Arctodus said:@Grond0 Maybe you should report that weird Kangaxx behavior ? Going through PfU seems like a bug.
@Grond0 Maybe you should report that weird Kangaxx behavior ? Going through PfU seems like a bug.
Traveling with 4 other fighter/druids (one being Jaheria) and a totemic druid
The party has cleared hostiles from the road from Candlekeep to Nashkel. I notice our spirit animals die super-quick, do they ever get better or are they always very easy to kill?
We have also taken down Greywolf. We opened with 4 dooms - unsurprisingly, he wasn't able to do much once those landed. We also rescued Samuel while we were in the area. Carrying bodies is quite hard for this group, and probably will continue to be, until we get level 7 druid, since then we can shapeshift to bears to carry such things. I had a fighter/druid give their armor to someone else so they could carry Samuel, even then they were overburdened and walked very slow...
Will keep at it.
Now at the mines but hasn't started the fisticuffs yet.
Inspiro (human skald, Grond0); Laraum (human inquisitor, Gate70)
Some more decent progress today saw Sarevok humbled.
The first step towards that was reporting in to Duke Eltan for an all-expenses paid trip to sunny Candlekeep. There wasn't much time to enjoy the outdoors though before diving into some tombs where Inspiro opened some locks while Laraum tested out his HPs against some lightning traps.
Back in Baldur's Gate Laraum threw a dispel magic in from afar to slow down Slythe and allow him to be meleed. Laraum then showed himself to Krystin to tempt out a cloudkill to get a new cloak - and then demonstrated why it's helpful to have high HPs while fighting inside a cloudkill.
After resting up, Laraum had a dispel magic for the dopplegangers at the palace as well. Inspiro applied a dispelling arrow to the one that resisted that and the combination of summons with Laraum's attacks quickly dealt with the remainder - a bit too quick in fact as I was concentrating on getting a screenshot and stayed too close to Belt as the last one fell.
We managed to find our way safely through the maze - the Undercity party were unable to do the same inside webs, though Rahvin did manage to break free long enough to fire off a couple of exploding arrows.
At the temple Laraum got an unusual view of all the opposition by throwing in another dispel magic. Put off by the sight of Angelo hovering, he decided to encourage Sarevok to venture out by throwing in a fireball as well. Semaj also came out to play, but didn't last long without his buffs.
With a bit of time in hand we fired up BG2 and ran through Jon's dungeon. Without much in the way of AC Laraum struggled to deal with a group of duergar after attacking while already wounded when Inspiro was out of spells. However, the odd potion kept him alive while running away.
Inspiro, Skald 11, 63 HPs, 47 kills (+149 in BG1)
Laraum, Inquisitor 8, 108 HPs (incl. 5 from helm), 52 kills (+313 in BG1), 2 deaths
I've had a few goes since the failure referred to in the previous update (which was my 275th attempt at this) - though without a lot of success. In summary:
- 276th was abandoned at the Strange Stone when only a bit of experience was on offer.
- 277th saw me carelessly caught very early on before I'd recruited any army.
- 278th was abandoned once more at the Strange Stone.
- 279th once more looted everything on the way to the Secret Underground before again failing there. This time the beholder stack did lose lock on me, but only fairly close to the middle area with the shrubs. In that situation how quickly the stack regains lock is variable - sometimes you can flaunt yourself under its nose and it won't react until it's moved slowly back to its normal patrol position, but sometimes it can recover much more quickly. On this occasion it didn't react immediately and I decided to go for the shrubs, despite knowing that was risky. The beholder noticed me as soon as I was committed and zoomed back just quickly enough to pounce as I tried to get out of the cul-de-sac.
- 280th was another abandonment at the Strange Stone, before a humiliating 281st where I chose the wrong conversation option in the training room. That meant I would have been forced to fight with non-undead units in my army - which is not allowed under my rules.
Trying once more I as usual headed straight for the Strange Stone - and this time got lucky as it offered up some mana as a reward.
Early looting was done pretty cautiously generally, but I did get into trouble in Verlon Forest. In order to grab some treasure there I pull one stack well away before circling back and dodging another while looting. The stack pulled away nearly always comes back via one route, but occasionally it chooses a different route (because other stacks are blocking its preferred one as it travels back). I normally check where it's heading, but forgot to do so this time and found myself heading straight for the returning stack on a path too narrow to dodge and with another enemy behind. I saw the danger in time to choose which enemy I wanted to fight, but that still left a difficult combat and I had to use several scrolls to help win that - in particular 2 of the 3 ice snake scrolls I'd found.
There were no more errors on the way back to the Secret Underground, where once more I made the rash decision to take on the beholder guard. That was on the basis that surely I couldn't fail again there - and this time I didn't with the beholder losing lock at a safe distance after a couple of minutes of chasing me round.
I finished looting the remainder of the Freedom Islands, with the only battle there being with a prison guard. By that time I had found and learnt Magic Pole Axe, which is a pretty good damage causing spell allowing me to whittle down the only archer unit on the opposition.
Back in Greenwort I'd amassed enough funds to buy a couple of nice items. The Banner of the True Faith is extremely strong for most armies, though less attractive for undead as it specifically penalizes them. If you win 50 combats with it equipped though you can get a bonus of 10 mind runes - helping you to learn more character abilities. The Ancient Amulet is a similar sort of item, that can give you a bonus of 10 magic runes. While up to now the gameplay has essentially been about dodging things, the next session will be fighting nearly everything in Greenwort in order to get those bonuses.
semi: No-Reload Dragon Warrior Monsters Run
Part 7Into the Gate of Bravery! Right off the bat, Saen the MadGoose gains lots of levels very quickly, though the stat gains. We manage to catch a couple of nice new monsters: a BeanMan and a 1EyeClown!
As I mentioned before, the BeanMan's innate TwinHits skill doubles a party member's attack power for an entire fight. Better still, if you breed a Devil with a BeanMan, you get an Orc, which can learn the resurrection spell Vivify. As it happens, we spot an Orc when we run into our next priest.
The Orc is the moblin-looking critter in the middle; the gray blob on the right is a SlimeBorg and the bird on the right is a Phoenix. Notice Lash using a damage spell: as a Grizzly, Lash could do far more damage with a basic attack, but monsters don't have the AI to realize that sometimes normal attacks are stronger than using their skills.
The Gate of Bravery continues to earn us new monsters. We get two more excellent additions to the farm: a GiantWorm and a SabreMan.
A SabreMan is a Material monster, just like our Golem. Materials have good resistances and defenses, but otherwise they're pretty ordinary monsters. The only Material monster that's particularly good is the GoldGolem, which is extremely strong but also very difficult to breed for.
We keep running into more priests. By luck, one of them has a Metaly, which gives massive experience when the fight is won.
The Metaly is on the right; others are a WildApe and a Gismo (it's supposed to be a cloud monster). We get enough experience to bring both Star and Saen to level 16, at which point they each upgrade HealMore to HealAll!
This is another excellent demonstration of the importance of fast leveling. Even though Saen is much younger than Star, it only takes a single gate for Saen to catch up to Star. Here we are at the end of the gate.
The boss here is a BigEye, one of four different one-eyed critters in the game. In true DWM1 fashion, we have an extremely simple puzzle ahead of us: walking across an invisible chasm that's actually only 6 tiles total.
And in true DWM1 fashion, the monster gives a cryptic but threatening message before combat:
The BigEye has some decent resistances and can use both SnowStorm and IceAir, two area-effect ice attacks. But they do rather modest damage to the party considering how quickly we've been gaining power.
We throw out a few disablers, but in the end, Lash the Grizzly basically just stomps on him until he goes down.
This is the first boss monster who doesn't join us upon defeat. Early game bosses join you by default, but after this one, only a few do.
By now, Golm has hit level 11 and can finally breed with Lash to create our first Roboster. Likewise, our level 1 GiantSlug grew all the way to level 12 while we were in the Gate of Bravery, which means we can breed Star the Reaper with our GiantSlug for a Mudron. Finally, I breed Saen MadGoose with our FaceTree for a Florajay.
Now our entire party is level 1. Normally, it's not a good idea to enter new gates with level 1 monsters, but we've got some really strong critters on hand.
Lash the Roboster, named after his mother, will be a strong tank, and while his attack won't be nearly as strong as his namesake's, he'll have some nice defense and resistances to balance it out (not that it matters; Lash's primary purpose is breeding fodder).
While Vern is a hideous Mudron, she'll be an excellent healer. Mudrons have decent casting stats, and Vern will be able to cast both Heal and Vivify.
Wave, our new Florajay, is a dumb-looking but incredibly powerful monster. Florajays have spectacular stats as well as an extremely fast growth rate, and while they drop off in power at very high levels (above 30 or 40, I think), they have high numbers across the board. They're easily one of the best monsters in the game, and only partly because they're so easy to breed for (pair a Bird with a Plant and you'll get a Florajay).
We only have one available gate left: the Gate of Anger. We can't get into the Gate of Strength, in the same room, until the Gate of Anger is complete.
Our first fight is rough: we have to deal with a Poisongon with two different poison attacks as well as a pair of GiantSlugs who use LushLicks to disable us and Dodge to divert our attacks. We need to heal ourselves several times before we bring down the enemy.
We get 139 XP and gain several levels, but Wave's attack growth is disappointing and Lash's HP growth is alarming: both are limited to +1 and +2 on certain levels.
Still, we've got a very tough party. We have lots of healing spells and strong stats. Lash shows off his IceAir breath attack against yet another priest (we're very lucky to keep running into them; they're easy to beat and they heal us completely every time).
The green critters are LizardMen. I was very fond of them when I was a kid, but now I view Dragon monsters as nothing more than breeding fodder--they just don't grow fast enough to be useful.
I remember the last time I bred for a Divinegon, the strongest Dragon monster in DWM. Like some other "high-end" monsters, a Divinegon has a very slow growth rate: where Bugs and Birds require only 2 experience points to hit level 2, Beast and Materials and Zombies and Slimes require 5 experience points, and Dragons and Devils require 10 experience points, a Divinegon needs a shocking 100 experience points to hit level 2.
My Divinegon was beautiful, but it was utterly inferior to my other monsters. It got good stat boosts per level, but it just gained level so incredibly slowly.
Anyway, deeper in the gate, I catch an Eyeder, the only Bug monster that knows Heal. Then I realize something very special.
We already have a BeanMan we can breed for an Orc who can learn Vivify, and now we have a Bug that has Heal. If I breed that Eyeder into an Armorpede, I can then breed it with the Orc for a Hornbeet.
A Hornbeet is the best Bug monster in DWM by far. It's very well-rounded and gets high stats very fast. Being able to give both Heal and Vivify to a Hornbeet would give us a brilliant third monster.
We already have a way of getting that Armorpede: we already have a GiantWorm and a SabreMan that can be bred for an Armorpede; all we need to do is breed that Eyeder into a GiantWorm.
With all of our monsters growing fast, I decide to tackle a foreign trainer (besides a priest) for the first time. We easily dispatch his Phoenix and twin EvilBeasts, and Wave shows off how much her stat growth has been improving since early levels.
On the final level of the Gate, we manage to catch a Putrepup. It's nothing special, but a Zombie monster might come in useful later.
The boss here is a BattleRex, a giant dinosaur that carries a two-handed axe. Her lair contains numerous eggs, and we can get hundreds of experience points by fighting every monster that pops out of them.
By the time we're ready for the BattleRex, all three of our monsters are approaching level 20.
Look at those ridiculous stats. Our Roboster has the highest attack due in part to having a Grizzly for a mom (which amounted to over +60 attack at level 1), but in every other stat, Wave is easily the superior of the other two monsters. Florajays are priceless.
We talk to the BattleRex, who warns us to back off. Then a ninja in gray clothes hops down to the chamber, complains about not finding a sword, and destroys all the eggs for no reason before laughing at us for not having a sword.
He flees the scene, leaving us to deal with the fallout. Understandably upset at the murder of her children, the BattleRex turns on us.
However, the BattleRex turns out to have pretty poor resistances. We poison her, blind her, curse her, and force her to dance along with Wave using LureDance. All the while, Lash the Roboster applies heavy damage.
For some reason, the BattleRex forgives us immediately afterwards and decides to join the team.
Next up, C Class at the arena. We have a rematch with Teto!
The upper reaches of the mines were no problem, not so the bottom level.
Firehelm and his friends were doing well until Morgan got free from being webbed. Firehelm immediately called for a retreat but he still got blinded before they escaped.
Fortunately the party were not followed and so were able to heal and buff somewhat.
Upon their return an attack by Dark Silvia seriously hurt Tenya and she had to take a potion of extra healing to survive. The party's attack quickly whittled down the enemy to what they thought was a manageable size, but arrows of detonation proved to be formidable.
Davaeorn and the battle horrors were no match for the party who used web and fireballs before reinforcements arrived behind them. They were forced to flee through the web but Tenya got trapped and poisoned. She eventually fell but Firebeam took on Davaeorn whilst the remainder of the party took on the guards. Davaeorn fell whereupon the guards ran much to the relief of all.
Sirene then became upset about what we were doing and it was only then that I realised that an amulet taken from the druids was not the best item to wear even though it protected her as it made her dislike our reputation which had become 20 again. We therefore put the amulet in a bag of holding whereupon she became happy again.
With exploration and looting completed for the moment, it was time to do some fighting in Greenwort.
That served a number of different purposes:
- Gaining experience for my character
- Gaining experience for the Rage Spirits
- Ticking off battles to get the bonus runes from the Banner & Amulet
- Ticking off battles to get children for Feonora
- Increasing the number of ghosts and cursed ghosts up to the maximum allowed for my leadership (in rough terms they gain an extra ghost for each amount of damage done to living enemies greater than twice the HPs of a ghost/cursed ghost).
After telling your wife you want a child, you will get one after 10 battles. Children provide different benefits – in this case +5 intelligence, +5% experience, +8 scrolls & +20% defence. Having children prevents a wife equipping items, which tends to be preferable, but I don’t have enough items for that to be a problem at the moment and Feonora won't be my wife in the longer term anyway.
Fighting was done by rage-chaining – always making sure rage was high at the end of one combat and starting the next before it had a chance to drop much - meaning it was possible to take on stronger enemies. I rarely use spell damage in battles as that produces less rage than direct combat and I wanted to get as much experience as possible for the Rage Spirits.
First the ghosts were paired up with the ancient vampires and it didn’t take long for them to grow well above the original 12 I bought.
With the cursed ghosts up to their leadership maximum they worked their way through the remaining enemies. When fighting battles there’s quite often treasure chests on the battlefield and I aim to collect all of those. In most cases those chests are within range of my units (at least when hasted) and they can get them directly.
This fight is with the strongest enemy in the area, but the units have low speed so can be dodged round.
Although a bit less powerful in terms of damage, this fight is harder than the one with the pirates due to the fast moving horsemen.
With the mainland clear, I moved on to using my boat to access various coastal areas. That resulted in getting Feonora's final baby
Clearing the remaining coastal areas completed the 50 victories needed to get the bonus runes. Fights doing that included one with a cyclops – they have high HPs, use ranged attacks and are made of stone (another thing you can’t drain life from) and there will be some tough battles later on with larger groups of those.
Taking a break from the fighting for a bit I toured the areas buying up any equipment that might potentially be useful. My favorite item is probably the Crown of Blackthorn – that reduces by half the speed at which rage evaporates outside battle, thus making it easier to keep rage high between battles.
There are more difficult battles coming up in order to be able to access new areas and I need to be higher level to take those on – so there will be more fighting next time in areas already looted to gain experience.
A quest that I have never been given before was then proffered.
The quests in the Gate so far were very easy probably due to going to Durlag's earlier.
semi: No-Reload Dragon Warrior Monsters Run
Part 8Before C class, I visit the Shrine of Starry Night and discover a problem: Lash the Roboster and the Unicorn who's been waiting at the farm to be bred are both male, which means we can't yet get our KingLeo. We'll need to breed the Unicorn or the Roboster with something else in order to get a new one that's female.
First, though, we need to win the next fight at the arena, which means a rematch with Teto. The first fight features two SpikyBoys and a StubBird who knows TwinHits. However, StopSpell blocks TwinHits and the enemy's damage output is just embarrassing compared to ours. The enemy only deals a single point of damage!
Next is a very healing-heavy team, with two Healers and a RogueNite. RogueNites can also cast Heal, but this one is more notable for its EvilSlash attack, the highest single-hit physical attack in the game that's generally a one-hit kill if it lands.
But EvilSlash has a very low hit chance, and I think the only way to get it to land reliably is to have extremely high attack. It's great for monsters like Grizzlies, but for anything with moderate attack, it's probably a waste overall.
Teto is our third opponent. His twin Snailys and Armorpede have become two BoxSlimes and a RockSlime. The BoxSlimes both cast BlazeMore and Increase, which deals moderate fire damage and increases each enemy's defense, respectively.
If you don't bring them down quickly before they get a few Increase spells off the ground, their defense will be high enough to all but neutralize your damage output. However, we have LureDance, which gives us a very high chance of dance-locking every enemy for only 2 MP, and StopSpell can block both BlazeMore and Increase.
We stomp them and unlock the next two gates. Down at the shrine, we breed our MadCondor with Vern the Mudron to produce a MadGoose that can learn Vivify, then breed our Unicorn with a spare Catfly to get a new Unicorn that we can make female as an egg if necessary, allowing it to breed with our Roboster.
Our BeanMan also needs to change genders to breed with one of our Devils, so I breed him with a female Floraman. Blessing the eggs to change their gender before birth is so expensive that I can't even afford to bless the MadGoose.
Blessing is more expensive for stronger eggs, so the costs scale dramatically as the game progresses. However, I can get some extra scratch by selling off some of our spare items.
ElfWater is a very valuable item, restoring MP to maximum for a single monster. That amounts to a lot of HealAll spells and therefore a lot of HP, possibly hundreds over the course of a gate or a (very long) boss fight. We don't need ElfWater too much, though, since we're doing so well, so we pawn it off for the money, which lets us buy a new Rib or two as well as bless our new MadGoose.
I'm impatient to get my KingLeo, so I take our Unicorn, Sied, along on the next gate, as well as our MadGoose so I can level it up and breed it with Wave the Florajay for a stronger bird that knows Vivify. Wave comes along to help them make it through the Gate of Strength.
If I get the MadGoose, Saen (same name as our Florajay's mom), to some very high levels before breeding it, it can learn MultiCut by virtue of its MadCondor father, a high-damage wind attack that very monsters can learn. If I don't, though, the MadGoose's child won't be able to learn it--monsters only learn their innate skills, their parents' innate skills, and their parents' current skills; you can't learn MultiCut from a MadCondor grandfather unless one of your parents learned the skill before breeding.
Somehow I failed to mention this before, but: once you breed two monsters, those two monsters run off into the wild. You're only left with the egg. Basically, you trade two monsters for one. That's why we can't breed a monster more than once.
After a single fight, Saen and Sied get heavy boosts to their stats and Wave the Florajay even upgrades her IceAir breath attack to IceStorm, the second-strongest of four such skills (the strongest is WhiteAir, but that's a few levels away). Since we gave the enemy a Rib before victory, we get a new Devil: an ugly monster called a SkulRider.
Against another next batch of enemies, a TreeSlime, MudDoll, and FairyDrak, Wave uses her new IceStorm skill. This early in the game, it's almost a one-shot kill.
It isn't long before Saen the MadGoose learns Vivify from its Mudron parent, as well as LureDance by virtue of being a MadGoose.
We run into yet another priest. For years, I thought the priests said "It must be destiny to meet you here," but what they actually say is "It must be the destiny to meet you here."
DWM has some weird language in it, but usually the translations are grammatically correct.
The priest's monsters aren't too worrisome. There's not much that LureDance can't fix.
We catch a FairyDrak, a MudDoll, beat another priest, and get Saen and Sied high enough level for both of them to learn HealAll before running into a mid-gate merchant.
Finding a shop in the middle of a gate is rare, but it's a very valuable source of cash. Staffs sell for about 10 times as much as they'd get you in GreatTree, which means we can get thousands of gold by pawning off the staffs we've been lugging around in anticipation of this moment.
By the end, we more than triple our gold supply. Before we leave, we buy some MoonHerbs, which can cure paralyzation. The local TreeSlimes can use Paralyze, and if the whole party is paralyzed, it's an automatic game over--even if you have a WorldLeaf on hand that could restore a slain creature and cure its paralysis.
Here we are right before the boss of the gate. Notice that Saen the MadGoose is already almost as strong as her elder, Wave the Florajay.
The boss here is a StoneMan who sneaks up on you when you approach a chest nearby. Luckily for us, the StoneMan is surprisingly vulnerable to disablers despite being a Material monster. Notice that it's possible to lure a monster into dancing even when it's already asleep!
We don't do much damage per hit, but it's only a matter of time before the StoneMan crumbles.
As it just so happens, our new MudDoll can breed with our new Skulrider to create a new Roboster. I don't need a Roboster for anything at the moment, but since Robosters are hard to get, I go ahead and breed for it. Then, we finally breed our Demonite with a BeanMan for an Orc so we can get started on breeding for our Hornbeet. Since we already have a GiantWorm and a GiantWorm with a Material can get us our Armorpede, I breed our GiantWorm with the Eyeder for a GiantWorm that can learn Heal.
Finally, and most important, we breed our Roboster and Unicorn for a KingLeo. Usually, the Master Monster Tamer predicts the outcome of the breeding process, but for some rare monsters, he doesn't know.
Before we enter the Gates of Joy and Wisdom, we take our new GiantWorm and our KingLeo into the party, trading out our Florajay while keeping our MadGoose in the hopes of getting the MadGoose to learn MultiCut. The GiantWorm just needs to learn Heal before we breed it off, but the KingLeo should be a main fixture in the party for the rest of the game. Here we are before entering the Gate of Joy.
The KingLeo should have high growth in every stat, and it also has a suite of nice resistances and immunities, including total immunity to Beat and Defeat--finally, we can take on Mimics without worrying about losing the entire party to a single spell.
semi: No-Reload Dragon Warrior Monsters Run
Part 9Into the Gate of Joy! Which isn't as sexual as it sounds. Finally, we start to see some variation in the DWM wilderness scenes: now it has purple colors and tiles in it!
As it happens, Saen the MadGoose learned Beat from her Mudron parent. Beat is an instant-death attack, but it's fairly unreliable and some critters, notably bosses, are completely immune. It is nice when it lands...
...but high-attack critters like a Grizzly or the right bird can handle things more reliably. The upgraded form, Defeat, can wipe out all enemies, but it takes a long time to reach a high enough level to cast Defeat.
Lash is getting great bonuses on level ups, including some 10's at certain levels.
Soon enough, Saen learns HealUs. HealUs only heals a little under 100 HP, I think, but it's a party-wide spell and upgrades to HealUsAll, which heals the entire party to full health at the cost of 30 HP. It's a really excellent emergency spell, and since birds get rather high MP growth, we don't have to worry about losing too much MP.
In fact, over the course of this run, the only time we've even come close to running out of MP was in the early game, before we had actually bred any monsters.
We catch a MadPecker, a Saccer, and an EyeBall in this gate, giving us access to a new Bird, Beast, and Devil for breeding purposes.
We've already got basically all the resources we need for the endgame, but it doesn't hurt to collect more on the way.
Here we are at the last stage of the Gate of Joy.
Notice that the MadGoose and KingLeo have remarkably similar stats, with the KingLeo's advantage in attack and the MadGoose's advantage in MP. The KingLeo isn't even a slow-grower; this just shows how useful it is to have a fast-growing monster like a bird. The KingLeo is the best Beast monster by far, while the MadGoose is only one of several high-powered birds.
The KingLeo does have the advantage of a bunch of resistances and immunities, however, and the greater importance of attack over MP makes Lash stronger than Saen overall.
The boss here is a FunkyBird, a fat chicken monster who uses the PaniDance (which isn't as sexual as it sounds) to impose confusion on the party.
The confusion sends the party into disarray, causing our monsters to attack randomly. They hit each other more often than they hit the FunkyBird, and sometimes they even hit themselves. They also attack with much lower accuracy when confused.
But we recover a little and apply pressure, and the FunkyBird has no special defenses.
Func the FunkyBird heads to the farm. The king is pleased and decides to give us a new name.
We breed Worm the GiantWorm with our MudDoll for an Armorpede, and breed a Zombie (I think a DeadNite?) with Func for another Mudron, just in case I need another source of the Vivify spell.
Our Orc, Orca, has gained a few levels while waiting at the farm. Now it's time to raise the Orc and our Armorpede, Vire, high enough for the Armorpede to hit level 10 and the Orc to learn TwinHits. Then I can breed them for a Hornbeet that can learn Heal, Vivify, and TwinHits.
The next gate is a short one that opens up after beating on the arena fights (I think D class). A MadKnight on the farm is finally reunited with its Lipsy lover that's been trapped across a ledge until now.
Vire the Armorpede grows fast and gets huge gains to defense. Bugs in general have high growth rates and high defense boosts, though they're rather crummy monsters otherwise.
The Hornbeet and to a lesser extent the Gophecada are the only two bugs that are really strong. While wandering around, we run into some priests (we just keep meeting them; it's brilliant luck that we don't even need) and catch a couple new monsters: a Skullroo and more importantly a DrakSlime.
Breeding a Bird with a DrakSlime is a quick and easy way to get a Phoenix. A Phoenix isn't a great monster, but it can lead to a ZapBird, one of the few ways to get the HellBlast spell.
Anyway, here we are at the end of the game. Notice that the Armorpede, a measly bug, is considerably tougher than the Orc, its elder.
The boss here is a CopyCat, currently posing as a man's wife, Betty. Betty assumes that we snuck in to witness her beauty--or perhaps try to taste it.
When she realizes that we're actually here to catch monsters, her tone changes.
CopyCat is a potentially dangerous foe. A CopyCat is one of only two monsters in the entire game that can learn Transform, the other monster being a MadMirror. Transform lets you take the form of an enemy monster, gaining all of their stats and abilities, though your HP and MP are capped at 999 (some late-game bosses have over a thousand, or even thousands, of HP).
In fact, a CopyCat or a MadMirror are perfectly capable of neutralizing a lot of challenging boss fights, since enemy bosses usually come alone and have lots of HP. Pair one MadMirror with a self-sustainable monster with a HealAll spell and any solo boss is more or less doomed.
The CopyCat can be surprisingly strong if it copies the right party monster. But as it happens, StopSpell can block Transform.
Once Transform is out of the equation, we deal over a hundred times as much damage as the CopyCat does with each hit.
Mime the CopyCat joins the team.
We finally breed Vire the Armorpede with Orca the Orca. Our new Hornbeet, Orca, will be an important fixture in the party for some time into the future.
Hornbeets are well-rounded monsters and this one will have both Heal and Vivify, making it rather similar to Lash the KingLeo.
One of the primary reasons birds are so useful in DWM is because, later in the game, May, one of the enemy monster trainers from the arena, will offer to breed her Rayburn with you.
Rayburns are notable for only two reasons. First, they can learn VacuSlash, the rarest component spells for the high-damage GigaSlash attack. Second, and more importantly, you can breed any bird with a Rayburn for a WhipBird, by far the best bird monster and by far the best healing monster in the game, though its attack stats are merely ordinary. Since Saen already knows Heal, Vivify, and LureDance, she's a great partner for May's Rayburn (which can be either gender; you don't have to worry about having the right gender for the Rayburn). She'll also pass on some nice stats to her child.
While wandering around the arena, we play with a Goopi (a muddy hand monster) and then spot the Medal Man, who is almost assuredly the King of GreatTree, but offers us a new breeding opportunity if we believe he's not.
We breed our newfound Skullroo with the Fangslime for a free Unicorn. Since Wave the Florajay has been sitting around for a while unneeded, I breed her into a new Florajay. While I'm at it, I breed Wrex the BattleRex with Pash the MadKnight (remember those guys? They're from far earlier in the run) for a Coatol, a Dragon that's not particularly useful for us but is very hard to get otherwise, and breed a Tortragon that can learn Lightning, which can open up a low-quality gate for us if we bother to take the Tortragon into a different gate to level it up.
I stop by the library. We now have collected 50 kinds of monsters!
We can unlock another, better gate inside the library if we make it to 100.
Anyway, our new WhipBird is Sky!
WhipBirds might look even stupider than Florajays, but they're spectacular healers by virtue of their strong defense, massive MP, and nearly-unlimited HP pool. They're extremely hard to kill and will survive when all other monsters collapse under enemy pressure.
Into the Gate of Wisdom! Orca the Hornbeet shows off her fast attack growth, while Sky the Whipbird shows off her truly extraordinary HP growth.
After a single fight, Sky's HP is almost as high as Lash the KingLeo's. And she's only level 7!
It isn't long before both Orca and Sky learn Vivify. Even though we've already got more than enough monsters, we catch a Tonguella (yet another monster that can easily become a Unicorn) and a Facer, one of the few Material monsters at our disposal.
For the first time, we run into some high-damage areas. Certain maps have tiles that deal damage when you cross over them, and the shiny, crystal-blue tiles deal 10 damage to every party member whenever you walk across them--even more than the lava tiles (5 damage) or the poison tiles (2 damage).
Fortunately, Orca the Hornbeet knows StepGuard, which negates all such damage for a whole map. While walking around, we stumble upon a WorldLeaf, a resurrection item. Loot is getting better and better these days.
Now that we have Lash, who is immune to Defeat, we can also safely open chests without worrying about an instant-death spell from a Mimic.
We catch a new Dragon monster, a Pteranod, Sky learns HealUs and then TatsuCall (the only summoning spell in the game, and not actually very good considering how much MP it costs and how rare it is), and we give a few meat treats to a foreign trainer's monsters, earning us another new Beast monster.
By now, we're just crushing everything. The game was balanced assuming the player didn't have any real information about the game mechanics or monster stats, but with raw data and some number-crunching at our disposal, we have some truly incredible monsters at a very early stage in the game.
Sky is rocking over 300 HP, Orca and Lash have attack over 200 and 250, respectively, and all three of them have strong stats overall. Better still, all three of them know HealAll and Vivify, Orca knows TwinHits, and Sky knows HealUs and LureDance. We have the best healing spells, the best disabler, and big numbers all over the place.
The boss here is a SkyDragon--a high-level version of our old SkyDragon from the early game. There's a short pathway puzzle across some ropes leading up to the enemy, who has a high-damage breath attack in the form of Scorching, the second-strongest fire breath attack behind WhiteFire.
The thing is, Scorching only takes a tiny chunk out of our HP, and we can easily heal it back. On top of that, we have TwinHits to boost our already-strong attack values and LureDance to dance-lock the enemy.
In a normal run, fire resistance or healing items would be key to surviving this fight. But against a KingLeo, Hornbeet, and WhipBird, the SkyDragon doesn't stand a chance.
With the Gate of Wisdom complete, it's time to tackle B class at the arena. The first fight is against a trio of HammerMen, but their physical attacks are useless when Sky can blind them with Radiant.
We steamroll over them and proceed to the next fight, against an AgDevil, WindMerge, and TreeBoy. They have some healing abilities and damage spells, but the damage just isn't impressive.
They crumple as well. The last fight is against two ArmyCrabs and a MadDragon. The ArmyCrabs have high defense and can cast Increase to bolster it further, while the MadDragon has high attack and can use Massacre.
Massacre is an extremely high-damage, high-accuracy attack that can frequently one-shot almost any monster--whether that monster is an enemy or an ally. The targeting, however, is random; there's a rather high chance that the MadDragon will use Massacre on its own allies or even itself.
We don't give it a chance to threaten us. Sky disables the enemy with LureDance and Orca and Lash tears them apart with physical attacks.
We are doing so incredibly well that I decide to skip right ahead to the next arena fight rather than spend time in the two newly-opened Gates of Happiness and Temptation. We pay 5,000 gold to enter A class.
First up, a FireWeed, EvilBeast, and Wyvern. No surprises here.
The next fight is more tricky. The second trainer has a Lionex who can cast HealUs and Vacuum, an area-effect wind attack, and two Grizzlies who use SquallHit to strike first.
We know from experience just how hard Grizzlies can hit. But to my surprise, they only deal rather modest damage to the party.
They don't get a chance to do much more, however. Sky neutralizes their physical attacks by blinding them with Radiant, then dance-locks them while Orca and Lash apply pressure.
Soon the enemy falls, and we enter the final fight in peak condition.
The last fight is against May, who uses two ToadStools with sleep attacks and a Lipsy with a feel-good skill called "Ahh." Ahh is some quasi-sexual "attack" that disables the target for a single round.
Thing is, none of the enemies have particularly high attack, even though Lipsies normally have pretty decent attack growth. Even though they can disable us sometimes...
...they just can't capitalize on the disability. We, however, make massive progress using TwinHits.
May's monsters go down. A class is won!
The only remaining arena fight before the Starry Night Tournment is S class. I think we're strong enough to tackle it with little trouble, but we don't have enough gold left to afford entry. We have four gates ahead of us, not counting the two or three gates we might be able to unlock outside the castle basement.
The fighting continued with clearing everything in Verlon Forest apart from the undead stacks in the Old Castle. The large number of Thorns firing missiles in defense of the castle could potentially be a problem, but they die pretty quickly with the help of a recently bought fireball spell (plants take double damage from fire).
Moving on to Marshan Swamp I got up to level 8 by invading another castle.
The hardest fight in the swampy area was another castle. I used a poison cloud for the first time there. That can do a lot of damage, but moves over time to attack what it considers to be the strongest enemies, which can be hard to predict and dangerous for your own units, so is best used where there are a lot of enemies close together (later in the run though the cloud will have a major role in deliberately attacking my own units ...). Fear is also a useful spell to prevent lower level units (in this case some archers) from attacking.
In the undead part of the swamp there are a number of potentially difficult fights, but everything went well this time. Noric has large numbers of zombies, which can take a while to kill – but doing so provides a random treasure. In this case that was the Banner of Heroism – that’s not useless, but the Banner of True Faith is better.
To progress the main quest I still needed to get some maps from Lucky James in the Freedom Islands. In the absence of 100k gold, that requires killing either Lucky James or Redbeard – and I prefer to take on the latter. The Crown of Blackthorn allowed me to carry 38 rage all the way there, but the most important tactic in that battle is spells – fear can keep the archers and bigger units quiet initially, while the ghosts and cursed ghosts move up to take out the archers.
After giving the king the maps, he opened up access to the dwarven areas - they provide the opportunity to get the last 2 Rage Spirits into service. The route to the dwarves passes through the Creiston Mines. The enemies there are far too tough for me at the moment, so I just dodge through to get to Upper Hadar. A little bit of exploring and looting there led to a lightning chamber and making use of that persuaded Lina to serve me.
In Arlania, the only ability Lina started with was Chargers, but it only took a couple of battles to get enough experience from using that to graduate to an Ice Orb.
It was time now to see whether the run would grind to a halt or get a chance to develop further. In order to be competitive with the remaining enemies I needed more ancient vampires, but they are never available for sale at this stage of the game. Numbers of one unit can be increased by sacrificing another, but that spell doesn’t work on undead. However, it is possible to use a hypnosis spell on enemy units to bring them under your control briefly – and then sacrifice them. A drawback to that is that the hypnosis spell is never found this early in the game either – except that there is one item (Pendant of Iron Will) available for sale that you can get a hypnosis scroll from if you challenge the gremlins that control it. The availability of that pendant was the final factor I was checking for in this starting game save.
In order to get the pendant I need to first fight Thorny Dog – he takes no part in the battle, so fear makes that an easy contest. Killing Thorny Dog completed one quest for the governor and opens up a second quest at Exail Castle. Mano Riveres doesn’t have much in the way of missile troops and again is an easy enough battle. An Ice Orb helped out at the end with a critical for over 3,000 damage.
Critical attacks in the game are a potential problem in a no-reload (and reading this as I post I can't emphasize the point enough ). A critical normally not only does maximum damage, but a multiple of that depending on the amount of rage you currently have – going up to close to double maximum damage. That means your units are much more vulnerable to being one-shotted than it might first appear and is also one of the problems in using ghosts in combat – if they get a critical attack they can expand numbers extremely quickly and lose control in a situation where you don’t expect it.
The Wild Duke took over control of the castle and had for sale not only the pendant, but a sacrifice scroll as well.
- Glot’s Armor was used on the ancient vampires in the first round to reduce the chance of them being wiped out immediately. The ghosts successfully killed one of the evil gremlins, but both the remaining two targeted the ancient vampires – destroying the Glot shield on them.
- In round two a fireball and the ghosts combined to kill another gremlin and an Ice Orb appeared to keep the dangerous stack of priests under control. Fortunately the remaining evil gremlin targeted the cursed ghosts with lightning this time, meaning the fight is nearly won.
- In round three the Ice Orb killed the last evil gremlin and all other dangerous stacks were in control. The ghosts were somewhat down on their starting numbers, but that’s why it’s important to have a good gremlin – they produce summons, which can be used to grow more ghosts …
I immediately learned hypnosis and upgraded that. All 3 spell schools can be learned at 3 levels and I’d learned the second level for distortion spells largely in order to be able to upgrade hypnosis. The basic spell only affects level 1 and 2 creatures, but the upgrade works on level 3 ones as well and I’d left an island full of level 3 griffons in Arlania specifically to use as sacrifice fodder – they start off neutral, but can be annoyed by stealing their eggs.
Once I’d got decent numbers of both vampires and ancient vampires, I put the cursed ghosts into storage and set the vampires to clearing the remainder of the island. I was just finishing the final fight there when I got distracted by a question from my wife and somehow managed to get the turn order wrong (the excuse is true, but it's also true that’s the sort of mistake I make every now and then anyway of course ). That resulted in a final stack of snakes attacking vampires in man shape before they could move away. There were still 55 snakes and the vampires would normally kill only about half that many - leaving plenty available to drain life from after switching to bat form. The chances were therefore good that I would get away with the error. Unfortunately on this occasion the vampires retaliated with a rare critical and killed all the snakes to immediately end the battle and the run.
Nettle. Female LE halfling assassin (Gate70)
Teers. Male CN elf sorcerer (Grond0)
April. Female NE human berserker > thief (Corey_Russell)
Durlag's Tower is ahead. We have 1 hour and 50 minutes of fun, including dire charm.
Belt takes a dive and Sarevok wastes no time pointing the finger
A couple of rounds at the Coronation are all it takes to turn our run from a pleasant outing into the end of the line.
semi: No-Reload Dragon Warrior Monsters Run
Part 10We now have four gates already open before we have to enter S class at the arena: the Gates of Happiness, Temptation, Labyrinth, and Judgment. We're on a good track to the endgame, but then I notice an important opportunity:
We already have 3/4 of the ingredients for a GoldGolem.
A GoldGolem is one of the best monsters in the game, with sky-high stats, especially defense, and a suite of excellent immunities paired with a moderate growth rate. They make excellent healers as well as great tanks and damage dealers.
Normally, though, GoldGolems are extremely difficult to get. You need to breed an IceMan with a LavaMan to get a GoldGolem, and while there are numerous breeding combinations that get you an IceMan and a LavaMan, the component monsters are rare and also hard to breed for.
Case in point: one of the easiest ways to get an IceMan is to breed a Roboster with a KingLeo. Both of those are pretty tough to get, so even getting the simpler half of the GoldGolem is pretty tough.
But that's the thing. We already have a KingLeo, and we already have a spare Roboster. They're even different genders, as I made sure they could breed with each other on the off chance we ever saw an opportunity to get a LavaMan.
However, we don't have the ingredients to breed for a LavaMan--not really. First, we'd need a MetalDrak, which is pretty difficult to get. Second, we'd an ArcDemon, Orochi, ZapBird, KingLeo, or Centasaur--all of which would take multiple generations to breed for.
As it happens, we actually have a few key ingredients to create a MetalDrak and ZapBird. If I breed a dragon with our spare Unicorn or a SpotKing caught from the wild, I'll get a GreatDrak, which I can breed with a Material or a Digster (which we can catch in another gate) for the MetalDrak. Then all I need to do is breed a Phoenix with a Gismo for the ZapBird.
We can get a Phoenix just by breeding Wave the Florajay with Mime the CopyCat. Then we can catch a Gismo from the Gate of Labyrinth. I go ahead and breed for the former and bring Phen in the Phoenix into the party.
It's really important to catch that Gismo, because we only get a single shot at it, so I shell out 1,000 gold to purchase a Sirloin, the best meat treat in the game. It works! Gaze the Gismo is even the right gender to breed with Phen.
We also catch a TailEater and a CactiBall, which I can breed with our Hornbeet and WhipBird for another Hornbeet and WhipBird (breeding for the same monster doesn't give you any new skills, but its stats will be higher).
Notice the CactiBall's crazy stat values. CactiBalls are ugly little monsters, but they grow extremely fast and have remarkably high stats.
There are 22 maps in the Gate of Labyrinth, and after a single one, Phen is already at level 17 with brilliant stats.
They're not as good as Lash's or Orca's, of course, but Phen is still a very strong critter.
I've only very recently started opening chests in the wild, and we finally run into a Mimic. I already know there's no chance that Lash will fall to Defeat, so an instant death is impossible, but as it turns out...
...the Mimic proves vulnerable to StopSpell. The Mimic can't use BlazeMost or Defeat. It still has strong stats, but nothing we can't easily handle.
I test out Orca the Hornbeet's RockThrow attack. It's an area-effect skill that deals damage based on the user's level (most area-effect attacks deal non-scaling damage).
Fast-growing critters like Lash get high levels quick, so RockThrow is a good option for them.
We run into yet more Mimics, one in the wild and then several more in a treasure chest room. StopSpell neutralizes them all.
The fights give us so much experience that Orca finally upgrades Vivify to Revive. Revive has a 100% chance of working instead of 50% and it also heals the fallen monster to full.
We start running low on MP as we make our way through the unusually-long gate, but then a priest comes along. Another great opportunity for healing.
That's a Skullgon, EvilArmor, and Gigantes--interesting monsters, but nothing we can't handle. We get our MP brought all the way back up to the maximum.
Soon after, we run into a merchant and take the opportunity to sell off some high-priced goods.
We already have enough money to afford S class!
Here we are at the end of the gate. Phen is actually just breeding fodder to us, but his stats are actually quite high--he'd make an excellent main monster.
Partly this is because we just went through a high-experience gate, partly it's because Phoenixes are already great monsters, and partly it's because Wave, his father the Florajay, had sky-high stats.
The boss is hidden behind a Lost Woods-style labyrinth (hence the name, Gate of Labyrinth) with a pathway specified elsewhere in the game. We make it to the boss, the DarkHorn, who is impressed with our ability to navigate the labyrinth but still ultimately hostile.
There's no known means of reaching that chest or the Watabou doll on the other side of the screen. They probably don't even have text associated with them.
The DarkHorn is notable for being able to cast StopSpell, which can completely shut down our own healing spells. In a normal run, this could actually be a serious threat for a player without healing items or monsters resistant to StopSpell, but the fight plays out very simply.
Done! Back at GreatTree, we breed a Crestpent with a Unicorn for a GreatDrak and breed Phen with our Gismo for a ZapBird. Just for the heck of it, I also breed Orca the Hornbeet with our TailEater to create a stronger Hornbeet at level 1, also named Orca.
In order to turn our GreatDrak, Nopp, into a MetalDrak, we need a female Material or Ebi, the Digster who is the boss of a newly opened gate in the arena. On the way, we get three new monsters by luck.
Then something truly incredible happens. We run into a bard--a foreign trainer of the rarest kind, who will give a special medicine that will boost each of your monsters' lowest stats by 20 upon being defeated.
But that's not all.
One of this bard's three monsters is a LavaMan!
Getting a monster from a foreign trainer is extremely difficult; usually it requires Sirloins, and even then, the odds are low. But it's more than worth it. First, I isolate the LavaMan so it's the last monster standing (only the last monster standing in a group of monsters will ever join the party). Then I set all monsters to "Cautious" or "Mixed" to try to discourage them from killing the LavaMan, buying me more time to feed it meat treats.
To my very pleasant surprise, the LavaMan decides to join us!
We're actually full up on monsters right now, so we have to decide which monster from the farm needs to leave (I forget which one I got rid of). Rast the LavaMan has surprisingly terrible stats considering he came from a foreign trainer.
We also happen to catch a MedusaEye, forcing us to kick another monster off the farm (I think Fae, our old FairyDrak).
We run into another wilderness merchant and hit over 15,000 gold by selling off a spare SnowStaff. We now have enough gold for the rest of the game.
Here we are at the end of the gate. Lash has grown so quickly that I wasn't able to give him many orders, resulting in a "Lazy" personality, but his stats are tremendous considering his age. Notice just how crummy Nopp the GreatDrak is by comparison.
GreatDraks were my favorite monster as a kid, and when I was first playing the game, I had a GreatDrak named Nopp that ended up learning BigBang because it got the very rare Bang spell from its Coatol parent (FireAir, FrigidAir, and Bang upgrade to WhiteFire, WhiteAir, and Explodet, which combine to form BigBang).
The last area here is a Link to the Past-style fairy fountain. Warubou (he's the same monster who kidnapped our sister Milayou at the start of the game) drags Lash the KingLeo into the spring, at which point the spirit offers you three choices for which prize you want back: a hunk of meat, some old guy, and Lash himself.
For some reason, answering this question honestly to get the best prize is deemed proof of honesty (I'm not sure what happens if you answer any differently), and the spirit rewards us with another monster... who happens to be hostile.
The Digster takes a long time to kill because of its high defense, but otherwise is not a threat. A Radiant spell (or maybe it was Surround or SandStorm? They all do the same thing) blinds the Digster, crippling its only form of attack.
Even the Digster can't stand up to Lash and Orca; we have TwinHits to boost our attack power.
Ebi the Digster joins us. I discover that the bug is actually male, not female, which means it's especially lucky that we caught that LavaMan.
We couldn't have bred Nopp the GreatDrak with Ebi since they're both male, which means we'd have to go through another generation in order to get a MetalDrak.
Anyway, with a LavaMan in hand already, we go ahead and breed Lash with a spare Roboster to get our IceMan. The egg evaluator tells us what we already know: it's a really strong monster.
We no longer need Phen for anything in particular, so it's time we brought Sky the WhipBird back into the group. We have to feed it a bunch of meat treats to reduce its Wild score.
Monsters with high Wild are harder to command, and stuffing it with BeefJerkys is the cheapest (albeit slowest) way of getting Sky to listen to us again.
It's time to enter the Gate of Happiness to gather some experience so Rime the IceMan will be old enough to breed with our LavaMan and get us a GoldGolem. Here we are before we enter the gate.
We're a little weaker than we were after we beat A class, but that's going to change pretty quickly. We still have several more gates to re-breed our Hornbeet and WhipBird, and it won't be long before we have a sturdy GoldGolem at our disposal.
I had a problem with my run as the Grey Clan Episode didn't spawn properly.
I've had this problem in the past, about a year ago but sadly it still hasn't been sorted.
I had to set a couple of variables to sort it. This is with a fresh instalation using BWS.
Following that thread it seems that Enforcer issued a bug report but apparently nothing has been done about it.
Anyway I have set those variables and Jusam reacted correctly, so hopefully the next set of bandits will swarm.
The above variables worked as they did a year ago. Just sad that the problem hasn't been sorted in the latest release of the mod.
Firehelm has cleared the bandits on the outside of the FAI and has found 4 keys. The party then went to Beregost where their wands were all recharged. Firehelm had a charisma of 23 and reputation of 20 so they weren't TOO expensive. They then rested before returning to the FAI
Inspiro (human skald, Grond0); Laraum (human inquisitor, Gate70)
After having emerged from Jon's dungeon last time, we started off with a quick trip to the Circus before going to meet Gaelan Bayle. While in the area it seemed only sensible to check out the delights of the local hostelry.
On leaving we walked straight into an ambush. That's great - Inspiro does love an opportunity to tell his companion that skull trapping is good for you .
Laraum's defences were boosted a bit by Officer Dirth's plate armor,
We attacked the first 2 statues to get Foebane - though had to kill the second of those by running it round with missiles after a melee approach failed. That led to quite a lengthy series of rests outside to heal Laraum back up.
Back in Athkatla Laraum tried his AC out on the Rune Assassins - that was successful, though he still took a fair amount of damage.
More preparation included Laraum trying his luck unbuffed with a petrification trap - demonstrating once more that Paladins aren't that lucky.
With everything ready, the duo used protection from undead scrolls and killed 3 liches on the way to find Kangaxx. He activated immediately and attacked Laraum. This time he saved against several spells, but eventually went down to a FoD. Unsure whether that was a MP bug or a new feature in v2.5 we went to get Laraum raised before returning with fresh PfU scrolls. Kangaxx attacked again, but he'd already used his death spell and the golem soaked up enough additional spells to be able to finish off the lich - at which point the demi-lich appeared and was also clearly unfazed by PfU. We quickly nipped out of the door before he had a chance to trap any souls.
We were originally after the Ring of Gaxx for the regeneration, but the Cloak of the Sewers or pickpocketing a ring of regeneration would provide alternatives for that. The Ring of Gaxx is also handy though for its AC and saving throw benefits, so we might still try to get it next time. That will be dangerous though if Kangaxx has had an AI overhaul in addition to new abilities. If not, a scroll of PfM should do the job.
Inspiro, Skald 12, 65 HPs, 98 kills (+149 in BG1)
Laraum, Inquisitor 9, 130 HPs (incl. 5 from helm; 10 from bracers), 116 kills (+313 in BG1), 3 deaths
I didn't fancy having another go at King's Bounty for now and decided to cut slightly short my single player break from Baldur's Gate (anyone else find this quote from Oscar Wilde resonates "I can resist everything except temptation" ).
Despite having loads of starting positions already in my long-life challenge, I generated a new one. The random selection for that gave me a Blackguard - I'm not too fond of paladins generally, but I've played that class very little so it should be a good choice.
Taking no risks, I killed Shoal,
Greywolf was shot down for his sword and Meilum for his bracers - getting another level there.
Baerin's magic arrows shot down the golems at High Hedge before a potion of clarity helped deal with some sirines at the Lighthouse on the way to more golems.
A quick trip through the Cloud Peaks obtained the last of the useful belts in BG1, along with a 7th level at some point (the icon on the character record is now missing in the Beamdog client version of the game, which makes level ups a bit harder to note at the moment). While selling loot from that trip I successfully revived Melicamp.
At the minesite I confirmed that the Blackguard Aura of Despair affected the Doomsayer - meaning it needed a critical to hit.
With a final BG1 level not that far away I went to the Valley of the Tombs. After killing the Revenant, Narcillicus was persuaded to produce a couple of jellies for breakfast. He was then shot down to get the level.
Blackguard L8, 99 HPs, 189 kills
The Nashkel Mine offered little threat on the way to find Mulahey. He was poisoned and then finished off with absorb health - at 8th level that now does a respectable 16 magic damage.
Nimbul's mirrors protected him pretty well for once, but his magic missiles didn't do enough damage to provide a threat before he eventually went down.
At the Bandit Camp, Taugosz was meleed to provide an armor upgrade.
I reduced reputation to 9 to get horror as a next Bhaal ability. I also noted, while in Beregost to do that, Taerom can now make use of the mysterious vial from the mines on his stock. I haven't tested it, but I assume the only impact of that is to avoid mundane weapons breaking.
With free action available there was nothing challenging in the Cloakwood on the way to the mine. Still playing safe, Genthore and Kysus were charmed and led away to their dooms first. Drasus then switched sides to sort out Rezdan.
After getting a second Bhaal horror, I flooded the mine and left. A quick tour round completed a few outstanding reputation quests before going into the City to complete a few more. After doing that though I made a belated decision to go and kill Drizzt. I'd already started the poison quest though so went to finish that off - finding it was now necessary to actually drink Lothander's potion rather than that happening automatically when you pick it up.
Using arrows of piercing, Drizzt was not too hard to hit and a potion of magic blocking ensured his charms would have no effect.
Ramazith provided a +2 ring and a tome and I also beat up Degrodel's guards on the way to get the Cloak of Balduran. The Iron Throne party were run up and down the stairs apart from Naaman who had been running round upstairs from horror.
In Candlekeep I realised I hadn't bought any potions, but fortunately had a cloud giant strength in my bag and could use that (topped up by DUHM) to loot the strength tome. Prat ignored the poison affecting him to do some damage with a lightning bolt, but the others didn't cause any trouble.
Before doing the final battles I went to find the Red Wizards of Thay - taking them out with the help of a first use of a Necklace of Missiles. Denak left behind a Ring of Energy to provide the option of decent magical damage on enemies.
With all equipment obtained and fully charged I went to find Slythe. I wasn't bothered about looting Krystin, so just shot Slythe with a dispelling arrow as he came out to play.
The Undercity party also seemed to have had a brain transplant - or possibly a lobotomy as they were very slow to react to being fireballed from behind.
In the temple a PfM scroll was used for safety before activating Sarevok with a dispelling arrow. Semaj teleported out and didn't enjoy the dispelling arrows that greeted him, before a bit of running and shooting ushered in Sarevok's last stand.
That's the easy bit out of the way ...
Blackguard L8, 104 HPs (incl. 5 from Helm), 448 kills
Yeldon - protagonist (Corey_Russell)
Keras - (Grond0)
Denko - (Gate70)
Well our last Trio failed at the Duchal Palace, we had just enough time to roll new characters and get out of Candlekeep. Grond0 tried to steal something but got caught. Corey_Russell needed to wait until Grond0 was safe, but mistakenly thought talking to Gorion would save him. As it turned out, Grond0 got cut down during the cut screnes - oops!
So before ending the session, Keras and Yeldon made a bee-line for the FAI and resurrected their fallen friend. We saved here and will continue next week.
When Grachus cast his spell, the party ducked inside the temple to avoid it and left through the other door. They then lured the undead into attacking them one or two at a time and when he had no undead to protect him, the party went in for the kill which was remarkably easy.
They then entered the FAI and triumphed though Ajantis was badly hurt in the process.
They then followed the trail to Beregost where they had to fight well to defeat the enemy. Even so, Imoen got killed.
(Using tactics that I had read but with one modification. Before moving my fully buffed tank to where the mage is transported, all the party used a potion of explotions/oil of fiery burning/ necklace of missiles/fireball spell. This weakened the mages considerably and so shortened the battle somewhat. The party even after moving to the left did have one spell cast on them and as a result both Ajantis and Imoen were affected by Chaos. The mage then continued to hit Imoen with magic missiles until she died. In the meantime the mages were shot at continuously with the result that both died soon after Imoen. Meanwhile Thorin who was protected from magic ran around followed by Teven. Every now and then he attacked a mage with his Inquisitor's Halberd in the hope of dispelling their protections. I don't think that it worked. However once the mages were killed all he had to do was distract Tevan whilst the others shot him.)
In the SoD prologue the way the enemies move appeared slightly different, but standard tactics still worked well:
- use dialogue to get the forces upstairs to surrender.
- PfU to clear the first few rooms of undead.
- fireball the first room of followers and drag them back to the Flaming Fist.
- pay for any healing required as your money will disappear anyway.
- arrow of dispelling on Korlasz followed by arrows of explosion (spreading Blackguard poison in area effect ).
In the City various NPCs were killed to get their equipment. I also picked up the Spectacles of Spectacle and Battle Tankard. On the downside I noticed I'd somehow forgotten to pick up the dexterity tome in BGEE, so my archery is not as good as it should be .
At the Coast Way Forest I helped out a vampire in order to get a source of regeneration.
Inside the temple I used potions of invulnerability against traps, while clearing all the guards on the way to finding Ziatar. His attempts to heal while in sanctuary were interrupted by the ring of energy and he died as soon as he tried to attack again.
The Shadow Aspect lost out in a melee contest
On the way to Boareskyr Bridge I helped out a young green dragon and picked up a red ioun stone - the bonus that gives to weapon speed could potentially be useful against Belhifet. On arrival, Vichand was attacked and killed using a firebreath potion and I also made a dragon scale shield before surrendering the fort. Dispelling arrows and more fiery breath then prevented the mage from destroying the bridge.
On trying to travel to the Coalition Camp I immediately came across a hole in the ground. With invulnerability still active I decided to go and pick up the Spellbreaker sword with its nice bonus to spell saves.
Blackguard L9, 114 HPs (incl. 5 from Helm), 668 kills
You said the 5th dagger slew Morentherene. Did she not react at all when the first 4 missed?
I thought that the v2.5 might have changed that behavior - and this character could have killed her easily enough anyway I think - but it seemed unchanged.
At the Coalition Camp I discussed strategy with the leaders and used the Spectacles for the first time to make a genie vendor available. At Dead Man's Pass I skipped the area invisibly other than using the Spectacles again to get a ring (that won't be used, but doing it helps keep the location in my mind).
After rescuing Skie at Dragonspear it was on to the Underground River. Chaotic commands and invulnerability protected against myconids and spiders before the guards at the underground entrance were run round.
Inside, I placed the barrel of Bwoosh before talking my way into the inner compound. Invisibility allowed me to poison the food and water, before one of the clerics cast True Seeing to save me the trouble of showing myself and prompting Olvenaun's conversation (which opens up the route back down).
I ignored the dead magic area on the way back to the Coalition Camp and, after a failed parley, it was time to guard against invasion:
- a few exploding arrows helped some archers make short work of an invasion by ogres and trolls.
At Dragonspear I went straight to find Ashatiel. Protected by PfM there was no problem in shooting him down (the ring of energy finishing him off during sanctuary).
After resting up I used protections from fire, lightning and poison along with potions of mind focusing, speed, magic protection & storm giant strength. I also threw in chaotic commands to protect against charm just in case magic resistance didn't work against natural demonic charms. After the third battle on the elevator I did some additional buffing with potions of regeneration, speed, invulnerability and power.
On arrival at top I recruited Caelar, since it seems appropriate to me that she should fight against the demons there. However, my personal rules don't allow recruitment of NPCs, so my compromise is to recruit her, but leave her AI to fight on her own. As a Blackguard the fight would have been easy enough anyway, but I still used several scrolls of restoration on Caelar to keep her going (using the Battle Tankard so that fatigue had no effect on me) - that meant the fight didn't last long.
I remembered to collect my gear before doing the epilogue, but found that didn't include the pantaloons. I guess that's something else I forgot in BG1, so I won't have the option of some Big Metal equipment available in ToB if I get that far ...
Blackguard L9, 114 HPs (incl. 5 from Helm), 769 kills