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Baldur's Gate 2 No-Reload Challenge


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#14751
ussnorway

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S2-e-5,

 

A coin toss;

 

Hear text as mp3,

 

I didn't want to leave with this harper business still unresolved and I felt that Jaheira wouldn't approve of my vampire favouritism against the thieves so we agreed to investigate a smaller thief guild for Renal Bloodscalp as a sort of trial run?

 

That mini quest line sent us to the temple district to steal some unimportant necklace so we took the opportunity to free Haer'Dalis and collect some key magic items, the rod of resurrection for me and that cloak that makes you a jelly for Neera * … anyway we get the go ahead to dispatch Mae'Var but I don't feel like climbing over all his backstabbing lackeys so we hit him through the back door then Jaheira picks that time for her dramatic exit (taking some choice items along to ensure I follow) to face the harper justice but I was cagey about it and took the opportunity to join Bodhi before racing after her rescue.

 

the Shadow Thieves' guild Stronghold isn't that hard if you don't let them gang up and once you have gotten to Aran Linvail, he will predictably follow you outside the room to fight on his own… quite heroic of him really in a silly sort of way. Well Bodhi was as good as her word and we are finally off to try and get my sister back… yippee!

 

s2-fi076.jpg

Spoiler
s2-fi083.jpg

 

p.s, gotta love the seen it all attitude of slums area guards… isn't that a demon right next to some young children… "well it's not my problem really, is it?"  

 

* in case she pollies herself into something small and fuzzy the cloak can reverse it.


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#14752
Grond0

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Gate70/Grond0 multiplayer attempt 94 - (2nd and final update)

Tony, dwarf fighter/cleric (Grond0) & Flena, half-elf blade (Gate70)

 

After a Christmas break this pair looked to continue their run yesterday.  They briefly looked to fulfil their promise, but ultimately fell to operator error.

 

They had just finished the de'Arnise Hold last session and travelled back from there before diving into the Temple sewers for a number of adventures.

- Roger and the rakshasa were easy enough opponents.

- I was surprised though how well they did as they went on to sort out the Unseeing Eye - turn undead being helpful on the way before skeletons proved effective against the beholders.  

- Mekrath countered silence with vocalise, but clerical buffs foiled his main offensive options and he was smacked down quickly .

- An earth elemental summoned for Gaius went out of control, but 4 skeletons and initial buffs made short work of that party anyway.

 

The Fallen Paladins put up a pretty good fight, but without quite managing to force a retreat.  However, the damage taken in that fight by Flena resulted in a first fatality for her when she was hit by 2 opening criticals from muggers before Tony could get back to help her.  After resting the berserker horn was retrieved while the Rune Assassins were unable to protect their skinner master.  

 

Flena had been warned about her conduct by the Cowled Wizards prior to the fight with the Fallen Paladins and decided she would like to pay for a license.  That trip was integrated with doing the Sir Sarles quest and Tony followed that up by delivering a relic of Lathander into the hands of the Talos Temple.

 

Renfeld finally put an appearance in and the duo soon polished off Prebek and Sanasha in order to loot the harpers.  They also fought off an orog ambush on the way to the Planar Prison.

 

At the prison they entered invisible and immediately ran to the north out of sight of the Bounty Hunters.  Unfortunately the fleshy trap there was sucking Tony in even when he was not standing on it and he proved unable to escape from behind it despite multiple attempts.  Eventually he was forced to fight the prison captain and some thralls in order to clear a space to allow a rest.  After being hasted he did manage to get across the trap and took his annoyance out on the Bounty Hunters.

 

Working their way along the passages the duo found a bunch of umber hulks waiting.  They should have been no problem, but Tony had forgotten to put up chaotic commands and there was a nervous period where he was being attacked by several hulks while Flena led a wyvern away for a walk.  The hulks needed criticals to hit though and didn't get enough of those before Tony came to his senses.

 

After resting Tony was still in the mood for continuing with more action than thought and charged in to attack the Master of Thralls after putting on a few of his own clerical buffs, but before Flena could complete an intended improved invisibility spell on him.  The reason for that was that I had thought the demon's paralysis ability was linked to its death gaze and thus could be countered by a save vs death (which was already comfortably into negative territory).  However, his save vs spell was less secure and he immediately froze in place before landing a blow.  Flena tried to help out with another attempted improved invisibility, but that was interrupted by a death gaze.  She did manage to complete an invisibility spell the following round, but by that stage Tony was already almost dead and the Master of Thralls completed the job a moment later before Flena had a chance to try and draw him away.

Spoiler


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#14753
Blackraven

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Sorry Grond0 and Gate :(



#14754
corey_russell

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Sorry to hear that Gate70 and Grond0. @Grond0: By the way, I don't think your plan of invisibility would have been of any help, as the Master of Thralls sees through all forms of invisibility.


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#14755
Grond0

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Sorry to hear that Gate70 and Grond0. @Grond0: By the way, I don't think your plan of invisibility would have been of any help, as the Master of Thralls sees through all forms of invisibility.

We realised that, but the largest amount of damage was being done by the air elementals.  If they had been quickly neutralised by invisibility there might have been at least a possibility that Flena could have meleed the Master of Thralls and persuaded it to turn on her.  Not much of a chance I agree, but even a small chance seemed better than none :unsure:.


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#14756
Enuhal

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Sahal, gnomish cleric/illusionist, update 3

 

The party travelled to the Windspear Hills and returned the acorns to the fairy queen. Inside the dungeon, the ruhk transmuter was quickly slain and the first level cleared. Keldorn used a protection from undead scroll and Daystar's sunray for the vampires (do you think 1039 damage is enough?). Fire elementals took care of the various guardians of King Strohm III's tomb. For Samia, the party used some buffs and traps. Mazzy and Keldorn killed the adamantite golem via Tansheron's Bow and Firetooth +4. After Tazok's death, Firkraag was left alone and Conster breached and insect plagued. I think I could've killed Firkraag at this point, and Carsomyr would be nice, but better safe than sorry.

 

Travelling around triggered the final harper encounter, so this questline is finished as well. Next, time to enter Bodhi's lair. Keldorn equipped Daystar again, and some summons helped him to kill Tanova (after draining her most powerful spells with more summons, that is). Jaheira used the AoP to tank most of the vampires, with the party soon joining the battle. Everyone was protected from domination via helms of charm protection or chaotic commands. After dealing with the vampires downstairs, Jaheira killed Lassal. The remaining summons and buffs were used to defeat Bodhi.

 

Time to travel to Brynnlaw!

 

Enuhal


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#14757
ussnorway

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S2-e-6, 

 

Seek and there she be;

 

Hear text as mp3,

 

Perth put up a solid defence (at the cost of having no offence) but wasn't much of a stress for this group to kick his shields in… the book has fireball so Viconia grabbed it and we stashed some choice items.

 

s2-fi084.jpg

Spoiler
s2-fi087.jpg

 

I made an unwise bargain to enter my dream candlekeep then allowed my pet to heroically kite for me whilst I lobbed minute meteors… now that I have Imoen back that leaves me one last decision to make before resting?


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#14758
Enuhal

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Sahal, gnomish cleric/illusionist, update 4

 

In Brynnlaw, the party quickly killed Perth and Galvena before entering Spellhold. There, Imoen rejoined Sahal instead of Yoshimo after a short dream sequence (Sahal lost a point of Wisdom there). Keep in mind that Imoen is a single class thief in this playthrough, so she's not very useful right now, except for traps and locks. The party cleared the first level, solving some riddels and defeating demons. In the next level, the kobolds and Dace provided the key to continue on.

 

Some trolls were easily dealt with, and Bodhi ran away after seeing Sahal's slayer form. I've been gathering blunt magical weapons for clay golems, which came in quite handy here. The party obtained a second pair of the boots of speed. After some more riddels, it was time to face Irenicus. With significant buffs for everyone, the party was well prepaired. Mazzy used arrows of dispelling, and Irenicus gave up within seconds, so there isn't much to tell about this battle. Yoshimo was killed and his heart stored for further use (namely, 200000 experience).

 

Sahal decided to travel with Saemon, but found himself in the City of Caverns after an ambush. Here, he obtained the cloak of protection +2 and the cloak of mirroring. Fire elementals dealt with the sea zombies. Sahal betrayed the king, but killed the prince anyway, and entered the Underdark

 

Enuhal


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#14759
Blackraven

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Gerland, Half-Elf Skald, 6th and final SoA update

Gerland and his party completed the Unseeing Eye (lvl 15 castings of Animated Dead), Astral Prison (lots of dispellers for the Yuan-Tis, brute force against Master of Thralls and surprisingly meek Warden), and Planar Sphere quests without much difficulty. The battles against Lavok and Tolgerias were a bit underwhelming, not least because they couldn't cast HLA spells. I checked my weidu-log and saw that I installed the SCS component that limits HLA spells to a few selected SoA enemies. I did have full-prebuffing installed, and found that I didn't enjoy that at all. My characters never prebuff except with long duration spells (i.e. Stoneskin) and in dungeons, with medium duration buffs (a la Death Ward). Only if the character knows they are going to confront a powerful foe, will they prebuff. An example is when Firkraag tells the party they'll have to fight Conster to get the key to release Windspear's child.

Anyway, the party continued for a while, and even made it through Spellhold, but then a few silly deaths fllowed each other (Jan and Aerie in the City of Caverns final battle due to to bad positioning on my part and poisoned Sahuagin bolts; Anomen and Jaheira twice each in the Underdark's Beholder lair due to me underestimating the Beholders' better calls for help). What had been a very clean run up till Chapter 3, turned into a resurrection fest. As some of you know, I tend to lose interest and focus in my party runs when I have to resurrect NPCs a lot, especially if their deaths could have been prevented relatively easily, so I've decided to retire Gerland from the no-reload challenge.

I hope to report on the progress of a new Charname soon.


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#14760
Grimwald the Wise

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We are rather different. I tend to get bored if things are too clean.  It means that I am too powerful. A few deaths keeps things interesting.


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#14761
corey_russell

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Sorry to hear the end of your run Blackraven. When I played SCS, my characters died all the time, almost every fight in fact - it's amazing you were able to keep your group intact for so long as it was. Hope your new run is to your liking.


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#14762
Enuhal

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Sorry to see you're not continuing your run, Blackraven. I'm like Grimwald, a few deaths get me really invested, and I start to get sloppy if things go too well. As you will see in this post.

 

Sahal, gnomish cleric/illusionist, update 5

 

The Underdark is usually were SoA gets interesting for me - I haven't lost a character in early SoA for years (though that's also because most of my characters don't make it through BG1), but multiple ones in the underdark. This one got interesting.

 

Everything started fine with a cc-buffed Jaheira and Sahal killing the first couple of illithids to the north and myconids to the north-east - but Sahal soon ran into trouble. Since everything was easy so far, I simply walked up to the first drow group without buffing or any specific tactic, simply attacking random enemies. However, the party was treated to a barrage of multiple cone of cold spells at the same time, killing Imoen and almost killing Jaheira. After drinking some potions and stopping to play like my brain was turned off, the battle was won and Imoen resurrected via RoR-charge.

Sahal used freedom and helped the mage, with Imoen stealing all of his items before he departed via potions of master thievery. For the Balor, fire elementals were summoned and everyone was buffed with the usual spells for big fights (bless, chant, pfe 10' radius, resist fear, haste), though this time including cc for everyone. With most of the buffs still active, the party went down to the prison. Imoen used some traps, and all of the enemies were greeted with swift death.

 

Time for the next problem: After entering the beholder Lair, Imoen was stripped of her buffs and turned to stone. I was lucky - she was dealt no damage before I could finish the battle and the ring of earth control allowed for a quick stone to flesh. While most of the area was cleared by Jaheira via Shield of Balduran, the second elder orb was killed by the entire party, because I was scared of his imprisonment spell. Valygar's Celestial Fury stunned him, so no issues here. Still, a risky move - I don't really know what I was thinking.

 

Next, the kua-toa-lair. For the demon knights, death ward was added to the buffs, so they weren't really capable of doing anything dangerous.

 

Somehow, I forgot to make any screenshots of mind flayer city. There isn't much to tell: Always buffing with cc and having hasted fighters take out the enemy quickly (+retreating if intelligence was lowered) was all there was to it. So Sahal entered Ust'Natha next.

 

First assignment: Rescuing Phaere. Had to fight the underdark party first, though. No trouble here. The mind flayers and umber hulks were killed via the skull of death (since Sahal, as an illusionist, can't cast death spell himself). At this point, the Aboleth blackmailed the party into killing Quile, and her mages couldn't hurt the well-buffed party. The next quests were completed without killing, until the matron mother asked for Sahal's help. First, some sidequests: The Ghaunadaur priests and Deirex were both defeated (the lich died to a sunray after receiving some previous injuries). House Jae'llat was wiped out. Sahal won some mage duels - this is me summoning carrion crawlers for the first time in my life, by the way. For this specific scenario, they were actually quite useful, stunning all of the challengers pretty much instantly.

 

Then, when Phaere asked Sahal to betray the matron mother, I screwed things up. I chose a dialogue option that wasn't ideal, though it had worked for me in the past. Maybe due to Sahal's charisma of 3, Phaere decided to attack, turning the entire drow city hostile. This is the first time this happened to me on accident - I only ever did this on purpose, though luckily, that also meant I knew what to do - wipe everyone out. After kiling some drow, the clay golems guarding the eggs were destroyed, and all of the drow hunted down. Eventually, the last one was found and killed. Finally, I made my way out of the underdark, back to the surface.

 

So, no permanent deaths, though I screwed up the Ust'Natha questline and lost Imoen two times. Could be worse :)

 

Enuhal


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#14763
corey_russell

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@Enuhal: Just so you know, you don't actually have to be blackmailed by Aboleth if you don't want to. Basically, if you tell him, no that's not how it's going to work fish, and if he persists and you say I will will you what to do, and he will say I will expose you, you then say if you expose me for being a surfacer I will expose you for wanting to kill a drow priest and we both die. Aboleth backs down and you get like 20,000 experience (or something like that) for doing so.


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#14764
ussnorway

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The Boneblade +4 is worth killing her for imo... I just BS her (pop a summums) and walk out with the loot but it no one can use the dagger then fine.


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#14765
Enuhal

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@Enuhal: Just so you know, you don't actually have to be blackmailed by Aboleth if you don't want to. Basically, if you tell him, no that's not how it's going to work fish, and if he persists and you say I will will you what to do, and he will say I will expose you, you then say if you expose me for being a surfacer I will expose you for wanting to kill a drow priest and we both die. Aboleth backs down and you get like 20,000 experience (or something like that) for doing so.

 

Interesting, I didn't know that. Thanks for the infos, though I'd propably generally prefer still completing the quest.

 

Sahal, gnomish cleric/illusionist, update 6

 

Sahal returned to Ribald and Cromwell to acquire some new equpment. Then, it was time to hunt down all the dragons, liches and mind flayers still remaining in Amn.

Firkraag was the first to die. Jaheira and Sahal used the level 3 spell to protect the party from fire, so the dragon's breath weapon was useless and he was quickly slain. I'm starting to add improved haste to my buffs, mostly for Mazzy and Valygar right now, who profit most from it.

The shadow dragon was next. He died before using his breath weapon once. Both dragons provided some new armor for the group, but, more importantly, also Carsomyr for Keldorn.

 

Time for the Liches. The city gate lich didn't fire off his buffs (propably because Yoshimo stole Daystar in chapter 2) and was killed before completing his time stop. The bridge district lich simply died to Imoen's traps. While being there, Sahal also challenged the Twisted Rune. Traps killed the lich, and fully buffed, the party quickly charged and killed the beholder. The mage's time stop did nothing, and the fight was soon over.

 

Now, down to the sewers. The lich was first, and he died to multiple sunrays. The mind flayers were lured back and meleed to death. Time to visit Cromwell again!

 

Finally, Kangaxx: Keldorn used a protection from magic scroll and killed him with Carsomyr

 

Next stop: North Forest. The fight against the party there got interesting. Sahal's followers charged the mage and hit him many times, but it turns out his time stop was uninterruptable. I didn't expect this, so the group wasn't well protected against various spells. However, the mage didn't use his opportunity and couldn't do anything significant to the party, and soon, the battle was won. Sahal also explored the Forest of Tethir, helped Coran (who survived) and entered his cabin.

 

Everything seems fine for now - Bodhi will next, and the first 2 levels of Watcher's Keep before entering the elven city.

 

Enuhal


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#14766
ussnorway

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S2-e-7, 

 

The Hen Party;

 

Hear text as mp3,

 

The girls and I started by letting Viconia swipe the new bag of holding from the unsuspecting guard, the poor golum committed suicide… obviously distraught over his shameful performance.

 

We took our time going around the maze and for some reason I can't explain had incongruous frills, killing the hapless snakes. Hexxat recovered her precious then the loons and I payed Irenicus a surprise visit.

 

Irenicus gives his usual monologue about how feeble I am and how inevitable his victory is then puts up his prebuffs and the show starts;
Hexxat is our only party member not invisible so she charges Irenicus using her bare fists to slap his wicked-boy face… as she does this Jaheira casts her 'ip' at Hexxat and the rest of us move into a corner to see whats what before committing ourselves.

 

s2-fi088.jpg

Spoiler
s2-fi096.jpg

 

Jaheiras 'ip' swarm bounces off Hexxat onto Irenicus and also several of our ids into the bargain… we (my group) ignored Irenicus now and set about dispatching ids with concentrated fire then just cheered encouragement from the sidelines as the loony tunes made a mockery of the sword coasts most debauched desperado.


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#14767
Blackraven

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Bardin, LN Cleric/Thief, in SoA 

At the beginning of the SoA portion of Bardin's adventure I'm quite curious as to how a solo Cleric/Thief performs in late SoA and in ToB in general, and Bardin in my current setup in particular. My most succesful Cleric/Thief so far has been Bartholomew (who got vorpaled last year by his own celestial that had gone hostile due to friendly fire, during an otherwise succesful Irenicus battle in Spellhold), but he had a full party at his disposal.

Possible issues I can think of are the following:

* slow casting
Many spells have too long casting times to be reliably used in battle. This includes offensive spells like Doom (casting time 9), Hold Person (5), Miscast Magic (5), Flamestrike (8), False Dawn (9), and Harm (9). It also applies to buffs like Death Ward (casting time 9), Free Action (5), or PfE 10' Radius (7), that the Cleric/Thief may want to refresh during battle if/when the enemy removes them.
The Amulet of Power plus the Robe of Vecna come UAI should help mitigate this drawback of divine casting.

* lack of protections against buff removals
Clerics have lots of great buffs and combat protections but limited means to keep them in place, unlike Mages. The only spell protection they get is the level 7 spell Shield of the Archons (a divine Spell Deflection). Unfortunately a Cleric/Thief gets no more than three level 7 spell slots, as of level 22 (plus one extra level 7 spell slot via the holy symbol at level 25). This means that Shield of the Archons will have to compete with several other good spells for just a few slots. Due to being a multiclass a Cleric/Thief's Shield of the Archons will only absorb up to 12 or 13 spell levels whereas a straight Cleric's SotA will eventually absorb up to 20 spell levels. In other words a Cleric/Thief has fewer level 7 spell slots but needs more SotA per day than a straight Cleric to keep their buffs up. Of course the Thief part in a Cleric/Thief can be helpful here as well: hit and fade tactics, stealth and non-detection, UAI scroll-casting are all tools with which a Cleric/Thief can prevent and/or repair exposure.
I haven't decided yet whether or not to install the SCS component that treats mages' and priests' HLAs as innate abilities rather than memorisable spells. On the one hand having Implosion, Summon Deva, and Storm of Vengeance as innates will mean more slots for Shield of the Archons and other level 7 spells. On the other hand, Quest Spells can only be picked once and thus cast only once per day as a special ability. This means less flexibility. Besides clones (Simulacra etc) do get to cast level 7 spells but they do not get access to the original's innate SCS HLAs. Any insights?

* difficulty removing enemy spell/combat protections
Clerics' only means of dispelling enemy combat and spell protections is Dispel Magic. Clerics are actually quite good dispellers, especially in small parties or as solo characters, since they level up relatively fast and they can reach level 40 eventually. Thieves can specialize in shortbows and rely on arrows of dispelling until they get UAI and learn to cast from scrolls or use weapons like the Staff of the Magi or Carsomyr. Unfortunately, a Cleric/Thief has neither a powerful Dispel Magic, due to being a multiclass, nor access to arrows of dispelling, due to being restricted to blunt weapons. A Cleric/Thief will have to wait until UAI before they reliably remove enemy protections.

* limited APR
Backstabs don't work against all foes and are difficult to execute in confined spaces with numerous enemies. Clerics' wonderful combat buffs simply lose much of their effectiveness if the priest has only one APR. Thieves' Time Traps aren't much good if a Cleric/Thief can only perform two actions per round (one attack and one spell). Faster casting thanks to Amulet of Power and Robe of Vecna makes extra attacks more than welcome. It's considerations like these that really make me want my Cleric/Thief to get as many APR as possible, and not just in the form of summons.
As always I play with Rogue Rebalancing's Proper dual-wielding implementation for Thieves and Bards as per pnp. This means that all rogues, including Cleric/Thieves, can get three pips in TWF, and thus that my Cleric/Thief will be able to become a better dual-wielder than a vanilla Cleric/Thief. With UAI a lot of items become available to the Cleric/Thief to further increase APR. With full Cleric buffs, Belm and Scarlet Ninja-To might actually be a good combo against many enemies, despite non-proficiency in Scimitars. This is something I'll have to see for myself though. Together, the Ring of Gaxx, Improved Cloak of Protection +2, and Bracers of Blinding Strike are good for 5 Improved Hastes per day. Additionally there are several scrolls of Improved Haste scattered throughout the game. A Cleric/Thief does well to hoard these scrolls (and many other scrolls too). If attainable the Gauntlets of Extraordinary Specialization will add another 1/2 attack. So a Cleric/Thief could get 9 APR with Belm and Scarlet Ninja-To, Gauntlets of Extraordinary Specialization, and Improved Haste. In fights where Scarlet Ninja-To isn't good enough for a main hand weapon, that weapon can go to the off-hand while a good blunt weapon occupies the main hand (FoA, Crom Faeyr, or in the case of Bardin probably an upgraded club as per Item Upgrades).

* new setup
Another potential issue is lack of familiarity with my current install. I installed several Big Picture components in addition to the Ascension components, including some Tactics stuff. I've got SCS almost fully installed, but I made two significant changes compared to my previous install. First of all I decided to no longer play with full enemy pre-buffing. Instead I opted for the option that triggers enemy casters' short-duration buffs at the start of combat if they are created in sight of the PC. The reason is that my characters don't pre-buff with short duration spells themselves unless they know they're about to face off with a powerful opponent. That's the roleplayer in me. Secondly, I installed HLA for all eligible spellcasters in SoA and ToB, meaning that many Mage battles become less predictable and more dangerous. I've also added a number of encounters mods via D0QuestPack, and quests: Assassinations, Back to Brynnlaw, and Sellswords, all subject to SCS scripts. On the other hand I also have a number of Tweaks (P&P Celestials, Improved Horns of Valhalla, some BG2 Tweaks, and the already mentioned ItemUpgrades) that should make my characters slightly more powerful. Here's my full WEIDU-log:

Spoiler

These are just some thoughts I've had about what SoA and hopefully ToB will have in store for Bardin. I wrote them down because I'm forgetful and who knows they might be insightful for others or cause people to come up with interesting feedback.

As to Bardin's current status, he's taking a break at Waukeen's Promenade, having recently escaped Chateau Irenicus with some difficulty. His stats and thieving skills at character creation:

Spoiler
Weapon profs were *Clubs, *Slings, *TWF. Extra experience from BG1 meant an immediate level-up as both a Cleric and a Thief (and was soon followed by a second Thief level-up). MS and HiS were improved with 10 each, Find Traps with 5.

The problem initially was that Bardin didn't really have the right spells memorized for escaping chateau Irenicus. He had one Sanctuary (a second one being greyed out due to losing the Honorary Ring of Sune from BG1), and he had to get a Club from Ilych's room. Bardin rested pretty much immediately and memorized six Sanctuaries. He also memorized three Spiritual Hammers to deal with enemies he'd face before getting his hands on the club. The unexpectedly pathetic damage the Spiritual Hammers dealt, combined with their limited duration, taught us that was a bad decision.

Spoiler
Even a single Smoke Mephit proved quite a challenge for unarmed Bardin. His Divine Wrath Bhaalpowers bailed him out.
Spoiler
This difficult start inspired Bardin to shamelessly take advantage of the fact that SCS' reduction on resting in Irenicus' Dungeon doesn't apply to solo characters.
He snuck through the halls, hidden in shadows, procured the club from Ilych's room under Sanctuary, backstabbed an Otyugh,
Spoiler
and fled from some Duergar into the Dryads' garden after his distraction with a summoned animal failed due to stubborn AI forcing it into the Duergar's hallway.
Spoiler
Traps, backstabs and Skeletons helped Bardin prevail over pursuing Duergar and two Flesh Golems.
Spoiler
Stealth and Sanctuary allowed the Gnome to receive Arla's Dragonbane from a Genie in return for a flask, and with careful ranged sneak attacks, he killed Ilych so that he could honor his word given to the Dryads to bring their acorn to the Windspear Hills.
Spoiler
(Bardin's Lawful Neutral after after all.)
On the second dungeon floor, Bardin had the help of three Skeleton Warriors in destroying our Mephit Portals,
Spoiler
although the mindless summons easily got distracted by the less urgent Mephit spawns. The undead lasted long enough to also serve against Duergar, Frennedan the Doppelganger, and a couple of assassins.
Spoiler
Bardin was Sanctuaried when he procured a Girdle of Bluntness from a room guarded by Duergar, before he escaped and witnessed hs captor Irenicus and his old friend Imoen being arrested by Cowled Wizards.


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#14768
corey_russell

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@Blackraven - you bring up great points about Cleric/Thief's weaknesses - I had a cleric/thief solo (not no-reload), and there were many encounters the 1 APR really hurts. I suspect the key is the haste boots from the Planar Prison. If you use a protection from magic scroll (assuming you don't have the option where that gets dispelled, which personally I think is unfair since there's only two scrolls for the entire game in BG 2/ToB) and potion buffs you might be able to do it early and get those boots. Then, you can backstab/run/hide, use snares and have summons backup etc.


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#14769
Serg BlackStrider

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@Blackraven:

 

* slow casting:. I don't know if EE has changed some of those casting times but in vanilla/modded SoA/ToB  Doom, Harm and Death Ward all have casting time of 1 round (i.e. 6). If I'm not mistaken, this means you might start to cast another spell immediately next round begins. Actually, at least in my setup (just tested this out) Doom and Death Ward cast instantly...

 

* lack of protections against buff removals:  In my opinion, in SCS the main threat are not Spell Removals but enemies' Dispel/Remove Magic (they are just more common). And SotA doesn't protect vs them. As you play solo your Cleric levels will be higher then with a full party so your buffs will less likely to be removed unless you face some really high level enemy Mage or demon.

 

//I haven't decided yet whether or not to install the SCS component that treats mages' and priests' HLAs as innate abilities rather than memorisable spells.//

I haven't decided this for myself as well. It is tempting, yes (especially for multiclass character), but I'm terrified by the perspective to face Fallen Planetars/Comet/Dragon Breath every now and then... 

 

* limited APR: Alesia once (or maybe even not once) mentioned that 1APR isn't an issue for her at all. And you might know her general tactic approach - stay on the move, wait for enemy to make an action, counter that action, respond with your own. In this case you might take a spell equivalent action during one particular round and then make a single attack within the same round. Stay safe - that matter much more then your offensive power (i.e.multiple APR). 

 

Anyway, I'm looking forward to follow Bardin's run with great interest! Stay safe! 


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#14770
Enuhal

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Sahal, gnomish cleric/illusionist, update 7

 

After recruiting multiple allies, Sahal entered the graveyard with the party wearing helms of charm protection (except for Imeon, who can't do so yet - she immediatly got buffed by cc instead). Multiple sunrays took care of the vampire ambush. Inside Bodhi's lair, Jaheira, wearing the AoP, helped the various allied groups to defeat the various undead. Downstairs, the party prepared to battle Bodhi herself. The fight was short and decisive - Imoen's soul was returned to her.

 

Next, the party travelled to Watcher's Keep. With level 7 spells available for Sahal, he decided to spend some time wishing, including for more experience. The first level of WK was quickly cleared, and the statues defeated. Sahal's and Jaheira's protection from lightning spells helped in the air room, while a poison-immune Jaheira tanked the serpent in the slime room. After the other rooms were completed as well, the party waited for the chromatic demon to enter his ice form and released him. Keldorn summoned a deva, Jaheira an elemental prince. The battle didn't last very long, as Sahal's flamestrikes did a lot of damage.

 

I won't do the third level in SoA, because being able to return to the pocket plane is a huge deal down there. Tomorrow, it's time for the endgame.

 

Enuhal


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#14771
Blackraven

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@Blackraven - you bring up great points about Cleric/Thief's weaknesses - I had a cleric/thief solo (not no-reload), and there were many encounters the 1 APR really hurts. I suspect the key is the haste boots from the Planar Prison. If you use a protection from magic scroll (assuming you don't have the option where that gets dispelled, which personally I think is unfair since there's only two scrolls for the entire game in BG 2/ToB) and potion buffs you might be able to do it early and get those boots. Then, you can backstab/run/hide, use snares and have summons backup etc.

Unfortunately I did install the option that makes PfMagic scrolls vulnerable to Spellstrikes. I hear you though when you call that unfair. At least it seems unnecessary to make the game challenging. Either way, I might try the Planar Prison somewhat early on for the Boots of Speed to facilitate hit and fade tactics

 

* slow casting:. I don't know if EE has changed some of those casting times but in vanilla/modded SoA/ToB  Doom, Harm and Death Ward all have casting time of 1 round (i.e. 6). If I'm not mistaken, this means you might start to cast another spell immediately next round begins. Actually, at least in my setup (just tested this out) Doom and Death Ward cast instantly...

I'm a bit confused atm. I checked the casting times of Doom and Death Ward in-game and in EEKeeper; they were 9. But I just tested and found that Death Ward casts instantly, while Doom does have a casting time of 9 conform the spell description. I haven't tested any of the other spells yet.

You're right btw that it's possible to start casting a new spell right after completing the casting of a spell that takes a round to cast.

 

* lack of protections against buff removals:  In my opinion, in SCS the main threat are not Spell Removals but enemies' Dispel/Remove Magic (they are just more common). And SotA doesn't protect vs them. As you play solo your Cleric levels will be higher then with a full party so your buffs will less likely to be removed unless you face some really high level enemy Mage or demon.

 

Agreed. Enemies cast Remove Magic all the time. Cleric levels will only be higher during most of SoA, but not in ToB. However UAI would enable Bardin to cast SI:Abjuration from mage scrolls. The question how many of those scrolls will he collect?

 

//I haven't decided yet whether or not to install the SCS component that treats mages' and priests' HLAs as innate abilities rather than memorisable spells.//

I haven't decided this for myself as well. It is tempting, yes (especially for multiclass character), but I'm terrified by the perspective to face Fallen Planetars/Comet/Dragon Breath every now and then... 

 

I've decided to go for it. Will see how much I like it.

 

* limited APR: Alesia once (or maybe even not once) mentioned that 1APR isn't an issue for her at all. And you might know her general tactic approach - stay on the move, wait for enemy to make an action, counter that action, respond with your own. In this case you might take a spell equivalent action during one particular round and then make a single attack within the same round. Stay safe - that matter much more then your offensive power (i.e.multiple APR).

 

Wise words of the Grand Dame of Baldur's Gate no-reload. I agree that a Cleric/Thief shouldn't really need multiple APR most of the time. However, there are a number of hard battles against groups of enemies and in confined spaces, where the ability to take out an enemy fast comes in really handy. All in all I prefer having good APR as one of many tools to deal with difficult encounters.

 

Anyway, I'm looking forward to follow Bardin's run with great interest! Stay safe! 

Thanks for your kind words. What about yourself btw? Can we expect any action anytime soon?


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#14772
Serg BlackStrider

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Agreed. Enemies cast Remove Magic all the time. Cleric levels will only be higher during most of SoA, but not in ToB. However UAI would enable Bardin to cast SI:Abjuration from mage scrolls. The question how many of those scrolls will he collect?

 

In ToB negative saves and damage resistances (both easily achieved for Gnomish Cleric/Thief) matter more than buffs anyway, IMO.

 

I've decided to go for it. Will see how much I like it.

 

Be double careful then!

 

 What about yourself btw? Can we expect any action anytime soon?

 

 Sure  :)  Impish Face is still alive and even progressed through the first several rooms in WK Demon's Maze (up to Ka'rashur's area). He is just in midwinter slumber at the moment  :D (I want to finish my current Pillars of Eternity PotD run first). And I have a plans for my next Trilogy run with Cleric/Illusionist (or Priest of Lathander>Mage) already. 


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#14773
ussnorway

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S2-e-8, 

 

Sushi bar;

 

Hear text as mp3,

 

We survived a ship wreck to find ourselves battling in the shark arena in order to prove we are important enough to talk to… I'm actually unclear as to how Imoen managed to turn into a dog during the ship scuttling but fortunately it wore off after a rest.

 

On a more personal improvement note Viconia can now cast 1 level 7 spell and is a cleric to be reckoned with whilst Hexxat mastered detect illusions so will start improving her stealth skills next.

s2-fi097.jpg

Spoiler
s2-fi102.jpg

 

We killed the shark king then also killed his nephew which makes something of a power vacuum in the throne room… whom ever gets the job had better take the hint or "I'll be back!"


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#14774
Blackraven

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I made two changes to my install: I uninstalled Tactics' Random Encounters (advice from Musigny over at the Beamdog Forums) and I installed the SCS component Caster HLAs as innates, which will make Bardin able to cast a larger number of powerful spells but will also make enemy casters a lot more dangerous because the component applies to them as well. 'Caster innates as HLAs' in combination with 'All eligible ToB and SoA spellcasters get HLAs' means that pretty much every high level mage in SoA will toss out Comets, Firebreaths and Dark Planetars, in addition to casting Gates, Time Stops, Meteor Swarms and Wishes. Bardin will have to be very careful... 

 

Bardin, LN Cleric/Thief, in SoA (Part 2)

 

The rogue priest takes his role of protector of Gnomes very seriously, he always has, but he's first and foremost an enforcer of universal laws, not the least of which is the tenet that 'Thou shalt not kill'. Thus the priest did not stay his hand when an Ogre Mage that had killed and enslaved several beings in a Circus Tent turned out to be a fellow Gnome.

Spoiler
(Note how in the first screenshot Bardin blows up a Shadow with this Turn Undead ability.) When he left the circus tent, Bardin was given a lamp that Kalah had used to summon a Genie. He'd have to figure out the command word before he'd be able to use it though.

 

Bardin visited the filthy and sketchy Slums District where he had dealings with a rogue, Gaelan Bayle, that told him he could help him find Imoen and Irenicus, albeit for a considerable price: 20k GP. The Gnome didn't own anywhere near that amount of gold. He visited the Copper Coronet Inn to rest, but he soon discovered more injustices for him set straight: slaves fighting in pits, forced prostitution, trafficking of children, and the like. He had to battle a Beast Master and his monsters and, sadly, animals, for the keys to the slaves' cells. Bardin got into some trouble when a backstab failed to kill the Beast Master and the latter retalliated with a poisoned arrow striking true from close range, while his pets were surrounding the Gnome.

Spoiler
'Each battle may be my last', the Gnome reckoned, so he didn't hesitate to quaff his only potion of invisibility. With the help of his Skeletons, two snares, and his damaging sling shots, Bardin defeated the pets and the Beast Master.
Spoiler
He freed the prisoners, battled more guards (including two mages),
Spoiler
and saw slave leader Hendak defeat innkeeper Lethinan in a duel. Hendak took control of the inn and asked Bardin to deal the slavers a final blow in their base in the slums. Hendak's assistant Bernard gave Bardin a letter from a mysterious, voluptuous woman.
Spoiler
The letter contained an invitation to meet the woman at the Five Flagons Inn in the Bridge District.

 

Bardin rested at the Copper Coronet, and decided to seek out the woman in the Five Flagons first. The Bridge District was in an even more abominable state than the slums: flayed bodies lay scattered about on the ground, and several people were exchanging bits of information in order to understand who had been responsible for these disgusting practices. Bardin introduced himself to Lt Aegisfield, and learned from the latter and from several witnesses that elephant hide and tannins had been found on the scene. The Gnome went to the local tanner shop to ask its owner if he knew anything. Tanner Riejek Hidesman confessed but he refused to accompany Bardin to the garrison. He fled downstairs. Bardin, hid in shadows and followed suit. He found the floor littered with corpses and heavily trapped and guarded:

Spoiler
(This is a BP addition.) Bardin retreated, cast Sanctuary, returned, removed the traps, and descended further to a small dock where Riejek escaped, leaving Bardin to deal with two Ghasts, two Rune Assassins, and a Bone Golem. Bardin swiftly retreated to report back to Lt Aegisfield.
Here a bug occurred: one of the Rune Assassins followed Bardin, but for some reason he didn't become visible and they didn't attack. Bardin was ready for him, he had an oil of speed to escape, but even after some experimentation (e.g. going downstairs again, injuring the Rune Assassin with his Divine Wrath ability), nothing happened. The assassins just stick to Bardin as is they're his shadows. I can now no longer save game in the Bridge District because there are enemies nearby...
Spoiler
Outside, there were more of Riejek's henchmen, but Bardin decided to fight them later if he had to.

 

Back at Waukeen's Promenade the Gnome rested at the Den of the Seven Vales inn, but got bullied and threatened by a Dwarf with four companions who approved of the Dwarf's provocations. The only one to protest was a human rogue. Bardin decided to teach the group a lesson. He placed seven snares upstairs and seven downstairs, Silenced a human mage and an imp,

Spoiler
and asked the Dwarf how brave he was now, without the help of his spell-casting buddies. The Dwarf was brave enough to attack, as were the others. Snares killed the human wizard and a Barbarian, and a well-placed sling bullet meant the end of the Imp.
Spoiler
The Dwarf, clad in full plate and thus much better equipped for battle than Bardin who was wearing plain studded leather, eventually fell after two Amnian soldiers came to the Gnome's aid.
Spoiler
Bardin let the rogue, who had never wanted to get into a fight in the first place, go free.

 

Considering his need of lots of gold, Bardin reluctantly decided to follow Gaelan Bayle's suggestion of working for the Shadow Thieves. He was asked to infiltrate one of their guildhouses and spy on its leader, a suspicious fellow named MaeVar. Bardin had difficulty assuming the role of obedient servant when he met the arrogant rogue,

Spoiler
but he successfully carried out a first assignment - a simple theft from the Temple of Talos, nothing for Bardin to lose sleep over - and so earned himself some goodwill. A second task weighed more heavily on the Gnome's conscience: killing a Cowled Wizard. On the one hand, Bardin had no love for the Cowled Wizards. They had sent Imoen to a high security prison for casting a Magic Missile, while allowing others, such as one of Riejek's accomplices, to freely cast spells. On the other hand, the Cowled Wizards were the lawful authority on arcane matters within the jurisdiction of Athkatla. Bardin gave himself some time to think the assignment over.

 

In the Crooked Crane, a small inn near the city gates, Bardin's traps convinced a Rakshasa into giving him the command word to use Kalah's lamp.

Spoiler
Bardin then used the lamp to offer Kalah the chance to redeem himself. Death seemed to have made Kalah a humbler and more reasonable Gnome:
Spoiler
The two parted as friends.

 

Not surprisingly, the slavers were less than pleased with Bardin's actions at the Copper Coronet. A delegation of them ambushed Bardin while he was exploring the city. The Gnome used his hiding skills to get away to a quiet corner. There he set three snares, and he summoned three Skeletal Warriors. He buffed both himself and the summons with PfE 10' Radius and Strength of One, and he further buffed with HP and DUHM. His plan was to suffice with taking out their leader, a man named Eldarin, in part because he liked Eldarin's shiny blade but also because felling their leader might cause the others to flee. Unfortunately the traps were triggered by a henchman,

Spoiler
Bardin returned to Trademeet to bring the town's mayor the good news, while Cernd stayed at the Grove to reorganize it. 
The Gnome received further praise and rewards, enough to buy himself the Belt of the Inertial Barrier. Fortuitously, Bardin had another rendez-vous with Riejek and one of his accomplices. This time the rogue priest didn't let his foe escape. Finally he was asked by two feuding families to retrieve Waukeen's Mantle from a tomb, but he hasn't accepted either request yet.


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#14775
Alesia_BH

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Hey there, hi there! I'm just stopping by to wish everyone a happy new year. Good hunting in 2016! Enjoy everyone.

Best,

A.


Btw. Congrats on your recent success, Corey!
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