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Magic Trip with Wizards of the Coast (SCS MinReload band of school-restricted Specialist Mages)

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  • BlackravenBlackraven Member Posts: 3,273
    CrevsDaak, oh, hey that's weird... Maybe it's because I get logged out all the time, and then have to log in again, and then get logged out involuntarily etc. Thanks for pointing this out!

    CrevsDaak
  • RangeltoftRangeltoft Member Posts: 73
    Blackraven - From what I can tell you only need to bring Xzar to the Mayor in Nashkel, then you are free to do as you wish. (this is based on a good 10+ runs with Xzar in my party)

    BlackravenlunarCrevsDaak
  • BlackravenBlackraven Member Posts: 3,273

    Blackraven - From what I can tell you only need to bring Xzar to the Mayor in Nashkel, then you are free to do as you wish. (this is based on a good 10+ runs with Xzar in my party)

    Thanks for this @Rangeltoft

  • RangeltoftRangeltoft Member Posts: 73
    @Blackraven np :) Have really enjoyed reading your playthroughs, so just glad I could help

    CrevsDaakBlackraven
  • BlackravenBlackraven Member Posts: 3,273
    edited March 2014
    After having spoken with Berrun Ghastkill, Elly bought herself a pair of stylish boots of the cheetah from a gnomish vendor of boots and foods. After that Xzar and Elly went to take a look at the Nashkel Carnival, partly because they mighy pick up some gossip about recent events in the Nashkel area, and partly because Elly was interested in buying a spell scroll or two, as she felt that she ought to expand her limited spell selection if she wanted to survive much longer on the road. [Ellysia can cast level 2 spells, but she hasn't found or bought any level 2 Alteration spells yet.]
    At the Carnival they ran into a gnomish Cleric/Illusionist by the name of Quayle. He asked Elly and Xzar which way they were headed, and when they replied that they were going west, Quayle said that he was going that way as well. He proposed that they join, and so they did. They spoke with a few merchants but none of them sold any scrolls that Elly had use for. The party did acquire an oil of speed, two oils of fiery burning and a potion of invisibility from one the merchants.
    When they walked back into town, they saw a little boy being chased by a baby wyvern. For some reason the creature directed its attention to the party. Quayle tried to Blind the creature twice, but unfortunately in vain. Therefore they decided to run and try to hit it with their ranged weapons. Fortunately the party was aided by Amnish soldiers who eventually took the beast down.


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    The party entered the Nashkel Inn but were attacked by Neira. A successful Hold Person by Quayle, and a timely escape from Neira's Hold Person [the door trick], helped them take down the evil priestess with little difficulty. They rested, and wanted to leave town to pay a visit to Thalantyr, near Nashkel, when Quayle commented he had seen a mage on a bridge in the south of town. He suggested the party talk to him before moving on.

    Quayle and Xzar also had an interesting philosophical debate about the nature of the races and about the different arcane schools.


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    On their way to the mage they were addressed by a bulky warrior named Minsc, who requested them to aid him in freeing his captured witch. Travelling with the self-proclaimed ranger didn't really interest the party but his cause did, so they joined. The wizard Quayle had seen, presented himself as Edwin. He was after the same witch, though not to rescue her but rather to kill her. The party unsure as to how to proceed, decided to travel with both Minsc and Edwin to the Gnoll Stronghold, where the witch was supposedly kept.

    Their journey toward the Gnoll Stronghold was relatively uneventful. They helped a young boy called Albert find his dog, only to see little Albert transform into a demon and teleport with his dog to one the hells.
    Further to the west the party was asked by a Dryad to protect her tree from two buffle-headed men, Krumm and Caldo, who wanted to cut it down. The party offered to do as they were requested, but asked if they would get anything in return. When the men wouldn't desist, battle ensued. Edwin cast Grease to slow their opponents down, and thus gave Quayle plenty of time to Blind both Krumm and Caldo. Minsc in melee, and Quayle, Xzar and Elly from afar, killed off the two men.


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    Unfortunately Edwin's Grease spell antagonized the Dryad and caused her to charm both Minsc and Edwin. But neither of those two proceeded to attack the remaining party members. They just stood still. The Dryad also cast at least five Charms on Elly, but she saved against every single one of them. Apparently frustrated, the Dryad then tried a charm on Quayle, but he saved as well, prompting the Dryad to leave for good.

    The party travelled on until they reached a bridge leading to the Gnoll Stronghold. Two half-ogres guarding it were blinded by Quayle and dealth with by Minsc in melee and the others with ranged weapons.
    They scouted out the area and found some minor loot (three healing potions, a scroll of Magic Missile, and one of Larloch's Minor Drain) in a cave. There were small groups of xvarts, but those weren't much of a threat, not even when Elly somewhat recklessly cast a Color Spray that rendered Minsc unconscious.


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    The party found only one entrance route to the Gnoll Stronghold. On it they were confronted twice by duos of gnolls. While taking on two gnolls at a time wasn't much of an issue for the party, a large group of these beasts may well be too much to handle for this band. The wizards are now conferring whether they should rest and have Quayle hand Evermemory over to Elly, so that she may memorize many Color Sprays to debilitate possibly larger groups of gnolls. (Quayle's ability to blind enemies has proven very useful, but his spell only works against one opponent at a time.)

    ElrandirCrevsDaakMacHurtoJuliusBorisov
  • BlackravenBlackraven Member Posts: 3,273

    @Blackraven np :) Have really enjoyed reading your playthroughs, so just glad I could help

    Thanks again mate! Am glad that my posts have appreciative readers :)

    CrevsDaak
  • BlackravenBlackraven Member Posts: 3,273
    edited March 2014
    The travelling companions had no difficulty with the gnolls. They were far fewer than the party had feared. In fact, Minsc could have probably rescued his witch alone, without the aid of Elly and the rest. [I think my party killed about six more gnolls. Perhaps this has to do with my party being reatively low level: 2/3ish]. The party rescued the 'witch' Dynaheir, a female human Invoker, and had her join the party in spite of Edwin's presence and his protests against Elly's decision not to kill Dynaheir. Edwin stayed on as well though, to keep an eye on Dynaheir.

    Like Elly, Quayle wasn't too convinced about having Minsc in the group, but when he tried to persuade Dynaheir to continue her travels with the party and leave Minsc behind, she wouldn't be swayed.


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    On their way back east, they arrived at the Nashkel Mines area, to inquire about the troubles the miners had been facing, and to check whether rumours regarding an emerald thief named Prism in hiding were true or not. They ran right into the latter, almost literally. Prism - a sculptor rather than a common thief - and his guard, a paladin by the name of Isra, asked the party for protection while Prism was putting the finishing touches to a huge rock carving of his muse. The party had barely agreed to the task when a bounty hunter by the name of Greywolf came to claim Prism's life and the emeralds he had with him. Greywolf was a formidable fighter who would have slain Minsc [which was actually my purpose here, poor Minsc], if it weren't for Quayle. He first successfully Blinded and later even Held the bounty hunter so that the party had no difficulty in taking on Greywolf. [Annoyingly Isra got the deathblow, stealing the party 2400 eagerly anticipated XP.]


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    The party travelled back to Nashkel, sold the emeralds (which was more lucrative than claiming the bounty on Prism would be), and then pushed on straight to the High Hedge to see if they would be able to acquire some useful spell scrolls. Before they would get there though, they ran into Lord Foreshadow just outside Nahskel. He foresaw a romantic future for Elly and gave her his Ring of Human Influence to help her in that respect.
    The High Hedge area housed many skeletons and gnolls. One of the latter put Minsc's mighty warrior spirit to rest, much to especially Dynaheir's sadness.


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    Elly tried to render the gnolls unconscious with a Color Spray, but succeeded with only one of them while she did make Edwin lose his consciousness. This created a dangerous situation that Elly, Xzar and Quayle only managed to contain by distracting the gnolls and spiriting them away from Edwin.

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    Dynaheir suffered a critical hit from a skeleton's throwing knive but she quaffed a healing potion to fully restore her health. As soon as Edwin came to his senses, Dynaheir cast a Web toward their pursuers and the party fled to Beregost (with Elly managing to pick up Minsc's gear on their way). In Beregost the party shall rest and check on Imoen and her progress with Firebead.

    ***

    So far I've been having a blast with Quayle, thanks to both his banter and his spells. Blindness and Hold Person have really made a difference on a couple of occasions. His low wisdom hurts a bit at this stage as he only has three priest spells as a level 3 cleric. Edwin has Armor, Grease and Melf's Acid Arrow. He casts Armor whenever he can, and has cast Grease only once (antagonizing the Dryad of the Clouspeaks). He's cast Melf's Acid Arrow a few times already, his only level 2 spell, but due to his low level the spell hasn't been very damaging yet. Dynaheir has Chromatic Orb, Shield and Web in her spellbook. I've only recently obtained her, but these are good spells so she looks to be a promising addition to the party. Xzar is lagging behind a bit (he was dead while Elly gained some XP that levelled her up). He mainly throws knives and casts the occasional Larloch's Minor Drain. Elly has two theoretically useful spells, Burning Hands and Color Spray, but both are difficult to handle in a party due to their AoE nature.

    Here are the party members' records:


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    I would upload screenshots of their inventory screens, but their only interesting items are: Stylish Boots of the Cheetah, Ring of Human Influence, Evermemory (all on Elly atm); Sling +1, Bracers AC8 (Quayle); Bracers AC8 (Xzar), Ring of Protection +1 (Dynaheir).

    ElrandirCrevsDaakMacHurtoJuliusBorisov
  • BlackravenBlackraven Member Posts: 3,273
    edited March 2014
    In Beregost the party met with Imoen at Feldepost's Inn. Unfortunately, she told Elly, Firebead the Enchanter hadn't succeeded in instructing her in the arts of the Enchantment school of magic. But seeing Elly's company, Imoen became hopeful again. The party consisted of a Transmuter, a Necromancer, an Illusionist, a Conjurer and an Invoker. Each of them had some experience working with their respective schools of magic, and none of them had so far tried to instruct Imoen. She acted very friendly with all the party members and insisted they let her join them. The party agreed and they all promised to invest time into trying to instruct Imoen.
    The six of them rested, and decided to try once again to make their way to Thalantyr's High Hedge. This time they were succesful, though not without effort. The area was full of gnolls, far more than the Gnoll Stronghold. Elly put some of her companions' lives at risk with yet another clumsily cast Color Spray. She thought she'd cast the spell at three gnolls in the distance, far beyond a few party members who were in front of her. But Edwin, Dynaheir and Xzar were knocked out by it anyway. One of the gnolls who wasn't affected by the spell, proceeded to attack Dynaheir. A Blindness spell cast by Quayle, and a joint effort by the party sufficed to take the gnoll down before it could kill off Dynaheir. After that, two more precisely cast Color Sprays helped the party finish off more gnolls. Two skeletons fell to Elly's Burning Hands, Edwin's Melf's Acid Arrows, and Dynaheir's Chromatic Orbs.


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    While Elly went shopping at Thalantyr's Imoen tried to befriend Dynaheir, and get her to teach her about Invocation and Evocation. Imoen would tell Elly however that Dynaheir had been rather aloof with her, in spite of their previous agreement on instructing Imoen.


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    Elly returned with a number of level 2-3 spells for the party: Flame Arrow (for Edwin), Melf's Minute Meteors (for Dynaheir), Invisibility 15' Radius (for Quayle), Horror and Skull Trap (for Xzar), and Orb of Air, Minor Globe of Darkness and Strength (for Elly). They decided not to try and copy any of these spells to their spellbooks until they had access to intelligence increasing potions or items, so as to prevent mistakes.
    Elly had bought thee potion of explosions for Imoen, so that she wouldn't be entirely defenseless in battle. She further told Imoen to be patient and to focus on her thieving skills so long as she wasn't training with one of the travelling companions to become a specialist mage.


    Orb of Air and Minor Globe of Darkness are added by one the mods I've got installed: Dark Side of the Sword Coast. The mod adds new quests, NPCs and weaponry. I won't be using most of it, but I will use its spells. The level 6-7-8 spells of the Enchantment school it adds (Geas, Mass Charm, Insanity) are particularly important for Xan (BG2 mod), because there aren't any other spells of that school on those levels.

    Orb of Air:
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    Minor Globe of Darkness:
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    Elly told the party that Thalantyr had many more useful magical items for sale, and she proposed that they go and seek out Bassilus, for the 5000 GP bounty that had been placed on the Cleric's head. Edwin and Quayle, as hungry for magical trinkets as they are confident (if not overconfident) of their skills, didn't hesitate to show their support for Elly's suggestion. Xzar wasn't necessarily out for the priests blood. He said he considered Bassilus to be an admirable man from what he had heard of the cleric's necromantic abilities. Both Dynaheir and Imoen though that it would be a good deed to stop the evil priest, but they warned the party to be very cautious. They travelled southward from the High Hedge area until they saved Melicamp, Thalantyr's apprentice-turned-chicken, from a wolf. The party returned to Thalantyr at Melicamp's behest to get him restored to his human form. Unfortunately for him [and for the party that's incredibly hungry for easy XP], Thalantyr didn't succeed. Of Bassilus they hadn't found a trace, so the party decided to return to Beregost to find out if some of the townspople had an idea of the priest's possible whereabouts.

    ElrandirCrevsDaakJuliusBorisov
  • ElrandirElrandir Member Posts: 1,585
    What're you planning for Imoen's dual? Are you waiting for her to get at least 100 trap finding, or is it just a random story moment you haven't yet decided?

  • BlackravenBlackraven Member Posts: 3,273
    edited March 2014
    @Elrandir Very perceptive. :) She already has 85 detect traps. The thing is in BG2 with no diviner and no inquisitor, the only ways to dispell invisibility, mirror image, simulacrum etc. on enemy spellcasters is through a thief's Detect Illusions ability. Jan is going to have that ability but I'd like to have another companion capable of dispelling illusions as well. I'd like to leave Imoen's Detect Traps ability at 85 and boost it later on with items, and raise her Detect Illusions. She's level 4, almost level 5 right now, with her DI at 50, so I could raise that ability to 100 by level 6 and then dual her.
    I would only have to roleplay the period it takes for her to become level 6. Any suggestions?
    (BTW she has no skillpoints invested in lockpicks, but Elly will get the Knock spell, as one of few useful level 2 Alteration spells, so I won't invest any of Imoen's skillpoints in Lockpicks)

    ElrandirJuliusBorisov
  • ElrandirElrandir Member Posts: 1,585
    I don't have any suggestions. Sounds like a good plan. 85 should be plenty, even without potions, so that sounds good.

    CrevsDaakBlackravenJuliusBorisov
  • BlackravenBlackraven Member Posts: 3,273
    edited April 2014
    In Beregost the party learned nothing of Bassilus' whereabouts. When they went to look for an inn in order to get some rest, they heard hear a little boy yelling inside a house. But when they entered to see what was going on, the boy called his 'mommy' and 'daddy'. Daddy was a huge ogre who was slain with Dynaheir's web and missile weapons. On its body they found an enchanted greatsword they would later sell (as none of the party members would have use for it) and a pair of Gauntlets of Ogre Power, which went to Quayle (the only one who could use them thanks to being part Cleric). The gauntlets are mainly useful for increased carrying capacity. Mommy was a halfling cleric who was found upstairs. In no time she buffed herself and killed Dynaheir in a single hit with her staff.


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    This is how the party was positioned when they arrived upstairs, very uncomfortable.


    Quayle then blinded her and the party brought her down with Melf's Acid Arrow (Edwin) and missile attacks. The woman's staff, 'Serpent Shaft', turned out to be quite a nice weapon, although the party hoped they wouldn't be using it a lot. It went to Edwin, the only character so far who was proficient in the use of quarterstaves.


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    The party decided to look for a more humble inn than Feldepost's, with budget accomodations. First they paid a visit to the Jovial Juggler, where Bjornin the paladin told them how he was injuered by a band of half-ogres, south/southwest of Beregost. The party then decided to check out the Red Sheaf. On their way they saw a tall young bardic type they had seen before. He presented himself as Garrick and offered to hire the group as merecenaries to protect his mistress Silke. The party, well aware that they were no ruffians and still impacted by Dynaheir's death, turned that proposal down. In front of the Red Sheaf they met this mistress, Silke, but she wasn't very talkative. Inside the inn the party was attacked by another bounty hunter out for Elly's blood, the dwarf Karlat. Again it was Quayle who played a key role in defeating their foe, with his Blindness spell enabling the party to take on the dwarf from afar.


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    The party rested and travelled toward the North Coast, in search of Bassilus. They had taken down some wolves (with Elly's Color Spray followed by ranged attacks), when they met a gnome, the Mad Arcand who asked them to retrieve a ring from a nearby shipwreck for him. What he didn't tell, was that there was a carrion crawler about, but fortunately the party was able to slay the monster before it could hurt them. In the shipwreck they found a wand with which they could paralyze a foe, an enchanted sword that was only usable by bards, and the ring the Mad Arcand was after. They returned the ring to the gnome who rewarded them with an oil of fiery burning. Not much later they met Shoal the Nereid who wanted the accompany the party. Elly as leader of the party, and protective of her male companions, told the Nereid to back off. The latter then turned hostile, and Elly succesfully used the wand she had just found, paralyzing Shoal. Thus party had no difficulty slaying the creature.


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    [Note: Shoal forced me to do a reload. The first time I tried to take on Shoal, I hadn't done the Shipwreck/Mad Arcand quest yet. Elly talked to Shoal, hostilities ensued, and Shoal insta-killed Elly with what must have been her 'kiss of death'. I thought she would only use that atack against male characters. Can anyone confirm whether this is expected bahaviour in the vanilla game?
    The whole event pissed me off quite a bit, just because I hate reloading. I considered abandoning this playthrough, but since I'd planned this to be a minimal reload run, I've decided to go on for now, and see if I can recoup the joy I had with this run until Shoal happened.]

    The party proceeded to scout the area for Bassilus, but all they found was a big group of ogres and half-ogres. Two of Elly's Color Sprays knocked all of them plus Xzar unconscious. Imoen then tried to kill off the whole bunch with two potions of explosions. She thought she threw the potion sufficiently far from Xzar so as to avoid hurting him, but she underestimated the reach of the explosions, and killed Xzar.
    [After Elly's annoying death at the hands (not hands, I mean lips) of Shoal, this stupidity of killing off my own companion, didn't help at all in bringing back the fun in this playthrough. I think it would have all been much easier if I only used Quayle and maybe Imoen, a small party that's more easy to manage and that advances much faster in XP].


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    They killed the unconsciousmonsters, and returned to Beregost with two dead companions and no sign of Bassilus. The party went to Keldath to have Dynaheir restored to life.

    [Note: Xzar couldn't be raised though. One of the rules I imposed on myself for this playthrough was that NPCs can only be raised/resurrected once. Xzar had already died once to a string of bandit arrows while waylaid between areas before Imoen's potion of explosions did him in a second time. This is yet another big bummer because Xzar and Quayle have been my favourite companions so far.]

    ***

    Party:
    Ellysia, level 4 Transmuter, 24 HP - deaths: 1 (Shoal)
    Quayle, level 3/3 Cleric/Illusionist, 18 HP - deaths: 0
    Edwin, level 4 Conjurer, 24 HP - deaths: 0
    Dynaheir, level 3 Invoker, 18 HP - deaths: 1 ('Mommy')
    Imoen, level 5 Thief, 40 HP - deaths: 0

    Deceased party members:
    Xzar, level 3 Necromancer, 12 HP - deaths: 2 (bandit ambush, Imoen/Potion of Explosions)

    Post edited by Blackraven on
    MacHurtoCrevsDaakJuliusBorisov
  • MacHurtoMacHurto Member Posts: 731
    edited April 2014
    It is a good moment to dual imoen to necromancer and do a sith rule for necromancers where you have to kill your master or something :-D

    BlackravenElrandirCrevsDaakJuliusBorisov
  • BlackravenBlackraven Member Posts: 3,273
    MacHurto said:

    It is a good moment to dual imoen to necromancer and do a sith rule for necromancers where you have to kill your master or something :-D

    Interesting take on Imoen... :)
    Immy is going to be an Invoker, but at level 6 (so I can max her Detect Illusion skill)

  • ElrandirElrandir Member Posts: 1,585
    Oooh... That's rough about Xzar. =\ As for Shoal, she'll kiss anyone. I mean, I guess if you're "married" to an ogre mage, you're up for whatever. =p

    Blackravenlolien
  • booinyoureyesbooinyoureyes Member Posts: 6,162
    Hey buddy, would you be opposed to making your main character a fighter/transmuter? It would add some much needed punch to the game!

    Another fun option would be dualing Sarevok in ToB, since it is kinda crazy and noone really does it!

  • BlackravenBlackraven Member Posts: 3,273
    @booinyoureyes
    I considered making charname a fighter/transmuter but in the end I didn't because I wanted to mix in as few other classes in my party as possible (Quayle, Imoen and Jan being the only exceptions). It would have facilitated things though...
    Dualling Sarevok is something I'll consider. I've dualled him into a thief once, so why not a specialist mage? :) (This is all supposing I'll make it that far. I'ts probable that a few more reloads would have me abandon this playthrough. The game simply doesn't feel the same to me if charname has died.)

  • CrevsDaakCrevsDaak Member Posts: 7,145
    Dualing Sarevok into a thief is a win-win, but dualing him into a mage can get complicated because of his fighter level (17) and mages need 3 Millions to get to lvl18.

  • BlackravenBlackraven Member Posts: 3,273
    @CrevsDaak, ouch.... that's a looooong downtime.

    CrevsDaak
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