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Priest of Lathander 29 -> Mage 30 solo HoF summary

I've just completed my Priest of Lathander 29 -> Mage 30 build and wanted to share just how effective it is and how it clearly trumps any contenders.

Character creation:
Human, Priest of Lathander, Male, True Neutral
S 14, D 18, C 9, I 18, W 18, C 15
92 total
- Strength just enough for carrying, Priest spells sort it out soon enough
- Low con as 16 maxes out bonus HP anyway and DUHM does that
- 15 charisma gives 20 with friends spell to buy more scrolls sooner

Flail, Sling as weapons to start. By the end every weapon proficiency and style will be covered.

Part 1: beginning.
What makes this build so effective is that you can get enough XP without fighting to be able to summon skeletons who can clear the first areas easily when supported with hold person and hold undead.

Part 2: Aerial Servants
By the time you enter kresselacks tomb you get your first level 6 slot which let's you summon an aerial servant. Immune to normal weapons, multiple attacks per round, up to 40 damage per hit is amazingly good. The only place they struggle is against cold wights on Presio's level. Feel free to sanctuary past them and just kill Presio and his apprentice and come back at level 25 to destroy them with turn undead.

I never bothered to destroy the cold wights so only hit level 29 cleric on returning to Kuldahar but it seems likely if you did return to destroy them then you'll hit level 29 much sooner and have the option of summoning 6 aerial servants and then dualing and letting them destroy most of a level to accelerate you through the first few levels of Mage.

Part 3: Mage
Upon dualing buy whichever scrolls you like in Kuldahar and then jump over to Lonelywood and do as many quests around town as possible. With high charisma you can resolve the family quest and avoid being attacked when you visit the barbarian camp.

Burial Island is the scariest part of this walkthrough. Try to have invisibility, invisibility potions, shadow door, dimension door, protection from magic energy, spell deflection and mislead. Visit the Necromancers tower and buy at least one spell that you like of each level. Rest there and then haste or oil of speed and run invisible into the caves and look for Mebdinga at the bottom left. Grab the Tribal Symbol and immediately use an invisibility potion and run north to find the stairs up to Hjollder (if unsure scout out the area before going to Mebdinga - if you take contact other plane can pick up the nice suit of armour).

Talk to Hjollder and invis again and then dimension door to the mainland and run like hell to young ned and get off the island. This will leave a nasty surprise for our next visit to burial island but by then we'll handle it fine.

Back in lonelywood make sure that we've updated the bad wolf quest and then head to the gloomfrost.

At the gloomfrost expect a little trouble with the salamanders. Bottle necks, summons and cloudkills are your friend here. After them invis and pick up tiernons shield and proceed through the gloomfrost past everything to Tiernons. Have him upgrade the shield and make the fist of the Gloomfrost and Glacier Rose for you. Proceed to the hag invisible and with boots of the north equipped. We'll return later for the necklace.

Completing quests here and clearing out the quests in lonelywood (glacier rose, luskanites, bad wolf etc) and clearing the barbarian camp (protection from normal weapons and fireshields) pushes you to Mage level 30 and the completion of this guide.

After that you can return to Burial Isle and smash the undead here with any strategy that you like (priest buffs, Mage defenses, boon and IH let's you womp with 3 white doves or just stick with summons, skull traps and sunfires).

This guide is aimed at producing the most powerful character possible in the game - a level 29 Priest of Lathander/Mage 30. It is clearly more powerful than any single class and probably more powerful than any double or triple multiclass.

The build is superior to a FMC IMO because of the ease of leveling (no struggle street until animate dead, turn undead gains relevance sooner, Mage levels eventually overtake the triple class). Considering the build has a variety of ways to gain 10 APR there really is little advantage to the fighter class except for HP but the build has a healthy pool anyway which is quickly augmented with buffs. All saves end up well below 0 as well due to Boon (among other things).

A Gnome Illusionist/Cleric is a trickier comparison. It's easier to level than the FMC initially gaining animate dead sooner and has better saves and AC due to the helm. Eventually it'll gain cleric level 30 which is a slight advantage but will take significantly longer to get Mage level 30.

The build needs ~15m xp to complete compared to 20m for Cler/Ill multi and 30m for FMC multi.

Something else that has occurred to me is that the above walk through could be applied to a number of different dual class combinations with similar results:
Beastmaster -> Cleric
Priest of X -> Mage
Priest of X -> Ranger
Priest of X -> Fighter
Priest of X -> Thief

Priest of Talos 29 -> Mage holds some interest for me as I think evil clerics get a few spells that my neutral cleric missed (where's my Gate??). Beastmaster -> Cleric sounds like a lot of fun with Druid spells and summons galore though there is precious few clubs and staves to use.

I never would have thought that I'd complete a 29 -> 30 dual in IWDee but it's actually one of the most fun characters I've played and remains an interesting and varied play throughout. Well, until the dual is complete, now I have to see if I can be bothered to finish the game with my "perfect" build. I guess I can just invis rush the boring parts ha.

JuliusBorisovFinneousPJsemiticgodPteranFeytorGrumdok0zhivagoSargon1CrevsDaak

Comments

  • FeytorFeytor Member Posts: 57
    Building it right now :smile:
    rolled 96.

    extra points in strenght or something different?

    GrumCrevsDaak
  • Incantus89Incantus89 Member Posts: 28
    With a 96 I'd go 18,18,16,18,18 and dump whats left in charisma, cheaper prices are nice, but those stats will make the earlier levels just a tad smoother, not by much but still, smoother.

    CrevsDaak
  • FeytorFeytor Member Posts: 57
    edited April 2016

    With a 96 I'd go 18,18,16,18,18 and dump whats left in charisma, cheaper prices are nice, but those stats will make the earlier levels just a tad smoother, not by much but still, smoother.

    Until now I let the summons do the fighting :smiley: , so the extra hp are not needed. If im in melee, im pretty much dead in seconds.

    edit: not yet in kuldahar and already lvl 8 :)

    CrevsDaak
  • WowoWowo Member Posts: 2,058
    One of the slowest parts of this build is getting enough money for spell scrolls and 3 white doves. Much more important than an extra 18 HP.

    CrevsDaak
  • FeytorFeytor Member Posts: 57
    edited April 2016
    Grinding through the Vale :)

    sleeping, summoning, grinding.

    Intermezzo: on easy, my turn undead makes them all explode which is fuuuuuuuuun :smile:

    back to business ;)

    edit: anyone knows how turn undead is scaled in HOF?

    CrevsDaak
  • BillyYankBillyYank Member Posts: 2,526
    Feytor said:

    edit: anyone knows how turn undead is scaled in HOF?

    It isn't. It's basically useless in HOF.

    CrevsDaak
  • WowoWowo Member Posts: 2,058
    BillyYank said:

    Feytor said:

    edit: anyone knows how turn undead is scaled in HOF?

    It isn't. It's basically useless in HOF.
    Wrong. This build will be able to destroy undead soon enough.

    Tables here: https://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/36764/turn-undead-tables

    Skip Presio's level via Sanctuary (and protection from lightning) and then come back at level 25 and explode them all.

    You won't see anymore undead before dualing but when you finish your dual you'll be able to destroy all of the severed hand via turn (while invisible of course!).

    GrumFeytorGoturalCrevsDaak
  • BillyYankBillyYank Member Posts: 2,526
    Oh right, I forgot we were talking about a solo build.

    CrevsDaak
  • WowoWowo Member Posts: 2,058
    BillyYank said:

    Oh right, I forgot we were talking about a solo build.

    Even in a party a pure or berserker 7 -> cleric build will have some opportunities to turn depending on when you do HoW.

    GoturalCrevsDaak
  • FeytorFeytor Member Posts: 57
    edited April 2016
    Indeed just before entering Kresselacks tomb I leveled to 11 :smile:

    The arial servant works very good. Just send him in a group of skellies, make coffee, take a shower....
    And when you return there is a huge pile of XP just next to the huge pile of bones :smiley:



  • GoturalGotural Member Posts: 1,229
    I would still get at least 15 Str to be able to equip tower shields without any spells or items. You could drop the Constitution to 8.

    semiticgodCrevsDaak
  • WowoWowo Member Posts: 2,058
    edited April 2016
    Gotural said:

    I would still get at least 15 Str to be able to equip tower shields without any spells or items. You could drop the Constitution to 8.

    That works. I had 9 con as I'd planned to dual at level 21 which would give 16 con under DUHM but with level 29 it matters less as long as you don't get any HP penalties.

    I used a +1 Tower Shield for ages that didn't have the 15 strength requirement.

    GoturalCrevsDaak
  • FeytorFeytor Member Posts: 57
    Back in Kuldahar after the Vale.
    lvl 14 Which is good, but I really screwed my loot by losing all +1 weapons.

    Never leave them in a pile....ALWAYS put them in a drawer :(

    Still got the wolf amulet and the gnomish repair kit :)

    CrevsDaak
  • FeytorFeytor Member Posts: 57
    One of the more difficult fights is in black wolf temple 2.
    Two imbued wights and a skeletal mage. + loads of skellies.

    It completely trivialized by sending in 1 aerial servant and 5 min later it was +60k xp and all was dead :)
    Felt a bit cheesy , but I take it :)

    Albeit my servant WAS badly injured ;)



    GoturalsemiticgodCrevsDaak
  • WowoWowo Member Posts: 2,058
    Feytor said:

    One of the more difficult fights is in black wolf temple 2.
    Two imbued wights and a skeletal mage. + loads of skellies.

    It completely trivialized by sending in 1 aerial servant and 5 min later it was +60k xp and all was dead :)
    Felt a bit cheesy , but I take it :)

    Albeit my servant WAS badly injured ;)



    By now you can buff into quite a strong melee fighter with cleric buffs and 2*Boon of Lathander (they stack).

    GoturalFeytorCrevsDaak
  • FeytorFeytor Member Posts: 57
    Temple of the forgotten god was simple. Verbeegs cannot hit an aerial servant..... :)
    Try the first lvl of dragon eye tonight.

    @Wowo : do I have to kill the XYZ-lady before hitting 29?

  • WowoWowo Member Posts: 2,058
    Feytor said:

    Temple of the forgotten god was simple. Verbeegs cannot hit an aerial servant..... :)
    Try the first lvl of dragon eye tonight.

    @Wowo : do I have to kill the XYZ-lady before hitting 29?

    You may as well.

    Aerial Servants hit with +2 weapons. My strategy was to buff like crazy, leave all the aerial servants back to gank the surprise mages so they couldn't dispel me and kite Xyz and her goons until the mages were cleared and then rendezvous with the servants for the finish once they finished with the mages.

    If you're tricky you can dual just before she goes down for a nice 186k xp towards the new class.

  • FeytorFeytor Member Posts: 57
    edited April 2016
    Cleared lvl 1&2 of Dragon Eye. I entered in stealth and found a place to summon my servants and fought my way back :) Trolls are annoying because my summons keep hitting them when they are down.
    Micromanaged that fight pretty bad. (I am playing on an Ipad....)
    The beetles where an easy prey for my undead summons, and I brute forced through the spiders.


    Level 17 Priest :)

    Post edited by Feytor on
  • Sargon1Sargon1 Member Posts: 25
    edited December 2016
    Bit of necroing but I guess that a thread like this never really dies ;) My progress and observations so far:

    1. Go with 17 wis. It gives an extra 3rd level spell(Animate dead) instead of a 4th(Cloud of Pestilence if evil, otherwise meh-tier buffs and assorted rubbish).

    2. Careful with aggroing monsters. Always send the undead first, and always fight in a choke point that you can block entirely with your undead. Once a monster gets a hard-on directly on your character and not the skellies, it's very annoying to shake them off. The only way to prevent this is to block the path entirely.

    3. Chaotic Evil Priest of Tempus works alright for me so far. Chaos of Battle for random buffs and random debuffs with no save for all allies and enemies respectively in the area seems to me a much better deal than Hold Undead which from my experience is incapable of holding any undead due to high saving throws in HoF.

    4. There is a grinding spot at the lower right corner tomb at the Vale of Shadows. Go to the tomb(you can sanctuary through the goblin area and the rest of the Vale), clear the enemies at the start and around the bridge. Then, one or two skletons will respawn beyond the bridge every time you enter the tomb. Now you can park six of your guys right at the entrance and lure the skeletons out one by one. Much less risky than regular play pre-aerial servant.

    5. If you are still inclined to dual class, rest assured that Cleric/Mage can get skeletons online without any real fighting as well. Do all the Easthaven quests, kill the tavern bugs, the usual. Sanctuary past the first goblin encounter and enter the orc cave. You don't need to kill anything, I just got in the cave and clicked on the caravan wagons outside, and then went back to Hrotgar and he gave me some XP. One more stop at Pomab's for more XP and off you go. Sanctuary through the Goblin area all the way to the norhern sub-area and the bug cave to the north of that. Would you look at that, another 4 stationary bugs that you can sling stones at with impunity.

    Post edited by Sargon1 on
    CrevsDaak
  • AerichAerich Member Posts: 90
    This is an old, but good, thread. Inspiring, in fact. I have always been put off from soloing before, especially after a couple of short-lived attempts, but I adjusted my expectations and I am currently soloing with this build - flukily, even down to the stats in the OP. I am on Dragon's Eye, lvl 5, and getting close to dualing over. Here are my observations.

    1. Extra points in Str are useful, especially in the early going. You shouldn't count on doing any melee damage until Dragon's Eye, but you need to carry stuff, including your own armor and weapons. Until you get enough money for the bag of holding, inventory management with 14 Str is painful, never mind trying to bring back enough loot to sell in order to buy the aforementioned bag of holding. I agree with the modified build stats above (18 Dex, 8 Con, 18 Int, 18 Wis, 15 Cha) and it might be worth rolling to get 94+ to put the extra points in Str. You won't really need it by Dragon's Eye, but you spend a loooong time in the early chapters, and an extra point of damage per hit and some carrying capacity is nice, never mind a slightly better chance to hit. With 14 Str, I switched armors to wear +1 Chain instead of splint simply so I could save 20 lbs to carry other stuff. I've even resorted to using Str spells (DUHM, Strength of One) to get stuff back to Kuldahar, then taking it in multiple trips from the entrance area to Conlan's to sell.

    2. I think flail is nearly the worst first melee proficiency. Staff would help take out the beetles (see below for more), club is cheap and light, and you have better chances of finding a magical hammer or mace in the Vale, vs a flail/morning star. You shouldn't be fighting in melee much anyway. The first shadow can be killed with Hold Undead (if a priest of Lathander) and the magical hammer spell, and you should have an Aerial Servant by Myrkul's Sending.

    3. The early going until you get skeletons is painfully slow, but thankfully that's just one fight (slaughter?). I tried to sling Grisella's beetles to death, but I figured out that I'd run out of ammo (500+ stones) before I killed all the beetles. So, I used a staff instead, and it took 3+ real hours to kill four HoF beetles. A staff proficiency and a bit of extra Str might have helped to speed it up. I used undead to kill all else, including the wolf, and I had to use Strength of One to get the door open - meaning that fight isn't possible until lvl 5. The orc caves were tedious, but not threatening. I ended up doing all the fights just outside the entrance. As many Animate Dead as possible, Hold Person and Chant at lvl 2, and Bless at lvl 1 with a couple Sanctuary for safety.

    4. It's been said before, but lead with summons and keep your character safe. In the early going, it helps to use the transitions between areas. Summon undead outside, and use your character to draw monsters, trying to get well away from the area where monsters will appear before they get there. For the most part it works, but it pays to have an extra Sanctuary available to save your hide if you stay targeted. Once you get access to 5th level spells, you have another strategy available - cast Shield of Lathander on self right before going through a transition, cast a summoning spell right away, and cast Sanctuary next. All the monsters can't hit you with SoL active so you don't get disrupted, then they switch targets to your summons after you cast Sanctuary, and in a round or two you can go back to casting. I used this strategy at the entrance to BWT3 with great success, and it was the easiest time I've every had with that particular fight.

    5. Aerial Servants are amazing, and I never knew - I usually run druids and use elemental summons. It still helps to summon cannon fodder undead once you get Servants, because if you draw too many enemies, things that can't get at the Servant will go after the next nearest thing, which you don't want to be your character. Undead will also hit from time to time, which means your servant isn't doing all the work and you can get more done. Aerial Servant is the best bang for buck at the 6th lvl spell slot, by a wide margin, and is what makes a solo priest run feasible. The difference in hitting power between skeletons and servants is incredible. I memorize one Heal spell in bad trap areas only, but all the rest is Aerial Servants.

    6. Troll killing is difficult, because you run out of fire pots. I don't know if I'm alone in this, but I can't kill trolls while they are stunned, they just fall down. Priest have no acid, no phasing, no poison (unless you go evil), and only one fire spell, at the 5th level. I bought out Orrick's firepots and fire potions to make it through. I made a point of taking down a particular summoner early, so as to not have many trolls to deal with on that level.

    7. Summons will kill the majority of your enemies while you are a sc priest. Before I hit lvl 25 and exploded cold wights, my cleric was responsible for maybe 10% of total kills, many of which were trolls killed by firepots of which only the final damage was caused by the character. It takes a long time for skeletons and zombies to kill HoF enemies, so be prepared for long fights. I literally read a book during some early fights. I've never cast so much Bless and Chant in a run. As you get higher, Chant becomes less valuable because it disables casting, but it's the best lvl 2 spell early on against undead and non-humanoids when you don't have many spells available, with Hold Person holding that honor against goblins and orcs, because you simply cannot hit much even with DUHM. The extra damage and hit potential from Chant, applied to your undead summons, far outweighs what DUHM can do, because you still miss attacks most of the time.

    StummvonBordwehr
  • AerichAerich Member Posts: 90
    **Spoilers**

    Here's an update, with a slightly different perspective in spots than the OP. I have to say, meta knowledge is critical for this or likely any other solo, since you have to know what to prepare for.

    Even though you can get to 10 att/rnd shortly after completing the dual, I can't recommend it as the best strategy. To my mind, no matter the melee power of your party or character, the best HoF strategy has to combine safety and efficiency. That means spells must be used to significantly weaken or damage the opposition wherever possible, and melee is best used for mop-up once the damage-dealing power of the enemy has been largely neutralized. My 10 att/rnd uber-character had to run from melee with a fiendish harpy when I ignored that. In short, one must play to the strengths of one's character - spell advantage over literally every foe once dualed - rather than try to outswing tougher enemies while outnumbered.

    It's very possible to power up levels by dualing to Mage just prior to Yx. I destroyed DE lvl 3 with turn undead, returned to Kuldahar to buy a couple of wands for when I dualed - because I didn't want to be stuck with no offensive possibilities until I got some levels - got to lvl 29 Cl in the last room before Yx, and was lvl 9 mage two minutes after dualing. The yuan-ti priests got me with a dispel, which was annoying, but invisibility potion to the rescue. Aerial Servants kill all. The most difficult part was probably in Kuldahar afterwards, because a lvl 9 mage has trouble with HoF monsters and their HP. Invisible Stalkers from the summoner's staff were invaluable, as the other mage summons you have at this point have completely insufficient duration. I went to see a certain someone inside before clearing the outside, and when I came out, two townsmen had an enemy trapped in the doorway where my stalkers couldn't get at it, but it could get at them because of the range of its two-handed sword. I burned the rest of my spells and quite a few wand charges here. I'm a hoarder, but there's no better time to use items than when powering up the second half of a dual, because once it's complete, charged items are superfluous.

    I didn't cash in enough stuff for HoW. I thought I might get better prices there than in Kuldahar, but possibly not. I think Edion gives the best prices, but without a bag of holding, it's rough to get him as much as you need to buy all the goodies and scrolls. Wail is probably the best 9th level spell to get, if you can afford just one. There's no good way to take down BI before you complete the dual except as the OP says. Invis potion, invis spells, protection from magical energy, and dimension door are the keys - get in and get out!

    I completed the wolf quest before heading to Gloomfrost, which helped. I ended up clearing the outside of Gloomfrost as a mage, which took a few rests. I recommend resting a lot here, it is painful to go after a frost giant with not many spells left. If you aggro a large beast you can't rest, even if it can't get to you due to the narrowness of the path. A solo mage slinging stones at a frost giant is not a battle plan I recommend - I almost burned through both magic missile wands and a lot of flame arrows from the staff here because that was a better option.

    I heartily recommend the fireshields and PFNW approach at the barbarian camp, and two of each is a good choice because of the amount of time it can take. I recovered my cleric class here. It is incredible how little fighting you actually need to do to hit mage lvl 30 - end of Yx fight, Kuldahar, Gloomfrost outside, and barbarian camp - probably 5% of the time it took to hit cleric lvl 29.

    This should go without saying for solo, but the various sequencers let you hit above your weight. You still need that meta knowledge. I cast every decent buff spell and its mother before walking out the door to the Luskanites. I had Recitation, Slow, and Chromatic Orb in the Sequencer, and Doom and Chromatic Orb in the Minor Sequencer. Priestess disabled on the first round, second mage disabled on the second, Mislead on the third, Symbol:Hopelessness on the fourth, Aerial Servants and elemental on the next five rounds (Varglaan was still active but distracted by summons here), Haste, and it was over shortly.

    Here's where I most strongly differ from the OP. I never bought Three White Doves because of the cost, and BI was mostly a breeze with Turn Undead. Buff up and Turn is a much stronger and more efficient strategy than relying on Three White Doves, and Aerial Servants are still a tremendously strong summons. Using Project Image to summon and buff a pack of Aerial Servants is gold, and much stronger than the pack of elementals that a mage can use. The Polar Bear Spirit is tough, though, it will burn through your best summons like a hot knife through butter. Three White Doves is an option here, but there's nothing good about possibly getting targeted by the PBS. Underneath was all handled with TU.

    Off I go to TotL. After playing this character, I would have to argue that the cleric class is a requirement in the much-debated 'strongest character', at least in this type of setup (solo, HoF). Early on, Animate Dead then Aerial Servant are the keys, but Turn Undead is the big difference-maker in DE and upon regaining levels. Certain key areas of the former expansions (Burial Isle, Crypt, spectral guards) are completed easily and without much risk with a high level turner. Frankly, Burial Isle is completed more safely and easily with this single character than with most parties.

    StummvonBordwehrGrond0
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