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EE/SCS/no-reload challenges #1: What is a solid way to not die to a Beholder?

YgramulYgramul Member Posts: 1,059
With the current BG2EE build and current SCS, how can I reliably NOT be killed while attacking beholders and elder orbs?

- assume no Shield of Cheese [I mod it out]
- assume full party [pick any NPCs] - bonus points to do it wihout a Berserker
- if helpful, assume mage variant PC [Sorcerer, F/M etc.]
- assume that you start in sight of the Beholder (i.e. no sending summons without risk)

--
[Note: I heard that Spell Shield used to protect against Beholder antimagic rays? Is that true? How about Spell Immunity: Abjuration? How about potions to lower saves? But what about an elder ord casting Imprisonment (and without a Rage available)? etc. etc.]
--

Proceed.

Post edited by Ygramul on
JuliusBorisovwoowoovoodoo
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Comments

  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0
    edited March 2015
    The user and all related content has been deleted.

    Heindrich
  • Abi_DalzimAbi_Dalzim Member Posts: 1,410
    Pack the right gear, I think - Belt of Inertial Barrier nerfs their Cause Serious Wounds ray, various amulets and rings can improve your saving throws so you hopefully don't die to their instant death stuff, Helmet of Charm protection prevents you from getting charmed, Bard Song prevents you from getting feared, Cloak of Reflection stops Gauth lighting bolts if that's what you're dealing with, and after that just go for broke. It's not foolproof, but nothing not named Shield of Balduran is when Beholders are involved.

    Alternately, Mislead cheese will defeat even Elder Orbs when backed up with Spell Immunity: Divination.

    BlackravenHeindrichJuliusBorisov
  • semiticgoddesssemiticgoddess Member Posts: 14,829
    Blitzkrieg. You can tank SCS Beholders, but it requires excellent saving throws, and it's easier to just throw out quick damage.

    SCS shapeshifting also gives Cernd Greater Werewolf Tokens at level 13, 750,000 XP. Any Druid can use them. Dual-wield them, and you'll have 80% MR. That's enough to let you survive Beholders.

    BlackravenJuliusBorisov
  • BlackravenBlackraven Member Posts: 3,468
    My Dwarven Fighter/Thief's main solicitude is Elder Orbs. They can cast Imprisonment... :worried:

    I second @semiticgod's advice to go for fast kills, using various party members and if possible summons at the same time (but keep Charname away from the frontline). If you want to a character to tank Beholders then @Abi_Dalzim's tips are very useful. Make sure you have low saves (well in the negatives) in order to withstand the magic that causes status effects, as well as protections that minimize damaging magics (cause wounds, lightning etc).

    JuliusBorisov
  • HeindrichHeindrich Member, Moderator Posts: 2,959

    Pack the right gear, I think - Belt of Inertial Barrier nerfs their Cause Serious Wounds ray, various amulets and rings can improve your saving throws so you hopefully don't die to their instant death stuff, Helmet of Charm protection prevents you from getting charmed, Bard Song prevents you from getting feared, Cloak of Reflection stops Gauth lighting bolts if that's what you're dealing with, and after that just go for broke.

    Wow the Gauth machine guns of death counts as electric damage?! That's certainly useful information to know! Unfortunately the Cloak of Reflection is in Spellhold, so that doesn't help with Unseeing Eye... I guess Protection from Electricity would help as well right?

    Also the Cause Serious Wounds ray... does it count as magic damage? If so, what about Protection from Magical Energy?

  • YgramulYgramul Member Posts: 1,059
    Excellent suggestions. Thank you all.

    But how do you deal with Beholder rays dispelling your protections?
    (Hence my first question about Spell shield: since beholders cast basically every round, if it is dispelled after the first round, what do you do?)

    JuliusBorisov
  • Abi_DalzimAbi_Dalzim Member Posts: 1,410
    edited March 2015
    Ygramul said:

    Excellent suggestions. Thank you all.

    But how do you deal with Beholder rays dispelling your protections?
    (Hence my first question about Spell shield: since beholders cast basically every round, if it is dispelled after the first round, what do you do?)

    The dispelling ray is exactly why I suggested a reliance on items, since those effects can't be dispelled. Speaking of which, another approach would involve boosting your magic resistance to try and tank the Beholders. A Monk PC, Rasaad, or Viconia suited up with stuff like Amulet of Power (only works on vanilla Monks, unfortunately), Ring of Gaxx, Shield of the Lost (not for the Monk, obviously), Amulet of the Seldarine come TOB, all together could be a serious obstacle for Beholders to get past. A Paladin using the Holy Avenger plus the other items will also work well. Of course, have your party provide ranged and spell support while your tank is working, and you should be able to come out on top.

    I'm not sure if Polymorphing into a Mustard Jelly will work - I tried Shapechange into an Iron Golem once, because I figured 100% magic resistance would make me untouchable AND I could hit back, but that failed miserably for some reason.

    BlackravenJuliusBorisov
  • hisplshispls Member Posts: 166
    Ygramul said:


    - assume that you start in sight of the Beholder (i.e. no sending summons without risk)

    RP wise, why would you even consider not scouting ahead in general, much less in the areas where these battles will appear? Any competent P&P party would be scouting with wizard eye, farsight, or a stealthed thief. You then see beholders and pull out all the stops, sending waves of summons, possibly setting some traps to try to lure them into, and of course your buffs.

    1st Ed. Beholders were pretty strong, but IIRC not nearly as brutal as the more powerful versions in even standard SoAEE. I really need to get my 1st Ed. books out of storage so I can refresh my memory on some of this stuff.

    Blackraven
  • GrumGrum Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 2,100
    For faith electricity attacks, invest in boots of grounding (temple of Lathander-50%) and Helm of Protection (planar sphere-20% and +1 saves). It will certainly take the sting off.

    JuliusBorisovBlackraven
  • The user and all related content has been deleted.

    hisplsReticent
  • semiticgoddesssemiticgoddess Member Posts: 14,829
    @subtledoctor: The tokens also give regeneration, 1HP per second, which also stacks. It's not completely unbalanced if you only wield one, though. You can use Belm in the off hand instead and it's not too ridiculous.

  • The user and all related content has been deleted.

  • semiticgoddesssemiticgoddess Member Posts: 14,829
    The OP didn't really specify which tactics wouldn't be acceptable. Ygramul ruled out the Shield of Balduran, but that's about it.

    SCS Beholders can remove spell protections with every ray. Spell protections simply will not last long against a Beholder. Neither will any buffs, considering anti-magic Rays. Your only remaining options for survival are saving throws or magic resistance.

    If a 40% MR item is too much, even with only one copy, we'd also rule out Carsomyr, Purifier, and Monks. Or, if the problem is that the tokens aren't vanilla, we wouldn't be playing SCS in the first place, which is the same source of the tokens.

  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0
    edited March 2015
    The user and all related content has been deleted.

    Reticent
  • squirossquiros Member Posts: 29
    i don't have ee nor scs, so i apologize if my method doesn't work.

    beholders in the stock game force cast on party members in range. so either wizard eye or farsight and monster summoning 1 will take down beholders with no risk. beholders will only autoattack with fists. so i believe that they can't actually kill summons - they will simply fall unconscious. -no- party members are to be visible to the beholder at any point - only summons. so if the beholder location is known, simply sending summons will be enough, without farsight or wizard eye.

    the more spells, obviously, the better. a simulacrum - which is not a party member, can easily take on 10..20 beholders at a time. if the simulacrum casts its own wizard eye, entire areas can be cleared quickly. the beholder will fist attack with terrible thaco. the number of beholders that can be killed is limited to simulacrum duration. my game doesn't render more than 10..15 at a time but theoretically, hundreds if not thousands could theoretically be taken down, given enough simulacrum duration. i believe a helmet can cast this spell for a warrior.

    this method is 100%. it's only a matter of time before a failed save ends the no reload.

  • YgramulYgramul Member Posts: 1,059
    No, no, Carsomyr is a perfectly legal equipment to use.

    Borrowing a shapeshifter's paw on the other hand...

  • semiticgoddesssemiticgoddess Member Posts: 14,829
    @Ygramul: Well, you wouldn't necessarily be giving the token to another character. Cernd could simply use his own. That's what I did with Cernd in my no-reload run.

    @subtledoctor: It's not necessarily an infinite use of the Shapeshifter ability. When I played Cernd and used the tokens, he cast his buffs, equipped the token, and stayed in werewolf form all day. This is exactly what he could have done in vanilla. The tokens are just more user friendly.

    Cernd has the same MR whether you use vanilla or SCS shapeshifting. I can understand how it's cheesy to dual-wield them or have another character use them. But is it cheesy for Cernd to equip the token ONCE and get the exact same resistances he does in the vanilla game?

  • Abi_DalzimAbi_Dalzim Member Posts: 1,410
    squiros said:

    i don't have ee nor scs, so i apologize if my method doesn't work.

    beholders in the stock game force cast on party members in range. so either wizard eye or farsight and monster summoning 1 will take down beholders with no risk. beholders will only autoattack with fists. so i believe that they can't actually kill summons - they will simply fall unconscious. -no- party members are to be visible to the beholder at any point - only summons. so if the beholder location is known, simply sending summons will be enough, without farsight or wizard eye.

    the more spells, obviously, the better. a simulacrum - which is not a party member, can easily take on 10..20 beholders at a time. if the simulacrum casts its own wizard eye, entire areas can be cleared quickly. the beholder will fist attack with terrible thaco. the number of beholders that can be killed is limited to simulacrum duration. my game doesn't render more than 10..15 at a time but theoretically, hundreds if not thousands could theoretically be taken down, given enough simulacrum duration. i believe a helmet can cast this spell for a warrior.

    this method is 100%. it's only a matter of time before a failed save ends the no reload.

    In my time (admittedly much shorter than a lot of the members here, but still quite a few years), I've played vanilla SOA, TOB, and EE with all sorts of mod combinations. Under all of those different conditions, I've never known this to actually work. The beholders ALWAYS bust out their Death Rays, and my summons get insta-killed. I don't know what's different about my own experience, but I can say for certain that beholders don't behave this way in my game and never, ever have. Hell, one of my first posts on the board was complaining about this advice over in the meme thread, I just don't get why I keep hearing it.

  • semiticgoddesssemiticgoddess Member Posts: 14,829
    It certainly doesn't work in SCS. Beholders will kill summons, including clones. Pretty quickly, too.

    Once I got some Beholders to attack a simulacrum with their melee attack; no rays at all. But my clone had the Shield of Balduran, and SCS AI knows enough not to keep firing Rays at such a character.

  • woowoovoodoowoowoovoodoo Member Posts: 150
    Oh, it was highly useful, thanks! I am going to try full SCS (I've had several vanilla playthroughs over the years and battles are not challenging anymore) but I have no idea how to deal with upgraded beholders without SoB.

  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0
    edited March 2015
    The user and all related content has been deleted.

  • semiticgoddesssemiticgoddess Member Posts: 14,829
    @subtledoctor: So it's just an issue of how often you get to shapeshift? Since the tokens can be equipped and unequipped an unlimited number of times, and in vanilla, you have limited castings? It has nothing to do with the powers it grants?

  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0
    edited March 2015
    The user and all related content has been deleted.

  • semiticgoddesssemiticgoddess Member Posts: 14,829
    @subtledoctor: I'm sorry I missed that. I thought this had something to do with the Beholders.

  • The user and all related content has been deleted.

    semiticgoddess
  • YgramulYgramul Member Posts: 1,059
    How about a sorcerer front liner that is buffed with spells that keeps renewing Spell Shield every round while the rest of the party pelts the Beholder?
    (Assuming that the Beholder can remove only one Spell Shield per round. Also, probbaly won't work for more than one Beholder...)

  • BlackravenBlackraven Member Posts: 3,468
    Ygramul said:

    How about a sorcerer front liner that is buffed with spells that keeps renewing Spell Shield every round while the rest of the party pelts the Beholder?
    (Assuming that the Beholder can remove only one Spell Shield per round. Also, probbaly won't work for more than one Beholder...)

    Note that in SCS versions 28 and later, Spell Shield no longer wards of the Beholder anti-magic rays.

    JuliusBorisov
  • The user and all related content has been deleted.

  • YgramulYgramul Member Posts: 1,059
    edited March 2015



    Note that in SCS versions 28 and later, Spell Shield no longer wards of the Beholder anti-magic rays.

    I understand that it doesn't stay up indefinitely as it once did, but shouldn't it at least block ONE anti-magic ray?


    @subtledoctor : I agree with SCS occasionally overdoing in making enemies too challenging.

    Still, its absence is to me unplayable now. Which is why I couldn't be bothered to finish IWDEE with my no-minmax, no-munchkin, no-reload party: it's a cake walk as the AI is basically just "attack the first bloke I saw till I die".

  • Abi_DalzimAbi_Dalzim Member Posts: 1,410
    edited March 2015
    Nature's Beauty will blind them all, so if you get that off, then you've won. Actually, talking this over makes me realize that there are more possible strategies than I realized, which is saying something considering that I consider Beholders the toughest non-boss enemies in the game by a mile.

    woowoovoodooBlackravenJuliusBorisovDJKajuru
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