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Winterwind Productions • View topic - Viconia Romance/ Edwina (BG AARs)

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2008 8:32 pm 
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meh... no glory just yet...

Right after looking at all my left usables (including a scroll of simulacrum and one of time stop) and getting 5 fire giant & invulnerability potions from the chest in the brave room i though i would be able to make it to the final fight and decide there to rest or not. So, on to the dragon i went.
Things started out for the worse on its first casting, sending away Kagain and Anomen in fear, and Ano was still the only fear dispeller, and he wasnt being hit, prolly a stoneskin of some sorts, so i cast a MM with Imoen:



Without Ano, to regain my main two tanks, i had to dig up my two scrolls of dispel magic, while i drank invulnerability potions with Khalid and Valygar, in hope that would be enough. However, for some reason i wasnt able to cast a thing, i am not sure why this was, i guess it has to do with the magic protection scroll, but i am not sure at all, in any case, i couldnt get off a dispel magic, nor could i add mordenkainens swords to keep the dragon busy more. Meanwhile, Khalid got gibbed by the Dragon, while Valygar ran off in fear as well...



Things were becoming extremely hard now, i tried to get up a mirror image, and i tried to use the lightning/fire combo from the staff ot magi on the dragon, but some kind of true sight prolly, and magic resistance kept it from having any effect. (somehow i could cast from items) and i had to use Imoen as a summoner in hopes that would entertain the dragon, even though it were MS II scrolls after the Golem was quickly taken out. In the meantime the big bad dragon killed the feared partymembers Valygar and a little while later Kagain.



Things were now becoming really dangerous, i would be the next target for the dragon as soon as it had killed the golem, so i reequipped staff ot magi for inivisibility, and ran south to hide behind imoen, who was casting a new ms2, i hoped to get behind her and buy me the time to do something, alas no casting, which blocked the time stop or simulacrum options, it would prolly have to be the rod of res, to resurrect guys like Kagain and Ano and use them to hold off the dragon as long as possible. No luck again though, the dragon ran to my main and attacked her, seeing right trough the invisibility, and hitting right trough the stoneskin i got 34 damage, and was almost dead. It was now down to hope he wouldnt attack or hit again before i got my ass past the MS2 and drank a heal pot, but alas, immediately a second hit, before the gulp, and gone incarnation 14 was.



I dont know what it is with me, somehow everytime i get some bit further than the kobold mines i manage to get killed in sight of the finish first the Duchal Palace, then the Undercity, and now in the 9 Hells. Ah well, i think i can be proud, i have managed trough BGTuTu ironman, and almost all of BG2, i could even try to argue i made bg2 and say the 9 hells are already part of the pocket plane ;), but no, i must say, living trough the first two Irenicus battles is a quite good result, and then im not mentioning, say, the Red Dragon, Raamilat, Kangaxx, the Sigil Room, the Demon Knights, and pretty much every major subquest in the game, apart from the ones in Ust Natha i accidentally messed up.
As well, i have been killed in acceptable way, first all my partymembers, including a gib, and only then me, and i had used quite many buffs during the fight, including a magic protection scroll, though that is partly what cost me the battle if i'm right about the casting failure source, even pretty much every daily item had been used that day.

Next game i will try my hands on the Improved Anvil mod, from Skrtel from the Black Wyrm lair. It is a mod with heavily increased battles, something i might be ready for after all these ironman runs, and as well a way in which new challenge comes to the game, as even most parts of the above ironman run were amazingly easy. Also, and probably most importantly for trying it out, the mod comes with a random item location tool, which switches around the locations of item parts, items and even some items from shops, i think i will have a lot of new replay value if this is done in a fun way, not knowing anymore where to go for which item.
Of course considering the supposed level of complexity in the battles of this mod i will not ironman it, as i see from screenshots and aars from the mod elsewhere i will need to up my game considering dispelling and resistances a lot, the mod claims to be very tactical in its improved combats, and those two will be crucial in taking down enemy mages and the like in that mod. I'll keep you posted.

As well, when i do continue with BGsaga ironmans, the above rules will be added to my game: no scrolls of magic protection, no helm of vhailor, no sling of everard, no robe of vecna. As well, i will not use the cloak of mirroring, or use the spells Raise Dead and Resurrection (or the druid version). As such, it will probably, or maybe even hopefully, years before i get this far again ;)

(ahah, a new page is here, theres another whole post from Suldannesselar up till here on the last page, if you're interested, some nice turns in the story there)

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 7:01 pm 
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Hmm, i tried a bit of the Improved Anvil mod last week, but i'm not sure on it anymore. I jumped into it with a simple party, taking a fighter and enlisting some npcs, exploring trough the city i encountered the party of Suna Seni, the slavers' one with the Arbane Sword, and it was the first of the improved battles i met, and i saw no possibilities to beat them, reloading and buffing about seven times, of course i came from the Gov'ment district, which allowed me no resting, and i hadnt paid any money to the cowled ones so i couldnt use arcane magic, but it was very hard. I read up a bit on the mod and it seems i'm not supposed to tackle them so early, instead i'm advised to do the Imnesvale side quests and next Trademeet, before exploring BG, and that i need a much more capable party, preferably having many 18's, some of the custom kits, and Berserkers and Sorcerers.
However, the mod is very weak against intrusive actions like Shadowkeeper, at least, the makers claim such, which made rerolling stats a real hassle, and i had to do it over about five times because of wrong choices. I'm not sure whether i like so many reloading, and spending so many time preparing only to reload and prepare different. That, combined with my illness being to severe for deep tactical thinking led me to put the mod on hold for a second.
I noticed the randomizer program works nicely though, i received no Cha 18 ring for Kalah's tent, and noticed several items, like the Hill Giant belt had disappeared from stores, this thing seems to work properly, too bad i cant use it without the improved tactics factor. I might fiddle around a bit with installing, creating a game, saving and deinstalling to see if the randomized items stay that way, though that will prolly severely bug my game, due to added encounters and items disappearing, which will prolly due to randomization make original items disappear from the game because the new opponent holding it is gone, or the existing opponent has gotten a now-disappeared item. And prolly those would be the minor problems.

Anyway, as you can read, i continued my non-loading runs, because i could get myself do a tad of those in the days the flu was/is fading. I started out with those new rules i posted above, which mainly comes down to no raising of characters, and not using a few overpowered items, which for BG1 means no more than no scrolls of magic protection.

I started out with an idea i came up with during my last play-trough, noting the immense power of the Staff of the Magi, but as well other staffs and rods, like those that summon elementals or slay golems. As well, there is a +3 staff available for sale in Ulgoths Beard in BG1, the only +3 item that is not deep down in Durlags Tower. As such i made a grandmastery quarterstaff fighter, well, it became a berserker, that doesnt seem to cost me anything but a bit of ranged power, traded in for a very nice rage ability, which can give me some raw hps when needed, but more importantly gives immunity to some of the most powerful enemy spells that can cause game over, mainly maze & imprisonment, but as well holding and charming spells, that are very dangerous when they hit my main. As well, i wanted to dual class that character into a mage later on, he doesnt need much more than grandmastery in Qst, and maybe some in twohandedweaponfighting or extra aprs.
Doing so would have several possible dual classing levels, 9 for having two dots in 2handed and all d10 rolls, 13 for the apr increase, but those two would be BG2 before i even start dual classing, and i dont want that. In the lower levels there's 3 and 6 for weapon proficiences, 3 the one in which i reach grandmastery, and there is 4, in which i get my second rage ability. I finally choose that one, as well for some more hp.
I can already tell you i enjoy the new rules a lot, as expected it leads to me using many more characters. Incarnation 15 has been quite succesful as well, so expect a long read below. As well, due to these new rules of not raising, i will, if able, try to be a bit more complete/chronological on this campaign.


Candlekeep: Started out next to the shoppe, i went inside took the joke like a man, and bought a longbow and some arrows from the man. Outside i did no more than pay a visit to the barracks, to steal Hulls unbreakable named longsword, and an antidote.

Candlekeep Road: Enlisted Imoen, and next Xzar and Monty

Crossroads: I did the customary run northwards, picking up the ring of prot +1 in the trees and fleeing from any creatures.

Friendly Arm Inn: picked up the Ring of Wizardry, and went towards Tarnesh, so i could enlist Khalid and Jaheira. Tarnesh was tough as ever again, he got up his mirror image, sent away Imoen in fear, and next killed Montaron and Xzar with magic missiles, lucky to survive here actually, and immediately my first two dead characters, this is going fine :). Inside i indeed enlisted Khalid and Jaheira, and identified the protection ring.



Farmlands Area/Bridge District: On to the customary Tymora Bowl quest to get a level up, i dumped my party outside the FAI (making sure i had average reputation, so noone wanders off), and use both oils of speed (from imoen and xzar) to race past the ankhegs to and fro. I raged in front of the priestess, so she required only one hit to trigger the quest. Bad luck here though, as i rolled a 1 on my freaking hp roll, ah well. Afterwards i reenlisted Imoen, Khalid and Jaheira and took up Ajantis.

Crossroads towards Beregost: I decided with Ajantis and Jaheira sporting relatively high hp i could make do without running here. Wrong choice. Six Kobolds appeared and shot down Ajantis.


Beregost: Enlisted Kagain, for a new second fighter. Couldnt get hold of the wand of lightning, Imoen is too bad to pick the lock of the manor, and nobody is strong enough to break down the doors. Still wanted to kill Silke though, to get Garrick along for a full party again. Things went luckily smoothly as Jaheira disrupted the mirror image and she went down before her feared lightning. Netted me a nice Quarterstaff +1 as well. Furthermore i killed Marl and outfitted my party at the smithy. Something incredibly nice happened, i failed pickpocketing Algernons cloak, so i had to kill him, and goody two-shoes Jaheira leveled up from the cold blooded murder.


Road towards Nashkel 1 & 2: One tight moment here, as i took on the Ogrillions, Khalid got hit and ran off in fear, well better said, stood stricken with fear. Luckily the Ogrillions didnt manage to hit him again. The Hobgoblins in the second map were easier.


Nashkel: Picked up the Ankheg shell for my main, and started doubting. I wanted to remove my party before inning Prisms xp, but i had just killed Algernon, and had no money for upping my reputation. Only way to do so would be selling the potions of Invulnerability and Defense i got from the Silke encounter, but if i want to slay Greywolf to get the xp, i pretty much need those two potions. Decided to head for the Gnoll Stronghold first, to get the Dex Gauntlets, and hopefully some gold.

Xvart Village Area: decided to skip this one for a change, normally i take the northern route, trough this village with Ursa the bear, and to the mountain bear bridge area north of the Stronghold. I tried taking the southern road around, hoping it is possible (dont remember) and easier.

Lake & Waterfall Area: Met a duo of Winter Wolves here, which nearly killed Kagain, furthermore i hugged the northern border to the west, and was indeed able to go to the Gnoll Stronghold


Gnoll Stronghold: Killed the Ogrillions for their Gauntlets and did the southern Xvart area for the manual of Charisma. Had some luck on the random encouters here, i met bears three times, for great xp, and winter wolves once, they arent too easy, but if you hug them so they dont use their ice attack they're doable. This netted me four winter pelts, that should be 2k when i get back to Nashkel and allow me to easily increase my reputation.

Nashkel: As said, used the gold from the winter wolf pelts to get my reputation back to 9. Furthermore bought a Stone to Flesh scroll for the time i need Branwen. Misclicked on the Nashkel Bar, i wanted to rest somehwere before going in, so i could use my rage immunities against Neira the bounty hunters clerical impeding spells. And indeed the fight turned out wrongly picked as she held two and confused a third. Luckily i rolled a 20 and 18 when i stepped into the fray after drinking a hill giant str potion.




Nashkel Carnival: bought the red and violet potions, i can always make good use of them, and killed the Great Gazib, because he drops a random 2nd level scroll, and my luck gave me a mirror image one.

Nashkel Mines Outdoors: Picked up the wand of Frost, and went for Greywolf. Gulped the invulnerability and Defense potions with Kagain and Khalid and went toe to toe with him, things went rather smoothly, if Greywolf is ever done smoothly. Removed the party for Prisms 1000 xp, and continued for the mines.

Nashkel Mines: Things were surprisingly easy here, i think i am getting experienced around here. The first two levels were a cakewalk. In the second i for a change managed to have Imoen disarm the central traps without someone charging the kobolds behind it. The spiders didnt hit a thing, and i had the Commando group advance on me in small numbers.
Mulahey went down nicely for a change too, finally no picture needed to be taken, Kagain blocked the summons, while Garrick and Imoen shot at him and Jaheira, Khalid and me pummeled him, he managed no more than holding Jaheira. I am a tad sad about this though, because these people are starting to live a long time, of course thats no problem, but im using the same two tanks as last game, and thats something i dont really like, probably some things will change in the future though.

Backdoor Mines: Since i lacked any means of Sanctuary i left the Wand of Monster Summoning where it is for now, and immediately went back to Nashkel.

Nashkel: Delivered the quest here and took on Nimbul, he was surprisingly easy i must say. By now of course Garrick is level 3, and his magic missile starts to become able to take down mirror images, this made sure i easily killed him, as i was also apparently smart in casting Remove Fear pre-battle, and Horror was exactly the only attack spell he got off.

Beregost: Killed the Bandit contact in the Feldeposts here, no sweat i remember really, suppose i interrupted his image casting. Target is now to gain some money and xp, i want to start dual classing soon, and want to buy the Qst +3 from Ulgoths Beard. As well, before i take the Bandit Camp, i want to make sure i have the Sleep spell, that matter much with so many bandits around there. I delivered the letter from the husband killed by the Ogrillions as well.

High Hedge: First went here, with Garrick becoming of a decent level, myself on the verge of dual classing, and Imoen nearing that point as well (i want her to do traps for the whole game, say 120, that should be enough, Knock should take care of important locks.) it is time to start buying scrolls, I already found around three magic missile scrolls, one mirror image one identify, and one prot:petrify, on top of that i bought three sleeps, a chromatic orb, an identify, two mirror images, two invisibilities, a strength, an aganazzars, a friends and a flame arrow.

Bassilus' Area: Went here for two reasons, first of all of course Bassilus and his immense 5k gold reward, but as well for the 2k xp from Melicamp the Chicken, did that one first. Alas the quest failed this time, i wouldnt be surprised if it was the first time ever the anti-chickenator killed Melicamp, ah well, no xp from that one then.
Bassilus went so-so, i by now know the right order for unsummoning the skeletons, but Bassilus still got off a hold person and a confusion, just like Neira, but this time with much more serious results. First of all Bassilus kept attacking Jaheira, instead of me, i even sent in Garrick as distraction, but he insisted on taking her down first. I got him killed next, which was good, but there turned out to be another problem, as Khalid was still confused, and did exactly the wrong thing, attacking the held Kagain. I raced in Garrick to spent an invisibility scroll on Kagain, but to no avail, Kagain was partyslaughtered right during the casting.





High Hedge: Enlisted Kivan as replacement for Kagain. As well i dualclassed into mage around here. I drank the violet potion, which seems to be the only int increaser pre-baldurs gate, and learned all the spell meant for my main character (magic missile, chromatic orb, identify, friends, prot:petrify, invisibility, mirror image, strength and flame arrow). As well i forgot you get to choose two spells when becoming a wizard, i choose find familiar for the hp bonus, i managed to roll a 10 on third level, but fourth had another 2 for me in store, and unwilling to wait for fifth level i could use the extra bump. Secondly i went with Prot:Evil, with the 10" version so far away i considered it a good idea for my tanks, especially when i have three magelike people anyway.

Beregost Temple/BGBridge/Ulgoths Beard: Went up north to buy the Quarterstaff +3 from the money i just got from delivering Bassilus' holy symbol, maybe not really needed as i'll be mage for a while, but even as a mage with 28 hp, i can use the +2 to hit (compared to the Qst +1) when needed, and this way i wont accidentally spend the money, the thing was 9k, and i wasnt sure of that. As well i took out the Ankheg in the northern area of the Bridge quite easily, i think i will go on an Ankheg killing spree after the Bandit Camp, should help a lot in recovering my berserker abilities.

Peldvale: Went here to take up Viconia, as i still had a place free after Khalids personal party vendetta. i could take the reputation hit by now, i think i got a +1 from clearing the mines, and the other from Bassilus. Circled around the forest west and north of the map onto Raiken, who fell easily to a double salvo of sleep. It turns out as well that these dying characters dont cost me too much yet, apart from gathering equipment for them every time, this is because of the increased starting levels, with myself being of quite high xp, especially due to solo inning the rewards of major quests (Bassilus too btw, and Melicamp, though that one failed), the new guys, Kivan and Viconia, came as level 4s, which is even a tad higher than my other party members.


Bandit Camp: Imoen got to level 4 here on a pair of bears, just a tad too early, as i want here thieving skills around to disarm the trap in the tent. I removed her from the party for a second to not spill any xp. Taugosz was easy again, it seems my tactics for him work quite strongly, which is attacking from the graveyard up north, holding Taugosz, and sleeping all the bandits that spur to help him. FPM went to Khalid, while i went for the Tent. I lured the fellows outside, as usual, to make sure i dont get killed too easily, but this time i ran trough them almost too easily. I did make one horrible mistake though, i forgot to pick up Hakts +2 Longbow, and when i came back for it days later, it had of course long disappeared.
Re-enlisted Imoen for the trap, pilfered the goodies, and made her a mage as well. By now Garrick had become able to cast 2nd level spells as well, so i had him learn mirror image, that would give him the opportunity to tank a bit when needed, i had found another one of those scrolls, which was needed as his 55% writing chance spilled one of course. I believe i had Imoen learn sleep, magic missile and chromatic orb.


Farmlands: Onto the Ankheg Killing Spree then, with prot:evil on both Kivan and Khalid things went pretty okay taking on the duos here. I was here to inn the 1500 xp for Bruns son as well btw. Halfway clearing the map things started to go worse, Khalid and Kivan got heavily injured, and i needed Garricks images up front to get trough that pair. One pair later, Kivan even died to one of them, the Ankheg rolled a damn 20 and 18, for high damage on both, and gone he was. Seems i'm not totally up for this yet.
It also had me thinking, i am going hard trough the tanks in the game, apart from locked ones i'm now down to Minsc and Shar-Teel, that is pretty few. I wanted to take up Minsc, but that has some strings attached. First of all he needs Dynaheir, and i dont have two spots, nor do i need a fourth mage, or am willing to lose one of those for her right now. That, and taking up Minsc will cross off Edwin, and i dont think theres really a solution to that, it might be i can change course if i dont do the quest yet, but that means i have to be fast, and need them to die before they leave so i can still take the other (and it would require starting with Edwin). As well, Edwins the best mage in the game, lots better than Dynaheir, so its a hard pick as well, i guess duo to coming with two Minsc/Dyna would be the logical choice, but with Edwin being pretty much my favorite character in the game i cant stomach never taking him. Decided to postpone this choice, until i have a better idea of whether i need an extra superb mage, or a good fighter that comes with a good mage. I fear, this will lead me to using neither in the end, but we'll see. Shar-Teel it is.



Basilisk Area: i buffed Khalid a little for the one-on-one with Shar-Teel, who would no doubt be improved as well, she was, but not enough it turned out, as Khalid actually killed her.
With so few fighter left in the game i choose a single tank tactic, this makes for a much better ac in these tough xp gathering fights, and by the time i get my abilties back, i am a tank myself, and viconia can be too, she just need her hp to catch up a little more.
Decided to take on the Basilisks here then, first of all with a 5-man party i will earn more experience for it, and secondly, as long as you're immune to gaze attacks Basilisks are a walk in the park.
I used two castings of the protection against it spell and cleared the southern bone section and Mutamins garden, making sure i didnt wander into that Kirian party again. Mutamin was easy too, again due to being lucky i buffed remove fear just before the battle. Meanwhile it was raining levels for my smallfolk that were dualling, and as well between now and the next map the rest of them got at least one level.




Farmlands: With the Basilisks done i went for the Ankhegs another time, with my increased ac due to having one tank (i think -4, due to FPM, GauntDex and a Ring +1). Made a habit as well to buff him with Strength (already became l4 myself, for a slot of invisibility, and a slot of strength) Chant, Aid and Prot:Evil. Things went a lot better this way, and i got trough the whole Ankheg cave, getting lots of nice 975 xps, and a number of good l2 spell scrolls, on top of the treasure hoard that holds a wand of fire.
Kicked out my party again to receive the 1500 xp for this quest, and had Viconia achieve 5th level, and with the Ring of Holiness two level 3 spells. Against the Ankhegs it was StrOne and CMW, afterwards for standard encounters, i use rem:paralysis in the second slot. Khalid and Garrick also achieved 5th, Imoen 3rd in her mage class, and wrote an Aganazzars. Found two Horror scrolls as well, wrote those with Imoen and Garrick, as well as Blur for Garrick (which failed once).
I myself am now at 14k xp, i think that should mean i get my abilties back before going trough the cloakwood mines, which is nice, if i take Sashentars and the Wyvern Head delivery myself i should have enough on the different spiders and wyverns i meet along with that.

Cloakwood 1: Went to the center for the Sashentar quest, this went easily, and got me the BSw 1/3 vs shapeshifters for Khalid, great stuff. As well i picked up the cloak of nondetection, and enlisted Coran, because i all of a sudden reminded myself of needing a thief in the cloakwood mines, and he's a good second tank with his 20 dex, although he lacks a bit of hp. He turned out the lvl 5/5 version though, which sports 39 of them, quite good. Meanwhile Khalid has around 52 or something, and Viccy by now has 26, enough to do a small bit of melee with bassilus' war hammer, and Garrick can take a few hits as well with his images and 29 hp, Imoen is still a bit sucky though with 18.

Friendly Arm Inn: Noticed my backpacks were totally loaded with treasures, so i really needed to pay a visit here, to sell all those rings and stuff, and buy me the gem bag here as well. I fetched the Pantaloons from the top floor, and killed the dwarfs there again, well i tried pickpocketing him with Garrick, but getting all those antidote potions off of him is provoking fate. Raised the rep again to 9 afterwards, those antidotes will be of use battling the hordes of spiders, ettercaps and wyverns.


Cloakwood 2: Onto the spiders area it was then, and of course, Coran is utter shite again, he cant even detect the damn web traps, that guy is totally useless for that purpose if he doesnt gain a level quickly, prolly will have to cast lightning protections to get past the traps near Hareishan. I advanced very very slowly here, moving Khalid step by step, and ranged shooting down any activated spiders and ettercaps, only triggering the traps when there is no enemies left.
Centeol went surprisingly easy btw, i lured his spiders outside and started casting sleep salvos, which put down all the giant spiders, while i took care of the ettercaps and sword one with Khalid, he got injured pretty hard though, had to drink some pots, but a well placed scorcher had this battle go easier than many times in the past, and that without casting fireballs inside.


I got my berserker abilities back here, a bit earlier than i expected, but then again, those swords are 2k apiece, and i forgot counting all the spiders (270-450) and ettercaps (650) around here.
I am now ready to head for Cloakwood 3, and honestly i'm thinking of ditching Coran again, i used him in my last game as well, which makes him a tad boring for this time, he is of no use finding traps, maybe when he gains a level, but im not sure if that is close with him being 5/5. As well, since i got my abilities back, it wont be long till Imoen does as well, i think she trails about 5k, so chances are i get her back, at least for Davaeorns Battle Horror traps, if not the ones around Hareishan. I am thinking of picking up Faldorn here, so i have druid around, that can hopefully cast some insect swarms.

As said i got my abilties back, which is actually the first time non-loading i managed that, iirc my first four bg1 incarnations were all meant to become fighter/mages, but none lived long enough to see the day they switched, let alone getting their abilities back, nice stuff. As well, i have made myself main tank again, well main tank equipment wise, as i took over the FPM, Ring +1 and GauntDex from Khalid, for the -4 ac. He wears the Ankheg plate again, and i think has -1, while Coran, with a vanilla plate and ring, has -2, Viccy has -1 as well, on a vanilla scale. Going nicely as you can see, though i fear Davaeorn, both last times i got here i was pretty much the sole survivor of the battle with all those lightnings he casts. I need to make sure i dispel him right, and start interrupting his casting with me, Imoen and Garrick afterwards. Another good reason to pick up Faldorn. (Well, or Yeslick, but then i have to get past the Wyvern area, the Boots battle and Hareishan first.)

Party: Me (Berserker/Mage 4/5), Khalid 5, Viconia 5, Coran 5/5, Garrick 6, Imoen (Mage(Thief) 4/(4)
Available:
Fighters: Minsc
Clerics/Druids: Branwen, Faldorn
Mages: Edwin, Dynaheir, Xan
Thieves: Safana
Bards: Eldoth
Locked: Yeslick, Quayle, Tiax, Alora, Skie
Dead: Montaron, Xzar, Ajantis, Jaheira, Kagain, Kivan, Shar-Teel.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 2:32 pm 
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Arghhh, mercy!

*buried under 3.875Kg of text*

I think I have to come back tomorrow and read here. Bed time now :cool:

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 4:06 pm 
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:D let me add another 1.125k to that then, to top it off.


Cloakwood 3: As i was saying, i was thinking of dropping Coran and going single-tank again, it is smarter ac wise, and i havent got that many tanks left. So i ventured to the east side of the map for a change to pick up Faldorn, its been a long time since i used her, and she indeed turned out l5, enough for an insect swarm.

Cloakwood 4: Did pretty much nothing here, i already killed two wyverns in a random encounter when i had Coran around, and delivered the head, so theres really no need to get myself killed in that cave of theirs.

Cloakwood 5: Ah, Drasus' party again, i almost missed them. For a change btw, if you hadnt noticed, this game i decided on not firing pre-emptive strikes to known enemies, that is, no fireballing off screen with invisible spotters to get them to turn offensive a round later, i often did this, and it is maybe kind of cheesy and might screw up variables should they get killed too fast, though they pretty much do the same to me, but ah well, things went 'fine' this way against Tarnesh, Silke, Neira, Greywolf, Mulahey, Nimbul, Tranzig, Taugosz, Raemon, Mutamin and Centeol, so i thought to continue the same way against Drasus.
I spotted them with Viconia sanctuaried, placed Khalid and me up front, and in a semi-circle behind them Imoen, Garrick and Faldorn, got Imoen ready to use the wand of fire, and made my presence known with Khalid. Following that i sent in the Fireball, had Viconia cast a Hold Person and Faldorn an Insect Swarm. The fire didnt take down the mages, and they started their casting as well, Confusion and Improved Invisibility, and wham, the confusion hit both my divine casters, they finished their spells, but both were saved. The IInv was a problem as well, because it made me unable to target the second mage, so all attention on Rezdan from Garrick and Imoen, while me and Khalid were taking down Drasus and Genthore.
Second round had more surprises for me, as the first mage cast a MS2 or 3, three Ogrillions appeared, and went after my mirror imaged Garrick, who as such could disturb Rezdan less. The second spell was way worse however, as Kysus came with a Fireball (!), which immediately killed Viconia, and put the me, Faldorn and Imoen into heavily injured. Changed tactics after that, i pulled out my main to drink a few pots, and get out of mage reach, i was chased by one of the fighters, but that should be doable. Send Khalid over to Rezdan and Kysus who were still alive, using Khalid against the invisible one and Garrick and Imoen against the other. Interrupting went incredibly bad btw, i dont think i hit a single casting with a magic missile, which was the main cause for all this trouble. Reforming my positions did mean i would prolly be losing the confused Faldorn though, as i had to run past her with the chasing Drasus to get to the mage, and indeed she fell. While doing so Rezdan added a Horror to the scene and sent away Imoen in fear.
By now the tides were turning, i killed off Genthore and Drasus, while Khalid got the last hit on Rezdan and Garrick missiled down his Ogrillion, which had hit straight trough his 4 images. One small surprise was still in store for me though, as i advanced my main to help with the last hit on Kysus, he got off a friggin 9th level magic missile, and killed Khalid, immediately afterward he got hit by me and went down.
Yay. Party changement.








Cloakwood 3: went back here to gain new partymembers for the journey to get a new party, enlisted Coran again, but i took way too many risks here, as i walked with the map screen on, and it turned out the place was full of random bears, which, again, hit straight trough Garricks 4 images, and he panicked, into a corner where he would become blocked. When i finally noticed i sent in Coran and my main to stop it, but it was too late, as the bear immediately hit lucky trough the images again, and Garrick was gone as well. That means pretty much only Imoen survived from my original party, but things were long from finsihed, as by now i myself was trapped by the bears, and could get out only just in time, and yes, they were critting of course. Coran fought a tad with them but got injured fast too, which is a tad strange, on the way there i took out pairs of bears easily, even when i was still around the gnoll stronghold i had little trouble with them.
I decided to flee, quickly enlist Eldoth, and get out of here. This succeeded and i went straight to Nashkel to get some new party members. Only when i got there i realised i made a very grave mistake, i didnt pick up Garricks loot. Of course this would have been a hard endeavour, with the easily blocked location and having used my invis spell already, and no clerics around for sanctuary. (i remember only now, i still had Jaheiras potion, which should have been the idea then of course.) I travelled for 64 hours already, getting to Nashkel, so fat chance my stuff was still around there. Might just as well gather my new party before seeing whats left.





Nashkel: Decided to go with Minsc now Khalid was dead, indeed the couple of him and Dynaheir allows two chars instead of one, and as well i have few mage-deaths as of yet, Xan is still in the Nashkel Mines as well, so i guess i can miss out on Edwin, and maybe, maybe, if Dynaheir and Minsc are killed in the future Edwin would be willing to join as the job is done. As well i took up Branwen, for a new cleric. If you count with me thats 7 chars, so i dropped Coran once more, i'll use him as second-last tank, with Yeslick being my final option. Just now i'm thinking about Eldoth btw, when i get to BG he'll obviously want to join Skie, and i honestly have no room for that right now, of course its still quite a way off and might by then, but it could pose a problem as well, i think i'll trade him in for a second in BG if everyone is still alive, because i cant really switch Imoen or Branwen for her, well, maybe Imoen, but she has quite a bit of money in her spellbook, not sure if im willing to give that up for just about the same thieving prowess. With these new guys i freed Dynaheir, strangely enough Minsc didnt comment on it, even though he was right there with her in the pit, i seem to remember a line of banter here, but ah well. Let's see whats left of Garricks loot.

Cloakwood 3: Damn. Just a freaking Gem Bag. This is pretty bad, as Garrick was carrying the Ankheg Plate and just found Plate +1. I should've used the red potion, i was already thinking of it after the battle with Drasus, but i decided against it, because i could narrowly spread all the loot over me, Imoen and Garrick, but now Garrick is gone. Those two treasures were the most important he carried i guess, but there's more, he was wearing Greywolf's Varscona +2 longsword, a wand of frost, and a chainmail +1 as well, some more minor stuff as well, iirc he had the boots of avoidance, and ring +1, that kind of stuff.
Not only do i now miss out on this stuff, i will need to buy new ones, as far as possible. Meanwhile, on my way there, i had to use Minscs berserker state to take on a few Ogres, and he attacked his witch straight after, Edwin would have loved to see this. Could pull her away quickly and long enough though.


Gathering up new equipment will be hard though, i'm happy i wore the FPM of Taugosz myself, had the Spiders Bane sword on Imoen, and had the BSw vs Shapeshifters in my own inventory, adding that to my gathered gold i have around 12k, which is only barely enough for my needs i think. Not only do i need an armor for Minsc, i need one for Branwen as well, and if possible i'd like one for Eldoth too, that and i need to make new spellbooks for Dynaheir and Eldoth, who luckily come with magic missile, but nothing else really useful. (As of yet i deem killzones too dangerous (ie entangle/stinking cloud things) i had some mains die with that method in my early runs, wandering into the entangles myself sometimes, but especially just being shot at by archers, while hugging them is so much safer). I see i have a scroll of Aganazzars left in my scroll case, that make a bit of a difference, and i think the dire charm scroll i still had from the bandit camp could be a good enough 3rd lvl spell for Imoen, i'll still need mirror images though, at least for the bard, and i believe the Hedge is getting pretty low on them. Adding all that together i can only just buy all that stuff with the 12k, that is, if i want the FPM from beregost which costs almost 10k, though it does mean i cannot yet forge a new Ankheg plate and have to settle for less for Branwen. Hmm, i could see if there are 9 ankhegs around the farmlands again, in that case i could pay for it if i tug them all to Taerom.

Party: Me (4/5 berserker/mage), Minsc 6, Branwen 5, Eldoth 5, Imoen 4/(4), Dynaheir 6.
Available:
Fighters: Coran
Clerics: none
Mages: Xan, (Edwin)
Thieves: Safana
Locked: Yeslick, Quayle, Tiax, Alora, Skie
Dead: Montaron (Tarnesh), Xzar (Tarnesh), Ajantis (Kobolds, Crossroads), Jaheira (Bassilus), Kagain (Bassilus), Kivan (Ankhegs), Shar-Teel (lost duel), Viconia (Drasus), Faldorn (Drasus), Khalid (Kysus), Garrick (Bears, CW3)

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2008 4:55 pm 
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I hope you guys can keep up with me, and not let the arrear get too big, but i continued another bit yesterday, and for a change, no character deaths.

After my experiences with Drasus who killed half my party, impeded a fourth and got a fifth to near-death which died on the road back, and losing all the equipment on that guy, Garrick, I decided on taking my time before returning to the Cloakwood Mines and the coming tough battles with Hareishan and Davaeorn.

I set myself three targets for now, one is re-equipping my new partymembers, being Minsc, Dynaheir, Eldoth and Branwen. Second is gathering some equipment that will be useful in those two coming fights, being resistance/invulnerability to fire so i can fireball the Hareishan group with a tank in their midst, and being resist/invul to lightning and/or magic for taking on Davaeorn. Third is gathering some more xp, mainly to get Imoens abilities back, but i would also like to have some more xp on my main, for a few more hp on them, still 31 hp on my main, and three characters that can die to a single fireball if its a bad one, i hope to get some nice treasure on the way, main areas for this are the Lighthouse and Ulcaster Dungeon.

Beregost: Bought the Full Plate for 9.9k after selling the BSw Shapeshifters to get to 12k, and a vanilla chainmail for Eldoth, decided to wait with the plate mail for Branwen, i'm not willing to spend a thousand on it now, when i am so down on money.

Road to Nashkel 1: picked up a stack of 5 free healpots here, as i consumed them all.

High Hedge: Bought the final scroll of Mirror Image for Eldoth, and killed the Flesh Golems.

Road from Candlekeep: picked up the diamond from the tree along the road here.

Backdoor Mines: Went here to kill Zeena and her party, north of the backdoor, one of them carries a free Plate mail armor, and they had a Magic Blocking potion, useful versus Davaeorn, as well as a potion of Power, one of the best buffing pots. The battle went quite easily, even though i misstepped while buffing, activating them. I flung in a fireball from Dynaheir, which hurt them nicely enough, managed to interrupt their final bit of spellcasting with MM, and rushed in to finish what was left with myself and Minsc.
Considering the ease, and having armor for everyone i decided on gaining some xp and gold here as well, namely from the revenant, who is worth 3k xp and comes with a Dagger +2, worth a thousand. Imoen leveled on killing him and got her thieving abilities back, but she failed to learn my only 3rd lvl scroll, Dire Charm. She did learn my spared up Invis scroll, which i decided to wait with till she got her thief abilities back, i think that scroll is about the most important in a no-reload game, even more so than mirror image.
Because of that i decided to take out Harwilliger Neen as well, made him spawn his mustard jellies and hid imoen behind him, she backstabbed him and i pelted him with magic missiles, that managed to interrupt his mirror image which made him easy. Imoen learned the Lightning Bolt spell, while i pilfered the cave behind them for the MSII wand.

Nashkel Carnival: bought the necklace of missiles from the new gold.

Area South of Nashkel: Went here because i found out another one of those hidden treasure coves, there's a scroll of Cloudkill here, no need to kill Lendarn for it. Killed Vax and Zal for their bracers of archery as well.

Area East of Nashkel Mines: Ran here to pick up the Fire Resistance Ring, to see if i can get a good fire res going for the battle with Hareishan.

Ulcaster: Went here for the Wand of Fire, my second, with those, Dynaheir and the Necklace i can spam quadruple fireball, if i really need to, i have 2 pots of fiery burning now as well, which would make for a quintuple fireball, just need to buy some pots of fire res now, because it seems i wont achieve more than 60% pre-Candlekeep-Cats. As well went here for the amazing amount of Dread Wolves, and the only pre-BG pot of Genius, useful for when i find Hareishans Haste scroll. The undead guy here was easy, and non-ghast undead types are easily turned by now.

Ulcaster Dungeon: Its been a long long time since i came here, which made the dungeon quite fun, didnt remember the wolves having such high respawn rate, things like that. Halfway the dungeon i had still not encountered a single trap, so i picked up some more speed, and finally ran into the only trap around, which nearly killed all my casters, luckily they saved and got fewer damage than they had hps.. I even triggered the trap on the treasure cove as well, though that one went safer, should be more patient in areas i cannot dream..




Shipwreck Area: Went here mainly for the free magic blocking potion given by Davaeorns brother, but i decided on doing the Nereid quest for a change as well, because the Defense Helmet will give another 20% resistance, that would give 60 fire and 70 lightning (with boots), which should last Minsc a while against Davaeorn. I sacrificed Eldoth for this, seemed the candidate who would enjoy the experience most ;).

Plan now is to raid the Flesh Golem Cave, with my berserk ability, some antidotes/slow poisons, and the Algernon Cloak, i should be able to get past the Nymphs, for some nice xp. I will also take out the Flesh Golems, i already noted from the ones at HH, the Revenant, Vampiric Wolves and the Mustard Jellies that i can easily take down magic-only opponents with myself, Minsc and Branwen, who wear the QSt +3, Spiders Bane and Bassilus' War Hammer. Not only will i find xp here, but also an Absorption potion, (i also have the one from Mulahey left), so i can as well become immune to lightning bolts, should i want so against Davaeorn, although i guess i'll go with magic blocking there.
Another target i think, is getting the Dispel Magic scroll around somewhere, i believe north of the Gnoll Stronghold, which would give me two chances to dispel Davaeorns protections.
After scouring the game world like this, for more pots of Fire Res, Absorption and Magic Blocking i will finally head for the mines i think, though i might even decide to pick up some more treasure before going there, like the expertise gauntlets, the forged ankheg plate or Malkax' Ssw +2, so i can make a decent backstab with Imoen.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2008 9:24 pm 
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And yay, the fourth character made it to the city! and this time for a change not someone that stays in the back to shoot arrows, let alone be invisible for the majority of the game, this char has even become main tank since he got his berserker abilities back.

Lighthouse: Things started off nicely against the nymphs, i went invisible, and mirror imaged, spotted the nymphs at the beach, sent a fireball their ways, berserked and made my presence known as i slashed trough them quickly. Second party, the one with Sil, went less well though. I did pretty much the same tactic, apart from one thing, i managed to forget to turn on the berserk state, and got charmed right away. With boots of speed on that is, and with all anti-charm equipment on him (mainly Algernons Cloak, i had two scrolls of charm, but you guessed it, they disappeared with Garrick.), and he went straight after Branwen, and disrupted her single Dispel Magic. Sil advanced while i pelted them with fireballs from Dynaheir, Eldoth and Imoen, but few got trough her magic resistance. Minsc got charmed next, as i was pulling Branwen away hoping i could get enough in between to slow him down and have the charm wear off. Minsc went after Eldoth, who i mirror imaged, but a few seconds later he was the third to get charmed, and together they went after Imoen, who nearly got killed. This opportunity i used to get Dynaheir out alive, and a while later i found a moment to mirror image Imoen, and ran off with the three of us, followed by my main on speed. Minsc and Eldoth luckily stayed where they were, and i lost Sil on my way fleeing. Next however it was a long flight, which reminded me of the one i had going on in the Backdoor Mines with number 8 when Montaron died with all important equipment near the MSII wand cave.
I ran all the way to the east side of the map, but no succes, and my main was chasing well, putting Dynaheir and Branwen into heavily injured and hitting all of Imoens images. When there i had to split my party, as i decided if one has to die before this wears off, it better be just one, and not him going after the rest of the party. Branwen was safe immediately while Imoen headed north and Dynaheir headed south, some wolves and tasloi joined the pursuit, while Dynaheir ran about the whole southern part of the map, i had Imoen circle around to meet her so she would be safe as well, and when the whole bunch of screaming monsters was chasing Dynaheir, finally the spell wore off. I immediately set my main to tanking and called my backline towards me, Imoen sleeping the Tasloi. However, in the midst of this new battle of ensuring those four safety, all of a sudden Minsc was uncharmed again, was fired upon by the charmed Eldoth, which he attacked, and killed in one blow. damn. thats two deaths in one, because it means i wont be able to pick up Skie later on.
With the party back together i finally used my berserk state to kill of Sil, and went to the Flesh Golem cave, to take them out for a second, should be able to handle them. Well. Should that is. Minsc and my main were heavily injured after the first Flesh Golem, and i needed to rest to have any chance against them. Resting outside would be troublesome though, as chances are high more nymphs appear. So i rested inside, but this of course resulted in Flesh Golems waking me up, and chasing me out once more. In the end i slept on the east side of the map, ready to flee on wrong interception while resting. Next i simply sent in Branwen sanctuaried, to pick up the treasures.
Next i enlisted Safana here, to replace Eldoth with. She turns out quite sucky actually. Not only does she have few hp and low ac, and with a trapfinder around thieves arent really necessary, she has spent all her points on pickpocket and detect illusion. I hope the latter might be of use somewhere, but this sucks, she cant even open locks. And her weapon of choice. wow. Its darts. you become a thief and you chose darts. right. Hope she'll last a bit to allow me to misuse that pickpocket ability, in that case shes worth something at least. Ah yes, and i equipped her Zals bracers of archery, seemed appropriate.











Xvart Village: Went here, to gain a pot of Fire Res, i still dont really want to spent too much money on this, and want my 100% fire res up for meeting Hareishan later on. There is one in the cave near the village.

Area N of Carnival: Same here, there is a cave around, with a ghast inside, and a pot of fire res. Of course i stepped on the web trap inside and made things tight.


Area N of Gnoll Stronghold: Fetched Neville's Dispel Magic scroll, learned it with Dynaheir for two sources of Dispel Magic vs Davaeorn

Bassilus Area: Killed off Malkax and the hobgoblins for the Short Sword +2, which goes to Imoen.

Farmlands Area: Rested until i met a new Ankheg, which i killed, brought its shell to Beregost, to pick up the Ankheg Plate later on.

Firewine Bridge: Rushed towards Meilum to gain his Weapon Expertise gauntlets, Minsc wears them as i need the Gauntlets of Dex.

Cloakwood Mines 1: With all these preparations out of the way it was time to enter Davaeorns lair again. First level and road up to there was of course a cakewalk.

Cloakwood Mines 2: Hareishan went great and according to plan. I enraged, drank one of the Fire res pots, ran in, and cast three fireballs on my main (Imoen wand, Dynaheir and Branwen necklace), which killed all of them but Hareishan who died to a single hit with the quarterstaff.


Cloakwood Mines 3: Quite easily made my way trough this level, for a change taking the western route, which holds more treasures, mainly some great spells. In one of the northern rooms theres a free Dispel scroll, a bit down is Natasha, who has mirror image and slow, and a bit further south is an Ogre Mage that sports fireball and lightning bolt. None of them were really hard, used berserk against Natasha who fell very fast, and the Ogre Mage didnt even get a single spell off.
Next i rested here for some ultra-preparation versus Davaeorn, including 5 invisibilities (had Dynaheir learn it as well), 6 resistance to cold/fire spells from Branwen, and four dispels, two on both Branwen and Dynaheir. (I also learned slow for Dynaheir, flame arrow for Imoen, and mirror image for dynaheir along these lines)

Cloakwood Mines 4: Onto Davaeorn it was, i cast all the fire resistances, made the whole party invisible with the spell and sanctuary, and drank some pots, one of Absorption and one of Frost Giant, so i was immune to fire and lightning and had a bit of punch to hit Davaeorn. Minsc was buffed less thoroughly, as he held a magic blocking pot in hand. Imoen invisibly disarmed the traps next. I sent my party in to tactical locations, Dynaheir and Branwen north and south of Davaeorns room, my main in the corridor leading up to it, Safana and Imoen in the northern room he often dimension doors to, and Minsc in the shrine room, another place he often flees to.
Cast two dispels from out of sight on Davaeorn, and took a peek, turned out he was fully dispelled :D, brought up Safana and Imoen for backstabs, and my main to hit him in the face. Released the pause button, and backstabbed him while my main critted him, i have never beaten Davaeorn that coldly, prolly overprepared a bit for him. No matter though, I have reached the city for the fourth time :).
Picked up some scrolls in the area, including Knock, which i immediately learned with my main, along with some other stuff prolly. (i bought up FAIs stock of Genius potions, forgot about that before, they hold another 4, which makes the int pot total pre-bg six.) As well, Dynaheir became 7th level along these areas, yay, that will be my first BG1 4th spell level caster, i'll race off to Ulgoths Beard for Emotion straight away.






Baldurs Gate East: Went straight for the Sorcerous Sundries, for a buying spree. Sold the loot from the mines, and with the new ~12 k i started buying stuff that will surely come in handy. What i remember buying is his stock of Genius and Invisibility potions, all his scrolls of Mirror Image, Invisibility and Knock, and a selection of level 4 spells for Dynaheir, including Greater Malison, Chaos and Resilient Sphere, for the future battle in the Duchal Palace. Turns out however, that Dynaheir isnt one of my favorites for a reason. She doesnt allow Enchantment spells, no biggy you'd say, but malison and chaos are both enchantment spells, as is emotion, meh.
Next thing i did, was misusing Safanas pickpocket ability. I already decided switching her for Quayle, but had to take the opportunity of still having her around to steal the Wisdom tome, so i made my way there.

BG Thieving spree: On my way there i took down Sashentars brother with ease, and went on to the Hall of Wonders area where i pickpocketed the Ladys house after drinking a master thievery potion. Next i went to the Blushing Mermaid, killed Larze (who almost killed Safana in one hit btw), and got the Cloak of Balduran. Searched for some more pickpocket opportunities, and got a necklace of missiles from someone in the market place, a haste scroll in the docks area, and pickpocketed the fellow of the Brevlik Telescope. As a last thing i wanted to pickpocket everyone in the Hall of Wonders, and when there, after doing so, decided on taking up Alora, to do the same to some containers around the city. Things went a bit awry in that plan though, as i stole the Brevlik telescope, and alerted the guards. The guards blocked the standard way of fleeing, so i had to take the long way around with Alora and Branwen, and this didnt go overly well, as one of the guards managed to kill Alora in a single crit. Picked up Safana once more and left the area quickly.
Used her next to gain the Helm of Balduran, and pickpocket everyone in Gorpel Hinds party. Still not having failed a single pickpocket i got the idea to do the same to Ulgoths Beard.





Ulgoths Beard: i bought a new master thievery pot from the Sorcerous Sundries and drank it in the village, continuing to empty everyones pockets here. Especially the Shandalar fellow is a wonderful man for this, my inventory wasnt even big enough for all he carried, including scrolls of Emotion, Feeblemind, and some other important ones, and of course a ring of free action. As well, i got the warhammer vs giants, though that isnt overly useful. Also bought the scroll of Improved Invisibility here (which will be for my main), and the Greenstone amulet, which allows me two charm-immune tanks.


Baldurs Gate: With all the thieving needs out of the way i replaced Safana with Quayle. Quayle is an incredibly strange fellow, he specializes in maces, while he cant even use one with his eight strength, nonsense like that. However with his cleric and mage levels, both pretty high, (6/5), he adds useful backup dispels, remove paralysis and slow poison stuff, and his mage abilties allow for more fireball wands, and some magic missiles, acid arrows and the like here and there, much more useful then a dart here and there from Safana.
Learning spells with that Dynaheir character is sucky btw, as she turns out to have two forbidden schools, she cant do conjuration as well, which makes the level 4 spells even more useless, no MS II either. That brings the choice down to IInv or Resilient Sphere, and theres just one IInv scroll, sorely needed for my main, so she now wanders around with two resilient spheres a day. pfeh.

Plans now are to finish the storyline quickly, after collecting the needed treasure in BG, from Vay-ya, Ramazith, Jardak and Sunin, and then i'll venture trough the Iron Throne, Candlekeep Cats, return to BG and the thieves' warrens. When i get there, and have beaten Rahvins party, i'll go back and do some TotSC content, hopefully a good part of Durlags Tower, until i have only a few npcs left, before i try and take down Sarevok.

Party:
Me (4/6 berserker/mage), 34 hp, FPM, Gaunt Dex, Helm Defense, Qstaff +3, ring of prot +1, ring fire res, boots spd. (-4 ac) L1: Prot Evil (2), Identify (2), mm, c-orb, sleep, protpetr, friends; L2: mirror image (2), invisibility, knock, strength, blur, acid arrow; L3: haste (2), ghostarm, flame arrow.
Minsc 6, 52hp, spider bane, fpm, ring +1, gaunt w exp, algernon cloak, boots ground. (-1 ac)
Branwen 6, 40 hp, plate, wh+2 +1 elec, ring prot +1, greenstone amu, ring holi, neckmiss (0 ac) L1: 2x Sanc, 2x clw, 2x remfear; l2: 2x protfirecold, 2x hold, 2x slowpois; l3: dispel, rempara, str-one
Imoen 4/5, 21hp, ac 6, sbow, ssw+2, bracerarch, ringwiz, cloak nond, bootsstlth, wandfire, l1: Sleep (4), Magic Missile (4), c-orb; l2: mimage (1), invis (1), acid arrow; l3: ghost arm (1), flame arrow
Dynaheir 7, 37 hp, ac 6, bracers6, cloakwolf, wandfire l1: magic missile (5), identify; l2: strength (2), det inv (1), mimage (1), aganazzar, invis; l3: slow(1), fireball(1), dispel(1); l4: resilient sphere (2)
Quayle 5/6, 24 hp, ac 9, ring freeact, l1: 2x Sanct, 1x Rfear, l2: 2x hold, 1x slowpois, 3: 1x rempara, 1x dispel; l1: magic missile (4), l2: mimage (1), acidarrow (1), l3: flame arrow (1)
(note that i am yet in the process of identifying all the balduran stuff and such from the thieving spree, so prolly will have a -7 ac somewhere soon)
available:
tanks: Coran, Yeslick
divine: Tiax
arcane: Xan, (Edwin?)
rogue: Safana
dead: Montaron (Tarnesh), Xzar (Tarnesh), Ajantis (Kobolds, Crossroads), Jaheira (Bassilus), Kagain (Bassilus), Kivan (Ankhegs), Shar-Teel (lost duel), Viconia (Drasus), Faldorn (Drasus), Khalid (Kysus), Garrick (Bears, CW3), Eldoth (Sil the nymph), Skie (Eldoth died), Alora (Flaming Fist, Hall of Wonders)

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 12:01 am 
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Things are going so-so, for some reason the big battles are more controlled than ever, but i keep killing off characters in the lesser encounters in between.

BG Castle Area: Killed Jardak here, he was rather easy, next up was Ramazith, who i plainly attacked because i had no real feeling to do the Ragefast stuff, though that does make it the first cheese battle of the game, i more or less executed him on the bottom floor. Made my way up with too much haste though, i had my mains up front, both with free action, but i sent Branwen with them as well, and of course, on the second level she got held by ghasts and killed before i could intervene. Even nicer, i once more forgot to pick up her stuff, which i noticed after resting and fighting with Vay-ya, so, once more, all was gone, less severe treasure this time over, but still, the war hammer +2 from Bassilus, and a necklace of missiles are now gone as well.



BG Iron Throne Area: Crashed trough the Low Lantern for the Gauntlets of Ogre Strength. This made me switch tactics again as well, Minsc is the main tank again, with -7 ac, and option on 70/60 lightning&fire resistance and options of free action and chaotic commands. Main reason was so i could equip both 18 gauntlets, the strength is now on the main, who is usually mirror imaged and has a -2 ac.

BG Flaming Fist Area: Killed Sunin here, which went easy enough as well, im making a habit of casting protfire/cold on Minsc so he attracts attention with 110 fire res, and then i send in some four or five fireballs. Second ring of wiz went to Dynaheir, so i am relieved of identify duty.
Next i enlisted Tiax, as the next replacement guy, and crashed trough the Seven Suns

Iron Throne: The big throne building was up next, and went extremely easy, i talked my way past all the guards, and up there buffed my way into invulnerability. I gave myself the fire & lightning immunities, while i had Minsc drink one of the magic blocking potions, went totally invisible, took up some tactical positions. In round 1 i made myself known by attacking both mages, hearing the welcome message and sending four fireballs into the room, and in round 2 i sent in another 4, by then there were two near-deaths standing, which i finished off quickly.
Next i paid a visit to Beregost for the Ankheg Plate for Tiax, and bought the last stuff in the Sorcerous Sundries, iirc no more than a new absorption and magic blocking potion.




Candlekeep Revisited: Went trough the halls, picking up the second vocalize scroll, and murdered Rieltars party, same method, Minsc fire resistant, and balling the group, great tip MERL (though you said you mainly used scorcher, which i yet have to try). I dont think i'll use it much more than this run, i suppose the fun of it will dissipate quite quickly, but for now its rather interesting, and since i made quite some work of gathering the wands, achieving the resistance and getting the characters to cast them, but it does feel different than having more than two rounds of combat. As you can see from the screenies however, i am far from having this tactic under control, as usually either i forgot to drink a potion, or by the time of casting the clerical protection buff has already dissipated, but i get the idea of the tactic. Could have killed Minsc twice doing so though.


Candlekeep Cats: Drank a perception pot with Tiax and used Imoen for disarming, which sufficed for the southern tombs, surprisingly enough. Used a Knock on the northern one, and as such, by now i dont even need the protection spell from the clerics to achieve the 100% resistance, which i misused against the greater dopplegangers, and Prat as well.
Next i managed to kill Imoen, i had my main and minsc up front, with free action equipped, and they made their way past the spiders, ignoring the web traps, however, Imoen was trapped in one of them, as i pushed on southwards. Alas, where i was pushing there were some phase spiders, and they did exactly what i feared, dimension door two screens upward and kill her before i got anyone near to distract them.





Alas, she lived longest, right from the start along with my main, would have been fun if both survived the game, but that wasnt to be. Right now i just enlisted Coran as replacement. Things will be tight however, as i have only three spare characters now (Xan, Yeslick and Safana), with about a same division of the game left in front of me.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 3:27 am 
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 3:47 am 
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 10:21 pm 
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heh, in p&p its probably even worse, charms spells are pretty much save or dies, especially the higher ones, as are hold ones, confusion a tad less.
We use the charm ones seldomly though, dont really know why, but usually we go for raw damage, summons, impeding spells and dispels. We use them occasionally on lower levels or less important stages, like charming the guard to let you into the town hall.
I suspect the orginal bg1 used official ad&d durations, which were indeed way too long for the game, i believe 1 min/lvl. (they shortened it in the bg2 game as well). In p&p i suppose thats less of an issue, since you mostly use charms to achieve a certain goal, not to sway the balance of combat, and even if you do it then, you never get the full duration out of it, because the charmed target receives a second save somewhere during combat, either by attacking/killing his friends, having strange monsters on your side or something, or by attacking him, et cetera.
The duration has changed to an hour/lvl in 3rd edition as well, and the charm monster version is even a day per level, however, as hinted at, this duration is more for you to know when you might get in trouble, because the guard then finally remembers letting someone in.
However in p&p terms charms are much more of a reaction roll thing, you turn people friendly towards you, but you do not control their mind, he will not attack his other friends willingly, he even will not let you in, if he doest let his best friends in. Even worse, if the charmed guy would betray his best friend he might betray you while charmed as well. To really control the mind there's the Dominate series, which really let you take over, but even there, when you make him do something against his nature, he will get a new, and easier saving throw, and you dont get sensory input freely.
Still though, they are pretty much save or dies, as you can easily get close to your target and prepare all you want that isnt too obvious, before he gets the extra saving throws, he does trust you as a friend, they just dont turn the target into a killing machine as well.
I remember our party being charmed once as well, and indeed that seemed to last for an eternity, while we were continually (verbally) on the search for something suspect, to receive a second save, in the end we did, but the druidic witch had already turned into a rhinoceros.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 5:09 pm 
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I countinued the no-raising party a bit yesterday:

I was left in Nashkel after just re-enlisting Coran, the party currently having Minsc as tank, with -7 ac and for fire immunity equipment, myself as second tank, -4 ac, grandmastery in quarterstaffs with the +3 one from Ulgoths Beard, and usually mirror imaged and hasted. Then there's Coran for arrows, and when needed tertiary tank, Dynaheir as main artillery, with fireballs and such, Quayle for diversity, magic missiles and some cleric debuffs. And finally Tiax, who is growing into a trapfinder, and has some clerical debuffs as well, though he usually does little more than summon his ghast and stand around in the ankheg plate.

I had just came out of Candlekeep Cats, so Baldurs Gate would be my next target, and with only three spare characters left (Safana, Xan, Yeslick) i think it best to do those chores immediately. I was thinking of doing some TotSC content if i have the room for it, but currently that doesnt seem to likely, if i stand in front of Sarevoks gate and i still have those three spares i might head off for the Tower.

I went straight for the Flaming Fist compound, turning any fists offensive on my way, slept in the sewers quickly, after i had to take down Schlumpsa just before. The compound was a piece of cake, Minsc and my main fought with the two melee guys, while i threw ~three fireballs and some magic missiles to the clerics in their back, im not even sure what abjuration they were trying to cast. Saved Eltans Body.

Onto the Iron Throne Area, where i jumped into their tower, i always doubt whether i need to do this, i need proof when i save the Dukes, but i keep having the thought that Slythes stuff suffices, but im never sure. I did this one the fire damage way, i send in Minsc with two rings against and the helmet from Shoal the Nereid, and started the fireball party, Me, Dynaheir and Quayle all wear one, and Tiax has the necklace of missiles with 7 charges, plus i had 4 scrolls, and Dynaheir has one of her spell slots devoted to it. I think about five or seven of them did the trick, honestly, i didnt want to this from the start, but the woman went invisible, and i didnt want to be toe-to-toe with the Ogres until she got say, a ricocheting lightning bolt off. Next i delivered Eltans body at the docks.

Onto Slythe and his gal then, i immediately went to the Undercellars, wanting to go via the bar, for a quick rest. Of course for the first time i misclicked straight into the area, which made me approach from the south, into Mareks hands, who i had skillfully evaded up till now. I said i wanted no word with him twice, and he told me very little, but i am unsure, i seem to remember he always poisons you there and you have 10 days to fix things. He didnt hint at anything though, so i am in doubt whether i have to take the quest. It might also be it triggers in the central area when you meet the other guy a second time, though during that conversation he is more informing you of your situation. Theres a second problem as well, being that i used up the Manual for the quest ages ago. I know i can pickpocket or kill the Umberlee priestess, but im not 100% sure i can meet her without having the manual, I will have to try though if i am indeed poisoned.
I will not go about this right now though, the quest involves a lot of wandering, trough at least three areas (i already did the 4th of the manual), and i dont want to be doing that with the Fist on my back. I will watch my schedule though, so i still have a chance when the city is safe again.

Onto the assassins in the Undercellars then. I took two Royal rooms to rest and heal up, and took a quick look at my sheets, because the female caster comes with the first Cloudkill of the game, luckily though Minsc, my main and Dynaheir were l7 already, and thus immune to the save or die.
Those three should be enough as well to take them on, if i choose the fire route again. I buffed up, including heroism potions (i have ~5, time to start spending them), made my main invisible to scout up north, and sent in Minsc fire immune. I paused the game there, because i saw loads of courtesans wandering around, which would cause heavy rep hits, forgot about that for a second. I no longer had much choice though, Slythe hits way too fast and hard to go toe to toe with, and the caster is even worse, very dangerous. On the other hand, i had only rep 9, and in Dynaheir and Minsc i have two good chars, one of which is even a Ranger.
First couple of Fireballs very luckily killed nobody though, and the locals were running away screaming, i killed some of them still though on fireballs four and five, getting hits to 6 and then 4, which was my sign to really stop fireballing them. By then Slythe was almost gone, the other invisible, but prolly alike, i sent in myself and started missiling with Dyna, taking him down, and a notch later the girl, who just, finally, cast her cloudkill, which gave no trouble anymore by then. It would have been nice if she did so earlier though, it would kill any courtesans and give me a fireball area. Ah well.

Next it is the Duchal Palace that is my target, and for the first time i am around with l4 spells (Dynaheir), and she has the genius spell for that battle, Otilukes Resilient Sphere. (Partly because she cant use all the great enchantments of l4), twice even. So i am ready for that battle.
First things first though, i raised my rep back to 9 or 10 at the temple in this area, and wanted to sleep a final time. This didnt go overly well with the Fist on my back, in the end i had Coran lure them away and drink one of my six precious invisibility pots.
After resting, heading to the Duchal Palace i got one on my back again, and he interrupted my buffing, because i need to remove armor for that. I had to hold him in front of the gate, because i dont want any needless rep hits, especially not with all the neutrals around in the palace, where, fyi, i will not start spreeing fireballs.

I buffed with, iirc, three mirror images (myself, Dyna, Quayle), a haste, a heroism for Minsc, Strength of One from Tiax, A Ghost Armor for Quayle as well, an IInv on my main, and a standard one for Dynaheir, she is key to this battle, to get off the resilient spheres.
I posted myself and Minsc in between the two norternmost dopplegangers, Coran a bit further away near the southmost, protecting Tiax and Quayle, and Dynaheir invisible in the upper left corner.
Things went more smoothly than ever, The dopples all raced for Minsc while the first Sphere hit to protect Liia. Activated my main to to do some more damage, berserked of course, and had Tiax cast his usual Ghast, which i used to further block their approach to my weaker chars.
Second Sphere went off and got to Belt in time, two beautiful blue spheres protecting my quest npcs, how come i never though of this before, i finished the dopples with ease. By then the held flaming fist from outside came in, and i had a bad thought jump trough my mind, what would happen if i kill him. I had already once in the past let the whole palace turn red on me, and something like this might just have been the cause. As well, Sarevok was still blue because the conversation actor leading up to that was still resilient sphered. In the meanwhile, Tiax' ghast was intent on killing the fisty.
Luckily though, a few second later the dukes were set free, and with them being my friends in some attacking script they went for the Flaming Fist, saving me a rep hit or even the whole place going hostile. Of course that happened just after the triggered conversation, so at that time Sarevok attacked me. I quickly sent my weak guys to the right and sent in Minsc and myself, hitting him quickly with them and some Coran arrows, and spent some magic missiles on his resistance. Sarevok got a very evil hit in on my main, which made me jump up for a second, but it wasnt followed up with any other danger, and teleported away quickly a few moments afterwards.



That is where i am now, only three dangers left, the Maze with its traps and slimes/horrors/skeletons/stalker, the cloudkill party in the Undercity, and lastly Sarevok himself.
This will not be overly easy though, so i stopped to think things over and buy me my final supplies.
First thing i bought was a new Fireball wand, Dynaheirs has only three charges left. Im not sure if i really need it to finish the game, but its use has gone up a lot since i am using MERLs great hint of achieving high fire resistance. Theres actually only one of those three battles that screams for this tactic, which is the cloudkill party. It might be somewhat nice in the Maze against the Horror duo or the Skeletal duo, but small corridors there, and i dont really think ill have trouble with them anyway, if i evade the lethal traps. Against Sarevok i dont really suggest it either, the big guy has a lot of resistance to such things, and more importantly, if i want a summon blockade, ill kill them all using fireballs, and i fear Minsc alone isnt enough to hold the line while fireballing, especially with his fire equip, which lowers ac to -4.

Some thoughts about those three challenges: First will be the maze of course, i need two things there, a summon in front of my party, mainly for the green slime encounter, but as well for the Stalker, Tiax' ghast should suffice for that, though i think it smart to memorize one or two. Second thing i really need is trapfinding, Coran and Tiax both still have only ~50 in it, so i will need some potions to get it to a respectable level. I still have two absorptions left as well, should things go wrong and i click in time, i remember the most lethal stuff in the maze is ricocheting lightning bolts.
For the second group i have that one cloudkill scroll from the cache in one of the southern areas, they still have revenge coming to them from Hendrika the Eighth. Furthermore my hopes are sending in Minsc fire immune and invisible, and sending loads of fireballs their ways, hoping their cloudkill wont take down my <7th level characters, who i expect are still that when i get there.
The third, sarevok, i think i will take the old-fashioned way, i saved up the Monster Summon II wand from the cave at the Nashkel mines exit. About ten of those charges should have me a nice blockade, which i can then use as a front while attacking Sarevok ranged. Just have to hope Angelo doesnt cause to much trouble after dimension dooring, and that Tazok and Sarevok dont slash their way trough the blockade, if they do they meet Minsc of course, and i will spent time reinforcing the front, but i know they can get trough. Also will have to watch out not to trigger any Battle Horrors into the battle. I have two magic blocking and one magic protection pot for this battle (plus several giant strength and invulnerability/heroism ones), that should have my main safe, and Minsc partially (i will not drink 1 on both with the short duration), so maybe another one for minsc is useful, it would save me the -3 ac for fire equipment should the big tanks break the line, in which case i would go for the heavy artillery, to at least take down all of Sarevoks lackeys.

Apart from those three im still in doubt what to with Marek, i have no journal note on it, but i dont want to die in sight of the finish line because of poison either. I spent only three nights resting since i met Marek, and about another 8 hours in game prolly, so i should have about 8 full days left for him. That might be enough to finish the game if i dont tarry in the maze for too long. On the other hand, if i loose people, i need to replace them, and only Safana is nearby, and more importantly, if i am injured like that, i will have trouble doing Mareks quest quickly because it would be needed should i run into such extra time. Worst thing is im not even sure i need to do it, and im not even 100% sure i can finish it. I fear i will be trying though, the battles should pose no problem, its just my hope i dont frack things up when i call for the Bitch Queen.

I also still need to get some spellbooks for Quayle and Dynaheir, right now Quayle uses Ghost Armor (which is great in this kind of game) and some Fire Arrows, id love to get something useful in those other two spots, compared to the arrow. Same goes for Dynaheir, her l3 is great with Slow and Fireball, but on 4 she still has nothing but Resilient Spheres. On the other hand, she cant use Emotion or Confusion and Greater Malison is of little use if the only impeding spell cast will be Slow. Even worse, with BG1s level four collection these are the other choices: Spirit Armor, Dimension Door, Minor Globe, Imp Invis, MS II, Polymorph self/other and Remove Curse. None of which are really useful in her niche. IInv is nice, but the only scroll has already been learned by my main. Dimdoor is not really an option for her either, i think that a scroll spell, to save my main, and she absolutely isnt the type for the defense spells or remove curse. That leave Poly and MS II, ehm, it doesnt, Dynaheir is an invoker, so no conjuration spells either, so no MS II, in that case Polymorph Other is the only option, and i dont even know where to get it, plus it isnt that much better than Resilient Sphere, it does allow for killing the target, but when the Sphere wears off the last one is easy anyway, and the Sphere can also be used defensively should someone get heavily damaged, impeded, charmed, confused, etc.

Hmm, i have been looking at FAQ sites a bit too much, while reading them again i noted Polymorph Other was cut from BG1, so there actually is really no improvement for Dynaheirs fourth level, apart from maybe Greater Malison, when Quayle can cast Emotion or something.
Oh yes, i also noted another great special ability, Quayle comes with a 1/day Invisibility, that is really great, not for him of course, but for thieves and trouble. Ill have to test if it also comes with the quick casting time of special abilities, if so it is really great.


Because i feel like it, here is a large equipment/memorization list:
Party Rep: 10 Party Gold: 3870
Minsc:
l7 Ranger (81/150), 60 HP, -7 ac,
18/93, 18*, 15, 8, 6, 10*,
saves: 7/8/7/9/10,
2ws x3, mace x2, 2hs x2, axe x1, thac0 10/12
-3 missile and piercing ac, -4 slashing.
50% elec res, 25% magic.
Equip:2x Mace +1, FPM, Gaunt Dex, Boots Ground, Cloak Balduran, Greenstone Amu (9), Ring +2, Ring Free Act, Helm Glory.
Fire Equip: 2x Ring Fire Prot, Helmet of Defence (100% & +20 elec/cold, +1 saves, for -3 ac, -2 saves, -1 cha and no free action)
Inventory:Comp Lbow, Pots: 1x Fire Giant, 4x Heroism, 1x Magic Prot, 1x Antidote, 1x CLW.
Special Abil: 1x Berserk, 4x Charm Animal

Hendrika the Fifteenth:
L7 Mage (73/90)/L4 Berserker, 43hp, -4 ac,
18/00*, 16, 12, 18, 13, 12. (used all manuals)
save: 10/6/8/10/7,
Qst x5, Slg x1, 2hws x1, thac0 7
-3 mis&pierc, -4 slash. 85% learn
Equip:QSt +3, FPM, Gaunt Ogre Str, Helm Balduran, Metaspell Amu, Ring Free Act, Boots Speed, Cloak +1.
Inventory:Sling +1, Wand Fireball (15), Wand MS II (8), Rabbit Familiar, Pots: 2x Hill Giant, 2x Frost Giant, 3x Invul, 4x CLW, Potion Bag*, Scroll Case**, Bag of Holding***.
Special Abil: 1x Berserk, 1x Larloch, 1x CLW, 1x Slow Pois, 1x Horror, 1x Vamp Touch, 1x Draw Upon.
Spellbook (memorized): 1: Prot Evil (3), Identify, Friends(1), ProtPetr, Sleep, BurnHands, ChromOrb, ColorSpr, Grease, Larloch, MMiss, SGrasp.
2: Mirror Image (2), Invisibility (1), Knock (1), Strength, Blur, AcidArr, Luck, GhoulTch, Web
3: Haste (2), GhostArm, ProtNMiss, FlameArr
4: ImpInvis (1), MinorGlobe

Dynaheir:
l7 Invoker (88/90), 37 hp, 5 ac
11, 13, 16, 17, 15, 12
save: 11/8/10/12/9
Slg x1, Qst x1, thac0 18
-1 slash, learn 75%
Equip: Sling, Knave Robe, Bracer AC 6, Ring +1, Ring Wiz, Cloak Wolf.
Inventory: Qst +1, 2x Wand Fireball (3, 20), Wand Lightning 13, 1x Skull Trap, 1x Horror, Pot CLW.
Spells (memorized): 1:MMiss (6), Identify (4), BurnHands
2: Mirror Image (1), Invisibility(1), DetInv(1), AganScorch(1), Strength, Blur, GhoulTch, StinkCloud, Web.
3: Slow (1), Fireball (1), Dispel Magic (1)
4: Otilukes Resilient Sphere (2)
Special: 1x Slow Poison

Quayle:
l6 Cleric (40/55) / l6 Illusionist (40/60), 25 hp, ac 0 (w ghost armor)
6, 15, 11, 17, 10, 8*
save: 8/5/9/12/6
Mace x1, Slg x1, SwSh x1 (cant use a mace though..) thac0 18
-1 crushing, 75% learn
Equip: Sling, Adv Robe, Bracer AC 7, Amulet +1, Ring Wiz, Algernon Cloak.
Inventory: Mace, MShield (lacks appropriate str), Wand Fire (11), Wand Light (10), Wand Para (13), Pots: 1x Clarity, 1x CLW, Scrolls: 2x FireArr, 1x MS 1, 4x Dire Charm, 2x Confusion
Spells (memorized): W1:Magic Missile (10), Larloch C1: Sanctuary (2), Remove Fear (1)
W2: Mirror Image (1), AcidArr (2), Luck, Horror. C2: Hold Person (1), Slow Poison (1), Res Fire/Cold (1)
W3: Ghost Armor (1), FireArr (2), MS1. C3: Dispel (1), RemPara (1)
Special: 1x Invisibility

Tiax:
Cleric 6 (29/55), Thief 6 (29/40), 51 hp, -1 ac
9, 16, 16, 10, 13, 9
save: 9/8/11/15/9
1x Slg, 1x Club, 1x Qst, thac0 17
-3 slash, -1 pierce&miss
Olock 45, Find 55, Ppock 40, Msil 60, Hide 50, DetIll 35, Trap 5 x3
Equip: Sling, Ankheg Plate Mail, Neckl Miss (6), Cloak NonD, Boots Shadows.
Inventory: Wand Heavens (8), Wand Miss (8), Gem Bag, Pot Master Thief, MShield (no Str), Qst.
Spell (mem): 1: Sanctuary (2), Remove Fear (1), CLW (1)
2: Hold Person (1), Slow Poison (1), Res Fire/Cold(1)
3: Dispel (1), Strength of One (1)
Special: Summon Ghast x1,

Coran:
Fighter 5 (22/32), Thief 6 (22/40), 40 hp, -2 ac
14, 20, 12, 14, 9, 16
saves: 10/11/10/12/12
Lbow x3, 2hs x2, thac0 7
-3 slash
Olock 90, Find 45, PPock 40, MSil 79. Hide 73, Trap 15, x3
Equip: Lbow, Plate Mail, Gaunt W Exp, Helmet, Ring +1.
Inventory: Spiders Bane +2, Arrows: Biting 25, Acid 30, Fire 29, Cold 18, +2 5; Pots: 1x Stone Giant, 1x Defense, 1x Antidote

*=Potion Bag: 2x Absorption, Violet Potion, 5x Invisibility, 2x Strength, 1x Cloud Giant, 2x Mirrored Eyes, 1x Magic Prot, 4x Fire Res, 1x ElixHealth, 1x Magic Shield, 2x Genius, 1x Power, 2x Antidote, 2x Magic Blocking, 1x Oil Speed, 1x Fire Giant
**=Scroll Case (for relearning spells with new wizards, or just those tough situations that demand unmemorized spells, part of this is actually in the Bag of Holding): 1x ProtPetr, 3x ChromOrb, 1x Cloudkill, 1x MMiss, 3x Dispel, 1x LightBolt, 1x Det Inv, 3x Mimage, 2x Knock, 3x Invis, 2x Greater Malison, 1x Feeblemind, 2x Resilient Sphere, 1x Chaos, 1x Strength, 2x Prot N Miss, 1x Nondetection, 1x Remove Curse, 2x MS II, 1x Emotion, 2x Haste, 2x Vocalize, 2x DimDoor, 1x Resist Fear, 1x VampTouch
***=Bag of Holding:
Items: 2x Prot Scroll Undead, 1x Prot Scroll Fire, 40 Stunning Darts (for Safana), 1x Prot Scroll Acid, Wand Frost (11)
Spare Treasure: Halberd +2, Dagger +1, Lsword +1, War Hammer +1, Throwing Axe +2, Clairvoyance, Hvy Crossb Acc +2, SSword Backstabbing +3, Dagger +2,
Other: Josephs Greenstone Ring, Golden Pantaloons, Key River Plug, Shandalars Wardstone,

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 10:31 pm 
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You sound almost sad, that you can't fireball your way through at the end... is your name by any chance "Ignus"? :lol:

Cloudkill party... :lol:

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 1:54 pm 
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As i already dropped in some places around the forum i am endorsed in a game of iwd2, the second or third try to truly finish the game, it is so long though i have no idea whether ill get that far this time, but im near the Fell wood now, which makes this my second furthest try, so i think i can consider it a serious one.
(Unlike my firewood party which was broken off in the drums areas)

This time i choose an all-wizard party, i never did so in any game, and doing so in the BGs bores me, i want NPCs there, but since iwd is tailored for premade parties, its one of the better ideas. This might also become rather easy if i handle things right, considering my non-loading non-raising experience. Which is why i picked iwd2, its still relatively new, areas i visit now i have only seen once, several years ago. This newness will give me some challenge, reloads and some new content to keep my attention around longer with a premade party.

Its actually almost an all-sorcerer party, which has several reasons, although i love playing wizards over sorcs, iwd2 is somewhat notorious for its scroll placement, and secondly i enjoyed the sorcs spell-picking a lot when my non-loading sorcerer advanced a great ways into BG2.
I wanted to mix in a bit of other classes though, for two main reasons, i wanted cleric levels on one to be able to cast raise dead later on in the game, that should spare a lot of long travels. Second i wanted a fighter, mostly to be able to wield some of the many weapons that drop in the game, but as well for some more tanking beef, coming mostly in the form of hp, and to a lesser extend some attack bonus. Both are multiclass characters, and because i picked some kind of dwarf for the fighter, he has no multiclassing restriction, unlike the cler/sor.
I also tag along a single wizard of course, to use all those scrolls, have some diversity, and the option to try some stuff out before the sorcs have to pick their spells. (not to mention the power of getting spells a level earlier.)

As such the party looks like this:
Fighter/Sorc: about 33/66 in levels, this one will mainly pick caster targeted buffs from his sorcerer levels, stuff like Shield and Mirror Image. Its main role is to get a lot of hp, ac, miss chance and reflex save, and secondary be able to do some damage, especially to golem types.
Cleric/Sorc: this one is 50-50 in level, and is aimed towards being a secondary tank, should my party be attacked from the back or when the main tank is incapacitated. His cleric spells are mainly saving buffs, like remove fear, ~ paralysis or exaltation, many of those spells are translated for healing. His wizard spells include caster-buffs and some minor direct damage assistance. He also holds a few impeding spells.
Wizard: This one is around for two jobs, first is casting the long-duration spells you need only a few off, like Cats Grace, Ghost Armor and Emotion Hope. His second role is trying out spells, that might become picked by the sorcs, for instance he currently is trying out to see if i want Ball Lightning, Dominate Person, Feeblemind, Emotion Despair, he has just finished testing Shroud of Flame, which i picked with a sorc. He has also has a tertiary role as damage dealer of course, and since everything somewhat useful on l1 and 2 has been picked by sorcs he just carries a supply of magic missiles and acid arrows. The wizard also has an important role in skills, he is takes care of both the Rogue and the Knowledge skills for the party
The Three Sorcerers: These provide the main source of damage for the party, along with some skills, they are set up to complement each other and take over each others roles, so many classes of spells are available on each characters. I try to minimize copying spells double or triple picking spells, the only ones i did so were done as 3rd or 4th picks (MM, Melfs, Mimage, Fball and Meteors). There is a little emphasis on the chars, respectively being Artillery, Impede and Debuff/Utility. The Artillery sorc also takes care of Wilderness Lore, while the Impeder is the spokesperson of the team.

The way i go about picking spells is usually picking three spamming spells as first picks, so the chars can at least use the slots of the new level without holding back. The second pick is for very important utility or buff spells, and then the third pick rounds out the collection, meaning that if the first pick was an spammable impeding spell like Confusion, the third pick will be a damage dealer, like Burning Blood.
As an example i take the second level spells, my first picks were spammers, (or what i hoped to be spammers), picking PW Sleep, Aganazzars Scorcher and Snillocs Snowball Swarm. (i also needed the area damage at that time, which is why i picked the latter over acid arrows), the second picks were important utility spells, that are cast less often, but you dont want to take the time to prepare them, being Invisibiltiy and Knock, I immediately fixed the Snilloc with Acid Arrow, which in my theory should have been exchanged. The third spell rounded stuff out, the Snilloc/AArr fellow picked Web for impeding, the PWSleep/Invis and Agas/Knock guys both picked Acid Arrow. The fourth pick was an all party pick, mirror image.
I followed a similar procedure for level 3, first picking Lightning Bolt, Flame Arrow and Slow. Next less spammable spells, twice Fireball and once Magic Circle vs Evil. The third pick rounded things out again, the double artillery caster got Minute Meteors, the Fball/FArr guy gets Dispel Magic and the Slow/MCircle fellow also picks Meteors (which i switched around though...)
For fourth level i switched my picks around, because i thought the buffs were too important to wait with, picking Stoneskin and IInv, the first turned out true, but i could have waited with IInv, the 50% miss chance it gives is a massive bonus, but it comes with the downside of not being able to continue renewing Haste spells and the like. As it turned out i am quite the tank already without its extra bonuses, so i should have waited with it. In any case, Vitriolic Sphere was the last sorcs first pick, a better one and a damage spammer he sorely needed after picking Slow/MCircle/Dispel on l3. Second picks were made again according to plan, so two spammers and a utility spell, Confusion and Burning Blood, while the third guy picked Spirit Armor (which was a mistake it turns out, Shield provides a similar bonus).
For the fifth level spells i just attained a i reverted to my standard schedule of picking a spammer first, they cast Hold Monster and Shroud of Flame, the third one is not really a spammer, Lower Resistance, which i want to have on all three in the future, but i wanted one now already should i meet some SR fellows, i put that one on the Artillery sorc, who already seems to have the most spammers. Next picks will thus fix the idea again, taking a spammer and prolly twice LowRes, if i see no other all important utility/debuff spells. Third pick should round things out, so that will prolly be direct damage picks without any areas for the third guy, with area for the second, and the first will pick something damaging/impeding to go with the second pick.

Meanwhile the Wizard is trying out spells, casting long duration buffs and providing some gaps i missed with the sorcs, as such he casts Cats Grace, Ghost Armor and Emotion Hope on the tanks, provides Haste spells, and has an assorti of direct damage and impeding spells.
The Cleric comes with some minor buffs from his sorc half, Mage Armor and Mirror Image, with Magic Missile for support, while his Cleric half provides healing and restoration against character states, with a few Hold Persons around, he carries a mace with some extra damage, and usually is mirror imaged with an AC around 20.
The Fighter is about 3/7 now, and spell picks were mostly self-centered, with some targetable fighter buffs, think Mage Armor/Shield, MirrorImage/Prot Arrows and Blink/Haste. He usually fights with eight to nine buff spells on him: Mage Armor, Cats Grace, Stoneskin, Prot Evil (10"), Emotion Hope, Ghost Armor, Shield, Mirror Image and Haste. Depending on the situation i can add Prot Arrows, Blink and Imp Invis to that, but i usually dont anymore. He wanders around with a just bought +2d6 fire mace and a great 2 handed sword with +3d6 vs humans, and his AC is at around 28 or 29 after all those buffs. (which makes me think ill start skipping Cats Grace soon). He has a +3 reflex save belt, which with the images makes him survive trough many area damage spells.
Oh yes, feat wise, i picked Arcane Armor (or something) with both tanks, so they can use shield without spell failure, furthermore everyone by now has subvocal casting and precise shot. The other feats i picked were fighter feats for the fighter, like Power Attack, and the wizards mainly picked Spell Focuses, in the Wizards case also the damage enhancers like Spirit of Flame (or something).

I started off this party in the final fight in Targos, where i left them after the initial creation some years ago. I picked them up and noticed why i stopped before, this is prolly the hardest fight i had with the wizard party.
I retraced my steps to take out the necromancer prior to the fight, and managed trough by making good use of the NPCs wandering around the palisade, so i wouldnt be running way from monsters instead of casting spells.

Next was the orcs area with all those fire kegs, i believe i got trough without too many troubles because the wizard had many a sleep spell and later on one of the sorcs picked it too, Sleep got me quite a way trough these areas, killing the enemies one by one with my tank and magic missiles. As i advanced trough the areas and got second levels spells i started making use of the first rounds when the enemies are at the edge of the screen by casting Snillocs, and when they get closer pick the best lines for Aganazzars; Individual targets like casters were taken out with PW Sleep.
Things became harder again around the drums areas, were Sleep is starting to wear off and the goblins on wargs are fast, attack from more than one direction and come with quite some hp. I remember quite a few reloads in needing to impede the drum-hitter before the extra wargs pop in to eat my casters.

Soon after though, Fireball kicked in on my wizard, which allowed me to take care of the goblin hordes, my Tank didnt have Mirror Image yet, but already had hp in the 50s or something, so where he could stomach two casting the goblins were long gone. Soon after the Fireball entered the playfield the sorcs also got their level 3s and the fighter got his Mirror Image, and from then on i have not had any really serious problems with enemies, as i mopped up the Orc Camp with lots of sleeps and fireballs.

Next came the ice areas, where my party reached the highest level of ease up to now, as 4th level spells entered the fray, making me able to Stoneskin the tanks while adding massive attack bonuses/penalties with Emotion Hope, Magic Circle and Ghost Armor.
Buffing as such made my tank oblivious to most of the attacks thrown at me, and his own Mirror Images gave me the ability to Fireball him multiple times, with an added bonus that most creatures here were had weakness against fire.
The more troublesome characters around these areas were of course Golems and to a lesser extent the Remorhazes. The latter just took many magic missiles and a mirror image renewal or two. The Golems werent so hard either, but that was partially by luck, as i was keeping a mace around with some extra fire and cold damage as a spare, which added 10 bonus damage to every hit, making me able to kill the Golems with my Tank alone. I remember the Queen Remorhaz battle followed by the artillelery magic casting guy was a hard one, i needed some retries there. Hmm thinking of that, i also needed several tries to take out the giants in the area before, as they kept on targetting my weak mages.

Inside the Ice Temple things became really easy, the enemies were human, as such falling quickly to my +3d6 sword, they mainly used ranged attacks while i just got Protection from Arrows, and their hp was low enough to only need a few artillery castings.
I was blown away by the intricacies of this dungeon btw, i remember passing trough it once, but if i look at it in hindsight, it is one of the best dungeons in all the BIS games, Sigil is better, and maybe Durlags Tower and Watchers Keep, but i actually think i rank it second behind Sigil.
Anyway, as i said, going was easy here, also with the three high priestesses, i remember only a few reloads, most of those being because i met a Golem after a long day, which left me with few buffs to take them down. The 20 Ice Trolls were fun with this party btw, send in your mirror imaged tank and blast a triple fireball at him, et voila :).
It took me quite some time to figure out the dungeon, though i did do so with only one quick look at the walktrough, this happened when i had to play on the Battle Square, which for some reason i though was totally optional, i saw the locked room from Oria, but i guessed it a treasure chamber for finishing all ten ranks. Apart from that though i was happy to figure everything out myself, the dais, the mirror trap, the painting, the prism, the inner sanctum and the altar i all managed without looking them up.
I played three levels of the Battle Square btw, my buffed tank could manage the stuff easily, i believe i saw 20 second left only once, but i got bored with the mini-game, especially when haste wears off i am just watching my screen for 7x60+6x60+5x60+.. seconds, getting a single piece of treasure afterwards. It did make my Inner Sanctum battle appreciatingly hard though, as i forgot to quicksave after the third rank and decided to check on Orias room. The initial battle was easy enough, but when she turned ethereal it became a nice running fest with high reload stakes.

As of now i have just finished that chapter and made my way trough the first two areas prior to Fell Wood, things were quite easy, as the party is now becoming formidable in the setup i outlined above. The only problems i have is when i face battle from three sides or something, like the Wolves battle here, but even in those cases, all my wizards can Mirror Image now, and should one not hold out with that i can use Invisibility to save him, and play with the AIs targeting as well.
I will surely use walktroughs for the Fell Wood by the way, i remember being lost here for a very long time during my first run-trough (which ended somewhere in another temple with two giant golems), and i dont want to go trough all the trouble of marking and drawing maps again, i finished the Modron Maze without walktroughs once, which is more than enough for maze-type dungeons. And since i just noticed my cross-classed Wilderness Lore is not high enough for the first time, that is even more incentive to go about it that way, as i lack that or a paladin to solve the wandering village quests without heading into the Fell wood.

Some Reference stuff (and yes, all the names are taken from roars of the voice sets):
Bwuhaarh: 3/7 fighter/sorcerer, fighting with Belibs Everlasting Torch or Winged Blight, and wearing a +3 reflex belt, a +2 deflection robe, a +1 attack ring, a regeneration ring and +1 attack gloves.
Usual Buffs: Mage Armor, Shield, Cats Grace, Mirror Image, Ghost Armor, Emotion Hope, Protection f Evil 10", Haste and Stoneskin
Spell Picks (all are in order):
1: Mage Armor, Minor Mirror Image, Shield, Magic Missile, Charm Person
2: Mirror Image, Protection from Arrows, Blur
3: Blink, Haste
Bleauillaagh: 5/4 Cleric/Sorc fighting with Mace of Opposing Elements, and wearing the Periapt of Wound Closure and a Bless Belt.
Usual Buffs: Mage Armor, Cats Grace, Emotion Hope, Mirror Image, Prot Evil 10" and Stoneskin.
Spell Picks:
1: Mage Armor, Summon 1 and Magic Missile
2: Mirror Image
Cleric Spells: (Banemaster btw, with Cure Replacement)
1: Prot Evil, Sanctuary and Remove Fear / Command
2: Hold Person, Rem Paralysis / Horror
3: Exaltation, Strength / Rigid Thinking
'Hahaarrr: 10 Wizard, fighting with a vanilla Crossbow
Usual Memorisation:
l1: Magic Missile
l2: Cats Grace, Mirror Image and Melfs Acid Arrow
l3: Ghost Armor, Haste and Minute Meteors
l4: Emotion Hope, Vitriolic Sphere and Emotion Despair
l5: Shroud of Flame, Feeblemind, Chaos and Ball Lightning
(Available: Mage Armor, Bulls Strength, Eagles Splendor, See Invisibility, Fireball, Invisibility Sphere, Slow, Otilukes Resilient Sphere, Mords Force Missiles, Confusion, Emotion Fear, Ice Storm, Dominate Person, Cloudkill and Hold Monster.
Mrruaahhh: l10 sorcerer with the sling The Left Hand of Darkness.
Spell Picks:
l1: Magic Missile, Identify, Sleep, Burning Hands, Charm Person
l2: Snillocs Snowball Swarm, Melfs Acid Arrow, Web, Mirror Image
l3: Lightning Bolt, Fireball, Minute Meteors
l4: Imp Invisibility, Confusion
l5: Lower Resistance
Unhuehwhuw: l10 sorcerer with a sling +2
Spell Picks:
l1: Magic Missile, Charm Person, Chromatic Orb, Ray of Enfeeblement, Protection from Evil
l2: Aganazzars Scorcher, Knock, Melfs Acid Arrow, Mirror Image
l3: Flame Arrow, Fireball, Minute Meteors
l4: Stoneskin, Burning Blood
l5: Hold Monster
Bwaellarghh: L10 sorcerer with a heavy crossbow
Spell Picks:
l1: Magic Missile, Ice Knife, Summon 1, Prot Petrification, Charm Person
l2: PW Sleep, Invisibility, Acid Arrow, Prot Arrows
l3: Slow, Magic Circle vs Evil, Dispel Magic
l4: Vitriolic Sphere, Spirit Armor
l5: Shroud of Flame

And oh yes, the Support Beam is still Bwaellarghh's most powerful kill, it now ranks before 104 other individuals.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2009 6:47 pm 
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hehe, turns out i did do fell wood without a walktrough...



Also got another level somewhere around the entry of the underdark (or whatever come before that). I picked Fireshield Blue with my Fighters first 4th lvl. The Cleric became 5/5, picking shield and melfs, the Wizard got to l6 spells which he doesnt have and the three sorcs picked some more stuff to round out and complement each other. I remember picking See Invisibility and Haste, twice Lower Res, and a number of spammers and direct damage spells were those were missing. (Ice Storm, Hold Monster, Burning Blood, etc).

The Fell Wood was rather easy btw in hindsight, although i cheated to get to the dryad looking back the hardest thing was the fight with Limha, were the snow trolls surrounded my party the moment i left the tent. I had no trouble with the Treants or random stuff the Woods, apart from the Will o Wisps. Those were very tedious, as i had nothing against invisibility, and still but one Lower Resistance caster. I managed trough in one try though, but it took me a very long time, not so with the Treants, they just went down to a quadruple fireball. The dragon afterward, let alone the spiders, were no real trouble, were i was fearing a time would come that everyone is fire immune the game continues throwing white, cold, ice, frost and blizzard stuff at me.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2009 7:54 pm 
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You did Fell wood without a walkthrough!? :O

Im chocked. I tried it myself but failed, even had a freaking Ranger I put most skill points into Survival or wilderness lore or what they call it in IWD2.

Hats off for you Sauzi! :)


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