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I used spells few times with my necromancer in a fight and now i can't use them anymore. There is no cooldown time indication whatsoever, and even thought a good amount of time has passed after that i still couldn't use spells with him. Later i noticed that if i use rest button the spells become available again.

So how exactly do spells and their "cooldowns" work if they have any. Do i have to use the rest button everytime my spells become unusable? I would like as much details as possible about this matter.

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Clearly a conceptual-system difference. I'm guessing you've mostly played mana-pool based games - MMOs/JRPGs? If you look, notice that, while you have hit-points, you don't have mana. You do have 'stamina', although it isn't explicitly as a point value - characters become exhausted if they've been awake for too long (starts showing up after ~24 hours, game time). –  Clockwork-Muse Dec 3 '12 at 17:04
    
@Clockwork-Muse Actually i didn't play mostly mana-pool based games, i played baldurs gate 2 and similiar games before when i was a kid. So much time has passed since then that i mostly forgot everything about them. –  ChrisHateZ Dec 3 '12 at 18:01
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In D&D systems spells are uses / day. They return when you rest only. You can change the spells you are going to use for the next day in your spellbook, but you will need to rest to be able to use them.

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Okay thank you. Do you know is there any negative effect for resting too often then? Like does resting have any effects on what is happening in the game and it's events? –  ChrisHateZ Dec 3 '12 at 14:25
    
It's been ages since I played BG, but I don't remember there being any time-dependent events (so you can rest as much as you need). Just make sure you're someplace that wandering monsters won't find you! –  Shinrai Dec 3 '12 at 15:42
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One possible negative effect of resting is being attacked (happens more in certain parts of the world). –  ChargingPun Dec 3 '12 at 15:53
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More specifically, Baldur's Gate (including 2 and add-ons) uses the rules of 2nd edition AD&D, where spells work more or less identically for each spell-casting class.

Depending on your class level and primary attribute (intelligence for wizards and bards, wisdom for most others -- see descriptions), you get a number of spell slots for each spell level. These slots can be filled by spells from your spellbook or scroll when you rest -- this is called memorising spells. Once a memorised spell is cast, it's gone from the caster's memory (but not his spellbook/scroll, meaning it can be memorised again when you rest). The same spell can be memorised more than once, taking one level-appropriate slot each time, allowing you to cast it that many times before resting. If you're curious, this ruleset is called Vancian Magic, after Jack Vance's Dying Earth series of books.

As far as I know, there are no penalties for resting often, but resting may cause some encounters, but these are only affected by where the party is and what you have done before.

As a final tip, be sure to check your spellbook after levelling up, increasing your primary attribute, or otherwise getting more spell slots (are there items that grant them in BG? I don't remember)! New slots start out empty, so if you forget to check your spells and rest, you'll miss out!

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I believe there are attribute-increasing tomes in the original BG. Neverwinter Nights also followed this setup (being based on 3.0) –  Clockwork-Muse Dec 3 '12 at 17:00
    
@Clockwork-Muse Attribute-increasing, yes. I meant items that directly grant spell slots. Also, 3rd edition adds spontaneous-casting classes like the Sorcerer that have somewhat different rules, but let's not confuse anyone. –  Pvt. Grichmann Dec 4 '12 at 5:09
    
I think I remember having an item which granted +1 level 1 spell slot in one of the BD games... –  Nick Dec 4 '12 at 17:40
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