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Solo-poverty-insane style in BG1, BG2 and ToB

RedKirrRedKirr Unconfirmed, Member Posts: 5
Guys, hello everyone!

I asked a question for myself - what classes can do solo-poverty-insane runs (in vanilla EE versions)? Yes, with million of reloads of course:) Mostly I am interested in pure classes, and preferably no kits. And with original xp caps, and starting each of games separately (BG1, BG2, ToB). Yes, too stupid rules, I know (and additionally without avoiding important battles and without attacking blue characters, so talk first and then attack, also no cheese door tricks, etc). So, lets just put a little self-restrictions and fair play against too many bugs and flaws.

Anyway, sorcerer should be able to do it. Fighter definitely no. Ranger, paladin, barbarian no. Cleric and druid - probably yes, especially cleric. Thief and bard?...May be for some cases...assassin or bounty hunter (poison and traps)? Monk, probably the only fighter who can do it. I can imagine how he beats Sarevok (by some luck we fight 1 to 1 and using abilities). However...what he will do in ToB? Especially against Ravager...

So, my hope for the "trilogy" goes to Sorcerer, then Cleric and then Druid. Melissan can be easily beaten with harm (for Druid it takes may be 1 hours of reloads for each Melissan, Cleric can do it much faster with better THAC0). For Ravager they have Deva and energy blades. I didn't finish ToB yet, but hope it sould be doable.

Thus, some time ago I decided to start Cleric and Druid runs (just pure classes, so Shapeshifter and Totemics druid could be a different story). Or "runs". Since mostly it became two big pains. One smaller and one bigger.:) I tried to transfer the same stats to characters in BG2 and ToB, pretending that they continue the deal of the guys from BG1. Currently I closed BG2 by both classes. And in a half-way in BG1 and ToB. Honestly, I have no idea what to do with Sarevok in Druid game. To pray for domination of 2 Nymphs? Anyway, I see some light playing this style...I tried to understand each spell and tried to make use of it...I never would see a potential of these classes in a usual games. Though I still think that Druid is pretty pretty shitty and awkward, with mostly useless spells. Yea, Great Druid. And level up from 750000 to 1500000 and 3000000. And then you immediately get ten thousand 7 level spells...I think I felt more pain only soloing Wizard Slayer. He is already half-poverty.

Playing BG2, I again and again noted how many riddles and stories it has. So, I put one riddle here.:)
As for pure Druid, how he can beat Irenicus-Slayer?...You can try to do some tests. It is not necessary to kill the demons, but the big problem is regeneration. The rules also capped to 2995000 xp, which means only 2 spells of 6 level and 1 spell of 7 level. Any ideas how to beat him?:) In reasonable time (I would say around 20 reloads should be enough), but not in theory. I came to him around one year ago, but only recently found out how it is possible to beat him in practice.


  • CrevsDaakCrevsDaak Member Posts: 7,156
    A while ago, somebody did this with a Cleric/Thief. Sorcerer is probably your best bet, but getting the first levels is going to be rougher than on a C/T, and it's not going to be that much easier if you're XP-capped. I personally don't think Druid is a good option at all. I used to really dislike them because of this, but they're actually great—in a party setting (and with Spell Revisions installed). I don't think Druids can beat the endgame ToB bosses reliably, let alone with no gear.

    For Hell Irenicus I'd say either Harm or using the highest combination possible of direct damage spells and hope you get good rolls (Firestorm plus hitting every single Cause xyz Wounds should net you at least enough damage to surpass the regen), although considering Druids have next to zero damage spells I'd say this would take you at least 200 tries. Maybe if the Earth Elemental spell gets lucky and you somehow deal enough damage so that the minion can help you finish him off before it gets killed alongside you, that could also maybe, just maybe a tiny bit maybe, work.

  • DanacmDanacm Member Posts: 911
    Druids have not enough firepower to toe toe with end game bosses. If i try, i should use either shapeshifter or totemic druid. Vanilla bg2 i think is doable with both even with poverty rules. Most of bg1 and soa is somewhat easy with summons and werewolf forms/spirit animals (+6enchantment weapon). What i really dont know is spell selection, because i always use iwd spells addon with druids, and with that there is so much good spells.

  • monicomonico Member Posts: 571
    edited June 2020
    My own poverty runs generally only covered BG1 and BG2, no SoD nor ToB.

    BG1: I completed solo-poverty runs with a sorcerer, a totemic druid, a Priest of Helm, a cleric/thief multi. Two of them even in Legacy of Bhaal difficulty (with much cheese, though).
    My next try will be Monk (DMM probably), should also be possible with a Shaman.
    BG1 in general is the easiest, after all, you only need to kill 9 enemies (Mulahey, Davaeorn, 6 doppelgangers, Sarevok).

    SoD: Haven't cleared it yet ('cause of Belhifet needing +3 weapons and having 80% MR), but could theoretically be possible by a sorcerer (Polymorph Other), a priest (Slay Living), or a druid (Harm), if you manage to bypass his MR+ high saves (Polymorph Other), and/or land a criticial hit (Slay Living/Harm).
    Basically, you're down to luck, with less than 10% chances of success.

    BG2: cleared it with a sorcerer and a totemic druid. Should be possible with all other kind of spellcasters I guess, I read a long time ago that a unkitted monk achieved it too, and it could possibly be done with a thief too (traps).
    It is a bit complicated though, since it requires more unavoidable fights/kills :
    - the 4 mephit portals in the prologue,
    - Aran Linvail's tasks are easier than Bodhi's side (well the final task at least), since only Lassal needs to be fought and killed to trigger Bodhi's encounter (although surviving against those 2 vampires alone with no gear can be difficult)
    - in Spellhold, you have to kill a few kobolds (at least 4, oftentimes a dozen or so) and a vampire (Dace) to get out of the maze
    - during Spellhold's tests : again a few kobolds (6), some of which can only be killed from a distance (so I don't know how a thief or a monk would do it), a myconid, and at least 1 troll
    - then you have the difficult battle against Irenicus (not because of Irenicus, but because of your so-called "allies" who turn against you more often than not)
    - afterwards, underdark can be avoided altogether (with high reaction)
    - Bodhi's lair, you must kill at least the 5 named vampires and Bodhi herself, which can be quite challenging again because of level drain (although by that time, you have access to Slayer Form which is immune).
    - Suldanessalar: if you give all your gold & gear to the Dragon, he gives you the goblet... which fits perfectly with a poverty run. Although, I think you need to have at least 30k gold to get the option in the first place... The rest of the fights can be avoided
    - Tree of life : kill the 6 guardians, fight Irenicus
    - Hell: obviously, the final fight is unavoidable !

    By that time, enemies are so high level and OP that a solo poverty run would become quite unbearable.
    In fact, unless going Sorcerer or Cleric/Thief, I don't think it is possible to kill the end boss anyway. And I can't even imagine how you would get to there (I never play ToB so I can't tell).

    Post edited by monico on
  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 7,006
    edited June 2020
    If you're willing to allow reloads and save as you go on then any character that can stealth can succeed in BG1 - but something like a ranger beating Sarevok up with fists takes a while ...

    Druids can reduce MR with their MR spell - allowing them to have a chance to Harm even 100% MR creatures. Nature's Beauty blinds creatures permanently even if they save and there are not many creatures that don't have a chance of dying to it (spell save at +3, but potentially down to +1 using doom). Poison, insects and dolorous decay all do decent amounts of damage if you get lucky with saving throws.

  • monicomonico Member Posts: 571
    edited June 2020
    Grond0 wrote: »
    but something like a ranger beating Sarevok up with fists takes a while ...

    Lol, that’s a fun image there. Although general consensus on poverty rules allow the usage of a plain club or staff, if I’m not mistaken.
    Although, IIRC, I think the reason was only to allow a sorcerer to have a means to kill Magic Golems. Which they could do otherwise anyway (Polymorph Self or low level summons).
    And in fact, if it really was the logic behind that rule, then by that same logic, if one particular build was 1 item away from completing the game, it should be allowed too (like every class should be allowed to accept one of the +3 items gifted by Trix right before SoD’s final fight, since it could almost be considered a quest item).

    In fact, and to allow a wider selection of "poverty like" runs, I’d be inclined to tweak the rules a bit and, if I ever go back to poverty runs, allow myself to use just the starting equipment (whatever is available in Winthrop’s shop / first room in Irenicus Dungeon) + 1 more item per game (like the Wolf cape for a monk in BG1, a +3 weapon in SoD, etc.)

  • Balrog99Balrog99 Member Posts: 7,186
    I assume a mage would be allowed to scribe found scrolls? If not, they'd be pretty useless...

  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 7,006
    edited July 2020
    Balrog99 wrote: »
    I assume a mage would be allowed to scribe found scrolls? If not, they'd be pretty useless...

    Under a strict interpretation of poverty rules, mages would only have available their starting L1 spells for the bulk of the game. If you were somehow to make progress (and blindness and a familiar could actually deal with a surprising amount of the game) you would be able to use HLAs eventually :p.

    The idea that you can use an unenchanted staff seems odd to me. Magic golems are not required for the main quest and can be killed by summons anyway. There's more of an issue with the mephit portals, which do have to be destroyed and not allowing weapons does rule out some classes from making progress there - but those classes are probably doomed anyway.

    @monico if you're interested in different types of challenges then there were quite a range experimented with on this thread. One of the ones no longer on the front sheet was that you could choose a limited number of pieces of equipment for your solo run. If you allowed yourself one piece it sounds like you would go for Relair's Cape with a monk for instance, while a mage would be well advised to allow themselves use of scrolls.

  • monicomonico Member Posts: 571
    thanks for the link @Grond0 , i have followed that thread for a while, but there are too many informations haha. I'll try and search to see what kind of challenges your are refering to, it seems like something I would be interested in indeed.

    About poverty runs: the problem with a very strict interpretation of the poverty rules (and strict interpretation of any rule in general) is that they don't focus anymore on the "spirit" of the rule, but only on its formulation.

    To me, the idea behind the poverty run was to show that it might be possible, with the right build & strategies, to complete the game without relying on gear (and especially no über- or very specific gear, like Carsormyr or the Shield of Cheese).

    If I'm not mistaken, at first, the poverty rule was reverse-engineered, I mean that someone did the poverty run, found out he could actually manage it, and decided to state the rules (in fact, the link from gamefaq you posted on another thread is also where I discovered this rule years ago, I'm not saying if it was he who "created" the rule, but he adapted/relayed it for BG2), and they are described like this:
    * (Poverty): Don't pick up or use any items, equipment, or money.

    Naturally, there are a couple concessions that need to be made to the Poverty
    restriction in order to play through the game. These concessions are as
    * You may pick up, hold, and wield a plain unenchanted quarterstaff in
    order to defeat the mephit generators in Irenicus' dungeon, and the
    magic golems in Watcher's Keep and Yaga Shura's stronghold.
    * You may pick up, hold, and use plot/quest items for their plot/quest
    * You may collect and retain money (up to 15,000 gp) for the sole purpose
    of collecting the funds to finish Chapter 2.

    Well, first, as we see, "there must be concessions". So the rule itself should not be read strictly, or else you just can't finish the game.

    The unevitable concessions are, obviously, the quest items (gold can be considered a quest item as well).

    I disagree with the first concession though, but because the explanation ("so that I can kill what I didn't manage to kill otherwise") is bull.

    When I did my first poverty run with a totemic druid, with the added rule that he could never attack nor do direct damage (it was more a "yay summons" run), I still armed him with a club and put a leather armor and helmet on him. Because running naked felt just silly.

    And to me, the problem of saying "no item allowed at all" (or even worse "just a staff 'cause it's convenient for my sorcerer") is just a way to justify that the sorcerer is the only class capable of doing this challenge (well, in fact, it's not, but that's what was meant IMO).

    I want to see a "poverty" rule, more in tune with the spirit of "don't rely on gear", but still allowing any class to at least partake the challenge:
    - with no weapons, it's impossible to fighters (except monks)
    - with no scrolls, any arcanist is out too (apart from sorcerers obviously).

    I don't see how to actually tweak the rule to include fighters and arcanists to the challenge, although "one (kind of) item allowance" seems a good balance, like @Grond0 & @Balrog99 said.

  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 7,006
    edited July 2020
    If you wanted to give mages a fair crack, then allowing them to learn scrolls, but not otherwise use them would seem reasonable (it would be better I think not to allow XP for learning scrolls, but that might seem too much hassle).

    To get around the problem of weapons, to give fighter classes some sort of chance, what was done in the LoB thread at one point was to allow characters to own and use a single weapon at any time. That weapon could change, but you could never go back to an earlier weapon used - so it was important to plan ahead.

    Incidentally, if you were allowing a single general item to any class, I'd find it hard to look past Algernon's Cloak (except for a wizard slayer). I very rarely use it these days, but on its own that gives any class some chance of success.

  • monicomonico Member Posts: 571
    wow, thanks for the food for thought @Grond0 .

    I saw the challenges suggestions on the first page of the Lob+SCS thread, very interesting ones indeed. And I like your precision about using only 1 weapon at any time, that's interesting too.

    About Algernon's cloak though: if I allowed myself only 1 item in poverty runs, I would avoid this cloak since it is precisely a "cheese item" IMO, and defeats the purpose of the poverty runs: to me, the purpose is that your naked character should handle most of the game, only allowed 1 item to accompany him in his endeavour. The cloak is the complete opposite: the cloak does the job, you're just here to carry it around :smiley:

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