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In yet another attempt to solo no reload, I've decided that the reason I keep failing is that I'm not making it hard enough
So, rolled up a Beastmaster and whacked the difficulty up to 11. Rolled an impressive 97 for stats, useful just in case I decide for variety's sake to dual to a cleric.
Having a ball so far. I'm trying to roleplay it a little more than I normally would, avoiding harm to animals unless unavoidable. I started with some errand quests to build up levels to cushion myself from having rubbish AC. I was quickly able to buy Aule's Staff and the Greenstone Amulet. With that done, I cleared the path from Candlekeep to the Friendly Arm Inn, down to Beregost, to Nashkel. Highlights so far have been charming a wolf before taking on the belt fetish ogre. My wolf took a hit, so I cured him above myself before finishing off the ogre.
I've been hovering around the level 3-4 mark for awhile as I painstakingly remove the hobgoblins, gibberlings and xvarts from the roads to protect the locals (rather than my usual use of the basilisk area to hoover up experience quickly).
The assassination attempts have been fun - Tarnesh was felled with one blow from Aule's Staff. Karlat received a critical hit that sent him running, but not for long. Neira was a little harder to hit, but also went down having used a charge of the Greenstone Amulet to protect from her spells.
It is a real shame that you can't have an animal companion rather than a familiar as I've enjoyed wandering around with a charmed wolf/bear! The extra HP you get with the Beastmaster is very handy, AC is a problem and I'd love to summon animals earlier than level 8. Other than that, the restrictions, alignment, and name of the kit is actually very conducive to roleplaying a little more than I normally do, which I like!