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Restless Run of Baldur's Gate 2

After trying a few insane solo poverty and no reload runs, and after having learned of an exploit with my already-favorite wand, the Wand of Lightning, I am considering doing a new run of BG2 (I have the original only, not EE) without resting, from Chateau Irenicus to the Throne of Bhaal. A poster asked if this was feasible in a much older thread, and I believe it could be done fairly easily.

The Wand of Lightning trick, which will likely be a big part of this run, involves targeting 6 enemies with the wand (its normal behavior; it fires off 6 tiny bolts instead of one big one) and then replacing the wand's quick item slot with another item, such as a scroll of Magic Missile, a Potion of Healing, or a Wand of Cloudkill. We would then use that replacement item 6 times: casting 6 Magic Missile spells in one round, one after another at normal speed; drinking the potion 6 times for 54 HP healed; or dealing 6d10 poison damage per round for 10 rounds. If we select multiple targets with the Wand of Lightning, the replacement item will target them instead: a Wand of Paralyzation could hit 6 enemies instead of 1.

Another possibility is a sneaky way of avoiding fatigue, which I have yet to test: instead of dragging around a party of fatigued NPCs, I will kill all or most of them after each major battle, and resurrect them before the next. They should still steadily accumulate fatigue, which may weaken them enough to warrant switching them out for new NPCs. An alternative would be removing them from the party whenever I don't need them, but this would be much more inconvenient and could not be done between Spellhold and returning to Athkatla. In either case, the main character would still have massive penalties to luck, be unable to hit non-disabled enemies, and would suffer maximum enemy spell damage every time.

There are more tricks that could actually make the run even easier (for instance, casting Nahal's Reckless Dweomer via a hotkey without expending a spell slot), but I will try to minimize the use of exploits, and see how few are needed to get through the game. The Wand of Cloudkill could end almost any encounter (33 average damage per round, for 10 rounds, bypassing spell protections?), so I will try to vary my game and see how many different ways I can get by without resting. Nuking everything with wands would get tedious.

I am considering using a mage dual-classed to a thief. The mage levels will let me use wands when the rest of the party is dead (Aerie can use wands for me while I'm regaining my mage levels), and the thief levels will give me a few one-time uses of traps. Later in the game, I will have UAI and can boost my MR to 100, negating the fatigue penalty for incoming spell damage. A bard could serve much the same purpose. Other builds would either rely on weapons they couldn't use or spells they couldn't memorize, which is what I have other party members for. If fatigue penalties apply to thieving skills, however, all thieving skills would quickly become impossible, and only a bard could apply HLA traps.

kcwiseJuliusBorisovBlackravendomeplsffsDanTehMan
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Comments

  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 11,642
    That was a quick response. Very encouraging. Thank you.

    As for the cheese thing and wish resting... this is a restless run. You can say cheese is besides the point, but wish resting is even more besides the point.

    One of the things I like to do in these games is use these challenges (no resting? that's insane!) to test the limits of weird tricks (drinking 6 potions at once? that's insane!). I know the wand trick is going to be horribly overpowered, but I won't really understand just how overpowered it is unless I try it out. I like taking apart the game and seeing how it works, and you can't do stress tests without breaking the rules.

    And If it ruins the challenge, I'll just switch to something else. No problem! Using cheesy tactics doesn't mean you always rely on them. And since this is a restless run, it's not like we're operating in a realistic or RP environment anyhow. I'm already abandoning all pretense of realism and fairness by doing a restless run.

    I find it's most fun to take a ridiculous trick and apply it to a ridiculous challenge, like using a DUHM+Shocking Grasp Minor Sequencer in Sword Spider form to dispel the spider polymorph's attack and take down Irenicus in Hell with a 14/13 Cleric/Mage, under Improved Haste, using the FoA at 8 APR and 19 STR, like I did in my last run, a solo no-reload SoA run with the vanilla SoA XP cap (so many acronyms). It's certainly overpowered and cheesy to use the Flail of Ages as a spider, but I think it's fair if you're limiting yourself to one character, not permitting reloads, and playing with an underleveled spellcaster against a magic-immune powerhouse and his many demonic allies. I figure it evens out.

    Also, I'd really need a Wild Mage or Sorceror for wish resting, and I don't feel much like using one. I used a lot of sorcerors a while back and I've lost interest in them for the time being. As for Wild Mages... I did an insane solo poverty run of TOB with one, and I've had quite enough of Wild Mages. I couldn't even wish rest on that run, incidentally, since Wish is a scroll and it was a poverty run (Melissan was pretty rough, even with the NRD hotkey trick). Besides, with Wish rest, you've already eliminated the only handicap of a restless run.

    Let's see how it goes without resting. Maybe I'll even tack on some fatigue with SK, and avoid memorizing any new spells, when I get to the plot-mandated rest points. That would be a truly restless run.

    kcwiselolienJuliusBorisovBlackraven
  • Jaheiras_WitnessJaheiras_Witness Member Posts: 463
    Wish resting is fair game as long as it's no-reload, since you can't memorise the spell, have to use a scroll, and it's pot luck if you get the option!

    kcwise
  • kcwisekcwise Member Posts: 2,287
    I have no advice to share, but the idea does sound interesting. Good luck!

    Blackraven
  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 11,642
    I have created the character! One of my many characters named Poppy, a cheery half-elf who in this run is actually a human because dual-classing. She duals from mage to thief at the beginning of the game, so for the first time in forever, I will have a character with the female human thief sprite, wearing leather, my favorite sprite.

    The run is off to a poor start. I accidentally told Minsc to get lost and I'm wielding a Katana because the Scimitars I'm proficient in are elsewhere.

    Can anyone tell me how to insert pictures into the text of a post?

    JuliusBorisovkcwiseBlackraven
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 17,092
    An interesting idea of a restless run, I wish you the success. A shadowdancer could be a good option, a fighter/thief too.

    For posting pictures, follow the recommendations here: http://forum.baldursgate.com/discussion/34077/how-to-post-files-images-step-by-step-guide#latest

    kcwiseBlackraven
  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 11,642
    Escaping the First Dungeon:
    Chateau Irenicus was rough. With only two Cure Light Wounds spells from Jaheira and limited potions that I wanted to save, and without Minsc to deal with minor encounters, I got worn down over time, taking tiny pieces of damage that in a normal game would be easily remedied. I actually avoided fighting the Mephits in the Air Elemental Plane section, plus the Cambion, as they would require too many potions to be worth the XP and minimal treasure.

    Money Concerns:
    From there, I got Aerie, sold some equipment, and found that I need just a few hundred more gold to buy back the Wand of Lightning I sold to Mira, so I headed to the Slums to nab Lilarcor, worth a solid 900 gold, minus the 100 to identify it (note that the Glasses of Identification aren't cost effective, as they won't recharge without resting). The Hobgoblins beneath the sewers proved rather resilient, so I had Yoshimo hide in shadows and go through the Lilarcor quest without fighting anyone besides the kobold shamans and his friends. I needed to save my Potions of Extra Healing so I could sell them off; I couldn't afford to use them for healing.

    A Breakthrough!
    After selling Lilarcor, I was able to back the WoL, and since I used a Friend scroll beforehand, I save an extra 1000 gold or so to boot. With the WoL in hand, I moved on to fight Mencar Pebblecrusher and his friends.

    Backstabbed for 50+ damage:
    Brennan Risling backstabbed my characters for fatal or near-fatal damage (I'm on Core mode and uninstalled all my mods, though there might theoretically be some leftover changes here and there). He brought Jaheira to singe digits and one-hit-killed Charname, causing three reloads on his own. Plus, he drank a potion at the beginning of the battle that made him nearly immune to fire damage, which made my initial strategy (a Potion of Firebreath) insufficient.

    Brennan Risling's Demise:
    I used the WoL trick with a Potion of Firebreath, targeting Amon and Pooky once each, and Smaeluv Orcslicer and Mencar Pebblecrusher twice apiece. Aerie targeted Brennan Risling six times with Hold Person. By moving the right way, I could get Mencar in the middle of enough scorcher animations to kill him; Amon and Pooky died automatically. Smaeluv survived, as I could not get as many hits on him as I did with Mencar (I could only focus on one at a time). Also, Aerie managed to paralyze Brennan Risling, albeit only after about 5 castings. I whittled down Smaeluv in melee and then finished off Brennan Risling while he was still held.
    So, with the WoL trick, we can take down Mencar et al with one potion and one scroll.

    The Loot:
    I filched a Simulacrum scroll off of Smaeluv's body, a precious find. I'm considering using the Rift Device trick in this run if things get too hectic, and if I do, I'll only be able to use it as many times as I can cast Simulacrum or Project Image, plus one. I know you can recharge Vhailor's Helm with a Bag of Holding, but I was unable to duplicate that trick the one time I tried it out. With Mencar et al's equipment, I made a net gain monetarily. From here, I will need to save up enough money to buy back the Wand of Cloudkill or Wand of Fire, or conceivably Wand of Frost. The De'Arnise Keep could work quite nicely, though we might have to buy some scrolls if we want to take down all the enemies and get all the XP we want.

    Current Resources:
    Currently the party has Yoshimo, Jaheira, Aerie, and our Charname, Sil, a Mage/Thief at 7/9. We have 1,600 gold, a few potions, two scrolls of Fireball, and one scroll each of Web, Stinking Cloud, Flame Arrow, Magic Missile, Dire Charm, Charm Person, Invisibility, Blur, Blindness, and Dispel Magic. We haven't spent much of any of Aerie's memorized spells, but she has almost none to begin with.

    Summary:
    Long story short, we've pulled together just enough resources to start using the Wand of Lightning trick, shortly out of Chateau Irenicus, but we don't have the secondary wands we need to make the WoL trick very lasting. After a little more time, we will be able to grab a new wand and will therefore have a reliable supply of strong magic just as soon as we gain another 10,000 gold or so.

    Major Findings:
    The lack of healing is a bigger factor than I expected. The party takes a huge amount of damage that we have to use limited resources to restore. I always have had healers in my party, but I didn't appreciate just how much healing they caused over the course of just a few fights. Using the Wand of Lightning trick with potions will overcompensate for the lost healing power, but only Haer'Dalis, Imoen, Jan, Aerie, Edwin, and Charname will be able to use the WoL, and only Haer-Dalis makes a decent frontliner.
    Resting does not just remove fatigue and refresh our strongest, most critical spells. It gives us an infinite supply of spells, and without it, the party will disintegrate over time. Without resting, everyday encounters will gradually strain our resources to the breaking point, making consumable items both very precious and very fast to dry up.
    Another critical disadvantage of lacking spells is our total lack of buffs. We simply can't cast Chaotic Commands, Remove Fear, Death Ward, Stoneskin, or Spell Immunity whenever we want. We're going to be entering a lot of battles unbuffed.

    Future plans:
    We need a new offensive wand if we are going to keep up our pace. 50 charges of a Wand of Fire is more efficient money-wise than buying Fireball scrolls. Also, if we're going to have any melee characters, we'll need the Rod of Resurrection, and the money to recharge it, to slow down the rate of fatigue. Finally, if we want any versatility, we're going to have to keep an eye out for new scrolls.

    JuliusBorisovkcwiseBlackravendomeplsffs
  • lunarlunar Member Posts: 3,346
    Well, if you are going to use cheating you might just as well ctrl+y all the enemies. Or give yourself the killsword that slays all with one hit. (Arkanis Garth uses it if you attack shadow thieves without allying with Bodhi)

    That said, your idea is interesting and if you are having fun, good. I wouldn't feel comfortable using such engine tricks. Like potion swapping, but even worse. Anyway I think enhanced editions have omitted these tricks, AFAIK.

    JuliusBorisovkcwise
  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 11,642
    Backstabbed Again!
    I decided to seek out some easy quests to save money and buy a new wand. The Skinner Quest proved troublesome, as the Rune Assassin could kill Aerie, Sil, or Jaheira with a backstab. Aerie used the WoL trick with a Magic Missile scroll, neutralizing the Rune Assassin. Yoshimo backstabbed a Ghast, leaving only one enemy left to face by the end. It's lucky we visited this location early and at low-level; otherwise I would have had to have faced a second assassin and maybe a Bone Golem.

    A New Wand:
    I scraped together enough money from the Bridge District and Government District to buy back the Wand of Cloudkill. Viconia joined the party for a couple of Cure Light Wounds spells. After speaking to Nalia, Flydian, Firkraag, and Delon, and unlocking the quests outside Athkatla, I headed to the Temple District to test out the Wand of Cloudkill on Draug Fea et al. Six simultaneous Cloudkill spells on the enemy for 6d10 damage per round.

    Overkill:
    It was just as powerful as I expected, though it did not win the battle alone. Gaius could still throw out Symbol: Fear and Power Word: Stun, both of which forced reloads by frightening party members into the cloud and immobilizing my main character, allowing Tarnor the Hatchetman or Draug Fea to chop up Sil. Casting Stinking Cloud from a scroll with Aerie proved more dangerous to me than the enemy, given the multiple casting times that prevented Aerie from fleeing quickly. Finally I backstabbed Gaius with Yoshimo, which meant Gaius would not survive in the cloud long enough to disable Sil or Jaheira as he did twice before.
    Gallchobhair, the archer, and Draug Fea, their frontliner, outlived the rest of the group. Thankfully, they targeted Jaheira, who was able to keep them occupied for a few seconds due to wearing Full Plate Mail. Draug Fea fell in melee, and the cloud dissipated soon after.

    Findings:
    The Wand of Cloudkill was always fairly overpowered, considering it can bypass spell protections and hits with a power level of 5, though the price is steep (11,000 gp at 18 CHA and 12 Reputation). With the WoL trick, it's flat-out absurd. I will need to restrict my usage of the Wand of Cloudkill if I'm to maintain the challenge.
    It's probably possible to beat the entire game using nothing but the WoL trick. It is truly game-breaking if not used in moderation. I shouldn't have been able to beat Draug Fea et al without spells, full health, and a proper party lineup with decent equipment. We only have one magical weapon in the whole group!
    Also, one of the important strengths of wands is that they can be used on invisible targets. As I recall, even after the Rune Assassin went invisible, Aerie kept casting Magic Missile. He died with the final casting. This is exactly the sort of thing we'll need for Draconis!

    Future Plans:
    We're off to the De'Arnise Keep. We should probably reorganize the party and bring in more fighter characters, but I think I'll save that for the Planar Sphere quest, which won't require much travel time for Minsc, Anomen, Korgan, or Keldorn. That will save them some fatigue. Jaheira and Yoshimo can only carry us so far, considering Jaheira's pitiful STR and Yoshimo's pitiful AC.

    kcwiseJuliusBorisovlunardomeplsffs
  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 11,642
    Update! Unfortunately I don't have screenshots, so I will settle with boring text.

    There has been a slight change of plans. Sil has veered off course due to metagaming and sleep deprivation (hers, not mine).

    The Crime Spree:
    Before the De'Arnise quest, I decided to gather some resources in Athkatla, since I didn't want to just nuke all the trolls with Cloudkill. I did the Renfeld quest for some minor loot, and since I was in the Docks already, I moved on to Renal Bloodscalp and Mae'var. Since I couldn't wait until nightfall to steal the Amulet of Talos for Mae'var, I decided to put off the quest, only to realize shortly after that I could easily steal the necklace in broad daylight.
    My main character is having a nervous breakdown due to Irenicus-related stress, sleep loss, and the pressure to rescue Imoen. She just went on a massive crime spree with 6 Potions of Master Thievery, netting a bunch of nice scrolls from various guards, plus the Ring of the Ram from Tolgerias, Ring of Regeneration from Ribald, and a Helm of Glory from Guardian Telwyn at the Temple of Helm (the first time I've ever seen that helm in BG2). I also picked up Minsc, since Jaheira left because of the Harper questline, and the last two times I had her in the party, she never came back after leaving. I bought MInsc a nonmagical weapon and gave him Jaheira's Full Plate Mail. I can't afford any better for him; it would cost a lot to buy back Lilarcor. At level 7, Minsc is mostly just a pack mule and tank for now, not a real damage dealer. Also, with the Ring of Regeneration, I won't have to expend as many healing potions, as I will steadily heal in between battles. Things are looking up!

    Yoshimo Saves the Day:
    Edwin's quest was awful. The Mephits at Rayic Gethras' house apparently are perfectly capable of attacking even when under the effects of Horror. With my equipment, I couldn't face the Stone Golems on the second level, either (not realistically, anyway), so I had Minsc and Yoshimo sneak past them to deal with Rayic Gethras. Yoshimo laid a trap (special snares are wicked!), which paralyzed Rayic Gethras, but this did not stop him from activating a Spell Trigger with PFMW and Protection from Normal Missiles. This made Minsc's nonmagical two-handed sword a rather nice choice; Yoshimo simply attacked with his fists until Rayic Gethras' PFMW wore off. It's weird to see Minsc without plate mail. You don't normally need him sneaking about.

    Anishai:
    I took down Mae'var with a pack of Invisible Stalkers, since I pickpocketed an extra Invisible Stalker scroll from a guard during Sil's crime spree. The rest of Mae'var's associates were much harder, as I did not have time to prepare. They got to the scene at the same time I did. Aerie weakened a few Shadow Thieves with a few Flame Arrow scrolls, and the Wand of Lightning (used on its own) helped clean up the thieves on the first level. I had Edwin, who had joined the party for the free spells he had memorized, wait outside. Without Stoneskin, I deemed him too squishy to fight (though Aerie was about as fragile, and I brought her inside without thinking).
    Anishai was vicious, nearly killing both Yoshimo and Minsc. Two charges from the Wand of Cloudkill (not using the WoL trick; that could have killed me anyway) and some summoned monsters helped ward off Anishai's friends, but the monk herself escaped the cloud, and with a haste effect apparently active, she did a lot of damage and cost us several potions before Aerie took her down with a Magic Missile scroll.

    Future Plans:
    With the money I collected, I bought a slew of low-level scrolls, including Blindness, Flame Arrow, Magic Missile, Skull Trap (Fireball scrolls were too pricy), and Polymorph Self, plus a handful of more expensive scrolls, including Limited Wish, Lower Resistance, and Protection from Undead. I spent well over 15,000 gold altogether on the scrolls. With the WoL trick, the Wand of Cloudkill is going to be a little too overpowered, but low-level scrolls will help me get by, without killing almost everything in three rounds, like the Wand of Cloudkill would. I plan on using Lower Resistance and Magic Missile to take down Firkraag, and maybe Blindness or Flame Arrow on Thaxll'ssillyia, if I find a second Lower Resistance scroll. Liches will probably warrant Polymorph Self or Death Fog, and I already have one Death Fog scroll pickpocketed from Lehtinan.
    As for Limited Wish, I might use it either for Shapechange or Time Stop. There's a cute little glitch that lets you keep Shapechange active indefinitely on an NPC (have an NPC cast it, kill them, wait out the spell duration, and resurrect for a character who can become a Mind Flayer at will), but I already massacred much of SCS2 with a solo Fighter/Mage/Cleric using the Iron Golem form, and so it wouldn't be as fun to use, especially since I already investigated the trick quite thoroughly and already know how to use it to its full potential (Righteous Magic, Kai, Offensive Spin, the Defender of Easthaven, Armor of Faith, and Hardiness work beautifully in Iron Golem form). Besides, I'm not sure it works with ToB installed, unless you used CTRL-R on the NPC after casting Shapechange, and I'm more interested in exploits than the console (the console can do anything; exploits have limitations).
    Perhaps I will reserve a single casting of Shapechange for the Twisted Rune quest. The Iron Golem form is immune to magic, and if I have Haer'dalis cast the spell, Kundane and Offensive Spin will let him attack 3 times per round with the Iron Golem attack for 54 damage per hit (not counting the off hand), and if that's not enough, we can use Tenser's Transformation to improve his THAC0 (Improved Haste, notably, does not work well with Offensive Spin). Or I might use the Limited Wish Timestop option to take down Irenicus (for the automatic hits) or Yaga-Shura (DEX drain, perhaps).

    Findings:
    1: There's a lot more to the WoL trick than just nuking everything.
    2: You can snatch a Helm of Glory off of Guardian Telwyn.
    3: Without resting, HP is always in short supply. The Ring of Regeneration is a huge benefit.
    4: Without resting, one use per day items can only be used once before becoming useless, if they can be used at all. The Ring of the Ram came with no charges, and buying it back would cost over 5,000 gold.
    5: You don't need to lay 7 traps for your thief to make a difference.

    I wouldn't have learned any of this if I just used CTRL-Y.

    FinneousPJkcwiseJuliusBorisovjackjack
  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 11,642
    I just realized I have referred to Charname as Sil multiple times. Her actual name is Poppy, a common name for my Bhaalspawn. Sil was the last Charname I played.

    kcwiseJuliusBorisov
  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 11,642
    Took on De'Arnise Hold! The trolls were simpler than I expected, though I spent a lot of potions. This might be because I arrived at a low level, so the spawns weren't quite as tough. Since Minsc was only level 7 and had no pips in flails, I used Arrows of Fire to finish off the trolls. Let me know if you can't view my screenshots.

    I finally found a Find Familiar scroll, right by the forge! I forgot it was there. I tried casting it six times just for fun. I already tested it, though, and you only get one familiar. Poppy's familiar is a ferret, named Mr. Meeseeks.
    image

    Yoshimo proved instrumental in dealing with trolls. His backstabs greatly shortened the battles, especially the fight with the Yuan-ti Mage. It didn't hurt when he landed critical hits.
    image

    I made full use of the Girdle of Bluntness and Girdle of Piercing. Since Trolls use piercing attacks and Golems use only blunt damage, I could tweak Minsc's AC to make him nearly untouchable with his Full Plate Mail. I also used a Blur scroll to tank my main character against the golems, since we were running low on HP and potions.
    image

    I don't like Umber Hulks. I used two charges from the Wand of Cloudkill, since it kills them on a failed save.

    Torgal went down with Flame Arrows from Poppy and backstabbing from Yoshimo. Flame Arrow scrolls are really excessive with the WoL trick. It might be more balanced for me to target six enemies with them instead of focusing all of them on one enemy, which would make the Flame Arrow scrolls into slow-acting, party-friendly Fireballs... instead of an Imprisonment scroll with a double-length casting time. Pointing all six of them at one enemy is 60d6 damage and that's awful hard to survive without major resistances.

    Aerie wasted two rounds and two scrolls due to a mistake. It seems that, if you try to use the WoL trick and then switch to another character, the character with the WoL will use up a charge of the item, but not actually use it, wasting a round and a charge. That's the only reason, I think, why Torgal survived long enough to get backstabbed. It's also possible that Aerie just had a problem, and the solution was handing over the Flame Arrow scroll to Poppy. Either way, we murdered our way to a new quest, bloody and weary all the way.

    We moved on to the Umar Hills, and finally, two of our party members, Aerie and Viconia, are fatigued. It's been about 3 days in-game, which I believe counts a forced resting period after Chateau Irenicus. I might divest Aerie and Viconia of their weapons, since the negative luck will make them truly incapable of hitting enemies (what's a mage's sling without a critical hit?), and Viconia is probably going to get axed when we run into Mazzy, as she only has a Glyph of Warding spell left, no melee capabilities, poor carrying capacity, and no ability to use the Wand of Lightning.
    image

    We are at about 40,000 gold, with lots of scrolls left.

    Findings:
    The AC belts are terribly powerful when properly used.
    This actually applies even to late-game strategies. For those who aren't aware, although AC is capped at -24, AC modifiers like those from the AC belts are not capped, which means you can get a pretty good dodge chance even against late-game enemies. In fact, in the final SoA battle, both the Slayer and all the demons beside it use blunt weapons, meaning a Potion of Absorption or two can make a character nearly unhittable.
    Frankly, I think AC is underrated among BG2 players. Putting aside the fact that early- and mid-game enemies don't have perfect THAC0, AC modifiers make it possible to reliably evade even ToB critters.

    kcwiseJuliusBorisovdomeplsffs
  • cognoscentuscognoscentus Member Posts: 65
    This is a fun read. Thanks for sharing!

    kcwiseJuliusBorisov
  • BlackravenBlackraven Member Posts: 3,186
    edited December 2014
    Is it just me (my computer) or are the screenshots not displayed properly?

    Anyway, good luck with your experimental run!
    I think it's always commendable to try out new things, so good on you. As others have said I would use exploits with chariness (maybe only in emergency scenarios), but what's most important is that you're enjoying your playthrough.

    kcwiseJuliusBorisov
  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 11,642
    Blackraven, what do they look like? Are they still viewable? The screenshots appear fine on my screen, so I'm not sure what to do. I just assumed I might get something wrong because this is the first time I've posted on this site. If anybody knows what's wrong with them, please let me know.

    I'd be very interested in seeing someone (maybe me) do a restless run without exploits, or at least not the ones I'm using. I've never been much for melee-heavy parties, but it seems quite doable to play the game using a melee-based strategy if we kept the party members dead during long travels and/or cycled through party members as they became too fatigued to fight. Otherwise we'd be terribly dependent on consumables, and the WoL trick makes consumables much more practical.

    Still, from what I can tell, it's entirely possible to do everything I've done so far without using the WoL trick. It would just be stretching the party's resources much thinner. Scrolls and potions are awful pricy in BG2, to say nothing of wands. They don't do as much damage as spells, either, since scrolls cast at level 10, and wands are usually weaker than spells or scrolls. The notable exception is the Wand of Lightning itself: the 6 bolts do 3d6 damage apiece, with a save for 1/3 (not 1/2; only 1/3), and so it does 18d6/6d6 damage to a Lightning Bolt spell's 10d6/5d6.

    By the way, since I've heard at least one complaint that lightning bolts bounce too crazily to use safely: you can actually perfectly control the course of a lightning bolt if you aim it directly north or south. Even if the wall you're bouncing it against is diagonal, the lightning bolt will bounce right back, with no change in angle, provided you've aimed it correctly. This means that you can easily get a Lightning Bolt, whether from a spell or a wand or a scroll, to hit the same target 5 times in one round, if you've got a narrow space in which to bounce the bolt (and BG2 has many such tight spots that enemies will run right into). I did a solo Avenger run recently (with the SoA XP cap, which makes things much harder), and I remember frying Glaicas in one or two rounds, just by buffing with Protection from Lightning and throwing a Lightning Bolt northward. That's 50d6 damage, potentially, with a 3rd-level spell, without exploiting any bugs or AI weaknesses (considering how many of us got killed by stray Lightning Bolts, I think it's realistic that enemies don't jump out of the way in time). And it's actually possible to hit more than 5 times, depending on the circumstances. And considering the easy availability of Protection from Lightning, the spell is marvelously party-friendly.
    Lightning Bolt is actually one of the most stupidly overpowered spells in the game if you know how to bounce it.

    Anyway further exploration would be needed to try a restless run without the WoL trick. Maybe after this is over, I'll try a new restless run without that trick, or maybe even without recharging wands (or maybe I'll get bored afterward, and investigate something else). As it stands, I don't think I know enough about consumables to forgo the WoL trick quite yet, and I've never had the interest in melee parties to make my Charname haul around a group of burly NPC corpses wherever I go.

    And honestly I'm kind of looking forward to using six Rift Devices at once, on some poor sod in ToB. Or, if I can't smuggle it out of the sewers, maybe I'll just hit everyone in the party with it. Think how grateful the Avatar of Amaunator will be if I bring him an extra 5 expended Rift Devices.

    Has anyone ever heard of a restless run being tried or completed before? I Googled it before I started the thread, but couldn't find anything. It would be cool if more people took on the challenge, and maybe used some different tactics to get through it. I'd like to see how other people tackle it. A lot of what I know about the game, I've heard from other people's experiences.

    Of course, I think some people would get irritated by the constant blood all over their portraits. How does Poppy keep smiling when she's up to her nose in her own blood?

    Oh, right. Sleep loss has anti-depressant effects.

    kcwisebob_vengJuliusBorisov
  • JarrakulJarrakul Member Posts: 2,028
    A note about fatigue and critical hits: Contrary to popular belief, I don't think negative luck prevents critical hits. Positive luck doesn't prevent critical misses, according to my testing, and I know I've crit while fatigued before (I remember because of the pathetically low damage). So, while I generally agree with your point about fatigued spell-less mages being pretty worthless, I don't think it's true that they can't crit.

    JuliusBorisovkcwise
  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 11,642
    I really should do some testing on luck in BG2. I'm very familiar with luck in IWD2 (the main reason why Bards are so ludicrously overpowered in IWD2, even without stacking bard songs), but it doesn't come up very much in BG2, since fatigue almost never appears, the Luck spell has very few uses, and to my knowledge, there are no other sources of luck, positive or negative, in the game.

    Thanks for the input! This is exactly the sort of thing I want to hear. New stuff.

    JuliusBorisovkcwise
  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 11,642
    I just created some custom items with luck and fatigue effects (both kinds of luck, opcode 22 and opcode 133) and had my main character attack Minsc, to see the attack rolls. For those of you who might not know, you can make the game display attack rolls in the Gameplay menu, which lets you see how high you have to roll to hit a given enemy.

    It seems that both kinds of luck decrease damage rolls, but neither of them prevent critical hits or increase the chance of critical misses. Fatigue has the same effect. It appears to add penalties to attack and damage rolls, but does not shift the attack rolls up or down, as it does in IWD2. That is, no matter how much fatigue or luck you have, you're just as likely to roll a 1 or a 20. It can, however, mean the difference between a hit or a miss with an attack roll of 10.

    So, fatigue is still very dangerous, but it will not make you completely incapable of landing hits, as I had thought.

    JuliusBorisovkcwiseJarrakuldomeplsffs
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 17,092
    This is how the screenshots look like for me, so I second Blackraven:

    image

    @semiticgod‌ , it's a fun read, keep it up!

    Regarding the images - probably it's better to attach them to your posts and then insert them : )

    kcwiseJarrakuljackjack
  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 11,642
    Trying a new way to post it. Let me know if it displays correctly.

    It should appear below this line.
    image
    And above this one.

    test.bmp 896.3K
    FinneousPJkcwiseJuliusBorisovjackjack
  • JarrakulJarrakul Member Posts: 2,028
    I see a smiley face just now, but my experience of the screenshots mirrors bengoshi's.

    It seems that both kinds of luck decrease damage rolls, but neither of them prevent critical hits or increase the chance of critical misses. Fatigue has the same effect. It appears to add penalties to attack and damage rolls, but does not shift the attack rolls up or down, as it does in IWD2. That is, no matter how much fatigue or luck you have, you're just as likely to roll a 1 or a 20. It can, however, mean the difference between a hit or a miss with an attack roll of 10.

    While we're detailing the exact effects of luck, it also appears to alter the lower bound of damage rolls without affecting the upper bound, at least for bad luck. This is interesting, as positive luck is supposed to work that way, but negative luck seems like it should work the other way. Nonetheless, I've seen what should be a 1d6+4 damage roll give results from 1 to 10 on a heavily fatigued character.

    JuliusBorisovkcwise
  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 11,642
    Interesting news on negative luck. Good to hear the smiley is showing up. Hopefully I won't have the same problem elsewhere.

    I took the party to the Umar Hills and struggled to get through the Temple Ruins. I used the WoL trick sparingly, which actually probably did me some good, since I do want to conserve my scrolls and wand charges (had I used Aerie's Turn Undead on the Shadows, it probably would have simplified things greatly). I chose the Umar Hills because I needed to sell off some equipment from the De'Arnise Hold, and the Umar Hills has three merchants by the inn. This will be an image-heavy post, so hopefully they'll display correctly.

    First off, Viconia had to leave the party. With one spell left and fatigue already setting in, she was of little use. She decides to head off to the graveyard. Maybe she got tired of the scent of cheese and Cloudkill and decided to wash it out with the scent of death. She will be missed.
    image

    In the Temple Ruins exterior, Yoshimo forged the path by backstabbing everything in our way, and activating the mirror thingy while hidden to clear up the Shadows and Shade Wolves around where Anath dies. His backstabs did a lot to soften up the enemies on the inside, too.

    Mazzy joined the group! With her high DEX, she will make a better tank than Minsc, and she will have better APR once we get a hold of Kundane.
    Thanks to metagaming, I didn't get toasted by the Statue of Amaunator. I already know the answers to the nine questions: (1) prayer (2) book (3) reflects; (1) hymn (2) hands (3) dominance; and (1) Tenets (2) children (3) mourn.
    image
    I don't even remember what the Statue gives you. I just know that's one of the things you do in this dungeon.

    The party got badly hurt on the way to the lava room, despite Yoshimo's backstabs and Mazzy's low AC. I accidentally lured the two Shadow Fiends in the nearby room out, but after a few tries to kill the Skeleton Warriors, I decided to leave them alone. By now I had completely run out of potions, and the party was in lousy shape. The Pearly White Ioun Stone wasn't much help, though it'll be excellent when travelling. I had to cast Cure Light Wounds (the Bhaalspawn power) to let Poppy survive the trip over the lava.
    image
    Also, we got a new Wand of Lightning! I can't stress enough how deadly they are, even on their own. But since I can't memorize Protection from Lightning, they're extremely dangerous to use.
    And yes, I am very fond of Avengers.

    Yoshimo made excellent use of the corners to backstab enemies around the crossword puzzle room. Thieves can duck behind a corner and hide in shadows even if the enemy is chasing after them; you just need to get the thief out of their line of sight to hide. Yoshimo could backstab and retreat to safety multiple times in this spot.
    image

    The forced march has begun to wear on poor Aerie. The moment I step into the Shadow Dragon's Lair, she asks to rest, and it's awful hard to say no.
    image
    The party is too battered to take on Thaxll'ssillyia. I could just cast Blindness on him and whittle him down, I suppose, but I'm not sure I want to. Plus, if he threw out his Shadow Dragon Breath, the party would be in shambles. Nobody has Negative Plane Protection. Instead, I walk past him and move on to the Shade Lord.

    Before I go any further, I take a moment to reflect on the fact that I've always fought the Shade Lord buffed and full rested. Without resting, the party has no buffs, unless they want to use up finite resources. I decided to cast Chant, nothing else, and move forward.
    image
    I thought I would be using Pierce Magic against the Shade Lord, but he never brought up spell protections. I must be remembering the SCS Shade Lord, who I believe comes out with Spell Turning and maybe some other protections. I also recalled him using wicked Symbol spells. Instead, the Shade Lord wasted a Spellstrike spell on Aerie, accomplishing nothing, while she threw a pair of Flame Arrow spells at the Shade Lord, the Shadow Altar, and Shadow Patrick each. She warded off the Shadows with Turn Undead. Yoshimo was less helpful here, as he had no place to hide in shadows (despite shadows being the whole big thing about this quest) and his initial backstab resulted in a critical miss.

    I returned to the Umar Hills to report success, and got Mazzy a spiffy new shield from Madulf. Poppy dons the Armor of Deep Night (unidentified, like some of my other equipment), but she doesn't have the skills to backstab as reliably as Yoshimo quite yet.
    Unfortunately, though the whole party's inventory is full, the Umar Hills merchants are gone. I had hoped to sell everything I didn't need and move on to Trademeet, but the only way to free up space was to travel back to Athkatla.
    image
    I didn't want to incur extra fatigue, so I removed Minsc, Aerie, and Yoshimo from the party, since I knew where to find them in Athkatla.

    I headed back to Athkatla and started to gather the party together. For the first time, we see nightfall. Despite being several days into the game, the only nighttime screen we had seen was in the Temple Ruins. Spooky.
    image

    Since we were in Athkatla anyway, I decided to do some side quests. I wanted to get the Black Spider Figurine and the Tuigan Bow, and the Tirdir and Wellyn quests happened to be on the way. Out of curiosity, I bought the Wand of Fire for over 8,000 gold, and tried to use it on the Crypt King with Aerie. She killed herself twice: I had intended to use the WoL trick with the Wand of Fire's Aganazzar's Scorcher ability, but it just cast Fireball instead, nuking Aerie and Crypt King both. Apparently you can't use the second ability of the Wand of Fire with the WoL trick, even if you select it. Instead, I blasted him with the Wand of Frost.
    image
    Kneel and repent!

    At the store, I found that Namarra sold for a lot less than I remembered.
    image
    One of the best weapons in the early game, Namarra is only worth 1 gold because it has no charges. No rest means no recharge for items unless you sell them and buy them back, a ridiculously expensive affair. Namarra is worth even less than an Andar Gem. Or an unenchanted longsword. Kitthix thankfully had a charge, but I sold it anyway; I needed the money.

    I decided to buy some potions, as well as a scroll of Improved Haste and Teleport Field. Those will get me through some tough battles. More importantly, I bought the Girdle of Hill Giant Strength for Mazzy, a Rod of Resurrection, and the Shield of Balduran. I know the SOB is overpowered, but come on. Who likes fighting beholders?

    I also noticed a peculiar change. Check out the last two screenshots.

    Aerie is no longer fatigued.

    It turns out that removing a character from the party dispels their fatigue. Testing found that the fatigue goes away even if the NPC doesn't actually go away: if you go to the Reform Party thingy, kick out a fatigued NPC, and then tell them you changed your mind and want them to stay, they'll still get the fatigue washed away when they rejoin the group. I assume it's to prevent NPCs like Anomen from saying "I demand that we stop" right after he rejoins the party.

    So fatigue can be dispelled with the Reform Party button, and you don't even have to make them leave permanently. You could do this in the middle of battle, right after Haste wears off. The only time it could fail, I think, would be Jaheira if you're not romancing her, since she leaves without asking you if you're sure. Though I'm not sure she always leaves automatically.

    If you wanted to, you could remove fatigue on everyone except for Charname, at any level and any time, with no cost. This would make a restless run much easier, though I'm not sure I'll use it again. Without the threat of fatigue, a restless run would be little different from a no-spells run. The only major difference would be the inability to recharge items except through stores, and persistent fatigue on Charname.

    Findings:
    1: Wands of Lightning don't work well without Protection from Lightning. Buffs are pretty useful, and not just game-changers like Chaotic Commands and Spell Immunity.
    2: The Wand of Lightning trick won't let you cast Agannazar's Scorcher from a Wand of Fire.
    3: Aerie will stop whining about her aching legs if you threaten to kick her out of the party.
    4: Backstabbing is worth the micromanagement. Even single-classed thieves can deal big damage if you let them sneak around a little.
    5: Resting is totally overpowered.

    JuliusBorisovkcwisedomeplsffslunar
  • JarrakulJarrakul Member Posts: 2,028
    Heeeey I see screenshots. :D

    I totally agree with your assessment of the Shield of Balduran, by the way. Overpowered? Definitely, but beholders are just a pain without it.

    JuliusBorisovkcwise
  • FinneousPJFinneousPJ Member Posts: 6,265
    AFAIK the cloak of mirroring is sufficient for dealing with beholders (and you get it just in time before UD, what a coincidence). I.e. no need to buy anything.

    kcwisejackjack
  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 11,642
    The Cloak of Mirroring would indeed be sufficient. I was actually thinking more of the Unseeing Eye quest, although I suppose I could have used the SOB money for consumables, which would have been more cost-effective.

    kcwise
  • JarrakulJarrakul Member Posts: 2,028
    Yes, that's true, but personally, the cloak of mirroring is so generally overpowered that I straight-up don't use it. Hence, I rather enjoy the shield. Obviously other folks can do whatever they want, although in the long-term money tends to be a non-issue.

    Actually, I wonder if that'll be true for this playthrough. semiticgod is definitely having to buy more charged items than most of us would on a normal playthrough.

    kcwise
  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 11,642
    I did some more quests and finally got Haer'Dalis. I had many reloads in the Planar Prison. Minsc died early on, and the group was much weaker without him.

    First off, I wanted the Tuigan Bow. I headed to the Slums and used a charge from the Wand of Cloudkill to wipe them out. Very satisfying, considering how much trouble they were when I first came here for Lilarcor. Honestly, I miss Lilarcor a lot. It's been many games since I've actually used it, or had Minsc in the party to wield it.
    image

    I noticed that Edwin somehow had lost many of his spells, including all his 4th-level spells. This means he had no Polymorph Self spell left, and was therefore dead weight. I ditched him in Haegan's hideout.
    I used the Wand of Cloudkill again, against the Beastmaster. Only the Grizzly Bear and the Beastmaster himself seem to have been immune to the instant death effect.
    image

    Since I was down a party member and really needed the extra inventory slots, I decided to go nab Haer'dalis. First, I needed to take down Mekrath, who dropped a very special scroll for me. Project Image will give me extra uses out of my other scrolls.
    image
    Mekrath himself went down pretty quickly. He brought up Protection from Normal Weapons (and Protection from Normal Missiles, which is redundant), so the party resorted to their fists and their one nonmagical scimitar to break through his Stoneskin.

    Did you know that if you use the WoL trick with a Potion of Stone Form, you'll get -18 to all your saving throws?
    image
    Of course, you need to drink a Potion of Mind Focusing first. Because if you don't, you'll lose 18 DEX and instantly die unless you have 19+ Dexterity. I did have one Potion of Mind Focusing by the end of this post, so that Potion of Stone Form will act as a Potion of Magic Shielding if I use the WoL trick.

    The Planar Prison itself was wicked. I already knew how difficult the place would be--there are so many spellcasters, and I just don't have the saving throws or buffs to withstand them--so I used the WoL trick, three times, to help the burden. I used the Wand of Fire on Aawill, a scroll of Blindness on the female elven fighter thrall in the southeast corner of the map, and a scroll of Disintegrate on the Master of Thralls.
    image
    Conveniently enough, the Master of Thralls died on the first casting. The WoL trick was unnecessary, since I got lucky with Disintegrate. I lost the Staff of Air, however, which would have netted me a lot of extra gold. Notice that Minsc is dead--the Yuan-ti Thrall at the start of the area nailed him with a Finger of Death, and I decided not to reload to get him back.

    I resurrected Minsc fairly late, as I intended to use the Rod of Resurrection on everyone, once we had gotten far enough through the area to get low on health. Before, I had managed to resurrect Minsc and heal everyone else with only one charge of the Rod of Resurrection (though the Wyvern forced a reload right after that), but when I tried it again, it failed. I had to use two charges of the Rod of Resurrection: one to heal the party, and one to raise Minsc.
    image

    Minsc came very much in handy in the fight with the Warden. I had to reload that fight several times, as the freed Thralls' Cone of Cold spells killed the Warden, Yoshimo, and Poppy in turn. I didn't want to spend another charge of the Rod of Resurrection on Yoshimo, and if the Warden is killed by the Thralls' Cone of Cold spells, I will lose both the experience and the Warden's rather substantial loot. I had been trying to backstab him with Yoshimo, but this distracted the Warden from the Thralls, allowing them to fire off the Cone of Cold spells that gave me such trouble.
    Finally, I decided not to bother backstabbing him, and just rushed in once I heard the Thralls dying off screen. Minsc interrupted and slowed the Warden with the Flail of Ages, though Minsc only has one pip in flails. As Minsc was the only one with a +3 weapon (and Yoshimo and Poppy were disabled by Symbol: Stun anyway), he was the only one who could interrupt the Warden's spells until the Warden's Mantle wore off.
    image
    That was a Horrid Wilting spell the Warden was casting. Aerie was out of the way, so the party could have survived, but it saved us a lot of HP.

    We finally got Haer'dalis back, and stepped out into the Bridge District to find the sun was out. Poppy has been awake for 7 days and 7 hours.
    image

    I pawned off my excess loot and got back up to 20,000 gold. I also noticed that the female Storekeep by Bel Dalemark has one of the male merchants' voice lines ("Calimshites! Tethyrians! Waterdhavians! They all make their way here eventually to Amn, they do").
    image
    You can actually hear a lot of weird noises by right-clicking on random people. Deidre has a wicked snarl if you pester her enough.

    Findings:
    1: It seems like the Planar Prison is a difficult place to Hide in Shadows. Yoshimo failed many times in the Planar Prison where he had succeeded easily elsewhere.
    2: The Boots of Speed can prevent the wearer from backstabbing. Whenever Yoshimo tried to backstab with them on, he would take a swing and become visible, but there would be no attack roll. Somehow the Boots of Speed interfere with that attack, which is especially inconvenient considering how useful the Boots of Speed are for hit-and-fade tactics.
    3: For some reason I don't understand, my main character still doesn't have any fatigue on her. I assume there are more resting checkpoints in the game than we know about, because she should be really, really worn out by now. But, aside from the forced rest after the first dungeon, none of the party's spells have ever been restored, like you would see in an actual rest period. Nobody has rested, but the fatigue will not appear on anybody, as if our fatigue keeps getting erased even as our expended spells don't come back. Poppy only has 16 CON, and according to the 2da files in DLTCEP, that should only give her a bonus of 1 to fatigue, meaning she should have gotten fatigued very soon after Viconia and Aerie. Anybody know why we're not fatigued yet?

    Future plans:
    I think I will go murder some Beholders. The Unseeing Eye quest is next. But I will skip that part in the next post. You guys already know what happens when you bring the SOB to a fight with vanilla Beholders.

    kcwiseJuliusBorisovdomeplsffs
  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 11,642
    You know, I've actually never found the Cloak of Mirroring all that overwhelming. I know it blocks all spell damage, and that's a big deal, but it seems like enemy spell damage isn't that big a threat in BG2. You do see the occasional Horrid Wilting spell, and the Cloak of Mirroring will block that, but mostly enemy mages get you with disablers and such, and the Cloak of Mirroring won't help you against those.
    Maybe I just never used it to its full potential, putting the cloak on a tank and hurling out damage spells, knowing the tank won't get hurt. Is that how people normally use the Cloak of Mirroring? I always get the Cloak of Mirroring in my BG2 runs, but I never really think about what it can do for the party.

    kcwiseJuliusBorisovdomeplsffs
  • JarrakulJarrakul Member Posts: 2,028
    The crazy thing about the Cloak of Mirroring is that you can have the character wearing solo enemy mages and just kill them by attrition, since they can never seal the deal. The only thing that can actually kill you that seems to hit through it is Imprisonment.

    Regarding the fatigue thing, I've noticed that the difference between 15 and 16 Con appears to be much larger than advertised. No idea why. No idea if that's even enough to explain what you're seeing.

    kcwiseFinneousPJJuliusBorisov
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