Q: What is Sword Coast Stratagems (SCS)?
A: It's a collection of mini-mods for BG1TUTU and (the BG1 part of) BGT. Primarily, it's a sort of BG1 version of the Tactics mod for BG2 - it's designed to upgrade the AI of the creatures and opponents you face, partly to make the game more realistic ("he had a Wand of the Heavens and he sat there casting Cure Light Wounds?!") and partly to increase the tactical challenge.
It also includes some Ease-of-Use features which aren't currently available anywhere else (for instance, you can separate NPC pairs like Khalid/Jaheira or Minsc/Dynaheir without having to get one of them killed) and a few bugfixes and gameplay tweaks, most of which arose in trying to write the tactics component.
Q: Is SCS compatible with EasyTUTU?
A: Yes. It was developed on a TUTU v4 platform, but I don't think there will be any incompatibilities with Easy TUTU. Most of the testing that's been done by people post-release has been done on EasyTUTU and it seems to work fine.
Q: Is SCS compatible with vanilla BG1?
A: No. Nor will it be: the scripting language is too annoying.
Q: Is SCS compatible with BGT?
A: Yes. (It only really affects the BG1 part; use SCSII to get similar results on the BG2 part.)
Q: What other mods is SCS compatible with?
A: Most things, hopefully. Since it's predominantly an AI mod, it doesn't have conceptual clashes with many other mods, and I hope it plays nicely with pretty much everything else available. If you have compatibility problems, let me know.
More concretely, it's been fairly thoroughly tested with BG1NPC and with most of BG2Tweaks. Early versions sometimes clashed with the Faster Walking Speeds components of TUTUfix but this is now fixed.
Q: How hard is SCS?
A: It's difficult to assess this because everyone plays in different ways. (For instance, I scout and prepare quite carefully for battles but I don't create powergaming PCs, and I always leave the difficulty setting at Core). But I think it's comparable to the lower end of Tactics. My main goal was to create realistic opponents who were vaguely believable, so I've messed with the AI a lot and with creature abilities a bit, but I very rarely gave some creature a huge range of extra powers.
Q: What makes SCS hard?
A: Most, but not all, of the difficulty increase in SCS is from better scripting. The main things you'll notice are that spellcasters use their magic much more intelligently, that monsters come forward in groups rather than one at a time, and that enemies get and use potions. Other than that, humanoid opponents sometimes get given one or two more levels and the numbers of creatures in some encounters are increased. There are very few situations in SCS where some qualitatively new powers / resistances / etc are added to a creature (there are some, though).
Q: Does SCS cheat?
A: Hopefully, no. That is: spellcasters don't ForceCast spells or get lots of random immunities, that sort of thing. The nearest thing to an exception is that mages and priests will buff before combat starts (but that's an optional component; you don't have to use it.)
Q: What cool new spells / amazing new magic items / exciting loot does SCS add?
A: None whatsoever. I think it's quite hard to add rewards to a game without unbalancing it, and so I've scarcely tried. SCS works on the assumption that you ought to work harder to earn the rewards you already get, never mind getting any new ones.
Q: Shouldn't I be playing the newer SCSII?
A: No! SCSII is for BG2, SCS is for BG (or more accurately for BG1TUTU and the BG1 part of BGT).
Q: Can I have SCS and SCSII installed at the same time?
A: Yes (though there's no point unless you're playing BGT). They're fully compatible (install SCS before SCSII).
Edited by DavidW, 19 August 2010 - 03:35 PM.