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

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  • BlackravenBlackraven Member Posts: 3,197
    edited April 2015
    Gotural said:


    Kagain had no choice but to hold this long enough for his allies to wake up from Confusion, and that's exactly what he did ! Thanks to many Healing Potions and his second Defensive Stance, he bought enough time for Anselm and Vynd to recover.

    Kagain's a boss!

    Anyway, nice to see you roleplay the party true to its members' alignments. Severe suffering is being administered to the denizens of the Sword Coast.

    kcwiseGoturalJuliusBorisovlolien
  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 13,520
    edited April 2015
    The item restrictions in these randomized runs are pretty severe. We've had at least one Wizard Slayer every run, and in the current one, there's not a single person in the party that can wear metal armor. As a sorcerer, Azama can't wear anything. As a Kensai, Fobie can't wear anything, although he has 25 CHA as an excuse. As a Totemic Druid, Poppy must also run around naked, at least to fit in with the harem. And as an Archer, Snowy Tae is restricted to leather.

    I suppose it's appropriate to have a strong woman in leather dominating a harem with a token pretty boy thrown in the mix, but it means Snowy Tae can't take advantage of the metal armors that give boosts to physical damage resistance in Item Revisions. Armor of Faith is also nerfed to 10% resistance and is non-stackable, which means we can't capitalize on the few positive resistances that we have. Resistance stacking brings increasing returns, but our resistances start out so low that we can't get much benefit from them, even with items and spells to help out. We're going to have to keep relying on summons and careful positioning if we want to avoid taking damage. Besides, Snowy Tae is too warm and fuzzy to be a good dominatrix, leather or no leather. We may need some outside help for that.

    I always have the nymphs, but I don't want to solve every problem by summoning hordes of hot women to tackle the enemy. This isn't a roleplaying run.

    kcwiseJuliusBorisovBlackravenElrandir
  • GoturalGotural Member Posts: 1,229
    @Blackraven It certainly is kind of refreshing to do an evil run. Makes for a very fun experience.

    I'll try my best to destroy the city of Baldur's Gate.

    Concerning your run, I think you hit the difficulty spike at the start of BG2, especially for casters. Suddenly all your foes have good saves, HP, and most of them have MR compared to BG1. The Robe of Vecna you bought will certainly help until you get access to most level 7 and 8 spells. I hope you'll be able to use Time Stop soon :smile:

    JuliusBorisovBlackravenkcwise
  • GoturalGotural Member Posts: 1,229
    Woah if you have -8 AC without buffs you must be nearly untouchable in melee with some of them !

    Also, I think I saw the Circlet of the Archimagi somewhere in the unmodded game, maybe Black Pits 2 ?

    Good progress !

    BlackravenkcwiseJuliusBorisovMusigny
  • GrumGrum Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 2,099
    I can just imagine what the people in the inn are thinking when they see Anslem and co. walk in. Especially as they'd have known that there was a flaming fist squad waiting for the murderers. Poor denizens of the sword coast...they still don't know what's hitting them.

    GoturalBlackravenkcwiseJuliusBorisov
  • BlackravenBlackraven Member Posts: 3,197
    edited April 2015
    @Gotural, thanks! I went for fast solutions because Kathlen still lacked the firepower for swift elimination of large groups of semi-powerful creatures like Spirit and Spectral Trolls, Bone Golems, Greater Mummies etc. With my warriors and rogues I normally fight such creatures, since they give good XP.

    You're right about her AC. I had her buy the Bracers of AC3 quite early on, mainly because low AC helps Stoneskins last longer and because there aren't many other good Bracers/Gauntltets for Mages anyway. 18 Dex, Shield of Harmony, Cloak of the Sewers, Ring of the Princes, Claw of Kazgaroth, and the Circlet of the Archmagi all contribute as well in that respect of course.
    Question: do you (or anyone else) know whether the Reflection Shield only returns missiles that actually hit the shieldbearer, or does every missile bounce back to the attacker, regardless of whether the missile would normally hit? In the second first case, which sounds most realistic, Kathlen would actually have to worsen her AC against ranged attackers to take optimal advantage of the shield. Maybe I should test this.

    As to the Circlet. It's quite possible it was introduced in BP2, but I have little experience with BP2 so couldn't tell for sure.

    Post edited by Blackraven on
    JuliusBorisovkcwiseMusigny
  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 13,520
    @Blackraven: I'm reasonably certain the Shield of Reflection only bounces missiles that hit. If you want to test it, you could just grab Nalia and have her take a few shots at you and see how long it takes for her to get hit.

    BlackravenkcwiseMusigny
  • BlackravenBlackraven Member Posts: 3,197
    @semiticgod, true, just tested ut with Korgan and his throwing axes. I also found that when Stoneskinned the hits do not bounce back (but strip the Stoneskins instead).
    Guess it's time for Kathlen to change her Boots of Avoidance a pair of Boots of Grounding.

    kcwiseMusigny
  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 13,520
    @Demivrgvs: IR Arbane's Sword has a bonus to hit and save vs. breath on self per hit, but the probability is zero. The description doesn't mention this, so there's no incongruency, but I thought I'd mention it. I assume the sword was supposed to give those bonuses in an earlier version, but the probability was reduced to zero instead of removing them.

    kcwiseMusigny
  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 13,520
    Sigh.

    Things got a little weird in Poppy's run. But first, the normal stuff.

    I got a little tired of Pai'Na's default voice set, which mirrors a standard drow female's (and for some reason did not include the "All glory for the dark mother" line that is my favorite), so I decided to change it around. I couldn't do so within the game, since Pai'Na doesn't count as a player-generated chracter (which is why you can't change, say, Minsc's voice options), nor could I do so when I switched the party over to my "mpsave" folder. I tweaked Pai'Na's file in Near Infinity, only to find that it didn't affect the Pai'Na in my party. I had to spawn a new copy, use CTRL-Q on her, and kick out the old Pai'Na, to get the new soundset. Now she uses the lines you hear from the soft-voiced Shadow Thief ladies ("An excellent day, for whatever you're after"). Now she sounds a little less shouty.

    We got into some trouble with Suna Seni and her fellow slavers, with Fobie getting knocked out in round 2.
    image

    Fortunately for us, our token boy toy is immune to nonmagical weapons, and didn't take much damage after getting disabled. Pai'Na poisoned Suna Seni repeatedly, while Poppy called in the harem. We muddled through the fight.
    image

    We stopped by the Bridge District and looked into the local murders. A few minutes later, we solved the mystery Aegisfield was too understaffed to handle. We had to attack Rejiek Hidesman, who fled the scene. Close and detailed inspection of the man's bed uncovered a smooth leather gimp suit of human skin. Pity that a fellow connoisseur of the human form turned out to be a murderous psychopath. We tuck the suit back under the covers. We have no use for it now.

    We also rescued a lady who had been kidnapped by some completely unrelated murderers (the Bridge District sure is a violent place), secreted away upstairs in a dilapidated building. For a moment, we were tempted to take advantage of the situation.
    image

    But she really didn't seem interested. Maybe we should have brought the nymphs along, and our encounter wouldn't have ended so abruptly.

    Aegisfield gave us a big cash money wad for failing to nab Rejiek. With nothing more to do in the Bridge District for the time being, we headed to the Government District to rescue a fellow drow.

    Apparently, SR's Chromatic Orb, even the druid version, counts as a mage spell, since the spell operates by casting one of many different spells, all of which are classified as mage spells. The Cowled Wizard appear to attack, since I accidentally cast Flame Arrow earlier on, and had received a warning already.
    image

    Since this is an unintended thingy, I used CTRL-Y on them and finished off the fanatics with divine spells.

    I take the group to the Gate District, hoping to trigger the Renfeld ambush. But things didn't go quite like I planned.

    GoturalJuliusBorisovkcwise
  • DemivrgvsDemivrgvs Member Posts: 315

    @Demivrgvs: IR Arbane's Sword has a bonus to hit and save vs. breath on self per hit, but the probability is zero. The description doesn't mention this, so there's no incongruency, but I thought I'd mention it. I assume the sword was supposed to give those bonuses in an earlier version, but the probability was reduced to zero instead of removing them.

    Exactly. I left them there to quickly restore them if needed between beta builds. It was first supposed to just trigger a copy of Haste on hit (to replace vanilla's 1xDay Haste ability), then I opted for the current semi-unique variant. I also thought about simply putting on Arbane the permanent +1/2 apr of Kundane and change the latter into something more unique/useful (e.g. there's no short sword with elemental dmg or disabling effects).

    I'll fix Avenger's copy of Chromatic Orb to not count as a mage spell. Thanks for pointing it out.

    semiticgodkcwise
  • GoturalGotural Member Posts: 1,229
    edited April 2015
    @semiticgod Incredible fight ! Somehow it looked like the Matrix to me.
    The Cowled Wizards were the Agents Smith and they knew they needed to make you stay here to prevent you to save Renfeld from the matrix, so they were summoning big baddies and force a lot of pressure on your computer. I don't know why but this is what it reminds me of.
    So many creatures and spell animations. Those are some amazing screenshots and a very very interesting story.
    It was a bit like a race against the clock except this time the clock was your computer overheating :wink:
    Also, thanks for the laugh !
    It's the Sphere of Chaos spells, which can even disable the computer itself

    The program has fallen, and our save is lost.

    JuliusBorisovsemiticgodBlackravenkcwise
  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 13,520
    @Gotural: Thank you. I feel much better about how that fight played out.

    Goturalkcwise
  • YgramulYgramul Member Posts: 1,059
    Bummer on Kathlen, @Blackraven
    She had come far.

    Will you go back to BG1 or roll from BG2?

    kcwiseGoturalJuliusBorisovMusigny
  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 13,520
    @Blackraven: It's sad to see her go so quickly. Traps are just awful.

    kcwiseGoturalJuliusBorisovMusigny
  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 13,520
    @Demivrgvs: Mazzy's Sword offers no save on its penalties, contrary to the description. Also, why remove the extra attack from the Shadow Thief Dagger? It's not like it's an overpowered item, considering the lack of STR bonuses.

    kcwiseMusigny
  • GoturalGotural Member Posts: 1,229
    Anselm third update : Investigating the iron crisis.

    After they bought some new and shiny equipments, Anselm decided that they were going to look for who was sending these mercenaries against them.
    And so their researches began in the Nashkel Mines.
    Soon after they entered, they scooted a group of Dwarves, ready to ambush them. Vynd put some traps, Kagain rushed in while Dorn and Anselm were pelting them from afar with their ranged, poisoned weapons.

    image
    image


    This fight reinforced Anselm's conviction. The iron crisis was linked somehow to him.
    They continued their exploration and fought many Kobolds and finally they reached Mulahey which proven to be nothing more than a puppet. After they eliminated him, the party exited the mines and explored the area around them.

    They found some crypts and looted some treasure, gave back his dagger to a revenant and met Narcillicus Harwilliger, a Mage who was experimenting his new spells to create and dominate Mustard Jellys. The squad attacked him and his creatures for the tokens he could have and put him down with poisoned weapons.

    image


    Afterward they came back to Nashkel to claim the reward for solving the crisis. The mayor told them to talk to the blacksmith in Beregost about the contaminated ore to get more infos.

    Back in the town, a little girl approached the evil party and escorted them to meet the officer Vai, she wanted to talk with Anselm.
    But as soon as they entered the inn, they were attacked by a huge group of Flaming Fist Enforcers and a powerful Morningmaster under a permanent Improved Alacrity effect (like many Dark Horizons spellcasters).

    The battle raged and many spells were fired.

    image


    At first it seemed like the forces of the law had the advantage, until Edwin threw a Horror spell which turned the tides.

    image
    image


    After dispatching most of them, they took down the Morningmaster and finished the remaining guards.
    Anselm wanted to make an example to inspire fear in the population, so he orderer Edwin to cast some Fireball spells in the inn, killing everyone around.

    image
    image


    And finally, injured during the slaughter, Anselm drained the life of the last commoner alive to recover.

    image


    Beregost wasn't destroyed, but the Flaming Fist will now think about it twice before attacking them ...

    YgramulkcwiseBlackravenJuliusBorisov
  • ArnaeusArnaeus Member Posts: 90
    Anselms reign of terror continues.

    I take it that normally Officer Vai doesn't attack you there but the on entrance spawning of the flaming fist due to reputation caused her to side with them due to faction scripting?

    kcwiseGoturalJuliusBorisov
  • DemivrgvsDemivrgvs Member Posts: 315
    edited April 2015

    @Demivrgvs: Mazzy's Sword offers no save on its penalties, contrary to the description. Also, why remove the extra attack from the Shadow Thief Dagger? It's not like it's an overpowered item, considering the lack of STR bonuses.

    - I'll fix Mazzy's sword.
    - I didn't even knew I touched the Shadow Thief Dagger. If that apr was there it was not documented and surely not intentional. Also, no idea why that dagger should not get STR bonus.

    Few more things:

    - Darts are far from nerfed imo. Wounding does less damage yes, but it no longer allows a save (that's a big deal imo), Stunning doesn't have vanilla's insane duration (3 apr and stunned for 7 rounds? yeah, sounds balanced) but it's a magical dart now which can be used against more creatures and with that apr you can still stun-lock targets with it. Asp's Nest got a +1 enchantment and Crimson now deals fire dmg. I would have done more, but the intention surely wasn't to nerf the weapon type.

    - quite a few SR players asked me to reduce the extremely long duration of certain long-terms buffs. Should I assume you agree stuff like Negative Plane Protection should not last so long? Vanilla's few rounds duration was useless imo, but I was going to suggest something like 5 turns (it goes up to 20 turns at lvl 20 now).

    - otoh, Protection from Undead scroll was simply ridiculous and exploitable. IR's version is still useful imo but no longer allows cheesy tactics. I hope we agree on this despite your power-playing love.

    - I really don't know if Death Ward should block BBoD's disintegrating effect...


    Post edited by Demivrgvs on
    kcwisesemiticgod
  • GoturalGotural Member Posts: 1,229
    Arnaeus said:

    Anselms reign of terror continues.

    I take it that normally Officer Vai doesn't attack you there but the on entrance spawning of the flaming fist due to reputation caused her to side with them due to faction scripting?

    As soon as she saw me she said "Impudence of the highest order! Do you think you could sneak past without me noticing? Your face is well-known among the Flaming Fist, and you crimes will be punished." then she became hostile aswell as her minions and only a split second after, the Flaming Fist Enforcers spawned. I think it's because my reputation was at 1 when she spoke to me.

    BlackravenkcwiseJuliusBorisov
  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 13,520
    @Demivrgvs:

    The Buff Question:
    It's a really hard question about the duration of buffs. The balance is radically different depending on whether you pre-buff or not. If you don't, and only cast buffs after the fight has begun, then duration isn't relevant unless it's really tiny, and the weaker buffs will be ignored in favor of the big ones. This will also make bonus spell slots much less useful, since you'll be using much fewer spells per rest period.

    If you do pre-buff, then long-duration buffs allow you to tack on lots and lots of little buffs, and the effect is pretty extreme. The improved duration of Aid, Luck, and Bless mean my whole party has +2 to saving throws and THAC0, and +1 to damage and luck, on top of some skill bonuses. Without those long durations, I'll basically never use those spells in the first place, unless I've got a single-classed cleric who has nothing better to do. It certainly broadens the pool of useful spells, and lets the player avoid fussing over which buffs to cast first, but it also incentivizes investing more time in casting pre-buffs, which is generally a chore.

    The Dart Balance Thingy:
    Darts of Stunning in vanilla really are quite overpowered... more because of the APR than anything else. Even with only 1 round of stun on hit, they're better at disabling their target than Celestial Fury, since the effect of both is nonmagical and level 0. It's just that it's a bigger fuss with a shorter duration, since you don't have as much time to capitalize on the disabled opponent. The equation might change if we have enemy clerics and so forth casting Chaotic Commands, or an unstun spell.

    Now that I think about it... an even bigger issue is the supply of the darts. I love darts, but I usually end up hoarding Darts of Stunning and Darts of Wounding (same goes for Kuo-toa Bolts), and so I barely ever use them in the first place, for fear that I won't have them when I really need them.

    And Speaking of Ammunition:
    One of the things I've long wanted to implement is a streamlined system for ammunition. Buying and stacking ammo is a pain, even with a high stacking cap. Plus, the limited supply of certain forms of ammunition incentivizes hoarding. So why not fix up all forms of ammunition so that they never run out, as in Firetooth, or the Quiver of Plenty? This would eliminate all of the hassle over when and where to use the items.

    To balance it out, we could decrease the power of the ammo (and also tweak the cost, since each would have a stack of one). Reduce the chance of stunning to a certain percent, say. This way, a dart user could more comfortably switch between Darts of Stunning and the Crimson Dart, without worrying too much about using too many of the former. The rationalization for the change would be that each item represents a certain stack of them, and you would collect anything you've fired or thrown after the battle, hence the non-finite supply. Who says the magic of a Dart of Stunning is lost when it hits, when Celestial Fury never loses its charges?

    Death Ward:
    It's not clear if Death Ward should block the BBoD instant death effect. If it does, then I would add on some other ability to BBoD so it's more than just a super-big sword against foes with Death Ward. It seems a bit silly for a 7th-level priest to be able to block a 9th-level spell, but then, they already can! Because DW blocks PW: Kill. I guess the question is whether we want to let DW block BBoD disintegration, because otherwise BBoD is crazily overpowered, or whether we want BBoD disintegration to bypass DW, in order to keep BBoD scary and dangerous, as a 9th-level spell should be.

    One More Thing:
    Thanks for the Bag Holding in the Adventurer's Mart.

    kcwiseJuliusBorisovSerg_BlackStrider
  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 13,520
    The Druid Grove exterior is simple. I just corral the summons, buff the hell out of everybody, and keep Poppy well out of the way. The Spirit Trolls have Greater Command, Flame Strike, and Unholy Blight thanks to Tactics, but the first two are useless with Chaotic Commands and Protection from Fire. Kyland Lind gives us little trouble--he seems to always fail his saves against Web--and though Dalok hit us with Insect Plague, we did the same to him.

    Then came Faldorn. Faldorn is bad news.

    I usually have Cernd deal with her, since he has a guaranteed win if he's fighting Faldorn outside of the party, but I notice the dialogue options let me send Fobie or Pai'Na ahead instead.

    Pai'Na promptly dies. Funny thing is, she loses her spider shapeshift item on being transferred to the tiny little arena with Faldorn.
    image

    See that little fist of hers, next to the Shadow Thief Dagger? Pai'Na comes with an unremovable spider shapeshift token. It's impossible to take it away, but the fight with Faldorn tries its best to do so. It's actually still in Pai'Na's inventory, but it's not visible on the in-game screen. Which means Pai'Na has a weapon slot that's permanently unusable.

    So. Not only does Faldorn arrive fully buffed, and shapeshifted, with three Dread Wolves as her allies, and not only does Pai'Na arrive unbuffed, in natural form, with no allies... but Pai'Na also permanently loses a weapon slot.

    The imbalance is unrealistic. I try again with Fobie, only to realize that I can actually arrive with buffs. So you have to fight without items, but you can still pre-buff.

    Then I find that not all pre-buffs work.
    image

    See the little Harm icon in Pai'Na's weapon slot? That's a non-functional copy, it seems.

    ALL items are removed on entering the arena. Including magical weapons. But since SCS2 uses item-based shapeshifting... this means Faldorn can arrive with an item--her shapeshifting token--but Pai'Na can't arrive with her own token, even if it serves the same purpose.

    And creating a shapeshift token costs one round. So even if you do want to shapeshift, Faldorn gets one extra round of free action, since she doesn't spend her first round creating a shapeshift token. Another unfair advantage, alongside the three Dread Wolves.

    Pai'Na apparently cannot attack with the Harm spell. Faldorn chunks her.
    image

    And yet... despite the battle clearly being over, with Pai'Na permanently dead... Faldorn does not reappear.

    Faldorn is stuck in the arena. I can't even reach her with Dimension Door using Azama. Faldorn is simply gone. She broke the entire questline!

    So we have four things going wrong, aside from chunking Pai'Na: (1) an understandable one, in which Pai'Na's unmovable item was moved, (2) Harm being disabled despite other pre-buffs working fine, (3) Faldorn getting an extra round, plus three allies, and (4) Faldorn breaking the quest if she chunks her enemy.

    This is not acceptable. One weird quirk that cripples Pai'Na, a quasi-bug that weakens her further, an uneven fighting ground in which the whole point of the encounter is to have a fair fight (it's a one-on-one challenge with no items because it's a contest of power, independent of one's possessions and allies), and on top of that, a quest-breaking bug.

    Out of curiosity, I try again. I want to see how the battle goes if Pai'Na's shapeshift token and Harm spell weren't removed. I give her a custom item with aura cleansing and casting speed bonus to cast her buffs at the start of the fight, including a Harm spell to use on Faldorn and a Fire Elemental summons to match Faldorn's Dread Wolves. I hit her with the Harm spell, which in SR deals 90 damage (Faldorn has 96 at most) but cannot reduce the target below 1 HP. Since Pai'Na has 0 THAC0 when she's using Harm, she easily lands a hit on Pai'Na. This is what happens.
    image

    See that little "1" right there? No, the Harm spell didn't do 1 damage instead of 90. Harm did absolutely nothing. That 1 damage is from Righteous Magic, which in SR adds 1d6 magic damage to every melee hit. Looking at Faldorn's files, I have no idea why she's immune to Harm. The only version of Faldorn that should be immune is the pre-challenge version, in which she's supposed to be invincible. Otherwise she's supposed to be vulnerable. Maybe it's a bug. So that's five things going wrong.

    I keep fighting anyway, disabling her repeatedly with Web. Somehow, Pai'Na gets webbed, too.
    image

    The spider shapeshift token is supposed to grant immunity to Web spells, but it only protects against mage versions. It offers no protection against the Avenger version, which Pai'Na uses.

    But Pai'Na is supposed to be immune anyway, since her shapeshift token isn't the standard SCS2 one. Her token gives immunity to Web's opcodes, and therefore protects against all forms of Web. She can conjure the standard one, since she's an Avenger, but I can't give her her own unique version, with its full immunity to webs, because her version is unmovable. After she fails her save four rounds in a row, and then a fifth time shortly after, I finally decide to give her a Ring of Free Action to mimic the effects of her own token, to which she's supposed to have access.

    She still loses the fight (the Web spell eventually went away), but only just barely. If she had had her own shapeshift token, the way Faldorn does, and if she had her buffs up and allies ready, the way Faldorn does, she should have killed Faldorn two times over: first, with Harm, and a second time while Faldorn was webbed and Pai'Na got automatic hits in. But a fair fight between Faldorn and Pai'Na isn't possible without cheating in the right items. I decide to let Cernd have the kill. He fights outside the party, and survives despite taking hundreds of damage because of an item that prevents him from dropping below 1 HP.
    image

    I've actually seen him fail this fight before, due to some other bug in which he wasn't rendered unkillable, but this time he succeeded. Now the quest can be completed.

    Losing Pai'Na is one thing. I can always add on some other random NPC (I already have one idea of who to pick). But losing her because of an error in the scripting (SCS2 naturally doesn't account for non-joinable NPCs like Pai'Na joining the party) and an engine limitation (Harm being removed when it's not supposed to be an item conceptually) and a conceptual problem with Faldorn's token and summons (the purpose of the challenge is to have a fair fight, and Faldorn gets her token and her allies without having to spend rounds conjuring them) and an immunity of unknown source (it's not clear where Faldorn got any immunity to the Harm effect, which just uses the normal damage opcode)... and then having a quest-breaking bug happen on top of that, ruining the entire questline... is another thing entirely.

    I think I'll drop Pai'Na from the party anyway, despite all the nonsense that led to her permanent death. But I'm not willing to tolerate Faldorn breaking the questline. I'll permit myself a reload in order to complete the quest.

    kcwiseGoturalJuliusBorisov
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