Spell Revisions

A Gibberlings Three Mod
Author: Demivrgvs
On the web: Home page
and discussion forum

Version 3.1 - Check for the most recent version
Languages: English
Platforms: Windows, Mac OS X, Linux

Overview

Spell Revisions aims to fix, tweak, and enhance arcane and divine spells in Baldur's Gate II, Tutu, and Baldur's Gate Trilogy. This originally started as a project to make the spell system more balanced by improving weaker spells and nerfing overpowered ones, but has evolved to also include changes to spells designed to make them more fun and interesting and fixes for spell-related bugs found in the original game.

The mod places a high priority on making all of the existing spells viable choices, while keeping an eye on balance issues. Now, Magic Missile won't be the only first-level arcane spell you'll want to memorize! To help achieve this goal, portions of the old spell system that were consistently underpowered, like healing spells and summons, have been vastly improved so that they are competitive options once more. In addition, SR takes the stance that low-level spells should not become completely inffective once characters reach higher levels, and adds scaling features to many spells.

Among other things, the mod makes druid and cleric spell selections more distinct, with druids focusing on animal and elemental spheres for a repertoire of spells oriented toward the offensive. Arcane spell schools have also been flushed out, with the belief that each spell level should contain at least one spell from each school. To help fulfill these goals, SR adds a small number of spells to the game and modifies the schools and restrictions of some existing spells where appropriate.

SR also improves the descriptions of many spells to be more accurate, more consistent, and, occasionally, less boring.

An overview of the spell changes can be found here. I know that not everyone will like all of the changes I've made - and some of them are controversial - but this can be discussed and I'm open to any suggestions. Anyway, if you think that your favorite spell has become complete rubbish, don't worry! You can choose spells that should be left unmodified before starting the installation process. See the Installation section below to learn how.

Compatibility

This mod has been designed to work with BG2: Throne of Bhaal. It has not been extensively tested solely with BG2: Shadows of Amn, but there are no problems anticipated if the expansion is not installed. The mod has been tested and should be completely compatible with both BGT and Tutu.

Spell Revisions should also work fine with most other WeiDU and non-WeiDU mods (it has been tested with most of them). Small problems may arise if you've installed other spell-modifying mods before SR. Spell Revisions will overwrite changes made by these mods (although new spells introduced by them probably won't be affected). To prevent this, you may wish to disable specific changes made by this mod. Read the section below for details on how to do this.

In general, Spell Revisions should be installed after the BG2 Fixpack and before AI enhancing mods. Install it before all mods that change spells unless you want their versions. I highly recommend installing DavidW's SCS II. All my efforts will be put to achieve compatibility between the two mods. DavidW himself has been kindly enough to take into account some of the new summons (e.g. Death Knights) as of SCS II v5.

Spell Revisions may have some compatibility issues with Divine Remix, so it is not recommended to use them together at this time. Currently, installing SR after Divine Remix will result in divine spells no longer following the sphere system while installing Divine Remix after SR will result in the replacement of some of SR's spell descriptions and the disappearance of some of SR's new and moved spells.

Spell Revisions is somewhat incompatible with gMinion as that mod is based upon vanilla's creatures, while SR's ones are heavily changed. Anyway, SR provides custom scripts for its creatures heavily inspired by gMinion itself. Installing gMinion before SR should enable its scripts for non-SR creatures, but I haven't tested it.

You shouldn't need to start a new game to take advantage of this mod, but doing so will ensure that divine spellbooks of party members are properly updated.

Currently, only an English version of the mod is available.

Installation

Windows
Spell Revisions is packaged and installed with WeiDU and is distributed as a self-extracting archive. To install, simply double-click the archive and follow the instructions on screen.

Alternatively the files can be extracted from the archive using WinRAR. If properly extracted, you should have a "spell_rev" folder and setup-spell_rev.exe in your BG2/Tutu folder. To install, double-click setup-spell_rev.exe and follow the instructions on screen.

Please run setup-spell_rev.exe in your BG2/Tutu folder to reinstall, uninstall, or otherwise change components.

Mac OS X
If the mod was previously installed, uninstall it before extracting the new version. Spell Revisions is packaged and installed with WeiDU. To install, simply extract the contents of the mod into your BG2/Tutu folder. If properly extracted, you should have a "spell_rev" folder, setup-spell_rev, and setup-spell_rev.command in your BG2/Tutu folder. To install, double-click setup-spell_rev.command and follow the instructions on screen.

Linux
Extract the contents of the mod to the folder of the game you wish to modify. Download the latest version of WeiDU for Linux from WeiDU.org and copy WeiDU and WeInstall to /usr/bin. Following that, open a terminal, cd to your installation directory, run 'tolower' and answer Y to both queries. You can avoid running the second option (linux.ini) if you've already ran it once in the same directory. To save time, the archive is already tolowered, so there's no need to run the first option (lowercasing file names) either if you've extracted only this mod since the last time you lower cased file names. If you're unsure, running tolower and choosing both options is the safe bet.

Run WeInstall spell_rev in your game folder to install the mod. Then run wine BGMain.exe and start playing.


How to Prevent Certain Spells from Being Installed
Note: this must be done before installing the mod. To disable a certain spell, open the file spell_rev/setup-spell_rev.tp2 with a text editor, search for the spell in question, and comment out it and its related files /* like so */. Anything inside the commented area will get skipped when installing. Here is an example for Oracle.

setup-spell_rev.tp2 - searching for 'Oracle' yields:

COPY ~spell_rev\spwi5##\spwi515.spl~     ~override~  //Oracle
  SAY NAME1 @639    SAY UNIDENTIFIED_DESC @640
COPY ~spell_rev\spwi5##\scrl6w.itm~     ~override~
  SAY NAME2 @639    SAY IDENTIFIED_DESC   @640

Adding the following will prevent the spell from being installed:

/* COPY ~spell_rev\spwi5##\spwi515.spl~     ~override~  //Oracle
  SAY NAME1 @639    SAY UNIDENTIFIED_DESC @640
COPY ~spell_rev\spwi5##\scrl6w.itm~     ~override~
  SAY NAME2 @639    SAY IDENTIFIED_DESC   @640 */

Hooray, Oracle will no longer be changed when you install the mod! If you have any questions or require assistance with any of the above, feel free to drop me a line in the forum.

Components

Spell Revisions
This is the main component, containing all divine and arcane spell changes. Also included in this are some minor fixes, new animations from Icewind Dale for some illusion spells, items used by the improved creatures summoned by various spells, and innate abilities for many summoned creatures. More information on this component can be found in the section below this one, while complete spell descriptions can be found here.

Deva and Planetar Avatars (may be used with or without the main component)
This component updates the avatars of the celestials summoned by HLAs to take advantage of 1PP Attachable Wings as seen here, and adjusts their weapons:

Mirror Image Fix (may be used with or without the main component)
This .exe patch fixes mirror images so they no longer protect from AoE spells such as Fireball. As with the other .exe patches, this will probably only work if you are using the ToB v26498 patch for PCs.

Dispel Magic Fix (may be used with or without the main component)
This .exe patch fixes the chance to dispel magic to match the spell's description (so there is at least a marginal chance of dispelling effects of a higher-level mage) and corrects conceptual problems caused by the automatic dispelling of all magically created items. More info about its outrageous old behaviour can be found here.

Cure Sleep Fix (requires the main component be installed)
This .exe patch allows creatures affected by Sleep to awaken if hit, and creatures affected by Greater Command to make a save each round to awaken. I'd prefer that this be included in the main component, but being that it is an .exe patch, it may give problems due to different localizations, patches, nocd cracks, etc. Most of you won't have any problems installing it, but if it gives you an error message, don't install it, it's not really a big deal - you just won't have the two mentioned features. Contact me if you have any problems.

Remove Disabled Spells from Spell Selection Screens (requires the main component be installed)
This .exe patch allows certain spells that should no longer be available to be removed from the character generation and sorcerer level-up screens. Without it, a couple of disabled spells will be listed but unselectable.

Update Spellbooks of Joinable NPCs (requires the main component be installed)
This component will patch all joinable NPCs in the game (including mod NPCs) who are divine casters, updating their spellbooks by removing spells that should no longer be available to them and adding the new ones they should get. Without this component, NPCs gain access to their new spells only upon their first level-up after joining the party, and the only in-game way to remove the spells they should no longer have is to CLUA in the item "ADSCROLL" and use it on the character. If installed in the middle of a game, this component will only affect NPCs who have yet to be met.

Spell Revisions

Spell Description Changes
Descriptions for all spells have been updated. Now, you can be sure that what you read is what you get (well, maybe 95% sure). Descriptions are constructed in the following manner:

<Name>
<Level>
<School>
<Sphere>
  Listed only in divine spells
<Range>
  Personal - area of effect is centered on the caster
  Touch    - same as the range of one-handed weapons
  Short    - 1/3 the visual range of the caster
  Medium   - 2/3 the visual range of the caster
  Long     - visual range of the caster, the longest that the game allows
<Duration>
  BG2 uses the following units:
  1 round => 6 seconds
  1 turn  = 10 rounds
  1 hour  = 5 turns
<Casting Time>
  1 = fastest
  9 = 1 round = slowest
<Area of Effect>
  Caster     - spell affects the caster only
  1 creature - spell affects any one creature
  X' radius  - spell affects creatures in the given radius (50 feet is almost equal to visual range of caster)
  Cone       - spell has a cone-shaped area of effect
<Saving Throw>
  X Half    - making a successful save vs. X reduces damage by half
  X Partial - making a successful save vs. X results in a reduced effect
  X Negates - making a successful save vs. X results in no effect
  None      - there is no saving throw against this spell
  Special   - the spell has multiple saving throws, different targets roll different saving throws, etc.
<Description>

Universal School of Magic
Spells that belong to the universal school can be learned and cast by every specialist mage (in the case of arcane spells), and cannot be blocked by the Spell Immunity spell. Universal spells include Find Familiar, all contingency spells, all sequencer and trigger spells, and Wish spells.


Overview of Divine Spell Changes
While the most accurate spell descriptions are available here, this should give you an overview of the most notable changes made to divine spells.


Overview of Arcane Spell Changes
While the most accurate spell descriptions are available here, this should give you an overview of the most notable changes made to arcane spells.

Contact Information

Demivrgvs created this mod. Visit the Gibberlings Three forums for information on this and any other Gibberlings Three mods on which I may be working.

Thanks and Acknowledgements

Firstly, many thanks to Gibberlings Three, and especially Cam, for hosting!

Huge thanks of course to Westley Weimer, who created an astonishingly flexible and powerful mod editor for IE games, and to the bigg for his modifications to that editor. Many thanks also to the creators of the Infinity Engine Structure Description Project, which clarified what the hell was going on several dozen times; and to Jon Hauglid, for Near Infinity.

I'm also very grateful to anyone who has beta tested the mod and/or provided much useful feedback, especially to Mike1072 and Ardanis, whose help has been essential to this project. Thanks to those who have contributed, each in his/her own way, like Galactygon (who made possible to apply a few tweaks), and Yarpen and Scorpio (for working on BAMs), but also many others. A special thanks goes out to Taimon for providing some wonderful .exe patches, fixing things long thought unfixable. Thanks to those so brave to translate the whole mod: Fess, Silent, Commander L for the russian translation; Ancalagon el negro for the spanish one; and Lefreut (of the d'Oghmatiques) for the french one.

And last but not least, thanks to Marv for creating ADPack from which all my work started...

Tools Used in Creation
WeiDU by Wes Weimer and the bigg
Near Infinity by Jon Olav Hauglid and devSin
IESDP maintained by igi

Credits and Copyright Information

This mod may not be sold, published, compiled or redistributed in any form without the consent of its author. Spell Revisions is 2008-2009 Marco Montagnoli.

Version History

Version 3.1 - January 4, 2012

Version 3 - September 18, 2009

Version 2.9 - February 3, 2009

Version 2 - August 18, 2008

Version 1.5 - July 22, 2008

Version 1 - May 19, 2008