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"Maybe this time" [NO-RELOAD THREAD]: "The Tale of TEN THOUSAND Trials"



  • Wise_GrimwaldWise_Grimwald Member Posts: 3,220
    edited August 21
    Retet wrote: »
    Hi all, I used to post quite a bit at the old Bioware forums. This little thread is close to my heart. Never completed the challenge though, tried many times and failed them all. I just got the EE editions, along with the new Dragonspear add on. . . . . and the time has come to wander The Sword Coast again. . . . . . . .

    Game: Out-of-the-box (so to speak. . . . no mods), Core Rules
    Character: Ianthe, the Half-elf Cleric/Thief (eekeepered it to give my love life some options).
    Tweaks: I added a bag of holding (for inventory management) and an invisibility innate ability (once per day) to give my Ianthe some unique pizzazz (along with the unique race/class combo). All the NPCs got something a little quirky, so I wanted in on the action too. Oh, and changed my sprite to the "rogue" appearance, 'cause helmets still look pretty Gawd-awful in this game. . . . . .

    Time to play. . . . be back soon.

    Welcome back. I have put a bag of holding in Gorion's inventory. That means that it is there for every game and there is no need to edit in future.

    Maids of Helm Continued

    When we had finished the quests at the Gate we decided not to return to the Duke immediately as we only had 11 gold pieces. We will therefore earn some gold before returning to the Duke.

    Post edited by Wise_Grimwald on
  • Wise_GrimwaldWise_Grimwald Member Posts: 3,220
    Maids of Helm Continued

    Having earned some gold and done some shopping we are now at the Candleeep Gates.

  • Wise_GrimwaldWise_Grimwald Member Posts: 3,220
    edited September 1
    Retet wrote: »
    Well, Ianthe died by a wolf just south of Beregost. . . . I got to get my chops back at this. I'll be back soon.

    It happens to all of us and sometimes it's not even our fault.

    Meanwhile the Maids of Helm are progressing.


    Somehow their reputation had dropped to 11. I don't know how. At least they didn't fall! They spent virtually all the gold they recieved by selling all their jewelery to get their reputation up to 14. This meant that when they arrived at their next port of call [Durlag's Tower] they were unable to stock up on provisions. Fortunately that was unecessary. Hopefully they will be able to buy when they leave.

    The ghasts caused many problems but we survived. In the basement Myra was confused whilst I was stunned. A short battle ensued with another adventurer due to the confusion. Fortunately no reputation was lost.

    Things went very well with Kirinhale. We recieved the experience for completing her quest and gained more experience by killing her before she had the chance to leave.


    Myra and Dynaheir have already reached level 9. :) Having Cloudkill in the armoury is very useful.

    The four warders are now dead. The lower reaches will have to wait as we decided to go to Ulgoth's Beard to spend the gold we had acquired. Whilst there, we met a mage who sent us to ice island.

    Upon our return one of the options was to tell the mage that there were still people trapped there. We didn't say that as the island is now deserted; no people; no wolves; no bears.

    On the island Dynaheir acquired Stoneskin. That in itself made the trip worthwhile. :)

    On the way back to the tower we went to kill a few ankheg so that we could buy Myra a robe of the neutral archmage. Wealth now 2gp.

    Perhaps now is the time to go in search of a priest of Ilmater who wishes me to give away all my gold. :D

    Post edited by Wise_Grimwald on
  • Balrog99Balrog99 Member Posts: 7,255
    Retet wrote: »
    Well, Ianthe died by a wolf just south of Beregost. . . . I got to get my chops back at this. I'll be back soon.

    Damned 🐺. They're the main reason I never post in this thread!

  • Wise_GrimwaldWise_Grimwald Member Posts: 3,220
    Maids of Helm continued. We got to the vicinity of the chessboard but the game kept on crashing. :(

    I deleted a lot of saved games which solved the problem and then completed the chessboard without it crashing. :)

    All party members have now reached the experience cap apart from Coran. Even Coran cannot level up anymore. I expect that he will reach the cap before we exit Durlag's Tower, IF we exit Durlag's Tower.


  • Corey_RussellCorey_Russell Member Posts: 853
    @Wise_Grimwald Coran is a good character to be sure. I'd use him more often, but you get him so late, that lot of times I get past BG 1 pretty fast by the time I get to the Cloakwood Forest. In my full party games, I spend most of my time in chapters 2 & 3.

  • Wise_GrimwaldWise_Grimwald Member Posts: 3,220
    @Wise_Grimwald Coran is a good character to be sure. I'd use him more often, but you get him so late, that lot of times I get past BG 1 pretty fast by the time I get to the Cloakwood Forest. In my full party games, I spend most of my time in chapters 2 & 3.

    There is a mod that opens up Cloakwood early. With that mod Coran is an even better choice.

  • alice_ashpoolalice_ashpool Member Posts: 256
    Glad to see the No Reload continues. All my BG and IWD stuff is on pause while I struggle to Last Azlanti the brand new Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous...

  • Wise_GrimwaldWise_Grimwald Member Posts: 3,220
    edited September 19
    I have just rolled a fighter/thief half-orc called Barbour and have used keeper to make him a barbarian.

    My thinking is that he is a barbarian raised in the wilds who has picked up stealth and trapping abilities in order to survive. (Basically hunting skills) He never learnt to pick locks as he used brute force and ignorance to do that. He wouldn't dream of picking pockets as that is countercultural, brute force being the normal method of acquiring goods from others. His proficiencies are in the weapons available in the wilds namely quarterstaff *, bow *, and sling**. No doubt he is beginning to develop other skills due to training in Candlekeep, but they are not yet sufficient to get pips elsewhere. Whilst he CAN use splint mail, he tends to wear leather for stealth reasons and also because that is what he is used to, leather being available from the animals he has killed for food. He is delighted with the better quality leather available in Candlekeep.


    Post edited by Wise_Grimwald on
  • Wise_GrimwaldWise_Grimwald Member Posts: 3,220
    edited September 23
    jmerry wrote: »
    One thing to note there - the barbarian does have one class/kit feature that doesn't translate when part of a multiclass. The extra hit points over a plain fighter don't work; you'll roll d10/2 instead of d12/2 for your fighter levels.
    Everything else - the CLAB abilities and the item restrictions - will work fine.

    Other than that, the barbarian/thief combination does make pretty good sense in flavor terms. Barbarians are really only banned from dual-classing because they were originally a separate class in these games.

    I'm not too bothered about losing a few hp as I'm not into power gaming.
    I just liked the concept of a barbarian/thief. It is the sort of character that would develop in the wilds if no formal training were given.

    In this game it is the first time that I have broken into the chest with the 1000gp gem using brute strength rather than lock-picking. The gold was used to boost reputation by 3. :)

    As I played the game I realised that Barbour the Bold was overpowered. An enraged barbarian half-orc backstabbing is just too powerful, so when I reached about 60,000 experience I abandoned the game.

    I may play a barbarian half-orc in the future, but for the present I will continue my Maids of Helm game in SoD.

    Post edited by Wise_Grimwald on
  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 2,318
    This isn't a conventional run, but I did play it no-reload (aside from once to fix a weird bug). So - here goes. All play is on Core rules, no maximized hit point rolls, no relevant mods.
    Ludicrous Speed, part 1

    The objective of this run is to complete the Baldur's Gate EE main campaign in as little in-game time as possible. I worked out the map route earlier, but you still have to be strong enough to kill a few enemies, and fighting to get stronger is a terribly inefficient use of time. Thus, I bent the rules. Build up the character in the Black Pits, export them, and run the game with a fully developed character.

    Part 1, then, is the prologue to the campaign, in the Black Pits. With well-stocked merchants and a very high rate of experience per fight, it's a great way to build up a character quickly.

    First, the party. We start with the protagonist, Lone Starr.
    He's a gnome fighter/thief with excellent stats, and that's all that really matters. Starting proficiencies scimitar and shortbow. Starting spells Blindness, Friends, Sleep. Lone Starr will be the only character exported; the rest are just here to make this stage easier.

    Second comes Barbie.
    A half-orc barbarian, to smash the enemies easily. She starts with morning star and longbow specialization.

    Third in line, Grom.
    A half-orc fighter/cleric, for more smashing and lots of Command spells. He starts with specialization in maces and dual-wielding.

    Fourth, Miss Tree.
    A gnome fighter/illusionist, for more spell and attack power. Starting spells Blindness, Sleep, Magic Missile.

    That's it; while more characters would make fights easier, they would also slow down Lone Starr's development somewhat. I'd have to grind more to reach the experience level I'm aiming for, and that's just boring.

    And now, the action. We start with nothing but some weapons lying on the ground, and three tasloi to fight. Miss Tree casts her Sleep, and they go down easily.
    That brings the party to the hub, where they can start buying. Cast Friends for better prices and pick up basic weapons all around. Plus splint mail, helmets, and large shields where applicable.

    The second fight has larger numbers, but they're still just gibberlings. Sleep, bash, 2500 XP for everyone. Lone Starr gets a thief level and Barbie gets a fighter level.
    The third and last of these introductory fights is against another batch of gibberlings. I've corrected memorization by now so that both mages have a Sleep, and the fight is trivial. All four characters level in all of their classes, and Barbie starts on two-weapon proficiency.

    That brings us to the first repeatable fight, against a party of level 3 enemies. Sleep and Command wreck them, and we win without a scratch. The levels slow down now, but I still pick up a cleric level on Grom.

    The second fight in the first tier is against a bunch of hobgoblins. Including two level 5 wizards. Sleep can take down all the minions, but those two are dangerous.
    So, then, have the archers focus on them, and use some Command spells as well. It's a clean win. Barbarian level 4 for Barbie, fighter level 3 for Grom and Miss Tree. The latter two improve their two-weapon skills; mastery for Grom and proficiency for Miss Tree.

    The third fight in the tier is the necromancer Llyrk and his skeletons. Infamous for crashes in 2.5, fixed in 2.6. Llyrk has some decent protective spells (cast via scroll), but he's only level 3 and human. So hit him with a Sleep, pepper him with arrows, and the fight is easy.
    Grom reaches cleric level 4, the mages hit level 3, and Lone Starr also reaches thief level 4. He takes single-weapon style, maxes out Find Traps to 100, and starts on Detect Illusion.
    Since we have level 2 arcane slots available, the mages pick up some spells. All the illusion spells of level 1-4 that they didn't already have, since those can be scribed without risk of failure.

    The fourth fight is against ogres. A bunch of regular melee ogres and one level 5 mage. Sleep and Command. Easy. Three characters gain fighter levels on this one; Barbie to level 5, Grom and Miss Tree to level 4.

    The fifth and final fight of the first tier is against a party. Six characters, all level 7 or 8. It's a serious challenge. And since Sleep is our primary offensive spell, we're really not set up for it well. I try to focus down the mage, but, well...
    It takes a long time, during which nearly the entire party is badly hurt. And we've only taken one other enemy out of the fight; the fighter Krancor is blinded.
    Still, we persevere. The mage finally goes down, and I move on to kiting the remaining enemies while shooting arrows at them. The lineup is gradually whittled down ...
    ... until just the blinded fighter is left, and it's safe. We win the fight, with no characters knocked out.

    The experience from that fight brings thief, mage, and cleric levels. Tier 2 gear is unlocked in the shops. And everything to come will be easy in comparison to that mess.

    The next fight, first in tier 2, is a mere group of ankhegs. They're vulnerable to Sleep. We kill them quickly. And again, and again, and again...
    It's a bug hunt. Repeated about 30 times, until we reach 220K experience each. Lone Starr takes katana proficiency with his level 8 dot, and upgrades to the +1 magical version. The fighters all develop to two-weapon users, though I don't bother with magic weapons or stronger armor for them. Instead, Lone Starr spends all the gold on himself. The best equipment he can get, scrolls to set up his memorization, a couple wands, and a whole lot of potions.
    At the time of export, Lone Starr is a level 8 illusionist/level 9 thief. He has 100 in Find Traps, Detect Illusion, and Open Locks. His memorized spells are Friends, Sleep x4, Mirror Image, Invisibility x2, Luck, Invisibility 10' x2, Slow x2, Polymorph Self x2, Stoneskin.

    Item listing in that final shot, for those who aren't that familiar with what's in Black Pits 2 and might be wondering at some of the icons:
    Katana +1, Shortbow +1, Acid Arrows +1 x80, Fire Arrows +2 x80, Arrows x80, Gauntlets of Crushing, Amulet of Spell Warding, Ring of Protection +1, Slave Ring, Cloak of Reflection, Boots of Speed, Girdle of Hill Giant Strength, Wand of Fire (5/5 charges), Wand of Frost (5 charges), Potions of Healing x16, Potions of Defense x3, Potions of Magic Shielding x3, Potions of Invisibility x30, Oils of Speed x30, Shield Amulet (10 charges), Ring of Fire Resistance.

    All of those are available in either the BG1 or BG2 campaigns, except the Slave Ring. That's a non-removable item that replaces death with unconsciousness, which is destroyed when you take the character to another campaign.

  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 2,318
    Ludicrous Speed, part 2

    Now, it's time for Lone Starr to enter the main campaign. I import the character file, and start playing. I can take Candlekeep at a leisurely pace, so I do; the cutscenes when you leave advance time to 7 AM the next day. As long as you don't dawdle until after midnight, you're not losing any time.
    With that in mind, Lone Starr does all of the Candlekeep chores and steals some goodies. Plus one other action...
    While playing the Black Pits section, I noticed prices were higher than I had calculated. Looking things up ... reputation 9 is a +10% penalty to store prices. I should have put the one neutral party member in slot #1 to make things cheaper. If I had corrected this, I would have been able to buy even more consumables.
    So with that in mind - and the fact that he won't be doing quests for reputation, I donated 200 gold to bring Lone Starr's reputation up to a neutral 10.

    When he's done with Candlekeep, Lone Starr has 1927 gold, two more useless spells known, three more potions of healing, and one potion of clarity. He talks to Gorion and hits the road.

    First thing next morning? Talk to Imoen. Let her into the party. Take her potions. And leave her by the side of the road.

    Once that's done with, Lone Starr heads south to High Hedge for a bit of shopping.
    One potion case, one scroll of Friends. Also note the two haste icons; Lone Starr has added an oil of speed to his boots of speed, for truly ludicrous speed. I have to pause every couple of seconds just so I can catch the screen up to his movement and issue new commands. Some monsters spot him, but they can't catch him.
    He leaves High Hedge to the east, and drinks another oil of speed in Beregost. Buy a book, talk to Firebead, receive scroll case.
    Oh, right. That's a point of reputation. I guess that donation back in Candlekeep was a waste.

    I hit both the southern and northern edges of the town map before leaving to the south. Two more oils of speed bring me through the road sections to Nashkel. I've also quick-saved and quick-loaded a few times to stave off fatigue, as I can't afford either a luck penalty or wasted time for resting.

    There's a bit of conversation in Nashkel, but mostly I just run through with another oil of speed. Once I hit the mines, I add a new element: invisibility. Can't let those kobolds see anything.
    I do slow down a bit on the next level. There are traps to detect and disarm, so I spend a couple rounds on that. And at the exit to the open cavern, Lone Starr casts his first spell of the game: Polymorph Self.
    He continues to Mulahey, gets behind him - and transforms.
    The ogre's weapon deals 4d6+1 base damage. The gauntlets of crushing add +4 to that, since the Polymorph Self forms are classified as hand-to-hand weapons. A level 9 thief's backstab multiplies it by 4. And finally, ogre form gets a +6 strength bonus to damage. 42-122 damage, an average of 82.
    Of course, all that damage doesn't mean a thing if you can't hit the target. Lone Starr has 16 base THAC0, a -4 THAC0 improvement from the gauntlets, +4 to hit from invisibility, +3 to hit from strength, and ignores Dex modifiers. Mulahey has chain mail and a shield for 6 AC versus crushing, or 3 if his Dex modifier is in play. Effective THAC0 5 versus AC 6 - Lone Starr hits on a 2 or better. Mulahey has 46 HP, so he dies on anything other than the absolute minimum roll. 95% chance to hit, 99.9% chance of a one-hit kill if it is a hit...
    Oof. That's such an improbable event that I immediately start looking for a reason. Is Lone Starr taking a serious fatigue penalty that just isn't showing up for some reason? Well, it's not in the saves.
    Anyway, I continue the fight. Mulahey panics and goes berserk. Two more missed normal swings from the ogre form (effective THAC0 9 versus AC 3, so he should miss on a 5 or lower), and then the third swing hits. 18 damage on 15-35 possible. And though I didn't take the picture I intended to, I'm pretty sure at least one of the misses was on something like a 6 or 7.

    And so I come to a conclusion. There is a luck penalty from fatigue affecting Lone Starr, even though the save games say that he isn't fatigued. That could kill the run. Unless... if I properly save and exit, only what's in the saved game should matter. Maybe quick loading doesn't clear some things that it should?

    Ah well, I'll find out the next time I need some decent luck. For now, I drink another potion of invisibility and head up and out the way I came. Travel north. Past Nashkel. Past Beregost. All the way to the crossroads I haven't visited yet. Rather than following the road, I step off to the east...
    Deke and his crew are here. Use that wand of fireball.
    The lesser bandits are dead, and Deke surrenders. Lone Starr now knows where to find the bandit camp.
    The minion bandits did fire some arrows, and two of them were critical hits. Lone Starr takes 18 damage, leading him to drink a couple of healing potions as he continues north.

    I pass through the Friendly Arm to the next area north, and hit the north and east edges of that map. There isn't much of an accessible east edge on the farm, but what's there is the shortest path to the bandit camp.

    In the camp, I go invisible. Walk by everyone up to the chest in Tazok's tent.
    Why disarm the trap when I'm immune to lightning anyway? Because ricochets from that cloak are credited to the cloak wearer, and Ender Sai is an innocent. Lone Starr doesn't want that sort of thing on his reputation.
    Looting the chest brings the chapter transition.
    And the party in here doesn't even go hostile. As long as Raemon doesn't see you and you don't make any hostile moves, you're safe. Lone Starr just drinks another invisibility potion and heads out.

    Back at the Friendly Arm, I head south. For some reason, that link to the first Cloakwood area is shorter than the link on the west edge of the map. Similarly, the shortest path from the first forest area to the second is the western edge of the map; four hours of gain for a bit more in-map walking is worth it.
    The spider area calls for invisibility, so I can disarm some web traps without drawing ettercap attention. There's a path that avoids all but the first, but it's considerably longer. That invisibility potion even lasts long enough to help dodge a wyvern ambush en route to the druid base.

    After that, it's a simple walk east through the druid area and south through the wyvern area, without encountering any trouble. At the mine - invisibility. Just run past everyone up top, open the door, and head down. I actually don't drink the oil of speed until I'm safely in the mine this time.
    Avoiding trouble is simple on the mine level. On the prison level, I disarm some traps and just walk right by Hareishan.
    The barracks level is equally easy to sneak through, and that brings us to Davaeorn. Now is the time for that save and exit.

    Cast Polymorph Self. Reveal passage and disarm traps. Turn into ogre. Detect Illusion to dispel the Mirror Image. And then take a whack.
    He has 45 hit points. That's over 100 HP worth of overkill. And I seem to have solved the luck problem.
    Incidentally, Davaeorn has AC 3 (1 with Dex). Not bad, but not enough to stop him from being hit on a 2.

    Dave drops some letters and scrolls which I take, a couple pieces of vendor trash to sell, and a snazzy new robe for Lone Starr to wear. This is the entire reason I made him evil. With his new archmage robe, Lone Starr saves versus spell on a 1.

    Four chapters down, three to go. That will be part 3, of course.

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