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Nine Lives Challenge (Revised)

This is a semi-hardcore alternative to a no-reload or "minimal reload" game. In brief the rules are:

- No raising.
- Rest only at inns.
- Don't access your inventory in combat (i.e. any time you can't change armor.)
- Do all dungeons without resting or exiting the map.
- Roll your Charname's stats according to 5d6-drop-lowest-two and arrange as desired.
- Roll NPC stats according to 4d6-drop-lowest and arrange in the order of the NPC's original stats.
- Remove NPC special abilities.
- For BG1, reload no more than this many times:
0 times by the end of chapter 1
1 time by the end of chapter 2
2 times by the end of chapter 3
3 times by the end of chapter 4
4 times by the end of chapter 5
6 times by the end of chapter 6
8 times by the end of chapter 7.
- Reload only from your last auto-save.

(8 reloads means 9 lives.)

I've just begun a game like this and find it makes things rather interesting - particularly rule #3. This rule means that when you run into a Winter Wolf unexpectedly, you can't just put on the belt of antipode, and when you run into a basilisk, you can't put a protection from petrification scroll in your quick item slot if it wasn't there already. So in some ways it's more challenging than a no-reload, while also being a little less nerve-wracking. Not having a character with three 18's changes the game significantly, especially early on, and I also find that randomizing the NPC's a bit makes planning your party more interesting - maybe Coran won't be a stud this time, maybe Ajantis is a lawful good fighter with 16 charisma, and maybe Tiax really does rule all.


  • FinneousPJFinneousPJ Member Posts: 6,456
    Sounds cool except the EEKeepering of NPCs.

    Also, what about BG2?

  • golingarfgolingarf Member Posts: 154
    I think the same progression is probably appropriate for BG2:SoA, which also has seven chapters, but I haven't tested it there. For ToB, maybe 2 by the end of chapter 8, 4 by the end of chapter 9, and 8 by the end of chapter 10. I've only ever played with Ascension, so that sounds reasonably hard to me.

  • golingarfgolingarf Member Posts: 154
    The random rolling of stats is also definitely an optional component of this idea, but actually to tell you the truth it's become my favorite part. The first time I tried this I rolled 14, 14, 13, 13, 10, 10 for my main character and was pretty mortified. I almost didn't want to play with those stats. It turns out that two 14's and two 13's are the bare minimum rolls for a ranger, so I made a C/R. (This was new to me - I've never played a non-mage before, but I didn't want to make one who would never learn level 8 spells.) I initially regarded this as sort of a throw-away character, but after playing him a while I started to like him a lot. Jaheira rolled even worse than I did and couldn't even qualify to be a Druid anymore so I demoted her to Fighter/Cleric. (My rule actually is that I'll maintain the class if possible but otherwise arrange the stats in the original order, but she couldn't make it anyway.) Garrick actually turned out pretty okay other than a 6 for Con, and Khalid is still a hoss. I went with Neera, who in a no-reload I wouldn't touch with a thirty-nine-and-a-half foot pole, and although she is quite entertaining she caused me to reload three times already (twice when she was shot up in the bandit random encounter on the road south of FAI owing to her being squishier than a plushie doll, and once when she picked an exceptionally bad moment to have a wild surge.) Consequently, there was no going back to save Imoen when she got critted by a gnoll, and I'm currently thiefless. Also, I couldn't get the Ankheg armor, because the shell weighs 100 lbs. and my strongest characters can only lift 90. Anyway, it's very different than my previous playthroughs.

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