Skip to content

Primer for solo play?

Background: I've done many saga playthroughs over the years but I always used a party of at least four, with a balance of each major class type (arcane, divine, thief, and fighter). I'd say I have intermediate-level knowledge of the game content and mechanics; I exclusively use SCS in my recent playthroughs and do minimal reloads. But I've never attempted a solo playthrough and marvel at those who have done it. I have some general questions that I'm hoping some experienced soloists could answer:

Content: Do soloists generally bypass/avoid major sections of content, only focusing on encounters required to advance the plot or obtain essential loot (for their class)? In my party playthroughs I usually have a completionist mentality; I try to complete every quest, explore every area and defeat all (non-respawning) enemies. That doesn't seem practical as a soloist, but I'm wondering just how much content soloists typically bypass. E.g. do folks use invisiblity/stealth to waltz through dungeons and skip right to the "bosses?"

Traps: How do you deal with them if your soloist does not have thief skills? There are some that simply cannot be avoided. I realize that many traps have magical effects that can be countered with the appropriate protections (or simply tanked if you have sufficient HP to absorb the damage.) But that requires a ton of foreknowledge... After 20 years of playing through the saga, I (mostly) remember the locations of every trap, but I certainly couldn't tell you if a particular trap is a lightning trap, maze trap, etc. (because I always disarm them!) Do non-thief soloists memorize all of that so they can use the necessary protections before triggering the trap? (Wow!)

Disabling Effects: Many effects (sleep, horror, hold, charm, confusion, maze, etc.) seems like a death-sentence in solo play. Avoiding them would seem to require a mind-boggling amount of meta-knowledge: Knowing the full spell-book of each enemy you are about to fight and (like with the traps) buffing up with the necessary protections before you engage. Is that simply a pre-requesite for solo play? (Or just lots and lots of reloading?)

Resting: Given the number of spells you might need for each encounter, I imagine a soloist would need to rest a lot. Is that true? In my party playthroughs, I usually avoid resting until I am fatigued (and almost never rest in dungeons for RP reasons.) Excessive resting feels... cheesy? Is that an attitude I need to change if I want to be a successful soloist? Or can soloists still succeed with some (reasonable) limits on the frequency of rests.

Appreciate your insights!


  • SirBatinceSirBatince Member Posts: 882
    Content - Depends on what you consider fun really. BG1 has many many many areas that essentially have zero purpose or significant item, so personally yeah I just ignore them. Since alone you will hit the maximum level VERY early then yeah killing enemies outside of the plot becomes meaningless.

    Traps - Tank them. Only BG2 has save - lose traps.

    Disablers - that's the nasty part of solo but it's not impossible. For BG1 the green stone necklace is oddly convenient but you can also break enemy concentration. Once you become very high level in BG2 your saves should be able to tank everything. Be prepared to save / load alot.

    In my opinion solo is a powergamer thing so if you're bothered by roleplay then you're gonna hate it alot.
  • joluvjoluv Member Posts: 2,137

    Traps - Tank them. Only BG2 has save - lose traps.

    There are some Dire Charm traps in BG1.
  • bretbret Member Posts: 24
    Thanks for the input!

    In my opinion solo is a powergamer thing so if you're bothered by roleplay then you're gonna hate it alot.

    No doubt it's a powergamer thing. Lots of dialog options assume there's a party (lots of "we" and "us" pronouns), so RP is pretty much out-the-window. But I guess I'm trying to grasp just how much meta-knowledge and "cheese" folks typically rely on for solo play.

    On the one hand, the strategic aspect seems really interesting and is why I'm considering a solo playthrough. Being limited to a single character will force me to be creative with some spells / tactics that I rarely use in party-play. It might deepen my understanding and appreciation of the game mechanics. But if the strategies necessary for success are highly dependent on having near-perfect meta-knowledge of each upcoming encounter/trap, and heavy abuse of mechanics that I find cheesy like re-charging wands or resting before every encounter, then maybe it's not for me.
  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 7,097
    Speaking just for myself:

    Content: I tend to do significantly more than the minimum required. Typically I do most of the encounters in the BG1 wilderness areas (as that's my favorite), but skip much of the rest (only rarely completing the TotSC areas). In BG2 I used to do pretty completionist runs with the exception of Watcher's Keep, but find I'm cutting more out now.

    Traps: as I fairly rarely play a thief and normally play solo I do know pretty much all the traps in BG1. There are not many that are instakill by status effect and I normally just take the damage from the others - not triggering them until I'm high enough level to be able to do so reasonably safely. I know the ones in BG2 a bit less well, but still know reasonably reliably which ones are dangerous. One reason I've struggled with SoD is that there are several traps that are fatal for soloers in that and I'm still in the process of learning those ...

    Effects: if you like to buff then you can protect yourself against status effects using either arcane or divine spells. That's a tricky business though playing with SCS due to the debuffing games opponents play. Rather than getting into those complexities I tend to go for quick kills or dodge status effects by only starting fights near an exit point.

    Resting: if you're playing a spell-using character then you are likely to want to rest more than in a party - and that doesn't feel like a problem to me. If you want to avoid that then you might want to consider something like a dwarven defender (which is good at avoiding damage, rarely gets fatigued and is able to start regeneration almost immediately in BG1 by buying Buckley's Buckler from the FAI). Alternatively a stealthy character like a ranger might be a good fit for you.
  • SirBatinceSirBatince Member Posts: 882
    joluv said:

    Traps - Tank them. Only BG2 has save - lose traps.

    There are some Dire Charm traps in BG1.
    true. fortunately green stone can take care of that.

    I was thinking more about disintegrate, finger of death and maze
  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 2,147

    Take everything a step at a time.

    First time I did the game solo, I never really meant to. I just kept going past the parts that I do solo to bump levels before recruiting.

    I would advise you to remove the level cap, it's not fun when you reach it very early and then keep on feeling, "why am I bothering with this?".

    Play with a thief or at least part thief, for solo it makes a hell of a lot of difference being able to plant traps.
    Plenty of time to try other classes later when you have experience of a solo run.

    For BG, archery, archery, archery.
    Arrows of dispelling, biting and detonation more than make up for not having a party.

    Use your potions/scrolls/items.
    I think everybody has a tendency to hang onto potions/scrolls "just in case". When you solo, use them. My charname wonders around pratically sloshing with the amount of potions they drink.
Sign In or Register to comment.