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So the original Crown of the Magister campaign wasn't very hard because there wasn't that much of a variety of enemies, and the majority of them were frontline brutes. But Lost Valley is definitely proving a lot more challenging, if only because there's significantly more enemy spellcasters and ranged enemies this time around. Counterspell duels are definitely a thing here, you cannot afford to mindlessly blow your reactions on the first prompt that comes up in this campaign compared to Crown of the Magister.

I actually do like the rather open-endedness of this new campaign. It seems to revolve around five factions to a point where advancement in one may turn another faction hostile towards you, and I'm trying to reach a point where I can advance each faction enough and get a save before a point of no return in terms of commitment to each faction, so that I don't have to replay through the entire campaign to see each ending. It is definitely well worth my money so far.

I ended up fighting a sidequest boss that required quite a bit of thinking.


The boss has access to Cloudkill (which is going to be FRIGHTENING in BG3, wide AoE lingering poison damage along with the area being heavily obscured) and Ice Storm (ice + bludgeoning damage along with turning the ground into difficult terrain, will probably freeze water surfaces in BG3 too), which combo'd together ended my first attempt to fight her.

She DID counterspell my Fireball at the beginning, but I got her back by landing Blindness right afterwards, which appears to be one of her major tactical weaknesses. Her counterspelling Fireball also meant that she couldn't attempt to counterspell my Cleric's upcasted 4th level Spirit Guardians later that turn either, though I'm not sure if she would have been able to react to it while blinded anyway. I got to counterspell one of her spells, but I don't know what it was due to failing that Arcana check, but considering the check to identify it was DC21 and that countering it with a 3rd level slot was DC16, it was probably Cloudkill or another 5th level spell.

Also Spirit Guardians + Spiritual Weapon is going to turn Shadowheart into a wrecking ball once we get access to them in BG3.

Last edited by Saito Hikari; 08/05/22 10:42 AM.
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I have no words.


Well, okay, I have some words. High level mage fights are probably going to end up WAY messier in BG3 than it was in this Solasta fight for very obvious reasons.

If reactions make it in, it's going to be worth noting that enemies will likely counterspell YOUR spells too. And having Gale and/or Wyll around for counterspell may end up being an outright requirement when it comes to facing enemy mages too. Since you only have one reaction per round, choosing WHEN to use that reaction will be critical - in the above video, I made a massive tactical error in using my Greenmage Wizard's reaction to cancel damage from an incoming cantrip instead of saving it to counterspell that Cone of Cold later that round.

At the same time, the enemy mages kinda blew their counterspells to cancel my Shadowcaster Rogue's counter cantrips for some reason, so...

Still though, I love the concept of reactions in general. There's using reactions to defend yourself, but there are reactions that allow you to defend other party members from incoming attacks (as the enemies in the above video demonstrated very poorly), which makes the system feel really dynamic.

Last edited by Saito Hikari; 08/05/22 10:54 AM.
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Originally Posted by Saito Hikari
If reactions make it in, it's going to be worth noting that enemies will likely counterspell YOUR spells too. And having Gale and/or Wyll around for counterspell may end up being an outright requirement when it comes to facing enemy mages too. Since you only have one reaction per round, choosing WHEN to use that reaction will be critical - in the above video, I made a massive tactical error in using my Greenmage Wizard's reaction to cancel damage from an incoming cantrip instead of saving it to counterspell that Cone of Cold later that round.

Ooooohhh, I like it!

Of course my Barbarian will stab them in the face with their pike and yell, "Counter-spell This!".

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Originally Posted by Saito Hikari
I have no words.


Well, okay, I have some words. High level mage fights are probably going to end up WAY messier in BG3 than it was in this Solasta fight for very obvious reasons.

If reactions make it in, it's going to be worth noting that enemies will likely counterspell YOUR spells too. And having Gale and/or Wyll around for counterspell may end up being an outright requirement when it comes to facing enemy mages too. Since you only have one reaction per round, choosing WHEN to use that reaction will be critical - in the above video, I made a massive tactical error in using my Greenmage Wizard's reaction to cancel damage from an incoming cantrip instead of saving it to counterspell that Cone of Cold later that round.

At the same time, the enemy mages kinda blew their counterspells to cancel my Shadowcaster Rogue's counter cantrips for some reason, so...

Still though, I love the concept of reactions in general. There's using reactions to defend yourself, but there are reactions that allow you to defend other party members from incoming attacks (as the enemies in the above video demonstrated very poorly), which makes the system feel really dynamic.

I just get to take counterspell yesterday in solasta. I was already level 10. out of my amazement i was like super stoked. I could actually counterspell the enemy counterspell!. My melee was about to hit the enemy caster and he counterspelled. And the reaction popups that i can counter the enemy counterspell!. And i did it the enemy caster is down!. Very cool.

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Originally Posted by Van'tal
Ooooohhh, I like it!

Of course my Barbarian will stab them in the face with their pike and yell, "Counter-spell This!".

Enemy mages may attempt to activate shield against you if you roll high enough to hit normally but low enough for the +5 AC to make a difference. But this also blows their 1 reaction per turn, so they wouldn't be able to counterspell whatever your mage is doing later that turn.

You can even bait out their reaction by running up to them in melee range, stepping out to take an attack of opportunity on purpose (for most likely negligible damage if it even hits, unless they got some super enchanted dagger or they're a creature with a mean melee claw attack or something) which would use up their reaction, and then coming back to smack them in the face. Enemies in Solasta are coded to take the first possible reaction in most cases (the sole exception being Counterspell, it seems they will only try to counterspell a 3rd level or higher spell, or a Shadowcaster's reaction cantrip for some reason), and virtually all of the mages are wielding melee weapons.

It's possible that it may be the same case in BG3, assuming proper reactions make it in. Unless Larian decides to give the majority of mages darts or some other simple ranged weapon to avoid this particular cheese.

Originally Posted by Archaven
I just get to take counterspell yesterday in solasta. I was already level 10. out of my amazement i was like super stoked. I could actually counterspell the enemy counterspell!. My melee was about to hit the enemy caster and he counterspelled. And the reaction popups that i can counter the enemy counterspell!. And i did it the enemy caster is down!. Very cool.

Enemies wouldn't counterspell a melee attack unless the melee attack was a powerful touch spell, so it sounds like the enemy caster attempted to cast Shield instead, which would have caused your melee attack to miss if you didn't counterspell it. It's a fairly common application of counterspell against an enemy mage if you absolutely need to guarantee their death.

That said, it IS possible to counterspell an enemy counterspell in order for the original spell to go off in tabletop. You can even be the caster of the original spell, end up with an enemy attempting to counterspell you, and then you can use your reaction to counterspell them back so your original spell still goes through. I am not sure if it's actually possible to counter a counterspell in Solasta though, as I have yet to run two characters in a party that possess the spell at once, and I haven't seen my Wizard get a prompt to counterspell a counterspell yet. I wouldn't be surprised if Solasta decided to axe that or couldn't implement that type of situation due to potential bugs, because it's a bit silly to begin with.

Last edited by Saito Hikari; 12/05/22 06:43 PM.
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But I want them to know, that I know that I know that that they know how to counter-spell my counter-spell.

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The system is robust enough to allow for multiple reactions to fire in chain and in response to each other - reacting to reactions does occur in some places; If you run to provoke opportunity, the enemy can react, and you can shield their attack, and the enemy mage nearby can counterspell your shield; this is a chain of reactions that works in the game currently, so I'd be surprised if counterspell chains didn't work just fine.

There was an issue, several patches back, where reactions weren't refreshing properly, and were tying themselves to the round, rather than the individual character's turn, and that was causing problems of not offering counterspell against enemy casters when it should have been available, however, I think they've since fixed that problem. They've also just fixed the issue that popped up of creatures with legendary actions skipping their main turns, so that's nice too ^.^

(Niara's big complaint with the arbitrary BA casting rule in 5e)

On the subject of counterspeell... would you like to know something ridiculous and arbitrary and stupid that the bonus action casting rule creates if it is adhered to?

Scenario 1) Julius the archmage (18 Wiz 2 Fi) steps out onto the battlefield, surveys the scene and targets the enemy casters. He starts with meteor swarm! The enemy mage sees this and desperately tries to counterspell it, but, not recognising the spell other than something big and bad, just use the highest slot they have - a 7th. Julius, master wizard, scoffs at this mid-cast, and handily counterspells their counterspell with an 8th level slot! He finishes casting meteor swarm and rains destruction on the enemy lines. Some survive, including that impudent enemy caster, so Julius decides to action surge, and then casts an 8th level disintegrate at the fool, who - having used their reaction - can do nothing except fail their save and be smote into dust. Good turn, Julius. A perfectly legitimate, by the book, allowable turn, that let Julius spend a 9th, and two 8th level spell slots.

Scenario 2) Julius the archmage (18 Wiz 2 Fi) steps out onto the battlefield, surveys the scene and targets the enemy casters. He taps his staff on the ground as he goes, casting shillelagh on it, just to keep the riff-raff away. The enemy mage sees this and, not sure what he's up to, counterspells it at base level. Julius... Cannot counterspell the enemy mage's counterspell. The rules say he's not allowed to. So, his cantrip is interrupted. Julius still has his action (and his reaction) available... but he cannot cast any proper spells with either of them; as he steps out, an enemy ballista bolt comes his way, but Julius, despite having his reaction available, cannot shield it! Frustrated, Julius takes a breath, centres himself then uses his action surge to have a fresh action to do something with, since his (still unused) original action is apparently tainted. But no... even his fresh action cannot be used to cast any of his useful spells. Plans foiled, Julius dodges with one action and dashes with the other to retreat back out of sight again in shame. Total spells: one cantrip (failed).

The bonus action rule is stupid.

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Originally Posted by Saito Hikari
Originally Posted by Van'tal
Ooooohhh, I like it!

Of course my Barbarian will stab them in the face with their pike and yell, "Counter-spell This!".

Enemy mages may attempt to activate shield against you if you roll high enough to hit normally but low enough for the +5 AC to make a difference. But this also blows their 1 reaction per turn, so they wouldn't be able to counterspell whatever your mage is doing later that turn.

You can even bait out their reaction by running up to them in melee range, stepping out to take an attack of opportunity on purpose (for most likely negligible damage if it even hits, unless they got some super enchanted dagger or they're a creature with a mean melee claw attack or something) which would use up their reaction, and then coming back to smack them in the face. Enemies in Solasta are coded to take the first possible reaction in most cases (the sole exception being Counterspell, it seems they will only try to counterspell a 3rd level or higher spell, or a Shadowcaster's reaction cantrip for some reason), and virtually all of the mages are wielding melee weapons.

It's possible that it may be the same case in BG3, assuming proper reactions make it in. Unless Larian decides to give the majority of mages darts or some other simple ranged weapon to avoid this particular cheese.

Originally Posted by Archaven
I just get to take counterspell yesterday in solasta. I was already level 10. out of my amazement i was like super stoked. I could actually counterspell the enemy counterspell!. My melee was about to hit the enemy caster and he counterspelled. And the reaction popups that i can counter the enemy counterspell!. And i did it the enemy caster is down!. Very cool.

Enemies wouldn't counterspell a melee attack unless the melee attack was a powerful touch spell, so it sounds like the enemy caster attempted to cast Shield instead, which would have caused your melee attack to miss if you didn't counterspell it. It's a fairly common application of counterspell against an enemy mage if you absolutely need to guarantee their death.

That said, it IS possible to counterspell an enemy counterspell in order for the original spell to go off in tabletop. You can even be the caster of the original spell, end up with an enemy attempting to counterspell you, and then you can use your reaction to counterspell them back so your original spell still goes through. I am not sure if it's actually possible to counter a counterspell in Solasta though, as I have yet to run two characters in a party that possess the spell at once, and I haven't seen my Wizard get a prompt to counterspell a counterspell yet. I wouldn't be surprised if Solasta decided to axe that or couldn't implement that type of situation due to potential bugs, because it's a bit silly to begin with.

yeah i think it's the shield that enemy cast and i'm able to counter it. that said, was wondering if stealth can land the first aoe spells safely? in other words, from stealth can enemy counterspell?. actually solasta can go further like when our party were ambushed enemy AI can be alittle bit smarter and rain us with aoe spells.

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Originally Posted by Archaven
yeah i think it's the shield that enemy cast and i'm able to counter it. that said, was wondering if stealth can land the first aoe spells safely? in other words, from stealth can enemy counterspell?. actually solasta can go further like when our party were ambushed enemy AI can be alittle bit smarter and rain us with aoe spells.

Yeah, during surprise rounds with your party being surprised, if the enemy mages go before your mages that possess counterspell, the surprised condition means that you can't react to their spells. Counterspelling also requires you to be within 60 ft of the enemy caster, along with establishing line of sight to them. So a mage in stealth presumably can't be countered.

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Bard, monk, and warlock classes coming to Solasta in the next DLC, completing all 12 base classes:

https://www.solasta-game.com/news/158-warlock-bard-monk-community-subclass-design-event

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Originally Posted by kanisatha
Bard, monk, and warlock classes coming to Solasta in the next DLC, completing all 12 base classes:

https://www.solasta-game.com/news/158-warlock-bard-monk-community-subclass-design-event

awesome!. great to know. still haven't started lost valley. so far just loving the swiftblade and hoodlum a tad lot.

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I am really intrigued to see what they do with Bard. The homebrew subclasses from Solasta have all been varied and interesting so far.

I have a sneaking suspicion that College of Lore isn't making it in, because the Cutting Words pop-up for every possible enemy attack regardless of whichever party member is being targeted that rolls the range for it to trigger is likely to be excessive even by Solasta's standards. It'd be a similar situation to the Wizard subclasses, where the Solasta devs went fully homebrew instead of adapting any of the official wizard subclasses.

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Originally Posted by Saito Hikari
I am really intrigued to see what they do with Bard. The homebrew subclasses from Solasta have all been varied and interesting so far.

I have a sneaking suspicion that College of Lore isn't making it in, because the Cutting Words pop-up for every possible enemy attack regardless of whichever party member is being targeted that rolls the range for it to trigger is likely to be excessive even by Solasta's standards. It'd be a similar situation to the Wizard subclasses, where the Solasta devs went fully homebrew instead of adapting any of the official wizard subclasses.


I would be surprised if they decided to cut one of the best received PHB subclasses just because their core mechanic causes a few pop-ups. I AM however eagerly looking forward to their custom subclasses - escpecially if we see some melee-focused subclasses for both Bard and Warlock. Those have been fan favorites in the TT version for many MANY players.

As for the Wizard subclass changes - well it would have been awkward if they named one subclass School of Evocation, implying that the other spell schools will be available as subclasses, and then having to say to fans who ask about them "Sorry but WotC is greedy and didn't give them out for free.".

Better to make a whole new subclass to start with, not only in name but also in abilities.

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Originally Posted by Saito Hikari
I am really intrigued to see what they do with Bard. The homebrew subclasses from Solasta have all been varied and interesting so far.
Erm, have they? The new ones that came out alongside the Lost Valley DLC might be (I am yet to play it, so I have to look into them, but I remember seeing Hoodlum and finding it unimpressive), but as for the original ones, well...

Fighter: Mountaineer is a monster that barely gets hit and shoves everything that can be shoved with ease, while Spellblade is basically a worse (much worse, practically useless) Eldritch Knight. Yes, you can cast spells with an equipped weapon/shield. And? You can't combine attacks and cantrips, you don't have most of what actually made Eldritch Knight a somewhat tempting option to pick.

Paladin: again, we have the Oath of the Motherland as the absolute winner here with free fire resistance to the whole party (making the penultimate quarter or so of the game far less obnoxious as far as fights go) and a powerful channel divinity, while the Oath of Tirmar gets... a language proficiency and a very mediocre channel. Soraks aren't really much of a threat apart from the rebalanced final battle.

Wizard: now these are actually more or less decent. Well, +1 spell level to most Evocation spells for the Storm Arcanist and the pseudo-Overchannel they get is, again, looking a lot more appealing than other things, but the Greenmage's free archery fighting style (bye, cantrips!) and druidic spells were a treat too before the actual druid class was added. And Loremaster had good utility, although there weren't nearly as many Arcana/History checks in the game for such a character to really shine (the main issue with the game as a whole is how barren its non-combat content is).

Cleric: Sun Domain, again, reduces Soraks and everything else darkness-related to a joke (advantage on Sacred Flame and a blinding Radiant damage channel). Whereas Law domain that I picked for my cleric on my first playthrough didn't really do anything as both of its powers didn't seem to actually ever trigger. The spell choices for the domains were also often questionable.

I could go on, but that'll bloat the post to oblivion. Point is, out of the two (three for the wizard, bunch for the cleric) homebrew subclasses everyone gets, you often get an overpowered one and a lame one, and picking the lame one is often detrimental because you don't get any role-playing value out of that choice. If an oath of Tirmar paladin had, say, special interactions with Beric Sunblaze or something, that would have been interesting, but otherwise many of them are dead weight.

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