Exploits are the intentional abuse of game mechanics in a way unintended by the developers. Baldur's Gate and Infinity Engine games are no exception, having bugs and glitches even in their fully patched versions.
Because Baldur's Gate and Baldur's Gate II have capped stats, there are technical limits to the abilities of individual characters, and tactics can only go so far to compensate for these limits. Additionally, BioWare selectively ignores many of the D&D rules for dramatic effect or to force a certain course of action, while in a tabletop game the Dungeon Master would be obliged to follow the game rules, even as he/she invents scenarios for the players. This serves as a constraint to true roleplay that would take emerge in later generation RPG games.
Players are discouraged from role-playing as evil characters - despite the most powerful NPCs, Viconia, Sarevok, Edwin and Korgan being of evil alignment - by reducing the rewards for evil actions, and increasing the penalties associated with them. By forcing the player to be either good/neutral, the role-playing, open-ended aspect of these early BioWare games is downplayed, so use of emergent gameplay is required to fully embrace different role-playing experiences.
Use of exploits and the related style of power-gaming follows in this vein, allowing the player in-game options for breaking and surpassing the limits set by BioWare, or compensating for unfair advantages or scenarios awarded to or constructed by NPCs. Exploits can be rationalized in-universe as natural or causal phenomenon, not as bugs or glitches, allowing players new venues for opportunity, discovery, and exploration.
All time exploits Edit
Exploits working as of the current EE v2.3.673 also on pre-EE games, with a few exceptions.
Armored Casting Trick Edit
Mages wearing armor can still cast spells if they do so via a hotkey.
Black Raven Monastery Trick Edit
In Heart of Fury mode in Icewind Dale 2, you can give your entire party HoF-style bonuses by saving and then loading while one of the characters is in one of the chambers in the monk trials at the Black Raven Monastery. When you reload that save, everyone but the character taking the test will have +10 to all stats, +12 to all levels, and triple HP plus 80 on top (and maybe some AB, AC, and save bonuses). Characters with levels about 24 or so will also be able to level up one last time, adding about 230 levels to any class they currently have no levels in. It's generally best to choose rogue or monk for this last level up, as these classes grant 230d6 sneak attack damage for the rogue and 50 SR, +10 AC, and Stunning Blow and Quivering Palm abilities with save DC's over 100, granting a 95% success rate for each one.
There is no way to make these bonuses stack.
Blind Thief Trick Edit
Thieves cannot hide or set traps when enemies are near. However, this only applies to the thief's field of vision. A blind thief has a restricted field of vision and can therefore hide in plain sight like a Shadowdancer or even set traps in the middle of combat, provided that no enemies are directly next to him or her.
Before EE, thieves could hide when blind even when enemies were near, but not set traps. But this may be a testing error.
Combined with the blind thief trick, you can also save or even rest in the presence of enemies, though combat must have ended.
Innate Abilities Edit
Clones can use any innate ability the caster possesses at the time of casting. A level 10 clone may still use all of the original level 20 character's HLAs, and a character under the effects of Polymorph Self or Shapechange will generate a clone that can also use those shapeshifting abilities. If a Project Image clone shapeshifts, it can even attack while shapeshifted, which Project Image clones are not supposed to be able to do.
Quick Items Trick Edit
Clones from spells such as Project Image and Simulacrum, or items such as Vhailor's Helm, can use any quick items the caster had equipped at the time of casting. Any items the clone uses will not use up charges on the original character. This means you can use rare items such as Protection from Magic scrolls once per day for every casting of Simulacrum or Project Image. Protection from Magic scrolls can be used on enemies to disable spellcasting; they work very well on the many enemy mages of BG2.
The summon limit of 5 summoned critters per map does not apply to clones. Project Image and Simulacrum clones can summon an unlimited number of critters in any area. This also allows you to summon multiple Devas or Planetars, bypassing the celestial summon limit of 1.
The trap limit of 7 traps per map does not apply to clones. Project Image and Simulacrum clones can lay an unlimited number of traps on any map.
Dagger of Venom Edit
The dagger of venom is a unique item in the Baldur's Gate trilogy. While the "venom" is depicted as a form of poison, it isn't affected by poison modifiers and is actually a special form of damage that no NPCs have resistance against. This means that any monster or NPC is stabbed by the dagger and fails the save will incur damage. In the original Baldur's Gate, even monsters that were not intended to be killed (such as the Demon Knight, Ulcaster's Ghost, Duke Eltan, Return to Candlekeep Ulraunt & Tethtoril) can be slain by the dagger. The dagger's ability to induce "poison" also gives it the ability to break scripts, as NPCs who are stabbed by it miss their timing for delivering scripts.
The best weapon to go along with the dagger are ordinary fists, as fist damage can penetrate Otiluke's Resilient Sphere. Monsters or NPCs captured by the sphere have invulnerability but low evasion, allowing a barehanded opponent to easily reduce their HP to zero and knock them out. Once unconscious, their ability to successfully save against the dagger of venom is diminished, and the dagger only needs to do 1 HP worth of damage to kill the enemy.
Death Ray Zorcher Edit
You can multiply the effects of the scorcher loop even further by combining it with the Wand of Lightning Trick. Have two characters chain-cast Spell Turning using the Wand of Lightning trick and either the Spell Turning page of the Book of Daily Spell, or a Spell Turning scroll. Then have a third character cast Agannazar's Scorcher across both of them. The loop will strike 10,000 times over several rounds, enough to kill any enemy that is not immune to fire or level 2 spells. Testing killed Adalon in Legacy of Bhaal mode in just over a second.
This can also be done by using the Reflect Magic HLA from the Wizard Slayer Rebalancing mod.
EE Shapechange Trick Edit
In EE, it's still possible to grant a character permanent access to any of the wizard shapeshifts. Basically, you have to shapeshift into the form you want just as the spell's duration is running out. Shapeshifting takes 1.2 seconds, and both spells take tens of rounds to run out, so the timing is difficult (shapeshift continuously to count the rounds). This won't work with the Amulet of Power or Robe of Vecna, and is easier if your character is slowed. The Flail of Ages, Ardulia's Fall, or a jelly attack from another mage can all slow your character.
The way it works is that shapeshifting removes and then restores your shapeshifting abilities, but the spell itself removes your shapeshifting powers, without restoring them, after x number of seconds have passed. But if you shapeshift after x-1 seconds, you will begin the shapeshift before you lose it, and complete it after the base spell attempts to take it away, which restores your shapeshifting ability.
This has limits, however. If you use it to gain permanent access to ogre form via the Polymorph Self spell, you can't gain permanent access to spider form, also from the Polymorph Self spell, without losing the ogre form. This is because the Polymorph Self spell removes the ogre, jelly, flind, spider, wolf, brown bear, and black bear shapeshifts all at once, but you can only carry one of them past the spell duration. Likewise, you can't get permanent access to both Iron Golem and Mind Flayer form, since they both come from Shapechange. You can, however, get an Iron Golem form from Shapechange and a spider form from Polymorph Self.
Before EE, there is a simpler method involving killing the character in question (see Shapechange Trick in classic section below).
Extra Speed Weapons Edit
In the most recent version of EE, throwing daggers can be dual-wielded provided that the throwing dagger is kept in the main hand. Since throwing daggers grant +1 APR even when used as melee weapons, they function as additional speed weapons alongside Belm, Kundane, and the Ninja-to of the Scarlet Brotherhood.
Before EE, there was another speed weapon: the Shadow Thief Dagger, which you can only get by siding with Bodhi and opting for the "unseemly task" for your second assignment, and which you can only keep by returning to Bodhi to report that you spared the target's life. The Shadow Thief Dagger (STD) sets your APR to 2 rather than increasing it by 1, so it's especially effective in the hands of Project Image clones, but it gets no Strength bonus. However, unlike other speed weapons, it is nonmagical and can bypass PFMW.
Farming summoned Cacodemon, gated Demon Edit
Gated demons provide experience, so they can be summoned and farmed for experience in a safe environment by players who know those spells.
Fatigue Removal Edit
Kicking an NPC out of the party and bringing them back in will reset their fatigue to 0.
Ferret/Cat Smuggling Edit
A ferret or cat familiar can pickpocket party members. If you use it to pickpocket the Rift Device, you can smuggle it out of the sewers without triggering the instant death script and then talk to the familiar to give it back to you. This can also work with drow equipment, which is supposed to disintegrate when you leave the Underdark, but the game does not check the ferret or cat's inventory for the items; only yours.
Fire Giant XP Loop Edit
By placing archers close to the walls of Saradush and either use the vanilla game's Guard function or apply the right AI script, you can get your archers to shoot at Fire Giants just beyond the walls, out of sight, and get XP for every kill at no risk.
Fire Seeds Trick Edit
Weapons that use area-effect projectiles can apply on-hit effects to more than one enemy at a time. This bypasses weapon immunities and all forms of spell protections. Thus, a character can use any of the following weapons:
- Flasher Master Bruiser Mates (which are completely party-friendly)
- Fire Seeds
- Arrows of Detonation
- Scorcher Ammunition (which strikes twice, as it uses the Agannazar's Scorcher projectile)
- Frag Grenades
To apply any of the following effects:
- Wizard Slayer spell failure
- Power Attack
- (Greater) Deathblow
- Poison Weapon (is nerfed by later EE patches, making it less effective, but still viable)
- Called Shot
To any group of creatures, provided the initial target is not immune to the weapon. Throwing a Fire Seed will fail against a mage with PFMW active, but it can hit the mage if you target a nearby character without PFMW.
Fog of War Trick Edit
Some enemies will not react if they suffer damage when the player's characters or summons are not in sight. Thus, you can cast Fireball or Cloudkill and so forth without the enemy ever reacting.
It's much less likely to be possible in EE, and should never be possible in a normal SCS install.
Ghoul Touch Edit
Ghoul Touch is a Level 2 Necromancy Spell that gives a Wizard (or Priest) the ability to paralyze with a touch, but do nothing else. It is not a routinely used spell because it's rather useless and situational. However, Flaming Fist Battle Wizards often use it as a last resort, and killing them after they've cast Ghoul Touch reveals that the Ghoul Touch hand was accidentally flagged as a drop-able item in Baldur's Gate, so it is almost like being able to equip the rigid hand of the deceased Flaming Fist. Party members who die while using Ghoul Touch will also exhibit this phenomenon.
Although interesting, Ghoul Touch is not a useful weapon even if it can be equipped, as it is treated as a mace and Wizards do not have any proficiency in it. However, if the character is exported to Baldur's Gate II and allowed to bypass the inventory wipe in the Irenicus Dungeon (only available in multiplayer), they will retain the Ghoul Touch in one of their primary weapon slots where it is an effective weapon, capable of dealing damage alongside paralyzing an opponent without time limit. However, it is easily dispelled and is less potent as the game increases in difficulty.
Helmet of Opposite Alignment Edit
This powerful helmet was included in the original BG item list but could not be found in game until Tales of the Sword Coast, where the Demon Knight that spawns on the ground floor of Durlag's Tower is wearing it. The Demon Knight in this appearance does not have much in the way of Magic Resistance, but has high HP, suggesting BioWare intended the player to attack it but do little damage. To obtain the helmet, the Demon Knight must be killed quickly before he de-spawns. The most consistent way to do this is cast Otiluke's Resilient Sphere on the Demon Knight, immobilizing him, then using fists aided by Haste to reduce his HP and knock him out. Once knocked out, he can be slain with regular weapons once the sphere dissipates, or be killed through the sphere with the Dagger of Venom.
A second exploit available through use of the helmet is to permanently alter a character's alignment. When a character is wearing the helmet, apply the Girdle of Masculinity/Femininity, which will invert the character's sex while also reverting their alignment back to what it was before donning the helmet. Once the curses are removed, the player will be permanently of the opposite alignment, and will behave just as an evil character would.
This alignment exploit applies in both Baldur's Gate and Baldur's Gate II, and also alters the behavior of characters with the new alignment. For example, paladins with Lawful Evil alignment will not fall if a party's reputation plummets, and rather will complain, leave or fight the player if the party's reputation climbs too high. Use of this odd interaction with cursed items can allow players to (somewhat) legally expand the number of good, evil characters they want to party with in both games.
Hexxat Stun Trick Edit
Hexxat is immune to nearly all disablers except for Power Word: Stun. The effect interferes with her mist form script, so you can hit her with PW: Stun while she's wounded and she will remain stunned but still invincible thanks to her MINHP1 item.
Import/Export Trick Edit
In multiplayer mode, you can duplicate items by exporting a character with, say, Celestial Fury, then dropping Celestial Fury, going into Character Arbitration, deleting the character, and importing the character you just exported. The character will have an extra copy of Celestial Fury and can pick up the original from the ground. This can duplicate any item besides containers and quest items, as they cannot be exported.
Infinite Maze Trick Edit
A Bounty Hunter can Maze an entire group of enemies using a level 21 Special Snare. This allows the Bounty Hunter to set additional traps while the enemies are gone. When the enemies return--usually one at a time--they will immediately trigger any traps the Bounty Hunter has lain since the first Maze trap. This can be done as long as the Bounty Hunter still has Maze traps.
Invincible Level 1 Tanks Edit
Level 1 characters cannot die in one hit unless they have 14 HP or higher. Level 1 characters who only have 1 HP therefore cannot die from damage, as the game cannot reduce their HP to any fraction of the total.
This isn't fully reliable, however, and occasionally a level 1 character will die after taking repeated hits.
Item Duplication Edit
You can duplicate items using a shop or a bag of holding. First, you need at least two (or possibly three) copies of the item you want to duplicate. Sell one copy to a shop, exit out of the shop, and then go back to the shop's menu. Purchase the item back, but instead of clicking "Done," click the inventory button on the left side of the screen, twice. You will then return to the game screen, at which point you can re-enter the shop.
If you do this repeatedly, you can create an unlimited number of copies of the item, as skipping the "Done" button prevents the shop from deleting its own supply. Thus, you can always buy another copy. Using a bag of holding works the same way, but costs nothing.
Killing Powerful NPCs Edit
If Drizzt can be surrounded by NPC party members (it will take a full party of CHARNAME plus the 5 NPCs and can be a bit tricky to accomplish as he wanders hasted) and then Reform until all former members become neutral, his attack will be limited to close-range melee. In that situation, Drizzt can be killed with either a ranged or long-range melee weapon with total safety for the CHARNAME. Only natural 20 rolls will hit him and none of those will register as critical hits since Drizzt is immune to those. A sizable reputation loss will result from his death.
It is also possible to play tag with Drizzt around the lake, using the Boots of Speed to evade his strikes. Drizzt's pathfinding in Baldur's Gate is not that great and he can get stuck in the middle of the lake, with the player on the other side. For wizards, using Dimension Door to cross the lake is advised. The player can then pepper him with arrows or ranged spells with impunity until he dies.
Ultaunt is very killable but has high physical resistance to weapons and a high magic resistance, like a human Kangaxx. Players will have to attack him for a long, long time (or get lucky with the Dagger of Venom) but he will eventually die by normal means.
Gorion (Prologue) Edit
He casts a number of Level 3 spells but autokills any enemy he targets with the spell once it is cast. Stay out of his line of sight and use spells like Cloudkill or Stinking Cloud to pacify him from a distance, then awaken him with offensive spells, arrows or melee. The best option possible is to bounce a lightning bolt off the stairs so it hits him multiple times.
Tethtoril (Prologue) Edit
Possesses Deity Kill, which is as unstoppable as Gorion's instant-kill command, but Diety Kill has a weakness: it is lower than Level 3, and is blocked by Minor Globe of Invulnerability. Use a globed Wizard to soak up Tethtoril's attention while attacking him with whatever other weapons (preferably the Dagger of Venom) are at hand.
Single most powerful NPC/boss in Tales of the Sword Coast, in terms of difficulty and experience given (24,000 EXP). He casts a number of Level 5/6 spells with Improved Alacrity after casting Globe of Invulnerability on himself, eventually teleporting away when he's out of ammo. Attack him from a distance using area spells, Cloudkill, Stinking Cloud or wands, casting Otiluke's Resilient Sphere on him and punching him out with fists, finishing him off with melee or the Dagger of Venom. Can also be paralyzed with a wand, it might take a lot of reloads.
Killing them gives immediate access to plate armor, so even for players of good alignment, killing one can be valuable as plate armor is difficult to find early in the game.
Killing without Losing Reputation Edit
You can kill a character without losing reputation by using a cursed scroll of monster summoning on them. You can also charm them and make them kill themselves with offensive spells, though not all characters have such spells. This can let you avoid reputation loss when killing characters with valuable items such as Firebead Elvenhair, Ordulinian, Noralee, Dushai, and Shandalar's daughters.
Lightning Bolt Loop Edit
A Lightning Bolt spell can bounce off of both the Cloak of Reflection and the original version of the Cloak of Mirroring. By deleting the Cloak of Mirroring's file in the override folder and restoring the original version, which reflects rather than blocks spell damage (may not be possible in EE), or by using the Import/Export Trick to duplicate the Cloak of Reflection you can bounce a Lightning Bolt spell or Wand of Lightning charges between two party members indefinitely. You can even dedicate multiple charges and add extra lightning bolts to the loop, making it stronger.
Testing has found that the loop can be canceled accidentally due to positioning problems. Testing has also suggested that it is possible to make it impossible for the loop to ever be re-created in a single save game.
It's also possible to bounce a Lightning Bolt spell or wand in a reliable path by pointing it directly north or south in close quarters, as lightning bolts bounce directly backwards if cast north or south. This can be used to reliably hit a single target about 5 times in a narrow hallway. But the EE version of the lightning bolt projectile may behave differently.
Limited Wish-resting Edit
Wild Mages can use Nahal's Reckless Dweomer to cast Limited Wish. Limited Wish allows a caster with high Wisdom to restore spell slots: 1 spell for each level from 1 to 4. If the Wild Mage has no empty level 4 spell slots, it will restore a level 3 spell slot instead. With no empty spell slots, a single Limited Wish, generated from a single Nahal's Reckless Dweomer, can restore 4 level 1 spells slots, allowing a Wild Mage to cast spells indefinitely, provided it does not suffer a wild surge that breaks the loop.
Lingering Song Trick Edit
In Icewind Dale 2, the Lingering Song trick lets a bard's song continue for 2 rounds after being activated. This allows you to repeatedly click the bard song icon and stack the effects of any song while the game is still paused. The effects scale infinitely, except for the damage bonus from the Ballad of Three Heroes, which is capped at +20.
Mislead Backstabs Edit
Any character under the effects of Mislead is considered constantly invisible for the purposes of backstabbing. Thus, a Misled character can backstab multiple times in a single round, so long as the target does not turn around.
Also, if you send the Mislead clone to a safe place (Maze does not count), enemies will not be able to kill it, and so your Misled character will remain completely undetectable, except to enemies who naturally see through invisibility like liches, demons, and dragons, for the duration of the spell.
Nishruu Infinite Charges Edit
Be attacked by a Nishruu while possessing a weapon with a finite number of used charges, and the Nishruu warps the item to have near-infinite charges and allowing those weapons to be sold for millions of Gold. Especially useful with items like the Staff of Power, which are not once-per-day (which wipes the excess charges).
Pet Basilisk Strategy/Basilisk XP Loop Edit
You can charm a basilisk using Algernon's Cloak from BG1. If you cast Protection from Petrification on the basilisk after charming it, you can use the pet basilisk to clear out Mutamin's Garden much faster than missile weapons, especially in Legacy of Bhaal mode.
You can also gain even more XP than would normally be possible in Mutamin's Garden using Stone to Flesh scrolls. After clearing out most of the area, charm a Lesser Basilisk (approach from behind and flee if it doesn't work), cast Protection from Petrification on it, and then have it petrify a Greater Basilisk. Then, before the Lesser Basilisk can attack again and shatter the Greater Basilisk, order it to stop and use a Stone to Flesh scroll on the petrified basilisk. You can then re-petrify it for another 7000 XP for every Stone to Flesh scroll you have. You can buy 19 scrolls from the temples at the Friendly Arm Inn and near Beregost for a total of 38 even before you reach Baldur's Gate (where even more scrolls are for sale). It's by far the fastest way of gaining XP in BG1, and requires little money and virtually no risk.
Potion of Power Trick Edit
If you drink multiple potions of power, the HP bonus, if not the THAC0 bonus, will stack indefinitely, warriors can get hundreds of HP this way, allowing them to survive the 1500 damage from Slayer Form via auto-save timer reset. The bonuses can be dispelled though, and Potions of Power are rare. This should be cumulative with the Wand of Lightning trick.
Quick Save Trick Edit
Loading the game resets the aura and stealth timer of all party members. By quick-saving and then quick-loading, you can cast multiple spells or drink multiple potions within the same round, provided that you are not in combat. This can extend the lifespan of short-duration effects, or allow an Archer to stack Called Shot effects right before combat begins.
Remove Curse Trick Edit
Remove Curse can be cast on enemies with cursed items, who will immediately drop the item. This can be used to weaken characters such as Kontik, Brage, and Smaeluv Orcslicer.
Resilient Sphere Trick Edit
Barbarian rage makes the Barbarian immune to opcode 185, the opcode that makes Otiluke's Resilient Sphere paralyze its target. Barbarians can get the defensive benefits of Resilient Sphere while still being able to attack. Testing found, however, that the Barbarian didn't always get all of the benefits; only some.
Scorcher Loop Edit
You can multiply the effects of an Agannazar's Scorcher spell (or a Lance of Disruption in IWD:EE) by having two mages cast (Minor) Spell Turning and then casting Agannazar's Scorcher from one to another. The spell turning effect will bounce the scorcher multiple times until it is exhausted. Spells in sequencer strike as a single spell, so putting three scorchers in a Spell Sequencer and combining it with two mages with Spell Turning will deal about 800 damage. Wands of Fire also work.
The spell is extremely party-unfriendly, and both mages will suffer fire damage if they are not immune (note that MGOI will block the damage, but also cancel the loop).
The Ring of Energy will also work, but only in the vanilla games, as EE has made the Ring of Energy's damage a level 0 effect.
In IWD:EE, you can actually lower enemy fire resistance using the level 3 priest spell Protection from Fire, which sets fire resistance to 80%.
Self-centered Spells Trick Edit
Spells cast on self ignore magic resistance. Thus, a False Dawn spell, which is cast on self by default, will bypass magic resistance on nearby targets, allowing you to deal fire damage to skeletons warriors and other magic-immune critters.
No longer works for Sunfire in EE.
Shadowdancer Trick Edit
You can maintain invisibility indefinitely as a Shadowdancer by manipulating the stealth timer. Use Hide in Plain Sight, then click Detect Traps (or any other button) without actually breaking invisibility. After 6 seconds pass, you will be able to use Hide in Plain Sight again, but you will still be invisible. This allows you to go invisible, wait 6 seconds, backstab, and then go invisible again without ever exposing yourself to attack.
Slayer Change Trick for EE Edit
By combining the Potion of Power trick with the Quick-Save trick and the Item Duplication trick (and perhaps also the Wand of Lightning trick to speed things up), you can boost your HP above 1500 in the ~7 rounds in between the beginning of Slayer Change and the 1500 magic damage that instantly kills you at the end. You have to have 20 or more Potions of Power (or even more, if you're not using the Wand of Lightning trick), probably via item duplication, and you need to be near an area transition.
Begin Slayer Change, enter the new area to force the game to auto-save, then load the auto-save. Drink a Potion of Power, force another auto-save by entering the next area, and load up the auto-save again to refresh your aura, allowing you to drink another Potion of Power. If you drink enough potions before the end of Slayer Change, you'll survive the 1500 damage. You will therefore be able to sustain the Slayer form indefinitely.
Spell Trap Trick Edit
Spell Trap can be used to gain an infinite number of spells per day by using level 9 effects against the caster. A Project Image clone can cast level 7 and level 9 spells to restore the original caster's spells. For a Simulacrum clone to be able to do the same thing, it would have to be level 18, which means only a level 35 mage (impossible without removing the XP cap) could do the same using Simulacrum instead of Project Image. Black Blade of Disaster also strikes as a level 9 spell for each hit.
Summoned Demon Behavior Edit
Summoned demons ignore the summoning limit. Normally, summoning multiple demons will cause them to turn against each other, but casting Protection from Evil 10' Radius will get them to ignore each other and concentrate on your enemies instead (though they still won't get you XP for their kills).
Clicking on a neutral character will cause the character to turn to you and wait for you to speak with it. It will not take any other action for several seconds even if you order your character to do something else, so you can click on neutral characters to prevent them from talking to you, or even prevent them from defending themselves when you attack them.
Universal Stealth Trick Edit
By mapping stealth to a hotkey, any character can attempt to hide in shadows, though characters who are not thieves, rangers, and monks will have poor stealth scores.
Most enemies have spells encoded on items that have limited timers, so by not pausing the game in places like the Temple of Bhaal or the Northern Island, bosses becoming much weaker in time due to their protection spells running out.
Wand of Lightning Trick Edit
The Wand of Lightning in BG2 (but not BG1 or SoD) fires 6 lightning bolts with up to 6 different targets. You can duplicate the effects of any on-self spell or item by targeting the caster with all 6 lightning bolts, then immediately ordering the character to cast the spell in question. Instead of firing 6 lightning bolts, the character will cast the spell 6 times while only using a single spell slot. This only works with spells that are on-self by default, like Sunfire and Mordenkainen's Sword; not Fireball or Animate Dead.
This can also be used with any quick item: choose 6 targets with the Wand of Lightning, then go to the inventory screen and swap the Wand of Lightning for another item.
If you use to turn pages in the Book of Daily Spell, you'll get 6 copies of the next page, allowing you to duplicate the book (unless you hit the Burning Hands page on the first try).
It's also possible to use the Wand of Lightning trick to target things from all the way across the map by dedicating one of the six targets to a container or item on the ground.
Classic exploits Edit
Exploits that work only on earlier EE versions and classic games, with a few exceptions.
Algernon's Cloak Edit
Algernon is a portly old man on the second floor of Feldepost's Inn in Beregost. He wears what appears to be a Nymph's Cloak but it has nearly unlimited charges of Charm, which requires a very high Save vs. Breath Weapon to resist. The quest involving Algernon's Cloak does not trigger until the player arrives in Baldur's Gate, but the cloak itself is available as early as Chapter 1. Most parties would not know Algernon has the cloak, as typically only an evil-aligned party would murder Algernon and discover it, and thieves would not know some random man in an inn would possess such a powerful item.
The cloak can be used to charm almost any character in the game, allowing them to reveal information while under the charmed effect (Baldur's Gate II removes these dialogue strings, preventing players from conversing with charmed/dominated characters) and also allowing one to command them in battle. This even applies to characters far beyond the player's level and abilities, allowing some battles to be won fairly easily so long as the target fails the saving throw. Tactical use of Algernon's Cloak can allow players to command such as Taugosz "Tenhammer" Khosann and Ardenor Crush to destroy their own Bandit Camp (as they are the strongest characters in camp) or to take over a Vampiric Wolf (immune to normal weapons) to massacre the wolf pack it is a part of.
An especially useful exploitation of the unlimited-charm aspect of the cloak is in preventing arrest in situations where thieving could be noticed. This essentially replaces the need for one or more mage members forced to expend Level 1 slots to do the same thing.
Another useful exploitation of the cloak is the ability to kill civilians for their money or objects without loss of reputation, if you have paired members. Separate the paired members by leaving one in a building or a room and dismiss the other member from the team. Charm the civilian, attack the dismissed member, and flee. The dismissed member will perceive the civilian as an enemy and attack him/her. After the civilian is killed, use the separated member to invite the dismissed member back onto the team.
Chaos Shield Trick Edit
Chaos Shields can stack if they are combined in a Spell Sequencer/Trigger or (Chain) Contingency.
This is no longer possible in EE.
Dimension Door Edit
Dimension Door is a cool if impractical spell in Baldur's Gate, as the player's version is limited to line-of-site (the NPC version is like a long-distance teleport). The spell was removed from Baldur's Gate II because it broke scripts in play testing, but it can be retained via the No Portrait Exploit where the player can teleport to line-of-site areas that are inaccessible by walking (such as the goblin pillars in Spellhold). The spell's value truly shines in the final battle at the Mana Forge, where a wizard is capable of teleporting onto any of the platforms around the forge and avoid the hordes of melee-only baatezu Melissan is constantly gating in.
The spell can still break scripts, possibly Yoshimo's (allowing him to remain with the party into Throne of Bhaal).
Double Ring of Wizardry Edit
Some items like the Rings of Wizardry are disallowed on both fingers in Baldur's Gate II, but if one is wearing double rings going in, they're still able to gain the effects of both in BG2, they just cannot swap between items and must wear the double rings at all times.
Because the Ring of Wizardry worked differently in Baldur's Gate, granting double the Level 1 spells instead of a Level 5,6,7 spell, if the player has memorized the maximum number of spells allowed by two rings in BG1 (20) they'll retain that memory in BG2 and go overslot with the spells. As with modifying the Rings of Wizardy themselves, this means the Level 1 spells can no longer be adjusted, but it also means the player effectively has 20 Magic Missile, Chromatic Orb, etc. instead of just 5.
Being able to spam Magic Missile in Throne of Bhaal becomes extremely powerful, when combined with items that reduce casting time, alacrity and time stop, it can be cast instantaneously, disrupting all moves an opponent will attempt (even walking) while inflicting upwards of 200 damage if there is no immunity or Magic Resistance.ny
Hell Trial Rewards Edit
All of the Hell Trial rewards stack, so having a player go through them multiple times can lead to 127% magic resistance and 127% resistance to fire, cold and electricity, which have the in-game effect of immunity. Going through the evil trials is not recommended because due to a negative bug, the player's alignment will be altered to Neutral Evil (even if they are a different form of Evil).
Irenicus Dungeon Pause Edit
When a new game is started in Shadows of Amn, a cutscene begins with Irenicus where the player character has no items. Items imported from Baldur's Gate are removed by a script at the start of this cutscene. However, there is a brief period where the player has control right before cutscene mode goes into effect. The screen is dark and because the character starts out in a cage, he/she cannot move. A quick player can pause the game during this period of freedom, and dump all items on his/her person. This avoids having the items wiped by the script and allows them to be requipped after freedom is restored. However, the Double Rings of Wizardry won't work if this method is applied.
No Portrait Import Edit
When importing a character from Baldur's Gate or Tales of the Sword Coast, Baldur's Gate II has the player reassign their stats on their character sheet, then wipes their inventory before dropping the character in the Irenicus Dungeon. However, if the player is using a custom portrait but doesn't carry that portrait over from the BG1 director to BG2, all of this reassignment is skipped and the player is automatically forwarded through the character creation right to assigning appearance and name.
Hotkey Trick Edit
Nahal's Reckless Dweomer can be cast by any mage, sorcerer, or bard by mapping it to a hotkey. The hotkey will never deplete spell slots; NRD can be cast an infinite number of times, ignoring aura, as if the caster was under the effects of Improved Alacrity. Wild surges are still possible, so the Wild Mage is still best at this due to the existence of the Chaos Shield spells.
This also works for Chain Contingency, but can also be cast by any druid or cleric as well.
This is no longer possible in EE, as those spells cannot be mapped to hotkeys.
Icewind Dale Haste Trick Edit
In the original Icewind Dale, before the Enhanced Edition, haste effects actually reduced the character's round time from 6 seconds to 3 seconds. This means that hasted characters in the original game not only attack twice as many times every 6 seconds; they also activate bard songs twice as often (granting double the bonuses each round, or allowing you to sing two different songs within the same round) and even cast two spells in the same round.
Outside of Icewind Dale, in the BG saga, haste still speeds up speed timers, allowing blind thieves and Shadowdancers to backstab twice per round. But this can also prevent backstabbing by speeding up the time it takes for a thief to become visible again.
Level Up Twice Edit
As a side effect of skipping the character creation stat reassignment, the player character is reduced to Level 1 but retains all their Experience, allowing them to repeat the level up process up through Level 7 or 9. This can double a player's HP, although ultimately it has no effect on total weapon proficiencies or spell level acquisition.
Potion Swap Glitch Edit
You can use any item by right-clicking a potion in the inventory, clicking "Drink Potion," and then quickly switching the potion out for another item. This would allow a mage to use a Potion of Invulnerability or a cleric to use the Dispel Magic ability of Carsomyr.
If you use this glitch on a gem, you can set the gem's count number from 1 to 0. If you do it once more, the gem's count number will underflow and become 65,535. Selling the stack of gems will net tens of thousands at minimum, and can be done quickly and indefinitely. In BG1 and IWD, this can also be done with potions by holding the potion in the inventory screen before the character attempts to drink it. In IWD2, this can also be done to duplicate Oils of Fiery Burning, or any scroll that can be cast on the ground and not just on a living target.
This no longer works in the Enhanced Editions.
Rejiek Hidesman Trick Edit
When you attack Rejiek Hidesman in his home, you get about 29,000 XP when he delivers a few brief lines of dialogue. If you surrounded him with party members before you do this, preventing him from moving, and then repeatedly click him after the dialogue ends but before he can go downstairs, you can get that 29,000 XP over and over again without limit. If you click him too soon, you won't get the XP from the previous dialogue.
No longer possible in EE.
Restoring Clones Edit
Casting Restoration on a Simulacrum clone will bump it up to the original caster's level. In the case of sorcerers, it will even give the clone the same spell slots as the caster.
In EE, clones are immune to restoration and this trick no longer works. They are also, however, immune to level drain.
Righteous Wrath of the Faithful Trick Edit
In the original Icewind Dale, before the Enhanced Edition, Righteous Wrath of the Faithful stacks with itself, granting +1 APR to characters with the same alignment as the caster. Combined with haste effects (only possible by casting Haste and RWF in the right order, or using Oils of Speed), and any party with a uniform alignment can attain 10 APR with large damage bonuses. If the party is composed entirely of gnomish cleric/illusionists, they can also attain immunity to RWF's crippling fatigue penalties by each donning a copy of the Helm of the Trusted Defender sold in Kuldahar. Level 15 druids are also immune to fatigue by default.
Rod of Terror Trick Edit
Using the Rod of Terror has a chance of permanently decreasing the user's Charisma by 1, which is fatal when CHA reaches 0. But by wearing the Ring of Human Influence, one can avoid this instant death effect until the character's Charisma underflows up to 25. This 25 Charisma lasts even when the ring is removed.
Testing suggests this is no longer possible in EE.
Shapechange Trick Edit
Killing a character under the effects of Shapechange, resting, and then resurrecting the character will preserve the shapeshifting abilities from Shapechange. Thus, any character who can cast Shapechange at least once can retain the abilities permanently, except for the main character, who cannot be killed without ending the game. An early way to cast Shapechange is to use the one-time-only Limited Wish Shapechange option. You can also use CTRL-R to preserve the effects, though this requires using the console.
You can backstab using the Iron Golem's attack, which deals 4d10 base damage.
This trick no longer works in the current version of the Enhanced Edition. There is, however, a complicated workaround (see EE section above).
Slayer Trick Edit
Casting Mirror Image can block the final 1500 magic damage that triggers 44 seconds after entering Slayer form. After surviving that damage, you can maintain Slayer form indefinitely. You can also use the spider gnome trick to remove the Slayer's natural weapon using a Shocking Grasp Minor Sequencer or scroll, or casting Minute Meteors via an EE-exclusive robe. You will then be able to attack using any weapon while still in Slayer form (though you will no longer have the Slayer's immunities to various disabling effects).
One of the EE v.2.x updates removed this trick.
Spider Gnome Trick/Shocking Grasp Trick Edit
By switching to the spider form from Polymorph Self and then using a Shocking Grasp spell put in a Minor Sequencer, any mage can set his or her attacks per round to 4 using any weapon, as Shocking Grasp removes the spider's natural weapon, but does not return the mage to natural form. It works especially well with cleric/mages and Jan Jan's Flasher Master Bruiser Mates, as it cures one of their primary weaknesses: low APR. The high APR actually allows Jan to reliably stun-lock Kangaxx.
As of one of the v2.x updates, the spider gnome trick no longer works in BG2:EE.
Stackable Bard Songs Edit
Bard songs stack with themselves. By casting multiple Mislead spells and having each Mislead clone sing a song, you can stack the bonuses for the entire party. This works best with Skalds and the Enhanced Bard Song.
Removed by EE v2.3, only different type of songs stack.
Stackable Hardiness Edit
Hardiness stacks with itself, activating three uses will allows warrior classes to gain 120% physical resistance, they actually heal from being hit by physical attacks.
No longer possible in EE.
Additional Sources and references Edit
- Exploits, Tricks, and Nonstandard Tactics by semiticgod, special thanks to Alesia_BH, Alesia_B_H, Arctodus, Artemius_I, Arunsun, bob_veng, Caeria, CrevsDaak, edsterz, Gallowglass, Gotural, Grond0, Grum, lroumen, OlvynChuru, profanitywarning, Saros, semiticgod, plus all discoverers whose names cannot be found and thus cannot be documented