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Will I live long enough for this challenge?



  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 7,385
    @GreenWarlock unfortunately I don't think it's possible to do a pacifist run without any use of charm. If you want to justify it, I wouldn't have thought it unreasonable for a character that's been shunned by others all their life to resort to artificial means to get followers.

    The best way to use charm on the dopplegangers at the palace is to charm them while they're noblemen in order to split the fight into easier bits. It's also worthwhile charming lots of the guards and nobles there - to give the dopplegangers more targets even if you're not attacking with them.

    Almost any character can use wands of sleep, so that's another option (that has a 25% chance of affecting any particular doppleganger, so the chances are good of affecting something; rigid thinking only has a 15% chance of affecting one doppleganger and may not make any difference even if successful). For cleric spells chant should be useful (for the negatives it gives the dopplegangers rather than the usual positives for your party) and then there's healing spells for Belt of course.
  • GreenWarlockGreenWarlock Member Posts: 1,354
    Thanks - I probably won't have time to pick up this run for a few weeks yet, but I'll report back here how I get on. Hmm, suddenly wondering if there are useful cleric scrolls I can pick up and equip in advance? Perhaps a deep supply of curing for a duke may be enough to get me through?
  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 7,385
    @GreenWarlock there are very few clerical scrolls in BGEE (unlike SoD). The only ones that come immediately to mind are protection from lightning, mental domination and defensive harmony at Ulgoth's Beard.
  • StummvonBordwehrStummvonBordwehr Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 1,371
    Grond0 said:

    @GreenWarlock there are very few clerical scrolls in BGEE (unlike SoD). The only ones that come immediately to mind are protection from lightning, mental domination and defensive harmony at Ulgoth's Beard.

    And there are some in Durlags tower. Most notable are the ones by the 3 sparring dummies in the second level of the basement (as I recall). But the scrolls are mostly (exclusively?) buffing spells.
  • GreenWarlockGreenWarlock Member Posts: 1,354
    Thanks @StummvonBordwehr but there is a big problem with Durlag's tower - which is getting past the 4 aspects guarding the entrance in the basement. As I must kill them to proceed, that puts the lower levels of Durlag's out of bounds :(
  • StummvonBordwehrStummvonBordwehr Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 1,371
    edited October 2018

    Thanks @StummvonBordwehr but there is a big problem with Durlag's tower - which is getting past the 4 aspects guarding the entrance in the basement. As I must kill them to proceed, that puts the lower levels of Durlag's out of bounds :(

    That is very true. I only go down to the second level for the goblet and kiels helmet.

    The first level is manageble with complete fire and electricity protection, a huge stack of healing potions, the sand thief ring, greenstone amulet, potions of heroism and some potions of cloud giant strenght... I have next to no healing potions after the encounter (30-40 potions used in that level is not selvom).

    But the goblet is worth it in my eyes, but then again I only play fighter types (who can wear helmers and have more than 1 apr each round..).

    Ps. Best of luck to you both.
    Post edited by StummvonBordwehr on
  • StummvonBordwehrStummvonBordwehr Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 1,371
    Nice to see some progress on the sorceror. Will look forward to seing how big B will be dealt with...

    Btw: why not levelling up?
  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 7,385
    edited December 2018
    @StummvonBordwehr I could just leave big B for Caelar to chop up, but I have taken lower resistance and hold monster as my 2 5th level picks, so it would seem a shame not to try those out on him ...

    As for levelling up, the screenshot was immediately on entry to SoD - prior to that I couldn't level up due to the BG1 cap. In fact though I didn't actually get around to taking the levels until the end of the dungeon prologue (by which time I had hit the SoD XP cap).
    Post edited by Grond0 on
  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 7,385
    edited November 2023
    Seeing a few posts about shadowdancers I thought I would generate one of those. I've hardly played with them before as I've always felt the hide out of shadows effect rather undermined the basic concept of stealth - and that still seems a conceptual problem to me. I could claim that dis-satisfaction was the reason for getting too close to a sirine and being feebleminded when close to the XP cap, but I have to admit taking that sort of risk is pretty typical with any character ;).

    Six months later and I've restarted this character. I still feel uncomfortable with the concept of the character, but that doesn't mean it's not strong (as long as you're patient enough). This time I've at least completed BG1 - and testing out strategies on lots of unnecessary encounters meant I transferred into SoD at the 500k level cap for that. One nice touch was getting hold of Lothander's gear. Without any spells to use on him I thought the only chance was getting a backstab as he ran past - I don't think there was actually much chance of that succeeding, but I got lucky this time.
    I made it through SoD as well, but had a nasty shock at the end. I looked in my bag of holding with the intention of taking out the pantaloons (so they would transfer into BG2) - only to find they were not there. Lacking the normal thief ability to use traps, the loss of the Big Metal Rod is likely to make Melissan significantly harder - if I can make it that far of course.
    And in fact I couldn't get that far. The low damage output of the shadowdancer and the pause enforced before restealthing in the EE means progress is pretty slow, so it took me much longer than usual to get to the Underdark. I was trying various tactics on Adalon there, with a view to seeing how effective they might be in ToB. I was particularly disappointed to find that even after using Tenser's and a potion of power a clone couldn't hit the dragon. As I could rest there, killing Adalon would have been easy in itself, but I got a bit bored waiting and followed too closely after a clone without using any cold protection - that resulted in me getting caught in the fringes of a dragon breath before getting into sight range ...

    Another 5 months and a 3rd attempt bombed very early on. The route to find Shoal at the coast has a chance of an ambush including a single kobold archer. If you pause instantly you can usually move out of range before the kobold gets a shot off, but on this occasion I was a fraction of a second late moving - and paid the price.

    Six months later and another failed attempt reflects I don't really like the character. I attempted to backstab an ettercap too far from the map edge for safety and without any PfP green scrolls - and paid the price.

    A year later and seeing another post about the difficulty with the character tempted me into a 5th run with this character. Progress was easy enough until I didn't bother hiding while using arrows of explosion on the first group of sirines at the lighthouse. I think that would have been safe if I'd also used an oil of speed, but as it was one of them survived long enough to charm me.

    Moving straight on to a 6th attempt I concentrated well initially and only took my first damage when a mustard jelly in Ramazith's Tower reacted quicker to my attack than I expected.
    I took a number of hits after that, but never any significant damage and duly defeated Sarevok.
    I made it through SoD as well without too many problems. A shadowdancer is not very well equipped to deal with Belhifet, so I relied mainly on keeping Caelar alive there.
    I did plenty of work in SoA, but that was all wasted on the final encounter prior to leaving for Spellhold. I was at level 39 and was dealing with the hidden illithid in the sewers. They'd been whittled them down to the last 2 and didn't seem much of a danger any more. I hadn't noticed it, but I guess I must have been already affected by intelligence drain as I died unexpectedly just after making a backstab - so I've still failed to make it into ToB.

    Well over 2 years later I tried a 7th attempt. I found it difficult to concentrate though and eventually died against Nemphre when my stealth broke quicker than expected when lining up a backstab and she had time to cast a lightning bolt - which bounced and killed both of us.
    Post edited by Grond0 on
  • AasimAasim Member Posts: 591

    Fancy a 24h challenge?
  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 7,385
    @Aasim I've tried a few times, though not in the last couple of years - see here. I would expect to have another go at some point, but it's rare to have that amount of time available without other commitments, so I'm not quite sure when the next attempt will be. The last attempt, which got beaten up by Melissan after 15 hours, didn't include SoD and I would expect to add that in next time.
  • AasimAasim Member Posts: 591
    I was thinking on firing up old BGT and giving it a go...I'll see if I can get the time and stamina next weekend.
  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 7,385
    edited June 2023
    Bounty hunter
    I eventually got around to finishing the previous run with a cavalier. That wasn't a particularly clean run, but still took Mel's final incarnation down to 3 HPs before my luck ran out ;).

    Generating another random class, I got a bounty hunter. Like the cavalier that should really be a pretty easy class and I maintained concentration for a smooth run through BG1 this morning to see off Sarevok.
    I was a bit less secure going through SoD and had to make at least one saving throw against the Neothelid when my potion buffs had run out. However, luck was on my side and with a little (well OK, a lot) of help from Caelar, Belhifet is down.
    Regrettably, a slight lack of caution coupled with some bad luck proved fatal in the Planar Prison. I was at level 28 at the time with plenty of options to proceed safely, but chose to attack the Master of Thralls openly. My initial click to attack didn't seem to 'take', which resulted in over a round being wasted while he attacked me. As a result the demon was still just alive as I was taken down to 53 HPs, which did feel a bit uncomfortable with 2 air elementals attacking at the same time - but with Greater Evasion active the elementals were struggling to hit and I decided to risk staying there for a few more seconds. However, the removal of critical hit protection from ioun stones proved fatal as one elemental hit for 40 damage and the other for 14 simultaneously ...

    A year later I've started another run. I've had several promising runs lately, but no successes. As Mel is the greatest obstacle and thieves have such an easy time against her, this should offer decent odds for success. I've completed BGEE and will have to try and remember to keep buffs up now in SoD.
    Another silly mistake proved costly against Belhifet. Near the start of that combat I noticed that Caelar was just standing doing nothing. At first I thought that must be some sort of status effect and hit her with a dispelling arrow, but that didn't help. It was only after using greater restoration on her a number of times I realized that I must have accidentally clicked the AI button off - I normally never use NPCs or scripts, so am not used to checking that. That meant I was going to be a bit tight on the number of restoration scrolls I had. With Belhifet down to 70 HPs or so and 4 of those left I should have been OK, but was cutting things a bit tight when a cornugon hit Caelar with a nasty lightning bolt just as I was in the middle of casting restoration. With so much fatigue on me I then stood no chance of finishing off the devil.

    Another year and a bit has gone by. I've not played much for a while and my latest attempt with a cleric/ranger was spread over several months. That was ended by Melissan's 3rd incarnation this morning and I decided to start another run almost immediately in search of revenge. The random choice for a class turned up a bounty hunter, which should be a pretty good prospect to get that revenge. It's so far, so good with Sarevok out of the way. Traps have been used extensively in the run so far and it felt only fitting to give them the job of finishing the big man off.
    Well I played poorly in SoD, with multiple mistakes including allowing one of the first wave in the Coalition Camp invasion to get through and getting affected by fear in the final battle with Belhifet. However, my luck held and it's on to SoA.
    SoA is done as well and was rather cleaner than the earlier play. Thieves generally have a relatively easy time in ToB, so I really just need to avoid mistakes!
    And ... I couldn't avoid those mistakes. I had forgotten to pick up the Amulet of the Master Harper from the Fire Temple and went back later after killing Yaga-Shura, but wasn't paying full attention on the way back out and triggered the maze trap. It is possible to forestall maze by using a PfM scroll to dispel it before it takes effect - but that requires that you're paying attention ...

    I've only played 2 or 3 games in the last few months, so it was a bit surprising to see the bounty hunter come up again as a random choice less than 3 months since the last time. BGEE was done in a single session with few problems. I still did plenty of unnecessary encounters though - including killing 3 of Elminster's incarnations. It would have been easy to kill Sarevok with backstabs, but I thought traps were more suitable for a bounty hunter. I transferred to SoD not far short of the XP cap there.
    A single session was also enough for SoD, though I did have to reload an autosave when the game hung during the final cutscene with Skie. That meant I had to fight Belhifet for a second time - that's always more dangerous, but he duly went down once more to my sling despite my enormous fatigue penalty from keeping Caelar going.
    I'd made good progress early on in BG2EE before coming to a sudden end in Mae'Var's HQ at level 17. I'd used a trap round a corner to damage a couple of thieves. Even though they hadn't seen me, one of them must have decided to go invisible and investigate and I couldn't quite survive the resulting backstab.
    Post edited by Grond0 on
  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 7,385
    edited April 2023
    Priest of Talos
    Continuing with the clerical theme, I rolled up a new variety with a dwarven Priest of Talos and he's just gone through BGEE and SoD. Clerics are perhaps the easiest class to make progress with in the early game and SoA should also offer no problems in principle - though that is a rather longer haul. I've never completed ToB with a divine caster though, so that could pose a new question or two if I get that far ...
    OK, SoA is complete as well. I made a few of the usual mistakes - like for instance mistakenly walking through the petrification trap on the lich hideout in the Bridge District, thinking that was the inn next door. However, overall it was pretty straight-forward. Let's see how far that applies to ToB ...
    Well the first half of ToB seemed easy enough, but I got caught out against Sendai's statues. The backstabber got one attack in while I was fighting the drow spawned by killing the previous attacker. That left me vulnerable to a further backstab, so when the statue went invisible again, so did I. I was out of sight range of the mage drow at that time, so didn't really think he would cast true sight. However, I was just wondering about changing my boots to protect against backstabs anyway when true sight did cast from off screen - and an instant backstab gave me no chance to react.

    14 months later another run is underway. Clerics are strong in BG1 and I didn't have any particular problems there - and got a nice bonus as HPs are only 5 below the possible maximum. Sarevok was too much to take down in melee, so I resorted to shooting him to finish him off.
    As so often, a bit of messing about proved costly. I'd made easy progress through to Boareskyr Bridge, but mucked about there with the mage. It would have been easy to finish him off earlier, but I'd killed all the guards first and not used any buffs. I did actually kill the mage as well, but not before he released a lightning bolt - which ricocheted throughout the camp, killing chickens and guards, before returning all the way back and hitting one of the barrels on the bridge and setting off an explosion that destroyed that :'(.

    A bit over 2 years later and I rolled a dark moon monk as the next class to try. In order to give myself a better chance of maintaining concentration with that I'm restricting play to a maximum of 1 hour a day. However, I sometimes want to play more than that, so have also started another Priest of Talos run. That's gone through BG1 without major problems, though I realized too late that I'd forgotten to pick up the wisdom tome from the Candlekeep tombs. Probably partly because I have another run at the same time I did less unnecessary work than usual and used items slightly more - for instance in the final battle with Sarevok I mixed in sling shots with the use of the magic missile wand to speed things up.
    Well, it took me over 2 months, but I eventually got around to continuing with this run. SoD was generally easy enough, though my lack of firepower was a bit exposed against Belhifet and Caelar was killed before I finally finished him off.
    SoA is also complete, with a deva helping to finish off Jon. One problem though is that a bug prevented me from exiting Spellhold in my normal way. I was able to take the alternative exit straight to the Underdark though, so didn't reload (I normally only allow a reload for bugs if the effects are game-breaking) - but that means I don't have the Cloak of Mirroring. That could be costly in ToB, but we'll see.
    In the end the lack of that Cloak was less of an issue than I'd feared, but I still failed. Things were looking promising when Melissan's first two incarnations went down without too much trouble. I felt I should have managed her 3rd as well, but made a small (but critical) movement error - I overlooked that one of the 4 spurs pointing into the centre is impassable and hence got caught against it and surrounded. Melissan took advantage of that to come into melee and, though I lasted some time longer, I was never likely to survive unless she broke off the attack ...
    Post edited by Grond0 on
  • monicomonico Member Posts: 571
    edited January 2020
    Oh, an Invoker! Be careful against Belhifet, you can’t Malison him o:)
  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 7,385
    edited August 2020
    I haven't been playing so much recently. Part of the reason for that is that I've been having a few problems with arthritis - I imagine that's likely to get worse over time, so this challenge is suddenly looking even more difficult ;). To have a realistic chance of success I'd have to focus much better on staying safe rather than just playing generically, but I don't find that easy over a long period ...

    However, my latest random choice of class produced a Priest of Helm. Though I haven't played that as a sole class in this challenge before, as it happens the last attempt I did was using one of those with the intention of dualling to ranger - if I hadn't got careless against Belhifet. Even with my memory therefore gameplay strategies were familiar. I did make the usual handful of mistakes: those included reacting slowly to a basilisk ambush (and having to save against a gaze attack) and forgetting to pick up the wisdom tome from Candlekeep. However, I made it through in the end and have moved on to SoD.
    SoD was done without any particular problem. With good saving throws and high-quality summons SoA should be relatively easy. I've never completed ToB with a divine character, so that could be more challenging, though I'm pretty sure clerics are capable of that - let's see if I can put it to the test ...
    No test yet, I'm afraid as another run ends from carelessness / experimentation. I was at level 23 and wondered if I could destroy liches yet. The standard lich on the way to the Unseeing Eye was no trouble, but I could only turn and not destroy the Shade Lich. I'd done that a couple of times and started to damage it on the second occasion - but it recovered very quickly that time. Trying to turn it for a third time I obviously let it get a bit too close to me and, though I had a couple of spells memorized that could have stopped maze, I had cast neither and had not yet got around to buying anything other than containers - so could not use a scroll of PfM to dispel the maze.

    Five months later I've started another run. Sarevok took a couple of big chunks out of me before skeletons finished him off, but there was no real danger there. The only slightly worrying moment in the run so far was at the palace when the last doppleganger, which had run from Bhaal horror earlier, got very lucky to kill Belt. However, skeletons finished it off before it could move to attack Liia - who was already badly wounded.
    As usual I did pretty much the minimum in SoD and didn't have much trouble. For the fight against Belhifet I used 5 Champions Strength scrolls at the top of the lift so that I could hit him easily even using the Root of the Problem club non-proficiently. Those scrolls had just started to run out at the end of the fight (I had another 5 though), but enough bonus remained to get a killing hit in.
    SoA was also pretty easy. The only worrying moment was when I got cornered by a couple of illithid. After buffing up invisibly it only took 2 or 3 seconds to kill one of those, but with intelligence of 9 they would only have needed 2 criticals to kill me. I'll see if I can make it through ToB at least as far as Mel this time.
    Grrr. ToB was a bit trickier than I expected, including being taken down to 1 HP by Sendai's Harm and struggling for quite a while to kill Abazigal. However, I got through to Mel and, with the main combination of Reflection Shield and Big Metal Rod, killed her first 2 incarnations. For the 3rd I split initial summons between the top and bottom of the area to try and keep her distracted for a bit while killing the Slayer Shadows. Unfortunately that didn't delay her more than a second or two and she immediately came haring back down and managed to trap me against the Slayer Shadows. Those can't be turned, but I can think of several ways to avoid that situation occurring, so I'm pretty confident that I will eventually be able to complete a cleric (something I've never done in any installation before - mainly because I don't particularly like the game play with them).
    Post edited by Grond0 on
  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 7,385
    edited October 2023
    Still not playing much, but I have now got around to taking a newly generated character through BGEE. As usual I randomly chose the character, but that once more had a clerical flavor - this time though a multi-class fighter/cleric. That made progress pretty easy and I've not become aware (yet at least) of any mistakes on the way to see off Sarevok.
    There were no problems either going through SoD. With the use of Champion's Strength scrolls I could hit Belhifet easily, so wasn't too bothered about Caelar surviving - and Belhifet finished her off an instant before going down himself.
    The length of SoA tends to induce mistakes and I did succumb to temptation at one point when deliberately leaving myself exposed to a FoD with a 5% chance of death. Other than that though I played it generally pretty safe. I did mis-click in the dream sequence and lose a point of wisdom, which was slightly annoying. However, at higher levels I don't think the number of spells makes any real difference, so I should be well set for tackling ToB.
    That was a shame. I'd had no trouble in ToB on the way to Mel, but lasted only about 10 seconds against her :p. I struggle to remember what her different incarnations do and had thought that she would only cast timestop a little way into the battle. However, she did that almost immediately I appeared and proceeded to cut me down mercilessly ...

    A second attempt 18 months later ended rather stupidly. In the catacombs I used the violet potion to loot the tombs, while adding a potion of fortitude to get HPs back up. However, I didn't heal before trying to rest and the trap damage taken left me just low enough on HPs that the loss of the constitution HPs killed me.
    Post edited by Grond0 on
  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 7,385
    edited September 2023
    After the last run was contemptuously dismissed by Melissan, I randomly chose a new class - a dragon disciple. It's not that long since I succeeded with a sorcerer, so should have a reasonable chance with this one. I started off very cautiously, aiming to avoid taking any damage in BGEE. That record was spoilt in the Bandit Camp when I absent-mindedly used Spirit Armor and caused myself some damage. I was a bit less careful after that, but still took no more damage. There was minimal use of items, with a single lot of summoned monsters at the Palace, along with a scroll of chaos there. I also used a minor sequencer scroll and put that to good use to finish off Sarevok.
    A quick trip through SoD proved to be too quick. I was relying on Caelar to kill Belhifet, but let the battle go on too long without renewing my saving throw protection and was scared by Belhifet's aura - meaning Caelar was quickly cut down. I hadn't acquired lower resistance or Fire Shield (Blue), which are the only ways that would have given me a chance of outpacing Belhifet's regeneration and so abandoned the battle.

    Eighteen months later I tried a new run. Initially, I was aiming to complete BGEE without taking any damage. That was managed as far as the Cloakwood Mine before a took a self-inflicted injury. A skull trap intended for a ghast there landed a bit too far away and, once the ghast was dead, I decided to protect against it rather than take another route. I attempted that with a potion of magic blocking, but that seems to function in the same way as magic resistance, i.e. it doesn't protect against your own damage :s.
    That was rather dispiriting and I left the run on hold there for a month. On resuming, I was no longer worrying about taking damage and zipped through the remaining content. It seemed appropriate to finish Sarevok off with my breath weapon and successfully wore him down to a single HP, so that even his 90% resistance was insufficient to save him.
    A few more weeks and I eventually got around to tackling SoD - but messed up the fight against Belhifet. I allowed Caelar to get killed, but only after using greater restoration on him. The fatigue effect from that reduces luck, meaning mirror images provided no protection against Belhifet's attacks. That meant in turn that stoneskins provided too little protection to wear him down using fire shield: blue ...
    Post edited by Grond0 on
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