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Barbarian-ish Fighter/Transmuter with unlikely party of four (spoilers)

2

Comments

  • SionIVSionIV Member Posts: 2,686
    Lemernis said:

    Thanks to all for the replies. It'll be fascinating to see if I can find a way to melee without Tenser's then with the right equipment and the right buffs. Because I really want to continue meleeing and spellcasting.

    I do think I will need to bring another arcane caster.

    Alesia did a no-reload SCS BG1 & BG2 with a pure mage using polymorph self and melee. The fighter levels are a bonus, not needed.

    JuliusBorisovCrevsDaakBlackravenlolien
  • LemernisLemernis Member, Moderator Posts: 4,286
    edited May 2014
    @SionIV Thanks for that, and I'm actually eager to begin mixing in Polymorph Self in BGEE for Hector. He can't cast level 4 spells yet at Fighter 3/Transmuter 5 but it won't be long. And once again I appreciate the helpful guide you wrote.

    I used to regularly play BGT with SCS installed (I think the last time was probably 3-4 years ago) and it was certainly harder than vanilla. But as I recall it, the most difficult aspect was if you selected the enemy spellcasters pre-buff option. It really does require a strong use of magic to defeat SoA mages of course, and significantly moreso with SCS than vanilla. But you just make the necessary adjustments. I'll just have to reacquaint myself with the particular spells needed, including from the divine caster in the party.

    An un-debuffed SCS enemy SoA mage is going to kill you, yes. But a de-buffed mage succumbs to damage like any other wizard--although the SCS ones will cast much smarter spells than vanilla as you're duking it out with them, complicating the matter.

    So @Blackraven and @FinneousPJ if I'm understanding correctly, it's the amount of time it takes during a battle to debuff an enemy mage and counter offensive spells that poses the problem for a meleeing mage in SCS SoA? Because as I recall it, once the mage is debuffed he goes down fast. Even moreso of course when debilitated by one of your spells (e.g., Sphere of Chaos, Power Word Silence, Power Word Stun, Prismatic Spray, Horrid Wilting, Power Word Blind, Symbol Fear, Symbol Stun; and then too there are the disabling priest spells such as Insect Plague, Confusion, Creeping Doom, Dolorous Decay, Symbol Stun, and Symbol Fear).

    Hector with Improved Haste will have 6 APR, and will be wielding an enchanted halberd with Strength improving buffs (e.g., Strength, DuHM, Barbarian Rage). Mages do not have a lot of HP; and when debuffed their AC is high. Hector won't need devastatingly low thac0 to destroy them martially, I shouldn't think. He should chunk them in a few hits, shouldn't he?

    Post edited by Lemernis on
    CrevsDaakSionIVlolien
  • LemernisLemernis Member, Moderator Posts: 4,286
    edited May 2014
    Well, after reading @elminster's comment here about how quickly I could level to Transmuter 8 from Fighter 7 in SoA, I guess it might be well worth it to create a new version of Hector for SoA. It will reduce Hector's thac0 significantly, is really the only advantage that I can see, though. Which I suspect will definitely be felt. But on the other hand, if I import Hector from BGEE into SoA at Fighter 3/Tansmuter 8 or 9, then he's going to have a superior spellbook. I mean, again, if the base thac0 for Fighter 3 Hector really isn't that bad in actuality, I see no reason not to continue with him.

    Lol, okay, I think I have perseverated enough about it. I will take my chances by importing BGEE Hector. But continued comments and feedback about which you would choose are of course invited.

    Post edited by Lemernis on
    lolien
  • BlackravenBlackraven Member Posts: 3,289
    @SionIV, yeah I read part of that playthrough by Alesia, she, supposing she's indeed a woman, has completed a number of amazing playthroughs. I think she is or was the 'best' BG player I know.

    @Lemernis, 6APR is nice, so hasting Hector a lot is a great idea.
    Re: debuffing, a single Breach or similar dispel (but I really like Breach) is not always enough because sometimes you face more than one enemy mage (though this isn't very common) and because a number of the tougher mages often have one protection or other that absorbs the first Breach/Dispel or a Contingency that puts in place a string of new protections. If you only have one debuffer, you'll have to wait one round until that debuffer can cast a next debuff spell, because you can only cast one spell per round. In that round the enemy may wreak havoc on your party. On the other hand if you see Aerie's Breach absorbed and can cast a second dispel-type spell right after that (using a second mage, or maybe Haer'Dalis or Keldorn), you're really going to make things difficult for your enemies. In my experience debuffing is the most important aspect of succesfully playing BG2. If you're not good at debuffing, you'll need to have ways to survive while enemies' buffs wear off, such as being really well-buffed yourself or hiding in shadows with the cloak of non-detection as a Thief. (I love the latter strategy, being at a disadvantage and still winning!)

    FinaLfrontSionIVJuliusBorisovlolien
  • BlackravenBlackraven Member Posts: 3,289
    Barbarian/Berserker Rage + Mirror Image + Blur + Haste + Potion of X Giant Strength?

    CrevsDaakJuliusBorisovFinaLfront
  • LemernisLemernis Member, Moderator Posts: 4,286
    edited May 2014
    Well, Barbarian Rage is short lived of course. It could definitely help, though, if Hector gets a crit in while he's buffed with it.

    Since I posted I found that Hector can kill the critter after quaffing a potion of frost giant strength and a potion of power (plus the Rage). But the wolf casts Horror which always seems to cost me a party member (I know I can raise the fallen at a temple, but I want the win without a fatality).

    I think I'll have Tiax Sanctuaried and Turning Undead and just send the two of them, keeping Safana and Rasaad well away. Tiax can cast Remove Fear, but hopefully they'll both save against it. Otherwise Tiax will then have to re-Sanctuary himself to Turn Undead umolested. But even without Sanctuary the wolves don't really hurt him much.

    Post edited by Lemernis on
    BlackravenCrevsDaakJuliusBorisovlolien
  • LemernisLemernis Member, Moderator Posts: 4,286
    I did eventually get the win without fatalities but in addition to the above I had to have Rasaad and Safana use potions of invisibility to keep from getting paralyzed by ghouls, even though I sent them to a different part of the dungeon. I basically just had to wait until I had a go at it in which Hector could kill the wolf without it successfully casting Horror (i.e., Hector and Tiax saved against it until Hector killed the creature).

    CrevsDaakJuliusBorisovlolien
  • LemernisLemernis Member, Moderator Posts: 4,286
    edited May 2014
    For the four Red Wizards I had to resort to using the one scroll of Cloudkill that I had, which I was intending to have Hector scribe. Not sure if I'll find another until Sorcerous Sundries, but oh well. Volleying spells with the Thayans wasn't working.

    The bandit camp was wild! (At least getting out alive was.) Tazok was much more difficult to survive than I recalled. By the same token, the battle with the bosses wasn't as tough as I expected or remembered. The wizard got Silenced and didn't use Vocalize in response (or was too slow at casting it before getting killed; Safana was hurling darts of wounding at him which may have disrupted him, but I didn't see him hiccuping as such). But getting out of the camp was a bit of a challenge. I'm sure this strategy gets used all the time (it's even suggested in a dialog option), but I resorted to the cheese tactic of luring nearly the entire camp of bandits into the tent and casting Color Spray and Horror (from a scroll). Then I rested, healed, replenished spells, and went back in and used the wand of Horror that the party found in the camp, with Color Spray for those that didn't get Horrified. It was a bit of a pain chasing down so many panicked bandits, but at least they were contained within the tent.

    Color Spray is now my new favorite spell. I'm not sure if SCS has tweaked it, but I'm delighted to have finally given the spell a good try. I really like it better than Sleep now. In SCS at least, it seems to knock out a lot more enemies than Sleep does. I've been careful with aiming it; and at the risk of jinxing myself by saying this, I have yet to have a friendly fire incident with it (a four person party helps). No surprise that it's fantastic for gibberlings, xvarts, kobolds, hobgoblins, and human bandits--whole swaths of them faint dead away. But it's pretty decent for wolves as well (successful for usually around half). Turns out that works really well for spiders and ogrillons. It will occasionally drop ogres. Sirines, no. Ghasts and ghouls are immune as well. Doesn't look like ettercaps succumb to it either. I'm curious whether it will work for wyverns, but I'm about to find out since I'm making my way through Cloakwood.

    Post edited by Lemernis on
    JuliusBorisovjackjackFinaLfront
  • BlackravenBlackraven Member Posts: 3,289
    @Lemernis iirc correctly most or all of the Black Talons only appear once you slay the Battle Horrors (at least that's my only experience with SCS v28, I've gone back to v21 after that). You could try to focus on Davaeorn alone, even if there are guards around. If you can get rid of his spell protections, he won't be that hard to kill.

    JuliusBorisovCrevsDaak
  • LemernisLemernis Member, Moderator Posts: 4,286
    Thanks, that's good to know about the Black Talon Elites. If I had three potions of invisibility the other three party members could probably hide from them. Safana and Rasaad can stealth and Tiax could use the one invisibility potion to try to sneak off and hide, I guess. Or Tiax could use Sanctuary, although he doesn't have it memorized and I'd have to have him memorize it from an earlier save.

    The bigger problem is Hector doesn't have the spells needed to remove Davaeorn's spell buffs.

    CrevsDaak
  • LemernisLemernis Member, Moderator Posts: 4,286
    Well, basically what the party did was bring a knife to a gunfight. There's no Breach or Spell Thrust scrolls available at a magic shop prior to Sorcerous Sundries, at least to the best of my recollection. I just didn't think to purchase the scroll of protection from magic. I uninstalled the component (just the improved chapter 4 end-battle) and still had a pretty tough fight just with the smarter mages AI. Next time I'll be better prepared.

    BlackravenCrevsDaakjackjack
  • LemernisLemernis Member, Moderator Posts: 4,286
    edited May 2014
    All along I've struggled with what to do with Tiax's Thieving abilities, since as a C/T the mask button doesn't work, i.e., he can't interact with anything Thief-wise. Safana is taking care of locks and traps. So I've had Tiax stealthy with the intention to eventually begin using his backstabbing ability, but I haven't actually used him much that way at all. I had also put 40 into Detect Illusion for him, but that hasn't yielded any benefit thus far. Tiax is turning out to be most useful in this party as a meleer: in ankheg armor and now with the small shield +2 his AC is -4. I've got him using Stupefier, and even with 1 APR and 16 thac0 it does paralyze enemies a good bit of the time. And this also frees up the Shadow Armor and the boots of stealth for Safana to wear so that she can stealth when she clears traps (and drops her AC to -3; she's edited to Swashbuckler, remember).

    So I decided to edit Tiax's skills to try Trap Setting for him. He's now C6/T6, so I reallocated his 100 earned skill points to Set Traps. He'll use Sanctuary to set the traps unmolested.

    Had I done this before the Davaeorn fight I wonder if that would have given me the edge to finish him off early enough to survive the onslaught of his minions. I think at some point I will go back and edit Tiax as such for a save just before the battle with Davaeorn, reinstall the improved chapter four end-battle component, and see if two traps will help secure a win.

    Post edited by Lemernis on
    CrevsDaak
  • LemernisLemernis Member, Moderator Posts: 4,286
    edited May 2014
    Also, Rasaad as Sun Soul Monk... I took a hiatus from the game last summer and fall when he was changed as such, so I'm very late to the party... But I'm rather disappointed that he loses Stunning Blow and Quivering Palm with this kit. I know his identity is all bound up with the Sun Soul spiritual path and whatnot, so it doesn't feel quite right to use EE Keeper to change his kit to vanilla Monk and rebuild him from level 0. I just miss that he was able to stun mages with his fists at times--ironically, it made him feel like he was contributing something very important.

    I mean, that said, though, he's actually pretty effective now even in BGEE as a meleer. So I guess in the balance it's alright. I just miss that he was rather weak before until about level 6; and yet if you used him carefully he could actually pull off stunning mages. Oh well, c'est la vie.

    Post edited by Lemernis on
    BlackravenCrevsDaak
  • LemernisLemernis Member, Moderator Posts: 4,286
    edited May 2014
    Also, regarding Rasaad, I can have him wear 1) gauntlets of dexterity: AC -1 and thac0 14 , or 2) glimmering bands: AC 1 and thac0 12. Which would you choose? A little squishier but hitting a little better? Or a little hardier but not hitting quite as much?

    CrevsDaak
  • SionIVSionIV Member Posts: 2,686
    I would give him the glimmering bands and use a potion of defense for the tougher fights.

    BlackravenFinaLfrontCrevsDaak
  • LemernisLemernis Member, Moderator Posts: 4,286
    edited May 2014
    Thanks! That's a good idea.

    I was disappointed that there were no scrolls of Power Word Stun at Sorcerous Sundries... Is that a spell that doesn't appear in BG:EE? If it does not, I'll just CLUA it in because I do want to try it out.

    And I would imagine that probably Symbol Stun and Symbol Fear also probably aren't in BGEE. But if anyone knows where they are please advise.

    CrevsDaak
  • SionIVSionIV Member Posts: 2,686
    edited May 2014
    Lemernis said:

    Thanks! That's a good idea.

    I was disappointed that there were no scrolls of Power Word Stun at Sorcerous Sundries... Is that a spell that doesn't appear in BG:EE? If it does not, I'll just CLUA it in because I do want to try it out.

    And I would imagine that probably Symbol Stun and Symbol Fear also probably aren't in BGEE. But if anyone knows where they are please advise.

    Power Word Stun is a level 8 spell? You mean Power Word Sleep no?

    Symbol of Stun and Fear are also level 8 spells, why would they be in the normal BGEE?

    You would have to be level 16 to learn those spells, that's 2 250 000 experience, more than twice the amount that is possible to get in BGEE if you complete everything solo.

  • LemernisLemernis Member, Moderator Posts: 4,286
    Oy, right. Power Word Stun is level 7, but yeah.

  • SionIVSionIV Member Posts: 2,686
    Lemernis said:

    Oy, right. Power Word Stun is level 7, but yeah.

    Ah you're correct there, but yes the only power word spell you'll find in BGEE is power word sleep which is level 2. And you'll be able to find up to level 5 spells, nothing above that.

  • LemernisLemernis Member, Moderator Posts: 4,286
    Thanks, and PWS is not really a good spell as is only works for targets with less than 20 HP. By the time it's available at Sorcerous Sundries most enemies of consequence are immune to it.

    SionIVCrevsDaakjackjack
  • LemernisLemernis Member, Moderator Posts: 4,286
    Now doing Durlag's in chapter 5. With a small sigh I uninstalled SCS's improved Durlag's battles. It was clear from the four warders that it was going to be a reload-fest, which is not really what I'm looking for with this less than uber party (well, actually the PC is, but the others aren't) and limited playing time. The other AI improvements will have to suffice.

    CrevsDaakBlackraven
  • LemernisLemernis Member, Moderator Posts: 4,286
    SionIV said:

    Lemernis said:

    Thanks! That's a good idea.

    I was disappointed that there were no scrolls of Power Word Stun at Sorcerous Sundries... Is that a spell that doesn't appear in BG:EE? If it does not, I'll just CLUA it in because I do want to try it out.

    And I would imagine that probably Symbol Stun and Symbol Fear also probably aren't in BGEE. But if anyone knows where they are please advise.

    Power Word Stun is a level 8 spell? You mean Power Word Sleep no?

    Symbol of Stun and Fear are also level 8 spells, why would they be in the normal BGEE?

    You would have to be level 16 to learn those spells, that's 2 250 000 experience, more than twice the amount that is possible to get in BGEE if you complete everything solo.
    Interesting addendum to this: the SCS Demon Knight in Durlag's casts Power Word, Stun.

    BlackravenjackjackCrevsDaak
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