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 Post subject: Re: Viconia Romance/ Edwina (BG AARs)
PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 1:43 am 
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 Post subject: Re: Viconia Romance/ Edwina (BG AARs)
PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2010 3:48 pm 
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Number 22 died over a week ago, in the Cloakwood, another first-timer. I wandered too far off to the west, looking for Centeols den to have some fun with him, but i apparently missed it. This had me approaching the Phase Spiders on the coast, and apparently, the web trap there is the only one i know off that goes off at the same time you see the spider. Afaik all the other ones have the trap or the spiders first, so if you're careful you never hit both at the same time.

In any case, my Avenger was second in line, with only Ajantis in front when i tried to run away from the web instead of drinking potions while i could do so. I believe three guys werent webbed, and i pulled those back, but they could do little more than fling some bullets and cast a non working sleep spell. When the phase spider had eaten trough Ajantis it advanced on my main, i tried to sent in the rest to have them get eaten first, while trying to cast invisibility on my main, but all free chars got stuck in the web before they passed Hendrika XXII, which meant the end for him.

Apparently though, i have managed to throw away my notes already, so no kill lists for this party :(
Ah, i see why now, since that last post nobody else died (ajantis joined though), except for the party :). Still though, no stats for the party that survived, which is bad, because i guess its Xzars record..

Anyway, the good news is, Hendrika XXIII advanced in the second installment of BG again, so the randomiser is on my list, and im now rolling treasures in the Druid Grove.

This time i made an Inquisitor, the last two fellows died of being held so that seemed a good idea to get a different ending this time over. (Of course i later noted this doesnt totally free me of webs, though it does seem to do so partially, its a tad quirky when it comes to that spell, i also got stunned somewhere btw). I did the Inquisitor once before, but that doesnt really count as that guy died to Tarnesh on the stairs of the Friendly Arm Inn.

I Found the Gauntlets of Dex quickly, again in the Ankheg cave, a tad coincidental id say as from what i read from the randomiser notes it can be in like 25 places, lucky me. No Str Gauntlets or Boots of Speed though. Armor was dropping well, i had the second Full Plate, the Ankheg Plate and the one Plate +1 that allows protective jewelry all before the big city. Next the Iron Throne dropped both a Ring and Cloak +2, which with the still in place Balduran items makes for a -10 on my main.
Also found the Dagger of Venom, which i up till now pretty much always ignored, also because i could use my money elsewhere, and didnt have the profs on a tank for it. I took a point now and still hack with it occasionally. I also found the resistance package (2x Fire Res Ring, Boots of Grounding and Helmet of Defense), didnt make too much use of it yet though.

During the whole of BG1 it was the Inquisitor who was the tank, well, ever since the Gauntlets of Dex made their entrance. The party had a large number of fighters pretty much all the time, with only Imoen dualled at level 2 being a non fighter, along with Xzar and Clerics, all of whom fell, apart from Imo. For instance, the post cloakwood party held Ajantis, Coran, Myself, Montaron and Yeslick, thats a lot of painful arrows in there.
Only in BG2 i decided to drop the tanking again, mainly because of Death Magic being the most serious threat there. In part 1 i was immune to Hold and Charm, and near immune to Fear, so only Confusion was somewhat of a risk, also AC wise, especially with a Pro Evil those pallys have in abundance i got only hit by twenties, which is not the case in BG2, there Defensive Harmony comes in handy.
Weapon wise im using Slings, Longswords and Daggers, and im thinking about expanding into Axes.

A few interesting encounters Hendrika XXIII came across:
* the pantaloons nobleman tipped me, 18 cha is good for something :)

* Clerics were dying quickly this time, while it was Fighters last game. Branwen went down while fleeing from a pack of Ghouls while travelling, and Viconia nearly died to Mulahey holding her, before Baerin, one of Kirians lackeys in the Basilisk area shot her down.

* The quick speed Dispel Magic and True Seeing have been working wonders against mages like Nimbul, who have no chance of going around mirror imaged.

* Hareishan in the cloakwood mines had another of his famous Lightning Bolts, which flew trough a corridor killing Shar Teel and Xzar, while Imoen and my main where only saved trough Absorption potions and the Boots of Grounding and Monty swallowed it.

* Davaeorn got dispelled and, yes, silenced :).

* Ajantis nearly killed Coran while both were confused by Iron Throne members.

* Eldoth died while saving Skie, because i was raiding the house with Monty, and had around 12 Flaming Fists on my heels. I was lucky to have him use a wand of fear prior to going down else things would have been much worse. Of course there was no killing the fists because I am a paladin. (Im sure Monty wondered what he was doing around us quite a bit) In any case, the Flaming Fists were still surrounding me around the entrance to the manor, and i needed quite a few invisibilities and going in and out to save my guys, but succeeded, including Skie who didnt get to get unseen.

* Alora was gone from the Hall of Wonders before i went to the Cats already. (Well, i think so, i checked at 23, 00, 04 and 05 before i gave up on it, afaik 2-5 is fine at least). I did kill of the Iron Throne already, and accidentally talked to one of Scars guys in the Fist district south of the Seven Suns. I guess that triggered her to disappear, need to save that quartet (Eldoth, Skie, Alora, Tiax) even earlier then.

* Aargh killed Coran with a 40 damage crit, apparently he wasnt wearing helmet all that time.

* Something went awry in the Duchal Palace, and it turns out Resilient Sphere is working quirky. (Maybe since installing the randomiser) I sphered but Liia and Belt, but they didnt initiate dialog after the spell wore off, unlike in previous runs. I tried it twice actually because these kinds of bugs of course dont end my no reload runs, but it appears to be consistent. The third time i just killed the doppels quickly enough, and they did initiate dialog. That might mean though that this encounter became a lot harder.

* And for the loveliest encounter of all, though i must say the stuff with Eldoth ranks up there as well, Rahvins Cloudkill party. I was in no mood to grind some XP, so with my level 6 party i went towards the Undercity to get to BG2. I planned it all out, sanctuaried scout; dispelling, true sighting, silencing and double fireballing out of sight range; scattered party, ranged weapons only, etc. However the butt load of spells was only targeted at their front half, and when i scouted again the two mages and an archer still remained, with all those crazy buffs on them. Another dispel stripped the cloudkill guys' defenses, but a magic missile came to late to interrupt that one spell, cloudkill. Of course too, i was targeted at my main, great :). I ran backwards away from my party to double check it follows me instead of my old location, and of course it did. I was already saying damn and stuff, when i looked trough my potions and saw a magic blocking one, which i drank, and by then had also ran away far enough to not getl the rest of the party killed.

* Sarevok was easy with summons and resilient spheres.

Hendrika XXIII - Inquisitor (6)
Join Order: 1: Imoen, 2: Montaron, 3: Xzar, 4: Jaheira, 5:Khalid, 6:Ajantis, 7: Branwen, 8: Viconia, 9: Shar Teel, 10: Yeslick, 11: Coran, 12: Eldoth, (Skie, Tiax) 13: Kivan
Left in Game: Safana, Kagain, Garrick, Jaheira, Khalid, Xan, Edwin, Dynaheir, Minsc, Faldorn, Skie, Tiax, Quayle.
Death Order:
1 Branwen, Ghoul paralysis while travelling to and fro mines, 0 kills, 2d10h
2 Viconia, Baerin arrows (Kirians party), Basilisk Area, 19 kills incl Ghoul, 21d10h
3 Xzar, Hareishan Lightning Bolt, Cloakwood Mines l2, 28 kills incl Vampiric Wolf, 40d15h
4 Shar Teel, Hareishan Lightning Bolt, Cloakwood Mines l2, 24 kills incl Sirine, 10d6h
5 Eldoth, Flaming Fist while fleeing from Silvershield estate, 0 kills, 2d8h
6 Alora, disappeared from Hall of Wonders due to finishing Iron Throne
7 Coran, Aargh the Ogre crit, Iron Throne revisited, 38 kills incl Tuth (Iron Throne Candlekeep), 18d18h
Final Party
Hendrika XXIII, l6 Inquisitor, 173 kills incl Gr Basilisk, 80d0h
Dagger of Venom/Shield +1, FPM, Helm & Cloak Balduran, Ring +2, Ring Free Act, Gaunts Dex, Boots Avoid, Golden Girdle.
Montaron, l5/6 Fighter/Thief, 110 kills incl Davaeorn, 78d23h
Ssw Backstab/Shield +1, FPM, Helm Defense, 2xRing Fire, Boots Ground, Cloak +2, Girdle Pierce
Kivan, l6 Ranger, 23 kills incl Slythe, 4d12h
Ankheg Plate, Comp Lb +1, Halberd +2
Imoen, l(2)6 Thief->Mage, 72 kills incl Sirine, 67d0h
Robe Good Archmagi, Bracers Archery, Ring Wizardry
Ajantis, l6 Paladin, 107 kills incl Taugosz Khosann, 67d0h
Thr Axe +2/Shield +1, Gaunt Wp Exp.
Yeslick, l6/6 Fighter/Cleric, 18 kills incl Krystin, 27d10h
'Ringplate'+1, Helm Charm Prot, Ring Holiness, Sling +1/Shield +1

Im already quite a bit into BG2, fiddling around with the new random item stuff, and gaining some levels to see where my HP will end up. And they will be bad. If i remember correctly, i had three 2s in there. The end result right now is only just a bit below the mean to be honest, but i only have one roll left and just passed the 50 mark, i fear i wont be Horrid Wilting immune.

The Irenidungeon went quite easy, apart from one little thingy. Since Monty is a fighter/thief, he needs to unequip his full plate every trap i come across. I didnt expect it to happen this soon, but forgetting this caused him to get backstabbed by the first thief you come across. For 39 damage. Right, gone thief, and gone secondary tank with -6 ac.

I next took out the Slavers Compound with Yoshimo added to the party, and spent my money from BG1 in the Adventurers Mart on a slew of +2 weapons and the Pale Green Ioun Stone for Imoen.
I had a bit of fun with the Pally stronghold, doing the quest about Anarg, before heading towards Imnesvale. I have the not-randomise percentage set on 2%, so theres still a chance of finding maybe the Gauntlets of Dexterity for BG2, being the Ilbratha, so thats one target, the other being the Beljuril and Diamond to upgrade the Valhalla horn. (Along with some easy xp).
No Ilbratha here, but something else that makes up for it quite well, my first pair of Boots of Speed.
The shadow ruins were harder than expected btw, because for some reason i had forgotten those shadows need to be hit by magical weapons, not arrows. I didnt have too much trouble though, and found a pair of very decent axes, the fire +3 one, and the lovely Azuredge, which i never used well, because it requires a good (non-Korgan) guy to wield it. Ajantis is such a guy, so i decided to switch tanks (Yeslick had been the tank for BG2), requipping all the fellows so the great AC is with the pally.
Very bad choice of course, as he lacks the dwarven saves that led me to picking Yeslick as tank in the first place. This turned out important right at the next mage, the Shade Lord. Who, yes, of course, cast a Finger of Death at Ajantis, killing him.

I opted for another dwarven tank, Korgan did so well with number 16 too, so why not have him around already. Of course he cant use the Azuredge, but that is why im thinking of taking axe anyway, as my main is now slinging from the backline. With him around i cleared the graveyard for his personal quest and headed to trademeet to kill some genies and druids.

Hendrika XXIII, l9 Inquisitor
Party: me, Kivan, Yeslick, OldImoen, Yoshimo, Korgan
Left in Game: Nalia, Anomen, Keldorn, Viconia, Jan, Edwin, Mazzy, Cernd, Valygar, Aerie, Jaheira, Minsc, HaerDalis (NewImoen, Solaufein)
Death Order:
1 Montaron, backstabbed by Assassins in Irenidungeon, 18 kills incl Assassin, 1d14h
2 Ajantis, Finger of Death by Shade Lord, 25 kills incl Mephit Portal, 11d5h

there :), now let me pick a screenie for the other thread.

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 Post subject: Re: Viconia Romance/ Edwina (BG AARs)
PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2010 11:59 am 
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I have to try this game again some day... never had Eldoth/Skie in my party (doesn't say much of course, since I've only finished it twice or so)

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 9:34 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Viconia Romance/ Edwina (BG AARs)
PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2011 8:16 pm 
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Finally got around to a few hours of BGs again.

Wanted to note that things will be tight to finish ToB without raise dead.
The opening chapter went fine and dandy, taking down the Barb fellow and making my way to Yaga Shuras temple. Korgan is a good tank, Viccy a nice secondary, and Mazzy totally rocks when she's improved hasted. This all was a good while ago, before i played a good bit of ToEE, Pharaoh and League of Legends. Haer-Dalis went down to fake Gorion at the temple fight with the Giants little mother, but apart from that no real troubles come to mind. I actually havent died myself since i ditched that cheating Solaufein. (if i dont count that its even since escaping the Underdark). The save i got back to was just after taking down Yaga Shura and making my way to Amkethran.

The Oasis area with the Tombelthen fellow went easily, and that is where i pretty much immediately got overconfident. In my old save i had a nice set of buffing habits, using shortcuts to go around with some Death Wards, not forget Resist Fear, etc. Coming back to the pocket plane after cruising trough this host of guards i stumbled into the second challenge without any buffs. That was hard.
There's this clone of yourself there, aided by some old BG1 faces, Angelo, Tamoko and that wizard lackey Sarevok has whose name escapes me for a second. Changed targets a bit too much, switching to and from the mage because of invisiblities, and targeting Tamoko for a while since i fear doublewielding katana characters. (For good deserted mansion reasons). Turns out my copy was a lot more dangerous, and drinking health pots right after i switched to boot.
Luckily Angelo was preoccupied with a Mordy Sword, had he been in the fight as well i dont know how things would have ended. Things ended there for Korgan and Viccy anyway, as i couldnt pull them away from my ever hitting lightning quick copy. I only managed to make it out alive thanks to Jan, who was constantly renewing Stoneskins and Mirror Images while Mazzy and myself fired away.

Having those two die on me though caused two problems. One is easy, experience points. Korgan and Viconia were with me for a long time, and a new guy doesnt come with the same saves, i can already say a slew of deaths followed the switching of the party setup. Korgan has a number of nice immunities, wears shields and axes like a pro, and comes with a healthy amount of hp. Viconia has her mr and dex speak for her, can wear flails and maces quite nicely, and not unimportantly, was the last cleric in the game, with six or seven heal spells on top of all the buffs and dispels.
I still have Cernd and Jaheira left, who can do the healing, and luckily they too have Death Ward, Heal and Remove Fear. Only two heals though. They have no Restorations though, and that could prove cumbersome. I'm happy i found out a while later that the randomizer dropped Hindos Doom for me somewhere along the road, which comes with a Restoration/day, problem solved.
Additions for the party were Sarevok and Cernd. I gathered i use up Cernd before Jaheira, since she has a bit more life expectancy. I picked Sarevok as a future tank, dualling him to wizard and hoping i'll ever live the dream of more of those stoneskins and mimas on an actual capable guy. Read a few scrolls with him, to get him to Mima and Minute Meteors, and headed for Sendais Enclave.

Outside there is a small series of encounters with drow and stuff. The first holds a Hive Mother thingy which turns out to be a nasty Beholder. I really fear beholders in non loading runs, they are among the most dangerous you can meet, quick casting speeds, slows, petrifies, save or dies, great range. I think i only fear liches more. Needless to say that this beholder lived up to my expectations. It started spewing all kinds of magical effects on my party while getting a stoneskin to protect itself. I did my best to focus fire it, and put immunity stacked dudes next to it, but the beasty somehow noticed Imoen was casting Horrid Wiltings around the place, and sent one of his death rays to her to finish her. Welcome Nalia.

The next fight was good to do, and then the warden at the cabin turned sides and surrounded my party with all kinds of drow. I had similar problems as with the fight in the pocket plane. Not everyone was standing in good places, ranged dudes were attacked by melee guards, and a wizard appeared from south of the house, requiring a lot of movement to target, which made the formation even worse.
Sarevok had no saves of course, and was very confused during all of this. Of course he wouldnt bring much damage anyway, so i was happy i could rush in Jan, make him invisible and let him wander about. Meanwhile i was busy to have Mazzy stay the DPS, making sure with Cernd and myself that she was free to fire on casters and dangerous others. This went quite well, apart from the fact that Cernd got surrounded. He did well there, better than i would've thought, but still died.
Next their wizard around the corner let out a neat trick, in a Wail of the Banshee, poor confused invisible Sarevok was still near, and listened too carefully.
Jan was the next to die, as i was forced to start the run around till they target the right guys again. I wanted myself and Mazzy to do the damage. So Jan or Nalia would have to stomach the miss chances. Jan did a wonderful job, but a 66 hp backstab got trough and did it for him.

I did get my Use Any Item though, so now it is time for myself to be the tank. A lovely -17 AC works quite well, and if i dont forget my Girdle of Fort i've got 85 hp, enough to take a hit or two. I believe its Shuruppaks Plate i wear now, instead of the Grandmasters Chain, along with a nice Helmet (i believe the one from Jardak) and a Sentinel +4 instead of a buckler +1. Rounding things out are two more AC bonus items, the Cloak of Balduran and Ring of Earth Control. Of course the Ring of Free Action and a pair of Boots of Speed, and as amulet i have the 10 magic res and 2 saves thingy.
Weapon is the level draining long sword from Demon Greed, it was worth it, immune to Fear and Charm to boot, with the Sling of Everard on switch. In my backpack i also have a Ring of Imp Invis and Ring of 18 cha. Oh yes, and a Wand of Spell Striking and Rod of Reversal, getting there.

Deaths are taking their toll though. I just enlisted three more, Jaheira, Valygar and Keldorn. Shouldnt be a bad team. Keldorn brings back Lilarcor, and has a great dispel. Jaheira takes care of the healing and warding needs while able to tertiary tank. Valygar is in there for fun, as i dual classed him similar to Sarevok. (I use BG1NPCs for a bit of modding the npcs, Imo was a sorc btw). Should he get to maturity though he should serve very nicely. I've saved my favorite for last, Edwin is still in the bank.

With the new group i ventured into the enclave and fought some spiders. Odd actually, the inside is a lot easier than the outside, hope this keeps up, as i cant really lose many fellows anymore. Actually, i've decided that if anyone dies now, and i have no spares anymore, i'll head for Watchers Keep, get some xp from those top two levels to close the gap with my old party.

copy paste of death log:

Join: Imoen, Xzar, Monty, Jaheira, Khalid, Shar Teel, Xan, Safana, Branwen, Viconia, Coran, Eldoth, (Yeslick), -xzar, -jah,
Alora, Skie, Tiax, Edwin, Yeslick, Kivan, Garrick, Kagain
1 Montaron, Gibberlings on Crossroads FAI->Bere, 2k, Diseased Gibberling, 2d22h
life 1: Kobolds @ Mulahey, double crit
2 Khalid, Held by Mulaheys Kobolds, 35k, Silke, 7d14h
3 Xan, Acid Arrow from Zordral (Carnival), 0k, 1d2h
4 Imoen, Acid Arrow from Zordral (Carnival), 24k, winter wolf, 9d10h
5 Safana, Black Talon Elite, Peldvale, 7k, Zargal (hob), 5d8h
6 Coran, Guard Sleep CWM, 55k, Wyvern, 10d8h
life 2: Davaeorn Lbolt
7 Tiax, Bor (Prat) Stun darts, 9k, Jardak, 12d16h
8 Shar Teel, Oil Fiery Burn from Skie, Prat, 141k, Gr Basil, 43d0h
9 Alora, Bor (Prat) Stun darts, 19k, Aasim, 12d17h
10 Skie, Fireball Eldoth, Prat, under horror, 21k, Lesser Basil, 12d17h
11 Eldoth, Bor (prat) stun darts, 37k, Davaeorn, 26d5h
12 Xzar, left in bg ch 6
13 Jaheira, left in bg ch 6
14 Dynaheir, (Edwin)
15 Kagain, Sarevok, 20d23h, 71k, Gr Doppelganger
final stats:
Garrick: 9k, Skeleton Warrior, 12d14h
Yeslick: 11k, Invisible Stalker, 17d14h
Edwin: 21k, Gr Doppelganger, 20d15h
Kivan: 24k, Slythe, 7d6h
Hendrika XXV: 84k, Sakul, 71d4h
20 Items to take into BG2: Gaunt Wp Xp, Robe Evil, Gaunt Dex, Jardaks Helm, Cloak Baldur, Dgg +2 Longtooth, Helm Baldur, Bag of Holding, Ring Free Act, Ring Holiness, Boots Spd, Full Plate +1, Shadow Armor, Ring +2, Edwin Amu, Longbow +2, Full Plate, Varscona, Bracer Archery, Hvy Xbow Acc
---BG2---
join: (Ed, Kiv, Gar, Yes) Minsc, Mazzy, Solaufein, Anomen, Aerie, Viconia, Jan, (Edwin), (Valygar) Haer Dalis,
Cernd, Sarevok, Nalia, Jaheira, Valygar, Keldorn.
life 3: Fireball from Garrick in Coronet Sewers.
1 Kivan, Rayic Gethras (thief str), 18d7h, Shade Lord
life 4: Tanova, reflecting missiles
life 5: Baalor Svirfneblin, fled, Sun Gem Mage, Kuo Toa
2 Yeslick, Baalor Svirfneblin, 40d10h, 127k, Gr Wolfwere
life 6: Qilue
3 Minsc, 2nd Duel Udark Tavern (Chalinthra), 42d15h, 168k, Bone Golem
life 7: Matron Mother after wrong switch eggs
4 Garrick, Drow, Held while leaving Udark (door), 45d9h, 71k, Crypt King
life 8: Escaping Underdark, Save or Die
5 Yoshimo, returned from Spellhold
6 Aerie, Vampire Surprise GY, 9h, 0k
7 (old)Edwin, Vampire Surprise GY, 49d1h, 51k, Spirit Troll
lives lost to Undead Solaufein
8 Anomen, Stone Golem, Planar Sphere, 18d5h, 41k, Vampire
9 Solaufein, Nizidramantyill, 21d12h, 76k, Adamantite
10 Haer Dalis, Vampire Wraith Confusion @ Fake Gorion Temple, 16d11h, 20k, Nizidramantyill
11 Korgan, Hendrika Copy 2nd Challenge, pocket plane, 14d16h, 90k, Elite Fire Giant
12 Viconia, Hendrika Copy 2nd Challenge, Pocket Plane, 43d15h, 52k, Il Khan Battle Mage
13 Imoen, Death Ray from Hive Mother, Outside Sendais Enclave, 7d9h, 21k, Lieutenant Mage
14 Cernd, Surrounded by Drow, Outside Sendai Enclave, 0d9h, 0k
15 Sarevok, Wail of the Banshee after confusion, Outside Sendai Enclave, 0d9h, 0k
16 Jan, Backstab 66 dmg, Outside Sendai Enclave, 41d11h, 56k, Hive Mother
party: Mazzy, Nalia, Jaheira, Valygar, Keldorn
left: Edwin

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 Post subject: Re: Viconia Romance/ Edwina (BG AARs)
PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2011 9:16 pm 
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Maybe you should have installed more NPC mods, get another 30 guys to cannon fodder through.

On a related note, I'm toward the end of my yearly BG2 playthrough, about to go to take care of Yaga Shura. Started about a week and a half ago (playing some other games too on the side) so...


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 Post subject: Re: Viconia Romance/ Edwina (BG AARs)
PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2011 3:26 pm 
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Hehe, i dont think cannon fodders the right word, but yes, i'm going trough them quite quickly right now...

I fear its more just new content that cause the death ratio, I only finished ToB once, and thats the only time i ventured beyond Yaga Shura and WK 3. Those Hive Mothers are a real surprise for me, and im right now looking into more info on taking them down (without the ray reflecting shield and robe, which havent dropped in my game).

Cannon fodder btw in my definition means intentionally using the NPC as a sacrifice, which isnt really what i'm doing, i'm just saving guys that are confused with invisibility and they appear to be in range of a wail of the banshee. I can imagine using say, Faldorn, as cannon fodder should i come across an encounter that needs it, but as of yet i've never needed to fully sacrifice a guy deliberately.
The xp shortage does make them feel quite like cannon fodder though.. Two more of those guys, Nalia and Keldorn, just died to the second Hive Mother in Sendais Enclave. (Fighting Diaytha).

Dont think i'll be adding in any extra NPCs for this purpose either, i'm quite paranoid of outside content, and that feeling has only been strengthened by the Solaufein mod. I think that one is still the best crafted one, but it comes with stuff i dont like. I might try Kelsey one day, seems to be the other one thats been around long enough to be quite accepted, but considering my experiences with Sola it'll be a long time before i do.
Actually, i think the only thing i could like would be adapting NPCs already in the game that feel like they could be a party member to become one. Like the case of Solaufein. Other guys i'd think of saying that would be cameo's from BG1 like Xzar or Coran, or guys that have returning conversations with the protagonist, or help them in such a way that they would seem likely to join. I'm thinking Saemon here, or maybe a guy like Scar, more evilly maybe Angelo if you already have Shar-Teel in your party.
Also guess i'd rather do those guys myself instead of trusting it onto another, again considering those strangely ruled and balanced Sola fights.

Valygar btw also died later on when i was thinking i almost finished Sendai, only to find a few more rooms infested with enemies. He went down to a group of Ulitharids where he was confused/held and made dumb. Dont think i can really start dual classing this late in the game where they'll fail any save they walk into at their low level. Also went down twice myself here, just after stating i hadnt died since escaping the underdark, of course :).
First was due to the earthquaking earth elemental Ogremoch in Sendais enclave, and the second in my first attempt in the final battle with Sendai herself. Her first incarnation got off a creeping doom which pretty much crossed trough my chances, making me unable to cast any of the dispels needed to cope with her second mage incarnation. Second try i succeeded in a very nice and challenging battle.

I'm wondering btw, do you have any special rules you play by, or do you simply cruise trough for nostalgia?

Similarly to you i do about a yearly playtrough, but knowing the game so well after all these years made me implement some rules to make things interesting again.
First thing i did was starting the non-loading runs. This was mainly because i dont like buffing pre-combat, especially re-doing that when you die. Not loading ensures you only have to buff once, because that one time will be the one that counts. Also, the tension it creates makes buffing a much more rewarding activity, as you are specifically preparing instead of doing customary stuff.
Since i wanted to have the whole trilogy feel as one big game i decided on allowing myself to convert the party i finish BG1 with into BG2, along with the items i managed to find. This also lifted the number of NPCs in BG2 from 17 to 22, a number more comparable to the availability of chars in BG1.

During my nonloading runs i noted guys don't get gibbed all that often, i hoped not loading would lead to me using a few more NPCs but i became so good at it that i usually only needed about 7 npcs instead of 5 when using raise dead. I decided not to use raise dead anymore to see more of the 25 BG1 npcs while at it.
Around the same time i stopped using the protection scrolls (Magic, Undead, etc) as i felt they brought too much power, along with the items from the Bonus Merchants, who i felt were imbalanced (mainly Robe of Vecna, Sling of Everard and that Simulacrum Helmet), and to easy to get. They steered the game goals from doing encounters to simply gathering money for stuff you dont have to work for to get. On top of that the amount of treasure i transferred with me from BG1 allowed me to start buying parts of them right at the start of the game.

Thirdly i discovered the release of the Item Randomiser mod on Gibberlings Three, something i dreamed of for a long time. Using this mod makes the game a tad harder, but more importantly does three other things. 1) it makes things more tactical as you have to use what you find, 2) It gives incentive to do quests you'd often skip for lack of treasure, 3) It changes the way you build character, now you pick up Korgan because you've found a good axe, instead of picking up Korgan and going out to find that good axe. (Also, if you find a good Warhammer, you start teaching a guy in Warhammers).
Using the randomiser reintroduces the bonus merchants' items, but now they are random rewards found at places that correspond with their worth, which makes them a lot less imbalancing.
Along that time i also started using BG1NPCs from the same site to alter a few guys so that the joinable NPCs are a bit more diverse and you can play around with some of the classes without becoming one yourself. For instance Imoen a sorc, and bumped Valy's int so he can dual class into mage. Similarly, BG1 has a whole slew of thieves that are pretty much interchangeable and redundant. As such i feel its a great tool to change Safana or the like into say a swashbuckler or kensai, make Minsc a barbarian, etc.
During the same period i toned down the treasure i convert into BG2 down to 20 items. Saves a good deal of editing work, and makes the opening chapters of BG2 a lot more interesting again (and how they are meant to be played) as you can no longer just buy your way into Spellhold from pretty much the start, and ensuring you're less overpowered when doing the first couple of big quests like Trademeet or the Slavers Compound.

Might change more in the future of course, as i near my 10.000 hours of becoming an expert, but for now these rules are fine. Especially the randomiser makes things more balanced and interesting. For instance in this game i lack Ilbratha or the Robe of Mirroring, and will have to do without.

(For completeness sake, a few more small things i use to enhance my play:
- King Duthka's Thief, a mage spell that summons a thief to disarm traps. I'm not really using this anymore, but i installed around the time i did a solo run with a bard a number of years back, and kept it in as a fail safe should i ever run out of thieves but still have spell casters left. This hasnt happened in ages though, and it has some quirky things in BG1 and has some stacking errors which makes buying one and failing it not matter.
- Multiple Strongholds, more content, great.
- Containers for BG1, ease of use. Same goes for unlimited stacking.
- A few small rules tweaks/enhancements like the old grandmastery, dual classing for barbs and wild mages, xp cap removal, triple class HLAs, Summoning cap removal, And i'm not really sure what i have right now, but over time i've switched back and forth between the un-nerfed, d&d and original spell progression/thac0/xp tables. I think i wont use those anymore, as the game is meant to be balanced that way isnt it? I did it mainly for the Druid l14-15 step thats so extremely big, but i dont think i mind it anymore, nor do i mind the spell slots not increasing. Only the thac0 stopping is maybe something i wouldnt want if i play ToB more often, otoh, if it happens for the computer-controlled guys too i should do fine without. )

(edit, bolded my question as i have the feeling that my immense blocks of text get skimmed once in a while ;), (no offense intended :)))

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 Post subject: Re: Viconia Romance/ Edwina (BG AARs)
PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2011 6:26 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Viconia Romance/ Edwina (BG AARs)
PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2011 6:35 pm 
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No, I read it all.

I used to do all sorts of special run throughs back in the day. Solo runs, solo gimp runs (I don't quite remember the rules for that one but it involved having no 18 stats, one 17 stat, and like a total of like 50 points to spend on your abilities), 4 man runs, no mage runs... but I beat BG2 so many different ways with so many mods, I think I completely defeated it utterly like... 7-8 years ago, nothing left to prove. So yeah it kind of is for nostalgia, as one of if not the favorite game of all time.

That being said I think I actually saw a conversation I never saw before, between Haer'dalis and a waitress in Delosar's Inn.

I have a bunch of mods installed currently. Rogue rebalancing, questpack, some fixpacks, Kivan, Tashia (didn't play it this time), Nalia Romance (didn't play it this time), Solaufein (didn't play it this time), multiple strongholds, and so on. If you really care I could post my weidu.log

Oh, and Baldur's Gate Trilogy too. But I didn't play that this time, Im waiting for the NWN2 Module that lets you do BG1 in its engine, I hear its due for christmas release this year.

I agree with you on Solaufein. That adds some really tough stuff, I wouldn't want to do a no reload playthrough with him in the group, darn Knights of the Eclipse or whatever.


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 Post subject: Re: Viconia Romance/ Edwina (BG AARs)
PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2011 12:19 pm 
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I only finished ToB once. Started it a couple more times but lost interest. Sometimes I feel a wee bit nostalgic and almost want to play straight through, BG/TotSC to BG2/ToB but that feeling never translates into action.


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 Post subject: Re: Viconia Romance/ Edwina (BG AARs)
PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2011 1:06 pm 
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Hehe, good to know MERL, i've feared people not stomaching to read the whole of it for some time. We had discussions in here to make readability better or make things more lively with screenshots (and how). and every time i do an AAR it becomes way longer than expected. I've gotten a bit better at paragraphing and paraphrasing though over the years, i suppose that helps :)

I decided to go for a stroll this time too, after finishing the no-raising loading run above friday.
I continued for a little bit longer with that final party, breezing trough the first three levels of the WK. Jaheira went down near the statues to a fireshield i wasnt really paying attention too, so that pretty much already decided things for me, as i lost the majority of my buffing power.
What got me this far was still with me though, an improved hasted Mazzy with the Tuigan Bow, and she kept doing great for those three levels, shedding trough cornugons and the like. My main with his -18 ac thanks to use any item did good tanking business, and near the end of Sendais enclave the stoneskin boots dropped, which combined with about 40 big and 120 medium health potions allowed me to get pretty far with the trio.

Somewhere around the machine of Lum the Mad though i decided to pursue another direction. I just met the lairs of the Demilich and the Red Dragon, and decided plain arrows and a quiver +2 wouldnt do it against those. Energy Blades might, and my Swashbuckler with Spectral Brand +5 can help a bit, but i decided on giving Abazigals lair a try first.
It appears i'm stuck a bit here though, as Draconis made mincemeat of my trio. His invis is cumbersome without many true sights from my clerics (Eds forbidden school), and overall theres the problem of needing +4 items in a lot of ToB places. Think my chances are minimal there, as Mazzy cant really tank enough for that, and Ed lacks the protection to take the time and strip defenses. I also lack a great deal of experience. I've got like two or three whirlwind like specials on Mazzy, one on my main (i took the evasion ones over them) and Ed only just got l9 spells, where i picked Energy Blades. (So no Dragons Breath yet).

I decided on trying my hands at VonGoethe since the demilich-reddragon or abazigals opening encounter seem no good option. Vongoethe went okay, still hittable by +3 arrows, but he fitted in a symbol of Death on Ed somewhere, who i cannot protect with that anti death magic super. Without Ed the runs really over. I tried a few guys without Improved Haste or Remove Magic (Or three Remove Magics in a trigger rather) but this takes way too long, not to mention there's four dragons and a few liches left. As such, my run ends, and Mazzy is the winner.

Next up is a run for nostalgia. I've called the dir 'BG Breeze'. Rereading my above post i actually thought my question a great idea. With the randomizer there's some new interest in treasures dropping, and with the difficulty towards the second half of ToB there's a bit of challenge. Been a while anyway since i did some of those hard optional quests, killing Firkraag has been years ago. As well i noted you playing BGT instead of Tutu, i tried multiplaying the BGT a number of years ago, but it was still a bit buggy back then. It does seem to solve a few of the carrying over things i do myself now, and maybe even allow me to play a little of Durlags Tower while in BG2 (I have this bigass world map installed right now that seems to make this possible). Finally, as ToB is mainly unexplored territory, and my nonloading runs have come close to beating BG2 about three or four times now, i'd better get some experience under my belt from there, because its only time until i have to go out there without saving the game. (Like getting a feel for when its time to change your party from ranged to melee oriented).
Hmm, a last extra reason is also part of the getting experience, i want to try a number of battles with more melee and less cheese. Theres a good number of encounters where i have a habit of running out the door to reposition myself, i want to see if this is necessary. (Bandit tent, Centeol, Wyvern Lair for instance)

So, like i said, allstar party, and a good bit of tinkering, lets run trough the game and see random treasures drop left and right.
Created five of my favorite guys to this goal (with good stats, i usually just pick the best of 5 rolls, no changes, this time its 18s galore, see if i can wish for something).
First is a fighter/mage, decided on doing a multi this time, that trades grandmastery in some weapon for HLAs in ToB and a hp boost in the early levels. Idea is for him to be the main tank most of the time, with miss chance defenses. Secondary utility mage with debuffs. Dual wielding Flails & Longswords, i want a few 2 weapon guys in there for ToB anyway)
Second is the infamous Ranger/Cleric multi with all the priest spells there are. Played around with this before once as well. Barkskin, Ironskins, Insect stuff, Woodland beings, all good stuff, and moreso on a guy in a full plate. Even more so on a guy that can go to the front line. Dual wields War Hammers and Maces. One problem btw i've already noticed is that i tend to forget to let him cast spells, maybe change his avatar or something (Kivan now) to make me remember hes a cleric more.
Third, a sorcerer. I'm a huge fan of wizards actually, but over time i've learnt to enjoy these maybe even more in this particular game. Ease of use is one good reason of course. But the weighing between what spell to pick when you level up is one of the most fun things in the game there is. Damage or Protection? What will the next ones be as i can get only five? etc. The best reward you can get for leveling up, really makes you sit back and have a good ponder.
Fourth, the above Swashbuckler. Enjoyed him quite a bit near the end when Use Any Item pops around the corner. I needed a thief anyway, and that HLA is worth it to make a non-dual-into-something-else one. His -18 ac near the end should make him quite good too, as well as the dual wielding options i didnt go for in my last run. Short swords, Scimitars and Katanas are his thing.
Fifth is a Barb, not so much of a favorite of mine as a guy i still want to give a good try. His damage reduction on high levels interests me, want to see how good it is. Rage should help out here and there too. I was in doubt a bit which two-handed-fighter class i'd go for, thinking heavily about an Inquisitor, but that brings me to slot 6.
Sixth is for the NPCs, i'll just have a bit of fun here. I'm thinking about taking Keldorn for the final stages, but beforehand i'll just fill it with what i like. You want the slot for some of the BG2 npc quests anyway, so its rather mandatory. For now i've played around with Imoen as a starter, Garrick for identying until my Sorc gets it, and now Kagain, because i found the +2 axe. Might do a bit of ironmanning with this slot if i feel like it too, but for now its mainly just for the guys i am particularly fond of, or guys that fit the treasure i found too well.
(I've got a good amount of love for Edwin, Bards (Garrick, Eldoth, Haer Dalis), Archers (Kivan, Coran, Mazzy), Viconia's MR, Keldorns Dispel, Fighter/Clerics (Yeslick and Ano), cleric/mage support guys (Quayle, Tiax, Jan, Aerie) and dual class options (Xzar, Valygar, Shar Teel, Imoen) and dwarven tanks (Kagain, Korgan).)

Breezing goes fine, a few hours got me to the cloakwood mines already. Nearly got my haste spell ready too after just beating up the Ankhegs, Basilisks and Vampiric Wolves (and Spiders and Wyverns just now). Here is a small list of deaths, most were just me being hasty, naive and ignorant, but thats what happens when you allow raising and loading :).
1) Greywolf hit the Ranger/Cleric (Rancle) for all of his 13 hp while melee-ing him instead of drinking that oil of haste and pelting him with arrows.
2) A kobold crit killed my Fighter/Mage (Fitromag) when i rested carelessly.
Mulahey went easily, could lure him into being surrounded with no troubles.
3) the Barbarian (Barry) was confused and held by Bassilus, and went down to skeleton fire. (Fopped up the conversation, and álmost healed him trough the battle, ah well)
The Bandit Camp was done nicely as well, sleeps for most of the guys, hold person just came avaiable when i attacked Taugosz and the Tent went great as well. Having four to five guys who can go toe-to-toe is good fun, way less focussing of my tanks going on here.
4) The Vampiric Wolves were attacked a bit too quickly. Fitromag got held by them attacking. I had three guys with +1 weapons so i hazarded a go on my way to the Basilisks, think i should keep this for a while later next time.
5) the Swashbuckler (Swashy) followed the same route on reload. Third time went great though, with a few potions and a charge or two from the Necklace of Missiles that already dropped.
6) Kirians party with a pack of Flinds near killed Rancle and Barry, interrupting the wizard allowed the cleric to get some immobilizing spells trough i couldnt cope with. Second try had a good avenue of attack, and another one of those necklace charges.
Ankhegs were next for some more xp towards haste, i also got to Mirror Image around here. My Sorc (Sorana) still has to get her first hit on her btw. Centeol went good as well, silenced him, and was afraid of the spiders and ettercaps taking some casualties, but in the end, they didnt.
7) Wyverns in random combat in cloakwood (Kagain and Rancle trough poison). Tried to take on one of those randoms i always run away from drinking antidotes. They are still hard battles it seems. (This particular one had two spiders as well) If i want to do this one often i at least need móre antidotes. With buffing and formation this went fine btw (in the Wyvern lair).


Hope you had a good read ;)

(Oh and Josan, next time you feel nostalgic, prepare your game with the widescreen mod and your choice of BGT or Tutu, it really makes that much of a difference.)

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 Post subject: Re: Viconia Romance/ Edwina (BG AARs)
PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2011 7:36 pm 
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The item randomizer sounds fun, I'm almost tempted to play through BG1 with it just to see if I get like... +5 junk :p

BGT used to be really buggy back before it was weidu. Its weidu now and works fine.

I actually did finish a multiplayer game with a friend way back. We even went partway through BG2 before we stopped. Actually theres a pretty good story from that which we still talk about.

Okay, here it goes. For the record, he was a Cavalier, I was a Wild Mage. Since I was the party leader, I didn't want him to feel left out so I used Shadowkeeper to give him some Bhaalspawn like abilities similar to the ones you get, RP wise think of him as a spawn of Bhaal too.

We were on the map where Drizzt fights the gnolls. On the east side of the map there are three bandits. A man, a woman, and a hobgoblin (I think). The two of us had split up to clear the map faster (nothing really dangerous there) he went west, I went east. Anyway, while fighting them, I had a Wild Surge which summoned a demon. It killed the bandits, then chased me across the map to where my friend was. I figured it was time for a reload, I mean, this demon was ToB ready, way too much for a 5th (or so) level party right? Wrong. My friend walks up to it, hits it twice, crits both times, and thats one dead demon. And these were big crits too, like max damage crits.

And that was that.


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 Post subject: Re: Viconia Romance/ Edwina (BG AARs)
PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 10:02 pm 
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Just one word Merlance: CHICKEN!! :D


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