View Full Version : Is Algernon's Cloak unbalancing?
Fri, 9th Jun '06, 2:53am
It seems to me that ALgernon's Cloak is one of, if not the most powerful items in the game. In addition to raising the owner's charisma 2 points, it allows him/her to cast unlimited 4th level Charm Monster spells.
Granted, the spell doesn't exist as such in the game, but it has the same effect as the spell described in the P&P game, as well as the Gold Box AD&D games.
Does anybody think this powerful item unbalances the game for such low-level characters? I would say the item belongs more in Shadows of Amm than BG1. Also, I'd like to ask what other items people think are the most powerful, besides Drizzt's equipment.
Fri, 9th Jun '06, 4:41am
Does anybody think this powerful item unbalances the game for such low-level characters?Not me.
The cloak of Balduran is pretty powerful, imo.
Fri, 9th Jun '06, 5:35am
The charm ability is rather unbalancing, but thankfully you're not forced to use it all the time. Just take it along as something that boosts your CHA, and only use it if you're in dire trouble.
I think BG1 did a rather good job of not making anything too overpowering, something severely lacking in BG2's power environment. The only thing I can think of besides Drizzt's equipment and Algrenon's Cloak would be Bala's Axe, from Durlag's Tower in the expansion. A 25% Miscast Magic chance per hit is pretty damn powerful.
Fri, 9th Jun '06, 6:29am
Well there are of course the all cheesy arrows of detonation. Web or Entangle and fry away!
Works best in solo game though.
Wed, 14th Jun '06, 12:40am
I think Algernon's is cheesy but not unbalancing. The limitless Charms is well... weird (I've never heard of anything else allowing limitless castings of anything in the DnD world).
I would agree that Bala's Axe is unbalancing in some specific fights, however, most of the time I take down mages first anyway, so I don't think I've ever even noticed its effects. (slightly off-topic but is Bala's Axe unenchanted and thus could go through PfMW? If so, it would be extremely valuable in BG2).
Wed, 14th Jun '06, 1:13am
No, it's +1, I believe.
Wed, 14th Jun '06, 2:19am
Ah, too bad.
When BGII was first being announced and it was told we could export our character to BGII, I setup my ultimate 6-man party with BGI equipment... until I found out I couldn't export.
Thu, 15th Jun '06, 10:17pm
When BGII was first being announced and it was told we could export our character to BGII ...What?
Don't you mean NWN? I can remember being told that you could export your character to NWN from BG2.
Thu, 15th Jun '06, 10:34pm
/me points at the forum
I believe he is talking about not being able to keep his items when exporting from BG1 to BG2. Either that, or not being able to export the entire party of a single player game.
:yot: The plan to make BG2 characters exportable to NWN was cancelled because they couldn't think of any even semi-rational reason to take away not only your items but your levels. (Not to mention the ruleset differences. :rolleyes: )
Fri, 16th Jun '06, 12:46am
It's only unbalancing if you abuse it.
Fri, 16th Jun '06, 11:03am
Sorry. I have been lurking/posting sporadically on Baldur's Gate message boards since 1997 (as I'm sure many here have...). When BG2 was first annouced, we were informed that we could import our characters (which is taken for granted now) and assign kits. So I began "designing" characters I wanted to play and figured out what equipment I thought that character should have and had them all ready for import... and then I found out that we were stripped of equipment.
One of the first characters I had was a Wizard Slayer design built around Bala's Axe (which seems redundant... however, the specifics of each character was not known so I didn't know the overlap). Sorry for the confusion.
Sun, 18th Jun '06, 4:09am
Actually, it is possible to bring along your equipment. Cheesily. The moment the opening setpiece ends, pause the game and unload your equipment. Unpause. The equipment falls at your feet as the game resumes. All you have to do is pick it up.
In one sense it's cheating; but in another: the early announcement was that you could bring your equipment. I took the view that it was Black Isle who was cheating.
Sun, 18th Jun '06, 11:07pm
You can also start a multiplayer game in bg2, and after the intro is done, just remove you character and reimport him. and you get all your equipment. Or just import another copy and let him donate hes items and then remove him again.
Mon, 19th Jun '06, 5:20am
The only time I've ever used the Charm on Algernon's Cloak was to un-dire-charm my people that were DCed by the Sirines after I already killed them *shrug* I could have just ran around for 10 rounds and had the same effect.
One of the keys to making something not unbalancing is to not use it in a way that wouldn't be fun to you :) (that sentence makes sense, I swear, but it takes a little parsing to figure out). I prefer to fight my battles with just my own 6 (or less), plus a certain friendly ghoul...
Mon, 19th Jun '06, 4:56pm
The only times I use the cloak are in town and when soloing (for the first couple of levels). In town I use it on homeowners, as a time-saver. I could just wait until they're out of sight and then rip them off, but charmed characters don't mind if you take their stuff, and that saves me a bit of time and aggravation (if my last quicksave is a few houses back). In solo it is sometimes just a matter of survival when you're low-level and facing half a dozen enemies.
Mon, 19th Jun '06, 9:57pm
Does anybody think this powerful item unbalances the game for such low-level characters?Definitely if you use it in all cases when possible. Especially at the beginning of the game. You can make an army of Wolves and other creatures in a forest area, for example.
Hethan the Skald
Tue, 20th Jun '06, 1:28am
Is there any way to get Algernon's cloak that does not involve pick pocketing?
I never really used it, mostly because I tend to play good aligned parties and go out pick pocketing people seems a bit... villainous.
Tue, 20th Jun '06, 3:47am
The only alternative is even more villianous: kill him. Of course, if you're feeling bad about it, then just don't steal it from him! It takes no effort not to steal it (whereas if you have a low Pick Pocket value it might take a few reloads), so just leave the bugger alone and go without cheese.
(I just had a shudder when reading "go without cheese". As a Wisconsinite I have to keep reminding myself it's not that kind of cheese. :shake: )
Tue, 20th Jun '06, 6:04am
It's a really damn powerful item and probably too unbalancing for veteran players, but BIO probably put it in considering the many possible "accidents" that new players could have with peaceful NPCs (failed pickpockets, accidental area effect blasts, etc.). Keep in mind that BG was the first Infinity Engine game and BIO probably wanted to play at least a few things safe.
Wed, 9th Aug '06, 3:22am
I think the cloak is unbalancing. My favorite thing to do with it is to
*last fight spoiler*
charm Tazok and use him to kill Sarevok.