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SCS First-time playthrough

So I picked up BG:EE and BGII:EE a few weeks back and played through the vanilla version of BG with a Druid. After a couple failed attempts, as a I relearned the game, I finished BG:EE hardcore (no reloads). I hadn´t played for 14 years or so, so I had forgotten much. When I first played BG and BGII, years ago, druid was my first character, and the only to compete the trilogy in a party. After finishing with the druid years ago, I ran solo with an elf MT and after a few tries, eventually completed through SoA hardcore with the MT solo. I later replicated this with a FMT, but never was as impressed with the FMT as I was with the MT. I have not played BGII for many years.

My version of hardcore is also that I do not use temple raise-dead, and no plot important characters can die (which for my purposes in a good-neutral party are Imoen and Jaheira- who I intend to use in BGII). I use no cheese (killing Drizzt, stealing his scimitars, heading directly to the basilisks and leveling up everyone, etc... ), and try not to use metagame knowledge (no prebuffing with short-term buffs unless the enemy is obvious hostile or has themselves prepared for battle- i.e. enemy mages are prebuffed). Rather, my style is to play very carefully, scouting ahead, managing inventory and spells efficiently, and moving through the game methodically.

This weekend, I decided that vanilla BG:EE was just too easy for an experienced player who played carefully. So I installed SCS. I ran through the first few encounters with the assassins at the Friendly Arm, in Beregost, and Nashkel to get an idea of SCS (and got wiped twice), but I felt as if I had a good handle on the SCS changes. I felt that SCS had been pretty well thought through and not unbalanced (i.e. Silke did not magic missile down half the party after her invisibility-mirror-image contingency fired). I was impressed with SCS, so I decided to try a hardcore run, with a full-party without doing the obviously cheesy metagame exploits (stealing Drizzt´s gear, killing Elminster, and so forth), for my first play-through on SCS. I have only one chance at this (since I will only have only 1 first run), so the pressure is on.

I decided I would change my version of hardcore for this run and allow myself access to temple services, but if someone gets chunked, they get chunked- permanently killed (I did not select the option to reduce chunking on installing SCS). If Jaheira or Imoen get chunked in BG:EE, it´s fail and restart. I played all day yesterday and will play all day today, updating my progress as I go, for anyone interested in trying SCS, which I feel is really quite an upgrade to the game, especially if you enjoy playing carefully without using exploits (though each person´s version of what is an "exploit" varies).


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