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I'm going to do a no-reloads solo mage run through the entire game. I need advice.

IntoTheDarknessIntoTheDarkness Member Posts: 118
Hi, I'm planning to do an ironman solo run with a mage and I desperately need advice to make it successful.

Conditions:
1. core rule. random hp per level ups.
2. no sorcerer. I've already done it once. I'm going to pick a human race.
3. delete a save when MC dies and retry from Candlekeep. Even if MC dies in BG2 part, I will start back in BG1.
4. no cheese tactics. I did that with sorc(3 skull traps in contingency spell to kill boss even before they get their defenses up) and the game was extremely easy and unfun.

Questions:
1. Specialist mage, wild mage, or pure mage? If specialist mage, which specialization?
2. Conjurer is probably the best among specialist mage. However, how do I detect invisible and hidden foes with solo conjurer? Dispel won't work on an invisible enemy mage if his spell shields are up. I should to be able to fight against boos enemies without dying.
3. Does chaos shield affect 5% surge? I will probably have to avoid using spells on myself as a dispel can cause surge by 5% and turn my character into a stone. Is wild mage, although the second most powerful mage next to sorcerer, worth all the trouble when ironman soloing?
4. How do I deal with traps? I don't remember their locations.

I would appreciate any advice besides answers to my question and your experience with a mage solo run as a class other than a sorc.

Post edited by IntoTheDarkness on
BlackravenGoturalJuliusBorisov

Comments

  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member Posts: 14,508
    1: The general consensus is that specialists have the advantage. In vanilla it was Conjurers, but I heard the opposition schools have changed somewhat for EE. If you know what you're doing, though, and you know what to expect, then a generalist mage should be the safest option.

    2: You won't be able to until BG2, I believe. The Book of Infinite Spells can cast True Seeing if you're on the right page, and there's a trick to get duplicate copies to avoid getting stuck on the Burning Hands page.

    3: Chaos Shield affects all wild surges, regardless of their origin. Most would not recommend doing a no-reload with a Wild Mage, not simply because you can petrify yourself, but because even a safe wild surge can cost you a spell and screw up your plans.

    4: Mirror Image should protect you from most traps.

    As for further advice... we might need to hear what your definition of "cheese" is. There are a lot of tricks you can pull in BG1 and BG2, and basically everything in the game has been described as cheesy.

    If you're accustomed to playing a sorcerer, don't forget to drink Potions of Genius before you scribe spells. A human mage is stuck with 18 INT until you get the right tome, and even at 19, you can still fail to scribe scrolls sometimes, and you can't afford to lose a good spell in a no-reload run.

    BlackravenIntoTheDarknessGoturalJuliusBorisov
  • IntoTheDarknessIntoTheDarkness Member Posts: 118
    edited April 2015



    As for further advice... we might need to hear what your definition of "cheese" is. There are a lot of tricks you can pull in BG1 and BG2, and basically everything in the game has been described as cheesy.

    1-3:

    I wouldn't recommend Wild Mage, but it has been pulled off by Grond0 over at the Bioware forums (solo, core rules, no mods), so apparently it's doable. Not sure if part of his tactics are cheesy in your book though.

    I consider any exploits outside of regular rules or design oversight cheese, such as stacking chaos shield more than once; it is normally not possible. What Grond0 did would be cheese in my definition.

    BlackravenJuliusBorisov
  • YgramulYgramul Member Posts: 1,059
    I'll paste below my general no-reload guidelines, in case any are useful to you.
    (Last is for Wild Mage analysis; some deal with party dynamics, not relevant for solo runs)


    1. Do not fight wounded. -- If a Gibberling could kill you with a
    critical hit with 5% chance, you WILL die after many many encounters.
    Similarly, do not melee with Charname if you don't have enough HP to
    survive a worst case blow (non-helmet classes need twice the HP
    buffer).

    2. Scout. -- Obvious. If not metagaming, an encounter with a hostile
    party can go south easily if unbuffed, but become a cake walk if
    buffed. Especially at BGEE levels, you don't have enough spells to
    remain buffed to the hilt all the time. So, scout.

    3. Spells: Melee Defense. -- Especially, if charname is a frontliner.
    If charname is a F/M or Blade almost all spells should be defensive.
    Load up on: Shield, Mirror Image, Blur, Wraithform, Stoneskin etc. BUT
    also on mage defense spells such as Minor Globe, Remove Magic etc.

    4. Spells: Mage Fights. -- Most dangerous encounters by far; will end
    most no-reload games. In BGEE, status effects (sleep, hold, horror,
    web) WILL kill you. Worse yet, some mages will do clever things like:
    Minor Globe -> Web -> Fireball. (SCS mage AI is fantastic! -- and
    without breaking game rules; it plays close to how *you* should be
    playing a mage.)

    So, you need to:
    - scatter the party (so that not everyone is disabled/burned by a
    single AoE spell)
    - carry anti-magic spells (Spell Thrust is a must in BGEE -- even
    necessary in BG2 because it removes Spell Immunity that SCS mages love
    to use)
    - Scout! and Buff! (That Web and Fireball will just tickle you, if
    you are buffed with Protection from Fire and Free Action)
    - strike first (since I do not allow myself to metagame, I only do
    this if I legitimately scouted)


    5. Defense over Offense. -- Some risky strategies that let you win 1/3
    times are just fine if you reload, but in a no-reload run, for every
    round you need to make sure that you are 0.9999 (*) likely to survive
    that particular round.

    (*) Yes, that number is more or less accurate:
    Say, in a typical BGEE/BG2EE run you remain in combat for something
    like 20 hours (not including pauses), then you are in combat for a
    little over 10,000 rounds. With the average survival rate given above,
    your chances of finishing a BGEE/BG2EE no-reload run is a mere 37%.
    (0.9999^10000)


    6. Use consumables like your life depends on them. It does.


    7. Wild Mages [theoretical] -- DO. NOT. CAST. IN. PUBLIC. Really,
    what are you gonna do if you get a Gate in Beregost, or a
    Fireball:self amid Flaming Fist headcourters. Cast only at the enemies
    (and do not ever buff the charname with a wild mage!)

    This is just with Neera, by the way. I doubt anyone ever finished a
    no-reload run with a Wild Mage charname:
    Here are the odds:
    there are about ~10/100 wild surges that act as "kill the caster" at
    low levels (even at high levels, "Petrify:self" will usually kill you,
    even if you might survive a fireball to the face then)
    If you cast 1000 spells through a no-reload run, you will have about
    50 surges and your survival chance throughout the run comes to about
    0.5% -- yep, just half a percent, even if you play an otherwise
    perfect game.
    (0.1 chance of death per surge -> 0.9^50 = 0.0052 chance of surviving 50 surges)

    BlackravenIntoTheDarknessGoturalJuliusBorisov
  • IntoTheDarknessIntoTheDarkness Member Posts: 118
    Ygramul said:

    I'll paste below my general no-reload guidelines, in case any are useful to you.
    (Last is for Wild Mage analysis; some deal with party dynamics, not relevant for solo runs)

    There seem to be a lot of people doing this run. It's a pity I can't find any of such hardcore LPs on youtube.

    SCS no reload run LP would be just irresistible. :smile:

    YgramulGotural
  • YgramulYgramul Member Posts: 1,059

    Ygramul said:

    I'll paste below my general no-reload guidelines, in case any are useful to you.
    (Last is for Wild Mage analysis; some deal with party dynamics, not relevant for solo runs)

    There seem to be a lot of people doing this run. It's a pity I can't find any of such hardcore LPs on youtube.

    SCS no reload run LP would be just irresistible. :smile:
    True that.

    But also a no-reload trilogy run is a several hundred hour affair for me. It takes months to get through (with real life) and I never completed one... yet.

    Hence the threads right: some of us will!

    Consider yourself invited to post your no-reload adventures here:
    http://forum.baldursgate.com/discussion/40393/maybe-this-time-ee-scs-trilogy-no-reload-runs-featuring-enter-kathlen-the-illusive-cleric/p1

    JuliusBorisov
  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member Posts: 14,508
    @Ygramul: Your math is right, but you used the wrong number. You used 0.9 instead of 0.999.

    If we have a 0.1% chance, or 1/1000 chance, of dying from a wild surge, then the chance of surviving after 50 surges is not 0.9^50, or ~0%. It is 0.999^50, or ~95% chance of survival. It would be 0.9^50 only if the chance of death was 10%, not 0.1%.

    If we were to say a wild surge is riskier--say, a 1% chance of death per surge--then 50 surges would give a 0.99^50=60% chance of survival. I think that 1% death chance might be a little more accurate, not because you'd get petrified, but because you might lose your spell, or get hit by a Fireball, etc.

  • YgramulYgramul Member Posts: 1,059
    edited April 2015

    @Ygramul: Your math is right, but you used the wrong number. You used 0.9 instead of 0.999.

    If we have a 0.1% chance, or 1/1000 chance, of dying from a wild surge, then the chance of surviving after 50 surges is not 0.9^50, or ~0%. It is 0.999^50, or ~95% chance of survival. It would be 0.9^50 only if the chance of death was 10%, not 0.1%.

    If we were to say a wild surge is riskier--say, a 1% chance of death per surge--then 50 surges would give a 0.99^50=60% chance of survival. I think that 1% death chance might be a little more accurate, not because you'd get petrified, but because you might lose your spell, or get hit by a Fireball, etc.

    Oh, I think I explained it badly: I did mean 0.1 chance == i.e. 10% chance (NOT 0.1%)
    [10/100 maybe a bit of an overestimate at killer surges, but, e.g., "Summon Demon" is bad enough or "Cow Explosion".]


    Again, if ~10/100 surges will likely kill the caster (at low levels) then having 50 surges (estimated through a full run of BG with Wild Mage) will lead to a 0.9^50 = 0.005 chance of NOT dying.

    i.e. a Wild Mage no-reloader that does, in fact, cast spells is very unlikely to ever reach Sarevok.

    (I'd love to be proven wrong on this by someone's no-reload run. My own run (Khael) did emply Neera, but NEVER had her cast buff spells at charname or the party.)

  • GoturalGotural Member Posts: 1,229
    I did a no-reload run with a F/M/T kitted Wild Mage and completed BG1.
    To be honest it would have been tremendously difficult as a single class Mage, because you rely so much on your spells. I had a few surges during the game, including a "the caster becomes the target" which made me lose about 40 HP.

    A very important thing to know is that Wild Surges can occur when you cast a spell from a scroll ! So you can't even rely on them.

    I would advice you to pick a Conjurer, an Invoker or even an Illusionist. Like @Blackraven said, chosing True Neutral as your alignment would be a very wise decision for the familiar. You can look up on the internet for traps, or you can ask here and we will also answer :smile:
    Most of the times, you can protect yourself from them with Stoneskin / Mirror Image for physical ones, and Shield (for the Magic Missile immunity) / Minor Spell Deflection / Minor Globe of Invulnerability for the magical ones.

    Concerning strategies, I think one of the easiest way to solo BG1 is to rush the Wand of Fire and proceed to pewpewpew your way from there, recharge it when needed. It will make short work of everyone until you get the city, then it will still be useful.

    JuliusBorisovBlackravensemiticgodYgramul
  • abazigal5abazigal5 Member Posts: 290
    Just a warning, this may not even be possible; some bosses in BG2 have something like 90% magic resistance and mages aren't the best at melee.

  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member Posts: 14,508
    There's always Mordenkainen's Sword, Skeleton Warriors, and Planetars for enemies with high MR.

  • fighter_mage_thieffighter_mage_thief Member Posts: 262
    edited April 2015
    I'd mostly be worried about traps personally. For one, powerful casters are a rarity, and there aren't a lot of thieves with invisibility potions. When you do encounter an enemy that can go invisible, it's generally a one-time thing they do. In the case of thieves, you have stoneskin, mirror image, and weapon protections. Against mages and thieves, you can also use summons as fodder, which suits your character rp-wise, should you choose to play as a conjurer. You also have invisibility yourself, which nine times out of ten will force a caster out of invisibility if they are in it to cast some form of detection spell, which of course you can protect yourself from with non-detection via spell or cloak, which is easy to acquire in both games. There will be very few tough fights, and even less if you're not aiming at 100% completion but rather just beating the game, since as a soloist, you won't be needing a lot of items and you won't have the inventory space either.

    Also, be creative. For instance, in the battle vs Rayic Gethras, I simply used dominate on him, which he isn't immune to even with his protections. I then used his own spells to strip his protections, summon creatures, and stun him. He was then killed by his own summons before he had a chance to recover. He was defeated by a single spell, yet could easily destroy an entire party with his firepower and protections.

    Blackraven
  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member Posts: 14,508
    Dominate should have a very low success rate on Rayic Gethras, and we can't reload in this proposed run to guarantee a failed save. Ray-Ray has a save vs. spell of 1. His chance of failing a save at -2 is 10%.

    The Nymph Cloak, available from Gorch in Mae'var's guild hall, has no save penalty, but it uses a save vs. breath, which works more often on mages. But either way, as always, you'll need a backup plan.

    Blackraven
  • fighter_mage_thieffighter_mage_thief Member Posts: 262
    edited April 2015
    You have a point. This run is too hardcore for me tbh, but another simple solution is polymorphing into a mustard jelly.

    edit: Cloudkill also interrupts his spells, works like a charm.

    Post edited by fighter_mage_thief on
  • BlackravenBlackraven Member Posts: 3,297

    You also have invisibility yourself, which nine times out of ten will force a caster out of invisibility if they are in it to cast some form of detection spell, which of course you can protect yourself from with non-detection via spell or cloak

    I thought the Cloak of Non-Detection only ensured stealth to remain intact when enemy casters cast detection spells. Are you sure it works for magical invisibility (through potions or spells) as well?

    JuliusBorisovfighter_mage_thief
  • joluvjoluv Member Posts: 2,136
    I know from painful experience that True Sight sees through Invisibility + Cloak of Non-Detection.

    Blackravenfighter_mage_thief
  • fighter_mage_thieffighter_mage_thief Member Posts: 262
    edited April 2015
    You're right, I just tested it. You'd need to use 'spell immunity: divination' instead I guess, which isn't going to be for a while.

    Blackraven
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