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The LoB + SCS Solo Challenge and the Tales of IWDification

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  • AvidGamerFanAvidGamerFan Member Posts: 95
    edited October 5
    Part 47: Angelo Takes a Guided Tour

    Executive Summary: Angelo completes all bar one of the peaceful quests initially available in Athkatla.

    Although Chapter 1 was basically complete, Angelo wandered through into the Slums Disctrict and accepted Gaelan Bayle's offer to raise 20,000 GP, thereby formalising proceedings. Sadly, he got no more XP for starting Chapter 2 (this wasn't SoD, which doled out XP for advancing the plot), but Felicity informed him that this would not be a problem...

    Looking back, I was perhaps a little too brief in my writeup of BG's starter quests. At the risk of paying excruciating detail to rather tedious gameplay, I won't make the same mistake again.
    1. A Grave Matter
      Angelo's first port of call was the Graveyard District. Wandering around, he found Tirdir, a kidnapped man who'd been dropped into an unmarked grave before Sethle the gravekeeper had accidentally loaded spadefuls of dirt on top of him. Rescuing the noble gave Angelo 6,500 XP and confronting Sethle about it prompted him to look for a man in red in the Bridge District. Angelo held onto that lead for now, vowing to confront the kidnappers once he'd levelled up a bit more.

      The grave was also conveniently next to the paladin Kamir, who had failed to protect his adopted son. Although Angelo wanted nothing more than to scoff at the knight's ineptitude, he sensed it was more profitable to talk to the priest Arenthis elsewhere in the district. This allowed him to persuade Kamir to adopt orphan girl Risa, earning Angelo 12,250 XP. Going back to Arenthis prompted another 3,000 XP boost and serious concerns about Athkatla's social services.
    2. Getting 'Wellyn'
      Waiting until nightfall, Angelo found restless child spririt Wellyn looking for his stuffed bear. After promising to get it back, Angelo quickly ducked into the crypts to cast Invisibility. Although the Cowled Wizards had warned him about using arcane spells within city limits, they didn't seem the brightest bunch since casting indoors seemed safe enough, with a few exceptions. This turned out to be a wise manoeuvre, as he was set upon by Suna Seni, Eldarin and some slaver thugs. The slaver wizard quickly dispelled the invisibility, but it gave him enough time to make it halfway to the exit. Neither spells nor the backstabbing rogue could reach him before he could escape, although a couple of arrows did find their painful mark.

      After a little encouragement, Lehtinan allowed Angelo access to the Copper Coronet's backrooms. Cowering in the first corridor, Llynis was eager to surrender Littleman the stuffed bear, which Angelo took as a fair trade for his miserable life, and giving it to Wellyn earned a further 15,500 XP. While he was exploring the Copper Coronet, Angelo also took master pickpocket Yarin's gloves from the adjacent cabinet, figuring he'd put these to good use soon enough.
    3. Finding the Hiding Hidesman
      The Bridge District was unsafe after dark (LoB lifted the muggers' stats to superhuman proportions), so Angelo waited until dawn had broken before continuing. Lieutenant Aegisfeld informed him that there was a murderer on the loose and since Angelo could not bear to have anyone cramping his style, he vowed to investigate. Claiming he hadn't a penny in the world, despite his ostentatious possessions saying otherwise, Rampah unquestioningly handed over the exotic hide. Rose Bouquet (perhaps a relative of Hyacinth Bucket from Keeping Up Appearances) would not be argued down, so Angelo bit the bullet and paid 20 GP for her to say she'd smelled something like guril berries. A quick trip to Bel Dalemark identified the hide as elephant and gave a trio of samples for Angelo to bring back to Rose. Apparently, the smell emanated from oak bark, which was used in tannins to make leather. Both of these clues pointed to the tanner, Rejiek Hidesman, who confessed for 23,250 XP and fled when Angelo came knocking.

      Both clues must be uncovered before Rejiek admits his guilt (Faraji, a light-fingered child, accuses Mrs Cragmoon, but this is a red herring with no consequence).

      The tanner shop's top floor was one of the aforementioned exceptions to the Cowled Wizards' ignorance
      about casting indoors, so Angelo descended to the basement (which had no such restriction). After Rejiek retreated again, Angelo disarmed a quartet of traps (the floor traps released Cloudkill, Lightning Bolt and Fireball, while the chest was Call Lightning and the shelves had a hidden spear), but did not follow the tanner downstairs. Instead, he returned to the surface and visited an unmarked NE house. The ground floor's traps were both electricity-based (Glyph of Warding on the ground, Lightning Bolt on the chest), but the first floor's were deadlier: petrification awaited a failed save when raiding the side cabinet while the chest was guarded by a Maze spell. Disarming them all, Angelo took the Silver Horn of Valhalla, a prized item that he would be upgrading shortly.
    4. Eliciting the 'Illithium'
      Next on Angelo's list was the Temple District, where he ran into some proselytisers spreading the word of the Unseeing Eye. Despite being evil, it was High Watcher Oisig who requested that Angelo go to the Temple of Helm to discuss hot to deal with this new cult. Angelo would tackle the Unseeing Eye later, but he was more interested in the subsidiary quest for now. This involved tracking down Sir Sarles for Guardian Telwyn to make a new artwork. Angelo duly traipsed over to the Jysstev estate in the Government District only to be told to seek out Jerlia in Waukeen's Promenade. Only the finest ore for Sir Sarles, or something like that.

      Being an illithium merchant was a profitable business: after paying 1,000 GP for Jerlia to reveal her source, Angelo also promised to a 200 GP subsidy for an alloy substitute. A day later, the price had jumped to 500 GP, but Angelo avoided paying by once again claiming he hadn't the cash... and when he returned moments later, she gave him the ore for free despite nominally charging him half a grand for it. Ever a stickler for details, Sir Sarles refused to accept the substitute (Angelo refused to use the word 'cheap', even if it had been free!), but the Temple of Helm turned out not to be so picky. For his efforts, he was rewarded with a helm of the noble and 10,000 XP and he still had the opportunity to follow up the real illithium with Unger Hilldark, Jerlia's source, in the Copper Coronet.
    5. The Dawning of the Dawn Ring
      In the meantime, Guardian Telwyn directed Angelo to Dawnbringer Sain in the temple of Lathander next door. Promising he'd retrieve the temple's stolen dawn ring, Angelo tracked down Travin by scouting the northern Slums district after dark (being sure to wind around clockwise to avoid thugs Bregg and Cohrvale, at least for the time being). Refusing to pay for information redirected Angelo to Borinall's house, which he bashed his way into using Draw Upon Holy Might and pacified Borinall by asking to see his wares. Aided by DUHM and his new gloves, Angelo picked the dawn ring straight out of Borinall's pocket and returned it to Sain for 16,250 XP and 1,000 GP.

      In classic BG2, it was possible to steal the dawn ring from the temple of Talos before this quest had been assigned, but BG2EE has apparently closed this exploit. Now only thieves, priests of Talos or characters with pilfery-capable familiars can complete the quest without violence.
    6. Getting Pally with the Paladins
      Much as it pained Angelo to do so, he spent part of his wages upping his reputation to 10 (had they not heard of the hero of Baldur's Gate?!). This enabled Sir Ryan Trawl in the High Hall of the Radiant Heart to give him the task of bringing the fallen paladins to justice. He found Reynald de Chantillon and the fallen paladins having a barney with Rindus and some assorted smugglers in the NE Bridge District. Since the former knights seemed more than capable of winning the battle on their own, Angelo didn't intervene, but this didn't seem to matter to Reynald, who tasked him with returning Anarg's cup.

      After persuading a reluctant Trawl to loan it out, Angelo offered it to Trawl, who doled out 10,250 XP and summoned Anarg. Of course, if Anarg initiated dialogue, then a fight would start, so Angelo didn't give him the chance. Deciding that the fallout would be better dealt with later, Angelo walked off before Anarg could arrive.
    7. Nicking the Necklace
      Not recognising that Angelo wasn't the worshipper of Cyric he claimed to be, the mad cleric outside the thieves' guild in the Docks wandered away. Eyeing Angelo up and down, the bouncer admitted him entry, an opportunity Angelo took to speak to Renal Bloodscalp and agree to infiltrate Mae'Var's complex. Showing Renal's letter of transfer to frontman Gorch when asking for Mae'Var did the trick and Angelo was allowed downstairs to speak with Mae'Var. As Angelo already had reputation > 10, he was tasked with stealing the necklace of Talos from the corresponding temple, an easy task given that it was nocturnally dumped in a chest by her bed. Merely grabbing it earned 20,000 XP and returning it to Mae'Var earned 29,500 XP more and the opportunity to undertake further quests from Edwin. Unfortunately, Edwin's first job would require assassination, a task which Angelo wasn't quite ready to contemplate, so he put that on hold for the time being. Leaving Mae'Var's guildhall, he skirted the perimeter clockwise as he exited the slums, avoiding the brigand-filled central lane.

      Had Angelo had < 10 reputation, he would have been tasked with stealing the necklace of Lathander, rather than Talos, which lacked the 20,000 XP 'pickup' reward.

    His business in Athkatla concluded, Felicity estimated there was roughly 145,500 XP to be earned peacefully in the city (discounting thief skills, mage scribing and so on). There was one more urban quest that could be completed pacifistically, but Angelo preferred to save this for another day. His next plan was to explore outside the city's limits, as there was plenty to be gained by setting his sights further afield.

    Post edited by AvidGamerFan on
    Grond0StummvonBordwehrAerakarhistamiini
  • AvidGamerFanAvidGamerFan Member Posts: 95
    edited October 8
    Part 48: Angelo Dispatches the Druids and the Djinn

    Executive Summary: After some important setup, Angelo completes all of Trademeet's many quests.

    "The next few updates might be slightly awkward," Felicity Foreshadow warned, living up to her name. "In an actual playthrough, you'd go through all pacifist quests before engaging in combat, but describing this would involve lots of backtracking. Readers may find it hard to keep track of what's been done where, and it wouldn’t lead to satisfactory narrative partitioning."

    “How about we compromise?” Angelo asked. “We make a disclaimer saying that we'll push the non-combat angle as far as possible, but then do the combat afterwards, clearly stating the delineation. During our inevitable 'SoA roundup', you can summarise the pacifist quests into a 'this is how we would have done it' post. That way, we can keep continuity flowing within the narrative while also providing the ‘optimal’ route."
    1. Putting Trademeet, Umar Hills and the D'Aernise Keep on the Map [No Combat]
      To his annoyance, he could not leave Athkatla blindly - he needed to have some idea where he was going. Fortunately, he did, so he met with the characters capable of updating his world map. Visiting the Copper Coronet afforded both Lord Jierdan Firkraag and Nalia D'Aernise to beset him with their problems; the former wasn't actually necessary (curiously, the Windspear Hills automatically shows up on the world map), but the latter unlocked the D'Aernise Keep location. Agreeing to Tolgerias' quest in the Council of Six building opened up the Umar Hills and talking to Flydian at the City Gates added Trademeet to Angelo's atlas. After watching Bandon pass off some illicit wares, these new destinations became accessible through the open gate.

      Curiously, the Windspear Hills automatically shows up on the world map and is accessible without first 'enabling' it by going through the City Gates (although you must visit the Slums to start Chapter 2 beforehand).

      Before he left, Angelo sold his excess gear and purchased a scroll of Protection from Undead. These were significantly rarer in BG2 than the original, so he only bought what was absolutely necessary. Other items could have potentially been useful, and Angelo would comment on those when the opportunity arose.
    2. Watcher's Keep Service Station [No Combat]
      Felicity informed Angelo of the possibility of several nasty waylays that could occur when travelling into or out of the wilderness. The Cowled Wizards' magical amnesty made it finnicky to precast Invisibility prior to travel, but Angelo knew a solution. To his knowledge, probabilities for waylays to occur were only given between SoA areas, and had not been updated for ToB. Since Watcher's Keep was an expansion area, travelling to and from there would never result in waylay, so it was a useful stepping stone to other places.

      This time, there was another reason for Angelo's visit. Agreeing to assist Odren teleported the motley crew to the roof, after which Sister Garlena's shop opened up. Her wares’ highlights were the short sword of mask +4 and light crossbow Firetooth +4, but Angelo was more interested in the potion case, the latter being the only pre-ToB example available. This would complement his gem bag (c.f. Ribald Barterman) and scroll case (c.f. Lady Yuth, also of the Adventurers' Mart) nicely. Elsewhere, Brother Pol was happy to give him a vigil stone (required to enter and leave the top floor) and a ritual scroll (to imprison the Imprisoned One... the Knights of the Vigil were big on tautologies!), and Angelo used the first item straight away. Once inside, rather than go through the main door, Angelo ducked left, disarmed the chest’s Chain Lightning trap and took the paladin's bracers. The shelves’ Horror trap was similarly dealt with, although its treasures weren't as notable.

      Using Invisibility, he continued clockwise past the stone golem and the literature-appraising trolls. Closing the door behind him, Angelo disarmed the level drain (right bookshelf) and Call Lightning (chest) traps to loot the crimson dart +3 and case of plenty +1. This room was also a haven to conjure some expendable summons, which were used to lure the trolls from the library into this room. Shutting them in, Angelo was free to loot the golem manual from the topmost bookshelf before leaving Watcher's Keep. Its completion would require more firepower than Angelo currently possessed and there was easier XP to be gained elsewhere.
      qbnu9mhvy21k.png

      It is technically possible to pacify the priest, memorise the ritual and light the fireplace (for 32,000 XP total) using stealth and summons as distractions. However, this involves entering the central chamber, where the wandering horror and the pair of vampiric wraiths follow you even when invisible (although the poison mist doesn't care). Vampiric wraiths are fast and can open doors, making them difficult to evade, and are incredibly difficult to kill if you don't know their weaknesses. It's ultimately not worth the hassle tackling them at this stage, especially since returning later will trivialise the combat.
    3. (Trade)Meeting the Druids [No Combat]
      Another nice thing about stopping off at Watcher's Keep was that by casting Invisibility, Angelo was able to arrive in Trademeet out of sight, so the hostile animals would focus on the town guards. Ignoring them, Angelo strode into the mayor's house and spoke to High Merchant Logan Coprinth, who recommended he talk to Cernd. Despite the shapeshifter begging to join his party (who could blame him?), Angelo had no need of BG2's objectively worst NPC (https://www.resetera.com/threads/rttp-baldurs-gate-2-a-careful-analysis-as-to-why-cernd-sucks.69659/) and settled for having the Druid Grove added to his map.

      On his way out, Angelo was sure to meet Neeber in the town square. Like his BG counterpart, Noober, the quickest way of dealing with Neeber was to repeatedly click on him - 17 dialogues later, Neeber gave up chatting and gave out 1,000 XP. He also watched Rasaad yn Bashir beat up Tannath and Treya, but refused to get involved. Finally, Wilfred the Red boasted about stealing a red dragon's hoard during a visit to a pleasure tent, but Angelo threatened him into admitting his lies, earning 1,000 XP and 100 GP.

      Once at the Druid Grove, Angelo relieved the troll mound of its bracers of archery and spear of the unicorn +2, but the real prize was Belm, a scimitar of speed +2 lying in the ogre’s tower. Putting everyone's favourite off-hand weapon in his main hand, he used summons to lure some shambling mounds of position and passed over the bridge pointing westwards. After Cernd seemed unimpressed by his progress, Angelo sneaked past Dalok and the assorted druids and bears into the grove proper to meet Faldorn. Displaying as much haughtiness as she did in BG, Faldorn would not be displaced without a druid challenger... and Angelo knew just the candidate.

      Cernd was eager to volunteer, but Angelo again shunned his joining offer. This time, Angelo had his interests in mind, as accepting would have removed Cernd's 'prospective NPC invulnerability'. As it stood, although Cernd could only hit Faldorn on a 20, she couldn't reduce him below 1 HP... making the druid ascension battle a mere timewasting formality.
      ws31mm9hev0m.png

      I'm not kidding about the 'timewasting' bit... it takes nearly a real-time hour for Cernd to beat down Faldorn with his quarterstaff!

      On his way back to Trademeet, Angelo dropped into Adratha's cottage. He hadn't spoken to Khan Zahraa in Trademeet yet, so the witch was amiable and had an impressive 10 potions of power in stock. So engaged was she in doing business that she didn't spot Angelo lifting the periapit of proof against poison from her pockets, although he unsurprisingly couldn't steal the Ihtafeer's Head helmet she wore... which would have made his upcoming quest significantly easier! Not to be discouraged, he slunk back to Logan Coprinth for 2,000 GP and 18,000 XP.

      If you are of evil alignment, Lord Khellon Menold will offer you Sulphurous Poison to use on the grove after leaving Coprinth's house for the first time. In this case, you will get 23,000 XP and a second Shield of Harmony, but you will not be able to complete Family Feuds (and I wasn't able to trigger Rejiek's quest either). Should you choose this path, you also have to kill Faldorn after poisoning the grove (the others disappear once she goes down), but you can use summons to block off most of the enemy troops.
    4. Death to the Dao [Combat]
      Next, Guildmistress Busya wanted him to remove the dao genies blocking the markets. Angelo found Khan Zahraa and his associate Faafirah in a nearby tent, but Felicity insisted that talking to them would make Adratha irrevocably hostile. This simply wasn't on - and besides, as Vidhadyar had illustrated in SoD, rakshasas are awkward for low level parties to kill - so the djinn would have to die. The tent's bodyguard, Taquee, also had a lovely efreeti bottle (whose summon could cast Invisibility to make any character stealth-capable... wizard slayers excepted, naturally!) which would have required violence to acquire had Angelo not been able to filch from his pocket.

      Neither Khan Zahraa nor Faafirah seemed aware of the first rule of business: never trust Angelo period, but especially not when he sets spike traps around you, then summons troops and buffs them. Angelo tried to start the fight with a bang and a backstab, but missed and Khan Zahraa erected his Stoneskin defences after the traps sliced his health in half. Had Angelo's backstab connected, the fight would have been over in an instant, but Angelo was not afraid of working for his money... he'd just rather not!

      While his summons tied up Khan Zahraa, Angelo exploited the dao’s rubbish saving throws and cast Blind on Faafirah. Angelo gave Khan Zahraa the same treatment, but he still fought valiantly against the skeleton and arachnid summons. Unfortunately, although the djinn only let his Stoneskin slip for an instant, it was enough for a spider to deliver what would ultimately be the fatal blow.
      1q8yw2xiexw4.png

      This provided Angelo with an early demonstration of why Spider Spawn, even more than Animate Dead, was a low-level mage's ticket to stardom. The arachnids were immune to Web, their poisons stacked and since Spider Spawn was a 4th level spell, he could summon a decent number of them. Khan Zahraa was interrupted whenever he tried to renew his Stoneskin and had he gotten an Invisibility off, Angelo's Detect Illusions would have torn it down. In some ways, Angelo would be sad when he reached wizardly level 12 and his phase spiders would be 'upgraded' to non-venomous sword spiders, but such an advancement would reap its own rewards.

      On the subject of reaping rewards, Angelo received 5,000 XP for Khan Zahraa's death (the other dao disappeared once their master was vanquished) and returned to Guildmistress Busya for 7,500 GP, some jewellery (including a rogue stone, whose value would become apparent later) and the shield of harmony +2. Had Angelo not secured Belm, he would have been delighted with Khan Zahraa's scimitar +2... but he still kept it around, despite his lack of two-weapon fighting proficiency, he knew it would prove useful.

      Taquee disappears when Khan Zahraa dies, so kill Taquee first if you can't steal the efreeti bottle. The remaining djinn will begin hostile, but the bottle is worth this inconvenience.
    5. Family Feuds [Combat]
      The shield of harmony was good, no denying that... but Angelo wanted more! Logan Coprinth sensed discontent and awarded Angelo 25,250 XP and 10,750 GP for ridding Trademeet of both its problems. Being the new hero of Trademeet attracted the attentions of Lady Lilith Lurraxol and Lord Skaerman Alibakkar, giving Angelo yet another issue to poke his nose into.

      Although it made little difference which family Angelo plumped for, the latter yielded elven chainmail if they were killed post-quest, so they were the 'lucky' winners. Using the Trademeet Tomb Key, Angelo opened the crypt, but did not like its inhabitants - two regular skeletons and two skeleton warriors, one of which cast Animate Dead ad infinitum to summon more critters. Not fancying those odds, Angelo retreated and conjured troops of his own. Fortunately, the mindless undead were just that, and any skeletons incapable of casting spells followed Angelo outside for a drubbing from his buffed summons. Both the efreet and the clay golem applied crushing damage, so both skeletons fell fast for 65 XP each and the skeleton warrior followed for 4,000 XP.
      x9lkl3ebttvh.png

      After a rest, Angelo realised that if the casting skeleton didn't finish its spell, they'd start from scratch every time. Since Animate Dead has a casting time of 1 round, Angelo could duck in and summon the efreet and golem (along with the berserk warrior) before retreating to prevent enemy reinforcements. After two attempts, the skeleton gave up casting, but by then, its 4,000 XP fate was sealed. Delivering the mantle of Waukeen from its corpse to Logan Coprinth provided 8,000 XP, 250 GP, 1 reputation and the chance to slaughter the Alibakkar estate later if Angelo so chose.
    6. Finding the Hiding Hidesman [Combat]
      No sooner had he left Logan Coprinth's house than Jenia implored him to help her son Tiris find his kidnapped girlfriend Raissa. The case had similarities with the tanner murders, so Angelo agreed to search the southwest of town. There, he stumbled across Darsidian Moor, a hunter who'd conveniently tracked the 'skin dancer' responsible to an orange pavilion above the east gate. This seemed too good to be true, and Angelo smelled a rat.

      His suspicions grew when he found Darsidian and Raissa together with an unconscious Rejiek in the pavilion. That said, he felt they could have kept the ruse up longer, as he only needed to speak with Raissa once for the charade to be dropped. Angelo let the militia handle the first rounds, which were all he needed to summon assistance. Applying Haste, the skeletal pair went down quickly, earning a measly 15 XP for Rejiek and a whopping 1,400 XP for Darsidian.

      Her captors dead, Raissa lamented that only Restoration would cure the affliction she'd acquired from her attackers. A visit to the caravan merchant in a tent by the dao djinni's provided just such a spell (and at a cost lower than the Temple of Waukeen to boot). Glad that non-divine casters could read the relevant scroll, Angelo cured Raissa for 30,000 XP and visiting Jenia and husband Gristor afterwards granted an additional reputation point.

    It amused Felicity to note that, in addition to its 97,795 XP (20,000 XP of which was earned without a fight), completing Trademeet also yielded 20,250 GP... which (accounting for the Restoration scroll’s cost, but ignoring any sold items’ proceeds) was almost enough to pay Gaelan Bayle's fee by itself. Angelo had just begun exploring the great beyond... and it was already bearing fruit!

    Post edited by AvidGamerFan on
    Grond0StummvonBordwehrAerakarhistamiini
  • AvidGamerFanAvidGamerFan Member Posts: 95
    edited October 9
    Part 49: Angelo Plays Dungeons and Dragons

    Executive Summary: Angelo abuses the AI's reluctance to turn hostile to rinse the Windspear Hills in style.

    "Remember lying Wilfred that we encountered yesterday?" Angelo asked Felicity as they ventured back towards Watcher's Keep service station. "He claimed that he'd robbed a dragon's horde, but that was obviously nonsense. The only person who'll be killing red dragons around here is me."
    1. Locating the Labyrinth [Combat]
      A bunch of ogres, gnolls and a wyvern was not the welcoming committee that Angelo was expecting upon his arrival at the Windspear Hills, but he tried to put on a friendly face. His efforts were not appreciated, so Angelo cast Invisibility and left them to stew on their own. Wandering around the area revealed an important looking tomb, but its entrance was labelled as blocked even when it clearly wasn't. "Fine, I'll play ball," Angelo muttered as he went back to the monsters. Summoning some skeletons just out of sight, along with his trusty golem and efreet, he promptly hasted them and sent them forth to do his dirty work. And do it they did... the monsters never really stood a chance!

      As soon as the final creature kicked the bucket, earning 27,000 XP in total (an ogre and the baby wyvern were 6,000 XP each, while the other trio were 5,000 XP apiece), Garren Windspear showed up to implore Angelo to follow him. Angelo looked to Felicity for wisdom and she shook her head - for accepting Windspear's charity would result in an unavoidable fight - so Angelo refused. Another Invisibility allowed Angelo to sneak back across the map to the tomb... only for Garren to beat him to it. Keen to get on with dungeon crawling, Angelo agreed to find Garren's child in exchange for a moment's peace and after recasting Invisbility proceeded to enter the dungeon proper.

      Skirting through the first floor, Angelo avoided the Chieftain Digdag and the hobgoblins as much as possible, lest their shamans dispel his Invisibility, and didn't even attempt to go for the amulet of protection +1 hidden in the lake, as this would invoke the attention of an illusion-sensing vampiric mist for little reward. Starting neutral, the rakshasa transmuter was too tempting a target for a pickpocket, and a ring of fire resistance was painlessly acquired before yet another Invisibility was used to escape the kamikaze kobolds.

      The next floor began with shielded orc archers readying their bows and arrows and Angelo was sure he would have been peppered had he not been invisible upon entering. The illusion allowed him to squat behind the front door, where there was a small blind spot out of sight of the archers where Angelo could rest and memorise Knock.
      c4tfqbyiebrp.png

      Unlocking the first door with Knock before turned invisible, Angelo repeated the process on the second door and his Stoneskin deflected the few orc arrows that were snapped off before he disappeared. Moving straight onwards and ignoring the clay golems in the perpendicular corridor, Angelo sneaked past the vampires and lured the wraiths and shadows out of their passage with some disposable summons. Using the chapel key from the chest to unlock the door opposite, Angelo left the undead behind as he progressed to the next stage.
    2. Mamma Mia Samia [Combat]
      Angelo didn't buy for one moment that Samia was an academic looking for some long lost treasure, but he did fancy Samia's key to open the maze. Well, he called it a 'maze', but it was actually quite easy to navigate provided he followed a few simple rules:
      • Trapped doors lead nowhere and the trap can be safely disarmed for XP.
      • The northmost locked door leads to the treasure corridor beyond the undetectable fire elemental.
      • The other locked door leads to a 'director' beholder guarding a trapped door which can be circumvented.
      • Unlocked and untrapped doors lead to efreet guardians who can be pickpocketed for their mask pieces.
      ma9eg0wwvvri.png
      For demonstration of these rules, see Exhibit A.

      By immediately turning invisible after stealing the mask pieces, Angelo could escape the guardians (they could launch fire spells if the cast was not immediate and they are able to open doors). Pickpocketing all 6 mask pieces, the Mask of King Strohm was automatically assembled for 24,550 XP. Despite its description mentioned how it allowed him to see things he wasn't able to before, Angelo didn't see his Detect Illusion skill rise and assumed that it would only allow him to this particular challenge.

      Donning the mask brought the Guardian (who seemed remarkably like a fire elemental) into focus. Its job done, Angelo replaced the mask with his helm of Balduran in the small chamber linking the efreet guardian, the elemental guardian and the beholder. Of his regular summons, the skeletons and berserker could not harm the elemental guardian, but the golem and efreet could... and while they were too shortlived to complete the job, Angelo's Belm +2 finished what they started.

      The Guardian's 10,000 XP death opened the topmost door, allowing Angelo access to the tomb. Assuming that the dragon scale shield (notably not as good as SoD's equivalent) and Peridan +2 was the treasure that Samia was after, there was no way that Angelo was surrendering these. Invisibility allowed him to sneak past Samia (Fighter) and her newfound chums Akae (Kensai), Kaol (Enchanter), Ferric Ironblade (F/T), Legdoril (Cleric) and Chak (umm... Orog?!) who had materialised in the dead Guardian's corridor.
    3. Conning the Conster [No Combat]
      Gliding past the wolves in the passage leading away from the maze, Angelo disarmed the Lightning Bolt floor trap and unlocked the door beyond the bridge, vanishing from the view before the orogs could do much. This allowed him to loot the faraway chamber into which Grancor was eager to lure Angelo by asking for healing. Eager to appear the clueless victim, it was Angelo who actually did the luring by fallaciously offering his healing services if only Grancor and Falik were to move into the faraway chamber. They moved there expecting Angelo to swiftly follow... they would be waiting quite a while.

      After a quick rest, Garg, Captain and Troll were ignored completely and summons lured the golems away from their positions so that Angelo could loot the beljuril gem and Heartseeker +3. The rest seemed to have dispersed the orogs from swarming the bridge, so Angelo used the opportunity to winch up the well and take the dragon helm (neither dispelled his Invisibility, so he did not alert the angry air elemental). Sadly, the orogs had only been shifted to the landing, so Angelo displaced them again before disarming the Cloudkill trap on the stairs and slipping past Tazok into the next floor.

      Given the grandeur of the stairs, Angelo was surprised to see the human mage Conster first before any hint of a dragon, but this gave him an idea. Since Conster was one of these select NPCs who didn't turn hostile after making a successful save against charm, Angelo could happily fire spells until one succeeded. This allowed Angelo to order Conster backwards so that he could approach the mage out of sight of Firkraag and Pick Pocket Conster's key from him.
      yhv9ta19rhz4.png
      A F/T or shadowdancer could also use a simulacrum (from Vhailor's helm) or shadow twin to pull this off... but don't try a nymph cloak (since this needs the target to be adjacent)!

      This theft allowed the use of a cute trick. By immediately backtracking, Angelo could unlock the jail upstairs and rescue Garren's child Iltha for 23,750 XP. Nipping back downstairs while Conster was still charmed, Angelo claimed that Firkraag owed him and (being of evil alignment) offered to retrieve the deed to Windspear Hills from Garren. This would cause Conster to teleport away, so Angelo didn't have to deal with a hostile mage when the charm expired... and Angelo could visit Garren and Iltha in the Windspear Cabin to earn 44,500 XP more (not forgetting a secret star sapphire hidden in a groove behind his hut). The deeds were a simple Pick Pocket away, after which Angelo could return to Firkraag for yet another 40,500 XP and a cloak of the shield.
    4. Wiping Out the Wyrm [Combat]
      "Just to get this straight," Angelo muttered, "you are in possession of red dragon scales and Carsomyr, but you chose to give me the cloak of the shield?!"

      "You got at least 40,500 Fed-XP more than you normally would," Firkraag growled in honeyed tones, "I wouldn't be too salty if I were you."

      Obviously Firkraag had not studied Angelo too hard, since such saltiness was Angelo's modus operandi. But Angelo apologised through gritted teeth sufficiently convincingly that the dragon failed to notice his reorganisation of his spellbooks. Another rest in Firkraag's chamber (which never resulted in ambush) and Angelo was ready to show off what would become one of his staple tactics.

      Feeblemind was never a bad spell to memorise against tough single opponents, but there weren't many opportunities to abuse it in BG1. The sequel, however, sought to rectify this deficiency as quickly as possible, since not only did it offer multiple foes who were deserving of being feebleminded, but it didn't turn some of them hostile if they were to make their saving throw. And one of these creatures, as luck would have it, was Firkraag...
      mo0c1gqatwox.png

      After just one of the unlimited tries had connected, that was it. Permanently lobotomised, Firkiraag could do little more than gurgle as Angelo cut him to shreds.
      jmbjd6hibs1f.png

      His 64,000 XP death was neither quick nor painless - it took nearly half an hour of real-time hacking before the dragon finally fell - but it was a guaranteed kill and 100% safe... how often could that be said about a PC just out BG2's starting blocks taking out one of the game's most infamous bosses?

    As Angelo stuffed Carsomyr into his backpack - Use Any Item couldn't come quickly enough - Felicity found her voice. "Firkraag's Dungeon is arguably one of the most fearsome dungeons in cRPGs (https://medium.com/@felipepepe/what-makes-a-good-rpg-dungeon-505180c69d00 )... and yet, with the right tactics, it was almost a formality."

    "Sounds very similar to another entry on that list," Angelo smirked. "Anyway, I hope you're not bored of slaying dragons yet, Felicity... we're going to do it all over again tomorrow!"

    Post edited by AvidGamerFan on
    Grond0AerakarStummvonBordwehr
  • AvidGamerFanAvidGamerFan Member Posts: 95
    edited October 11
    Part 50: Angelo Visits The (K)Umar(s) at No. 42

    Executive Summary: Despite some unexpected company, Angelo sweeps through the Umar Hills and Temple Ruins.

    Non-Brits probably won't appreciate the title; Brits probably won't appreciate it either, but for different reasons!

    Felicity calculated that Angelo had earned 133,300 XP for doing quests and 101,000 XP for killing monsters in the Windspear Hills. In total, this gave him 234,300 XP - nearly a quarter of a million - and there was plenty more where that came from!
    1. "Umar Goodness, It's an Ogre!" [No Combat]
      Angelo arrived in the Umar Hills to see Minister Lloyd calm a crowd of locals assembled around a central fountain. Remembering how Trademeet had been spruced up, Angelo wanted to leave his likeness on another town centre and took on Lloyd's quest to find Merella and adventurers hired to investigate her disappearance. Although wolves and witch Umar had been mentioned amidst the squabbling, Angelo thought he'd have most luck with ogre Madulf north of the town. Since she started neutral, Angelo knew the likelihood of parley was high and hearing Madulf out allowed for Angelo to tell Lloyd that they came in peace. Angelo hoped for a Nobel Peace Prize for smoothing their relations, but he'd make do with the easiest 27,500 XP in the game. After a few hours, Lloyd and Madulf's negotiations had concluded and the ogre gave Angelo a Shield of the Lost +2.
    2. Angelo Feels Like Chicken Tonight [No Combat]
      Angelo only had to mention 'adventurer' and a 20 GP bribe for Jeb's tongue to wag about Erlick Hendrick stuffing a beljuril gem down his chicken's throat. Although Erlick's wife Enna tried to stop him giving their livestock away, Erlick took Angelo's empty threat seriously and allowed him free range to slaughter the free range produce. Since the jewel had already been deposited in his inventory, Angelo didn't bother chopping the chickens, but saved it in his gem bag to upgrade his silver horn of Valhalla (along with the one from Firkraag's dungeon, this was the only beljuril in the game).

      I believe this quest is a sly reference to a Baldur's Gate Easter Egg. Before BG2 was released, a rumour spread online that in early versions of BG1, a random squirrel carried an Ioun Stone of Luck. This led to adventurers massacring the wildife across the Sword Coast in pursuit of an item that, in all likelihood, never existed.
    3. A Holiday to Jermien-y [Combat]
      Outside Jermien's house, the guard Daar was so dour that he didn't stop Angelo from entering. The Cowled Wizard asked Angelo for mimic blood, but where would he find a mimic? The first place Angelo looked was the Umar Cave, where a chest randomly sat beside a stalagmite. Thinking this was a weird place for a box, Angelo's efreet launched a Fireball - the chest itself was untargetable, but Angelo figured it would be hit by an AoE spell... and he was right!
      4006yfggle8z.png

      Angelo moved some summoned fodder next to the chest so the mimic would reveal itself. The distracted mimic was dispatched (for 3,000 XP) by the efreet's remaining spells... Angelo didn't lift a finger himself. Storing the diamond (also useful for the silver horn of Valhalla upgrade!), Angelo returned to Jermien for his 19,250 XP and Ilbratha +1 reward.

      When Jermien failed to animate his stone golem properly, he was glad that Angelo had laid spike traps in anticipation. Thankfully, the golem aimed for its creator, allowing Angelo to summon a golem of his own. While Jermien pelted the construct uselessly with magic missiles (these Cowled Wizard exams must be easy!), Angelo spent his time more wisely hasting his summons. Although he didn't deserve to, Jermien outlasted his golem, netting Angelo 8,000 XP from its death and 21,250 XP from his realisation of his foolishness.
    4. Boys Will Be Boys [No Combat]
      When teenage boy Dirbert approached him, Angelo knew that he would be asked to buy alcohol, but he hadn't expected to buy 3 bastard swords as well. "Perhaps gangs in villages don't have their own weapons," he mused as he bought the swords from Elence Fielding and De'Tranion's Baalor Ale from Min Minling outside Umar Inn (for just over the 200 GP the boys gave him... that's gratitude!). Returning these to the youths yielded 2,000 XP and they charged off into the wilderness. In 24 hours, they'd be gibbering in front of a gibberling in the Umar Cave, a fate from which Angelo had no intention of rescuing them.
    5. Valeting Valygar [No Combat]
      Up the stairs by the Umar Cave, guard Derrick was satisfied once Angelo said he was seeing Valygar with no hostile intentions. This was the truth, as Valygar enjoyed 'important NPC protection and was impossible to kill for Angelo to use his body as a key.
      714rcg64vptl.png
      Testing shows off Valygar's invincibility!

      Valygar wanted to join Angelo and investigate the Planar Sphere, but since Angelo was only interested in the latter option, the stalker left for Athkatla, which was much more convenient.
    6. Combing the Tomb [No Combat]
      To advance the main plot, Angelo found Merella's journal and a note from Mazzy Fentan in the Ranger's Cabin. Together, these documents put the Temple Ruins on Angelo's map and 22,500 XP in his account. Following their directions, Angelo came across Lellyn, a dying shadow thief and a member of Mazzy's adventuring band. "A halfling paladin-lite in league with the shadow thieves," Angelo ruminated, "stranger and stranger."

      Werewolf Anath drew Angelo into her cave only to inform him that she would charge against the Shade Lord. Unwilling to interfere in her destiny, Angelo followed her invisibly, arriving to witness her dying message to activate the mirror. Wondering how she could judge his invisible hair, Angelo skipped the inconsequential mirroring and showed face in the opening crypt to remove Amauna's bones, but he vanished before the assembled undead could draw a bead on him. He then passed the jail cells into the statue room where, using Felicity's 9th level spell Google, he offered the correct ritual dialogue options:
      • Morning: 2-3-1
      • Noontide: 3-1-1
      • Evening: 1-3-2
      Doing this earned 45,500 XP and a sun ray symbol which Angelo would shortly put to good use.

      Felicity also said that shadows were following that could sense his invisible presence and cling to him like limpets. This was unacceptable, so Angelo sneaked into the sun gem room and rested - any shadows would be destroyed when they entered, guaranteeing safety, and the monsters' tracking was reset upon a successful rest. Making sure he wasn't visible, Angelo stuffed the jewel into his gem bag and backtracked towards the jail. Despite pickpocketing the shadow prison key from the shadow jailor, rescuing inmate Mazzy offered no reward, so Angelo sent her to Trademeet. Good luck finding shadow thieves there!
    7. Unexpected Undead [No Combat]
      The first sun gem allowed him through the first shadow barrier and Invisibility stopped the shadows that appeared once he'd reached the bridge's centre in their tracks. However, approaching the Fireball-trapped wall mural through the lava, Angelo was horrified to see a lich's contingencies spring up in the room beyond. Some of BG2's encounters scaled by level, and this was obviously one of them. Fortunately, aside from a Wyvern's Call scroll, there was nothing noteworthy there... and losing Wyvern Call was a price worth paying to skip the lich! Instead, he gave Amauna's bones to the ghosts of Dettseh and Badon, who promptly died so that their child could live. Along with 17,750 XP, Amauna gave Angelo a shadow dragon wardstone and a dawn's light symbol.

      Angelo had planned to skip through to find the third symbol, but Felicity informed him of a problem. Although the crossroad's undead were usually toothless, Angelo's higher XP now meant another lich had joined their ranks... one he couldn't avoid. Furthermore, on Angelo's install, Protection from Undead only stopped liches from attacking - they were happy to pelt him with spells! His only strategy would be to drain the lich's magic, then use Protection from Undead to prevent it from shooting with Energy Blades. He'd only brought a single scroll and had hoped to keep it to use in its entirity on the boss... but c'est la vie!

      In hindsight, it's easier to tackle this area sooner rather than later, but we'll ring the changes here!

      After resting to rejig his spells, Angelo began systematically running into and out of view. Because the other undead couldn't see through Invisibility, he could only attract the lich's attention and they were fairly stationary, so Angelo knew he wouldn't be pursued. As long as he was out of view when the dark planetar arrived, it could be waited out in a parallel corridor. The Invisibility's +4 bonus to saving throws helped against the lich's triple Otiluke's Frozen Sphere Spell Trigger and clutching Peridan provided fear immunity to nullify its double Horror Minor Sequencer. The biggest threat was its triple Remove Magic Spell Sequencer - along with its single Remove Magic cast, this could dispel both Invisibility and Protection from Undead, so it was baited out with some inessential buffs first.

      Once confident that the lich had exhausted its supplies, Angelo acted. However, the block of undead was too thick to pass without summoning some fodder to disperse them, and this gave the lich an excuse to drop some Abi-Dalzim's Horrible Wilting bombs. Cursing, Angelo used his Protection from Undead scroll, cast Invisibility and drank some potions of healing (9 HP was a triviality by this stage, but they were good when he needed healing, but daredn't rest). Spelling out the sun god Amaunator on the floor, Angelo snaffled the second sun gem and the lightstone symbol, completing the symbol of Amaunator and earning 21,250 XP. The Protection from Undead's scope didn't include bone golems, but Invisibility's did and this allowed a clean getaway.
    8. The Shade of It All [Combat]
      The second sun gem dispelled the third shadow barrier (the second barrier was impenetrable) and the Amaunator holy symbol unlocked the final door to Thaxll'ssillyia, the shadow dragon. For now, Angelo left it be, for he needed to finish off what lay beyond while his protection scroll was still active. While it lasted, neither the shade lord nor the shadows (regular or special, Patrick edition) could sense him, and this was important to stop the shade lord's magical defences from going up. The shadow altar summoned a shadow every 4.25 seconds, though, and so he would be overwhelmed once the protection wore off.

      Since Angelo had less time than he thought, he'd made sure they'd die quickly. After a double helping of Lower Resistance to reduce the shade lord's 50% MR, Angelo cast Greater Malison followed by Hold Undead. Third time was the charm and, dual-wielding scimitars, Angelo hacked at the helpless shadow's body; once, he turned invisible for an automatic backstab, but the shade lord's resistances effectively muted that tactic.
      1sov18v5t8mb.png

      Nevertheless, focussed slashing caused it to crumble for 25,000 XP. Not stopping, else he get cut off, Angelo closed on the shadow altar - its 75% MR and saves were better than the shade lord's but its AC was worse, so it went down more quickly. Destroying both the shade lord and the altar caused the darkness to recede, earning 44,250 XP and some decent treasure.
    9. Thrashing Thaxll'ssillyia [Combat]
      Finally, Angelo killed Thaxll'ssillyia in a similar manner to Firkraag. Pulling this off was significantly more annoying since the shadow dragon wardstone seems to be bugged - Thaxll'ssillyia would happily turn invisible, cast Greater Malison and use its breath weapon without turning hostile, and although the latter's level drain wore off after a turn, any lost spells weren't rememorised. This forced a dance where Angelo would cast Feeblemind before the dragon drained his levels and immediately rested if the spell didn't connect. Luckily, Thaxll'ssillyia couldn't maintain these nuisance tactics indefinitely.
      a4fa9i332hhh.png

      Thaxll'ssillyia's lower physical resistance meant its (45,000 XP) death arrived more quickly than Firkraag's... but Angelo derived double the satisfaction.
      5hlc5qj1v05k.png

      Chucking the useless shadow dragon wardstone and symbol of Amaunator (no Item Upgrades mod for this playthrough!), Angelo departed. Disappointingly, the undead inside the temple remained active, but now he didn't need to explore their chambers, he ran past them invisibly. Minister Lloyd was duly updated of the progress, and Angelo accepted whatever the mayor could offer... which amounted to 28,000 XP, 100 GP and the Night's Gift +5.

    When all was said and done, Felicity that reckoned Angelo had earned 271,750 XP from quests and 81,000 XP from combat for a whopping 352,750 XP altogether. Now it was time for the final rural area available... onwards to the De'Arnise Keep!

    Post edited by AvidGamerFan on
    AerakarStummvonBordwehrGrond0
  • AvidGamerFanAvidGamerFan Member Posts: 95
    edited October 13
    Part 51: Angelo Plays for Keeps

    Executive Summary: Angelo liberates the de'Arnise Keep while only killing a single a troll!

    "I'm in a bind, Felicity," Angelo explained to his familiar on the way back from the Umar Hills. "Completing the de'Arnise Keep will involve some 'safe' combat, where fighting is essential, but the killing is entirely risk-free. This isn't strictly 'No Combat', but it's still safer than some of our earlier encounters. Not that relying on summons and so on is particularly dicey, but our combat will be even more intermediate than that."

    "It's your walkthrough," Felicity reminded him, "label the sections how you want!"
    1. How Much Is That Doggy in the Courtyard? [Safe Combat]
      Before venturing to the de'Arnise Keep, Angelo stopped off at Trademeet to buy Tansheron's Bow and sell his miscellanea. The bow was an excellent ranged weapon with unlimited +3 ammunition for a low price, although its damage per shot left something to be desired. His treasury was still buoyant after the purchase, but selling the items was more to free up backpack space. Angelo wanted to have at least 4 spaces free, as there would be a lot of toing and froing coming up without adding further inventory management.

      From there, it was onto the keep itself, which looked unassailable before Nalia pointed out the side entrance. Switching on his Find Traps skill to automaticallly detect secret doors, Angelo sneaked into the fortress to find Daleson. Not for Daleson's sake, but because he had to pass Daleson to reach the keep's courtyard, where he found a canine quartet. Using his new bow, Angelo shot poor Rex, Sparky, Spot and Rover to pieces, then picked up those pieces to turn into stew. Although they didn't fight back directly, Rover ignored Angelo's call to sit and wandered towards a nearby otuyugh, which meant Angelo couldn't kill it without attracting the monster's attention. After blinding it, Angelo showed the otuyugh more mercy than the dogs and left it alone once he'd finished off the dogs.

      Apart from the 140 XP for killing the quartet (4 x 35 XP), Angelo gained 11,500 XP from invisibly taking the four dog meats to the kitchen and cooking up a stew. He also found a dagger +2 and 450 GP in the Sleep-trapped chest in the passage to the courtyard, where he stored the stew for the time being.
    2. Drawing the Bridge [No Combat]
      Casting Invisibility, Angelo sneaked up to the upper floor and into the study. The back bookcase was blocked by a troll, so Angelo had to wait a couple of tantalising seconds before he could loot the keep key.
      wa1a2391z565.png

      Vanishing as the creatures turned his way, Angelo disappeared up the stairs behind the yuan-ti mage. Another set of stairs on the keep's roof led down to the battlements where Angelo could access the gate lever and lower the drawbridge, earning another 29,750 XP. Rather than revealing Captain Cernick and the greater yuan-ti in the otuyugh's courtyard, which would conjure an extra troll just inside the keep, Angelo nipped back through the library and onto the ground floor again.
    3. Flailing Around [Safe Combat]
      Sneaking past Daleson in the other direction, Angelo located the forge and found the cold head of the Flail of Ages in an unlocked chest. To locate the second, he nipped back upstairs and moved anticlockwise away from the library. Opening the first door he came across, he turned left into a bedroom with a fireplace hiding a wand of frost and a Flame Strike trap. There was also a secret door in the back wall, a passage leading to a room with a pair of trolls that Angelo lured away by presenting himself as bait. Keen to catch themselves some F/M/T action, the trolls were left disappointed as they were dumped in the bedroom.

      Draw Upon Holy Might was enough to force open the locked door barring his progress. It also set off a lightning trap of some sort, but Angelo couldn't tell exactly what since the trap was wholly ineffective. Summoning a clay golem, Angelo opened the door and sent the golem in first to attract the attention of the initially hostile Glacius, who glugged an oil of speed before engaging. Sadly, he could down as many potions of fire giant strength as he liked... he would not harm the golem using a normal two-handed sword.

      Angelo could have buffed the golem, shut the door and chalked up an easy victory, but another method was more productive. As he'd entered combat, Glacius had uttered a speech that made Angelo believe he had been charmed and wondered what would happen if he also went on a charm offensive. Distracted and afar, the fighter's decent saving throw was no match for repeated application of Domination's -2 penalty and once its effects hit, Glacius surrendered the acid flail head and 22,550 XP.
      s5kip2n3yjia.png

      To obtain the third, Angelo looped back around through the library and used the keep key he'd snatched earlier to open the door to Lady Delcia Caan's room. Arrogant, haughty and extremely stubborn, Angelo chose not to inform Nalia's aunt of her rescue, but went through a couple of secret doors into the chapel. Although he could have taken the fire flail head without the guardians reacting, Angelo had fancied both the remaining treasure and some extra XP and concocted a dastardly way to get both.

      The iron golem was taken out first. Shooting it turned it hostile without awakening the other golems, and Angelo capitalised by ducking out into the corridor. Unable to fit through the small door, the golem could only huff, puff and blow clouds of poison gas... a danger mitigated by Angelo's donning of the periapt of proof against poison he'd stolen from Ihtafeer. A cup of tea's worth of arrow from Tansheron's bow later, the golem collapsed into pieces. Lady Delcia's guard tried to join in and steal Angelo's 13,000 XP kill... but its immunity to <+2 weapons soon saw to that!
      ygpgq2hb492w.png

      The remaining golems were small enough to fit through the doorway, but Angelo was not to be deterred. The de'Arnise guard was a useful idiot in that he could block the door by futilely attacking the golem, but he could also charge the golem before it reached the entrance and once he'd left, it'd be difficult to slot him back into place. A more reliable tactic would be to turn Felicity invisible and have her on door-blocking duties (besides the fact that he didn't need to, Angelo didn't get his familiar out earlier since they were not immune to poison).
      2oe6kd73tw2b.png

      Doing this, Angelo could safely take out the two flesh golems and the two stone golems. Had he brought a magical quarterstaff or a sling with a case of plenty, he could have thought about smashing the clay golem as well (they required magical blunt weapons to hit and quarterstaffs were the only blunt weapons with enough range to avoid getting counterattacked)... but the 20,000 XP he'd already earned from killing the smaller golems (2 x 2,000 XP + 2 x 8,000 XP) was good enough. Especially since taking the three heads to the forge earned him a further 22,350 XP, along with the Flail of Ages. An excellent weapon, no doubting that, but one Angelo would have no use for.
    4. The Dog Days Are Over [No Combat]
      Returning to the chapel, Angelo was amused to see that his UI still insisted that two golems came to life when he stole the remaining treaures. Dumping the lone clay golem with Invisibility, he descended to the basement and crossed into a room with a quintet of umber hulks. Looking to use the meal he'd prepared earlier, Angelo sneaked into the jail cell and deposited the dog stew amongst the dog bones that he found there. In the ensuing stampede to reach the fresh meat, none of the umber hulks noticed an invisible Angelo slip behind them or the slamming of the door trapping them inside the prison and earning Angelo 18,750 XP.
    5. Tackling TorGal [Combat]
      The 'Improved De'Arnise Keep' component of SCS upped top troll TorGal's stats significantly, and Angelo knew that it was foolish to try to tackle him head on - with 5 ApR and barbarian rage, TorGal would smash through summons pretty quickly. However, it was also difficult to know how to truly threaten him - the same rage powers also prevented lots of CC, his enhanced trollish regeneration (2HP/second!) would quickly shrug off regular blows and, being a barbarian, he was immune to backstab! Difficult, but not impossible...

      Angelo started by casting Resist Fear on himself to prevent TorGal's recurring Cloak of Fear spell from affecting him. He then cast Animate Dead to summon some skeletal warriors, which would also be immune to the fear effects. Finally, he cast Invisibility before poking his head inside the shrine to Tyr until he could just see TorGal, ordering his skeletons to stay back and wait for the fireworks to start.

      TorGal could smell Angelo's scent and lurched towards him, which Angelo was counting on to isolate him from his cronies. Leading him out of the shrine, Angelo kept his skeletons at arm's length so that TorGal would lose interest in the invisible prey and go for the more corporeal skeletons (not often he could call them that!) across the room. With some distance between them, Angelo was free to cast Lower Resistance of TorGal (his MR was normally 30%), followed by Greater Malison and a final helping of Polymorph Self. TorGal's saves were pretty decent, so the chances of failure were comparatively high... but Angelo would have time to duck away into the jail cells on the opposite side of the horseshoe to the umber hulks. In such a case, the skeletons could be summoned for a rematch, since the jail's doors could stop TorGal (disengaged by the rest) from starting proceedings prematurely.
      udc0uv5fhztu.png

      As soon as TorGal turned into a squirrel, his maximum HP dropped from 556 to 27, making his regeneration far less formidable. It was at this point that Angelo summoned the berserk warrior and the clay golem, which made short work of their rodent opponent. As expected, TorGal flopped onto the deck when his health was reduced to unity, but Angelo noted his appearance transformed back to troll... evidently if he was allowed to regenerate, he would return back to normal, rather than squirrel, maximum. A swift Flame Arrow from a summoned efreet prevented this from happening, earning 15,000 XP.

      After another rest, Angelo cast Invisibility and Stoneskin before diving back into the shrine for its treasure. The former permitted him to approach the hollow statue and cast Draw Upon Holy Might to bash it open, while the latter shielded him from enough blows to vanish straight after the looting. Timing his bashing when the yuan-ti mage was in the middle of an Oracle spell stopped it from casting while he was visible and while Spell Immunity: Enchantment would not protect against umber hulks' non-magical discombobulation, the shield of harmony stopped the confusion from taking hold.

      In addition to the statue's 2,126 GP, Angelo also received 650 GP from Nalia once he told her of TorGal's death, as well as 45,500 XP. However, being the keep's custodian sounded like too much work, so Angelo politely declined the offer of a lordship.

      In BG2, it was possible for multi-class characters to acquire two strongholds by first obtaining the stronghold of their non-warrior class before liberating the de'Arnise keep. This was obviously a loophole, though, one that BG2:EE has closed.

    As it happened, Angelo already had plans for a stronghold... plans that would have him return to Athkatla. Stronger, wiser and richer than before, he was now ready for the challenges that the city could throw at him.

    Post edited by AvidGamerFan on
    Grond0StummvonBordwehrAerakarAdam_en_tium
  • AvidGamerFanAvidGamerFan Member Posts: 95
    Wow, has it really been half a year since I started writing up this playthrough? Apparently so... and in a nice piece of symmetry, the walkthrough is just over halfway through and Angelo is just over halfway towards the all-important 3,000,000 XP mark where High Level Abilities manifest. At that point (in fact, slightly before it, but especially after it), he'll accelerate, Felicity will stop counting XP and he will go from avoiding combat for safety reasons to avoiding it because, well, life's too short. So packing 5/6 of the game's XP into half of the game's walkthrough will be no trouble at all.

    Elsewhere, there is good news and bad news on the wizard slayer C/M front. The good news is that they have successfully passed the coalition camp attacks using the level 1 Marytr's trick, which gives further illustration of just how powerful scrolls are; the bad news is that the spell sequencer trick I hinted at earlier is off-limits because a wizard slayer can't acquire the robe of arcane aptitude (they can wear it, but they can't use the spectacles of spectacle to summon Zhadroth to get it). So it's back to good, old bashing Belhifet using Champion's Strength and Chaotic Commands... those spell scrolls are coming good again!

    Grond0StummvonBordwehrAerakar
  • AvidGamerFanAvidGamerFan Member Posts: 95
    edited November 14
    Part 52: Angelo Goes Waukeen Around

    Executive Summary: Angelo begins his second sweep of the city by abusing the Web spell in several ways.

    Felicity totted up that Angelo had earned 883,385 XP outside the city's gates. This gave him confidence that he could tackle the assortment of combat-laden encounters that lay within Athkatla's walls.
    1. Valen the Vampiric Valet
      It was not every day that Angelo arrived in Waukeen's Promenade to find a chauffeur awaiting him, although he did think it would be more welcoming still if he was to know more about its organizer. Valen offered a meeting to dispel his ignorance, but Angelo refused the invitation for the time being. Not for any particular reason, but he thought it neater to keep all of his Chapter 3 adventures in one place. He also rebuffed Brus, Gaelan Bayle's nephew, for exactly the same reason.
    2. She's a Kalah... Queen!
      While the circus was always the first port of call during a normal playthrough, it was no longer such a pushover in LoB mode. Still, Kalah was one of the few LoB-mages incapable of high-level hijinks, so he was an obvious candidate for Angelo's first Athkatla kill.

      Sweet-talking his way past the guard led Angelo to a puzzle-bearing genie. The riddle had deliberately complex wording but it was possible to determine that option 3 was the correct answer.
      As no numbers were given in the question, Angelo could not set up and solve a system of equations: the best that could be done would be to obtain relationships between the ages, at which point he would be reduced to substituting the possible answers... so he may as well do this from the start! If 'the princess is as old as the prince will be', then the princess must be older than the prince, which narrowed the options to 1 and 3. In both of these, the difference between the princess' and prince's ages was 10 years, which will not change with time. Working backwards using option 3's values, if 'the princess's age was half the sum of their present ages', then the princess was 35 and the prince was 25, so the princess would be 50 and the prince 40... hence the princess is 40 and the prince 30, which match the initial values. This does not occur with option 1, so option 3 must be correct.
      "You could just have asked Felicity to Google it," the genie muttered sulkily as he granted 19,500 XP and disappeared.

      Entering the complex, Angelo listened to an ogre suggest he obtain a key from some disguised commoners. This was easily done by sneaking up to the male 'peasant', picking their pocket and then casting Invisibility before running away. Returning the 'sword' to the 'ogre' freed Aerie, earning another 18,500 XP in the process.
      Although she made some allusions to illusions, the rule of engagement was straightforward. If it was a werewolf, then it wasn't real and could be dispelled by standing next to it using Detect Illusion; if it was a shadow, then it was real and would have to be killed the conventional way. Angelo took advantage of this to move invisibly through the antechamber dispelling the werewolves and looting the vases before renewing his Invisibility to dump the shadows away from the door.

      To defeat Kalah, Angelo planned to exploit the fact that although globes of protection did not prevent Dispel/Remove Magic from working, the globes themselves were unaffected. This would allow Angelo to stride through Web spells with a Minor Globe of Invulnerability in the knowledge that Kalah could not hit him with attack spells (such as his double-Melf's Minor Sequencer). As a conjurer, Kalah's strongest spells were summoning, but as long as Angelo prevented him from casting Spider Spawn, these would be caught in the web.

      Given that the circus is largely illusory, it's ironic that Kalah is a conjurer (and illegal, given his gnomish race!). He also has illegal priest spells memorised and his stats are similar to Quayle's from BG. Could he have been modified from the NPC template? Place your bets...

      After pre-buffing with Invisibility, Stoneskin and Protection from Fire (Kalah could throw pre-cast Melf's Minute Meteors), Angelo entered the main tent. Sneaking next to the werewolf with Detect Illusion dispelled it, and Angelo noticed that although there was no spot in the tent where he could hide from Kalah, this vantage point was out of sight of the two remaining shadows.
      21hpsfe9v39f.png

      To make the kill, Angelo positioned himself behind Kalah before backstabbing. As Kalah spun around, his precast Mirror Image and Stoneskin defences shot up, but Angelo countered by dropping a Web duo from a Minor Sequencer. This tied up the shadows and interrupted Kalah's spell, allowing Angelo to hack away at the stone skins while Detect Illusion tore down the mirror images. For good measure, Angelo summoned a clay golem, whose 100% MR gave it freedom to smash away. Kalah momentarily broke free of the fibrous chains and released a Remove Magic, but the globe, as predicted, did not give way... unlike Kalah's body when Belm pierced its flesh.

      Kalah's death granted 2,000 XP and returned the tent to normal, earning another 25,000 XP. After looting the ring of human influence and girdle of piercing, Angelo talked to Hannah, a former illusory spider who awarded 500 XP for her release.
    3. Dominating the Den of the Seven Vales
      A brace of misfortunes beset the adventuring band of Mencar Pebblecrusher, Smaeluv Orcslicer, Brennan Risling and Sorcerous Amon (with imp familiar Pooky): they happened to encounter the adventuring party of Angelo (with imp familiar Felicity) and Risling carried a ring of invisibility which could not be stolen. However, one look at Risling told Angelo he was the cowardly type and would flee once his health dropped low enough. If Angelo wanted to walk away with the jewellery (and he did), then he would have to stop Risling from doing that exact same thing.

      Fortunately, despite being a high-level necromancer and invoker respectively, neither Amon nor Pooky possessed spells commensurate with their abilities. Furthermore, for all Mencar's bluster, as long as Angelo chose the passive response, he could keep the party neutral indefinitely, allowing him to pre-emptively pepper the battlefield with traps. As Angelo's traps did ongoing poison damage, the mages were the obvious target. Throwing down seven of them around Amon gave Angelo confidence that the casters would not be casting anytime soon.

      To ensure that the rest of the group would not be doing anything either, Angelo summoned as many arachnids as he could and fired four Web spells from the doorway. Once his UI showed that Risling and the casters were ensnared, he cast Haste on the spiders and set them loose on the casters. The thief Risling was prone to backstabbing, which was strictly our protagonist's shtick, and Angelo didn't want him having any chance of escaping. That said, it was more economical to take out the casters first, else their minor globes of invulnerability kick in and they become immune to the webs thereafter.

      Once the hostilities began, the traps fired and it only took a few pokes from the spiders to finish poor Amon off. Pooky's red fire shield flared, but its flames didn't burn through the webs and the spiders' poison took the imp out without suffering too many fiery counterstrikes. Risling was next and what with being webbed, he couldn't activate his leaving animation before his health ran out. By this time, Mencar and Smaulev had freed themselves, but the spiders held them up while Angelo blinded them and renewed his ranks with Animate Dead. Another application of Haste and it was all over for the warriors, who lacked the numbers, the power or the vision to put up a decent fight.
    4. Rinsing Ribald
      The selling of Angelo's excesses was not much of a cause celebre in itself, but now that he was furnished with gloves of pickpocketing, he did take the opportunity to relieve Ribald of his ring of regeneration and long sword +2. Lady Yuth also had a pair of pilferable potions but, alas, the Amnian solider by the door no longer possessed a high level spell scroll (as he did in the original BG2).

    "Shall we go and see what Brus was moaning about?" Angelo asked Felicity as he left the Adventurer Mart. "We were heading that way anyway... the Slums District was next on our list!"

    Post edited by AvidGamerFan on
    BlackravenStummvonBordwehrGrond0Aerakar
  • AvidGamerFanAvidGamerFan Member Posts: 95
    In other news, the C/I attempting the wizard slayer challenge has completed SoD! Funnily enough, getting to Belhifet was much harder than smacking him down... although if the right tactics are used, then it's basically a formality. Hopefully BG2 will be a far easier ride, at least until the ToB madness begins... but any class that can clear the initial wizard slayer hurdles should have at least a fighting chance at completing the saga and the C/I is more versatile than most.

    StummvonBordwehrGrond0Blackraven
  • monicomonico Member Posts: 568
    In other news, the C/I attempting the wizard slayer challenge has completed SoD! Funnily enough, getting to Belhifet was much harder than smacking him down... although if the right tactics are used, then it's basically a formality. Hopefully BG2 will be a far easier ride, at least until the ToB madness begins... but any class that can clear the initial wizard slayer hurdles should have at least a fighting chance at completing the saga and the C/I is more versatile than most.

    What is the wizard slayer challenge ? I'm guessing no items except for weapons/armor ? And scrolls for scribing for mages (can they cast them from quickslot too?)

    How did you fight against Belhifet as a C/I, especially without (ab)using items such as scrolls of Champion's Strength ?

  • monicomonico Member Posts: 568
    edited November 16
    On a side note, I recently "almost" finished a LoB solo run with a "cheat" character:

    an evil multi-class dwarven defender/cleric (adding the DD kit via EEKeeper proved really cheated ^^).

    This combination allows for easy 100% physical damage resistance:
    - can go up to 100% against slashing and missile in SoD for the final battle (didn't though, for reasons explained below) ;
    - 100% against all damage in BG2 once you hit Fighter14/Cleric15 (and even more after that, but you can't get past 100% unlike elemental resists).


    Slashing resists in SoD (lvl9/9) :
    5% innate
    10% Stalwart Scales armor
    15% The Guardian Devil helmet
    5% Kendra's Chain
    5% Cloak of the Gargoyle
    50% defensive stance (3 casts, so 30 rounds)
    10% Armor of Faith spell (lasts 12 rounds at this level)

    In the end, I did not rely on Armor of Faith, because I wouldn't have had a sufficient thac0 to kill Belhifet. Instead, I gulped a few Potions of Heroism, a potion of Regeneration, also had a few elemental defenses up, and then added 7 (IIRC) scrolls of Champion's Strength and beat Belhifet very easily.

    Missile resistance was even higher thanks to the Rhino Beetle shield (+15% missile resist).


    BG2 went mainly like this:

    Before lvl14/15 (3,15 mil XP):
    - Innate 10% (DD lvl10) + Defensive Stance 50% physical damage resistance
    - Armor of Faith spell : 15% ALL damage resistance (includes fire, cold, ele, acid and magical damage)
    - Helmet of Dumathoin for the most part (I later switched to Dragon Helm and then went to grab the Helm of the Rock who also adds acid resistance)
    - Defender of Easthaven (+20% melee damage resistance)
    - Belt of Inertial barrier (50% magical damage resist / 25% missile resist)
    - Shadow Dragon scale (50% acid resistance)
    - Shield of Fyrus Khal (10% resist fire, cold, ele AND acid, plus a nice to have spell turning)
    - Amulet of Power (especially for the -1 casting time, allows for immediate recasting of Armor of Faith and Draw upon Holy Might)
    - Ring of Gaxx (for the regen and the Poison immunity)

    With a few other buffs, such as Chaotic Commands, Free Action, Protection from Fire/Cold (lvl2 version) and Protection from Electricity, I was nigh invulnerable:
    - 95% damage resistance (98% with Dumathoin's helm)
    - 100% all elemental resistances (although the protection from Fire/Cold was the first to expire, protection from Electricity lasts for days, and the acid damage resistance was provided by gear and Armor of Faith spell that could be reapplied instantly)
    - 65% magical damage resistance: the sole real threat damage wise in the end. Valygar's armor would have come in reaaally handy
    - negative saving throws, coupled with Chaotic Commands, Protection from negative plane (from the amulet) and Free Action and no disabler ever threatened me (only Imprisonment was a threat, and I was very careful on those few encounters not to let the enemy get any occasion to target me with the spell).

    The biggest threat, obviously, were dispels: especially repeated dispels (beholders, devas, Ravager).

    At higher levels, those immunities against physical & elemental damage were only easier to attain, and I switched my shield for dual wielding Flail of Ages and Defender of Easthaven.

    As fighter HLA's, I took exclusively Hardiness, a few Power Attacks (rarely used), and quite a few Critical Strikes.
    I lacked a bit on the APR department, but more than made up for it for sheer power (all hail Righteous Magic) and tankiness.
    This did though end up with hilariously long fights against Adamantite Golems or the Demon Wraith on WK's compass level, who also have 90% damage resistance. The Demon Wraith fight was particularly long, and funny to look at as I kept pounding on his head while his ghosts pounded on mine. It felt a bit cartoonish.

    Most dragons and a few bosses (Demogorgon and the Ravager notably) were taken care of with a combination of:
    - a few summons to attract attention
    - Magic Resistance spell to actually reduce the opponents MR to 40% (by lvl cap)
    - Harm
    - Critical Strike
    - rinse and repeat until it works (I had 6 casts of Harm and Critical Strike, since there are not that many useful lvl6 spells for that kind of character anyway).

    In the end, I was stuck in the fight against Mel. First sequence I barely had the time to land a MR spell + harm, next one I had to resort on hacking her, but I wasn't fast enough for the next instances and lost the war of attrition between her unlimited summons, repeated stoneskins, and occasional debuffs.
    It became especially difficult once she summoned Elder Orbs.


    Anyway, I know this combination of multiclass with a kit is cheated (this one even more so I guess), but I had so much fun and enjoyment running it that I felt I had to share it.

    Grond0AvidGamerFanBlackravenStummvonBordwehr
  • AvidGamerFanAvidGamerFan Member Posts: 95
    monico wrote: »
    What is the wizard slayer challenge ? I'm guessing no items except for weapons/armor ? And scrolls for scribing for mages (can they cast them from quickslot too?)

    The 'wizard slayer' challenge is one of several additional challenges listed on the thread's first page. It artificially enforces the wizard slayer's item restrictions on your character. Effectively, you're limited to weapons, armour, shields, helmets, boots and scrolls, as well as healing potions and antidotes. You can use spell scrolls either for scribing or casting from quick slots. If in doubt, dual-class a wizard slayer test character and see if they can use the item.
    monico wrote: »
    How did you fight against Belhifet as a C/I, especially without (ab)using items such as scrolls of Champion's Strength ?

    Beating Belhifet relies on a very clever trick (not my own, I hasten to add). Level 1 characters cannot be killed in 1 hit and on maximum difficulty, all damage your characters receive is doubled. Together, these mean that if your character is level 1 with 1 HP maximum, they are effectively immune to damage. In Chapter 10 of SoD, there is a fledgling vampire that can level drain you to level 1 (there's also a level drain trap on a chest in Castle Dragonspear's basement that drains 2 levels, but this isn't as useful). Martyr's Morningstar subtracts 10 HP from its user's maximum health, to a minimum of 1 HP, so you can ignore all incoming damage. Single class wizards with 3 Constitution can also use the Claw of Kazgaroth (or kill their familiar several times if they're doing the wizard slayer challenge)

    For what it's worth, this is not an automatic 'I win' button for any class that can use it. Martyr's is only a +2 weapon whereas Belhifet requires +3 weapons to hit, so you either need to be dual-wielding or cast Enchanted Weapon. Getting level drained resets your character's saving throws, so you'll be vulnerable to game-ending status effects like getting charm, being constantly feared or permanently stun-locked unless you can protect yourself. Belhifet has 100% MR and regenerates, so if you can't deal damage fast enough, you'll either end up in eternal stalemate or exhaust your protections and die from attrition. You can also only access the fledgling vampire before the parley in Dead Man's Pass, so you'll have to complete the coalition camp attacks and Avernus as a level 1 character, which are no cakewalks. But if you can, it's by far the most reliable method I know of for taking out Belhifet that obeys the wizard slayer restrictions.

    Grond0BlackravenStummvonBordwehrsemiticgod
  • AvidGamerFanAvidGamerFan Member Posts: 95
    Dwarven defenders are always solid and if they can get past SoD, dwarven fighter/clerics are definite contenders. I'm a little surprised that you took Hardiness when you have Defensive Stance available, but if you're wanting to live forever, it's understandable. You might also be able to use Divine Protection and Greater Divine Protection (Icewind Dale spells that SCS adds) to shield yourself long enough to set up the Harm + Magic Resistance + Critical Strike combo. If you can cast it while Melissan is stunned after The Five have fallen, that may give you the window you need.

    In any case, well done on getting that far! It's definitely an achievement even with 'illegal' characters... and that final fight is brutal, no doubt about that! Unfortunately, without Harm, a F/C doesn't have that many options available other than to slug it out. Did you use the rift device to reduce Mel's HP to 40%? That's a big help.

    Water under the bridge now, but the rod of smiting can deal with adamantine golems fairly painlessly. If only there was a weapon like that for demons!

    Grond0StummvonBordwehr
  • AvidGamerFanAvidGamerFan Member Posts: 95
    edited November 17
    Part 53: Angelo Slums It

    Executive Summary: After proceeding as far as he could without violence, Angelo clears out the Slums District.

    "Remember that last remaining urban pacifist quest that we mentioned, but didn't complete earlier?" Angelo asked Felicity as they followed up Brus' tip. "Let's finish that off now."
    1. Bayle-ing on Gaelan Bayle [No Combat]
      "Miraculous," Angelo muttered. "As soon as I receive a cheaper offer of assistance, you drop your rates to match it. Almost as if you knew your initial offer was extortionate, but tried it on anyway."

      "How do you know what Valen was after?" Gaelan countered. "She might not attempting to enlist your servies for 5,000 GP less. Besides, it's our summer sale at the moment and I thought you might appreciate the special offer..."

      "Enough," Angelo snapped. "I will explore the rest of the city and then make my choice."

      Gaelan's lip curled, but he held his nerve. "Well, unlike Valen's mistress, I will allow you time to consider your decision. Take that into account when you've finished playing tourist."

      "Sure I will," Angelo replied as he nipped upstairs and bought glasses of identification from Arledrian. He sensed that this merchant would become unavailable if he didn't accept Bayle's offer, so he took advantage of it while he could.
    2. Casing the Copper Coronet [No Combat]
      Having already sweet-talked Lehtinan when rescuing Wellyn's bear, Angelo could stride around the Copper Coronet with abandon. However, given that an earlier bouncer confirmed that he was free to look around, Angelo was quite surprised to be admonished by a backroom guard for being in a restricted area. Angelo swiftly retreated, apologising all the while, satisfied that he'd lured them into the topmost corner.
      bf4yly2u4s0v.png

      Angelo waited until he successfully hid in the shadows before opening the door to the arena. While still out of sight, Angelo passed the hostile winter wolf waiting in the pit, but stopped short of the jail corridor. Repeating this trick, Angelo waited until he'd disappeared again before moving any further.
      2r6z3gyw0exq.png

      The shadows allowed Angelo to approach the Beastmaster without his dialogue immediately triggering... and the proximity afforded Angelo the chance to use his Pick Pockets skill. The lag between Stealth ending and becoming visible allowed Angelo to make several attempts and even though he failed a couple, this didn't matter since he succeeded in pilfering the beastmaster key (along with a Stone to Flesh scroll and 25 GP). Once he became visible, the Beastmaster's dialogue fired, resetting its variables and offering Angelo the chance to promise to leave. Going back to where he had previously taken cover from the wolf, Angelo re-entered Stealth to pass the wolf once more. With the guard planted in the corner, Angelo could use his freshly acquired key to unlock the surrounding pair of cells and rescue the children for 2,500 XP apiece.

      Now all that was left was for Angelo to sneak through and rescue Hendak from the central chamber. Besides granting 7,500 XP, Hendak was keen to right the wrongs against him and charged through to the main area. Keen to watch the fight, Angelo entered Stealth yet again to sneak past the remaining gladiator-guard appetiser bouts. He arrived just in time to see Hendak and Lehtinan drawing their blades and wailing on each other. In the end, it was the seasoned gladiator who emerged victorious (although had it looked in doubt, Angelo would have intervened). Grateful for the assistance, Hendak doled out 48,750 XP and Angelo took the assorted gems and scrolls of Death Fog and Summon Nishruu.
    3. Angelo Slaves Away [No Combat]
      The corridor to the backrooms boasted two secret doors, the first leading to an unimportant bedroom and the second to the sewers. Following Hendak's lead, Angelo cast Invisibility and searched for the slaver boat entrance... which, apart from disarming a petrification trap on a door-shaped central bridge and a repeating Cloudkill trap, was fairly straightforward. Had he not been hidden, then he would have had to fight several slaver guards and captain Haegan upon his arrival, but his invisibility allowed him to leave uncontested. The two guards by the stairs stood on a diagonal disguising an acidic Hold Person trap, but there was a nook on the left which someone could get through without setting it off.
      1l0ayeh4gwrq.png

      Since disarming traps didn't break his invisibility, Angelo disarmed this, along with several other traps:
      • Opening to head of crossroads 'T' - Prismatic Spray, repeating
      • Stairs from mages' room - poisoned arrow, repeating
      • Shelves - Flame Strike
      • Chest in yuan-ti room - arrow of detonation
      • Chest in wizard room - double arrow trap
      Hazards disabled, Angelo then approached the twin doors on the sides of the middle corridor. Most locked doors that required keys were impermeable to the Knock spell, but not these ones... although Haegan's key was but a Pick Pocket had Angelo required it. Diving inside the first room, Angelo freed the first child for 2,500 XP and relied on his Stoneskin spell to survive long enough to cast Knock on the other door and then renew his Invisibility. Having drawn several of the slavers into the room, he then shut them in, walked into the opposite room and freed the second child for another 2,500 XP.

      Captain Haegan was not chuffed to see Angelo appear, nor was she happy when the adjacent door swung open after being hit by a Knock spell. To compound her unhappiness, Angelo disappeared again to shut himself in with the trolls and speak with the girl, granting 3,500 XP and +1 reputation. The pair of trolls could swipe through Angelo's stone skins fairly quickly, but they couldn't prevent a summoned efreeti from casting Invisibility on our protagonist, allowing him to escape back to Hendak. Unaware that the slavers were still at large, Hendak doled out 38,000 XP, 3,900 GP, +1 reputation and Kondar +1/+4 bastard sword.
    4. Beasting the Beastmaster [Combat]
      Of course, there was still the small matter of the four hostile bouncers milling around the Copper Coronet. This was not an inconvenience that Angelo was willing to countenance, so he summoned some skeletal buddies using Animate Dead. While the remaining quartet of guards offered little resistance, the winter wolf put up even less of a fight since the skeletons were immune to its cold attacks. Finally, the animals in the surrounding cells were not released if their leader was attacked pre-emptively... and not even the illegitimate use of a spear and metal armour was enough to make a viable combatant out of a beastmaster with no beasts!

      The real bonus (or should that be bow-nus?) from this encounter was the beastmaster's missile launcher. The Tuigan bow was a beast (ahem) of a weapon, one that Angelo would be putting to good use later.
    5. The Sword in the Stone Sewer [Combat]
      Invisibility enabled Angelo to salvage the severed hand from the grating without disturbing the otyugh and to sneak past the hobgoblins to retrieve the ring from the finger of the skeleton hanging on the nearby wall. Locating and clicking on the four sewer pipes also enabled new dialogue with the kobold shaman in the opposite passage. Only a 2,000 GP bribe would part the shaman from his staff (it couldn't be pickpocketed) but Angelo did have the satisfaction of watching the remaining kobolds cut down their leader. Tossing the circlet of lost souls (a shaman-exclusive trinket introduced in the Enhanced Edition), Angelo disappeared again.

      Unfortunately, he could not complete the 'riddle of the sewers' without violence. The final item - 'the blood of a friend true', according to the pipe - also could not be pickpocketed from Quallo's pet carrion crawler (for obvious reasons!). Still, Animate Dead's skeletons were immune to its paralysis, so its death was but a formality. From Quallo's clues, Angelo deduced that the staff (in the fourth pipe) was to be placed last, so the ring (in the first pipe) must be placed second; the hand (in the third pipe), being of prime import, should go first and so the blood (in the second pipe) must go third. Congratulating himself on not using Felicity Foreshadow's Google capability, Angelo took the 18,500 XP and Lilarcor as payment.

      Strangely, the map didn't highlight the upper area where the minotaur Andorian died at the hands of the Myconid King. Angelo took this as evidence of the fact that much of its content had been presumably scrapped mid-production, so ignored it entirely.
    6. Enslaving the Slavers [Combat]
      Returning to the slaver boat, Angelo sneaked around until he found an empty room by the main entrance to conjure some skeletons and spiders. Hasting his summons before cowardly vanishing, he sent them out to face the enemy while staying out of the way, lest any enemy spells reveal or otherwise affect him. He ordered them to take out the wizards and priest first if there was an opportunity, then the archers, only hitting the grunts when there was no other way of making progress. When the first wave fell, he ducked out of sight, summoned a second batch (using his remaining spells and items like the efreeti bottle) and after rebuffing, sent them in for round two.

      Although most slavers fell to this initial assault, Angelo felt it wiser to recuperate in the Copper Coronet before rinsing and repeating. Once he saw both trolls hit the deck, he summoned his efreeti to deliver a swift pair of Flame Arrows to guarantee they wouldn't get back up. Amazingly, when Angelo left the boat via the main entrance (from this side, it was unlocked), the door guard was unaware of the commotion inside. He didn't realise it, but this actually saved his life, as Angelo balked at killing him unnecessarily. Ignorance is bliss.
    7. Bregg-ing Rights [Combat]
      Angelo's reluctance to kill didn't extend to Cohrvale and Bregg, a pair of thugs determined to get in his way. Up until now, he had used Stealth to pass them, but the time had come to indulge their death wish. Angelo lured them into the Copper Coronet, where an army of summons were presciently awaiting their arrival. Fighter Cohrvale's death earned 6,000 XP while chopping down thief Bregg only gained 4,000 XP, but it was more the convenience of being able to wander the steets unmolested that drove their destruction.

    Completing the last pacifist quest earned Angelo 99,250 XP in total. Now it was time to finish off several other threads he'd left dangling earlier - Tirdir's kidnappers were still at large, Anarg and Reynald de Chantillion were still hanging around and despite Rejiek's untimely demise in Trademeet, the tanner murders had still not been dealt with. All of these matters converged on one location... the Bridge District!

    Grond0StummvonBordwehrBlackravenAerakar
  • AvidGamerFanAvidGamerFan Member Posts: 95
    edited November 19
    Part 54: Angelo Bridges the Gap

    Executive Summary: Angelo's various summons finish off several of the Bridge District's incomplete quests.

    It was funny, Angelo thought, that so many of the initial quests he'd undertaken when he first arrived in Athkatla involved the Bridge District. High time, then, for him to return and finish what he started now that he was battle-ready.
    1. Getting Nearer to Neera
      Before he could fight any battles himself, he had to watch Neera battle with her magical temperament. Despite teleporting wayward girl Mereth away, Neera's escape from Red Wizard Lanneth and her guards Warwick or Ellis was much more dicey. To wrap up this loose end quickly, Angelo immediately left the area, whereupon Neera ambushed him. "Nope, never heard of you," Angelo lied, "and I certainly didn't steal your gem bag when you were staying in Beregost." Fobbed off with vague assurances that he'd check out the hidden refuge at some point, Neera left Angelo alone to resume his questing.
    2. Tanning the Tanner
      As soon as he returned to the Bridge District, Angelo hid in the shadows to avoid Anarg and the Fallen Paladins tracking him down (he was outside, so the Cowled Wizards would have intervened had Invisibility been cast). Sneaking into the tanner shop, Angelo descended beyond the second level, where he'd been before, to the bottom floor of the basement. Vellin Dahn saw through Angelo's stealth instantly and no response could stop him from teleporting away, but he did not alert the pair of ghasts, twin rune assassins or the bone golem in doing so.

      Since he was still hidden, Angelo could take advantage of a gap in the creatures' peripheral awareness. The quay in the bottom right was out of the monsters' sight, so he could summon and buff his usual assortment of skeletons and spiders (the Cowled Wizards couldn't find him in these lower levels).
      w9wwcq6u2kan.png

      Making himself invisible as an insurance policy, Angelo then sent his summons to do his dirty work. The spiders weren't so useful this time around, as they were vulnerable to backstabs and undead nasties were immune to poison, but the skeletons were pretty solid. A second round of summons from his items was enough to obliterate any survivors from his initial wave and freed him to loot the various containers. Disarming the respective Ice Storm and Fireball traps on the large and small crates, Angelo helped himself to the bow of Gesen shaft before leaving for pastures new.
    3. Felling the Fallen Paladins
      As previously mentioned, the intermediate basement floor was a nice place for Angelo to rest and renew his summons. He hoped that the skeletons would follow him upstairs, but they resolutely refused to budge. Worse, Anarg's tracking obviously extended to inside buildings and was already on the top floor spitting vituperations. Angelo had hoped to take the battle to the fallen paladins, but they had instead taken it to him.
      lmu5ku51w0so.png

      Still, there were advantages to the current state of affairs. Firstly, this inadvertently isolated Anarg from Reynald de Chantillion and his men. Anarg also didn't turn hostile after finishing his speech, so Angelo was free to leisurely nip back to buff his summons before engaging. Better yet, pursuing Angelo downstairs dumped Anarg right in the middle of said summons. If the skeletons would not come to Anarg, then Anarg would have to come to the skeletons!
      pi8qibfxxojn.png

      Needless to say, Anarg didn't survive along against the undead onslaught. Venturing outside, it amused Angelo to find that Reynald had wisely taken leave of absence, but the other fallen paladins milled around in the square. Much like Vellin Dahn, they seemed unaware that their leader had been killed in action and Angelo was in no hurry to enlighten them. Quite the opposite was true of Sir Ryan Trawl, who was informed of Anarg's demise as quickly as possible for a reward of 17,500 XP, +1 reputation and gloves of healing.
    4. A Study in Scarlet
      Locating the man dressed in red responsible for dropping Tirdir in the (Tir)dirt, Angelo took the precaution of heavily trapping the narrow passage leading to the leftmost building. Angsty Am-Si confessed immediately and fled into the nearby building, but any sympathy he was expecting from comrades Reti and Camitis turned out to be misplaced as Camitis cut him down as soon as Angelo poked his head in the door. Both conspirators left immediately after, but Angelo gave chase, wanting a cut of this kidnapping pie.

      Since he'd exited as quickly as possible, Angelo's newly summoned flesh golem cut off the narrow avenue of escape (using magical items didn't alert the Cowled Wizards). A swift arrow from Angelo at Camitis may have missed its mark, but it did turn the pair hostile and the spray of arrows from the adjacent traps were not so inaccurate. Aiming at Camitis ensured that he turned hostile first and attracted most of the traps' arrows, meaning the tougher opponent took the brunt of the damage.
      tl5w44es49gr.png

      As long as Angelo ensured that the efreeti targeted its Flame Strike on Camitis, the fight was over bar the celebrations. Felling Camitis gave 3,000 XP while Reti yielded 1,250 XP and boots of avoidance, but the best treasure was yet to come. Not in the form of Lady Elgea, who seemed to think that she could insult her way out of being ransomed, but in the form of the silver pantaloons that Welther would give him for the note from the upstairs shelves next to her. In fact, although Welther wouldn't nocturnally appear outside the Copper Coronet until this part of the quest had been triggered, Angelo avoided the -2 reputation hit associated with the exchange by picking Welther's pocket without talking to him. They would go nicely with his golden pantaloons. If only he could complete the set...
    5. Nobbling Neb
      On the subject of the Copper Coronet and triggering quests, it was time to tie up another loose end. Speaking to Unger Hilldark after Jerlia had previously revealed him as her illithium source spawned Neb in the derelict house in the Bridge District (it was otherwise empty). Bashing the door in with Draw Upon Holy Might, Angelo entered hoping that his evil alignment would allow him to talk Neb into yielding the illithium. This option was seemingly only available before Sir Sarles was dealt with since the gnome insisted on aggression no matter what conversation he pursued.

      Although the Cowled Wizards turned a blind eye to using a special ability on a door, they drew the line at using spells inside to defeat a serial killer. The ghostly children that Neb summoned to defend himself were vicious little squirts, draining a level with each hit, so Angelo wanted to minimise his dealings with them. Luckily, his efreeti could safely cast Invisibility on him without provoking the Cowled Wizards and Angelo was happy to let it and the clay golem take the heat for him.

      He saw Jeb gulp down a potion of invisibility, but Detect Illusion soon foiled that escape plan. The gnome didn't seem to have a backup scheme, as he stood still, unmoving as the summons blasted chunks out of him. They could only get him down to Near Death status before their durations expired, leaving Angelo stranded invisible surrounded by angry spirits. He only had one shot at Jeb, but luckily that was all he needed.
      bame8rbvl5d0.png

      With their master slain, the ghostly quartet evaporated, each leaving 2,500 XP and a pearl behind. As they left, they cast Lesser Restoration and the onset of magical fatigue was a small price to pay for his lost levels. The minor gems hidden behind the acid-hold-trapped painting offered scant reward, but taking Jeb's head to Chief Inspector Brega in the Government District's Council of Six building earned 2,500 GP and another reputation +1.

    Although the Bridge District had the breadth of incomplete quests, other areas had the depth. And no district of Athkatla had more easily available depth than the Docks.

    Post edited by AvidGamerFan on
    StummvonBordwehr
  • AvidGamerFanAvidGamerFan Member Posts: 95
    Part 55: Angelo Moves Over Mae'Var

    Executive Summary: Combining both his latest tricks, Angelo uses Web and summons to earn himself a stronghold!

    "Do the ruffians stop threatening you once you reach a certain level?" Angelo asked Felicity as they wandered the Docks District. "They seem to be a lot less threatening than before."

    The imp just shrugged. "It seems that Google doesn't know everything after all."
    1. Some Quayside Shopping
      Before any of the other festivities began, Angelo visited blind dwarven smith Cromwell and upgraded his pair of dragon scales into proper armour. The red dragon scales became (nearly) full plate +2 with 50% fire resistance on top while the shadow dragon scales were turned into effectively studded leather armour +6 with 50% acid resistance. Both were stashed away for a rainy day, as was the Nymph Cloak Angelo bought from Gorch in Mae'var's Guildhall. It was imperative that Angelo bought this before the hostilities began, so now was as good a time as ever.
    2. Gethras is a Goner
      Angelo had left off investigating Mae'var's guilt for Renal Bloodscalp when Edwin asked him to assassinate Rayic Gethras, a high level conjurer. The first problem was actually getting to Gethras - it was not as simple as simply wandering up his tower since the first floor stairs were blocked by 2 fire mephits, 2 magma mephits and an ice mephit. Luckily, this was not an insurmountable difficulty, as Angelo invisibly cast a double helping of Protection from Fire and Protection from Cold before summoning a berserk warrior. This defensive magic immunised him from the mephits' elemental damage, but their attacks would still disrupt his spells, so Angelo got his efreeti to cast Invisibility on him after he'd looted the room's minor treasures. The mephit blocking the stairs foolishly moved away and didn't return after Angelo escaped and rested, so he left them to their own devices.

      Passing the stone golems on the second floor, Angelo found his target in the centre of the uppermost level. Though Gethras' field of view almost completely covered the room, the corner in the bottom right was out of sight, allowing Angelo to summon some monsters. However, he did not bring out the big guns instantly. As a conjurer, Gethras had multiple summoning spells of his own which needed to be teased out first.
      8bum0w7qjw0w.png

      There wasn't enough space for Angelo to stand in the corner and surround himself without Gethras noticing the summons and reacting with his own. Despite being a conjurer, Gethras had True Sight memorised, so Angelo was careful not to 'activate' the wizard by appearing in their view. Nevertheless, he turned invisible when Gethras cast Teleport Field, on the off-chance that a monster spotted him after an accidental teleportation and gave the whole game up.
      4ofx72l9a6ck.png

      After draining his spells with several bouts of Monster Summoning I, Angelo went for the kill with a triple Animate Dead. Gethras died a 9,000 XP death without Angelo ever actually seeing him once the battle had begun. Even better, after disarming the acid-hold trap on the large table (along with the Fireball trap on the small bowl), Angelo found a Mislead scroll. He placed this in his scroll case, planning to put it to good use shortly.

      Sneaking back down past the golems and mephits, Angelo went back to Edwin to earn 20,000 XP from reporting Gethras' death.
    3. Marking Marcus
      Rayic Gethras acted as a roadblock preventing players from earning the XP that lay beyond. Edwin's next task was for Angelo to obtain some documents from Marcus, who was staying at the Sea Bounty tavern. The merchant offered to sell them for 250 GP, Angelo sensed that he could obtain them for less and he ended up acquiring them for 0 GP by picking Marcus' pocket. Returning them to Edwin granted a further 10,000 XP... not a bad return, all things considered!
    4. Embalming Embarl
      Edwin's last quest was to dispose of a so-called traitor, Embarl, who also happened to be staying at the Sea Bounty. It didn't take long for Embarl to spill the beans, however, and confess that he'd overheard Mae'var plotting to kill Renal. Taking Embarl's donated dagger back gained Angelo another 18,750 XP and an offer from Edwin to join the group. Angelo refused this, but gratefully accepted the proffered strongbox key, which was promptly looted and its contents returned to Renal for 48,250 XP.
    5. Murdering Mae'var
      The last part of this quest was to kill Mae'var and his chums. Having already bought all he wanted, Angelo was unphased by Gorch's newfound hostility and used Stealth to pass him down to the basement. In the corridor leading up to Mae'var, Angelo summoned as many spiders as he could, then fired as many Web spells as he could into the central chamber. Once he saw that Mae'var was tangled up, Angelo hasted his summons and sent them forth to accomplish his mission.

      As a human multiclass thief/conjurer (just count the illegalities in that combination!), Mae'var's P/P/D saves were not good and the spider's poison easily coursed through his veins. His mirror images sprang up even though he was webbed (luckily, his Minor Globe of Invulnerability did not) and Angelo could not cross the webbed area to Detect Illusion beside him. Though incapable of detecting illusions, Angelo's arrows could cross the webbed area and did a pretty good job of cutting through the images along with the spiders' thrusts.

      Mae'var's death brought 14,000 XP, after which the spiders began their work on any webbed assassins. Angelo had long since turned invisible and retreated, so the arachnids were the first to face the chop when the Web spells ran out. Once Angelo's summoning slots became available (Gethras had proven that the 5 creature summoning limit did not apply to enemies), he filled them with skeletons and sent them back in. The thieves' backstabs weren't nearly as effective against their bony armour and their Detect Illusion skill wasn't nearly enough to remove Angelo's own invisibility. Their deaths were worth 7,000 XP, while the random priest of Cyric was only worth a mere 2,000 XP.

      After freeing Kamuzu from his cell, Angelo referred the news to Renal for 45,500 XP. Although it was one of the lesser strongholds available, there was also some lingering confusion regarding its status online and Angelo wanted to put this misinformation to rest once and for all. Besides, it was one of the more flavoursome choices... who doesn't love a thieves' guild? In any case, Angelo accepted Renal's offer to take over where Mae'var left off, giving him 10,500 GP extra (he'd have preferred the Short Sword +3 that he'd have received had he not been a thief or refused the stronghold, but it was all gravy).

      Felicity told him that to optimise his returns, Angelo should go for the highest risk options possible (https://baldursgate.fandom.com/wiki/Thieves'_Guild_Stronghold#Gameplay). By now, the money was immaterial, but Angelo stuck to his min-maxing guns... why give up on a good thing?

      If Angelo had truly been min-maxing, he would go for the mage stronghold every time... although the ranger and druid ones had useful items if they were played through to the end.

    One more district remained for Angelo to plunder before he was to advance the plot further. Time to take a trip to the Temple District!

    StummvonBordwehrAerakar
  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member Posts: 14,511
    I just stopped by after a long hiatus and am delighted to see the challenge going strong! I hope @histamiini returns and finishes off Melissan without trouble.

    I don't think I'll be returning to the challenge, personally. I think I learned my lesson from my punishing 38-hour Archer run, which I still need to record commentary for and post in full.

    Grond0StummvonBordwehrAerakar
  • AvidGamerFanAvidGamerFan Member Posts: 95
    edited November 25
    Part 56: Angelo Goes Super Saiyan

    Executive Summary: Angelo adds another string to his bow and uses it to clear the sewers beneath the Temple District.

    "I'm so close to becoming a level 12 mage," Angelo murmured as he approached the Temple District. "When I get there, I'll unlock my full potential." And yet his face creased up slightly. "But perhaps I should only use it sparingly. l don't want to become reliant on it, after all."

    The imp's eyes rolled. "Just because your horizons will have broadened doesn't mean that you can't illustrate other strategies where you can. But Legacy of Bhaal is hard enough without deliberately playing with one hand behind your back. Why be a F/M/T, after all, if you never use your class nuke?"
    1. Mekrath's Imp-udent Imp
      Descending into the sewers, Angelo cast Invisibility and sneaked around looking for business. A secret door in the north east led him into a level that looked strangely like the third floor of Durlag's Tower. Passing some miscellaneous imps, Angelo ventued clockwise until he came across Mekrath, a grumpy elf conjurer (illegal!) who eventually admitted that he wanted his mirror returned from an imp that had stolen it. Angelo made sure Felicity was stowed away safely in his pack, else Mekrath mistake her for the mischievous thief.

      After sneaking back into the sewers, it didn't take much scouting to find the culprit camping out in the southeastern corner. Finding a quiet spot to summon some skeletons, Angelo ignored its lesser earth elemental companion (who was immune to the skeletons' +1 weapons anyway) and sent his minions to kill the imp, invisibly snatching the mirror after they'd done so and were busy getting mauled by the elemental. Returning to Mekrath gave 18,750 XP and access to Haer'Dalis, who Angelo sent away to the Five Flagons.

      Before he departed, the tiefling blade mentioned a gem that may be found on an altar. Remembering the layout of Durlag's Tower, Angelo used Invisibility to evade the 3 yuan-ti mages, 1 yuan-ti and 1 greater yuan-ti en-route to the chapel (there were disadvantages to being high level!). After disarming the acid-hold floor trap and Dire Charm altar trap (at least it could be disarmed this time!), Angelo took the harp of discord and portal gem contained therein.

      While he was at it, he took the rod of resurrection from the container next to Mekrath and the necklace of form stability from a chest (trapped with Lightning Bolt) in the eastern chamber before the yuan-ti. There were several other trapped containers (the eastern chamber's other chest had a stunning Chromatic Orb trap, the yuan-ti chest had a Lightning Bolt trap and a cupboard in the southern room had an arrow trap), but they didn't have much treasure, so Angelo ignored them.
    2. Trolling Roger the Fence
      Angelo found Roger the Fence milling around the southern end of the sewers. A bit of cajoling revealed that he'd been having some troll problems, which Angelo naturally offered to sort out. Summoning his usual assortment of skeleton warriors and spiders, he invisibly crept westwards. "It's only one sea troll," he said to himself, "what's the worst that could happen?"
      tj7ouqzswuyc.png

      "You have got to be kidding me?!" Angelo choked as the beholder and two gauths teleported in uninvited and began spamming eye beams at his creatures. Having not thought to bring the shield of Balduran - not that it was much use after SCS telekinetically nerfed it - Angelo crossed his fingers and prayed for the best.

      As it happened, though, he had stumbled onto one of only a few tactics that could reliably bring down beholders. Animate Dead's skeletons were immune to many of the deadliest beams and although the spiders fell almost immediately, the skeletons fearlessly hacked away at the floating eyes. With 100% MR, the flesh golem was also protected from the nasty effects - a marvellous fact that Angelo was quick to exploit.

      After letting the beholders down not so gently, it was the turn of Roger's sea troll. With no floating eyes to defend it, the troll was unceremoniously smacked into the ground, with an efreeti's Flame Arrow ensuring it did not get back up. Roger the Fence gave Angelo 500 GP for completing the job, although Felicity told him some walkthroughs advocated that Roger would have coughed up even if he hadn't followed through (these walkthrough also say that Angelo would gain 9,500 XP for it, though, and that never transpired!).

      After felling the beholders, Angelo noticed that the miniature cross had appeared in the top right corner of his portrait. This meant he was now a level 12 mage, and the loss of phase spiders to their sword spider 'upgrades' in Spider Spawn would be more than compensated by what he could now cast...
    3. Interlude: The 'Best Spell in the Game'?
      What is not often mentioned during the perennial 'best spell in the game' debate is that the answer depends a lot on who is casting it. For example, F/M could be a great case for Improved Haste being the spell that does the most for them overall while for a dedicated sorcerer, Project Image is hard to beat. The ease of acquisition is a definite factor, as is the length over which the spell retains its usefulness (https://lilura1.blogspot.com/2017/08/Best-Arcane-Spells-Baldurs-Gate-and-Baldurs-Gate-2.html). Some spells benefit greatly from being cast in combination with others (Time Stop and Improved Alacrity, I'm looking at you!), and some buffs require other team members to truly shine. And while the power of the Wish spell is well documented, its unpredictable nature means its seat at the high table is not necessarily guaranteed.

      Despite all of this, however, I claim that there is one F/M/T spell that rules them all. Better than Invisibility, better than Blind, better than Web and Animate Dead. It requires Spell Immunity, Invisibility and Improved Haste to unleash its full potential, but even when alone, it still wipes the floor with its competitors. That spell is... *drum roll please*...

      Mislead!

      If you are averse to so-called 'cheesy exploitation' of this spell, I suggest you stop reading now (although using a spell exactly how it was intended doesn't strike me as an exploit at all!). It is no exaggeration to say that with Mislead, at least 65% of the remainder of the game becomes almost trivial for a F/M/T. The fact that only they can truly utilise it (F/M can't backstab, M/T can't hit properly and bards can do neither!) is an added bonus. Incidentally, this also makes what I said in my BG1 reflection about scimitars being a poor option when not dual-wielding completely wrong. One extra attack per round is one extra backstab opportunity when you're using Mislead and single weapon style allows extra critical hits.
    4. Taking Out Tarnor
      Having scribed and memorised his new spell, Angelo was eager to test it out. But since Felicity had urged caution in her preamble, Angelo held his tongue for the time being and investigated whether there were any other tricks that he could use to tackle the bounty hunters he'd passed in the northern tunnels.

      Initial signs were good, as Angelo realised that a couple of them were strangely reluctant to turn hostile as long as he kept out of sight of leader Tarnor the Hatchetman. This meant he basically had a free Blind (or Feeblemind) on fighter/cleric Rengaard...
      13adv131q2vj.png

      ... and cleric Zorl...
      j5l7czfqrzuw.png

      Unfortunately, being divine casters, both could cast Cure Disease on themselves, which removed blindness (and Feeblemind) and made it difficult to meaningfully capitalise on this advantage. Web from afar was also tricky, as elven necromancer (again, illegal!) Gaius had a stupedously low save versus spell (3 before LoB's bonus, making him immune to Feeblemind cast by a non-enchanter). His defences would automatically spring up, preventing a quick kill, and his pair of Death Spells would kill Angelo's summons outright.

      There was, however, a solution to this dilemma - make sure that his defences were never activated!

      Enter Mislead!

      As if the fact that it allowed Angelo free attacks without retaliation AND he could backstab to his heart's content weren't enough, Mislead users didn't aggrevate precast spells. Any enemies hit by someone using it either stood still helplessly or wandered around dumbfounded. Unless the defender could see invisible creatures, dispel the illusion or somehow protect themselves, they were dead meat.

      One annoyance is that Mislead gave no indication of its remaining duration, so it could suddenly wear off with no warning. To prevent his, Angelo had a cute trick: he'd begin by casting (Improved) Haste followed immediately by Spell Immunity: Divination (Spell Immunity was the only exception to the 1 spell/round action economy outside Improved Alacrity, as it could be cast the instant another spell was finished). This created a large visual bubble around Angelo, who then cast Mislead. Spell Immunity both have the same duration, so when Spell Immunity's bubble disappeared, then Angelo knew he had 1 round to get the heck out of dodge before his clone disappeared.

      Of course, being only a level 12 mage, Angelo's one available level 6 spell was taken up by Mislead, so Improved Haste was off the cards. However, as the bandits would discover, Haste was all that Angelo needed to dispatch Gaius.
      4v3hak936pkv.png

      Somehow, Gaius managed to summon some skeletons before he died (for 4,000 XP), but as they couldn't find Angelo's clone (cunningly hidden by the steps to Mekrath's lair), they were as good as useless. The clerics were next. They wore heavy armour, so it was harder to kill them quickly, but Rengaard (worth 6,000 XP) was unable to cast Sanctuary and escape Angelo's flashing blade.
      bidm64p7qknv.png

      Angelo managed to kill Zorl (2,000 XP) and bow-toting fighter Gallchobhair (7,200 XP - presumably the cousin of Ioin Gallchobhair the Lonely Peaks bandit from BG1) before his Mislead expired. Amusingly, Gallchobhair stumbled on Angelo's clone and peppered it with arrows while Angelo frantically stood behind him hacking away. Although plain fighters Tarnor (8,000 XP) and Draug Fea (7,000 XP) heard all the commotion, Angelo's invisible body blocked their advance just enough that they couldn't see the clone.
      m4ln5ge4wr1a.png

      Having taken out the truly dangerous threats, hasted skeletons were enough to take down both Tarnor and Draug Fea, along with the remaining summons.
    5. Splatting the Rakshasa
      Whereas Angelo had previously shirked away from fighting rakshasa, he hoped that his new tactic would even the odds. His suspicion proved correct and the beast didn't even try to escape its 3,000 XP fate.
      hklzof85ntjp.png

      Flinging the cloak of the sewers around his neck, Angelo left the scene, leaving the kobolds clean up his mess. Still invisible, he ignored Keldorn's duel with a zombie to head down the northwest passage.

    Killing those beholders in the sewers would serve as good practice, Angelo thought, to tackling the cult of the Unseeing Eye. With his latest weapon now tried and tested, nothing could go wrong... could it?

    Post edited by AvidGamerFan on
    Grond0StummvonBordwehrAerakar
  • AvidGamerFanAvidGamerFan Member Posts: 95
    Good to see you're still around, @semiticgod. I, for one, would be interested in hearing your commentary. I'm surprised it only took you 38 hours - Angelo has surely been going for much longer than that! - but he is being very thorough and I hope that subsequent playthroughs will be much speedier (I certainly won't be writing them up in half as much detail!).

    By the way, would it be possible to update the front page of currently running challengers? At the moment, I'm playing Angelo the F/M/T on 'regular' difficulty, as well as Arcand the C/I as part of the wizard slayer challenge (although I will be frank... he may magically become a M/C when I come to writing him up should I find no alternative to the 'Skull Trap surprise' for taking out Melissan). I would ask @Harpagornis to do it, but I've not seen them around for a while and I don't want to miss out on any celebrity status (*ahem*) that comes with attempting the challenge.

    semiticgodStummvonBordwehr
  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member Posts: 14,511
    @AvidGamerFan: Part of the "short" duration was the fact that it didn't factor in all of my failed attempts and subsequent restarts from Candlekeep (mostly this was early failures in BG1, but still). The other half is that I used CTRL-J to jump around and I got incredibly fast at that... My fingers were moving so fast that I actually injured myself and for several weeks or months I had to intentionally ease up on the games I played to heal my hands. The runs definitely get faster the more you do them.

    It would also be nice to have a single location for @histamiini's very informative info drops about where to find items in each game. A single post near the start of the thread listing Potions of Invisibility in BG1, Potions of Heroism in SoD, and Time Stop scrolls in BG2 would be very convenient.

    Grond0StummvonBordwehrAerakar
  • AvidGamerFanAvidGamerFan Member Posts: 95
    @semiticgod I definitely agree that having some reference posts would be a good idea and @histamiini has compiled some great info. Personally, I wouldn't rate BG1 and SoD potions that high a priority, purely because invisibly looting the bodies in the Chapter 11 battle is so profitable. At the risk of blowing my own trumpet, I do think that my lists of the XP available without combat are useful, if a little overkill.

    An overview of the 'bottlenecks' that must be planned for might also be handy, along with some proven solutions. We've already seen several challengers rock up to the coalition camp attacks without enough arrows of detonation. For example, in BG1, you must have some strategy for tackling Mulahey, Davaeorn, Slythe, the Duchal Palace ambush and Sarevok; common solutions involve Algernon's cloak, various wands and necklaces of missiles or potions of explosions.

    AerakarStummvonBordwehr
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