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"Maybe this time" [NO-RELOAD THREAD]: "The Tale of TEN THOUSAND Trials"



  • lroumenlroumen Member Posts: 2,397
    That and many webs :)
  • semiticgoddesssemiticgoddess Member Posts: 14,829
    I'm not quite done, though. I like how the run turned out, but such heavy use of such a boring glitch--even if it was more of a convenience cheat than anything else--made the run less impressive than I'd like it to be. If I'm going to use an exploit, I'd rather use one that I designed myself.

    So I'm going to give another shot at an Oblivion run, this time without using item duplication, even for convenience purposes. This will be on normal difficulty, since I've had about my fill of the maximum difficulty setting.
  • Wise_GrimwaldWise_Grimwald Member Posts: 3,372

    New run with Frealla, an Arctic Dwarf Chaotic Good Fighter

    Proficiencies ** in Flails, ** in slings. Anyone got the foresight that she might become a cleric in due time?

    She didn't she died all too quickly. :(
  • Wise_GrimwaldWise_Grimwald Member Posts: 3,372

    @Arthas not sure about mods (I don't use them), but of the many accounts I have read of the chess fight, it seems opening with mass fireballs seems to work well to whittle the enemies down quickly.

    The above linked in with web and cloudkill works well. A bit TOO easy.

    Others use resistances that protect from lightning. I haven't tried it though.
  • semiticgoddesssemiticgoddess Member Posts: 14,829
    I made a mistake when looking over my screenshots: in this Oblivion run, I didn't plan on getting negative Strength; I planned on getting negative Willpower. The idea was to take advantage of magicka regeneration to train some skills (which couldn't be done with the Atronach birthsign), then revert to a non-regenerating, fatigue-boosting-oriented build. Choosing the Atronach is a good long-term option with this build, but it's not great for grinding magic skills. So, this run will involve damaging Willpower, not Strength.

    If you noticed the previous posts (which I've since edited) mentioning damaging Strength, then you can probably guess what happens to this current run.
  • semiticgoddesssemiticgoddess Member Posts: 14,829

    Zoreii: No-Reload Oblivion Run with Oscuro's Oblivion Overhaul

    Part 10

    Moving right along: The Marauders in the Leyawiin Mages Guild quest are much tougher than I expected. Our unarmored followers get torn apart in moments.

    Notice the summoned Dremora (not Dremora Lord; just the normal kind), courtesy of grinding Conjuration to 50. We manage to scrape by using poisoned arrows from our little shortbow, but there are more fights deeper in the dungeon, and our followers and Dremora tend to collapse before our poison can take its toll.

    In the end, I have to return to town to create more potions and poisons (getting our Alchemy up to 50) before completing the dungeon. With many more poisons on hand, we can take a more offensive role. I still use sneak attacks to seize an early advantage.

    Theoretically, I could always just let my immortal followers handle everything, but that would be less interesting. When my followers collapse, I intervene.

    After failing to trigger a pressure plate trap with an arrow (I had to walk around it) and hastily drinking a potion when I let a Marauder get close enough to put Zoreii in danger, we reach the final chamber, where a pair of imps are waiting for us. They're hard to see against the gray background, but I knew to look for them.

    The last threat is Kalthar, who locks us in the chamber before ambushing us. I let our followers tackle him, but he runs right after me, and I suffer heavy damage before healing myself and going invisible.

    I finish him off with a Silence poison, though I nearly die in the process. He does remarkably high damage with his dagger, and I don't know why.

    When Kalthar falls, we can complete the last Mages Guild recommendation quest and access the Arcane University. I hurry up and create our primary Fortify Fatigue spell as well as a new Command spell, then craft some high-end emergency potions using Garlic and Morning Glory Root Pulp, which I never before realized could be used to create a Frost Shield effect to stack with a normal Shield effect, plus a few high-damage potions in case I really need an extra boost.

    Oblivion suffers from the same weaknesses as Morrowind: casting a spell of a certain school gives the same amount of experience regardless of its cost. This means we can create low-cost custom spells and spam them to level important skills. I remap the spell casting button to a key, put the end of a shaver on the keyboard, and let Zoreii hit 75 in Conjuration and Illusion.

    We don't need to get them any higher than that, really (getting them to 75 just unlocks a higher maximum cost for spells; we can't cast bigger spells at lower skill levels). We don't need to be able to cast 100% Chameleon spells or summon Gloom Wraiths or Liches or Xivilai, nor do we need any other skills to be particularly high, especially not in the early game.

    Finally, I damage Zoreii's Willpower into the negatives to shrink our base fatigue and make Fortify Fatigue effects exponentially stronger. We head to Kvatch and put our ludicrous damage output to good use with our little shortbow.

    The Jemane twins are on hand to distract our enemies, but they make crossing the Sigil tower bridges a little nerve-wracking.

    I push them out of the way and inadvertently nudge them off the bridge. Guilbert falls over a hundred feet onto solid rock, but according to the message in the upper left corner of the screen, he only suffered a minor concussion.

    We proceed to shoot down everything in our path, one-shotting Dremora that would normally pose a threat against a low-level, unarmored character like Zoreii.

    With the Oblivion gate closed, we proceed to clear the courtyard and liberate the castle from the daedra. Our low Shield without potions puts us in some danger in a courtyard fight when a Clannfear chases us, but running away casting healing spells keeps us safe.

    We let the Imperial Legion do most of the work, because I might accidentally kill one of them if I tried to fire an arrow into the fray. The one time where I rush ahead to pave the way for them, I sorely regret it--I run right into a Hunger's Drain Health spell and lose half of my Health in one blow.

    I go invisible and escape.

    Now I must be honest for a moment. Since I basically never react in time to take a screenshot when I die, I don't have any record of what actually killed me; I just have the screenshots and the save game before death. I've had the same problem for other deaths in these runs: I had to work backward from minimal clues and my own memory, and the earlier deaths were the hardest to remember. I think this run right here ended when a Dremora Prince killed me with a paralysis effect on a warhammer during the Bruma gate quest, or maybe to a giant sword trap... except, in my previous posts, I already attributed those exact two deaths to the end of two other runs.

    So, I might have matched some deaths with the wrong runs. In fact, I think my death to Caminalda, which I mentioned in a previous post, actually happened in this run, and it was because I still had the difficulty set to maximum.

    I don't know how I died in this run. Maybe it was because of that trap on the pirate chest; I don't know.

    At any rate, this run is over. The new run is the one with negative Strength.
  • semiticgoddesssemiticgoddess Member Posts: 14,829

    Zoreii: No-Reload Oblivion Run with Oscuro's Oblivion Overhaul

    Part 11

    This time around, we pick the Lady birthsign, because it gives us a slight boost to Willpower (which we'll have trouble increasing since we won't be using much Restoration, Destruction, and Alteration spells) and more importantly Endurance.

    In a normal run, that +10 bonus to Endurance should get us +30 Health by level 11, but OOO changes the formula somehow. I don't know what OOO's formula is, but you'll notice that our current Health of 67 is not a multiple of 5, as it normally would be.

    As usual, most of our class skills are magic-oriented with Marksman so that we don't lose fatigue when drawing a bow. This time, though, we have Armorer on hand, which will help us very slightly increase our Endurance when leveling, and therefore increase our Health.

    By now, our early game resource gathering chores have become pretty standardized: create potions, steal from the Mages Guild, learn new spells, and gain a few quick levels to increase Intelligence, Endurance, and Willpower/Speed/Luck. Since we need high Alchemy to get better Damage Strength potions, we purchase the Frostcrag Spire alchemy lab, a purchase that leaves us with a single gold coin to our name.

    Next, we buy one of the most important spells in the run.

    Why is Ease Burden so important? Well, it has to do with our new fatigue boosting strategy.

    In the past, I reduced my Willpower to negative values to get 1 base fatigue and multiply damage output with Fortify Fatigue effects. The disadvantage is that it eliminates magicka regeneration once you get a little lower than -30, which isn't that convenient for mage-oriented characters (which synergize the best with fatigue boosting).

    The alternatives aren't very good. The first option, negative Agility, makes arrows deal zero damage and makes it extremely hard to avoid getting staggered. You can still deal damage with melee weapons, but if you try to deal 300 damage to a Clannfear with a 20% Reflect Damage effect, you take 60 damage--which is easy to overlook if you're one-shotting everything in sight. Also, swinging a weapon takes fatigue, while a bow takes none if your Marksman is at least 25.

    The second option, negative Endurance, is even worse. Living with 1 point of base Health means anything that deals 1 damage or more will kill you. A high-Restoration character can fortify their Health, but that's a lot of upkeep.

    The third option is negative Strength. That reduces melee damage to zero, but a character with fatigue boosting should ideally be using a bow anyway. It also reduces your encumbrance to 0, but you can fix that with a Feather spell like Ease Burden. Unfortunately, there's a weird issue where a character carrying 50 pounds and casts a 75-point Feather spell will only get 50 points of Feather, and picking up a single more pound will overburden them until they re-cast Feather.

    But negative Strength instead of negative Willpower will allow us to regenerate magicka, which is a massive, massive advantage. With magicka regeneration, we can spam buffing spells and Invisibility spells and all kinds of other things without worrying about running out or needing to drink a Restore Magicka potion.

    That means I'm not going to avoid casting a critical buff because I'm saving my magicka for later. That means I'm less likely to get caught off-guard.

    Also, we're not going to use the Staff of the Everscamp anymore, because that 20-point Speed penalty is really crushing. Instead, we're going to use our Absorb Strength spells on a different target: the daedra worshippers at the shrine of Peryite along the Silverfish River.

    Five people who are completely unconsciousness and take no action when attacked (unlike the Everscamps) and can be pushed into a tight circle to affect all of them simultaneously with a single area-effect spell.

    But I don't yet have that spell; I can't create custom spells until I either buy some overpriced Magetallow Candles for Frostcrag Spire or complete the Mages Guild quests. The latter seems faster than paying for the former, so I head out to Bleak Flats Cave with the Jemane twins to rescue Erthor.

    Even with the gigantic yellow object indicating a missing mesh or texture in my install, the cave is still creepy to me. Those zombies blend in with the environment, and even though I know the rough location of each one by memory, finding them in the shadows is still difficult and I always think they're going to appear right in front of me and pounce.

    Erthor joins the team. As before, I nail Caminalda with a Silence poison and let the others deal with her.

    I accidentally kill somebody while doing my chores, so Lucien Lachance appears to congratulate me and invite me to join a secret guild of assassins. The Jemane brothers don't seem perturbed.

    On the way to a fort in the Leyawiin questline, I spot an imp just outside the city and decide to help one of the Imperial Legion soldiers bring it down.

    It proves remarkably sturdy, surviving five attackers at once.

    It's also much larger than most imps, which clues me in that this is not an ordinary imp. When one of the twins falls, I get worried.

    When it kills an Imperial Legion Soldier, I panic.

    The imp then flies off to kill another soldier closer to the gates. I monitor the situation under Invisibility with some Restore Magicka potions to keep my magicka full--and then, despite me being completely invisible, the imp spins around in midair and begins casting a spell at me, at point-blank range... with the telltale red lighting effect that indicates a Drain Health effect that, knowing OOO for what it is, could be a one-hit kill for a low-level character like Zoreii.

    I avoid getting hit and hurry back, and thankfully the imp turns its attention back to our followers, two soldiers, and a random unarmed civilian who decides to pitch in.

    Finally, the imp falls, and when I look in its inventory, I discover that it's not an imp at all--it's a Gargoyle, an OOO-introduced enemy, apparently, that drops a special stone that works just like a Sigil Stone.

    None of the loot has any real use to me. I hate to think what would have happened if I hadn't had so many allies to deal with the Gargoyle.

    Since we still don't have fatigue boosting on hand, the Marauders in the Leyawiin quest are still pretty tough, and our followers can't do much on their own. Erthor prefers to stay out of combat entirely. Here he is, patiently waiting for the Jemane brothers to return as a Marauder charges over to kill him.

    I contribute a few poisoned arrows to the fight, but our followers do most of the work. I have to cast Dragonskin for safety's sake, which means we have to return to Leyawiin, wait 24 hours to get Dragonskin back, and then go back to the fort to fight more Marauders. Erthor continues to avoid the fight whenever possible.

    But when the Jemane brothers fall--as they constantly do, because they're low-level characters that don't even wear armor--the Marauders come to find us, and Erthor is forced into combat because, unlike Zoreii, he knows no Invisibility spells.

    Finally we reach the last chamber, where we have a special poison in store for Kalthar.

    I activate Dragonskin, drink a Shield+Frost Shield+Restore Magicka potion to get our Shield all the way up to 85%, and engage Kalthar. Paralysis buys us about 3 seconds of free attacks, which amounts to multiple chances to apply another poison--all of which stack. By the time he climbs to his feet, he's already almost dead and the poisons haven't even come close to running out.

    We finally complete the Mages Guild recommendation quests and gain access to a spellmaking altar. We leave the Jemane brothers at Weatherleah, make our Absorb Strength spells, and fast-travel to the shrine of Peryite to use Damage Strength potions to decrease our Strength far below zero and get our base fatigue down to 1.

    Our 100-point Fortify Fatigue spell will now make all of our arrows deal 101 times as much damage as normal. We are ready for the main quest.
  • semiticgoddesssemiticgoddess Member Posts: 14,829

    Zoreii: No-Reload Oblivion Run with Oscuro's Oblivion Overhaul

    Part 12

    I have no screenshots for Kvatch, the Mythic Dawn meeting, the Dagon shrine, the Bruma spies, Sheogorath's quest, or the Bruma gate. Apparently they got overwritten or deleted.

    It was probably mostly just running around killing everything with arrows. Just imagine a demon getting blasted off of his feet by an arrow from a tiny Breton woman with a toy bow, and that's probably what most of the fighting looked like.
  • Wise_GrimwaldWise_Grimwald Member Posts: 3,372
    edited August 2018
    Next run another fighter/cleric, this time an Arctic Dwarf.
    At the beginning of the game Arctic Dwarves have a decided advantage, but the 20% reduction in experience soon whittles that away.

    Post edited by Wise_Grimwald on
  • semiticgoddesssemiticgoddess Member Posts: 14,829

    Zoreii: No-Reload Oblivion Run with Oscuro's Oblivion Overhaul

    Part 14

    Back to Sancre Tor! This time around, we'll actually be fighting the enemies directly instead of sneaking past them and relying on summons. To my surprise and alarm, one of the Undead Blades survives one of our arrows!

    But another shot brings him down, though, and the shortbow draws quickly enough that we can land the second shot before he can reach us. Notice that there are four different icons in the upper right corner of the screen--the three on the left are a custom Fortify Fatigue, Shield, and Fortify Health spell that I can cast constantly to ensure that I can land a high-damage arrow at any time, and to keep Zoreii in good, safe condition at all times.

    The dungeon isn't too exciting. The Undead Blades go down in two or three hits each, and the numerous Ancient Ghosts (who are actually really powerful critters) die in a single hit, provided we use silver arrows to get past their 100% Resist Normal Weapons effect.

    We get some neat gear, including a shield with a 6% Reflect Damage effect. Reflect Damage won't do much since we seldom engage in melee, but it's the only way to further reduce damage once you get to the 85% damage reduction cap from armor and Shield spells. Normally a shield would harm our spell effectiveness, but as long as you aren't using a one-handed weapon, the shield will apply any enchantment bonuses even though it's not actually being worn (you won't get the armor bonus, though).

    Next up, Miscarcand! We have to deal with some zombies, unfortunately, but our summons can distract them long enough for us to land a fatal shot with our bow.

    Midway through the dungeon, we hit Restoration 50 simply because our primary buffing spell is a Restoration spell that we cast constantly (more often than every 30 seconds).

    Finally, we reach the Great Welkynd Stone. We don't even need to use our powerful anti-mage poisons; a single shot with a silver arrow slays the lich in a single hit.

    We gain a level, go back to the shrine of Peryite, and re-set our base fatigue back to 1. This is what Zoreii looks like at level 13, already at virtually maximum power.

    You know, in a normal run, a character build like Zoreii could benefit so much from a suit of armor and a good melee weapon. But fatigue boosting with negative Strength makes so many things completely unnecessary. We already have decent stats, some good defenses thanks to being a Breton with high Alchemy, and a bow that can deal over 300 damage with every arrow.

    We just need to make sure we don't get overconfident. With 144 Health unbuffed, we could still die from a paralysis effect, a trap, lava damage, a bad fall, or a surprise attack from a high-level enemy. I don't have enough meta-knowledge about OOO to foresee every possible scenario, so I'll need to be careful.
  • semiticgoddesssemiticgoddess Member Posts: 14,829

    Zoreii: No-Reload Oblivion Run with Oscuro's Oblivion Overhaul

    Part 15

    It's finally time to deal with the attack on Bruma. As before, we have a small horde of daedra to fend off, and if Martin dies during the fight, the game is over. Since we aren't as high-level as we were in the previous run, the daedra should be weaker than normal, but so will the soldiers backing us up. Thanks to having 50 Restoration instead of 100, our buffing spell for our allies is only so strong.

    The good news is that we have more allies on hand than before since we spent more time closing Oblivion gates and soliciting aid from the other cities of Cyrodiil.

    But as it turns out, our allies prove all but unnecessary. With fatigue boosting, I can pick off the enemies one at a time as they come through the gates.

    Only a tiny number of daedra make it past Zoreii, and they don't have nearly enough time to endanger Martin before the Great Gate opens. Once we're through, Martin is completely safe; he can't die after you've already entered the portal.

    We still have to deal with that 15-minute timer, though, and the game is over if we don't make it to the Great Sigil Stone in time. I take a different route this time after seeing somebody else tackle the quest efficiently on Youtube, and this time around, I don't need to worry about being able to jump across the bridge, because we have a buff to help us make the leap.

    We easily make it across and open the gate to the next area. We sneak inside the main tower, and while I can probably one-shot everything in here, I decide not to engage the Dremora Prince at the bottom level.

    Notice that there are three more icons in the upper right; I've added Fire Shield, Frost Shield, and Shock Shield to my standard set of buffs, slightly improving Zoreii's defenses.

    We move slow and make sure not to run into those giant sword traps. I get worried when I run into a lock, but we just happen to have 8 lockpicks left--not much, but enough to pick the lock.

    I arrive at the top of the tower with plenty of time to spare, so I decide to give a shot at slaying the Dremora Prince nearby. A single sneak attack with our bow takes him down. Notice how far his body is from his dropped shield; that's how much force our arrows apply when they knock critters off their feet.

    Sadly, Baurus didn't make it in this run, either. I think he just got crushed by the siege engine again. Baurus deserved better.

    With the Great Sigil Stone in hand, we're finally ready to confront Mankar Camoran and take back the Amulet of Kings.
  • semiticgoddesssemiticgoddess Member Posts: 14,829
    edited August 2018

    Frost: No-Reload Skyrim Run

    Part 2

    Helgen is fairly similar; the starting dungeon is never really new. Outside Riverwood, though, we get attacked by a gang of bandits where I didn't expect to see any until Bleak Falls Barrow. Fortunately, the more heavily-armored bandits are slower than Frost, which allows us to run away and buy enough time to fire off arrows.

    Ralof and some other Riverwood natives end up helping us take down the bandits.

    Up at the first level of Bleakwood Falls, I discover that we can easily train Alteration at low risk just by isolating an archer and then dodging her arrows.

    She fires at regular intervals, making it pretty easy to scoot out of the way, and many of her arrows are blocked outright by the environment. This lets me wait for my magicka to regenerate and re-cast Oakflesh.

    We get Alteration up to 30, but don't yet pick Vancian magic because I want to save it for later in the dungeon. The bow takes care of the Bandit Outlaw (a stronger version of a normal bandit) and the Wounded Frost Spider (we use hit-and-fade tactics abusing the doorway).

    Then I get a new idea. If I cast two healing spells at once and hold them indefinitely, I can heal myself for 40 points per second--which means I can let the draugr attack me indefinitely and train both Restoration and Heavy Armor to any level I want!

    But I fail to test it out first, and it turns out that letting three draugr attack me at once was a little too much. I can only handle two. The three of them manage to overcome Frost's regeneration and end the run prematurely.

    But now I have a solid early game strategy: use an archer to train Alteration until we can get Vancian Magic, then use Vancian Magic to stay alive while a pair of draugr attack us and increase our Heavy Armor and Restoration skills while we wait. This time, I use the bandit archer at the watchtower near Bleak Falls and pick the first Alteration perk to make Oakflesh cost less magicka, speeding up the process. I also use a shield to train Block a little. At first, the bandit stays in place while I dodge not far away, but eventually the bandit gets stuck on an incline and can't reach us at all.

    Combat is still active as long as someone is attacking you (or trying to), which means our Oakflesh spells grant experience, even though we're not in any real danger.

    I enter Bleak Falls Barrow, fight my way down to the draugr, and reduce a pack of draugr from 3 to 2 to make sure they don't deal enough damage to overwhelm us. I set Frost to constantly cast two healing spells at once and watch her level Heavy Armor and Restoration as the draugr struggle to overcome her massive regeneration.

    It takes some minutes, but we get both skills above 50, giving us lots of level ups very early. We then use Flames to burn down the rest of the opposition in the dungeon.

    We sell off the loot, then go the College of Winterhold to buy some new spells. With Vancian Magic doubling the effectiveness of all spells, we have some pretty strong options at our disposal, and we don't have to worry about the magicka cost at all.

    Our bed at the college counts as our own, which means we can recharge spells at it for free. Since it's 60 seconds away from a fast-travel point, it's also very easy to reach whenever we run low on spells.

    Our only problem is that we need to ration spells carefully. I make a point of avoiding casting too many spells by using sustained spells, which only count as one.

    Then, after a short fight with several draugr at once, I find that I'm already out of spells.

    I have no idea how I lost 20 spells already. I rested (in my own bed) before entering Saarthal, and we barely spent any.

    Unfortunately, we can't leave Saarthal until it's complete; the door is locked behind us. I decide to move forward and rely on our sword and healing potions to get by until Tolfdir rejoins us.

    But the draugr are really tough because I gained so many levels by increasing Heavy Armor and Restoration. I start losing potions fast.

    Then a Draugr Wight weighs down on us, and we quickly run out of potions even as we deal almost no damage to the enemy.

    There's no way I can take down this creature without any more potions; it's dealing far too much damage and we're dealing far too little. I run away and scour my inventory, but there's only a single option.

    Hopefully the fire damage from this scroll will help turn the tide. I turn around and begin casting the spell.

    But this is a master-level spell, which means it takes several seconds to play the entire casting animation. It doesn't come out fast enough, and the draugr kills us.

    Losing all my spells seems like a bug. I reload and do some tests and confirm that I entered the dungeon with 20 spells, but no matter how badly I play the game, I never come close to burning 20 spells by the time I reach the point where I ran out the first time around. There were only 7 draugr in 3 fights, and I had 19 spells by the time I reached them (I spent one opening a door). If I used an armor spell for each fight (which I wouldn't have), a healing spell for each fight, and used a separate Destruction spell for each draugr (when it really would have taken at most 5 or 6 to kill them all), and then just blasted 5 random spells at the wall (which I also wouldn't have), I still would have had at least 2 spells left at worst. At best, I would have had 14 spells left.

    I fiddle with the Amulet of Saarthal to see if it messed with my spellcasting somehow, but I can't replicate the bug. I have no idea how I ended up with zero spells, but I just can't figure out how I could have lost the legitimately.

    Even so, I don't want to spend a lot of time continuing the run if there's a chance that I'll figure out, much later, that the death wasn't due to a bug. I decide not to reload.
  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 7,090
    @Enuhal shame not to see a dwarven defender triumph, though I don't actually think it's that much easier than a standard fighter - the inability to stack hardiness with defensive stance reduces significantly the kit benefits in the late game, though GWWs largely compensate for not being able to get grand mastery with weapons.

    A few points I noted in reading through:
    - at the palace you can charm the nobles, but Belt won't recognize your victory until all the dopplegangers are dead (killing them as nobles doesn't count). If you charm them therefore you will have to wait until the charm wears off and they change (you can rest once to cut down on the waiting).
    - the snake in Watcher's Keep does have a no-save stun. If you're aware of that though it's easy to keep out of its reach.
    - Balthazar is indeed another no-save stunner. Your favorite from BG1, the Greenstone Amulet, is your friend there if you don't have high crushing resistance.
    - the Greenstone Amulet can also potentially help against Mel (though she tends to dispel protections a lot). I normally just stay out of melee range of her and rely on missile attacks (you can also use the Reflection Shield to bounce her own missiles back on her).
  • Wise_GrimwaldWise_Grimwald Member Posts: 3,372
    edited August 2018
    Enuhal said:

    (I wrote the following and all the upcoming updates about this character a couple of days ago when I lost access to the internet, just for context.)

    This was my plan: Use the Nymph's Cloak to charm the noblemen to the south and southeast before the event starts and send them far away, so that when they transform, they won't enter combat right away. Use dispelling arrows while under effect of an oil of speed to get rid of any haste effects, greatly reducing the doppelganger's damage. I also used a strength potion and heroism for additional damage output. So far, so good – my plan seemed to work just fine; While Belt was almost dead, Liia was still unhurt, and the only doppelganger still around was only interested in targeting Cendrosch:

    Now, here's where things get weird. Turns out the two noblemen I had sent away didn't transform into doppelgangers at all, and Belt refused to acknowlegde that the battle was over. He just stood there and wouldn't talk to me. I was stuck – so I thought I might've to get rid of those untransformed noblemen somehow. Afraid of what might happen if I simply would attack them or if I'd use them to attack Belt, I got them to attack each other – which did result in one of them turning hostile and getting killed by the flaming fist. So far, so good, but the other one was still left, not having turned hostile. Seeing no other choice, I struck him down (as I was pretty sure that having him attack the Flaming Fist, Belt, Liia or Sarevok would result in an immediate game over). This had a very weird effect:
    Liia and the flaming fist turned hostile (though I didn't lose any reputation), but Belt continued to stay friendly. In fact, while Liia and the mercs tried to kill me (failing to do any damage at all), Belt instead started to cut his own allies down – and they wouldn't attempt to strike back at all, still focusing on Cendrosch.

    So I waited until Belt was done, hoping he would now finally acknowledge that the battle was over. He didn't. He was still standing around, and I couldn't talk to him. My last attempt to get out of this situation was charming Belt myself using the Nymph's Cloak charges, and when that didn't work, charming every NPC in the room (except for Sarevok). Didn't work either:

    I figured that the situation definitely constituted a gamebreaking bug, so I reloaded and tried this approach once more, with similar results: The battle was won, but the game was stuck:

    It seemed like my well thought-out strategy was simply unworkable. This left me no choice but to reload again, and, this time, don't attempt the apparently gamebreaking Nymph's Cloak charms, potentially making this attempt much more difficult. I planned to throw in a wand of sleep charge for good luck (I think it has only a 10% chance to work, but if it works, it is a huge relief). While Cendrosch started to get good dispelling arrow hits in, the wand took down 2 doppelgangers! Very lucky indeed!

    It's hard to see, but the one to the south of Belt and the one next to Sarevok are asleep. The other two who are attacking the dukes have lost their haste effect, and the remaining two are only chasing after Cendrosch. Ironically, this ended up being my most successful attempt of all three, with Belt having lost the least amount of HP and Liia still at her maximum:

    So, I was finally done with this event. Not the cleanest way to do it, getting stuck due to a bug two times, but I hope that most people will agree that in this case, reloading was justified.

    Now, time for SoD!
    I had exactly the same problem when I tried the same tactic.

    FYI the same problem occurs if you put the noblemen to sleep before they change to doppelgangers. :(
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