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Beginning Chapter 4 without having left Athkatla

Since the idea of wandering around trying to satisfy everyone else's needs while your own friend is being tortured in some faraway prison has never felt right to me from an RP perspective, I've decided to play my current BG2 run with a much greater sense of urgency. As a result, I'm now on the verge of departing for Spellhold, but never even had to leave Athkatla to do so. My party members' levels range from 9 to 13 (my Charname is a level 10 cleric, although she did dual from a fighter at level 7). Although I do have a number of unique items and weapons (thanks mostly to some mods), I'm still concerned that my party could be too underpowered/inexperienced for Spellhold and will just get curbstomped after arriving there.

Have other folks here experienced progressing so far into the game so (relatively) quickly? If so, is it doable?


  • Humanoid_TaifunHumanoid_Taifun Member Posts: 1,041
    It is doable, but it may be very difficult depending on your skill. Of course, the same could be said about most of the content of the game(s).

    To me, the urgency of the earlier chapters is actually low compared to the urgency of the later chapters (you are slowly dying and a city is burning), so I tend to ignore all sense of urgency unless there is an actual timer involved because otherwise I would never get around to do the side quests at all.

  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 5,811
    i've landed on spell hold before with only around 500 or so thousand XP per character still using splint mail armors and had no sweat taking down everything that chapter 4 and 5 had to throw at me

    but there may be some things you need to be aware of with a low level party:

    spell wise, its nice to have the mage ( or druid ) elemental summoning spells, these bad boys hit with +4 weapons and can deal some serious damage and can take some serious hits against those tougher boss like enemies

    weapon wise, it doesnt really matter what you have, except for 2 unavoidable encounters, someone or something will need to use +3 weapons
    - dace the vampire in spell hold
    - and the balor in the underdark in the dark gnome city

    but luckily you will find the odd +3 weapon here or there, so keep 'em around for those encounters or use elementals if you can, plus there will be the odd enemy that will require magical or +2 weapons, but those are pretty much found everywhere

    also, another nice spell that will really come in handy is invisible stalker for all the mind flayer shenanigans, since you might not have the big skelly warriors, invisible stalkers wreck mind flayer shop thanks to their awesome immunities and great AC vs the stinky illithid scum

    also, for the beholder lair, its very useful to have the shield of balduran, but if you don't have/want to use it, then it is highly suggested you make sure to take a trip to the sahuagin city to get the clock of mirrors, or else that beholder lair might just be nye ( nigh? ) impossible, unless you use some scandalous tactics

    another thing to note that i find, is when i go to spell hold with a low level team, the time i get back in chapter 6, my team is so strong relative to the remaining quests that need to be finished that i get bored pretty quickly because my team is so god mode and the quests just feel so easy, but i know this game in and out and have played it a bajillion times, so hopefully this is something that won't affect you that much

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,678
    edited March 2019
    both the beholder and mind flyer dungeons are not necessary to complete the chapter, you can exit the underdark and come back at each moment you want to take them down for xp and loot, once the exiting area is showed on the wold map the door to the underdark is open.

    also i have rushed to spellhood a couple of times, once when i was not experienced and found it hard, even if i was able, with many reloads, to clear both the beholder and mind flyer dungeons without too cheesy tactics. at that time i had not access to internet so i did not even know the existence of many of them. and i had not the shield, was a soa only game before tob, so no special merchants. and was not enough smart to discover by myself the anti beholder use of the cloak. i did it later. poisoning ammo, smart (not cheesy) use of the traps and taking them down one by one if possible was the key. i did also rely on fireballs. so i disagree with only scandalous tactics being an option.
    the second time was when i was much more experienced and that time i found the mind flyers the real challenge, but i was playing tactics mod and with that mod mind flyers are really nasty...

    i agree with @sarevok57 about the rest of the quests becoming too easy if you rush to spellhood, some of the foe level with you to some extent, but the battles are created for a party of a certain level of experience and after spellhood, maze and underdark you have much more.

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