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Inadvertent Neera?

The other night, while attempted to do the NPC as CHARNAME trick, I inadvertently sent my PC sorcerer to a strange forest where magic didn't work as anticipated. Since it was my PC (CHARNAME), and she found herself there alone with spotty magical defenses, it was a rather short-lived misadventure. (You have to have your whole party to use the map)

However, I was intrigued, as this was an area supposedly made for Neera, one of the DLC quests. I never bought the DLC, but I guess most of the content is there, with just the initial encounter disabled. Figuring it would probably just be a nifty area to get the party built-up on XP, I returned with the whole party so the forest would show up on the map. They clear much of the place, with Imoen dealing with the traps.

Then, in the SW corner, I run into Neera herself. Obviously a version you are supposed to meet mid-quest, but she offers to join the party. I send Branwen back to the Bridge district and welcome her on-board. Which was when surprise #2 hit - she wanted to visit another area. Now it seems I have stumbled across Neera and her quest.

1) I'm tempted to buy the Neera DLC now, to see how this should have started, but...
2) Neera is a bit hard to work with at times. This is my first time with a wild mage in the party, and she definitely feels like she will be an additional challenge.

Also, one of the Thayans managed to turn Imoen to stone and the party lost a scroll case and jewel bag in the fight. That was a bit of a surprise, as I don't recall running into that spell/effect much in BG2.

Comments

  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 629
    edited March 3
    Some notes on how this is supposed to go, if you have the content (included by default in some versions, DLC in others):

    - Your first encounter with Neera is in the Bridge District; it's a cutscene that you can't intervene in.
    - Your second encounter with her is while traveling between districts in Athkatla. It's nothing but dialogue, but you're at least involved here. She'll tell you where that forest is, so you can travel there normally.
    - Once you go to the forest, you're supposed to arrive in the southwest corner, and meet Neera first thing. This is true in most cases, but can go wrong if you travel there from somewhere like Watcher's Keep. I once traveled there from Watcher's Keep and ended up in the far northeast, unable to progress at all (since I couldn't cross the bridge).

    Also, you're not supposed to be able to lose containers like that. If a character is removed from the party by any means, including an effect like Flesh to Stone or Imprisonment, containers and other critical items (plot tokens, mostly) are transferred to the protagonist's inventory.

    There are a couple of items that mitigate the wild surge drawback; a set of robes available in SoA and a headpiece in ToB. Both are available as part of Neera's quest, and both increase your wild surge rolls. Since rolls of over 100 just result in casting the intended spell normally, using them gives you a good chance of ignoring the surges. The worst rolls also tend to be low on the table, and can be completely ruled out in this way. Destroying 80% of the party's gold, for example, is a roll of 17, which becomes impossible if you're wearing both items or have Improved Chaos Shield active.

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,584
    edited March 3
    @jmerry wild surge 95 My gold! -> 80% of gold on the target is destroyed. if surges have not been changed lately. so it is a risk even at high levels and with item+ improved chaos shield as in EE is not possible to put 3 improved shields in a trigger and have them stacking, thing that made the original game wild mages broken.

    @Maurvir
    i just wrote about my way to use wild mages in an other post no more then an hour ago :)
    so i simply quote myself instead of writing all again.
    any way it seems that you have found a way to crack the game enabling a DLC without paying for it.
    as you did it not on purpose and you think to buy it anyway i suppose that to post it on the forums is not a problem, if the moderators think that it is you will maybe will have to edit your post hiding the way you did the trick.
    gorgonzola wrote: »

    neera: wild mage so super powerful, but only if you reload often or you follow strictly some rules like never have more then the minimum money, loot and gems can be sold when you really need to buy something, never cast spells on self (stoneskin or PFMW can be exceptions if she need to survive) or on the party, never cast without the item that act as a chaos shield and as she can cast it the improved chaos shield. and as soon as possible cast ONLY trough a PI or simulacrum.
    doing that i had NEVER to reload for a bad surge, even if i use often dwehomers, that are the main reason of her utter power, she don't memorize other spells at that level.
    the PI can cast up to 12 lev 9 spells, 6 of them can be picked on the fly, no need to memorize them.
    6 energy drain to lower the level of a boss of 12, 6 wail of the banshee to get rid of large groups, 6 dragon breaths, 6 imprisonments? no problem she can late game do it on the fly, without any preparation before resting, so each PI can use a different tactic in the same day.
    and obviously 6 wish/PI to replenish the spell books and items and to get rid of fatigue at once.
    dwehomers don't even need improved alacrity as ignore the 1 spell/round limit, and on top of that she has her up to 6 regular lev 9 and lev 8 spells.
    no edvin, no korgan no anybody else can get close to the utter power of a mid-late game wild mage.
    as soon as she can cast lev 7 spells my neera start to spam all the lev 8 and 9 spells that she knows, ADHW in chap 2? sure, fight the CW, loot the scroll and use it trough dwehomer, 6 times with each PI, even if neera still lacks the level to cast a single lev 8 spell.

    i will add that having neera you absolutely need an other mage to boost the party.
    if a cow hits the PI or it is turned to a squirrel is not a problem, cast an other PI and you are ready to go.
    but if you are trying to improve haste one of your fighters and instead you hit him with a big fireball or turn him into a rodent the thing is very different...

  • MaurvirMaurvir Member Posts: 496
    edited March 3
    If the item in question is a certain robe, then the party bought it shortly before some unpleasantness went down in the Thayan enclave.

    However, it looks a lot like I have completely blown this quest six ways to Sunday. I didn't realize you needed to complete all of the quests in the refuge BEFORE heading back, and now it seems they are all lost. Worse, for a party that has attempted to be diplomatic, a lot of crap has gone down. I suppose the innocent bartender should have been my first clue that there might have been a better approach. The party shelled out a load of gold just getting their rep somewhat back.

    (As an aside, the party did remarkably well against long odds in these fights - that second room was full of mercs and wizards, and the party cleaned the place out by distracting them with skellies, then laying in with AOE spells and stinging insects)

    At this point, I'm seriously considering going back to the last known good save, buying the DLC, and trying this again.

    gorgonzola
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,584
    yes, neera's quest is quite complex and the fact that you better avoid to kill some particular people make the spamming of aoe spells at least tricky .
    reading some walktrough is easier, but is possible to figure out what is the best path in terms of xp gain and to not loose rep even not spoiled. save often, named saves, so you can roll back at the point you like instead of making a quick save before realizing that you have screw up something.

    anyway the item is that robe.

    and
    you can ask the bar tender to have the captain of the mercenaries drink too much and get drunk, then with a little persuasion you can cause a riot of the mercenaries against the wizards, it helps quite a bit in that battle

  • MaurvirMaurvir Member Posts: 496
    Yes, well, the only AOE spell that really caused issues was the fireball Imoen dropped to "soften the room a bit".

    Otherwise, I sent in a few summons to get the wizards to blow their buffs and early spells - specifically summons that would require spells capable of hurting my party. I left Isra and Sirene, rendered invisible, at the door to keep an eye on things, and waited until all the buffs wore off. I was actually pretty shocked that NONE of the wizards bothered casting true sight - invisibility was working a treat in there.

    Once the buffs timed out, insect swarm and emotion rendered the casters useless and many of the mercs unconscious. Had I gone with stinking cloud instead of fireball, I could have probably won that fight with the three archers - but no, I had to have Imoen light the place up. I knew as soon as the "ooh, you done goofed" music played that it was a mistake, but it wasn't until after the battle that I scrolled through the log and saw the issue.

    At any rate, my party plowed through that place so hard the city of Athkatla had to send the painter out to update the population signs.

    What I didn't realize is that once you rescue a certain elf, the ending is written in stone. Not a lot of warning about that one, but I suppose it fits. Anyway, it was a bad enough ending that I'm trying to decide if I should chalk it up to an epic fail and keep trucking, or try that one again.

    gorgonzola
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