Arkona, Halfling Barbarian: Never Mind the Bollocks- The Planar Sphere
Yet more Arkona catch up coverage. I was afraid this would take for ever. It is and it will.
By the time Arkona reached the Planar Sphere, she had settled on my preferred dual-wield weapon arrangement. Ilbratha, Arvoreen, Dragonslayer, and Ages in the main-hand slots, the Defender in the offhand. Ilbratha is there to facilitate use of Mirror Image. Arvoreen and Dragonslayer are there for immunities. I mentioned reasons to roll halfling earlier. The Sword of Arvoreen is another. Via Arvoreen, Halflings in essence get stun and slow immunity at will very early in the adventure. That's awesome. With PnP Free Action installed, Arvoreen is eventually eclipsed by Free Action granting weapons, notably Ages. But that takes a long time. And not everyone uses PnP Free Action. Arvoreen matters. Dragonslayer is helpful, since Fear effects are frequently associated with large save penalties. Together, Arvoreen and Dragonslayer make a difference. Tagged with Malison in the presence of an ATweaks demon? Equip Dragonslayer until you can get an innate or limited charge based counter into play. Dropped down to 80HP in the presence of an SCS mage or a ATweaks Glabrezu? Equip Arvoreen until you can heal. As a barbarian, Rage is frequently the answer. But rage requires aura, and one can face constraints on aura. Incoming Comet! Potion of Ice Dust! But I'm already at 70HP and there are four glabrezus after me. I need to get Rage up. What do I do? If you're a halfling, you use your potion and equip Arvoreen. You live.
Ages + The Defender is a great combo. There is synergy between the slow of ages and the resistances of the Defender. For barbarians, that synergy is particular beneficial since their innate resistances stack with those of the Defender. As a reminder, barbarian innate resistance make resistances from the Defender more not less valuable. The proportional increase in conferred resistance is greater. For a barbarian running Hardiness, for example, the Defender will half physical weapon resistance, by increasing resistance from 60% to 80%. More valuable, not less.
Where was I? Right: The Planar Sphere.
Some Halflings are awesome. Some are jerks. These guys were jerks.
Arkona got her first Hardiness in the middle of this battle. She immediately activated it. Hardiness is a fantastic HLA for barbarians.
Arkona had Belm in the mainhand in that picture. Did you notice that? Strange, huh? Not really. At this point we had some incoming Flame Arrows and some warriors with THAC0 issues. The Reflex and Belm makes sense under those circumstances.
Belm is also great for delivering Death Blows to ATweaks cornugons and glabrezus. They'll Teleport Without Error right on top of you. Death Blow 'em with a low speed factor weapons ASAP. Belm is a 0. Belm in the main is great for spanking ATweaks Aerial Servants, too.
Darts for Kayardi.
If you're wondering why Arkona is fighting Taibela and Necre down here, check out the Mordy Sword. Those are an issue for barbarians, but also notice that it's dead. Mr. Efreeti has 3 Magic Missiles. He can take down a Mordy. Later in the adventure, Foebane will work, too.
Lavok. Lavok opened with a Time Stop. Arkona countered with Brennan's Invisibility ring.
ProMW means unenchanted Darts. Mantles mean Everard. Once Arkona gets Smite and GWW, mages won't stand a chance. Lavok went quietly.
The Tolgerias fight was far more interesting. Here we got Malison->Time Stop-> Demon Party-> Single Target damage stuff. This is potentially dangerous. Note the synergy between Malison, single target HP reducers, and ATweaks demonic abilities. Rage! Dragonslayer! Arvoreen! The Reflex! They were all part of the equation. In this shot, Arkona is catching Flame Arrows with the Reflex under Rage. She has Azuredge in the main, readying a ranged assault on the Balor.
ATweaks balors vorpal without a save so you need to stay the frack away from them. Fortunately, the ATweaks balors lack Stoneskins and have underwhelming HP totals they're class canons. Azuredge Whirlwind for this one.
Death Blow for the glabrezus.
And finally darts for Tolgerias.
As an FYI, I did this fight a few times since it was fun, and since I wanted to check out the ATweaks demons. I've reported on the first run through, the battle of record. I won't do anymore side experimenting in this run. Side experiments decrease no reload-iness.
The Elemental Rooms. These were awesome! ATweaks did great work here. Cool little mephits opening inter planar gates, critters with enhanced and unique abilities: good stuff. And yes: Pretty colors.
The Ice Mephits Chill Touch w/o a save, basically: they do cold damage and THAC0 drain. Arkona is pulling back here. She needed to assess her opposition.
The really cool part was when then fire room mephits opened up the door and rushed to the aid of their ice room buds. Arkona had to fight both rooms at once.
Working on the fire room critters now. GDB for the ATweaks greater fire elemental
Dart of Stunning for the SCS noble efreeti
Now it was heart attack time. This was the scariest part of the quest. The scariest part of the run, really. Arkona had activated the planar travel engine before dispatching the golems. I had no ideas that they would attack during the cutscene! Watch out for this no reloaders!
Fortunately, Arkona was running her splint + Girdle of Bluntness + Fortress Shield + Defender setup so the golem couldn't really hurt her.
Fun quest. I kind of wish I had covered it in greater detail. Oh, well. Next time. Loved the ATweaks enhancements to the elemental rooms. The Tolgerias fight was fun, too.