semiticgod said:Next up is the Coalition Camp invasion. The skeleton allies from the lich make spectacular tanks against the trolls of the first wave; the mages of the second wave fall to Arrows of Dispelling and Acid Arrows; we disable the clerics of the third wave with multiple pre-cast Web spells; and the final wave is a guaranteed win as long as you keep one of two named allies alive, as they become immortal once the final wave arrives (we still pitch in with disablers and arrows).
Next up is the Coalition Camp invasion. The skeleton allies from the lich make spectacular tanks against the trolls of the first wave; the mages of the second wave fall to Arrows of Dispelling and Acid Arrows; we disable the clerics of the third wave with multiple pre-cast Web spells; and the final wave is a guaranteed win as long as you keep one of two named allies alive, as they become immortal once the final wave arrives (we still pitch in with disablers and arrows).
3rd and final report:
Ho there wanderers! I've played quite a bit with Ineza, almost all the way through SoD. SoD got me so hooked that I couldn't be bothered with posting when I could also be playing. Sadly, Ineza's run ended very close to the finish.
I'll just give you some highlights ok?
Ineza had made it to BG in my last update. She smoothly soloed the remainder of BG1. She made sure to pick up the Hands of Takkok gauntlets because of her low strength, the tomes, and many scrolls. She spoke to Ragefast before she went to see Ramazith and that resulted in Ramazith being away from home, so no +2 ring and no metaspell amulet for Ineza.
For the Iron Throne fight she made sure to lure the Shennaras to some skellies she cast in the back. (The Shennaras are already hostile even before Zhalimar is spoken to.) This measure was taken because with insane difficulty and no Stoneskin, a single backstab could kill her. The other enemies were no real threat thanks to lots of buffs, her wands, and the stairs when needed.
Ineza rushed through Candlekeep, and returned to BG. She made sure to stay out of Slythe's sight, using skeletons and wand summons to deal with the assassin.
Potion buffs, hasted skeletons, Malison, and Slow ensured success against the Doppelgangers, and in the Temple of Bhaal she made sure not to expose herself to all her foes at the same time. Angelo was first. She was lightly buffed to incite a Remove Magic, had him focus much of his spell power on her skellies, and finished him with her wand of fire. With PfPoison and PfAcid, potion and item buffs, and MI she beat Diarmid in a missiles duel. (Note that Ineza would retreat after launching a bullet because of Diarmid's superior APR rate). Tazok (wand summons, melee thanks to superior attack speed), Semaj (wand of fire), and Sarevok (ranged attacks) were next.
SoD then. I like it a lot, the atmosphere, the characters and the gameplay too. Ineza decided to form a group. The first areas she covered with only Corwin, who became Ineza's love interest, and Glint. She came close to dying in the repository of undead when facing some life draining foes.
Voghiln and Jaheira joined the club. We slew the big beetle with ranged attacks and Morentherene with massive fire damage.
The Bhaal Temple went well for the most part. I think the adventurer party is tricky, but with two Cloudkills in their room and using the door to bottleneck them, we did well. The same cannot be said of the encounter with the Shadow Aspect. I had never fought it before. But now I know it has a once/round Mislead ability. First it almost killed Ineza, and a few moments later it chunked her beloved Schael.
We did a very through clearing of the chapter 10 areas and quests, without running into real difficulties. I can't be bothered with detailing everything, but even the crusader attacks went very smoothly. My previous experience with them was solo, in a LoB run, and my character fell during the third wave of attacks, so I was very prepared, but on insane difficulty this part is a lot easier. The HPs make all the difference. Wands especially, made a difference.
Ok, so the siege then. Lots and lots of enemies as well as allies fighting. After a while we run into Ashatiel. Ineza accepts her challenge, but somehow breaks the terms. Ashatiel and her party seem to disappear. So we return to the battleground, and the fighting seems to go on and on. New skirmishers keep appearing on both sides. After a while I get sloppy and above all curious. So invisible Ineza goes for a walk to see what's supposed to happen. At this point I reckoned I had to do something to continue the plot, what with the problem with the Ashatiel duel. Maybe Ashatiel and her companions were elsewhere and we had to defeat them first for the story to continue? Well Ineza didn't get the chance to find out. She got hit by an Emotion: Hopelessness that wasn't even directed at her (she was invisible after all), an enemy wizard cast a detection spell, and before her companions could reach her, Ineza was killed. I should have used another NPC of course for the scouting. I think I just wasn't really "playing" anymore, I was more in research mode.
I still don't know what one is supposed to do after messing up the duel. I replayed it, beat Ashatiel quite easily, after which the castle gates were open, so in theory the siege shouldn't be a risky affair at all.
This playthrough was a lot of fun, so I think I will want to try again. Maybe I'll try a role-played party run with little or limited solo leveling early on in BG1. I did enjoy the role-playing and the bonding with NPCs a lot, so I'll probably try more of that.
It seems only NATURAL protections, such as resistances to certain kinds of weapons. It also says you do NOT again it's other abilities, which perhaps includes the free action, you basically get the attacks of the new form and weapon resistances. That's how it reads to me anyways, but perhaps I am reading it wrong. But then again, "natural protection" is rather vague, and perhaps does mean free action. If someone who is an expert in PnP knew how polymorph self is supposed to work that might help.
I remember struggling with those spiders and being frustrated at the sheer idiocy of their design. I remember looking up the Chateau Irenicus spiders and being astonished that these starting dungeon enemies were even immune to Imprisonment.
Last BG1EE update found here
SoD updates: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Alright! I misremembered the order of things a bit: We need Seal of Caelar to get into the courtyard at Dragonspear Castle (at least I couldn't talk my way in with Charisma buffed to 18).
So, we save Skie, and head to the exterior of Underground River instead.
As before, we clear the entire area. We've got the drill down by now: Web, Fireball, Skeleton Warriors, Cloudkill against big groups of low-level enemies, buffs if necessary... Greater Wyverns, Orc raiding parties, Myconids (using the second-to-last charge of Khalid's original Greenstone Amulet), Spiders and Displacer Beasts are all done away with in short order.
We of course also save the entangled Druids (opting to help them), and Hubblepot puts the beatdown on a couple of Ogres, gaining the leadership of the tribe in the process. They'll help us later against the Crusade, which is good news!
The big deal with this area is, of course, gaining access to the underground river interior. There's a way to get the required Seal of Caelar (both to get past the Crusaders here and the ones guarding the courtyard at Dragonspear Castle) by either killing the traitor at the Coalition Camp or pickpocketing the Seal off him, but I forgot about it at the time, and it's too late now. So... Cyclop's gotta go.
We apply basic buffs, conjure a full complement of Skeleton Warriors, and go to work.
There's a fair few enemies converging on you once you start the fight. I counted 1x Cyclops, 4x Archers, 5x melee mooks, and another 4x Thieves that try to backstab you.
And, once we finished the first wave, another two Mages and four melee mooks teleported in! Shesh.
Glad we had Oracle handy.
Almost through. Once you open the gate, you've got about a dozen Crusaders (even mix of ranged and melee) to deal with. We're a bit banged up by now and so let the Skeleton Warriors do the heavy frontline lifting. To their credit the Crusaders eventually manage to wipe out our first wave, but we've got enough spell slots to summon a second. In the end, we of course triumph.
Hooray! The path to the underground river lies clear. We have a chat with Rigah and Julann, but they refuse to believe the Crusade's up to no good without proof. We shall procure such proof and return with it in due time, but for now, we retreat to the Coalition Camp to rest and heal.
Once rested, we swing by the courtyard at Dragonspear Castle (the Cyclops dropped the required Seal of Caelar) to do the quests available there. Beno recognizes Corwin and actually attacks, but all that comes of it is that a Crusader questions us afterwards and tells us to refrain from brawls in the courtyard from now on. We get a few really nice items: The Bloodied Guardian +2 which goes to Hubblepot, Corinth's Bow +2 which is a small upgrade for Corwin (Corinth/Corwin.. I see what you did there!), Ring of the Crusade and Pearly White Ioun Stone. The only real risk is pickpocketing the Token of Faith, but Glint pulled it off without issue after 5x Potions of Master Thievery and a Luck spell courtesy of Hubblepot. Good stuff!
We return to the Coalition Camp, and prepare our spells for the ordeal of navigating the Underground River. Onward!
As with most areas, there's tons of trash mobs here as well. The only ones of real concern are the groups of Myconids/Umber Hulks, as we still have no replenishable way to handle their Confusion. Instead we mainly rely on Khalid's surprisingly good saves, which works out alright. Otherwise, it's the same as always: A combination of crowd control, direct damage and summons carries us through.
We swing by the oozing Crusaders, agree to help, and trade the Myconid summoning sac to Ferrusk for a cure. And then promptly plant the magical acorn, causing Ferrusk to turn hostile and summon a fair few friends. Shambling Mounds, Dark Treants, Ankhegs (and an additional two such from his amulet.. he used a charge, the bastard!), and a single Gargantuan Spider. Said Spider manages to tangle Glint, but we were prepared: A swift Invisibility on the Gnome from the Gnome saves him. The Spider, Ferrusk (who wasted his one and only action summoning those two Ankhegs) and indeed all things evil soon fall.
Amidst all the encounters, Glint gets his final Thief level. He now has 100 Set Traps. I've made precisely zero use of them so far, but maybe we'll find occasion for them before the end. Detect Illusion would've probably been a wiser choice, but I've had some bad experience with it in the past... I just don't trust it to work over, say, Oracle or True Sight.
We push into Kanaglym, ignoring the warnings of the ghostly Dragon. I thought the undead mob to the east would be easy pickings, but I was denied: Lots of Skeleton Archers, several Shadowed Souls and a full-on Skeleton Warrior (really sucks fighting these when unprepared.. they always deal tons of damage before dropping). We take fairly massive damage and I was even worried Minsc might drop, but he survived.
Undead dealt with, we approach the Dark Cabal. Who really do not put up a great deal of resistance: Many of them seemed to spend their L4 spell slots on MGoI and Fire Shield: Red/Blue instead of Stoneskin. A questionable decision, to be sure. Kherriun did put up Stoneskin, but falls swiftly under concerted attacks.
Ah, time for the final charge of the Spectacles of Spectacle (we previously drew the Genie Merchant and the Tiefling that grants you Ring of the Tiny Fiend into the Prime): The Lich Zhadroth! Who is a proper Lich by the way, with 9th level spell slots and everything (at least he has Chain Contingency active).
However, it is hardly a coincidence that The Secret Revealed starts with three charges: You'll need one, possibly two if you don't run fast enough, to take down the Coldhearth Lich. Leaving at least one charge to take down a Lich you'd normally have no business fighting. Zhadroth falls, and yields two supremely powerful items: Ring of Regeneration and Robe of Arcane Aptitude (AC 5, Intelligence +1, Spell Sequencer 1/day).
Meaning we pretty much don't have to memorize any large-caliber healing spells anymore, and can also drop an instantaneous 3x Skull Trap should we so desire.
As we are attempting to leave, Eternal Watcher won't accept that we did infact slay the Lich, and attacks.
But he's just a melee brute. Completely harmless.
We proceed along the river. More trash to put do-
Holy Mackerels! This is what happens when you start to run on auto-pilot.
As you can tell, this was a large spawn of Red/Blue Myconids, a Shrieker, and two Umber Hulks.
I sent Khalid in first, with Minsc second (Khalid has good saves, and Minsc has the helmet that grants Confusion immunity). Of course, good saves will eventually fail, as they did here.
Corwin took a Confusion, as did Dynaheir, and Minsc got the Pacifier spores from the Blue Myconid (so short-duration Feeblemind). Hubblepot also got hit by several Confusion spores, but made his save each time.
This could've easily been our end: Confused Hubblepot next to confused Corwin? That would take about 1 round before the mighty Gnome threw in the towel. It didn't happen, but it could've. Phew.
Resolving to be more cautious, especially when dealing with Confusion-type effects, the party heads back east and then north. We enter the first cave, which is absolutely teeming with Undead.
But Hubblepot was careful, and made sure to protect Khalid against Level Drain. There are some 4x Wraiths, 2x Greater Shadows and a full dozen Shadows here, but.. they fail to land a single hit on Khalid. We of course prioritize the Wraiths, and all the Undead manage in return is a single Strength Drain on Minsc, which wears off rapidly. Much ado about nothing, I suppose.
We deliver the remains in here to the Fugue Plane, then head for the Blind Albino Wyrmlings. And have another near miss (not for Hubblepot himself, but still).
Apparently, these Blind Albino Wyrmlings have some sort of power that paralyzes on a failed save. And Khalid fails to save.
The last Wyrmling is stunned and Khalid is at 5 HP! Hooray! Or not. Apparently, not only does this power (Constrict, I believe it's called?) paralyze, but also deals a small amount of Piercing damage periodically.
Or maybe the Wyrmlings themselves induce the effect on hit. Regardless, Khalid takes 6 Piercing damage, and bites the dust. However, I'm not fuzzed: One more auto-hit by that Wyrmling would've likely meant a chunked Khalid. We trek back to the Camp and have Glint (now Cleric level 9) Raise Khalid. Close call indeed.
Further west! We stumble upon Strunk, tell him to stop being such a douche, and kill him before his defenses even fire. Since all Water Elementals survived, the Nereid rewards us with Purification Stone. This might be useful later on...
Again, Corwin's Charisma fails us, as we do not manage to sweet-talk our way past the Crusaders guarding the entrance into the Warrens. Leading to us having to do battle with 9 Crusaders (even mix, melee/ranged) and a reinforcing party including a Cleric and a Mage. But they do not even hit any of us once... they're probably a bit out-leveled by now, poor things.
And with that, the way to the Warrens is clear. On the way out, we present Julann with evidence of Hephernaan's wicked ways, and are rewarded with the Dragon Blade +3. Excellent! We have Sundermaul +3 for Hubblepot (I probably don't want him in melee with Big B, but if we must...) from the Fledgling Vampire's crypt way back, and we'll pick up Tongue of Acid +3 on our way to the final showdown. Add in 80x Void-Tipped Arrows and 20x Arrows +3 for Corwin, and I'm liking our odds for actually doing damage during the final battle. But I am getting ahead of myself.
Next, we'll go after Hephernaan, and (so Hubblepot has scryed) probably have to defend against a concerted Crusade attack. The party is well-prepared for such eventualities, having loyal allies at the ready.
Hubblepot is now a level 9/9 Gnome Cleric/Illusionist.
My solo no reload Jester crept deep into the Cloakwood Mines to hunt down Davaeorn. The battle with Drasus used all 7 healing potions, so I entered the battle with only 20hp and no way of gaining more without risking a guard battle that could easily kill me.
Knowing there were several lethal traps in the way and no way of eliminating them, I SPRINTED into the room and ducked into a nearby library. Spling Sprang Glung! The traps set off, but they all missed me! In fact, a skull trap deployed but did not spring, thus leaving me a potential weapon against my foe.
This put me in a great position...the battle horrors did not notice my arrival due to leftover invisibility, so with great care I could target Davaeorn without alerting them.
I drank a potion of magic blocking, and began to kite my enemy all over his lair (far from the Battle Horrors' dead eyes). My plan seemed like it had worked when Davaeorn ran at me, swinging his quarterstaff and indicating that his spellbook was finally blank. Though he was rife with mirror images, I knew that I had a chance to destroy him with a series of lucky blows with my Short Sword +1. He couldn't possibly be an adept martial artist. However, his first strike was critical, reducing me to a single, solitary HP!
At this point, I was relatively sure my quest was over. The weakest strike from his staff would kill me, meaning I could not risk going toe-to-toe. My throwing axes would be useless thanks to his protection spells. I searched through my backpack for the 95th time, looking for something, anything to help me. What's this? a potion of firebreath? I used it instantly, and was crestfallen to see that it damaged him only slightly, and his mirror images still remained. After another 10 minutes of fleeing my opponent and brainstorming ideas, I checked my backpack *again*. And realized that I had an ace in the hole long ago. MY CAT!
I released my cat familiar and sent it to attack the wizard. A single strike from his oaken shaft nearly killed my kitten, but it clung to life. We began to attack him in concert, each retreating when his attention was focused on our frail, battered bodies. For ages we assaulted the mage, distracting him enough to keep his staff dormant and occasionally taking out his mirror images. He must have attempted to strike us hundreds of times, but Tymora smiled on us and he hit nothing but air. At last, a critical strike slew the mage! I hugged and petted my cat thoroughly
I didn't have much work to do today and got a bit carried away with playing BG. That was partly because I found, not for the first time, no logical place to break the run in chapter 2 of BG2. As a result I think I've made too much progress to continue with the verses I was using in BGEE and SoD . Instead here's a brief summary of the order of things tackled so far (I'm currently sitting outside Spellhold):
Copper Coronet - level 11
Docks - armor
Skinner quest - 12
WK floor 1 - 13
Mae'Var tasks - 14
Liches - 17
Planar Prison - 18
Planar Sphere - 28, 29
Berserk warrior (using Vhailor's Helm for only time to date)
Paid Gaelan Bayle - 30
Itis - more helmetsPreviously
Landing in SoD via an imported Game or characther means that all containers are lost. I had planned this transition intensely, but was torn between gear for SoD or equipping for the last fight. I went for the first option, and Itis eyes are set for great progress in SoD.
The first dungeon is uneventfull. I was somewhat impaired when the FF healer got a bit carried away in melee - and died.
Protection from undead and the necklace of missiles paved the way.
In the city I got some money for the bag of holding, bought some potions and added to my helmet collection with the battle tankard + the spectacles (remembered them this time).
Outside the city some singing gave Itis her 9. Level, and the undead was squashed - proctected from the undead (2 scrolls for that). Another helmet in the bag.
At the dreaded temple of Bhall, Itis quaffed a potion of inv., storm giant str. and clarity - and rushed the temple. The guards main asset is their backstab. Which the barbarian lass’ immunity mitigated. Ziatar, The Neolithid and the priest all fell; and Itis closed the door on the aerial servants. She had bigger fish to fry.
At the fort Itis quickly suggested a surrender, and only had to worry about the bridge.
Fittingly the well healed her wounds and gave her the 10. Level courtesy of a dusty chicken.
At the camp Itis quickly got the ring of purity, belt of the skillfull blade and the commanders chain
with the battle tankard, Durlags goblet, Drizzt’s scimitars and some scrolls of restoration Itis end game gear is nearly there. We just need the Mordrons heart from the Rakhasa and the ring of the crusade from the crusaders... The helmet of opp. alignment and Mizhena will help me getting dressed.
The usual sort of carelessness proved costly in Spellhold. After passing through the first level without problems, I attacked the vampires in melee thinking the Slayer form would protect me - but one of them hit and drained me in the midst of change.
Tails Four starts as a Dragon Disciple. I had good hopes with her because I do not need the extra spell slots, but I do need to be able to absorb a lot of fire damage and any bit of extra AC does help in this mod.
Con-19 is with an expectation to get regeneration, which even if slow may help in the long run. Dex 18 and Wisdom 18 are a necessity for AC and wish. I pick staff but I will not use it much in the early game anyway.
The adventure starts as normal but instead of going out of the city I choose to stay within and do some smaller quests until I get to improved content. I recruit Minsc (Barbarian), Korgan (Berzerker), Nalia (T/M), Jaheira (Avenger) and Hexxat (T). I plan to use Hexxat early game to get the nice stunning dagger and some other EE loot that might be along the way. Jaheira would be kept until after her personal quest and then potentially replaced with Cernd but I am undecided about that for now.
The first content I get across is Suna Seni. Korgan and Minsc are already injured from some fights, so the fight did catch me at an unexpected time, eventhough I knew it was coming.
I spread out the party (Tails drinks a haste), rage both Minsc and Korgan and spawn a few webs. Jaheira gets confused by the mage and we get a few nice spells and potions off (such as Jaheira with her new kit summon, Nalia doing a firebreath (I think, could have been the wand of fire with 1 usage from the chateau), and then EVERYONE DIES (almost)! Well, that is not good. I blind the cleric and run around Eldarin while Nalia summons an Air elemental (from the scroll in the chateau). Then I start to whittle the opponents down with any potion and spell scroll I have left (hurray for random loot). I end up victorious but having to carry everything useful between Nalia and Tails. Luckily we have a strength scroll available.........
Next up Tails and co are strong enough to handle the Skinner quest. It has an added undead creature with large regeneration. The grotesque creature, as it is called, is taken care of by the party. The ray of enfeeblement made it slightly easier for the party.
We start Jaheiras quest and make sure she gets her revenge. Feels good when they get the final hit.
Then we go for Hexxats quest. Dragomir is easily done for, I remember it being more difficult than this. The real slim Hexxat appears and we keep her part of the group because that coffin is very useful to store goodies in.
I am not sure how this is possible, but Renfields encounter was in the city itself. I always remember it triggering when leaving the city, but oh well... we make it through. Then we continue Jaheiras plot with little issues.
Afterwards we wrap up ends at the docks, where Mae'Var (whose tiny quests we did along the way) proves a bit troublesome. We manage to get acid onto the priest making it slightly easier, but Mae'Var still gets a few nasty backstabs against our tanks. Even Korgan with -8 AC is killed (though the killing blow was a normal attack). Tails finishes Mae'Var with fire arrow and then we decline the stronghold (too much aftercare for no bonuses. I think the sword of backstabbing is nicer to have as a +3 weapon at this point in time).
Then the demise. We start Korgans quest and enter the crypts. Several unique IA spiders appear, among other a killer spider, a spirit spider, two mutated spiders and 2 vortex spiders. I think the last ones are only upgraded to cast slow. The rest are severely buffed critters. Here I made the mistake to underestimate the mutated spiders. They are the smaller ones, so I thought they would be easier, and I focused on the spirit spider and killer spider, both are very nasty if left alive for too long since they hit hard and can hold opponents. However, little did I realise that it was the mutated spider that was buffed even more extremely. This I definately do not remember. With soo little melee power, it was a lost battle before it started. And although all other spiders were easily killed, the mutated spiders were too quick to run away from. I gave up after seeing everything fail and I will replan my game. Tails is dead-(re)tired at level 10.
I also need to get more time at home. This took me ~2 months to get to but of course I did need to run from A to B and postpone many fights I would normally do in vanilla.
If Ashatiel's duel is violated, then you have to kill everyone on the crusaders' side in order to advance any further. Be careful about the named goons in the northern part of the battleground, they're quite strong and they have a thief that can backstab for serious damage.
Hard luck, man. I know how insidious Level Drain can be when you're faced with save-or-else spells you could normally just ignore.
Spaz III the Warlock!BG1: 0.5, 1, 2, 3
BG2: 1, 2
We're going around to visit all the big bad evil guys around Athkatla to show them this is our city now.
The Boots of Speed are now mine. The rest of the rabble is dealt with, though Yuan-ti mages are still very annoying with their contingencies and Teleport Field, but Devouring their magic a few times opens them up for a flaming sword through their gullets. I use a Vitriolic Hideous Blow on my sword and challenge the warden. He throws up all of his buffs, but I tear them all down with Devour Magic and stomp him.
Next is the Elemental Lich. One scroll of PfU and some Vitriolic Blasts put him down.
I sell the loot from the planar prison and buy the Shield of Automatic Wins vs. Beholders. Time to take on the Twisted Rune. I use a Knock scroll to open the door and escape through before the Cowled Wizards can get me. I use another PfU scroll on myself. Shangalar is immune to all of my blasts, so I just pelt him to death with my sling. After he falls, I back off and pull Revanek and kill him. Next I equip the Cheese Shield and Vaxall has me assist in his suicide.
Layenne's magic is devoured and her staff is now mine. Shyressa put up no resistance.
Next up is Kangaxx. I use another Knock scroll to open his door and destroy the Cowled Wizards that come. Before starting the fight with Kangaxx, I use yet another PfU scroll on myself. He summons several Mordy Swords to deal with me, but I destroy them outright with Utterdark Blast, as Mordy Swords are weak to magic damage AND level drain.
He calls upon a fallen planetar next. I'll show this one what for. I try kiting it with Vitriolic Blasts, but it just regenerates too fast and it casts Insect Plague at me. I reach into my scroll case and pull out a scroll of SI:Conjuration that I stole from the cutpurse.
Next I use Spell Trap from the Staff of the Magi and a scroll of Improved Haste, then I start wailing on the Fallen Planetar with the Cast n' Attack strategy. We trade blows for a few rounds, but I come out on top.
I devour Kangaxx's magic and finish off his lich form.
I give Demigaxx a tap with my sword and he throws up a bunch of buffs. He's got SI:Abjuration and SI:Divination up so neither Devour Magic nor See the Unseen will reveal him from his Improved Invis. So I use Call Fiend to bait him out. It works.
Kangaxx traps the souls of both outsiders. I'm careful to avoid any self-targeted Remove Magic spells that Demigaxx throws and I start beating him up. The Hellfire blade finishes him off.
I rest, then buff again to take on the Cowled Bastards' special forces.
I kill one of the wizards instantly with Vitriolic Blast. Zallanora is obviously the strongest of them all (thanks to Shoon VII) and she gates in a Fallen Planetar and stops time.
If it were just Zallanora alone, I could kill the planetar and then take her on. But I retreat to the Shadow Thief HQ and wait out the planetar's improved invis. Once it's gone, I go back outside and try to find it, but it must have been unsummoned. Back near Mae'Var's guild hall, Zallanora casts Improved Alacrity and tries stopping time again, but I equip the Staff of the Magi to negate it. I keep forgetting I can do that now.
I hit her during the Time Stop which dispels all of her buffs. I finish her off while time is still stopped, then kill a skeleton warrior and a vampire from one of the shadow thief/vampire encounters. The last mage's magic is devoured and I kill him too. No more fun police in Athkatla.
One more lich at the city gates. I use another Knock scroll to enter. I start with Vitriolic Blast but the lich responds with a Time Stop WIsh. The lich tries throwing 4 Remove Magics at me in a desperate attempt to remove my buffs. All of them fail.
It throws up PfMW during the Time Stop, then stops time again before my aura has been cleansed. Its spells are fruitless again and after time resumes, I devour its magic and kill it in one hit with a critical and a previously-cast Vitriolic Hideous Blow. Its Mordy Swords are both destroyed with Utterdark Chain.
Spaz III - Warlock 37
The run was pretty standard solo no-reload fare. This won't be as in-depth as most runs, but I'll explain the mechanics.
Poppy the Druid/Mage: Solo No-Reload SCS+Ascension Run with Faith and PowersPart 1: Baldur's Gate
Our Charname this time is Poppy. Due to installation issues, we need to use EEKeeper to fix things up, and we also have to voluntarily restrict ourselves from abusing certain things (we erroneously can use cleric spells and cleric items, but we won't), but Poppy is a Priest of Sylvanus/Illusionist from Faith and Powers--a Druid/Mage. She looks just like a Cleric/Illusionist because of quirks with my install and so forth (the WeiDU log is attached).
Unlike druids, we can use bows, but cannot use scimitars. As discussed previously, we lose Armor of Faith, Death Ward, Conjure Fire Elemental, Nature's Beauty, and almost all druid HLAs. We gain Sunscorch, Icelance, Cone of Cold, Sanctuary, Command, and a few unique HLAs, and some spells at at non-standard spell levels.
The early game is simple: kill Algernon, use his cloak to charm Silke and kill the spiders while softening her up. We get lucky numbers and she has low enough HP to die to Sunscorch.
Algernon's Cloak also kills Tarnesh via the local guards. For resources, we grab the Ring of Wizardry, donate the right amount of gold to maximize reputation, and go kill some Ankhegs with the use of our Spirit Wolf, a variant of the Totemic Druid kind.
We kill Dushai for the Ring of Free Action, and to my relief, our simplified EET install makes Dushai a pushover (in other installs, she has mage spells and hits pretty hard). We also use Blindness to help bring down the Sirines after luring them out of the Beregost temple with Algernon's Cloak.
Sell Ankheg shells for gold (we have to abuse the quick-loot feature to move them efficiently). Grab Potions of Genius from the Friendly Arm Inn temple to scribe scrolls from Thalantyr, and then off to Mutamin's Garden to go basilisk hunting. I didn't originally plan on doing the basilisk XP loop, but I decide to go ahead and do it when I accidentally buy Stone to Flesh scrolls.
We now have level 3 spells. Grab the Wands of Fire and Monster Summoning from the Ankheg nest and the undead area southeast of Nashkel, then sneak through the Nashkel mines with Invisibility. Then charm Mulahey with Algernon's Cloak and order him to attack the nearby kobolds and then let them kill him.
We kill Tranzig with the Moonblade spell (100% spell failure on hit, but no THAC0 bonus and doesn't bypass MGOI, which thankfully he doesn't have), kite Meilum and Tazok, and then use Potions of Absorption and Invisibility to snag the documents from the bandit camp without a fight.
Sneak through the Cloakwood with Invisibility, timing the spells to make sure we don't arrive in the spider area still visible (it's a long transition, so resting before you make the trip to get your Invisibility spell back is generally not the best move). Then use Invisibility to charm everyone in the Drasus party except Drasus himself and send Kysus and Genthore to die against the nearby hostile guards.
I try to turn Rezdan against Drasus, but both of them go hostile. In the end, Darts of Stunning kill Rezdan and the Wand of Monster Summoning kills Drasus.
Sneak through the Cloakwood mines with Invisibility and proceed straight to Davaeorn; no one else needs to die. Our summons can't deal with the Battle Horrors, so we use the level 4 Spike Stones spell to deal damage over time.
I assume that Davaeorn in EE v2.5 won't fall for the normal "charm the Guard and make him kill Davaeorn for you" trick, so I bomb him from afar and then use switch between summoning critters and going invisible, which is pretty easy because we have Sanctuary spells at level 2.
We drain many spells out of him, but lose our buffs to Remove Magic, forcing us to drink a Potion of Magic Blocking to ensure we don't get bombed and using the Boots of Avoidance to minimize hits from enemy arrows. Then Arrows of Biting.
We torch Ragefast with the Wand of Fire, but he wanders too far away and we accidentally kill Abela the Nymph, which apparently means Ramazith doesn't show up. We still loot his tower, then hike around the Sword Coast grabbing resources from Bassilus and the flesh golem cave and so forth. We use a Wand of Frost to kill the doppelgangers at the Seven Suns, decline to hunt the ogre mage in the sewers, and steal the Iron Throne's documents under Sanctuary. A Potion of Invisibility saves us from the ogre magi at Candlekeep.
With our higher-level spells and well-charged wands, a lot of fights are just not that complicated anymore.
Back at Baldur's Gate, we use Detect Invisibility, the Ring of Invisibility, and Algernon's Cloak and the Nymph Cloak (both are once-per-day items in my install) to charm both of the Shennara clones (which takes many tries) who I think are only supposed to appear in the fight with Zhalimar Cloudwulfe and so forth, earlier on. Either way, Cythandria doesn't react to them very quickly, allowing us to backstab her and then finish her off with the Wand of Fire.
Charm Quenash in the Undercellar, send her to die against Slythe, distract Slythe with Wand of Monster Summoning, and kill him with Arrows of Dispelling followed by Wand of Paralyzation charges. We do the same to Kristin, though she requires more Arrows of Dispelling and some spell defenses to deal with.
Charm Ithtyl, use Greater Malison and Chaos to disable the doppelgangers, and use Arrows of Dispelling on the spellcasters.
I thought v2.5 was supposed to make Liia Jannath cast her pre-buffs, but she didn't.
We go to Ulcaster for more loot, using Sanctuary to get a feel for the timing of Ulcaster wolf's Remove Magic howls to make sure we always have Resist Fear active. Wands of Fire do the heavy lifting.
We do more chores for loot to maximize our resources for the final fight and SoD, then use Invisibility, Protection from Fire, and Protection from Lightning to slip through the maze to the Undercity. We use Invisibility and the charm cloaks to borrow Carston, Gorf, and Haseo from the Undercity party and use them in the final fight.
It takes ages to get all of them, though; their saving throws aren't bad.
The final fight starts out normal: luring Sarevok to the southeast corner and hiding with a Potion of Invisibility, waiting for the others to leave Angelo behind, and then baiting Angelo with the Wand of Monster Summoning. Fun fact: Angelo can attack you through invisibility due to a scripting error.
I land a lucky critical hit with an Arrow of Dispelling and the Undercity party grunts pulverize Angelo and his Skeleton Warrior. Then we bomb the crap out of Tazok, Semaj, and Diarmid after waiting for Diarmid's Protection from Magic scroll to wear off.
The Undercity party members are still not strong enough to take down Sarevok, so we end up using the Wand of Monster Summoning. The game stalls after we kill him, though.
We have to use the console to enter SoD and use EEKeeper to fix our inventory when we lose all our gear due to SoD starting in a non-standard way for EET. Here's our stuff at the end of BG1. Notice we have a medium shield equipped--technically, a Druid/Mage should probably be limited to bucklers, but I was already well into the game by the time I realized this.
Overall, BG1 was just a mage run with a few extra features. Cloaks, wands, and the Invisibility spell.
Lunkh (human male Inquisitor, Gate70); Sparky (gnome female Cleric of Talos, Grond0)
The back rooms of the Copper Coronet could be trouble but Lunkh pushes through quickly and Sparky keeps pace to prevent any mishaps. Then we set off to track down ambushers, relieving Suna Seni of her shortsword and returning Renfeld to the building requisitioned by Harpers. Then it's off to measure ourselves against Watchers Keep - telling Odren to mind his own business but rapidly deciding he is right and that we will return another day.
After that we pick up tasks for the thieves and head over to the Temple district. Once we agree to help track down a cult in the sewers we are able to pick up a necklace from the temple of Talos, and while here we drop into the sewers to aid a merchant and pick up a stinky cloak.
Last BG1EE update found here
SoD updates: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
So, we head into the Warrens, looting almost everything on the way (there was a locked chest next to a Crusader Commander I wasn't sure if we could loot without consequences, so I left it). There's really nothing remarkable here though, all garbage to sell. We also find Glint's final relative, Rhonda, so that's nice (Rhonda talking the Ogres into letting us up the lift).
While here, we set Slug free, who in turn reveals the location of a nice Flail +2 (which we don't really need) and some Potions in the Underground River interior map. If you talk to Slug again back at the Ogre Camp (and we do), he gives you something far more valuable: A Ring of Fire Resistance (+40% Fire Resistance). Excellent!
Off to the basement. We are challenged and inevitably attacked by Belben, but a simple 2x Web Minor Sequencer spells the demise of him and his hopeless cronies (Minsc blunders into the Webs but survives). Amazingly, this battle does not alert the fourteen or so Crusaders bundled together in a room to the northeast.
So, once you go after Hephernaan (who has two fairly high-level Mage bodyguards) the aforementioned fourteen Crusaders as well as two Stone Golems come after you. We prepare for this with the customary Animate Dead spam, which was a fair way to go about it. What was less fair was my decision to keep all three casters battling the Crusaders, while Minsc/Khalid/Corwin tried to kill the Mages (Hephernaan teleports away as soon as you injure him).
Of course, it takes a while for three fighter-types to cut through the defenses of two Mages.
Likewise, even though we make good headway in killing the Crusaders with our casters, they start to spawn in endless reinforcements. Once the two Mages drop, we're already closing on being overwhelmed by reinforcements. Glint hops into Hephernaan's chambers and detraps/loots the chests there (I make no apologies for this: The loot here is quite exquisite) while Minsc/Khalid/Corwin join the fray outside.
We even speak to and free what's-his-face, the ghost of the Dwarf that used to ride the dragon Halatathlaer. In return, he reveals the location of his Full Plate Mail +1 with 40% fire resistance. Very, very nice.. that'll be useful later on, so we snag it on the way out.
We pop Hubblepot's 2x Web Minor Sequencer, holding the spawning Crusaders at bay, and rush for the exit. Unfortunately, a Crusader Mage has teleported in with MGoI up. And... he lands an Emotion.
That Emotion actually hit both Khalid and Hubblepot as well, but by some minor miracle, both made their saves, while Dynaheir did not. Dynaheir is sort of safe for now since the Crusaders for some reason won't target her even though they dispelled her Invisibility (guess they don't go after unconscious enemies first?), but we can't leave while she's knocked out, and we can't head back to a better defensive position (if there's nothing else in sight, the Crusaders will certainly kill her). So, we have to hold. Damnit Hubblepot, why must you be so brave?!
So, we hold. For what feels like a very long time, resources draining at an alarming rate. Eventually a squad of elite named Crusaders teleports in, and we employ our final trick: A Spell Sequencer (remember, we have Robe of Arcane Aptitude) from Hubblepot with Slow/Greater Malison/Emotion. This actually works, as it knocks out about half of the named Crusaders. And finally, finally, Dynaheir comes to!
Alright, just go! It doesn't have to be pretty, it doesn't have to look courageous, it just has to work! Go, go, GO! The party scrambles for the lift under Invisibility potions, and makes it! Huzzah! There are almost no casters in the Warrens, so Invisibility allows us to sneak by without a fight. I was expecting having to fight Ladle and his crew, but nope: There's a small party of Crusaders including a Mage and a Cleric in the cave with the Sauhagin, and they do dispel our Invisibility (forcing us to slay them), but the big group of Crusaders near the entrance never turn hostile. We made it out! Hooray!
At one point there things were looking very dire. There were well over 20 Crusaders on the field, several of whom were Mages, and Dynaheir just wouldn't wake up. I even considered force-attacking and killing her with our own party, and then just gather her equipment up and run... but I was afraid we (or a meddling Crusader) would end up chunking her. If I could do it over, I'd still have a wall of Skeleton Warriors to hold off the reinforcements, but I'd let Dynaheir handle the battle against them alone (MMM to quickly kill the Stone Golems, and a slightly cheap 3x Skull Trap Spell Sequencer to kill off the initial Crusaders).
Everyone else could then swiftly dispatch the enemy Mages in Hephernaan's room, and we would be out and gone before anyone were the wiser. Anyway, we lived, so... great success!
Upon returning to the Coalition Camp, we are informed that negotiations are taking place at Dead Man's Pass. A great deal of resting and Sequencering later, we join in. Of course, negotiations break down, and we must defend the camp!
The Dwarves of Dumathoin dutifully join us, though they will turn out to be largely unnecessary.
The first wave consists of Trolls, Ogres, a few Crusaders and two Ogre Mages. We elect to bring the Archers with Fire Arrows, and handily beat them: Once you take out the Ogre Mages, the rest are just melee grunts with no on-hit effects.
Next up, Crusader Mages, against which we bring Wizard Slayers. Being Mages, they are by far the most difficult (the leader keeps Fireballing our backrow), but we prepared True Sight/Breach/Spell Thrust, and so emerge victorious! Hubblepot makes good use of a 3x Animate Dead Spell Sequencer: An instant wall of summons that are immune to Enchantment spells is not a bad thing when facing off against nine enemy Mages.
Finally, we fight Crusader melee mooks and a whole heap of their Clerics (including two significantly higher-level Battle Clerics). We bring Warmages, but Hubblepot and Dynaheir absolutely destroy the enemy group on their own: We had several Skeleton Warriors still alive from before, and they buy us the time to get Greater Malison/Slow/Chaos off the ground (Chaos in particular being devastating).
Just the final group left. Brother Deepvein and the Coalition Spies join us as we press north.
Grimgor's Mage allies (he seems to have two: One pure Mage, one a multi-class Fighter/Mage) fall surprisingly swiftly. We then apply, in order, Greater Malison, Silence 15' Radius, Breach, and death to Grimgor.
Piercer of Boils gets a Call Lightning off on Khalid, but with his Boots of Grounding and Helmet of Defense, the Half-Elf takes only around 15 damage.
The camp is safe! Hooray! Time to press on towards Dragonspear Castle!
Again, we rest up thoroughly before doing so.
Upon arrival, we opt to detonate the Barrel of Bwoosh! cunningly placed previously.
With the path to the courtyard clear, we let the Coalition forces rush on ahead, and follow once a few basic buffs are applied. There's really not much tactics to this battle: Bomb everything about sums it up. We clear the courtyard thusly.
With the courtyard all but empty, we are directed to the north, where Ashatiel intercepts and challenges mighty Hubblepot to a duel! So be it. Hubblepot came prepared, and has a varied selection of offensive/defensive spells available for engaging a single enemy.
Now... Hubblepot starts by applying SI: Abjuration. Ashatiel, not overly bothered by this, still Breaches all of Hubblepot's previously applied defenses. So, we do a bit of back and forth. Ashatiel starts gaining the upper hand when, despite Minor Spell Turning being up, she hits us twice with Flame Arrow. No idea how that happened... and for all her talk of not hiding like a coward, she casts Sanctuary twice (hiding like a coward) and heals up.
Hubblepot eventually is fed up, summons two Skeleton Warriors and pops his Spell Sequencer for another three. I was worried about this counting as violating the weird rules of the duel, but at this stage, I was past caring, and so was Hubblepot. The cheating, buggy Ashatiel falls.
With that, most of the Crusaders flee. There are a few tougher mooks to the north, but we deal with them (most enemies still lack a response to 2x Web), and move into the Castle proper.
We rest, apply Sequencers, and rest again. There is an ill omen in the air.. the stench of infernal magics, wafting from the basement, is palpable. Whatever lies beyond, Hubblepot shall need every ounce of his strength, wits and luck to overcome.
Hubblepot is now at the zenith of his power, being a L9/L10 Gnome Cleric/Illusionist.
Poppy the Druid/Mage: Solo No-Reload SCS+Ascension Run with Faith and PowersPart 2: Siege of Dragonspear
The starting dungeon of SoD can be very rough due to the tight spaces and the high probabilities of rest ambushes by large groups of lesser undead, but since we don't need the XP or the loot, we just use a Protection from Undead scroll to slip through the dungeon, tanking the traps with spell protections, and save our best spells for after we trigger the Dispel Magic trap right before Korlasz, who quickly falls to Arrows of Dispelling.
We grab the Spectacles of Spectacle and leave Baldur's Gate right after; we don't need any of the other special prizes from the city side quests. After scribing some new scrolls (I saved a lot of money by hoarding gear from BG1 rather than hoarding gold, which you lose after the starting dungeon), I safely kill the dwarves in the undead dungeon by luring packs of undead over to them. Notice the Mutated Crawlers dealing nonlethal damage due to a bug that apparently takes away their natural weapon.
The good path for this dungeon is to side with the dwarves and kill the lich using the Secret Revealed, but the powergaming option is to kill the dwarves, take their amulets, and recruit the lich instead, since it will get you a pack of very sturdy skeleton allies during the invasion of the Coalition Camp in the late game. They're much, much sturdier against the first wave, which features many trolls who use piercing damage and therefore deal half as much damage to the skeletons (the ogres use crushing weapons and therefore deal normal damage).
I can slip through this dungeon using a Protection from Undead scroll, but I've had problems with enemies following me in spite of it, and it's possible to get boxed in. So, I use wands to slay the undead. In my install, BG1 and SoD Wands of Lightning are the BG2 kind with its 6 different bolts, and unlike in vanilla BG2, these wands are fixed to deal half damage on a save instead of one-third.
This means that a single charge from a Wand of Lightning can deal 18d6 damage with a save for half, making it the highest-damage wand in the game. Even without using the Wand of Lightning trick, it's still very strong.
A combination of wands, Web, Emotion, and invisibility spells get us through most fights in this game. For some reason, the throwing dagger trick fails to kill Morentherene, but since v2.5 Protection from Poison scrolls finally grant 100% poison resistance, we can safely kite the dragon using wands. Ziatar dies to a single Wand of Lightning charge (if you fire a lightning bolt directly north or south, it will bounce repeatedly over the same spot).
The Neothelid proves frustratingly difficult to kill. It won't let a solo character attack it from range (it'll hide and burrow over to you if you ever get too far) and lightning bolts can completely miss a target if they're too close to you, but eventually, we burn enough charges to take it down, though we nearly die to its breath weapon before using a Protection from Poison scroll, and a stray lightning bolt kills the crusaders.
Chaos and Slow cripple Akanna. For Darskhelin, we set up a kill zone of Web, Spike Growth, and Spike Stones spells. The latter bypasses MR, so even the mind flayer takes heavy damage, and the other enemies die while trying to approach us.
We grab the Void-tipped Arrows (which we'll need for Belhifet) from beneath Bridgefort, then win the fight against the crusaders by spamming Wand of Monster Summoning charges and firing off a stream of disablers and Fireballs.
It takes some luck and a few rounds, but we kill the mage on the bridge itself using Arrows of Dispelling and Acid Arrows.
At the Coalition Camp, we bring Nazramu into the Material Plane using the Spectacles of Spectacle, then sell off all of our loose gear to take advantage of his incredible prices (Potions of Persuasion help get us to 20 Charisma). We buy all his special equipment, get some new fully-charged wands, and stop by Dragonspear Castle just long enough to persuade the crusaders to kill Corinth so we can grab Corinth's Bow, which deals +4 damage (!) and has +3 to hit.
We talk to some folks at the camp to get the Medal of Valor (+2 to THAC0, and very important for Belhifet), then use our seal to get past the guards at the Underground River tunnels. We kill Strunk with Arrows of Dispelling and Acid Arrows, then use Sanctuary and Invisibility to poison the crusader supplies and avoid combat with Hephernaan. We get the Crown of Lies and a Spell Immunity scroll from the chests at the top, but we have to drink 2 Potions of Magic Protection to ensure that we don't die to the Maze trap (Minor Spell Deflection won't block level 8 spells). We sneak out with Invisibility and an Oil of Speed.
Next up is the Coalition Camp invasion. The skeleton allies from the lich make spectacular tanks against the trolls of the first wave; the mages of the second wave fall to Arrows of Dispelling and Acid Arrows; we disable the clerics of the third wave with multiple pre-cast Web spells; and the final wave is a guaranteed win as long as you keep one of two named allies alive, as they become immortal once the final wave arrives (we still pitch in with disablers and arrows).
The siege of Dragonspear Castle is simple. Since we poisoned the supplies and placed the Barrel of Bwoosh, the numbers are already in our favor, and being able to spam area-effect damage spells, disablers, and summoned critters only makes things smoother. We agree to Ashatiel's duel and use a Wand of Frost to get past her Sanctuary.
Here's what Poppy looks like right before Belhifet.
We buff with tons of potions and spells and let Caelar join us. Since Caelar actually joins the party by default if you have fewer than 6 party members, I let her do this, but since this is a solo run, I can't give her potions or orders; she has to operate strictly through her own AI (her behavior is the same as if she didn't join the party, but still sided with us). While Belhifet is still visible, we use Lower Resistance spells on him and tack on damage using Void-Tipped Arrows in between spells, making sure we have all our THAC0-boosting items equipped whenever we make an attack roll. Once his MR is down, we nail him with Wand of Lightning charges, though we have to make sure we're a short distance away when we do so, or else the lightning bolts will go right past him.
Lower Resistance only lasts so long, and we lose time because we have to fix our positioning to avoid taking damage, but our luck isn't bad and we make a lot of progress with arrows. We don't even use all of our Void-Tipped Arrows before Belhifet falls.
I smuggle our gear into a chest in the Dragonspear Castle basement before ascending the stairs so I can collect it at the start of SoA, which will save a lot of time on resource management.
Poppy the Druid/Mage: Solo No-Reload SCS+Ascension Run with Faith and PowersPart 3: Shadows of Amn
Due to being mysteriously fatigued when we arrive in Chateau Irenicus, luck penalties make us take 60 damage from a trap, almost killing us. But without Imoen in the party, we can rest however many times we like, and our Spirit Wolf is now immune to normal weapons and therefore nearly all enemies in the starting dungeon and much of early SoA.
We retrieve our equipment from SoD, but I decide not to use any of our wands, since they'd trivialize things and I've already used enough wand charges to be bored of them. We sell off a bunch of stuff, buy all the scrolls and SoA gear we want early, and rely on our mage spells to deal with early game quests: the slaver questline, Mae'Var, Trademeet, and the Umar Hills, where I discover that you can actually just bomb the Killer Mimic without it even attacking you.
Due to our high XP and our SCS install options, we get two liches in the Temple Ruins, but we just run past them using Protection from Undead. We slay the Shade Lord with Fireballs and normal arrows made magical by Enchanted Weapon.
At the Windspear Hills, we kill the Ruhk Transmuter over the course of many, many rounds by baiting out his spells with weak summons and invisibility spells before sending Earth Elementals after him. Enchanted Weapon lets us kill the golems; we avoid the vampire spawns by walking southeast around the spawn trigger in the hallway; we wreck Samia's party with disablers and normal arrows on Kaol; we kill the Greater Wolfweres by hitting them with Lower Resistance, Greater Malison, and Emotion; and through good luck and Greater Malison, Conster fails his save against both Chaos and Emotion (six screenshots below).
We proceed with the main quest and get our first HLA: Foresight, from Faith and Powers, which grants undispellable +15 to AC and saving throws for 20 rounds, making us immune to disablers besides Maze (we need Chaotic Commands for that one) and extremely difficult to hit.
We side with Bodhi, since I'm more used to fighting thieves than vampires. The Shadow Thief Mages give us lots of trouble because they cast Death Spell on our summons and use magic attacks to remove Poppy's defenses (and even with Foresight, I can't get Breached, because a critical hit backstab could still do massive damage if I don't have Stoneskin up). In the end, I have to spend many rounds countering their spells before their Mantle spells wear off and I can kill them with arrows.
I get a new HLA: Animal Horde, which summons at least 8 animals (with magical attacks!) over 5 rounds, bypassing the summoning cap. I discover that the summons are actually permanent, and a bug teleports them to Aran Linvail when I return to his lair, which lets us drain his mage friend's buffs. Aran fails a save against Chaos, dooming him.
Perth the Adept ends up never casting Summon Fallen Planetar, so we just throw summons from Animal Horde at him until he dies. Animal Horde also eventually wins us a long fight against the Yuan-ti Mages in the Spellhold maze, and we take down the lich just by maintaining our defenses and running around until the lich's PFMW spells ran out (he never did summon a planetar, even though I'm pretty sure I enabled all SoA spellcasters to use HLAs, which I always do).
We use Darts +5 from the Cloak of Stars to get past Irenicus' Improved Mantle, and somehow deal fire damage through his Stoneskin, as if we were using Minute Meteors, costing him an alteration spell.
I don't know how this happened, but it buys us enough time to get through his Stoneskins with our darts.
A new HLA gives us +1 to casting time, a visit to City Sushi gives us the Cloak of Mirroring, and selling off a bunch of loot to the Sahuagin Priestess in the far northwest gets us a lot of gold we don't need.
We now can conjure a Project Image clone that can conjure its own Simulacrum clone, and all of our clones can use our special HLAs, which means a single level 7 spell slot buys us two Animal Horde spells, enough to wipe out the Underdark main area aside from the Balor, who falls to Enchanted Weapon-boosted Darts of Stunning.
Demons have no immunity to stun, and Enchanted Weapon lets any weapon strike as +3, enough to hit Balors and such.
Here we are midway through the Underdark.
We stomp essentially everything in the Ust Natha questline using Animal Horde, and use our newly-bought Firetooth +3 dagger and Draw Upon Holy Might (a level 3 spell for Priests of Sylvanus in Faith and Powers) to kill the Egg Guards. We don't mess with the beholder hive or mind flayer city.
Sunray and Protection from Undead bring down the vampires, and Firetooth, DUHM, and Improved Haste are enough to slay Bodhi.
We get a new HLA in Suldannessellar: Nature's Wrath, an area-effect damage-over-time spell that deals acid and poison damage and inflicts Slow. Most of the spell bypasses magic resistance and offers no saving throw, so it makes it very easy to kill Ramilaat. Everything else in Suldannessellar falls to Animal Horde.
We hit mage level 18 and pick Improved Alacrity. With the Robe of Vecna, the Amulet of Power, the Wizzard Hat from SoD, and our HLA from Faith and Powers, we have a casting time bonus of -7, where most mages could only achieve -5. This lets our Project Image clones cast Pierce Shield with a casting time of 1, quickly lowering Nizidramanii'yt's MR, and since our druid levels give us numerous low-level damage spells, we can wipe out Nizidramanii'yt with a single Project Image spell.
We summon Rillifane rather than fight Suneer and use Nature's Wrath to disrupt Irenicus' spells.
Irenicus can't get a single spell off the ground. For the final fight, we summon a bunch of animals via Animal Horde (I could carpet the entire map if I wanted, but I settle for just a few hordes) and throw out several Nature's Wrath spells to deal damage to Irenicus the Slayer during the cutscene. He loses his first spell and is already at Badly Injured, though we can't finish him off while his buffs remain active. Instead, we focus on dealing damage to the other demons, and Poppy casts PFMW whenever Irenicus begins casting an alteration spell (invisibility should also work, but I don't want to take chances).
Our horde gradually thins, but we can bring out more critters by running away and summoning more clones to re-cast Animal Horde. We kill the Fallen Planetar during Time Stop, then hit Irenicus with an Arrow of Dispelling when his PFMW runs out, taking away his Stoneskin. Finally, we re-cast Time Stop and finish off Irenicus by dual-wielding Firetooth and Gnasher under Improved Haste and DUHM.
This was a fairly typical SoA run for me: buff with Chaotic Commands, spell protections, and Stoneskin; kill early game enemies with spell damage; and play wizard chess to outlast mages, with some unique strategies for certain enemies, like my typical Darts of Stunning against the Underdark Balor. One of the few differences in this run was that I didn't use a Protection from Magic scroll on Irenicus.
Poppy the Druid/Mage: Solo No-Reload SCS+Ascension Run with Faith and PowersPart 4: Throne of Bhaal (first half)
Illasera loses her first spell to a pre-cast Nature's Wrath spell, she can't hit us with arrows thanks to the Shield of Reflection, and with our casting time bonus of -7, we can quickly cast Time Stop to deal damage with our typical combination of Improved Haste, DUHM, Firetooth +3, and Gnasher.
Animal Horde smashes most of the enemies in the first trial, and Nature's Wrath frustrates Irenicus' spellcasting in the final phase. We can't stop all of his spells, but he doesn't use anything game-changing like Time Stop or HLAs. We slay Bodhi with Firetooth (at range so we don't have to worry about CON drain) while waiting for Irenicus' PFMW to wear off, and then the fight is won.
Nature's Wrath cripples basically any mage, and our Animal Horde spells and Firetooth let us deal damage to grunts. I get a quick kill on Gromnir by using mind flayer form during Time Stop (I make sure to enter the area under Sanctuary so no one disrupts my first spell).
Fire Giants are tough, but a Project Image clone can deal massive damage with Improved Alacrity and our many level 4 Cone of Cold spells (nerfed to deal 10d4+10 damage at max instead of 15d4+15). Nature's Beauty locks down the Fire Liches, and Poppy kills the Burning Men during Time Stop to make sure they don't land those awful and presumably unblockable Dispel Magic spells on us.
I accidentally flub up killing Brimstone with INT drain during Time Stop, but thanks to Protection from Fire pre-buffs and some running, we have enough time to return to normal form, cast Improved Alacrity, and then kill the dragon and the giants with spell damage. Notice the use of Spike Stones, which is very party-unfriendly (even Spell Immunity fails to block it) but which deals respectable damage that offers no save and bypasses MR.
Those Entangle spells are actually Assassin Vines spells, a level 6 spell that does 4d6 nonmagical crushing damage per round with a save for half. Contrary to the spell description, Free Action won't protect you from it (nor will Spell Immunity or anything else), but creatures with large circles are actually immune, so Brimstone and probably the giants as well took no damage from it.
We try to tackle Imix, but we can't kill him during Time Stop and he inflicts spell failure on us, so I just run away. Over at Nyalee's grove, we kill the undead with Sunray and Animal Horde, then use Improved Alacrity to slay the witch.
For Yaga-Shura, I spam Animal Horde via clones to keep the numerous low-end enemies busy. But by hiding Poppy in the northeastern corner, I almost get her killed because she's helpless when Yaga-Shura spawns on top of her, along with some other enemies that box her in. Notice the failed backstab: her pre-buff, Foresight, also blocks backstabs, which spared her some extra damage that might actually have been fatal.
Her aura isn't clear, but a Chain Contingency with Greater Restoration and PFMW bail her out (albeit with a disturbingly long delay that made me think Poppy was going to die), and Teleport Field lets us escape.
Since Yaga-Shura's resistances start out at 99% and decrease gradually over time, but I don't know at what rate, I spend many rounds running around under invisibility occasionally using clones to cast Animal Horde. Finally, when an enemy mage's demons despawn, I decide to engage Yaga-Shura with a Project Image clone. Icelance and Cone of Cold deal massive damage due to his vulnerability to cold damage.
Animal Horde tramples over Draconis' human form, and while our first Project Image clone fails to kill his dragon form due to a Heal spell, our second Improved Alacrity seals his fate. Again, our numerous spell slots for Icelance and Cone of Cold let us deal lots of damage despite Poppy's inability (due to her illusionist specialization) to use Skull Trap and Horrid Wilting. Anadramatis suffers the same fate.
The funny thing is that both dragons got trapped: Draconis got lodged in a wall when he transformed, and Anadramatis apparently lacks the AI to turn hostile when attacked by a clone's spells.
Improved Alacrity also slay the twin black dragons in the first phase of the quadruple dragon ambush, though the second survives many rounds later, until we did another round of Improved Alacrity and landed a few physical attacks.
Ithy-nassendra appears in the second phase, but her poison breath is useless against Poppy, who has 100% poison resistance thanks to a Faith and Powers HLA. A Heal spell saves her from our first Improved Alacrity spell, but a Wish-rest restores our Project Image spells and the second Improved Alacrity shatters her from sheer cold damage.
Carnifex, the red dragon of the third phase, has no Heal spell, but his massive HP pool of 732 means we have to use two castings of Improved Alacrity to bring him down.
Wish-resting helped us in this fight, but I think you can always just leave this area and come back later--and our Teleport spell could let us escape even if a normal area transition weren't possible.
The Tyrant Golems in Abazigal's lair are hideously overpowered, with near-immunity to all attacks, but we can bring them down by chain-casting Time Stop spells. Even then, though, we have to leave the area and return multiple times after resting just to get them all.
Fun fact: SCS beholders can steal the Shield of Balduran and Cloak of Mirroring even during Time Stop, since the act is done via script.
We forge the Big Metal Unit, but are unable to use the Big Metal Rod to fire the Scorcher Ammunition. The Big Metal Rod is a simple crossbow usable by any character, but Faith and Powers uses special opcodes to restrict the use of certain items (opcodes which I copied over using EEKeeper back in BG1), which means that we can't use the Scorcher Ammunition. I could deem it a bug and fix it, but I usually roll with non-game-breaking bugs.
We enter Abazigal's chamber, clear out the lesser enemies with Animal Horde, and engage Tamah with a Project Image clone. For some reason, dragons in my install are vulnerable to fear, so Tamah actually runs around a little bit before an Insect Plague finally finishes her off.
We gradually wear down Abazigal with Animal Horde and ranged attacks. When he transforms, he spawns two copies of Tamah--he's supposed to only have one, and normally is bugged to have two, but in this game, he actually gets three, maybe because I killed the first one so early.
Poppy takes 40 damage from Abazigal's breath weapon because I somehow failed to buff with Protection from Lightning, but donning the Cloak of Reflection fixes her up (the damage took away our Project Image clones, allowing us to act immediately). We kill one of the Tamah clones with Improved Alacrity, escape using Teleport, and return to finish off the other.
We teleport back after we've rested and restored our buffs, then slay Abazigal with two castings of Improved Alacrity, one from a clone and one from Poppy herself.
I don't usually use Improved Alacrity this much, but our many druid damage spells and numerous spell slots let us deal lots of damage without even dipping into our mage spells. Also, we don't have many alternatives for dealing with quickly regenerating, low-AC critters like Abazigal, since our summoned critters, while numerous, have worse damage output than vanilla ones. A normal Druid/Mage without the Faith and Powers restrictions would have been able to use the Scorcher Ammunition to slay him.
Yeldon - half-elf cleric/ranger, protagonist (corey_russell)
Denko - human dark moon monk (Gate70)
Keras - dwarven defender (Grond0)
We had a solid session. Our first task was to get out of Irenicus' dungeon - we were at the 2nd level. It was a very smooth, no problems at all. Next up was the circus - no problems there either. We headed for Watcher's Keep and got the Suna Seni ambush - with a silence, the enemies didn't have a chance.
At Watcher's Keep just got the potion bag - we'll leave the interior for later. We then worked on freeing Hendak - no problems there. Next was Lilacor quest - with skeleton distractions this was pretty smooth as well. Next up was the slavers in the moored ship - Yeldon went after Captain Haegan and the rest of the party went after the cleric - success! Ran into one problem, a troll was hidden behind a doorway and we couldn't enter to go after it, so rested in sewers - fortunately the troll was reachable after the rest.
The party carefully worked their way around the traps - the slaver wizards got silenced so that made it easy.
Next up was the Trademeet Genies - thanks to skeleton distractions, that went quite well. Next up was the Druid Grove - Grond0 would kill them with his Stonefire, and at this point Yeldon was wearing full plate as well as had -8 AC, so he tanked the trolls quite well. Cernd once again destroyed Faldhorn.
After getting our reward, wasn't a lot of time left. So we paid Galen Bayle and got our trinkets from Linvail. We headed to D'Arnise Keep and we'll tackle that next session.
Poppy the Druid/Mage: Solo No-Reload SCS+Ascension Run with Faith and PowersPart 5: Throne of Bhaal (second half)
Outside Sendai's lair, we got in trouble when a Fallen Planetar hit us with Insect Plague, but we used our superior movement rate to wait it out until we could cast PFMW again. Inside Sendai's lair, we used Animal Horde to trample basic enemies, Improved Alacrity for burst damage, Invisibility to avoid the Slavemaster's horde, and a Protection from Undead scroll combined with Time Stop to slay Odamaron. Time Stop also brought down Ogremoch, Diaytha, and Captain Egeissag.
The mind flayers don't appear all at once, so Time Stop wasn't enough to kill them all. Instead, since they have poor AC, I just tanked them with PFMW and dealt damage with the Firetooth dagger.
For some reason, my 50% HP Chain Contingency triggered despite me not being at 50% HP--especially odd, because in the fight with Yaga-Shura, it took a rather long time for it to trigger.
Sendai herself and her various statues and goons have trouble dealing with Invisibility, so I decide to use the Teleport spell to revisit Athkatla and take the Staff of the Magi from the Twisted Rune. Pre-cast Spike Growth, Spike Stones, Assassin Vines, and Nature's Wrath spells, cast via clone, deal unblockable damage to both Layenne and Vaxall despite their own pre-buffs.
They die within a few rounds, and thanks to a Protection from Undead scroll on Shangalar, his buffs get screwed up and he can't cast spells properly. Soon, the whole gang collapses.
Just for the heck of it, I stop the Promenade to kill Brennan Risling and take his Cloak of Non-Detection, even though re-equipping the Staff of the Magi will still let me maintain invisibility inefinitely.
I teleport back to Sendai's lair, but due to a minor bug in the dialogue for the Teleport spell, I enter the final area instead of the second-to-last area, which means we trigger the fight after I've already burned both of my Time Stop spells.
With the Staff of the Magi in hand, I have little to worry about from the enemies. Poppy casts Project Image and we get to work with our Improved Alacrity spell, coating the west half of the map with Spike Growth spells and blasting one of the mage statues with Pierce Shield and Cones of Cold.
Its spells spent, I send the clone into the spikes to die and regain control of Poppy, who casts some spell protections just in case. I spend a little while running around dealing damage with Firetooth before re-casting Project Image when the Spike Growths vanish so I can replace them on the east side of the map.
Finally, the real Sendai appears and instantly summons a Fallen Deva. I run away from the deva for a few rounds until I can re-cast Foresight and some other things, by which time Sendai's PFMW has run out, exposing her to a hit from the Staff of the Magi, a guaranteed dispel. Notice the magic damage; that's an effect an HLA, Inner Radiance, that grants Stoneskins and magic damage on hit to all allies for 10 rounds. Apparently it stacks; Poppy's inflicting the damage twice.
Sendai casts Improved Alacrity, but can't do much besides re-cast PFMW because Poppy has the Staff of the Magi for unbreakable invisibility as long as she's not disabled. Once PFMW wears off again, we hit her with an Arrow of Dispelling and follow up with Improved Alacrity when we see the enemy deva despawn.
Sendai goes down.
At Amkethran, we kill the Guard Captain during Time Stop, nick his key, and sneak inside Balthazar's monastery. Since Poppy is Neutral Good and has 20 reputation and 25 Charisma when fully buffed, it's easy to convince him to join us against Melissan.
The last fight before the Throne is the Ravager. With the Ravager immune to level 1 and 2 spells (our only source of magic damage spells), we have very few ways of dealing damage to him, as he has 100% immunity to fire, cold, electricity, and acid damage as well as 534 HP, 75% physical damage resistance, immunity to +3 weapons and less, -12 AC, and most importantly, 30 HP regeneration per round.
If we had Energy Blades or the Scorcher Ammunition, we could have gradually worn him down using clones, and if we had access to Skull Trap or Horrid Wilting, we could have killed him with magic damage. None of those are available to us. When I first contemplated the Ravager fight, I actually thought it was impossible with my character--by choosing to play as an illusionist (technically my lack of access to necromancy spells is voluntary rather than a result of my mods), I robbed myself of the few remaining means I could have had to actually harm the Ravager.
Then I realized that I still had an option: the Spike Stones spell, Thorn Spray, Insect Plague, and Creeping Doom all deal physical damage, and while it was all scratch damage, a Project Image clone could cast a whole bunch of them. I set up a strategy:
1. Cast PFMW.
2. Cast Project Image.
3. Have the Project Image cast PFMW, then Improved Alacrity.
4. Cast 3 Pierce Shield spells, Greater Malison, and all physical damage spells.
5. Send the clone into the Spike Stones and Assassin Vines (the latter won't actually damage the Ravager due to his wide circle) to die and regain control of Poppy.
I screw up the first attempt by trying to have my clone cast Improved Alacrity before PFMW and save a round (I thought the clone could cast it before she got hit, but she didn't), and so I have to send the clone to her death so I can retake control of Poppy and try again. I cast Pierce Shield and Greater Malison followed by all the physical damage spells I have (I also get a Wish-rest in the process) and the Ravager starts taking damage.
When the clone is out of spells, I get control of Poppy early by sending the clone to die in the spikes.
It takes multiple iterations, but by keeping PFMW active at all times and emptying each clone's spellbook on the Ravager, we finally bring it down with scratch damage alone.
I stop by the mind flayer city to grab a Control Circlet before the fight at the Throne of Bhaal so I can charm Sarevok, but find myself unable to teleport out when I arrive (I was able to do so in a previous run, I think). After some Wish-resting via clones and conjuring up lots of animals via Animal Horde, we stomp on the mind flayers and Poppy slays the Elder Brain with Firetooth.
We build two Clay Golems, buff with Protection from Undead and lots of other stuff, equip the Shield of Reflection, and enter the Throne of Bhaal.
On the first round, we use a Protection from Magic scroll on Irenicus, relying on Protection from Undead to keep Bodhi off and the Shield of Reflection to avoid the arrows of the Fallen Solars. As usual, Balthazar's script is completely screwed up and the guy can barely even walk, much less fight, before a script command forces him to stop in his tracks. I thought the Clay Golems would be able to resist most anything, but the Fallen Solars remind me that they deal nonmagical magic damage that cuts right through the golems' resistances.
Then they remind me that their Mordenkainen's Disjunction spells bypass Spell Shield, Spell Trap, and Spell Immunity, and always work no matter the caster's level.
Poppy still has her undispellable Foresight buff, so she won't fail any saves, her Cloak of Mirroring will block spell damage, the Shield of Reflection will reflect arrows, and she can run really fast, but her other defenses are gone--which means we can't cast spells without being disrupted.
So, I grab one of our few Time Stop scrolls and prepare to bring down the Fallen Solars so we can get our buffs back. Then they remind me that they're immune to +3 weapons and below.
We have to resort to the Spear of Withering. Surprisingly, the Fallen Solars aren't immune to its poison damage, but Poppy only has 2 APR even with an Oil of Speed. The Girdle of Fire Giant Strength lets us bring down the first Fallen Solar.
But it takes two Time Stop scrolls, and we only have one left--and the next Fallen Solar is only at Barely Injured, where one we killed was already at Injured. There's no way we can finish off the other Fallen Solar in time.
Then I realize I still have two cards up my sleeve: a Limited Wish scroll that will let me cast Time Stop once, and Hand of Murder, which will deal a little extra magic with each hit. By sheer luck, Balthazar joins in, which saves us a Time Stop scroll (not that we have any use for it; Time Stop is all but useless against the Five and Melissan).
Bodhi has no ranged weapons and Irenicus can't cast spells, so they're easy to kill. To prepare for the fights at the pools, we summon several hordes of animals and have clones coat half the platforms with Spike Growth, Spike Stones, Assassin Vines, and Nature's Wrath spells before Poppy activates the pool with PFMW active.
There are some small hiccups (Poppy has to re-cast her spell protections because the Alu-Fiends use Secret Word), but the other two fights proceed much the same.
Before we call the Five to battle, we absolutely cover the map with animals and cast Wish until we can haste them all, though it takes a very long time. Right before activating the pools, we cast Inner Radiance on our summons to give them all Stoneskin and magic damage on hit. Notice the bugged Imoen standing around.
Here is Poppy at the final fight.
As usual, we open with a Protection from Magic scroll on Abazigal. It's probably not necessary, since we could shield Poppy from harm just by packing animals around her so Abazigal wouldn't be able to reach her during Time Stop (which theoretically could work on Melissan as well, but that's not our plan), but it is very useful.
We then use another scroll on Sendai so she can't heal the others. Unfortunately, Illasera dies early. I intended to keep the animals from killing her, but I didn't give them enough orders to back off. Melissan enters the field, forcing us to use PFMW--with so many actors on the screen and the dialog box scrolling so fast, I can't be sure that I'll notice if Melissan starts casting a fatal Time Stop spell.
The key weakness of Animal Horde is that each animal has very poor HP by ToB standards. This means area-effect spells can wipe out large groups of them at once, and Yaga-Shura and Melissan can quickly clear the field.
We charm Sarevok with a Control Circlet and our animals kill Gromnir, Sendai's Fallen Deva, and Sendai herself mostly without Poppy's help.
Then the game crashes. I try again, but the game crashes once more. I have no choice but to cut down on the number of animals onscreen and hope that they're the cause. Before the fight, I turn some of them hostile with a Nature's Wrath spell and let them fight it out until the field clears up a little bit.
This time, we do a better job of keeping Illasera alive, but Sarevok goes hostile after being charmed. Gromnir and Illasera die nearly simultaneously, and Melissan arrives. The fight is really chaotic, so to make sure Poppy is safe against any Time Stop spells that Melissan might throw out, we cast PFMW even when we've got 2 extra rounds of duration in the previous one. I use our scrolls first, since the spells activate faster and are therefore more precious in moments of greater danger.
Our animals kill Sendai, followed by her Fallen Deva, followed by Illasera somehow, even though we saw her die earlier--apparently we killed a clone of hers or something.
The fight is getting long while Abazigal, Sarevok, and Yaga-Shura remain healthy, so Poppy has to restore her buffs to help bring them down. We kill Abazigal and restore Poppy's Spell Shield when a mysterious Pierce Shield takes it down, but we're running thin--our animals have been dying very quickly under Melissan's attacks.
Sendai dies again--apparently another clone, which is more plausible for a cleric/mage like Sendai--and after again restoring Poppy's Spell Shield after Melissan hits her with Spellstrike, we finally kill Sarevok. Only Yaga-Shura and Melissan remain standing.
All of our animals dead, and Poppy is faced with the prospect of killing a rapidly regenerating Yaga-Shura with no allies besides a hopelessly dysfunctional Balthazar. She can still summon clones and restore her army, but then Melissan pins us down--not with any disablers, but by teleporting on top of Poppy's circle, making Poppy and Melissan occupy the same space and preventing either of them from taking a step in any direction.
Since Melissan is immune to Teleport Field, we have no way of getting her to move. For a moment I think we're doomed, since I don't see how I can kill Yaga-Shura before running out of PFMW spells (now that the animals are gone and our scrolls are running low, we have to be more careful about our limited PFMW spells). Then I realize that we still have one last chance at killing Yaga-Shura and Melissan both.
I cast Improved Alacrity and lower Melissan's MR using Pierce Shield. I follow up with Greater Malison and a Ruby Ray of Reversal just for the hell of it.
I manage to stun Melissan for 3 rounds using an Icelance spell (!), but I'm unable to strike both Melissan and Yaga-Shura with Cone of Cold spells. Casting them at Yaga-Shura lets Melissan avoid them entirely.
I freeze Yaga-Shura to death, then turn my attention to dealing damage to Melissan. I find that I can hit her with my remaining Cone of Cold spells by casting them north instead of south.
I cast the last of our offensive spells on Melissan and then attack her with Firetooth, with Gnasher in the off hand (boosted by Enchanted Weapon so it can hit her) to deal extra damage while she's stunned.
Melissan goes down. Throne of Bhaal is over.
One solo no-reload run of SCS and Ascension with a Druid/Mage, complete.
The negative aspects of Spike Stones and Assassin Vines were also largely moot in a solo run where you only need to worry about one party member taking damage, and they even made Poppy stronger because the damage let Poppy cancel Project Image spells early. Most of the druid's summoning spells were severely, severely nerfed by the late game due to the absence of the normal Summon (Fallen) Deva and Elemental Summoning spells, but the extra Spirit Wolf was very useful in BG1, extremely powerful in SoD and early SoA, and the Animal Horde spell gave the druid some spectacular strength even when it wasn't abused.
Overall, the Druid/Mage from Faith and Powers is roughly as strong as a vanilla Cleric/Mage at each stage of the game. They play very differently, and while the Druid/Mage of Faith and Powers is missing some important strengths that a normal druid would possess, it has some unique but balanced options that really round out the class.
Spaz III the Warlock!BG1: 0.5, 1, 2, 3
BG2: 1, 2, 3
I hate vampires.
I finish up all the sidequests in Amn before leaving for Spellhold. I've never seen Thaxll'sillyia use this disappearing technique before, but See the Unseen countered it just fine. I leave level 3 of Watcher's Keep alone for the time being.
When I fight Bodhi, Eldritch Focus doesn't last long enough for me to kill her. She drains my CON very low, so I swap out the Hellfire Blade for Azuredge and she hits me again, leaving me with 1 CON.
I kite her around and she gives up after a while.
Nothing eventful happens throughout Spellhold or the Underdark. Vitriolic and Utterdark Blasts are enough to carry me through. Returning to Bodhi's lair in chapter 6, I make a mistake overestimating my defensive strength without using mage scrolls. Vampire CON drain lasts longer than I thought and I get too conservative with my trove of mage scrolls, as I was saving them for Venduris' band. Bodhi's vampire entourage made sure it would be Spaz's last mistake. I tried to run using Flee the Scene and almosted escaped, but a vampire tagged me, draining me to 0 CON.
I had a variety of options to deal with this encounter. I could've used good ol' PfU scrolls. I could've used PfMW or Eldritch Focus. But I got overconfident in the Warlock's huge damage resistances and too conservative with limited-use resources because I wanted to save them for Venduris and co. who are significantly more dangerous because you begin their fight completely unbuffed. This time, it was just sloppy gameplay that ended this run.
Spaz III - Warlock 50 (RIP)
Those SCS vampires are really ugly. The CON drain is really unfair to non-mages, and makes Protection from Undead scrolls sort of mandatory for no-reload runs. Stacking Potions of Absorption should force even Bodhi to roll a 20 to land a hit, since vampire attacks deal crushing damage, but since the CON drain attacks can drain anywhere from 2 to 5 CON depending on the vampire's strength (and Bodhi always drains 5), even near-unbreakable AC isn't truly safe. A four-hit kill is pretty normal for non-mages.
Worst yet, the CON drain lasts 50 rounds, so waiting it out is impossible unless you flat-out disengage from combat. There's no preventative, no cure, and no counter--the only way to increase CON is to use a Potion of Fortitude, which only sets it to 18 (but doesn't re-set it, so the potion is no cure) or DUHM, which can only delay death, since each casting only lasts 10 rounds. It doesn't help that the Bodhi fight takes place in an enclosed area where kiting is difficult or even impossible until after you've killed almost all of the enemies.
Mantle will block the weakest CON drain attacks, but you'll need Improved Mantle or PFMW or Absolute Immunity to block the stronger ones. Without those weapon immunity spells (or Teleport Field, but that's also a mage spell), the only way to stay truly safe from SCS vampires is to use a Protection from Undead scroll, because Potions of Absorption aren't a guarantee of safety and the anti-undead options (Sunray, Mace of Disruption, Azuredge) don't always work right away.
@Flashburn, condolences man, overconfidence is a common trap to fall into. Hope to see you back in action soon!
OK. It's once more unto the breach for the dwarven defender. Trying to avoid any significant risks I've:
- kited and killed Shoal (+26 HPs).
- kited an ogre for its belt.
- returned a bowl to Tenya (+11 HPs).
- charmed the sirines at Beregost temple, using their improved invisibility to prevent them retaliating (+12 HPs).
- kited Bassilus for his hammer.
- used the potion of clarity from Candlekeep to tank the sirines (+17 HPs)
- in Nashkel learnt LMD and picked up the ankheg armor.
- collected Drizzt's equipment after gnolls killed him.
- beat up battle horrors at Durlag's Tower and used a PfP scroll on the basilisks there (+11 HPs).
- at the Bandit Camp got an armor upgrade from Taurgosz before dodging Venkt's horror and coming back in to finish him off.
Dwarven defender L8, 108 HPs, 179 kills
The cursor doesn't seem to answer anymore. It just works only for moving my characters, but doesn't work for everything else (for example, I can't attack people unless doing it manually via clicking the sword icon on the menu). Also I can't travel anymore.
The bug showed himself inside the basilisk area for the first time against the party that you are supposed to face here. We prevailed, but no more progress from now on.
This is a list of the progress I've done:
Met Thalantyr after killing his two golems:
> Cleansed the Ankheg cave --> gifted the hoard to the father instead of the 100 gold.
Cleaned the basilisk area.
The second screen shows why the current iteration of Spell revision is silly. I just used a berserked minsc against the basilisk. They can't petrify him. As such when the stuff went wrong I just used the skeletons.
Now this is when the bug happened. Against the party inside the basilisk area.
Now some observations from everything that happened that will actually shape my playthrough.
--> EEtool is not good. Why am I facing these issues? I used Roxanne's eetool and seems like it didn't work properly. As such, I will either wait for Alien's new tool or new BWP by Leonardo (honestly I would love to go BGT).
The first issue was on Bassiluss fight where summons had random names. Second issue is the arrows getting duplicated when buying them.
Third issue that showed now, critical and game ending, is the cursor not working.
--> [Spell Revision opinion]
> The removal of protection from petrification scroll seems absolutely silly. I may appreciate the mod on a BG2 playthrough (but the issues of lich petrification I read on G3 forums remind me that I should probably avoid the current iteration of the mod). If I will go for it, I will use Bartimaeus's version.
Now as for why I don't like it on BG. Removing the spell doesn't add anything to the playthrough, no strategic elements, nothing at all. It just becomes a cheese fest. Why? Instead of casting on yourself spell from petrification you:
1) Get one npc with invisibility/berserk/sanctuary
2) Use it to scout
3) Deal accordingly.
And the deal accordingly option is composed by so many cheesy options it actually becomes silly. From casting skeletons from afar that will actually scout the map for you to charming bears to kill basilisks for you.
How to fix this --> add the petrification spell back. Improve the dps the basilisk do.
I've attached my savegame on this post. Can anyone take a look at it?