Well done Wise! Hope you get your mods sorted out soon, so you can move on to Amn.
Gerland of Candlekeep, NG Half-Elf Skald, 1st BG1 report
The Skald is one of my favorite classes/kits. Some of you might have guessed this: I think Gerland is my 4th Skald to enter the no-reload challenge. Unlike my previous Skalds though, Gerland's Skald kit is not the Rogue Rebalancing version of the kit. I created him with two components of the Might & Guile mod installed, namely (1) Revised Bard Kits, which gives Skalds one fewer spell per level in exchange for improved combat prowess, and (2) Revised Stat Bonuses, which spreads the stat bonuses for most abilities over a larger range of stats. E.g. it significantly boosts Intelligence with an extra level 1 spell slot for 13 Int, an extra level 2 spell slot for 14 Int, etc. The value of Charisma is boosted as well: the higher it is, the better one's saves/luck.
However, after two or three level-ups and some experimenting with EEKeeper and Ctrl-Q I uninstalled said components. First of all because I realized that possibly due to installing M&G after SCS, enemy wizards did indeed get high Int bonus spell slots but they didn't have any memorized spells in them. This seemed unfair to me. Also, I expected my Skald's high Int to nullify the one fewer spell per level penalty, but some testing (raising XP) in EEKeeper showed me he got fewer spells than a vanilla Skald would.
To make a long story short, Gerland is a vanilla Skald, albeit capable of mastering weapon styles (like all rogues thanks to Rogue Rebalancing), with the possibility of casting up to level 8 spells (Rogue Rebalancing PnP spell progression for Bards), and with an illegal 19 Cha at character creation. This supernatural Cha score is thanks to the fact that I created Gerland using the aforementioned Might & Guile stats revision component, which allows Half-Elves to have 19 natural Cha.
Here's a character creation screen shot (as often, I forgot to take a starting screenshot).
Got an amazing 99 roll. Still waiting to break 100 though...
Starting profs were Axes and Warhammers.
Mods are my usual stuff: BG2 Fixpack including Free Action protects against Stun, Song & Silence, Rogue Rebalancing without kit revisions, SCS with full enemy prebuffs, aTweaks, and some BG2 Tweaks including max HPs for enemies (I'm maxing Charname's HPs and those of his companions as well, as I generally like a level playing field).
Gerland is NG with LG tendencies, but open-minded enough to get along with CG folk. Goodness is what matters most to him. He's as knightly as any Bard can be: honest, courteous, and valiant. Skalds aren't generally the most lettered of Bards, but Gerland is an exception thanks to his upbringing by Gorion and the Candlekeep Monks. What follows are excerpts from his diary.
2 Mirtul, 1368
Nothing seems to be going as it should be. Her sullenness tells me that Imoen is still devastated by Gorion's death, much like myself to be honest, and now we haven't even been able to enter the Friendly Arm Inn to meet Gorion's friends Khalid and Jaheira. Ill-equipped for battle, we barely managed to escape the fangs of hungry Wolves and Dire Wolves in the lands south of the Inn. That didn't help us much, for at the entrance to the Inn we were accosted by a black-robed, bloodthirsty wizard, another mysterious bounty hunter like the two I slew in Candlekeep I suspect.
We found refuge in the sanctity of Gellana Mirrorshade's Temple of Garl Glittergold, and left the premises under the cover of night.
5 Mirtul, 1368
Beregost is a friendly place. Imoen and I have spent some time with old Firebead, we befriended a man who had recently lost his son, and we've completed a couple of relatively simple jobs for some of the locals.
8 Mirtul, 1368
We've traveled further south, to Nashkel, but this place is a lot smaller than Beregost, and doesn't seem to offer as many job opportunities, even though an Amnian soldier by the name of Bardolan told us that his captain, a man named Brage, had gone missing without a trace after killing several people.
12 Mirtul, 1368
Life on the road isn't always comfortable for both Imoen and me, used as we are to Candlekeep, our home, but it isn't boring either. Far to the west of Nashkel we saved a historian whose own men turned against him at an excavation site, and we actually found Captain Brage, reasoned with him, and escorted him back to Nashkel. The poor man had picked up a cursed sword that had made him go berserk.
16 Mirtul, 1368
Imoen and I have a new comrade in arms, an Elven Archer by the name of Kivan. He helped us out near Thalantyr the Conjurer's High Hedge west of Beregost when we were under attack of Gnolls. Kivan is a skilled marksman and, it seems, a good man. He has been roaming the wilds much like Imoen and I, albeit with more of a purpose than the two of us: to kill bandits. His main quarry is an Ogrish figure named Tazok, his torturer and the murderer of his mate Deheriana.
24 Mirtul, 1368
Our Elven companion is not much of talker, though he does seem increasingly willing to put his trust in me. He's told me a bit more about his family and about the terrible fate he and Deheriana suffered at the hands of Tazok. He has also been our guide and tutor in the wilds. He's led us through the Cloudpeaks where we fought monsters (mostly Gnolls) and wild animals. We stayed out of sight of hunting parties though, after my axe broke in a fight with a Gnoll. We pushed further west, as I still had my throwing axes, until we came upon a Gnoll Fortress.
We didn't invade the stronghold (yet), but we did take some loot from a nearby cave guaded by Xvarts. We're now preparing for our journey back to civilization. Hopefully I can find a decent, preferably enchanted axe somewhere.
27 Mirtul, 1368
On our way back to Beregost we rescued a wizard named Melicamp who had somehow, unwillingly, polymorphed into a rooster, from an attacking wolf. He asked us to bring him to his master, Thalantyr. The latter successfully retransformed Melicamp, an impressive feat. He also gave Kivan an enchanted spear, for previous services provided. I purchased two Ioun Stones, a purple one for Imoen to enjoy infravision, and a 'Fragment of Enlightenment' that increased my lore. At Feldepost's Inn I bought a Battle Axe +1. Hopefully it'll last a bit longer than my last axe.
3 Kythorn, 1368
On our second incursion into the Cloudpeaks we were a bit more thorough, and we didn't shun confrontations with hostile creatures, mostly hunters and brigands. Two particularly insolent bandits, Vax and Zal, gave Kivan and me a hard time.
Still, we prevailed, earning ourselves a pair of Bracers of Achery.
8 Kythorn, 1368
We finally made it to the Friendly Arm Inn. Our trip north was relatively uneventful. Worth mentioning are our dispatching of an Ogre that dropped the girdle Elves' Bane, and the fact that our party has grown into a party of four. A few hours north of the Inn we met a young man named Ajantis, a squire paladin of Helm, who like the rest of us, had made it his business to make the Sword Coast a safer place. I was pleased to have a virtuous man like Ajantis join our ranks.
At the entrance to the FAI we were surprised to find the black-robed wizard still there, or maybe he had just returned. At any rate, we confronted him. He put Ajantis to Sleep, but Imoen saved vs a Horror, and he had no answer to Imoen's, Kivan's and my salvo of arrows and axes.
Imoen picked up the wizard's spellbook. She's now studying it. It's clear to me she wants to become a Mage even though she hasn't told me this explicitly. I learned a couple of spells from Gorion and I've picked up a few more on the road, but I doubt I'd be a good tutor for her. We'll have to see what fortune favors. We might meet an adventuring Mage somewhere, willing to join us and instruct Imoen in the arcane arts.
Inside the FAI we met Khalid and Jaheira, a Fighter and a warrior Druid. I'm sure they're well-meaning folk, but after four tendays on the road, surviving dangerous encounters with wizards, bandits, monsters, and wild animals, and with two competent warriors by my side as well as trusty old Imoen, we all understood that there was no real need for their guardianship anymore. We parted amicably.
12 Kythorn, 1368
Some days pass by with hardly anything happening. The party may be enjoying the comfort on an inn or the entertainment of the Nashkel Carnival. The past 24 hours have not been like that. East of Beregost, we encountered what seemed to be at first glance a perfect statue of a priestess. Upon closer inspection we found that the woman had been petrified. Unfortunately we had no Stone to Flesh scrolls, but we were warned. We bought a Protection from Petrification scroll at the Nashkel Carnival and indeed found a lounge of Basilisks twelve hours east of Beregost.
Kivan cast Protection from Petrification on himself and I went invisible (a spell I had recently learned) to encourage the Elf with my song unseen. The Archer had no trouble dispatching most of the giant lizards, and we had a somehow Dire Charmed Ghoul paralyze a Gnomish wizard, the master of the Basilisks,
as well as the largest of the Basilisks. I slew the creature with my throwing axes.
In the same area we met a hunting party that unlike others hadn't been turned to stone yet, much to my surprise. Instead of thanking us for our efforts against the Basilisks, they picked a fight wit us. We retreated and found that only their leader, a female battlemage came for us. Ajantis and Kivan made short work of her after she failed to Dire Charm highly charm-resistant Kivan.
Two of the female's warrior companions suffered the same fate, discovering Kivan's brutal bow skills.
Their last man standing was a bit trickier for he was a spell caster, a Cleric. When he started casting Hold Person, we retreated to make him waste his spell. We fanned out and then initiated a joint attack, preventing the priest from casting any more spells before he fell.