EDIT: I've revised and clarified the challenge rules as per @chimaera
Tackling high level areas with a low level party is one of my favourite pastimes in CRPGs. Some years ago, I did a Watcher's-Keep-straight-out-of-Chateau-Irenicus challenge, on SCS/Insane, naturally. It was challenging but immensely rewarding. In order to survive, I had to come up with creative ways of using my skills and items and build my characters around available, rather than ideal equipment. Because my characters were so weak in comparison to the enemies encountered, the challenge had a survival horror feel to it, which I enjoyed immensely. I really felt like an adventurer, risking my life for riches and glory, rather than a bio-bulldozer, plowing through mobs for loot and exp.
I've done Watcher's Keep in Ch2 many times since, but never has it occured me to replicate the challenge in BG1 - to do Durlag's Tower in Chapter 1, with a first level party, no less.
Anyway, my interest is now piqued and I think I'm going to give this a try. The rules are as follows:
- Players are not allowed to collect a single point of experience before reaching Durlag's. My Charname and his followers must all be level 1 at 0 EXP when entering the area, no exceptions. The improved NPC customization component (SCS) must be installed to ensure 0 starting XP. On the bright side, you get full control over your NPCs' proficiencies and thieving skills.
NOTE: the component comes with an option to edit your NPCs class/kit as well as their attribute scores. Using this option is NOT OK!
- Challenge must be played with SCS on maximum difficulty (Insane, not LoB). Reloading is allowed on party death, savescumming is not.
- The challenge must be completed in CH1 with CH1 NPCs. This means no entering Nashkel/The Carnival for Minsc/Branwen/ others as this would prompt Chapter 2.
- NPC relocations from BG1 NPC project are ok. Ie. Picking up Tiax in Beregost, Eldoth in the Coast Way etc. Technically, getting Coran and Faldorn from Cloakwood is also OK under NPC project rules. However, you cannot complete Coran's quest as this would make your party gain XP.
- The challenge can be undertaken with any party of any size. However, once you start the challenge, you cannot leave the zone in order to swap NPCs (booting NPCs is OK)
[*] I am allowed to loot/pickpocket items on the way, as long as doing so will not make me gain any XP (ie. no killing monsters for loot) I am also allowed to buy and sell items at shops with whatever meager means I have available. RULE CHANGE: The party must enter Durlag's BUTT-NAKED - all equipment, including starting equipment, potions etc must be dropped before entering the area. Equipment cannot be sold on the way and no extra gold looted! No scribing scrolls except those found in Durlag's! You need to contend with the equipment you find in the zone, no exceptions!
- Once you enter Durlag's, you're not allowed to leave the zone until you've completed the challenge. You can use Erdane for trading purposes.
What do you think? Can it be done?