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The LoB + SCS Solo Challenge vs Bhaal´s Cataclysm



  • histamiinihistamiini Member Posts: 1,425
    Against Illasera Jin had 65 DR against missiles from the Belt and Hardiness. Even with amazing AC vs missiles, she still hit even with rolling fives. She put decent fight taking 7 healings from RoR, but Jin won the head on battle. First Pocket Plane challenge and used the summon door trick. Commoners couldn't hit me, but Knights of the Order took 5 RoR's to survive without other resources. Linvail and Eltan easily smacked, and with more Frozen Fists and couple GWW's Ellesime was dead too.


    Saradush landing was done with 5 GWW's and Frozen Fists without the need for healing. Mundane guests, and then AI smacked barracks out for the sewer key. For Gromnir I lured his minions bottom of the map, then lured Gromnir to the exit, 8 Frozen Fists, 4 GWW's, done. Not able to use Roranach's Horn is pretty big disadvantage going on. Didn't bother the rest just escaped the palace. Used one PfU for the Master Wraith and his minions. Passed Yaga-Shura stronghold invisible, Fell Cats lured away and smacked, Brimstone stoned. Nothing else here for me so I just picked the hearts and left. Smited Nyalee and my double, and one GWW was enough even though she resisted Frozen Fists.


    Now that Yaga-Shura is immune to Charm, melee battle would be damn hard with his cheating army, that will follow you everywhere, no matter if stealthed or not. But they too can be cheated back. Jin ran straight to Yaga and hit him with Critical Strike, then left for Watchers Keep. Came back just to say hello to Yaga and quickly transitioned to Watchers Keep again, so that his army spawned there. Again back and now Jin could've some one on one time with Yaga, given that you don't pass the bridge which would call his army back. 10 GWW's with stacked Frozen Fists and I only needed RoR once.


    Second Pocket Plane challenge, summon door trick, and first lured Tamoko out to be killed. Then my double, and after depleting her GWW's I smacked her with my GWW's. Angelo easily smacked. Semaj Time Stop evaded and then Frozen Fists handled him. Got Regeneration which could prove useful in Sendai Enclave. Only killed Jamis from the Oasis for the Answerer +4.


    After doing the mundane guests in Amkethran I started with the easiest, petrifying the Woodcutter. Then Thelynn, Blur, Improved Invisibility, Mirror Image, Hardiness, 9 Frozen Fists, one GWW and then Smite killed him. With the same Smite Jin broke free, used Invisibility and escaped. Yochol and Glabrezus lured out and smacked. Used one PfU to kill Odamaron with Frozen Fists.


    Improved Spectral Brand to get Piercing Strike, which gives -10 Thac0 bonus for 3 rounds, or -26 with my current Fists. Time for the Blackrazor to prove its worth. First lured the Greater Earth Elementals out and killed them. Hardiness, Piercing Strike, GWW and attacked Ogremoch. After 2 GWW's he had already lost 16 levels, and continuing to GWW he was getting weaker with every drain. After 6th GWW the bastard was dead. Diyatha lured out and easily killed, as was Captain Egeissag. Before wandering to the last Mind Flayer dungeon I wanted BMU so I traveled to Dragon country.


    Activated Draconis to get his trigger out, then depleted his protections and two Time Stops. Frozen Fists and casually hacked him to transformation interrupting his spells. 100 Acid Resitance and kited his Haste out. After smacking Draconis with 9 GWW's to Near Death he used his Heal card. Finally after using all my HLA's and 10 RoR's or so, Draconis fell. Greater Werewyvern lured out and smacked with 4 GWW's. Before pressing on I went and recharged my RoR's. Anadramatis was pretty weak one on one, only used one Magic Protection to counter Pierce Shield. Few GWW's and done. In Kuo-toa dungeon ran straight to the Monk, then used GWW speed to escape without fighting anybody.


    Fetched the rope for quadruble Dragon ambush. Managed to separate the two Dragons, first activating and quickly retreating, then only luring the other one out. Took 14 hits to stone it. The other one was petrified with three hits. The Green Dragon was stoned first hit. Managed to back out from Carnifex, summoned Efreeti to see his triggers out. Tried waiting his Haste out, but my Efreeti wandered back to me bringing Carnifex. Started kiting and after his Haste was out started using WoW and after 6 hits the last Dragon fell. Used GWW speed to casually pick up Bronze pants without fighting anybody and built the BMU. Only armor even Monk can wear.


    Monk can hit AC cap too,

    -10 Big Metal Unit
    -12 Ring +2
    -14 Ring of Gaxx
    -16 Dark Moon Cloak (if I decide to get it)
    -20 Hell

    -22 Sensate Amulet
    -28 Dexterity Bonus
    -32 Improved Invisibility

    -36 vs Slashing (BMU)
    -36+ vs Crushing (Belt) + Potion of Absorptions
    -38 vs Piercing (BMU+Belt)
    -51 vs Missiles (BMU+Belt+Innate)

    Couple boss battles looming ahead, which could prove fatal. :#
  • semiticgoddesssemiticgoddess Member Posts: 14,829
    Excellent progress, @histamiini. Keep up the good work! I look forward to seeing Jin take down Sendai and Melissan.

    Close call in Abazigal's lair. It's a scary reminder of a monk's low damage resistances compared to other warriors. I'm also amazed Illasera was able to hit you with 5's considering all of Jin's missile AC bonuses.

    Is -1 save vs. spell safe for ToB, even with 100% MR?

    I think it would probably be best just to kite Abazigal with the Scorcher Ammunition and the Gauntlets of Specialization, if available. Unless Ascension v2.0 fixed his regeneration (and @DavidW was hesitant to do so), you should be able to take down Abazigal just with the Scorcher Ammunition, since he doesn't have decent ranged options and the constant hitstun will slow him down a lot. It's definitely slower than melee for a character like a monk, but it should be perfectly safe for any character.
  • histamiinihistamiini Member Posts: 1,425
    @semiticgod Yeah Sendai will be handful too with low DR because of her extremely potent Drow warriors with -33 Thac0 and GWW's. But I've amassed 50 Heroism and 70 Invisibility potions just for this encounter, and Hardiness, Mirror Image and Regen should help also to survive. Although Monk can't get double Regen from normal Haste like others, GWW still doubles it. So with Regen ability, Ring of Gaxx and GWW I get 40 hppr. Sadly I've almost given up my hope against Melissan and the Solars, but we'll see. Illasera has -33 Thac0, which I could actually force to roll 20's with all missile gear now that I've BMU.

    About saves I'm not that sure, at least Mindies still need Invulneravility and Balors Death proof, and certain special abilities still probably can hit. Monk is immune to Charm so that's something I haven't needed to worry. Deplete then interrupt tactic against spell casters is pretty safe.

    Monks can't wear the apr gloves because they belong to Cleric glass. Which feels pretty strange because Paladin's feel more Cleric than Monk's. And Monk's still get Warrior apr bonus, but not their hp bonus. Yeah I don't think Abazigal regenerated that much, it would be pretty bad if he did :D, and kiting is definitely quite safe, but slow business.
  • histamiinihistamiini Member Posts: 1,425
    edited August 2019
    Third Pocket Plane challenge was basic smacking, although the Slayer managed to drain couple levels. Last Mind Flayer base, 30 Mind Focus, 12h Improved Invisibility, Absorption, Blur, Mirror Image, Invul. First party hacked before 1 hour mark, second party before 2 hour mark. Pocket Plane rest, Frozen Fists and Smited the mages. Before facing Sendai I went and recharged my RoR's.


    Jin vs. Sendai. I had amassed 70 Invisibility and 50 Heroism potions for the battle. My DR is only 40 so I'll need something extra against the extremely potent Drow. Buffed with 5x Heroism, Improved Invisibility, 2x Stoneskins, 8x Mirror Images, Hardiness, 7x Frozen Fists, Regen, Piercing Strike and GWW and first killed the Cleric statue which eliminates Deva who could see through Invisibility. I was still in good state so I took one Drow out too before timing my Invisibility potion after incoming Remove Magic, and escaped to Pocket Plane.


    The same buffs and next go I managed to kill two Drow's, although it was a gamble and my hp got low as 64 before Invisibility. Decided to take it safe, and only killed single Drow with the next two attacks. Fifth attack I took again 2 Drows because I was good form after the first kill. Sixth attack I got Ranger statue, seventh again one Drow. On eight attack I got the last 2 warrior Drows, then waited the incoming double Remove Magics to hit, before drinking Invisibility potion and escaping again.


    After that there was only the two mage Drows and five statues left. First took the mages out with Firetooth whirlwinds, then the two mage statues. The last mage statue was easily the most resilient with 4 PfMW, Sanctuaries, Stone Skins etc.


    Then it was basic mobbing job to kill the rest. Before the real Sendai spawned I summoned Kitthix so I could lure Sendai out of sight, but it didn't work quite like that. She summoned Aerial Servant, hundred bears and a Deva. Went into a corner and drank Invisibility. The bears acted as a meatshield so Deva couldn't touch me. Waited it out, then the bears, then smacked the Servant. After that buffed with Frozen Fists and attacked Sendai. She only had Mantle left and after 6 GWW's she was killed.


    If Abazigal was a surprise, Sendai battle went pretty much as planned, only getting one 64 hp scare. Fourth Pocket Plane challenge basic smacking with BMU, got Hand of Murder. Convinced Balty to join me, and then it was time for the Ravager.

    Using my missile gear, I noticed that modifiers too have 20 cap. Used summon door trick, lured Bone Blades out and left them with Efreeti. With AC and missile cap Ravager only hit with 20's, where's I hit with 10's, so once in a round on average. After 100 or so bullets +4 Ravager was injured state. After he got near death, I hastened the process with my HLA's. Slow business, but eventually Jin ground him out with about 440 +4 bullets. Got 25 DR although it still isn't working, and I had to use EEkeeper to give it.


    Debating if I should do the Rasaad and Neera guestlines next before the final battle, for Monk gear and Slashing belt.
  • histamiinihistamiini Member Posts: 1,425
    Decided to undergo at least the Neera guest line. After getting to the clearing, Neera got killed in few seconds on Thayan assault. I lured the fighters away from the four mages, and smacked them silly. After that I baited the mages and killed them. Getting to the arena I concentrated on the four Yuan-ti Elite as they were the only ones that could hit with Normal Weapon protection. Then it was basic mobbing job. Used RoR on Neera and she left to Pocket Plane. Now the fun part was the ultimate shopping. Bought Cloak of the Lich (Death immunity, 50% CR and ER), Golden Girdle, second Wand of Wonder, bunch of potions and killed the priest for fourth Rod of Resurrection. Vicross estate was basic smacking, first killed the Fighters as mages weren't attacking for some reason. Lured Vicross personal guard away and smacked.


    Next I made a slight mistake not Smiting Vicross and taking it too lightly. Being Wild Mage she went absolutely berserk and summoned about 20 allies or more including 3 Balor's. Luckily I got the Cloak of the Lich and used the lesser opponents as a meat shield as I smacked the Balors out. Then waited his summons to disappear and then hunted Vicross down, which took probably a hour with his countless invisibilities and protections. It had taken no less than 20 RoR's, and there was Szam still left. The following part was probably my favorite part yet in the playthrough though, cat and mouse game with Szam across Vicross estate. After his double Time Stops etc were out, I casually smacked him into submission.


    Decided not take the Rasaad guest line but start the battle in Throne of Bhaal. Refreshing my memory first of the Fallen Solars.

    916 hp
    -24 AC
    Critical Protection
    50 DR
    85 MR
    0 MDR
    0 FR
    100 CR/ER/AR
    -10 Thac0
    6 apr
    Ranged 8-24 magic dmg, Dispel, Kill -2 vs death pass MR
    Melee 18-56 slashing dmg, Kill -2 vs death pass MR
    Immune to pretty much everything except Kill or ability drains

    Unlucky for us we can't access Kill and they're immune to cold so Frozen Fists don't help. But they don't have MDR so Hand of Murder will provide extra damage against them. With Fists and Hand of Murder I can do average 28 damage per hit even with their 50 DR, so in theory I should be able to kill one with Piercing Strike and 4 GWW's. Although they Dispel with ranged, and hit like a truck with melee, lucky for us their Thac0 isn't that great, and we can force them to hit 20's. As our undispellable AC is currently with BMU, Ring +2, Ring of Gaxx, Hell +4, Sensate Amulet, Dex +4 and Golden Girdle -31 vs slashing, and -40 vs missiles.

    Throne of Bhaal. Started the fight with Hardiness and Mirror Image, which Jon Oracled away immediatelly. Hand of Murder and started hacking the other Solar, as Balty lured everybody else the other way. Jon cast Time Stop which suited me just fine as Balty got to use one of the Solars as free punching bag, getting it injured. After few GWW's I killed the other Solar, and after 9 GWW's both were dead, beautiful. Luckily the Heal loop didn't happen, don't know if that's a thing with Ascension 2.0 anymore. Jon could do pretty much nothing against me as I smacked him out. And as Bodhi refused my soul, I gave her a nice petrification from WoW.


    Activated the first pool luring Nabassu, Babau and Glabrezu away to be killed, as Balor started fighting on his own. Then smacked Succubus, and ranged Gambion with Firetooth +3. The Balor was in a loop summoning more help, then killing them. I attacked it with WoW and after it had summoned couple more enemies it got stoned. Then wiped the rest. Apparently you don't get you abilities back anymore from activating the pools, which is a bummer. Also the access to the pools is severed once activated. Got Focus against Time Stop. Next pool I first smacked the Nabassus, then stoned the Marilith because it was summoning more and more Skelis, and then wiped the rest. Got Teleport and Control Demon. Next pool was a mayhem Balor gating other Balors and more. Learned that I can actually Teleport safety to one of the severed pools. Watched the display as Balors killed others. Then casually stoned it from the pool as it couldn't touch me. Then mobbed four Gambions with Firetooth +3 and stoned the last Balor too and mobbed the rest.


    Time for the final confrontation. And as I suspected I still didn't get my abilities back, don't know if I like that one. Melissan should be faced in top condition. For the final battle I had one Hardiness and two Whirlwinds. :D Not only that but the Big 6 now has the cheating homing beacon and they'll home to you no matter what. As pools are now closed there's no reason to Charm Sarevok either with the Control Circlet. It will just get him killed and Melissan will spawn. I couldn't possibly fight them all at once, so I Teleported on one of the pools, where only Illasera could touch me with her arrows. I bated Abazigals and Sendais spells a while, because that was all I could pretty much do. Also smacked one summoned Fallen Deva. Then used my last Hardiness to survive Fallen Planetar, although after wasting it I remembered I could actually teleport to another pool. Well no Hardinesses anymore either. After a while Sendai nor Aba produced anymore spells.


    Next I found I could range them with Firetooth if Illasera wasn't insight. This would be even easier with Reflection Shield, or 100 missile resistance, neither available for a Monk. First hit Gromnir and Sendai near death, then started hitting Abazigal, which was freaking slow with hits only 15 and above, and 75 DR. Eventually Aba too got near death, and after looking the battle some time, I had already formed somewhat of a plan.


    First deal was to get everybody except Sarevok to near death, then Charm Sarevok with Control Circlet and waste everybody. Melissan would spawn and attack Sarevok and I would teleport one of the pools, where the annoying Solars wouldn't reach. Then it would be just Melissan and Jin. One problem was to get Illasera near death, as her -33 Thac0 missile weapon is hard hitting, even with my 50 DR and -46 undispellable AC vs. missiles. But as it turned out I could range Illasera just fine. Yaga still left, and as it turned out he was the hardest, as I couldn't seem the get Illasera out of sight, and Yaga bombed me with Fireballs. Figured that I should've used Frag Granades from the beginning as they would've hit all. But anyway being many hours in, being very tired, I decided to go for it. Charmed Sarevok and he started hacking Yaga, me helping with RoR far away. But alas, he had the bug that stops attack almost immediatelly. Nice that's something I needed at this point.


    Sarevok died, Melissan spawned, Time Stop, death... Where's Nemesis I need her now?
  • semiticgoddesssemiticgoddess Member Posts: 14,829
    @histamiini: No! Jin was doing so well! That's a really rough loss, especially if those new Ascension changes to the final battle aren't intentional.

    Did Jin have a clouded aura when Melissan started casting Time Stop? I'm not sure Hardiness and the Ravager bonuses could have saved her; only the Focus spell.
  • histamiinihistamiini Member Posts: 1,425
    @semiticgod No I could've cast Focus, but I was so disappointed with the Sarevok attack bug that I forgot completely the Time Stop. Too tired I guess. I don't mind not getting abilities back from the pools, but they should be given back at least when facing Big 6 like it was before 2.0. Now you need to do four battles before the final battle and still don't get refresh. I don't like the homing beacon neither as it feels weird and forced. About closed pools I don't know, it will actually make the fight easier when you can range them almost casually to near death, but on the other hand if you wouldn't be able to Teleport in them, the fight would be possibly too hard in so tight quarters. We'll see how Nemesis does with this battle, she only has Abazigal left before she can try her luck, or in other words, her Reflection Shield.
  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 7,097
    @histamiini shame about the monk, but still all-round impressive performances (as usual) :D.
  • semiticgoddesssemiticgoddess Member Posts: 14,829
    Excellent work, @histamiini! Could you submit the links for Nemesis' entry in the Hall of Heroes?
  • Victor_Creed_SFVVictor_Creed_SFV Member Posts: 608
    @histamiini Good job!
    Glad to hear your thoughts on FMC, I've been thinking the same for quite a while, even tho I mostly formed my opinion anround Mels Time Stop immunity and didn't even think about still being able to use scrolls. :)
  • histamiinihistamiini Member Posts: 1,425
    Thanks guys!

    @semiticgod Here's the links:

    BG + SoD 1
    SoA 12
    ToB 123

  • DavidWDavidW Member Posts: 823
    edited August 2019
    I'm trying to make sense of these reports about Ascension.

    Pools closed off: this is intentional. Ascension 1.x turns off the energy flow, but leaves the physical bridge present, and I'm reasonably sure that's a bug. It does, however, leave the exploit of teleporting to the islands and hiding there. I am inclined to block that (with the usual ini toggle to unblock it.)

    Powers not being regained: I'm not 100% sure I understand this report, but in any case I have not intentionally changed anything here. In Ascension 1.x, you get your powers back according to the difficulty slider:
    - INSANE: you never get to regain spells and abilities
    HARD: you regain spells and abilities after the last pool
    CORE: you regain spells and abilities after the first and last pools
    NORMAL/EASY: you regain spells and abilities after each pool

    Ascension 2.0 is supposed to do the same thing. The logic is a bit complex so it's always possible I've broken something, but I'll need a more exact bug report.

    Balthazar attack bug: Can I get a more detailed description of this? (He seems to fight fine on my test installs, but I was mostly checking critical path rather than really playtesting the tactical aspects.)

    Sarevok attack bug: ditto.

    EDIT: I assume those attack bugs are on SCS+ascension, not ascension by itself?
  • histamiinihistamiini Member Posts: 1,425
    @DavidW My run was still on SCS 32.1 and Ascension 2.0.3. And I see that newer version has fixed some Balthazar stutter? In my installation Balty, if I let him do his thing, he hit example Solar just fine, but if I made him do it, he stopped after an attack usually. The same was with charmed Sarevok. There's also possibility to resurrect Balty as a neutral, if your RoR hits him after death. I've had this happen multiple times. Don't know if it's a bug, but after this both charname and Balty can stutter, constantly turn to look each other, before the first fight is over.

    As for powers, I've mostly played with LoB, and for me abilities + spells were always given back after every pool, before Ascension 2.0. I agree that teleportation to closed pools make the fight too easy, but as things stand I would call it too tough without, in such closed space, Big 6 having a homing beacon.
  • DavidWDavidW Member Posts: 823
    OK, if you're on 2.0.3 very probably some these have been fixed. (Resurrecting Balth is definitely an edge-case bug that hasn't been fixed, and could have happened on 1.x; I'll look into it.)

    The pool power thing puzzles me. The original Ascension dialog file is very clearly set up to provide rests only on certain pools at high difficulty. I'll do a playtest and see if it was nonfunctional or something.

    When you say the Big 6 'have a homing beacon', what do you mean? They can all see invisible automatically, so I don't think them moving towards you if you're out of sight is problematic. I am reluctant to reopen the pools by default because I'm pretty sure that's a bug in original Ascension, but I might code an ini override for people who prefer it that way.

  • histamiinihistamiini Member Posts: 1,425
    Homing beacon I mean they'll follow you no matter what, even if you teleport other side of the map, they know where you are and will home to you. It never worked like that before Ascension 2.0, as you could lose them in fog of war.
  • semiticgoddesssemiticgoddess Member Posts: 14,829
    edited August 2019
    Mm. I don't like that the previous no-reload successes were aided by an Ascension bug, particularly something that dramatic. Without those free rests, the Archer/Mage, Cleric/Mage, and Fighter/Mage likely would have needed Wish-rests (probably from the Wand of Lightning trick) and the Archer and Totemic Druid would have needed to do a LOT more kiting.

    I guess it doesn't delegitimize those runs, since the rests weren't strictly necessary and all characters thus far have had the Shield of Reflection, but succeeding with fewer spell slots and only one Vhailor's Helm clone for all phases would have been rougher and more complicated. It's a bad omen for future runs that don't have Wish-resting and/or the Shield of Reflection.
  • DavidWDavidW Member Posts: 823
    OK, I have done some research on these two issues (homing, and ability restoration).

    - In Ascension v1.4 (the original WEIDU version - I don't have a copy of the primeval, pre-WEIDU version) pool rest works just as I described: no rest if you play on INSANE, with successively more rests on easier modes, down to resting on each pool on NORMAL/EASY. So if v1.5-1.7 (the first lot of EE versions) let you rest every time, something went wrong in their conversion. In any case, v2.0 is working the way the original one worked, so this isn't a bug and I'm not going to change it. (I guess I could code an ini override but TBH you might as well just do C:Eval('RestParty()') at the console.)

    - The homing code in v2.0 is unchanged from v1.4 (and is basically the way the vanilla game does it - home in on Player1 if offscreen). That's in baseline Ascension; I haven't checked SCS but it's probably pretty similar (and won't have changed from SCS v30). If homing wasn't happening in v1.5-v1.7, either something was broken or else the original v1.4 code wasn't working because of some other script issue that I fixed without noticing. Either way, though, this is working according to original developer intent, so again doesn't need fixing.
  • leeuxleeux Member Posts: 115
    Maybe make rests availability dependent on difficulty AND party size? Playing solo is a form of increased difficulty, right?
  • DavidWDavidW Member Posts: 823
    It's outside the scope of my caretaking of the mod to tweak core developer intent like that. (Especially since it's so easy for people to simulate themselves if they want through the console.)
  • semiticgoddesssemiticgoddess Member Posts: 14,829
    Yeesh. That's going to make things really ugly. A lot of classes will just have to resort to kiting or WoL Wish spells.

    On the plus side, we seem to have confirmation that the level 1, 1 HP invincible tank trick does in fact work in EE reliably, which means a human mage with 1 Constitution from the Claw of Kazgoroth or a couple of Vials of Mysterious Liquid could easily tank Belhifet and kill the bastard with blue Fire Shields, without even worrying about using Resilient Sphere to survive the damage. How many blue Fire Shield scrolls are available again? I calculate you'd need at least 10.

    BG2 and ToB might be doable at level 1 if you're truly invincible. Once you got to Hell, you could get +10 to saving throws to ensure successful saves against charm and instant death effects, and then you could just grind everything down with dual-wielded daggers. If that's not viable, you could always level up shortly into Shadows of Amn and then rely on conventional mage options to beat the game, or dual-class somewhere along the way, with the Girdle of Fortitude to compensate for your lousy base CON.

    Actually, I might want to try that out for myself. I thought I was done with this challenge, but an easy, low-intensity level 1 run that enters Shadows of Amn with mage levels? That could be very fun indeed!
  • semiticgoddesssemiticgoddess Member Posts: 14,829
    edited August 2019
    In practical terms, since the Vial of Mysterious Liquid imposes poison damage, it might just kill a solo level 1 character with just 3 CON and therefore 2 HP, since drinking the potion would cloud your aura and prevent you from drinking an Antidote to counteract the second fatal point of damage. In that case, you'd have to just wear the Claw of Kazgoroth and keep a couple Vials of Mysterious Liquid with you until you either (1) learned Slow Poison so you could use the Quick Save trick to cast it immediately after downing the Vial of Mysterious Liquid, or (2) got to SoD, when you could drink a Vial of Mysterious Liquid and then block any further poison damage by equipping the Purification Stone for 100% poison resistance (using a Protection from Poison scroll beforehand would prevent the Vial of Mysterious Liquid from doing anything).

    Alternatively, you could just go with the Claw of Kazgoroth alone, but unless you imported that into BG2 (how do you do that again?) and dedicated a ring slot to the thing, you'd be stuck at 3 CON, in which case you'd either have to level up and continue without the level 1 invincibility active, or somehow drop your CON down to 1 in SoA (and the only method I can think of dropping CON before Watcher's Keep is the Spellhold dream, which will only get you to 2).
  • semiticgoddesssemiticgoddess Member Posts: 14,829
    I see some promising dual-class options. Now, a single-classed mage will hit level 31 and get 4 level 9 spell slots, but dual-classing at level 22 will only cost you a single level 9 slot and open up:


    Both of these will involve some grinding, either via the Gauth XP loop or the Wand of Wonder trick, but the cleric will get 3 level 7 spell slots, 7 level 6 spell slots, and 9 everything else--very nice, considering the new IWD cleric spells. You'll get 2 cleric HLA as well. The thief will also only get 2 HLAs, one of which is Use Any Item. Alternatively, you could dual-class to fighter and get a Mage(20)->Fighter(25), which costs you another level 9 spell slot but buys you 6 fighter HLAs and Grandmastery in stuff.

    Notably, the cleric can perform the Slayer trick by using Divine Shield (immunity to the damage opcode!) instead of the WoL trick plus Potions of Power stacking plus the Quick Save trick via an auto save on area transition, which means you could hit 5 APR and get some nice resistance at the cost of inventory lag. I've seen the Slayer trick cause crashes, and the advantage of the cleric is that it could activate the Slayer trick and remain in Slayer form indefinitely more than once per game--thus, if there's a section where the Slayer trick crashes the game, the Cleric/Mage can turn it off and then turn it back on again, while another character would find itself short of Potions of Power to repeat the trick.

    Other IWD spells would open several new possibilities. Entropy Shield and Impervious Sanctity of Mind will obviate the need for Spell Shield, Spell Immunity, and the Shield of Reflection, and the immunity to intoxication will make Wish intoxication a very, very powerful option.

    I'm skeptical about the thief. Use Any Item only buys us a little more than what the fighter already gets, and the fighter is much stronger in multiple dimensions. Only Mislead backstabs would give the thief better damage output, and those backstabs aren't worth as much without the THAC0 to back them up. The fighter offers much more sustainable damage output.

    Looking at it in Near Infinity, the final Slayer form (at 6 million XP) grants undispellable immunity to some or all disablers, -12 base THAC0 (or -19 when factoring in 25 STR!), 30 regeneration per round, 5 APR, 50% resistance to all forms of damage (set; not added), 75% MR, 3d8 crushing damage per hit plus 8 nonmagical cold damage, a 20% chance per hit of dispelling all effects regardless of level, 25 DEX, base 2 saving throws, and +250 HP. Unlike other forms I've seen, it's not possible to dispel the attack weapon and wield something else while still in Slayer form; removing the magical weapon will end the effect entirely.

    You're basically just invincible in Ravager form. It doesn't really matter what class you are; the extra 250 HP, -19 THAC0, 5 APR, and 75% total damage resistance from the last Pocket Plane trial would make any character into a fighter. You could tank everyone at the Throne as long as it didn't cause a crash.

    I'm leaning towards the cleric. It's far better equipped to regain mage levels than either the fighter or thief, and a more flexible Slayer trick and a whole raft of new spells is much more useful than access to edged weapons or Hardiness.
  • semiticgoddesssemiticgoddess Member Posts: 14,829
    edited August 2019
    It really all depends on if there are holes in the 1 HP strategy. If that can take down SoD, the war is won--a mage that jumps up to level 11 in BG2 already has the tools to break 3 million XP and start an XP loop. If not, then things get more complicated and we'll have holes to patch.

    That leaves us with the question of specialization (that extra level 9 spell slot could be very important). Conjurers and Invokers are out because they require high CON. Transmuters and Necromancers are out because of PFMW and Project Image. Abjurers are doable but not worth it due to missing Stoneskin and Time Stop and not getting any saving throw bonuses or penalties. Illusionists are okay, Wild Mages are dangerous for no-reload purposes, Enchanters miss out on some cool stuff like BBoD and WoL Sunfire, and Diviners lose some niche options. I'm leaning towards Enchanter, Diviner, or Illusionist.
  • semiticgoddesssemiticgoddess Member Posts: 14,829
    The voidstone questline will be fatal for a level 1 character without Negative Plane Protection. Is this required?
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