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The Quest Pack contains a number of components designed to add additional adventures throughout Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn and Throne of Bhaal. While the expansion is supported by some material, it is not required. ToB-specific components will be automatically skipped if ToB is not detected. Some components may expand on existing quests, while others may be completely new. All are independent, optional to install, and do not rely on one another technically or in terms of story. Quest Pack uses WeiDU for ease of (un)installation, and compatibility.
The mod currently includes the following components:
General AI Improvements
With this component installed, creatures throughout the game will behave marginally more intelligently. Don't expect drastic increases in difficulty, but do expect, for example, creatures to no longer stand around without attacking inbetween drinking potions. This is not a tougher battles mod, but more of a fix for poor intelligence I witnessed while playing the game. Installing this should improve the overall Quest Pack experience, and indeed that of the game as a whole.
If this component is installed, you get:
# Less predictable attack targetting.
# Smarter usage of items such as potions and wands.
# Intelligent druid spellcasting.
# Intelligent paladin spellcasting.
# Randomized usage of certain abilities, such as Demilich imprisonment.
# New behaviour of illusionary images. (Simulacrum, Projected Image, Mislead.)
You do not, however, get any changes to creature abilities. Stats, items, abilities, and so on remain unchanged. You also get legal AI--the scripts do not allow creatures to "cheat".
Note that Demiliches may become substantially tougher with this component, as it is more difficult to "cheese" them. (I stress once again that they gain no new abilities save a bugfix to the Watcher's Keep Demilich's Spell Trigger, which previously failed to do anything except display text due to a coding error.) See the FAQ section if you're really finding them painful to endure with the new AI.
(Also beware of the Demiliches' imprisonment breaking romances. This is a persistent bug in BG2. The upcoming G3 Fixpack will remedy the issue, and currently a fix is available courtesy of the_bigg.)
Creature & Area Improvements
This component is split into three parts: All Creature & Area Improvements, All Creature Improvments, and Boss Improvements Only. All seek to improve the atmosphere in BG2--be it by enhancing enemy environments, abilities or intelligence. The first option will install improvements to general creatures and bosses, and will make various changes to the environments in which you will encounter these creatures. The second option will install improvements to general creatures and to bosses, but omit changes to the areas themselves. The final option will only install the changes to bosses.
The area changes are as follows:
# The beholder lair in the Underdark responds to difficulty, with changes to beholder placement and creature addition as a result.
# The arbitrary summoning mish-mash on the bottom floor of the Guarded Compound is replaced by a more appropriate encounter.
# The lair of the Twisted Rune is better protected, and its guardians behave more sensibly.
# An array of ambushes may now take place in the North Forest.
The general creature changes are as follows:
# Drow now gain innate abilities: Faerie Fire, Globe of Darkness, Dancing Lights. (Created by Kensai Ryu-- this component also appears in D0Tweak.)
# Vampire abilities are standardised, so they will all use Domination and Fear to a degree suitable to their experience. Their intelligence is also vastly overhauled, allowing them to adapt to immunities. Additionally, vampires turning to bat form now grant 75% of their XP value.
# Mind Flayers gain a greater repertoire of psionic abilities, and will use them less predictably. They may also try to escape a battle if wounded (inspired by Blucher's Smarter Mind Flayers), and may even return to fight you again later. Alhoons also gain a small number of appropriate mage spells.
# Beholder abilities for all types are adjusted: they now use them less predictably. Additionally, it is possible to disable Beholders by destroying their eyestalks if you do enough damage. Finally, all beholder types are appropriately colour-coded. (The colour changes were inspired by Xyx's Smarter Beholders, which are, in fact, much smarter than Quest Pack's, but not for the faint of heart!)
# Umber Hulks use their gaze less predictably, and a distinction is made between the abilities of normal Umber Hulks and Elders.
# Mummies gain a "Gaze of Despair", as per PnP. It causes a Hopelessness effect which stuns all creatures in the area of effect for 3 rounds unless they save vs. spell.
# Elite Fire Giants gain the ability to Berserk, as per their assigned class.
# Single-target gaze attacks now use a standard gaze projectile.
# Shadows fizzle away when killed. (I attempted to prevent them chunking, since this always looked bad, but this seems impossible within the confines of the engine.)
The boss changes seek to make Irenicus and Bodhi more credible. All incarnations of them are affected. While these changes made mainly affect AI, some new abilities are also granted. Bodhi may now Dominate in the same way as other vampires, and she also gains the ability to Control Undead. Irenicus in Suldanessellar now has a greater repetoire of low-level spells, and gains the ability to Dimension Door to you if you flee the battle. Additionally, on Hard difficulty, Tree of Life Irenicus gains one use of Improved Alacrity, and on Insane, Tree of Life Irenicus gains two and Spellhold Irenicus gains one.
This component will automatically install v1.9 of the Detectable Spells pack.
This component does not add a single new quest per se, but instead introduces assorted new minor encounters and enhancements in various places during the game, to spice up the atmosphere.
Some of the encounters may be recognisable from Iron Modder competitions; however, all have been fixed and improved in some way. This component may safely be installed over the top of Iron Modder entries, but not vice versa.
The complete list of changes introduced by this component is as follows:
# A new encounter now takes place in the graveyard in chapter 6. (Bons IM.)
# You can visit a new character in the Umar Hills Inn to hear a sinister tale once you exit the Underdark. (Blue IM.)
# Madulf will help protect Imnesvale during the paladin stronghold quest set there.
# The lost girl in the Docks District can now be reunited with her mother.
# New possibilities are introduced for dealing with the orphaned child in Saradush.
# Sime now has a proper fate, providing closure where none was present originally. (Previously she would go for help and never be mentioned again.)
# New random encounters are introduced, both in the city and in the wilderness. (This will work alongside the similar component in the Tactics mod.)
# The player may now experience someone other than himself being abducted by Cowled Wizards in the Bridge District.
# There is now a minor followup to the discovery of the lich in the Crooked Crane.
# In the Windspear Hills, the Knights' illusion may be dispelled.
# The Trademeet Rakshasas now respond to the Flail of the Ages.
# Resurrecting Mummies works more frequently and provides more diverse dialogue.
# A dog will befriend you temporarily in the Docks.
# The infamous Battle Horror makes a reappearance. Be prepared.
# Displacer Beasts may now be encountered in the Underdark. (Created by Jaysyn.)
# A limited number of Arrows of Detonation become available in SoA.
# Ribald now wears a Robe of the Neutral Archmagi.
Additional Shadow Thieves Content
This component expands on the existing quests focussing around the Shadow Thieves. It can be divided into a number of sections:
# The player may now side with Mae'Var instead of Renal when assigned to infiltrate his guild. In the true spirit of thieves, this component allows the player to double-cross his allies time after time, although not without consequence. To begin this path, the player must take the initiative and tell Mae'Var of Renal's mission after gaining his trust.
# There is now a mission to eliminate Aran Linvail and his guild on the behalf of Brega in chapter 6. The player will find himself fighting his way through the Shadow Thief lair alongside city guards. This component will begin automatically in chapter 6 for any player who does not have the thief stronghold and has not sided with Mae'Var, assuming Aran is still alive; a messenger should demand your attention.
# It is now possible to complete Edwin's quests without killing Rayic Gethras: you may instead trick Edwin into thinking Rayic is dead. New dialogue options should become apparent upon speaking to Rayic.
# A quest is introduced centering around the torturer, Booter. (Ghrey IM.) If spoken to repeatedly, he will divulge information about his victims, and a cunning player may be able to utilize some of these details.
To play with this component, a new game should be started, or at least a save prior to entering the Shadow Thief guildhouse should be used.
Alternative Xzar/Harpers Plot
This component expands the Harper plots in two significant ways:
# New solutions are introduced to the plot involving Xzar and the Harpers. The player may warn the Harpers of Xzar's intentions, therefore removing the previous necessity of doing something unkind to Jaheira to commence her romance. On the other hand, the player is not bound to his word to help the Harpers, and an evil player may double-cross them if they so wish. To gain the benefits of this component, simply begin Xzar's quest as normal. New dialog options should become apparent when speaking with the Harpers in the compound.
# Jaheira will now respond to Shazzellim appropriately. There is a brief related quest which she should initiate automatically if you keep the sword in your possession.
(Note that this component will also add a eight-hour delay to Meronia's spawning after Xzar has been killed. If you're used to her appearing instantly, then there's nothing to worry about.)
Extended Fallen Paladins Material
Reynald de Chatillon is undeniably an intriguing character. Unfortunately, he disappears all too quickly in the original game. This component adds additional material after the original sequence has finished, expanding on his background, beliefs and goals in life.
The new Reynald material may be gained even if it is installed after the quest has been completed. Simply visiting the Bridge District should trigger it. Otherwise, play the quest as normal; new dialogue options will soon become apparent.
Intrigue In The Copper Coronet
This component makes various enhancements to the Copper Coronet:
# A money lender is now available for the player to borrow from. Hints around the game should help you locate him. Of course, while the player can try to avoid paying back his debts, this is not without consequences. And don't expect it to provide an easy solution to getting to Spellhold quickly.
# There is a new quest available involving debt repayments in the Slums district. To begin this quest, head to the centre of the district, where a woman named Moiya should speak with you.
# Having adjusted the management of the Coronet, it is now possible to either remove Surly from the premises, or extort him, taking a share of his business profits. Speak to him after killing Lehtinan. If you remove Surly from the Coronet, he will attempt to set up elsewhere.
Rahul Kanakia's Potion Quest
Originally created by Rahul Kanakia, this little-known gem makes a reappearance in Quest Pack. Edited by Ding0 and Compton, Potion Quest tells the tale of a man torn between work and family, and of the very real consequences of thirst for power.
This quest begins in the southwest of the sewers beneath the Temple District.
Revised Hell Trials
Adahn, original author, writes:
Originally intended as a small contribution to a larger project that is now never to be completed, this mod deals with the five tests that occur in the Abyss (or Gehenna, depending on whom you ask) during chapter 7. From a roleplaying standpoint, this final stage of the game seemed somewhat unsatisfying, especially for neutral characters. And the fact that a neutral protagonist had to complete all five tests in the "good" manner in order to remain neutral doesn't appear too logical, either. Therefore, this mod attempts to resolve these issues by changing the following things:
# For each of the tests there's now a "neutral" path to take, resulting in a different reward as well. Sometimes the neutral path is closer to the original evil way, sometimes to the good one, and sometimes it is completely different to either of them.
# After the last test the protagonist's alignment is judged, which can result both in a positive or negative adjustment. It's generally easier to drop down to evil than to become good, though.
# The conditions for a paladin's or ranger's loss of his class have been slightly refined, causing a higher tolerance of neutral and evil acts for the ranger. In addition, specialist clerics will now lose their kit if they stray from the alignment dictated by the respective god.
Improved Oasis II
It always seemed that the ToB Oasis was a very limited area, designed only for combat. Jamis Tombelthen's dialog was insultingly small, and there was only one possible outcome: battle. This component expands Jamis Tombelthen's dialog in the Oasis area, to potentially allow for a peaceful solution rather than inevitable conflict.
And, of course, not forgotten is the Combat Enhancement aspect of IO2. This is entirely optional; you may install the Dialogue Enhancement with or without the Combat Enhancement. If installed, the battle will respond extensively to difficulty setting, party size, and party level.
Saving Sanik In Brynnlaw
This component adds a window of opportunity during which Sanik can be saved from his untimely fate at the hands of Galvena's Assassin in Bynnlaw. Be sure to act quickly, however, for the assassin will soon penetrate his meagre defence and strike true.
Burglary Of The Bookkeeper
One of the most loved (or loathed) characters in all of Amn, Galoomp, has been feeling rather down lately. The reason? Somebody has been stealing scrolls from his store! Solve the mystery to uncover a tale of sadness and rejection in this component originally created by Andyr.
New Fate For The Dryads' Acorns
Are all dryads the beautiful, innocent creatures they appear to be? Originally created by Bons, this component adds an intriguing twist to the quest to return Irenicus' dryads' acorns to the Windspear Hills. Evil players may delight in the new opportunities afforded here, including a delicious gourmet meal. The quest begins with a new encounter which will take place in the south of the De'Arnise Hold if you have not already returned the acorns.
The Tragedy Of Besamen
Originally created by Icelus, this component adds a new encounter in the graveyard, in the tomb in which the Staff of Curing may be found. A troubled man, stuck somewhere between life and death, seeks to be united once more with his true love. Will you bring them together, or send them both to rot in their graves?
Further Slaver Involvement
This component allows additional options in dealing with the slavers around the city:
# It is now possible to sell the orphan in the Graveyard District to Lehtinan. If you know he's a slaver, you can make him an offer once you've encountered Risa.
# You may try to extort the slavers, threatening to warn the guard if they do not pay up; success is not guaranteed. New dialogue options should be apparent in the encounter with the slavers and corrupt guards at night in the Slums.
Sending The Solamnic Knights Home
An option sorely missing from the original game was for non-mage characters to send the Solamnic Knights in the Planar Sphere back to their homeworld. Now, any character may do so in exactly the same was as was previously the case. New clues have been added to account for the lack of Cowled Wizard involvement.
Nazarial The Lich
With this component, a new area is added to the Underdark. Deep beneath the earth resides an anicent lich, yearning to reach the surface and "freedom". Expect a unique and challenging battle with an intriguing backstory. The new area can be found in the Kua-Toa caves west of the main underdark area; it is somewhat hidden, but there may be (rather obvious) clues as to its whereabouts.
This component is designed to provide alternative, non-violent means of gaining satisfactory rewards in various situations throughout the game. Currently only one change is effected:
# The player will be able to select specifically what items constitute their share of the loot during the divison of Vithal's spoils from the Underdark portals. (Written by SixOfSpades.)
With this component installed, a new encounter designed by SixOfSpades will take place in the Bridge District a few days after the skinner murders have been resolved. A man will approach you with an unusual offer, and the climax will occur shortly afterwards in the southern part of the district.