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Magic Trip with Wizards of the Coast (SCS MinReload band of school-restricted Specialist Mages)

BlackravenBlackraven Member Posts: 3,277
Inspired by orginal playthrough-ideas by @Lemernis ("Let the Fates decide") and @SionIV ("Trilogy no-reload 'bad' NPC run"), and convinced that solo'ing is actually easier than playing full parties, I've been thinking of possibly interesting and challenging playthroughs.


Ideas I've come up with so far include Shorties only, Elves only, and Thieves only. Especially the latter sounds really interesting. It would include ideally only pure thieves or fighter/thieves. In BG1 it's easy to form such a band of thieves. A party would consist of Charname (CN male Swashy), Imoen (Adventurer kit from Song&Silence mod), Safana (Bounty Hunter maybe?), Alora (Burglar kit from Song&Silence mod), Skie (maybe a plain Thief), and Coran or perhaps Tiax (CLeric/Thief) since I've got a BG2 mod for him. This sounds like a merry band!
In BG2 it would be difficult to play a similar band of affable scoundrels for a lack of thieves, so I'd probably accept Jan into the group (also because he's quite roguish) and play with mods. A party could include Charname, Tiax (mod Cleric/Thief), Jan Jansen (Illusionist/Thief, Imoen (Adventurer no dual), Yoshimo (Bounty Hunter) to be replaced with Dace Linton (mod Bounty Huntress), Alora (Burglar, mod). Hexxat in BG2EE wouldn't allow me to play the NPC mods I fear.


What I just came up with was to run a group of specialist mages who may only scribe and cast spells from their own schools.

In BG1 there are many specialists. My party would consist of:
- Xzar: Necromancer,
- Xan: Enchanter,
- Edwin: Conjurer,
- Dynaheir: Invoker,
- Quayle: Cleric/Illusionist,
- Charname: CN Female Elven or Gnomish Transmuter.

In BG2 I'd have to edit some of the NPCs. For BG2/TOB my proposed party would consist of:

- Edwin: Conjurer,
- Imoen: edited into Thief-> Invoker, she casts a Magic Missile at Irenicus, and I somehow feel this school fits her best (along maybe with Illusionism, but I'd already have Quayle/Jan for that school); what I don't like is taking her along in BG2 if I don't use her in BG1. One option wuld be to dual her into an Invoker in BG1 after she's met Dynaheir, e.g. level 4. Or I could use Nalia Thief 4 -> Invoker.
- Aerie: Cleric/Abjurer (seems to fit her due to the high WIS requirement and with the Cleric's protector role),
- Xan: Enchanter (mod),
- Jan: Illusionist/Thief,
- Charname: CN Female Elven/Gnomish Transmuter.

I'm really enthusiastic about this specialist mages playthrough. I think it would teach me how to make optimal use of arcane spells.

As to my choice for a Transmuter, well I had only two options open: Transmuter or Diviner. All the other schools are already taken... Transmutation is generally considered to be one of the worst schools, but that's based on their opposition school, Abjuration, which is quite powerful. But things are different if every school but your own school is an "opposition school". Besides the other remaining school is Divination, which would allow me to do nothing but cast Identify, Detect Evil, Detect Invisibility (which is actually a good spell), and at later levels True Sight (a fine spell).

Any thoughts/tips/views are welcome. I'm especially curious as to how viable you consider this on SCS no-reload. Would it be recommendable if I made my charname a Fighter/Transmuter? To have at least some fighting power in my party? Do you agree with my specialist school picks for Imoen/Nalia/Aerie? Any tactical advice?

Post edited by Blackraven on
SionIVCrevsDaakelminsterElrandirJuliusBorisovSjerriebooinyoureyes
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Comments

  • LemernisLemernis Member, Moderator Posts: 4,272
    You should have a blast with this. I did something close to this many years ago with a multiplayer party of six custom characters that included Conjurer, Illusionist, Enchanter, and Necomancer, a multi Mage/Thief (who either used the short bow or cast spells, no backstabbing), and a cleric who, similarly, only used a sling and spells. The specialists cast only their own school's spells (and no one used wands, IIRC).

    It was a nail-biter early on! I was surprised however at how powerful the party grew. This was in a vanilla game, though.

    How you incorporate the card flips and die rolls I will be curious to see. It worked out even better than I expected in my game.

    BlackravenJuliusBorisov
  • SionIVSionIV Member Posts: 2,686
    Go for a gnomish or if possible Halfling transmuter. It sounds like a really nice playthrough and you would get to chain the different spells of your mages together for some nice effects.

    Blackraven
  • YgramulYgramul Member Posts: 1,059
    edited March 2014
    It will be a pain until you get some tanking potential.
    First summons appear at lvl 3 spells (i.e. char lvl 5), but I don't know where you find the scrolls.
    Also, assuming you don't re-buy wands (cheesy), the first 30 hours of your run will have to be extensive kiting...

    Good luck!

    Blackraven
  • SionIVSionIV Member Posts: 2,686
    With sleep he won't have a problem without a tank, throw in blind and charm and he'll do fine for the first few levels. He can turn one of them into a tank by giving that person one of the Robes of Archmagi and focus on Mirror Image/Blur/ Stoneskin, etc.

    Blackravenjackjack
  • ElrandirElrandir Member Posts: 1,585
    This isn't related to the main point of the thread, but rather the other ideas you had for playthroughs. Another very fun one that I actually played several hours of is what I've titled as Robin Hood and his Merry Band. (would be merry men, but there are way too many women)

    Basically you have a team that only uses swords and bows. The CHARNAME is Robin Hood, a fighter/thief. You only have thieves, rangers, and bards. All your team members have to learn to use a bow and a sword of some sort.

    There are actually quite a number of possible team members. There's Coran (a staple, due to his incredible abilities), Minsc (sans Dynaheir, of course), Imoen (another staple), Garrick (the only arcane caster I take, and every band of merry (wo)men needs a bard), Eldoth (though I don't even consider him. Too evil.), Skie (same deal as Eldoth, though mainly just because she's paired with him), Safana (who I give up in place of Kivan once I know I can quickly complete his quest without him leaving.), Kivan, Tiax (it'd be nice to have a cleric in the party, but again, way too evil), and Alora. (who I just don't consider worth taking, though others might disagree)

    Overall, a lot of people use the same weapons, but Minsc is nice, due to his greatswords, and I give Garrick bastard sword proficiency, to mix things up a bit. Safana is a bit of a pain, since she starts out with darts instead of short bows, but she's not a permanent member anyway, so it's not a big loss to give her a short bow, despite the THAC0 loss. I also let Garrick use crossbows, partly to mix things up, and partly a "Hahaha Oh poor Garrick. He can't even shoot a bow correctly." Another thing I always make sure to do is change everyone's main color to green. After all, we're not Robin Hood's team if we're not all green! (That rhymed... Huh. An unintentional, but satisfactory result)

    I doubt this type of thing would work in BG2, what with bows becoming far weaker, but in BG1, it's a devastating team. Most things can't get close to you, and those that do get shredded by six people with blades. It seems like your team would suffer a lot of deaths, but with things being near death by the time they reach you, it doesn't take much for a few blades to bring them down.

    jackjackCrevsDaak
  • BlackravenBlackraven Member Posts: 3,277
    Elrandir said:

    This isn't related to the main point of the thread, but rather the other ideas you had for playthroughs. Another very fun one that I actually played several hours of is what I've titled as Robin Hood and his Merry Band. (would be merry men, but there are way too many women)

    Basically you have a team that only uses swords and bows. The CHARNAME is Robin Hood, a fighter/thief. You only have thieves, rangers, and bards. All your team members have to learn to use a bow and a sword of some sort.

    There are actually quite a number of possible team members. There's Coran (a staple, due to his incredible abilities), Minsc (sans Dynaheir, of course), Imoen (another staple), Garrick (the only arcane caster I take, and every band of merry (wo)men needs a bard), Eldoth (though I don't even consider him. Too evil.), Skie (same deal as Eldoth, though mainly just because she's paired with him), Safana (who I give up in place of Kivan once I know I can quickly complete his quest without him leaving.), Kivan, Tiax (it'd be nice to have a cleric in the party, but again, way too evil), and Alora. (who I just don't consider worth taking, though others might disagree)

    Overall, a lot of people use the same weapons, but Minsc is nice, due to his greatswords, and I give Garrick bastard sword proficiency, to mix things up a bit. Safana is a bit of a pain, since she starts out with darts instead of short bows, but she's not a permanent member anyway, so it's not a big loss to give her a short bow, despite the THAC0 loss. I also let Garrick use crossbows, partly to mix things up, and partly a "Hahaha Oh poor Garrick. He can't even shoot a bow correctly." Another thing I always make sure to do is change everyone's main color to green. After all, we're not Robin Hood's team if we're not all green! (That rhymed... Huh. An unintentional, but satisfactory result)

    I doubt this type of thing would work in BG2, what with bows becoming far weaker, but in BG1, it's a devastating team. Most things can't get close to you, and those that do get shredded by six people with blades. It seems like your team would suffer a lot of deaths, but with things being near death by the time they reach you, it doesn't take much for a few blades to bring them down.
    Yes really nice! Similar to what I had in mind with the merriness. I would definitely include Alora because of her personality (Kivan's a bit too moody for my taste, though his alignment is perfect). They would surely be powerful, even with Garrick :p
    I agree that in BG2 it would be diffferent, not only because of ranged becoming less powerful but also for lack of merriness in BG2 (that game feels so much more serious than BG1). Besides you might not be able to create a full party (Imoen changes a lot, and most other BG1 NPCs become unavailable). Still a Charname Swashy or Cleric/thief (Friar Tuck-style), Haer'Dalis, Jan Jansen, Minsc and maybe Mazzy just because she's cute, could fit the bill.

    ElrandirCrevsDaakJuliusBorisov
  • LemernisLemernis Member, Moderator Posts: 4,272
    edited March 2014
    Gotural said:

    If you restrict yourself school wise it could become pretty hard !

    It is funnest in the very beginning exactly for this reason. But even though combat-wise at level 1 they can only cast as follows

    Edwin - Grease
    Dyna - MM, Chromatic Orb
    Xan - Sleep, Charm
    Xzar - Larloch's
    Quayle (if using SCS and then getting him early) - Blindness, Spook
    Transmuter - Burning Hands, Color Spray, Shocking Grasp

    it's surprising how well you can make out. Sleep and Charm make a big difference early on. So does Grease (when your spell choices are limited as such).

    But by the time you've gained a few levels, I don't want to spoil but let's just say it really drives home the realization that with arcane magic you can completely dominate any adversary.

    SionIVJuliusBorisov
  • BlackravenBlackraven Member Posts: 3,277
    @Gotural, thank you! Yep school restriction does make things much harder, maybe I should play a party of unrestricted mages first, but this just sounds like fun :D
    Besides, I'm not that crazy about the specialist school system. I know that specialist mages have a 15% bonus to scribing spells from their specialisation, and receive the same penalty when scribing spells outside their choosen school, and that they receive +2 bonus on saving throws against spells from their school. But the thing that's most distinguishing for any specialist mage is their opposition school. So if you compare two specialist mages of different schools, they'll still have 6 or 7 seven accessible spell schools in common, and thus aren't necessarily that different in how you play them.
    However if you restrict specialists to their own school, they become very unique :)
    I'll take your recommendation to heart, will even change the thread title this way...

    @Lemernis: ouch, you're saying that after a few levels it's not much of a challenge anymore... In that case I'm not sure how long I'll remain entertained with this playthrough.

  • LemernisLemernis Member, Moderator Posts: 4,272
    edited March 2014
    @Blackraven Yeah, I found it to be a total blast when they are vulnerable and the spell selection is really limited. But... by around the Nashkel mines they were owning. And in an odd sort of way it got to be a bit repetitive to cast only the spells from the specialization schools, although I stuck to that concept on principle.

    Mages are so powerful in the BG series that when you have six of them the party is mighty indeed (even limited to casting only specialization school spells).

    But to reemphasize it was really fun early on, so it's worth it to have a go with this until it starts getting too easy and possibly a little boring tactically.

  • LemernisLemernis Member, Moderator Posts: 4,272
    edited March 2014
    You know what, though? SCS and no-reload should really make a difference, I would think. Limiting the spell selection to only specialization schools could actually be pretty darn tough with SCS. And if you don't have a Diviner as such in BG2, I dunno... Lacking True Sight could be a nightmare.

    Were you thinking zero reloads? Reload only if PC dies? (Which personally I prefer, because otherwise you're rarely ever going to finish a game.) If it is reload-only-if-PC-dies would you self-impose a limit on number of resurrections for the NPCs?

    BlackravenJuliusBorisov
  • BlackravenBlackraven Member Posts: 3,277
    @Lemernis

    Well it was going to be an SCS run, yes, so maybe that would complicate things enough to make it more challenging.

    I generally play no-reload, but I'm inclined see this playthrough as more of an experiment, because I consider myself to be quite average with arcane magic and really like the idea of becoming better with it. Hence it would make sense to play minimal reload (I think that's what people call it when you only reload if charname dies).

    A limited number of resurrections sounds appealing as well, it would probably make me more careful. Permanently losing companions (and thus access to specific spell schools) can be painful. Maybe I give each characters 3 deaths from which they can be raised. The fourth would be final.
    I may even consider having one "substitute mage" in each game, whom I could use in case of permanent death of one of my companions. I would edit the substitute's into a specialist mage of the same school as my fallen companion. (For example I have mod-added sorcerers in both games, I could edit them if need be.)

    BTW BG2 without divination (i.e. lack of Oracle/True Sight) wouldn't be that much of an issue, as long I'd manage to keep Jan Jansen in the game. His Detect Illusions should do the job.

    All right, you've just reignited my enthusiasm :) Thanks!

    ElrandirJuliusBorisov
  • LemernisLemernis Member, Moderator Posts: 4,272
    edited March 2014
    Ah, I forgot about Jan. :-)

    So which mods do you have added for the potential subs? Kelsey, I'm assuming for BG2. There's Finch for BG1. I guess there's quite a few more at the various modding sites.

    You will of course work out your own method, but if it were me I would run the following rules for such a game:

    1) Reload only if PC dies (or for any true technical glitch).
    2) Use specialist mages only (except for Minsc briefly to get Dyna).
    3) Specialists cast only from their own schools (or use wands and scrolls from their own schools).
    4) limit only 1 resurrection for each NPC!
    5) For the subs use the WotC die roller to determine replacements.

    If you feel you need to hone your arcane magic skills, I could see taking a more forgiving approach for (4) and (5) though! And likewise, maybe for (2) make sure to use a specialization school spell at least once per battle, or a third of the time in battle, or some such.

    MacHurtoCrevsDaakJuliusBorisov
  • BlackravenBlackraven Member Posts: 3,277
    @Lemernis
    I'm playing BGT so unfortuantely no Kelsey, nor Finch (I would have loved another gnome, for better balance between shorties and tallies).
    Lemernis said:



    1) Reload only if PC dies (or for any true technical glitch).
    2) Use specialist mages only (except for Minsc briefly to get Dyna).
    3) Specialists cast only from their own schools (or use wands and scrolls from their own schools).
    4) limit only 1 resurrection for each NPC!
    5) For the subs use the WotC die roller to determine replacements.

    If you feel you need to hone your arcane magic skills, I could see taking a more forgiving approach for (4) and (5) though! And likewise, maybe for (2) make sure to use a specialization school spell at least once per battle, or a third of the time in battle, or some such.

    re: 1) that's what I'm going to do

    re: 2) I will. One exception, besides Minsc, is going to be Imoen for roleplaying/continuity reasons: she's going to be around till I get Dynaheir (level 4, maybe 5) and will then be dualled immediately into an Invoker. After that I'll leave her somewhere (perhaps safely at the FAI with Khalid & Jaheira). In BG2 the idea is that she learned from Dynaheir.

    re: 3) yep, no exceptions allowed there (though I might allow myself a Familiar since I'm the only one who can cast that spell and actually have a Familiar, unlike my Conjurers; perhaps the Familiar can be a "gift" from Edwin if I manage to please him, i.e. if I get Dynaheir killed)

    re: 4) I'm going to follow you with only one resurrection per NPC (sounds reasonable, see below)

    re: 5) In BG1 I've got Valerie, a Cowled Wizard (LG so maybe difficult to reconcile with Edwin, as is Dynaheir). She's a sorceress. And there's a gnomish Illusionist/Thief, whose name I forgot (think he's from DSotSC). I would prefer not to have to use him, because there's no banter.
    In BG2 I have Tsujatha (Necromancer), and Adrian and Tasha installed (both sorcerers whom I could edit), and two more dualclassed NPCs: Angelo (dual) and Tyris Flare (dual). I really like the latter, haven't played much with the other mods. Considering the fact that these are 5 possible substitutes, I've just predetermined their specialist schools:
    - Tsujatha: NE Necromancer (no change)
    - Adrian: LE Abjurer (he would be the logical evil Conjurer substitute for Edwin, so I decided to give him a different flavour)
    - Tasha: Conjurer (she would have been the obvious elven good-aligned Abjurer substitute for Aerie, but again I preferred to give her a different flavour as well, hence my picks for Adrian and Tasha)
    - Tyris: Invoker (according to the mod-readme, she's "a red-haired amazon who can kick ass and hurl fire")
    - Angelo: Illusionist (he uses Mirror Image all the time in the final battle in BG1 while shooting his exploding arrows)

    This means no stand-in for Xan the Enchanter in BG2 but I don't really mind that since I'll only have one mod-added Enchantment spell for each level from 6 to 8. I might actually decide to pick Tsujatha for my main party and keep Xan as a substitute, since I hadn't got a Necromancer yet for BG2 (I'd only really miss Greater Malison without Xan).

    I won't allow myself to metagame my way to a desired substitute if I haven't met him/her yet in the game. If I have, Ill be free to add the substitute that best compliments my party.

    ElrandirJuliusBorisovLemernisCrevsDaak
  • LemernisLemernis Member, Moderator Posts: 4,272
    edited March 2014
    @Blackraven Wow, the bench is deep for spellcasters via mods then!

    I won't allow myself to metagame my way to a desired substitute if I haven't met him/her yet in the game. If I have, Ill be free to add the substitute that best compliments my party.

    Yeah, my bad, as you suggest, in a RPed/no-metagaming run you wouldn't just out-of-the-blue up and travel to a location where the substitute NPC is. So there'd be no die roll on that.

    Anyway, cool! Looks like a really interesting time. I'll be fascinated to see how it turns out for you.

    Blackraven
  • BlackravenBlackraven Member Posts: 3,277
    edited March 2014
    Ok, I tested Ellysia Mellowglow for a bit, so I'm giving you a first journal entry.

    In Candlekeep she found herself in front of Winthrop's Inn. [I flipped a coin: heads or tails, North or South? South it was.] She walked past the Barracks and the Bunkhouse, as there was no reason to enter those places. The Gatewarden urged to practise battle with Obe the Illusionist. He even pressed on after she declined, so she gave in. Obe had her practise group strategy with a number of friends from Candlekeep against illusory foes. She drank an oil of speed from Deder and became more interested in leaving the practise area and run around Candlekeep. Maybe she could pull a prank on Imoen. As soon as Obe let her, she left. She continued her way (counterclockwise), and greeted Hull who asked her to retrieve his longsword from the Barracks for him. Her speediness made her decide to help Hull. In the Barracks she met with with Fuller who handed her Hull's longsword and an antidote for Dreppin. He also asked her to fetch some crossbow bolts for him from Winthrop. She consented as she had to go to Winthrop anyway, because apparently she was expected to prepare for a journey. She went to Winthrop and bought throwing daggers for herself and bolts for Fuller. She also looted a few chests in the Inn, though she failed to bash the lock on a drawer that she had seen a guest store a potion of clarity in. At Winthrop's she also spoke with her friend Firebead, from Beregost. He asked to get her an Identify scroll from Tethoril. Happy to help, she went for Tethoril and promptly returned with the scroll. Firebead was appreciative and gave her a potion of healing and Protected her from Evil. She left the Inn, and took a clockwise direction. Phlydia asked her to find a book for her. Ellysia still happy to run around Candlekeep with her doubled speed, went looking for the book. She first tried the Priest's Quarters, but there she was taken off guard, when an assassin named Shank approached her and told her he was going to kill her. She reacted astutely when he first struck at her and cast a Color Spray, which knocked her assailant unconscious. To her surprise and shock even, she proceeded to take the man's life rather than flee [another heads or tails].


    image


    When she stepped outside, she decided to give Hull his longsword and Fuller the bolts he asked for, but after that she immediately went to Gorion, in front of the Library. He asked her is she was ready to leave and she said said 'Yes!' before he'd finished speaking.

    **
    FAST FORWARD...
    **

    The morning after Gorion's death Elly was joined by Imoen. She told her friend what had happened and that they were supposed to go to the Friendly Arm Inn to meet some friends of Gorion. They didn't go the place of the crime scene, fearful that Gorion's killer would be waiting for them there [another toss of the coin]. Instead they continued eastward on the Coast Way. At one point they met a kindly mage called Xzar, who gave Elly a healing potion and even offered to join Imoen and her with his companion Montaron to travel more safely, in a group, to Nashkel. Ellysia, fickle as she is, said 'Sure, why not?', but Imoen reminded her that they were supposed to go to the Friendly Arm Inn first. Elly decided to postpone her decision as to which direction to take until the last moment. That moment came when they arrived at a sign post, indicating Friendly Arm Inn to the north, Beregost (and thus Nashkel) to the south. She saw no other option than to urge their party to rush toward Beregost as they were attacked by a Xvart from whence they'd come, and Gibberlings from the direction of the Friendly Arm Inn. [Montaron and Imoen were in the party, but as non-mages they weren't allowed to do anything. For immersion purposes I refuse to strip Monty of his armour and weapons and send him to fight a wolf with his bare hands.]


    image


    The party made it to Beregost unscathed. In Beregost Montaron left Xzar's side to burgle its many homes. The two weren't supposed to split up, but Xzar didn't express any dissatsfaction when Monty had gone. Elly also left Imoen safe and sound at Feldepost's Inn. Imoen had always wanted to study to become a mage like Elly, but somehow Gorion and the others had never bothered to even try and train her. She was going to wait for Firebead, whom she had a good understanding with, to return from Candlekeep. She hoped that he might introduce her to the arcane arts.

    So this left only Elly and Xzar to calm down Marl. [No coin tossing involved here: Elly is way too laidback and affable to actively pick a fight with the unarmed, sorrowful and obviously inebriated man.]

    BTW I gave Xzar a darker, more necromantic look:


    image


    Elly and Xzar are going to get themselves informed about recent events in town, and will probably soon move south to Nashkel, as Xzar had proposed [even though this is highly incovenient in an SCS game at low level with no physical or magical armour].

    Post edited by Blackraven on
    ElrandirCrevsDaaklunarJuliusBorisov
  • BlackravenBlackraven Member Posts: 3,277
    @Lemernis: thanks. I just posted my first update. Nothing special so far. I'm trying to incorporate the dice and heads or tails in order to decide the course of things.
    You're right that there are many spellcaster mods in BG2, though I hope I won't have much use for them...

  • ElrandirElrandir Member Posts: 1,585
    Nice! So you said you'd be leaving Imoen with Firebead in this game, and taking her in BG2?

    Blackraven
  • BlackravenBlackraven Member Posts: 3,277
    Elrandir said:

    Nice! So you said you'd be leaving Imoen with Firebead in this game, and taking her in BG2?

    Hey I hadn't actually considered that! My original plan was to leave her at Firebead's, and introduce her to Dyhanheir as soon I'd retrieve her. Dynaheir would teach Imoen the arts of Invocation/Evocation magic (after all she casts a Magic Missile in Athkatla). I would have changd my pñan, but I just checked: Firebead Elvenhair is an Enchanter. So I will have Imoen unsuccessully train with Firebead, and later in the game, I'll introduce her to Dynaheir who'll manage to dual her into an Invoker.

    CrevsDaakElrandir
  • BlackravenBlackraven Member Posts: 3,277
    edited March 2014
    In Beregost Xzar and Elly are told of quests and possible sources of income: a mad Cleric named Bassilus, Firewine Ruins with treasure for the taking, and the haunted, derelict Ulcaster School of Magic. They didn't find out about the the exact locations though.
    They decided to head south to Nashkel. When they had left the town literally a few footsteps behind they encountered two aggressive ogrillons. Elly hoped to render them unconscious like she had done before with Shank in Candlekeep, but these weren't so easily benumbed by her Color Spray. One got blinded, the other suffered no effect whatsoever. Elly and Xzar saw themselves obliged to return whence they came, as they weren't prepared to take on the creature with nothing but their (throwing) knives.


    image


    In the safety of Beregost, the two mages decided to rest, something Elly said she deserved after her journey from Candlekeep. The next day they helped a family find a lost necklace again, and they found Imoen already committed to her studies with Firebead who had just returned that morning and had accepted to work with Imoen. Montaron was nowhere to be found.
    Elly told Xzar of possible reinforcement of their group that was to be had at the Friendly Arm Inn. Grudgingly he accepted her plan to travel north to the Friendly Arm Inn. However the road that way wasn't much safer. They had to leave the actual road when on it they encountered two gibberlings. Unfortunately the gibberlings saw them before they could hide, and started to chase them. Ellysia and Xzar fled east of the road and tried to lose the beasts in the woods. A dangerous strategy, they learned soon after, when they ran into a huge ogre. Elly tried her Color Spray again. Her spell managed to render the gibberlings unconscious but the ogre continued to chase them.


    image


    The ogre was very slow however. Xzar and Elly looked at each other and understood that they actually stood a chance against this creature, using their throwing knives. It took a lot of running around (especially when another gibberling and a xvart came to the ogre's aid and when Xzar ran out of throwing knives) to bring down the monster. But prevail they did.


    image


    While Elly distracted the gibberling and the xvart, Xzar picked up the loot they found on the ogre: a suit of splint mail and a morningstar they would sell, a belt with the name Unshey ingraved in it, and a magical belt they would have to identify. Content, Elly and Xzar continued their way toward the Inn. She took some comfort in the knowledge that the Friendly Arm Inn was going to be safe haven for a day or two, as well as the place where they would hopefully find worthy additions to their party. Gorion had been a renowned mage, and Elly expected that the people they were to going find at the Inn would be powerful mages as well.
    Her expectations seemed to materialize when they were greeted by a man, who was obviously a mage, at the entrance to the Inn.
    [I'm trying to play this game as close to a first time BG experience as possible, and to roleplay Elly in accordance with her lighthearted character, so there was no reason to be suspicious, let alone prepare for battle in any way. As time goes by, Elly may become more cautious, she has average wisdom and superintelligence, so she's quite capable of deducing things and adapting.]
    The mage greeted them friendly enough, but when he told Elly to hold still and began casting a spell, Xzar didn't waste a single second to cast a Larloch's Minor Drain while Elly cast a less harmful Color Spray on the mage. Xzar's timely cast spell, interrupted the enemy mage's spell casting, and Elly's spell confused their opponent.


    image


    As they saw how a guard attacked the mage, Elly and Xzar ran away from the mage, hoping the guard would take the mage down. From a great distance they saw how the guard, and one of his colleagues, managed to hit the mage a few times, causing the latter to panic. Xzar then displayed his excellent timing for the second in a row, when his second Larloch's Minor Drain ended their opponent's life.


    image


    On the mage they found four spell scrolls, but they all contained spells that neither Xzar nor Elly could cast: Luck, Chromatic Orb, Magic Missile, and Sleep. They also found a bounty notice according to which there was a prize on Elly's head of 200 GP.
    Inside the Inn Elly and Xzar met with Gorion's friends. They weren't exactly the powerful wizards she had hoped for. They turned out to be as inexperienced in their respective disciplines as Elly was as a mage. Elly told the duo that she preferred to travel without them, and thanked one of them, a woman, heartily when she gave her a potion of invisibility to keep her safe. Upstairs they ran into the owner of one of the belts they had found on the ogre: Unshey, a dwarven writer who sent them away with 60 gold and a rude remark. The event reminded Elly to identify the other belt, but it turned out to be a cursed girdle of gender. Bentley Mirrorshade, the owner of the Inn, was willing to pay her 100 GP for it, allowing Elly to buy a smallbox from him, which contains storage space for 12 smaller items.

    The experience gained led both Xzar and Elly to reach level 2, each of them obtaining some highly treasured hitpoints plus an extra level 1 spell.

    The pair also met a gnomish lady who asked them to cleanse her Beregost home from its arachnid presence, and promised to reward them handsomely. Since they had to go south again anyway, they accepted the task. Thus they left the Inn to travel back to Beregost and from there to Nashkel.
    [I used the Wizards of the Coast dice roller to determine whether they would notice the ring of wizardry, with rolls of 1, 2 or 3 out of a possible 10 resulting in them finding the ring, but I rolled a 6/10, so no ring for now.]


    Note that I changed my charname's first name Eloyisia into Ellysia, because it flows better and it can be shortened to Elly. (I thougt I had done this before, but according to the screenshots in my previous entry, I hadn't.)

    Post edited by Blackraven on
    MacHurtoElrandirCrevsDaakJuliusBorisov
  • ElrandirElrandir Member Posts: 1,585
    Very nice job. Especially in dealing with that ogre.

    I don't mean to start talking about alignment, (which I know is everyone's favorite subject...) but does anyone else feel that Xzar is more chaotic AND evil rather than chaotic evil? I dunno. He always seemed more like a crazy, friendly, and non-dangerous loon than actually evil. Maybe he is evil, but the kind of evil where he's not sane enough to be much of a threat to most people. Even though I don't like playing as\with evil characters, I have a soft spot in my heart for the bonkers necromancer.

    CrevsDaakBlackraven
  • BlackravenBlackraven Member Posts: 3,277
    I like alignment debates :D Alignment has a big influence on roleplay in a game such as this. I agree that Xzar is quite crazy. Even though with his high INT and WIS part of his behaviour might as well be an act.
    Am not sure yet how evil he is, but he sure is kind, probably the kindest evil NPC in the game and kinder even than some of the neutral NPCs (Faldorn, Quayle, Jaheira). Maybe he could be CN even. I hope to get to know him better this run, because I haven't played much with him before.
    Like you I'm not too fond of playing as/with evil. Teyl is my first one, and I've been having a hard time trying to act like a jerk with him. I'm not fond of "paladin good" either. The complicated (grey) characters intrigue me the most.

    CrevsDaakElrandir
  • ElrandirElrandir Member Posts: 1,585
    edited March 2014
    I admit, I believe in very grey people, since the real world has no white and black. Only grey. But that's what's fun about videogames. You can be as morally white or black as you want. That said, most role-played characters of mine are grey to some extent, because I try to write realistically.

    Blackraven
  • BlackravenBlackraven Member Posts: 3,277
    @Elrandir Yep, anything goes, and that's awesome!

    Elrandir
  • BlackravenBlackraven Member Posts: 3,277
    edited March 2014
    Elly and Xzar left the Friendly Arm Inn, without the reinforcement they had hoped to find there. They headed back south, toward Beregost, but were waylaid by bandits. Being utterly defenseless against the bandit archers, Elly and Xzar tried to run toward safety without getting hit too often. Elly thought they were making it, but then she heard Xzar's cry and saw him collapse before he could take a healing potion.


    image


    There was no time to pick up his gear (his dagger, about 4 healing potions, the party's only antidote, and a Chill Touch scroll).
    [NOTE: I would have liked to write that Elly dragged Xzar's body with her, but that makes no sense to me. How is it that the dead in Baldur's Gate can be raised without a body? Does the spirit of the deceased companion accompany the protagonist to the temple?]

    Ellysia found herself alone in Beregost, and with no more than 34 GP. With that she would never be able to have Xzar raised. She decided to take on jobs to raise enough gold to get her companion back, but she needed throwing daggers first. These things didn't come cheap (20 for 95 GP). Reluctantly she sold Imoen's Wand of Magic Missiles at the Lathandrite Temple in Beregost. With the gold she got for it, she could have asked the priest, Keldath Ormlyr to resurrect Xzar right away, but she decided to first buy some throwing daggers and kill the spiders that had infested Landrin's home, the gnome they had met in the Friendly Arm Inn. This was tedious work, running around town to keep the spiders at bay and occasionally hit them with her throwing knives, but in the end she slew all four of them.


    image


    With the corpse of the biggest of the spiders, plus some items Landrin had requested from her home, Elly travelled back to the Friendly Arm Inn. Landrin was grateful and rewarded her with a few hundred gold. Elly also met a woman, Joia, who had lost a Flamedance ring to a number of hobgoblins. Ellysia decided to help even if her reward would be meagre. There were five hobgoblins, first two then three. The first two were killed with throwing knives, but then Elly realized she had insufficient knives to take down three more. Of the three remaining hobgoblins she picked the one with a greenish outfit (whereas the others were dressed in red), and was happy to find the ring on its body after she'd killed the creature. She left the other hobgoblins and returned to Joia, who disappointed her when she had no reward, nothing, for Elly. When Joia left her home Elly found some gold and a gem she took as payment. She left the Inn's premises when a twinkling light near a tree caught her eye.

    [I allowed myself a second roll: this time only a roll of 1 or 2 (but not a 3) on a d10 would have Elly notice the ring. A third and last chance would be allowed on Elly's subsequent visit to the Inn, but on that occasion only a 1 roll would have Elly find the ring. Should she fail, then Evermemory would forever be lost. This would reflect the decreasing probability of the ring remaining in place as time would pass. However I rolled an unlikely 2, so the ring was Elly's!]

    She went over to look and found a magically enchanted ring. Upon identification it turned out to be a ring that doubles a mage's first level spells. This would certainly aid her in her travels!

    Elly travelled southward via Beregost. Still she wouldn't raise Xzar at the Temple of Lathander. She knew she had only one potion of invisibility and planned to take it if necessary to get her safely to Nashkel. This plan would never work if she drank the potion while travelling with a perfectly visible Xzar. He might even get killed a second time! When she was in in the Beregost Wilderness, just south of Beregost, she ran into the two ogrillons again. This time her Color Spray was much more effective, rendering both ogrillons unconscious.


    image


    She managed to kill one before they would both regain their consciousness. The other was one was taken care of with throwing daggers. On one of the monsters she found a letter to a woman named Mirianne. When she inquiered about this woman in Beregost she was sent to one of the homes on the eastern side of town. Mirianne was very thankful and gave Elly a Ring of Protection +1 she joyously put around her thumb.

    [Elly reached level 3 at this point.]

    Ellysia then left Beregost again to continue her journey southward. Not much further from where she had encountered the ogrillons, three Flaming Fist Officers held her up, accusing her of banditry. She managed to resolve the issue peacefully.


    image


    A four-hour walk took her eventually to Nashkel, without her even having to use the invisibility potion. She had spotted some hobgoblins and kobolds from afar, but had managed to keep her distance so as not to draw any atention to herself.
    In Nashkel she was greeted by Amnish soldiers who told her of the iron crisis, which had the quality of iron decreasing and the price of good iron skyrocketing. One of the soldiers also mentioned a bounty on the head of one of their own, a Captain Brage who had apparently gone mad.

    The first thing Elly wanted to do, was to have Xzar raised at the Helm Temple, and see his reaction when he realized they were in Nashkel already. However in front of the entrance to the temple, a robust man, armed with a bow, walked toward her when she approached. Wary of more bounty hunters, she decided to run off and try to get rid of her pursuer. This plan worked so she could safely get into the Helm Temple, and get Xzar restored. He seemed to be glad to be alive and well, but wasn't overjoyed with being in Nashkel.
    As they left the temple, they ran into the armed man again. Elly warned Xzar to be on his guard, but Xzar told her that this was Berrun Ghastkill, the mayor of the town he was supposed to meet. They had dealt with eachother before. What kind of business they had had before, he didn't bother to explain though. Ghastkill recognized Xzar as well, and told them of problems in the Nashkel Mines. Not only was iron of bad quality, he had also heard of disappearances of miners. Elly promised to look into the matter, but what she didn't tell was that she was in no rush to do so.

    ***

    Question: does anyone know how fast I need to tackle the Nashkel Mines to keep Xzar in my group? Or is there only a timer for getting him to Nashkel on time?

    Post edited by Blackraven on
    MacHurtoElrandirCrevsDaakJuliusBorisov
  • ElrandirElrandir Member Posts: 1,585
    To answer your time question, I've done a "canon" party run through of BG (with Khalid and Jaheira) and then proceeded to ignore the mines for weeks, without a peep from them. I can't guarantee it's the same for Xzar, but I believe so. So to my (possibly faulty) knowledge there is no second timer.

    Blackravenlolien
  • BlackravenBlackraven Member Posts: 3,277
    Elrandir said:

    To answer your time question, I've done a "canon" party run through of BG (with Khalid and Jaheira) and then proceeded to ignore the mines for weeks, without a peep from them. I can't guarantee it's the same for Xzar, but I believe so. So to my (possibly faulty) knowledge there is no second timer.

    THanks. I'm just going to give it a try, see what happens...

    CrevsDaak
  • BlackravenBlackraven Member Posts: 3,277
    edited March 2014
    Deleted double post

    Post edited by Blackraven on
    CrevsDaak
  • CrevsDaakCrevsDaak Member Posts: 7,145
    @Blackraven you've posted the same update of your run two times :P

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