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Ascension in a day?

Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 7,253
A few years ago I did a no-reload speed run just for BG1, using SCS and various other mods. I had a number of attempts at that using different strategies and have copied my best effort below from the Bioware Forum. Building on that I attempted to complete the whole trilogy no-reload using a basic BGT installation on core difficulty in a single 24 hour period.

My rules are essentially that there's no cheating, e.g. no use of the console or keyboard cheats and no use of exploits such as teleporting through walls, creating duplicate items or casting spells via potions. However, what some people would define as cheese, e.g. running between areas to avoid combat, is allowed. Time spent starts from initial loading of the game and includes any need for breaks (or falling asleep) as well as game delays such as playing cut-scenes.

To reduce wasted time thinking during the game I developed a script to follow during a couple of trial run-throughs with a dwarf fighter/thief named Alac. There are separate posts below with the scripts for BG1, SoA, ToB and the intended level-up progression. Text in italics indicates items to be taken.

The approximate timings I've put next to encounters for SoA and ToB are based on a couple of test runs I did. They suggest that the game can be finished in something like 12-14 hours if things go well. I suspect that physical and mental fatigue will require play in the later stages to be somewhat slower in order to stay safe, but I would still expect to be able to finish in less than 24 hours if I don't fall asleep ...

I wanted to have a full day without other commitments and had a go in July 2014 - 2 attempts, the second of which ended when getting blocked in while trying to exit the Underdark. A further couple of attempts were made in May 2015 - the first ended by a bouncing lightning bolt from Mekrath and the second when I failed to pay attention to the damage being done by an incendiary cloud trap in Spellhold. Succeeding in the challenge is definitely realistic though and I'm expecting to have another go when I've got a full day free of commitments.

I had 4 more goes in October 2016. Three of those were relatively short-lived in one day - two of them ending in the Planar Prison and one when I tried to disarm the trap guarding the tome in Durlag's Tower (which can't be disarmed in my installation) and was charmed. The fourth attempt a couple of days later went almost all the way in just over 15 hours (including breaks), but failed on Mel's 3rd incarnation at the Throne when I misplaced spike traps waiting to ambush her so that she destroyed rather than triggered them with her arrival - and with Alac caught by surprise and unbuffed Mel went straight for a timestop and cut him to pieces. A brief summary of that run is on the no-reload thread at
Post edited by Grond0 on


  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 7,253
    edited August 2016
    BG1 (total time required about 2 hours)

    Steal potion of clarity, ring and star sapphire.
    Buy heavy crossbow & bolts, studded leather armour and helmet.

    Talk to Gorion to leave.

    Pick up diamond.
    Try backstabbing Montaron to get his potion of speed and immediately hiding to do same to Xzar. If unsuccessful with stealth just run.

    Backstab Shoal and immediately hide again. Pick up pearl.

    Travel up to Friendly Arm, picking up +1 ring and ring of wizardry on the way (also identify the latter). Open up access to Bandit Camp.

    Ulgoth’s Beard
    Continue north to Ulgoth's Beard and buy staff +3; backstab Dushai for her ring.

    Head south to Beregost picking up ogre's belt on the way. Then on to Nashkel – pick up stealth boots en route. At Nashkel pick up ankheg armour, steal potions (including invisibility) and buy necklace of missiles & green scroll of protection from petrification. Rest to gain CLW Bhaal power.

    Travel in order to arrive at night-time. Backstab Bentan for his scroll of magic protection, then backstab / fireball Meilum for his bracers.

    Buy stone to flesh scroll on the way. Backstab / melee basilisks for XP. Recruit Korax to ensure no problems with Mutamin in order to kill his pet basilisk.

    At lighthouse area use potion of clarity to kill sirines. Then stealth attack golems and pick up constitution tome and sundry treasure. Identify tome at High Hedge and buy potions of perception.

    Nashkel mine
    Stealth down to Mulahey and backstab him (quickly hiding again after first attacking). Pick up letter to trigger chapter change. Rest to get LMD Bhaal power.

    Talk to Marl, give Firebead his book and backstab Tranzig; retreat down the stairs if necessary.

    Bandit camp
    Wait for night. Stealth into sight of Taugosz and pull him away into backstabs / fireballs (could use potion of speed here). Then go to main tent; re-stealth as soon as entering and again after opening chest (also pick up potion of magic blocking). If stealth fails use potion invisibility. Rest to get Bhaal horror.

    Sell equipment and buy light crossbow of speed.

    Run through Cloakwood ignoring encounters. At the mine use fireballs from stealth to kill the mages, then horror on Genthore and Drasus to separate them for easier disposal. Stealth down to Daveorn and use potions of perception to disarm traps and scroll of magic protection to finish him off. Backstab mustard jelly and take sundry treasure. Rest to get Bhaal horror before talking to the slave.

    Baldur’s Gate
    Pick up dexterity tome and Helm of Balduran and buy potion of perception, magic ammunition and scroll of magic protection. Explore Iron Throne under stealth (picking up green scroll of protection from petrification) before leaving for Candlekeep.

    Avoid battle with Rieltar. Rest to obtain DUHM then use green scroll, stealth and thieving potions to firebreath / backstab spiders and get strength and wisdom tomes and sundry treasure. Stealth out, killing basilisks on the way, before resting again to get final DUHM Bhaal power.

    Baldur’s Gate
    Back in the city buy potions of speed, power, storm giant strength, invulnerability and mind focusing and some dispelling arrows. Lure Slythe out and dispel then backstab him. Go straight on to the palace and melee the dopplegangers using full plate (use horror initially and, if the dukes look as though they could be in trouble, could go up the stairs).

    Buy any final equipment (including potions of perception). While buffs remain, backstab maze inhabitants before going into the temple. Pull Sarevok out to play with a bolt from distance. Then use the pillars to stealth repeatedly and backstab.

    Spend a few minutes picking up the remaining wisdom and intelligence tomes (pickpocketing cleric rather than doing poison quest) - partly for XP, but mainly for RP reasons. Also sell surplus equipment and buy Claw of Kazgoroth before reporting back to Belt.

    Note: should finish BG1 at fighter 7 / thief 8.
  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 7,253
    edited August 2016
    Character development

    Weapon proficiencies

    1 - 2* quarter staff, 1* 2-handed, 1* cross-bow
    3 - 2* cross-bow
    6 - 1* axe
    9 - 1* long sword
    12 -1* 2-weapon
    15 - 2* 2-weapon
    18 - 2* long sword
    21 - 2* axe
    24 - 3* 2-weapon

    Thief skills
    1 - OL 60, FT 20, PP 20, MS 25, HIS 10, DI 5, ST 10
    2/3 - MS 50, OL 70, HiS 25
    4 - MS 75
    5 - HiS 50
    6 - MS 100
    7 - FT 50
    8 - FT 75
    End BG1 (after dex tome)
    OL 75, FT 75, PP 25, MS 105, HIS 55, DI 5, ST 15

    9 - OL 80, FT 95
    10 - HIS 80
    11 - HIS 105
    12 - FT 100, ST 35
    13 - ST 60
    14 - ST 85
    15 - ST 100, DI 15
    16 - DI 40
    17 - DI 65
    18 - DI 90
    19 - DI 100, OL 95
    20 - OL 100, MS 125
    21 - MS 150
    22 - MS 175
    23 - MS 200
    Loss of dexterity in hell trials
    24 - ST 100, OL 100, FT 100, MS 200, HIS 105
    25 - HIS 130
    26 - HIS 155
    27 - HIS 180
    28 - HIS 205

    14 - UAI
    15 - Assassination
    16 - Spike trap
    17 - WW, spike trap
    18 - GWW, spike trap
    19 - Hardiness, GWW
    20 - GWW, spike trap
    21 - GWW, spike trap
    22 - Evasion, spike trap
    23 - Greater evasion, GWW
    24 - GWW, spike trap
    25 - GWW
    26 - GWW
    27 - Spike trap
    28 - Hardiness
    Post edited by Grond0 on
  • xzar_montyxzar_monty Member Posts: 631
    So, you do all this, and you pick up the tomes for "RP reasons"? One of the funniest logical inconsistencies ever.
  • xzar_montyxzar_monty Member Posts: 631
    Ok, that's fair enough. :smiley:
  • lroumenlroumen Member Posts: 2,456
    So 14 hours or less?

  • AewyrvenAewyrven Member Posts: 228
    *shakes head*

    Impressive. ... I think I shall attempt something similar if I can get over my restartitis issues.
  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 7,253
    @Aasim asked me about a year ago if I wanted to try this type of challenge again. I eventually got around to doing that, though this time with a berserker rather than a fighter/thief. I succeeded with that in total game play time of 13 hours 34 minutes - see record of run here. I think it would be possible to reduce that very considerably though if someone was playing in a more planned and focused way. This run was on core rules in an unmodded installation though. Playing with mods such as SCS would tend to take rather longer due to having to wait for enemy buffs to expire in a number of encounters.
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