200%) boost to hit points.
  • INSANE: Dragons have a 50% chance each round to regain use of their breath weapon.

Smarter Beholders (BG2, BG2EE, BGT, EET)

This component upgrades the AI of the beholders, gauths, elder orbs and hive mothers in SoA and ToB. (It basically tries to do it non-cheesily, but it's hard to define this exactly since beholder powers are almost all scripted). Beholders get to use their eyestalks about once per ten seconds each, but they will tend to manage to get through more of them in a round; their targeting has also been drastically improved (the new scripts are about 150 times the length of the old ones!)

In accordance with PnP 2nd edition rules, beholders are now immune to most (not all) of their own eyestalks, which makes them more willing to bombard their way through Spell Deflection. I have added a Telekinesis eyestalk (more for fun than for increased challenge). And I have borrowed, with thanks, the Quest Pack component which allows beholders to lose their eyestalks when damaged. Beholders are also unable to use eyestalk powers when blinded (although their allies may use anti-magic rays to remove the blindness).

Hive mothers use the same range of powers as in the original game, but use them more efficiently, and use their eyestalks in the gap while they're waiting to cast spells again. Elder orbs were tricky because of the rather inconsistent range of powers they show in the unmodded game, but I have interpreted them as casting spells just as standard mages do, and as knowing 2 spells of each level. Their choice of spell, and of Contingency, Spell Trigger et al, has been optimised more, and they too use eyestalk powers while waiting to cast again (and show a preference for short-casting-time spells, so as to allow more eyestalk use.)

It might be worth noting that, even in the unmodded game, hive mothers can see through invisibility (though elder orbs cannot).

In addition, SCS beholders use an alternative form of their antimagic ray. In pen-and-paper D&D, a beholder's eyestalk blocks all magical effects, beneficial or otherwise, on the target for as long as it's targetted. In BG2, the eye is more powerful: it removes all magical effects, blocks spellcasting for several rounds, but doesn't block enemy magic attacks (including the beholder's other eyestalks). If this component is installed, the beholder antimagic ray blocks all magical effects, including harmful ones, for one round, and also disables magical activity (spellcasting etc) by the target for one round; this is supposed to simulate the beholder bathing the target with its antimagic ray for one round.

This component is sensitive to the difficulty setting:

  • BASIC: Beholders use mostly their less-lethal eyestalks (Charm, Fear, Domination, Paralysis, Cause wounds, Slow) and do not use their magic-suppressing central eye. Hive Mothers use only their weaker magic.
  • IMPROVED: Beholders also use their central eye against mages and party defenses. Hive Mothers use their full range of spells.
  • TACTICAL: Beholders use their Death, Petrification and Telekinesis eyestalks; they use the Telekinesis eyestalk to steal some party items (notably the Shield of Balduran, if you have it).
  • HARDCORE: Beholders steal items slightly more quickly.
  • INSANE: Beholders use their Disintegrate eyestalk.

Smarter Mind Flayers (BG2, BG2EE, BGT, EET)

This component improves the intelligence of the mind-flayers and their kin (specifically, it upgrades flayers, ulitharids, vampiric illithids, and the Master Brain). It allows the illithids to use a somewhat wider range of abilities than before (notably, they have access to a few physical psionic attacks, like Ballistic Attack, and they can astrally travel to more convenient bits of the battlefield); it significantly improves their targetting; it allows them to use each power every 2-4 rounds and choose the most appropriate available power; it lets them avoid attacking targets who are immune to their abilities or to their physical attacks.

The component also makes a few changes in how psionic powers work. It mildly increases the damage done by physical psionic attacks (though not to anything like the extent that Tactics does) and it changes "anti-psionic" items so that they do not protect from physical psionic attacks. (On my interpretation, "Ballistic attack" involves using psionics on a rock, not on a PC). This gives illithids a few more options when facing enemies who are shielded from mental attack. The component also systematises illithid magic resistance and level, so that all of them are 90% magic resistant (previously there were a few exceptions) and the same level. As of version 16, it allows illithids' detonation power to destroy skeletons automatically (in accordance with the 2nd edition rules, as it happens).

If the "Smarter Mages" component and this one are both installed, the Alhoon is also upgraded. I interpret him as a L18 mage with the psionic powers of an ulitharid, I also give him the "split mind" psionic power, which allows him to cast a spell and use a psionic power in the same round. (Yes, purists, this is a valid 2nd edition psionic power!) This guy is now fairly dangerous.

This component is sensitive to the difficulty setting:

  • BASIC: Illithids use few powers, and use them fairly unintelligently.
  • IMPROVED: Illithids use Maze and telekinetic attacks; their general targetting intelligence improves.
  • TACTICAL: Illithids' inhumanly high intelligence means that they can ignore Invisibility spells. They use Astral Travel to move quickly around the battlefield, and are too alert for resting to be viable in their cities.
  • HARDCORE and above: Illithids' strange physiology and psionic protections grant them 50% resistance to physical damage. Illithids use their psionics to quickly destroy nonliving opponents such as skeletons.

Improved Vampires (BG2, BG2EE, BGT, EET)

This component upgrades vampires' intelligence and abilities, roughly in line with pen-and-paper Dungeons and Dragons. They should target their magic more effectively, pick on people vulnerable to their level drain, and so forth. The component also standardises vampire statistics a bit (usually increasing vampire ability scores slightly). It allows vampires to summon wolves, bats, or rats (the bat summoning was present in earlier versions but has been toned down), to drink blood (which drains Constitution) as well as draining levels, and to make much more use of their various shapeshifting abilities (bat, rat, wolf, gas cloud).

This component does affect Bodhi, but only if you don't install the "Improved Bodhi" component (in other words, if you want Bodhi to use her original-game abilities more effectively but don't want to give her the extra powers of that component, install Smarter Vampires but not Improved Bodhi).

This component is sensitive to the difficulty slider:

  • BASIC: Vampires fight fairly unintelligently and do not use their supernatural abilities, other than occasional shapeshifting.
  • IMPROVED: Vampires show more care in choosing their targets, actively seeking vulnerable targets; they use their dominating gaze on opponents.
  • TACTICAL: Some vampires summon rats, bats or wolves to aid them. All vampires gain the ability to drink blood (draining Constitution) as well as attacking with energy drain. Some powerful vampires gain other supernatural powers.
  • HARDCORE and above: Some more powerful vampires gain further supernatural powers, mesmerising their opponents or taking mist form to sneak up on them.

Smarter Githyanki (BG2, BG2EE, BGT, EET)

This component improves the githyanki in the game, mostly through better scripting for their psionic powers (those which they demonstrate in-game in one way or another), although it does also slightly raise the level of some of the stronger gith. It also makes the same general upgrade to psionics that the "Smarter Mind Flayers" component does. Finally, it upgrades the githyanki lair in ToB by the rather simple expedient of opening all the doors. ("Sir, just a suggestion, but maybe we should fall on our enemies all at once rather than dividing our forces into four bite-sized chunks?")

Smarter Throne of Bhaal final villain (BG2, BG2EE, BGT, EET)

This component upgrades the AI of the final villain of Throne of Bhaal, in both their Ascension and non-Ascension forms. I try fairly hard to use only those abilities actually demonstrated in-game, although I do fix a bug in the non-Ascension version whereby their last form wasn't using quite the right script.

Smarter Illasera (BG2, BG2EE, BGT, EET - requires Ascension)

This component changes the AI of the Ascension version of Illasera (and her flunkies) to match the SCS norm. Hopefully this makes them more rather than less dangerous (although Ascension AI is pretty good, so I'd welcome feedback).

This component has no effect on the non-Ascension version of Illasera (who is a standard fighter/mage and gets modified by the "Smarter Mages" component). Both the original and the finale versions are affected.

Smarter Gromnir (BG2, BG2EE, BGT, EET - requires Ascension)

This component changes the AI of the Ascension version of Gromnir Il-Khan (and his flunkies) to match the SCS norm. Hopefully this makes them more rather than less dangerous (although Ascension AI is pretty good, so I'd welcome feedback). Both the original and the finale versions are affected.

This component has no effect on the non-Ascension version of Gromnir (who is a standard fighter and gets modified by the "Smarter General AI" component).

Smarter Yaga-Shura (BG2, BG2EE, BGT, EET - requires Ascension)

This component changes the AI of the Ascension version of Yaga-Shura (and his flunkies) to match the SCS norm. Hopefully this makes them more rather than less dangerous (although Ascension AI is pretty good, so I'd welcome feedback). Both the original and the finale versions are affected.

This component has no effect on the non-Ascension version of Yaga-Shura (who is a standard fighter and gets modified by the "Smarter General AI" component).

Smarter Abazigal (BG2, BG2EE, BGT, EET - requires Ascension)

This component tries to upgrade the AI of Abazigal. Both his humanoid and dragon forms are affected; if you have Ascension installed, so is the finale form of Abazigal, and so is his companion Tamah. I try to systematise Abazigal's magical talents a bit, but I don't do anything for which there isn't some existing in-game justification.

Give Ascension versions of Irenicus and Sendai SCS abilities and AI (BG2, BG2EE, BGT, EET - requires Ascension)

Ascension demons use SCS abilities and AI (BG2, BG2EE, BGT - requires Ascension)

These components do exactly what they say: they modify these aspects of Ascension to fit the SCS norm. (Note that only the chapter 10 version of Sendai is affected: the chapter 9 version will use SCS scripting anyway.)

Tactical Challenges for BG1

Though the distinction isn't hard-and-fast, components in this section are less concerned with improving the intelligence of creatures, more concerned with increasing their abilities and numbers. (Though hopefully, creatures remain intelligent and changes remain fairly low-key.) All components in this section are for TUTU/BGT/BGEE installs.

Improved doppelgangers

The doppelgangers in chapter 5 and later are by and large nothing like powerful enough to be an interesting challenge to a Tutu party at that level. This component (which has been overhauled for version 22) improves them mostly by systematising up, so that all ordinary Dopplegangers you meet are as powerful as the toughest ordinary Dopplegangers, and similarly for Greater Dopplegangers. It also increases the power and resources of the doppleganger assassins you meet late in chapter 7, giving them access to some spellcasting power.

This component is sensitive to the difficulty slider:

  • TACTICAL and below: Doppelgangers are at their baseline level.
  • HARDCORE

Tougher Black Talons and Iron Throne guards

This component upgrades the Black Talon Elite and (most of) the Iron Throne mercenaries to L5 fighters. This doesn't have that much effect on the Black Talons (though they are now immune to Sleep); it's quite a substantial boost for some of the Iron Throne flunkies.

Improved Deployment for Parties of Assassins

Two groups of assassins (one made up mostly of dwarves and gnomes, one made up entirely of amazons) hang out in the vicinity of Gullykin. This component removes them from there and makes them proactively hunt the party down instead - they'll show up at random times in chapter 3 once the main character hits third level.

As of version 24, the assassins spawn in the usual random-encounter areas on TUTU and BGEE games, and on BGT games with BGSpawns or BGT-Tweaks spawns. (The old behaviour is fun, but a repeated source of bug reports!) If you want to hold on to the old version, you can force it via the ini file.

Improved kobolds

This component substantially increases the number of kobolds met, and adds some tougher "Guards" and "Chieftains" - the Nashkel Mine becomes less of a walkover, especially if "Better calls for help" is also being used.

This component is substantially based on a small subcomponent of the old "Dark Side of the Sword Coast" mod for BG.

Warning: this is, surprisingly to me, one of the more controversial components, as it's really a fairly sharp increase in difficulty. If your usual play-style is to go to the Nashkel Mines at first level, you may find it tediously difficult (both because you're too low-level to cope with the kobolds, and because you haven't had a chance to get used to SCS).

Relocated bounty hunters

In the original game, a tough group of bounty hunters are waiting pointlessly in a locked building in the Docks, with no explanation as to why. This small component moves them to somewhere more interesting - see here to find out where, if you want to spoil the suspense.

Improved Ulcaster

This component improves two of the tougher monsters in Ulcaster: Icharyd and the Vampiric Wolf. Both are pretty straightforward opponents in Tutu (more so than I remember from the original BG) and this component gives them a fighting chance. Both gain a few more hit points and some special powers (the Vampiric Wolf's powers are specific to the one in the ruins, they don't apply to all vampiric wolves).

Improved Balduran's Isle

This component makes a number of changes to the "Balduran's Isle" component of Tales of the Sword Coast. A couple of the main fights are made more interesting and the dialogue with Kaishas and Mendas is substantially altered. It is now possible to seek a significantly less bloody resolution to the island voyage. (See here for details.)

The non-tactical part of this component is now also a component in "The Calling", a new Gibberlings Three mod. They are compatible; install the Calling first.

Improved Durlag's Tower

This component improves the tactical challenge of a number of the key battles in Durlag's Tower. It is designed to be used with the "Smarter Mages" and "Smarter Priests" components, though it's playable without them. (See here for details.)

Several of these battles are now quite hard, though still perfectly doable by a seventh-eighth level party.

This component is sensitive to the difficulty slider:

  • BASIC: The guardians of the first level (Love, Pride etc.) use no supernatural abilities.
  • IMPROVED: The guardians use their supernatural powers, but quite infrequently.
  • TACTICAL: The guardians use their supernatural powers more frequently.
  • HARDCORE and above: The guardians use their powers almost constantly. The Demon Knight's mirror generates copies of the party, not generic Mirror Fiends, and the Demon Knight itself is significantly enhanced.

Improved Demon Cultists

This component ups the capabilities of the demon cultists you meet in TotSC. (See here for details.) It's also pretty difficult for a party that isn't already 7th-8th level - be warned.

Improved Cloakwood druids

The druids of the cloakwood, even with improved scripting, are a pushover for a well-played party. This component increases their levels slightly and gives each a couple of low-level acolytes.

Improved Bassilus

This component slightly increases Bassilus's level; it also makes his undead flunkies die off a little less quickly even if you say the right thing to him.

Improved Drasus party

This component upgrades the group of mercenaries you meet in chapter 4 guarding the Cloakwood mines: each gains a couple of levels.

Improved Red Wizards

This component adds three levels to each of the Red Wizards of Thay you can meet in the Wood of Sharp Teeth.

Improved Undercity assassins

This component enhances the (optional) final group of assassins you meet - each gains about three levels.

Tougher chapter-two end battle

Tougher chapter-three end battle

Tougher chapter-four end battle

Tougher chapter-five end battle

These components improve the strength and numbers of the opposition in the end battles in chapters 2-5 - they are "upgraded" rather than massively overhauled, so they still aren't ridiculously hard. See here for details. (There isn't currently a version for chapter 6 - I was dissatisfied with my previous one but haven't gotten around to putting something new together.)

Improved final battle

By the end of the Tutu version of TotSC, the final battle of BG isn't much of a challenge. This component tries to change that and provide a worthier finale to the adventure. It turns out that Sarevok didn't just flee to the Temple of Bhaal because it looked pretty - he has other surprises... (see here for details).

Improved miscellaneous encounters

This component mildly increases the difficulty of a half-dozen or so battles scattered through the game, usually by increasing opponents' levels by one or two. It creates "divertingly" difficult fights rather than really stiff challenges. See here for the specific battles if you want to spoil the surprise!

Tactical Challenges for BG2

Though the distinction isn't hard-and-fast, components in this section are less concerned with improving the intelligence of creatures, more concerned with increasing their abilities and numbers. (Though hopefully, creatures remain intelligent and changes remain fairly low-key.) All components in this section are for BG2, BG2EE, BGT installs.

Make the starting dungeon slightly harder

This is a very low-key modification to the initial dungeon. It replaces the pathetic goblins with duergar (which I think has a better "feel" to it in any case) and it prevents you from sleeping more than once. (I allow you to sleep once because (i) it gives you a chance to choose your spells, and (ii) Imoen has some rest-related dialogue that I don't want to block.)

Improved Shade Lord

This component upgrades the Shade Lord, mostly by giving him additional magical powers (though his hit points are also increased). Unlike most SCS components, this one doesn't make any particular effort to stick with the vanilla game or with anything from PnP source material: like the Wolf of Ulcaster, the Shade Lord has his own unique abilities.

Spellcasting Demiliches

This component (which requires "smarter mages") makes demiliches more like their third-edition versions. The demilich Imprisonment ability has been nerfed: it now grants a saving throw vs. death at -5, although it also causes level drain even on a successful save. Demiliches are still 100% immune to magic, but they are not additionally immune to spells of L6 or above (this means that high-level antimagic works on them).

On the other hand, demiliches are now by-the-book 35th level wizards with significantly accelerated casting times (and the ability to use their Imprisonment ability in the same round that they cast a spell). (Only the demilich in WK has access to HLAs.) The net effect should be to make demiliches quite significantly more dangerous.

Tie difficulty of level-dependent monster groupings to the difficulty slider

At various points in the unmodded game, BG2 chooses the strength of the monsters you face based on your level. Typically there are four encounters, and which one you get depends on your experience level.

This component causes the game to give you somewhat tougher choices. It is sensitive to the difficulty setting:

  • IMPROVED and below:Random monster spawns are as in the unmodified game (so, tied to level and game progression).
  • TACTICAL: Random monster spawns are slightly enhanced from the unmodified game.
  • HARDCORE: Random monster spawns are significantly enhanced from the unmodified game.
  • INSANE: Random monster spawns are very significantly enhanced from the unmodified game.
  • LEGACY OF BHAAL:Random monster spawns are maximum difficulty, whatever your level or chapter.

Improved Random Encounters

This component adds a little more variety and challenge to the "You have been waylaid by enemies" encounters. The main point of this component was not so much to make random encounters more difficult (though it does that too, to some extent) as to make them less repetitive - there are now about a dozen encounters, and the order in which they occur is somewhat randomised.

Improved D'Arnise Keep

This component adds more trolls to the keep, including some powerful spellcasting spirit trolls, and upgrades Torgal a bit.

The component, though not identical to the "Tougher Torgal" component of Tactics, is strongly influenced by it. The main differences from the Tactics version are a wider variety of troll reinforcements (not just spirit trolls) and a (hopefully!) cleverer, but slightly less tough, Torgal (who, in this version, has not stolen one of the flail heads).

Improved Unseeing Eye

The original Unseeing Eye is actually a fairly ineffectual high-level spellcaster. This component shifts it into an Elder Orb (I assume that, just as the Eye grants magical sight to its blind followers, so it grants itself the magical use of its eyestalks even though strictly it's blind; I do assume its central eye is inoperative, though) and makes it virtually immune to damage (Demilich-level immunities) until the Rift device is used. Even once the device is used, the Eye will still put up a reasonable fight.

Improved Bodhi

This component is inspired by the Improved Bodhi in Westley Weimer's Tactics mod. To quote from the readme to that mod:

Sigh. Bodhi is worth 91K XP -- more than almost anything else in the game. And yet she is a mere brute-force melee fighter who doesn't even drink healing potions. We make her more intelligent ... and give her some impressive pseudo-magical powers associated with vampires of myth and legend. Bodhi gains dominion over bats, the cold, the ground and the grave.

The SCS version of Improved Bodhi is updated to use modern WeiDU coding (to help with compatibility-friendliness) and SCS AI scripting.

You can fight Bodhi in chapters 3 and 6; in chapter 3 (again, following Tactics) she'll pull her punches.

This component is sensitive to the difficulty setting:

  • BASIC: Bodhi is protected only by fledgling vampires and by a few other undead, and uses few supernatural abilities.
  • IMPROVED: Bodhi uses her Buried Alive (slowing and weakening), Touch of Death (vampiric touch) and Call of the Mistress (control undead) supernatural powers; her allies include two full-strength vampires.
  • TACTICAL: Bodhi also uses her Cloud of Bats (similar to Insect Plague), Abyssal Darkness (blindness) and Sepulchral Sleep (unconsciousness). Her allies now include four adult vampires.
  • HARDCORE: Bodhi also uses her Chill of the Grave (cold damage) supernatural power; she is served by two vampire mages.
  • INSANE: Bodhi's physical abilities and resistances are substantially enhanced (matching the original Tactics version); she gains a permanent Deathly Shroud (cold fire shield) and is immune to first and second level spells. Two ancient vampires join her defenders.

Ascension version of Bodhi uses Improved-Bodhi abilities

This component extends 'improved Bodhi' to apply to the version of Bodhi you encounter in Ascension. It (obviously) requires both Ascension and Improved Bodhi.

Party's items are taken from them in Spellhold

This component does essentially what it says: when the party are captured in chapter 4, their equipment is taken from them and they have to survive the maze beneath Spellhold without it. A small amount of nonmagical equipment is available relatively quickly in the Asylum. Players (even solo players) might want to note that Imoen does carry the Enchanted Weapon spell.

This component is rather similar to a component of the "Big Picture" mod, but it's coded rather differently: most importantly, it creates a dynamic list of all the items in the game, which should prevent the "missing-item" bugs that caused some problems with the Big Picture component. It's compatible with the Big Picture version in the following sense: if you install the SCS version after the BP version, SCS dynamic-item-generation will be added to the BP version but that version will otherwise be left alone. Don't install the BP version after the SCS version, though.

This component is sensitive to the difficulty setting:

  • TACTICAL or lower: A Clay Golem (hard to injure, and with cursed wounds in SCS) is removed from the Asylum.
  • HARDCORE or above: The Clay Golem is left in place.

Improved battle with Irenicus in Spellhold

This component improves the clones summoned by Irenicus in the end-of-chapter-4 battle (see the Spoilers for details).

Improved Sahuagin

This component improves all sahuagin in the game (but especially the ones in the sunken city). No new creatures are added, and no special powers are granted, but the sahuagin statistics are systematised and generally improved slightly, and their scripting is smarter. (Various clues in the vanilla game suggest that sahuagin priestesses are cleric/mages; I disregard this and treat them as standard clerics.)

Overall, this component should be a bit more difficult than the vanilla sahuagin, but nothing like as powerful as Tactics' Improved Sahuagin.

Improved beholder hive

This component (adapted from Quest Pack) adds a few extra beholders to the hive in the Underdark, notably including a Hive Mother.

This component is sensitive to the difficulty setting:

  • BASIC: The Elder Orb moves to a more sensible place in the hive, but there are no other changes.
  • IMPROVED: A beholder is added to the hive.
  • TACTICAL: A Hive Mother and a beholder are added to the hive.
  • HARDCORE: A Hive Mother, a beholder, and two Death Tyrants are added to the hive.
  • INSANE: A Hive Mother, three beholders, two Death Tyrants, and two gauth are added to the hive.

Rebalanced Troll Regeneration

By default, the trolls in Infinity Engine games regenerate slowly, but upon being reduced to 1 hp go into a coma - in the coma they can be killed by fire or acid but are immune to all other effects. By fairly common consent, this doesn't work so well. Troll regeneration is too slow to make much difference in combat, and the iconic role of fire or acid is reduced to a coup de grace. (It doesn't help that the actual implementation is a bit glitchy, with trolls often taking a while to enter their coma phase.)

This component (inspired by the Pathfinder RPG) makes two modifications to trolls. Firstly, their base regeneration rate is doubled, and while regenerating they cannot die (they still go into a coma at 1 hp). But secondly, any time they take fire or acid damage their regeneration is halted for one round. So as long as you keep fire or acid damage active on a troll, they can be harmed and killed normally - but if you stop doing so, they will rapidly recover.

(There is actually a third modification: for technical reasons, fire and acid do one extra point of damage to trolls.)

Improved Drow

This component makes a number of small improvements to the drow of chapter 5 (it doesn't affect the drow of Sendai's enclave). It slightly increases the combat proficiency of drow soldiers, it adds a few extra drow to one of the Underdark ambushes and a few extra priests to the Ghaunadans; it improves the drow battlegroup defending the doors to the Underdark; it slightly optimises House Jae'llat nobles and adds one more noble and a few commoner priests and mages.

Notably, it also dramatically beefs up the defences of Ust Natha (as of version 8. The place is a drow city, not the kind of place that even a 15th level adventuring party should be able to wipe out. Now, more defenders will continuously spawn. Initially, this will be disorganised, low-level groups. After that, the drow will get more organised and start sending serious war-parties against the party. Eventually truly powerful groups of mages and high priestesses will turn up.

Warning: this component is not intended to make the conquest of the drow city somewhat more interesting and challenging: it is meant to make it virtually impossible, especially on higher difficulty settings. It's possible to beat the drow and conquer Ust Natha without exploits, but it will be extremely difficult and it's not the intended playstyle (i.e., if you manage to do it, don't complain to me that it's too difficult or time-consuming!) The sane thing to do is to get out as soon as you can; even that will probably be a bit trickier than usual.

This component is sensitive to the difficulty setting:

  • BASIC: Ust Natha is defended by two disorganised groups of drow and one elite force of mages and clerics.
  • IMPROVED: Ust Natha is defended by four disorganised groups of drow and one elite force of mages and clerics.
  • TACTICAL: Ust Natha is defended by four disorganised groups, an organised war party and three elite groups.
  • HARDCORE: Ust Natha is defended by four disorganised groups, three organised war parties, an elite group of mages, and a Matron Mother with demonic allies.
  • INSANE: Ust Natha is defended by four disorganised groups, seven organised war parties, two elite groups of mages and clerics, an elite group of mages, and a Matron Mother with demonic allies.

Improved Watcher's Keep

This component makes small changes to a few areas in Watcher's Keep to make them more tactically interesting. The changes aren't too dramatic; they shouldn't change the feel of the place much. See the spoilers section for details.

Improved Fire Giant Temple

This component improves various aspects of the Yaga-Shura part of chapter 8. Fire giants acquire some high-level abilities; elemental creatures are slightly improved and given better scripts; a couple of bonus monsters are added.

Improved Sendai's Enclave

This component improves a number of sections of the approach to Sendai. Drow spellcasters become slightly higher-level and can summon more dangerous allies; the drow war-parties are tougher and reinforced by other creatures; the illithid ambush is less of a joke. Also, the final battle with Sendai is modified: no actual creature in the battle is altered at all (though other components of SCS will alter them) but the statues activate and attack in a more efficient fashion.

Improved Abazigal's Lair

This component improves some parts of Abazigal's lair by adding several new encounters and toughening up the existing ones. See the spoilers for details.

Improved Minor Encounters

This component slightly improves the difficulty of a small number of encounters scattered across the game (see spoilers for details).

Spell system changes

These are the changes made to the spell system by the "Initialise AI" component of SCS. They can be fine-tuned via the .ini file (see under customisation) but the AI will assume all are installed and you may get odd results if you disable any of them. The details depend which spell system you are using (the unmodified system, Spell Revisions, or the new spells from Icewind Dale).

Universal changes

These changes are made irrespective of the underlying spell system.

More consistent Breach spell (always affects liches and rakshasas; doesn't penetrate Spell Turning)

Although it isn't documented, the 5th level spell Breach will remove a creature's combat protections (such as Stoneskin) even if that creature is protected by Spell Deflection, Spell Turning or Spell Trap; it will not, however, affect creatures like liches or rakshasas, because they are immune to spells of level 5 or below. This component removes both features: Breach now bounces off Spell Turning (etc.), but it affects even those creatures immune to "normal" 5th level spells.

Once this is installed, the Breach effect of the Wand of Spell Striking will behave in exactly the same way as the Breach spell.

Grant large, flying, non-solid or similar creatures immunity to Web and Entangle

Logically, things like Fire Elementals, Grey Oozes, and Giants ought to be unaffected by Web and Entangle effects. This component grants them immunity to those effects. Affected creatures are Elementals (all except small Earth), djinnis, efreetis, anything larger and stronger than an ogre (which basically means umber hulks, shambling mounds, large demons, giants, otyughs, and wyverns), magical flying swords, and oozes and slimes.

Grant complete immunity to elemental-damage spells if you are 100-percent resistant.

In the unmodded game, damage can interrupt spellcassting even if you are have 100% damage resistance to that damage type. This component grants complete immunity to any spell whose only effect is to apply a damage type to which you are 100% resistant.

The implementation of this component is much smoother on an Enhanced-Edition game. On the original game, it only works approximately (and it modifies the Protection from the Elements spell to give 100% immunity). On a non-Enhanced-Edition install with Spell Revisions present, only Protection from the Elements is modified to grant immunity.

Alignment-appropriate fiends (BG2EE,BG2,BGT,EET)

The fiend-summoning spells (Cacofiend, Summon Fiend, Gate) are a little inconsistent in the kinds of fiends they summon: Cacofiend and Summon Fiend summon chaotic evil tanar'ri (demons), Gate summons lawful evil baatezu (devils). This component causes the fiends that are summoned to be on the same point of the Law/Chaos axis as the caster: Lawful characters will summon Bone Fiends, Cornugons and Pit Fiends; Chaotic characters will summon Nabassu, Glabrezu and Balors. (Neutral characters will get a random choice.)

(This is partly for flavor, partly for variety, and partly because tanar'ri and baatezu attack each other on sight and this causes trouble for high-level wizards who summon multiple fiends.)

Add extra spell scrolls for hard-to-find spells (BG2EE,BG2,BGT,EET)

This component adds one extra copy of a few spells into shops in Amn and Trademeet. The spells are chosen to be ones which otherwise tend only to be found late in the game or only given good luck with random loot.

The affected spells are Bigby's Clenched Fist, Bigby's Crushing Hand, Control Undead, Improved Mantle, Invisibility 10' Radius, Mordenkainen's Sword, Pierce Shield, Remove Magic, Ruby Ray of Reversal, Spell Shield, Stone to Flesh, and Summon Nishruu. The location of the scrolls is determined randomly at install time.

Make Freedom scrolls available earlier (BG2, BG2EE, BGT, EET)

Scrolls of Freedom (the spell that reverses Imprisonment) are fairly thin on the ground early in SoA, whereas Liches love Imprisoning people. This component makes a few scrolls of Freedom available from Athkatlan stores (the Coppor Coronet and the Adventurer's Mart, in fact.)

Make elemental arrows like BG2 (TUTU,BGEE)

The arrows of Fire, Ice and Acid in BG are seriously powerful in terms of damage done - much more so than their equivalents in BG2, presumably because the designers chose to tone it down a bit. This component applies a similar tonedown to BG.

It also removes (undocumented, save in EE) bonuses to hit and damage for Fire Arrows.

Reintroduce potions of extra-healing (TUTU,BGT,BGEE)

This places smallish numbers of potions of extra-healing at some of the temples (see here for details) on the Sword Coast. It's mostly here because some of the enhanced encounters give potions of extra-healing to the bad guys, and it's rather unfair if the player can't buy them too.

Non-Spell Revisions changes

These changes are made only if you are not playing with Spell Revisions.

Revert Greater Restoration back to only affecting one creature (BG2,BGT)

Throne of Bhaal makes an undocumented (but widely known) modification to the Greater Restoration spell, making it into an area-effect spell that heals the entire party. This component reverts Greater Restoration to its SoA version (also its BGEE version), where only one creature can be affected.

Make Protection from Normal Missiles affect some magical projectiles

This component improves the power of the Protection from Normal Missiles spell. It now blocks most magical arrows, bolts etc that lack a formal "plus": that is, it blocks fire arrows, ice arrows and the like. The exceptions are the Arrows of Detonation, the Arrows of Slaying, and the Arrows of Dispelling. Especially combined with the component that replaces +1 weapons with nonmagical weapons, this significantly increases the usefulness of the spell (read: makes it not entirely useless for NPC mages).

Allow Spellstrike to take down a Protection from Magic scroll (BG2,BGEE,BGT,EET)

In the original game, the protective sphere produced by a Protection from Magic scroll is completely impenetrable by any spell at all - if you use one, all a hostile wizard can do is run away or fight in melee. This component allows the most powerful mage anti-magic spell, the 9th level spell Spellstrike, to destroy the anti-magic sphere of one of these scrolls. It also allows the anti-magic ray of the Hive Mother beholder to destroy the sphere.

If you are using the Icewind Dale spell system, Spellstrike and the Hive Mother ray can also destroy an Anti-Magic Shell.

Antimagic attacks penetrate improved invisibility

This component changes those spells which target a creature's spell defences (e.g. Secret Word, Spellstrike, Ruby Ray of Reversal - but not Breach) so as to allow them to target creatures which are protected by Improved Invisibility. The idea of this component is that these spells can now be cast on enemy mages who are protected by Improved Invisibility - this makes the Improved Invisibility / Spell Immunity: Divination combination less overpowering.

The antimagic attacks of enemy mages will bypass Improved Invisibility even if you don't install this component.

Blade Barrier and Globe of Blades only affect hostile creatures

Even in the unmodded game, hostile priests used a special form of Blade Barrier that only affected their foes. (This is probably because, in the Infinity Engine, it is almost impossible to script creatures to avoid them crashing into each other.) This component (again in the name of fairness, and also of hassle avoidance) extends this to the player's version of these two spells: with it installed, players and NPCs use the same form of Blade Barrier. (They don't quite use the old NPC version, which had a rather shorter range: they use a hybrid version, as large as the old PC version but affecting only enemies).

Symbols only affect hostile creatures

For similar reasons, hostile spellcasters in the unmodded game used a special form of Symbol that only affects their foes. This component (again, for fairness and hassle avoidance) applies this to the player's version of all Symbol spells.

Make Power Word: Blind a single-target spell (BG2EE,BG2,BGT, EET)

Unlike other Power Words, Power Word: Blind has a small area of effect. This both makes it rather powerful, and makes it virtually impossible for enemy AI to use without "friendly-fire" incidents. This component just makes Power Word: Blind target a single creature.

Make Minute Meteors into +2 weapons (BG2EE,BG2,BGT)

In the unmodded game, the meteors created by the third-level Melf's Minute Meteors spell strike as +6 weapons, enough to penetrate any creature's resistances and to cut through even the Absolute Immunity spell. This strikes me as a bit overpowered for a third-level spell. This component makes meteors +2 - still enough to hit most creatures, but not enough to cut through any of the protection-from-magic-weapon spells.

Rebalance Insect Plague spells (and the like)

In the unmodified game, Insect Plague and Creeping Doom (and, to a lesser extent, Summon Insects) are very hard indeed for a spellcaster to deal with or defend against. This component (which was partly inspired by Demivrgvs's Spell Revisions) grants a per-round saving throw against the spell-failure effects of the insects. It also handles the insects more systematically as summoned creatures: they cannot harm or affect creatures immune to nonmagical weapons; they are unaffected by antimagic or by Dispel Magic; they will not attack undead creatures, and cannot penetrate the extreme heat or cold of a Fire Shield.

Remove the elemental-battle aspect of mages' Conjure Elemental spells

The fifth- and sixth-level Conjure Elemental spells on the mage spell list require a three-round mental battle to control the elemental. This in practice makes the spell mostly useless (three rounds is far too long to stand around in combat; players could cast it in advance, but the AI can't) and in any case very underpowered. This component just makes the summoned elemental directly under the player's control.

Modify the Harm spell so it does damage rather than reducing target to 1 hp (BG2,BGT)

The Harm spell reduces its target to 1 hp in 2nd edition D&D; in 3rd edition, it does a large amount of damage instead. This component modifies Harm to work more like the 3rd edition spell: it inflicts 150 hp damage, with no saving throw, on a successful touch attack, to a minimum of 1 hp. The rationale for this is that Harm (especially combined with Critical Strike) is otherwise an almost-instant way of eliminating even foes with hundreds of hit points. Harm remains lethal in this component, but is not quite so overwhelming.

Allow players to use the individual versions of Spell Immunity in triggers

Spell Immunity is really eight sub-spells. This component allows a subspell to be placed into a Contingency or Spell Trigger.

On Enhanced-Edition installs, this is done crudely, by introducing scrolls of the eight different versions of Spell Immunity. ToBex allows it to be done more smoothly on original-game installs.

Make spell sequencers, spell triggers, and contingencies learnable by all mages

In the unmodded game, spell sequencers, contingencies etc are in the Evocation school, making them unavailable to Enchanters; this is a serious weakness for the class. This component moves them to be in both the Conjuration and Evocation schools (like Wish), so that all mages may use them. The affected spells are Minor Sequencer, Spell Sequencer, Spell Trigger, Contingency, and Chain Contingency.

Note that if you have Smarter Mages installed, SCS enchanters will use sequencers and the like even if you do not have this component installed.

Give True Sight the ability to prevent magical blindness

This spell modifies True Sight (and the clerical version, True Seeing) so that the caster is immune to Blindness while the spell is effective; existing Blindness effects are also removed.

(The main reason for this change is that Blindness is essentially lethal for enemies (especially spellcasters). With this change, Truesight effectively works like Vocalize, in addition to its other effects.)

Slightly increase the power of Mantle, Improved Mantle, and Absolute Immunity (BG2EE,BG2,BGT,EET)

In the unmodded game, Mantle protects you from +2 or weaker weapons, Improved Mantle from +3 or weaker weapons, and Absolute Immunity from +5 or weaker weapons. In all cases, arguably this is slightly too weak given the prevalence of such weapons in the game. This component increases each protective range by one: Mantle protects against +3 or weaker weapons, Improved Mantle against +4 or weaker weapons, and Absolute Immunity against +6 or weaker weapons (i.e., basically everything.)

The mage AI, in choosing its defensive spells, assumes that this component is installed; if you don't install it, mages may be slightly too willing to use Mantle etc instead of Protection from Magic Weapons, though this shouldn't be too noticeable.

Cap damage done by Skull Trap at 12d6

Skull Trap, like the other L3 spells Fireball and Lightning Bolt, does 1d6 damage per level. Unlike those spells, though (and, I suspect, via an oversight on the developers' part, though I could be wrong) Skull Trap's damage is not capped at 10d6, which makes it extremely lethal for a third level spell by the later part of the game. This component caps the damage of Skull Trap at 12d6 (the slightly higher cap reflects the much shorter range of Skull Trap compared to Fireball.

I don't know whether this component makes the game net easier or harder. I was led to write it after seeing a lich in SCS playtesting cast a 3xSkull Trap Spell Sequencer, doing about 100 hp damage even to characters who made all their saving throws.

Prevent clones made by the Simulacrum and Project Image spells from using their magic items (BG2EE,BG2,BGT)

At present, clones can use magic items belonging to their creator - even one-shot items - which arguably isn't what the spell is intended to do. This component blocks use of useable items, by greying out the quick-item bar for clones. Magic weapons, armour, and protective devices still function normally.

Icewind Dale divine changes

These changes are made only if you have the divine spells (from IWDifications, or from SCS) installed.

Enhance Impervious Sanctity of Mind

The Icewind Dale spell 'Impervious Sanctity of Mind' is seventh level but functionally identical to the BG2 spell Chaotic Commands (except it's self-only). This component enhances it to add a Spell Shield effect (first anti-magic spell absorbed harmlessly) and grant immunity to spell failure (though spells can still be disrupted by damage).

I will admit that this change, and the next, have an ulterior motive: I want to experiment with giving clerics more defensive magic. (At present, they can be killed off very quickly by a party.)

Rename and tweak Shield of Lathander

Shield of Lathander, another Icewind Dale spell, is a thematically awkward fit for Baldur's Gate, where clerics can have kits that dedicate them to specific gods. This component renames the spell to 'Divine Protection' and makes it usable by clerics of all alignments; it also restricts it to be self-only, since I think the third-party-target version is probably quite exploitable.

Increase duration of Circle of Bones

The Icewind Dale spell 'Circle of Bones' (basically a low-level version of Blade Barrier) is thematically cool but very underpowered given its short (3-round) duration. This component increases the duration to one round per level, to a maximum of 20 rounds.

Increase damage of Thorn Spray

Similarly, the Icewind Dale spell 'Thorn Spray' is thematically cool but very underpowered given its low damage. This component increases the damage to 4d12.

Entropy Shield protects from abjurations

In IWD:EE (and in IWDification) Entropy Shield has powerful, hidden protections: it makes the caster immune to Imprisonment, Spellstrike and Breach (the only spell that can take it down!).

This is pretty obviously a bug. None of these spells exist in vanilla IWD; there is no added documentation; what blocks them is that they all use the same projectile file (a green sparkling ball); that projectile is in just the right place to be accidently blocked by someone making an out-by-one error in editing the spell. The version of the spell shipped with SCS fixes the bug.

That said, it's actually quite an interesting thing to do to what's otherwise a somewhat underpowered spell, and usefully improves clerics' somewhat weak defenses, making NPC clerics more capable of surviving a few rounds. So we systematise it a bit, making it block Breach, Dispel Magic and Imprisonment, but not anti-spell attacks (and changing its type to SPELLPROTECTION, so that it can be removed by those spells).

Icewind Dale arcane changes

These changes are made only if you have the arcane spells (from IWDifications, or from SCS) installed.

Rebalance Acid Storm

The seventh-level spell Acid Storm inflicts a small amount of damage once per round, with no saving throw, on all in its area of effect for one round per level. The damage itself from the spell is minor, but this is an absolutely devastating way to shut down spellcasting.

This (admittedly somewhat experimental) rebalancing makes Acid Storm more like an area-effect version of Vitriolic Sphere, inflicting more damage but for a shorter time.

Reduce the maximum damage from Mordenkainen's Force Missiles

Mordenkainen's Force Missiles, a 4th level spell, creates one missile plus one more per three levels above 7th, to a maximum of 7 missiles at 25th level; each missile does 2d4 damage (no save) and then does 1 point of damage per level of the caster (maximum 25) in a small area-of-effect, with a save to avoid. At 25th level, that's potentially 175+14d4 damage, which is pretty ridiculous for a 4th level spell. Put three of them into a sequencer, and now the damage is 525+42d4, which is ludicrous.

This component caps the number of missiles at 4, and the area-of-effect damage per missile at 15. (And I'm still worried it's overpowered.)

Add 'Create Boneguard' as a 9th level spell

The Icewind Dale spell Monster Summoning VII has, among its possible summons, a Boneguard. I think summoning undead with a Conjuration spell is a little weird, so this component splits off a new 9th level spell, 'Create Boneguard', that summons 1d2 Boneguards. (Effectively it's Monster Summoning VII, restricted to always call Boneguards.)

Customisation options (contains spoilers)

A significant amount of "fine tuning" of SCS is available over and above your install options and the difficulty settings. There are three ways to do this: the console, the ini file, and override files. The first is done during play after installing; the other two must be done before installing.

Note that just because I make the option available, that doesn't mean I recommend using it! All this section is "at own risk" to a greater or lesser degree.

The console

The console can be accessed in the original version of the game by (1) adding the line "Cheats=1" (without the quote marks) to the baldur.ini file in your game directory, just below the line "[Game Options]", and then (2) pressing CTRL-SPACE in-game. For the advanced version of the game it's marginally more complicated, so I'll just get you to google for it.

The options are all controlled by setting certain global variables, which is done by typing this command:

C:SetGlobal("[Global to set]","GLOBAL",[value to set it to])

So for instance, to set the variable SeduceBodhi to 3, type

C:SetGlobal("SeduceBodhi","GLOBAL",3).

If you're not playing on the Enhanced Edition, replace "C:" with "CLUAConsole:", as in

CLUAConsole:SetGlobal("SeduceBodhi","GLOBAL",3).

The variables that can be set in SCS are these (all start as 0):
  • DMWWDisableBeholderTheft - set to 1 if you want to block beholders from stealing the Cloak of Mirroring or the Shield of Balduran with their telekinesis eye.
  • DMWWImprisonPlayer - set to 1 if you want enemy spellcasters to try using Imprisonment on your main character - which, be warned, ends the game if they succeed. (If you are using either Spell Revisions or TheBigg's safe version of Imprisonment, this is controlled by DMWWMazePlayer instead.)
  • DMWWMazePlayer - set to 1 if you want enemy spellcasters to avoid using Maze on your main character (which ends the game on solo mode, and which some people dislike even in group play). Note that the convention is opposite to DMWWMazePlayer, because I use Maze by default.
  • DMWWDisintegratePlayer - set to 1 if you want enemy spellcasters (and beholders) to try using Disintegrate on your main character; set to 2 if you want them to be willing to use triple-disintegrate sequencers on your main character. This only applies to Spell Revisions.
  • DMWWPetrifyPlayer - set to 1 if you want enemy spellcasters (and beholders, and dao) to try using Flesh to Stone on your main character.
  • DMWWNeutralPrebuff - set to 1 to allow neutral mages and priests to have long-term defences like Stoneskin in place, rather than insta-casting them when they go [Note: this is disabled as of v32].
  • hostile. (Arguably this is more realistic, but it can be offputting.)
  • DMWWTimestopMeleeAlways - set to 1 if you want to allow enemy fighter-mages (this in particular affects Irenicus in Hell) and Melissan to attack during Timestop spells. (By default, they only do so on INSANE difficulty, or TACTICAL difficulty for Melissan.)
  • DMWWTimestopMeleeNever - set to 1 if you want to block Timestop melee even on the hardest difficulty settings.
  • DMWWIllithidsAreVisible - set to 1 if you want to prevent Illithids (on Tactical difficulty or above) from being invisible by default even when the player is not in sight.
  • DMWWNoSkeletonDetonate - set to 1 if you want to prevent Illithids (on Hardcore difficulty or above) from using their psionics to destroy skeletons.
  • DMWWBonusMerchantSpawn - set to 3 if you're bored of waiting for Joluv and Deirdre to show up.
  • DMWWNoSkeletonDetonate - set to 1 if you don't want illithids' psionic detonation to destroy skeletons.
  • DMWWSorcerersBuff - set to 1 if you want the Ease-of-Use AI to get sorcerers to auto-cast spells.
  • DMWWShamansBuff - set to 1 if you want the Ease-of-Use AI to get shamans to auto-cast spells.
In addition, all the difficulties for the individual components are controlled by global variables, on this scale: 0=DEFAULT (i.e., follow the slider), 1=BASIC, 2=IMPROVED, 3=TACTICAl, 4=HARDCORE, 5=INSANE, 6=SUPER-INSANE, 7=LEGACY OF BHAAL. If you want to bypass the innate-ability dialog and set the difficulty directly at the console, you can find the variable names in stratagems/lib/difficulty_controls.2da.

The ini file

The file "stratagems.ini", found in the stratagems directory, allows fine-tuning of install options not available via the main installer. To do this, just edit the file in Notepad or another text editor. Each line consists of a configuration option, then '=', then a number (or in one case a string). The only thing you should edit is the number (or string).

The current player-usable options are listed below, by section. (Don't change anything not listed; these are work-in-progress and/or part of the testing framework.) I list the default value in parentheses after the setting.

Spell system changes

These variables all control the individual changes to the spell system (see documentation here). Setting each to 1 disables the respective change.

Nerfed items

These variables control the individual item tweaks in the 'Move or modify some overpowered items' component (see full details here). Setting each to 1 disables the respective change.

Component tweaks

These make small changes to individual components.

  • Mage_Level_Add(0) - this value is applied as an additive modifier to the level of all mages in the game (subject to a minimum level of 1 and a maximum of 40). So if you set it to "-5", all mages will be 5 levels lower than in the baseline install.
  • Mage_Level_Scale(100) - this value (which must be a positive integer) is applied as a percentage scale to the level of all mages in the game (subject to a minimum level of 1 and a maximum of 40). So if you set it to 125, all mages will be 25 percent higher level than in the baseline install. Mage_Level_Scale is evaluated before Mage_Level_Add.
  • Priest_Level_Add, Priest_Level_Scale - as above, but for priests
  • No_Deployment_Change(0) - set to 1 to bypass the changes in (BG1) deployment made by the "Smarter general AI" component. (This reverts to the setup where creatures stand around waiting to be attacked, or come up to you to talk to you before attacking.)
  • No_Cursed_Golem_Wounds(0) - set to 1 to bypass the cursed wounds caused by Clay Golems.
  • Bypass_Dragon_Immunity_Changes(0) - set to 1 to prevent "Smarter Dragons" systematising the various immunities available to dragons.
  • Spellhold_Easycore(0) - set to 1 to get access to your stolen items (in "party items are removed") before the final confrontation with Irenicus. (This mildly tangles up the plot.)
  • Fiend_Staying_Power(150) - this is the actual percentage multiplier for the hit points of fiends if you install the "increased fiend hit points" subcomponent.
  • Dragon_Staying_Power(300), Genie_Staying_Power(150) - as for "Fiend_Staying_Power".
  • Sendai_Component_Is_Sendai_Only(0) - if set to 1, the Sendai's Enclave component only enhances the final encounter with Sendai.
  • Force_Old_Assassin_Spawn(0) - if set to 1, the C3 assassins spawn in the old (pre v24) fashion.
  • No_Spirit_Troll_Magic(0) - if set to 1, the enhanced spirit trolls are removed from "tougher d'Arnise Hold". (They're included by default.)
  • No_Swift_Shapeshift(0) - if set to 1, druids will not use their swift-shapeshift powers.
  • Potion_Version(6) - this controls what fraction of enemies' potions break and are lost. Takes a value from 0 to 8; the fraction of lost potions is this number divided by eight.
  • Dispel_Arrow_Maximum(5) - this controls the maximum number of dispelling arrows permitted by the 'reduce dispelling arrows in stores' component.
  • Do_Not_Lose_Soul(0) - if set to 1, demon summoning will not endanger your party members' immortal souls.
  • Keep_Cause_Wounds_Alignment_Restrictions(1) - if set to 1, the Icewind Dale alignment restrictions will continue to apply to Cause Wounds spells.
  • Troll_Regen_Multiplication(2) - this is the amount that troll regeneration is multiplied by in the 'rebalanced troll regeneration'.
  • Troll_Regen_Addition(0) - if you set this to a non-zero value, trolls regenerate that many extra hit points per second if you are using 'rebalanced troll regeneration'.
  • Teleport_Maze_Number(0) - set to a number between 1 and 3 to force a particular layout for the revised teleport maze (this may be useful if you are expecting to uninstall and reinstall frequently).
Hotkeys

These allow SCS's default choices of hotkey to be modified.

  • hot_key_A(A) - set this to another letter or key, and the hotkey described in the text as 'A' will be changed to that letter. (In game documentation will not normally be updated.)
  • hot_key_B (etc) - likewise
Other settings

These make more general tweaks.

  • AI_Is_Omniscient (0) - set this to 1 if you want enemies to have full knowledge of what protective items you are using. (The default as of v32 is that enemies only notice your protective items after the first failed attempt to use a power on you.)
  • AI_Does_Not_Detect_Items (0) - set this to 1 and enemies will completely fail to notice your protective magical items. (This is likely to cause some odd behaviour.)
  • Do_Not_Fix_Save_Errors (0) - set this to 1 and errors in the saving throws for creatures will not be corrected. (At present, inappropriately weak saving throws are automatically fixed.)
  • Do_Not_Fix_THAC0_Errors (0) - set this to 1 and errors in the attack rolls for creatures will not be corrected. (At present, inappropriately weak attack rolls are automatically fixed.)
  • Genai_Does_Not_Adjust_Kits(0) - set this to 1 and the "smarter AI" component will not adjust the kits of creatures, nor enforce legal kits on kitted creatures.
  • Genai_Does_Not_Adjust_Levels(0) - set this to 1 and the "smarter AI" component will not adjust the levels of creatures.
  • Genai_Does_Not_Adjust_Profs(0) - set this to 1 and the "smarter AI" component will use creatures' original weapon proficiencies rather than rewriting them.
  • Conceal_Prebuff_Spell_Names(0) - set this to 1 if you don't want pre-buffing wizards and priests to display strings like "Stoneskin (cast previously)" when their buffs go up.
  • Force_No_HLA_Repeats(0) - set this to 1 if you have a mod (like Vilkacis') installed that allows wizards and priests to learn HLAs as if they were innate abilities rather than spells, and you don't want enemy wizards and priests to take more than one of each ability. (If you're planning on taking more than one of each yourself, be ashamed.)
  • thac0_tolerance(6) - this controls how much a creature's thac0 can be better than its legal level for SCS to assume it ought to be corrected, rather than left in place as deliberate. Set it to zero to disable SCS's correction of too-good thac0. Set it to 99 to ensure that all thac0s are made legal. (Only weapon-using creatures are affected.)
  • enable_difficulty_based_damage_changes(0) - set to 1 if you want to re-enable the hardcoded changes to monster attack strength and similar at difficulties other than HARDCORE. (On an Enhanced Edition game, you can do this in-game trivially anyway.)
  • difficulty_icon(v6) - this chooses which icon (from stratagems/lib/diff_icon) is used for the difficulty widget. (It normally has no effect on Enhanced Edition installs, where the difficulty widget is replaced by a UI edit.)
  • force_difficulty_widget(0) - set this to 1 to prevent SCS's 'Initialise' component attempting to edit the UI to add the difficulty fine-tuning button (in which case SCS defaults to using the difficulty widget, on your innate abilities bar).
  • library_override(none) - this allows you to include external custom SSL libraries. DO NOT USE UNLESS YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING. if you set this to a value other than 'none' (say, 'mylib'), SSL will attempt to load library file weidu_external/data/stratagems/mylib.slb. External libraries are processed last, so you can use TRIGGER to add entries to existing triggers or TRIGGER_REPLACE to redo entries entirely. You can include multiple libraries like this: mylib1|mylib2|mylib3". If the library isn't present, or is malformed, SSL will fail, breaking your install.
Biffing settings
  • No_Lizard_Biff (0) - by default, the animations for lizard-man weapons (which are absent from the base game but restored by Tougher Abazigal's Lair) are BIFFed on non-EE installs. Set this to 1 if you want them dumped in the override instead.
  • Do_Not_Biff_IWD_Resources (1) - by default, the resources for the IWD spell system are not BIFFed on install. Set this to 0 if you'd rather have them put in a BIFF file.

Override files

In many cases, choices of spells, kits, creature levels and the like are externalised to text files which are then user-editable using Notepad or similar. You do this at your own risk. Here is a list of the files that can be edited. In each case the file format is fairly self-explanatory (though you may need to look up the resource names of creatures from Near Infinity).

  • High-level Abilities
    • genai/hla_choices/hla_always.2da: list of fighters and thieves who get to use High-Level Abilities at TACTICAL difficulty.
    • genai/hla_choices/vanilla/[kit].2da: default choices of High-Level Abilities for fighters and thieves. (A row is chosen at random; powers are granted sequentially along that row.)
    • mage/hla.2da: list of mages who get to use High-Level Abilities on difficulty settings below SUPER-INSANE.
    • mage/hla_choices/vanilla/[kit].2da: default choices of High-Level Abilities for mages. (A row is chosen at random; powers are granted sequentially along that row.)
    • priest/hla.2da: list of priests who get to use High-Level Abilities on difficulty settings below SUPER-INSANE.
    • priest/hla_choices/vanilla/[kit].2da: default choices of High-Level Abilities for priests. (A row is chosen at random; powers are granted sequentially along that row.)
  • Kits for fighters and thieves
    • genai/kit_override/bg2/[kit].2da - assigns kits to bg2 characters. Just list the creature resource name in the appropriately-named file. Note that only some kits are supported; an unsupported kit will be set, but won't have any in-game effect.)
    • genai/kit_override/bg1/[kit].2da - same for bg1 characters. Creatures should be listed in non-TUTU form, i.e. without the initial "_".
  • Levels for fighters and thieves
    • genai/level_override/bg1.2da: overrides levels for BG1 fighters/thieves. Creatures should be listed in non-TUTU form, i.e. without the initial "_".
    • genai/level_override/bg2.2da: overrides levels for BG2 fighters/thieves.
  • Choices of non-defensive spells for mages
    • mage/spellchoices/[vanilla]/[type].2da (where "type" is "necromancer", "conjurer", "invoker", "enchanter", "fighter-mage", "mage_thief", "bard", "elder_orb", "conjurer_lich", "invoker_lich", "necromancer_lich", "vampire" or "rakshasa"): the standard spells used by mages at each level (after the basic allocation of protective and utility spells has been made). Spells are chosen at random from each level. (Note that adding a spell not on the list at all probably will not lead to anything useful, since the mage will not cast that spell.)
    • mage/spellchoices/demivrgvs/[type].2da: as above, but this version is used if Demivrgvs' "Spell Revisions" mod is installed.
    • mage/spellchoices/iwd/[type].2da: as above, but this version is used for HLAs if the Icewind Dale spell system is installed (and Spell Revisions is not installed).
    • (Defensive spells are controlled from the "spellchoices_defensive/[spell system]/[type].tph" files in the mage directory, with the vanilla spell system file being used if there isn't a specialised one. But this is code, not data, so only touch it if you really know what you are doing.)
  • Choices of non-defensive spells for priests: as mage, with the obvious replacement of "mage" with "priest". (Possible types are "cleric_good", "cleric_neutral", "cleric_evil", "druid", and "avenger".)
  • Choices of kits, levels, alignment and individual spells for specific mages and priests: controlled by [mage/priest]/override/[bg1/bg2]/[alignment/kit/level/spellchoice].2da. The format should be self-explanatory.
  • Choices of spells for auto-levelling characters: controlled by leveller/spellchoices/[iwd/demivrgvs/vanilla]/[kit-or-class].2da. The choice of iwd/demivrgvs/vanilla depends on the spell system; if there is no non-vanilla option, vanilla is used.

Additional notes on content (contains spoilers)

Note that the descriptors in this section, by default, assume "Insane" difficulty; some details may be modified at lower difficulties.

Move or modify some overpowered magic items

The moved items are as follows:

  • Vhailor's Helm is now worn by Gromnir Il-Khan, who is not afraid to use it.
  • The Robe of Vecna is now worn by Azamantes, the lich guardian of the Seal of the Imprisoned One.
  • The Cloak of Mirroring is now worn by Vongoethe, the lich in Amkethran.

Re-introduce potions of extra-healing.

There are three potions at the temple in the Friendly Arm Inn, five each at the Song of the Morning temple at Beregost and the Lady's temple in Baldur's Gate, and eight at the High Hall of Wonders in Baldur's Gate.

Standardise spells between BG and BG2

The locations of the new spells are as follows.

  • Feldepost's Inn: Reflected Image, Spook, Deafness
  • High Hedge: Spook, Power Word: Sleep, Ray of Enfeeblement, Deafness, Minor Spell Deflection, Protection from Fire, Protection from Cold, Hold Undead
  • Sorcerous Sundries: Power Word: Sleep, Ray of Enfeeblement, Minor Spell Deflection, Protection from Fire, Protection from Cold, Hold Undead, Melf's Minute Meteors, Contagion, Secret Word, Farsight, Wizard Eye
  • Alai: Minor Sequencer
  • Davaeorn: Stoneskin, Remove Magic
  • Andris: Remove Magic
  • Denak: Teleport Field
  • Dezkiel: Stoneskin
  • Halacan: Detect Illusion
  • Kysus: Fire Shield: Red
  • Niemain: Spider Spawn
  • Nimbul: Find Familiar
  • Resar: Fire Shield: Blue
  • Tranzig: Glitterdust
  • Venkt: Spell Thrust

Relocated bounty hunters.

These are the five ogre magi in the Docks district. They turn up just outside Candlekeep as you arrive at the start of chapter six.

Improved Balduran's Isle.

Three fights are modified:

  • The battle with Karoug. Karoug himself is left alone, but Daese lives up to the villagers' warning about the wolfweres' magical powers. She becomes an eighth-level mage.
  • The confrontation with Kaishas. Kaishas becomes a greater werewolf, with Free Action and immunity to all weapons except cold iron. (This seems to have been intended in BG1 but not properly implemented). She will also call for help from the tunnels: reinforcements will arrive at a rate of about one werewolf per round.
  • The final battle with Selaad. Selaad and Baresh are now both greater werewolves, as well as being respectable opponents in human form - Baresh is a twelfth-level fighter, Selaad is a tenth-level mage. Only once reduced to below 25% hit points will they take on their wolfman forms.

In addition, it is now possible to talk your way past Kaishas and on to the boat. Your protagonist needs either Intelligence 14+, or Wisdom 14+ and good alignment, and you need to have saved Maralee's baby and befriended Durlayle or Delainy. (This was an aspect of the original game that's always infuriated me - I liked Kaishas.)

Improved Durlag's Tower.

Four fights are modified:

  • The battle with "Love", "Pride", "Avarice", and "Fear" on the first dungeon level. They get extra hit points and/or regenerative capability, and three get improved magic powers.
  • The doppelgangers on the second dungeon level - they are instructed to use their specific powers a bit more effectively. (This mostly affects Islanne's doppelgangers; it won't be all that effective without Smarter Mages).
  • The duplicates that can emerge from the Mirror have been upgraded slightly.
  • The chessboard battle has been significantly upgraded and is now quite difficult. The chess constructs have gained a variety of immunities (electricity, normal weapons, mind-affecting magic) to represent their status as constructs rather than humans; the pawns have gained more hit points. The King is now a 9th/7th level fighter/mage and the Queen is an 11th level mage.
    (For what it's worth, my own solution to the fight was to refuse to play the chessboard game: make everyone immune to lightning and just go where you want. You should have enough potions of absorption by this stage.)

Improved demon cult.

The cult consists of:

  • Cult Guards: 8th level fighters. Their hit points are increased from 39 to 65; otherwise they're left alone. But note that 8th level fighters usually get pretty good battle potions from Smarter Potions.
  • Cult Archers: originally 8th level thief archers, they're changed into 8th level fighters (more hit points and better battle potions).
  • Cult Assassins: 8th level fighter/thieves. They get extra hit points and a stack of Invisibility potions (they'll only use them if you have Improved General AI installed).
  • Cult Wizards: originally 3rd level wizards (in practice), they become 8th level and get Wands of Paralysis (a surprisingly nasty weapon in BG1).
  • Cult Enforcers: in the original game they're actually listed as high-level fighter-mages, but they don't use any of their fighter-mage powers. I take their classification more seriously: they are now 10th/10th level fighter-mages, though with only L5 spells and below, and they use their Wands of Frost. These guys are very dangerous.
The demon Aec'Letec gains standard Nabassu scripting (this doesn't make that much difference) but Tracea Carrol, previously a weakling wizard (c. L6), is now 11th level. In addition, the six cultists from whom Aec'Letec draws strength will now defend themselves. All in all, this makes the final battle with Aec'Letec pretty tough. I recommend the use of Arrows of Dispelling on your own party to dispel Aec'Letec's Death Gaze.

Improved miscellaneous encounters.

The full list is:
  • Laurel the paladin's gibberling hunt. As it stands this is a ridiculous encounter - the "horde" of gibberlings is tiny. I've quadrupled their number - it's still not a difficult fight, but it's a more realistic one.
  • Cythandria, Sarevok's paramour, is currently guarded by a pair of hopeless ogres; they're replaced by Stone Golems.
  • Slythe the assassin gains a level (which brings his backstab into quadruple-damage territory). He also slugs a potion of invulnerability, and receives a Non-Detection spell, before the battle starts.
  • Jenkal, the halfling traitor in Gullykin, is currently a 4/4 fighter/thief. I raise her to 6/6 and give her some potions of invisibility. Jenkal will flee if badly hurt and will turn up again later in the game. More seriously, the secret passage in Jenkal's home is now blocked, requiring you to go the long way through Firewine Bridge to reach the Ogre Mage.
  • Hairtooth and Gnarl, the half-ogres at the bridge to the gnoll fortress, become 5th level fighters and get an appropriate (18/95) strength score.
  • Sunin (the randomly encountered mage in a house in Baldur's Gate) is raised to 11th level.
  • Tamoko's level is increased to 14, so she's slightly more of a speed bump to end-of-game-level parties.
  • The "amazon" group of assassins gain one level each. (This is really just to make them immune to Sleep.)

Tougher chapter-two end battle

This is the fight with Mulahey at the bottom of the Nashkel Mine.

Mulahey is raised to seventh level. Mulahey's tough kobold allies are redesignated as "Kobold Elites" and improved a bit. The allies that he summons later in the fight are beefed up a bit too.

If "Dark Side based kobold upgrade" is installed, the kobold elites get poisoned daggers and the summoned allies include some kobold guards.

Tougher chapter-three end battle

This is the fight with the Iron Throne adventurers in Tazok's tent.

Britik the gnoll gets a strength potion and a slight level increase. A few Black Talons and Chill are added to the tent.

Most importantly, if you talked your way into the bandit camp, by the time you get out you'll find that Taugosz has smelled a rat, and you may have to fight your way out. And if you storm the camp, the Iron Throne adventurers won't be content to wait for you - they'll come out and attack.

Tougher chapter-four end battle

The confrontation with Davaeorn at the bottom of the Cloakwood mine.

The battle horrors, instead of being summoned by traps, are there already. They're enchanted to be immune to fire, lightning and web (I'm following pen-and-paper rules here, more or less.)

More importantly, if the Smarter Mages component is installed, Davaeorn benefits from it: he has a modified script which combines features of his original teleport-around script with the Smarter Mages script.

Tougher chapter-five end battle

The six acolytes are left alone (though if you are using the Smarter Mages/Priests/general AI components you'll notice a big effect). However, they are joined by two new acolytes: a half-elven fighter/thief and a human thief, who begin the battle invisible. You get some warning of the change if you read the dialogues lower down the tower carefully.

Sarevok and his three acolytes (Tazok, Angelo, Semaj) are joined by a fourth: Diarmid, who the party briefly encounter at the very end of chapter 6. He's a fighter/mage rather like Angelo.

More crucially, Sarevok is the beneficiary of a spell which lets him draw protective strength from his followers. You won't even be able to hurt him until at least one is dead, and killing him requires all four to have died. (Not terribly original, I admit, but in the original battle you might as well just ignore everyone else and go straight for Sarevok. This way it's a proper fight against a team of opponents. And hopefully the added dialogue is smooth enough not to make it feel contrived.)

Improved fiends

Alu-fiends:

  • Charm person, at will

Balors (cast at 24th level):

  • Stoneskin, Fire Storm, Implosion, once per day each.
  • Teleport without Error, Remove Magic, Telekinesis, Symbol: Stun, Symbol: Death, and Domination, all at will.
  • Permanently wreathed in flames (Fire Shield effect)

All Balors now wield the vorpal swords that the Watchers' Keep Balors wield; but these have been modified so that they kill but don't chunk, and so that they allow a saving throw.

Bone Fiends (cast at 12th level):

  • Teleport without Error, Improved Invisibility, and Cone of Cold, all at will
  • Permanent Fear aura

Cornugons (cast at 17th level):

  • Teleport without Error, Remove Magic, and Lightning Bolt, all at will
  • Permanent Fear aura

Demon Knights (cast at 18th level):

  • 20d6 fireball, once per day
  • Power words: stun, blind, and kill, once per day each
  • Symbols of Death and Stun, once per day each
  • Remove Magic, twice per day
  • Dimension Door, three times per day

Erinyes (cast at 12th level):

  • Teleport without Error and become invisible, at will
  • Charm Person and Unholy Blight, at will
  • Protection from Magic Weapons, once per day

Glabrezus (cast at 17th level):

  • Teleport without Error, Mirror Image, and Remove Magic, at will
  • Power Word: Stun, Unholy Blight, and Confusion, all at will

Lesser Demon Lord (casts at 25th level):

Interpreted as a powerful Balor, but with Abyssal Flame Strike (15d6 fire damage, 15d6 magic damage, bypasses magic resistance) 3/day instead of Implosion, Wail of the Banshee 1/day instead of Fire Storm, Truesight 3/day, and Power Word: Kill 3/day.

Mariliths (cast at 20th level):

  • Stoneskin, once per three rounds
  • Protection from Magic Weapons, once per five rounds
  • Cloudkill, once per three rounds
  • Animate Dead, once per three rounds
  • Remove Magic, Teleport without Error, and True Sight, at will
  • Blade Barrier and Telekinesis, at will

Maurezhi (cast at 10th level):

  • Improved Invisibility and Blur, once per day each
  • Protection from Magic Weapons, once per five rounds
  • Animate Dead, Hold Person, and Cloak of Fear, at will

Nabassus (cast at 12th level):

  • Powerful silence spell (-5 to saves) once per day
  • "Death gaze" (damaging gaze attack) automatically, once per round (in addition to other powers)
  • Teleport without Error, Paralysis and Vampiric Touch, all at will

Pit Fiends (cast at 24th level):

  • Teleport without Error, Remove Magic, and Improved Invisibility, at will
  • Meteor Swarm and Unholy Word, once per day each
  • 20d6 fireball and Symbol of Fear, at will
  • Permanent fear aura

Succubi (cast at 12th level):

  • Minor Spell Turning, once per day
  • Cure Critical Wounds (self only),Teleport without Error and become ethereal, at will
  • Charm person, at will

Yochlols (cast at 15th level):

  • Flame Strike, once per five rounds
  • Spider Spawn, once per three rounds
  • Domination, Improved Invisibility, Remove Magic and Teleport without Error, at will
  • Heal, three times per day

Chromatic Demon (cast at 28th level):

  • Remove Magic and Teleport without Error, at will.
  • Chain Lightning, Fireball, Cone of Cold, an acidic blob attack based on the acid blob trap, and an airburst attack based on the dragon's Wing Buffet, at will when in the appropriate form.

Demogorgon (cast at 30th level):

  • Initial Chain Contingency, containing Protection from Magic Weapons, Aura of Flaming Death, and Spell Turning.
  • Initial Contingency, containing Stoneskin.
  • Stoneskin, once per two rounds
  • Protection from Magic Weapons, once per six rounds
  • Summon demons, once per two rounds; doing so also partially heals him and restores his Magic Resistance
  • Storm of Vengeance and Dragon's Breath once per day
  • Implosion, once per 30 rounds
  • Earthquake, once per 20 rounds
  • True Sight, Death Spell, and Unholy Word, each once per six rounds
  • Finger of Death, Breach and Spell Strike, each once per 3 rounds
  • Dispel Magic and Teleport without Error, at will
  • Charm hostile demons, at will
In addition, Demogorgon has a gaze attack (either a charm or a confusion effect) which he can use each round in addition to his spells. My original version of Demogorgon also had a Time Stop usable once per day (as in Ascension) but I worried that this was too much; if you want to turn this back on, enter SetGlobal("DMWWDemogorgonTS","GLOBAL",1) at the console.

Smarter Beholders

The beholders can now use their telekinesis power to steal the Cloak of Mirroring and the Shield of Balduran. They don't do it in the first couple of rounds, then they have a 1/3 chance per round (per beholder). The idea isn't to make the items useless but to block the move of just giving them to one person and sending them in. If it annoys you, you can turn it off at the console: set DMWWDisableBeholderTheft to 1.

Give HLAs to mages and priests

If you install the "only selected" components, then the following creatures are affected:
ToB mages: Yaga-Shura's lieutenant; Sendai and her statues; the Skeleton Mage; the fire giant mages; Karun the Black; the Hell Trial form of Irenicus; Semaj; Draconis; Illasera (non-Ascension version); Iycanth the Mad; all named liches.
ToB priests: Yaga-Shura's lieutenant; Sendai and her statues; the Skeleton Priest; Nyalee; Berenn; Ameralis Zauviir.
SoA mages: Alchra Diagott; Suneer; Irenicus (all forms); Shangalar; the Shade Lich; the Elemental Lich; Layene; Kangaxx the Lich; Lagole Gon.
SoA priests: Matron Mother Ardulace, Stalman, Hindra Jae'llat

Improved Irenicus in Spellhold

The clones are now direct copies of the party.

Improved Watcher's Keep

The statues on level one are rearranged: a fighter becomes a thief, a random monster becomes a high-level mage, and an archer gets a proper archery script. Some random extra fiends are added to the teleport maze as random encounters for when you return to already-cleared areas. The two spellcasting glabrezu gain four brethren. The number of mind flayers in the lair on level four is greatly increased.

Improved Drow

The drow defenders of Ust Natha look like this (on insane):
  • Group A: disorganised raiders (about every five rounds)
    • Three L9 fighters, two L9 archers, a L12/12 fighter/mage
    • Two L9 fighters, two L9 archers
    • Four L9 fighters, two L9 archers, a L10 cleric
    • Four L9 fighters, a L11 mage
  • Group B: serious war-parties (every four rounds)
    Each party comprises six L9 fighters, four L9 archers, a L10 cleric, a L14 cleric, a L12/12 fighter/cleric, a L11 mage, and a L15 mage. There are four of these war-parties.
  • Group C: elite battlegroups (every ten rounds, with another Group B war-party between each battlegroup)
    • Four L9 fighters, three L17 mages
    • Four L9 fighters, two L12/12 fighter/clerics, a L18 cleric, a L18 mage, a glabrezu, and two nabassu
    • Two L11 mages, a L15 mage, a L22 mage, and four stone golems
    • Six L9 fighters, two L10 clerics, two L12/12 fighter/clerics, a L14 cleric, a L20 cleric, two balors and two glabrezu.

At lower difficulty settings, some of the groups get removed.

Improved Fire Giant Lair

Fire giants become Berserkers, and will get HLAs on higher difficulties. Flaming Skulls become tougher and get access to Stoneskin and more powerful fireballs, and Burning Men get a dispel-magic attack; both get a smarter script. One of the groups of fire creatures behind the force fields is replaced by a group of Efreeti and a Fire Lich (a creature removed from the original game). Imix becomes tougher and gets a Greater Whirlwind ability. A red dragon of about Firkraag's strength joins the giants in the inner temple.

Improved Sendai's Enclave

Drow mages are raised to 16th level; drow priests are raised to 17th level. The random (and weak) drow spawns in the city region of the enclave are replaced by two war parties - one backed up by glabrezu, one by beholders. Odamaron gets two apprentices (one vampire, one lich) and two skeleton warriors. The pathetic illithid ambush is replaced by two battles: one with the vampiric illithids reinforced by three more illithids with umber-hulk guards, one with a three-stage illithid strike force consisting of human thralls, illithids, and ulitharids supported by umber hulks. Sendai's statues animate once per round whether or not the previous one is dead.

Improved Abazigal's Lair

The Earth Elementals are replaced by Lizard Men, as are the Salamanders. A strike force of baatezu (two pit fiends, four cornugons) attacks the party on their way back from collecting the Breath Potion. All eyes except the eagle eyes get better targetting; the sentinels now summon much tougher monsters (elementals, mordenkainen's swords, efreeti, and skeleton warriors). A strike force of tyrant golems (golem beholders; lots of HP and 100% MR) and undead beholders protects the entrance to Iycanth's sanctum.

More importantly, there are two new encounters with dragons. The bone fiend area where the Breath Potion is has been replaced with the lair of a yellow dragon (and L20-odd mage) who was ousted by Abazigal. You have to fight the dragon one way or another, but depending on how the conversation goes, it may not be to the death. There is a rather nice item available if you play nice, and the dragon's scales if you play nasty.

Part way through the lair, you'll have to return to town. On coming back, there will be a posse of dragons waiting for you: two black dragons, then a green dragon, and finally a red dragon.

The dragon encounters have (for a tactical mod) a reasonable amount of dialogue; I welcome feedback on it (and everything else, as usual.)

Improved minor encounters

  • The Twisted Rune's fighter Revanek gets some equipment (this is almost a bugfix) and Vaxall the beholder becomes an Elder Orb. (Code borrowed from Quest Pack with thanks.)
  • The Guarded Compound fighters become, respectively, a berserker and a barbarian, and the traps in the compound no longer affect the slavers.
  • The Murderers who work with Irenicus are upgraded to 7th level thieves
  • A few extra creatures are added to the Druid Grove (code borrowed from Tactics with thanks)
  • Imix is now immune to his own traps
  • The Unseeing Eye guards are slightly tougher.
  • The elemental guardians of the Underdark portals are slightly tougher and have some magical abilities and some sidekicks.
  • The defenders of the temple of Talos (if you do the good cleric quest) have been upgraded: there are more Storm Knights and a temple mage, and the Knights are now cleric/fighters.
  • Nyalee gets a Mirror of Opposition that can make hostile copies of party members. The skeleton warriors in her area get the normal skeleton-warrior resistances.
  • The Docks muggers are now thieves (not fighter/thieves) and don't endlessly respawn.

Acknowledgements

Over the decade and more that this mod has been available, I've benefitted hugely from dozens of players and modders. The list below is probably incomplete, and I apologise for anyone I've left out.
  • For the game itself: Bioware and Black Isle, sine qua non
  • For hosting: Gibberlings Three, and especially Pete Camagna ("CamDawg") and Kat Bella ("TheAceFes")
  • For tools: Westley Weimer, Valerio Biggiani ("TheBigg"), and Fredrik Lindgren ("Wisp") for WEIDU; Jon Hauglid, devSin, and others (for Near Infinity)
  • For information about the game; Ascension64, for ToBEx; the various contributors to the Infinity Engine Structure Description Project
  • For code tips and actual code: SimDing0, Westley Weimer, Nythrun, Demivrgvs, Mike1072, Ardanis, Steve, Taimon, Wisp, CamDawg (and I think many others)
  • For help with BGT: Ronin69hof, Pro5, cmorgan
  • For help with BGEE: Cheesebelly, AndreaColombo
  • For BGEE itself, and also for giving me advance access to the BGEE and BG2EE betas: Everyone at Beamdog
  • For translation: Leonardo Watson, ClanDLAN, Yarpen, Immortality, Nugrud, Etamin, Cahir, Graoumf, Leonardo Watson, Stoneangel, Improbabile, and many others
  • For testing, bugfixes, bug reports, and related suggestions: many of the above, and also Berelinde, Demivrgvs, Gort, Lemernis, Temujin, Avenger_RR, Stworca, Bursk, Coaster, Erebusant Grand_Dracolich, Jadefang, KGub, Nythrun, PetrusOctavius, Polytope, Raven_Song, Shaitan, thetruth, Wanderer, Mad Mate, Kreso, Dakk, Draztik, and many others
  • For the version 31 maintenance release: Mad Mate, K4thos, AstroBryGuy, burner1023, Ilya Ivanov, agb1, critto, subtledoctor, whiteagnus, CrevsDaak, khelben, and especially Mad Mate, AlienQuake, and CamDawg
  • For icon design: Ulb, Bartimaeus
  • For patience: Hannah Wallace
  • For impatience: Leo Wallace

Copyright Information

Sword Coast Stratagems is ©2006-Present, David Wallace.

Since in practice I'm obviously not going to sue anyone, I'll use this section to say what I'd like people's attitude to re-using and redistributing my mods. Basically, I don't mind what you do with the code provided you (a) give me full credit when you borrow or re-use my code in your own mod, and (b) don't actually mirror this mod (or any modified version of this mod) somewhere else.

Version History

Changelogs for versions 1-21 of SCS and SCSII can be found in their respective v21 readmes in the "doc" folder.

Version 32 (June 2019)

This version is built on v30 code; hopefully it incorporates all the fixes and translation updates from v31 but there is some chance of reversions.

New or Substantially Modified Content
  • Systematic integration of the difficulty slider (and per-component difficulty customisation) into scripts; hardcoded difficulty-based adjustments are deactivated by default
  • Substantial streamlining of the mod structure:
    • "Initial" component is only required for AI/tactical components (it's silly to require its various changes if someone just wants to skip Candlekeep)
    • All spell-tweak components have been integrated into the Initial component (but can be adjusted via the ini) - since they're more-or-less assumed by the AI, playing without them doesn't cound as a "recommended" install and so I'd rather install them by default
    • Most item-tweak components have been integrated into a single component (though again, power users can deselect individual components via the ini)
    • As listed in the v31 change-log, eight of the gameplay/ease-of-use components have migrated to the Tweaks Anthology and are deprecated.
    • Remaining non-tactical/AI components have been collected together into "Gameplay".
    • All customisation options for AI and tactical components have been absorbed into the new difficulty system, so that they can be adjusted in-game rather than at install time
    • Smarter Celestials and Improved Fiends have been combined; 'Mages/Priests get High-Level Abilities' has been absorbed into the Mage/Priest components.
  • New components: include IWD:EE priest and mage spells.
  • Smarter Mages and Smarter Priests will now use Icewind Dale spells, if they are installed via IWDification or via SCS itself (and if Spell Revisions is not installed)
  • Big increase in level of support for Spell Revisions; I think I pretty much fully allow for its changes now.
  • Major overhaul of scripts (in particular targetting), to take advantage of new Enhanced Edition / ToBEx and to allow for the new spell systems. Far too many changes to list, but in particular:
    • Spellcasters will now notice your protective items only after their first failed attempt to use a spell on you. (They still notice visible spell effects immediately.)
    • Spellcasters are now more willing to use their single-target spells to try to break through a wizard's Spell Deflection. (This is experimental; let me know how it plays out.)
    • Moderate increase in the number of spells used (even without Spell Revisions / Icewind Dale spells)
    • More careful targetting of area-effects spells to avoid friendly fire (and so, more willingness to use those spells)
    • Substantial increase in the variety of contingencies, sequencers and triggers used (and sequencers/triggers are chosen at install time now, not when you first encounter the mage)
    • I make a bit more effort to make mages use more distinctive abilities. (For instance, invokers now pretty much have a monopoly on Fire Shields, and don't use illusions; necromancers are fond of cold spells.)
  • Additional tweaks to the standard spell system:
    • Removed the spell-battle framework for summoned elementals
    • Fiend-summoning spells now summon alignment-appropriate fiends (I always did this for enemy mages with 'Smarter Mages' installed, but now I do it for the PC too
    • Elemental-protection effects now give complete immunity to the effect (i.e. it doesn't disrupt spellcasting) if the damage resistance is 100% or more (EE is in the process of rolling this out but it hasn't come to BG2EE yet)
    • Player-cast Symbol spells are now party-friendly. (NPC ones always were even in the vanilla game, so this is a fairness tweak.)
  • Tweaks to the Icewind Dale spell system. (Some of these are rather more drastic than the changes I make to the vanilla system; feedback welcomed. My ulterior motive is to experiment a bit with improving priest magical defenses.)
    • Circle of Bones now lasts for 1 round per level
    • Shield of Lathander and Greater Shield of Lathander have been renamed to something neutral (Divine Protection/Greater Divine Protection), are self-only, and are not restricted to evil characters.
    • Impervious Sanctity of Mind (which was a L7 self-only spell functionally equivalent to Chaotic Commands) now has a longer duration, includes a Spell Shield, and prevents spell failure effects.
    • Thorn Spray now does a tolerable amount of damage.
    • Acid Storm now functions more like an area-effect Vitriolic sphere (previously it was more or less an automatic way to shut down spellcasters).
    • Mordenkainen's Force Missiles has been nerfed at higher levels (maximum 4 missiles, maximum 15 hp splash damage per missile), since it was pretty ridiculous otherwise, especially in Sequencers.
    • Create Boneguard has been added as a L9 necromancy spell, basically stealing the Boneguard from Monster Summoning VII.
  • Faster Bears now works on EE.
  • Early Access to Watcher's Keep now works on EE (and no longer blocks access to Watcher's Keep in SoA).
  • Big improvements in install speed, especially on heavily kitted installs. (It still takes a while, though.)
  • New EE-only component: improved NPC customisation and management. (This is an EE version of 'choose NPC proficiencies and skills', but much more powerful and (I hope) robust.)
  • New EE-only component: wider selection of random scrolls in Baldur's Gate I.
  • New EE-only component: rebalanced troll regeneration.
  • New EE-only component: restoration spells restore ability drain.
  • New component: make sequencers and contingencies into innate abilities.
  • New component: increase the power of cure and cause wounds spells.
  • Substantial edits to the Abazigal's enclave component: no tactical changes, but cutscenes and dialogs have been tightened up, and two reused areas have been replaced by new (well, tweaked, reflected, and recolored) areas: Anadramatis now has a proper-sized cave for a dragon battle.
  • I've decided that I need to require ToBEX on non-Enhanced Edition installs. Unfortunately, this means I no longer support non-Enhanced versions of the game on MacOX or Linux.
  • On the Enhanced Edition, ease-of-use AI now replaces the Advanced AI, and can be customised using the controls under "Customise/Scripts".
  • Added yochlols, rilmani, and the lesser demon lord to "Improved Fiends and Celestials".
  • Deprecated 'more resilient trolls' component.
  • Deprecated the auto-installer, in anticipation of Zeitgeist (and because it's a bit hacky). Scream if you want it back.
  • Deprecated 'move hell items' component, since this is now fixed both in EE and in v12 of the Fixpack.
Other Content Changes
  • Removed the beholder burn-thru option (since EE, at least, handles burnthru correctly) and fixed on the PnP-style antimagic eye as a default.
  • On EE installs, enemy invisibility spells now hide the spellcaster's animations.
  • Reduced use of fiend summoning by mages (mostly, only liches summon fiends now).
  • On EE installs, if you're not using Spell Revisions (and at the risk of their immortal soul) it is possible - though difficult - for party members to acquire the ability to summon non-hostile fiends. (This removes a piece of enemy cheating I was always a bit uncomfortable with.)
  • Demilich Trap the Soul no longer causes level drain (actually changed earlier, but only now documented)
  • Slightly reduced rate of vampire constitution drain.
  • Priest AI use of Cure Serious Wounds touch attacks slightly tweaked.
  • The "extra spell scrolls" component now includes a scroll of Improved Mantle (this was claimed in the documentation but not implemented).
  • Slightly reduced allocation of invisibility potions to thieves.
  • Alhoon now fights to the death.
  • Balors now use Telekinesis to pull in victims, as well as repel warriors.
  • Moved the Cloak of Mirroring to Vongoethe.
  • Daitel, being a ghost, is now immune to nonmagical attacks.
  • Added a couple of yochlol to the drow ambush groups in Sendai's enclave.
  • Smarter Priests now includes the Priestesses of Umberlee in Baldur's Gate.
  • Carbos and Shank have been expelled from the Assassin's Guild.
  • Nevaziah is now level 14, and so less overwhelming for players who recruit Edwin. (If you prefer the original one, just edit stratagems/mage/override/bg2/level.2da before installing.)
  • Slightly increased the number of 'real' magic weapons left by the Fine Weapons component.
  • Revised Bodhi's summons (she doesn't summon in chapter 3, when she's just playing with you; her summons in chapter 6 are sensitive to the difficulty slider.
  • Gibberlings now get AI more suited to their intellectual capacities.
  • Even though it's so last year, Davaeorn bows to practicality and actually wears his Robe of the Evil Archmagi; he lends his redundant bracers to his hired help.
  • Recoded Spellhold Item Removal component so that you still get your inventory in the dream sequence.
  • Undead don't drink potions
  • A very small number of thieves (notably the skeletal assassin) use scrolls, rather than potions, of invisibility
  • Tazok no longer drinks potions before the final BG1 fight starts
  • Shamans can now use kobold poisoned arrows
  • Elites at the bandit camp now get dialog
Under-the-hood changes (not visible in game)
  • Recoded "add spell immunity scrolls".
  • REQUIRE_COMPONENT now used to detect components, mostly replacing marker files.
  • Rearranged external folder (and renamed it weidu_external to make it clearer that others are welcome to share it).
  • Restructured crossplatform code to allow for EET and generally be more readable.
  • Broken the single tra file into per-component tra files (for all languages).
  • Upgraded SSL to include new SSLBoolean settings, TRIGGER_REPLACE library option, and use of scsargumentN in triggers.
  • Updated function library.
  • Updated to Weidu 246.
  • Updated Detectable Spells.
  • Smarter Abazigal component no longer biffs the lizard-weapon icons on Enhanced-Edition installs (unnecessary, and messes with iOS installs).
  • Complete recoding of the mage/priest blocks to support IWDification, SR and the new spell system. Each mage and priest now has their own bespoke script.
  • Streamlined detection of BG1 characters.
Bugfixes (some but not all of the v31 fixes are called out here, as they have been implemented differently)
  • detect-cloud code no longer fails on installs where some cloud spellls are absent (including current-version BGEE)
  • Mulahey's scripting (in "tougher chapter 2 end fight") now works properly on TUTU and BGT installs
  • Extra kobold spawn in "harder kobolds" now calculates the chapter correctly on BGT installs
  • Fixed a typo that was preventing the no-dispelling-arrows component from functioning properly
  • Duplicated BG2EE use of the more discriminating LastKilled trigger for the Shade Lord's shadowmaking (and tightened it up a bit on non-EE installs too)
  • Fine longbows and shortbows no longer give an unintended +1 to damage
  • A couple of changes to allow installation on a vanilla Tutu install, even though I don't officially support it.
  • Anadramatis the yellow dragon now attacks with claws and fangs rather than unarmed
  • The Priest of Cyric in the North Forest had both dual melee weapons and a sling, which causes crashes (stealth vanilla bug); the sling has been removed.
  • Abazigal gets the effects of the "improved dragon staying power" subcomponent on non-Ascension installs
  • The various avatars in the Durlag Lovefight are now explicitly immune to Avarice's poison cloud
  • "Earlier Watcher's Keep" component now permits access to Watcher's Keep in the Shadows of Amn portion of the game
  • Ettercaps and wyverns now correctly use their poisoned weapons.
  • The staircase between the two levels of the Guarded Compound is now magically blocked during the fight with the Guarded Compound team, since there have been reports of glitches caused by people flitting between levels.
  • Baalor telekinesis power is now correctly named.
  • Invisible mages wander a little less far at the start, to avoid wandering away from the battle entirely.
  • Ini-based adjustments to spellcaster level no longer cause trouble when the adjusted level is below zero.
  • Smarter Mages and Smarter Priests now handle level adjustments to multiclass spellcasters more delicately.
  • Corrected a couple of mismatches between Improved Shapeshifter paws and their descriptions as regards paw enhancement level (werewolf tokens changed to match the descriptions; other descriptions changed to match the items).
  • On non-EE installs, attacking INNOCENT mages now causes reputation loss.
  • Planar warden was getting an erroneous extra attack
  • Creatures now correctly flee Storm of Vengeance.
  • Insect plague/fire-shield changes should now work again.
  • Player-summoned hotkey control now a bit smoother.
  • Player-summoned creatures with ranged attacks now use them properly.
  • Fixed a glitch in the Help script which in some circumstances causes enemies to home on to an invisible PC.
  • "Recover items from Hell" no longer breaks the transition to ToB on some installs; component generally recoded to be more resistant to problems in the future.
  • Support for variable libraries (and in particular for SR-specific libraries) now works properly
  • TO CHECK
  • Fixed a typo causing the fission slime "fix" to install on EE installs rather than *non*-EE installs.
  • Corrected a glitch in Ascension Irenicus's Mislead.
  • Several mages (including a couple of rakshasa, a kobold witch-doctor, and a few BG2EE-added creatures) inadvertently got skipped by "Smarter Mages" and are now included properly.
  • The Cleric/Mage statue of Sendai no longer erroneously retains its old-style cleric/mage script.
  • "Improved minor BG2 encounters" now correctly changes the traps in the Guarded Compound.
  • The traps in the Prison Plane are now PC-only, as NPCs are apparently setting them off inappropriately.
  • Clerics now correctly use Blade Barrier in their prebuff sequences.
  • The tanar'ri summoners in Watcher's Keep no longer cast their spells instantly (among other things this brings the animation level in that encounter under control).
  • Vithal now gets allocated a combat script correctly.
  • Many rakshasa nobles have their level increased in Smarter Mages (the automated code was assigning a level that was too low for the powers they show in-game and that didn't respect the power differences between Ruhks, Rajahs and Maharajahs).
  • The Planar Prison warden now acts intelligently when enemies attack and then retreat.
  • Recoded fine-weapons component to update code and correct some glitches with weapon shatter.
  • The initialisation component externalises the effects of the Wand of Spell Striking to spells (you won't see this in game but it makes the wand play nicely with various tweaks to Breach).
  • Breach now properly affects rakshasas.
  • Corrected some serious logic/naming errors with Abazigal; in particular, he should now use his SCS script if "Smarter Dragons" is installed, and Tamah should spawn correctly.
  • Fixed some install bugs in "Antimagic penetrates invisibility", and taken advantage of new EE functionality.
  • Gromnir now uses Vhailor's Helm if he has it.
  • Nalmissra gets her proper script if "smarter fiends" is installed.
  • Various help-script tweaks.
  • Kobold poisoned weapons now grant saving throws properly.
  • Spellhold item removal no longer messes up stacked items.
  • Ascension Fallen Solars no longer have demon flunkies
  • Fire Shield is no longer blocked by Mirror Image (vanilla game fix)
  • Party summons no longer overreact to friendly fire
  • Balors no longer drop flails
  • Traps in the Planar Prison don't affect thralls (for real now)
  • A non-party-member Cernd now fights effectively against Faldorn
  • Enemies now run out of Cloudkill and Writhing Fog (previously they were being skipped by the detect-cloud algorithm)
  • Genies, illithids and fiends now move out of clouds (when appropriate)
  • Noble efreeti have received counselling, and no longer self-harm with Flame Arrows when alone
  • Solars no longer teleport to inaccessible points
  • Bodhi and her vampires avoid using (possibly-gamebreaking) spells during the quasi-cutscene fight in the Asylum
  • Insect Plague subcomponent now affects Black Dragon insect swarm
  • Mysterious + signs no longer appear on the character sheet
  • Innately cast wizard/priest HLAs are now preserved on export/import
  • Innately cast wizard/priest HLAs now respect the rules on prerequisites and mutually-incompatible HLAs
  • Corrected some mismatches between components' names as used in the installer and as seen in the readme
  • Taken steps to prevent odd cases of creatures resting in combat when they momentarily lose sight of the party
  • Earth Elemental token correctly gives 50% DR, not 100%
  • Fire Elemental token's extra fire damage is now working
  • General pass through Bodhi's abilities, correcting a number of minor issues
  • Fixed a baseline-EE bug that caused certain weapons that do poison damage to have all their effects (not just poison) blocked by poison resistance
  • Fixed a baseline-EE bug with the summoned-monster script that caused them to stutter if their target went invisible
  • Caught some missing summons who Smarter AI wasn't giving a script
Compatibility fixes
  • lib_macro is a little less fragile in the presence of third-party CLAB errors
  • Various copy routines fail a bit more gracefully when some idiot leaves a broken file in the override
  • We now recognise that SR v4 True Seeing cures blindness
  • Flagged a (hidden) fix of a Fixpack/Ascension compatibility problem to apply only on non-EE installs (EE installs don't use the fixpack)
  • We now determine the maximum spell level for any spellcasting type at install time (this fixes compatibility, in particular, with mods that increase the maximum level of bard spells)
  • Code to remove broken items (iplotxx, etc) is now a little more robust, which might help some compatibility issues.
  • RP part of Werewolf Island is now skipped if it's already been installed via The Calling.
  • Fixed various compatibility problems (notably, duplicate of Tamah) with the new EE-friendly version of Ascension.
  • Fixed a bug in new Ascension that was nerfing Demogorgon's summoning power.
  • Items moved by 'Move or modify some overpowered magic items' now only move if they haven't already been moved by another mod.
  • Beholder, illithid and fiend changes are now made to any creature with the right script, not just a hardcoded list.
  • 'Smarter Vampires' no longer gets confused if SR version of invisibiliy is present.
  • Fixed a bug in SR that can cause enemy-summoned Death Knights to be attacked by their allies
  • Fixed a bug in SR that prevented Holy Smite causing blindness

Version 31 (September 2018)

This version is a maintenance release, packaged by CamDawg, though the work is from others. ALIENQuake had colected a lot of these for BWS, and they were happily (and easily) integrated. Mad Mate also had another huge chunk of fixes, for which we were very grateful.

  • CamDawg provided the following fixes:
    • Updated Detectable Spells to the most recent version (v3.95). This should fix some miscellaneous installation errors.
    • Fixed the bug where the party could fail to be transported to the chessboard in Durlag's Tower in EE games
    • Fixed the crash with the druid Osmadi when he tried to shapeshift by removing his cursed item in EE games
  • One of the patches was broken; thanks to Ineth2 for the fix
  • DavidW resolved a conflict between SCS and Wheels of Prophecy
  • K4thos provided several fixes:
    • Integrated many, many fixes to make SCS fully compatible with EET
    • Fix for Viconia in EET for the move NPCs component
    • Fix for unkillable Sarevok in EET game
    • Stopped Mulahey from spawning wave after wave of enemies
  • AstroBryGuy provided the followiing fixes:
    • fixed the missing header for caster_shared.tph
    • fix for joinable SoD NPCs whose DVs do not match their pdialog values
    • fix for flame arrows and Kobold Commando flame arrows
  • burner1024 had a fix for fiends
  • Ilya Ivanov provided a fix for installing fiends without Smarter Mages
  • agb1 provided the following fixes:
    • Fixed for the macro_read_in_spells_per_level failing when mxsplXX.2da had an all-zero column
    • updated the EET compatibility patch for Allow NPC pairs to separate
    • Updated Allow NPC pairs to separate to use the cpmvars libraries
    • Also fixed a bug where Allow NPC pairs to separate would fail on a standalone install due to a missing macro call
    • read_in_NPC_dialog macro is now ToB-aware
    • Removed redundant chunk of code
    • Updated Wheels of Prohecy compatibility code from v4 to v5
  • Etamin and Cahir updated the Polish translation; Bartek and Etamin did as well
  • Graoumf updated the French translation
  • Leonardo Watson provided an updated German translation
  • critto provided a fix for the Reduce the number of Arrows of Dispelling in stores component
  • In addition to providing the updated repo to base this version on, ALIENQuake added a patch for Ascension compatibility
  • subtledoctor provided a fix for SCS choking while pasrsing spell.ids
  • whiteagnus provided a fix for non-English EE games
  • CrevsDaak provided the following fixes:
    • A fix for the player1 translation file for EE games
    • A fix for an install failure
    • A fix for SCS/Wheels of Prophecy compatibility
  • khelben provided a fix for init scripts on Ascension games
  • Mad Mate provided the following fixes
    • Additional fixes to CamDawg's DS update
    • Corrected the script name for Brendan
    • Fixed a bug (identified by kreso) where low level priests could get high level spells if Refinements was installed
    • 'Innocent' druids were skipped in the divine spell patches
    • SCS made copies of liches, but never installed the main lich from which copies should be made
    • The new realistic wolves only worked in Tutu games
    • Abazigal should now spawn Tamah if you use Ascension-based components
    • Some miscellaneous typos that prevented patches from being executed, plus other miscellaneous typos
    • Various assassins were not getting their stuff because of a typo
    • Scripting glitch that prevented Irenicus from acting in Ascenion games at the Throne of Bhaal
    • Schlumpsha did not receive the correct weapon
    • Scripts were added to the wrong hobgoblins
    • SCS was not properly detecting Spell Revisions
    • Melissan adjustments were not properly detecting Ascension
    • The wrong prebuff version of Blade Barrier was being called
    • Dragons were not using their dragon-specific prebuff spells
    • Resolved a conflict involving with Infinity Animations around fiend animations
  • The following components have been deprecated since they're moving to Tweaks Anthology:
    • Make party members less likely to irreversibly
    • Allow BG1 NPC pairs to separate (BGEE, TUTU, BGT)
    • Allow Yeslick to use axes
    • BG1 NPCs go to inns
    • Move BG1 NPCs to more convenient locations
    • Move Boo into Minsc's pack
    • Stackable ankheg shells, winterwolf pelts and wyvern heads (BGEE, TUTU, BGT)
    • Ensure Shar-Teel doesn't die in the original challenge

Version 30 (January 2015)

  • Updated Polish translation (thanks, Bartek)
  • "Modify breach" really and truly affects liches this time. (Maybe? Maybe?)
  • "Skip candlekeep" classic version works correctly.
  • Ease-of-use AI installs correctly on BGEE/TUTU installs.
  • Fixed cosmetic problem with werewolf tokens.
  • NPC precast blade barriers now work.
  • Under-the-hood change: vampire and lich simulacrum-immunity spells are now auto-built from the corresponding items.
  • Slightly more forgiving code to allow for Ding0Tweaks (probably fixes the false positive that's blocking vanilla TUTU installs)

Version 29 (January 2015)

New or Modified Content
  • Restored "Improved Vampires" component on EE installs. (I can no longer reproduce the crash bug, which makes me cautiously optimistic that BG2EE 1.3 has solved it.)
  • Upgraded to WEIDU v237
  • "Improved Watchers Keep" now makes all statues into golems (suggestion, and code, by Mad Mate).
  • Various wizard spell uses are slightly more sensitive to spell turning, minor globes, and the like. (Thanks to Kreso and Raest for suggesting and coding these.)
  • Ease-of-use AI now uses Bhaalspawn innate healing ability.
  • Quick-cast mage spells used by the ease-of-use AI no longer attract the attention of the Cowled Wizards.
  • Better use of Talosar spells.
  • General AI is a bit more willing to attack weakened (but non-helpless) opponents.
  • High-level wizards fairly reliably carry Spell Thrust or Secret Word to deal with Spell Shields.
  • Wizards don't use Timestops during their (or their allies') Alacrities.
  • Slightly toned down use of Teleport Field.
  • Enemies are aware of the effects of barbarian/berserker rage.
  • More customized spell selections for rakshasas.
  • "Elemental arrow" component now removes the (undocumented except on EE) bonuses to hit and damage from fire arrows.
  • Kobold commandos get an enhanced Dexterity score and an extra pip in Shortbow (low-level humanoids are only normally allowed 1 pip) to compensate for the decrease in their abilities from standardising THAC0 and toning down elemental arrows. (They should now be about back up to vanilla power).
  • Hobgoblin elites get designated as Fighters for the purposes of proficiencies, to compensate for THAC0 standardisation.
  • Deprecated "Faster Bears" on BG2EE installs, since 1.3 does this automatically.
  • Fiend hit point changes are now calculated relative to their actual pre-SCS values, not hardcoded. (This mostly means that they're higher.)
  • Candlekeep fourth-wall-breaking tutors now get removed on either version of skip-Candlekeep.
  • Under-the-hood updates to SFO install function.
  • Under-the-hood change: detection of the Cloak of Mirroring is now externalised to a DirectDamageSafe trigger.
  • Under-the-hood change: externalised SSL library dependence in SFO calls to SSL.
  • Under-the-hood change: an argument of "null" to an SFO automatically-generated ASCII or ASCII20 edit function prints a blank string (inter alia this suppresses a harmless SFO warning in "improved Fiends").
  • Documentation change: I no longer officially support Tutu v4 (i.e., I don't do install tests on it, though I'll probably respond to reported problems). I still support EasyTUTU, BGT, vanilla BG2, BGEE, and BG2EE.
Bugfixes
  • Paranoid liches don't get confused when Improved Fiends isn't installed (thanks to Mad Mate for spotting original issue)
  • Izefia's druid flunkies now built properly (thanks to Mad Mate for spotting original issue)
  • Iron Throne mooks in Candlekeep no longer turn the whole keep hostile (thanks to Mad Mate for spotting original issue)
  • Corrected a typo that prevented fiends from using Dispel Magic correctly (thanks to Raest for spotting this)
  • Corrected a typo that prevented mages using one of their sequencers in some defensive contexts (thanks to Raest for spotting this)
  • 9th-11th level wizards may be able to cast Oracle (thanks to Kreso for spotting that they couldn't and identifying the cause)
  • Clerics and druids now use Chaotic Commands in prebuff routines (thanks for Kreso for spotting that this wasn't happening)
  • Fixed several miscoded trigger blocks in spell-use and power-use scripts (thanks to Kreso for catching these)
  • Beholder antimagic eyes now get implemented correctly even if v4 of SR is installed (thanks to Mad Mate for catching this).
  • Tightened up handling of INNOCENT spellcasters. (In particular, INNOCENTs don't need to change class in enhanced-edition installs; some bugs also fixed. Thanks to several people for identifying this issue.)
  • Creatures inappropriately coded as PALADIN in the core game no longer use paladin abilities. (Thanks to Mad Mate for identifying them.)
  • Irenicus, the Fire Lich and Azamantes are now correctly handled by Smarter Mages. (Thanks to Raest for spotting this problem.)
  • Added a couple of missing lizard man weapon animations (thanks to Miloch for spotting this).
  • Disabled BIFFing of lizard-man animations on OSX installs, as (dashteacup tells me) it causes crashes on OSX.
  • Removed (harmless) cruft from Irenicus script and projected-image/simulacrum script (thanks to Mad Mate for spotting it).
  • Hostile clones of players now get appropriate combat scripts (thanks to Mad Mate for spotting this).
  • Guarded Compound glabrezu should now appear correctly even when Improved Fiends is installed (thanks to Raest for spotting this).
  • The Black Pits version of Cursed Wound is now used in Enhanced-Edition installs (this should sort out the bugs with it on EE installs - or at any rate, if not blame Beamdog!)
  • "More consistent breach", in its eternal oscillation between working for liches and not working for liches, now works for liches.
  • "Allow spellstrike to penetrate Magic Protection Scrolls" now works correctly again (the fix for Spell Shield was confusing it; thanks to Raest for spotting the problem).
  • NPC clerics now use the NPC version of Blade Barrier, as per the original game (this has an effect only if the Blade-Barrier spell component is not installed)
  • Fiend animation IDS names now recognise the EE changes to those names (thanks to CrevsDaak for spotting this).
  • Dispel Magic scroll is now handled correctly on EE installs. (Thanks to Crevsdaak for spotting this).
  • Mod now installs correctly on EasyTutu.
  • Option 2 for mage and priest prebuffing now works properly on the BG1 part of the game.
  • Bugfixes coded by Mad Mate:
    • Tyrant Golem in Abazigal's Lair is now correctly built
    • Components that use golem functions can now be installed in isolation.
    • Ascension version of Abazigal gets his death script correctly.
    • Mariliths use the correct telekinesis spell.
    • Fixed logic error in hive mother antimagic-eye use.
    • A couple of missing instant/prebuffed spells are now correctly built.
    • Fixed a typo in the SFO code to build Gaal's creature file.
    • Cleric-mage Sendai's script now parses correctly.
    • QuestPack version of project image now allowed for correctly.
    • Ease-of-use AI now uses casting-time-speedup spell correctly.
    • Missing chromatic-demon slime attack restored.
    • Smarter Mage component now installs correctly even if HLAs are not being used.
    • Smarter Mage sequencers now make use of Carrion Summons correctly.
    • Confusion in code logic for installing cleric/mages fixed.
    • Fixed incorrect death variables for some Elemental Princes summoned by NPCs.
    • BG1 priests use longterm buffs correctly (old code from SCSI v21 left unupdated)
    • Alhoon code now correctly loads required resources.
    • Refinements nerve poison effect correctly parsed.
    • Find Familiar scroll correctly allocated in "Standardise BG1 spells".
    • Fixed logic error in Improved Drow City installer.
    • Irlentree doppelgangers spawn properly.
    • Avarice (from Durlag's Tower) correctly flagged as thief (a typo had been preventing this).
    • Timestop from Wish spell now works correctly.
    • Smarter Priests now correctly checks for Improved Shapeshifting component.
    • Xvarts respond appropriately to calls for help.
    • Smarter Golems component now suppresses too-large golems in AR1202.
    • Better Calls for Help does a better job of removing redundant scripts.
    • "Improved general AI" now does a better job of skipping creatures whose AI shouldn't be improved.
    • "Smarter Mages" now correctly modifies randomly-encountered yuan-ti.
    • Removed a typo that prevented ease-of-use stackable ankheg shells from being properly handled by Taerom.
    • Fixed a typo in script controlling "choose proficiencies".
    • Druid flunkies get death variables.
    • Watcher's keep access component correctly adds Forest of Tethyr entrance coordinates, if you travel there from WK.
    • "Smarter Mages" and "Smarter Dragons" now correctly allow for the possibility that the Ascension-Abazigal component of SCS is installed before them.
    • Azamantes correctly gets at least one Improved Alacrity.
    • Sendai's combat script is no longer overwritten.
    • Laskal is correctly treated as a druid, not a cleric.
    • Corrected error in some vampires' script allocation.
    • Corrected error in SR efreet compatibility code.
    • Davaeorn now gets his scrolls correctly.
Compatibility Fixes
  • Disabled (rudimentary and incomplete) use of Divine Remix spells. (One day I'll do this properly but for the minute it's just getting in the way and doing more harm than good.
  • Some rudimentary support for Item Revisions, following suggestions from Kreso.

Version 28 (November 2013)

New content
  • Updated to WEIDU v236 (and deprecated v27's workaround of the v235 bug).
  • Mildly tweaked combat scripting for Love et al (probably invisible in-game).
  • Davaeorn's flunkies spawn slightly less frequently and no longer run through webs so readily.
  • Slightly tweaked Davaeorn's scripting.
  • Priests make more attempt to remove blindness.
  • Updated French translation (thanks to Isaya).
Bugfixes
  • High-level paladins and blackguards no longer summon devas out of combat.
  • Fixed vanilla issue with paladin/blackguard Summon Fallen Deva: it no longer crashes the game when un-memorised via script.
  • Improved Random Encounters modifies the random-encounter script less destructively, and no longer breaks Dorn's random encounter.
  • Abazigal now uses his antimagic sequencer correctly.
  • Mages no longer chuck meteors at invisible or sanctuaried targets.
  • Sarevok still challenges player if approached at range.
  • In BGEE installs, the (small) number of mages that now use Contingencies have them correctly described.
  • "Improved starting dungeon" no longer stops the game starting in BG2EE.
  • Troll spawns around the d'Arnise Keep no longer cause a sporadic crash bug.
  • Corrected code bug with code that was supposed to prevent some creatures from being allocated potions.
  • On TUTU/BGT installs, chess players and dwarven doom guards are now race=golem, which prevents them from getting potions. (This is already the case on BGEE.)
  • Prevented (rare) situations where non-warriors used strength potions.
  • On EE installs, Durlag's Tower love-fight wardens no longer appear twice. (They don't appear twice on non-EE installs either, but that's not new!)
  • "Avarice" is now designated as a thief, correcting a BGEE bug where he doesn't use his backstab.
  • Mages and priests should now use scrolls correctly (no more random "reads a scroll" messages).
  • On installs without "Improved Shapeshifting", avengers no longer shapeshift into lesser basilisks (cool though that does sound).
  • Davaeorn's Battle Horrors are no longer mislocated on EE installs.
  • Davaeorn's flunkies now spawn correctly.
  • Fixed an ordering error which meant pre-cast protection spells don't protect against sequencer-cast attack spells. (Main noticeable effect: Davaeorn's MGI doesn't protect him against his initial sequencer.)
  • Mages hopefully no longer melee when they have Minute Meteors available.
  • Blinded mages and thieves no longer automatically go invisible.
  • Phase spiders no longer teleport to invisible or sanctuaried creatures.
Compatibility fixes
  • Worked around variable conventions for DISPEL_/REMOVE_MAGIC in a somewhat more compatibility-friendly way.
  • We now work around duplicate entries in gtimes.ids in a less destructive way, inter alia not breaking BG1NPC romance timers.
  • Kit-adding function should no longer choke on Divine Remix kits (this may help with other issues on megamod installs too, though I haven't tested it).
  • Various bits of code should now skip corrupted files (and print a WARNING).
Additional fixes added silently after release
  • Fixed a function-library problem with signed integers; the only problem I'm aware of caused by this was that some creatures with very negative THAC0 (notably Melissan) were having it inappropriately modified.
  • In rare circumstances, Fighter/Mages weren't getting their level set correctly.
  • Irenicus in Hell now has his correct spell set.
  • Irenicus in Hell is now included on the list of SoA creatures that get HLAs.
  • On BGEE installs, Imoen now leaves and rejoins the party correctly.
  • Mages and thieves no longer go invisible if they are paralysed or similar.
  • Priests don't bother to remove blindness caused by Holy Smite, given its brief duration.
  • Breach now correctly affects liches et al.

Version 27 (November 2013)

  • Worked around a WEIDU v235 bug that was preventing install of some components on BG2EE.
  • Fixed a bug with the extend_script function that inter alia was breaking Kaishas' interaction with the PC.
  • "NPC pairs separate" is more robust.
  • Temporarily disabled the "Smarter Vampires" component on BG2EE installs, as it's causing (animation-related?) crashes that I don't currently have time to track down.
  • Vampyre in the Book of Kaza crypt is toned down a bit.
  • Kaishas now gives the sea charts if you resolve the island quest peacefully.

Version 26 (November 2013)

  • Updated to WEIDU v235.
  • Fixed v25 bug that prevented immunity effects being cloned to apply to sequencer-cast spells.
  • "1/4" option on Reduce Reputation Gain now works.
  • Imoen, though still annoying in other respects, no longer pretends to be a dwarf on BGEE/TUTU installs when asked to wait at an inn.
  • Minor optimisation to kit-enforcement function.
  • "Improved Durlag's Tower" no longer requires "Smarter General AI" to be installed.
  • Creation of the "setup-stratagems" exe file is slightly more robust.
  • Carnifex no longer thinks he's Agent Smith.
  • Support for non-English languages on a BGEE/BG2EE install (thanks for Wisp for the trick for doing this).
  • Updated autoinstaller to allow for language change above (this was missing on 25.x, causing problems).
  • On EE installs, a change in Mulahey's dialog compared to vanilla BG1 meant that in certain circumstances he'd spawn unlimited numbers of kobolds.
  • Corrected a few typos in the English dialog file (thanks to Grieg for identifying them).

Version 25 (November 2013)

New components or major changes
  • Updated function library. (You won't notice this in game but it's a significant coding shift.)
  • Updated to WEIDU 234; associated changes to BGEE installation process.
  • BG2EE support.
  • Updated French translation (thanks to Mornagest).
  • Updated Russian translation (thanks to Silent).
  • Updated Polish translation (thanks to S Lukasz).
Minor content tweaks
  • Incorporated the EE text for Power Word Blind.
  • Included AI support for Dark Moon and Sun Soul monks, and for Paladins (rudimentary only) and Blackguards.
  • On EE installs, a couple of creatures are designated as Blackguards.
  • Monks now use Lay On Hands.
  • Allowed for the (admittedly kinda theoretical) case of good-aligned casters summoning Celestials.
  • Spellcasters now summon Celestials even if "Smarter Celestials" isn't installed.
  • Added console command to disable illithids' habit of going invisible on spec (favour to Angelsfury).
  • Added BGEE journal support.
  • Changed shadow thief battlemage from conjurer to invoker (to avoid glitches with her summoned help's allegiance if/when she changes sides) and lowered her level (she's normally supposed to lose).
  • Intelligent creatures no longer attempt to charm Cavaliers.
  • Being able to recover your items in Spellhold before confronting Irenicus is messing with the plot logic (of when you meet Saemon/find the portal) so I've reverted to the original where you get your items back after the final Ch4 battle. Squeal if it's too hard (or put spellhold_easycore=1 in the ini to restore previous behaviour.)
  • On non-enhanced versions of the game, "Faster Bears" (if you don't also use Improved Shapeshifting) does not affect the speed of shapeshifted druids. There are serious difficulties in implementing this on vanilla BG2; it's doable but a pain, so ask nicely if you use this.
  • Peasants and townspeople (i.e. L1 innocents) no longer propagate shouts or turn hostile when they hear a shout; they just get the hell out of Dodge.
  • Semaj no longer bothers with his original scripted teleport.
  • Tightened up the code for creatures going hostile if attacked (and, under the hood, externalised it to an SSL trigger block).
  • Creatures with a character class and the default (=9) value for a class-relevant ability score that has in-game effects (STR,CON for fighters; DEX for rogues; WIS for clerics) now have it randomly set to something sensible.
  • Mildly tweaked mid-level mages' Minor Sequencer choices towards offence.
  • Marked a few gith as fighter/mages based on some evidence that they were originally intended that way.
  • Mildly tweaked mages' defensive preferences in favour of Mantle et al over PMW.
  • Deprecated stronghold component.
Bugfixes
  • Updated and debugged function library, fixing various problems en passant, notably including various area crashes.
  • Spell Trigger string is now correct on a non-EE install.
  • Liches are now immune to Cloudkill.
  • Descriptions of Breach et al are now correctly patched to allow for Iron Skins on a BGEE install.
  • Inquisitor dispel magic fix now correctly applied.
  • Corrected a typo that prevented the Universal Sequencer component from working.
  • Fine weapons on BGEE/TUTU should now shatter correctly.
  • Realistic wolves should now be working properly.
  • Werewolf (and other shapeshifter) tokens should now be made properly.
  • Reputation-increase component now sets rate correctly.
  • On TUTU installs, "remove tutors from Candlekeep" no longer breaks hit point initialisation.
  • "Remove tutors from Candlekeep" now also removes the ones in the inn.
  • Corrected a logic error which could lead to both lots of assassins spawning at the same time.
  • Kobold chieftain now gets his proficiencies correctly.
  • Ogre assassins now spawn correctly.
  • Wolf of Ulcaster should correctly use its powers.
  • Additional werewolves spawn correctly.
  • Worked around a rather subtle BGEE shift in the way some actions work that was causing Icharyd to break.
  • Kobold ambush on mines level 3 now triggers correctly.
  • Power Word Blind has a correct scroll description.
  • Wand of Spell Striking version of Breach is correctly modified (should be relevant only on Enhanced Edition).
  • Corrected errors in the group designation for some "Gameplay" components.
  • Correction of THAC0 errors is less aggressive.
  • Fixed some glitches in the assignment of (mostly thief) HLAs.
  • Cambions no longer cast spells instantly.
  • Clay Golems' Cursed Wounds effect should work correctly now.
  • Wizards now correctly handle the situation where Smarter Fiends is not installed.
  • Devas now get a proper script.
  • Fixed some serious problems with Smarter Fiends fiend-summoning spells.
  • Beholders' sequencers and prebuffs work correctly even if the beholder component is installed later.
  • Mages' Minute Meteors and Energy Blades are now dispelled by Dispel Magic.
  • Fixed a glitch in the spellcaster-level algorithm which was giving too-high levels to spellcasters with illegally many low-level spells.
  • Brimstone gets proper dragon scripting etc.
  • Sahuagin priests correctly receive stoneskins.
  • A few djinni missing their combat scripts now get them.
  • "Skip Candlekeep" now works properly on a BGEE install.
  • Beholder flesh to stone is no longer broken.
  • Irenicus now has the presence of mind to confiscate Shadow Thieves' potions before casting Rapture of the Father on them.
  • Spells with persistent graphical effects (e.g. Blade Barrier) no longer lose those effects when cast as part of a prebuff routine.
  • In certain circumstances, mages were trying to Imprison the protagonist.
  • Davaeorn no longer gets potions of Superior Healing.
  • Cambion spellcasters no longer lose their combat scripts.
  • Ogre Magi are less pusillanimous and now engage in combat.
  • Death Knight in Durlag's Tower now receives his combat script.
  • Demogorgon and Melissan have been back to mage school and now realise that their version of "Stoneskin" cannot be dispelled by Carsomyr.
  • Skeleton Warriors are now consistently flagged as undead that are immune to turning. (In vBG1 their turning immunity is rather crudely handled by making them MONSTERs rather than UNDEAD; BGEE restores their UNDEAD status but ignores turn immunity.) Among other effects this should prevent BG1 skeleton warriors from using healing potions.
  • Fallen Solar in non-Ascension games now summons allies correctly.
  • Beasts in the Copper Coronet more reliably go hostile.
  • Clerics' wisdom is now correctly figured into their number of spells.
  • The Ascension version of Gromnir now gets a proper combat script.
  • The "Smarter Gromnir" component now allows correctly for players who have Ascension but not Tougher Gromnir, or vice versa, installed.
  • The twelfth statue in level one of Watchers' Keep now activates correctly.
  • Fixed (harmless) offset mismatch in Anadramatis' amulet.
  • Vampyre now correctly affected by Vampires component.
  • Gith fighter-mages now get their psionic abilities.
  • Female demons no longer exemplify feminist critiques of gender essentialism.
  • Resources required for Cythandria's golems are now correctly present.
  • BG1 greater werewolves no longer drop Rings of Free Action.
Compatibility fixes
  • Now that Big Picture main component is much more broken down, there's no reason to overwrite BP generic scripts, so we don't.
  • Make some effort to force SSL to output lowercased files. (If I'm still sometimes doing uppercase, someone shout.)
  • Muggers only disappear in the docks and the slums, not indoors, avoiding problems with multiple use of SPMUGGx.
  • Various spell and item components now check for Spell Revisions/Item Revisions and install only if it isn't present.
  • Removed a couple of redundant spell-sequencer scripts from Ascension wizards.
  • Make proper allowance for the fact that Cacofiend (aka Summon Death Knight) is a Necromancy and not a Conjuration spell in SR; ditto for cleric Gate. En passant, this should solve a nasty crash bug with SR/SCS combinations.
  • SR's "Sphere of Chaos" and "Cause Critical Wounds" should now be used correctly.
  • On SR+SCS installs, enemy-summoned glabrezu no longer attack their summoner.

Version 24 (August 2013)

New components or major changes
  • "NPCs wait at inns" now works on BGEE.
  • "Allow NPC pairs to separate" now works on BGEE.
  • Updated German translation (provided by Leonardo Watson)
  • Updated Polish translation (provided by Luk S)
Minor content tweaks
  • Minor file-structure tidying.
  • Tweak to the ssl_to_bcs macro so as to allow more standard "location" arguments.
  • Imix's attacks (in Improved Fire Giants) now count as +5.
  • If a component fails to install, users are invited to visit the forum, not to email me.
  • New option for genies: increase hit points by 50%. (This was in the readme but not actually implemented.)
  • Externalised the level of hit-point increase to genies, dragons, celestials and fiends to stratagems.ini.
  • "Standardise BG1 spells" now allows for 5th level mage spells: Once copy of each such spell is now available from Sorcerous Sundries. (Suggestions for more imaginative distributions are welcome!)
  • The spells that summon shapeshifter tokens are now named for the tokens, not the shapeshift itself (hopefully less confusing).
  • Humanoid creatures with slightly too-good THAC0s now have them trimmed back to legal levels. (I think in most cases in the vanilla game this is done to crudely allow for weapon proficiencies et al. Since I now do that explicitly, there's some double-counting going on. Occasional cases where the THAC0 is radically too good are left alone.)
  • Minor under-the-hood changes to SFO function library.
  • Where possible assassins now spawn in random-encounter areas, not on the main maps. (Can be overridden at the ini.)
  • Credus the bandit no longer initiates dialog if the bandits are all hostile.
  • Fine-tuned the auto-installer.
Bugfixes
  • We now use the WEIDU newline and tabulation variables rather than the previous kludge, which should help (at least) Mac installs (thanks to Wisp for suggestion).
  • Summoned wolves are exempt from the non-hostile wolf component.
  • The install options for the "remove unrealistic ammunition" component now display correctly.
  • Fixed a typo that displayed a nonexistent string (15046) in some circumstances where a user tried to install a component that required another missing component.
  • "Improved Sendai's Enclave" now installs correctly even if "Smarter Mages" is not installed (previously fixed in SCSII and un-fixed in v22...)
  • "SCS scripting for Improved Abazigal" now installs correctly even if "Smarter Mages" is not installed.
  • "Improved BG1 minor encounters" fix for Jenkal was erroneously being applied to Slythe (caught by Adanedhel).
  • Davaeorn no longer stands around like a lemon when he's finished his core attack routine.
  • On Enhanced Edition installs, Shar-Teel's duel with men no longer has odd results (either when picked up, or in the Basilisk area).
  • If the does_not_detect_items ini flag is checked, ENCHANTMENT_IMMUNITY warnings are no longer displayed.
  • "Improved Fire Giant" scripts hadn't been properly moved over to the new SCS format.
  • Red and green dragon scripts in Abazigal's enclave now compile properly.
  • Avengers now buff correctly.
  • Synchronised some disparaties in gtimes.ids between different versions of the game, which was messing with script parsing in a couple of places.
  • Moved shapeshifter token summoning over to 122 from 255, which might prevent random vanishing of tokens.
  • Increased hit points for fiends should now work correctly.
  • Sorted minor issues with the Nashkel merchant's winter-wolf pelt quest.
  • Better Calls for Help now insulates Irenicus's dryads from other creatures.
  • Bonus Merchant component is no longer broken.
  • SSL scripts now compile correctly even if "AI_does_not_detect_items" is set to 1.
  • Mulahey is no longer supported by several hundred kobolds! (A spawn-more-kobold script was erroneously being given to some of his flunkies and then malfunctioning; the script has been removed from the flunkies and also rewritten to be proof against that sort of malfunction.)
  • Tweaked bandit, and generic help, scripts to hopefully reduce the incidence of creatures homing in on invisible PCs.
  • Corrected a couple of glitches on the BGT version of "NPCs wait at inns.
  • Improved chapter 5 battle: the dual-wielding assassin wasn't getting the correct weapons on non-TUTU installs.
  • Creatures with "wander randomly" instructions (i.e., the old WDASIGHT and WDARSGT) now follow them.
  • A few mages were sometimes getting illegally many defensive spells.
  • "Welcome to Candlekeep" message is correctly removed if skip-tutors is installed on BGEE.
  • On BGEE, "unusable by" information no longer appears twice.
  • On BGEE, "CHARNAME" is now correctly rendered (at least if you use the auto-installer).
  • Fixed a find/replace error that was messing up Bassilus's undead.
  • Fixed a typo that prevented Aec'letec's cultists from defending themselves.
  • Fixed a problem in the vanilla Enhanced Edition shout script.
  • General AI no longer suppresses monsters' battle-cries. (Thanks to Pecca for spotting this one.)
  • Consistent Breach now works properly.
  • Ulcaster component now works properly.
Compatibility fixes
  • Creatures with illegally high character levels no longer cause install failures.
  • "Move NPCs to new locations" now correctly checks if the equivalent BG1NPC component is installed.
  • Spell Revisions' wizard spell "Create Undead" is now correctly handled by SCS (this previously caused an install failure if SR was installed).
  • SSL scripts required for Spell Revisions fiends and celestials are now compiled correctly (this also previously caused an install failure if SR was installed).
  • Since SR no longer modifies the Wand of Spell Striking, neither do we.
  • SR's "Sunscorch" spell should now be used correctly.

Version 23 (March 2013)

  • Corrected a number of BG1 creatures which were L30 in their second level in the vanilla game. (This messes with SCS's algorithms for THAC0 and saving throws.)
  • Updated French translation (thanks, Mornagest).
  • Updated Russian translation (thanks, Silent).
  • Bassilus component now installs on BGEE v2014. (Sorry, modding a game still under development means shooting at a moving target...)
  • Bears in BGEE no longer have warp drives.
  • "Fine weapons" component should now work correctly in TUTU.
  • The "improved minor encounters" component correctly locks Jenkal's door.
  • Teven's bandits should now go hostile correctly.
  • The ogres who've incurred Sarhedra's ire should now more reliably register as dead.
  • On BGEE, Mulahey doesn't spawn a double helping of kobolds.

Version 22 (February 2013)

  • Unified SCS and SCSII into combined version
  • Complete recoding of the mod from the ground up (desperately needed to make it half-way maintainable after eight years of unplanned development) using a "functional" coding style intended to work at a much higher level of abstraction
  • Compatibility with the Enhanced Edition of BG
  • New automated install program
  • Streamlining of the component structure: some smaller options are now moved out to the .ini file and some components are merged. (I think no actual customisation options have been lost, but the previous structure was a bit forbidding for new users.)
  • Systematic restructuring of "improved general AI" component to rebuild creatures' choices of proficiency, HLAs, and kit-provided abilities, from scratch
  • Reorganising of general AI scripts to be more adapted to the particular creature's weapons (this means more scripts, but shorter scripts; hopefully this reduces lag.
  • Substantial expansion in the number of kitted creatures
  • Clay golems now cause cursed wounds (a la PnP)
  • Deprecated "Improved Irenicus in Hell" (I coded it as a favour to someone ages ago, but I don't really feel its flavour meshes with SCS. Squeal if you want it reinstated.)
  • Deprecated "Improved final battle in [BG1] chapter 6". (I've never really been happy with it.)
  • Rewrote the Doppleganger component, removing the non-PnP ability boosts and standardising doppleganger abilities.
  • Too many small tweaks, bugfixes, optimisations and consistency adjustments to keep track of