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Beggars - a difficult playthrough

Considering ways of making the game more difficult I came up with the idea to make a naked run through the game - using no items at all, which means no equipment, no potions, no scrolls. Game mode is insane. I did min/max all characters, but nothing special here (all rolls under 90).

Obviously, this rather severely limits character choices - my party is as follows: a Sunsoul Monk, a Dragon Disciple, a Shapeshifter and a Cleric/Thief.

It's rather straightforward play for the monk and the sorcerer. The druid so far spends his time in his wolf form, only shaping out of it to heal. The werewolf form is decent early on and I'm taking this opportunity to see if the greater form is any good.

Cleric/Thief is probably the most difficult to play. So far it's a bit of healing, the odd trap set here and there. The idea is to use charm and domination spells along with summons to control the battle. Her lvl1 spells will very likely be filled with Sanctuary later on.

I've made it to the Vale of Shadows so far, so there's not much to report in terms of feasibility of this party. One thing I fear is the crits that get further multiplied by Insane mode - I should not be surprised to see my monk go down in one hit from a tough lizardman.

CrevsDaakjackjackCaptRorydockaboomskiBlackravenPeckerGoturalShikaoElrandirkcwiseJuliusBorisovSpanishjack

Comments

  • AudacesAudaces Member Posts: 56
    I denied my characters even their starting staffs, as I wanted them to be truly gearless. Even the cleric/thief is going without the staff making her backstabbing useless.

    I was wondering if I should restrict myself only to the gear I find or to go truly and completely commando and decided that the latter option would be more fun.

    kcwiseJuliusBorisov
  • WowoWowo Member Posts: 2,058
    Don't forget the weapon spells like Spiritual Hammer, Flameblade , Enchanted Weapon, Mordenkainens Sword etc.

    Well, Enchanted Weapon would pretty much ruin the experience so maybe have to avoid that one.

    kcwiseJuliusBorisov
  • AudacesAudaces Member Posts: 56
    Enchanted Weapon would be something I'd like to skip, but I was wondering if it might be a good idea to have a Kensai->Druid specialized in clubs. Shillelagh and Star Metal Cudgel would provide basic attack ability, Barkskin'd take care of AC to some extent, add Iron Skin later on. There's also Flameblade (using scimitar proficiency) and Moonblade (using none? not sure).

    Sounds fun, but maybe I'll go this route some other time, because it's slightly different idea (conjuring weapons rather than using none at all).

    As for mage spells: the only way to learn them is through scrolls, and I can't use them, so mages and bards are sadly out.

    kcwise
  • AudacesAudaces Member Posts: 56
    And a quick update on the progress: Vale of Shadows is done. No major problems so far. Things worth mentioning: my cleric was basically a sling, hurling Magic Stones like nobody's business. That worked well with all those skellies around. Dragon Disciple's Breath weapon was a godsend until she got Skull Trap. Apart from that she used Glitterdust a lot and Strength (yeah, strange pick on a Sorcerer but there we go - it raises my shifted wolf's strength to 20-25 depending on the roll). Sun Soulray was another thing that I found very useful.

    Playing the Druid was perhaps the most engaging. Start as human, cast Static Charge, Shift into wolf, claw and bite, get hurt, shift out, heal and heal again, cast Spike Growth to get some cheese out of it all, shape into wolf, start slashing around. Call Lightning was good against the yetis outside, so all in all it was fun to use different spells. Barkskin is too weak to be of any use at this point, so skipping that for the time being.

    Side note: damage on chars from friendly fire is also doubled, just like damage from enemies.

    jackjackkcwiseJuliusBorisov
  • GamingFreakGamingFreak Member Posts: 639
    CrevsDaak said:

    You've should have taken a Barbarian and a Kensai alongside you for early game (this is what I did for BG:EE myself, and then I had the very same classes). They're both formidable without armor and you can do wonders with two proficiency points on staves.

    On late game, it becomes more and more easy as your characters go leveling up.

    Couldn't agree more. Kensai synergizes well with druids as well due to the Barkskin. Most of that terrible AC gets circumvented quite quickly this way. With this playthrough I'd definitely take all the armor spells for your DD, specifically Spirit Armor as a 4th level spell, so you can just buff everyone's AC like they were wearing Plate.

    And once you get the ability to use 4th level spells on your cleric/thief, you can get Defensive Harmony, which protects you even more. Before then, settle for Protection from Evil.

    jackjackkcwise
  • AudacesAudaces Member Posts: 56
    I agree wholeheartedly that a Kensai would add significantly to the team, but the thing is that I don't want them to use *any* gear. Not even the sticks they get when they start. If they ever use any weapons, it's going to be conjured ones.

    I'd sooner start a Kensai and dual him at lvl 7 to druid to get the two magic club spells (Shillelagh and Star Metal Cudgel). Until lvl 7, though, such character would have to be carried (well, they can only use their fists, can't they...).

    jackjackkcwise
  • WowoWowo Member Posts: 2,058
    Audaces said:

    I agree wholeheartedly that a Kensai would add significantly to the team, but the thing is that I don't want them to use *any* gear. Not even the sticks they get when they start. If they ever use any weapons, it's going to be conjured ones.

    I'd sooner start a Kensai and dual him at lvl 7 to druid to get the two magic club spells (Shillelagh and Star Metal Cudgel). Until lvl 7, though, such character would have to be carried (well, they can only use their fists, can't they...).

    Probably better to just go berserker 3/Druid in that case.

    kcwise
  • AudacesAudaces Member Posts: 56
    How would a berserker be better than a kensai? With all imposed item restrictions the kensai's +2 AC and damage bonuses are far better than one rage a day.

    jackjackkcwise
  • PeckerPecker Member Posts: 28
    I like the idea for this challenge run, seems like fun, and I like your party selection. I tried a shapeshifter for the first time recently and I was really surprised at how powerful they are. For the first few levels they have more damage and lower AC than any fighter. As fighters level up and get better equipment the shapeshifter starts to fall off, but when they get iron skins they become a better tank again. Then at level 13 the greater werewolf form gives a boost to their dps (+1 apr) and AC. They'll still be outclassed damage-wise by fighters but they make amazing tanks, plus they have all the druid spells when you need them.

    Did you dual or multi your cleric/thief? I can't see how a thief would be useful for anything other than removing and setting traps, which would only require a few thief levels. A dual would seem much better to me.

    Anyways, keep us posted on your progress, I'd be interested in reading about how it goes for the rest of the game.

    FinneousPJkcwise
  • AudacesAudaces Member Posts: 56
    I went with a multi cleric/thief (and a half-orc, too, I didn't like have a shorty in the party), mainly to keep developing her skills. I wanted to have an easy access to Hide in Shadows, because, at planning stage, I imagined she'd spend most of her time hidden - and definitely staying out of the fight. I am now wondering if Sneak Attack might apply to plain punches - if so, then she'd be good for a crippling strike now and then.

    I like traps, too. Their damage is low, but you can lay 3 or 4 of them and that's enough to put a scratch even on a Fire Giant.

    FinneousPJPeckerkcwiseJuliusBorisov
  • PeckerPecker Member Posts: 28
    Audaces said:

    I didn't like have a shorty in the party

    Yeah, I'm racist like that too, ha. Shorties piss me off, don't like using them.

    kcwise
  • AudacesAudaces Member Posts: 56
    edited January 2015
    Ok, time for a small update: made it to Dragon's Eye lvl 2. Temple of the Forgotten Eye was rather easy: most of the time I just cast Static Charge on the druid, shift into werewolf and go melee. The monk was nothing but a punch dealer and a bit of a scout. Cleric/Thief used Silence quite a bit, traps were in action too. The most busy was the sorceress, with Slow, Glitterdust, Chromatic Orb and Skull Trap. The final fight in the temple was quickly resolved by stacking two Spike Growths followed by a Smashing Wave from the druid, and Slow and Skull Trap from the Sorceress.

    Dragon's Eye, however, is where things traditionally start getting tough. Lizard King was easy peasy with Skull Trap and Spike Growth, but Bombardier Beetles turned out to be a major pain. There's a lot of them and the acid really hurts. My best AC is -2 on the druid, so I get hit a lot, and Iron Skin helps just a bit.
    I really dread the battle around Mother Egenia, because there's a lot trolls, terrain is difficult (killing trolls in a narrow passage without Burning Oil...) and the clerics are damn annoying.

    The team now: druid lvl 10, monk 8, sorceress 9, cleric/thief 7/7.

    Edit: Killed Presio and got to level 4. Battle for Mother Egenia was surprisingly easy - stacking Spike Growth and Spike Stones works wonders. I now prebuff with Prot. form Evil '10 before every fight and for the tougher ones I add Defensive Harmony. The sorceress is coming into her own now - with cleric buffs and Mirror Image, Shield and Stoneskin her AC is just good enough to allow her to cast a few spells on the frontline. Now that she's acquired Sunscorch things will be more interesting.

    Team: druid 11, monk 9, sorceress 10, cleric/thief 8/8.

    Post edited by Audaces on
    jackjackkcwiseJuliusBorisov
  • AudacesAudaces Member Posts: 56
    edited January 2015
    As the old saying goes: the only thing we need to fear is fear itself. Yxunomei is dead, the Heartstone Gem is mine.

    The battle was as easy as you can imagine. 4 traps prepared earlier took care of the 3 mages. Stacked Spike Growth and Spike Stones destroyed almost all Yuan-tis, and those who survived got punched to death by the monk. Yxi came out of her chamber Injured. Fire elementals managed to get her down to Badly Injured, and the Iron Skin'd druid managed to hold the line long enough to have the monk and the sorceress (using meteors) to take her down. Cleric/Thief as usual took the least part in the battle, but when Yxi cast Animate Dead, I was pleasantly surprised to find a use for Turn Undead.

    96000 exp for killing Yxi ain't bad.

    Team: Druid 12, Monk 9, Sorceress 11, Cleric/Thief 8/10.

    Exp and kill contribution: Druid 50%, Sorceress 33%, Monk 17%. C/T's most glorious victory was the first mummy in Kresselack's Tomb. That was one hell of a Magic Stone she cast then.

    Btw, Yxi hit for 32 damage once she got through the Iron Skins. Meaning that the druid could hope to survive only 3 hits before going down to pieces (bad pun intended). Luckily she didn't crit.

    Now it's off to hunt shadows in the Severed Hand.

    Post edited by Audaces on
    ElrandirkcwiseJuliusBorisovSpanishjack
  • OlvynChuruOlvynChuru Member Posts: 2,753
    I think it would be great for you to use conjured weapons. If anything, it'll give you an excuse to use Shillelagh (when was the last time someone used that spell?)

    kcwisejackjack
  • kcwisekcwise Member Posts: 2,287
    A very interesting playthrough, thanks for sharing!

    JuliusBorisovjackjack
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