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The Arcane Prism

So, with Solo Heart of Fury runs being kind of crazy now, I decided to try something different: a party of 6 different specialist mages, with the following rules:

- A no-reload campaign set to Core Rules and no Max HP on level
- Initial spells must be chosen from the mage's specialist school. All scrolls acquired thereafter must be given to the party member who specializes in that school
- No purposefully farming XP

Obviously, some of the challenges are going to come from the lack of scrolls available and having 6 mages battle for the few items that are usable by mages.

Since we can only cover 6 schools, I have to go without 2 of them. Diviner seems an obvious choice, but what other school should I forego? That question might be better answered by answering another first, that being:

- Once a specialist mage has scribed a particular scroll, should I allow any of the other mages to scribe additional copies? With the -15% chance that comes with learning a non-specialist spell and the restriction to Core rules at all times, there is no guarantee this will be easy.

Comments

  • Balrog99Balrog99 Member Posts: 5,185
    edited October 18
    That's a tough one. My first knee-jerk suggestion would be to leave out Abjurer, since there aren't many mage battles in IWD, but upon further reflection, you'd lose Dispel Magic so that's probably not a good idea. Definite needs are Abjurer, Conjurer, Invoker, and Enchanter. Transmuter allows Knock - which may be essential. Illusionist allows you to use a gnome for shorty saves and some nice survivability & cheese spells (mirror image, project image, invisibility, simulacrum, etc...). Diviner allows Identify & farsight type spells - if I remember correctly IWD gives a Diviner a few more useful spells but nothing you'll overly miss. Necromancer allows for undead summoning and some Insta-kill spells that will come in handy. I guess I'd go with Necromancer & Illusionist myself. You'll have to get creative to open locked doors and chests though. If you're going with all the other restrictions you mentioned, I'd make sure you buff to 25 INT before trying to scribe knock (and maybe do strength spell at same time).

    Post edited by Balrog99 on
  • AriakusAriakus Member Posts: 7
    Thanks! The first try went badly at the orc cave. No one's gained a level by then, so you're attempting to deal with a ton of foes, some being archers that get two shots a round, against a party of wizards with no armor or items, 6 HP at most, and no ability to negate critical hits.

    This is thinking outside of the box, but one way to go might be to have the leader bring everyone over to the inn to rest for the night and... *ahem* …murder the other 5 mages, do all the town quests alone, and then have the others raised again. The one mage should gain a level or two (hopefully) and have an HP buffer where they won't get one-shot (hopefully). Candidates would be the Conjurer (Armor and Find Familiar for the extra HP) or the Invoker (Shield) and possibly the Illusionist (Reflected Image). It's definitely a challenge!

  • Balrog99Balrog99 Member Posts: 5,185
    edited October 22
    Enchanter 'Sleep' with -2 penalty should be valuable in the low-level fights. Remember to gang-up on the orcs/goblins one at a time though. In IWDEE hostiles wake up when hit. Concentrate your attacks on the bowmen and kill them one at a time before they wake up.

    I didn't suggest this earlier, but most of your mages should have ranged attacks to start. I'd go with 1 staff wielder, 2 darters, 2 slingers and 1 dagger thrower. Slingers and dagger thrower should have 18 Strength (for the bonus damage). Darters only need good dexterity. The purpose of the staff dude is to bash sleeping wimps or kite the non-sleepers to keep them off your ranged mages. Start with Find-Familiar for your Conjurer and make him/her your staff kiter for some extra HP's. I'd pick ferret or rabbit in an all mage party. Ferret can pick pockets but rabbit can actually disarm traps (the ability can be boosted with the Luck spell too!).

  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 4,750
    first cave piece of cake, as balrog99 said, enchanter with sleep will pretty much force all those ninies to fall down

    although in iwd if they get hit once they are instantly back up

    so what you can do is, is make your targets go to sleep, and then have everyone else use missile weaponry and sling 'em or dart 'em all at the same time

    and have a famaliar as a "tank"

    with a true neutral mage you can get a rabbit that has i believe -4 AC so the baddies should have a hard time hitting that bunny

    Balrog99
  • Balrog99Balrog99 Member Posts: 5,185
    sarevok57 wrote: »
    first cave piece of cake, as balrog99 said, enchanter with sleep will pretty much force all those ninies to fall down

    although in iwd if they get hit once they are instantly back up

    so what you can do is, is make your targets go to sleep, and then have everyone else use missile weaponry and sling 'em or dart 'em all at the same time

    and have a famaliar as a "tank"

    with a true neutral mage you can get a rabbit that has i believe -4 AC so the baddies should have a hard time hitting that bunny

    The familiars are only tanky in HoF mode. Since the OP mentioned playing on core, they will be fairly squishy. I'd recommend only using them on sleeping baddies.

  • AriakusAriakus Member Posts: 7
    Balrog99 wrote: »
    The familiars are only tanky in HoF mode. Since the OP mentioned playing on core, they will be fairly squishy. I'd recommend only using them on sleeping baddies.

    It's also no-reload, so using familiar to pick pockets or disarm traps is very risky as well.

    I pretty much used the strategy above, so maybe I was just unlucky. One thing I found that was a challenge was trying to synchronize the attacks on the sleeping foes. Each character needs to be equidistant from the foe in order to have all attacks automatically hit, but stones fly faster than daggers and darts, which makes things even more difficult. Also, each of those attacks has a different rate of fire, which means you have to stop everyone's attack, getting them into position while waiting for a 'new' round to start for each character, and then fire.

    But Sleep only lasts 5 rounds at first level, and those rounds go by quickly when organizing all of that. I'll give it another try eventually, but I decided on a Solo HoF No-reload run first (No monk this time!), but the Arcane Prism will be next :)

    Thanks for the advice!

    Balrog99
  • Balrog99Balrog99 Member Posts: 5,185
    Ariakus wrote: »
    Balrog99 wrote: »
    The familiars are only tanky in HoF mode. Since the OP mentioned playing on core, they will be fairly squishy. I'd recommend only using them on sleeping baddies.

    It's also no-reload, so using familiar to pick pockets or disarm traps is very risky as well.

    I pretty much used the strategy above, so maybe I was just unlucky. One thing I found that was a challenge was trying to synchronize the attacks on the sleeping foes. Each character needs to be equidistant from the foe in order to have all attacks automatically hit, but stones fly faster than daggers and darts, which makes things even more difficult. Also, each of those attacks has a different rate of fire, which means you have to stop everyone's attack, getting them into position while waiting for a 'new' round to start for each character, and then fire.

    But Sleep only lasts 5 rounds at first level, and those rounds go by quickly when organizing all of that. I'll give it another try eventually, but I decided on a Solo HoF No-reload run first (No monk this time!), but the Arcane Prism will be next :)

    Thanks for the advice!

    You could also go HoF mode just for a higher hp familiar, the wolf, the cellar beetles and the first few goblins. That would get you a couple levels b4 diving in full on. Just a suggestion if you don't mind a tiny bit of 'cheating'. An all mage party needs all the help it can get!

  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 11,384
    Ariakus wrote: »
    So, with Solo Heart of Fury runs being kind of crazy now, I decided to try something different: a party of 6 different specialist mages, with the following rules:

    - A no-reload campaign set to Core Rules and no Max HP on level
    - Initial spells must be chosen from the mage's specialist school. All scrolls acquired thereafter must be given to the party member who specializes in that school
    - No purposefully farming XP

    Obviously, some of the challenges are going to come from the lack of scrolls available and having 6 mages battle for the few items that are usable by mages.

    Since we can only cover 6 schools, I have to go without 2 of them. Diviner seems an obvious choice, but what other school should I forego? That question might be better answered by answering another first, that being:

    - Once a specialist mage has scribed a particular scroll, should I allow any of the other mages to scribe additional copies? With the -15% chance that comes with learning a non-specialist spell and the restriction to Core rules at all times, there is no guarantee this will be easy.

    I've done something like this, but only through the forgotten temple - not very far through the game at all. In that game I installed Revised Specialists from the Tome & Blood mod, which lets each specialist starts the game already knowing the spells in their school. It helped, without seeming outright cheat-y. After that I found scroll availability was not too bad - spellbooks were thin, so party members ended up specializing, and their spells complemented each other well. I also installed Cantrips from the same mod, so each caster had one possibly useful thing they could do every round, without depleting their real spells. That was a quality-of-life improvement for such a playthrough.

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