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  • Submitted: Feb 13 2018 07:52 PM
  • Last Updated: Mar 05 2018 11:45 AM
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Previous Versions

  • 05 Mar 2018 Download (3.5 Edition) Weapon Style Rebalance 1.1
  • 03 Mar 2018 Download (3.5 Edition) Weapon Style Rebalance 1
  • 28 Feb 2018 Download (3.5 Edition) Weapon Style Rebalance 1
  • 13 Feb 2018 Download (3.5 Edition) Weapon Style Rebalance beta

Download (3.5 Edition) Weapon Style Rebalance 1.1

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Baldurs Gate Tweak 3rd Edition Enhanced Edition Weapon Styles

This mod is the latest part of my 3.5 Edition/ Pathfinder style Tweaks Collection, which eventually will be combined into a single installer, once this last part has been play tested to my satisfaction.  Like the rest of the mods in this collection, the purpose of this mod is to bring several balance features and rules introduced by 3rd edition D&D and Pathfinder into the Infinity Engine with minimally invasive tweaks, rather than a complete engine or rule overhaul, to preserve mod compatibility.


Whereas the previous mods dealt with thac0 and Hit Dice, this mod rebalances the four “Weapon Style” proficiencies to make them conform more closely to how they function in 3.5 and Pathfinder, and moreover, to correct the rather large imbalance between Weapon Styles in BG2, in which investing 2 pips in any other Style than “2 Weapon” was rather useless and situational at best, and Dual Wielding was almost always the optimal build for a Warrior.


The mod is divided into 5 optional Components, which are as follows:


The first component, (3.5 Edition) Weapon Style Rebalance, is the core of the mod, which changes the weapon styles file and resets the test descriptions—I’ll mention this mod is fully compatible with BGEE, BG2EE, and IWDEE.  The changes are as follows, firstly all weapon styles require only two proficiency points to be considered full, including two weapon style.  Secondly, the second proficiency point in any weapon style is significantly more powerful than the first; like the vanilla game almost all classes can place at least one pip in any weapon style, while two proficiency points is generally reserved for the Warrior classes, with certain exceptions (detailed later). Thirdly, the weapon styles are modified as noted:


Two-Handed Weapon Style:

One point: a -1 bonus to to-hit rolls, a +1 bonus to damage rolls, and a -1 bonus to Speed Factor (Speed Factor being essentially equivalent to an initiative bonus from 3rd edition and later.)

Two points: a -1 bonus to to-hit rolls, a +4 bonus to damage rolls, a -2 bonus to Speed Factor, and a +1 bonus to critical hit rolls (scoring a critical hit upon 19 & 20, rather than just 20.)


A brief explanation, from 3rd edition onwards using two-handed weapons are most often the best method of maximizing melee damage, especially for high strength characters, since when using a two-handed weapon your Strength damage is multiplied by 1.5, so that, for instance, an 18 Strength Fighter would get a +6 damage bonus when using a two-handed weapon, rather than merely +4.  However, in the IE games (based on 2e rules) High strength generally does not grant that many combat bonuses, unless it is exceptionally high, that is 18+, and is generally more used to limit the types of equipment you can equip.  Moreover, most of your combat bonuses come from specializing (or mastering) in a specific type of weapon (longswords, axes, spears, etc.), and those bonuses do not differentiate between two-handed or one-handed weapons, thus favoring dual wielding.  With this mod, now having two points in Two-Handed Weapons dramatically increases your damage output (+4) making it the best style for Offensive warriors—as it is in 3e, especially during the early game, and especially for warrior classes (like Paladins & Barbarians) who cannot gain damage bonuses from Mastery or Grand Mastery.


Shield-Fighting Style (no longer called “Sword and Shield” to avoid confusion):

One point: a -1 bonus to AC and an additional -1 bonus to AC against missile attacks when using a shield

Two points: a -2 bonus to AC and an additional -2 bonus to AC against missile attacks when using a shield


It’s commonly accepted among IE players that shields tend to be rather unpowered, since even the heaviest (non-magical) shields only grant +1 AC, and it is only worth using the rarer enchanted shields, and often even they are abandoned by the late game, as the extra missile protection can be more easily replicated otherwise.  To say the least, in 3e Shields are much more powerful, as even the non-magical larger shields could grant +2 to +3 AC bonuses, and, moreover, magical shields granted a special unique “Shield” AC bonus that could not be easily obtained otherwise and, further, there is a whole slew of feats that a character can take to make combat with a shield even more powerful.  With this mod, investing in the Shield-Fighting style will make shields much more effective as a defensive tool, granting total AC bonuses rather than just missile AC bonuses, though they still do grant a smaller additional missile AC bonus; even investing a single point as a thief will help mitigate the missile vulnerability of bucklers.  Now using the Shield-Fighting Style is the best style for tanks and otherwise defensive warriors.


Single Weapon Style:

              One point: a -1 bonus to to-hit rolls, a -1 bonus to Speed Factor, and a -1 bonus to AC

Two points: a -2 bonus to to-hit rolls, a -2 bonus to Speed Factor, a -2 bonus to AC, and a +3 bonus to critical hit rolls (scoring a critical hit upon 17 and up, rather than just 20.)


Single weapon style is a bit more complicated to explain, as it is meant to represent a whole bunch of feats, weapons, and prestige class aimed at low strength and high dexterity characters to make them more effective in combat, specifically things like Weapon Finesse (which substitutes Dexterity stat for Strength on melee attack rolls), classes that grant additional defense and attack bonuses for using a single weapon with a free hand, and generally builds the many high critical hit builds.  Single weapon style is now a good defensive style for characters who cannot otherwise equip shields, either for class or strength restrictions, and a good offensive style for who characters who cannot easily obtain damage bonuses otherwise, as you now have a 1/5 change to strike a critical hit.  Single handed style is now (with the addition of another component of this mod) meant to be the route for characters who want specialize in backstabbing, due to the to-hit and crit bonuses.


Two-Weapon Style:

Untrained: a +4 to-hit penalty to the main hand, a +8 to-hit penalty to the offhand, and a -2 damage penalty to the offhand

One point: a +2 to-hit penalty to the main hand, a +4 to-hit penalty to the offhand, and a -2 damage penalty to the offhand

Two points: no penalty to the main hand, a +2 to-hit penalty to the offhand, and a -2 damage penalty to the offhand


Dual wielding is very overpowered in the BG2 engine (in some ways even more so than in AD&D), and was almost always the best offensive style by the late game.  To say the least, Dual wielding was a little bit more balanced, in that it required a very specific build to make it work, and was usually reserved for Rogues and very specific warrior builds.  The biggest changes I’ve made to two-weapon style is that now, like all the other weapon styles, it requires two Proficiency points to make it complete, and now the offhand weapon, regardless of style points, always receives a -2 penalty to damage roles, reflecting the rule in 3e in which an offhand receives of half of its user’s strength bonus.  Also, I’ve changed the Two-Weapon Style test description to better explain to new players exactly what dual wielding does: it grants 1 extra APR; it does not double your APR.


The second (optional) component, Expanded Weapon Styles for non-Warriors, allows Thieves and Bards to invest 2 points in Two-Weapon Style and Single Weapon Style, as per P&P, and allows Mages and Sorcerers to invest 1 point in Single Weapon Style and Two-Handed Weapon Style, also as per P&P.  This is similar to Rogue Rebalancing weapon style component, except it expands style selection even further, thus should be used instead of that component it you are installing both this and Rogue Rebalancing.  (This mod will account for any new Kits you add to the game as well, so long as it is installed after them.)


The third (optional) component, Quarterstaves Cannot Backstab, patches all the Quarterstaves in the game so that they no longer allow backstabs.  This is for balance purposes, to eliminate the problem from the base game where Quarterstaves were illogically the best weapons for backstabbing.  (How does one ‘backstab’ someone with a blunt stick?)  Again, this will account for any new Staves added by mods.


The fourth (optional) component, Rangers Have No Offhand to-hit Penalty, grants all Rangers, kits, etc., an immediate removal of their offhand to-hit penalty at level 1, in accordance with AD&D P&P rules.  Again, accounts for any new kits added by mods.


The fifth (optional) component, Update Montolio's Cloak, is for BG2EE or EET, and updates Montolio's Cloak so that it now removes the offhand damage penalty for it’s user, since now Rangers by default remove their offhand thaco penalty, which is what the cloak originally did.


Thanks to subtledoctor, Mike1072, and everyone else who lent a hand to me.


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