Baldur's Gate II Fixpack Documentation: Optional But Cool
Party Gets XP for Sending Keldorn to Reconcile With Maria
In Keldorn's personal quest, if you go with Keldorn when he reconciles with Maria the party receives XP. However, if you send him alone to reconcile you do not--this component gives you XP for sending him alone to reconcile.
Improved Spell Animations
This component alters the animations of several spells, including Maze, by addressing subtle errors in their animation cycles.
Cromwell's Forging Actually Takes a Day
When Cromwell forges an item for the party, he says it will take a day but no actual time passes. This component changes the upgrades to actually take a day.
Mixed-Use Dagger Fixes
Daggers that can be used in melee and thrown are an irresolvable bug: when thrown, daggers should get an extra attack per round, but there's no way to apply this bonus without also granting it when he dagger is being used in melee. This component grants the extra attack but at the expense of removing melee abilities.
Ghreyfain's Holy Symbol Fixes
Basically, it makes the granting of Holy Symbols in the game a bit more logical. Aerie gets the symbol of Baervan, Viconia gets the symbol of Shar, and Anomen gains the symbol of Helm even when lawful good (he used to get Lathander's).
Additional Hero Quests in Trademeet Wait Until Hero is Officially Named (DEPRECATED)
This was confirmed by BioWare as an actual bug and has been moved into the core fixes.
Giants Receive Penalties When Attacking Halflings, Dwarves, and Gnomes
This component gives giants their P&P penalty when trying to attack undersized (halflings, dwarves, gnomes) foes.
Remove Dual-Classing Restriction from Archers and Stalkers
In Throne of Bhaal, archers and stalkers can't dual-class to clerics as normal rangers and beastmasters can; for consistency Core Fixes adds this restriction to SoA-only games as well. This component will remove the restriction.
Remove Second Attribute Bonus for Evil Path in Wrath Hell Trial
If the protagonist selects the 'evil' option when speaking to Sarevok in the Hell Trials, the PC gets rewarded twice with attribute bonuses. There are several factors that suggest one of the bonuses is leftover junk in the script, but there's not enough evidence of developer intent to include it in the Core Fixes.
Corrected Summoned Demon Behavior
This component alters the AI of summoned demons, causing them to behave less predictably, but at the same time, more realistically (i.e. Baatezu will attack Tanar'ri).
Additional Script Fixes
There are several additional scripting errors which can't be fixed by the core fixes. While clearly bugs, what was intended by the developers is more towards speculation and, as such, these fixes have been moved into their own component. Most of the bugs are missing checks in spellcaster scripts for memorized spells (or casting spells). A more detailed account of the changes can be found in the full Optional But Cool documentation.
Bard Song Fixes
The manual describes bard's Battlesong as granting "morale and luck improvement for the party." And then goes on to describe a luck bonus for the party as though it were a luck penalty for opponents. And then in-game battlesong grants only immunity to fear (without preventing the additional effects that can accompany fear) with no morale or luck effects at all. Our best educated guess at developer intent adds a +1 luck bonus to battlesong, which improves to +2 at 15th level and improves again to +3 at 20th level. Blade's version of battlesong in this component still does not improve with levels (as the class disadvantage states) and Skald and Jester songs (which already vaguely match their descriptions and work) are untouched.
Wizard Slayers Cause Miscast Magic on Ranged Attacks
The original kit description of the Wizard Slayer states as a kit advantage: "For each successful hit on an opponent, 10% cumulative spell failure penalty is applied". However, it was only applying this effect on melee hits. The Core Fixes do not change this and the Game Text Update clarifies the kit description to specify melee-only. This component allows players to extend the ability to both melee and ranged attacks and updates the kit description.
Additional Alignment Fixes
As part of the Core Fixes, the Fixpack addresses many creatures who either lack alignment, have conflicting alignments between their creature files, or have an alignment completely at odds with their behavior. These changes underwent a great deal of scrutiny in an organized review, and it was decided that some of them should be moved into an optional component as there was no general consensus for the new alignments of these specific creatures.
Change Free Action to Protect Against Stun
BioWare was very inconsistent about whether free action should protect against stun or not. The spell did not protect against it, but most items that grant free action did. However, per David Gaider, free action is not supposed to protect against stun. For players who think this overpowers stun (particularly mind flayer psionics) this component will extend free action to protect against stun.
Paws from Shapeshifting Can Not Be Dispelled
Windows-only, requires TobEx
Dispel magic will no longer remove the paws of shapeshifted creatures.
Remove Thieving Start Bonuses from Bard and Ranger Skills
All thieving skills use one lookup table to determine their racial bonuses for their abilities. However, the table is actually a combination of racial bonuses and initial thieving abilities. This component seeks to remove the initial thief bonuses from non-thief classes. Specifically, bards will no longer receive a 15% bonus to their pickpocket skills, and rangers will not receive the 7% bonus to stealth.