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Is Finishing Icewind Dale Possible While Adhering to PnP Level Caps?

Hi all,

This is a bit of an odd question, and I wouldn't be surprised if no one had actually tested it, but I was curious:

Is it possible to beat Icewind Dale while adhering the level caps laid out in the 2nd Edition Player's Handbook? 2nd Ed. level caps mean that only humans can progress beyond level 15, halfling fighters can only reach level 9, etc.

This was generally not a popular part of the PnP game for most cRPGers, and I understand why. It's a deliberate handicap, and Icewind Dale, along with Baldur's Gate, wasn't really designed with this limitation in mind.

Still, for whatever reason, I've had a hankering to play Icewind Dale as a late '90s era tabletop campaign...and that means abiding by the level caps, in addition to the racial class restrictions.

For reference, the only DnD computer adaptation I know of that enforced level caps were the 1st Edition Gold Box games (Pool of Radiance, et al), and the feedback from that community is mixed. Some insist an all-human party is mandatory to finish the series' high-level challenges, while others claim to have had no special difficulty going through with a party of demihumans.

In any case, any and all thoughts on the matter are appreciated! If I'm the first the attempt a level-cap run, I'll let you know how it turns out!

Comments

  • SidoniusSidonius Member Posts: 14
    Follow-up: It seems I had my facts mixed up slightly. The level limits are from the Dungeon Master's Guide, not the Player's Handbook. I found a handy link if anyone wants to look at the specific limits themselves.

    https://people.wku.edu/charles.plemons/ad&d/races/class.html

  • OlvynChuruOlvynChuru Member Posts: 2,238
    Certainly it is. Unless you're playing with double experience, a party of six will beat Icewind Dale before they reach level 15 (the base game, at least; not Heart of Winter). Even Heart of Winter and Trials of the Luremaster shouldn't be that hard to complete with a level 15 party.

    Sidonius
  • DaevelonDaevelon Member Posts: 520
    If i remember correctly there are exceptions on max level, due to exceptional numbers in attributes.
    Something like +3 to max level if you have 18 in the main stat for the class

  • Balrog99Balrog99 Member Posts: 4,718
    A half-elf bard had no level restrictions either. As long as you have a human mage or sorcerer (or an elf mage with 18 INT) and a human cleric or druid, the game should be winnable with any other combo you can come up with.

  • Mantis37Mantis37 Member Posts: 952
    I think that rolling ability scores on 3d6 pregame would be at least as challenging for a no-reload, as classes would also be limited.

    An example bunch of human no-hopers:

    9 10 12 11 10 3 (clearly not the leader!)
    14 6 12 17 11 6 (brains of the group)
    11 9 15 11 14 12 (A cleric perhaps?)
    14 11 14 6 14 5 (I may be stupid, but I know what love is)
    9 12 11 9 14 8
    16 10 13 11 16 10 (Amongst this bunch the clear stand-out... eldest brother or sister perhaps)

    For the full horror use Scales of Balance's ability modifiers so that Charisma 3 really shows its full potential ;).




  • Balrog99Balrog99 Member Posts: 4,718
    Mantis37 wrote: »
    I think that rolling ability scores on 3d6 pregame would be at least as challenging for a no-reload, as classes would also be limited.

    An example bunch of human no-hopers:

    9 10 12 11 10 3 (clearly not the leader!)
    14 6 12 17 11 6 (brains of the group)
    11 9 15 11 14 12 (A cleric perhaps?)
    14 11 14 6 14 5 (I may be stupid, but I know what love is)
    9 12 11 9 14 8
    16 10 13 11 16 10 (Amongst this bunch the clear stand-out... eldest brother or sister perhaps)

    For the full horror use Scales of Balance's ability modifiers so that Charisma 3 really shows its full potential ;).




    Well, unless you want to play the neighborhood watch getting together to fight evil, I'd say it's much more likely that a party of adventurers would be a little more min/maxed than that!

  • Mantis37Mantis37 Member Posts: 952
    edited July 18
    Well... natural selection usually deals with the issue ;). It's been a debate since the beginning, does being an adventurer require nothing more than the will to do so or is it something that only great heroes aspire to? Quite similar to the contrast between low/ high fantasy settings really, and ultimately a matter of taste. A compromise would be the sort of system that starts you off with relatively lower stats but lets you add to them as you become more experienced.

    Balrog99
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