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Throne of Bhaal Features List
 

On March 1, 2001, Black Isle Studios and Bioware announced an expansion pack for Baldur's Gate II called Throne of Bhaal. It was released in June 2001 and has the following features.

Features

  • The expansion concludes the Child of Bhaal saga which started in the original Baldur's Gate
  • Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal takes players through an all-new storyline rich with intrigue and treachery as they unravel the mysteries of the six-story dungeon of Watcher's Keep and explore other new areas such as the City of Saradush, the Fortified Monastery of Amkethran, Sendai's Underdark Fortress and the player's own Abyssal Stronghold
  • Characters may reach up to level 40, made possible with a raised experience cap of 8 million points, quite possibly the highest level ever achieved by characters in any Advanced Dungeons & Dragons computer game
  • About 100 new items and weapons, including such that need to be put together from multiple pieces
  • You will have the ability to create and modify your own items and artifacts with the help of Cespenar, an imp weapon smith who will build you special creations and modify your existing weapons if you have specific components in your inventory when you visit him in your stronghold
  • Over 40 new powerful high-level spells and abilities
  • New monsters: Solars, Planetars, Magic Golems, Hive Mothers, Fire Giants, Water Weird, Baatezu, Succubi, Undead Beholders, more Dragons (Blue and Green), Demogorgon and many others
  • A new Wild Mage character kit will be included to the already extensive class list allowing gamers to create a powerful new character able to cast spells with very unpredictable results
  • A new male NPC who can join the party - Sarevok
  • New NPC dialogue and interaction, including the continuation of romances
  • Miscellaneous:
    - The player can now press TAB to highlight doors, containers, and ground piles
    - Ranger Tracking has been added
    - Non-pausing world map is an option so players can watch their characters travel in the map screen
    -
    All mages now have the option of erasing spells from their spellbook
    - Contingencies & Spell Triggers Screen has been added
    - Spell effects are capped at level 20 (for spells that take into account caster's level)
    - Evil clerics can turn paladins
  • The expansion will add about 40-50 hours of gameplay

Play Options

Throne of Bhaal is fully playable either while questing through the BG II adventure or after you have completed BG II. Players will explore the lands of Tethyr as an epic conflict wreaks devastation on a scale never before seen in the Forgotten Realms campaign world.

The expansion comes in two parts: an add-on and an add-in. The add-on picks up where the last game ended and concludes the child of Bhaal storyline once and for all. The add-in injects new content into Baldur's Gate II, much in the same way that Tales of the Sword Coast did.

A brief explanation of the Add-On and Add-In sections

The Add-In section is a massive dungeon complex called The Watcher's Keep. When you install Throne of Bhaal (TOB), the area is added to your existing Shadows of Amn (SOA) map. You can play it whenever you have access to it (Chapter 2, 3, 6) although you should have an average party level of at least 10 to venture in. The Watcher's Keep makes up approximately half of the expansion and can be accessed from both Shadows of Amn and Throne of Bhaal. The area is on both maps.

The Add-On section continues the main story after the final confrontation in SOA. An ill-wind sweeps across the Sword Coast and the party drives southward in an attempt to learn more about the Prophecy of Alaundo and to find his or her place (as a Child of Bhaal) in that prophecy. We give you an entire new WorldMap with tons of stuff to do. This new map is made up of Southern Tethyr and Northern Calimshan. Just like the transition from BG1 to BG2, everything is new.

One of the concerns mentioned was that some people are worried about accessing the stuff that they've stored in their stronghold or elsewhere in the SOA areas. We have several solutions for this:

1) You can import from your final save in SOA. Like BG1, this is just before the end encounter. All of the equipment that you've loaded yourself out with for the final battle will be imported over into TOB. The bonuses from using the tears before the final fight would not be carried over, because the final save is before you use the tears. Alternately, you can replay the final battle and the game will flow directly in TOB from the end movie of SOA. In this case, you get to keep all the bonuses as well.

2) You can import from any other SOA save games. If you left something behind or have not yet finished SOA, you can still import into TOB. You can also import any of your created characters into the game. Any characters that are below 2.5 million XP will be bumped up and be given a bag of holding full of appropriately powerful goodies. We insure that you will be at an appropriate level to be able to face the new challenges in the Add-On section regardless of where you've imported from.

3) You can start a new game in TOB - you can go through the character creation just like in SOA, including new options like the Wild Mage (also available from the start of SOA). You will build a 2.5 million XP character who will also be given tons of spells and items appropriate to his or her class and/or level. Soon after the start of the expansion you will be able to build up your party. (Using the Import button of the character creation screen you can also import any single character from BG1 or BG2 character files or saves.)

All of these import or new game options give you access, in your new stronghold, to all of the Shadows of Amn characters who are not dead. There is also a new joinable-NPC who you meet in your new stronghold.

In short, you have options. Approximately half of the expansion takes place in SOA (although it is also accessible in TOB). So, anyone who's worried about items or tying up loose ends, should take some time there and gather up everything you want to take with you before moving on.

When you play the expansion part of the story, though, the original areas in BG2 are no longer accessible. Only Watcher's Keep is accessible throughout both BG2 and the expansion. So in order for you to still get the NPCs, the summoning feature of your Abyssal fortress was implemented.

The usefulness of the NPCs is the same in the expansion as it was in BG2. If you went through BG2 slaughtering all the NPCs you didn't want you won't have anyone to summon in the expansion... They're all dead. Your party make-up will be the same as you played with previously.

As to the summoning - the player can summon into his new stronghold, any BG2 NPCs that aren't dead and aren't currently in the party. I'll leave the details on why and how you can do this to the game. You'll find out when you play. The NPCs will all be more powerful than their previous versions and be outfitted accordingly.

New Content & Story

The new content is an exceedingly large dungeon called Watcher's Keep, described by the folks at BioWare as "the coolest dungeon we've ever made." There you'll encounter a variety of nasty monsters and a fairly large assortment of legendary artifacts from the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons rules. You'll also probably die a lot.
If you have already finished BioWare's latest epic, no problem - the Watcher's Keep dungeon also appears on the new map for the add-on story, so you can access it from there as well.

The new story starts in your own personal stronghold in the Abyss. From there, you'll learn a variety of new (and extremely potent) powers, each of which opens up new areas of your stronghold to explore. The first power you get is the ability to summon any character from Baldur's Gate II. To them, it seems as though you never left, and they will join your party immediately. You can also create or import a party of your own, if you prefer. The game will automatically bump any character you use to 2,500,000 experience points and outfit you with items appropriate to that level.

Next you'll travel to a variety of places, including the city of Saradush (in Tethyr), which is under siege. Since it ends the Bhaal saga, the expansion pack, fittingly enough, resolves the problem of who claims the throne. There are only 5 Bhaal-spawn left, one of them being a very powerful fire giant who has an army of his kin besieging the city of Saradush, and you have landed right in the thick of it. The city is teeming with huddled refugees, hot-tempered locals, decaying corpses, and disease. Catapults rain fire down on the city streets as you walk around. It's not a happy place.

It does show off some of the advanced scripting that BioWare has worked into the game, however. City inhabitants don't necessarily just stand around waiting for you to talk to them - they walk to the store, walk home, go to the local tavern, and just generally follow their daily routine. Tempers flare, brawls break out, and life in the city goes on around you. It's interesting just to walk around the town, even if you don't talk to anybody.

Demogorgon

To make the final part of Baldur's Gate special and challenging, one of the toughest creatures to be found in D&D has been added to the game: Demogorgon - Prince of Demons.

Demogorgon is another of the tanar'ri lords who, like Juiblex and Yeenoghu and others, has managed to extend his influence beyond the Abyss. Awesome in his power, this gigantic tanar'ri is 18 feet tall and reptilian. Demogorgon has two heads which bear the visages of twisted and evil baboons. His skin is plated with snake-like scales. His body and legs are those of a giant lizard. Rather than arms, Demogorgon has massive tentacles. This Prince of Demons is the essence of malevolent power and all that he beholds is destroyed.

The Machine of Lum the Mad

Another new area of particular interest is a map that contains the Machine of Lum the Mad. As you probably know, the Machine of Lum the Mad is an artifact that creates a variety of random effects. You can choose from a variety of different levers, switches, and dials to poke, pull, or twist. Depending on the combination, you might get a stat boost or you might lose five levels... You just never know.

Deck of Many Things

One of the uber-cool new items is the Deck of Many Things. Each card in this deck is a metallic plate, each adorned with a distinct portrait of its own. The card shimmers with power, and while each Deck of Many Things is different, all legends agree that this kind of artifact holds great power and is not to be used lightly.

The exact contents and powers of the deck cannot be known unless the cards are drawn... but once drawn, the effect on the user is irreversible. Supposedly, a Deck of Many Things can only be used so many times until it disappears and moves elsewhere in the multiverse... for what reason, no one knows.

Continuing Romances

There is an 'initial stage' in a romance during which if you kick them out of the party the romance will quickly be over. With Jaheira, it's over right away... For others it takes a day or two.

Once you're past this initial stage, you can kick them out and take them back in later, no problems. If this is the case and they aren't currently in your party, you can summon them as per normal and the romance will continue. Not, however, if you've already started a romance with someone else.

If you simply import a character and not a save game/final save, then there are no globals set and therefore no romance. If you import a save game and hadn't finished the romance plot inside of BG2, as long as you made it a good half-way it should pick up in the expansion as if it were completed.

We are definitely bringing the already-existing romance stories to a conclusion as the story concludes. They conclude in very different and perhaps unexpected ways, in fact...

Changes to Existing Classes

Experience and Gaining Levels

The limit to the amount of experience that a character could achieve during the course of Baldur's Gate II was 2,950,000 XP, allowing characters to reach as high as 23rd level.
With the installation of Throne of Bhaal the limit has been raise to 8,000,000 XP. This corresponds to the following class levels.

Fighter: 40th
Paladin: 34th
Ranger: 34th
Wizard: 31st
Cleric: 40th
Druid: 31st
Thief: 40th
Bard: 40th
Sorcerer: 31st
Monk: 40th
Barbarian: 40th

High-Level Class Abilities

Probably the most important feature added to Throne of Bhaal are the new High-Level Class Abilities. These abilities are chosen by the player as he or she advances to extremely high levels. When players gain a new High-Level Class Ability, they choose from a poll of abilities. There is a separate pool for each class. Wizards and Sorcerers gain 10th level spells, Druids and Clerics gain Quest spells, Fighters, Rangers, Paladins, Monks and Barbarians gain new fighting moves, and Thieves and Bards gain new traps and special abilities. Once characters reach a certain level, they begin to gain a new High-Level Class Ability each level. Many of these abilities may be chosen more than once, allowing the character to use the the ability multiple times per day. The level at which characters begin to gain these abilities varies with each class:

Fighter: 20th (uses the warrior pool)
Ranger: 18th (uses the ranger pool)
Paladin: 18th (uses the warrior pool)
Barbarian: 20th (uses the warrior pool)
Mage: 18th (uses the wizard pool)
Sorcerer: 18th (uses the wizard pool)
Cleric: 22nd (uses the cleric pool)
Monk: 22nd (uses the warrior pool)
Druid: 15th (uses the druid pool)
Thief: 24th (uses the thief pool)
Bard: 24th (uses the bard pool)

Some classes gain special abilities above and beyond what was previously listed:

Clerics

25th level: Gains a special holy symbol from his god. This holy symbol has the following powers:

  • +1 STR
  • 5% MR
  • Allows cleric to memorize additional 6th and 7th level spell

Druids

15th level: Immunity to poison
18th level: Gains 10% resistance to all environmental damage (cold, fire, electricity and acid). At 21st and 24th level this resistance is increased by an additional 10%.

Monks

The monk's magic resistance stops increasing at 78%.

21st level: +1 AC
24th level: +2 AC
25th level: His fists become +4 weapons
27th level: +3 AC
30th level: +4 AC
35th level: +5 AC
40th level: +6 AC

Barbarians

Barbarian resistances stop improving after level 20.

Archers (Ranger kit)

18th level: To hit and damage bonus slows down to a rate of -1 every 5 levels.

Stalkers (Ranger kit)

12th level: All of the mage spells gained are memorized as priest spells.

Wizard Slayers

Starting at 20th level, the Wizard Slayer gains 5% MR every second level. He continues to gain 1% for every odd level.

New Spells

Mage Spells - Level 1

Nahal's Reckless Dweomer

Mage Spells - Level 2

Chaos Shield

Mage Spells - Level 7

Improved Chaos Shield

Mage Spells - Level 8

Bigby's Clenched Fist

Mage Spells - Level 9

Bigby's Crushing Hand
Wish

Mage Spells - Level 10

Comet
Dragon's Breath
Energy Blades
Improved Alacrity
Summon Dark Planetar
Summon Planetar

Priest Spells - Quest Level

Aura of Flaming Death
Elemental Summoning
Elemental Transformation (Earth)
Elemental Transformation (Fire)
Globe of Blades
Greater Elemental Summoning
Implosion
Mass Raise Dead
Storm of Vengeance
Summon Deva
Summon Fallen Deva

High-Level Class Ability Pools

Warrior pool (Fighters, Paladins, Barbarians, Monks):
- Critical Strike (Power Attack)
- Deathblow
- Whirlwind Attack
- Greater Deathblow (requires Deathblow)
- Greater Whirlwind Attack (requires Whirlwind Attack)
- Hardiness
- Power Attack
- Resist Magic
- Smite (requires Power Attack and Critical Strike)

Ranger pool:
- Critical Strike (Power Attack)
- Deathblow
- Whirlwind Attack
- Greater Deathblow (requires Deathblow)
- Greater Whirlwind Attack (requires Whirlwind Attack)
- Hardiness
- Power Attack
- Resist Magic
- Smite (requires Power Attack and Critical Strike)

Cleric quest spells:
- Aura of Flaming Death
- Elemental Summoning
- Energy Blades
- Globe of Blades
- Implosion
- Mass Raise Dead
- Storm of Vengeance
- Summon Deva (good and neutral clerics)
- Summon Fallen Deva (evil and neutral clerics)

Druid quest spells:
- Aura of Flaming Death
- Elemental Summoning
- Elemental Transformation (Earth)
- Elemental Transformation (Fire)
- Energy Blades
- Globe of Blades
- Greater Elemental Summoning (requires Elemental Summoning)
- Implosion
- Mass Raise Dead
- Storm of Vengeance
- Summon Deva
- Summon Fallen Deva

Thief pool:
- Alchemy
- Assassination
- Avoid Death
- Evasion
- Greater Evasion (requires Evasion)
- Scribe Scrolls (requires Use Any Item)
- Set Spike Trap
- Set Exploding Trap
- Set Time Trap
- Use Any Item

Bard pool:
- Alchemy
- Avoid Death
- Enhanced Bard Song
- Evasion
- Greater Evasion (requires Evasion)
- Magic Flute
- Scribe Scrolls
- Set Spike Trap
- Set Exploding Trap
- Set Time Trap
- Use Any Item

Wizard/Sorcerer pool (10th level spells):
- Comet
- Dragon's Breath
- Energy Blades
- Improved Alacrity
- Summon Dark Planetar (evil mages)
- Summon Planetar (good, neutral mages)

 

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