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The no reload challenge (spoiler warning)

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  • karnor00karnor00 Member Posts: 680
    The continuing adventures of Soloa

    Fortunately the journey to the Nashkel temple proved uneventful and we were reunited with our pack mule once more. I took the opportunity to identify some of the magical items we had found so far. Jaheira cried at the 100 gold identification cost, but I feel that it’s a reasonable fee for the service rendered.

    I now own a magical ring which doubles the group’s power – twice as many sleep spells! I also own a rather handy belt to protect me from sharp pointy things – I think this is what that dwarf in the Friendly Arms inn mentioned. I gave some gauntlets of dexterity to Jaheira along with a +1 shield and explained that her job is to stand out front and not get it.

    I found myself wishing Khalid had been still with us because it would have set up a fantastic April Fool’s joke. One of the belts swaps the sex of the wearer and I had the idea of swapping it with his normal belt when he slept. I mentioned this to Jaheria and I said that the hilarity of the joke would easily have justified foregoing the 100 gold sale price of the belt. She thought this so funny that she went straight to the crying part of crying-with-laughter.

    Nowhere in town would buy the valuable potions we had been hoarding, so I decided to head back to the Friendly Arms to make the sale. On the way we passed through Beregost and cleared some spiders out of an old woman’s house. Nobody seems to want to carry the spider corpse in their pack, so we are playing an informal game of hot-potato-spider. Currently it’s wrapped in a fur and Imoen is using it as a hat – she’s the only one who can’t see what’s happening and we are all waiting for that priceless moment when she realises.

    I investigated Kagain’s shop in case he wanted to buy potions. Turns out he was actually trying to sell himself for free – seemed like a good deal, although I told him I would have paid at least 100 gold for him. This set Jaheira off again. I gave Kagain a shield we picked up on our first visit to the Friendly Arms. He also started reading a book we found in a cave under the Gnoll Fortress. He now looks so tough that we have started using a new phrase, “Tough as Kagain”.

    We stayed in Beregost for the night and set out for the Friendly Arms first thing in the morning.

    BelgarathMTH
  • IgnatiusIgnatius Member Posts: 586
    It had been ages I had ventured inside Durlag's Tower. Had forgotten how sensational the feeling is.

    Brix & co cleaned the 4 upper floors. No real issues there. Only scary moment was when Tiax got charmed by Kirinhale and Brix got energy drained (decreased DEX and CON, not sure this ever comes back without curing it in a temple or with a spell...). Sending in a skeleton warrior was enough to kill the sirine. Brix read his 3rd tome of understanding thus bringing his WIS to 20.

    Tiax "only" has 70 in Find Traps and there are 3 in the upper levels which he did not manage to disarm. Not sure if I want to take my gnomes further down the dungeon...


  • IgnatiusIgnatius Member Posts: 586
    Tiax fell, for the 2nd time, to a lightning trap he failed to detect on the 2nd underground level of the Tower. I do not have the proper buff to raise his trap-finding skill and he is still far from reaching Thief lvl.7. That's an issue.

    The Gnomish Trio is off to raise him in Beregost and, freaked out by the lower levels of Durlag's, might decide never to come back...

    BelgarathMTH
  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,649
    @Karnor00, I'm enjoying reading Soloa's diary. I love it when people narratize their runs. It's really funny how she seems oblivious to her own evil decisions and the evil of people around her. It's like she thinks she's good, but she keeps making the "wrong" evil decisions for what she sees as the "right" reasons for her actions.

    @Ignatius, the Story of the Three Gnomes is fun to read as well.

    Wanderon
  • WanderonWanderon Member Posts: 1,418
    Ignatius said:

    Tiax fell, for the 2nd time, to a lightning trap he failed to detect on the 2nd underground level of the Tower. I do not have the proper buff to raise his trap-finding skill and he is still far from reaching Thief lvl.7. That's an issue.

    The Gnomish Trio is off to raise him in Beregost and, freaked out by the lower levels of Durlag's, might decide never to come back...

    I think we are seeing the effects of Brix wisdom score with this sound decision!

    (You could always take a side trip to the tower after the final battle - sort of an epilogue !

  • LMTR14LMTR14 Member Posts: 165
    I've started my recorded hardcore ironman lp (to be put on youtube like I said) today. unfortunately Fraps is annoying me by only recording 3-4 minutes per part (which are still 3-4 GB per part!!!) - which fills up my harddisk pretty easy (to compare my neverwinter nights lp had 10 minute parts with the same file size). this lp is pretty much doomed from the start, but I`ll try to get some parts up (my upload speed is extremely poor though)

  • IgnatiusIgnatius Member Posts: 586
    @belgarathmth: thanks!

    @Wanderon: Brix really struggled with himself to take the decision to withdraw from Durlag's Tower. This time he managed to tame his temper; the unsufficient skills of Tiax at trap finding & disarming also weighed in.

    The Gnomes are back at The Gate now.

  • karnor00karnor00 Member Posts: 680
    The continuing adventures of Soloa:

    The journey to the Friendly Arms was fairly uneventful, broken only by a shrill cry that echoed through the forest when Imoen adjusted her hat. Haven’t seen the spider since then but there is a suspicious bulge at the bottom of Kagain’s pack.

    Once we arrived at the inn I approached the bar and reached into my pack for the spare potions. Uh oh, there seems to have been a bit of a leak and the potions are a bit gooey. Wait a minute, my backpack straps seem leggier than usual. YEEEUUUUUCHHHH! GET IT OFF! GET IT OFF! GET IT OFF!

    Yes, yes, very funny Imoen. It’s all absolutely hysterical. Let’s just sell the potions and head on upstairs and get rid of our bundle of fun. Retrieving my backpack from Kagain, I assigned Imoen to spider dragging duty and she gingerly dragged it upstairs . The woman only coughed up around 200 gold for spider corpse, boots and bottle but I had an urgent appointment with the shower so didn’t have time to argue over it.

    Several showers later, I bumped into that helpful dwarf who told us about the magical belt ogre. To my astonishment he just stole the belt from my waist and claimed it for his own! Clearly the death of the ogre had been insufficient to teach him that crime never pays. We felt it important to teach him the lesson in a more direct manner.

    I’m now getting some very funny looks from the townspeople. Not sure what I can do to win them over – I’ve scrubbed and scrubbed but that spider odor still lingers. I decide to had back to the Nashkel mines via a fairly easterly route as I’ve heard that the basilisks in those woods are a good learning experience.

    BelgarathMTHEudaemonium
  • IgnatiusIgnatius Member Posts: 586
    It all happened quickly after they passed Wyrm's Crossing and entered the big city; being innocent, Brix opposed no resistance to the Flaming Fist as they took the Gnomes to their HQ. And now Brix is in a cell, sentenced to death for the murder of Rieltar and the Iron Throne leaders. Framed by Sarevok who is about to be crowned Grand Duke. Quayle's body is laying cold in the hall, backstabbed by one of Angelo's men while Tiax is laughing and playing cards with another inmate in the nearby cell. Scar was murdered and Duke Eltan is on his death bed. For the first time Brix realizes that his destiny is linked to the fate of the Sword Coast. He calls in Tiax and asks him to deal with Neb and promise the child-murderer freedom if he helps them get out and prevent them being hanged. Brix' conscience is deeply hurt but at least his hands are clean and it shall be Tiax who will seal the deal with Neb.

    Quayle is raised for the 3rd time. We've reached a point where him and Tiax cannot bear each other and stand far apart; was it not for Brix and his imposing authority, they would come to blows right there. The Gnomes rush to the iron Throne only to find everyone fleeing. They however confront Cythandria and Brix is pleased to finally vent his vengeance on someone so close to Sarevok as she is. The fight is not that straightforward as she summons 2 ogres and goes invisible, saving vs Silence. Brix buffs with Holy Power and engages in melee while Quayle goes with Remove Invisibility->Slow. Cythandria is revealed and is pelted with Quayle's Magic Missiles and Tiax' Wand of the Heavens. Brix will show no mercy as she begs, she falls and her ogres soon follow her.

    Enough bloodshed for now. The Gnomes sanctuarize and rescue Duke Eltan from the doppleganger who was killing him. They then head for the Undercellar...

    BelgarathMTH
  • IgnatiusIgnatius Member Posts: 586
    Under the cover of sanctuary, Brix spots Slythe and although Krystin is nowhere to be seen our little cleric knows she is there too. The Gnomes do not wish to take any chances against such ruthless assassins.

    3 skeleton warriors are summoned, followed by Haste->Strength.of.One->PfE->Def.Harmony. We rush in and ... realize we've gone in a little heavy-handed. Slythe is trounced by the skellies and Brix in melee without dealing a single blow, while Quayle removes Krystin's invisibility. She puts up a globe of protection which thwarts the disabling spells thrown at her, but is overwhelmed by the onslaught of the skeletons and the gnomish slings. If this is all Sarevok is capable of throwing at them...

    The Ducal Palace showdown is finally approaching. Brix wants a clear mind, full spellbooks and be best prepared. The Gnomes will wander a little in town until night fall, will then try to get a bit of sleep at the Elf Song. After sharing a few ales with Brevlik, that is. The coronation is in the morning: they'll be ready.

    BelgarathMTH
  • karnor00karnor00 Member Posts: 680
    The following journal is an extract from a diary found in the woods east of Beregost:

    Almost immediately after arriving at the woods we met a rather shabbily dressed man. He did mention his name, but I was staring dreamily at his muscles and missed it. Not wanting to embarrass myself further I haven’t asked him to repeat his name but he looks like a George to me.

    George turned out to be really nice. He offered to run in front of us and take all the damage while we hide behind him and pelted our foes with missiles. He even said that he would like to have us for dinner later today. Best of all he told us that he has no fear of basilisks. I’m a bit dubious about this, but figure that in the worst case scenario a large stone statue will provide good cover.

    George was certainly true to his word, and indeed the basilisks caused him no problems. Many of them froze in fear when he got near them, although unfortunately we killed a poor mage who was running a garden center – his stock was mostly statues with some rockeries.

    Difficulties arose when we pressed to the south and ran into yet another belligerent adventuring party (who incidentally also had some rather nice looking gear). They called me smellypants which made me cry and vow to have yet another shower. We couldn’t let this behavior go unpunished.

    Things did not go as swimmingly as I had hoped. My sleep spell failed and Edwin’s color spray was also unsuccessful – I’m beginning to wonder if he’s really any better than Zippy. After killing one of the adventurers we had to beat a hasty retreat, hoping to lose them in the woods and pick them off one by one. Unfortunately George didn’t get the memo and was slain despite putting up a valiant fight.

    We played cat-and-mouse amongst the trees for a while, but finally finished off the nasty adventurers. Dorn put more of the lovely blue glowy stuff in his pack.

    I mourned the loss of George, but we only had to explore one little patch of forest to complete my map before moving on. We might face a gnoll or two but I’m confident that we have killed all the basilisks.

    BelgarathMTHIgnatius
  • IgnatiusIgnatius Member Posts: 586
    The Gnomish Trio's evening in Baldur's Gate involved a lot of running to avoid the Flaming Fist and the occasional Hold Person spell when they were getting too annoying. Brix thought he ought to pay a visit to the Thieves' Guild and return their long standing invitation to talk. Talk they did, and when Brix politely refused their employment offer - they all went berserk in there and attacked. So the Gnomes killed them all; Silence took care of the mage, Hold Person took out half the rogues who were also being Slowed. And that was it. Once again Brix, Quayle & Tiax hands were tainted in blood.

    Time for bed now.

    BelgarathMTH
  • IgnatiusIgnatius Member Posts: 586
    It is always unbelievable the rush of adrenaline the Ducal Palace fight provides. Because it is the only one that you don't control.

    After entering the palace and checking the room, Brix' plan was simple:

    1/ summon 5 skeletons and position them as bodyguards to Liia and Belt

    2/ have Brix stand right in the middle of the brawl, wielding Asheedena high above his head in the melee

    3/ have Quayle and Tiax cast disabling spells from the far end of the room: Dispel Magic->Greater Malison->Slow

    4/ hack and slack the 6 dopples before they kill both dukes

    ----

    Easier written than executed. The minute they shapeshift, they move really fast towards the dukes and my skeletons are scripted to move as well thus leaving gaps in their ranks. I could not prevent Liia to be engaged in melee by 1 dopple, and Belt by 2 !!

    Then I made a beginner's mistake. Tiax started casting Dispel Magic (cast time 6) at the same time as Quayle cast Greater Malison (cast time 4). Which means that while the Dispel Magic landed (removing haste from I think, all dopples), it also immediately negated the greater malison. I lost an entire valuable round of Quayle's spellcasting when it mattered most.

    The skeletons were hitting hard, Brix as well but his clerical limit of 1 APR really hurts in that kind of fight. A fighter here is much more valuable. Both dukes were taking worrying damage.

    I had to make a critical choice with Quayle/Tiax:

    A/ either cast more AoE spells like Slow, Haste, Hold Person - or even Doom or Blind;

    or

    B/ give them a Wand of Heavens each and pound each round with one charge from the wand + a bullet+2, targetting the dopples that were an immediate threat to the dukes.

    I chose B/, concerned that disabling spells would give more time to the dopples, although crippled, to dig into the dukes' HPs. Concerned also that the dopples would make their saves now that greater malison had been dispelled by... Tiax.

    It seemed like ages for every wand charge to fall from the sky. The dopple targetting Liia finally panicked and withrew from the fight, but alas, another one sneaked in past a killed skeleton and attacker her from the other side. Meanwhile another dopple had fallen, but there was still 1 of them engaged vs Belt. It is about at this point, with 4 dopples still in the battle and 2 near death, that Liia was killed. Brix' heartbeat rushed faster and he charged to help Belt. I have no clue exactly how many HP's Belt had left at that point, but my skeletons did a great job and killed the last dopple in melee contact. Between the skellies and the Flaming Fist, we managed to keep the remaining 2 dopples away from Belt who survived the fight.

    I thought I was home, but when Sarevok became hostile Brix was in direct melee contact with him. The big man rolled a 17, which was a hit in spite of Brix -8 AC, and dealt 21dmg. I withdrew Brix from melee and let my skellies act as meatshields while the Gnomes were slinging him - lasted I think 2 rounds and I did not hit once (only Belt did on a critical). Does not bode well for the final confrontation.

    Anyhow, Sarevok fled with his tail between his legs. The Gnomish Trio won the Ducal Palace battle and is getting nearer to a no-reload completion. Although the toughest is ahead.

    EleutherosWanderonBelgarathMTH
  • WanderonWanderon Member Posts: 1,418
    Brightbows Brigade woke up well rested after a long nap following their sirine encounters and cleared an area SE of Beregost of an ogre infestation and saved a farmers cow from some hungry xvarts then stumbled on to a trio of adventurers (I had forgotten about) and sent them to their maker.

    As we returned to Beregost I realized I had not turned the difficulty back to core after our last level adjustment there and quickly made the proper adjustment before moving on again.

    The party then headed to high hedge where Xan cast freinds and purchased a fine new archmage robe for himself for only about 13K. Then they traveled to the far SE corner of the realm and encoutered Lena who convinced them to return Samuel to the temple at FAI which they managed in spite of a series of attacks along the way.

    The group is resting now at FAI and talking of going bandit hunting in the am altho Jahiera said she heard of a farmer to the north having trouble with ankegs as well so perhaps they will toss the dice in the morning to see which direction the gods may send them.

    BelgarathMTHIgnatius
  • IgnatiusIgnatius Member Posts: 586
    Going through the Thieves' Guild Maze was not so easy for The Gnomish Trio (Brix, Quayle & Tiax).

    Tiax did a good job at detecting traps. He only missed one and sprung a fireball, fortunately for him rolling the save for half dmg. Those magic immune creatures are difficult for our three clerics who lack raw melee power. They relied on Brix' tanking abilites to overcome the tough skeleton warriors, doom guards and invisible stalkers. It worked, albeit at the cost of many healing potions.

    The Gnomes have finally found the entrance to the Undercity where Sarevok is hiding like the coward he is. Going through the maze has however severely depleted their potions, scrolls and magic bullets reserves. Brix-the-wise tasks Quayle to draw a map of the area while Tiax is requested to make sure every single corridor is properly de-trapped. After which decision is taken to head back to the surface. They have 105K gold to spend at Sorcerous Sundries and some warm ale waiting for them at the Elf Song.

    Tomorrow the Gnomes will go hunting for Sarevok's scalp.

    EleutherosBelgarathMTH
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 22,065
    edited January 2013
    ORI came to Nashkel after killing an ambush with archers (hobgoblins). A poition of invisibility helped to survive the first shot. In Nashkel he sold an ankheg armor for 2 500 gold and bought all the potions of healing in the temple. The assasin from the tavern was shot by the Nashkel guards (so no exp here). ORI managed to copy the Shield Scroll into his spell book. It was his second attempt already. All other items found in Nashkel (the magic short sword from the compounds included) were sold also.

    After that he came to the area with the Mines. The first time ORI killed a bear (two bears to be precisive). It was a rather long battle. Right now he is going into the Mines.

    The gameplay is not simple at all: ORI didn't go to kill basilisks and sirens (or something like that) to have a high level in a few hours. It's a step-by-step improving but without any forcing.

    An insane level of difficulty causes the necessity to always have at least 25 hp - never ever less.

    Every enemy (even the 4 war-dogs in the Warehouse) is interesting and hard to beat. This playthrough makes ORI to use the strange new spells (for example, the Grease spell) and to imply the odd tactic.

    It's an unbelievable feeling, indeed))

    Post edited by JuliusBorisov on
    lolien
  • IgnatiusIgnatius Member Posts: 586
    Alright, time to illustrate the story a little.

    Let me introduce Mr Hadilsmok, our CG Gnomish Cleric.

    brix

    The picture is an old one, he was much younger then. Barely 115 years of age at that time. A heavy smoker already.

    BelgarathMTH
  • IgnatiusIgnatius Member Posts: 586
    Brix likes to keep a clean backpack.

    brix

    For those wondering... the armor comes from the Armor Pack mod (@CoM_Solaufein). It is basically a normal Full Plate armor, except that a) it is blue and b) it only weighs 25 lbs vs the usual 70 lbs. Let's say this was Brix' personal item granted by his divinity to help him a little in his adventures.

    BelgarathMTH
  • IgnatiusIgnatius Member Posts: 586
    Here is an example of what a solid cleric can do for you as a tank.

    brix

    The doom guard only hits on critical while Brix delivers a comfortable 13+1 dmg on a roll of 10. His only buff here is Holy Power, which at his level lasts for 8 rounds.

    BelgarathMTH
  • IgnatiusIgnatius Member Posts: 586
    Here you can see our Gnomes having a last drink (or was it the one before last?) at the Elf Song before going to bed.

    brix

    Notice the Gnome Brevlik standing right nearby. He was actually having a drink on Brix' account but just stepped aside as he took offense from another of Quayle's pityful jokes. Something to do with Brevlik being too coward to join them on Sarevok's trail the next morning...

    BelgarathMTH
  • IgnatiusIgnatius Member Posts: 586
    The Gnomes awoke dedicated that morning. They used Quayle's map to find their way through the maze, stealthed past a large group under sanctuary in the Undercity...

    brix

    Brix, Quayle & Tiax entered the large temple, their hearts pouding... hidden in a corner they drank a lot. Pre-buffs involved P.f.Electr, P.f.Fire, Potion.of.Defense, then Tiax was sent searching for traps. Again, his 75 was not high enough to disarm the ones in the middle of the room.

    Wolves were summoned and this is when Semaj teleported. The show could begin!

    brix

    The Gnomish heroes were positioned in a triangle around the powerful mage, who would not be silenced but had his pre-buffs dispelled. He started taking damage.

    EleutherosBelgarathMTH
  • Oxford_GuyOxford_Guy Member Posts: 3,729
    Am tempted to play a solo hardcore run as a Jester, I have some ideas how this might work, at least pre-Baldur's Gate. Blade would probably be easier, though...

  • IgnatiusIgnatius Member Posts: 586
    edited January 2013
    Semaj's constant teleporting proved an issue. He quickly fireballed the summons and saved again vs silence and paralyzation, while putting up 2 mirror images in a row. He was badly wounded when he retreated towards the altar; Tiax's fireballs drew in Angelo and Tazok. The 3 of them rushed towards the center of the temple and targeted Quayle; it was Angelo's arrows of detonation that killed Semaj while Quayle was resisting with 120% fire resistance and a mirror image.

    Eventually though, Angelo and Tazok were too much for the illusionist and Quayle only survived thanks to an invisibility potion.

    brix

    By that time Angelo was near death and Tazok injured. Bullets +2 and a buffed Brix in melee contact finished both of them off without too much trouble.

    brix

    Sarevok was still out of sight; the Gnomish trio regrouped, licked their wounds and summoned a handful of skeleton warriors.

    BelgarathMTH
  • IgnatiusIgnatius Member Posts: 586
    edited January 2013
    Quayle went to engage Sarevok while Brix and Tiax were waiting on the other side with 5 skeletons. The illusionist drew Sarevok in and softened him with a Greater Malison. He rushed forward.

    brix

    Quayle went invisible and let the big man go and chunk the undead, while he dispelled his haste from behind. The Gnomes then threw all they could at Sarevok: Doom->Slow->Blind. He saved vs Hold Person and Paralyzation, so we had to keep the summons coming in.

    brix

    The damage was getting severe. The trio buffed their strength and happily slinged away with bullets +2 regularly hitting a crippled Mr Anchev.

    BelgarathMTH
  • Puma_SPNKrPuma_SPNKr Member Posts: 45
    Question: When you do a reload, I'm assuming you're running the quests/going to locations you only deem worthy, right?

    Although I've played the game for years (BG1,BG2,BGEE) over and over again, I'm one of those completionist fools who like to at least go to every map, erase the fog off every map, talk to every named NPC, and do every mudane quest I can find.

    I'm assuming this is harmful in a no-reload challenge?

  • WanderonWanderon Member Posts: 1,418

    Question: When you do a reload, I'm assuming you're running the quests/going to locations you only deem worthy, right?

    Although I've played the game for years (BG1,BG2,BGEE) over and over again, I'm one of those completionist fools who like to at least go to every map, erase the fog off every map, talk to every named NPC, and do every mudane quest I can find.

    I'm assuming this is harmful in a no-reload challenge?

    Well it certainly would add some additional challenge vs being more selective about where you choose to go but it has been accomplished in almost every way possible by pretty much every class and party option out there over the years so basicly you pays your money and takes your choices.






  • WanderonWanderon Member Posts: 1,418
    Great job Ignatius! All hail the mighty gnomes!!

  • Puma_SPNKrPuma_SPNKr Member Posts: 45
    Meant "no reload challenge" rather than just "reload"... -_-"

    And I guess I see your point.

  • IgnatiusIgnatius Member Posts: 586
    edited January 2013
    @Wanderon: thanks, it was fun! as I suspected that trio works out really well and has all bases covered. Quayle's depth is impressive and it is very nice to add a much appreciated touch of arcane power to a party of divine casters (Slow and Greater Malison added a lot of depth to my playstyle based around AoE disabling spells).

    @Puma_SPNKr: in my case, yes and no. I do not restrict myself to those areas in which I will either advance the main plot or obtain a useful item. I do wander around quite a bit and I try to RP. In this run for instance, the Gnomes really wanted to visit Durlag's Tower (and so did I). We cleared the upper floors but my only thief was Tiax and his 75 in find traps was not high enough. He got fried by a lightning bolt trap in the underground level. Brix took the wise decision to leave and never come back; in retrospect this was the right choice and probably saved my no-reload, but it was frustrating at the same time because I really wanted to complete DT throughout.

    It is that kind of choice I feel, that is the charm of a no-reload because it increases RP.

    Another example in one of the above screenshots is the large party at the entrance of the Undercity. The Gnomes wanted Sarevok's skin and I did want to lose valuable spells and potions to kill these guys. So we just sanctuarized through them.

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