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Game Breaker / Baldur's Gate

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The Baldur's Gate series has featured many game breakers throughout its various installments.

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  • The "talk-fight" bug made it possible to attack an NPC who normally talks to you, talk to them when they turn red, and repeat the process until they died without landing a hit on your party. This could be done with most creatures in the series, including bosses and dragons.
  • An inventory item duplication glitch in both games could turn one gemstone into 65535 gems that you can then sell to the nearest merchant for an enormous pile of money. You could be financially set for the whole game while still level 1. The Enhanced Editions sadly patched these bugs out.

    Baldur's Gate 
  • Kagain is a useful tank already, but equip him with the best armour and shield you can find, as well as the Gauntlets of Dexterity (which gives him a massive boost to his Dexterity stat, enough to increase his AC) he's practically untouchable to enemies except for bosses and high level mooks.
  • Is the Sirine Queen giving you a hard time because of her army, dire charms and poison arrows? Never fear, it's charmed squirrels to the rescue! She can't even land a single a hit on them and while she's busy, the PC and his pals can effortlessly shower her with tons of spells and arrows. Who would have thought squirrels were so tanky?

    Baldur's Gate II 
  • Borador, the dwarf rogue from Baldurs Gate 2: Dark Alliance was perhaps the easiest character to solo the entire game with. One of his first skills was a multishot that produced an additional shot from a crossbow at the cost of a little mana. However, the game contained an item enchanting system that allowed you to put up to two special abilities on your weapon, one of which gave you back a fraction of your mana pool on a successful hit. Enchanting a crossbow with this effect, some other enchantment for more damage, and then sinking all other points and money into multishot, armor skills, and hit points netted you the ability to run up into an enemy's face and hold the multishot button and pour crossbow bolts into their carapace until they resembled a dead bloody hedgehog. This held true from everything from two-headed giants to slime creatures to the game's Final Boss; the only creatures it did not work against were those with resistances to piercing damage and trolls; then the answer was either dual-wielding morningstars, or a pinch of fire or acid, respectively.
    • The save system used in both Dark Alliance games was another Game-Breaker: It was very simple and easy to abuse the "import character" options to essentially get unlimited funds and experience in just a few minutes.
  • As mentioned in the Broken Base entry for Siege of Dragonspear, going through the main Baldur's Gate and both expansions before importing your Charname into II will severely unbalance the game. The extent of which is debated, with some saying about halfway through this game and others claiming all the way to Throne of Bhaal.
  • The various "kill undead instantly unless they save" weapons, which allow you to instantly kill any undead boss in a single round, since there is no effective defense against it whatsoever and you could easily get up to 8-10 attacks per combat round even in medium levels. It even turns nasty Bonus Boss Kangaxx, considered the strongest opponent in Shadows of Amn, into an Anticlimax Boss. Despite the fact that, normally, the Mace of Disruption wouldn't be able to harm him, as it maxes as a +2 weapon (though as per it's pen and paper incarnation, it can hit as if +5); demi-liches can't normally be hurt by anything less than a +4 weapon, of which there's only a very small number in Shadows of Amn (a dagger, two halberds, two staves, and two two-handed swords, one only Paladins can wield and the other only Evil characters can wield).
  • The Staff Of The Magi. Upon equipping it, it makes the character using it go invisible. You can walk up to someone, hit them (thus breaking your invisibility), and then immediately go into your inventory and just by clicking on the staff, re-equip it, including reactivating the invisibility. Rinse and repeat, and very very few enemies can do a thing about it. Before an Obvious Rule Patch fixed it, it was also possible to use it for backstabbing.
  • Several minibosses/dragons were vulnerable to the instant kill spell Finger of Death, such as the Shadow Dragon - A creature that the game assumes most lower level characters would want to quietly sneak past. Most bosses /minibosses in the game were immune to instant kill though. Finger of Death is still effective in the Enhanced Edition. Have fun Cherry Tapping all those dragons!
    • Winning any boss battle with Finger of Death (or any other One-Hit Kill spell) is mostly a Luck-Based Mission; the spell will slay any living creature who fails a save vs. death at -2 (it rolls lower than its save vs. death stat on a twenty-sided die, with 2 subtracted from the dice roll). For reference, the Shadow Dragon has a save vs. death of 3 and 60% Magic Resistance, meaning there's only a 15% chance Finger of Death will work on it (40% chance to penetrate magic resistance and then 25% chace of failing a save). Of course, canny players could simply Save Scum until that lucky event took place. Less gamey players could use the spells Lower Magic Resistance and Greater Malison to up the chance as high as 45%, but at that point you've already had at least three rounds of the dragon buffing itself and/or wailing on you before you potentially get to end the battle with a coin flip.
  • The Drow armor and weapons that are found in the Underdark (including the Drow Full Plate +5, the best suit of armor in the game) cannot normally be removed from said area without disintegrating into dust as soon as sunlight touches it. That is, unless (when you're in the Underdark) you give all the equipment you want to keep to one of your party members, reform your group and remove said character, and ask him/her to meet you at the Copper Coronet. You can rendezvous with them as soon as you exit and get all of the armor back, making things significantly easier for the rest of the game.
  • Traps, in all their forms:
    • The traps of epic level Thieves, which are so nasty strong they can, among other things, instakill the Throne of Bhaal Bonus Boss Demogorgon after you've installed a mod to specifically make him much tougher. Specifically, an unintended effect is being able to lace traps beforehand at the location where Demogorgon — or Irenicus in Suldenessellar, for that matter — will spawn when attacking, instantly scoring as many automatic hits as you like. You can send any enemy careening into a series of traps by leading them there with a Ring of the Ram.
    • Bards could also get epic-level traps... and, since they had no "set traps" skill, they succeeded automatically. This for traps that could freeze time.
    • If you play a bounty hunter, you get special traps that not only did more damage, but could be thrown. Since traps had a pretty big area of effect, this meant that the thief could throw a trap, hide, throw another, hide again, etc. Even more absurd, you only had to do this once at level 21+ because these traps mazed enemies, which meant you could now send in the rest of your party to slaughter them one by one as they popped out of the maze one at a time. Then there were spells like Death Fog, which did damage over time and had such ridiculous areas of effect that you could engulf enemies from outside their visual range.
  • The seller inside the Shadow Thieves' base will buy stolen objects (unlike any other shop in the game). This means that, for a Thief with a high pick-pocketing skill, you could sell-steal-sell again-steal again-and so on some expensive object and become ludicrously rich in a heartbeat.
  • Several absurdly-broken spells destroyed any notion of difficulty in the game:
    • The combination of the Robe of Vecna and Amulet of Power (lower casting time) with the high-level spell "Improved Alacrity" (cast spells immediately one after the other, instead of a one spell per round limit), which allows a mage to pull off the magical version of Beam Spam. You could combine it with Time Stop (everything except the caster freezes in place for six rounds) to have your enormous Spell Spam assault hit the enemy with dozens of spells before he can do anything. If your enemies are still alive after that, just cast Wish to replenish your spells and do the entire thing over again. To increase effectiveness, you could turn on autopause and set it to "when casting ends". This way you will maximize number of castings during Improved Alacrity. Alternately, you could cast Simulacrum beforehand, which lets you do all of the aforementioned twice. This combination is even more effective (if that's even possible) when you're a high-level sorcerer, when you can easily cast 9 of the most effective attack spells of every level, instead of only those of you memorised spells were atttack spells.
    • Projected Image, a spell that created an illusory copy of the caster, including all of his spells. Meaning that the Image could do everything already mentioned above, whilst leaving the actual wizard in complete safety. If, by some miracle, the Image was killed, then the wizard could just cast it again. Projected Image is also capable of doing some things your regular mage can't. For example, there's an "epic level" spell that lets you summon a planetar, a powerful fighter/mage/cleric hybrid that can contend with most monsters in the game. Downside? You're limited to one, but the projected image can make as many as six. Another great thing about Simulacrum and Projected Image is that they copy the items in your quick slots as well. Buy some powerful scrolls, put those scrolls in your quickslots, create a copy of yourself, and let them use those spell scrolls without using up the original scrolls.
    • Summon a Nishruu and be attacked 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).
    • Equip Vhailor's Helm and Mislead scrolls on quick item slots, cast Simulacrum from Vhailor's Helm, cast Mislead scrolls from the Simulacrum image. When all sing bard songs together, the effects stack. Using this method, Enhanced Bard Song and Skald song are capable of granting 4 x the number of singers bonus to THAC0 and damage per hit for the entire party. (eg. 24 bonus if the number of singers is 6). This exploit no longer works in Enhanced Editions.
    • Cloudkill and similar Area of Effect-spells. You can often cast them close to powerful creatures or a group of them, as they won't see you and probably won't move a spot. They also stacks. You can easly kill Firkraag the Dragon with this trick. Unfortunately this has been patched out in the Enhanced Edition.
  • Before Cloak of Reflection was nerfed by the developers, it reflected all spell damage back onto the caster - which meant that if you protected yourself against nasty non-damage spells, you could get Irenicus to kill himself with Cone of Cold in the first part of the final battle (before you go down to hell). Even after the nerf, it made you immune to spell damage (it just didn't reflect it). You could, fairly easily, make yourself completely immune to damage or any negative effect whatsoever (especially as a fighter/mage).
  • In a game full of potentially-overpowered companions, Keldorn stands alone. You can immediately acquire him in Chapter 2 by accepting a mission in the Temple District and finding him in the Athkatla sewers. He comes equipped with a unique set of Full Plate Mail +1 armor (with several bonuses, including Free Action), the best Paladin kit in the game, the Dispel Magic and True Sight abilities (which makes magic-wielding enemy encounters a breeze) and, once you get him Carsomyr from Firkraag's dungeon and the Gauntlets of Dexterity, he becomes a juggernaut. It says something when, in a game where most bosses' HP top out at just over 200, Keldorn with Carsomyr can dole out 30-35 damage per successful swing. He can solo Irenicus in his second form via spamming True Sight, and he even makes Insanity playthroughs insultingly easy. In addition, the Dispel Magic innate ability his class kit gets has special rules which allow it to be cast instantly (speed factor 1), and at double his class level. This makes it almost the most broken spell in the entire game, as it means Keldorn can dispel any level-appropriate mage encounter with a nearly 100% success rate, then slaughter him inside two rounds. His True Sight innate ability also makes a lot of enemies which rely on abusing Improved Invisibility (cannot be targeted by spells) trivially easy to lock down and obliterate.
  • The Animate Dead spell once its caster reaches level 15. The large skeleton summoned at this level is very powerful, has a ton of hit points and is immune to almost any sort of magic cast at it. Additionally, it will willingly auto-navigate through fog of war to seek out and kill enemies you can't see and can take out packs of beholders on its own without putting your own neck out.
  • Also, Mordekainen's sword. The duration isn't as long as for Animate Dead, but the blade's immunities are a long list.
  • Inexperienced players sometimes underrate Aerie as a mage because she doesn't gain access to the most powerful arcane spells, but the ability to use divine as well as arcane spells with power-amplifying setups like Sequencers and Contingencies more than makes up for it if you know what you're doing. Although, being a multi-class, she won't actually level up enough to get Sequencers until very late in the game. More horrifyingly (in a good way), being a mage gives her access to the robe of Vecna, which decreases ''all' casting times. Including her cleric spells. Stack on the Amulet of Power and Heal spells become a viable method of in-combat instant healing.
  • The combination of the 9th level spell Chain Contingency and three Abi Dhalzim's Horrid Wiltings, set to cast at the nearest enemy on sight. This is capable of doing 250 damage to the target, which will easily kill any non-boss enemy, and works horrifyingly well against some of the most powerful bosses in the game, including Draconis and Demogorgon.
  • A high enough Turn Undead ability can kill nearly every undead, even vampires.
  • It's only possible if you're playing the second game or the Updated Re Release, but: human dual-classed Kensai/Mage. All of the hitpoints and combat prowess of the Fighter, the Mage's ability to cast devastating arcane spells (as mentioned above), with the added abilities of higher THAC0, damage and attack speed in melee, as well as the ability to use a "Kai" that causes hits to deal maximum damage while it lasts. All this at the cost of giving up armor, which a Fighter/Mage can't use anyway until they find the rare Elven Chainmails at the end of Shadows of Amn.
    • The Kensai/Mage is almost the exact definition of Magikarp Power if you try to take it through the entire trilogy. In the first game, your AC is horrible and the lack of proper ranged weapons (unless you specialise in axes or daggers) crippling. In the second game, depending on when you decide to dual-class, you either have to go through most of the quests in chapter 2 or spend the entire spellhold-underdark-chapter 6 sequence as a sub-par mage catching up to the rest of your part. Once you hit Throne of Bhaal, however, you are a terror. (At which point some would argue multiclass fighter/mages probably out-gish you anyway since they get fighter High Level Abilities and dual-classes don't).
    • The Berserker/Mage has almost all the advantages of the kensai/mage, but trades lower melee damage output and accuracy for a berserker mode that No Sells almost every Standard Status Effect in the game, including mazing and imprisonment, and the ability to wear armour and bracers. Furthermore, berserkers are much less of a Glass Cannon than a Kensai and are much more worthwhile in Baldur's Gate.
  • Similar to the Kensai/Mage example above is the Wild Mage, normally only available in Throne of Bhaal, but which can be modded to be playable in the first game. The class exemplifies Magikarp Power, especially through use of a glitch where piling Chaos Shields in a Minor Sequenecer, and later a Spell Sequencer, led to the shield bonus stacking. The result was about an 80% defense from wild surges, meaning you could use Nahal's Reckless Dweomer with impunity. For those who don't know, Nahal's Reckless Dweomer is basically a spell that lets you cast any spell in your spellbook. It doesn't matter if you don't have it memorized or if you aren't high level enough to cast it—with that Dweomer, you can start flinging around Disintegrates and Horrid Wiltings as low as level nine. That's not the end of it, though—the spell Limited Wish, with high enough Wisdom, allows you to restore all low level spells. Nahal's Reckless Dweomer is one of those spells. Since Limited Wish can also be used to restore your health, this effectively eliminates the need for the Wild Mage to rest—s/he can just keep fighting for the entire game without once going to sleep, cycling through Nahal's Reckless Dweomers and Limited Wishes to restore health and spells as needed.
  • Better editions of the game offers the Shield of Balduran. It reflects beholder rays, turning these Demonic Spiders into XP-dispensers. It breaks even the quest of the Unseeing Eye, making both an Easy Level Trick and a Sequence Breaker.
  • Umber Hulks are nasty, but they're deathly allergic to death spells like Cloud Kill. Just cast it near a pack and the lot will almost guaranteed die.
  • For the mage: Black Blade of Disaster + Timestop. These are both level 9 spells. Combined with Improved Haste the character will simply cut any boss to ribbons before time starts again.
  • Know that a very tough ambush is about to spawn? Know exactly where it is going to spawn? Have your mages memorize nothing but Skull Trap and Delayed Blast Fireball and toss them at the spawn points. Then rest and repeat. Can't rest in the area? Well, with high enough Wisdom and a bit of luck (and possibly Save Scumming), a Wish spell can have exactly the same effect as resting (which will also refresh the Wish spell). Thieves can drop traps on the spot also, for some added fun. Even boss-type creatures with decent magic resistance won't shrug off all of the detonations (though it can slow your system to a crawl when they all go off at once).
  • The Harm spell can also make some serious boss fights into jokes. It's a "touch" spell, meaning that the caster must make an attempt to hit, but this can be improved with buffs that improve Strength or to-hit bonuses. It also can be resisted through magic resistance (but Lower Resistance can reduce this problem) but there is no saving throw. When it hits, the target is dropped to a single hitpoint. The resurrected Yaga-Shura during the final fight in the Ascension mod is normally a pain to take out because he starts out with a resistance that reduces all damage, physical or magical, to just a single hit point. Cast Harm on him and the next hit that lands on him will be his end. Its only real weakness is that it is coded as a +2 weapon, so spells that create immunity to magic weapons negate it (because they technically won't hit), though counterspells exist to strip off these buffs.

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