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The LoB + SCS Solo Challenge proudly presents the "Crusaders of Blades and Stars"

HarpagornisHarpagornis Member Posts: 1,356

Welcome to the Crusaders of Blades & Stars

This unique challenge is sponsored by the Blades & Stars Inn. Best prices, best service. Here are our basic rules:

1. Legacy of Bhaal Difficulty (LoB) + Swoard Coast Stratagems (SCS). Mandatory for SCS are the basic improved AI settings, better calls for help, prebuffing, improved creatures & chapter-end-fights - including Ascension for ToB. Everything else is optional even though using the hardest setting is highly preferred!!

3. The Main Character has to play Solo

4. The ideal playthrough should contain Baldurs Gate → Siege of Dragonspear → Baldurs Gate 2 → Throne of Bhaal.

4. All classes are allowed including Dual- or Multiclassing. All races are allowed as well as unlimited rerolls on character creation screen. Reloads are allowed even though playing a no-reload challenge is higly welcome! Players using no-reload will get marked with [nR].

5. A reasonably detailed description of your progress would be great. Screenhosts are nice but no must have.

These are the basics. But we are looking for more to create an epic adventure that will last long in our memories.

Here is what we call our special house rules. Are you ready for them? Really? Okay, then lets take a closer look:

Every class is allowed to use all kinds of Weapons – thats what Blades are for. The Stars however bless you with free access to Protection Scrolls & Potions – but thats not all: They also give you the opportunity to pick your own selection of items that will be available during your travels. You can use the following numbers of stars to determine your destiny:

Homunculus --------- 9 Stars
Acolyte ------------- 8 Stars
Bandit Captain ------- 7 Stars
Crusader ------------ 6 Stars
Half Dragon --------- 5 Stars
Doomsayer ---------- 4 Stars
Archimandrite ------- 3 Stars
Archmage ----------- 2 Stars
Favored of Bhaal ----- 1 Star
Chosen One --------- 0 Star

Chose wisely out of the following categories:

FREE Weapons + Protection Scrolls + Potions
* Amulets & Belts
* Armor
* Boots & Gauntlets
* Cloak
* Helmet
* Left Ring
* Right Ring
* Mage Scrolls
* Shields
* Wands

To give other Players a better overview about your character you can post him in the following way:

Name, Race & Class

You difficulty level

The categories you have chosen

Grondo´s and Harpa´s Aslum of Arcane Madness

This is our personal Sphere of Chaos for all misleaded players out there - do you think you are strong enough?

- No antidots
- No-Reload only
- No XP loops or farming
- No maximum Hit Points at levelup
- No healing potions or healing items except for regeneration

- No Arrows of Detonation/Dispelling buying in BG1
- No Algernons Cloak or Nymph Cloak in BG1/SoD
- No Staff of the Magi in SoA & ToB
- No Speed Weapons in SoA
- No Wish spells for ToB

May fate smile upon you esteemed adventurer!


The following challenges are running at the moment:

@Grondo: Berserker/Mage [Favored of Bhaal + nR]
@Harpagornis: Berserker/Druid [nR] + Beastmaster [nR] + Fighter/Thief [nR] + Totemic Druid [Asylum + nR]
@histamiini: Fighter/Mage/Cleric [nR] + Cleric/Mage [nR] + Blade [nR]
@Victor_Creed_SFV: Shapeshifter

Hall of Fame:

@Harpagornis: Korgath the Dwarven Bounty Hunter + Su´kka the Half-Orc Barbarian
@Harpagornis + @Vynn: Eklun the Human Totemic Druid18/ Fighter [nR]
@histamiini: Sir Vanderley the Human Cavalier + Seven the Dwarven Defender + Trabb the Half-Elf Cleric/Mage [nR] + Kayla the Human Blade
@semiticgod: Frisk the Human Archer8/ Mage [nR + self-made mods]

Post edited by Harpagornis on


  • NoobaccaNoobacca Member Posts: 139
    edited November 2016
    Interesting challenge!

    I imagine that a Berserker would be the easiest out of the 'warriors' to complete this challenge, simply due to the immunities given by their rage ability and their not-so-huge-disadvantage of being limited to 2*s in ranged weapons (throwing axes/daggers for the win). Barbarians would be in a similar situation, but with slightly restricted armor choices.

    Maybe a Swashbuckler as a second place contender? I personally wouldn't consider them a warrior mainly because they're a thief kit but I can definitely see how they end up a bit more warrior-ish. That being said I think a solo Swashbuckler would do exceptionally well. Being able to stealth past big groups of enemies and disarm traps would mitigate a lot of damage plus once they get HLA: UAI they can essentially become fighter/mage/thieves by using scrolls.

    Third easiest I'd say would be a Paladin kit, maybe Cavalier for the big bonuses or Inquisitor for fighting mages (leaning more towards Inquisitor).

    The hardest run would either be a Kensai because of the all damage you'd end up taking or a Beast Master because of the hard restrictions.

    Overall, I'd be very interested to try this run. I just made a monk a few days ago and plan to do a trillogy run with him. Maybe I'll try a solo run with him once I've finished that.. Either way, I'd be keen to see what others think and keep an eye on this post to see how others actually do it.

    Good suggestion @Harpagornis

    Post edited by Noobacca on
  • HarpagornisHarpagornis Member Posts: 1,356
    edited November 2016
    Yeah, i mostly agree Noobacca! :)

    My first choices would Swashbuckler and Monk. The first has great utility and will be a F/M/T light edition while the second has the power of getting nearly unstoppable at higher levels. I like both of them cause thanks to stealth they can chose when to fight - or not.

    The Dark Moon Monk and Swashbuckler both worked pretty well for me in Icewind Dale even though it will be much harder to reach the higher levels quickly in Baldurs Gate.

    Berserker and Barbarian would be another interesting choice while someone claimed in the Icewind Dale Warrior Challenge that Blackguards are borderline OP thanks to poison.

    I think that in the long run utility will be the key - as well as patience. More opinions on that one? ;)

  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 4,428
    I've played LoB a fair amount solo using a sorcerer. At lower levels blindness works well to allow you to kill many things without having to concentrate too much, while at higher BG1 levels spell damage is sufficient to deal with things pretty quickly. I've completed BG1 no-reload and am pretty sure SoA would be easy enough in principle, though ToB might be trickier.

    I think I have a high tolerance for kiting things around, but I suspect that using a standard fighter might test that. I could imagine a berserker or dwarven defender might be able to go toe to toe with many enemies, but even they won't be able to stand up against the tougher encounters and winning a single combat with someone like Sarevok would be an exercise in patience. Perhaps I'm being a bit pessimistic though and should give it a go ...

    If I'm correct that a plain fighter class would get frustrating then I agree that a character with stealth would offer a potentially better alternative. A monk would be hard in BG1, but if you are aiming to go all the way to ToB then that looks a good choice to me (and the dark moon monk can use blindness).

  • HarpagornisHarpagornis Member Posts: 1,356
    edited November 2016
    Grond0 said:

    If I'm correct that a plain fighter class would get frustrating then I agree that a character with stealth would offer a potentially better alternative. A monk would be hard in BG1, but if you are aiming to go all the way to ToB then that looks a good choice to me (and the dark moon monk can use blindness).

    Thats the point of the Dark Moon Monk! Blindness is incredible powerful. Mirror Image boosts tankiness. Quivering Palm will be able to instakill many foes (worked even vs Yxunomei in IWD). Frozen Fist can be stacked - and will go through Stoneskin. Not to forget: Dark Moon Monk has Detect Illusion which is very handy vs mages. Soloing Icewind Dale on HoF with the Dark Moon Monk was really funny! Should be fun in BG too - if you survive the beginning! :D

  • HarpagornisHarpagornis Member Posts: 1,356
    Very interesting stuff Grond0 especially how fast you made progress with the Berserker. I never played BG that much so its insightful for me to see where you went at which point. Should remember this once i start my own run... ;)

  • HarpagornisHarpagornis Member Posts: 1,356
    edited November 2016
    I rolled up a Swashbuckler and stopped for no obvious reason. I started a Barbarian and missed my stealth too much (yes I am a sneaky guy). Finally I came up with my old love – the Dark Moon Monk – just to see if he is able to steamroll just like in Icewind Dale.

    In Candlekeep he skipped only the rat quest because it was far too time consuming, bought a sling and lots of bullets and moved out with Gorion. Along the way to the Friendly Arm Inn Rakatta found a Ring of Protection +1 as well as a Ring of Wizardry to boost up his defenses as well as his gold pool. To get Joia´s ring he killed several Hobgoblins using the borderline broken Blind-Spell. After getting the ring back he was just level 2.

    The next phase was quite chaotic because I couldn’t remember all the locations (it has been several years since my last BG games). While sneaking through the maps Rakatta avoided most battles to get the Sling +1 in Beregost and the Gauntlets of Weapon Expertise from Meilum in Firewine Bridge. Thanks to the big range of the Monk fists he is able to punch many blinded enemies without any retaliation (didn’t work against specific enemies that have the same range or tend to walk even when blinded). All of this feels a bit lame but before reaching a certain power level nearly any "fair" 1vs1 will lead to death.

    The blind-and-kill game also worked perfectly fine against some Ankhegs so Rakatta was just level 3 before he tried to kill his first Basiliks. Even the greater ones (which are really fearsome enemies) regularly failed to make a saving vs blind so the rest was just punching them to death (or using slingshots). After killing a lot of basiliks level 5 was reached.

    Time to say “Hello” to the Sirens at the lighthouse i thought. Blind worked but – damn – after getting blinded they tend to walk around the whole map. Bad girls! After killing only two of them (which was very time consuming) Rakatta decided to kill Bassilus instead (which was easy) as well as solving several xp-heavy quests. With level 6 in the pockets it was finally time to get south of Nashkel. Greywolf – the dead one – left over a fine Longsword +2 right before Rakatta went down into the Nashkel Mine. Thanks to stealth he avoided all fighting only to bring down Mulahey. Killing him was much harder than expected thanks to the incoming support troops. The easiest way was: Hit Mulahey out of combat -> immediately restealth and wait for the incoming support -> splittpull and kill all enemies till Mulahey is left -> blind and punch him to death! This was safe but took some time (and resting).

    Back in Nashkel he got the fine Boots of Avoidance from Nimbul (poor archers), killed Tranzig (kiting him all the day as blind didn’t work) and finally made his way into the Bandits Camp after some sweattalking. Clearing the main tent was again all about cheese. After solo-pulling them out into the forest the usual blind-and-kill-game followed. Rakatta now got a clue about the hidden complex in the Cloakwood but before heading there he decided to farm a bit more Ankhegs. Thanks to Blind and Frozen Fist stacking they went down pretty quickly. Once he reached level 7 it was time for some resting. New adventures are waiting soon!

    Number of reloads so far: Yes, several. Well – many. But luckily this is not a no-reload-challenge. Even at level 7 the Monk still feels quite weak and vulnerable (compared to a Berserker). Hopefully Rakatta will be able to reach higher levels soon – we will see! ;)

  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 4,428
    Glad to see a monk on the march!

    I did have another no-reload attempt with the same berserker a few days ago. That one did everything up to the return to Candlekeep without any particular problems, but got careless there. I can't remember exactly what I did at the Cloakwood Mine, but I think Kysus and Rezdan were killed by fireballs - as were Davaeorn's battle horrors. The mage himself was then attacked using a potion of magic blocking followed by rage.

    At Candlekeep the first mistake was that I couldn't be bothered kiting the last of the phase spiders around and got poisoned by it. I don't allow the use of antidotes, but had a green scroll available - and even with the fast acting, double-damage poison there should have been time to use that. However, I'd forgotten momentarily that using it would take me not one round, but two (as the character was created with low intelligence and needed to take a potion of genius first) and didn't take the potion immediately after being poisoned. The delay of a few seconds proved costly when the poison just beat the activation of the green scroll ...

  • FrancoisFrancois Member Posts: 452
    If the goal is to avoid high level magic, then is it a good idea to allow swashbucklers? At high level they will be able to out-cheese any mage with UAI.

  • HarpagornisHarpagornis Member Posts: 1,356
    edited November 2016
    I am quite amazed that your Berserker went so smoothly even on LoB. But as you have played BG hundreds (more?) of times your metagame knowledge is just superior. Well - it still doesnt protect from being careless as we have seen. What a pity. Do you think that - without the no-reload-resctriction - your Berserker would be deep within BG 2 now?

    The stealthy Monk suits my playstyle much more so i want to give it a try. Still feels so weak... :D

    Yeah, Swashbuckler should be great choice too - abandoned mine for now. Someone wants to try it? ;)

  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 4,428

    I am quite amazed that your Berserker went so smoothly even on LoB. But as you have played BG hundreds (more?) of times your metagame knowledge is just superior. Well - it still doesnt protect from being careless as we have seen. What a pity. Do you think that - without the no-reload-resctriction - your Berserker would be deep within BG 2 now?

    If we're talking starts in BG1 then I'm sure that's well into 4 figures. BG2 starts will be far lower as I concentrated for years on BG1 and many BG1 starts don't progress. BG2 finishes are exceedingly rare as I only play no-reload and as you noted have a tendency to be careless :p . It's virtually certain that if I wasn't playing no-reload in a LoB run I would get tired of the run and abandon it - I suspect that would be a danger anyway even no-reload just because of the extra time and repetitive effort required to make progress ...

  • HarpagornisHarpagornis Member Posts: 1,356
    edited November 2016
    It seems everyone has his own comfort zone with regard to challenges. Personally i never was able to fall in love with no-reload-challenges - dont know why. But i love things like level 1 stuff thats borderline masochistic and requires endless patience. :D

    At the moment my Monk is punching down Davaeorn - should be easy now as he has run out of spells. ;)

  • HarpagornisHarpagornis Member Posts: 1,356
    edited November 2016
    Welcome Blackraven! Nice to see an Archer on the run - Rangers are in need of some love here!

    For this specific challenge things like xp-bonus oder xp-cap removal is not allowed as it makes things too easy in my opinion. SCS is a bonus but not a must have. Anyway: You can play the game like you want - have fun and feel free to update your progress! ;)

    Rakatta in the meanwhile is sneak-killing through the city of Baldurs Gate and will soon be on his return trip to Candlekeep. :)

  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 4,428
    I had a further go with my berserker. This time I managed to get to the palace, though I was taken down to 6 HPs against Kysus when I forgot how vicious a single flame arrow would be in LoB due to the big rise in levels and double damage. I had 116 HPs prior to the spell and 6 after it - and that was despite 40% fire resistance from my ring!

    At the palace I initially went invisible hoping that Belt and the guards would be able to tackle the dopplegangers individually (with no enemies visible they only retaliate when attacked). In Core rules EE, Belt has a decent chance of killing the lot of them like that. However, although Belt is upgraded by LoB the dopplegangers have been improved more and he lost over half his HPs in killing the first doppleganger. At that point I took a few potions and joined the fight hoping against hope that all the other dopplegangers would attack me - they didn't ...

    I did load the autosave once to see what the fight would be like if I participated from the start, but I did no better that time after 5 of the 6 dopplegangers attacked the dukes. I normally find the fight at the palace the chanciest element of a no-reload run, with only the final battles with Melissan approaching the same difficulty, and it looks like LoB makes the chances lower still. The fight will be possible though if a number of dopplegangers attack you rather than the dukes from the start, so I wouldn't expect the palace to be too much of a hurdle to this challenge (reloading when necessary).

  • HarpagornisHarpagornis Member Posts: 1,356
    Nice to see that you give your Berserker another chance Grond0! ;)

    Well, well, the cursed palace fight - i hate this one. And it will be tough for sure because unlike your Berserker my Monk is not able to tank. Maybe just running and luring them around the corner? We will see! :D

    How the heck do you fight Slythe? Tank him? Kite him? Two hits - and he nearly always hits my Monk - and i am dead. Blind did not work so i had to heavily abuse the leave area -> stealth cheese. Worked pretty well but it feels so lame. Kiting him with a Sling would have been a nightmare.

  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 4,428
    edited November 2016
    Slythe is easy with a berserker as you can dispel his haste - leaving him helpless against ranged attacks. I've killed him plenty of times with a monk though using stealth attacks on Core and I don't think it would take too much longer with LoB. You can just run through the corner rooms and hide as you get out of his sight momentarily - he should never get a chance to attack . If you're finding you fail with hiding too much and that's getting boring you can use potions of perception, though you might want to keep some of those to use against Sarevok.

    I think your best chance at the palace with a monk would be to tank the dopplegangers. If you use potions of mind focusing to put dexterity to 25, invulnerability to set base AC to 0, equip the correct girdle, use your blur innate ability and read the defensive harmony scroll from Ulgoth's Beard I don't think the dopplegangers will hit you easily. With potions of power & storm giant strength + DUHM you will hit them easily (I suspect easily enough it may well be worth you using dual wielding against them), though you will still need plenty of luck to be able to kill them before they finish off the dukes. During the fight you can get some useful additional damage by using potions of firebreath, but probably limit yourself to attacking a single doppleganger with them (as the dukes and Flaming Fist move around quite a lot there's a danger of catching them if you get too greedy).

    Post edited by Grond0 on
  • HarpagornisHarpagornis Member Posts: 1,356
    edited November 2016
    @Grond0: Your Berserker can „Dispel Magic“ – what am I missing! Anything else than Bala's Axe? ;)

    Well, Slythe was no big deal thanks to the hit-run-stealth game. Just for the fun of it I tested the Palace fight to see whats possible at LoB. Thanks for your advice Grond0 to tank them with the help of potions and scrolls. But – hey – I am a Dark Moon Monk! Rushing my enemies and fight them face to face is not my way. I am a trickster! With other words: I waited in the middle of the dopplegangers to attack me, “guided” them into one of the entry rooms and restealthed. On the very first try my monk was able to park 4 dopplegangers there while the rest got killed in the main room by the guards and a little help from me. Thanks to the following splittpulling Belt got barely hurt and I would have solved this tricky part without any problems. Normally. But – as always – I totally forgot to get the evidence against Sarevok first and got killed by the Flaming Fist. Its always the same… :D

    Post edited by Harpagornis on
  • BlackravenBlackraven Member Posts: 3,186

    @Grond0: Your Berserker can „Dispel Magic“ – what am I missing! Anything else than Bala's Axe? ;)

    Berserker cannot specialize in ranged weapons, but they can still use them. I assume @Grond0 used a bow with arrows of dispelling.

    Nice work with your Monk @Harpargonis. Are you going to reload and continue?

  • HarpagornisHarpagornis Member Posts: 1,356
    You are right Blackraven - as a Monk i am totally used to the Sling only restriction! :dizzy:

    Sure i will continue- its not a no-reload-challenge. At least for me! :D

    How is your Archer going Blackraven? ;)

    And why is there still no one rolling a Swashbuckler?

    Or a Cavalier? Yes please - we want some fun! :D

  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 4,428
    A bow and arrows indeed - I've got into the habit of using those against Slythe and also in the fight with Sarevok, though I don't normally bother elsewhere.

    Well done at the Palace. It sounds like you were fortunate there if 4 dopplegangers attacked you - typically only 1 (sometimes 2) does so against me. I hope you get the same result next time when you bring along the evidence!

  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 4,428
    Nice progress Blackraven. The greater dopplegangers at the palace don't cast any spells (those elsewhere, like Durlag's and the catacombs, use mirror image and haste), but they do start off hasted. Arrows of dispelling are therefore likely to be useful for that fight (it takes the dopplegangers longer to kill Belt in LoB than vanilla, so reducing their attacks is helpful). You could try pulling some of them away like Harpagornis did, though I'm not convinced that's a good strategy - if you're fully protected you should be able to tank those attacking you anyway and if most or all of them attack the dukes then you'll need all possible time to try and wear them down.

    You're right to be cautious about fighting Mulahey's support troops - in both my runs that was one of the hardest battles. I suggest you make sure you've got a means of going invisible to allow you to recover and rebuff if necessary.

  • HarpagornisHarpagornis Member Posts: 1,356
    edited November 2016
    Okay, the palace is done - took only three tries to park four of the dopplegangers in the next rooms again. After this it was just pulling and running (and some punching in between) so that the guards could take care of the rest. At the end both - Liia and Belt - survived the slaughter. It might not be the best strategy but it fits my Monk much better than just tanking and it spared a lot of potions! :D

    But what next? Facing Sarevok? Or starting Tales of the Sword Coast? Or maybe just visitting all the places that i skipped before? But first: Time for some rest! ;)

    BtW: Cool to see that you rerolled your Archer Blackraven. The game must be a lot easier without SCS now. Will see you stomping Mulahey in Nashkel Mines soon! ;)

  • BlackravenBlackraven Member Posts: 3,186
    @Grond0, thanks for both pieces of advice. I've just had my first reload. Decided to fight Silke, because Feldepost's "thugs" give potions of defense which would be useful for the Nashkel Mines.
    In SCS Silke's most dangerous spells are disablers so I came greenstone-protected. But then her horrible Lightning Bolt, that I had completely forgotten about, killed me. Character was at full health...

    It's hard for me to reload and continue but I'm willing in order to learn about LoB. At the same time I think I prefer playing LoB with SCS (at leasts its basic AI components), so I might end up doing a new install and rolling a new character.

  • SouthpawSouthpaw Member Posts: 2,026
    As much as I like Thieves and standard Fighters, for this I'd go with Blackguard or (even better) a Barbarian.

    Swashuckler would be a bit difficult at start, but easier after lv 5-6 and doable. (Soloed BG1+big part of BG2 on hard difficulty). A Monk would be very, very difficult first 8-9 levels (= whole BG1) and almost impossible to do Durlag's Tower with.

  • BlackravenBlackraven Member Posts: 3,186
    Southpaw said:

    or (even better) a Barbarian.

    This is what I think too.

    Chateau Irenicus seems frustrating to me with almost any non-stealthy character.

  • HarpagornisHarpagornis Member Posts: 1,356
    edited November 2016
    Yeah, the AI could be better so - maybe - i will put LoB and SCS together. But not for the moment. ;)

    Your are welcome to join us with a Swashbuckler Southpaw. I abanonded mine for no obvious reason.

    My Monk so far (he is level 8 now) is far more easier than expected IF you are willing to cheese a bit. But as a Dark Moon Monk playing like a Trickster should be your second nature. :D

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