Sorry to see CoreTalos's run end there Corey, were you using Improved Haste? With a lack of Whirlwind HLA's it can make all the difference damage wise, dunno if Nalia or Haer have it in their starting spellbooks, but Lazarus surely sells it.
For Maze and Charm being game-enders - the game engine apperantly needs "green-circled" PCs in order to keep going. If there are none, game ends. I tend to believe this feature was added later in the development process; if this wasn't so the game would hang on occassion (scripted dialogue, scripts and similar would never be able to fire); making the game far more prone to leave the user to Ctrl+Alt+F4 as the only way to continue the game.
True, that argument is even stronger when you consider that Ctrl+K-ing everybody in your party gives game over. I'm just feeling bitter now that my own run is over; Eryx got held and killed by a kobold shaman while on the way back from Roger's store.
Back in Athkatla, party tackled the elemental lich guarding one of Kangaxx's tombs; who managed to trigger contingencied ProMW after being breached, but was quickly finished off with PW:Kill
, a spell which I'm irrationally fond of - I'm also fond of having Eryx cast Fire Shield:Blue for the occasional mage who uses Cone of Cold, though I have no protection from those Chain Lighting spell triggers except negative saves and 100+ hp.
After that, since we still had anti-mage protections like Death Ward and ProME active, I figured I'd take out that lich in the city gates (with SCS you cannot leave his tomb before defeating him! I wasn't planning to steal Daystar without a fight, but having no option to retreat means this battle is left till late game...).
Things didn't go as well as I hoped.
Randolph removed his spell protections with a 3x secret word sequencer and Eryx breached him (I didn't allow myself to use IA for this encounter, only the beholders and maybe Twisted Rune), just as the lich cast Wish, party got a few hits on him, but not enough to kill him.
Lich wished for double length Time Stop + IA then cast Summon Dark Planetar, Remove Magic, Chaos, Slow and a bunch of magic missiles at our sorc (which were wasted, due to his protections).
Time resumes, ironically, the next swing by Leksa splatters the lich, even before his spells take effect
, if only she could've been a little quicker... Very silly of the lich not to recast ProMW while his Improved Alacrity was still running. I lucked out here, as Eryx didn't have SI:Abjuration, and was hit by Remove Magic, my blade is high level though and only priestly buffs got dispelled.
The dark planetar was nasty, she attacked Leksa and Artemisia, who were both slowed and took a couple of hits - our priest and archer have unbuffed save vs death of zero and one respectively, putting them at slight risk of a vorpal hit, but the ferocious damage of a planetar could easily perma-kill someone anyway.
Anyway, Eryx & Randolph cast ProMW, Aleks drinks a potion of Invulnerability and puts Shield of Harmony offhand (planetars can also cast Chaos), Crom Fayer main hand, Randolph recasts haste and we take out the Fallen Planetar
, these are dangerous enough in an open battlefield, never mind such cramped quarters and will also cast Insect Plague if not dispached quickly.
Thoughts on this battle: Rigged Wish spells are one trick enemy SCS mages have which I've never come up with a surefire counter for, need to refine my strategy before facing the Twisted Rune and The Five. Also, by the stage of the game when one can reliably beat this powerful lich vampires are pushovers and so Daystar (it's main use being Sunray to fry groups of vamps) is almost irrelevant. Double damage vs Bodhi is good though, I guess.
Went to visit Bodhi in the graveyard, btw I find this
to be one of the funniest responses in the game (second only to Yoshimo's banter with Korgan). Vampire lair predictably easy, Tanova was incinerated by a sunray before casting anything, I'd like to note an intriguing bug though: Gofus (a shadow thief) got charmed, and I decided to dispel the charm
, with the charm dispelled Gofus went green circled
although he started out blue, and since he was trading blows with Arkanis, the thieves reacted as if I was attacking them and quit with threats of venegeance - which was fine, I didn't want or need them, there seems to be no option to turn Aran's offer of help down if you have high Charisma + Rep.
Another interesting bug is that if you leave the vampire lair through the large gates and come back a bunch of vampires spawn in the hall
where the spellcasting guard was... or maybe those vamps are usually there? (It's been so long since I've completed chapter 6) Easy xp for the party anyway.
Aragrish with precast regeneration offered himself as a target for Bodhi's Cloud of Bats (essentially Creeping Doom, but ignores MR and spell protections), very bad for a spellcaster to be exposed to this. One vampire mage was slain quickly, but the other uses a 3x Remove Magic sequencer, managing to dispel Aleks's Boon of Lathander and Aagrish's Improved Haste:
This is bad, as now Aleks can be killed in just a few hits by Bodhi, fortunately BoL is quick to recast, Aragrish's attempt to WW was disrupted though (can happen with enough constant damage), I had him equip MoD offhand (though not even proficient in it) as it occurred to me he might not be able to enrage again either. The surviving vamp mage then made a further nuisance of herself by Breaching Aleks
fortunately BoL isn't removed by breach but CC was and Aleks was lucky not to be knocked out by Sephulcral Sleep, he finished her off soon anyway
(first equipping Dragonscale shield and casting AoF to reduce the punishment from her fireshield like ability).
Three level-ups here, Eryx takes Resonating Weapon which is a RR ability for bards, adds 2d4 sonic damage to melee hits and forces save vs breath or be deafened, lasts for 2 rounds - it's underwhelming but unlocks Sound Barrier, which is like a sonic fireshield that also protects from sound based magic, also in addition to having no traps with RR, bards can't pick (Greater) Evasion either. Leksa takes Energy Blades and Artemisia takes Whirlwind (inspite of picking Power Attack earlier, oh well).
Before leaving the graveyard, Randolph and Eryx have a paranoid moment and prepare powerful defensive Trigger, Sequencer and Chain Contingencies (Eryx using a scroll of Limited Wish to cast CC here).
It pays off! We are waylaid by enemies again, and these guys are Cyric's finest... though it doesn't seem professional for an Assassin to introduce himself to his victim.
(All magic on the party is dispelled before meeting them)
So, Eryx uses his sequencer (Minor Globe, Stoneskin, RM)
, which dispels some of the enemy party's buffs (importantly Mass Invisibility and Mislead). The enemy mage shoots a Spell Trigger with Malison, Chaos and Slow, which triggers Eryx's CC (condition: on hit, yes, spells like Malison count as a hit) with Improved Haste, Spell Deflection, ProMW – Eryx has Equalizer equipped so as not to get confused, Randolph retreats a bit to use his trigger (Haste, Stoneskin, ProMW) and soon after his CC activates (Spell Turning, Spell Shield, Wilting). Aragrish enrages (he has excellent saves with the amulet of spell warding, though I’m relying on luck for him not to be slowed). Artemisia uses potion of magic shielding (her saves are not so good). Aleks has Harmony + Ring of Free Action, Leksa just runs out of theAoE and uses True Sight from the thieves hood.
Now, Randolph’s wilting injured the enemy cleric, who is quickly finished off by the hasted fighters
– he was casting conjuration, possibly Unholy Word (I remember this being a problem for Imoen last time I did this battle).
The halfling archer has arrows of dispelling and managed to hit both Aleks and Leksa in spite of their good AC, Artemisia retaliates with a Whirlwind using Firetooth loaded with Kuo Toa bolts which kills this pest
(How would whirlwind with a crossbow even work???). Randolph cast Improved Haste on Aleks who joins Aragrish (also using WW) in cutting down the enemy fighter Grok, then the enemy fighter/mage Zaeron (who quickly recast ProMW and had it dispelled just as quickly).
You might wonder why I bothered with preparing that CC/trigger/sequencer since our party is owning the Chosen of Cyric so quickly…
There’s your answer, 47 damage backstab on a warrior with hardiness. I don’t like to think what that would do without hardiness, particularly to Eryx or Randolph. Factor in the enemy archer with dispelling arrows and the enemy mage with PW:Kill and it’s easy to die here if you’re unprepared. Vendurius himself falls quickly to IH Aleks wielding Crom + Ages (almost anything falls quickly to that combo). The enemy mage has rebuffed but IH Artemisia with normal arrows
quickly shows us the flaw of the Protection from Magic Weapons spell. Aleks leveled up in this fight and took Hardiness as his first HLA (he was lucky to avoid backstabs here).
The clay golem + skeleton were used to set off traps btw., those traps do a combination of missile + poison damage (I think), so these summons are the best to trigger them.
I’m now wondering whether I should USE the Chosen of Cyric’s items, some are probably OP.
Eryx, blade 26
Aleks, priest of Lathander 11 -> fighter 20
Randolph, sorcerer 19
Leksa, swashbuckler 10 -> cleric 23
Artemisia, archer 20
Aragrish the Cliched, barbarian 22
Such a long post and we're still in chapter 6, I'm just not a concise writer...