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Doing zero damage

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  • joluvjoluv Member Posts: 2,136
    Yep, Cernd had 161k experience when I picked him up, so it was relatively painless getting him to level 11. I left him at Trademeet's main entrance for when I need to restock.

    Do you know whether Death Spell works on creatures that have been level drained down to 8 HD?

  • semiticgoddesssemiticgoddess Member Posts: 14,831
    @joluv: I'm sure it will. It's tagged as such in DLTCEP. Should the same for Deathblow.

    joluvelminster
  • joluvjoluv Member Posts: 2,136
    So I finished SoA. I was planning to do a more complete write up as a thread in the Challenges & Playthroughs board, but this run just didn't end up being as interesting as I'd hoped, so I'll keep it to a post here.

    The idea was to never "do damage" to enemies. I was pretty successful in that, with the following caveats:
    - As expected, I straight-up damaged the Mephit Portals, with the twin excuses that they're not proper "enemies" and I didn't know how to get around it (discussed on the first page).
    - Dreams don't count.
    - I used Harm in a few situations where I think a script had to be triggered by the enemy hitting low HP. Specifically, Lavok, Bodhi, and all three Irenicus battles. The spell description suggests it does damage, but the feedback says "hit points reduced," so this felt excusable. Similarly, petrifying a creature actually reduces its hit points to 1, and I did that a lot.

    I think that's it for caveats. I didn't use anything that *might* cause damage instead of killing the enemy (like Finger of Death). I also didn't use items that instantly killed an enemy but dealt damage first (like Crom Faeyr on Trolls or Deathblow). I think this is a complete list of the non-Harm methods of killing I used:

    Death Spell, Power Word: Kill, Symbol: Death, Flesh to Stone, Disintegrate, Wail of the Banshee, Turn Undead, Archer's strength drain

    Sometimes I first drained the target's strength with Ray of Enfeeblement or level with Energy Drain, then used one of the above methods. To strength-drain enemies without Stoneskins, I used Fire Seeds. Sometimes I used more than one method on the same enemy, like when I petrified Firkraag for the experience but then cast Stone to Flesh and strength drained him for his equipment. Strength was the only stat I ever drained; I bought Kachiko's Wakizashi but never ended up using it, I didn't have a character who could use the Chaos Blade, and I never used Shapechange. I only acquired the Wand of Wonder very late (although I could have much earlier), so I never used that either.

    The party was Anomen, Nalia, and an Archer PC, with brief cameos by Jaheira (for the Ring of Wizardry) and Cernd (Fire Seeds). I first tried taking both Anomen and Nalia from the start, but that made Nalia level up too slowly, so I loaded an old save and brought in Anomen only after Nalia hit level 12. I didn't grind all that much early, just out of boredom, but once Anomen hit a level where he could destroy the Vampires summoned by Limited Wish, grinding got more appealing. Each cast gives something like 63000 experience in a single round.

    Unfortunately, this playthrough just wasn't all that much fun. I'm very far from being a min-reloader, but I usually reload to try something new, or at least because improbable disaster struck, not to just hope that *this time* the enemy rolls less than a 7 on a saving throw. The run required spam reloading and spam resting, both of which are just boring. I don't think I'll continue to ToB. I might have more to say about it later, but this wall of text seems tall enough for now.

    semiticgoddessYupImMadBroJuliusBorisovMetalloman
  • semiticgoddesssemiticgoddess Member Posts: 14,831
    Success! Brilliant work, @joluv. It's sad that the run wasn't very entertaining, but it's good to see the plan worked. You've just made history. You're the first person to ever beat SoA without so much as pinching a single critter.

    YupImMadBrojoluvJuliusBorisovMetalloman
  • joluvjoluv Member Posts: 2,136
    Thanks, @semiticgod. It definitely wouldn't have been possible without your help. When I posted the summary, I think I was tired and cranky because of how many times Anomen missed when trying to Harm Irenicus in Slayer form. It was a bit of a slog near the end, but strategizing the order of quests earlier was actually pretty fun. If I was doing it again with the same rules, I think the biggest change I'd make would be skipping the Planar Prison. I really wanted Death Spell and Flesh to Stone, but in retrospect I could have waited, and that quest was maddening. The other thing I'd do is get the Wand of Wonder earlier. I thought I'd have to fight a bunch of Mind Flayers (or at least an Alhoon) to escape that dungeon, but it turns out you don't have to fight at all. Also, I'd forgotten the key was on Tazok instead of Firkraag.

    semiticgoddessJuliusBorisov
  • joluvjoluv Member Posts: 2,136
    I want to do a similar run through IWDEE, but I'm at a loss for what to do with Belhifet. He's immune to spell levels 1-9 and level drain, and from experimenting he doesn't seem to be tagged as "extraplanar" for purposes of Three White Doves. I think that only leaves stat drain. The Mind Flayer shapechange form can't hit him, so the only option I can think of is an Archer's Called Shot. I don't know of any ranged attacks that don't do missile damage; Fire Seeds are quick items instead of weapons in IWD. (Greater) Shield of Lathander gives damage immunity, but it can't be cast on evil creatures. Anyone have any ideas? @semiticgod?

    semiticgoddess
  • semiticgoddesssemiticgoddess Member Posts: 14,831
    I hoped there was a bug that could make it possible, since the opcode 324 in Shield of Lathander says SPPR514 (Mass Cure Light Wounds) in the resource field instead of SPPR520 (Shield of Lathander), which ostensibly would let it affect Belhifet. But I just tested it, and it does not. The resource field is apparently meaningless for that opcode.

    More importantly, I've checked the MINHP1 item and it now grants immunity to all stat drain effects. On top of that, it even grants immunity to the unused opcode 241! If I ever update the Seducer kit to EE, I'll have to add in a patch to the MINHP1 item to remove that immunity, because opcode 241 is the whole point of the Seducer kit.

    Honestly, I think you should either discount Belhifet and just kill him with damage (that's how people handle the original Legend of Zelda in swordless runs; they permit a sword against Ganon), or tweak the BEHAMU.itm, BRING.itm, or MINHP1.itm files to render him vulnerable to something.

    Belhifet has always been the most poorly designed boss of the IE games. RPG bosses in general tend to have unreasonably broad immunities, but Belhifet's are just ridiculous. He's immune to everything--and I do mean everything--besides +3 weapons and higher. Kangaxx could get away with that; he was an optional boss. But Belhifet's immunities arbitrarily punish all spellcasters and ranged weapon users by rendering their best options not simply weaker, but completely useless. It's like playing Improved Anvil. Plus, spellcaster-created weapons in vanilla IWD like Star Metal Cudgel and Spiritual Hammer were unable to harm Belhifet due to bugs across several spells. The fact that Belhifet's traps dispel buffs just adds insult to injury. And since vanilla IWD summons can't hit Belhifet, the epic final battle boils down to one thing: warriors swinging weapons. IWD is a hack-and-slash game, but only at the final battle is there literally nothing else to the gameplay.

    I do remember beating vanilla IWD with a generalist mage, despite Jelly-Belly's spell level immunities. I stacked Potions of Absorption to give Belhifet a 95% miss chance, since Belhifet was bugged to attack with his bare hands (which dealt nonlethal fist damage, bypassing crushing resistance, but not bypassing crushing AC modifiers). Then I could just wear him down with the Staff of Eron. But they finally fixed that in EE, and now Belhifet does slashing damage.

    I'm afraid it's not possible to kill Belhifet without dealing damage. If you want a zero damage run of IWD or IWD:EE, you'll have to make an exception for Belhifet.

    joluvJuliusBorisov
  • semiticgoddesssemiticgoddess Member Posts: 14,831
    Also, I'd recommend checking out this speedrun:

    http://speeddemosarchive.com/IcewindDale.html

    A lot of the tactics won't work in EE, but the Dimension Door trick does. If you're going to be skipping much stuff, doing so with Dimension Door could be very fun. Importing and exporting could duplicate the scroll if necessary. Plus, the speedrun is pretty cool-looking even if it's not helpful for your run.

    It's too bad the Dimension Door trick doesn't work with BG2, even if you have the spell... and I assume it doesn't work with BG2:EE either.

    JuliusBorisov
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