Improved Alacrity is a High-level class ability usable by mages and sorcerers.


Improved Alacrity essentially erases the pause between casting spells. When cast, the wizard can begin casting a new spell the instant <PRO_HESHE> is finished casting <PRO_HISHER> current spell. The effect lasts for 2 rounds.

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Improved Alacrity has a reputation as being one of (if not THE) most broken spell in the Baldur's Gate saga, mentioned alongside its common partner in crime Project Image. However, this is probably exaggeration. To understand why is to understand how combat rounds are sequenced in Infinity Engine games.

Each round is 6 seconds long, and those 6 seconds are divided into 10 ticks (approximately 0.6 seconds long). The lower the tick, the earlier an event happens in a round. Once all allowed actions have been completed, a creature must wait until the start of the next round to initiate more actions.

Magic Missile begins casting at tick 0 and is fired at tick 1, after 0.6 real world seconds have passed.

Abi-Dalzim's Horrid Wilting begins casting at tick 0 and is fired at tick 8, after 4.8 real world seconds have passed.

Improved Alacrity bypasses the restriction on spellcasters to begin casting at tick 0, the start of a new round. This means that spells which take a whole round to complete will still take close to a round before casting, while spells with shorter invocations can be emptied quite rapidly. Since weaker spells tend to have shorter casting times, Improved Alacrity lends itself well to spells with a casting time of 0 or 1. Even with the Robe of Vecna and Amulet of Power, which reduces casting time by 5, a spellcaster will only be able to cast 6 Abi-Dalzim's Horrid Wilting in a 2 round period. While that sounds impressive, it still pales in comparison to the raw power of Chain Contingency, which is capable of launching three such spells instantaneously (at tick 0).

This brings up the second flaw of Improved Alacrity: competition. As a Level 10 spell that must be memorized in a Level 9 slot, it is competing against other equally viable spells such as Time Stop, Chain Contingency, and Wish. Unlike those spells, it is very inflexible in use. A spellcaster under the effects of Improved Alacrity is pressured to cast as many spells as possible while it is active, and this pressure will influence spell selection toward more situational choices to best make use of the increased speed.