1. My Magic person has spells in his spell book, but cannot cast any:

Spells must first be 'memorized' before they can be cast. Learned spells are listed on the right hand page in the spell book. The left hand page shows spells memorized, or has empty outlines the size of the spell icons. L-clicking on a spell on the right hand page causes it to fill one of the to-be-memorized locations on the left page (see BG manual, p27), assuming there is an empty slot on the left hand page. You must rest successfully for 8 hours before spells will actually be memorized.

If the spell book's left hand page is completely blank (i.e., there are no to-be-memorized [empty outline] slots), then your character has not attained a high enough "experience" level to cast at this "spell" level. The following table shows the maximum spell level allowed to be memorized based on a character's experience level.

Click on your spell caster. He/she possesses a moonlight shape near the middle of the menu at the bottom of the window. Click on it and it will show which spells are available.

The actual number of spells allowed to be memorized for a given spell level can be found in the Spell Progression tables (5a-c) on page 140 of the BG manual. Note that the number of spells/level (table 5a-c) may be modified by either the character's Intelligence (Wizards) or Wisdom (Priests) as shown in the table on page 130 of the BG manual.

Bards MUST REMOVE ARMOR in order to cast spells

2. How Does a Mage Learn New Spells

When a Mage reads a scroll (click on the scroll in his inventory), the "Write Magic" option will be offered if the Mage has room in his spell book and does not already have that spell written into the book. Clicking on "Write Magic" will attempt to learn (write to spellbook) the spell based on the Mage's "% to Learn" ('Mild Cheat' - save prior to attempting to learn a spell as it may fail).

The maximum spells/level that a Mage can write into his spell book is determined by his Intelligence (see "Max Spells/Level" column, table 1 on page 136 of the game manual) as is the highest level of spells a mage can learn ("Spell Level" column in same table).

Scrolls can be found in various places, recovered off the bodies of vanquished enemies, purchased in stores/shops, received as quest rewards, and 'lifted' from the pockets of unsuspecting npc's (if your thief is good enough).

3. How Does my Priest Learn New Spells

Priests automatically learn new spells when they level up in accordance with the Spell Progression table 5b, page 140, of the game manual. But not all Priests will learn the same spells. Priests learn spells based on the God they worship. For instance, Branwen (Cleric) and Jaheira (Druid) will not learn all the same spells, but there will be some overlap.

Priests get to learn additional spells/level based on their Wisdom (see "Bonus Spells" column, table 1, page 136 in game manual).

In Baldur's Gate, Priests will not be able to learn any spells beyond spell level 4 due to the game's experience cap.

4. Can my Paladin (or Ranger) Learn Spells

No. Level 1 Priest spells are learned by Paladins at experience level-9 and by Rangers at experience level-8. Due to the 89,000 experience point limit in Baldur's Gate, Paladins and Rangers can only attain experience level-7. With the TOSC add on, Paladins and Rangers can attain experience level-8, so 'maybe' (don't know, haven't palyed TOSC) Rangers can get level-1 Priest spells.

5. Favorite Spells

  1. Fireball
    By far my favorite spell, I use it whenever I want to kick some major enemy butt. This devastating spell can wipe out an entire group of weaker enemies and cause serious damage to more powerful opponents. Collect as many Wands of Fire as you can, since they have the same effect as the Fireball spell.
  2. Dispel Magic
    I find this powerful spell almost as indispensable as the Fireball spell. Cast this on a group on enemy NPCs to remove all of their invisibilty, blur, mirror image, ghost armor, etc effects and cast it on your own party to remove all confusion, fear, and hold effects.
  3. Cure Light Wounds
    I usually have my clerics use this spell to fill all of their first level spell slots. Since you only heal by about two or three hit points apiece when you rest, you need to have healing magic to fully restore your hit points. How many Cure Light Wounds spells you have available basically determines how long you can adventure before resting.
  4. Magic Missile
    This spell has several advantages:
    * Since it is only first level, you can memorized several
    * It gets stronger as your level increases (more missiles per spell)
    * Guaranteed hits (except for a couple magic resistance enemies)
    I like using this spell agains enemy mages because it disrupts any spell they are casting (since it is a guaranteed hit) and it usually only takes one or two spells to kill them. It is also useful to help your fighters defeat enemy fighers.
  5. Web
    Cast this spell on a group of enemies and then take them out using ranged attacks from outside the area of effect. This is the best area spell until you learn Fireball.
  6. Cloudkill
    This fifth level spell is incredible powerful. The catch is that I was only able to find one of these and it cannot be memorized from your spell book (you can only memorize up to level 4 spells in Baldur's Gate). I used this spell in the final battle and was quite pleased with the results.
  7. Draw Upon Holy Might
    This spell gives the cleric a significant advantage in battle. The hero learns this in one of the later chapters.
  8. Identify
    Don't waste your gold identifying items in shops; identify them yourself for free.
  9. Protection from Petrification
    Cast this on one of your characters and they are almost invincible against basilisks.